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VIENNA: A surge in oil prices last week to almost $70 a barrel on concerns about the restart of Iran's nuclear programme only hints at what may lie ahead.
Japan's Cabinet on Saturday approved a nearly 80 trillion yen (US$687.9 billion; euro579.9 billion) draft budget for fiscal 2006 that would slash spending across the board to reflect government efforts at fiscal reform.
Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Syria - nations shunned by America as nuclear threats, insurgent havens or human rights violators are increasingly being wooed by China and India in a race for oil and influence that is challenging Washington on the energy and security fronts.
The acquisition of Unocal Corp. by China's state-owned oil company CNOOC Ltd. would not pose a threat to the United States' energy security, industry analysts said Thursday, arguing that fears being stirred up in Congress are unwarranted.