Saudi, President Biden, U.S. discussed on All Things Considered


Murderers. He's taking his accepting his guilt for that. They've instead tried to focus us on Cruz's troubled personal history. And that's a history that started when his birth mother, mother Brenda woodard, abused alcohol and cocaine while she was pregnant with them, quiz defense lawyers have read a lot of medical experts to make the case that he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Here's his attorney, Melissa McNeil. You now know that Nicholas is a brain damaged, broken, mentally ill person. Through no fault of his own. He was literally poisoned in Brenda's home. These are all consequences of cruise's middle impairment. She says of FASD his problems in school and elsewhere, and they say that's reason to give him not death, but life in prison without possibility of parole. All right. And pierce Greg Allen reporting for us from the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, thank you, Greg. You're welcome. President Biden is reevaluating the U.S. Saudi relationship after last week's decision by OPEC plus to slash 2 million barrels a day of oil production. That's according to John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council speaking today. Research decision by okay. And Saudi Arabia's leadership, he does believe that this is a good time to reevaluate and see what that relationship on a look like going forward. Analysts say the breach created by these production cuts could be a turning point in U.S. Saudi relations and PR international affairs correspondent jeffy, Jackie northam reports. It wasn't just a sheer size of the cut in oil production by OPEC plus. It was also the timing coming about three months after President Biden visited Saudi Arabia to lobby against such a reduction and just ahead of the midterm elections here in the U.S. where prices at the gas pump could have an effect on voters. Jonathan panico is director of the scowcroft Middle East security initiative at the Atlantic council. It feels punitive against the Biden administration. And I think it's hard to think it's otherwise because the Saudis are at naive about the U.S. political situation. It may not have been the core reason for doing it, but they absolutely were happy to do it. A senior fellow at the Middle East institute says Saudi Arabia has legitimate business reasons for the cut. They're seeking higher prices now in case a global recession reduces demand later. And he says that despite concerted U.S. attempts to talk them out of a production cut all 24 members of OPEC plus were on board with it. This is a decision that was not just Saudi. It was unanimous and it was driven by economics and market dynamics rather than politics. Russia is co chair of OPEC plus. Its deputy prime minister Alexander Novak, who is sanctioned by the U.S., sat at the table when the cuts were announced. The production cuts mean higher revenue for Russia to support the war in Ukraine. Jason board off his director of Columbia University's center on global energy policy. Many in D.C. view the Saudis now is aligned themselves with Russia at a time when Russian troops are killing Ukrainians. And reduced Russian energy exports are plunging much of the world into an energy crisis. The Atlantic council's panna COFF says this incident represents a profound shift in U.S. Saudi relations and much of that has to do with Saudis de facto leader, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. I don't think we fully accepted the notion that he is a different leader than we've ever dealt with. And so we're going to have to have a different relationship. Pana cough says The Crown prince is a transactional leader, and that the U.S. will have to decide if it wants to spend time and energy, rebuilding its strategic relationship with the kingdom or become more transactional as well, panic off says that could affect Saudi Arabia's security guarantees. And maybe we don't sell the more advanced aircraft. And maybe the training exercises are on older generation hardware. And maybe yes, we remove some patriot batteries and say, look, we recognize your security. We're not trying to diminish it. We have to balance our security goals as well. Some members of Congress want to freeze weapon sales to Saudi Arabia or to initiate price fixing cases against OPEC plus, but macso with the Middle East institute, says the gulf region is no longer beholden to the U.S. and has the right to look for other options. And so they are building bridges to China, which, by the way, accounts for over a quarter of oil exports from Saudi Arabia, and also with Russia that had been sort of expanding its role in the Middle East. Today, the Saudi foreign minister for Han bin Faisal said Saudi Arabia's ties with the U.S. are strategic and have advanced the security and stability in the region, and that the oil cut was made purely for economic reasons. Jackie northam, NPR news, Washington. Israel and Lebanon have ended their longtime dispute over where to draw their border at sea. The U.S. mediated the deal between the two enemies, President Biden called it a historic breakthrough, and piers Daniel estrin reports from Tel Aviv on what prompted the deal. The U.S. says it's the first time Israel and Lebanon have ever mutually agreed on a border between them. Israeli prime minister lapid echoed President Biden calling it historic. He said Israel has been trying to reach this deal for more than ten years, and that it will strengthen the security of northern Israel. The matter in dispute was who gets natural gas fields off the Mediterranean coast. One is in disputed waters. Another is an Israeli waters where Lebanon laid a new claim two years ago. Israel recently made moves to extract gas there and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah made threats of war. The details haven't been officially announced, but reportedly the two sides compromised on the borderline. Israel will extract gas from one field and Lebanon will explore for gas and the other potential field with the U.S. and Israel saying Lebanon will share some of the revenues. Lebanon's chief negotiator Elias busa says the deal satisfies both sides. He said it would provide economic stability and some hope to Lebanese with their economy and crisis and an electric grid that often provides just a couple hours of power a day. For Lebanon, Lebanese American render slim is a senior fellow at the Middle East institute in Washington. It removes a source of tension and it opens prospects for Lebanon economic prospects, and we don't know how much gas there is, but still, even if some gas gets out, it can be used in the Lebanese domestic market. And it can provide a source of revenue for a country whose economy is in major Dire Straits right now. She thinks it could pave the way for negotiations over their land border now. Former deputy Israeli navy chief shaul harev also thinks it's a step forward. Once you have such an agreement, it is the beginning of normalization the relationships between us and Lebanon that former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the deal is a capitulation to Hezbollah, and with Israeli elections just three weeks away. He says he won't consider himself beholden to the deal if he's voted back into office. Daniel estrin NPR news, Tel Aviv.

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