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Saturday, October 25, 2008
U.S. forces deal in Iraq collapsing
Talks between Iraq and the United States on the presence of American troops in the country are breaking down according to Iraqi officials.
The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) gives a legal basis for the US troop presence after the United Nations mandate expires on December 31.
With parliamentary elections coming up, many Iraqi voters see the deal as a prelude to colonialism and candidates fear voter wrath if they support the agreement. Washington may attempt to renew teh UN security mandate if the SOFA talks fail.
OPEC is trying to stop oil prices from sliding and announced a production cut on Friday.
However, prices continued to drop after the announcement of the 1.5 million barrel a day cut in output. OPEC will meet again in December and may slash production even further if prices do not stabilize. Although some member countries like Saudi Arabia can bear even further price reductions, other members need oil to stay in the $70 to $90 range to meet their budget requirements.
The commodities markets in general have slumped as investors surmise that manufacturing and consumption will drop due to the financial and economic turmoil.