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Saudi Arabi to act on high oil prices

Thu., Oct. 5, 2006

Saudi Arabia will work with OPEC to bring oil prices to a “reasonable level,” the kingdom’s ambassador said Wednesday.

Asserting Saudi Arabia’s traditional leadership role in the council of major producers, Ambassador Turki al-Faisal said his government will reflect “the international world’s interests” at the next OPEC meeting in a month or so.

The envoy did not specify the level of prices or of production Saudi Arabia would promote as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reviews the recent sharp decline in prices.

Saudi Arabia has in mind poorer countries that cannot afford high prices, the ambassador said at the think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“These are the countries most affected when the price of oil goes up to $70 a barrel,” he said.

“So it is our concern … in trying to bring down the prices to a reasonable level, to allow these (poorer) countries to meet the challenges,” the envoy said.

Nablus, West Bank

Gasoline shortage adds to chaos

A gasoline shortage that Palestinians blamed on a cutoff of supplies by an Israeli firm spread across the West Bank on Wednesday, causing long lines of angry drivers at gas stations.

The fuel crisis came on top of increasing chaos in the Palestinian territories, where clashes between forces from the Hamas-led government and rival Fatah have left 10 people dead in the Gaza Strip.

Israel supplies the West Bank and Gaza with most of its fuel, electricity and other vital resources. A Palestinian deputy prime minister, Nasser Shaer, said the fuel shortage stems from a disagreement with the Israeli company, Dor Alon, that provides fuel to the Palestinian Authority.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Pilots may face charges in crash

Prosecutors could charge two American pilots of an executive jet with manslaughter following the high-altitude collision with a Brazilian jetliner that apparently led to a crash that killed all 155 people aboard, federal police said Wednesday.

Police seized the passports of pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino, both from New York state. The two were not arrested, but cannot leave the country.

Lepore and Paladino were piloting the Brazilian-made Embraer Legacy 600 when it collided with a brand-new Boeing 737-800 above the Amazon rain forest near Peixoto de Azevedo in Mato Grosso state, some 1,100 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro.

Gol airlines Flight 1907 crashed, killing all 155 aboard. The Legacy was damaged, but landed safely at an air force base.

Mato Grosso’s acting federal police director, Geraldo Pereira, said the federal prosecutor’s office had ordered an investigation into “the possible commission of a crime.”


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