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|Iran ready to work on French nuclear deal proposals, does not want war: foreign minister ||Week 3 preseason takeaways: O Canada, land of the shortened field |
Iran is prepared to work on French proposals to salvage the international nuclear deal that Tehran signed with world powers in 2015 but it will not tolerate U.S. interference in the Gulf, its foreign minister said on Thursday. At a time of heightened friction between Tehran and Washington, Iran also on Thursday displayed what it described as a domestically built long-range, surface-to-air missile air defense system.
| The Packers and Raiders ad-libbed, Daniel Jones impressed and Tom Brady showed his wheels. Here's a look at the big takeaways from the third full week of the preseason. |
|Texas executes man in 1998 slaying of college student ||Flores: Jay-Z songs intended to 'challenge' Stills |
A Texas death row inmate who argued that his conviction was based on junk science was executed Wednesday for the abduction, rape and killing of a suburban Houston community college student more than 20 years ago. Larry Swearingen, 48, received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the December 1998 killing of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter. Swearingen, who had always maintained his innocence in Trotter's death, was the 12th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the fourth in Texas, the nation's busiest capital punishment state.
| Dolphins coach Brian Flores explained that his motive behind playing eight Jay-Z songs during Tuesday's practice wasn't to troll receiver Kenny Stills, but to challenge him to "perform regardless of whatever is going on outside." |
|The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on fire. Here's what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space. ||MLB bans playing in Venezuela amid Trump order |
Climate change comes with a higher risk of wildfires. This summer, fires have ravaged the Arctic, and the flames can be seen from space.
| Major League Baseball has told players they cannot compete in the Venezuela winter league this season, a response intended to comply with President Donald Trump's embargo against the country. |
|Banned at home but thriving abroad: China's social media campaign ||Raiders, Pack play on 80-yard field due to issues |
More than 78 million Facebook users follow the page of the state-run China Daily, where they are served a diet of largely positive -- and government-approved -- stories about the authoritarian country. Not a bad fan-base, considering Facebook is banned in China. The huge -- and growing -- social media presence of Beijing-run organisations pushing a decidedly pro-China line came under the spotlight this week when Facebook and Twitter announced they had uncovered a naked propaganda campaign to shape global opinion on Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests.
| The Raiders-Packers preseason game Thursday night was played on an 80-yard field due to issues in the original end zones of IG Field in Winnipeg. |
|Half of Venezuela's Oil Rigs May Disappear If U.S. Waivers Lapse ||McGregor: 'I was in the wrong' for punching man |
(Bloomberg) -- A looming U.S. sanctions deadline is threatening to clobber Venezuela’s dwindling oil-rig fleet and hamper energy production in the nation with the world’s largest crude reserves.Almost half the rigs operating in Venezuela will shut down by Oct. 25 if the Trump administration doesn’t extend a 90-day waiver from its sanctions, according to data compiled from consultancy Caracas Capital Markets. That could further cripple the OPEC member’s production because the structures are needed to drill new wells crucial for even maintaining output, which is already near the lowest level since the 1940s.A shutdown in the rigs will also put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s administration, which counts oil revenues as its main lifeline. The U.S. is betting on increased economic pressure to oust the regime and bring fresh elections to the crisis-torn nation, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Latin America’s biggest crude exporter until recent years.Venezuela had 23 oil rigs drilling in July, down from 49 just two years ago, data compiled by Baker Hughes show. Ten of those are exposed to U.S. sanctions, according to calculations by Caracas Capital Markets. The Treasury Department extended waivers in July for service providers to continue for three more months, less than the six months the companies had sought.Most other government agencies involved in the deliberations opposed any extension, a senior administration official said last month, adding that another reprieve will be harder to come by.“Almost half the rigs are being run by the Yanks, and if the window shuts down on this in two months, then that’s really going to hurt Venezuela unless the Russians and the Chinese come in,” said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based managing partner at Caracas Capital Markets.Output RiskA U.S. Treasury official said the department doesn’t generally comment on possible sanctions actions.More than 200,000 barrels a day of output at four projects Chevron Corp. is keeping afloat could shut if the waivers aren’t renewed. That would be debilitating to Maduro because the U.S. company, as a minority partner, only gets about 40,000 barrels a day of that production.The departure of the American oil service providers would hurt other projects in the Orinoco region, where operators need to constantly drill wells just to keep output from declining. The U.S.-based companies are also involved in state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s joint ventures in other regions such as Lake Maracaibo.Limiting ExposureHalliburton Co., Schlumberger Ltd. and Weatherford International Ltd. have reduced staff and are limiting their exposure to the risk of non-payment in the country, according to people familiar with the situation. The three companies have written down a total of at least $1.4 billion since 2018 in charges related to operations in Venezuela, according to financial filings. Baker Hughes had also scaled back before additional sanctions were announced earlier this year, the people said.Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, PDVSA and Venezuela’s oil ministry all declined to comment.Halliburton has adjusted its Venezuela operations to customer activity, and continues operating all of its product service lines at its operational bases, including in the Orinoco Belt, it said in an emailed response to questions. It works directly with several of PDVSA’s joint ventures, and timely payments from customers are in accordance with U.S. regulations, it said.Hamilton, Bermuda-based Nabors Industries Ltd. has three drilling rigs in Venezuela that can operate for a client until the sanctions expire in October, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Petrello said in a July 30 conference call, without naming the client.The sanctions carry geopolitical risks for the U.S. If Maduro manages to hang on, American companies would lose a foothold in Venezuela, giving Russian competitors such as Rosneft Oil Co. a chance to fill the void. Chinese companies could also benefit. Even if the waivers get extended, the uncertainty hinders any long-term planning or investments in the nation by the exposed companies.Rosneft’s press office didn’t respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on operations in Venezuela.\--With assistance from David Wethe, Debjit Chakraborty and Dina Khrennikova.To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at firstname.lastname@example.org;Fabiola Zerpa in Caracas Office at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org, Pratish Narayanan, Joe RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
| Conor McGregor expressed regret for his actions in April, when he struck an older man inside a Dublin bar in an ugly incident captured on video. |
Birmingham Local News
Birmingham Views and Opinions
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy
Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to â€œcriticize the government and other organizations.â€ So why would that be relevant in a democracy?
Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?
â€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.â€ -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One
Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nationâ€™s military, the mindâ€™s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagonâ€™s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.
Capitalism and The Wealth Gap
When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.
Living Wages Are A Global Problem
The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.
Ukraine: Not What It Seems
After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.
Coup Or Civil War In Egypt
The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.