By AFP December 06, 2019 On December 3, the United States imposed economic sanctions on six ships for transporting oil from Venezuela to Cuba, as part of Washington’s campaign to force out Venezuelan ruler Nicolás Maduro, whose government the United States considers to be a dictatorship.The U.S. Department of the Treasury said that six ships belonging to state-owned company Petróleos de Venezuela S. A. (PDVSA) that had been included in the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) blacklist, banning them from engaging in any transaction with U.S. individuals or entities.It also identified another vessel, the Esperanza, as property of Caroil Transport Marine Ltd., based in Havana, which was sanctioned in September. OFAC had designated the Esperanza in April, when it was under the name of Nedas, the Department of the Treasury said in a press release.“While the Venezuelan people continue to take to the streets to demand basic services and a return to freedom and prosperity, Maduro chooses to ship a vital natural resource to Cuba in exchange for Cuban security and intelligence services that preserve his influence in Venezuela,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.“Cuba continues to prop up Nicolás Maduro, subverting the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination and undermining Venezuelan institutions,” Pompeo added, promising that the United States would continue to hold Cuba responsible for its actions concerning Venezuela.Washington, which does not recognize the Maduro government because it considers his re-election a sham, accuses Havana of being one of Maduro’s main allies. Maduro also clings to power with the support of Russia and China, despite the open challenge from Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly, whom the United States and more than 50 other nations recognize as interim president since January.“I denounce new illicit and non-conventional actions from the U.S. government aimed at depriving Cuba of oil supplies,” Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez said on Twitter.“Those are gangster-like practices of threats and punishments against legitimate commercial relations between sovereign States. Cuba continues to fight on,” he added. These measures have strained the supply of fuel on the island.The sanctions, in addition to several punitive measures that the Donald Trump administration has imposed since 2017 against Venezuelan and Cuban officials, former officials, and entities, intend to show how Maduro supplies oil to the “Cuban dictatorship” while Venezuelans “are starving,” said the Treasury.The six designated vessels are Ícaro, Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi, Manuela Sáenz, Paramaconi, Terepaima, and Yare.Since September, PDVSA has billed Cubametales — the Cuban state-run oil import and export company that OFAC blacklisted in July — for about 1.3 million fuel oil barrels that were delivered three months earlier, the Treasury said. The money received for these shipments was to be transferred to a Russian bank account, it said.Elliott Abrahams, U.S. special representative for Venezuela, said on November 27 that the Maduro administration had sent an oil shipment to Cuba valued at $900 million.
Topics : If the infection rate subsides as hoped by the end of September, Andrews said restrictions would be relaxed gradually over the subsequent two months, though some businesses would have to remain shut through late November.Andrews said modelling showed cases would continue to average around 60 a day by next weekend, and if the state opened up too quickly it would be on track for a third wave by mid-November.”You’ve got to defeat the second wave and do it properly. Otherwise you just begin a third wave. A third wave will mean we can’t do the economic repair that people desperately want us to do,” Andrews said.The federal government has blamed the lockdown in Victoria for dragging Australia deeper into its first recession in nearly 30 years, while other states have largely reopened their economies.”Today’s announcement from the Victorian government to extend lockdown arrangements will be hard and crushing news for the people of Victoria and a further reminder of the impact and costs that result from not being able to contain outbreaks of COVID-19,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.The pandemic has resulted in the loss of around 500,000 jobs in Victoria, including 250,000 under the stage 4 restrictions.Business groups were disappointed with the slow reopening outlined by Andrews.”We can’t continue to let business and jobs be decimated on the way to controlling the spread of the virus,” Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Paul Guerra told reporters.After Sept. 28, if daily infection rates have dropped to between 30 and 50 for 14 days, child care, construction sites, manufacturing plants, and warehouses, will go back to normal, allowing 101,000 workers to return to their jobs.Schools will also partially reopen and outdoor gatherings of up to five people would be allowed.After Oct. 26, if daily cases have dropped below five, cafes and restaurants could reopen, mostly for outdoor service, and shops and hairdressers would reopen.At the same time, the curfew would be lifted, with no limits on leaving home, outdoor gatherings could increase to 10 and homes would be able to have five visitors.After Nov. 23, cafes, bars and restaurants could have more people indoors, schools could reopen more fully, museums and other entertainment venues could reopen, and larger gatherings would be allowed.Restrictions in regional Victoria will ease from Sept. 14. Australia’s second most populous state has been the epicenter of a second wave of the novel coronavirus, now accounting for about 75% of the country’s 26,282 cases and 90% of its 753 deaths.Victoria on Sunday reported 63 new COVID-19 infections and five deaths, down from a peak of 725 new cases on Aug. 5. By contrast, Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, has had no more than 13 cases a day since early August.Melbourne’s stage 4 restrictions, which had been due to end on Sept. 13, shut most of the economy, limited people’s movements to a tight zone around their homes for one hour a day and imposed a night time curfew.From Sept. 14, the rules won’t be quite as tough, as the curfew will begin an hour later at 9 p.m, and people can go outdoors for two hours instead of one, while those living alone will be allowed to have a visitor. Australia’s coronavirus hot spot state of Victoria on Sunday extended a hard lockdown in its capital Melbourne until Sept. 28, as the infection rate has declined more slowly than hoped.”We cannot open up at this time. If we were to we would lose control very quickly,” State Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised media conference on Sunday.The hard lockdown was ordered on Aug. 2 in response to a second wave of infections, that erupted in Melbourne.
August 25, 2020 Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox has thrown a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditCHICAGO (AP) — Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox has thrown a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates.