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Saudi Arabia to cut oil production by 500,000 bpd



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it will cut oil production by 500,000 barrels a day from May until the end of 2023, which could push prices up globally.

Higher oil prices would help fill the coffers of Russian President Vladimir Putin while his country is at war with Ukraine, and force Americans and other countries to pay even more amid inflation fueled in part by the conflict.

It could also further strain relations with the United States, which has urged Saudi Arabia and other allies to boost production as they try to cut prices and cut Russia’s finances.

The Saudi Energy Ministry said the cuts would be made in coordination with some OPEC members and non-OPEC countries, but did not name them. The cuts are in addition to the cuts announced in October last year. infuriated the Biden administration.

The ministry called the move a “preventive measure” aimed at stabilizing the oil market. The cuts are less than 5% of Saudi Arabia’s average production of 11.5 million barrels per day in 2022.

Early cuts – about 2 million barrels per day – happened on the eve of the US midterm elections, in which price increases were the main problem. President Joe Biden then promised there would be “consequences” and Democratic lawmakers called for a freeze on cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

Both the US and Saudi Arabia denied any political motives in the dispute, each saying it was focused on maintaining a healthy market price.

After these cuts, oil prices actually declined. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at around $80 a barrel late last week, compared to about $95 a barrel in early October when earlier cuts were agreed.

Christian Coates Ulrichsen, a Gulf expert at Rice University’s Baker Public Policy Institute, said the Saudis are determined to keep oil prices high enough to fund the many ambitious mega-projects linked to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Vision 2030 plan to overhaul the economy.

“This domestic interest takes precedence in Saudi decision-making over relations with international partners and is likely to remain a point of friction in US-Saudi relations for the foreseeable future, even without taking into account the Russian dimension,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Aramco recently announced record profit of $161 billion since last year. Earnings are up 46.5% from the company’s 2021 results of $110 billion. Aramco said it hopes to increase production to 13 million barrels per day by 2027.

In recent years, the long-standing US-Saudi alliance has been under growing tension after assassination of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in 2018a US-based journalist; and Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war with Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

As a presidential candidate, Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia a “rogue” over Khashoggi’s assassination, but when oil prices surged after his inauguration, he backed down. Last July, he visited the kingdom in an attempt to mend relations, drawing criticism. For fist exchange with Crown Prince Mohammed.

Saudi Arabia has denied Russian support in Ukraine, even as it has forged closer ties with both Moscow and Beijing in recent years, unnerving its longtime allies in Washington. Last week, Aramco announced billions of dollars of investment in China’s downstream petrochemical industry.

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Moon Pod Sale: Exclusive Savings on Weightless Bean Bags



This article is part CNN Underscored Guide to Sleep weekly focus on everything you need to sleep better. We’ll be introducing new products and exclusives every week, so check back every morning to find out what’s new.

moon podThe weightless rattles are even more comfortable than those of the past, and they have a grown-up look, quality filling and versatility for any space. Best of all, with a reader-exclusive underscore code, the Moon Pod Bean Bags are heavily discounted. Just use code CNNSLEEP to get an extra 10% off your current 25% off site offer or code UNDERSCORED15 to get $15 off your order.

Now is the time to save money on the Moon Pod bean bag. Simply use code CNNSLEEP to get an extra 10% off your current 25% off site-wide offer, or code UNDERSCORED15 to get $15 off your order, whichever will save you the most money on your particular purchase. .

The company claims the bags help reduce stress, and our reviewer went so far as to say that they reminded her of floating capsules. Filled with high-density beads, the Moon Pod retains its shape for years – it doesn’t wrinkle like the bean bags we grew up with. In addition, the original Moon Pod is lighter than regular bean bags, so you can easily put it in different places.

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Pope Francis leaves hospital, shares emotional moment with recently orphaned parents



ROME (AP) — Pope Francis was released on Saturday from a Rome hospital where he was treated for bronchitis and joked to reporters before leaving: “I’m still alive.”

Francis, 86, was admitted to the Gemelli Polyclinic on Wednesday after reportedly having trouble breathing following his weekly public audience. According to the Vatican, the pontiff was treated with antibiotics intravenously.

Before leaving, Francis had an emotional moment with a couple from Rome whose 5-year-old daughter died Friday night in the hospital.

Serena Subania, Angelica’s mother, sobbed, pressing her head against the chest of the priest, who put his hand on the woman’s head.

Francis seemed to want to linger with well-wishers. When the boy showed him his cast on his arm, dad made a gesture as if to ask: “Do you have a pen?”

The papal assistant gave Francis one, and the pope signed the cast.

Pope Francis consoles Serena Subania, who has lost her daughter Angelica.

The pontiff responded in a voice that was close to a whisper as reporters bombarded him with questions, indicating that he did indeed feel chest pain, a symptom that convinced his medical staff to take him to the hospital on Wednesday.

Francis sat in the front seat of the white Fiat 500 that had driven him away from the Gemelli Clinic. But instead of heading straight home, his motorcade sped right past the Vatican, according to an Associated Press photographer located outside the walled city-state.

Pope Francis has been discharged after suffering from bronchitis.
Pope Francis has been discharged after suffering from bronchitis.


The pope was apparently on his way to the Roman basilica, which is his favorite.

After being discharged from the same hospital in July 2021 after undergoing intestinal surgery, Francis stopped to offer thanksgiving prayers at the Basilica of Saint Mary the Great in Rome, home to an icon depicting the Virgin Mary.

On Friday, Vatican officials said Francis would be in St. Peter’s Square for Mass on Palm Sunday to mark the start of Holy Week, which culminates in Easter, on April 9.

Gregorio Borgia contributed reporting.

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Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, composer of the film score for The Last Emperor, has died at the age of 71.



Elaine Lis

TOKYO (Reuters) – Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Oscar-winning Japanese composer best known for scoring The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and other films, has died at the age of 71, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Sunday.

Sakamoto was also known for his work with the pioneering electronic music group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), of which he co-founded.

Acquainted with the piano as a child, Sakamoto lived for music. As a high school student, he rode in Tokyo commuter cars so crowded that no one could move, amusing himself by counting all sorts of sounds the train made along the way.

Sakamoto, who named the classical musician Claude Debussy as his hero, studied ethnomusicology at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, with a particular interest in the traditional music of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, as well as Indian and African musical traditions.

“Asian music influenced Debussy a lot, and Debussy influenced me a lot. So music travels the world and comes full circle,” he told WNYC Public Radio in 2010.

Inspired by electronic music, he and fellow studio members Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi formed YMO in 1978. The band’s pioneering use of a vast array of electronic instruments has been a national and international success.

Sakamoto’s first soundtrack was for the 1983 film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, in which he also played a POW camp commandant alongside David Bowie. The score went on to win BAFTAs.

His most famous work was the 1987 film The Last Emperor, in which he also starred. The music received an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe.

Sakamoto, who was an anti-nuclear activist and environmentalist, took a break from work for about a year in 2014 to receive treatment for throat cancer. Although he recovered from it after many years of treatment, he announced on his website in January 2021 that he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer.

In December 2022, Sakamoto performed a farewell concert for his fans which was streamed online.

“My strength has really dropped, so a normal concert of about an hour to ninety minutes will be very difficult,” he said in an online post a few days before.

“As a result, I recorded her song after song and edited it together so that it could be presented as a normal concert, which I believe can be enjoyable in a normal way. Please enjoy.”

(Reporting by Elaine Lees; editing by Christopher Cushing, Edwina Gibbs, and Andrew Havens)

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