Author: foxnewsonline@foxnews.com Fox News Online

Experts warn Chernobyl-scale chemical disaster looms in Eastern Ukraine war

FOX NEWS This isn’t a cold war; it’s a hot war. And experts caution that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine could soon get a whole lot hotter if fighting damages huge industrial storage units of chlorine gas and there is a deadly release of the toxic gas. “If one of those uncontrolled sites containing chemicals were to detonate, tens of thousands of people could be poisoned. It is a potential disaster on the scale of Chernobyl,” Robert Amsterdam, Russian political expert and lawyer at international law firm Amsterdam & Partners, told Fox News. The risk is hardly hypothetical. Late...

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‘COMPLETE FABRICATION’: Russia denies having compromising material on Trump, calls report ‘nonsense’

Moscow denied allegations Wednesday that the Kremlin has collected compromising information about President-elect Donald Trump and called news reports on the matter “complete fabrication and utter nonsense.” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin insisted that the Kremlin “does not engage in collecting compromising material.” There has been unverified reports that Russia possessed compromising personal and financial information on Trump. A U.S. official told The Associated Press that intelligence officials had informed Trump about the unsubstantiated report. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not allowed to publicly discuss the matter. After news reports were published about the briefing, Trump tweeted: “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” The New York Times and CNN, citing unnamed officials, reported that the summary was presented last week as an annex to the findings regarding alleged Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign. FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017 The information reportedly was based on memos created by anti-Trump operatives including a former British intelligence operative. According to CNN, the FBI is investigating the credibility of the claims – which supposedly come from Russian sources. The FBI reportedly has not confirmed many key details from the memos, which contain salacious allegations about information the Russian government could use as leverage against Trump. BuzzFeed published the 35-page document that...

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PLAYING POLITICS? Ethics boss gets heat for knocking Cabinet hearings

    The director of the Office of Government Ethics fueled Democrats’ concerns about Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks over the weekend by accusing Republicans of rushing their hearings. But one conservative group says Walter Shaub was just showing his partisan stripes – and claims his office even “covered for” Hillary Clinton when Congress sought records on her speech income more than a year ago. America Rising PAC claims Shaub’s office displayed “utter incompetence” when it came to documenting then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s income — which Shaub, in a House Oversight Committee hearing in December 2015, said the office did not have to disclose. “Walter Shaub gave Hillary Clinton a complete free pass on her unethical activity, especially her lucrative paid speeches,” Scott Sloofman, the PAC’s rapid response director, told FoxNews.com. “His outburst over the weekend reeks of partisan politics from an embittered Democrat still reeling from November’s election result.” At the time of the Clinton questions, Republicans complained Clinton had not disclosed compensation for at least five speeches that was then sent to the Clinton Foundation between 2014 and 2015. They pressed the OGE for answers, but Shaub told the House oversight committee the funds were not required to be disclosed. The Washington Examiner first reported on the PAC’s concerns. The Office of Government Ethics had no comment on America Rising PAC’s claims, referring FoxNews.com to the original...

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TWINKIES RECALL Hostess checking snack for potential contamination

Hostess has recalled some of its Twinkies due to potential contamination with salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company announced in a news release Monday that some of its Holiday White Peppermint Hostess® Twinkies® contain confectionary coating produced and recalled by Blommer Chocolate Company. Although Hostess hasn’t received any reports of illness, it is recalling the product out of an abundance of caution, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The UPC of the recalled product is 888109111571, and it was sold in nine-pack boxes with individually wrapped cakes. They were distributed across the United States at grocery stores, mass merchandisers, dollar and discount stores, according to the FDA. Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea that may be bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare cases, salmonella may enter the bloodstream and produce serious illness such as endocarditis, arthritis or infected aneurysms, according to the FDA. Salmonella infection may also leave the young, elderly or immunosuppressed at risk of life-threatening illness. Hostess advised customers who purchased the product not to consume it and dispose of it immediately. Those with questions may contact 1-800-483-7253 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m....

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IRS to delay tax refunds for millions of low-income families

April 13, 2014: The headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington.  (AP) WASHINGTON –  The IRS is delaying tax refunds for more than 40 million low-income families this year as the agency steps up efforts to fight identity theft and fraud. The delays will affect families claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit. These tax breaks are geared to benefit the working poor, and many families claim both. “For most of these people it’s the biggest check they are going to get all year,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We are sensitive to that.” The tax filing season starts Jan. 23. But a new law requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for people claiming these credits until Feb. 15. Processing times will delay most of the refunds until the end of February, Koskinen said. The delay is designed to give the agency more time to screen the returns for fraud. The IRS estimates that it issued $3.1 billion in fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves in 2014. The year before, the agency says, it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds. Over those two years, the IRS says it blocked nearly $47 billion in fraudulent refunds. The earned income tax credit is one of the federal government’s largest anti-poverty programs. It has also been plagued by billions in improper payments each year, including overpayments, underpayments and fraud. In 2014, about 29 million families received more than $72 billion in earned income credits. “The EITC is a pro-work success,” said Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “It encourages work,...

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Assange blasts ’embarrassing’ US intel report, insists Russia not his source – Wikileaks proposes database of verified Twitter users' info, sparks uproar

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fired back Monday at the U.S. intelligence community for its report stating the anti-secrecy website was used by the Russian government to distribute hacked information from Democratic figures during the run-up to the presidential election. Assange, speaking during an audio-only Periscope Q&A session, said the source of his information was not a member “of any government” or “state parties” and did not “come from the Russian government.” The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief blasted Friday’s declassified intelligence report on “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” as being inadequate and misleading. “It was not an intelligence report,” Assange said. “It does not have the structure of an intelligence report. It does not have the structure of a Presidential Daily Brief. It was frankly quite embarrassing.” He added: “It was clearly designed for political effect.” WIKILEAKS OFFERS REWARD FOR ALLEGED OBAMA MISDEEDS Asked Monday whether it’s possible that WikiLeaks’ source was a go-between affiliated with the Russian government, Assange said he didn’t want to “play twenty questions with our sources.” The intelligence report, prepared at the direction of President Obama, laid the blame for the breach of top Democratic officials’ emails directly at the feet of the Russians, whom the report said launched cyber operations as part of a Vladimir Putin-ordered “influence campaign.” “We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence … relayed material...

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Trump hits back at Streep

 (AP) Donald Trump wasted no time responding to Meryl Streep’s remarks at Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards where the actress gave a somber speech about the President-elect. Trump called Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” in a tweet Monday morning calling her a “Hillary flunky who lost big.” Shortly after the 74th annual Golden Globes wrapped, where “La La Land” and “Moonlight” were the night’s big winners, Trump told the NY Times he had not seen the show or Streep’s remarks. He also added that he was “not surprised” for coming under attack from “liberal movie people” especially a “Hillary Lover” like Streep. He continued to defend his behavior from an interview with a disabled reporter in 2015 in which he insists he didn’t mock anyone, a moment Streep had said was an example of Trump’s “instinct to humiliate.” MERYL STREEP, JIMMY FALLON AND MORE USE GOLDEN GLOBES STAGE TO SLAM TRUMP “I was never mocking anyone. I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story,” he told the paper in a phone interview after the Globes. “People keep saying I intended to mock the reporter’s disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing.” Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter...

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