Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: December 4, 2022

OPEC+ agrees to stick to policy of reducing oil production, Protesters in Iran call for 3-day strike and economic boycott, and more


OPEC+ agrees to stick to policy of reducing oil production

OPEC+ announced Sunday that it had agreed to stick with its policy of reducing oil production ahead of a price cap on Russian petroleum by the G7. During a virtual meeting, the organization — made up of 23 OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing countries — said it would stick to its previously announced cutback on crude oil pumping, slashing production by two million barrels per day by 2023, a figure agreed to this past October. This accounts for approximately two percent of the world's oil demand. Known as a "rollover," the agreement will let OPEC+ assess any potential changes in the market as a result of the G7's Russian cap. 


Protesters in Iran call for 3-day strike, economic boycott

Iranian protesters on Sunday called for a three-day strike to begin in anticipation of a visit to the capital of Tehran by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Amidst ongoing anger and mass protests from Iranians over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, protesters called for merchants to begin striking on Monday as a further sign of dissidence toward the ruling regime. The protesters are also calling for a rally toward Tehran's Freedom Square to coincide with Raisi's visit, and have also urged people throughout the city to enact a three-day boycott on all economic activity. As the eyes of the world are drawn on Iran, the activist HRANA news agency said 470 protesters have so far been killed. 


Russian officials say they will 'not accept' oil price cap by G7

Russian officials said Saturday the country will "not accept" the recently announced $60 price cap on oil being enacted by the G7. Russia's state news agency TASS, citing Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, said Moscow had made moves in preparation for the price cap, which is set to go into effect on Monday. The announcement from Peskov marks Russia's first reaction to the G7's decision, which, in addition to capping the price of oil per barrel, will also ban all exports of Russian petroleum to the European Union. Peskov added that the cap was currently being analyzed to see how it would affect Russia's economy, and that the Kremlin would make additional moves later. 


Trump says rules of Constitution should be terminated in online post

Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that all "rules, regulations, and articles" of the Constitution should be terminated, and that he should be reinstated as president following the release of new information regarding Twitter's handling of a story about Hunter Biden. "Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION?" the former president wrote in a post on his self-founded Truth Social media company. No evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election has ever been found, and Trump's words were condemned by White House spokesman Andrew Bates, who called Trump's post an "anathema to the soul of our nation."


China sets up police stations across the world to monitor overseas citizens, report says

China has set up more than 100 overseas "police stations" in order to keep track of, harass, and attempt to repatriate Chinese citizens living in exile, an exclusive report said Sunday. The report alleges that the Chinese government has been using previously agreed-to security arrangements with European and African countries to expand its international presence. The report, shared with CNN by the human rights group Safeguard Defenders, first revealed the existence of 54 of these police stations in September, and said it has since found at least 48 more. The report also alleges that some of these nations have been cooperating with China on a much wide scale than previously thought. 


Defense Secretary says COVID vaccine mandate should be kept in place

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Saturday that the American military should keep its existing COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place. Austin said that while he would not comment on any political pressure, "We lost a million people to this virus. A million people died in the United States of America. We lost hundreds in [the Defense Department]. So this mandate has kept people healthy." Austin's words come as a group of Republican lawmakers sent a letter to President Biden asking him to reconsider the military's COVID vaccine mandate, claiming it had dampened the recruitment of National Guard members. Thousands of service members who have refused to get vaccinated have already been discharged from the military. 


Elon Musk says Apple has resumed full advertising on Twitter

Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Saturday that Apple had "fully resumed" advertising on the social media platform, ending a standoff between the two companies that has been ongoing since Musk took over Twitter. Musk's comments came during a virtual conversation in which he noted that Apple was Twitter's single-largest advertiser, though he notably did not say anything more about the company. Beyond Apple, a number of other large companies, including Amazon, are reportedly set to resume advertising on Twitter. Both Apple and Amazon had previously joined a number of advertisers that had pulled out of Twitter amidst Musk's controversial re-tooling of the platform. 


Mt. Semeru erupts on Indonesian island of Java

Mt. Semeru, Indonesia's highest volcano, erupted on Sunday, sending toxic gas clouds and scorching hot lava flows cascading down the mountain. Located on the Indonesian island of Java — the most populous island in the world — Mt. Semeru finally blew its top after monsoon rains caused the top of the lava dome to collapse, Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency said. A number of villages surrounding the volcano were covered in hot ash as residents were being urged to evacuate. At least 1,969 people have already been relocated as the government raised Mt. Semeru's warning status to the highest possible level. No injuries have been reported as of yet. 


1 dead, 4 injured after rogue wave strikes cruise ship

A massive rogue wave crashed into a cruise ship off the coast of Argentina last week, causing the death of one woman and injuring four more. The ship, the Viking Polaris, was struck on Tuesday by the wave around 10:40 p.m. local time while on its way to the Argentinian port of Ushuaia. The wave caused glass windows to be destroyed on several cabins of the ship. Viking Cruises did not confirm the nationality of the dead victim, though the U.S. State Department later confirmed that the deceased was an American citizen. The ship had been headed to Antarctica by way of Argentina, but that itinerary has since been canceled. 


'Saturday Night Live' pokes fun at Herschel Walker ahead of runoff

Saturday Night Live returned from its Thanksgiving break on Saturday and poked fun at Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker during the cold open. Ahead of Georgia's runoff election this Tuesday, the sketch spoofed the GOP's reluctance to back Walker amidst a number of scandals that have emerged surrounding the candidate, including allegations that he paid for a number of women to have abortions. Throughout the sketch, Walker is depicted as having a very limited understanding of everything going on around him, or even exactly what he is doing. The cold open ends with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) locking Walker in a bunker until the election has passed.


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