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Lawsuit fights Obama ban on wind farm sale to Chinese

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WASHINGTON — A Chinese-owned company has filed suit against President Barack Obama for blocking its purchase of wind farms near a US military base on national security grounds, court documents made public Tuesday showed.

Obama signed the decree on Friday banning the sale of four wind farms in Oregon to the Ralls Corp and its Chinese affiliate, Sany Group.

In the decree, Obama said companies linked to Chinese nationals “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

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In a complaint filed Monday in a federal court here, Ralls Corp argued that Obama had “exceeded his limited authority to ‘suspend or prohibit’ a ‘covered transaction.'”

It asked the court to declare the executive order “arbitrary and capricious” in contending that the transaction posed national security risks to the United States.

“We believe the lawsuit has no merit, and we intend to defend the case vigorously,” the US Treasury Department said.

The dispute comes just weeks before US presidential elections in which US trade relations with China have figured prominently.

The presidential order blocked Ralls’ purchase of the Lower Ridge Windfarm, High Plateau Windfarm, Mule Hollow Windfarm and Pine City Windfarm, which are near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman in Oregon.

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Ralls is incorporated in Delaware, but controlled by Chinese citizens through the Sany Group, according to US officials.

Ralls defended the wind farm project as one that will generate jobs in Oregon “at a time when American people need more jobs.”

In filing its complaint, the company said, “Ralls continues to show its profound faith in transparency and due process, and seeks only fair treatment under the law and the constitution.”

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2020 Election

Democratic candidates demand investigation into toxic culture at NBC ahead of MSNBC debate

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Four Democratic candidates called on NBC’s parent company Comcast to launch an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at the network ahead of Wednesday’s presidential debate to be broadcast by MSNBC.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey signed a letter calling the allegations of “sexual assault and harassment” by employees and “a cover-up by NBC’s management” deeply “troubling.” Instead of addressing the company, the senators issued their letter to Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.

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Revealed: Nikki Haley sent confidential information about North Korea nuke scare over system meant only for unclassified communications

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"Convenience is not an acceptable reason to skirt information security rules. She should be held to the same standard as everyone else," said Austin Evers, executive director at American Oversight, upon hearing the news that former UN ambassador Nikki Haley used a Blackberry smartphone to communicate with staff regarding North Korea's July, 2017 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the US.

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Fox News commentator Sean Hannity appears to be knee-deep in Trump’s Ukraine scandal — despite his denials

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Fox News host Sean Hannity raved that he never spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about ousted Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch after a third witness confirmed the alleged call to impeachment investigators.

David Hale, the undersecretary of State for political affairs, testified under oath that Yovanovitch was the victim of a baseless smear campaign led by Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney of President Donald Trump, which led to her ouster. According to a transcript of the closed-door deposition released Monday, the smears originally stemmed from the conservative columnist John Solomon, who wrote in The Hill that former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko had claimed that Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute list.” Lutsenko later retracted that claim.

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