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Chinese companies recently helped Saudi Arabia construct a secret uranium extraction facility, according to a report.

The absolute monarchy, and a US ally, stealthily constructed the “yellowcake” processing plant in northwestern Saudi Arabia, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing Western officials.

Saudi Arabia has the world’s second-largest oil reserves but openly plans to pursue nuclear energy. The shadowy pursuit of uranium, however, raised concern about possible nuclear weapons ambitions.

“Where is the transparency? If you claim your program is peaceful, why not show what you have?” Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the paper.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler, said in 2018 that “if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

The use of Chinese assistance comes as the Trump administration seeks to isolate and punish China for eliminating Hong Kong autonomy and concealing data on COVID-19 before it emerged as a global pandemic.

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Trump vetoes bill to withdraw support from Saudi-led Yemen war President Trump on Tuesday vetoed a bill calling for the...

President Trump has defended bin Salman and has said the alliance serves US interests.

Last year, Trump defied members of both political parties to veto legislation that would withdraw the US from the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen’s civil war.

The China National Nuclear Corp. and the China Nuclear Engineering Group Corp. are believed to have worked on the Saudi nuclear project.

“My guess is that one of the reasons to go to the Chinese is that it doesn’t come with the same controls that coordination with the United States does,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

The Saudi Energy Ministry told the Journal it “categorically denies” claims it build the extraction facility.

Filed under china ,  nuclear power ,  nuclear weapons ,  saudi arabia ,  8/5/20

News Source: New York Post

Tags: saudi arabia china nuclear power nuclear weapons saudi arabia saudi arabia

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Snapchat says it has helped more than 1M people register to vote

Photo-sharing app Snapchat announced that it has already helped more than 1 million people register to vote, the majority of whom are first-time voters.

A spokesperson with the social media company told the Washington Examiner on Thursday that more than 80% of the voters it helped register are younger than 30 and that 56% of those Snapchatters are first-time voters.

The news is a marked increase from prior to the midterm elections in 2018, when Snapchat said it helped register more than 450,000 voters.

But will the million-plus newly registered voters turn out to the polls? If the past is precedent, many will. During its 2018 voter registration push, the company said 57% of the voters it helped register ended up at the polls.

The registration push could have a meaningful impact on the November election and help Joe Biden’s chances of beating President Trump. Generation Z and millennial voters support the former vice president by a nearly 2-1 margin, according to NBC News.

“There just simply isn’t another tech or media platform that's been as mindful about reaching young voters with credible information and the tools to get involved in this election as Snapchat,” said Peter Hamby, the host of Snapchat’s Good Luck America show.

The Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement to the Washington Examiner that many of the newly registered voters live in the Sun Belt states. Texas was the state with the most new registrations, with Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina also bringing in large additions.

In August, the company rolled out an in-app voter registration option, among other voting-related features in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election.

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