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  • Libya's warring parties resume talks in Geneva


  • Right-wing extremism suspected in Germany shooting that left 11 dead, including suspect

    Right-wing extremism suspected in Germany shooting that left 11 dead, including suspectA mass shooting in Germany that left 11 people dead, including the suspected gunman and his mother, appears to have been motivated by racist, right-wing extremist views, authorities said. The massacre in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau erupted around 10 p.m. Wednesday at two hookah bars in the city of fewer than 100,000 people. "Racism is poison, hatred is poison and this poison exists in society and it is to blame for far too many crimes," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday morning.




  • NC soldiers return home from sudden Middle East deployment


  • Israel calls on Belgium to scrap parade over anti-Semitism


  • Battles intensify near strategic Yemeni port


  • Vigils in Germany after 'racist' gunman kills nine

    Vigils in Germany after 'racist' gunman kills nineThousands of people took part in vigils across Germany on Thursday after a gunman with apparent far-right beliefs killed nine people at a shisha bar and a cafe in the city of Hanau. Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the "poison" of racism, as anger mixed with grief over the latest and deadliest attack linked to Germany's extreme right in recent months. The suspect, 43-year-old German Tobias R., was found dead at his home after the rampage along with his 72-year-old mother in what appeared to be a murder-suicide.




  • Germany's immigrant community in Hanau reeling after attack

    Germany's immigrant community in Hanau reeling after attackIn the German town of Hanau, a longtime immigrant destination with decades of coexistence between people of different origins, residents were left with the fear Thursday that their community was targeted after a gunman shot and killed nine people of foreign background. Residents shook their heads at a level of violence that is rare in Germany, and wondered at the degree of anti-foreigner hatred expressed by the attack in a place where Turks and ethnic Kurds patronize the same hookah bars, and where members of both groups were among the victims along with people with roots in Bulgaria, Bosniaand Romania, according to media reports. Among the dead was the owner of the Midnight Shisha Bar, an immigrant from Turkey who worked and saved to buy his own business, along with the gaming kiosk next door.




  • Disillusionment among women, youth seen dampening Iran election turnout


  • Schneider Sustainability Impact 2018-2020, the Group's extra-financial performance barometer, achieves 7.77 out of 10, on track to reach its 9 out of 10 2020 goal

    Schneider Sustainability Impact 2018-2020, the Group's extra-financial performance barometer, achieves 7.77 out of 10, on track to reach its 9 out of 10 2020 goalFor the fifth year, Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, announces its financial and non-financial results together for 2019 annual results. Each quarter, Schneider Electric publishes 21 indicators from the Schneider Sustainability Impact, measuring progress towards its ambitious sustainability commitments for 2018 to 2020, in line with its COP 21 commitments and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Following thorough verification by an external independent auditor, Schneider Sustainability Impact reached a 7.77 out of 10 score for Q4 2019, ahead of its 7 out of 10 targets for the end of 2019.




  • Boat carrying 91 migrants goes missing in Mediterranean

    Boat carrying 91 migrants goes missing in MediterraneanA rubber dinghy packed with 91 migrants that set out from Libyan shores in hopes of reaching Europe has apparently gone missing in the Mediterranean, the U.N. refugee agency said Thursday. The inflatable boat carrying mostly African migrants departed from al-Qarbouli, 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of the capital Tripoli on Feb. 8, said Osman Haroun, whose cousin was on board. “It's the first time I've heard of this happening,” Haroun told The Associated Press by phone from the western coastal district of Zawiya, where he has lived with his family since fleeing the conflict-ridden Darfur region of Sudan in 2016.




  • In rough US flu season for kids, vaccine working OK so far

    In rough US flu season for kids, vaccine working OK so farIt may end up being a bad flu season for kids, but early signs suggest the vaccine is working OK. The vaccine has been more than 50% effective in preventing flu illness severe enough to send a child to the doctor's office, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The vaccines are made each year to protect against three or four different kinds of flu virus.




  • Lawyer claims Italy can't charge captain in Libya arms case

    Lawyer claims Italy can't charge captain in Libya arms caseA lawyer for the captain of a cargo ship jailed in Italy for allegedly transporting embargoed armaments to Libya contended on Thursday that there are no legal grounds for a case against his client in Italy. Lawyer Cesare Fumagalli told The Associated Press there is absolutely no proof the Lebanese-flagged Bana plied Italian waters with such arms aboard, and therefore Italy has no jurisdiction over the case. “The ship never went through Italian territorial waters,” Fumagalli said in a telephone interview.




  • AP-NORC poll: More Americans worry about flu than new virus

    AP-NORC poll: More Americans worry about flu than new virusA wide share of Americans are at least moderately confident in U.S. health officials’ ability to handle emerging viruses, and more express concern about catching the flu than catching the new coronavirus, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The findings are encouraging to those banking on Americans' trust in the health officials who are ordering quarantines and travel restrictions to contain the virus first detected in China. “Our ability to control the virus hangs on people’s willingness to accept the advice of health authorities,” said Jennifer Nuzzo of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.




  • Pompeo meets US troops in Saudi visit focused on Iran

    Pompeo meets US troops in Saudi visit focused on IranUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited American troops in Saudi Arabia Thursday after talks with King Salman on the second day of a visit focused on countering Iran. The United States began building up its military presence at the Prince Sultan air base, south of Riyadh, last year following a series of attacks in the Gulf that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on their common foe Iran. "Pompeo's visit to Prince Sultan air base and a nearby US Patriot battery highlights the long-standing US-Saudi security relationship and reaffirms America's determination to stand with Saudi Arabia in the face of Iranian malign behaviour," the State Department said in a statement.




  • New visa rules set off 'panic wave' in immigrant communities

    New visa rules set off 'panic wave' in immigrant communitiesAfter nearly a dozen years moving through the U.S. visa system, Sai Kyaw's brother and sister and their families were at the finish line: a final interview before they could leave Myanmar to join him in Massachusetts and work at his restaurant. Then a dramatic turn in U.S. immigration policy halted their plans.




  • US sanctions Iran clerics for vetoing election candidates


  • Putin hails US for helping prevent terror attack in Russia

    Putin hails US for helping prevent terror attack in RussiaRussia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday hailed the FBI for sharing information that helped thwart a terror attack by adherents of the Islamic State group in St. Petersburg during the New Year holidays. The FSB in December announced the detention of two Russian men who confessed to plotting the terror attacks in St. Petersburg.




  • Iraq Airways suspends flights with Iran amid coronavirus fears


  • Israel confirms ultra-Orthodox draft figures were inflated

    Israel confirms ultra-Orthodox draft figures were inflatedThe Israeli military said Thursday it found “serious, systemic failures” in its own reporting that inflated figures on the enlistment of ultra-Orthodox Jews, a hot-button issue in a country where most Jewish men are subject to mandatory conscription. The military launched an investigation after an expose by Israel’s public broadcaster Kan in early December found that the military “doubled or even tripled” figures on the number of ultra-Orthodox men drafted for the past several years. The army had previously said that ultra-Orthodox draft figures have surged.




  • Sudanese activists say security forces fire tear gas at them


  • U.S. Sanctions Iranian Election Officials Who Bar Candidates


  • Egyptian court refuses to release prominent activist


  • Palestinian boy shot by Israeli police loses sight in eye

    Palestinian boy shot by Israeli police loses sight in eyeA nine-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot in the face by Israeli police in a tense east Jerusalem neighborhood last week will not regain vision in his left eye despite surgery, a local community leader who is in touch with the family said Thursday. Malik Eissa was hospitalized after being struck by what appeared to be a rubber-tipped or sponge munition on Saturday. Residents say he had just gotten off a school bus in the Issawiya neighborhood when Israeli police opened fire.




  • On coronavirus, America and China must demonstrate global leadership and join together

    On coronavirus, America and China must demonstrate global leadership and join togetherPresident Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, the lives of your people hang in the balance.




  • Touring US troops to Saudi Arabia, Pompeo touts 'maximum pressure' on Iran amid heightened tensions

    Touring US troops to Saudi Arabia, Pompeo touts 'maximum pressure' on Iran amid heightened tensionsSecretary of State Mike Pompeo toured with American troops deployed by President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia, as tensions with Iran remain high over crippling aggression and U.S. sanctions, less than two months after the countries stood on the brink of war.




  • Google to move UK citizens’ data to US, putting it under control of Trump government

    Google to move UK citizens’ data to US, putting it under control of Trump governmentGoogle is transferring UK users' data to the US, the company has said.The decision comes in the wake of Brexit, as users in Britain are no longer covered by the data protections by provided by the EU.




  • Merkel Vows to Defeat Racist ‘Poison’ After German Shootings

    Merkel Vows to Defeat Racist ‘Poison’ After German Shootings(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed decisive action to combat racism after 11 people were killed in shootings on Wednesday night in a town near Frankfurt in what she said appeared to be a right-wing extremist attack by a lone gunman.The slayings in Hanau prompted immediate soul searching in a nation gripped by concerns about the rise of the far right, which is upending the traditional political order in Europe’s biggest economy and disrupting the final stages of Merkel’s four-term chancellorship.If the shooter’s motive is confirmed, it would be the third prominent assault by the extreme right in less than a year after a synagogue attack in eastern Germany in October and the murder of a regional lawmaker from Merkel’s party last June.“We will work against those who try to divide us in Germany with all possible strength and decisiveness,” a grim-faced Merkel said in a brief statement in Berlin. “Racism is poison, hate is poison, and this poison exists in our society, and is at fault for far too many crimes.”Nine people, who authorities said all had a “migration background,” were killed at two different bars in Hanau, before the suspected perpetrator and his mother were found dead at a nearby home. Six more people were injured, one seriously. The suspect is a 43-year-old German national from Hanau, according to Peter Beuth, interior minister in the regional Hesse government.Bild newspaper identified him as Tobias R. and published details from what it said was his manifesto. In the 24-page document, he calls for the “complete destruction” of around 20 nations, including India, Turkey and Israel, the paper said. He refers to the “racial purity” of Germans, rails against “foreigner criminality” and claims to be under surveillance by a secret intelligence service.The federal prosecutor is treating the case as a suspected terror attack, Beuth said, adding that the gunman was not previously known to authorities and ran a website which pointed to a “xenophobic motive.”“At the moment, there is much to indicate that the assailant acted based on right-wing extremist, racist motives, out of hate for people of different descent, different faiths and different appearances,” Merkel said.The initial shots were fired at the “Midnight” shisha bar at the Heumarkt in the town center at around 10 p.m. local time, local media reported. After entering the bar’s smoking area, the shooter fired wildly at guests, killing five.Many people were out watching the Champions League soccer match between German club RB Leipzig and English rivals Tottenham Hotspur, a local bar owner told Bloomberg.The next incident was around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away at the “Arena Bar & Cafe” in the Kesselstadt neighborhood. The corpses of the suspected shooter and his mother were later found in a nearby apartment after police tracked his car.The attack comes at an extremely delicate juncture in German politics, with Merkel’s grip on power weakened ahead of her retirement by September 2021 at the latest. She took an accepting stance on refugees at the height of the Syria crisis that has come at a price.For the last two weeks, the country has been in crisis after Merkel’s party aligned with the far-right Alternative for Germany in a vote for premier in an eastern German state. The fallout from that led to the resignation of Merkel’s heir apparent from her post as party leader and a chaotic process to replace her.Germany has relatively strict gun controls, but has suffered shooting attacks by lone gunmen before. In March 2009, a 17-year-old school pupil in the southern town of Winnenden shot dead 15 people before killing himself during a gunfight with police.In 2016, a teenager went on the rampage in Munich, shooting dead nine people at a shopping mall before turning the gun on himself after a siege lasting several hours.In October last year, a heavily armed man attempted to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Yom Kippur holiday and killed two people nearby in a suspected anti-Semitic attack that authorities blamed on the far right.Hanau is also close to where Walter Luebcke, a Hesse lawmaker from Merkel’s CDU who supported her refugee policy, was gunned down last year. Latest Interior Minister figures show that there were almost 13,000 violent right-wing extremists in Germany in 2018.Known as the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm, Hanau is about 20 kilometers east of Frankfurt, Germany’s financial center, and has around 100,000 inhabitants from diverse ethnic backgrounds. In the 2017 general election, the AfD scored 14%, making it the third-strongest party after Merkel’s CDU and the Social Democrats.The area is a melting pot of Kurds, Turks and Germans but doesn’t typically have a problem with far-right extremism, said Youssef H., a Turkish immigrant who has lived in Hanau for 50 years. He declined to give his full surname.“Everyone is shocked,” he told Bloomberg. “I can’t believe this happened here. It’s surreal.”(Updates with federal prosecutor’s comments from fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Patrick Donahue.To contact the reporters on this story: William Wilkes in Frankfurt at wwilkes1@bloomberg.net;Iain Rogers in Berlin at irogers11@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net, Andrew BlackmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Germany shooting: far-right gunman kills 10 in Hanau

    Germany shooting: far-right gunman kills 10 in HanauPolice say attack suspect killed nine people at two shisha bars then killed his mother and himself at home A gunman killed nine people in two apparently racially motivated shootings at shisha bars in the German town of Hanau, police said. The suspect then killed himself, according to officers, after also killing his mother at his home.Investigators believed a racist motive was behind the attack, said Peter Beuth, the interior minister for the state of Hessen. Angela Merkel said the circumstances of the attack needed to be fully investigated, and the shootings had exposed the “poison” of racism in German society. She pledged to stand up against those who sought to divide the country.Nine people died in the attacks on the two bars on Wednesday night. Five others had life-threatening injuries, police said.Some of those killed were of Turkish origin, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency said. “We expect German authorities to show maximum effort to enlighten this case. Racism is a collective cancer,” Ibrahim Kalin tweeted.The killer was named by police as 43-year-old Tobias R. His surname was not given, in line with German practice. German media named him as Tobias Rathjen.He shot himself and his 72-year-old mother at home, police said. They also confirmed he possessed a hunting licence.The Bild newspaper said the gunman had expressed extreme rightwing views in a letter of confession he left behind. A video in which he explained his motives is believed to be part of the investigation. The Guardian could not confirm the details of his confession. The video was taken down from social media sites on Thursday morning, police said.After the murders, a huge hunt was launched for the perpetrator involving dozens of armed police and a helicopter hovering above the commuter town 15 miles (25km) east of Frankfurt.Police tweeted at about 5am local time that special police force officers had stormed the home of the alleged suspect and found him dead along with another body.“There are currently no indications of other perpetrators,” police said in a statement.Officers sealed off and searched the terrace house in Hanau’s Kesselstadt district, near the scene of one of the shootings, after following up witness statements on a getaway car. According to local media, eight or nine shots were fired at the Midnight shisha bar on Heumarkt in the centre of the town at about 10pm. A dark vehicle was seen leaving the scene. Soon afterwards, shots were fired at a second shisha bar – the Arena Bar and Café in Kurt-Schumacher-Platz in the western Kesselstadt district.Police denied initial reports of a third incident in the district of Lamboy.They urged any witnesses with mobile phone footage to upload it to a police website, and appealed to them not to post the evidence on social media.Michael Malkmus,a spokesman for Hessen police force, said local people helped the police track down the alleged perpetrator after seeing his car parked on the street. “We came to the building after calls from people who had seen a vehicle. We ID’d his number plate and matched it to his home. We sealed the area and then entered the home.”Neighbours reported hearing a huge bang as police used explosives to break down the door at 3am.MapFederal prosecutors said on Thursday they were taking charge of investigating the shooting amid reports that the suspect may have had a far-right motive.Merkel pledged that “everything will be done to investigate the circumstances of these terrible murders”.She added: “Racism is a poison. Hatred is a poison. This hatred exists in our society and its is responsible for far too many crimes.”Hanau’s federal MP, Katja Leikert, called the attack a “horrific scenario” in a tweet in which she offered her “heartfelt condolences” to the victims.The mayor of the town, Claus Kaminsky, said it was the “worst evening imaginable”. Hanau has a population of about 100,000.Last Friday one person was shot dead and four were injured outside a Berlin music venue. The shooting occurred near the Tempodrome, which was hosting a Turkish comedy show. The motives behind the Berlin attack have remained unclear.Witnesses to the Hanau attack described how the gunman randomly fired shots into the bars. One witness, Kenan Kocak, said he was waiting to hear whether his uncle, who had been in the bar, had survived. “I do not know whether he has pulled through,” he told the TV station NTV. “It’s very sad in particular that young people – a young lad, and a young girl about 20, 25 years old – have died. I was there with them yesterday. Someone who worked there was also taken to hospital. It looks very bad.”One man in his early 30s said he received a call from a friend who had been in one of the bars. “He left a message to tell me he had been hit,” the man, who was not identified, told NTV. “I called him back immediately. He told me he was in an ambulance. He had a bullet in his shoulder.”Another witness who knew some of the victims said: “These are people we have known for years. It’s like in a film. That it’s happened is unimaginable. That there are people out there who are so heartless, shooting others who have done nothing wrong.”Other witnesses spoke of finding empty bullet casings strewn on the ground outside one of the cafes.




  • Vatican sees intense interest in opening of Pius XII archive

    Vatican sees intense interest in opening of Pius XII archiveMore than 150 historians and researchers have signed up to access the soon-to-open Vatican archives of Pope Pius XII, evidence of the intense scholarly interest into the World War II-era pope and his record during the Holocaust, officials said Thursday. Cardinal José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, the Vatican’s chief librarian, told reporters that all researchers — regardless of nationality, faith and ideology — were welcome to request permission to use the Vatican’s Apostolic Library, which will open the archive on March 2. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, a great defender of Pius, accelerated the process to open the archives ahead of schedule so that researchers could have their say.




  • Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison

    Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prisonTrump loyalist Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to more than three years in federal prison, following an extraordinary move by Attorney General William Barr to back off his Justice Department's original sentencing recommendation. U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Stone's crimes demanded a significant time behind bars, but she said the seven to nine years originally recommended by the Justice Department were excessive. Stone's lawyers had asked for a sentence of probation, citing his age of 67 years, his health and his lack of criminal history.




  • Texas Tackles Its Gas Problem With Whataboutism

    Texas Tackles Its Gas Problem With Whataboutism(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When writing about the Texas Railroad Commission, it is customary to note that, despite its name, it regulates the state’s oil and gas industry. Having read the report it just published on flaring, perhaps we can drop that disclaimer.Flaring and venting — whereby unwanted gas from oil wells is burned off or just released into the air — are old practices that are now in focus for two reasons. First, the shale boom has led to a lot more of both, as fracking of wells outpaced construction of new pipelines and processing facilities. Texas’ flared and vented gas has risen from about 100 million cubic feet per day a decade ago to an estimated 650 million a day in 2018, according to figures cited by the commission. Estimates from Rystad Energy and Bernstein Research suggest flaring and venting in the Permian basin alone topped 800 million cubic feet per day last year — far more than Texas’ entire residential consumption of the fuel(1).Second, it is now abundantly clear that carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels cause climate change. Burning 650 million cubic feet per day of gas releases about 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year, equivalent to the entire emissions of New Hampshire (venting gas is even worse on a shorter time scale)(3).The commission has taken some flack for handing out flaring permits with abandon. It issued nearly 5,500 in fiscal 2018, versus about 300 in 2010, according to the Energy Information Administration. Most notably, the commission granted one to a producer last year even though its wells were connected to existing pipelines. While one commissioner, unusually, voted against the decision, commissioner Ryan Sitton argued the pipeline contract was uneconomic, making it unreasonable to withhold a permit.Sitton authored the analysis just published. The broad thrust is that, while flaring has undoubtedly jumped in Texas, the state’s flaring intensity — flared gas per barrel — compares well with other producers. Moreover, tinkering with regulations could limit oil output in Texas, raising energy costs for Americans and letting producers with higher flaring intensity take market share.Flaring intensity is an interesting number for benchmarking purposes but less useful for mitigating-climate-change purposes. If a company (or state) cuts its intensity by roughly 10% but quadruples its production, then the amount of gas it flares still rises by more than 3.5 times. That is what happened with Texas in the decade ending 2018, using the commission’s own data(4).Yes, it’s good the state’s flaring intensity is lower than in some other places (including, the report notes, North Dakota; I see what you did there, Texas). However, “those other kids done worse” stopped being a useful get-out for me roughly around the time I could formulate the sentence.Notably, the report singles out higher flaring intensity in Iran and Iraq. “We’re doing better than that country we’ve sanctioned for four decades and that other country we invaded (and which now barely functions as a country)” seems a curious line of reasoning. While such thinking lets pretty much any regulator simply throw their hands up, why would Texas take its lead from such places? Even the commission’s argument that more-intensive countries would replace lost Texan barrels is questionable in the near term: Saudi Arabia, which ranks lower on intensity, holds the vast majority of spare production capacity.Above all, when it comes to greenhouse gases and their impact on the atmosphere and our climate, this is one of those times when absolute quantity counts. Nature ultimately isn’t interested in how efficiently you polluted.Now, of course, omelettes-and-broken-eggs theory dictates you can’t produce oil without some gas escaping into the wider world. And since we remain dependent on fossil fuels for most of our energy, some flaring goes with the territory. The shale boom has played a big part in choking off coal use in the U.S., generating a big benefit in terms of reducing carbon emissions.That doesn’t mean you can just shrug off flaring’s impact, which is the tone of this report. Early on, it dismisses those using “raw volumes” when discussing flaring without acknowledging that raw volume is what counts when it comes to climate change (a phrase not found in the document). The author laments that public discussion has centered on “philosophical/political beliefs” rather than data — which, apart from being inaccurate, is roughly equivalent to telling everyone to stop getting so emotional. The report frames the question as “if/how to attempt to reduce flaring” and then suggests even incorporating its own favored benchmark into the regulatory process would first require “careful consideration.” You’d find stronger commitment on Tinder.The commission’s own analysis shows flaring intensity began rising again after 2016, jumping at least 25% by 2018. Moreover, of the top 151 operators, fully 105 of them, representing 39% of the sample’s oil production, are flaring above the commission’s own benchmark. Quite clearly, Austin, like Houston, has a problem.The commission may think it’s shielding a critical sector, but it really isn’t. For an industry that regularly touts its ability to drill miles underground with laser-like precision, saying it also has a tough time just holding onto and selling more of the stuff it’s supposed to sell is not a good look. Yes, extra measures to address flaring require investment that may raise costs and, thereby, shut in some production. But the cost of flaring, in terms of contributing to climate change, is being borne by everyone anyway. To say addressing the issue will somehow result in “new” costs is a logical and economic fallacy that mostly serves vested interests (not to mention philosophical/political beliefs).Moreover, there is a parallel here with the financial performance of the frackers over the past decade. The sector’s all-out push for production growth has ultimately inflicted collateral damage on the investors who financed it, exposing the model’s shortcomings. That’s why Permian darlings such as Diamondback Energy Inc. are touting higher dividends as they report results this week.Like the earlier enthusiasm of the high-yield bond market, handing out flaring permits by the fistful fosters behavior that is ultimately unsustainable, both in terms of economics and the industry’s relationship with society at large. Even the biggest oil companies can feel where this is going. The regulators just aren’t keeping up.(1) Residential consumption of natural gas in Texas averaged 619 million cubic feet per day in the 12 months through November 2019 (Source: EnergyInformation Administration).(2) Methane’s global warming potential is upward of 28 times that of carbon dioxide over the first 100 years, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.(3) The data are a bit confusing because the Texas Railroad Commission's analysis uses several data sources. It compiles its ownhistorical data but these only run to 2017 in the study, before a big uptick in both oil production and flaring. The data for 2018 used in its benchmarking analysis are sourced from the World Bank and indicate flaring of 410 million cubic feet per day, or roughly a third lower than the figure for flaring and venting estimated for that year by the Energy Information Administration and cited elsewhere in the document.To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at ldenning1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Iran announces 3 new cases of new virus after 2 deaths

    Iran announces 3 new cases of new virus after 2 deathsIran said Thursday that three more people have been infected with the new virus that originated in central China, following an announcement the day before that two people had died of the illness caused by the virus in the Iranian city of Qom. All schools and universities, including religious Shiite seminaries, were shut down in the holy city of Qom, according to the official IRNA news agency. Other news reports said Iran had recently evacuated 60 Iranian students from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the epidemic.




  • Iran’s Guards Urge ‘Maximum Turnout’ in Parliamentary Elections


  • Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for visit focused on Iranian threats

    Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for visit focused on Iranian threatsU.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and the crown prince on Thursday to discuss shared security interests in the Gulf and threats from Iran. Ahead of his arrival in the capital Riyadh, Pompeo said he'd also raise with the Saudi leadership concerns about human rights and the cases of dual Saudi-American citizens. Some of these American citizens have been imprisoned in the kingdom as part of a wider crackdown on perceived critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.




  • China and Trump Leave Europe Feeling Lonely

    China and Trump Leave Europe Feeling Lonely(Bloomberg) -- In the daily onslaught of news — from the coronavirus to the U.S. presidential race — it would have been easy to miss a little fracas in the Baltics this week.On Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in Tallinn issued a blunt statement slamming the “ignorance, prejudice as well as a Cold War mindset” displayed by Estonia’s foreign intelligence service in its annual report.The document, published the previous week, was critical of China’s overseas investments, which the service said were used for political purposes and represented a security threat.China’s response was far from unprecedented. Earlier this month, its embassy in fellow Baltic state Lithuania expressed “grave dissatisfaction” at a similar security assessment. China’s ambassador to Norway, Yi Xianliang, rebutted a Norwegian Intelligence Service report that concluded China posed a growing threat. China’s envoy in Sweden has a record of run-ins with the government there.The wall of pushback is a reminder that China remains a prickly partner for Europe, even as U.S. pressure might be expected to push Beijing and Brussels closer together. The European Union, President Donald Trump said last month, treats the U.S. “worse than China.”Trump’s appointment as acting director of national intelligence of Richard Grenell, the combative U.S. ambassador to Germany, suggests Europe will remain firmly in his sights.With an emboldened Trump in the White House, Europe may have nowhere left to turn.Global HeadlinesTaking fire | Michael Bloomberg came under sustained attack in a spirited Democratic debate that saw Elizabeth Warren compare him to Trump in his treatment of women and Bernie Sanders assail him over his attitude toward minorities. The focus on Bloomberg deflected some of the heat that Sanders might have otherwise gotten from his rivals as the current front-runner in the race, though he didn’t completely escape criticism, particularly from Pete Buttigieg. The debate came at a pivotal moment, with the Nevada caucuses Saturday, followed a week later by a primary in South Carolina.(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.) Click here for more key takeaways from last night’s face-off.Economic impact | The White House has acknowledged what many economists considered obvious through much of last year: Its trade stance depressed economic growth and business investment. “Uncertainty generated by trade negotiations dampened investment,” Trump chief economist Tomas Philipson told reporters in an annual briefing. The admission contrasted with the president’s repeated assertions that his tariff tactics hadn’t hurt the economy while swelling the government’s tax coffers.Iran’s pain | When Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran in 2013, supporters hoped he’d revive the country’s fortunes and its relationship with the rest of the world. But as Golnar Motevalli explains ahead of parliamentary elections tomorrow, even amid U.S. sanctions pressure, the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet full of Iranians by their own military last month provides a tragic reminder of how the country has alienated the very people who swept Rouhani to power.Seeking redemption | Saudi Arabia is hoping to repair its tarnished international reputation when it welcomes leaders from the world’s biggest economies this weekend. Officials see the Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors as a chance to highlight the Kingdom’s reforms that have been overshadowed by outrage over a murdered critic, a crackdown on dissent and Riyadh’s leading role in the grinding five-year war in Yemen.Rising star | Giorgia Meloni has gone from bartending at a Roman nightclub to leading one of Italy’s main political forces — which traces its roots to fascism — and she’s now one of the most popular politicians in the nation. As John Follain explains, while the 43-year-old Meloni doesn’t define herself as a feminist, she’s aiming to become Italy’s first woman prime minister.What to WatchEU leaders travel to Brussels today to thrash out the bloc’s next long-term budget. Trump ally Roger Stone’s sentencing today has become a test of judicial independence after the president inserted himself in the court’s deliberations. Ireland’s parliament meets to try to choose a prime minister, the first step in what’s likely to be a prolonged search for a new government. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has criticized China’s move to revoke the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters over a controversial headline, a decision that comes as Beijing continues to lash out at countries that fault its handling of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.Tell us how we’re doing or what we’re missing at balancepower@bloomberg.net.And finally ... Japan is emerging as one of the riskiest places for the spread of the coronavirus, prompting criticism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government. And with cases mounting internally to 84 — tying with Singapore for the highest outside China — Tokyo received a rare rebuke from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over its management of the quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where infections surged during two weeks docked in Yokohama. \--With assistance from Ruth Pollard and Gordon Bell.To contact the author of this story: Alan Crawford in Berlin at acrawford6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Karl Maier at kmaier2@bloomberg.net, Kathleen HunterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • S.Sudan citizens 'deliberately starved' by warring parties: UN

    S.Sudan citizens 'deliberately starved' by warring parties: UNSouth Sudan's government forces and other armed groups have "deliberately starved" civilians by denying aid access and displacing communities, a United Nations rights probe said Thursday. In a report issued two days before a deadline to form a unity government, the three-member commission looked into abuses from the signing of a peace deal in September 2018 to December 2019. The panel delivered a damning indictment of "predatory and unaccountable elites" and the suffering of civilians after six years of conflict.




  • Turkish soldiers killed in Syria amid threats of escalation

    Turkish soldiers killed in Syria amid threats of escalationTwo Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday in an airstrike in northwestern Syria, Turkey said, after an attack by Ankara-backed opposition forces that targeted Syrian government troops. The deaths came after the Turkish president threatened to expand his nation's involvement in Syria if another one of his troops were hurt. At least 15 Turkish soldiers have been killed in Syria this month amid a crushing offensive by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces aimed at recapturing remaining opposition-held areas in the region.




  • INSIGHT-'Hit with a truck' - How Iran's missiles inflicted brain injury on U.S. troops


  • 19 children among dead in recent Yemen strikes: UN

    19 children among dead in recent Yemen strikes: UNNineteen children were among at least 31 civilians killed in air strikes on rebel-held northern Yemen last week, the United Nations said on Thursday. "UNICEF is sad to confirm that the recent attack in Al-Jawf, north of Yemen, on February 15, took the lives of 19 children (eight boys and 11 girls) and injured another 18 (nine boys and another nine girls)," the UN children's agency said in a statement. "It was an attack on a civilian populated area where children were in the vicinity," UNICEF regional communications chief Juliette Touma told AFP.




  • UN report: South Sudan's rival sides are starving civilians


  • Putin says cabinet dismissal didn't come out of the blue

    Putin says cabinet dismissal didn't come out of the bluePresident Vladimir Putin says the ouster of Russia's prime minister and a cabinet reshuffle that caught many in Russia off guard in January was not in fact unexpected, but he remains vague about the reasons for the move. In an interview to the state-run TASS news agency, the first episode of which was released on Thursday, Putin said there was “nothing unusual or unexpected” about the dismissal of the government. The reshuffle came just hours after Putin announced a controversial constitutional reform during his annual state of the nation address on Jan. 15.




  • Addiction in paradise: Seychelles battles heroin crisis

    Addiction in paradise: Seychelles battles heroin crisisOn a plain suburban street in Seychelles, far from the idyllic coastline and luxury resorts pampering honeymooners and paradise-seekers, heroin addicts queue anxiously for their daily dose of methadone. In comparison, 0.4 percent of the global population consumed opioids in 2016, half of them in Asia, according to a United Nations report that puts Seychelles among the top consumers alongside producing countries such as Afghanistan. The Seychelles' heroin boom, which took off over the past decade, gripped young and old alike and cut across class lines.




  • Israel to probe failed company of Netanyahu's challenger

    Israel to probe failed company of Netanyahu's challengerIsraeli prosecutors on Thursday announced the opening of a criminal investigation into the failed start-up of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's challenger, shaking up the final days of what has been a bitter and tumultuous election campaign. The announcement did not say whether Benny Gantz is a suspect. “The investigation will be conducted by Israeli police,” it added.




  • Ukrainians hurl stones at evacuees from China

    Ukrainians hurl stones at evacuees from ChinaUkraine's effort to quarantine more than 70 people evacuated from China over the new virus outbreak plunged into chaos Thursday as local residents opposing the move hurled stones at the evacuees and engaged in violent clashes with police. Buses carrying evacuees were finally able to reach the designated place of quarantine after hours of clashes. The masked evacuees, exhausted by the long journey, were peeking through bus windows as they drove slowly under a heavy police escort.




  • German gunman calling for genocide kills 9 people

    German gunman calling for genocide kills 9 peopleA 43-year-old German who posted a rant calling for the “complete extermination” of many “races or cultures in our midst” shot and killed nine people of foreign background, most of them Turkish citizens, in an attack on a hookah bar and other sites in a Frankfurt suburb, authorities said Thursday. The gunman attacked the hookah bar and a neighboring cafe in Hanau around 10 p.m. Wednesday, killing several people, then traveled about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) and opened fire again, first on a car and then a sports bar, claiming more victims. The bloodshed came amid growing concerns about far-right violence in Germany and stepped-up efforts from authorities to crack down on it, including last week's detention of a dozen men on suspicion they were planning attacks against politicians and minorities.




  • S. Korea reports 1st virus death; 2.5M urged to stay home

    S. Korea reports 1st virus death; 2.5M urged to stay homeSouth Korea reported its first death from the new virus on Thursday while the mayor of a southeastern city urged its 2.5 million people to stay inside as infections linked to a church congregation spiked. Officials said he had been hospitalized due to schizophrenia for an extended period and recently suffered pneumonia symptoms. The center also confirmed 22 additional cases of the virus, raising the total in South Korea to 104.




  • Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals

    Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivalsFrom the opening bell, Democrats savaged New York billionaire Mike Bloomberg and raised pointed questions about Bernie Sanders' take-no-prisoners politics during a contentious debate Wednesday night that threatened to further muddy the party's urgent quest to defeat President Donald Trump. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who was once a Republican, was forced to defend his record and past comments related to race, gender and his personal wealth in an occasionally rocky debate stage debut. Sanders, meanwhile, tried to beat back pointed questions about his embrace of democratic socialism and his health following a heart attack last year.




  • Analysis: Dems' civility gives way to combustible conflict

    Analysis: Dems' civility gives way to combustible conflictThrough a year of campaigning, the Democratic presidential candidates played nice, talking up party unity, disagreeing mostly politely on policy. Wednesday’s debate signaled a sharp turn in the Democratic contest, with civility giving way to a combustible conflict that laid bare both the ideological divisions roiling the party and the personal animosities that have simmered for months. Elizabeth Warren criticized Bernie Sanders for leading a movement that has provided a haven for online harassment.




  • Egypt's once-reviled street dogs get chance at a better life

    Egypt's once-reviled street dogs get chance at a better lifeKarim Hegazi spends his days in a Cairo clinic taking care of animals long considered a menace in Egypt. Stray dogs roam in almost every Cairo neighborhood — lurking in construction sites, scavenging through trash and howling nightly atop parked cars. The government says there's around 15 million of them.




  • Trump's new acting intelligence chief Richard Grenell lacks intelligence experience but he is a gold Trump Card member

    Trump's new acting intelligence chief Richard Grenell lacks intelligence experience but he is a gold Trump Card memberPresident Trump confirmed Wednesday night that he is appointing Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, as acting director of national intelligence. Current acting DNI Joseph Maguire, who would have had to step down by March 12 because he lacked Senate confirmation, "was blindsided by the news," The Washington Post reports, as were many people in the intelligence community and on Capitol Hill. Grenell will take responsibility for America's 17 intelligence agencies on Thursday, The New York Times reports.Trump isn't expected to nominate Grenell for the job, so he can hold the office for only 210 days under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.Grenell has no real intelligence experience and has never run a large bureaucracy. His most relevant experience to head the U.S. intelligence community are his two-year ambassadorship and long stint as spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Before Trump sent him to Berlin, "Grenell was known mainly as an online media critic and conservative Fox News foreign policy analyst," The Associated Press reports. One administration official told AP that "Grenell was named in an acting capacity because Trump wanted him in quickly and there were doubts about whether he could be confirmed in the job."Director of national intelligence is "a job considered to be among the most nonpartisan in Washington," the Times notes. By picking Grenell, Trump is signaling "he wants a trusted, aggressive leader atop an intelligence community that he has long viewed with suspicion and at times gone to war against," and "the list of people with the requisite experience who have not been critical of the president is slim." Also, Grenell will be the first openly gay member of Trump's Cabinet, its third Fox News contributor, and, along with U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, the second Cabinet member who is a "Gold" level member of the Trump Organization's Trump Card loyalty program.More stories from theweek.com The growing crisis in cosmology Bloomberg tries to reclaim disastrous debate with video edited to make it look like he did well Mike Bloomberg is not the lesser of two evils





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