T-Mobile and Sprint just cleared key hurdles to their huge merger – CNN

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CNN’s Samantha Kelly breaks down what makes the iPhone XR different from the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max.”,”descriptionText”:”Apple just released the iPhone XR. CNN’s Samantha Kelly breaks down what makes the iPhone XR different from the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max.”},{“title”:”New smart glasses help the deaf experience live theater”,”duration”:”02:55″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/24/smart-glasses-lon-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/24/smart-glasses-lon-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181024100534-smart-glasses-1-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/24/smart-glasses-lon-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-tech/”,”description”:”These smart glasses display captions so an audience member can read them and watch a performance at the same time. Samuel Burke goes to the National Theatre to try them out.”,”descriptionText”:”These smart glasses display captions so an audience member can read them and watch a performance at the same time. Samuel Burke goes to the National Theatre to try them out.”},{“title”:”This glove lets you ‘feel’ objects that aren’t there”,”duration”:”01:47″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/19/vr-glove-mc-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/19/vr-glove-mc-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181019161741-vr-glove-2-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/19/vr-glove-mc-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-tech/”,”description”:”Scientists at EPFL and ETH Zurich have made a lightweight glove that simulates holding real objects in virtual reality. “,”descriptionText”:”Scientists at EPFL and ETH Zurich have made a lightweight glove that simulates holding real objects in virtual reality. “},{“title”:”Meet Magic Leap’s almost-human AI assistant”,”duration”:”01:16″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/18/magic-leap-mica-avatar-kw-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/18/magic-leap-mica-avatar-kw-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181012110007-02-magic-leap-ai-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/18/magic-leap-mica-avatar-kw-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-tech/”,”description”:”Augmented-reality startup Magic Leap has unveiled Mica, its highly realistic AI assistant.”,”descriptionText”:”Augmented-reality startup Magic Leap has unveiled Mica, its highly realistic AI assistant.”},{“title”:”How a Chinese smartphone got huge in Africa”,”duration”:”01:36″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/10/tecno-phones-africa.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/10/tecno-phones-africa.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181009140433-100918-center-piece-tecno-1-gfx-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/10/tecno-phones-africa.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-tech/”,”description”:”The Chinese company Transsion makes smartphones called Tecnos. 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That hasn’t stopped advertisers from taking notice.”},{“title”:”What is blockchain?”,”duration”:”02:08″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/09/25/blockchain-dominos-digital-ledger-cryptocurrency-explainer-cnn-business-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/09/25/blockchain-dominos-digital-ledger-cryptocurrency-explainer-cnn-business-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180925120122-blockchain-dominos-thumbnail-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/09/25/blockchain-dominos-digital-ledger-cryptocurrency-explainer-cnn-business-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-tech/”,”description”:”While some people are rushing to invest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, other experts believe that the real value lies in the underlying technology, known as blockchain. CNN’s Ramy Zabarah explains how it works.”,”descriptionText”:”While some people are rushing to invest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, other experts believe that the real value lies in the underlying technology, known as blockchain. CNN’s Ramy Zabarah explains how it works.”},{“title”:”What you need to know about Tencent”,”duration”:”01:51″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/09/24/tencent-what-you-need-to-know-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/09/24/tencent-what-you-need-to-know-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180924163247-pony-ma-tencent-business-thumbnail-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/09/24/tencent-what-you-need-to-know-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-tech/”,”description”:”CNN’s Samuel Burke explains how Tencent is a bit like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Spotify and Snapchat all rolled into one.”,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Samuel Burke explains how Tencent is a bit like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Spotify and Snapchat all rolled into one.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-1dxgta0′,”,”js-video_source-featured-1dxgta0″,true,true,’business-tech’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length

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Twitter warns of ‘unusual activity’ from China and Saudi Arabia – BBC News

Twitter's headquarters in San FranciscoImage copyright
AFP/Getty

Image caption

Twitter says those directly affected have been informed

Twitter has warned of “unusual activity” from China and Saudi Arabia related to a bug in a help form.

The bug – discovered on 15 November and fixed the day after – could have revealed the country code of users’ phone numbers or if their account was locked, the company said.

IP addresses from the two countries had sent a large number of inquiries using the form, Twitter said.

These could have had ties to “state-sponsored actors”, Twitter said.

Stressing that they could not confirm “intent or attribution for certain”, Twitter’s statement said they had informed the authorities about their discovery in the interest of “full transparency”.

Those directly affected have been informed, Twitter said. No full phone numbers were revealed, nor any other personal data.

The company’s stock price dropped nearly 7% on Monday.

News of the bug comes on the same day the US Senate released a report revealing how Russia used every social media platform to influence the 2016 election.

With a particular focus on targeting conservatives with posts on immigration, race and gun rights, the country also tried to undermine the voting power of left-leaning African-American citizens by spreading misinformation about the electoral process.

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An intelligent parrot used Alexa to play music and order food from Amazon – BGR

An African grey parrot has made headlines recently for inadvertently making orders via his owner’s Amazon Echo. Originally reported via The Times of London, the parrot — whose name is Rocco — would mindlessly activate Alexa and have the virtual assistant tell jokes and play music. Rocco even tried to order a few items from Amazon, but the owner wisely had set up controls to prevent unauthorized purchases.

What makes the somewhat lighthearted story even more amusing is that Rocco previously had a stint living at the UK’s National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) but was kicked out — yes, kicked out — because he was swearing too much. As the old adage says, truth is stranger than fiction. Rocco was subsequently placed under the care of a NAWT employee named Marion Wischnewski whereupon he quickly started activating Alexa.

In an interview on the story, Wishnewski said that she was surprised to look at her Amazon shopping list and stumble across a number of items she certainly didn’t order. Funny enough, Rocco had attempted to purchase quite a few snacks, including strawberries and ice cream.

While many people simply assume that parrots are smart because they can mimic human language, the reality is that most parrots are far from intelligent creatures. The African grey parrot, however, is something of an exception to the rule. Interestingly enough, a 2012 study published in The Royal Society found that the grey parrot has cognitive thinking skills in some areas that are on the same level as a three-year old human child.

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Asian shares slip as traders ready for Fed rate hike – The Associated Press

SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian stocks fell on Tuesday, tracking losses on Wall Street as traders braced for an interest rate hike by Federal Reserve.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 1.2 percent lower at 21,242.66 and the Kospi in South Korea dropped less than 0.1 percent to 2,070.54. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng eased 0.3 percent to 26,022.16. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.6 percent to 2,583.51. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was down 0.9 percent at 5,609.00. Shares were lower in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

WALL STREET: On Monday, broad selling knocked U.S. indexes to their lowest levels in over a year. Investors sold almost everything, from technology and retail stocks to steadier high-dividend companies. Less than 40 of the 500 stocks comprising the S&P 500 finished the day higher. The benchmark index gave up 2.1 percent to 2,545.94, its lowest level since Oct. 9, 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 2.1 percent to 23,592.98 and the Nasdaq composite was down 2.3 percent at 6,753.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 2.3 percent to 1,378.14.

FED MEETING: The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday. It is expected to raise its short-term interest rate by a modest quarter-point, to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent a day later. The rate is used as a benchmark for many consumer and business loans. Investors fear more monetary tightening would weigh on U.S. growth, and eventually, the global economy, that is already expected to slow in 2019 because of trade tensions. President Donald Trump tweeted that it was “incredible” the Fed was considering another rate hike, with “a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation.” The central bank forecasts three more rate hikes in 2019.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “Despite Donald Trump’s recent overture, the Fed looks set to hike rates again on Wednesday with market players anxious to see if the economy can handle more policy tightening given expectations for slowing growth,” ING economists Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Oil prices fell on worries about oversupply and softening growth in China, which could hit demand. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 49 cents to $49.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.32 to $49.88 in New York on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 59 cents to $59.02 a barrel. It lost 67 cents to settle at $59.61 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.61 yen from 112.83 yen in late trading Monday. The euro rose to $1.1353 from $1.1349.

___

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP

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Hacker Makes A Flawless Booby Trap, Strikes Back Against Package Thieves – Hackaday

[Mark Rober] was fed up with packages going missing. He kept receiving notifications that his shipments had been delivered, but when checking his porch he found nothing there. Reviewing the CCTV footage revealed random passers-by sidling up to his porch and stealing his parcels. It was time to strike back. Over six months, [Mark] and his friends painstakingly designed, prototyped and iterated the perfect trap for package thieves, resulting in a small unit disguised as an Apple HomePod. The whole scheme is wonderfully over-engineered and we love it.

The main feature of the device is a spinning cup on the top which contains a large amount of glitter. When activated, it ejects glitter in every directions. You could say it’s harmless, as it’s just glitter. But then again, glitter has a way of staying with you for the rest of your life — turning up at the least expected times. It certainly leaves an emotional impression.

Activation is quite clever; the fake package sits on the porch until an accelerometer detects movement. At that point, GPS checks to see if the package has traveled outside a geo-fence around [Mark]’s house. A signal is then sent to the four smartphones to start recording — yes, that’s right, there are 4 phones inside, one on each side to capture the reaction of the thief.

How can [Mark] be so confident that he’ll be able to recover the four phones and their footage? That’s answered by GPS tracking and a can of fart spray actuated by a 3D printed cam and DC motor, ensuring the thief won’t want this package around for long. This actuator and the glitter motor are controlled by a custom PCB, which also triggers the phones to start recording through their headphone jacks and detects the opening of the package with some microswitches. This is truly a masterpiece that outsmarts the package thieves in a way that leaves an impression while still being playful.

If booby traps are your thing, we’ve got you covered. Check out this ticking bomb style puzzle, or this crate challenge which is rigged to blow.

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Hawaiian Airlines implements check-in changes at Honolulu airport – KHON2



HONOLULU (KHON2) – Changes are on the way for travelers flying out of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines is changing the check-in areas for international and interisland departures.

Hawaiian Airlines says it flies around 10,000 passengers out of Daniel K Inouye Airport each day. And there are times when it almost seems like every one of them is checking in at the same time.

“One time we actually got here about two and a half hours early and it took us just about two hours to get through and we were running over to our plane it gets really bad here,” said passenger Elias Yadao.

Over the next several weeks, international passengers will begin to check in at Lobby 4 in Terminal 2, versus Lobby 3 in Terminal 1. 

Tour operators began dropping off select passengers on Hawaiian’s non-stop flights to Japan directly at Lobby 4 earlier this month, and all passengers traveling non-stop to Japan will begin using Lobby 4 on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

“That takes roughly about a third of the people out of Lobbies 2 and 3 where we operate today. It helps us to balance the operation and provide a better experience to all our guests,” said Jeff Helfrick, Vice-President of Airport Operations at Hawaiian Airlines.

Then on Jan. 9, 2019, passengers flying to Hawaiian’s international destinations and American Samoa will check in at Lobby 4.

Team Kokua volunteers will help direct passengers to the appropriate lobby.

“The change will enhance efficiency by having international travelers in Terminal 2, while relieving the congestion that is experienced in Terminal 1 during peak travel times, specifically 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay.

Some interisland passengers are already noticing less congestion in their lobby.

“Actually I was amazed. I was telling my husband that it isn’t as crowded as normal. So on a week before Christmas, this place is like crazy outside lines. So it’s really a good idea,” said passenger Irene Smith.

“We want to do our best to have a stress free effortless travel experience. So by moving a third of our guests to Lobby 4 it will provide a better balance,” said Helfrick.

Hawaiian Airlines will share Lobby 4 with Qantas Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Air Canada and Korean Air. Terminal signage will be adjusted to reflect the change.

Additional changes taking effect Jan. 9 include moving the neighbor island flight check-in from Lobby 2 to Lobby 3 in Terminal 1. Passengers traveling to North American destinations will continue to check-in at Lobby 2.

Hawaiian Airlines passengers using Lobby 4 will use TSA checkpoints 2 and 3, which are located in Terminal 2. Passengers on neighbor island and North American flights are encouraged to continue using one of the four available TSA checkpoints within Terminal 1.

HDOT has constructed a new TSA checkpoint on the ground level of Terminal 1 between baggage claim carousels 8 and 9 that is available daily between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide passengers another TSA screening option during peak travel times. The new ground floor TSA checkpoint accommodates general boarding passengers and does not have a separate Precheck line.

It is also not recommended for travelers with strollers, large carry-on baggage, those requiring special assistance or those who are not able to stand on an escalator as passengers using the checkpoint must take an escalator to the second level.

Click here to view a map of the lobbies and checkpoints.

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Lessons learned from baking 5,000 holiday cookies – The Takeout

Photo: Kate Kulzick

The week after Thanksgiving should be a time of rest and recovery, a few glorious days’ respite before the second wave of holiday craziness crashes down. Not so in my family. Each year, my mom and I take on a task of Herculean proportions: baking, boxing, and delivering dozens of Christmas cookie care packages. This year, we made 40.

The tradition began in 2011 or 2010—reports vary—when we decided to revive our long-lapsed tradition of making a handful of seasonal favorites to give out to friends and family. A wise person would have started small, just a few batches. A prudent person would have added one or two recipes at a time. I dove into recipe research with the enthusiasm of a Labrador puppy, much to my mother’s chagrin, and before long, we had an inaugural Christmas bake-a-thon recipe list of over 20 types of cookie. The list has changed over the years, but the spirit remains the same, and we’ve been holiday bakers ever since.

You can’t make that many cookies for that long without picking up a tip or two. Here is what I’ve learned.


Scandanavian Almond Bars, long a family favorite and often the first recipe to disappear from the communal plates
Photo: Kate Kulzick

1. It has to be fun

Christmas baking at this scale is hard work! It requires tremendous focus and attention to detail and, oh man, is it expensive. It needs to be worth it. Choose recipes that you love and are excited to share. Put on your favorite music and belt out a chorus or two. Rope in friends and family to help, but only if you trust them to actually aid in the process and deliver cookies up to your standards.

Most importantly, know yourself, and bake accordingly. Will a glass of wine help the process or slow you down and make you sloppy? Should you power through one more recipe, or are you starting to fade and likely to burn whatever you put in next? Are you just not feeling it this year? We certainly weren’t in 2016. Take a year off, and come back next Christmas. Make sure you’ll be happy with the process, and the journey will feel worth it.

2. Start early in the season

We learned this our first year. Lots of people give out sweets in the holiday season. Most of them will not be as fabulous as your homemade tray of deliciousness. Avoid other people’s cookie fatigue and seeing the soul-crushing look of, “Oh no, another tray!” flit across their eyes by starting your baking early and cranking those suckers out as quickly as you can. Our first year, we made 22 recipes, each delectable and beautifully executed. And we handed them out at Christmas, at which point even we were ready for a sugar detox. The next year we got ’em out by December 10 and we haven’t looked back since. You’ll get a much more enthusiastic reaction and you’ll be able to enjoy the process without the other demands of the season pressing down on you.

Holiday Meringues, a new addition in 2018 and one of several gluten-free options this year
Photo: Kate Kulzick

3. Do your homework

If I could pass on one lesson and one lesson only, it would be this: Do not assume everyone wants baked goods at the holidays. Ask. Again, this kind of baking is hard work, and putting that effort in and delivering a tray you take tremendous pride in, only for it to not be appreciated sucks. Finding out someone ended up throwing half of it away, or that they can’t eat it due to food allergies, can feel like having your life sucked away à la The Princess Bride.

Yes, it’s fun to surprise people with cookies. That’s what the office is for. But friends and family? Just ask, and if they say, “Thanks, but I’m trying to eat healthy right now,” or “I’d love some, but remember, I have that thing with nuts?” or “I’m not a big sweets person,” believe them and give them a gift card instead.

Related: Look into gluten-free and nut-free options. There’s no reason not to have at least a couple dependable recipes for each category. And if you’re contending with a serious nut allergy, play it safe and buy them something made in a certified nut-free kitchen or factory instead.

4. Don’t multitask

Just don’t. You’ll think you can answer that one email while the cookies are baking, but you’ll wind up burning the edges every time. Set aside time to focus on this one activity, unplug from social media, and treat the work as a meditation. Stay on top of dishes, double check your recipe before you start each batch (a mid-batch trip to the grocery store is no one’s friend), decide on a reasonable recipe list, and do not stray. If you let the perfect become the enemy of the good, you’ll be making and remaking batches all December. Set an end date, or end condition, and stick to it.

Lime and Gin White Chocolate Macaroons, another popular recipe easily adapted to be gluten-free
Photo: Kate Kulzick

5. Consider the delivery

Can you stack the cookies on a plate, or will the icing cause them to stick together? Are you hand-delivering, or shipping cookies through the mail and if so, can your recipes survive the journey? I air-pop popcorn to use as packing peanuts, making sure the cookies we ship have plenty of cushioning so they don’t break. I also print out a cookie menu, with pictures of each recipe and pertinent allergen information, so that people know what they’re eating, and potentially what to avoid.

Nothing compares to baked goods fresh out of the oven, but most recipes will stay fresh for a certain period of time. Put each batch in air-tight containers as soon as possible and keep those suckers closed until it’s time to compile your plates. We use a lot of strong flavors in our baking, and we realized after a few years that the product we were delivering, while still tasty, was nowhere near as good as what we’d boxed; unless people cracked into the cookies immediately, recipes with more delicate flavors were overwhelmed by their neighbors in the box. Now for the plates we know won’t be immediately devoured, we use sandwich bags to isolate each recipe and avoid flavor contamination. It’s a hassle, and nowhere near as visually appealing, but much tastier.

The calm before the storm- soon will come the boxing, and then the cookie delivery runs to family in Madison and friends and family downtown (Chicago)
Photo: Kate Kulzick

6. Debrief

Lastly, once you’re done with everything, and maybe after a couple days’ recovery, do some post-game analysis. Assess each recipe and cut the ones not worth the effort. Make notes on your recipe cards about the tips you picked up this year. Which recipes really need parchment paper, and which had a significantly different bake time than printed? You will not remember these details next year.

And if you didn’t have fun and it was too much, stop! Life’s too short. I have a wonderful time baking with my mom each year, but as soon as she’s ready to move on, we’ll find a new tradition.

Until then, you can find me in the kitchen with my mom the start of each December, chopping dried cranberries and pecans for mini Cranberry Hooteycreeks, or shelling pistachios for Pistachio Ribbon Bars (when I can’t find ’em pre-shelled but unsalted, as happened this year), or struggling to temper too-small batches of chocolate for Peppermint Bark, singing carols and having a wonderful start of the season. And if you’re very lucky, maybe you’ll make the delivery list.

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Oil prices drop for third session as oversupply worries drag – Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Tuesday, dropping for a third consecutive session as reports of swelling inventories and forecasts of record U.S. and Russian output combined with a sharp sell-off in global stock markets.

Pump jacks operate in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. Picture taken August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

U.S. crude oil dropped $1.36 or 2.7 percent to a low of $48.52, its weakest since September 2017, before recovering to around $49.00 by 0840 GMT.

North Sea Brent crude fell $1.51, or 2.5 percent, to a low of $58.10 and last traded around $58.61, down $1.00.

Both benchmarks have shed more than 30 percent since early October due to swelling global inventories.

“A large part of the move (lower) is due to a broader market sell-off, with both U.S. and Asian equity markets coming under pressure,” said commodities strategist Warren Patterson at Dutch bank ING in Amsterdam.

“Specifically for the oil market, there are no clear signs yet of the market tightening,” he added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers agreed this month to curb production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to more than 1 percent of global demand, in an attempt to drain tanks and boost prices.

But the cuts won’t happen until next month and meanwhile production has been at or near record highs in the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia, undermining spot prices.

Russian oil output hit a record 11.42 million bpd this month, an industry source familiar with the data told Reuters.

Oil production from seven major U.S. shale basins is by the year-end expected to climb to more than 8 million bpd for the first time, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday.

Inventories at the U.S. storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the oil futures contract, rose more than 1 million barrels from Dec. 11 to 14, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.

The United States has surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer, with total crude output climbing to a record 11.7 million bpd.

With prices falling, unprofitable shale producers will eventually stop operating and cut supply, but that could take some time, and meanwhile inventories keep growing.

“Rising U.S. shale production levels along with a deceleration in global economic growth have threatened to offset OPEC+ efforts,” said Benjamin Lu Jiaxuan, at Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.

“Market confidence remains extremely delicate.”

Additional reporting by Koustav Samanta in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson

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