China coronavirus: The confirmed cases and where they are

A new strain of virus that was first reported in China has killed 17 people and infected nearly 600 others. Abroad, Thailand has confirmed cases, and the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan have each reported one case. On Thursday, China put on lockdown the two cities at the epicenter of a new coronavirus outbreak. State media reported highway toll booths around Wuhan were closing down, which would effectively cut off road exits. Here’s a snapshot of the number of known cases and where


A new strain of virus that was first reported in China has killed 17 people and infected nearly 600 others.
Abroad, Thailand has confirmed cases, and the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan have each reported one case.
On Thursday, China put on lockdown the two cities at the epicenter of a new coronavirus outbreak.
State media reported highway toll booths around Wuhan were closing down, which would effectively cut off road exits.
Here’s a snapshot of the number of known cases and where
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-23  Authors: weizhen tan joanna tan, weizhen tan, joanna tan
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China coronavirus: The confirmed cases and where they are

A new strain of virus that was first reported in China has killed 17 people and infected nearly 600 others.

Sometimes referred to as the Wuhan virus, it has been temporarily named the “2019-nCoV” and belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses, which can be transmitted from person to person.

The deadly pneumonia-like disease was first identified on December 31, 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province. It has since spread beyond Wuhan to major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Macau, and Hong Kong. Abroad, Thailand has confirmed cases, and the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan have each reported one case.

China’s capital city Beijing canceled major public events including two well-known Lunar New Year temple fairs, the state-run Beijing News said on Thursday, as authorities try to curb the spread of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Separately, the country’s railway operator, China State Railway Group, said passengers would be able to receive full refunds on tickets nationwide starting on Friday.

On Thursday, China put on lockdown the two cities at the epicenter of a new coronavirus outbreak. Most transport in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, was suspended on Thursday morning and people were told not to leave. Hours later, state media in neighboring Huanggang, a city of some 6 million people, said it was imposing a similar lockdown.

Wuhan’s city government said it would shut down all urban transport networks and suspend outgoing flights from 10 a.m. (0200 GMT). Domestic media said some airlines were operating after the deadline, however.

State media broadcast images of one of Wuhan’s transport hubs, the Hankou rail station, nearly deserted, with gates blocked or barred. The government is urging citizens not to leave the city.

State media reported highway toll booths around Wuhan were closing down, which would effectively cut off road exits. Guards were patrolling major highways, one resident told Reuters.

Similar measures will take effect starting Friday in the nearby city of Ezhou. Theaters, internet cafes and other entertainment centers were also ordered closed, further increasing the economic costs of the response to the outbreak.

“The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made,” Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization’s representative in Beijing, told Reuters.

The World Health Organization is debating on whether it should classify the outbreak a global health emergency.

Here’s a snapshot of the number of known cases and where they are, as well as confirmed deaths.


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Trump’s support for Iran’s protesters could actually be ‘worse’ for them, professor says

The admission came after days of vehement denial from the Islamic Republic, which angered Iranians and triggered a public backlash. Videos on social media showed mass protests and people chanting: “Death to the dictator,” referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. “National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran ‘choked off’, will force them to negotiate,” Trump said on Twitter Sunday, in both English and Farsi. President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that he


The admission came after days of vehement denial from the Islamic Republic, which angered Iranians and triggered a public backlash.
Videos on social media showed mass protests and people chanting: “Death to the dictator,” referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
“National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran ‘choked off’, will force them to negotiate,” Trump said on Twitter Sunday, in both English and Farsi.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that he
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Trump's support for Iran's protesters could actually be 'worse' for them, professor says

The admission came after days of vehement denial from the Islamic Republic, which angered Iranians and triggered a public backlash. Videos on social media showed mass protests and people chanting: “Death to the dictator,” referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Demonstrations have spread across Iran since Saturday, after the Iranian regime admitted that its armed forces had unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane departing from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

“National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran ‘choked off’, will force them to negotiate,” Trump said on Twitter Sunday, in both English and Farsi. “Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate. Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and ‘don’t kill your protesters.'”

President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that he “couldn’t care less” if Iran negotiates with the U.S. or not, and again warned the Iranian regime not to “kill” its protesters.

The more you give them credit, the more you give them support, the worse it will be for them, because in that case, the regime will consider it is an international plot.

However, Cedomir Nestorovic, professor of geopolitics at the French ESSEC Business School in Singapore, cautioned that Trump’s solidarity with protesters may not be good for them.

“I don’t believe that President Trump’s intervention in this field would be very fruitful for the United States, because it is an internal protest,” said Cedomir Nestorovic, professor of geopolitics at the French ESSEC Business School in Singapore on Monday.

“The more you give them credit, the more you give them support, the worse it will be for them, because in that case, the regime will consider it is an international plot, that the United States are intervening in the local affairs of Iran, so I don’t think it’s a very good thing,” he told CNBC.

Earlier, Trump warned the Iranian government that the “world is watching,” and told the people of Iran “I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you.”

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran reached new heights after the U.S. killing of a top Iranian military commander, Qasem Soleimani, on Jan. 3. His death triggered retaliation from Tehran which responded by firing ballistic missiles at Iraqi air bases housing American and coalition troops. There were no reported casualties in that attack.

However, Iranian armed forces bracing for counter-attacks from the U.S. accidentally shot down the plane killing all aboard including Iranians, Canadians and Ukrainians, which led to public outcry and unrest. Iran has previously been accused by rights groups for clamping down on protests with brute force.

Trump’s Sunday tweet was referring to comments by White House national security advisor Robert O’Brien, who told Fox News on Sunday: “I think the maximum pressure campaign is working … Iran is being choked off, and Iran is going to have no other choice but to come to the table.”

O’Brien was speaking about the Trump administration’s renewed sanctions on Tehran. Often referred to by Washington as the maximum pressure campaign, it is aimed at crippling the Iranian economy with sanctions that were reintroduced after the U.S. pulled out of a multi-nation nuclear deal with Iran in 2018.

“What’s going to cause them to negotiate is the pressure on the economy, and when you’ve got students out there chanting ‘death to the dictator,’ and when you have thousands of Iranians out protesting in the street, that’s the sort of pressure that’s going to bring them to the table,” he told Fox News.


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Boeing 737 plane bound for Kyiv crashes in Iran, killing all 176 people on board

A Kyiv-bound Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane crashed minutes after takeoff from Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. The Boeing 737-800, which was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members, was an older model of the Boeing 737 — not a 737 Max, which has been grounded worldwide since mid-March after two fatal crashes. The airline uses the airport “to conduct training on Boeing 737 aircraft aimed at evaluating pilots’ proficiency and ability to act in em


A Kyiv-bound Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane crashed minutes after takeoff from Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.
The Boeing 737-800, which was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members, was an older model of the Boeing 737 — not a 737 Max, which has been grounded worldwide since mid-March after two fatal crashes.
The airline uses the airport “to conduct training on Boeing 737 aircraft aimed at evaluating pilots’ proficiency and ability to act in em
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Boeing 737 plane bound for Kyiv crashes in Iran, killing all 176 people on board

A Kyiv-bound Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane crashed minutes after takeoff from Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. The Boeing 737-800, which was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members, was an older model of the Boeing 737 — not a 737 Max, which has been grounded worldwide since mid-March after two fatal crashes. Flight 752 crashed shortly after 6 a.m. local time, minutes into the flight. Press photos showed emergency workers combing through a wide field of smoldering wreckage outside Tehran.

Search and rescue works are conducted at site after a Boeing 737 plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran just after takeoff with 180 passengers on board in Tehran, Iran on January 08, 2020. Fatemeh Bahrami | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The cause of the crash, which came hours after Iran launched retaliatory missile strikes on U.S. positions in Iraq for the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was not immediately known. Such determinations take months, but Iran’s Fars news agency reported that the jet crashed due to technical problems, without providing more detail. The timing of the crash prompted speculation that a stray Iranian missile may have downed the plane and aviation experts and pilots told CNBC that engine failure appeared unlikely. Ukraine International Airlines said that the aircraft had been carrying citizens of Canada, Iran, Sweden and Ukraine. The carrier suspended flights to Tehran indefinitely. Ukraine’s foreign minister separately said there were four passengers from Afghanistan, three from Germany, and three from Britain. Ukraine International Airlines all but discounted pilot error and said the 3-year-old plane had been inspected Monday. “Given the crew’s experience, error probability is minimal,” said Ihor Sosnovsky, vice president of operations. “We do not even consider such a chance.”

The airline uses the airport “to conduct training on Boeing 737 aircraft aimed at evaluating pilots’ proficiency and ability to act in emergency cases,” he added. The flight had an experienced crew: Capt. Volodymyr Gaponenko, who had 11,600 hours on the 737, 5,500 of them as captain, Ukraine International said. He was joined by first officer Serhii Khomenko who had 7,600 hours on a 737 and instructor pilot Oleksiy Naumkin, who had 12,000 hours on the 737, with 6,600 as captain, the airline said.

Uncertainty over investigation

Under international law, the country where the crash took place leads the accident investigation but other nations often aid in the probe. Because the plane was a U.S.-made Boeing airliner, U.S. government officials and Boeing would normally be involved but tensions between the two countries called that into question. Iranian media reported that the country wouldn’t provide the black box, which contains flight data, to the U.S. or Boeing. It’s unclear whether Iranian officials will send the black box to another country to be analyzed.

Rescue workers and forensic investigators inspect the bodies of victims of a Ukrainian plane crash. airport, killing all onboard. Mahmoud Hosseini | picture alliance | Getty Images

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has also reportedly instructed the Ukrainian prosecutor general to open criminal proceedings over the crash, according to Reuters. The 737-800 plane is not a 737 Max, the type that regulators grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in a span of five months, sending Boeing into its biggest crisis in its more than 100-year history. Ukraine International Airlines received the 737-800 jet in 2016 when it was new, according to Flightradar24, a flight-tracking site. Flight 752 stopped transmitting location data about two minutes into the flight, it added.

Rescue workers carry the body of a victim of a Ukrainian plane crash. Mahmoud Hosseini | picture alliance | Getty Images


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Trump threatens to slap sanctions on Iraq ‘like they’ve never seen before’

President Donald Trump speaks during a ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 03, 2020 in Miami, Florida. President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to slap sanctions on Iraq after its parliament passed a resolution calling for the government to expel foreign troops from the country. Tensions in the Middle East spiraled last week after Trump called for a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani. The presi


President Donald Trump speaks during a ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 03, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to slap sanctions on Iraq after its parliament passed a resolution calling for the government to expel foreign troops from the country.
Tensions in the Middle East spiraled last week after Trump called for a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.
The presi
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Trump threatens to slap sanctions on Iraq 'like they've never seen before'

President Donald Trump speaks during a ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 03, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to slap sanctions on Iraq after its parliament passed a resolution calling for the government to expel foreign troops from the country.

Tensions in the Middle East spiraled last week after Trump called for a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the U.S. president said: “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump said.

The president added that “If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”

Soleimani, the head of a special forces unit in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was the key architect of Iran’s military operations overseas.

He was killed late Thursday while leaving Baghdad airport, when his convoy was struck by a drone, ordered by the U.S. president. One of those killed with him was a key Iraqi militia leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.

The Iraqi government has accused Washington of violating its sovereignty.

“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason,” read the resolution passed by the Iraqi parliament, which convened in an extraordinary session on Sunday.

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq is set to meet a Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Monday to talk about the future of American military troops in Iraq, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter told NBC News. They said the U.S. was expecting Mahdi to inform the ambassador of its decision to expel U.S. troops in Iraq.


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Top Iranian general killed in US airstrike in Baghdad, Pentagon confirms

WASHINGTON — Iran’s top commander General Qasem Soleimani has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday night following reports of his death on Iranian state television and Iraqi media. General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week. This strike was aimed at deterring futur


WASHINGTON — Iran’s top commander General Qasem Soleimani has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday night following reports of his death on Iranian state television and Iraqi media.
General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.
General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.
This strike was aimed at deterring futur
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Top Iranian general killed in US airstrike in Baghdad, Pentagon confirms

WASHINGTON — Iran’s top commander General Qasem Soleimani has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday night following reports of his death on Iranian state television and Iraqi media.

Soleimani, who led a special forces unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, has been a key figure of Iranian and Middle East politics. His death exacerbated already-high tensions between Iran and the United States, and triggered concerns of retaliation from Iranian forces.

Oil prices rocketed by nearly 4% in the morning of Asia trading hours while Brent crude soared 3.98% to $68.90 per barrel, while U.S. crude surged 3.87% to $63.55 per barrel.

Here is the full statement from the Department of Defense:

At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week. This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.

Hours after the Pentagon’s announcement, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the assassination of Soleimani was “extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.”

“The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” he said.

The latest development comes on the heels of a New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack prompted President Donald Trump to order the deployment of approximately 750 U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East.


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Iran vows to retaliate over the killing of its top military commander

Iran has vowed to retaliate over the assassination of the country’s top military commander Major-General Qasem Soleimani. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Friday that the targeted killing of Soleimani was “extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.” Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. military airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his death will make Iran “more decisive” in its resistance against the


Iran has vowed to retaliate over the assassination of the country’s top military commander Major-General Qasem Soleimani.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Friday that the targeted killing of Soleimani was “extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.”
Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. military airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his death will make Iran “more decisive” in its resistance against the
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Iran vows to retaliate over the killing of its top military commander

Iran has vowed to retaliate over the assassination of the country’s top military commander Major-General Qasem Soleimani.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Friday that the targeted killing of Soleimani was “extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.”

“The U.S. bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” Zarif said on Twitter.

Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. military airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. The move was directed by U.S. President Donald Trump, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The U.S. State Department designates the Iranian Quds Force as a foreign terrorist organization, and Soleimani has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members. The Pentagon said Soleimani approved this week’s attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

“A crushing revenge will be taken for Soleimani’s unjust assassination … We will take revenge from all those involved and responsible for his assassination,” Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his death will make Iran “more decisive” in its resistance against the U.S.

“Soleimani’s martyrdom will make Iran more decisive to resist America’s expansionism and to defend our Islamic values,” said on state television,” Rouhani said on state television, Reuters reported. “With no doubt, Iran and other freedom-seeking countries in the region will take his revenge.”


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Former army general warns of ‘military accident’ amid US-China tensions

As relations between the U.S. and China continue to deteriorate, one immediate risk is a “military accident or operational miscalculation” between the armed forces of both countries, said former U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry. “Do I worry about the risks that we have with the increasing geopolitical competition with China? There have been several near military confrontations between the two nations, Eikenberry told CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah at the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore.


As relations between the U.S. and China continue to deteriorate, one immediate risk is a “military accident or operational miscalculation” between the armed forces of both countries, said former U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry.
“Do I worry about the risks that we have with the increasing geopolitical competition with China?
There have been several near military confrontations between the two nations, Eikenberry told CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah at the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore.

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Former army general warns of 'military accident' amid US-China tensions

As relations between the U.S. and China continue to deteriorate, one immediate risk is a “military accident or operational miscalculation” between the armed forces of both countries, said former U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry.

“Do I worry about the risks that we have with the increasing geopolitical competition with China? … the answer is very much yes,” Eikenberry, also a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said Thursday.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured in recent months, as both countries slap additional tariffs on each other’s goods amid a battle over trade that has spread to the tech space and concerns over national security. Despite multiple high-level trade talks, negotiations appear to have hit an impasse.

There have been several near military confrontations between the two nations, Eikenberry told CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah at the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore. A Chinese destroyer and a U.S. navy destroyer almost collided in the South China Sea late last year, he said.

In 2001, when a U.S. naval aircraft collided with a Chinese naval fighter and was forced to land in Hainan, said Eikenberry. Another incident was in 1996, when the U.S. accidentally bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during one of the wars in the Balkans. However, none of that led to a “large scale war,” he said.

“Those were very serious diplomatic incidents. But now — with the deterioration between the sides — should we have an incident like that today, I think the consequences will be much greater,” said Eikeinberry.


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Saudi Aramco will offer less than 1% of shares to individual investors in IPO

Saudi Aramco will sell up to 0.5% of its shares to individual investors in what could be the largest initial public offering in history. Saudi Aramco said the process begins Nov. 17 and closes Dec. 4. A final offer price, as well as the number and percentage of company shares that will be sold, will be determined at the end of that period. The prospectus says individual investors will have until Nov. 28 to request shares, noting that “up to 0.5%” of the company’s shares will be allocated to indi


Saudi Aramco will sell up to 0.5% of its shares to individual investors in what could be the largest initial public offering in history.
Saudi Aramco said the process begins Nov. 17 and closes Dec. 4.
A final offer price, as well as the number and percentage of company shares that will be sold, will be determined at the end of that period.
The prospectus says individual investors will have until Nov. 28 to request shares, noting that “up to 0.5%” of the company’s shares will be allocated to indi
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Saudi Aramco will offer less than 1% of shares to individual investors in IPO

Signage of Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) is seen during a news conference by the state oil company at the Plaza Conference Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia November 3, 2019.

Saudi Aramco will sell up to 0.5% of its shares to individual investors in what could be the largest initial public offering in history.

The world’s biggest oil company released a prospectus Saturday, providing further information but without revealing the precise size of its planned share offering.

Saudi Aramco said the process begins Nov. 17 and closes Dec. 4. A final offer price, as well as the number and percentage of company shares that will be sold, will be determined at the end of that period.

The prospectus says individual investors will have until Nov. 28 to request shares, noting that “up to 0.5%” of the company’s shares will be allocated to individual investors.

Saudi Aramco confirmed plans to pay annual, aggregate cash dividends of at least $75 billion starting in calendar year 2020, in addition to any special dividends.

However, investors can’t yet gauge the value of those dividends’ yield relative to other companies until they can clearly assess the valuation of Saudi Aramco and its shares. Dividend investors are attracted to steady returns, and they try to put their money into stocks with the best yields.

Exxon Mobil shares have a dividend yield of 4.92%, based on their Friday closing price of $70.77 per share. Chevron’s yield stands at 3.94%, and BP comes in at 6.28%.


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Turkey to launch a planned military operation in northern Syria, US says

Turkey is preparing to launch a military operation in northern Syria, and the United States will withdraw its troops in the area ahead of the attack, a statement from U.S. press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” the statement late Sunday night said, adding that President Donald Trump had spoken to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone. “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be i


Turkey is preparing to launch a military operation in northern Syria, and the United States will withdraw its troops in the area ahead of the attack, a statement from U.S. press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” the statement late Sunday night said, adding that President Donald Trump had spoken to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone. “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be i
Turkey to launch a planned military operation in northern Syria, US says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-07  Authors: joanna tan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, syria, kurdish, turkey, statement, states, troops, northern, operation, united, military, launch, planned


Turkey to launch a planned military operation in northern Syria, US says

Turkey is preparing to launch a military operation in northern Syria, and the United States will withdraw its troops in the area ahead of the attack, a statement from U.S. press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

“Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” the statement late Sunday night said, adding that President Donald Trump had spoken to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone. “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area.”

Earlier this year, Turkey said it will go ahead with its military offensive against Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria regardless of whether the U.S. withdraws its troops from the country. Ankara has already amassed thousands of Turkish troops along its border with Syria.

Reuters reported Saturday that Erdogan said military operations — both air and ground — taking place east of the Euphrates river in Syria, could begin any time.

The terror group ISIS, or the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 and captured vast swathes of territory in the region in the ensuing years.

The U.S. supports Kurds in northern Syria that helped retake some of that territory, but Turkey has always rejected the legitimacy of the Kurdish presence in Syria. Turkey has long fought Kurdish rebels within its own borders and regularly targets Kurdish groups in Iraq.

“Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial ‘Caliphate’ by the United States,” the press secretary’s statement said.

— CNBC Natasha Turak contributed to this report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-07  Authors: joanna tan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, syria, kurdish, turkey, statement, states, troops, northern, operation, united, military, launch, planned


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US troops begin pullout from along Turkey’s border in Syria, infuriating Syrian Kurds

The Syrian Kurdish fighters also accused Washington of failing to abide by its commitments to its key allies in the fight against IS. He views the Syria Kurdish forces as a threat to his country as Ankara has struggled with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey. IS sleeper cells are already plotting to break free some 12,000 militants detained by Syrian Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria in a “threat to local & international security.” The Kurdish fighters also control the al-Hol camp, home to


The Syrian Kurdish fighters also accused Washington of failing to abide by its commitments to its key allies in the fight against IS. He views the Syria Kurdish forces as a threat to his country as Ankara has struggled with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey. IS sleeper cells are already plotting to break free some 12,000 militants detained by Syrian Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria in a “threat to local & international security.” The Kurdish fighters also control the al-Hol camp, home to
US troops begin pullout from along Turkey’s border in Syria, infuriating Syrian Kurds Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-07  Authors: joanna tan, natasha turak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, turkey, syrian, kurdish, american, forces, infuriating, troops, turkish, kurds, turkeys, fighters, border, syria, begin, pullout


US troops begin pullout from along Turkey's border in Syria, infuriating Syrian Kurds

Erdogan spoke hours after the White House said U.S. forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault — essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the yearslong battle to defeat the Islamic State group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, also said American troops have started withdrawing from positions, and a video posted by a Kurdish news agency showed a convoy of American armored vehicles apparently heading away from the border area of Tal Abyad.

There was no immediate confirmation from the White House of U.S. troops clearing positions in areas in northern Syria.

The Syrian Kurdish fighters also accused Washington of failing to abide by its commitments to its key allies in the fight against IS. It’s a major shift in U.S. policy.

U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces said American troops began pulling back Monday from positions along the border in northeast Syria ahead of an expected Turkish invasion that the Syrian Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against the Islamic State group.

Erdogan didn’t elaborate on the planned Turkish incursion but said Turkey was determined to halt what it perceives as threats from the Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Erdogan has threatened for months to launch the military operation across the border. He views the Syria Kurdish forces as a threat to his country as Ankara has struggled with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.

In the U.S., Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing the Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds and send a troubling message to American allies across the globe.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, as the Kurdish-led force is known, said the American pullout began first from areas along the Syria-Turkey border.

“The American forces did not abide by their commitments and withdrew their forces along the border with Turkey,” the SDF said in its statement. “Turkey now is preparing to invade northern and eastern parts of Syria.”

“The Turkish military operation in northern and eastern Syria will have a huge negative effect on our war against” IS, it added.

In an agreement between Ankara and Washington, joint patrols had been patrolling a security zone that covers over 125 kilometers (78 miles) along the border between the towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. The SDF had removed fortification from the areas, considered by Turkey as a threat, and retreated heavy weapons. Meanwhile, U.S. and Turkish began joint aerial and ground patrols of the area.

But Turkey and the U.S. disagreed over the depth of the zone, with Ankara seeking to also have its troops monitor a stretch of territory between 30 and 40 kilometers deep (19 to 25 miles). Despite the agreement, Erdogan had continued to threaten an attack.

The Kurdish-led fighters have been the main U.S.-backed force in Syria in the fight against IS and in March, the group captured the last sliver of land held by the extremists, marking the end of the so-called caliphate that was declared by IS’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014.

“We will not hesitate for a moment in defending our people” against Turkish troops, the Syrian Kurdish force said, adding that it has lost 11,000 fighters in the war against IS in Syria.

A Turkish attack would lead to a resurgence of IS, it said. IS sleeper cells are already plotting to break free some 12,000 militants detained by Syrian Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria in a “threat to local & international security.”

The Kurdish fighters also control the al-Hol camp, home to more than 70,000 including at least 9,000 foreigners, mostly wives and children of IS fighters.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted that since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, “we have supported the territorial integrity of this country, and we will continue to support it.”

He added that Ankara is determined to ensure the survival and security of Turkey “by clearing the region from terrorists. We will contribute to peace, peace and stability in Syria.”

The Syrian Kurdish Hawar news agency and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also say American troops were evacuating positions near the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad on Monday.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-07  Authors: joanna tan, natasha turak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, turkey, syrian, kurdish, american, forces, infuriating, troops, turkish, kurds, turkeys, fighters, border, syria, begin, pullout


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