Oil drops as OPEC set to agree on oil cut extension to the end of 2018

Oil dropped after OPEC and allies led a coalition of major crude producers agreed to a drop in oil cuts halfway through 2018.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday ratified a long-awaited extension of output caps for a second year urging Russia and other major producers to do the same.

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers on Thursday agree on extending output cuts until the end of 2018 to finish clearing a global glut of crude while signaling they could exit the deal earlier if the market overheats.

Non-OPEC Russia, which this year reduced production significantly with OPEC for the first time, has been pushing for a clear message on how to exit the cuts so the market doesn’t flip into a deficit too soon.

The producers’ current deal, under which they are cutting supply by about 1.8 million barrels per day () in an effort to boost oil prices, expires in March.

Before the 14-country OPEC’s meeting started at around 1100 GMT in Vienna, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he favored extending cuts by nine months until the end of 2018.

He said it was premature to talk about exiting the cuts at least for a couple of quarters and added that OPEC would examine progress at its next meeting in June.

The Iraqi, Iranian and Angolan oil ministers also said a review of the current deal was possible at the next OPEC meeting in June in case the market becomes too tight.

International benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 rose more than 1.5 percent on Thursday to above $64 per barrel.
The meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be followed by a gathering of OPEC and non-OPEC producers led by Russia at around 1400 GMT.

RT MinPetroleoVE: ???️ Venezuela participation in the 173rd OPEC Annual Meeting. Venezuela accomplishes stablished production in the OPEC-2016 Cooperation Statement pic.twitter.com/4iNlNUbwSO – Via PDVSA— FUTPV.org.ve (@FUTPV) November 30, 2017

With oil prices rising above $60, Russia has expressed concerns that such an extension could prompt a spike in crude production in the United States, which is not participating in the deal.

Brig Kavuma Appointed Deputy Land Forces Commander

Brig Sam Kavuma, who has been serving as Deputy Airforce Commander, has been promoted to Major General and appointed Deputy Commander Land Forces. The new appointment was revealed Thursday night by army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire. He said the deployment follows a “Distinguished long time service.” Asked why the appointing authority thought Kavuma deserved the […]

I cheated on Beyonce – Jay Z

American rapper Jay Z has finally admitted that he cheated on his wife Beyonce which almost ended their eight-year marriage. The rapper revealed more about his infidelity and the emotions it came with during an interview with The New York Times yesterday. The couple had given clues about the infidelity in their latest music. It […]

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Ohio State’s QB Haskins steps out of J.T. Barrett’s shadow

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins is giving the Buckeyes glimpses of 2014 Cardale Jones as they roll into the Big Ten Championship game against No. 3 Wisconsin.

Again, the starter J.T. Barrett is hurt and coach Urban Meyer hasn’t committed fully to his return, even though he’s practicing. Haskins, like Jones three years ago, is waiting with a rifle arm and coming off a strong showing against Michigan last week, leading a comeback to give No. 8 Ohio State a win over its biggest rival — and fans a potential look at the future.

In 2014, Barrett broke his ankle against Michigan and Jones finished the game, then beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten title and carried the Buckeyes to a national championship.

Even without the injury, it’s easy to argue for Barrett or Haskins to start, and it’s conceivable both could play depending on whether Barrett is fully healthy. Wisconsin is prepping for both.

Meyer said he has confidence in Haskins after seeing the redshirt freshman beat Michigan after coming in the game down 20-14 in the third quarter.

“I can’t say it’s comfort yet, but to see him perform in that environment, and more importantly against that (Michigan) defense….That’s an elite defense,” Meyer said.

Barrett has much more experience as a fifth-year senior who has broken nearly every school passing and scoring record. On Thursday he was named Big Ten quarterback of the year by the conference for the third time. He said he initially was injured when a photographer bumped into him on the sideline before the game.

But his inconsistency led to losses this season to Oklahoma and Iowa, and Ohio State’s sliver of hope for the College Football Playoff rests on a big win by the Buckeyes and chaotic losses in other conference championships this weekend.

Wisconsin players said they will prepare for Barrett — who often carries the ball on designed quarterback runs and keeps it on run-pass option plays — but also be ready for Haskins, a pure pocket passer with a stronger arm.

“They’re still going to be doing some of the same things scheme-wise and have two capable guys who can play that position,” Badgers linebacker T.J. Edwards said. “We just have to make sure we’re locked in like any other week.”

Haskins has already provided a flash of Ohio State’s likely football future after a performance that included a pinpoint 27-yard pass to keep a drive alive and a scramble for 22 yards to set up a touchdown.

“I had the O-line, I had the receivers. Everybody else was behind me the whole entire way,” Haskins said in describing why he wasn’t nervous.

Even if Haskins doesn’t see the field again this season, he will have the edge in what promises to be an intriguing quarterback derby next year after Barrett departs.

Redshirt sophomore Joe Burrow has been waiting his turn. He was the backup to Barrett until breaking his hand early in the season, which moved Haskins to second chair. Then there is flashy freshman Tate Martell, who likely will be redshirted this year. He has won raves from teammates for his skill running the scout team offense. Any one of them could start on most Division I teams, so it wouldn’t be shocking if one transferred elsewhere.

For now, Haskins has the upper hand.

“He was able to out there and scramble, make a couple runs, make some nice throws,” offensive tackle Jamarco Jones said. “Our offense didn’t really change much at all when he was in there.”


More AP college football at www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 .


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Stanford seeks revenge vs. USC in Pac-12 title game

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The Stanford team that walked out of the Los Angeles Coliseum nearly three months ago after being overpowered by Southern California seemed an unlikely pick to get a rematch with the Trojans.

Yet here Stanford is in the Pac-12 title game ready to get revenge against USC for that 42-24 loss in the second game of the season after having won eight of nine games with a familiar formula.

“You’re talking about a very hot football team right now,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “A lot of it can be attributed to how the defense is playing. I’ve always thought a David Shaw team is extremely strong down the middle of the defense.”

An improved defense and the switch at quarterback to K.J. Costello are the biggest differences for the 14th-ranked Cardinal (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12, No. 12 CFP) heading into Friday night’s title game at Levi’s Stadium against No. 11 USC (10-2, 8-1, No. 10).

Stanford gave up 623 yards of offense to Sam Darnold and the Trojans in the first meeting, the highest total allowed in coach David Shaw’s seven seasons. USC gained more than 300 yards through the air and on the ground and dominated the line of scrimmage.

“I think we hit them and they were hitting on all cylinders, especially offensively,” Shaw said. “You go back and watch again and it was just like, ‘Wow!’ Running it, throwing it, the pass protection was outstanding. The quarterback was as good as you can play the position.”

Stanford hasn’t allowed more than 430 yards or 24 points in a game over the past eight contests.

The other big difference has been the switch to Costello, who has provided more of a passing threat to complement big-play running back Bryce Love since taking over for Keller Chryst at the beginning of November.

Costello threw four TD passes last week against Notre Dame and is improving each week, the same way the rest of his team is improving.

“We started off the season 1-2, backs against the wall,” Love said. “Just a testament to the team that we have. We’re resilient. We fought back. We’ve come a long way. We still have more to prove.”

Here are some other things to watch in the Pac-12 title game:

LOTS OF LOVE: Love has been slowed a bit in recent weeks by a sprained ankle but still is quite dangerous. He ran for 125 yards on 20 carries last week and ranks second in the nation with 1,848 yards rushing while averaging 8.6 yards per carry. He had a 75-yard TD run against the Trojans, one of his FBS-record 11 runs of at least 50 yards this season.

“He’s very patient,” safety Chris Hawkins said. “They love pitching him the ball straight backward. Usually you get pitches to the outside. They pitch it backward and let him use his eyes and his footwork to good use. If you’re not in your hole, he’s going to find it.”

K.J.’S GROWTH: Shaw didn’t trust Costello to do much in his first game after taking over as the full-time starter. He went just 9 for 20 for 105 yards in a loss at Washington State. But Shaw has loosened the reins each successive week and even allowed Costello to choose one of three plays at the line of scrimmage on the majority of snaps last week against Notre Dame.

“He makes it look easy,” Love said. “But the amount of things that is put on his shoulders week in, week out, how he takes control of the huddle, how he gets to the right calls and executes. On his reads, it’s amazing. He’s handling the ball well.”

REST VS. HOME COOKING: Each team enters the game with a potential advantage. After playing 12 straight weeks to open the season, USC comes into this game fresh following a bye week. Stanford played Saturday so it has a short week but gets the benefit of playing this game just a short ride from campus.

“You’ll always have different situations. We’ve been in this game where we had five days to prepare. We’re fortunate this time around to have an extra week,” Helton said. “The biggest factor for us is we were a tired and beat up football team that needed a week to regroup and get healthy.”

DOMINANT NORTH: The team from the North Division has won all six Pac-12 championship games since the conference expanded to 12 teams, including Stanford’s 41-22 win over USC two years ago. That’s a fact not lost on the Trojans.

“No South team has won it since it became a game,” Hawkins said. “Last time we went, you all know what happened last time we went, but we’re not going to talk about that.”


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Misdemeanor assault charge dismissed against Johnny Manziel

DALLAS (AP) — A 2016 domestic assault charge against Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel has been dismissed.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday confirmed Manziel successfully completed requirements of a court agreement that included taking an anger management course and participating in the NFL’s substance-abuse program. The case was dismissed Nov. 22.

The 24-year-old Manziel also had to stay away from former girlfriend Colleen Crowley, who accused him of hitting and threatening her during a January 2016 night out. Manziel faced a misdemeanor charge that carried a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

The allegations stem from a night out when Crowley said Manziel accosted her at a Dallas hotel, a confrontation that continued downstairs to the valet station. She said he forced her into a car and a valet disregarded her pleas for help. The two eventually drove to where her car was parked in front of a Dallas bar, she said in an affidavit. She said Manziel got into the driver’s seat and began to drive. Crowley said Manziel stopped when she tried to jump out of the car, but then he dragged her back inside and hit her.

Cleveland chose Manziel 22nd overall in the 2014 draft. The Browns cut him in March 2016 after two seasons of inconsistent play and off-the-field issues. The former Texas A&M star was suspended four games for a substance-abuse violation even though he wasn’t under contract.

Manziel looked north of the border recently and the Canadian Football League said in September that it would not approve a contract for him until next season, if he meets confidential conditions stipulated by the CFL commissioner.


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Marche du Rassemblement: Fayulu relâché, Kabund en garde à vue

Le patron de la police de la ville de Kinshasa, le général Sylvano Kasongo, contacté par Radio Okapi, affirme que Matin Fayulu et Bertrand Ewanga, opposants et députés nationaux interpellés, ont été relâchés parce que jouissant de l’immunité parlementaire.

Par contre, le secrétaire général de l’UDPS, Jean-Marc Kabund est maintenu en à garde en vue.

PDP Chairmanship: Sambo, Kaduna PDP express confidence in Daniel’s leadership qualities

Former Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo has expressed confidence in the leadership qualities of a front-line aspirant for the National Chairmanship position of the Peoples Democratic Party, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. Sambo made this expression on Wednesday in Kaduna when Daniel and his campaign entourage paid him a courtesy visit in continuation of the nationwide tour. […]

Russian sprinter Gushchina fails doping test from London 2012: IOC

ZURICH (Reuters) – Russian sprinter Yulia Gushchina, part of the silver medal winning 4×400 metres relay team at the 2012 London Games, failed an anti-doping test, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

Re-analysis of Gushchina’s samples from London resulted in a positive test for banned substances dehydrochlormethyltestosterone and stanozolol, the IOC said in a statement, the latest sanction as it re-tests samples from Russian athletes.

It said it also disqualified Russian long jumper Anna Nazarova for doping.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Toby Davis)

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Cameroonian migrants return from Libya, as EU, and AU agree on emergency plan

At least 250 Cameroonians returned home from Libya, days after media reports of migrants being traded as slaves in Libya sent shockwaves through sub-Saharan A Africa and angered the world.

The report showed footage of an auction of men offered to Libyan buyers as farmhands and sold for $400, a chilling echo of the trans-Saharan slave trade of centuries past.

Many of those who returned to Cameroon’s capital Yaounde included men, and children, who like many migrants end up in Libya, as they attempt the voyage across the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

Faced with poverty and unemployment, many left to seek a better life abroad, but have returned with dashed dreams, and harrowing tales of abuse, being captured by traffickers and traded like livestock by their captors.

“Libya is a country at war, despite the semblance of peace. A black person is seen as merchandise, he is sold like chicken. Migrants on their way to Libya are kidnapped. They are kidnapped when they are walking and sold for as little as 300 Libyan Dinars (216 USD),” said one returning migrant, Chancelier Deuda.

“Do not take the Libyan route, it’s not a good idea and you definitely won’t like what you will find. You will meet people who, I don’t even know how to qualify them, but those Arabs – and I am speaking from experience since I have in different parts of Maghreb region, but those Arabs are not people who should live on earth,” added another returning migrant Emile Monkam.

The migrant return was by the International Office of Migration (IOM), with each migrant given 117 USD to help them resettle to their villages.

Reports of abuses against African migrants also dominated a two-day Africa-Europe summit, as European Union leaders met their African Union counterparts in Ivory Coast this week.

On the last day of the summit, officials said that the EU, UN and AU agreed to an emergency plan to dismantle people-smuggling networks and repatriate stranded migrants in an effort to ease a human rights disaster in Libya.

Libya splintered along political, ideological and tribal lines during and after a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that unseated former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Six years after Gaddafi’s fall, Libya is still a lawless state where armed groups compete for land and resources and people-smuggling networks operate with impunity.

Libya’s government, which has promised to investigate reports of slave auctions, agreed to grant U.N. agencies access to migrant camps in areas under its control, German officials said.

Some 600,000 migrants have reached Italy by sea from North Africa since 2014, most of them leaving from Libya’s western coast. More than 12,000 have died while trying.