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Malaysia’s Petronas chief: Oil price too high, should fall to $75-$80 a barrel

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The chief of Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas said Monday that global oil prices are too high and should fall back to between $75 and $80 a barrel.

While demand has surged, Petronas Chief Executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas said there was no real evidence of an oil shortage and that current prices above $100 a barrel appeared largely linked to speculation in crude markets.

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“Given the current state of market fundamentals and the cost environment, I believe prices should remain within the range of $75 to $80 per barrel,” Shamsul told a two-day Asian oil and gas conference.

Oil prices soared from about $70 a barrel last summer to as high as $115 this spring, and currently are hovering above $100. They were driven up by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, rising demand in developing countries and a weakening U.S. dollar.

The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the global crude supply, will discuss Wednesday whether to boost production to help lower prices.

Shamsul said a major long-term challenge would be to meet growing oil demand amid dwindling resources, and that companies would be relying on smaller fields and offshore fields to sustain production.

Meanwhile, Asia’s oil demand has been projected to increase by two-thirds within the next 20 years. At this rate, Asia will have consumed more than 250 billion barrels of oil by then – more than six times its current reserves of about 40 billion barrels, he said.

“There is truly no mistaking that Asia’s dependence on energy imports and investments into other resource-rice regions will grow,” he said.

Boeing says growing Asia, Mideast demand should offset stagnant Europe, US military spending

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

SINGAPORE – Boeing Co. is counting on growing demand in Asia and the Middle East for military aircraft to help offset possible spending cuts in Europe and the U.S., a top company executive said Friday.

Austerity measures to help lower government debt will likely reduce military spending in Europe and leave U.S. expenditures flat for the next several years, said Dennis Muilenberg, chief executive of Boeing’s defence, space and security unit.

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“It’s certainly a challenging environment,” Muilenberg told reporters in Singapore. “Our growth prospects are somewhat muted. We anticipate steady, moderate growth in our defence business.”

Boeing is hoping to boost defence sales outside the U.S. to about 25 per cent of its revenue by 2013, up from 17 per cent last year and 7 per cent in 2006. About half of Boeing’s $64 billion of revenue last year came from defence sales.

South Korea will likely request proposals on a contract for 60 fighter jets during the first quarter of next year, and Boeing plans to bid its F-15 model, Muilenberg said.

Boeing sells a variety of fighter jets, transport planes and attack helicopters to governments in the region including Japan, Singapore, South Korea and India.

“We see strength in all of those markets,” Muilenberg said. “We expect our growth to be driven by Asia and the Middle East.”

“Saudi Arabia is a very important customer for us,” he added. “The interest in the F-15 and the Apache (helicopters) is continuing to move forward robustly.”

Based in Chicago, Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and employs 159,000 people in 70 countries.

Israeli forces on high alert for possible border unrest on anniversary of 1967 Mideast war

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Thousands of Israeli security forces mobilized for possible border unrest Sunday as Palestinians marked the anniversary of the Arab defeat in the 1967 Mideast war and Israel’s occupation of Arab land.

Borders with Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank were quiet on Sunday morning. In Gaza, security forces from the ruling Hamas movement were keeping hundreds of protesters from approaching the border with Israel at two potential flashpoints.

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Over the weekend, Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon cancelled plans to march to their frontiers with Israel.

Israel wasn’t taking any chances after thousands of Arab protesters surged to Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank last month on another key anniversary, Israel’s 1948 creation. Hundreds breached a porous border fence at the time and entered a border village in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967.

Fifteen people died in border clashes with Israeli and possibly Lebanese security forces.

Since that May 15 confrontation, Israel has fortified its northern frontier with trenches and land mines.

The military wouldn’t release troop deployment details Sunday. Soldiers stationed along the border fence said the northern Golan had been declared a closed military zone.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said thousands of officers were mobilized across the country in anticipation of possible disturbances, with an emphasis on the north and Jerusalem.

Israel also seized east Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, and Gaza from Egypt, in the six-day war in 1967. Palestinians want all three territories for their future state.

Malaysia’s Najib says Asia shouldn’t have to choose between US and China

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

SINGAPORE – Asian countries shouldn’t have to choose between being allies of the U.S. or China and must avoid another Cold War-style polarization in the region, Malaysia’s prime minister said Friday.

Asia should foster co-operation between the U.S., the world’s military superpower, and emerging power China in order to tackle regional security problems such as human trafficking, terrorism, drug smuggling and nuclear proliferation, Najib Razak said in Singapore at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security conference.

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“China is our partner and the U.S. is also our partner,” Najib said in a speech. “It’s not about taking sides.”

“We must replace the old bilateralism of the Cold War, not with a new bilateralism, but with a multilateralism that can rise to the task ahead.”

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates met Friday in Singapore with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Liang Guanglie, amid recent signs of warming relations between the two countries.

China’s army chief of staff met with top U.S. military officials last month in Washington, and China for the first time chose to send its defence minister to the Singapore conference, now in its 10th year.

Gates will deliver a speech Saturday while Liang will address the conference Sunday.

“We face a new set of asymmetric and non-traditional security challenges that cannot be resolved in isolation or through the old security structures of the past,” Najib said. “We must meet these challenges comprehensively and with no option off the table.”

Najib also called on Southeast Asian trade pact ASEAN to develop a new rapid response team that can provide assistance when humanitarian disasters strike the region.

:China dispatches patrol boat to Singapore amid spike in South China Sea tensionsRead it on Global News: Global News:China dispatches patrol boat to Singapore

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

 

BEIJING – China has dispatched one of its largest maritime patrol ships on a
first-ever visit to the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore amid a spike in
tensions over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

The Haixun-31 left Wednesday and will stay in Singapore for two weeks of
exchanges on search and rescue, anti-piracy and port management operations,

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Chinese state media reported Thursday.

Similar ships have been accused of harassing foreign shipping in the South
China Sea, including U.S. Navy surveillance vessels.

China, Vietnam and the Philippines have traded diplomatic barbs recently over
claims to the resource-rich South China Sea and its island groups. Vietnam’s
navy conducted live-firing exercises Monday after accusing Chinese boats of
disrupting oil and gas exploration in its waters.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news conference
Friday that the U.S. understood the Chinese ship was making a “routine, planned
visit” to Singapore. She reiterated that the South China Sea disputes should be
resolved through negotiations.

The 3,000-ton, helicopter-equipped Haixun-31 is one of two vessels of that
size belonging to the Maritime Safety Administration, one of five nominally
civilian agencies tasked with overseeing China’s interests at sea. All of those
departments are undergoing major expansions as Beijing moves to assert its
territorial claims and economic interests in both the South China Sea and the
East China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with Japan and
Taiwan.

Flash mob attacks in Philadelphia leave 4 in hospital

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

PHILADELPHIA — Four people, including an off-duty police detective and his wife, were taken to a hospital after a “flash mob” attack by some among a crowd of juveniles in downtown Philadelphia, police said.

Police said a large crowd of juveniles were at 16th and Walnut streets, a popular spot for dining and shopping, at about 6 p.m. Saturday when some people began randomly assaulting people on the street.

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A 55-year-old off-duty police detective saw a 20-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman being assaulted and tried to arrest one of the offenders. He was punched from behind by several people, police said.

READ MORE: Six masked men enter Dartmouth home, assault homeowners

The detective’s 53-year-old wife splashed water on the offenders to try to stop them from attacking her husband, and she was punched in the face, police said. All of the offenders then fled.

One of the five people assaulted there declined medical treatment, but the other five were taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for treatment. The police detective had an orbital fracture to his right eye while the others had minor injuries.

Immediately afterward, there was another assault by several juveniles nearby, and two 16-year-old youths were arrested, police said. The victim had minor injuries and didn’t seek medical attention.

One man told WPVI-TV that he feared for his safety when the large group of teens appeared, and he saw other people running into nearby stores to escape.

“It’s crazy out here,” said Dwight Magood. “I don’t know if they were trying to protest or ‘flash mobbing.’ But it’s not the right way to do it, whatever it was.”

Chris Rock makes ‘SNL’ cameo to mock white liberals shocked by Donald Trump’s win

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

Chris Rock returned to Saturday Night Live to mock white liberals shocked by Donald Trump’s victory.

In the skit, he and host Dave Chappelle watch the election unfold with their friends, who started out confident in Democrat Hillary Clinton’s victory.

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When someone starts out claiming “this is going to be a historic night, we’re about to have our first woman president,” Chappelle is quick to point out: “Don’t forget, it’s a big country.”

READ MORE: Dave Chappelle wishes President-elect Donald Trump luck in ‘SNL’ monologue

The two of them sit back and watch as the liberals seem confused as they slowly realize Trump will become president.

“Oh my God, I think America is racist,” one person said.

Chappelle replied: “I remember my great-grandfather told me something like that. He was like a slave or something.”

Throughout the election the comedy show has brought levity to the contentious election season, and it ended with a stunning tribute from SNL regular Kate McKinnon.

WATCH: Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton performs Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah‘ 

Dressed as Hillary Clinton, she sang Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, less than a week after he passed away.

At the end of the song, she turned to the camera and said “I’m not giving up and neither should you.”

Chappelle hosted the show, and wished Trump well in the coming years, but reminded him that he should remember to give the “historically disenfranchised” a chance.

WATCH: Dave Chappelle wishes Trump luck, says he’s willing to give him a chance

*with a file from The Associated Press

Edmonton’s Val Sweeting to play Winnipeg’s Michelle Englot in Tour Challenge final

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

Sweden’s Niklas Edin will try and make it two for two on this season’s Grand Slam of Curling calendar.

Edin beat Matt Nichols and Team Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 6-4 on Saturday in the Tour Challenge men’s semifinal.

Nichols, skipping in place of Brad Gushue while he recovers from hip surgery, led 4-3 through seven ends after scoring a single, but Edin responded with three points in the eighth to pull off the victory.

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    Edin will go for his second title of the season on Sunday when he faces Scotland’s Kyle Smith in the championship draw.

    Smith needed an extra end to defeat Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud 6-5 in the other men’s semi.

    Edin won the first stop on the Grand Slam tour in October, beating Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., at the Masters.

    The women’s final will see Edmonton’s Val Sweeting against Winnipeg’s Michelle Englot.

    Sweeting earned her spot in the women’s championship draw with a 9-2 drubbing of Allison Flaxey of Caldeon, Ont., while Englot used an extra end to beat Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg 6-5.

    Sweeting dropped her first round-robin draw but has won five straight en route to the final. Meanwhile, Englot needed a tiebreaker just to reach the quarter-finals.

Fundraiser set up for family of Calgary teen killed in suspected drunk driving crash

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

A fundraiser is underway for the family of a Calgary teen who was killed in a suspected drunk driving crash last month.

Shiraz Shermohammad died when his family’s car was struck just after midnight on Oct. 23.

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READ MORE: 19-year-old killed in crash on Metis Trail

His mother, father and one of his sisters were in the car when they were hit by a Dodge Journey driven by a 28-year-old woman who police say didn’t stop at the intersection of Country Hills Boulevard at Métis Trail N.E.

The eastbound Kia Forte driven by Shermohammad’s 43-year-old father was struck on the passenger side by the northbound Journey, according to police.

The father and teenage daughter were also in the car and were rushed to hospital in serious condition.

The driver of the SUV was arrested at the scene. She has since been released pending the results of the investigation.

At the time, investigators said they suspected speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the crash.

A GoFundMe page set up for Shermohammed’s family. 

“This Afghan family is in need; let’s help the remaining family by reaching our goal of $5,000.00 or more if possible so it helps the family with the financial situation,” Shermohammed’s family stated.

Shermohammed’s sister told Global News that her father is now out of the hospital but her mother and sister are still being treated at the Foothills Medical Centre.

She says this has been an extremely difficult time for their family, both emotionally and financially.

Sittara Shermohammed says her brother recently started a new job at a warehouse to help pay for his school fees and her father is not able to work now.

Event aims to spread message that computers aren’t just for the boys

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

For the second consecutive year, young females in Saint John got a chance to see exactly how computers work at Girls Learn to Code Day.

In what is typically a male-dominated field, IT professionals are spearheading an initiative to encourage girls to give computer technology a try.

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“Women are underrepresented in IT and they might be more reluctant than men to learn how to code or go to a place where they can learn how to code,” Susan Almon, the lead for the Saint John chapter of Ladies Learning Code, said . “We find the same thing with girls.”

In her efforts to encourage young women to pursue a career in the computer sector, Almon has noticed many don’t immediately consider it an option, despite computers being so prevalent in our society.

She hopes to change that by getting girls interested at a young age.

“I was in an event a few weeks ago for high school girls where we talked about careers and a lot of the girls were saying, ‘Well, I don’t really know about computers,’” she said. “And I was thinking, ‘Well you could. There’s no reason why you can’t.’ So programs like this counter that.”

Now in its second year in the Port City, the initiative has grown from a handful of attendees last year to over 20 this time around.

Almon says the success comes from showing the girls that working with computers can be a lot of fun.

“Part of our goal is for these girls to go home, back to their schools, back to their soccer teams, their girl guide groups – and say, ‘Wow, that was really cool, I made a game all by myself,’” she explained.

Girls Learn to Code Day is a Canada-wide initiative that takes place in cities across the country.