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The Levant

G20 dedicated to fixing oil prices

G20 energy ministers in their joint statement will propose setting up a task force to advise ministers on the steps needed to stabilise the oil markets amid the coronavirus pandemic, India’s oil ministry said in a statement on Friday. Although India’s fuel demand has slumped drastically due to a nation-wide …

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Turkey after a currency swap from US

Turkey has held talks with the United States about possibly securing a swap line from the U.S. Federal Reserve and has discussed other funding options to mitigate fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, Turkish officials said on Friday. While Ankara is keen to secure funding from the U.S. central bank if …

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Lebanon quashes hashish shipments to Africa

Lebanese police have seized about 25 tonnes of hashish that were set to be smuggled to an African state, in the country’s biggest drug bust, Lebanese security forces said on Friday. The hashish was hidden in eight trucks which were stopped last month on their way to Beirut port after …

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Coronavirus makes it to war-torn Yemen

Yemen reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday as aid groups try to prepare for an outbreak in a country where war has shattered the health system and spread hunger and disease. The news came after a nationwide ceasefire prompted by the virus pandemic began on Thursday. …

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Saudi says Mexico needs to join OPEC deal

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Friday that a final OPEC+ oil supply pact to reduce 10 million barrels per day (bpd), which was agreed on Thursday, hinges on Mexico joining in the cuts. OPEC, Russia and other allies, a group known as OPEC+, outlined plans on Thursday to cut …

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Syria categorically rejects chemical weapons charges

Syria on Thursday dismissed a report by a global watchdog that said Syrian jets had carried out a series of chemical attacks on an opposition-held town, under orders from the top military command. The report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syrian air force pilots …

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Saudi coalition halting all Yemen operations

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis said on Wednesday it was halting military operations nationwide in support of U.N. efforts to end a five-year war that has killed over 100,000 people and spread hunger and disease. The move aims to facilitate talks sponsored by U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths …

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OPCW team charges Syrian airforce with chemical attack

Syrian Arab Air Force pilots flying Sukhoi Su-22 military planes and a helicopter dropped bombs containing poisonous chlorine and sarin nerve gas on a village in the country’s western Hama region in March 2017, a new team at the global chemical weapons watchdog concluded in its first report. The special …

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Financial deadlock threatens EU corona response

European Union finance ministers failed to agree in all-night talks on more support for their coronavirus-hit economies and their chairman said on Wednesday morning he was suspending the discussions until Thursday. Diplomatic sources and officials said a feud between Italy and the Netherlands over what conditions should be attached to …

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Iran wants IMF loan to sit out corona crisis

President Hassan Rouhani pressed harder on Wednesday for a $5 billion emergency IMF loan Iran has sought to fight the Middle East’s worst coronavirus outbreak, saying the Fund would be guilty of discrimination if it withholds the money. Rouhani also said some businesses will remain closed until further notice, after …

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Prisoner exchange on agenda for Gaza-Israel

Israel called on Tuesday for the immediate resumption of indirect talks on the return of two Israeli civilians and the remains of two soldiers held for years in Gaza, but the territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas dismissed the overture. The Israeli appeal came in a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s …

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UN says patents counter-productive for corona fight

Discussions are under way on enabling wider access to some patented drugs and medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the U.N.’s intellectual property agency said on Tuesday. Francis Gurry, director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said that during an emergency, health and safety “trumps everything”. …

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Trump denies OPEC wants US production cut

President Donald Trump said on Monday that OPEC had not pressed him to ask U.S. oil producers to reduce their output to support global prices, which have been hard-hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump said U.S. oil production had already fallen, anyway. “I think it’s happening …

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NGOs want IMF-World Bank to help world’s poorest

Nearly 140 campaign groups and charities urged the IMF and World Bank, G20 governments and private creditors on Tuesday to help the world’s poorest countries through the coronavirus crisis by cancelling debt payments. The call, spearheaded by the British-based Jubilee Debt campaign, comes a day before a Group of 20 …

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G20 wants emergency energy congerence

Energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies will convene an extraordinary meeting by video conference on Friday “to ensure energy market stability”, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. The call was organised by G20 host Saudi Arabia, which is locked in an oil price war with …

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Passover a no, no in coronavirus Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday a national lockdown would begin on Tuesday and end on Friday to try to stem the spread of the new coronavirus during the Jewish holiday of Passover. In a televised address, he said travel restrictions would be tightened on Tuesday and that …

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UN blames Syrian forces for school attacks

It is “highly probable” the government of Syria or its allies carried out attacks on three healthcare facilities, a school and a refuge for children in northwest Syria last year, according to a summary of an internal United Nations inquiry seen by Reuters on Monday. The inquiry also found it …

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Mormon church makes its way to Communist China

The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, plans to open its first temple in mainland China at a time when Beijing has been clamping down steadily on religious freedoms. The temple in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai will help fill a …

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Iraqi oil targetted by rocket fire

Rockets landed near a district that houses foreign workers in Iraq’s oil industry early on Monday, including U.S. oil service company Halliburton, but caused no damage or casualties, oil and police sources said. Police said three Katyusha rockets were launched around 3 a.m. local time and hit the Burjesia residential …

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Putin in emergency talks with Russian oilbarons

President Vladimir Putin will meet the heads of Russia’s top oil companies for talks on Friday, the Kremlin said, describing the atmosphere on the global market as “unfavourable”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that the meeting would be held in the same format as one …

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US oil sector preparing for battle

The world is about to run out of oil storage and U.S. shale producers are selling crude for almost nothing but they are still refusing to shut production, hoping to survive the storm, one of the world’s biggest oil traders said. The continuing production shows the challenges that Russia and …

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OPEC wants 10 million bpd production cut

The OPEC+ crude oil exporter group is debating cutting global supply by 10 million barrels per day (bpd), an OPEC source said on Friday, adding that any further cuts must include producers from outside the alliance. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had brokered a deal that could …

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Calls to release Turkish prisoners during coronacrisis

Turkish academics, journalists and rights groups are demanding that a planned release of tens of thousands of prisoners to stem the spread of the coronavirus should not exclude inmates whose only crime, they say, has been to challenge the authorities. President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party proposed a bill on Tuesday …

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Israel blackmailing Gaza over coronavirus

Israel on Wednesday linked any assistance it might offer for the Gaza Strip’s efforts against coronavirus to progress in its attempt to recover two Israeli soldiers lost during the 2014 war in the Palestinian enclave. Blockaded and impoverished, Islamist Hamas-ruled Gaza has reported 12 coronavirus cases and authorities worry that …

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The U.S. needs to know what went wrong

When America has recovered from the coronavirus crisis and people are back to work, Rep. Adam B. Schiff thinks Congress should consider a 9/11-style independent commission to examine why the nation was so unprepared for the pandemic. By David Ignatius Schiff, a California Democrat, told me in an interview Monday that his …

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MONONOKE ANGEL NICGILLICUDDY

By Russell Morris   I have begun associating the word “stockpiled” with ”hoarded” as I teach SIRI the meaning of the word “hoardable”. There is plenty of very valid information about unhoardable money with demurrage In the archives, especially with reference to the works of Silvio Gesell. But Siri is …

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G20 ready to help Third World in coronacrisis

The Group of 20 major economies said on Tuesday that they would present a coronavirus action plan in two weeks to address the debt vulnerabilities of the poorest countries and deliver financial aid to emerging economies. G20 finance ministers and central bank governors discussed in a videoconference how the International …

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Oil prices on the up thanks to Trump, Putin

Oil prices firmed on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to talks aimed at stabilising energy markets, with benchmarks climbing off 18-year lows hit as the coronavirus outbreak cut fuel demand worldwide. Brent crude LCOc1 was up by 61 cents, or 2.7%, at $23.37 …

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