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OPEC secretary general says Iraqi oil facilities secure, production continuing

Iraqi oil facilities are secured and the country's production is continuing, OPEC's Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said on Wednesday. In a message to U.S. President Donald Trump, Barkindo said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) alone could not shoulder the responsibility

Recordings Show Najib
Recordings Show Najib's Effort to Seek Help on 1MDB Scandal

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysian investigators played audio recordings of former premier Najib Razak seeking help from people including a member of Abu Dhabi royalty and former prosecutors to try to untangle himself from the 1MDB scandal in 2016.One of the clips show Najib reaching out to Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to secure a meeting to discuss how to resolve the "impasse" relating to 1MDB and Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co. in a July 26, 2016, conversation. That followed the U.S. Department of Justice filing lawsuits to seize assets linked to 1MDB and saying $3.5 billion had been misappropriated from the Malaysian state fund.The Malaysian Anti-Corruption...

Carlos Ghosn rips Nissan
Carlos Ghosn rips Nissan's investigation into his alleged conduct at the company, calling it a 'gross perversion of the truth'

Carlos Ghosn, who is in Lebanon after escaping Japan, is expected to give a press conference Wednesday afternoon from Beirut.

Kosovo arrests Iran supporter over comments after Soleimani
Kosovo arrests Iran supporter over comments after Soleimani's death

Kosovo police arrested a woman on Tuesday accused of inciting terrorist acts for social media comments against the United States over the killing of Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani. Police said that Ikballe Berisha Huduti, the founder of a now defunct pro-Islamic organization called Kur'ani, was arrested following an order from the prosecution and she will remain in detention for 48 hours awaiting a court decision. Huduti wrote comments on her private Facebook page criticizing Washington after the U.S. forces killed Soleimani on Friday.

Germany Withdraws Some Troops From Iraq Over Iran Tensions
Germany Withdraws Some Troops From Iraq Over Iran Tensions

(Bloomberg) -- Germany has temporarily moved some troops from Iraq due to safety concerns following the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general.Of Germany's 120 soldiers in Iraq as part of a training mission, 32 have transferred to Jordan and three to Kuwait, Defense Ministry Spokesman Joerg Schroeder said Tuesday by phone. The troops could return anytime to continue the mission if the Iraqi government agrees, although it has been suspended for the time being, Schroeder said.The U.S.-led coalition to defeat Islamic State said Sunday it was suspending operations in Iraq to temporarily focus efforts on protecting its forces. Iraq's prime minister has recommended the "urgent" withdrawal of...

Pakistani air force jet crashes in training, 2 pilots killed

Pakistan's air force said one if its aircraft crashed during training Tuesday in the eastern Punjab province, killing the two pilots. Pakistani authorities rarely release details of military training crashes, which are relatively common. Pakistan's air force has been on high alert since last

Indonesia deploys fighter jets in stand-off with China
Indonesia deploys fighter jets in stand-off with China

Indonesia's air force deployed four fighter jets to the South China Sea on Tuesday in a stand-off with Beijing after Jakarta protested over a Chinese violation of its exclusive economic zone. The stand-off began in mid-December when a Chinese coast guard vessel, accompanying Chinese fishing boats, entered waters off the coast of Indonesia's northern Natuna islands, prompting Jakarta to summon Beijing's ambassador. The issue has soured Indonesia's generally friendly relationship with China, its biggest trading partner and a major investor in Southeast Asia's largest country.

Hong Kong leader says new year will be a challenging one
Hong Kong leader says new year will be a challenging one

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday that the city faces multiple challenges in the new year, including violence, economic tribulation and a health scare as anti-government protests enter their eighth month. The mass protests began in June to oppose proposed extradition legislation that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be sent to stand trial in mainland China, where activists are routinely jailed. A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 under the framework of "one country, two systems," which promises the territory certain rights not afforded to the mainland.

VP says Philippine president
VP says Philippine president's drug campaign is a failure

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo said only about 1% of the estimated supply of methamphetamine, a powerful banned stimulant locally known as shabu, has been seized in the last three years, since the crackdown was launched by Duterte when he took office in mid-2016.

Obamaworld Hates Bernie-and Has No Idea How to Stop Him
Obamaworld Hates Bernie-and Has No Idea How to Stop Him

Former President Barack Obama's top lieutenants are eager to poke every conceivable hole in Bernie Sanders' resurgent bid for the Democratic nomination. But ask about a coordinated effort to stop his ascending campaign and you'll get crickets. Less than a month before voting begins, Obama has declined to offer a preferred pick to take on President Trump in 2020, only occasionally waxing philosophical about the perils of moving too far left and reminding voters to be "rooted in reality" when exploring nominee options. But as Sanders gained new flashes of traction in recent weeks, the former president's lack of official guidance to halt his momentum, and the scattering of his inner circle...

Hundreds of Thousands Flee as Flooding in Jakarta Kills 53
Hundreds of Thousands Flee as Flooding in Jakarta Kills 53

(Bloomberg) -- At least 53 people have died from the New Year's Day flooding in Indonesia, and hundreds of thousands were evacuated, as the greater Jakarta area suffered the most intense rain in 24 years.More than 400,000 people, mostly from Bekasi, east of Jakarta, fled their homes with one person still accounted as missing, the agency known as BNPB said. Some people in evacuation centers have returned to their houses as flood water receded and power was restored, according to Kompas TV.State-owned electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara said power supply is back on at 95% of the affected area. Rainfall on New Year's eve was the most in 24 years, according to the nation's...

President Trump Should Worry About Iran
President Trump Should Worry About Iran's Military

Killing General Soleimani pushes the United States toward the verge of major conflict with Iran. But in escalation toward war, and in any war itself, Tehran may already hold the upper hand.

Ban on many flavored e-cigarettes could come Friday
Ban on many flavored e-cigarettes could come Friday

The FDA, under direction from the Trump administration, will likely announce a ban on mint, fruit and dessert flavored e-cigarette cartridges.

3 Passports and a Plan Hatched in Lebanon: Ghosn
3 Passports and a Plan Hatched in Lebanon: Ghosn's Escape Act

TOKYO -- By the time most of Japan had woken up on Tuesday, he was gone. One of the country's most famous criminal suspects had slipped past the cameras trained on his house, past the police and border guards and the Japanese citizens who for the past year have followed his every move.Carlos Ghosn, the deposed chief of the Nissan and Renault auto empire facing charges of financial wrongdoing, had fled to Lebanon, and no one in Japan -- not the authorities, the media or even the auto executive's own lawyer -- could explain how it had happened."I want to ask him, 'How could you do this to us?'" Ghosn's lawyer in Tokyo, Junichiro Hironaka, told a crush of 40 reporters outside his...

Watch: Pope slaps woman's hand to free himself from her grip

Pope Francis apologised on Wednesday for having angrily slapped a woman's arm when she had grabbed hold of his hand and yanked him towards her, saying he had lost his patience and set a "bad example". His unusual apology came after he used his first homily of the new year to denounce violence against women, which he compared to profaning God. Pope Francis, 83, had a sharp encounter with a woman on Tuesday evening during a walkabout in St. Peters Square. The pilgrim, who has not been identified, unexpectedly seized his hand and pulled him towards her, causing him evident alarm. A clearly disgruntled Francis wrenched himself free by slapping down at her arm. "So many times we...

Trump Isn
Trump Isn't a Nazi. He's a Failure.

Nancy Pelosi's fecklessness has ensured that Americans understand impeachment to be a purely political matter, and as a purely political matter impeachment is as dead as your leftover Christmas turkey.Only a few days after the impeachment vote, President Donald Trump hit his best job-approval rating ever in the Quinnipiac poll. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is ready to slap the process around like a housecat tormenting a sparrow. The magic bullet missed, and now Democrats have to make a more ordinary case against Trump.The problem is: They don't know how.The case against Trump in 2016 was that he is unfit for the office. The case against Trump in 2020 is - or should be - that he...

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren's campaign says its fundraising dropped 30 percent from last quarter

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) presidential campaign is looking for a little holiday miracle.On Friday, Warren's campaign sent an email to supporters saying her fundraising was "a good chunk behind where we were at this time last quarter." Her campaign had so far raised $17 million ahead of next week's fourth-quarter fundraising deadline, the email said - at least a 30 percent drop from the $24.6 million it had ended up with last time.While acknowledging campaigns usually wait until FEC reporting deadlines to reveal how much they've raised, "we're a grassroots team, and you should know exactly where things stand right now," the Warren email said. The campaign is...

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