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World breaking news today August 9: Twitter and TikTok reportedly have had talks about a deal

09:37 | 09/08/2020

World breaking news today August 9: Twitter has had preliminary discussions about a “combination” with TikTok. Meanwhile, Mauritius declares emergency as stranded ship leaks oil, Lebanese Prime Minister proposes early elections, and oil price also make headlines today. 

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world breaking news today august 9 twitter and tiktok reportedly have had talks about a deal
Twitter has had preliminary discussions about a “combination” with TikTok (Photo: Newsvoice)

Twitter and TikTok reportedly have had talks about a deal

Twitter has had preliminary discussions about a “combination” with TikTok, the Wall Street Journal reported, making the social media platform the latest possible suitor for the popular video-sharing app. It’s not clear whether Twitter would pursue a possible acquisition of TikTok, and any such deal would have big obstacles.

The biggest challenge to any deal is the Trump administration’s executive order from August 6th, which bars TikTok parent company ByteDance from handling transactions in the US. The order takes effect within 45 days. The administration considers the Chinese-owned app a potential security threat, despite no evidence indicating ByteDance or TikTok has ever shared Americans’ data with the Chinese government. TikTok has said it plans to challenge the Trump administration’s order.

And then there’s Microsoft, the only company so far to publicly acknowledge it was in talks with TikTok owner ByteDance for a possible acquisition. The WSJ says Twitter would be considered a long-shot in a bid for TikTok, with Microsoft the likely front runner in any deal. Twitter is much smaller than Microsoft, and the WSJ’s sources say the social platform could be likely to face less antitrust scrutiny than Microsoft. But Twitter also doesn’t have as much money as the software giant for a possible purchase.

Twitter declined to comment. A TikTok spokesperson said the company does not comment on market rumors, as reported by The Verge.

Mauritius declares emergency as stranded ship leaks oil

The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius declared a “state of environmental emergency” late Friday after a Japanese-owned ship that ran aground offshore days ago began spilling tons of fuel, CNBC reported.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announced the development as satellite images showed a dark slick spreading in the turquoise waters near environmental areas that the government called “very sensitive.”

Mauritius has said the ship was carrying nearly 4,000 tons of fuel and cracks have appeared in its hull.

Jugnauth earlier in the day said his government was appealing to France for help, saying the spill “represents a danger” for the country of some 1.3 million people that relies heavily on tourism and has been hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Video posted online showed oily waters lapping at the shore as people murmured and peered at the ship in the distance. Online ship trackers showed the Panama-flagged bulk carrier had been en route from China to Brazil.

After the cracks in the hull were detected, a salvage team that had been working on the ship was evacuated, Ramano told reporters Thursday. Some 400 sea booms have been deployed in an effort to contain the spill.

Government statements this week said the ship ran aground July 25 and the National Coast Guard received no distress call. The ship’s owners were listed as the Japanese companies Okiyo Maritime Corporation and Nagashiki Shipping Co. Ltd.

A police inquiry has been opened into issues such as possible negligence, a government statement said.

Tons of diesel and oil are now leaking into the water, environmental group Greenpeace Africa’s climate and energy manager Happy Khambule said in a statement.

world breaking news today august 9 twitter and tiktok reportedly have had talks about a deal
The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius declared a “state of environmental emergency” late Friday after a Japanese-owned ship that ran aground offshore days ago began spilling tons of fuel (Photo: CTV News)

Lebanese Prime Minister proposes early elections to overcome the crisis

Lebanon's Prime Minister, Hasan Diab, today considered that the way out of this crisis is through early elections and stated that he is willing to lead a cabinet for two months to get to the polls, Atalayar said.

"I call on the parties to agree on the next step (...) I will propose on Monday at (the meeting of) the cabinet to call for early elections," he said in a speech to the Diab nation, which took office last December, following the resignation of Saad Hariri amidst protests that began in October against the leaders and the sectarian system in Lebanon.

Diab said he was willing to "take responsibility for two months, provided that structural reforms are undertaken to save the country ". "We are in a state of emergency regarding the fate and future of the country," he said.

The prime minister's words come during a day of protests that have left at least one person dead and more than a hundred injured in clashes between demonstrators and police, according to local media reports. The clashes took place at different points mainly in front of the Parliament, where the demonstrators tried to enter without success.

world breaking news today august 9 twitter and tiktok reportedly have had talks about a deal
Lebanon's Prime Minister, Hasan Diab, today considered that the way out of this crisis is through early elections (Photo: Atalayar)

Oil Prices Post Weekly Gain Despite Struggling Demand

Oil prices were down early on Friday as demand concerns persist, but prices were on track for a weekly gain after hitting a five-month high as the U.S. dollar weakened and U.S. crude oil inventories fell.

As of 4:00PM CST on Friday, WTI Crude was down 1.00 percent at $41.53 and Brent Crude was trading down 1.02 percent on the day at $44.63.

Earlier this week, both benchmarks hit their highest levels since early March, just before Saudi Arabia and Russia broke up the previous OPEC+ pact and engaged in a price war for market share at a time when the pandemic was crushing global oil demand.

The price of oil was also supported on Tuesday and Wednesday by the two reports of a crude oil inventory draw in the United States.

On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw in crude oil inventories of 8.587 million barrels for the week ending July 31—a larger draw than analysts had expected.

Then on Wednesday, the EIA estimated that U.S. crude oil inventories had shed 7.4 million barrels during the week to July 31, sending oil prices surging later on Wednesday and into Thursday.

On Friday, oil prices were down in the morning as fears that rising COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world would further stall oil demand recovery, Oil Price reported.

world breaking news today august 9 twitter and tiktok reportedly have had talks about a deal
(Photo: Oil Price)
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