Trump lifts sanctions on Russia oligarch Oleg Deripaska in ‘huge gift to Putin’

‘What did we – the American people – get in return? Nothing,’ former US ambassador to Russia says

by Tom Embury-Dennis @tomemburyd (The Independent)

© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

The Trump administration has lifted sanctions against companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, defying efforts led by congressional Democrats to block the move. 

Earlier this month, 11 Republicans in the Senate joined Democrats in a bid to keep restrictions on aluminium producer Rusal, its parent En+ Group and JSC EuroSibEnergo, a private energy company. 

But that was not enough to overcome an aggressive lobbying campaign, led by a British lord who chairs one of the firms, and opposition from Donald Trump and most of his fellow Republicans. 

On Sunday, the Treasury Department ended the sanctions against Mr Deripaska’s business empire, having announced its intention to do so last month. 

In its statement, the US Treasury said the three companies had agreed to its conditions for ending sanctions by reducing Mr Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholding stake and severing his control.… Read the full article.

Suicide Squad originally included Justice League’s Steppenwolf

Not sure that would have made it better…

BY IAN SANDWELL (DigitalSpy)

WARNER BROS.

David Ayer has revealed that Suicide Squad was originally tied closer to the wider Worlds of DC as it included Steppenwolf.

The director has confirmed that the largely-derided villain of Justice League was set to have a prominent role in Suicide Squad as the Big Bad.… Read the full article.

Palestinian PM willing to quit if president Abbas wishes

ARAB NEWS

Hamdallah’s West Bank-based government welcomed plans for a new government. (File/AFP)
  • In June 2014 Hamdallah formed what was labelled a national unity government
  • The deal has since broken down and the government has no control in Hamas-controlled Gaza

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah on Monday offered to resign, his spokesman said, amid efforts by president Mahmud Abbas to form a new government.… Read the full article.