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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Black MSNBC host schools Joe Walsh on N-word tweets being racist: ‘Hard to put the toothpaste back in’

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Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) is like a lighter version of President Donald Trump, said Republican strategist Shermichael Singleton. But MSNBC host Kendis Gibson couldn't help but ask Walsh about his history of racism.

In an interview after Walsh's announcement, Gibson asked hard questions about Walsh's history of racism. Walsh profusely apologized to former President Barack Obama, who Walsh waged war against during his tenure in the White House. While Wash was not a supporter of the racist birther campaign that Trump perpetuated, Wash does have a history of using racist terms on Twitter.

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MSNBC analyst explains how a new poll shows voters will turn out to dump Trump

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A new poll is showing shocking numbers for President Donald Trump this week, according to an MSNBC analyst.

In a Sunday afternoon discussion, conservative commentator Shermichael Singleton explained that he doesn't think Joe Walsh is going to take much out of Trump's delegate count at the Republican convention. He suggested that someone more middle of the road like former Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) would be a better option for to endanger Trump's delegate count.

Democratic strategist Drew Litman agreed, saying that if Walsh was a vice-presidential pick on a third party ticket, there was more of an opportunity to make a difference. He called Walsh just a "lighter" version of Trump.

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Iran Foreign Minister Zarif perfectly Twitter-trolls Trump with photos of meeting with smiling Macron at G7

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Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif used Donald Trump's favorite social media platform to get in a dig at the president and rub his nose in the fact that French President Emmanuel took time out from the busy G7 meeting he is hosting to sit down with him.

The White House was reportedly blindsided by Macron's invitation that had been kept a secret from Trump and now, if Trump wanted proof of the meeting, he need only hop on Twitter to see the evidence.

As Zarif wrote, "Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues. Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDria & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."

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