What Would The End Of OPEC Mean?

OPEC

 

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – the oil market institution that has exerted an unyielding power over the price of crude for nearly 60 years – is now in deep crisis. The latest OPEC meeting in Vienna offered new insights into the cartel’s raging civil war that is tearing it apart and threatens to ultimately make the cartel irrelevant.

In a two-year period since the group of 15 major oil producers formed an alliance with Russia, OPEC’s smaller members have been marginalized, their voices have been diminished and Saudi Arabia seems to prioritize its partnership with Moscow above all else. An unlikely partnership between Saudi Arabia and Russia is causing dissension within OPEC, with one of the oldest members announcing it would withdraw from the organization in January just days prior to the talks. With Russia tightening its grip over OPEC’s decisions and the United States officially reaching net oil exporting status in late November for the first time in decades, even if only briefly, the new world oil order is now dependent on three energy superpowers: Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States. Continue reading

Pope: Christians Murdered by Muslims Testament to God’s Plan for Coexistence

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Ignores fact that murder of these men drowned any desire for ‘dialogue’ in their own blood

The lives of 19 religious men and women martyred during the Algerian civil war are a testament to God’s plan of love and peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims,” Pope Francis said. Continue reading

‘Your time is up’ South Africa sets date for white farmer land grabs – March 2019

South Africa parliament

DEBATE: There were heated scenes as politicians debated the proposals (Pic: GETTY)

 

SOUTH Africa has set a date for when its much-criticised land expropriations can begin after a politician declared: “Your time is up, white people”.

The country’s National Assembly approved a proposal to change the constitution to make the so-called reforms legal in a vote of 183 to 77. Continue reading

New Cold War In Africa? Russia Bolstering Military Advisers To Central African Republic

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Following the significant expansion of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) forces throughout the African continent over the past half-decade, Russia is playing its own hand at advising indigenous forces while increasing its military footprint in central Africa.

At the end of last week Russia announced it would be significantly expanding its military advisory role in the Central African Republic (CAR) after earlier this year it established 175 trainers to CAR forces and donated hundreds of weapons weapons following an exemption from a United Nations arms embargo that would allow external forces to bolster the CAR government’s fight against militia groups waging an insurgency.  Continue reading

Enter the Dragon: China’s Belt and Road Rising in the Middle East

Cairenes are not modest about their beloved city. It is Umm al-Dunya, they say, the mother of the world. They also call it simply Masr, the Arabic term for Egypt, suggesting, of course, that there is really nothing worth noting in the vast country beyond their grand city on the Nile.

Fifty miles east of Cairo, a Chinese construction firm is giving the aged, crowded, increasingly decaying “mother of the world” a face-lift of sorts. China State Construction and Engineering Company (CSCEC) has broken ground on a new business and administrative district to the tune of $3 billion, mostly financed by Chinese banks. When completed by late 2019, according to projections, much of Egypt’s government will move to this new “capital.” Continue reading

EU wants continental free-trade deal with Africa

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‘There is a huge potential in Africa,’ said EU policy chief Mogherini as she announced a new continent-to-continent trade deal plan (Photo: © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus)

 

The European Commission wants a continent-to-continent free trade deal with Africa, shifting relations away from development towards trade.

The proposal is a long-term goal for what it describes as a “new alliance” with the continent amid promises to create up to 10 million Africa-based jobs in the next five years.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Friday (14 September), the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the latest plan is different from all the past announcements on Africa. Continue reading

US Destroyer Enters Mediterranean As Syria Tensions Build; Carrier On Standby

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The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) on Sept. 4, 2018, via US Navy

 

An American battleship, the USS Bulkeley destroyer, has reportedly entered the Mediterranean and is headed for Syria, equipped with over 50 Tomahawk missiles. This deployment comes after previous reports of the attack submarine USS Newport News (SSN-750) arriving in the Mediterranean, and after the arrival Tuesday of A U.S. Marine Corps small attack carrier full of F-35B stealth jets, the USS Essex, in the Middle East region as detailed by the military website, Task and Purpose.

The Russian news agency Interfax now reports that American forces in the region possess up to 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles available to strike targets in Syria if ordered to do so. Continue reading

Meet Turkey’s New Sovereign Wealth Fund Chairman, Who Has “Now Taken Public Companies Prisoners”

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What does a man who already controls pretty much everything in his country  from politics to the judiciary to defense  give to himself? How about direct takeover of his country’s sovereign wealth fund?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund after recent promises to exert greater influence over the economy. He’s nixed the old guard management and hand-picked their replacements, in a move his political rival, presidential candidate who lost the June election, Muharrem Ince, has aptly described as taking “public companies prisoners”.

And not to be one to break medieval sultanate tradition, he’s further named his son-in-law and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as deputy chairman. Continue reading

PLA Expanding Power Through Belt and Road Initiative

Randall Schriver / Getty Images

 

Schriver: U.S. to bolster Taiwan air defenses, submarines

China’s military is a key player in the Belt and Road economic initiative around the world that is being used to expand Beijing’s overall global power, a senior Pentagon Asian affairs official says.

Separately, the Pentagon is working with Taiwan’s government to bolster the island’s air defenses in the face of growing missile and aircraft threats from China, said Randall G. Schriver, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs. Continue reading

Russia’s Pivoting To The Horn Of Africa Via Eritrea & The UAE

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Eritrea’s Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, August 31, 2018, Sochi, Russia

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lauded his country’s relationship with Eritrea and informed the world about Moscow’s plans to build a logistics center there.

He was speaking alongside his Eritrean counterpart at a press conference in Sochi after their bilateral meeting, which he also noted included discussions about building regional transport corridors, pipelines, and opening up a Russian language department in one of Asmara’s universities. Lavrov also said that the UNSC sanctions against Eritrea that were imposed in 2009 after reports that the country was aiding Somalia’s Al-Shaabab should be lifted, and he praised Eritrea for all that it’s done in the name of regional peace over the past few months in view of its rapidly moving rapprochement with Ethiopia that completely transformed the geopolitical situation in the Horn of Africa. Continue reading

Will China One Day Dominate the Seas? History Provides Some Clues

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China has recently launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, doubling its embryonic capacity to project power on the world’s oceans. A third carrier is under construction, with more to follow in due course. China has militarized its artificial islands in the South China Sea, extending its security barrier away from the Asian coast. It has fielded anti-access area denial weapons, including so-called “carrier killer” ballistic missiles that can reach Guam, to keep foreign warships away from Chinese waters should war come to East Asia. The Chinese fleet now has more, albeit technologically inferior, combat warships and submarines than the U.S. Navy. Nevertheless, they exist—ready to extend China’s reach and protect Chinese interests in an increasingly globalized world. Continue reading

As Land Confiscations Loom, South Africa Rules 300,000 Gun-Owners Turn Over Their Weapons

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The Constitutional Court of South Africa recently ruled that 300,000 gun owners must turn in their firearms.

 

South Africa is opening the door for tyranny.

This judgement came in response to the North Gauteng High Court’s ruling in 2017 which said Section 24 and Section 28 of the Firearm’s Control Act were unconstitutional.

A report from The Citizen explains what Section 24 and Section 28 entail:

“Section 24 of the Act requires that any person who seeks to renew a licence must do so 90 days before its expiry date Section 28 stipulates that if a firearm licence has been cancelled‚ the firearm must be disposed of or forfeited to the state. A 60-day time frame was placed on its disposal, which was to be done through a dealer.” Continue reading

South Africa Civil War Concerns Growing

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(Photo Credit: Gary van der Merwe via Creative Commons 3.0)

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa insists his government’s confiscation of white farmer-owned land without compensation is “no land grab,” but rather a “moral, social, and economic imperative.” He added:

“By bringing more land into productive use, by giving more South Africans assets and opportunities, the country is creating conditions for greater, more inclusive, and more meaningful growth.”

Yet social media posts out of South Africa tell a completely different story. In one video clip, black protesters can be seen chanting:

“Let us kill the white man. The white man must die.” Continue reading

The EU Has Been America’s “Foe” Since The End Of The Old Cold War

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Donald Trump poses with Angela Merkel, Jens Stoltenberg, Theresa May in a group photograph ahead of a working dinner during the NATO summit on July 11-12, 2018

 

Trump turned heads this week when he described the EU as a “foe”.

A recent poll indicated that two-thirds of Germans believe that Trump is “more dangerous” than President Putin, and the German Foreign Minister declared on Monday that his country “can no longer completely rely on the White House”. The Mainstream Media is portraying all of this as the disastrous self-inflicted destruction of the US’ traditional transatlantic relationships and hinting that Trump betrayed America’s closest allies, but the situation is much more complicated than that simplistic explanation would make it seem. Continue reading

Russia moving into Libya

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Libyan National Army forces, under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Khalifah Haftar, is pushing for a Russian military presence in eastern Libya. (The Washington Times/File) Photo by: Mathieu Galtier

 

U.S. intelligence agencies are closely monitoring Russian military activities in Libya for signs that Moscow may soon build a military base in the divided North African state.

Intelligence reports indicate that Russia is planning to expand its Syrian bases at Tartus and Hemeimeem to Libya.

The possible Russian move into Libya represents the most recent failure stemming from the policies of President Obama that backed Islamist rebels who overthrew and killed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Mr. Obama has said that the failure to prepare for the aftermath of the ouster of Gadhafi was the worst mistake of his presidency. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also came under fire for failing to provide security for Americans who were attacked and killed in Benghazi after Gadhafi’s fall. Continue reading