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Saudi Arabia says ‘Iranian weapons’ used in drone attack on oil facilities | World News

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Oil prices have fallen after an initial spike following a drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, as finger pointing continues over who was responsible.

Global prices surged nearly 20% following the bombing of two oil plants, before dropping around 10% when markets calmed in reaction to Donald Trump’s suggestion that America’s stockpile could be used if required.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, say they are responsible and have warned of more strikes.

Smoke billows from the oil facility in Abqaiq
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Satellite images showed smoke billowing from the Abqaiq oil facility

However, Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of being behind the attacks on the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais oil field in the early hours of Saturday.

Saudi military spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said their initial investigation suggests “Iranian weapons” were used and were “not launched from Yemen”.

His comments were echoed by the US ambassador to the United Nations, who told the security council that information “indicates that responsibility lies with Iran” and there was no evidence the attack came from Yemen.

Iran has denied it is to blame and said it was ready for “full-fledged war” if necessary, while countries including Russia have warned against pinning the blame on Tehran.

Colonel Turki al-Malki said the weapons were Iranian
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Colonel Turki al-Malki claimed the weapons were Iranian

It comes as Iranian news agency INSA also reported that the country’s Revolutionary Guards had seized a ship in the Gulf for allegedly smuggling diesel to the United Arab Emirates.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are locked in a long-standing power struggle in the region.

A satellite image showing damage to oil/gas Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia
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A satellite image shows damage to the Abqaiq plant in the east of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition, which includes the UAE, in a war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. It is often described as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The strike on Saudi Aramco’s main processing facility has cut its production of crude oil by 5.7 million barrels a day – more than half its daily exports and more than 5% of the world’s daily production.

The oil market’s confidence was knocked by how easy it appeared to be to attack and damage the Saudi facilities.

Khurais oil plant
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The Khurais oil plant was also hit

It remains unclear how long it will take to carry out repairs, with some suggesting it could take months.

The country has stockpiles that will enable it to meet its export commitments in coming weeks. However it took some action to clamp down on supplies, including shutting down its pipeline to Bahrain.

US President Donald Trump helped calm markets when he said oil from America’s emergency fuel storage would be released if needed.

He tweeted: “We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!”

He also said the US was “locked and loaded” and that he is unwilling to meet Iran, who he re-imposed sanctions on last year after pulling out of a landmark nuclear deal.

The president went on to accuse Iran of lying over its involvement, tweeting: “Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their ‘airspace’ when, in fact, it was nowhere close.

“They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie.

“Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”

Senior US officials said satellite images and other intelligence showed the strike was inconsistent with one launched from Yemen, where the Houthis are based, and suggested instead that it came from Iran or Iraq.

Iraq has denied the attack originated from their territory.

Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, told Sky News: “The attack on the installations was a wanton violation of international law.

“It’s despicable and we stand firmly in support of our Saudi partners and other international players who are outraged.

“The picture is not entirely clear, we are working it up, and before I talk about who is responsible and the implications I want to have a very clear picture, which we will be getting shortly.”

Russia’s foreign ministry expressed “grave concern” and said it condemned attacks on vital infrastructure or any action that could disrupt global energy supplies.

However, Moscow warned against putting the blame on Iran and said military retaliation would be unacceptable.

Saudi neighbour Qatar also condemned the attacks, despite being on the receiving end of a Saudi boycott.



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Black woman killed by white officer in her own home while babysitting nephew | US News

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The family of a black woman killed in her own home by a white police officer have accused the officer of murder.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed in her home in Fort Worth, Texas, while looking after her eight-year-old nephew.

A neighbour had called police on a non-emergency line when they saw her front door was open. Police responded at about 2.25am.

Fort Worth Police said officers saw someone near a window and one of them drew his duty weapon after “perceiving a threat”.

The officer's bodycam footage doesn't indicate he identified as police
Image:
The officer’s bodycam footage doesn’t indicate he identified as police

Lee Merritt, an attorney for the family, said the bodycam footage showed the officer would not have had time to perceive a threat from Ms Jefferson.

He said: “You didn’t hear the officer shout, ‘Gun, gun, gun.’

“He didn’t have time to perceive a threat. That’s murder.”

The video released by Fort Worth Police shows two officers searching the home from the outside with torches, before one shouts: “Put your hands up, show me your hands.”

Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it's not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson
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Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it’s not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson
Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it's not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson
Image:
Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it’s not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson

One shot is then fired. The officer does not identify himself as police.

Ms Jefferson died of her injuries in her home.

Amber Carr, Ms Jefferson’s sister, said: “It’s another one of those situations where the people that are supposed to protect us are actually not here to protect us.

“You know, you want to see justice, but justice don’t bring my sister back.”

One of her aunts, Venitta Body, said: “It’s like from the moment we got the call, it’s been more and more inconceivable and more confusing. And there has nothing been done in order to take away that confusion.”

Fort Worth Police said the officer, who has been with the force since April 2018, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

His name has not been released.

The neighbour who called police about the door, James Smith, said he feels “it’s partly my fault”.

He said: “If I had never dialled the police department, she’d still be alive.

“It makes you not want to call the police department.”

Ms Jefferson’s nephew usually lives with an older woman, who has been in hospital.



Botham Jean's younger brother Brandt Jean hugs former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger.  Tom Fox/Pool via REUTERS







Man hugs brother’s killer in court

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price released a statement on Saturday which said: “Writing a statement like this is tragic and something that should never be necessary. A young woman has lost her life, leaving her family in unbelievable grief. All of Fort Worth must surround Atatiana Jefferson’s family with prayers, love and support.

“Chief Kraus and his command staff are acting with immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. More details are forthcoming and the Tarrant County District Attorney Law Enforcement Incident Team office will ultimately receive this case.”

Mr Merritt said the family of the victim expects “a thorough and expedient investigation”.

Fort Worth Police Department said it released the bodycam footage from outside the home to show its transparency, but cannot release the video from inside the home because of state law.

The shooting comes two weeks after Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing Botham Jean in his own apartment.

She shot him with her service weapon when she went into his home by mistake, thinking it was her own.

Mr Merritt is also the Jeans’ family lawyer.

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Marilyn Hartman: ‘Serial stowaway’ caught trying to sneak on flight again | US News

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A “serial stowaway” has been caught trying to get through airport security again – despite getting an 18-month sentence ordering her to stay away from terminals.

Marilyn Hartman was spotted as she tried to sneak through security in Chicago’s O’Hare airport on Friday night and officers realised she did not have a ticket or identification.

According to an NBC report, police said she was “moving dividers in an attempt to circumvent security”.

It comes after she was arrested last year for sneaking on to a flight from O’Hare to London.

The 67-year-old has been sneaking onto flights for about 10 years.

She ultimately pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing and was sentenced in March to 18 months’ probation after agreeing to stay away from Chicago’s two commercial airports.

According to NBC Chicago, Hartman has long struggled with homelessness and mental health, and has had multiple encounters with officials at airports throughout the US.

In 2016, Hartman was ordered to be held in jail without bond after she walked away multiple times from a Chicago mental health facility where she was receiving treatment.

She was set to appear at bond court at 9am local time on Sunday.

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Simone Biles vaults into record books after 25th medal at world championships | US News

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Simone Biles has become the most decorated gymnast in the world championship history after clinching her 25th medal.

The 22-year-old overtook the 23 medals won by Belarusian men’s gymnast Vitaly Scherbo by winning the balance beam in Stuttgart, Germany, on Sunday.

The US gymnast added her 25th medal by winning the floor exercise less than two hours later.

Biles delivered a polished routine on the beam before executing a full-twisting double-tuck dismount for a score of 15.066.

When her score was announced, guaranteeing the medal record, Biles jumped up from her seat with a broad smile and punched the air.

Simone Biles won the balance beam final to clinch her 24th medal in the competition
Image:
Simone Biles won the balance beam final to clinch her 24th medal in the competition

Liu Tingting of China, last year’s winner, took silver with 14.433, and her teammate Li Shijia won the bronze.

Biles won the floor exercise by a full point, scoring 15.133 despite a step out of bounds on one pass, and blew kisses to the audience after finishing her routine.

Her US teammate Sunisa Lee took silver, her third medal of the championships, while Angelina Melnikova took bronze for Russia.

Biles’ winning routine came after a long wait when Brazilian gymnast Flavia Saraiva requested an inquiry into her score.

The US gymnast has won five events at these world championships after winning team gold on Tuesday, individual all-around gold on Thursday, and vault gold on Saturday.

Biles with her gold medal after the winning the balance beam final
Image:
Biles with her gold medal after the winning the balance beam final

A fifth place on uneven bars on Saturday ended Biles’ chances of winning a medal in all six events, which she did last year in her comeback world championships after a sabbatical in 2017.

Four-time Olympic champion Biles now holds 18 gold medals across four championships against 12 for Scherbo, who competed in five world events between 1991 and 1996.

Biles hasn’t confirmed whether she will continue to compete after next year’s Olympics, so this could be her last world championships.

Max Whitlock won Britain’s first gold medal of the championships on the pommel horse on Saturday.

Britain won its second gold of the championships when Joe Fraser scored 15 points to win on parallel bars.

Biles’ record came before Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei set the women’s marathon record with a time of two hours and 14 minutes.

She beat British runner Paula Radcliffe’s record of two hours and 15 minutes.

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