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Oil prices fail to sustain rally on ME tension

Dallas – It turns out that thanks to a glut of crude, even tension between two big oil-producing countries isn't enough to drive prices higher. Oil futures spiked briefly on Monday after the news that Saudi Arabia would cut diplomatic ties with Iran, a development that could be seen as a threat to oil supplies. Investors quickly discounted those fears, however. After rising by $1.35, the price of benchmark US crude ended the day down 28 cents to $36.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, reflecting the price of international oils, dipped 6 cents to close at $37.22 a barrel in London. Oil prices rebounded in Asia Tuesday as a diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Iran deepened, but a global crude supply glut and economic weakness in China …

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National Symphony Orchestra names Noseda music director

WASHINGTON — The National Symphony Orchestra has named Gianandrea Noseda as its musical director for the 2017-18 season. Noseda will serve as music director designate in the 2016-2017 season, with music director Christoph Eschenbach, the orchestra said Monday in a news release. Noseda, who is 51, was named 2015 Conductor of the Year by the magazine Musical America. Born in Milan, he has been music director of the Teatro Regio Torino since 2007. Noseda was chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2002 until 2011 and is principal guest conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Activision acquires e-sports organizer Major League Gaming

LOS ANGELES — Activision is adding a veteran e-sports organizer to its arsenal. "Call of Duty" publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. announced plans Monday to buy Major League Gaming in a move to push deeper into e-sports. The deal to purchase the 12-year-old competitive gaming organizer is reportedly worth $46 million. "Our acquisition of Major League Gaming's business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of e-sports," said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement. Under the deal, MLG will continue to produce competitions featuring games created by Activision and other publishers. The e-sports organizer will also continue to operate the online broadcast network MLG.tv and be led by MLG co-founder and CEO Sundance DiGiovanni. The announcement comes after months of several high-profile hires and acquisitions by Activision. Activision hired MLG co-founder Mike Sepso and former …

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Trump embraces Muslim ban in opening TV ads

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is giving some of the most divisive proposals of his campaign a starring role in his first major television ad, as the unsettled race for the party's nomination swirls around security concerns. With the opening 2016 primary contest four weeks away, the billionaire businessman is spotlighting his plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States — temporarily and with exceptions, he says — and to build a wall along the southern border. Trump's campaign says he plans to spend $2 million a week on the ad, set to begin airing Tuesday across the first two states to cast votes in the Republican nominating contest. Iowa hosts the nation's kickoff presidential caucuses on Feb. 1 and New Hampshire follows with the opening …

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Swan song for ‘American Idol’ after 15 game-changing years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It started on June 11, 2002, with a couple of unfamiliar hosts posing in an empty theater and making an overblown declaration to TV viewers. "Live on this stage, an unknown talent will be launched into superstardom," said Brian Dunkleman. "You at home decide who will become the next American idol," intoned Ryan Seacrest. The reasonable reaction: uh-huh, sure. But it turned out the two were underselling Fox's "American Idol." The singing contest, which begins its 15th and final season Wednesday, was a blockbuster that invigorated its network. It made stars of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and others, and resurrected the TV talent show as a boom industry that includes NBC's "The Voice" and ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It not only was a huge success for Fox but …

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NTSB considers next steps in probe of cargo ship’s sinking

Jacksonville, Florida – Federal accident investigators are considering launching another search of the wreckage of a freighter that sank in October in an attempt to locate the ship's “black box.” Tom Roth-Roffy, the lead investigator for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told The Associated Press that a weeks-long search found one of the El Faro's missing decks, but not the mast where the ship's voyage data recorder was attached. The agency on Sunday released the first images of the ship in its final resting place. “There were no human remains found whatsoever, and no personal effects whatsoever,” Roth-Roffy said. “I think we found one boot.” The El Faro sank Oct. 1 after losing engine power and getting caught in a Category 4 hurricane while sailing from Jacksonville to San Juan, Puerto Rico. There …

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Kobe-less Lakers overpower Suns

Los Angeles — Lou Williams scored a season-high 30 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers sent Phoenix to its ninth straight loss with a 97-77 rout of the cold-shooting Suns on Sunday night. The Lakers, coming off victories over Boston and Philadelphia, have won three in a row for the first time since Feb. 22-27 against Boston, Utah and Milwaukee. Rookie Larry Nance Jr. had 15 points and tied a season high with his second straight 14-rebound game. Kobe Bryant sat out his second straight game because of a sore right shoulder, the same one he had surgery on last January to repair a torn rotator cuff. The league's third all-time leading scorer, who turned 37 in August, is averaging 17.2 points in 29 games. Bryant announced on Nov. 29 that this would …

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Reaction to the death of Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole

Reaction to the passing of Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole, who died in Los Angeles on Thursday at age 65: "I am sorry to hear about Natalie Cole's passing. I had to hold back the tears. I know how hard she fought. She fought for so long. She was one of the greatest singers of our time. She represented the Cole legend of excellence and class quite well." --Aretha Franklin. ___ "Natalie was an exceptional jazz singer and it was an honor to have recorded and performed with her on several occasions. She was a lovely and generous person who will be greatly missed. --Tony Bennett. ___ "More like family than friend was Natalie. My heart aches. My sincere condolences to her family and may she now rest in peace." --Dionne Warwick. ___ "We are very saddened to …

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Prince William: Fatherhood made me more emotional

LONDON (AP) — Prince William has said that being a father has made him "more emotional" and more prone to welling up. The royal is the father of two children, 2-year-old Prince George and Princess Charlotte, born in May. In a television interview, the 33-year-old said that becoming a parent has made him more aware of "how precious life is." William said that he "never used to get too wound up or worried about things," but now feels more affected by world events. "Now the smallest little things, you well up a little more, you get affected by the sort of things that happen around the world or whatever a lot more, I think, as a father," he said. "Just because you realize how precious life is and it puts it all in perspective. …

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Bill Cosby tweets ‘Thank You’ to friends, family

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby has tweeted a brief message to fans following his arrest on a sexual assault charge. The message says, "Friends and fans, Thank You." It was sent Thursday from Cosby's Twitter account. The 78-year-old comedian was charged this week with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004 inside his home near Philadelphia. It's the first criminal case brought against Cosby out of the torrent of allegations that destroyed his good-guy image as America's Dad. Cosby's attorney has said the charge is unjustified and predicted her client will be exonerated. Cosby is free on $1 million bail pending trial.

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