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Oil prices hit 5-year low

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Crude oil prices fell to a five-year low Monday with analysts blaming expectations of more bad news for demand due to slower economic conditions.

US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February delivery lost $1.12 to finish at $53.61 a barrel after holding in the $56 range for nearly two weeks.

Brent crude for February delivery, the London benchmark, fell 57 cents from Friday’s close to $57.88.

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Both last traded at those levels in May 2009.

Analysts said traders were girding for more downward pressure stirred up by the impact of Greece’s political situation on the European economy, expected poor numbers on China’s industrial sector, and another possible increase in US stockpiles.

“It’s a very bearish environment out there,” said John Kilduff of Again Capital.

Prices were stronger in early trade Monday on signs that Libyan output could be cut back due to storage tanks fires amid clashes between government and militia forces, but that had little lasting impact on the market, noted Kilduff.

Bob Yawger of Mizuho Securities said there were other short-term causes for the fall, including US storage tank operators trying to lower their holdings for end-of-year tax reasons.

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Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.

Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.

Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”

Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.

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Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."

Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.

"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.

"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."

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Taylor Swift takes on former record label — and #IStandWithTaylor trends on Twitter

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Taylor Swift on Thursday publicly reignited her battle with the heads of her former label, saying it is threatening to bar her from going through with an upcoming performance and Netflix documentary over her plans to re-record her early albums.

Earlier this year the superstar began feuding with industry mogul Scooter Braun over his purchase of her former label for more than a decade, the Nashville-based Big Machine, which gave him a majority stake in the master recordings of her first six albums.

Swift said she would begin re-recording her early albums to create copies she owns herself, saying her contract allows her to begin re-doing albums one through five in November 2020, when she plans to be back in the studio doing just that.

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