September 12, 2008 in Nation/World

Oil-price inquiry is inconclusive

 

Federal regulators said Thursday they could not determine after a lengthy review how much speculators have influenced commodity prices, especially the run-up earlier this year in oil prices.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released a much-anticipated report examining the activities of large index investors and so-called “swap” traders – those who trade on behalf of banks or wealthy individuals – in the commodity futures markets including crude oil.

“This preliminary survey is not able to accurately answer and quantify the amount of speculative trading occurring in the futures markets,” the report said.

Acting Commission Chairman Walter Lukken, at a congressional hearing, said he saw no clear evidence that speculation had driven up oil prices. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a sponsor of legislation aimed at curbing oil market speculation, said the report and Lukken’s assessment reflects an inability of the commission “to bring the light of day” to the unregulated oil markets.

Las Vegas

Jury selected for Simpson trial

A jury has been selected to decide whether O.J. Simpson and a co-defendant kidnapped and robbed two sports memorabilia dealers last year in Las Vegas.

Twelve jurors and six alternates were seated Thursday after four days of questioning by defense lawyers.

Most prospective jurors have said they disagree with Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the slaying of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. But they insist they can be fair in the latest case.

Los Angeles

Rapper arrested after LAX dust-up

Kanye West’s notoriously fickle temper boiled over Thursday, resulting in his arrest for apparently helping smash a paparazzo’s camera on the floor at Los Angeles International Airport.

Police arrested the music superstar shortly before 8 a.m. He and his manager, Don Crowley, were booked for investigation of felony vandalism, although prosecutors will determine what charges they might face.

West was released from custody by Thursday afternoon.

From wire reports

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