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Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 2:49 PM
— Attorney General Jeff Sessions informed a House committee this week that the Justice Department is considering whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate any possible ties between donations to The Clinton Foundation and a decision to allow Russia’s nuclear agency to buy a uranium mining operation in the United States.
A letter delivered Monday to the House Judiciary Committee said the department was weighing its options when it came to appointing a special counsel to look into the 2010 decision to allow Uranium One to do business in the United States.
Some Republicans have charged that the decision was made in exchange for donations to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s family foundation. Both the head of the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees have called for an investigation into the deal.
What is Uranium One and what is it’s connection to the Clinton Foundation? Here’s a look at the deal and the controversy.
What is Uranium One?
Uranium One is an energy company with headquarters in Canada. It is one of the world’s largest uranium producers.
The company has holdings in the United States, in Wyoming. It is a subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear agency.
In 2009, Rosatom purchased a minority stake in Uranium One. In 2010, they came back to purchase a 51 percent share of the company, giving Rosatom a majority share. In 2013, Rosatom purchased the company.
Who cares if the Russians purchased a Canadian company?
Usually, no one but the Russians and the Canadians would care, but part of Uranium One’s holdings involved the United States.
In 2009, before Rosatom bought Uranium One, the company purchased the Willow Creek uranium mine and related properties near Casper, Wyoming.
According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as of Dec. 31, 2013, Willow Creek had estimated reserves of 9.8 million tonnes of ore grading 0.066 percent uranium.
Since the deal Rosatom made involved roughly 20 percent of uranium production capacity in the United States, the U.S. government had to OK the arrangement. The NRC issued the license to Rosatom.
According to OilPrice.com, Rosatom is prohibited from exporting the uranium outside of the United States since uranium is considered a national security asset.
The 2010 sale of the Willow Creek Mine was allowed only after approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS.
Who sits on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States?
CFIUS is made up of the heads of from several government agencies including:
Department of the Treasury (chair)
Department of Justice
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of State
Department of Energy
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Office of Science & Technology Policy
The committee’s job is to “review transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States.”
The president of the United States is the only one who can veto a deal.
So how did Hillary Clinton become involved?
Clinton was secretary of state when the deal was up for review. The issue of impropriety arose when people associated with Uranium One donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton family’s charitable organization.
A book by Peter Schweizer called “Clinton Cash," made news of the donations by Uranium One to the Clinton Foundation public.
President Donald Trump has said a special counsel should be appointed to investigate any possible link between the Clintons and the Uranium One deal.
Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn't want to follow!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2017
A few days later, the president said, “I think the uranium sale to Russia and the way it was done — so underhanded, with tremendous amounts of money being passed — I actually think that’s Watergate, modern age.”
Trump's comments came after a story published by The Hill reported that the FBI was investigating bribes in connection with Russia’s atomic energy business within the United States.
The Associated Press reported, “... a report last month said the FBI was investigating possible Russian attempts to influence the U.S. nuclear sector at the time CFIUS was considering the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom. The report said members of the committee, including Clinton, should have known about the investigation and it questioned why they would have approved it.”
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:22 AM
OYMYAKON, Russia — As Americans continue to brave the winter weather, photos from a remote village in Russia might make them count their blessings that it’s not worse.
According to the experts, Oymyakon in Siberia is the world’s coldest permanently inhabited area. Recent temperatures came in at a bone-chilling -62°C, or -79.6°F.
Oymyakon bottoms out at -62C or -80F. Now that is cold https://t.co/WY9OQvcwVY— Jim Edds (@ExtremeStorms) January 15, 2018
Bit colder than usual in Siberia over next few days. Watch some stations like Oymyakon for -70°F pic.twitter.com/nt9PUa5WUo— Ryan Maue | weather.us (@RyanMaue) January 14, 2018
In fact, it was so cold that the town’s thermometer broke.
That's what happens when the temperature reaches -79°F in Oymyakon, Russia. pic.twitter.com/pXR1Z7NKtI— Dose (@dose) January 15, 2018
A few pictures have indicated that bundling up is no match for the weather.
Anyone moaning about the weather...could be worse, this is village of Oymyakon in Russia where it is currently -62c!!!! pic.twitter.com/6RONaURGSh— Greigsy (@Greigsy) January 16, 2018
Despite this, the weather certainly hasn’t deterred the adventurous.
As temperatures sink to -60C in Yakutia, heroic Chinese tourists take a swim!— The Siberian Times (@siberian_times) January 15, 2018
Amazing scenes as Russia’s iciest region of Yakutia plunges to near record lows, and even the thermometer in the world’s coldest village breaks downhttps://t.co/UpCiM5WIZg pic.twitter.com/1lpqOgEFu8
It would seem that besides the thermometer, schools are the only other thing truly feeling the effects of the cold temperatures.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 1:33 AM
MORRIS, Okla. — An entire Oklahoma school district canceled classes Wednesday through Friday after schools reported excessive flu absences among much of the staff.
Morris Public Schools said Monday's absences were at 20 percent, and Tuesday's were at more than 30 percent.
Basketball teams will continue competition in the county tournament.
Wrestlers will need to contact the coach about scheduled meets.
The district asks that ill students stay home when school resumes.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 12:06 AM
PULLMAN, Wash. — Police in Pullman, Washington, say officers have found Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinkski dead Tuesday in an apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
At about 4:30 p.m., officers responded to an apartment to check on the welfare of a football player who did not show up for practice earlier in the day.
When officers arrived, they found Hilinkski, 21, deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Police said a rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a note was found.
Washington State president Kirk Schulz tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilinski family.”
Former Washington State linebackers coach Roy Manning, who recently left for a position at UCLA, tweeted , “Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. My heart is beyond saddened. Please pray for the family and all of us affected!”
Hilinski, from Claremont, Calif., recently finished his redshirt sophomore season for the Cougars.
He started in place of Senior Luke Falk in the Cougars loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl.
Hilinski played 11 games in his Cougars career, passing for 1,149 yards and seven touchdowns.
Hilinski was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:47 PM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of Haitians living in Central Florida said they're just days away from being forced out of their jobs.
Many of those worried are workers at Disney World.
They were granted Temporary Protected Status after an earthquake devastated their country in 2010.
They’re now finding out their jobs are in limbo, because their work authorizations are about to expire and new applications aren't being processed.
The change affects more than 500 workers at Disney, many of whom have families and homes in Central Florida.
Many were facing the possibility of being forced to leave the country before the administration extended TPS until July of 2019 for more than 50,000 Haitians living and working in the U.S.
But now, they're facing another dilemma.
Wilna Destin has lived in Orlando 18 years.
She's married with two children and she has no idea what will happen next week when her and her husband's work authorization permits expire.
"That hurts, you know. It hurts your family,” she said.
TPS workers in Central Florida said they've learned the administration is not even processing their work authorization applications, which they need to stay employed.
Sano Leger, a union representative, said it affects workers all through the tourist corridor.
"Most of those big hotels, they have people who have TPS working in there,” he said.