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US President Biden to discontinue waiver allowing US oil company to operate in Syria.

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US President Biden has decided not to renew the waiver which up until now had allowed certain US oil companies to operate in the oil rich northeast Syria. The waiver was introduced by President Trump after he pledged to “keep the oil” produced in the region.

The waiver was first introduced over an year ago in April 2020 after President Trump announced that he wanted to keep US troops in the region to maintain control of the profits form the oil. The waiver was a necessary part as the US Treasury prohibits most US companies from operating in the highly volatile conflict zone.

According to a Biden administration official who anonymously spoke with TRT World, the “Keep the Oil” narrative by President Trump is not a part of the current administration’s foreign policy and that using the US military to facilitate oil production for US companies in Syria was deemed as inappropriate.

The waiver was initially even seen as a benefit of political connections as the waiver was issued to Delta Crescent Energy which was founded in 2019 by former US ambassador to Denmark James Cian, retired army delta force officer James Reese and the UK based oil executive John Dorrier. The allegations that the waiver was issued based on political connections was stemmed from the fact that James Cian had donated more than $30,000 to the Republican Party and its candidates over the years.

President trumps issued multiple statements calling to keep US military in the region to “keep the oil” and “secure the oil”  while his aides continued to refute the allegations that the US was profiting from the Syrian oil reserves.

Source: TRT World.

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G7 fail to reach consensus on phase-out of coal.

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The G7 has been left stranded on coal as the U.S. and  Japan blocked a deal to end the use of coal in the G7 countries.

Following days of negotiations between the world’s richest and most advanced countries, the G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall, England failed  as the decision to set a date to phase-out the use of coal was blocked by the U.S. and Japan.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that they sought “language that aligns with the president’s domestic commitments, including a carbon pollution free power sector by 2035”.

According to an EU official, majority of the G7 members were willing to back the phase-out of coal in the 2030s. But Japan which has changed its views on coal following the Fukushima nuclear accident remains in favor of coal.

Criticism has been targeted at the G7 for their lack of commitment on such critical issues while Russia and China has made commitments to go carbon free. China is set to limit the use of coal starting this year and go carbon neutral by 2060.

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Journalists from the US market hosted by Visit Maldives.

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Visit Maldives is hosting a group of journalists from the US market.

According to the their website, this is the first of the familiarization trips planned for the market this year. Held from the 9th to the 16th of June 2021, the purpose of the trip is to promote Maldives as a safe haven for the travelers, highlighting the unique geographical formation of the country as well as the safety measures in place.

A combined circulation of over 500,000 print readers will be reached with over 78 million on online channels, as the journalists will have their content appear on major publications in online and offline channels such as Travel & Leisure, TripSavvy.com, Forbes, Insider Travel, LA Style, Citizen-Femme.com, Travel Age West and Travel Pulse said Visit Maldives.

In the article published on their official website, Visit Maldives stated that the accommodation for the trip was arranged at Robinson Club Noonu, LUX* North Male’ Atoll and Kuramathi Maldives. To target the high-end travelers of the US market, activities highlighting the natural beauty and the luxury aspects of the destination is to be carried out during the trip.

Visit Maldives highlighted additional activities planned for the US market this year such as familiarization trips for influencers, joint marketing promotions with tour operators, virtual roadshow, webinars and participation in virtual and physical fairs such as the Ultra Summit show taking place in the upcoming month.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, stated Visit Maldives, steady growth has been observed from the US market, with 19,759 arrivals in 2020, ranking as the 8th source market of tourist arrivals. 15,914 arrivals were recorded as of 3rd June 2021, ranking as the 6th market of top tourist arrivals for the year.

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Instagram and Facebook giving more flexibility to users.

Mariyam Mohamed

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On 26th May 2021, Facebook announced that both Facebook and Instagram users will have the option to make their “like” counts private so they can decide what works best for them.

The company has been testing if hiding the “like” counts gives a favorable experience for Instagram users. They found that the “like” counts are beneficial for some and displeasing to others. Now Facebook is giving people a choice to hide their “like” counts on all post on their feeds and their own posts so the public do not see how many likes they get.

For some users, like counts are recognized as current trends. So giving people a choice over hiding the “like” count will benefit people to focus on the content being shared instead of focusing on the popularity of the posts.

As claimed in the Facebook announcement, “Changing the way people view like counts is a big shift. We’ll continue in new ways to give people more choice, so they feel good about the time they spend on our apps.”

Furthermore, the company stated that they are giving more control on their social platforms to its users. They also announced new tools that allow users to filter offensive content from their direct messages and control over what they can share and see on Facebook news feeds.

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