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Saudi Cuts Oil Output As OPEC Points To 2019 Surplus

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Saudi Cuts Oil Output As OPEC Points To 2019 Surplus

OPEC on Monday forecast lower demand for its crude next year as rivals pump more and said top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, eager to avoid a return of oversupply, had cut production.

In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the world will need 32.05 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from its 15 members in 2019, down 130,000 bpd from last month’s forecast.

The drop in demand for OPEC crude means there will be less strain on other producers in making up for supply losses in Venezuela and Libya, and potentially in Iran as renewed U.S. sanctions kick in.

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Crude LCOc1 edged lower after the OPEC report was released, trading below $73 a barrel. Prices have slipped since topping $80 this year for the first time since 2014 on expectations of more supply after OPEC agreed to relax a supply-cutting deal and economic worries.

OPEC in the report said concern about global trade tensions had weighed on crude prices in July, although it expected support for the market from refined products.

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“Healthy global economic developments and increased industrial activity should support the demand for distillate fuels in the coming months, leading to a further drawdown in diesel inventories,” it said.

OPEC and a group of non-OPEC countries agreed on June 22-23 to return to 100 percent compliance with oil output cuts that began in January 2017, after months of underproduction by Venezuela and others pushed adherence above 160 percent.

In the report, OPEC said its oil output in July rose to 32.32 million bpd. Although higher than the 2019 demand forecast, this is up a mere 41,000 bpd from June as the Saudi cut offset increases elsewhere.

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In June, Saudi Arabia had pumped more as it heeded calls from the United States and other consumers to make up for shortfalls elsewhere and cool prices, and sources had said July output would be even higher.

But the kingdom said last month it did not want an oversupplied market and it would not try to push oil into the market beyond customers’ needs.

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

Russian, president Vladimir Putin has announced on Tuesday that Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.

The president said during a televised video conference call with government ministers that for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in the country.

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Putin said the country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing.

Three days ago, ANN reported that a senior health official at a Russian state laboratory’s vaccine for the novel coronavirus disclosed that it is undergoing its final testing phase and is expected to be registered soon.

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Last week, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Grinev said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax that “currently it is in the final testing phase, which is extremely important. We need to understand that the vaccine will be safe”.

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According to Johns Hopkins University data, Russia has recorded more than 895,000 cases, the world’s fourth-largest Coronavirus caseload behind the United States, Brazil and India.

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Trump Escorted Out Of Briefing As Man Shot Near White House

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Trump Escorted Out Of Briefing As Man Shot Near White House

During a televised news conference on Monday, the United States president Donald Trump was escorted out in the middle of the briefing after Secret Service agents shot and wounded a man who claimed to be armed outside the White House.

In a statement by the Secret Service stated that a 51-year-old man, who has not been identified, approached the officer, told him he had weapons and assumed a “shooter’s stance”, whereupon the officer shot him in the torso.

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The Secret Service however did not say whether the man was armed, adding that “both the officer and the suspect were then taken to hospital”

The chief of the Secret Service Uniformed Division Tom Sullivan said the White House complex was not breached and no one under Secret Service protection was in danger.

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Law enforcement officials were trying to determine a motive and authorities were investigating whether the man had a history of mental illness.

Earlier, Trump had just begun a Coronavirus briefing when a US Secret Service agent escorted him from the briefing room. The president returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.”

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Trump said, “there was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital.” The president said law enforcement had fired the shots and that he believed the individual who was shot was armed.

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Lebanon’s Aoun Accepts Gov’t Resignation, Asks Diab To Stay On In Caretaker Capacity

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Lebanon's Aoun Accepts Gov't Resignation, Asks Diab To Stay On In Caretaker Capacity

Just after the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the resignation of his government following last week’s devastating explosion in Beirut port, President Michel Aoun has accepted the resignation of the prime minister’s government and asked it to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

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Earlier on Monday in a televised evening address to the nation, Diab announced the resignation of the entire cabinet characterizing the detonation of highly explosive material warehoused at the capital’s port for the past seven years as being “the result of endemic corruption.”

Diab calling for the trial of those responsible for the blast said “today, we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change.”

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The resignation came after protesters accused the country’s leaders of negligence and corruption leading to the explosion that killed at least 200 persons and wounding 6,000 others.

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On Sunday, Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near Parliament in Beirut after a second day of anti-government demonstrations.

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