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SocalDinar

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SocalDinar last won the day on September 23 2015

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  1. Iraq to vote on bill including death penalty for same-sex acts 8 Comments April 15, 2024 at 2:59 pm Iraq Parliament in Baghdad, Iraq on October 13, 2022. [Iraqi Parliament Press Office – Anadolu Agency] Iraqi lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that includes the death penalty or life in prison for same-sex relations, raising concern among rights groups and Western diplomats, who say its passage would harm Iraq’s political and economic ties, Anadolu Agency reports. Parliament was in session on Monday with the bill, an amendment to an anti-prostitution law and second on its agenda. It imposes life imprisonment or the death penalty for anyone engaging in same-sex relations or anyone who swaps their wife with someone else’s for sexual purposes. It also bans promotion of homosexuality and violations are punishable by at least seven years in prison. Independent lawmaker, Ra’id Al-Maliki, told Reuters he expected the legislation to pass “because of its importance in preserving the authentic traditions of Iraqi society”. Currently, mainly Muslim Iraq does not explicitly criminalise *** sex but loosely defined morality clauses in its penal code have been used to target LGBT people. READ: Iraq set to reopen pipeline as Kurdish talks stall Major Iraqi parties have in the past year stepped up criticism of LGBT rights, with rainbow flags frequently being burned in protests by both ruling and opposition conservative Shia Muslim factions last year. More than 60 countries criminalise *** sex, while same-sex sexual acts are legal in more than 130 countries, according to Our World in Data. Diplomats from three Western countries said they had lobbied Iraqi authorities not to pass the bill due to human rights concerns but also because it would make working with Iraq politically difficult at a time when the country is trying to ease its international isolation after years of turmoil. “It would be very difficult to justify working closely with such a state at home,” said one senior diplomat, who asked for anonymity due to the subject’s sensitivity. “We were very, very direct: if this law is passed in its current form, it would have catastrophic consequences for our bilateral and business and trade relations.” Parliament was in session to vote on the bill just hours before Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, was scheduled to meet US President, Joe Biden, in Washington on a trip heavily focused on pushing for more US investment. When Uganda, in May 2023, enacted a law that includes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts, the World Bank halted new lending to the East African nation and the US announced visa and travel restrictions against Ugandan officials. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20240415-iraq-to-vote-on-bill-including-death-penalty-for-same-sex-acts/
  2. AD Ports Group in deal to develop Iraq port, economic zones VIENNA, 3 hours, 59 minutes ago https://www.tradearabia.com/news/OGN_420751.html Abu Dhabi-based AD Ports Group, a leading facilitator of global trade, logistics and industry, said it has entered into a preliminary agreement with the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI). Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will establish a joint venture to develop Al-Faw Grand Port and its economic zone, as well as any future expansion, said a statement from AD Ports Group. Furthermore, the agreement also encompasses the potential investment, management, and operation of ports, economic zones, and related infrastructure in other cities in the Republic of Iraq, it stated. The agreement was signed in the presence of Razzaq Muhaibas Al Saadawi, Iraq’s Minister of Transport, and Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director & Group CEO, AD Ports Group, and Dr. Engineer Farhan Muhesen Al Fartosi, Director General of the General Company for Ports of Iraq. This signing follows a MoU inked by the two parties in September 2021, and the subsequent addendum, signed in August 2023, to intensify cooperation. The venture is set to bring together the expertise of both entities to attract international terminal operators, foster global trade relations, and develop commercial sea corridors, contributing to Iraq's economic growth. The preliminary agreement aims to provide the necessary expertise for Al-Faw Port and Economic Zone, using advanced management and operating models, in addition to studying the mechanism of developing, financing, managing, operating and maintaining the project, with an aim to enhance overall efficiency and operational capabilities. Both parties will explore investment opportunities and conduct the necessary feasibility studies related to ports, economic zones and other infrastructure under the General Company for Ports of Iraq. Al Saadawi said: "Al Faw Grand Port and Economic Zone project is of great importance to the Iraqi government, which is committed to implementing the project in line with the highest global standards, in cooperation with our partners in the UAE and AD Ports Group." "We have provided all the necessary solutions to ensure the success of the project, which aims to significantly contribute to local and regional economies. Moreover, combined with the development road project, Iraq’s most prominent economic and logistics development, this project will strengthen maritime transport and freight shipping between Asia and Europe," he added. Dr Al Zeyoudi said: "The agreement signed today between AD Ports Group and the General Company for Ports of Iraq, is in line with the directives of our wise leadership towards strengthening economic ties and increasing bilateral trade volumes between the two countries, in combination with associated agreements aimed towards the establishment of mutual growth platforms for business and private sectors, through exploring cooperation opportunities that drive mutual benefit in key industries." Dr Al Fartosi said: "We are embarking on another phase of cooperation with AD Ports Group, reflecting our shared commitment to advancing the development of our ports and economic zones." "Together, we will create a joint operational policy which includes partnering with key international shipping lines to meet the outcomes of the project’s feasibility study. By leveraging the port’s strategic location linking commercial lines between the East and the West, we will unlock new opportunities for trade, investment and economic growth, contributing to the prosperity of our nation," he stated. Al Shamisi said: "We are pleased to reinforce our partnership with the Iraqi Ministry of Transportation, represented by the General Company for Ports of Iraq." "The expansion of our collaboration demonstrates our commitment to strengthening relations between both our countries in line with our wise leadership’s vision for strategic global trade and logistics growth that further boosts economic development and diversification in the region and beyond," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
  3. Gotta love gold! Comes out of the ground after millions of years and its shiney shiney! Spot over $2,300.00. Almost worth the back breaking work digging it out of the ground. Thanks Markinsa
  4. CBI says loan defaults declined compared to cash credit Amr Salem April 3, 2024 173 2 min The Central Bank of Iraq. Photo: INA Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) revealed on Wednesday that loan defaults declined compared to cash credit. The CBI mentioned in a statement that loan defaults declined to 6.3 percent compared to total cash credit in 2023, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported. According to the statement, there were 7.2 percent of loan defaults in 2022, 8.8 percent in 2021, and 8.9 percent in 2020 when compared to total cash credit. Iraq’s Central Bank indicated that loan defaults compared to total deposits reached 3.2 percent in 2023, compared to the last three years, as it recorded 3.4 percent in 2022, 4.9 percent in 2021, and 5.2 percent in 2020. The CBI affirmed that this declining percentage reflects the efficiency of the Iraqi banking sector in its endeavor to develop its products and adopt new methods and advanced systems for granting credit and reducing the risk of default in line with international standards. https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq/cbi-says-loan-defaults-declined-compared-to-cash-credit/
  5. Iraqi PM discusses cooperation with IFC Amr Salem March 5, 2024 77 2 min The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, and a delegation from the IFC, headed by the IFC’s Vice President for Middle East Affairs, Hala Sheikh Ruhu. Photo: INA Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, reviewed on Tuesday prospects for cooperation between Iraq and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), one of the World Bank’s institutions. Al-Sudani received a delegation from the IFC, headed by the IFC’s Vice President for Middle East Affairs, Hala Sheikh Ruhu, where he emphasized that the Iraqi government is continuing with economic reforms and measures to improve the investment climate, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The Iraqi Prime Minister indicated that the government encourages non-oil industries, gives the private sector more influence, and implements initiatives that increase the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Al-Sudani urged the IFC to establish a training center in Iraq that focuses on developing banking operations, preparing project economic models, and supporting the private sector in Iraq’s building materials industry, given the growing need brought about by the advancement of new city projects. The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of supporting projects related to the Development Road project and completing the plans prepared for the renovation of Baghdad International Airport. Ruhu affirmed the IFC’s eagerness to cooperate with Iraq in different sectors, lauding the role of the Iraqi government in expanding reforms and adopting plans that reduce carbon emissions. According to the IFC official, the organization is aiming to assist sustainable development, accelerate the development of Iraq’s diverse economic sectors, and finish the renovation and expansion plans of Baghdad International Airport. https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq/iraqi-pm-discusses-cooperation-with-ifc/ Tags:
  6. International Monetary Fund: Iraq is making progress in non-oil GDP growth Economy +A -A Baghdad-INA The International Monetary Fund confirmed on Wednesday that Iraq is making progress in non-oil GDP growth. A statement from the Ministry of Finance received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA) said: “The Iraqi delegation, headed by Finance Minister Taif Sami Muhammad, held discussions with International Monetary Fund experts within the framework of the Article IV consultations, held in the Jordanian capital, Amman, during the period from 27- 29 February.” According to the statement "The discussions focused on the reform program for the Iraqi economy and the steps adopted by the Iraqi government towards strengthening financial and banking policy, digital infrastructure, financial inclusion, and public debt issues, in addition to the measures taken to mitigate the repercussions of international conflicts and their effects on the economy." "The delegation, during the consultations, held discussions related to a road map towards increasing non-oil revenues and enhancing coordination between financial and monetary policies in Iraq, in addition to defining joint work programs that include the IMF providing the necessary technical and advisory support for the economic reform adopted by the Iraqi government “In achieving financial and monetary stability, improving the level of financial planning for budgets, and continuing the implementation of important development projects.” For its part, the Fund's expert mission praised "the government measures to improve the business climate and stimulate the investment ambience," noting that "Iraq is making progress in the growth of non-oil domestic product and strengthening public financial management." Today, 18:01 https://ina.iq/eng/31611-international-monetary-fund-iraq-is-making-progress-in-non-oil-gdp-growth.html
  7. I know people who just go to neighboring states to avoid Newsoms ammo tax and background check . Idiots in Sacramento think a few bucks will stop the crazies. It's a money grab nothing less.
  8. Iraq boasts the fourth highest GDP among Arab nations IraqiNews February 18, 2024 1742 2 min Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – Iraq has the fourth highest GDP among Arab nations, with a GDP of over $255 billion, according to the Kuwait-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC), an affiliate of the Arab League located in Cairo. With oil accounting for at least 40% of its GDP, Iraq’s economy is still largely dependent on it. With their economies still dominating the Arab world, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will account for approximately 46% of the region’s GDP in 2023. The greatest oil producer in the entire globe is Saudi Arabia, with a GDP last year of around $1.069 trillion in current dollars, or 31.3 percent of the GDP of all Arab countries. The UAE’s GDP is projected by IAIGC to be $509.2 billion in 2023, or around 14.9% of the GDP of the Arab world. Egypt’s economy ranked third among Arab nations, with a GDP of $398.4 billion in 2023. https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq/iraq-boasts-the-fourth-highest-gdp-among-arab-nations/
  9. Russia’s Gazprom Awarded Iraq’s Huge Nasiriyah Oil Development Russian gas giant Gazprom has been awarded the development contract for the supergiant Nasiriyah oil field in Iraq’s strategic southern eastern region close to the main export terminal of Al Fao in Basra. At around the same time, it was announced that China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corp (CPECC) and PetroChina will complete the critically important Halfaya gas project by the end of Q1 this year. The Halfaya field lies 175 kilometres to the northeast of the Nasiriyah oil field and, together with Basra to the south, form a triangle of influence incorporating several major Russian and Chinese oil and gas developments. These two developments in turn follow the very recent announcement that China is over the halfway mark in completing the construction of Iraq’s biggest crude oil storage facility, also in Nasiriyah. This will also act as a logistical command centre for all of China’s and Russia’s oil and gas projects in southern Iraq and for the build-out of multiple non-oil projects connected to the all-encompassing ‘Iraq-China Framework Agreement’, as analysed in depth in my new book on the new global oil market order. The supergiant Nasiriyah oilfield has an estimated 4.36 billion barrels of reserves in place, but since its discovery in the DhiQar province by the Iraq National Oil Company in 1975 little has been done to develop the oil. Tentatively coming on stream in 2009 and listed on Iraq’s 2009-2010 fast-track plan, which aimed to raise its output to about 50,000 barrels per day (bpd), the first half of 2009 saw ENI, Nippon Oil, Chevron, and Repsol submitting bids to develop the field on an Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contract basis, with a consortium comprised of Nippon Oil, Inpex, and JGC Corporation looking set to win the contract before negotiations broke down. The departure in 2014 of the divisive figure of Shia Islamist Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister, and his replacement by the seemingly more inclusive, although also Shia, Haider al-Abadi led to optimism in Iraq that the Nasiriyah project could move ahead again, but these hopes were also dashed. The development plan for Nasiriyah was then broadened out as part of a ‘Nasiriyah Integrated Project’ (NIP) that would include a 300,000-bpd refinery. This was part of Iraq’s plan at the time to increase refining capacity across the south by more than 700,000 bpd by (at that point) the end of 2015. Deals were agreed in principle with several international oil companies (IOCs) from both the Global North and the Global South to effect this, with around US$50 billion of investment earmarked for such developments in Karbala, Kirkuk, Missan, Mosul, and Nasiriyah. Again, these plans were subject to delays and changes. At this point, though, it is apposite to note that the development contract agreed just over a week ago with Gazprom for Nasiriyah does not include previous plans for the refinery. This leaves the way open for a Chinese firm to take the refinery project, as a senior source who works closely to Iran’s Petroleum Ministry exclusively told OilPrice.com last week.Related: U.S. Oil Drilling Activity Stalls Such an arrangement would suit China’s ongoing big plans for Iraq perfectly. Beijing has long seen the development of the entire DhiQar province as a key to its strategy to turn Iraq into a client state, as it has largely done with neighbouring Iran. In Tehran’s case, this was achieved through the all-encompassing ‘Iran-China 25-Year Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement’, as first revealed anywhere in the world in my 3 September 2019 article on the subject and analysed in full in my new book on the new global oil market order. China is using the same sort of arrangement for Iraq, as evidenced in the equally all-encompassing ‘Iraq-China Framework Agreement’ of 2021. This in turn, was an extension in scale and scope of the ‘Oil for Reconstruction and Investment’ agreement signed by Baghdad and Beijing in September 2019, which allowed Chinese firms to invest in infrastructure projects in Iraq in exchange for oil. Originally, China had intended on taking the very direct approach to securing all the assets it wanted in southern Iraq that Russia had taken in 2017 when it had effectively taken control of all of the oil assets in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, as also full detailed in my new book on the new global oil market order. Firstly, at the beginning of 2021, Chinese state oil proxy Zhenhua Oil agreed a US$2 billion five–year prepayment oil supply deal between the Federal Government of Iraq (FGI) in Baghdad in the south of the country. Underlining once again that China’s oil and gas activities are part of its broader colonising plans (President Xi is a great admirer of Great Britain’s use of the East India Company in its own such plans), Zhenhua Oil is a subsidiary of China’s massive defence contractor Norinco. Secondly, discussions began between China and Iraq on expanding the build-up of Beijing’s presence in the country’s oil and gas projects across the south of the country. The takeover by Chinese companies of multiple elements (exploration, development, maintenance, security, and so on) of oil and gas field licences in southern Iraq had been especially prevalent since the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the ‘nuclear deal’ with Iran in May 2018, as also analysed in depth in my new book. And thirdly, as a part of the earlier 25-year agreement with Iran – which holds enormous sway over Iraq through its political, economic, and military proxies – China had already begun building major logistics links that involved Iraq. 302K Oil Gains 2% as Israel Rejects Gaza Ceasefire Deal, US Gas Inventory Plummets These logistical links not only benefited China by helping to construct a cohesive whole across the vast oil and gas resources of Iran and Iraq but also gave it multiple footholds to establish a ‘security’ presence on the ground across both countries. It is entirely legal for oil companies to deploy whatever security forces they think necessary to protect their valuable assets on the ground in whichever country they operate. In China’s case, this has been tens of thousands of such personnel across its key oil and gas facilities in the Middle East, and tens of thousands more across multiple sites elsewhere in the world in which it has rolled out projects connected to its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), as also fully analysed in my new book. Following the Zhenhua Oil deal in southern Iraq, Baghdad approved nearly IQD1 trillion (US$700 million) for infrastructure projects in the city of Al-Zubair in the southern Iraq oil hub of Basra. The Al-Zubair announcement came around the same time as the awarding by Baghdad of another major contract to another Chinese company to build a civilian airport to replace the military base in the southern oil rich DhiQar governorate. The Dhi Qar region includes two of Iraq’s potentially biggest oil fields – one being Nasiriyah, and the other Gharraf – and China said that it intended to complete the airport by 2024. This airport project, it announced, would include the construction of multiple cargo buildings and roads linking the airport to the city’s town centre and separately to other key oil areas in southern Iraq. In the later discussions involved in the 2021 ‘Iraq-China Framework Agreement’, it was decided unanimously by both sides that the airport could be expanded later to be a dual-use civilian and military airport. The military component would be usable by China without first having to consult with whatever Iraqi government was in power at the time, a senior source who works closely with Iraq’s Oil Ministry exclusively told OilPrice.com at the time. This very direct strategy of China’s fell foul of the U.S., which still harbours aspirations to re-assert itself somehow in Iraq, despite all indications being that it has already lost out entirely to China and Russia. Nonetheless, it was made very clear to China that a de facto takeover of southern Iraq’s oil sector in the same way Russia had done in the north would not go down well with the White House, especially as these efforts were to be led by Chinese defence giant Norinco’s oil subsidiary Zhenhua Oil. Although the temperature had been turned down on the ongoing U.S.-China Trade War at the time, Beijing was assured that it risked it being turned up again. At the time, China could not afford any further damage to its economic prospects, given the chaos being wrought by rampant Covid and its disastrous handling of it through its ultra-tight ‘Zero-Covid’ policy. Instead, China reverted to its stealthier ‘East India Company approach’ and ramped up its signing of multiple ‘contract-only’ deals across many of Iraq’s biggest oil and gas projects. The next one could be for the Nasiriyah refinery project. https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Russias-Gazprom-Awarded-Iraqs-Huge-Nasiriyah-Oil-Development.html By Simon Watkins for Oilprice.com
  10. Iraq committed to OPEC, will not produce more than 4m bpd, minister says 1 Comment February 12, 2024 at 12:25 pm A general view of the Gwer Oil Refinery, which is one of the most important industrial facilities processing oil products, in Erbil, Iraq on August 6, 2023 [Ahsan Mohammed Ahmed Ahmed – Anadolu Agency] Iraq is committed to OPEC decisions and after its second voluntary cut announced in December it is also committed to producing no more than four million barrels per day (bpd), Oil Minister Hayan Abdul-Ghani told reporters today, according to Reuters. Iraq’s current crude oil exports range between 3.35 million and 3.4 million bpd, he added. The oil minister said talks with international oil companies operating in Iraqi Kurdistan are making progress towards resolving a dispute which has halted Iraq’s northern oil exports. “Resumption of exports from the Kurdistan region is linked to the resumption of production from the fields in the region. Talks with the companies operating in the region are on their way to reach a resolution in the near future,” said Abdul-Ghani. Iraq’s deputy oil minister for upstream affairs said in November that a resumption of northern crude exports depended on re-negotiating current production-sharing contracts to change them to a profit-sharing model. Turkiye halted Iraq’s 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of northern exports on 25 March last year after an arbitration ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) which ordered Ankara to pay Baghdad damages for unauthorised exports between 2014 and 2018 https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20240212-iraq-committed-to-opec-will-not-produce-more-than-4m-bpd-minister-says/
  11. Thanks Ronscarpa https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq/iraqs-reserves-of-gold-rise-to-142-6-tons/ Iraq’s reserves of gold rise to 142.6 tons Amr Salem February 7, 2024 166 2 min Gold bars. Photo: David Gray/AFP/Getty Images Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The World Gold Council revealed on Wednesday that Iraq increased its reserves of gold to more than 142 tons. In its latest report issued in January, the World Gold Council said that Iraq remained ranked thirty out of the hundred countries with the greatest gold holdings in the world. Iraq increased its gold reserves from 132 tons to 142.6 tons, representing 8.3 percent of its remaining other reserves. The report elaborated that Iraq is ranked fourth in the Arab world, after Saudi Arabia, which possesses 323.1 tons, followed by Lebanon, which has 286.8 tons, and Algeria, which has 173.6 tons. With 8,133.5 tons of gold, the United States of America leads the world in this regard. Germany is second with 3,352.6 tons, Italy is third with 2,451.8 tons, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is last with 1.5 tons. The World Gold Council mentioned that Iraq purchased approximately 12.25 tons of gold in 2023. Iraq, the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), resumed its purchases of gold in 2022 after a 4-year stoppage as part of a program to diversify its foreign assets, estimated at $100 billion. The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) bought 34 tons of gold in June 2022, representing an increase of 35 percent in its holdings at that time.
  12. Been riding Johnson Valley since I was 12. Love it out there.
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVwkFVsrv1k
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