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Oil Prices Rise After Russia, Saudi Arabia Deal

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Oil Prices Rise After Russia, Saudi Arabia Deal

Oil prices soared more than five percent on Monday after Russia and Saudi Arabia renewed a pact to cap output, while the US agreed to halt raising tariffs on Chinese imports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday he and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “have agreed to extend our agreement” to limit production as prices slump on global markets.

An existing deal committing OPEC and non-members to cuts expires this year.

While there was no announcement on how much would be cut and for how long, the pact between the world’s two biggest crude exporters was cheered by oil traders, with Brent jumping $2.82 to $53.75 and West Texas Intermediate up $2.98 at $62.44 on Monday.

“While we still need to know by how much OPEC will curb its production, Putin’s comment does clear a barrier for OPEC in stabilising prices as Russia has been ambiguous about its stance,” Ahn Yea Ha, a commodities analyst at Kiwoom Securities told Bloomberg News.

Both main contracts have plunged by about a third since hitting four-year highs at the start of October, hit by a number of factors including easing demand, high production, softer-than-expected US sanctions on Iran and a global growth slowdown.

Another major reason for the sell-off has been the ongoing trade row between China and the US, which has seen the world’s top economies swap tariffs on imports worth hundreds of billions of dollars fuelling fears about the impact globally.

However, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on Saturday announced a deal that will see the US hold off raising levies on Chinese goods on January 1 and China promise to buy more from the US, while entering a 90-day period of talks to bring an end to the dispute.

Traders are now looking ahead to a weekend meeting of OPEC and key non-OPEC members in Vienna, where they will make an announcement on their cuts plans.

Most analysts expect a cut of around one million barrels per day, but some say this may not be enough to arrest the decline in prices.

“It’s a huge week not only for oil markets but capital markets in general,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.

“Post-G20 sentiment is a bit more positive than expected but still very much work in progress, so perhaps the most crucial event in December next to (Britain’s) Brexit vote could very well be the OPEC summit.”

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World News

Theresa May And Tony Blair In Heated Argument Over Brexit Deal

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Theresa May And Tony Blair In Heated Argument Over Brexit Deal

There was a public outcry between British prime minister Theresa May and former prime minister and Labour Party leader Tony Blair over the Brexit deal.

May was just short of calling Blair’s pronouncements irresponsible, but she said Blair was insulting voters and that his actions could undermine her government. Blair says the way to break the current impasse between the parliament and the prime minister is to hold another Brexit referendum.

Blair was prime minister from 1997 till 2007. He has accused the conservative leader, Theresa May, of being “irresponsible.”

Blair, who is against exiting the EU, is seizing on May’s unpopular deal in the house of commons to galvanize the public to demand a new vote.

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World News

Gas Explosion Injures 42 In Japan

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Gas Explosion Injures 42 In Japan

Many residents of Sapporo in northern Japan are still in shock today after a suspected gas explosion injured forty-two persons in a restaurant. The building that also housed a real estate office was destroyed.

The explosion in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, threw debris across the area.  Some residents said the explosion felt like an earthquake.

Police say all injuries except one were not serious.

A shelter has been set up to accommodate dozens who were rendered homeless by the blast.

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Restaurateur Admits Trying To Frame Wife As Terrorist

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Restaurateur Admits Trying To Frame Wife As Terrorist

A Maryland restaurateur has admitted that he paid a man to frame his wife as a terrorist and burn down his restaurant.

The Capital reports 51-year-old Khalil Ahmad pleaded guilty on Wednesday to stalking his estranged wife. In exchange, cases pending against him in three Baltimore area counties were dropped.

Federal court documents say Ahmad already faced financial ruin and was worried about a divorce settlement’s financial impact. He discussed having her killed, but settled on paying an informant to frame her, with “a ballistic vest, firearm, bottles of alcohol and extremist jihad writings.”

Ahmad also planned to collect the insurance policy on his Pakistani restaurant, Allah Rakha, which means, roughly, “protected by God.”

He faces five years on the stalking charge, and could be deported upon his release.

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