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LONDON (AFP) – Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday said its net profits plunged by 57 percent in the second quarter compared with the equivalent period a year earlier.

The Anglo-Dutch group said earnings after tax slumped to $1.737 billion (1.308 billion euros) in the three months to June 30 compared with $4.1 billion in the second quarter of 2012.

“These results were undermined by a number of factors — but they were clearly disappointing for Shell”, chief executive Peter Voser said in an earnings statement.

Voser said the group’s bottom line was hit by higher costs, exploration charges, adverse currency exchange rates and unrest in major oil producer Nigeria.

Photo Credit: AFP/ Carl de Souza

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Jessica Cisneros

It’s a race that has some Democratic voters scratching their heads: a young, progressive primary challenger versus a pro-life, conservative Democrat who received an A-rating from the NRA. The primary race between one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Representative Henry Cuellar, and Jessica Cisneros has become a lightning rod within the Democratic Party.

Cuellar declared victory, but as of Wednesday morning, major media outlets have said the race is too close to call. He is just a couple hundred votes ahead of his Cisneros in Texas' 28th Congressional District primary. When neither candidate won a majority in the March 1 primary, the two highest vote-getters faced each other in Tuesday's run-off election.

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