Foreign

Militants attack kills 2 policemen in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province

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Two policemen were killed after Taliban militants stormed security checkpoints in Marawara district of eastern Kunar province on Saturday, spokesman for the provincial police, Farid Dehqan said.


According to Dehqan, a group of Taliban insurgents attacked security checkpoints in parts of Marawara district in the wee hours on Saturday but fled away after facing resistance from the Police.

However, two policemen were killed in the fight which lasted for a while, he added.

Dehqan claimed that the Taliban fighters had also suffered casualties but could not give an exact figure.

Similarly, clashes between security forces and the Taliban had left three militants dead and injured four others in Dehyak district of eastern Ghazni province late Friday, said an army statement on Saturday.

The Taliban outfit has yet to make comments.

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Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/militants-attack-kills-2-policemen-in-afghanistans-eastern-kunar-province/

Foreign

EU executive to propose overhaul of migration and asylum system

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The European Commission is to propose a long-awaited overhaul of the European Union’s migration and asylum system on Wednesday.


This is likely to set off an explosive debate over what is one of the bloc’s most politically sensitive issues.

The EU’s migration system has come under increasing pressure in recent years, with bottlenecks forming at external borders.

Under current EU rules, the country where people first generally arrive has to process their asylum claims.

This means countries with external borders carry a disproportionate burden.

While some countries argue for a mechanism to automatically redistribute asylum seekers, others – such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria – strongly oppose this.

Rights activists are concerned that the new measures could see a tightening of asylum rules, including increased detentions at the EU’s borders.

With the proposals set to cause fights between the EU countries, it is far from certain that they will be approved by the EU leaders and European Parliament.

Previous attempts have failed.

According to the commission’s document registry, the EU executive body is to propose a set of new and amended regulations, including on the screening of asylum seekers and on crisis situations.

In the wake of the disastrous fire, earlier this month, at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, which hosted some 12,000 people, the commission is also expected to propose a solidarity mechanism for crisis moments.

The commission has previously highlighted that solidarity can mean not just taking migrants in, but also, for example, sending medical supplies.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/eu-executive-to-propose-overhaul-of-migration-and-asylum-system/
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Economy

Oil down after United States crude inventories rise against expectations

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Oil prices fell on Wednesday after an industry group reported a surprise rise in United States crude, adding to worries about demand that led to a steep selloff earlier in the week.


Brent crude was trading down 30 cents or 0.7 per cent at $41.42 a barrel by 0347 GMT, after gaining 28 cents on Tuesday while United States crude dropped 34 cents or 0.9 per cent to $39.46.

Both contracts fell more than four per cent on Monday, the most in two weeks.

Surging cases of coronavirus infections in countries including France and Spain, along with the likelihood of more restrictions in Britain have renewed worries about fuel demand, just as more supply may come onto the market from Libya.

In the United States, where the death toll from COVID-19 has passed 200,000, the world’s highest, crude oil inventories rose by 691,000 barrels in the week to Sept. 18, according to industry data, compared with analysts’ forecasts for a drop of 2.3 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks fell by nearly 7.7 million barrels, nearly eight times expectations suggesting some demand for fuel in the world’s biggest oil consuming nation.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration is due out later on Wednesday.

“Official United States crude inventory data assumes greater than usual importance,’’ said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“A surprise increase could well be enough to initiate another downward leg in crude prices.’’

In Libya, the National Oil Company expects oil output to rise to more than a quarter of a million barrels per day (bpd) by next week, it said on Tuesday.

The NOC said it was restarting exports from the Zueitinia oil terminal after checking the security situation at the port and fields that pipe crude there.

An escalation in the country’s conflict led to a blockade of facilities, which is now easing, although analysts say they don’t expect Libya to reach the 1.2 million bpd of production it was pumping previously.

This year, “world oil demand will be down by more than 10 per cent on the year to around 90 million barrels per day (bpd) due to the COVID-19 crisis,’’ Eurasia Group said in a note.

“This will mark the biggest demand shock in industry history,’’ it said.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/oil-down-after-united-states-crude-inventories-rise-against-expectations/
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Foreign

Malaysia opposition leader Ibrahim says seeking to form new government

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Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, said on Wednesday he has secured a “strong majority” from lawmakers in order to form a new government.


Ibrahim also said he was seeking an audience with the king to formalise his appointment as prime minister.

Ibrahim, who will need the king’s assent to replace current premier Muhyiddin Yassin, told a news conference his support from lawmakers “means that the administration of Muhyiddin has fallen’’.

The opposition leader’s claim comes less than seven months after Muhyiddin clinched the premiership, following political turmoil that saw the collapse of the previous administration under Mahathir Mohamad.

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Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/malaysia-opposition-leader-ibrahim-says-seeking-to-form-new-government/
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Economy

Oil steady as United States storm eases but demand recovery fears persist

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Oil futures were little changed on Tuesday after sharp overnight losses, as the latest tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico lost strength.


But worries about fuel demand persisted with flare-ups around the globe in coronavirus cases.

Brent crude futures edged three cents 0.1 per cent, lower to $41.41 a barrel at 0637 GMT thus, reversing earlier small gains.

United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for October, due to expire on Tuesday, slipped four cents or 0.1 per cent to $39.27 a barrel.

The more active November contract shed three cents or 0.1 per cent to $39.51.

Crude prices, which fell about four per cent on Monday, won some respite as Texas refineries stayed after a tropical storm was expected to keep losing strength, allaying worries about United States refinery demand for feedstock.

However, concerns about global demand held sway.

“The recovery in sentiment after the rout in risk assets seen a fortnight ago was clearly fragile,’’ said Vandana Hari, an energy analyst at Singapore-based Vanda Insights.

“This week, the market is recalibrating to a likely stalling of the economic recovery in Europe as several countries in the region impose fresh restrictions to contain a surge in the coronavirus.’’

Monday’s price slump was spurred by concerns that an increase in coronavirus cases in major markets could lead to fresh lockdowns and hurt demand.

That raised the possibility that a return of Libyan oil could come when it isn’t needed, as the country looks to ramp up exports.

“We had a pretty punchy risk-off session (overnight) … on fears around the risk that a COVID-19 resurgence starts to have negative impacts on demand again,’’ said Lachlan Shaw, National Australia Bank’s head of commodity research.

Markets are nervous about demand in places like the United Kingdom, where fresh restrictions are being imposed.

United States health officials are also warning of a new wave in the coming winter.

“When the virus resurges, governments lockdown, impose restrictions and individuals and businesses start to retreat.

It’s all bad for demand,’’ Shaw said.

Traders will be watching out for the American Petroleum Institute’s data on United States oil inventories due later on Tuesday.

United States crude oil and gasoline stockpiles likely fell last week, while inventories of distillates, including diesel, were seen climbing, a preliminary Reuters poll showed.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/oil-steady-as-united-states-storm-eases-but-demand-recovery-fears-persist/
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