Attacks on Saudi Oil Field Knock Out Half of Its Output
2019-09-15 07:21:05 UTC
RIYADH/DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group said it attacked two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on Saturday, knocking out more than half the Kingdom’s output, in a move expected to send oil prices soaring and increase tensions in the Middle East.
The attacks will cut the kingdom’s output by 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd), according to a statement from state-run oil company Saudi Aramco, or more than 5% of global oil supply.
The pre-dawn strikes follow earlier cross-border attacks on Saudi oil installations and on oil tankers in Gulf waters, but these were the most brazen yet, temporarily c...
2 Million More Americans Without Health Insurance
2019-09-10 19:07:40 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The share of Americans without health insurance rose for the first time in a decade last year and U.S. household income barely rose, according to a government report on Tuesday that laid bare issues that could become central to the U.S. presidential election next year.
About 27.5 million residents, or 8.5% of people, did not have health insurance in 2018, an almost 2 million increase from the year before when 7.9% of people lacked coverage, the Census bureau said. It was the first year-to-year increase in the percentage of uninsured people since the Great Recession.
The Trump administration has taken a series o...
Boris Johnson's Brexit Dilemma
2019-09-10 01:33:31 UTC
Brexit, the UK’s most significant geopolitical move in decades, remains in question more than three years since the 2016 referendum, with possible outcomes ranging from an exit on Oct. 31 without a withdrawal agreement to smooth the transition, to abandoning the whole endeavour.
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he would not request an extension to Brexit, hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain’s departure from the European Union until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal.
For the second time in a week, lawmakers rejected Johnson’s request to try and break the deadlock thro...
Irish PM: We Need a Single Irish Economic Zone
2019-09-08 18:15:51 UTC
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar plans to discuss whether regulatory alignment between Ireland and Northern Ireland might form the basis of a Brexit deal when he meets British counterpart Boris Johnson on Monday.
But Varadkar said a breakthrough was unlikely during Monday’s talks with the EU summit on Oct. 17-18 providing the most likely venue for any agreement.
Talks to secure an orderly British exit from the European Union have floundered on the question of how to avoid infrastructure along the border between EU member Ireland and the British region of Northern Ireland.
The so-called “backstop” protocol in th...
Hurricane Dorian Shows We Are Losing the Fight Against Global Warming
2019-09-01 22:29:33 UTC
As Hurricane Dorian churns its way through the Atlantic, we need to recognize that climate change can make any hurricane more intense and Category 5 hurricanes more likely. Burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, release carbon dioxide and methane into Earth’s atmosphere. These gases trap heat, which means that globally, both air temperatures as well as water temperatures have increased and are continuing to increase.
Warmer air leads to more evaporation, which in turn leads to more precipitation. Then the warmer water provides more fuel for the hurricanes. Water has very high heat capacity, which means it’s ...
Scientists Find Micro Plastic in Arctic Ice
2019-08-14 23:33:28 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in ice cores drilled in the Arctic by a U.S.-led team of scientists, underscoring the threat the growing form of pollution poses to marine life in even the remotest waters on the planet.
The researchers used a helicopter to land on ice floes and retrieve the samples during an 18-day icebreaker expedition through the Northwest Passage, the hazardous route linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
“We had spent weeks looking out at what looks so much like pristine white sea ice floating out on the ocean,” said Jacob Strock, a graduate student researcher at the University of Rhode...
US, UK Seek Quick Post-Brexit Trade Deal
2019-08-13 18:20:56 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and the United States are discussing a partial trade accord that could take effect on Nov. 1, the day after Britain is due to leave the European Union, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday.
The official also said visiting U.S. national security adviser John Bolton and British trade minister Liz Truss had discussed the possibility of the two countries’ leaders signing a road map declaration toward a trade deal at this month’s G7 summit meeting in France.
The official told reporters that Bolton and British finance minister Sajid Javid had discussed the possibility of a temporary trade agreem...
US will "Enthusiastically Support a No-Deal Brexit"
2019-08-12 19:04:58 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - The United States would enthusiastically support a no-deal Brexit if that is what the British government decided to do, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday during a visit to London aimed at reassuring Britain over UK-U.S. ties.
Bolton told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that President Donald Trump wants to see a successful British exit from the European Union on Oct. 31 and that Washington will be ready to work fast on a U.S.-UK free trade agreement.
Johnson wants the EU to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s exit ahead of an Oct. 31 departure date, but the EU says it will not alter the p...
Russia Asks Google to Stop Advertising “Illegal Mass Events”
2019-08-11 16:07:42 UTC
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s state communications watchdog said on Sunday it had asked Google to stop advertising “illegal mass events” on its YouTube video platform.
Tens of thousands of Russians staged what observers called the country’s biggest political protest for eight years on Saturday, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow’s city legislature.
The watchdog, Roscomnadzor, said Russia would consider it interference in its sovereign affairs and a hostile influence should Google fails to respond to the request.
<I>Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Janet Lawrence</I>
Ebola Virus: WHO Vaccinates Over 1,300 People in Goma
2019-08-11 16:00:28 UTC
GOMA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization said it has vaccinated over 1,300 people who potentially came into contact with the Ebola virus in the Congolese city of Goma, helping contain what many feared would be a rapid spread in an urban center.
A year-long Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 1,800, the second biggest toll ever, and efforts to contain the virus have been hobbled by militia violence and some local resistance to outside interference.
Goma, a lakeside city of nearly 2 million people on the Rwandan border, has been on high alert over the past week after a gold miner with a larg...
No-Deal Brexit Could Lead to United Ireland
2019-07-28 00:33:47 UTC
Dublin — A no-deal Brexit could lead to a united Ireland as more people in Northern Ireland would "come to question the union" with Britain, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said, AFP reports.
His comments came after new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the current Brexit deal was unacceptable and set preparations for leaving the EU without an agreement as a "top priority" for his right-wing government.
Tension around the withdrawal deal centres on the so-called Irish backstop -- a mechanism designed to preserve the bloc's single market and prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
No-Deal Brexit Would Cause Severe Damage to UK
2019-07-29 03:42:16 UTC
A no-deal Brexit would cause “severe” damage to UK businesses, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the lobby group, told BBC that quitting the EU without an agreement should be an option “that is not even considered”. Claims that firms are ready for a no-deal scenario are “just not true”, she added.
<blockquote><img alt="No-deal_brexit_would_cause_severe_damage_to_uk" src="/system/images/22503/original/No-Deal_Brexit_Would_Cause_Severe_Damage_to_UK.jpg?1564271696" /><i>
Carolyn Fairbairn is director-general of the Confederation of British Industry - CBI - and former non-ex...
Germany's Ursula Von Der Leyen to Lead EU Commission
2019-07-16 23:35:25 UTC
STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen secured European parliamentary approval on Tuesday to become the first female European Commission president on a platform of a greener, fairer and rule-based Europe.
The German conservative got the thumbs up from socialist and liberal lawmakers which, together with the endorsement by her fellow conservatives, gives her a stronger mandate to tackle issues such as climate change, trade and maintaining democracy in the European Union.
Rejection by the EU legislature would have been a painful blow for a bloc beset by challenges ranging from trade to Brexit and erosion of democratic no...
2019-07-05 03:58:47 UTC
Jalalabad, Afghanistan (AFP) -- Of all the sad, wrenching things I have seen as a journalist in Afghanistan, Niaz Bibi's house was probably one of the saddest.
At the age of 70, Bibi has found herself as the main parent of some 40 kids -- the children of her three sons and three grandsons who had been killed by the Islamic State. Bibi does the best she can, but she is so poor that they all live in conditions not much better than a jail.
"Have you seen my father?" some of the children asked me when I came to the house. They didn't know their fathers were dead. They thought they were just away somewhere. They looked at their photos and...
Wyoming: It’s Not Ok to Be Gay, Join the KKK
2019-06-30 19:14:57 UTC
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The leaflets distributed by students at a junior high school told pre-teens to “Join the KKK” and that “It’s not OK to be gay.”
In the capital of the state known for the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, school officials have worked to respond to the spring incident. They’re holding community meetings and plan to hire a “diversity and cultural awareness” counselor while providing additional employee training.
“We’ve got a pretty good plan to try to work on all of that,” said Boyd Brown, superintendent of Laramie County School District No. 1.
Others aren’t so confident the Cheyenne school dis...
EU, South American Bloc Mercosur Announce World's Largest Free Trade Deal
2019-06-29 01:15:31 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and South American bloc Mercosur agreed a free-trade treaty on Friday, concluding two decades of talks and committing to more open markets in the face of a rising tide of protectionism.
The two regions launched negotiations exactly 20 years ago and intensified efforts to reach an accord after Donald Trump’s presidential victory led the Europeans to freeze talks with the United States and seek other global trading allies.
As world leaders meet at a G20 summit in Japan, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told a news conference the deal sent a “loud and clear message” in support of open trade...
Mexico to Provide 40,000 Jobs to Migrants
2019-06-28 18:19:59 UTC
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is finalizing a deal to provide 40,000 factory jobs to migrants in northern states, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday, addressing a key need for the thousands waiting in Mexico as their U.S. asylum cases are decided.
Speaking at his daily press conference, Lopez Obrador said he expected an agreement with factories to be signed next week.
“This agreement is going to be signed, there will be no legal problem,” he said. “We are arranging this so that they can be hired without much processing.”
Mexico’s border states have been inundated with migrants who must often wait weeks to seek U.S....
Shocking Images of Drowned Father-Daughter Highlights Migrants’ Deadly Journey
2019-06-25 23:57:20 UTC
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The man and his 23-month-old daughter lay face down in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande, his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.
The searing photograph of the sad discovery of their bodies on Monday, captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, highlights the perils faced by mostly Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the United States.
According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramír...
Euro Hits Three-Month High Against US Dollar
2019-06-24 04:00:44 UTC
TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro rose to a three-month high against the dollar on Monday, as bearish bets on the U.S. currency remained solid on prospects of a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
The euro stretched its rally last week, up 1.4%, and advanced about 0.15% to $1.1386 in early Asian trade, its highest since March 22.
The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 96.135, having struck 96.093 on Friday, its lowest since March 21, after the Fed last week opened the door for a potential rate cut as early as next month.
That weighed on the dollar and in turn reinvigorated its counte...
Angela Merkel: There Has to Be a Political Solution on Iran
2019-06-22 21:23:07 UTC
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The international community must seek a political solution on Iran, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had aborted a military strike to retaliate against Tehran’s downing of a U.S. drone.
Speaking at an annual gathering of Protestant churches, Merkel also said the Iran issue would be discussed at next week’s meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 leading economies in Japan, at least at a bilateral level.
“There has to be a political solution (on Iran) and that is what we are working on,” Merkel said.
<I>Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Tom Sims; Ed...
2 Finalists in UK Leadership Race Make Pitch to Tory Members
2019-06-22 20:51:35 UTC
LONDON (AP) — The two finalists in the race to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party — and become the country’s new prime minister — made their first formal pitches to party members Saturday, both vowing to be the right man to deliver Brexit.
Ex-foreign secretary and former London mayor Boris Johnson, the runaway favorite of Tory lawmakers, faced off with Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, at a Conservative conference in central England’s Birmingham.
Opening his address with a focus on delivering Britain’s stalled exit from the European Union, Johnson told the audience “We need to get Brexit done” and be prepared to le...
US Abruptly Calls Off Retaliation Strike Against Iran
2019-06-21 05:39:58 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official said the military made preparations Thursday night for limited strikes on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but approval was abruptly withdrawn before the attacks were launched.
The official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the targets would have included radars and missile batteries.
The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump had approved the strikes, but then called them off. The newspaper cited anonymous senior administration officials.
The White House on Thursday night declined reque...
US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran ‘Using Influence for Bad’
2019-06-22 21:38:00 UTC
The U.S. has ranked near Saudi Arabia and Russia in an international poll of countries which use their global influence for bad purposes.
The Ipsos Mori study for King’s College London of 17,000 people in 24 countries found Iran is most likely to be seen as using its influence for bad at 31%.
This is followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia both on 25%, Israel on 24% and the US on 22%.
Countries seen as most likely to use their influence for good are Germany (32%) and Canada (37%), as well as the UN (35%).
<img alt="Germany_and_canada_strongest_defender_of_the_'unalienable_rights'" src="/system/images/20416/large/Ger...
US Drone Shot Down After Entering Iran’s Airspace
2019-06-20 05:51:04 UTC
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have shot down a U.S. “spy” drone in the southern province of Hormozgan, the Guards’ news website Sepah News said on Thursday.
State news agency IRNA carried the same report, identifying the drone as an “RQ-4 Global Hawk’.
“It was shot down when it entered Iran’s airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in the south,” the Guards’ website added.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather, maker Northrop Grumman says on its websit...
US Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks in See of Oman
2019-06-13 21:55:27 UTC
DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two oil tankers were attacked on Thursday and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and stoking fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the United States, which blamed Tehran for the incident.
“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters without providing explicit evidence to back up the U.S. stance.
“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, rec...