The stock market is open in the U.S. after a two-week shutdown due to government shutdown and security concerns around the country’s recent lethal shootings at schools, synagogues, churches and mosques. The Dow Jones was up 578 points while China said it would reduce its crude oil output by 500 million barrels per day from January 1st onward as part of efforts to stabilize global supply which has been on relentless rise for years following OPEC’s decision last year not to cut production amid sharply rising demand for oil globally since 2014
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Earlier this year, in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, a propaganda show was held in the city of Hotan. Credit: Associated Press/Ng Han Guan
Thousands of accounts linked to Chinese information operations have been banned from Twitter and Facebook, the latest proof of Beijing’s attempts to mold the global narrative surrounding the nation.
Twitter said early Thursday that it has taken action against two networks with over 2,000 accounts that tried to debunk allegations of human rights violations in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, where Chinese government have detained and monitored Muslim minority.
Both networks pushed Xinjiang-shot films that attempted to depict the area as prosperous and free. According to a report released by the Stanford Internet Observatory, a research group focused on the misuse of technology and social media, one of the networks, which Twitter attributed to the Chinese Communist Party, coordinated verbal attacks against activists and articles critical of China, while bolstering Chinese state media with positive comments and likes.
In a June story about the drive to portray normality in Xinjiang, the New York Times and ProPublica discovered a huge number of accounts in the network.
The use of abuse and hashtags showed “an attempt to recast global discussion or to drown out critical/adversarial narratives,” according to the Stanford investigation, despite the fact that many of the more than 30,000 tweets linked to the network had minimal response.
In a second statement posted late Wednesday, Facebook said it had shut down more than 500 accounts after they helped to amplify messages from a fictitious Swiss scientist called “Wilson Edwards” who claimed the US was interfering with WHO attempts to identify the origins of Covid-19. Chinese official media cited the phony scientist’s claims.
When the Swiss embassy in Beijing claimed that “Wilson Edwards” did not exist, Facebook investigated and discovered that his account had been established less than 12 hours before it started posting.
The takedowns are the most recent in a long line of measures by American social media corporations to counter Chinese propaganda initiatives. Despite being restricted in China, Twitter and Facebook have become key platforms for influencing worldwide perceptions of China. In recent years, Chinese officials and state media have redoubled their attempts to grow platforms’ audiences.
The oil refinery of Gazprom Neft in Omsk, Russia. On Thursday, representatives from OPEC, Russia, and other oil-producing nations will meet to discuss oil output in January. Credit… Reuters/Alexey Malgavko
Officials from OPEC, Russia, and other oil-producing nations will meet by teleconference on Thursday to determine how much oil to produce in January and attempt to prevent a decrease in oil prices caused by rumors of a potentially dangerous new Covid-19 version.
“They’ll try to establish some kind of floor beneath prices,” said Richard Bronze, the director of geopolitics at the research company Energy Aspects.
However, the producers’ group, known as OPEC Plus, must be concerned about the implications of the White House’s announcement last week that the US and several other countries, including China, will release tens of millions of barrels of oil from their stockpiles in order to lower “elevated gas prices at the pump.”
According to analysts, this action, which might result in a rise of oil on the market early next year, is a kind of consumer revolt against OPEC Plus.
Because it’s too early to tell how the Omicron version will affect the global economy, the best course of action could be to keep to the agreed-upon strategy and wait until the group’s next meeting in January.
Maintaining the scheduled increase would likely reduce tensions with the Biden administration, which coordinated the release of oil inventories from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve with lesser movements by other major oil customers.
In a note to clients, Helima Croft, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said it would “keep the White House pleased and stave off” another reserve release. If this one fails to meet its objectives, the Biden administration has indicated that another reserve release may be considered.
Prices have fallen roughly 15% since late October, thanks to the introduction of the new variation, achieving most of what the White House desired.
The strategic reserve releases may prove to be a more concerning development for OPEC Plus in the long run than Omicron. Previous synchronized releases were uncommon occurrences in reaction to supply difficulties.
However, this statement is really a protest against what oil-consuming countries view as overly quick price hikes, owing in part to artificial supply limits imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.
It remains to be seen what OPEC can do in response to this scenario.
Oil authorities, according to analysts, will keep in mind the dramatic price drops that happened in the early months of the epidemic in 2020. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE
On Wednesday in Washington, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch met with the state’s solicitor general, Scott Stewart. Credit… The New York Times’ Kenny Holston
Gupta, Alisha Haridasani
Mississippi has argued that women have grown economically enough to make abortion unnecessary as a legislation prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy makes its way to the Supreme Court.
“There was little support for women who wanted a full family life and a successful career” before Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right to abortion up to 23 weeks, Mississippi’s attorney general, Lynn Fitch, said in a statement in July summarizing the argument and announcing that she had filed a brief with the court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “Maternity leave was an uncommon occurrence. Paternity leave was unheard of at the time. A 9-to-5 job with a corner office was the gold standard for professional achievement. The gig economy’s flexibility was a fairy tale come true.
“Women have built their own path to attaining a better balance for success in their career and personal life in the past 50 years,” she concluded.
While significant progress has been achieved, it is still a leap to believe that the advantages outlined by Ms. Fitch are accessible to the majority of women.
Parental leave is still uncommon in the United States. The United States is the only developed country that does not have a national paid maternity leave policy. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, just 20% of private-sector employees and 8% of low-wage workers have access to paid family leave.
Working from home is not an option for everyone. Despite the fact that workplaces were closed due to the epidemic, less than half of American employees have the option to work from home in 2020.
According to research, women who do not have access to abortion experience more challenges in fully engaging in the workforce. Last year, a research examined the results of women who were able to receive an abortion vs those who were not. It discovered “a significant and sustained rise in financial difficulties” among individuals refused abortions, including greater debt and eviction rates. Increased labor force engagement has also been connected to a woman’s capacity to regulate her fertility in studies.
Being a mother may also have a huge financial effect. The “motherhood penalty” causes mothers to lose tens of thousands of dollars in lifetime wages. There are no salary reductions for fathers.
Despite the fact that pregnant discrimination is illegal, it nevertheless exists. According to an analysis by A Better Balance, a national advocacy organization that provides free legal advice to pregnant women facing discrimination, in two-thirds of the dozens of pregnancy discrimination cases filed between 2015 and 2019, courts sided with employers, stating that they didn’t have to provide pregnant women with accommodations like additional bathroom breaks or a stool to sit on.
According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights, at least 20 states have legislation or constitutional amendments in place to restrict abortion as soon as possible if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, and five more are likely to follow suit.
This might obstruct abortion access for 41% of women of reproductive age, exacerbating women’s economic hardships already intensified by the epidemic.
In 2018, workers at a Canada Goose plant in Toronto were creating coats. Credit… Reuters/Mark Blinch
According to findings presented by the union on Wednesday, workers at three facilities operated by the luxury garment producer Canada Goose in Winnipeg, Manitoba, decisively chose to unionize.
As a consequence of the election, Employees United, an offshoot of the powerful Service Employees International Union, claimed it will represent around 1,200 more workers.
Canada Goose, which produces parkas that can cost more than $1,000 and have been worn by celebrities such as Daniel Craig and Kate Upton, employs union employees in other locations, including those in Toronto, and has often stated its dedication to strong environmental and labor standards. However, it has long seemed to oppose attempts to unionize Winnipeg employees, which the union referred to as a “adversarial relationship.”
The corporation denied trying to prevent unionization, and all parties agree that in the weeks leading up to the poll, it was impartial. According to the union, 86 percent of those who voted in favor of unionization.
In a statement, Richard A. Minter, a vice president and worldwide organizing director for Employees United, stated, “I want to congratulate the workers of Canada Goose for this remarkable achievement.” “I’d want to thank the corporation as well.” Although no employer wants a union, Canada Goose management chose to remain impartial and enable employees to use their democratic right to vote.”
“Our objective has always been to help our workers, recognizing their freedom to pick their own representation,” the firm stated in response to the decision. We are pleased to have Workers United as the union leader for our workers in Winnipeg’s manufacturing sites.”
In the 1950s, Canada Goose was created under a different name. After Dani Reiss, the grandson of the company’s founder, took over as CEO in 2001, it sought to improve its visibility and focus on worldwide sales. Mr. Reiss pledged to retain parka manufacture in Canada.
Bain Capital, a private equity firm, bought a controlling share in the business in 2013 and brought it public a year later.
The union vote came following allegations that Canada Goose had penalized two employees who identified as union sympathizers earlier this year. Several employees at Canada Goose’s Winnipeg plants, where the company’s workforce is mostly made up of immigrants, also complained about poor pay and harsh management.
The corporation has rejected the allegations of retribution and abuse, claiming that more than half of its Winnipeg employees were paid more than the local minimum wage of around 12 Canadian dollars (about $9.35).
Employees United is also attempting to organize workers at six Starbucks locations in the Buffalo region, three of which are now holding a mail-in union election with votes due next week.
In Canada, about 30% of employees are unionized, compared to around 11% in the United States.
In 2013, Jack Dorsey demonstrated a Square point-of-sale terminal. Mr. Dorsey has emerged as a strong supporter of bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Credit… The New York Times/Jim Wilson
Square, the payments business, said on Wednesday that it was renaming itself Block, a homage to one of the company’s senior executives, Jack Dorsey, who is a bitcoin and blockchain technology aficionado.
Mr. Dorsey said on Monday that he was stepping down as CEO of his other firm, Twitter, in a move that many speculated was to allow him to focus more on Bitcoin and Square.
According to the firm, Block will become the name of the “corporate entity,” with Square remaining the portion of the company that lets consumers and companies process payments. The parent firm also owns Tidal, a music streaming service, Cash App, a payment service, and TBD54566975, a Bitcoin development platform. Apart from the name change, Square claimed there would be no other organizational changes.
“The name has many connected connotations for the firm,” the company said in a statement. “Building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their small businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a chunk of code, and challenges to overcome.” It plans to make the name change official on Dec. 10.
Mr. Dorsey has been more interested in cryptocurrencies and the promise of decentralization that blockchain technology may provide in recent years. In 2019, he said that Twitter will assist in the creation of a decentralized social media platform in which individuals may develop their own algorithms and govern their own communities. “#bitcoin” is the only item in his Twitter bio.
Mr. Dorsey may find a deeper dive into cryptocurrencies and blockchain appealing after spending increasing amounts of time in his last few years as Twitter’s CEO defending the company’s role in disseminating misinformation, testifying in front of lawmakers, and receiving frequent criticism from former President Donald J. Trump, who was barred from Twitter shortly after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In a short comment in the press release regarding his company’s name change, Mr. Dorsey did not mention cryptocurrencies or the blockchain, instead stating that “our objective of economic empowerment remains the same.” We will continue to design tools to assist broaden access to the economy, regardless of how we grow or evolve.”
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