The small, gas-rich state of Qatar said Monday that it will leave the oil cartel on January 1 after nearly 60 years of membership. The country’s state oil company, Qatar Petroleum, made the announcement in a series of tweets.
“The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the country’s minister of state for energy affairs, was cited as saying in one of the tweets.
Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of liquified natural gas, accounting for about 30% of global demand.
or a year and a half, Qatar has been under an economic embargo by some of its neighbors including OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia. In response, Qatar increased its gas production, the mainstay of its economy, last year.
It will be the first Middle Eastern country to pull out of OPEC, which only deals with crude oil production. Qatar’s contribution has been marginal compared to some of the cartel’s biggest producers like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. It pumps about 600,000 barrels a day of the almost 25 million barrels a day from all OPEC members.
“Qatar is a fairly small producer … it was not making very much so it’s not that significant in itself,” said Robin Mills, CEO of Qamar Energy, a consultancy firm based in Dubai. “But it’s a disappointment for OPEC because they’ve been trying to attract members.”
OPEC has been expanding in Africa, with Congo and Equatorial Guinea joining recently. “If you add those up, [the production] is equal to Qatar’s so it’s kind of lost the equivalent [output] of those new members,” Mills added.
OPEC members collectively supply about 44% of the world’s crude oil. The cartel aims to monitor the market and decide to raise or lower oil production in order to maintain stable prices and supply.
Qatar has been a member of OPEC since 1961. It said the organization was aware of its decision to withdraw.
Newly released video shows the moment an off-duty border agent in Arizona started a huge wildfire as part of a gender reveal celebration for his unborn baby.
The April 2017 Sawmill blaze destroyed 47,000 acres and took 800 firefighters to put out, at a cost of $8.2m.
Dennis Dickey, 37, and his wife Rita, planned to reveal the sex of their baby to friends and relatives by setting off an explosive device filled with coloured powder – blue to indicate a boy.
Dickey shot a target containing Tannerite, a legal, but very powerful explosive. The video shows the blast and the surrounding grass immediately catching fire, the ferocity of the blaze exacerbated by months of dry weather.
It quickly spread to the Coronado National Forest
Dickey immediately reported the fire and is said to have admitted starting it, saying it had been a “complete accident”.
Last month he pleaded guilty to starting a fire without a permit and was sentenced to five years probation, a $100,000 fine and $500 a month restitution for the next 20 years.
The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.
To celebrate Universal Children’s Day a wide range of events take place worldwide in organisations as diverse as schools, charities, businesses and governments. It is described as “A fun day with a serious message” by the UN when children get the opportunity to take over high profile roles in the media, politics and sports to raise awareness of challenges faced by children. On social media, these takeovers and other events will be shared using the hashtag #worldchildrensday
More information about Universal Children’s Day, including a downloadable information pack and a child-friendly version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, can be found at www.un.org/events.
Although the U.S. did not elect its first female president Tuesday night, one woman still made history.
Former refugee Ilhan Omar, who proudly wears the hijab, became America’s first Somali-American Muslim woman legislator after she claimed a strong victory in the Minnesota House race.
The 34-year-old moved to the U.S. at the age of 12, after four years living in a Kenyan refugee camp following her escape from the Somali civil war, the Star Tribune reports. As well as her political duties, she is director of policy at Women Organizing Women Network—a group that aims to empower all women, particularly first and second generation immigrants, to become engaged citizens and community leaders.
Bolsonaro, the new Brazilian President, seems to declare that he is a “Trumpist” in all aspects of ideologies and diplomacy: personality, white racism, politics and racial divide in the United States of America (the USA). Externally, the conduct of diplomatic relations in arms control, peace and security, world trade, climatic change, and humanitarian movement to save heaven, seeking safety and livelihood is frustrating.
The policies of Trumpism, sloganeering “America first” could and will not be compatible with the world order that emerged after the cold war and the collapsed of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991. The anti-world peace and security being promoted by Trump Republicanism and populism should not be allowed to flow out of the USA. Dangers that could be caused by Trump’s rhetorics could backfire, not only to the USA but could affect the whole world. Already the mini-world war is taking place in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the USA and Russia backing the two war consortium respectively. Can such a war be allowed without the nuclear arms control?
Bolsonaro is naive by saluting the ghost of the USA flag in an attempt to lure Brazil into politics of the USA growing isolationism.
As blockade continues, FIFA head considers possible shared hosting rights in other Gulf countries and increasing teams.
FIFA, football’s governing body, is considering expanding the Qatar 2022 World Cup from 32 teams to 48, with the possibility of Doha sharing the tournament with other countries in the Gulf region.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Wednesday that the expansion, which is slated for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico, could come early at the next event.
“We have decided as well to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments, from 32 to 48. This will happen in 2026. Will it happen already in 2022? We are looking into it. If it is possible, why not?”, said Infantino, speaking at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Qatar beat bid rivals Australia, Japan, South Korea and the US in 2010 to claim the hosting rights, becoming the first Arab country to do so.
One of its stated aims was to create a legacy for the Middle East, but last year, its Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed political and economic ties with Qatar, imposing a land, sea and air embargo on the peninsula.
“We have to see if it is possible, if it is feasible,” said Infantino about the potential expansion in four year’s time.
“We are discussing with our Qatari friends, we are discussing with our many other friends in the region and we hope that this can happen,” he added.
“And, if not, we will have tried. We will have tried because we always have to try to do things in a better way.”
Infantino’s favoured plan of adding 16 extra teams – with 16 three-team groups – to football’s mega event was unanimously approved by the FIFA Council last year.
The 2026 tournament in North America is set to be the first World Cup hosted by three nations.
Preparations are under way in Qatar, which is breaking with tradition with a winter kick-off, as it looks to avoid the scorching summer heat.
Seven new state-of-the-art stadiums with advanced open-air cooling technology are being built from scratch for the 2022 event.
The eighth one, Khalifa International Stadium, was inaugurated in May last year, after undergoing renovations and upgrades.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has said that Qatar 2022 is “very important for the whole region” and hopes that the football tournament will help the Arab countries “overcome difficulties”.
South American countries had formally asked FIFA to make Qatar 2022 a 48-team event.
“We need to basically be careful and look at the feasibility and understand what the implications are before any decision is taken,” Nasser al-Khater, Qatar 2022’s assistant secretary-general, told Al Jazeera in an interview in July.
Analysts have warned that the expansion of Qatar’s tournament will present a fresh batch of problems to a host nation that has already been the subject of much condemnation over migrant workers’ rights and its winter schedule.
“How would Qatar – already working around the clock to cater for the needs of 32 nations, 64 games and the hundreds of thousands of fans eager to support their teams – allow for another 16 teams, not forgetting, of course the extra games and extra fans it would have to host in the allotted schedule?,” wrote Ross Griffin, assistant professor of Postcolonial Literature at Qatar University.
Al Jazeera’s sports correspondent Lee Wellings, reporting from London, said Infantino’s latest remarks are more about “FIFA politics” than the 2022 World Cup.
“He [Infantino] is standing in Kuala Lumpur and talking to people who want to hear that there’s a chance for more teams in a tournament which is happening in their continent, so he knows he’s preaching to the converted,” he said.
“What he also believes, somewhere at the back of his mind, is that he can actually make a political difference, rather like Sepp Blatter [ex-FIFA president] before him,” Wellings said.
“But when it comes to trying to sort out situations in the Middle East … to actually make this happen is way beyond Infantino and FIFA.”
Source – Aljazeera