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Oil prices dip amid Mideast, eurozone worries

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NEW YORK — Oil prices eased slightly in cautious trade Monday as investors kept a close eye on Middle East tensions and the eurozone’s economic uncertainties.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in September, closed at $95.97 a barrel, dipping four cents from Friday’s close and snapping a four-day rise.

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Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October edged down one cent to settle at $113.70 a barrel in London trade.

The New York session lacked direction and volumes were relatively thin, said Phil Flynn, an energy analyst at Price Futures Group.

Traders were following developments in the eurozone, where Germany and the European Central Bank slapped down a Der Spiegel report that the ECB plans to limit the borrowing costs of debt-wracked eurozone countries, Flynn said.

New York oil prices, which have climbed sharply since early May, now seem slightly too high, said Rich Ilczyszyn at iiTrader.com.

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“We need a catalyst to get the market going, unfortunately, like geopolitical risks,” he added.

Analysts at JBC Energy research group said “growing tensions in the Middle East and hints of new economic stimulus measures” were supporting prices.

Israeli saber-rattling about an imminent unilateral strike being prepared by the country against nuclear sites in major oil producer Iran had markets on edge.

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Israel, like its close ally the United States, accuses Iran of seeking to develop an atomic arsenal.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, while its military chiefs warn that they will destroy Israel if it attacks.

Flynn also said that traders were preferring to stick close to the sidelines ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s minutes of its last policy-setting panel, which will be scrutinized for signs of fresh economic stimulus.

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The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 31-August 1 meeting are slated for release Wednesday.


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The Trump depression: Experts see a serious psychological depression taking hold in America

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Reviewing “Trump’s Wacky, Angry, and Extreme August” on Twitter, the New Yorker’s Susan Glasser said the experience “was exhausting, a dark journey to a nasty and contentious place.” But that’s hardly news: it’s a place we live in every day. We try to turn the volume down and ignore it, and that may work for a while. But it won’t last. It can’t. It’s getting worse, and we can all see where we’re headed.
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Julian Castro nails McConnell and GOP to the wall for putting ‘sexual predator’ Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court

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Calling into MSNBC's "AM Joy" on Sunday morning, Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro ripped into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a serial sexual predator and said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP are to blame for his being on the court.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Castro renewed a call he made late Saturday night for Kavanaugh to be impeached over fresh allegations of sexual assault  before getting down to the heart of the matter.

"Do you believe there was misconduct in this case by the FBI and the Department of Justice or even by the senators who seemed uninterested in finding out of what really happened with this very brief investigation of Mr. Kavanaugh?" Reid asked.

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Condi Rice deflects Trump’s racism by saying slavery was just ‘a number of people being treated badly’

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Former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on Sunday blamed Democrats for racism after she was asked about President Donald Trump's controversial bigoted statements.

During an interview on CNN, host Fareed Zakaria asked Rice about some of Trump's most racist statements, like telling Democratic congresswomen to "go back" where they came from. And when he said there were good people on "both sides" at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville.

"When you hear Trump, this is a repudiation of everything you were trying to do," Zakaria pointed out.

"The president needs to be a lot more careful," Rice agreed. "Race is a very delicate and raw nerve in America. We have the birth defect of slavery, we have the birth defect of a number of people being treated badly."

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