We use sleep as a way to recover, recharge and reset our bodies and minds for the next day. But did you know sleep can impact our ability to shed pounds?
The growing economy, lower taxes and changing habits of American shoppers are helping boost profit at FedEx Corp.
The delivery giant said Monday that it earned $835 million in the quarter that ended Aug. 31, a 40 percent increase from a year ago.
Still, the results fell short of Wall Street expectations, and shares of the Memphis, Tennessee-based company fell in after-hours trading.
FedEx and rival United Parcel Service Inc. are benefiting from strong pricing power as online shopping continues to boom. Some analysts predict that growing global demand, along with consumers’ expectations for speedy delivery of their online purchases, will help the company heading into the crucial Christmas shopping season.
The company has predicted a record holiday season, although Chairman and CEO Fred Smith has warned against protectionist trade policies, which he said have been shown to hurt economic growth.
While Smith says tariffs could hurt economic growth, he has noted that so far FedEx has not suffered any direct harm from a widening trade war between the U.S. and China.
FedEx officials have said very little of their shipments involve items covered by tariffs, but that uncertainty over the trade picture was a problem. Analysts said some shippers might move up shipments to beat deadlines for new tariffs.
In its fiscal first quarter, FedEx boosted net income from last year’s $596 million.
Adjust earnings were $3.46 a share, excluding the cost of combining Dutch acquisition TNT Express into its own business — significant costs that FedEx expects will continue “over the next few years.”
Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $3.78 per share, according to a Zacks Investment Research survey of 11 analysts.
FedEx reported a benefit of 50 cents per share from the lower corporate tax rates that President Donald Trump signed into law in December.
Revenue was $17.05 billion, topping the Zacks survey forecast of $16.88 billion.
The company raised its forecast of earnings for the fiscal year that runs through next May by 20 cents per share, to between $17.20 and $17.80 per share. Before the report, analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected $17.38.
FedEx shares closed up 29 cents, at $255.73. In after-hours trading, they dropped $5.73, or 2.2 percent, to $250.
David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriter
Theresa May should “shock us all” and back a referendum on the Brexit deal she strikes with Brussels, Sir Vince Cable will tell his party conference.
The Lib Dem leader will say he is “starting to feel sorry” for Mrs May who is “dutifully delivering a policy she doesn’t really believe in”.
And he will urge her to admit Brexit has “gone badly wrong” and “open her mind” to another public vote.
Mrs May has ruled out another referendum “under any circumstances”.
The prime minister told the BBC that MPs would have a choice between her proposed deal with the EU – the so-called Chequers plan – or no deal at all, ahead of the UK’s departure on 29 March.
Sir Vince has rejected this choice, arguing that there are “better alternatives”, and vowed to do everything he can to stop Brexit in Parliament.
The Lib Dem leader is part of the cross-party People’s Vote campaign for another referendum and claims support for it is growing, although he has put its chance of success at about “30%”.
In his big speech to the party conference in Brighton, Sir Vince will say it “beggars belief that the army and the police are now being asked to prepare for riots in the chaotic aftermath of a botched Brexit”.
He will also take aim at Conservative Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“For the ‘true believers’ – the fundamentalists – the costs of Brexit have always been irrelevant.
“Years of economic pain justified by the erotic spasm of leaving the European Union.
“Economic pain felt – of course – not by them by those least able to afford it.”
Turning to his former coalition cabinet colleague Theresa May, he will say people are starting to feel sorry for her because of the pressure she is under.
“She is dutifully delivering a policy she doesn’t really believe in; failing in negotiations; losing public support; and all to appease a dwindling group of angry people in her party who will denounce her as a traitor, whatever she comes up with.
“But when we feel sorry for the country’s prime minister, something is seriously wrong.
“Our sympathy can only extend so far, while she puts the interests of the country second to the whims of the extremists in her party.”
He will claim that Mrs May, who voted Remain in the 2016 EU referendum but has vowed to deliver on the will of the people, knows “deep down” that Brexit is a “bad idea” whose “time has gone”.
He will urge her to show “true leadership” by admitting that staying in the EU will be better than any deal she can get in Brussels.
“Instead of kowtowing to her enemies in the Conservative Party, she could lead her party and the country by opening her mind to a ‘People’s Vote’ on the final deal,” he will say.
Sir Vince is also expected to take aim at the Labour leadership, who have so far resisted his calls to get behind another EU referendum, in his keynote address to party members.
The Lib Dem leader, who has said he will step down when Brexit has been “resolved or stopped”, is talking to Labour and Conservative MPs, who do back another referendum, about how to get their way in Parliament.
He has also set out plans to transform his party, which has 12 MPs and has languished in the opinion polls since being in coalition with the Tories, into a “movement for moderates” and open up its next leadership contest to non-MPs.
But anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, who praised the party’s efforts to fight Brexit in a speech from the main stage on Monday, ruled out joining the party or standing for leader.
SportsPulse: Trysta Krick overreacts to the craziness that was Week 2 in the NFL. From kicker chaos, Jaguars dominance to Patrick Mahomes brilliance.
USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES — The surest way to prove something is not an aberration is to repeat it the next time you have an opportunity.
That’s the only thing the Cardinals were successful in doing Sunday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
They were blown out for a second consecutive week, this time 34-0 by the Rams. That made it official: The Cardinals are a bad team, possibly the worst in the NFL.
There are innumerable ways to tell that story through numbers, but the most startling and important one is this: The Cardinals have been outscored 58-6 this season.
When he was hired last January, coach Steve Wilks called his new job a “retool” rather than a rebuild. Two weeks in, it looks more like a throwback to the post-Kurt Warner years, or the nearly two decades at Sun Devil Stadium.
“Lot of things we need to address moving forward,” Wilks said Sunday.
That’s an understatement. Wilks has more items to address than a wedding planner for the Kennedys.
The Cardinals gained five first downs, tied for the fewest in franchise history since 1950. Sam Bradford passed for 90 yards, fewest since Ryan Lindley lit the Jets up for 72 yards in 2012. The defense yielded more than 400 yards in both games.
The Cardinals trailed 19-0 at halftime and didn’t cross midfield until there were 30 seconds left in the game.
That’s not something a team can build upon.
This is: Start rookie Josh Rosen at quarterback. Things can’t possibly get worse.
This embarrassing start is not all Bradford’s fault. The Cardinals can’t run the ball. The protection is leaky. The play calling is as bland and undefinable as tofu.
Cardinals insiders Bob McManaman and Kent Somers talk about the Cardinals’ 34-0 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles.
Playing offense for the Cardinals is like being in an escape room without being provided any clues for escape.
“We’ve got to run the ball more efficiently, convert on third down, sustain drives,” said offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as he walked briskly up the ramp leading out of the stadium.
So how do the Cardinals convert more on third down? (They are 4 of 20 this season).
“I got to watch the film before I evaluate what we did in the game today,” McCoy said.
No one else seems to have answers, either.
Wilks wasn’t tempted to play Rosen on Sunday, he said, which was a wise decision since the situation wasn’t ripe for success. It was just ripe.
“I don’t even know where to start right now,” Wilks said when asked how the offense can improve.
Wilks didn’t rule out a change at quarterback, saying coaches have to evaluate all three phases.
“I’m not going to sit here and jump to conclusions right after the game,” he said.
I’m guessing Wilks’ conclusions don’t change after he watches video of Sunday’s loss.
Only two games into the season, it’s clear the Cardinals should be playing for the future, and Rosen is it. He might also help the present product a bit and give us a reason to continue watching.
Winners of the NFC West a year ago, the Rams showed the Cardinals just how far they have fallen from Bruce Arians’ halcyon days, and how far they have to go to just be competitive with the best the division has to offer.
The Cardinals will be better off in 2019 if Rosen plays now. Bradford is a fine fellow and a good teammate, but the Cardinals have scored six points in their first two games, the fewest in franchise history since 1945.
That team had an excuse. Most of its best players were involved in a far more important contest: World War II.
Changing quarterbacks shouldn’t let anyone else off the hook. Not McCoy, not Wilks, not General Manager Steve Keim, not defensive coordinator Al Holcomb, not team President Michael Bidwill.
Last week, Holcomb described his group as “salty” after Week 1. If that’s true, just imagine how bad things could have been Sunday if it had not been.
About the best things the Cardinals can say after Sunday is that the game took less than three hours to play and no one quit at halftime, as Bills defensive back Vontae Davis did midway through Buffalo’s loss.
But it’s impossible to look back at the Cardinals’ first two games and find reasons for hope, or even reasons to watch this team. The worst thing in sports is to be both bad and boring.
Playing Rosen solves at least one of those problems.
Ten years ago the global economy almost collapsed after US investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt.
BBC World Service asks what happened next and what might cause another global economic crisis.
Listen to the first of our documentary series, After the Crash, on September 26.
Video produced by Trystan Young.
“It was really bad,” Torres explains to CNN. “We didn’t have power, everything was down.”
Fast forward 12 months and her circumstances could scarcely be more different.
She’s become the first Puerto Rican golfer to earn full-time status on the LPGA Tour and, on Friday, shot a two-under-par round of 69 to share the halfway lead in the Evian Championship — the final major of the golf season.
Torres is eight under heading into the weekend, but the career of this bubbly, likeable 23-year-old almost didn’t get off the ground.
With Puerto Rico ravaged, Torres was struggling to practice ahead the LPGA Tour qualifying series — known as Q-School.
Fortunately, Torres was able to travel to the US for the second stage of the process, narrowly progressing before eventually earning her card.
Back home, the country endured months of power outages because of damage to the electrical grid.
“Like, 10 people and we’re staying in a room because we had a generator,” Torres recalls.
“It was kind of the experience of washing your clothes with your hands, I have to give credit to my aunts, they really helped a lot.”
Even after joining the LPGA Tour, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Ahead of the Evian Championship, Torres had missed the cut at nine of the previous 12 tournaments, and she’s registered just two top-10 finishes during her debut year.
But, on the shores of Lake Geneva, it’s all fallen into place. An eagle was the highlight of a blockbuster day one, while four birdies Friday took her to the top of the leaderboard.
Not that Torres is allowing herself to think of the winner’s check of $577,500 just yet.
“I don’t want to go ahead, I just want to keep playing,” she says, although she cracks a huge smile before admitting, “it would be awesome.”
“I’m just looking for opportunities and just playing golf, that’s the only thing I can control.”
A victory for Torres could also raise morale for a country that is still rebuilding.
And she is playing her part in those recovery efforts, hosting a pro-am alongside fellow pro Rafael Campos which raised $600,000 for local charities.
“It was awesome, just seeing a couple of golfers getting together to help us rebuild out country,” she added. “It’s amazing. We’re fortunate to have friends who want to help us.”
With “Game of Thrones” back in contention, the competition at Monday’s Emmy Awards will be fierce. Click through the gallery to checkout our predictions for the shows and performances with the strongest fighting chance.–
Our pick: Laura Dern, “The Tale”
This is one of those apples-and-oranges categories, but Dern’s searing portrayal of a woman dealing with her memories of childhood sexual abuse in the HBO movie seem very of the moment, and should be enough to top two limited-series leads — Jessica Biel’s star power in “The Sinner” and Michelle Dockery’s western turn in Netflix’s “Godless.”
Other nominees: Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”), Michelle Dockery (“Godless”), Edie Falco (“Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”), Regina King (“Seven Seconds”), Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Cult”)
Our pick: Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Criss shed his good-guy “Glee” image to play killer Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” The hailed transformation could earn him a statue if Benedict Cumberbatch, a previous winner in this category, doesn’t woo voters with his portrayal of troubled addict Patrick Melrose.
Other nominees: Antonio Banderas (“Genius”), Jesse Plemons (“USS Callister”), John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert), Jeff Daniels (“The Looming Tower”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”)
Our pick: Henry Winkler, “Barry”
After five previous nominations without an Emmy (including a trio for “Happy Days,” which did earn him a couple of Golden Globes), Winkler is both a sentimental choice and a deserving one for his portrayal of an eccentric acting coach in HBO’s hit-man dramedy “Barry.”
Other nominees: Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta”), Louie Anderson (“Baskets”), Alec Baldwin (” Saturday Night Live”), Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”), Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), and Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
Our pick: Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Nominated every year since 2014, McKinnon has a very good chance of notching her third consecutive win after what’s arguably been one of her strongest seasons to date. Her biggest competition? Probably “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” standout Alex Borstein, who has already won an Emmy this year. Borstein took home her first Emmy last weekend in the outstanding character voice-over performance category for her role as Lois Griffin in “Family Guy.”Other nominees: Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”), Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”), Betty Gilpin (“Glow”), Aidy Bryant (“Saturday Night Live”), Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”), Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”)
Our pick: Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
While there is some risk of a split vote with three strong performers from the Hulu drama dominating this category, anyone who tuned into the heart-pounding new season knows that Strahovski, as the stoic but immensely compelling commander’s wife, Serena, was the true supporting MVP of the sophomore season.
Other nominees: Alexis Bledel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Thandie Newton (“Westworld”), Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”), Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”), and Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”
Our pick: David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Harbour lost out to John Lithgow’s Winston Churchill last year, but he looks like a strong contender to get a chance to reprise his fiery SAG Awards speech in what is, admittedly, an absolutely loaded category, including two-time winner (and seven-time nominee) Peter Dinklage, who was out of the running last year because “Thrones” missed the eligibility window. Also, don’t rule out Joseph Fiennes if “The Handmaid’s Tale” mounts the equivalent of a season-two sweep.
Other nominees: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”), Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”), Matt Smith (“The Crown”), Joseph Fiennes (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Our pick: “Last Week Tonight”
John Oliver’s weekly HBO show is the two-time defending champ in this category and looks poised to score a hat trick, with the most likely chance of an upset coming from two fellow “The Daily Show” alums: Stephen Colbert’s red-hot CBS show, which remains on a Trump administration tear; and Samantha Bee, whose harsh reference to Ivanka Trump — which elicited an apology — probably didn’t hurt much with Emmy voters.
Other nominees: “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Our pick: “Saturday Night Live”
“SNL” has been nominated in this category every year since the outstanding variety series race was split into two categories. It scored its first win last year after previous winners “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Key & Peele” ended their runs and left the door open on their way out. With yet another hot year behind it, “SNL” is going to solidify its place as the one to beat in this race.
Other nominees: “Tracey Ullman’s Show,” “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” “Drunk History,” “I Love You, America,” “Portlandia”
Our pick: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
Frankly, if this long-running delight doesn’t sashay away with an Emmy this year, there will be demands for a recount.
Other nominees: “Top Chef,” “The Voice,” “The Amazing Race,” “American Ninja Warrior,” and “Project Runway”
Our pick: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Even in a category stacked with veterans like Larry David, Ted Danson and William H. Macy, look for Glover to pull out his second consecutive win in this category for his masterful work on “Atlanta: Robbin’ Season.” The Year of Donald Glover would not be complete without it.
Other nominees: Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”), Ted Danson (“The Good Place”), Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Bill Hader (“Barry”), William H. Macy (“Shameless”)
Our pick: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Brosnahan is certainly the anchor as the title character in Amazon’s period dramedy, playing a woman who discovers an innate knack for standup comedy in the 1950s.
Award watchers consider her a big favorite, though if there’s a surprise, the best bet would be Issa Rae for HBO’s “Insecure,” which is currently in the midst of its second season.
Other nominees: Allison Janney (“Mom”), Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”), Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”), and Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”)
Our pick: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Moss looks like a solid choice to record back-to-back wins for Hulu’s dystopian drama, but she’ll have to beat a field that includes Claire Foy’s queen, Sandra Oh’s turn in BBC America’s critical darling and Keri Russell’s swan-song in “The Americans.
Other nominees: Claire Foy (“The Crown”), Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), Keri Russell (“The Americans”), Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”)
Our pick: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
This is one of the toughest categories to call. While “This Is Us” gave Milo Ventimiglia an abundance of showcase moments during which he rose to the occasion, Brown’s effortless-seeming command over his role in this NBC drama is hard to beat. If this decision splits the TV Academy’s “This Is Us” fans as much as it would split the average viewer, there’s a chance Matthew Rhys’ “Americans” performance could get an Emmy farewell, much like Kyle Chandler did for the final season of “Friday Night Lights.”
Other nominees: Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Ed Harris (“Westworld”), Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”), Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”), and Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”
Our pick: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
FX’s latest spin on the “American Crime Story” franchise has already notched four Emmys — primarily in technical areas — during the early Creative Arts ceremonies, which bodes well for a strong showing on Monday night. The most formidable competition would appear to be “Godless,” a well-regarded western with an exceptionally strong cast.
Other nominees: “Genius: Picasso,” “The Alienist,” “Godless,” and “Patrick Melrose”
Our pick: “Atlanta”
With three-time champ “Veep” out of the running this year, the field is wide open for a new champ and none belong as the top of the heap more than “Atlanta,” which In its second season bravely pushed boundaries, (like with that unsettling bottle episode about Michael Jackson-esque figure Teddy Perkins) and was a feat of unparalleled creativity. The only question here is whether the TV Academy found the cerebral comedy to be enough of a comedy to merit top honors. The possible spoiler? “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Other nominees: “Barry,” “Black-ish,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “GLOW,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Silicon Valley,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Our pick: “The Handmaid’s Tale”
In what feels like a battle of the titans, “The Handmaid’s Tale” — and its powerful second season — is the smart-money choice to repeat its 2017 win, despite facing “Game of Thrones,” which was honored the two previous years before missing the last window. One suspects voters will be hard-pressed to avoid recognizing the HBO show for its upcoming final season, a bit of sentimentality that also makes the Russians — that is, “The Americans,” with its sensational series finale — a wild card in this year’s voting. As a consolation prize, the FX show is likely the frontrunner in the drama writing category.
Other nominees: “Game of Thrones,” “Stranger Things,” “The Americans,” “This Is Us,” “Westworld
It may not seem possible to be able to write your way to better health. But as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a poet myself, I know what the scientific data have to say about this: when people write about what’s in their hearts and minds, they feel better and get healthier. And it isn’t just that they’re getting their troubles off their chests.
Writing provides a rewarding means of exploring and expressing feelings. It allows you to make sense of yourself and the world you are experiencing. Having a deeper understanding of how you think and feel — that self-knowledge — provides you with a stronger connection to yourself. It’s that connection that often allows you to move past negative emotions (like guilt and shame) and instead access positive ones (like optimism or empathy), fostering a sense of connection to others in addition to oneself.
It’s remarkable that the sense of connection to others that one can feel when writing expressively can occur even when people are not engaged directly. Think of being at a movie or concert and experiencing something dramatic or uplifting. Just knowing that everyone else at the theater is sharing an experience can make you feel connected to them, even if you never talk about it. Expressive writing can have the same connecting effect, as you write about things that you recognize others may also be experiencing, even if those experiences differ. And if you share your writing, you can enhance your connection to someone else even more. That benefit is energizing, life-enhancing, and even lifesaving in a world where loneliness — and the ill health it can lead to — has become an epidemic.
Maybe it’s time to pay greater attention to expressive writing as one important way to enhance a sense of connection to others. Social connection is crucial to human development, health, and survival, but current research suggests that social connection is largely ignored as a health determinant. We ignore that relationship at our peril, since emerging medical research indicates that a lack of social connections can have a profound influence on risk for mortality, and is associated with up to a 30% risk for early death — as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Social isolation and loneliness can have additional long-term effects on your health including impaired immune function and increased inflammation, promoting arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Picking up a pen can be a powerful intervention against loneliness. I am a strong believer in writing as a way for people who are feeling lonely and isolated to define, shape, and exchange their personal stories. Expressive writing, especially when shared, helps foster social connections. It can reduce the burden of loneliness among the many groups who are most at risk, including older adults, caregivers, those with major illnesses, those with disabilities, veterans, young adults, minority communities of all sorts, and immigrants and refugees.
Writing helps us to operate in the past, present, and future all at once. When you put pen to paper you are operating in the present moment, even while your brain is actively making sense of the recalled past, choosing and shaping words and lines. But the brain also is operating in the future, as it pictures a person reading the very words you are actively writing. When expressing themselves in writing, people are actually creating an artifact — a symbol of some of their thoughts and feelings. People often can write what they find difficult to speak, and so they explore deeper truths. This process of expression through the written word can build trust and bonds with others in unthreatening ways, forging a path toward a more aware and connected life.
When people tell their personal stories through writing, whether in letters to friends or family, or in journals for themselves, or in online blog posts, or in conventionally published work, they often discover a means of organizing and understanding their own thoughts and experiences. Writing helps demystify the unknown and reduce fears, especially when we share those written concerns with others.
As a poet, I’ve personally experienced the benefits of expressive writing. The skills it sharpens; the experience of sharing ideas, feelings, and perceptions on a page; the sensations of intellectual stimulus and emotional relief — all are life enhancing. I’d like more people to discover that expressive writing can contribute to well-being, just as exercise and healthful eating do.
I’ve documented some of the research being done in the area of healing and the arts. After reviewing more than 100 studies, we concluded that creative expression improves health by lowering depression and stress while boosting healthy emotions. So pick up a pen, and start to write creatively. For the mind and the body, writing is a strong prescription for good health.
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LONDON (Reuters) – Iran’s OPEC governor said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia and Russia have taken the oil market “hostage” as U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to impose fresh sanctions on Iranian oil sales.
The national flags of Russia and Saudi Arabia are seen during a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producing countries in Vienna, Austria, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Washington wants to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero by November, and is encouraging producers such as Saudi Arabia, other OPEC members and Russia to pump more to meet the shortfall.
“Russia and Saudi Arabia claim they seek to balance the global oil market, but they are trying to take over a part of Iran’s share,” Hossein Kazempour Ardebili was quoted as saying by SHANA, the oil ministry’s news agency.
“Trump’s efforts to cut Iran’s access to the global crude market has prompted Russia and Saudi Arabia to take the market hostage,” he said.
Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters on Friday that the United States will find it difficult to cut Iran’s oil exports completely as the oil market is already tight and rival producers cannot make up the shortfall.
On Saturday he accused Moscow and Riyadh of welcoming sanctions against Iran for their own gain, and warned that such actions would damage the credibility of OPEC.
“Saudi Arabia and UAE are turning the OPEC into a U.S. tool,” he said.
Under pressure from Trump to lower oil prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies agreed in June to boost production, having participated in a supply-cutting deal in place since 2017.
While OPEC production has increased since then, Saudi Arabia has added less crude than it initially indicated.
Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; editing by Jason Neely, William Maclean
(Reuters) – A plea deal by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors in their investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election suggests he could shed light on unanswered questions revolving around the campaign, legal experts said on Friday.
Manafort’s agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to cooperate “fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly” could put to the test U.S. President Donald Trump’s denials of campaign collusion with Russia, lawyers not involved in the case said.
Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at George Washington University, said the agreement, which caps at 10 years a sentence which could have been much longer, was a “pretty good deal” that suggested the Mueller team valued Manafort’s cooperation.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is representing Trump in the Russia probe, told Reuters on Friday that Manafort “knows nothing harmful to the president and the plea is the best evidence of that.” The White House said in a statement that the agreement had “absolutely nothing to do” with the president or his 2016 campaign.
Manafort attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russian representatives and top campaign officials, including Trump’s son and son-in-law, who expected to receive derogatory information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Any light Manafort could shed on that meeting and other episodes could deepen the Mueller probe, legal experts said, increasing the pressure on Trump. The president and his allies have repeatedly called for the investigation to wind down and he describes the probe as a “witch hunt.”
Donald Trump Jr, who organized the meeting with Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others, initially said it was mainly to discuss a program on adoptions of Russian children. The president has since acknowledged the meeting was set up to find out damaging information about Clinton but that it was “totally legal and done all the time in politics.”
Moscow rejects the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that it interfered in the election by hacking Democratic Party computer networks and spreading disinformation on social media.
Some legal experts said that if Trump and his advisers knowingly solicited help from Russia, they may have violated campaign finance laws, and a statute that criminalizes conspiracies to impair the functioning of the U.S. government.
Mueller’s investigators might also be looking to Manafort to learn whether the Trump team offered anything to the Russians in exchange for campaign help, said Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor.
Manafort’s deal could also prompt other subjects of Mueller’s investigation to cooperate, causing “the proverbial snowball to roll down the hill,” Waxman said.
Other issues Manafort could be questioned about are his longstanding business and personal ties with Trump ally Roger Stone. Stone’s communications have been a subject of the Mueller investigation, sources familiar with interviews of other Stone associates have said.
Manafort oversaw the 2016 Republican National Convention in which the party’s platform on Ukraine was altered in a way that made it more in line with Russian interests. Manafort represented pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine before his stint on the Trump campaign.
The structure of Manafort’s plea deal limits the effectiveness of any Trump pardon, said Jed Shugerman, a law professor at Fordham University. Manafort admitted to conduct chargeable as state crimes, to which a presidential pardon do not apply.
Manafort refused for months to assist Mueller’s inquiry before admitting guilt to criminal charges that he concealed money from tax authorities.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe; additional reporting by Warren Strobel and Karen Freifeld; editing by Anthony Lin and Grant McCool