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Iran and Turkey: new transit era

Roughly 1 million tons of cargo are to be transported via railroad between Turkey and Iran this year, Turkish authorities said on Tuesday, Financial Tribune writes. Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement that a recent memorandum of understanding signed in a gathering of railroad representatives in Turkey's capital Ankara on Jan. 12-13 would open a new era for the transit railroad, Anadolu Agency reported

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Why Kazakhstan joined new investment partnership with Uzbekistan, US

The governments of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and the United States have launched the Central Asia Investment Partnership under the umbrella of the C5+1 format, in order to promote private-sector growth and strengthen regional economic cooperation, The Diplomat writes in the article Why Kazakhstan Joined New Investment Partnership With Uzbekistan, US. The new initiative comes at a time when Kazakhstan is looking to diversify its economy to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and achieve its long-term goal of becoming one of the most developed nations by 2050

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Gen. Frank McKenzie: "We avoided war with Iran"

Relations between the United States and Iran are in a “period of opportunity” following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the top U.S. military commander in the Middle East said during his first swing into the region under the new administration

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Compensatory cuts boost confidence in OPEC+ agreement

Oil in New York inched higher with investors assessing the impact of supply curbs from Iraq and Libya on the near-term outlook. Iraq pledged to cut output in January and February after pumping more than its OPEC+ quota last year, and Libyan guards halted some crude exports after a pay dispute

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Mikayil Jabbarov expects economy bouncing back after Covid-19 slump, war

Azerbaijan sees economic growth rebounding this year as it emerges from a Covid-19-induced slump and the war with neighboring Armenia that restored its control over formerly occupied territories, Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov said, Bloomberg writes in the article Azerbaijan Sees Economy Bouncing Back After Covid-19 Slump, War. Gross domestic product is forecast to increase by 3.4% after contracting 4.3% in 2020, Jabbarov said in an interview Tuesday. “Our projections for 2021 are more optimistic than those of” the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, he said

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Jerusalem, Dubai, Barcelona look to save tourism industry

What will the world of travel look like after COVID-19? As much of the globe continues to battle a deadly virus that has all but brought tourism to a standstill, several cities have banded together in order to find technological solutions to revive the ailing industry, The Jerusalem Post writes in the article Jerusalem, Dubai, Barcelona look to travel tech to save tourism industry. Jerusalem, together with the cities of Lisbon, Barcelona, Dubai, Johannesburg and Paris, are set to launch the International Travel Tech Forum, which will promote travel tech startups and tourism innovation worldwide

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Ann-Louise Hittle on how the oil market to play out in 2021

Oil prices have tripled in nine months. Brent averaged just US$18/bbl last April, as demand collapsed and the market was swamped with crude. As the effects of the pandemic unfolded, the mood turned increasingly bearish. Ann-Louise Hittle, Head of Macro Oils, was among those who saw light at the end of the tunnel, anticipating that it wouldn’t last and that oil prices would stage a strong recovery inside 12 months

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Oil flow through Ceyhan reaches billions of barrels

A total of 3.5 billion barrels of crude oil had been shipped to the global markets as of the end of 2020 from the marine terminal in the Ceyhan district of Adana province in southern Turkey, the last stop of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) …

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World takes in muted New Year’s Eve

In Sydney the fireworks soared into the sky above the Opera House, but the harbour below was empty. In New York, Times Square was mostly deserted. No light show illuminated Beijing from the top of the TV tower. With revelry around the world curtailed by lockdowns and curfews imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19, the lions of London’s Trafalgar Square were barricaded off, and there were no crowds in St Peter’s Square and no one diving into the Tiber in Rome. This New Year’s Eve is being celebrated like no other as many people bid farewell to a year they would much prefer to forget – one that has seen more than 1.7 million people killed and 82 million infected by the coronavirus since January

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Oil slides amid Covid-19

Oil prices slipped from multi-month highs in volatile trade on Monday as U.S. stocks fell near 2% on concerns over the outcome of runoff elections in Georgia, CNBC writes in the article Oil slides as oil-producing group delays output decision. The oil market pared earlier losses after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, known as OPEC+, could not decide on Monday whether or not to increase output in February and will meet again on Tuesday. Brent futures fell 50 cents, or 1.0%, to $51.30 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled 1.85%, or 90 cents, lower at $47.62 per barrel

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Macron becomes Big Brother

When Emmanuel Macron was elected as French president in May 2017, French people compared him to former U.S. President Barack Obama in terms of elegance and eloquence. There are growing problems in socioeconomic reforms and migrant policies. The bad handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a nightmare for the Macron administration and the French public

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3 Reasons why oil could see an end of year rally

Crude oil futures have been edging higher over the past few weeks, defying the usual trend of profit-taking ahead of the Christmas holidays. WTI was trading as high as $49.20 on Friday's session with Brent crude quoted at $52.40, levels they last touched in February before the oil price crash, Oil Price writes in the article 3 Reasons Why Oil Could See An End Of Year Rally

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Azerbaijan Reveals Vaccination Plans

Vaccination of Azerbaijan’s population against Covid-19 will start in early 2021 following the finalization of negotiations for the purchase of vaccines. Authorities in the country defined scientifically substantiated safety as the key criteria a vaccine should meet, Caspian News writes in the article Azerbaijan Reveals Vaccination Plans Amidst Negotiations With Major Vaccine Developers

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Europe introduces lockdown on Christmas

Italy has ordered a nationwide lockdown over much of the Christmas and New Year period in an effort to combat a rise in coronavirus cases, BBC writes in the article Covid: Italy latest European country to order Christmas lockdown. The country will be under "red-zone" restrictions over the public holidays, with non-essential shops, restaurants and bars closed, and Italians only allowed to travel for work, health and emergency reasons. Limited home visits will be allowed

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Russian and British scientists team up to create Covid-19 vaccine

British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca unveiled plans to collaborate with the developer of Russia's Sputnik V, the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and explore whether their two coronavirus vaccines could be successfully combined

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 WHO looks at giving Covid-19 to healthy people to speed up vaccine trials

The World Health Organization is holding discussions on Monday about the feasibility of trials in which healthy young volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to hasten vaccine development – amid questions over whether they should go ahead given the promising data from the frontrunner vaccine candidates

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Will the world run out of oil in 2021?

Last week the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in conjunction with some Russia-led oil producers, agreed to increase oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (BPD) in January. The oil markets rallied because there was some concern that OPEC could increase production by 2 million BPD

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Russia Ready to join efforts with US against COVID-19, share vaccine

Russia is open for cooperation with the United States in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and will be ready to share a vaccine against the disease, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said at an event hosted by a Washington think tank, Sputnik News writes in the article Russia Ready to Join Efforts With US Against COVID-19, Share Vaccine - Ambassador

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