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World News

Trump calls into Arizona election hearing for furious LIVE rant – ‘World is laughing!’

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Speaking to a room of supporters including Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor and one of the president’s most crucial backers, Mr Trump lashed out at the “scam” US election. He claimed to have won in the states of Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all states in which Joe Biden was declared the winner.

He refused to switch his focus onto the 2024 election, vowing to continue his legal fight to overturn the election result and also referred to speculation of a 2024 presidential bid.

He addressed the room via a mobile phone loudspeaker which was being held up to a microphone.

The President said: “We got 74 million votes – 11 million more votes than we had in 2016.

“We were looking to get about 68 million votes and we said that would easily win. Well, we got 74 million and we didn’t win.

“But I know that we won Arizona, and we won Michigan, and we won Georgia, and we won Pennsylvania and we won Wisconsin.

“But what they did is they played games, and games like nobody’s ever seen before. This is the first time Republicans, or the first time anyone has fought back.

 

“The 2020 election was rigged. It was scam, and the whole world is watching and they are laughing at our country.”

Mr Trump went on to repeat his claims that poll watchers had been banished from observing counts, saying they had been “thrown out” in some states.

He also claimed some people had turned up to vote, only to be told that their ballot had somehow already been counted.

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Mr Trump’s campaign dropped its lawsuit against the state of Arizona earlier this month when it was revealed a recount of the votes wouldn’t make any difference to the final result.

The President’s lawyer told the Wall Street Journal: “Since the close of yesterday’s hearing, the tabulation of votes statewide has rendered unnecessary a judicial ruling as to the presidential electors.”

Regardless, Mr Trump said his campaign has lost by “a tiny fraction” in the state and that it would have taken “half a day, a couple of hours of checking” to recount.

He added: “We are going to fight, we are taking it up all the way. We have additional cases being filed, probably tomorrow, in Wisconsin, and in Georgia, and they’re good cases. They’re very strong cases, by great lawyers and with great facts.”

The President also said that he has dismissed advice to concede the election and instead focus on a 2024 presidential bid.

He described this as “the easy route” and said he would instead “focus on two weeks ago, because this is the greatest scam ever perpetrated upon our country.”

Mr Trump spoke to what has been called a “hearing” on election fraud involving Mr Trump’s legal team and Arizona Republicans.

It comes after Arizona and Wisconsin yesterday officially declared that Joe Biden had beaten Mr Trump in both of those states despite legal challenges by the President.

Despite his protests, Mr Trump recently recommended that the transition protocol to switch control of the White House should go ahead.

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Politics

Brexit: Irish PM ‘hopeful’ of deal this week as talks reach ‘endgame’

Ireland’s prime minister has said he is “hopeful” a Brexit free-trade deal can be made this week, after leaders warned time is “running out”. 

Speaking to the Irish Times, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said British and EU negotiators have now reached an “endgame”.

“It will require political will to conclude the deal and there are options to conclude the deal, and so on balance, I would be hopeful that it can be done at the end of this week,” he said.

However, Mr Martin had expressed similar hopefulness of an imminent agreement last week.

Boris Johnson and Mr Martin spoke on the phone on Friday to discuss progress in the negotiations, with the UK prime minister “underlining his commitment to reaching a deal that respects the sovereignty of the UK”.

The leaders had also spoken of a need to prioritise the Good Friday Agreement and avoiding a hard border with Ireland, a Number 10 spokesperson said.

There have been concerns from other quarters that trade deal talks could stretch into next week, with compromises still to be made on state aid, enforcement and fishing.

The Brexit transition period ends on 31 December after the UK formally left the EU in January.

Both sides had agreed a deal should be struck by mid-October to give enough time for the agreements to be implemented.

Still, talks have continued in stalemate and an EU source said on Monday that “massive divergences” remain.

Discussions stretched late into the night on Sunday, with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier telling reporters “there are reasons for determination”.

In a warning to negotiators, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said “we are running out of time here”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed his remarks, saying some EU member states were losing patience.

“We hope that the negotiations will have a good end,” she said. “We don’t need a deal at any price and we have made this clear… A deal is in everyone’s interest.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said there has been some progress but “there still remains divergence on issues [such as] fisheries and the level playing field”.

“We want to try and reach a free trade agreement as soon as possible but we’ve been clear we won’t change our negotiating position,” they added.

Securing a deal would safeguard trade, as well as reinforcing peace in Northern Ireland – although there is expected to be disruption at the busiest EU-UK border points.

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World News

3 Brilliant Ways to Transform Leftover Stuffing

Every year, I look forward to Thanksgiving as an opportunity to eat bread by the spoonful. That’s all stuffing is: bread, which is already delicious, made more perfect by being ripped into bite-size bits, tossed with seasonings and mix-ins, and baked until crisp on the outside but still squishy and soft on the inside. It’s forkable, ideal for sopping and ready to play nice with whatever else is on the plate.

I grew up in a Stove Top household, but fancied up, with milk swapped in for water, and seared giblets and sautéed vegetables added to the stuffing mix. It would appear once a year alongside all the classics: jellied cranberry sauce from the can, sliced thick along every other ridge; creamy green bean casserole topped with French’s fried onions; and a basket of doughy Pillsbury crescent rolls.

Over time, we’ve moved away from the traditional Thanksgiving spread, sometimes opting for roast duck instead of turkey, and losing the canned sauce for fresh cranberry-pomegranate relish. But I still love a casserole dish filled with stuffing; nothing else hits me with all the nostalgia of those cream-of-something soup years.

I also believe that stuffing is the pinnacle of Thanksgiving leftovers. Not only can you make stuffing with any bread, mix-ins and seasonings, it’s also a chameleon of an ingredient, ready to take any form you want to give it — quite literally. I’m enamored by how I can smash and squash stuffing, bend it to my will, to make something totally new. Show me a roast turkey that can do that!

Anywhere you might find bread, stuffing can step in and step it up, bringing with it a certain holiday flair. For my Thanksgiving leftovers turkey club, I press the stuffing into a big slab as thick as a slice of bread before cutting it into squares and griddling until seared and toasty. Each square then replaces the middle slice of bread in my turkey club, a distinctive divider for the rest of the sandwich layers. Everyone knows the sandwich you make the day after Thanksgiving is the best part of the holiday, and now it may be the best sandwich you eat all year.

This pressed-and-fried technique is useful beyond sandwiches. I also like to squeeze stuffing into a loaf pan, so it’s dense and thick, before chilling and cutting it into chunky cubes. I’ll fry the cubes until they are crackly and golden on the outside and tender and custardy on the inside. These delicate yet rich stuffing pieces top a salad of mixed greens and shaved crunchy vegetables that’s dressed with cranberry vinaigrette. It’s hot and cold, creamy and crisp, and a way to eat holiday food while technically also having a salad.

Anything bread can do, stuffing can do better, and this is especially true of dumpling soup. I mash leftover stuffing with a splash of turkey stock until all the big nuggets are broken up. Then I’ll stir in eggs, flour and baking powder to make a dumpling dough. I’ll simmer a simple bone broth with the turkey carcass — another hero of Thanksgiving leftovers — and then load up the soup with kale and sweet potato before dropping in dollops of the stuffing dumpling mix. The dumplings soak up the broth, growing plump and tender, while also adding body to the soup. Because the stuffing is already packed with flavor, the dumplings are too, without any extra help from you.

Regardless of what your holiday plans are, whether you’re cooking for only a few people or skipping the turkey altogether, go ahead and make all the stuffing. I will be making a family-size casserole for my teeny pod of two because I am here for the leftovers. I’ll be playing with my food, transforming stuffing into something new, and I hope you will be too.

Recipes: Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich | Stuffing Panzanella With Cranberry Vinaigrette | Stuffing Dumpling Soup

And to Drink …

Turkey sandwiches with cranberry? Salad with stuffing croutons? Soup? Regardless of how you decide to eat your leftovers, your best choice for wine is to finish whichever bottles were left over from the holiday feast. Just as you are efficiently creating dishes that may be even more satisfying than the original meal, why not be as economical with the wine? Whether Beaujolais, Oregon chardonnay or any bottles you were creative enough to open the night before, enjoy them in the same spirit of relief and joy that comes with a successful meal and the realization that you don’t have to do it again for an entire year. You drank all the wine last night? Then reward yourself with the beer or cider of your choice. ERIC ASIMOV

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Source: Leftovers with Stuffing

Highlights

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World News

China warns US to HALT journey down ‘wrong and dangerous path’ as war fears skyrocket

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The Trump administration has angered Beijing in recent months by approving a multibillion-dollar arms deal with Taiwan and sending US officials to the island nation. The deal, reported to be around $7billion, comes one year after the US agreed another $8bn arms deal with Taiwan.

Donald Trump’s tough position on China has involved attempts to deter military activity in the South China Sea.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying issued a “stern message” to the US.

Ms Hua urged the US to “stop selling arms to Taiwan or having military links with Taiwan” and “promptly halt its steps down the wrong and dangerous path”.

She added: “We also once again give the stern message to the Taiwan authorities that ‘Taiwan independence’ is a dead end.

“Attempts and actions to seek external interference and use weaponry to deny reunification are doomed to fail.”

Taiwan has expressed concern that they will lose crucial US support in their stand-off against Beijing in the region under a Joe Biden administration.

The country has been on high alert this year as Beijing became increasingly more aggressive with military drills in the area.

China also carried out extensive military drill simulating an all-out invasion of Taiwan, on islands near the country in the South China Sea, in October.

The US-Taiwan arms deal, viewed by Beijing as a threat to their sovereignty, includes a Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defence System, rocket artillery, sensors and missiles.

It provoked a furious response from Chinese president Xi Jinping who told troops at a military base to “put all [their] minds and energy on preparing for war”.

China sanctioned US defence companies Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Space and Security and Raytheon in retaliation, while refusing to rule out targeting other “individuals and entities”.

Robert O’Brien, the US national security adviser, has warned of an “entire world” backlash if China uses military force on Taiwan.

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He spoke last week as China threatened a “legitimate and necessary response” to a US Navy admiral visiting the island nation.

Mr O’Brien told reporters: “I can’t imagine anything that will cause a greater backlash against China from the entire world if they attempted to use military force to coerce Taiwan.”

The US launched the Taiwan Travel Act in 2018 as a follow-up to the existing Taiwan Relations Act 1979, which allowed US officials to visit the country without restrictions and vice versa.

A visit from Keith Krach, senior US official figure for economic growth, energy and the environment, to Taiwan in September prompted an angry response from China, as did a visit from US health secretary Alex Azar in August.

The US is also said to be blacklisting Chinese firms over alleged military links.

Reuters reported on Monday China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), the nation’s third biggest oil company, is to be added to the list of firms owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

It is designed to deter US investment firms, pension funds and others from buying and selling shares.

The plans are seen as an attempt by outgoing President Donald Trump to maintain a hard line position on Beijing.

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World News

China news: Oil company giant faces US BLACKLIST amid South China Sea tensions

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China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), the nation’s third biggest oil company, looks set to be added to a list of firms owned or controlled by the Chinese military, Reuters reports. The US is also poised to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC to the list which curbs companies’ access to US investors.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported the US Department of Defence’s plans to add four more companies to the list, bringing the number of Chinese firms affected to 35.

The Defence Department (DOD) did not respond to a request for comment.

CNOOC has operations in the South China Sea which have been a source of tension because China claims drilling rights within 200 miles of neighbouring countries, such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

The executive order is designed to deter US investment firms, pension funds and others from buying and selling shares.

The plans are seen as an attempt by outgoing President Donald Trump to maintain a hardline position on Beijing.

Hua Chunying, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said in a press conference on Monday that the eastern superpower opposes politicising these firms.

Ms Hua said: “China firmly opposes the politicization of the relevant Chinese companies, and hopes that the U.S. side will provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese enterprises to invest and operate in the United States, instead of abusing the concept of national security to impose sanctions or discriminatory restrictive measures on Chinese enterprises, or to erect obstacles and barriers to normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States.”

Chinese president Xi Jinping appeared to criticise President Trump this month after arguing for trade “openness” and “seclusion”.

He said there will be no “decoupling” of China’s “super-sized” economy from the global system.

Mr Trump has imposed more than $360bn (£268bn) of tariffs on Chinese goods since becoming president.

Beijing retaliated with $110bn of its own tariffs on American produce.

Mr Xi said: “Openness enables a country to move forward while seclusion holds it back.

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“China will actively cooperate with all countries, regions and enterprises that want to do so.

“We will continue to hold high the banner of openness and co-operation.”

Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippines defence secretary, has also described the rivalry between Beijing and Washington in the South China Sea as a major security concern.

An increased military presence in the region from both sides has seen China deploy more armed coast guard patrols.

The US flew two supersonic heavy bombers into China’s air defence identification zone to the northeast of Taiwan this month.

Mr Lorenzana told a Manilla defence forum: “If ever a shooting war happens, the Philippines — which is right smack in the middle of the conflict — will be involved whether she likes it or not.

“This is the crux of the security challenge in the Indo-Pacific region, the looming confrontation of the US and its allies and China for the South China Sea.”

Robert O’Brien, the US national security adviser, has also warned of an “entire world” backlash if China uses military force on Taiwan.

He spoke last week as China threatened a “legitimate and necessary response” to a US Navy admiral visiting the island nation

Mr O’Brien told reporters: “I can’t imagine anything that will cause a greater backlash against China from the entire world if they attempted to use military force to coerce Taiwan.”

The US-Taiwan multibillion dollar arms deal has also been a major source of tension between the superpowers.

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World News

Joe Biden’s doctor issues major health update ahead of inauguration as recovery continues

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The future President suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot after falling over while playing with his dog over the weekend. After the incident, Mr Biden visited an orthopaedist near his Delaware home. His doctor initially said that X-rays were “reassuring” and showed “no obvious” fracture.

Mr Biden then received an additional CT scan which provided more detailed imaging.

Later on Sunday, Dr O’Connor confirmed that Mr Biden had a hairline fracture in his “mid-foot”.

He added that the President-elect will “likely require a walking boot for several weeks”.

In a statement, Dr O’Connor said: “Initial x-rays did not show any obvious fracture, but his clinical exam warranted more detailed imaging.

“Follow-up CT scan confirmed hairline (small) fractures of President-elect Biden’s lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones, which are in the mid-foot.

“It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks.”

According to the Times, Mr Biden is likely to be out of the medical boot before his inauguration in January.

But it may prompt doctors to investigate whether he has osteoporosis, the paper reported.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that happens when a person’s body loses too much bone, makes too little bone or both at the same time.

According to the NHS website, the disease is “only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture)”.

Mr Biden, 78, will be the oldest person in American history to become the US President when he takes office in January.

During his election campaign, Donald Trump, 74, frequently referred to Mr Biden as “Sleepy Joe” suggesting he is too old to take on the role.

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But despite his previous comments, President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday night to tell Mr Biden to “get well soon”.

The status of President-elect Biden’s health is likely to be monitored closely by his allies and rivals.

In December, he released a doctor’s report that revealed he takes statin tablets to keep his cholesterol at healthy levels.

Dr O’Connor previously wrote that Mr Biden was “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency”.

When the incident took place on Saturday, Mr Biden was playing with his German Shepard, Major.

Major is one of the Biden family’s two German Shepherds and is likely to be the first rescue dog to live in the White House.

Major was fostered by the Bidens in March 2018 from the Delaware Humane Society.

Champ, the second German Shepard, was brought from a breeder as a puppy soon after the 2008 US election.

President Trump is one of a minority of US presidents not to have brought a pet into the White House under his presidency.

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Business

Asian markets poised for choppy day after Wall Street's fall

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stock markets faced a choppy session on Tuesday after Wall Street dipped as investors took profits at the end of a record-breaking month while still remaining upbeat about the prospect of a COVID-19 vaccine fuelling gains into next year.

FILE PHOTO: A passerby wearing a protective face masks walks past an electronic board showing Japan’s Nikkei average and the exchange rate between Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

“U.S. markets were a little bit lower, that’s what was holding us back a little bit,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone. “People are pretty optimistic for a good 2021.”

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe was roughly flat, and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was up 0.15%. In early Asian trade, Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures added 0.68%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures were down 0.36%.

Wall Street’s weakness on Monday was driven partly by a rebalancing of portfolios, analysts said, as investors cashed in on gains after a strong month punctuated by updates of COVID-19 vaccines progressing and hopes of a swift economic rebound next year.

Moderna Inc applied for U.S. emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine after full results from a late-stage study showed it was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.91% while the S&P 500 lost 0.46%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended down 0.06%.

The dollar on Monday rebounded from its lowest level in 2-1/2 years, with investors worried about weakening U.S. economic data and the absence of any traction on another stimulus package. Data showed contracts to buy U.S. previously owned homes fell for a second straight month in October.

The U.S. Treasury curve was slightly steeper on Monday afternoon.

Oil prices fell on uncertainty about whether the world’s major oil producers would agree to extend its deep output cuts at talks this week.

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Business

Japan corporate capex, profits sag as COVID impact bites

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese companies cut spending on plant and equipment in July-September for a second straight quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hit private sector demand.

FILE PHOTO: An employee wearing a protective face mask and face guard works on the automobile assembly line as the maker ramps up car production with new security and health measures as a step to resume full operations, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Kawasaki factory of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., owned by Germany-based Daimler AG, in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Weakening capital spending should provide a source of concern to policymakers who are counting on private demand to help the world’s third-largest economy recover from the deepest postwar slump wrought by the health crisis.

Ministry of Finance data out Tuesday showed Japanese firms’ capital expenditure fell 10.6% in July-September from the same period in the year before, following a decline of 11.3% in the previous quarter.

On the quarter, corporate capital spending declined 1.2% in July-September on a seasonally-adjusted basis, narrowing from a 7.1% decline in the previous quarter.

The data will be used to calculate revised gross domestic product figures (GDP) due at 8:50 a.m. Dec. 8 (2350 GMT Dec. 7) and follows a preliminary estimate that Japan’s economy expanded 21.4% annualised in the third quarter.

The preliminary GDP data showed capital expenditure fell 3.4%, shrinking for a second straight quarter, dashing policymakers’ hope that private sector spending could revive the economy.

Tuesday’s data also showed ordinary profits at Japanese firms fell 28.4% in July-September from the same period a year before, after nearly halving in the April-June quarter year-on-year. It was the sixth straight quarter of declines.

Corporate sales dropped 11.5% year-on-year in July-September, posting annual declines for the fifth straight quarter.

Analysts expect the economy to contract 5.6% the fiscal year ending March 2021 and that it could take years to return to pre-crisis levels.

To cope with the virus pain and a post-COVID era, ruling party lawmakers have demanded an extra budget of 20 trillion-30 trillion yen to fund new stimulus ordered by premier Yoshihide Suga.

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Business

Exxon tries to put the worst behind it with $20 billion writedown

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp on Monday said it would write down the value of natural gas properties by $17 billion to $20 billion, its biggest ever impairment, and slash project spending next year to its lowest level in 15 years.

FILE PHOTO: An Exxon sign is seen at a gas station in the Chicago suburb of Norridge, Illinois, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

The oil major is reeling from the sharp decline in oil demand and prices from the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of bad bets on projects when prices were much higher. New cost cuts aim to protect a $15 billion a year shareholder payout that many analysts believe is unsustainable without higher prices.

The writedown lays bare the size of the miscalculation that the company made in 2010 when it paid $30 billion for U.S. shale producer XTO Energy as natural gas prices went into a decade-long decline. The writedown also includes properties in Argentina and western Canada.

While smaller than the up to $30 billion charge the company forecast a month ago, the quarterly charge to earnings reflects the company’s recent reduction in its outlook for oil and gas prices.

Exxon will continue initiatives in offshore Brazil, Guyana, the Permian Basin shale field in the United States, and in performance chemicals despite plans to implement deeper spending cuts, it said. Not mentioned was its $30 billion Mozambique liquefied natural gas project, which sources do not expect final investment decision on until early 2022.

“Recent exploration success and reductions in development costs of strategic investments have further enhanced the value of our industry-leading investment portfolio,” said Chief Executive Darren Woods.

Business conditions are continuing to show signs of improvement despite the pandemic, he said.

Exxon shares fell 5% in late trading to $38.13 and are down by half in the last five years.

The impairment charge “further worsens the company’s already substantial jump in financial leverage,” said Pete Speer, senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service. “With this charge added to the big rise in debt this year, we see ExxonMobil’s debt/capitalization rising to nearly 30%, from just over 20% at the start of 2020.”

Next year’s spending will fall, to between $16 billion to $19 billion, but Exxon could increase spending by 2025 to more than this year’s about $23 billion level, Woods said.

The plan to return to higher levels of capital expense struck investor Mark Stoeckle, senior portfolio manager at Adams Funds, as unusual.

“In this environment it makes no sense to me at all. What’s the hurry?” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to help them with investors.”

Exxon said last month it could cut 14,000 employees, or 15% of its global workforce, by the end of 2021.

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Business

Exxon Mobil cuts billions in capital spending as oil and gas prices remain low.

Exxon Mobil announced on Monday that it would significantly cut spending on exploration and production over the next four years and would write off up to $20 billion of investments in natural gas.

The company struggled to adapt as oil and gas prices tumbled this spring when the coronavirus pandemic took hold. While oil prices have recovered somewhat in recent months, they remain much lower than they were at the start of the year.

The company said it was removing gas projects from its plans in Appalachia, the Rocky Mountains, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Canada and Argentina.

Darren Woods, Exxon Mobil’s chief executive, said in a statement that the moves were designed to “improve earnings power and cash generation, and rebuild balance sheet capacity to manage future commodity price cycles while working to maintain a reliable dividend.”

Exxon’s board of directors accepted a proposal by management to slash capital expenditures to between $16 billion and $19 billion next year, down from $23 billion in 2020. This year’s capital expenditures had already been reduced from a planned budget of $33 billion, as the company slowed projects in Africa and the Permian Basin in New Mexico and West Texas.

The company said capital spending would be limited to between $20 billion and $25 billion annually through 2025.

In 2010, Exxon Mobil acquired XTO Energy and its natural gas assets for more than $30 billion, just as gas prices were peaking. Over the next decade, the shale boom flooded the market with cheap gas.

Exxon Mobil had previously resisted writing down assets by large amounts. Several of the largest oil companies have recently written down assets, including Royal Dutch Shell by up to $22 billion, BP by more than $17 billion and Chevron by $10 billion.

But Exxon has fared worse than other major oil companies during the pandemic. It was removed from the Dow Jones industrial average in August and has suffered three consecutive quarterly losses. It recently said it would cut 14,000 jobs, or 15 percent of its global work force.

Exxon’s stock, which is down more than 40 percent over the past year, is back to where it was in 2003. Company executives continue to express confidence about the future because Exxon is producing more oil and gas in the Permian Basin and in the offshore waters of Guyana and Brazil. The company has also committed to maintaining its dividend, which yields more than an 8 percent return on its share price.

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