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Rick Perry will meet with Russian and Saudi counterparts ahead of Iran sanctions

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U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry will meet his counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Russia starting on Monday, sources familiar with the matter said, as the Trump administration encourages oil-producing countries to keep output up two months before it is due to renew sanctions on Iran’s crude exports.

Perry will meet Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, and other officials from the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, in Washington on Monday morning, a U.S. government source said.

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Perry, al-Falih and Darren Woods, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, were introduced on Saturday to the crowd at a Texas A&M University football game in College Station, Texas. All three attended at the university.

The U.S. energy secretary will also meet with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Thursday in Moscow, according to the U.S. source and a diplomatic source said.

Perry will be the most senior U.S. official to visit Russia since President Donald Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July to try to improve ties that have dipped to a post-Cold War low.

Moscow and Washington are at odds over U.S. accusations of Russian meddling in U.S. politics, Syria, Ukraine and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

Officials from the United States and Russia, two of the world’s largest oil and natural gas producers, formerly met regularly to discuss energy issues. Those meetings stopped in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea.

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Trump has said he wants to improve ties, but his administration is considering imposing new sanctions on Moscow, as is the U.S. Congress.

Novak has said in the past that the United States should not be permitted to impose such sanctions without a vote of the U.N. Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member.

Perry and Novak, who last met in June in Washington, will likely discuss Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to carry Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Trump and former U.S. President Barack Obama have criticized the project, saying it would increase Russian influence in Europe, but Germany supports the pipeline.

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Perry and Novak are also expected to discuss global oil markets in the context of cooperation between OPEC, of which Saudi Arabia is the largest producer, and non-OPEC countries, including Russia.

Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with OPEC member Iran in May. His administration is due to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s oil shipments in November and is pushing consuming countries to cut their purchases of the oil to zero, although it may issue some waivers. Some countries including India have already cut purchases of Iranian oil, which has helped push up global oil prices.

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OPEC and non-OPEC officials will meet later this month to discuss proposals for sharing an oil-output increase after the groups decided in June to boost output moderately.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Olesya Astakhova in Moscow, Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Will Dunham


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Amy Klobuchar shredded for trying to relate to union audience by saying her ‘name in Spanish class was Elena’

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) met with Culinary Union members in Las Vegas, Nevada Tuesday night during the CNN town hall for her opponents. The Culinary Union is made up of the over 60,000 hotel housekeepers, bartenders, restaurant and casino workers, and others who make up the backbone of the entire city. Many members are Spanish-speaking and people of color, yet it was still puzzling why Klobuchar began her speech with a bizarre anecdote.

According to Culinary members and reporters present, she began by saying, "My name is Amy, but when I was in fourth grade Spanish they gave me the name Elena."

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Maddow reports on the ‘doomsday scenario’ that impacted America like a ‘domestic nuclear bomb’

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday reported on the "rule of law emergency" as Attorney General Bill Barr uses the Department of Justice as a "weapon" to benefit Donald Trump.

Maddow reported on all of the key investigations being run by the Southern District of New York (SDNY), which is known as the Sovereign District of New York for its independence from DOJ headquarters.

"They are investigating the Trump inaugural committee, SDNY is investigating the Trumps' family business, SDNY is investigating criminal behavior of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani," Maddow noted. "SDNY put Michael Cohen in prison for hush money paid by the president's campaign before the 2016 election."

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Trump’s attempt to govern as a ‘king’ is disillusioning an entire generation of young lawyers: Professor

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President Donald Trump's partisan acquittal from impeachment, attacks on the Justice Department, and efforts to shield or pardon criminals and corrupt politicians is already taking its toll.

On MSNBC Tuesday, New York University Law professor Melissa Murray said that the president's behavior is coloring her own law students' view of the world, and of their future career.

"We often learn from you, the big picture of what you tell your students," said host Ari Melber. "For people watching this, if this evidence lines up this way, this looks like it is bad and getting worse. What do you say to them?"

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