Trump Says He’d Use Tariffs if Needed to Protect Energy Jobs

OPEC, Russia delay meeting

Saudi Arabia, Russia spar over plunging price of oil

OPEC and Russia have postponed a meeting planned for Monday until later next week, OPEC sources said on Saturday, as a row intensified between Moscow and Saudi Arabia over who is to blame for plunging oil prices.

The meeting’s delay came despite pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, to urgently stabilise global oil markets.

Also read | Trump says ready to help end Saudi-Russian oil price war

Output cut

OPEC+ is working on an unprecedented oil output curb equal to about 10% of world supply, or 10 million barrels per day, in what member-states expect to be a global effort that will include the United States.

Oil prices hit an 18-year low on March 30 due to sliding demand caused by government lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, and the failure of OPEC and other producers led by Russia to extend an earlier deal on output curbs that expired on March 31.

Three OPEC sources, who asked not be identified, said the emergency virtual meeting planned for Monday would likely be postponed until April 8 or 9 to allow more time for negotiations.

Trump says will ask Congress for more small business funds if money runs out

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WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would ask Congress for more money to make loans to small businesses struggling with the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak if the original $349 billion allocated in a fiscal stimulus bill runs out.

“I will immediately ask Congress for more money to support small businesses under the @ppploan if the allocated money runs out,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

MNUCHIN ‘EXCITED’ OVER SBA LOAN START

The launch of the small business bailout fund has been rocky since it opened on Friday morning.

Tens of thousands of businesses have swamped lenders, community bankers have complained of an inability to access the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s system and the Treasury Department was still issuing updated guidance and form templates on Friday afternoon.

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As of Friday evening, lenders originated more than 17,000 loans valued at about $5.4 billion under the program, Jovita Carranza, the administrator of the Small Business Administration, said in a tweet.

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China's day of mourning: Other Asian nations tighten restrictions

More than 3,000 medical workers across China have been infected, and at least five doctors have died.

China has come to standstill to honour thousands of coronavirus victims during a national day of mourning.

Health workers who have died were given a special mention, including a doctor who raised early alarms.

Al Jazeera’s Sarah Clarke reports.

California Deaths From Virus at 237, Governor Says

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California had 237 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak as the number of people infected in the state rose 12% to 12,026 from the previous day, Governor Gavin Newsom said Saturday.

The state has tested 126,700, which he said was low. He wants to boost the number of tests. He’s working with Abbott Laboratories to have 75 testing sites across the state, he said.

A total of 2.1 million Californians have filed for unemployment since March 12, he said.

Medical waste piles up: Concerns about sanitation workers' health

A doctor says some studies show the coronavirus can stay on surgical masks as long as seven days.

As the number of coronavirus infections keeps rising globally, hospitals are generating huge amounts of medical waste.

That is dangerous for the people who collect it – sanitation workers – and the World Health Organization wants governments to ensure they are properly protected.

Al Jazeera’s Priyanka Gupta reports.

Trump says thousands of military personnel to be sent to help US states battle coronavirus

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President Donald Trump said on Saturday (April 4) the US government would be deploying thousands military personnel to states to help them deal with the coronavirus epidemic.

“We’re going to be adding a tremendous amount of military to help,” Trump said in a daily briefing with reporters. He added that 1,000 military personnel are being sent to New York City, including military doctors and nurses.

Montreal-based companies ramping up medical supplies to fight COVID-19

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Trump Says He’d Use Tariffs if Needed to Protect Energy Jobs

President Donald Trump said he’d use tariffs if needed to protect the domestic oil industry as global crude oil prices crater.

Trump made the comment Saturday at a White House press briefing.

“If I have to do tariffs on oil coming from outside, or if I have to do something to protect thousands and tens of thousands of energy workers, and our great companies that produce all these jobs, I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Trump said.

Low oil prices are “going to hurt a lot of jobs,” he said.

On Friday Trump suggested he wasn’t inclined to target Russia or Saudi Arabia with oil tariffs.

“It’s a free market. We’ll figure it out,” he told reporters in Washington Friday after the gathering with the heads ofExxon Mobil Corp.,Chevron Corp. and other major producers. “Ultimately the marketplace will take care of it.”

— With assistance by Benjamin Bain, Jennifer Jacobs, and Jordan Fabian