Jun 5, 2018

The big picture: Why the U.S. wants OPEC to pump more oil

Drilling, oil wells in southern Kuwait along the Saudi border. Photo: Dominique BERBAIN / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The U.S. government has asked Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries to increase oil production, according to Bloomberg.

Why it's happening: The Trump administration is likely reacting to the fact that gasoline prices just spiked to their highest level in the U.S. in more than three years and they are likely concerned about potential political backlash, Axios' Amy Harder notes.

Why the prices might be spiking in the first place: The U.S. announced it would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which is curtailing crude supplies and which is likely driving the U.S. request. It highlights the delicate politics of the White House moves to punish Iran's energy sector with renewed sanctions, Axios’ Ben Geman notes.

Don't forget:

  • Venezuela. Venezuelan output has been declining due to instability and an economic crisis there, driving prices up.
  • OPEC has been operating under an oil cut production agreement, which has been affecting prices, too. OPEC will have a chance to review this agreement later this month.

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The cracks in Trump’s GOP shield

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump’s mockery of coronavirus masks, his false claims about the dangers of voting by mail and his insinuations that a cable TV nemesis was involved in a murder are testing more high-profile Republicans' willingness to look the other way.

The big picture: Republicans learned a long time ago how dangerous it is to alienate Trump’s base — which is why any hint of disagreement, even a whisper, is so remarkable when it happens.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.