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Russia vows to open up Arctic to oil and natural gas drilling

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President Vladimir Putin vowed on Tuesday to conquer ever broader expanses of the Arctic for Russia’s oil and natural gas giants while inviting foreign majors to take part in the development boom.

Russia’s dominant leader invited both senior executives and ministers to the first major meeting devoted to energy since his return to the Kremlin for an historic third term in May.

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Putin relied on soaring energy prices to ensure record growth during his 2000-2008 presidency and will be keen to maintain that performance even as world prices wobble and supplies slowly dwindle at old Siberian fields.

The Kremlin chief said the Arctic now represented Russia’s main hope — and that tie-ups with foreign majors were its best option for exploiting the forbidding environment fast.

“In the coming years, we have to develop the geography… and more actively reach new shelf deposits,” Putin said in a live television transmission of the meeting.

“We must attract foreign capital,” Putin added in reference to three major Arctic deals the state firm Rosneft signed in the past year in hope of gaining access to global markets and the technology needed to tap hard-to-reach sites.

“We have already seen such examples and many of them are of a grand scale. We have to establish stable rules of the game for the market, which in turn will help the foreigners build long-term plans.

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Russia is currently the world’s largest oil exporter and biggest natural gas producer.

But that status has been a double-edge soared that has keep growth dependent on external factors and the government hesitant to invest in other industries during petrodollar-driven booms.

Russian leaders had made economic diversification their mantra throughout Putin’s 12 years in power. Putin himself however said on Tuesday he viewed oil and gas as a high-tech industry that required further help from the state.

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“When they say that we remain hooked on oil, this is without question partially true. And we must develop high-end technologies,” said Putin.

“But one must not forget that the oil and gas industry is in fact one of those high-tech industries,” Putin added.

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DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.

"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."

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2020 Election

GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed

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The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.

According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"

However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.

As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."

That was the general consensus in the comments.

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GOP lawmaker scrambles for excuses after being cornered with McConnell’s promise to rig Trump impeachment

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On CNN Saturday, anchor Martin Savidge confronted Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), one of Trump's biggest defenders on cable television, about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's claim that he was "coordinating" the impeachment strategy with the White House.

"Where is the impartiality there?" asked Savidge. "And it has to be a concern because, as you point out, you are an attorney and you would be worried if a member of the jury had already stated how they were going to consider."

"Yeah, we heard those comments yesterday, as everyone did," said Johnson. "You know, I've actually talked about this with some of my Democrat [sic] colleagues, those who are very much in favor of impeachment. I said isn't it a fair description of what he said? The way I heard that, Mitch McConnell is talking about the scheduling of the trial, what length of trial or what would be involved with that, with the White House, which is not unprecedented. That's what happened in the Clinton proceedings as well, they coordinated with the White House on scheduling. I don't think he's talking about the merits of the case. I think he's talking about how long will be allowed for this to go forward so I don't think there's anything inappropriate about that."

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