Washington uses sanctions to push its gas to Europe – Germany’s largest energy company

By ethan / May 24, 2018

The US is interested in force-feeding its liquefied natural gas on the European gas market so it seeks to stop Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Thilo Wieland, a board member of German energy company Wintershall, said at SPIEF.

“The United States is openly using the sanctions mechanism to promote its interests on the European gas market,” Wieland told Sputnik news agency.

Read more

© Lex Van Lieshout

Wieland said Washington wants to oust Russia from the European energy market by supplying LNG. The official said he doubts the US could deliver the same amount of gas as Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline could.

“It would take the United States to send 275 tankers with LNG a year to deliver the same amount of gas [55 billion cubic meters of gas a year] as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would. Firstly, the United States should make sure it can make such deliveries. Secondly, it should assess the impact the deliveries would have on the environment, since gas transportation via a pipeline always affects [the environment] less in terms of carbon dioxide emissions than transportation via tankers,” Wieland said.

Wintershall participates in the Nord Stream project. Gazprom intended to have a 50 percent plus one share in the company, with the rest of the shares divided between Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, France’s Engie, and Anglo-Dutch Shell. US sanctions against Russia and European red tape stopped the companies from participating in the project directly, but they have pledged to stay in the project and finance it anyway.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Business News

‘Play with an open heart’: FIFA reveals World Cup team slogans

By ethan / May 24, 2018

FIFA has announced the slogans chosen by fans to adorn the official buses of the 32 teams at this summer’s World Cup in Russia. Hosts Russia will have the uplifting ‘Play with an open heart’ on their bus.

The initiative was launched as part of World Cup sponsor Hyundai’s ‘Be There With Hyundai’ competition, and saw fans send in their slogan suggestions before they were voted on by members of the FIFA Club community.

In launching the scheme, FIFA had asked for “creative, catchy and positive slogans” that would capture the world’s imagination at this summer’s footballing showpiece in Russia.

The 32 winning entries have now been announced, and the slogans will be written in either the language of the nation or in English. 

They range from the straightforward – such as Saudi Arabia’s “Desert Knights” slogan – to the more enigmatic, such as Uruguay’s offering: “The sun shines in Russia, the sky is all light blue”, which in Spanish plays on the word for ‘light blue’ (celeste), which is also the national team’s nickname.

Some of the slogans reference geographical features, such as Panama’s “The Force of Two Seas”, while Switzerland’s linguistic specifics are reflected in its slogan of “Four Languages, One Nation”.

Brazil are among the nations to have the population size incorporated into their motivational mantra, and “More than 5 stars, 200 million hearts” will be the phrase that adorns the bus of the Samba Boys.

Read more

Will Smith © Stephane Mahe

Some slogans are aimed at being more rousing, with England set to have “Send Us Victorious” in a nod to the national anthem – emblazoned on the bus that will transport Harry Kane and Co. around Russia.

Argentina – often seen as a team centered on the talents of Barcelona star Lionel Messi – will have the unifying “Together for a dream” written on their team bus.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will have the cryptic “The past is glory, the present is history” emblazoned on their official transport.

Some of the smaller nations in Russia this summer have hinted at their modest size but big hearts, with the winning Croatian slogan being “Small country, big dreams”.

Iceland – which with a population of 330,000 will become the smallest nation ever to compete at the World Cup – will have the phrase “Let’s make our dream come true” to inspire the team.

The full list of winners is on the official FIFA website. The World Cup kicks off in Russia on June 14, and will be held at 12 stadiums in 11 host cities. The final will take place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on July 15.  

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

US sanctions can cut Iran’s oil sales abroad by half – BP boss

By ethan / May 24, 2018

Iranian crude exports can be cut by as much as one million barrels per day, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2018). This is about a half of Tehran’s usual sales.

“The withdrawal of the United States from the agreement seems to be the beginning of the negotiation. It would impact Iranian oil sales between 300,000 and 1 million barrels per day, that’s sort of the range of estimates there,” Dudley told Sputnik news agency on the sidelines of the forum.

Read more

The outer wall of the Den of Espionage (former US embassy) in Tehran, 2017 © Feng Wei Photography

Iran’s crude oil exports reached a record 2.617 million bpd in April, according to its oil ministry’s news service Shana, as Tehran sought to ramp up sales ahead of new US sanctions. However, just a month before, Iran sold 1.94 million pbd. So, if Dudley’s forecast comes true, Iran will lose roughly a half of its oil sales abroad.

The head of BP did not specify which countries will buy less Iranian oil, but Tehran’s traditional customers are China, India, South Korea, and Japan, which bought 60 percent of Iranian oil in April. China and India alone imported around 1.4 million bpd of Iranian oil in April, according to Shana.

Worries about Iranian exports have pushed crude oil to highest levels since 2014 this month. Brent oil surged above $ 80 per barrel, while the US WTI peaked at $ 72 this week. Iran is the fifth largest oil producer in the world and the third largest in OPEC.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangane has said the country’s sales will be unaffected if Europe doesn’t join the US sanctions. “Tehran’s oil exports will remain unchanged if the Iran nuclear deal is salvaged by the EU following the US withdrawal from the multinational accord,” Zangane told reporters after his meeting with EU Energy Chief Miguel Arias Canete in Tehran.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Business News

Trump touts US military readiness after N.Korea destroys its nuke test site

By ethan / May 24, 2018

After cancelling a long-awaited summit with Kim Jong-un, President Donald Trump warned North Korea that US military ‘more ready than ever before.’ The fallout comes hours after Pyongyang dismantled its nuclear testing site.

Touching upon the cancellation on Thursday, during a signing of a banking reform bill, Trump chose to point out US military strength.

“Our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world,” he said, “is ready if necessary,” should Kim react badly to the cancellation. Trump also announced that South Korea and Japan were onboard and ready to shoulder some of the cost of military operations, should the need arise.

Trump canceled the June 12 summit just hours after North Korea destroyed its nuclear testing site in the presence of international journalists, as promised during the talks. Preparations for the Singapore meeting had been underway since March.

Read more

Donald Trump has canceled his upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un

The fate of the summit hung in the balance over the past week, as North Korea protested the US-South Korean military drills and comments from national security adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence regarding the so-called “Libyan model” for denuclearization.

North Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son-hui had threatened to walk away from discussions if Washington continued to carry out its “unlawful and outrageous acts,” including joint military exercises with South Korea.

“Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” Choe said. She also condemned Pence’s remarks as “ignorant” and “stupid.”

That was the “last straw” leading to Trump’s decision to cancel the Singapore summit, blaming Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility,” Reuters reported citing the White House.

“You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” Trump said in the letter to Kim.

“If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialog, I am waiting,” the US president said on Thursday, warning the North Korean leader against “foolish and reckless” acts.

Read more

A man walks past a TV broadcasting a news report on the upcoming dismantling of the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, in Seoul, South Korea, May 23, 2018. © Kim Hong-Ji

In his typical manner, however, Trump left the door open to meeting with Kim later.

“North Korea has the opportunity to end decades of poverty and depression. A lot of things can happen,” he said.

“I think they want to do what’s right. Hopefully this will work out,” the US president added.

The US and North Korea had a “wonderful dialog” and a “very good working relationship” in freeing the three US prisoners, Trump said, but the tone of the talks soured after that.

“I think I understand why that happened,” the US president said cryptically, refusing to elaborate. Earlier in the week, in a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump brought up Kim’s second trip to China as the point where rhetoric began to escalate, but said he did not want to blame Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The June summit would have been the first time a living US president met with his North Korean counterpart. South Korea has asked for a new meeting to be arranged as soon as possible.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

Larry Nassar conspired with USA Gymnastics to cover up sex abuse probe – report

By ethan / May 24, 2018

USA Gymnastics officials approved a plan to withhold information as to why Larry Nassar wouldn’t be attending gymnastics events in 2015 instead of confirming he was being probed for sexual abuse allegations, it has been reported.

USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar agreed on “false excuses” to explain his absence from major gymnastics events in 2015, preferring to announce that the now convicted serial child molestor was sick instead of revealing that he was under investigation for a string of sexual abuse allegations, per a report from the Indianapolis Star.

READ MORE: Larry Nassar victims receive record-breaking settlement

Two emails obtained by the newspaper show that Nassar and an attorney acting on behalf of USA Gymnastics concocted a series of excuses ahead of events prior to the 2016 Olympics, first saying that he was sick and then that Nassar was instead focused on his private medical practice.

Read more

Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges. © Rebecca Cook

Per the report, the emails state that attorney Scott D. Himsel informed Nassar that he was under investigation and suggested that Nassar remove himself from the planned events by citing “personal reasons”

“Can we just say that I am sick?” Nassar replied. “That would make more sense to everyone. Would that be OK?”

Nassar was sentenced to 175 years on state charges of sexual assault, with another 40 to 125 years in prison for three counts of sexual assault. He also received a 60 year sentence for federal child pornography charges.

Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics has since resigned in the wake of the scandal, so too has entire board of directors. The organization still faces a litany of lawsuits related to the allegations that they sought to cover up the allegations against Nassar.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

Seeking alternatives to US dollar dominance in global finance on day one of SPIEF 2018

By ethan / May 24, 2018

The first day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) has seen various discussions on ways of ditching the US currency which dominates global trade.

Veteran investor Jim Rogers has noted that the US currency will likely lose its leadership status in the next decade.

“Dollar is going to be higher than now because the turmoil is coming. Then, it is going to be overpriced and people will look around and say, ‘America’s got the largest debt in the history of the world. It’s printing money as fast as it can,’” the investor said at the Valdai Club’s discussion session, held as part of SPIEF.

Read more

© Dado Ruvic

The alternative is coming from Brazil, Russia, China, India, Iran and other developing countries, according to Rogers, who said these states have enough power to compete with the dollar.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov suggested the euro could substitute the dollar in Russia’s foreign trade if Brussels takes a stand against Washington’s latest sanctions against Moscow. “As we see, restrictions imposed by the American partners are of an extraterritorial nature. The possibility of switching from the US dollar to the euro in settlements depends on Europe’s stance toward Washington’s position,” said Siluanov, who is also Russia’s first deputy prime minister. The minister added that the Chinese yuan, Indian rupee, and Russian ruble can also play a greater role in trade.

The need for more ruble-yuan settlements comes as trade between Russia and China grows. Xu Sitao, chief economist with Deloitte China, told RT that China has become the largest export market for Russia since 2017, accounting for roughly 12-13 percent of Russian exports.

“As I said earlier, Russia and China are very complementary. China is moving away from dirty energy coal, so I do expect further collaboration between our countries, I’m quite optimistic,” he said. Both Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly stressed they don’t need other currencies for bilateral trade.

Russia’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, one of the world’s key economic discussion platforms, opened on Thursday. This year, about 40 world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, are attending the event. SPIEF 2018 will also welcome leading investment funds from 20 countries with total assets of more than $ 13.5 trillion.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Business News

US targets Iran with fresh sanctions against airlines

By ethan / May 24, 2018

The US Treasury Department has hit Iran with new and heavy sanctions. They target several Iranian airlines that the US claims were delivering weapons to proxy forces in Syria and Lebanon.

Iran will be “battling to keep its economy alive” after the latest sanctions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech in Washington on Monday.

Pompeo demanded that Iran halt all uranium enrichment, stop its ballistic missile program, and give nuclear inspectors access to the entire country, or else face the “strongest sanctions in history.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the US demands unacceptable, and an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander told Iranian media that the people of Iran should “deliver a strong punch to the mouth” of Pompeo in response.

The Trump administration’s renewal and strengthening of sanctions on Iran is part of a new and hardline stance on the Islamic Republic. Last month Trump withdrew the US from the JCPOA, or Iran Deal, which granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for a halt in its nuclear program.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

‘I fully support VAR, but it shouldn’t break the spirit of football’ – ex-Chelsea player Smertin

By ethan / May 24, 2018

Former Chelsea and Russia international Alexei Smertin is confident that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which be used at this summer’s World Cup, will help to reduce the number of mistakes by match officials.

In an exclusive interview with RT, former Russia captain Smertin, who now works as Russia’s anti-racism chief, praised the VAR system, which was tested last year during the Confederations Cup in Russia and will be used this summer during the World Cup.

The 43-year-old added, however, that the system still needs to be improved.

“I fully support the newly adopted VAR system,” said the former Chelsea midfielder.

“It can certainly affect the result of football matches, but you cannot imagine how disappointing it is to lose a match because of a referee’s error. I do agree that the system needs to be optimized and developed, because it has several imperfections including multiple stops during games. 

Read more

© Alexandr Kryazhev

“Football is a dynamic sport and VAR should not break its spirit and energy, as sometimes it takes two or three minutes for a referee to review a controversial episode. Of course it may spoil a little bit the beauty of the game, but the final result is more important,” he added.

Smertin also emphasized that VAR will prevent players from diving, as they will know that their actions could be reviewed.

“The game should be fair. Referees have just several seconds to make a decision. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify a foul even reviewing the moment: was it a real foul or diving. So I think that VAR will make football games fair and free from unintentional referee errors,” Smertin said.

The innovative VAR system has been adopted by several top football leagues, including Germany’s Bundesliga and Major League Soccer in the US.

In March, FIFA approved the use of VAR at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, adding that information about VAR decisions will be provided to “giant screen operators as well as broadcasters and commentators.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

Russia's Far East attracts nearly third of all national investments

By ethan / May 24, 2018

The special economic zone and preferences in the Far East have warmed foreign investor interest in the region, which accounts for 30 percent of all investments in Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev said at SPIEF.

“We started with changes in the investment climate… At the moment, a Far East resident gets six times more investment than the average across Russia,” he said.

Trutnev explained that attracting investments is very important because new enterprises should grow, people should be able to work and make money.

Eighteen priority development territories, as well as Vladivostok Free Port, have been created within the Far East’s development program. More than 200 foreign companies have already obtained resident status while the total amount of committed investments has already exceeded $ 63 billion.

More than 1,200 projects are currently being implemented in the region and 107 new enterprises have been established. Three hundred and fifty projects are expected to be finalized by 2020.

The priority development territories in the Russian Far East provide the country’s citizens as well as foreigners with tax and customs preferences. Last year, Russia lifted Far East visa requirements for 18 countries to boost tourism and develop the region.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Business News

‘Obama already did it to the French’: WikiLeaks weighs in on Trump’s ‘Spygate’ claims

By ethan / May 24, 2018

US President Donald Trump has seemingly found a ‘Spygate’ ally in WikiLeaks, after the whistleblowing organization tweeted to remind the public of CIA “espionage orders” for the 2012 French election.

Reports that domestic intelligence chiefs in the US instructed an FBI informant to contact Trump’s campaign team during the 2016 US presidential election have incensed the current US commander-in-chief. In a hail of tweets, Trump dubbed the revelation ‘Spygate’ and described it as “one of the biggest political scandals in history.”

READ MORE: Spygate: Trump slams ‘criminal deep state’ over reports of informants in campaign

Trump has since instructed the Department of Justice to investigate whether the alleged informant, an unnamed Cambridge University professor, was planted by his predecessor Barack Obama’s administration. WikiLeaks soon weighed in and responded directly to Trump’s tweets on the matter.

The group reposted leaked FBI documents showing how the CIA drew up plans to monitor the top French political parties during the country’s 2012 election. The tranche of documents came ahead of the WikiLeaks Vault 7 release.

READ MORE: WikiLeaks says just 1% of #Vault7 covert documents released so far

The FBI operation apparently began in November 2011, ahead of the French elections in April the following year. According to the documents, originally published by WikiLeaks last year, the FBI used both human agents and computer technology to keep tabs on election information.

The intelligence gathering was launched after it became apparent that the then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy was not assured of re-election, with agents directed to observe “how Sarkozy and his advisors interact” as well as other candidates’ views of the US.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

1 2 3 627
Page 1 of 627
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons