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OPEC has decided to limit production and oil prices rise - photo origin unknown
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OPEC has agreed to limit the production of oil in a meeting in Algiers on Wednesday. Oil prices immediately surged by 6% after the announcement. 

If the limitation is carried through, this will be the first time oil production has been reduced since 2008.

According to the agreement, OPEC countries plan to reduce production from 33.4 million barrels per day to 32.5 million. The largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is expected to give up 350,000 barrels per day, while the reductions for the other countries will be decided in November.

Iran, Nigeria, and Libya are exempt from the deal and will not be expected to lower their production.

In mid-2014, oil prices were as high as $100, but an oversupply of oil over the last two years has seen prices drop to as low as $26 a barrel in February 2016. Recently, however, prices have steadied to around $47 a barrel.


Vocabulary
to cut - to lower / decrease (doing an activity)
to surge - to suddenly rise / increase
limitation - a restriction of any further action
to carry through - to allow to (fully) happen
according to _ - as stated / indicated by_
exempt - free from following a rule, regulation, etc.
to steady - to become stable
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King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame - photo by Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP
In a message to the African Union (AU) at their summit in Kigali, Rwanda on Sunday, the king of Morocco Mohammed VI said "the moment has now come" for Morocco to retake its place in the AU, expressing the country's desire to rejoin the union after leaving 32 years before.

Morocco left the AU in 1984 after the organization recognized Western Sahara as an independent state. Morocco regards Western Sahara as apart of their southern provinces and even threatened to pull out its military troops from United Nations global peacekeeping missions because of the dispute over the area. 

Morocco sent a special envoy to the summit this weekend to lobby for their request.

The AU has said that it will continue to support a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara.


Vocabulary

to recognize (verb) - to acknowledge / accept the existence or state of something
to regard (verb) - to look as / to look upon
dispute (noun) - an ongoing conflict / disagreement

envoy (noun) - a messenger or representative 
to lobby (verb) - to try to influence or change a group's decisions on an issue
self-determination (noun) - self-rule; independence;  controlling your own life
 
 
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Venezuelans cross into Colombia in the rain to buy food and medicine - photo by AFP
For the second time this month, Venezuela has opened its border with Colombia to allow Venezuelans to cross over into the country to buy food, medicine, and other household items.

Venezuela has experienced  a shortage of food and other necessities since the country fell into an economic crisis caused by the dropping price of oil in recent months. Oil is the country's main source of income and because of the drop in price, Venezuelan businesses have been unable to stock their store shelves with food.  

The first time this month Venezuela opened the border to Colombia, 35,000 people crossed over. This time, 100,000 people crossed over into Colombia to buy food and medicine. 

The main political opposition party in Venezuela blames the shortages on the policies of the Venezuelan government which have hindered local businesses from importing materials from other countries. 

Many have criticized President Nicolas Maduro for ignoring the people's need for life's necessities.


Vocabulary
border (noun) - the line that divides two different countries, regions, or areas, etc.
shortage (noun) - a period fo time when there is little supply of something and people need more of it
necessities (noun) - things people need to live and not die
crisis (noun) - an emergency situation
income (noun) - money earned
drop (noun) - decrease
to stock (verb) - to add to and keep an amount that can be used for the future
to hinder (verb) - to stop or slow something down
policies (noun) - the rules, actions, and/or practices of an organization
import (verb) - to bring in to one country from another country

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Venezuelans cross the Colombian border to buy food and medicine alongside military troops - photo by AFP