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International news roundup – Jan. 29

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OPEC, the oil cartel, “will not hesitate” to cut production again if prices don’t rise in the next few weeks, its leader said. Secretary-General Abdalla Salem El-Badri told the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, that OPEC members will have completed their 4.2 million barrel-a-day cut by this weekend and then will review its effectiveness in stimulating global demand for oil. Crude futures were trading below $41 a barrel Thursday.

Voting for president in Afghan-istan must be delayed until Aug. 20 because of a need for increased security, the Independent Election Commission said Thursday. A spokesman said parliament will have to legislate an extension of incumbent Hamid Karzai’s term, which expires May 22, to avoid a power vacuum. But legislators protested the move, claiming that both the delay and an extension of Karzai’s term would be unconstitutional.

A deal that would bring Russian Navy and Air Force bases to the breakaway region of Abkhazia will be signed in a few months, a separatist leader said Thurs-day. The Kremlin did not immediately confirm the claim, but NATO officials expressed concern. Abkhazia is regarded by the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia as its territory. In last summer’s brief war over South Ossetia, another breakaway region, Russia sent both warships and marines to Abkhazia.


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