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From Saudi-UAE spat to 2020 price war, OPEC drama is nothing new – Al Jazeera English



The ongoing spat between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is just the latest dispute in the decades-long history of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Founded in 1960, the OPEC oil cartel has seen its share of disagreements between members, ranging from arguments over output quotas to all-out conflicts such as the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

OPEC+, a group made up of OPEC, Russia and their allies that first began talks on production cooperation in 2016, has also had disputes, notably a falling-out in March 2020 just as the COVID-19 crisis hammered the oil market.

Below is a list of some of the most recent disputes in OPEC and OPEC+:

2021 – UAE-Saudi Arabia clash

The current clash between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is over how OPEC producers plan to unwind oil output cuts. Discussions were abandoned after the third day of talks failed to resolve differences. A new meeting date has yet to be arranged.

The meeting failure drove up oil prices that were already at the highest since 2018. Brent crude traded near $78 a barrel on Tuesday, up more than 40 percent this year.

Top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia wants output raised in stages by a total of two million barrels per day (bpd) between August and December and wants to extend remaining OPEC+ cuts until the end of 2022, instead of letting them expire as planned in April.

The UAE baulked at the extension and said it could support raising production by two million bpd until the end of 2021 but wanted to defer discussion on extending the pact beyond April 2022, a position Saudi Arabia has so far rejected.

2020 – OPEC+ talks collapse

A three-year OPEC+ pact collapsed in March 2020 after Moscow refused to support deeper oil cuts to cope with the outbreak of the coronavirus. OPEC responded by removing all limits on its own production.

Oil prices plunged as low as $16 per barrel in the following weeks due to a price war between the producers and because of a collapse in demand due to the pandemic.

In April, OPEC+ returned to talks and agreed on a record output cut, a deal that then-United States President Donald Trump helped to bring about, putting crude prices into recovery mode.

2016 – Doha talks fall apart

A deal to freeze oil output by OPEC and non-OPEC producers and to support the market, which was oversupplied, fell apart in April 2016. Oil prices, which had recovered to around $40 from $27 per barrel at the start of 2016, took another tumble.

OPEC member Iran, historically the second-largest OPEC producer behind its regional political rival Saudi Arabia, argued it could not join the freeze because it needed to regain production levels after the lifting of international sanctions.

Saudi Arabia, which had signalled it was willing to sign the deal without Iran, asked that Tehran’s invitation to the Doha talks be cancelled, and later demanded that Iran join the freeze. Talks fell apart after a communique could not be agreed upon.

Later in 2016, OPEC+ was brought together, agreeing on a pact on supply restraint that began in 2017.

2015 – No deal over Iran return

OPEC failed to agree on an oil production ceiling at a meeting in December 2015, after Iran said it would not consider any production curbs until it restored output that was scaled back for years under Western sanctions.

The lack of a deal pushed Brent crude down to around $43, only a few dollars off a then-six-year low.

OPEC’s then-Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri said OPEC could not agree on any figures because it could not predict how much oil Iran would add to the market in 2016 as sanctions were withdrawn.

2011 – ‘One of the worst meetings’

OPEC talks broke down in June 2011 without an agreement to raise output after Saudi Arabia failed to convince others to lift production to make up for a shortfall caused by the conflict in Libya.

The US had put pressure on Riyadh to deliver a credible deal to cap crude prices. But a majority of smaller members, including those politically opposed to the US, such as Iran and Venezuela, were against the plan.

Oil rose by $1 to above $117 on the day of the meeting, although a Saudi pledge to raise output unilaterally limited the rally.

The Saudi oil minister at the time, Ali al-Naimi, said it was “one of the worst meetings we have ever had”.

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Ageism: Does it Exist or Is It a Form of ‘I’m a Victim!’ Mentality? [ Part 4 ]



How you think is everything.

This is the fourth and final column of a 4-part series dealing with ageism while job hunting.

The standard advice given by “experts” to overcome ageism revolves contorting yourself to “fit in,” “be accepted,” and “be invited.” Essentially, their advice is to conceal your age and hope the employer throughout the hiring process won’t figure it out and hire you.

It takes a lot of time and energy to be accepted into places where you aren’t welcome, and it can be heartbreaking.

Finding an employer who accepts you for who you are, regardless of age, gender, race, or whatever, is the key to happy employment. There’s no better feeling than the feeling you’re welcomed. Therefore, my advice to job seekers is: Be your best self and let the chips fall where they may. Doing your best and accepting the outcome will give you a Zen-like sense of freedom.

An attempt to infer someone’s biases based on their actions is usually just an assumption based on what you want to believe. If it benefits you to think someone is practicing ageism (e.g., a convenient excuse), then you’ll believe you’re the victim of ageism.

The fact is you don’t know what the hiring manager’s behind the scene looks like. The entire company’s leadership team judges their hiring decisions. Your fit with current employees needs to be considered. Budget constraints exist. Let’s not forget the biggest hiring influencer, and their past hiring mistakes, which they don’t want to repeat.

While reviewing resumes for a senior accounting position, the hiring manager thinks, “The Centennial College graduates I’ve hired didn’t last six months. While Bob has plenty of experience, he’s a Centennial College alumnus. Hiring another six months quitter won’t look good on me.” “Karen has worked for FrobozzCo International. If I recall, the company reportedly funneled money into offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. I wonder if Karen was involved.”

Association experiences contribute to most biases. You know the saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” If you met five rude redheads in a row, the next one will also be rude, right? The human brain is wired to look for patterns and predict future behavior based on those patterns. Call it a survival skill. When we first meet someone, we try to predict what behavior to expect from them using past experiences.

This quick assessment is why hiring managers decide, within as little as two minutes, whether a candidate is worth their time. While it’s important to try and make a good first impression (READ: image), you have no control over how others interpret it.

Bottom-line: You can’t control another person’s biases.

Based on how I hire, and conversations with hiring managers, I believe the following to be true. An employer is more interested in the results you can deliver for them than your age or whatever “ism” you believe is against you.

Can employers afford to pass up qualified candidates who could contribute to their bottom line? Of course not! (Okay, it’s “unlikely.”) You’ll be in demand if you can demonstrate a track record of adding value to your employers.

Having the belief that your age prevents you from finding the employment you want is a paralyzing belief. Ageism exists for all ages, which I think many people use as a crutch.

“They said I was overqualified. That’s ageism!”

“They hired someone younger than me. That’s ageism!”

“They said I wasn’t experienced enough. That’s ageism!”

Get over yourself!

Employers can hire whomever they deem to be the best fit for their business. It’s self-righteous to judge someone else’s biases (READ: preferences), especially when their biases don’t serve your interests. Let’s say, for example, you’re 52 years old, and the hiring manager prefers candidates between 45 and 55 (Yes, I know such hiring managers), and they hire you. Would you call out the hiring manager’s bias that worked in your favor?

If you believe your age is an obstacle, here’s my advice: Break the fourth wall. If you sense your age is the elephant in the room, put your age on the table and see what happens. When interviewing, I always mention, early in, that I’ve been managing call centers since 1996. I then let my interviewer do the mental math and wrestle with any age bias they may have. As I mentioned in my last column, the employer most likely Googled you and has a good idea of your age. Therefore, since you were vetted to determine if you were interview-worthy, tell yourself that your age is irrelevant.

When interviewing, don’t focus on “isms.” Doing so makes them your reality. Instead, focus on the problems the position you’re interviewing for is meant to solve.


Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send Nick your questions at

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CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts up 1.1 per cent in July – CP24



The Canadian Press

Published Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT

Last Updated Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in July edged higher compared with June despite a slowdown in urban starts.

The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in July was 275,329 units, an increase of 1.1 per cent from June.

The annual rate of urban starts was down 0.8 per cent at 254,371 units in July, while multi-unit urban starts fell 0.3 per cent to 195,987 units.

The pace of single-detached urban starts dropped 2.3 per cent to 58,384 units.

Meanwhile, rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,958 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 264,426 units in July, up from 257,862 in June.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.

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Recall: Baby rocker, swing recalled over strangulation risks – CTV News



Two infant products, manufactured by baby gear company 4moms, are being recalled due to strangulation hazards, according to a consumer product notice issued by Health Canada.

Health Canada says the recall involves certain MamaRoo baby swings and the RockaRoo baby rockers.

Those products impacted by the recall include MamaRoo infant swing set models that use a 3-point harness including models 4M-005, 1026 and 1037, according to the recall notice.

The MamaRoo model that uses a 5-point harness is not included in the recall, according to Health Canada.

The affected RockaRoo baby rocker’s model number is 4M-012. The model numbers can be found on the bottom of the products.

Both products have restraint straps that can dangle below the seat, and infants who are not seated can become “entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard,” Health Canada said in the recall notice.

“This issue does not present a hazard to infants placed in the seat of either product,” the agency noted.

According to the recall, there have been no reports of strangulation or injury submitted to the company as of Aug. 9.

“Consumers with infants who can crawl should immediately stop using the recalled products and place them in an area where crawling infants cannot access,” reads the statement.

Consumers who have purchased one of the recalled products can register on the 4moms recall registration website or by phone at 877-870-7390. After doing this, 4moms will send a strap fastener to consumers with instructions on how to install.

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