Top News Headlines- Tuesday Sept 17, 2019

Top News Headlines- Tuesday, Sept 17, 2019

With Mark Jackson

Trump Authorizes Release of Oil From US Strategic Petroleum Reserve After Saudi Attacks 

On Sunday evening President Trump authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after Iran attacked Saudi Arabian oil fields and refineries. The President said, “ Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”

The President said he believed it would be sufficient to keep the markets ‘well-supplied’.  The Strategic Petroleum Reserve according to the U.S. Department of Energy, has the biggest supply of emergency crude oil in the world.  The agency’s website says, “ The federally-owned  oil stocks are stored in huge underground salt caverns along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.”

The reserve has been used three previous times, the most recent being when it was used in 2011 amid unrest in Libya and the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi.  President Obama at that time directed the sale of 30 million barrels of crude oil.

Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Aramco said it will cut its oil production by 5.7 million barrels a day, which is nearly 50%. This comes after drones hit the kingdom’s oil production refineries.  Iranian officials deny accusations that their regime is responsible for the attacks that targeted oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has said that Iran was behind the assault.

Humberto Strengthens into a hurricane, may bring rain to Bermuda 

On Monday the third hurricane of the season began strengthening in the Atlantic.  The National Weather Center in Miami said Hurricane Humberto is now located about 650 miles west of Bermuda. It has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and is moving northeast at 5 mph.

Meteorologists are predicting that Humberto will stay offshore but indirect impacts like rip currents, large waves and beach erosion will be a problem. Humberto is predicted to make a turn to the northeast by late Monday and gradually increase speed through Thursday.  Forecasters say it will approach Bermuda by late Wednesday night.

The storm is expected to strengthen into a category 2 storm with winds up to 110 mph.  Humberto will also bring periods of heavy rain to the Bahamas which were recently devastated by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center of the storm, while tropical-force winds extend outward 150 miles.

NYT Issues Correction on Kavanaugh Story 

An article on Saturday put out by The New York Times reported that a former classmate of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during their time in college.  On Monday the NYT added a correction to its story.  The correction notes that friends of the woman allegedly involved in the incident with Kavanaugh during college say she does not recall it.

The Times article published Saturday reported that a former classmate, Max Stier said he witnessed Kavanaugh expose himself and force a female classmate to touch his private part while at a dorm party.  The Times says it corroborated the story with two other officials who heard the story from Stier.  According to the NYT’s correction, the woman involved in the alleged incident did not speak to the Times, and her friends also say she does not recall the incident.

Following the Times article over the weekend, multiple Democratic presidential candidates demanded Kavanaugh’s impeachment from the bench. Two were Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.  President Trump tweeted,  “Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel.”

UAW Members Walk off jobs at General Motors in First national strike since 2007 

More than 45,000 workers from the United Automobile Workers union walked out of their jobs at General Motors on Monday.  This is the union’s first national strike since 2007.  The strike has shut down 33 manufacturing plants in 9 states across the U.S. as well as 22 parts warehouses.

Terry Dittes, UAW’s GM head said the strike is for fair wages, health care and job security. He said, “ We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families and the communities where we work and live.”

It is unclear how long the walkout will last. GM has said it has offered more than $7 billion in investments, over 5,400 jobs and improved wages and benefits in negotiations that began after the union contract expired midnight on Saturday.

Talks are scheduled to restart on Monday at 10 am, according to the AP report.

Today’s quote is from Oscar Wilde,

“ We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”