Dec 20, 2018

Trump administration to lift sanctions on Russian companies tied to Oleg Deripaska

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Photo: Igor Russak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Wednesday it would lift sanctions on three Russian companies tied to Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch who once employed President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: As part of the agreement, Deripaska — who remains under U.S. sanctions for allegations of extortion and illegal business practices — will reduce his ownership stake in the parent company of Rusal, the world's second largest aluminum producer. When Rusal was sanctioned by the U.S. in April 2018, it had a dramatic impact on global aluminum prices. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin explained in a statement that the U.S. had originally sanctioned the companies because of their ties to Deripaska, "not for the conduct of the companies themselves."

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Photos: Charlie Riedel/AP (L); Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The people who grow, process and keep food stocked on shelves are doing heroic work in these conditions, often for bottom-barrel pay.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans don't have the luxury of working from home, and it's essential that food workers keep working so we can keep eating.

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Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday after apologizing for comments he made about Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed after a letter he wrote pleading with the Navy to address the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was leaked to the press. The resignation was first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: The controversy over Crozier's removal was exacerbated after audio leaked of Modly's address to the crew, in which he said Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this." After initially backing Modly's decision, President Trump said at a briefing Monday that he would "get involved."