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LM Otero / AP

The U.S. Treasury announced Thursday that it is fining Exxon Mobil $2 million for violating Ukraine-related sanctions in May 2014, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO, per AP.

  • The Treasury Department said Exxon showed "reckless disregard" for the sanctions when two of the oil giant's U.S. subsidiaries signed legal contracts with Igor Sechin, the president of Russian oil giant Rosneft, who is currently blacklisted in the U.S. for Russia's actions in Ukraine.
  • Key line from AP: "When Tillerson was CEO, he said Exxon didn't support sanctions generally because it found them usually ineffective."
  • Why it matters: Tillerson has generally managed to avoid becoming involved in the Russia investigations, despite his prior ties to the Kremlin. However, the discovery of his company's sanctions violations could bring him back into focus.

Exxon's pushback: Exxon issued a statement in response Thursday morning stating that the company followed "clear guidance from the White House and Treasury Department" when signing the documents involving Rosneft. The oil giant also argued that the Treasury "is trying to retroactively enforce a new interpretation" of the sanctions order, and that the fine is "fundamentally unfair."Later Thursday afternoon, Exxon announced it is suing the Treasury Dept. for their unjust action.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

7 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.