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OPEC’s Influence On The Oil Markets



OPEC oil markets

OPEC’s Influence On The Oil Markets

Over the years, we have seen OPEC assert its dominance in the markets. In the short term, as prices recovered in the past month, it is now evident that OPEC has the tools necessary to adjust the markets. Albeit U.S shale remains the albatross on their neck, OPEC is still the leader of the oil markets. In April, when US President, Donald Trump called on Saudi and Russia to end the price war and help the markets recover, it was conceivable that Shale’s influence on the market was waning. Several companies felt the effect of the oil price crash, and Texas, the home of U.S energy had increased levels of unemployment.

OPEC has been regarded as a cartel and has acted as a cartel of late. Last week, for May, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) pegged its compliance with production cuts at 87%. OPEC also restated the essence for all participating countries to reach 100% of their pledged cuts and make up for any previous deficits in quotas for July, August, and September.


Iraq, Kazakhstan, Angola, and Nigeria prompted into action and ensured they fulfilled their parts of the cuts. Iraq, Nigeria and Kazakhstan have already submitted compensation schedules as the deadline for other underperforming members to submit was on the 22nd of June 2020. This sort of discipline is needed to offer support to prices, which translated into the recovery of the market.

The successful managing of the oil markets during this coronavirus era can be attributed to OPEC+, albeit they were responsible for the market plummeting months ago. In history, OPEC has always found a way to influence the markets during eventful periods. For example, the 1973 oil shock, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the Asian Financial Crisis all provided opportunities for OPEC to prove their mettle.

The Oil Cartel created in the 1960s allied with Russia and other nations, which results in the term “OPEC+.” According to Investopedia, this formation means they control over 50% of global supplies and 90% of proven reserves. What makes OPEC strong is the absence of alternatives to oil, and the de-facto leader Saudi Arabia, has the world’s lowest cost of production per barrel. The latter gives Saudi Arabia leverage to survive a crash in prices and creates some invincibility, which it leverages to dictate the market.

Conclusively, we have seen prices prop up and U.S shale suffering, OPEC+ seems like the influential deciding factor in the oil markets. It might lose its foothold in the future, but for now, the cartel calls the shots.

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Concerns as China sentences Australian man to death for drug trafficking



China Australian man drug trafficking death

Concerns as China sentences Australian man to death for drug trafficking

Australia’s prime minister showed concern on Monday after an Australian man who was charged for drug trafficking in China was sentenced to death, in a case that could further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

A Chinese court revealed on Saturday that Karm Gilespie, a Sydney-based actor turned investment coach, had been condemned to death earlier in the week on drug trafficking – after being held secretly in jail for seven years.

The sentence raised worries it could add to increasingly troubled diplomatic and trade relations between Australia and China, its biggest trade partner.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian authorities were aware of the arrest and had been in touch with their Chinese counterparts on multiple occasions over his case.

“I and the government are very sad and concerned that an Australian citizen, Mr Karm Gilespie has been sentenced to death in China,” he said.


Chinese state media said Gilespie, in his mid-fifties, was arrested on New Year’s eve in 2013 at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, northwest of Hong Kong, with more than 7.5 kilograms (16 pounds) of methamphetamine in his checked luggage.

His arrest was not made public and friends told Australian media they had been confounded by his sudden disappearance.

Gilespie’s family issued a statement Monday asking his acquaintances to “refrain from speculating on his current circumstances, which we do not believe assists his case.”

“Our family is very saddened by the situation. We will not be making any public comment and ask that the media respects our privacy at this difficult time,” they said in the statement issued through the foreign ministry.

The sentence could further damage the increasingly troubled relationship between Beijing and Canberra, with tensions growing recently after China reacted furiously to Australia’s call for a probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Beijing subsequently imposed tariffs on Australian goods and warned Chinese tourists and students about visiting because of racism Down Under.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Sunday that Australians “shouldn’t necessarily” see Gilespie’s sentence as further retaliation by China.

But conservative commentators were quick to make the link.

Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian newspaper, said the sentencing “has to be seen as Beijing continuing its fierce and increasingly vicious punishments of Australia.”

Last year, China sentenced two Canadian nationals to death on drug trafficking charges during an escalating diplomatic row with Canada over the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Canadian attempts to plead for clemency for Robert Schellenberg and Fan Wei have so far been unsuccessful.


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The Independent autopsy report has it that George Floyd died to lack of oxygen



independent autopsy George Floyd death oxygen

An Independent autopsy report has it that George Floyd died to lack of oxygen

An independent autopsy report has unveiled George Floyd died due to asphyxia – a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or leading to death.

George Floyd, an African-American man, died in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25, when a white Minneapolis police officer named Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for roughly eight minutes nonstop, two out of which he was unresponsive.

A report by two medical examiners and two attorneys representing his family on Monday, June 1, showed the officer who was kneeing on the 46-year-old’s neck not only killed him but also officers who were pressing their weight onto his back while he was on the ground.

independent autopsy George Floyd death oxygen

Police Kneeling on George Floyd Neck

“The cause of death, in my opinion, is asphyxia, due to compression to the neck – which can interfere with oxygen going to the brain – and compression to the back, which interferes with breathing,” Dr Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and one of the pair, said at a news conference.

“Beyond doubt, he would be alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by officer Derek Chauvin and the strain on his body by two other officers,” Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family added. 

Floyd’s death sparked protests across the United States even as President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military to crack down on the protestors.



Floyd died in hospital after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during his arrest. The 37-year-old widow took to social media at the weekend and posted an old photo of Kobe wearing a T-shirt that read, “I can’t breathe”. 


independent autopsy George Floyd death oxygen

Protest on George Floyd death. “I CAN’T BREATHE”


Floyd, an African-American man, died in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25, when Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, knelt on his neck for roughly eight minutes, A report by two medical examiners and two attorneys representing his family on Monday, June 1, showed the police officer who was kneeling on the 46-year-old’s neck killed him. The report differed with the one done by a Hennepin County medical examiner who said Floyd’s death was caused by his underlying medical conditions.


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COVID-19: There Will Be Further Relax Restrictions in European Countries




European COVID- 19 Lockdown Restrictions

COVID-19: There Will Be Further Relax Restrictions in European Countries

European countries will be furthering their COVID-19 lockdown easing as of Monday. Italy and Spain are included.

After two months of Lockdown, most businesses are to begin their work back as from Monday.

Two or more people are now free to meet as Spain is set to relax its restrictions.

Most businesses in Italy, including bars and hairdressers, will be free to reopen after more than two months of nationwide lockdown measures.

Spain is set to relax its restrictions in most of the country, with groups of up to 10 people free to meet.

The measures follow consistent drops in the number of daily recorded deaths.

On Sunday, Italy recorded the fewest daily deaths since it entered lockdown in March.

It said 145 people had died with the virus in the previous 24 hours. This marked a significant drop from its highest daily death toll, which was more than 900 on 27 March.

Also Read:

In Spain, the daily death toll fell below 100 for the first time since it imposed its lockdown restrictions.

But officials are warning that complacency over the virus could lead to the second wave of infections.

What’s happening on Monday?

Restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers and shops will be allowed to reopen in Italy, providing social distancing is enforced.

Pope Francis held a private Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, which has been disinfected ahead of its reopening to tourists.

Almost 32,000 people in Italy have died in the pandemic, and the economy is expected to shrink by nearly 10% this year.


Catholic churches are preparing for the resumption of Mass, but there will be strict social distancing, and worshippers must wear face masks. Other faiths will also be allowed to hold religious services.

But health officials have warned of the continued dangers of large social gatherings.

In one of the European countries, Spain, a majority of people will have emerged from lockdown by the end of the week.

The country has a four-phase system for reopening, which authorities are applying at different speeds in different regions.

Most of Spain is now in phase one. As of Monday up to 10 people are allowed to meet together, provided they wear masks and social distance, while bars and restaurants can open outdoor seating at half capacity. Cinemas, museums, and theatres are also opening at reduced capacity.

Barcelona, Madrid, and parts of the north-west, however, remain in phase 0. Most restrictions will remain in place, but some small shops will be allowed to reopen on Monday, and funerals can be held for groups of up to 10 inside and 15 outside. This has been dubbed “phase 0.5” – an intermediate step in these regions.

The country is now “very close” to stopping the transmission of COVID- 19, the head of the emergency health center, Fernando Simon, said on Sunday.

But he warned that the risk of a second wave of cases was “still very big”.

Elsewhere in Europe:

  • Belgium is to begin reopening primary and secondary schools under strict conditions on Monday, with museums and zoos also opening their doors – albeit only to those who book online, to limit numbers
  • The famous Acropolis reopened in Greece, and secondary school pupils are returning to class
  • Restaurants, cafes and pastry shops restart business at reduced capacity in Portugal
  • Poland’sbeauty salons and hairdressers reopen, as well as restaurants and cafes

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#COVID19NIGERIA Situation Report

@Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.


Gallant Officer
"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"