23 September 2018   Leave a comment

On 20 September, US President Trump tweeted the following:

 @realDonaldTrump
We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!
4:13 AM – 20 Sep 2018

Oil prices have certainly gone up recently, but the cause of the increase is due to the sanctions the US has placed on countries that purchase Iranian oil.   According to the business media outlet, CNBC: “The price rally mainly stemmed from a decline in oil exports from OPEC member Iran due to fresh U.S. sanctions.”  Additionally, the erstwhile US ally, Saudi Arabia, indicated that it has no plans to increase production in order to push prices lower.  According to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, “Saudi Arabia had spare capacity to increase oil output but no such move was needed at the moment.”

Price West Texas Intermediate Crude

For historical reasons, it is hard to ignore the rise of right-wing parties in Germany.  At this, under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany is probably the state with the strongest commitment to democratic principles in the world.  Nonetheless, the rise of a new party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), has posed a serious challenge to liberal principles.   Spiegel has published a fairly detailed article on the issues that have propelled AfD to a serious contender for influence in German politics, riding a wave of enthusiasm for blood and soil nationalism with a clear animosity to those groups who do not fit into the naively romantic definition of what it means to be German. 

A Field in Bavaria, Germany

Posted September 23, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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