Jul 20, 2017

U.S. fines Exxon for violating Russia sanctions under Tillerson

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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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

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