By Yeganeh Torbati and Ernest Scheyder | WASHINGTON/HOUSTON
(Reuters) - The United States on Thursday admonished Exxon Mobil Corp for "reckless disregard" of U.S. sanctions in dealings with Russia in 2014 when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the global oil company's chief executive, and fined it $2 million.
ExxonMobil said the decision was "fundamentally unfair," and sued the U.S. government in Texas in an effort to overturn the decision.
The fine came after a U.S. review of deals Exxon signed with top Russian oil producer Rosneft weeks after Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow for annexing Ukraine's Crimea region.
Between May 14 and May 23, 2014, top U.S.-based ExxonMobil executives signed eight documents with Igor Sechin, the head of state-run Rosneft, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a statement on its website.
ExxonMobil had "demonstrated reckless disregard for U.S. sanctions requirements" by signing the deals with Sechin just weeks after the United States blacklisted him, OFAC said in an unusually lengthy three-page statement laying out its reasoning. (For the Treasury statement, see: bit.ly/2vnvQf2)
The Treasury announced sanctions on Sechin in April 2014 as part of measures to pressure Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, saying Sechin had shown "utter loyalty" to Russia's President Vladimir Putin. #donaldtrump#trumplies#donaldtrump#exxonmobil
The Carrier factory where a president-elect Donald J. Trump boasted of having crafted a deal to save jobs from moving to Mexico has begun laying off workers.
338 employees at the Carrier Corporation fan coil manufacturing facility in Indianapolis will be let go tomorrow under the previously announced plan, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
Their positions will still be shifted to Mexico, where workers are paid in a day what the Rust Belt employees make in an hour. Those plans included an additional 290 employees to be terminated on December 22nd, 2017, three days before Christmas. "Carrier continues to honor its 2016 commitment to employ approximately 1,100 associates in Indianapolis," the company said in its statement.
It noted that more than 30 of the workers will be taking advantage of job retraining programs. All affected employees will also receive a one-time payment, severance, six months of medical insurance, and be able to apply for jobs elsewhere in the company.
The company became a political target, and then an opportunity, during the campaign when a cellphone video a worker took of the announced relocation in February went viral.
Voters who wanted jobs to stay in America were outraged. Then when Trump said in an April 2016 speech ,"If I were in office right now, Carrier would not be leaving Indiana," they were ebullient. #donaldtrump#trumplies
Oh! Hi! Nothing to see here. Um…
Ok, you caught me. I confess. I voted in the 2016 election, even though cats aren’t allowed to.
This adds me to the 30 cases of voter fraud last year. (That’s right- 30 cases out of over 136 million votes. A rate of 0.00002%.) But this hasn't deterred Trump from claiming, with no evidence, that 3 to 5 million illegal votes were cast in 2016- all against him. He has created an “Election Integrity Commission” in response. They have asked states to provide them a lot of private information on registered voters, including the last 4 digits of social security numbers, party affiliation, and voting history since 2006.
This set off major alarm bells. States use different systems to track voters, and comparing their data would be very complicated. There are fears that Trump’s commission will simplify or manipulate the data in a way that would justify their claims. People are also worried that it will discourage voters from registering. This is already happening- in Colorado, nearly 4000 people have unregistered since the state’s decision to comply. And then there are obvious privacy concerns. Should the federal government have access to our individual voting histories? And how would they safeguard our information? Given that they asked for the information through an unsecured server, we don’t have much confidence.
The good news is that 44 out of 50 states have refused to hand over all this information, and lawsuits have also stalled this request. We thank many Republicans for taking a stance against this too. We loved a Mississippi Republican's response- that the commission can go “jump in the Gulf of Mexico.” 😹😹 (Brennan Center, TIME, The Hill)