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1 Article
Source: The Guradian

US briefing: Mueller report, Cuba crackdown and offshore drilling

Friday 09:55 GMT

The Trump administration’s attempts to expand offshore oil and gas drilling to almost all US waters, and to repeal safety rules introduced after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are “a recipe for disaster”, according to Oceana, a conservation group behind a new report. As the ninth anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico spill looms, it said “systemic failures” in oversight are increasing the risk of similar major incidents in future.

1 Article
Source: Reuters

Exclusive: Venezuela skirts U.S. sanctions by funneling oil sales...

Friday 20:54 GMT

President Nicolas Maduro is funneling cashflow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade U.S. sanctions designed to oust him from power, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters.

With its economy reeling from years of recession and a sharp decline in oil production, Venezuela was already struggling to finance imports and government spending before Washington imposed tough restrictions on state oil company PDVSA in January.

1 Article
Source: Reuters

Exclusive: New York Fed cracks down on Puerto Rico banks following...

Friday 20:54 GMT

The decision will only affect Puerto Rican banks that had pending applications with the Fed and will not affect the 17 of Puerto Rico’s 80 offshore banks that the Fed’s website shows already have Fedwire accounts.

In a previously unreported Feb. 27 letter, the New York Fed said it had halted approval of new accounts for Puerto Rican offshore banks and other financial institutions “in light of recent events, including the expansion of U.S. economic sanctions relating to Venezuela.”

1 Article
Source: Fox News

Drug trafficking keeping Maduro in power in Venezuela, analysts say

Saturday 08:59 GMT

“Anything that cuts off the regime’s ability to generate cash, that disrupts its flow of contraband goods and drug trafficking finances, and increases the pressure of possible prosecution of senior military and regime figures for crimes against humanity or other criminal acts, will bring the regime closer to the negotiating table to seek an end to the conflict.”

While there an array of factors to blame, analysts are pointing to illicit trafficking rings as a fundamental Maduro lifeline.

2 Articles
Source: Common Domain

Oil prices jump over 2% as U.S. says waivers on Iran oil imports ending

Tuesday 09:54 GMT

Oil prices surged on Monday, on track to mark their highest finish since late October, as the U.S. declared the end of waivers for countries to import Iranian oil, as part of a bid by the Trump administration to push Iran’s exports to zero.

The gains for oil came despite a tweet Monday morning from U.S. President Donald Trump that looked to reassure the markets that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members will “more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil.”. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery CLK9, +2.80% surged $1.91, or 3%, to $65.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ahead of the contract’s expiration at the end of the session.

1 Article
Source: The Guradian

Venezuelan refugees feared drowned en route to Trinidad

Today 06:05 GMT

More than 30 Venezuelans are missing, feared drowned, after their boat sank attempting to reach Trinidad in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The fishing vessel, Jhonnaly Jose, had left the port city of Guiria but capsized in rough seas near the uninhabited Patos Island, 3 miles (5km) from the Venezuelan coast. More than 30 Venezuelans are missing, feared drowned, after their boat sank attempting to reach Trinidad in the early hours of Wednesday morning.


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