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German election: Who will replace Merkel?

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It remains neck and neck between the two major parties in Germany’s federal election

The nation and the world is waiting to see whether the conservatives of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel will be victorious or whether the centre-left SPD party will win.

To date, it is the conservative party’s worst result, but the group’s leader Armin Laschet says “it’s all to play for” as the centre-left party leader appeals to voters to “wait and see”.

Exit polls suggest that the SDP has 25.7 percent of the vote while Merkel’s centre-right CDU has 24.6 percent of the vote and the Greens sit at 14.4 percent.

The narrowness in these polls means the election result remains too close too call to predict both the new government and Germany’s next chancellor.

It is likely that lengthy coalition negotiations will need to take place once the result is revealed.

Whichever party comes out in front, lengthy coalition negotiations are expected before a government can be formed.

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Liz Truss pledges to get her country through the stormy days ahead

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Liz Truss pledges to get her country through the stormy days ahead during Tory Party address

Liz Truss has pledged to get the UK through the stormy days head.

It comes comes against a backdrop of financial and political turmoil following the government’s mini-budget.

Markets reacted badly to the plans for 45 billion pound tax cuts funded by borrowing.

Meanwhile, the government’s U-turn on plans to slash the 45 per cent tax rate led to criticism from within the party.

In the address, Truss admitted her policies will cause “disruption”. But she says “the status quo is not an option” and her party “must stay the course”.

“I’m determined to get Britain moving, to get us through the tempest and to put us on a stronger footing as a nation,” Truss said.

Truss also vowed to take on the “anti-growth coalition” and “enemies of enterprise”. This includes opposition parties, “militant unions” and environmental campaigners.

The speech was an attempt to reassert the government’s commitment to its economic plans, in the face of criticism from both inside and outside the party.

There were a number of protestors at the conference hall during the event.

Two Greenpeace demonstrators were removed after holding up a sign which read ‘who voted for this’.

The reaction to Liz Truss’s speech was mixed.

Some commentators praised her for her “straight talking” and for her willingness to take on the “anti-growth coalition”.

Others criticised her for her lack of detail and failure to address concerns about the government’s economic plans.

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OPEC+ agreed to its deepest cuts to oil production since 2020

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OPEC+ agreed its deepest cuts to oil production since the 2020 COVID pandemic at a Vienna meeting

OPEC has agreed to the biggest cuts in oil output since the height of the global health crisis.

Ministers from the group of oil-producing nations, and allies including Russia, met in Vienna on Wednesday.

That marked their first in-person get-together since lockdowns made them impossible.

They agreed to slash production by 2 million barrels per day. This move could spur a recovery in oil prices.

They’ve fallen from $120 per barrel three months ago, to about $90 now.

But the decision is unlikely to go down well in Washington.

After OPEC+ agreed to cut oil production, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States is working to ensure energy supply is on the market and that prices are low.

Asked if he was disappointed in U.S. ally Saudi Arabia agreeing to the cuts, Blinken said Washington has a “multiplicity of interests with regard to Saudi Arabia.”

“We are working every single day to make sure to the best of our ability that, again, energy supply from wherever is actually meeting demand in order to ensure that energy is on the market and the prices are kept low,” Blinken said.

It wanted OPEC to pump more oil, to help reduce prices ahead of U.S. midterm elections.

The Biden administration also wants to limit revenues for Russia, as part of moves to punish it for the conflict in Ukraine.

However, Saudi Arabia has refused to condemn Moscow, which is part of the broader OPEC+ grouping.

Market watchers at JPMorgan expect Washington to react with countermeasures by releasing more oil stocks.

The UAE energy minister said Wednesday’s decision was technical, not political.

The Saudis and other OPEC members say it’s aimed at calming market volatility, not targeting any particular price for oil.

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President Joe Biden surveys catastrophic damage left by Hurricane Ian

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Many homes and businesses lay in ruins amid debris in southwestern Florida

On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill visited Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian making a direct hit to the state last week.

As many homes and businesses lay in ruins amid debris, the President promised to use the power of the federal government to help the community rebuild throughout the sunshine state.

The President comforted residents alongside Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis—a possible competitor in 2024— as well as joining GOP members of Congress for a tour of some of the hardest hit areas in southwestern Florida.

However, both men agreed to put politics aside for now, instead focusing on helping the community.

Speaking in Fort Meyers, which took the brunt of Ian, Biden said, “Today we have one job and only one job, and that’s to make sure the people in Florida get everything they need to fully, thoroughly recover.”

Hurricane Ian is considered one of the post powerful storms to ever hit the United States.

So far, officials have confirmed that at least 84 people died, including 75 in Florida.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands are still wait for power to be restored.

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