IEA Sees Lower-Than-Previously Expected Demand Loss This Year

Global oil demand is set to crash by 7.9 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday, but this forecast is slightly more optimistic than last month’s expectation of an 8.1-million-bpd demand drop. The IEA, however, noted that the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the reinstating of partial lockdowns in some countries continue to weigh with uncertainty on the world’s global oil demand in 2020. This year, the world is expected to consume an average of 92.1 million bpd of oil, compared…

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Shorts To Make Tesla The First Stock With $20 Billion Bet Against It

Short interest on Tesla is set to make the EV maker’s stock the first stock to hit US$20 billion in bets against it, data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners showed, as short sellers seem unfazed by Elon Musk’s open mocking in recent days. Short interest in Tesla has reached US$19.95 billion, S3 Partners data, cited by Business Insider, shows. While Tesla’s stock continues to rally, closing at a record $1,394 on Thursday, Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of S3 Partners, said in a note on the same day that Tesla…

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U.S., Libya Suspect Maduro-Haftar Gold Trade Scheme

The United States and Libya are probing a suspected scheme in which eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar is allegedly paying Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela U.S. dollars in exchange for gold, The Wall Street Journal reported, quoting Western and Libyan security officials. Libya’s government, against which Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and affiliated factions are fighting in the civil war, has been tracking the commander’s private jet, which appears to have traveled to Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. According to the investigations reported by the Journal, the plane is suspected of loading…

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Marathon Petroleum Restarts Texas Refinery

Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE: MPC) began restarting its 585,000 bpd refining complex in Galveston Bay that has been shuttered for more than a month now, according to Reuters sources. The complex—America’s second-largest refinery after Motiva–was shut on May 23rd as part of a massive overhaul. Marathon did not confirm the plans to restart, but the sources indicate that its 225,000 bpd Pipestill 3B crude distillation unit will be back in production sometime early next week. Pipestill 3B is one of two units tasked with breaking down crude oil into feedstocks…

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Gazprom’s Hold On European Gas Market Slips

The record stockpile of natural gas in northwest Europe and Italy is eating into the regions’ thirst for Gazprom’s product, according to Reuters, and the Russian gas giant has lost more ground in terms of sales to the area compared to its competitors.  Gazprom’s falling natural gas exports to the region have caused Gazprom’s share of the natural gas market to fall by 4 percentage points in the first half of 2020, according to data compiled by Reuters and Refinitiv—from 38% a year ago to 34% now. Sales from Gazprom’s…

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Rs30bn subsidy allocated to Naya Pakistan housing scheme, announces PM Imran

ISLAMABAD: A sum worth Rs30 billion has been allocated to the Naya Pakistan housing scheme, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in a live televised address on Friday, in line with helping the underprivileged class build their own homes. Addressing the nation after chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction, and Development, PM Imran said the scheme was aimed at the “working class, the welder, the small shop owner, who do not have a lot of money to build their own houses”. “The goal of the Naya…

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Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque

The world-famous Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul – originally founded as a cathedral – has been turned back into a mosque. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision after a court annulled the site’s museum status. Built 1,500 years ago as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in 1453. In 1934 it became a museum and is now a Unesco World Heritage site. Islamists in Turkey long called for it to be converted to a mosque but secular opposition members…

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Malaysia welcomed 4.23 million international tourists for Q1 2020, down 36.8% from last year

DUBAI: Malaysia recorded 4,233,425 tourist arrivals for the first quarter of 2020. This marks a decrease of 36.8% compared to the same period in 2019. The tourist expenditure for the first quarter recorded a total of RM12.5 billion, a decrease of 41.5% compared to RM21.4 billion registered for the same period in 2019. Per capita expenditure also showed a decline of 7.4% from RM3,201.8 in 2019 to RM2,964.5 this year. The average length of stay (ALOS) in Malaysia saw a decrease of 1.9 nights from 6.0 nights in 2019 to 4.1 nights. From January to March 2020, Malaysia received less tourists each…

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After public hearing, Nepra forms committee to probe excessive load-shedding in Karachi

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday formed a committee to visit Karachi and probe complaints of “excessive” electricity load-shedding by the K-Electric (KE) in the metropolis in recent days. The decision came after the power regulator held a public hearing on the subject via video link, which was attended by public representatives, technical experts, representatives of different entities, members of the business community, journalists and consumers from Karachi. Residents of Karachi have in recent weeks complained about frequent unannounced power outages that have added to the misery of soaring…

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Shrink-Wrapped: Plastic Pollution and the Greatest Economic System Jesus Ever Devised

When exactly I began putting plastic items in a special tub for recycling I don’t remember. Probably in the 1980s when I moved to Princeton. Then my wife and I separated plastic items, tin cans and newspapers from the regular garbage and put them in a special can to be recycled. Then too certain plastic bottles were separated from all of the other plastic items and joined with aluminum cans in a large leaf bag—plastic of course—because we took those to the supermarket where they earned us a nickel a…

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