What is the Uranium One deal and what does it have to do with Hillary Clinton?

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 2:49 PM

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. Some young black activists who had their doubts about Clinton came around to support her - some enthusiastically, some because they could not stand Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. Some young black activists who had their doubts about Clinton came around to support her - some enthusiastically, some because they could not stand Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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.

The deal
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.

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.

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.”

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Hundreds of Pittsburgh protesters marching over death of Antwon Rose shut down traffic for miles

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:01 AM

Officer Allegedly Kills Unarmed Teen After Being Sworn In Hours Before

Hundreds of marchers took to the streets of Pittsburgh Thursday night, protesting the fatal police shooting of a teenager during a traffic stop Tuesday night.

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Traffic was brought to a standstill as protesters spilled onto Pittsburgh’s Parkway East.

 

The protest was described by WPXI reporters on the scene as “tense,” but “peaceful so far.”

Marchers, holding signs and cell phones, sat down in the street, blocking traffic and causing a back up for miles. 

Protesters were told to voluntarily disperse by 1 a.m. Friday. Pennsylvania State Police were able to clear all protesters by 2:45 a.m. At least one woman was arrested.

Residents were angry and upset over the fatal police shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose.

Allegheny County police officials said that Rose was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in East Pittsburgh around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday because it fit the description of a car seen fleeing the area of a shooting in the nearby borough of North Braddock. As an officer handcuffed the driver of the car, which investigators said had bullet damage to the back window, Rose and a second passenger got out of the car and ran. 

Footage of the shooting posted on Facebook Tuesday shows the scene from a distance. The 18-second video shows Rose and the other passenger, who has not been found by police, get out of the car and make a break for the yard between two nearby houses.

Three shots are heard and one of the passengers appears to fall into the grass.

Rose, who police officials said was struck three times, was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

The Allegheny County medical examiner on Thursday ruled the teen’s death a homicide. 

The East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed Rose  was sworn in just hours before the fatal encounter.

Mayor Louis Payne told WPXI Wednesday that the unidentified officer who killed Rose previously spent seven years working in other departments, but confirmed that he was working his first shift following his official swearing in with the East Pittsburgh Police Department.

Pictured is the spot on East Pittsburgh's Grandview Avenue where unarmed teen Antwon Rose was shot and killed by a police officer Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Witnesses said Rose, 17, was shot in the back as he ran from a traffic stop.(Keith Srakocic/via AP)

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Driver surprised by snake surrounding leg while driving

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 8:59 AM

Woman Finds Snake Wrapped Around Leg While Driving

Time to get a new car! 

A woman said she was driving when she felt something on her leg. And it wasn’t her imagination. The unidentified woman saw a six-foot-long snake slithering up her leg, WSPA reported.

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A pest removal service in Rutherford County said that a customer of theirs had a box in her car that she was taking to the dump. The box had been sitting outside and the snake had crawled in. The Bug Man reminded people in its Facebook post about the incident, to always check boxes and planters before moving them. Snakes and other critters can make containers their home.

She called police for help and they got the serpent out of her vehicle using snake tongs, WSPA reported.

The stowaway’s story doesn’t end there. The snake actually got out of its container while police were relocating it, but eventually got out of the police car and made its way into a creek, WSPA reported.

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Teen sucked into drainage pipe by floodwaters, emerges across street

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:43 PM

Ben Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road. (WPXI.com)
Ben Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road. (WPXI.com)

A Pennsylvania teenager admits he’s lucky to be alive after getting sucked into a drainage pipe underneath a road south of Pittsburgh.

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Ben Smith was helping clear debris from outside of neighbors’ houses during massive flooding Wednesday night.

"There was a quick moment when I thought I wouldn't get out. It felt like I was going down," Smith said. "We were trying to move a van away from it and clear some debris. I went to go after this wood panel and my foot slipped and I just went right under."

Neighbors tried to pull him out, but the floodwater was too strong and Smith was washed away.

He said his instincts and Eagle Scout training kicked in.

"It teaches you to be prepared for any sort of circumstance that comes your way," Smith said. "I knew going against the water would not work at all. So I just tucked in and hoped I could end up somewhere."

Smith estimates he was trapped in the pipe for about a minute before washing out in a small creek on the other side of the road.

He escaped with no broken bones and no major injuries, which shocked his friends and neighbors.

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Weird-looking ancient sea creature named after President Barack Obama; it’s actually an honor

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:40 PM

Two new fossils discovered by UC Riverside researchers  in South Australia. The one named after former President Barack Obama, Obamus coronatus, is on the left. The other is named after British naturalist  Sir David Attenborough.
Two new fossils discovered by UC Riverside researchers in South Australia. The one named after former President Barack Obama, Obamus coronatus, is on the left. The other is named after British naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

Former President Barack Obama was such a friend to science and so passionate about a diverse number of scientific issues that researchers at the University of California at Riverside decided to honor him by naming an ancient sea creature after him.

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Obamus coronatus, translated means Obama crowned, was a disc-shaped, ocean-dwelling sea creature, which lived in the Earth’s shallow oceans between 580 and 540 million years ago, according to UCR researchers. It had raised spiral groves on its surface and scientists believe it was stationary, embedded in the ocean mat, “a thick layer of organic matter that covered the early ocean floor,” according to a statement.

The animals were soft-bodied and lived in the Precambrian era at the dawn of animal life, researchers said. They were discovered in South Australia’s Ediacara Hills in Flinders Ranges as fossils in sandstone that had been preserved for hundreds of millions of years.

These animals “are a new body plan, unlike anything else that has been described,” lead researcher Mary Droser said.

>> Related: New dinosaur with razor-sharp claws and jagged teeth unearthed in Argentina

“We have been seeing evidence for these animals for quite a long time, but it took us a while to verify that they are animals within their own rights and not part of another animal,” Droser said.  

The discovery of Obamus coroanatus was first reported in the online Australian Journal of Earth Sciences on June 14.

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