A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on American officials and political organizations and working to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin, federal prosecutors charged Monday.The announcement of the arrest of Maria Butina came hours after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and days after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 12 Russian intelligence officials with directing a sprawling hacking effort aimed at swaying the 2016 election. Mueller didn’t file the charge against Butina, but court papers show her activities revolved around American politics during the 2016 campaign.
Countries and businesses that continue to import Iranian oil could avoid penalties by making “significant reductions” as Washington re-imposes sanctions on Tehran later this year, according to top U.S. officials. “We want people to reduce oil purchases to zero, but in certain cases if people can’t do that overnight, we’ll consider exemptions,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told journalists.
Source: Associated Press