foreign relations

UT endowment investing in Cayman Islands; details kept secret under law approved by legislature in 2017

The University of Tennessee’s endowment has pumped millions of dollars into private investment funds in recent years, including many chartered in the Cayman Islands, reports the Commercial Appeal, and UT officials university successfully lobbied the Tennessee legislature to pass a law last year that keeps the details of these and other “alternative investments” secret.

As stated in a note accompanying the article, it is part of an International Consortium of  Investigative Journalists project.

Continue reading

Report says cyberattack on Knox County election website came from from foreign countries, including Ukraine

Investigators found evidence of a “malicious intrusion” into the Knox County Election Commission’s website from a computer in Ukraine during a concerted cyberattack as results of this month’s local primary election were being reported, reports the Associated Press.

Continue reading

GOP gubernatorial candidates fret about trade war, but declare trust in Trump

President Donald Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel drew concerns from most Republican candidates for governor at a forum on Thursday at Martin, according to the Associated Press. They generally indicated worry about a trade war could harming Tennessee’s farm exports, particularly soybeans.

Continue reading

Haslam spending the week in United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Italy

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE  Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe will travel to Europe May 4 to May 11 for an economic development trip designed to strengthen ties with European businesses and increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tennessee.

Continue reading

Blackburn and Bredesen concerned about trade war but not yet criticizing

Questioned about the possibility of a trade war between the United States and China at a Tennessee Farm Bureau breakfast, U.S. Senate candidates Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen had somewhat similar responses, reports the Times Free Press.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in recent weeks have threatened to slap tariffs on products exported from each other’s countries.

…Both candidates voiced concerns but were hesitant to criticize Trump.

Continue reading

Lawyer mentioned in Russian probe also had ties to Blackburn

A Nashville lawyer with ties to a Russian banker mentioned in national media reports on probes into that country’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election also has ties to U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, reports The Tennessean.

Continue reading

Alexander, Corker — and Bredesen — don’t like Trump tariffs (Update: Blackburn, too)

Tennessee’s two U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, are both criticizing President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that were announced Thursday.

Continue reading

TNECD hires representatives in France and Spain for total of 11 foreign recruiters

Press release from Department of Economic and Community Development

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community (TNECD) has announced the addition of two international representatives for Spain and France that will focus on attracting new foreign direct investment (FDI) to Tennessee.

Continue reading

Haslam quip to Hagerty: Make Japanese crane TN official state bird

Bill Hagerty, former commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development and now U.S. Ambassador to Japan, says Gov. Bill Haslam once joked about replacing the mockingbird with the crane as Tennessee’s official state bird, reports WKRN. The red-crowned crane is the official national bird of Japan.

Continue reading

Burchett offered check (declined) and apology (accepted) after Saudi teen’s attack

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a candidate for the 2nd Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, was one of several motorists who came under attack from a Saudi Arabian citizen who recently enrolled at the University of Tennessee to study nursing, reports the News Sentinel. The youth’s lawyer says he suffered “an unexpected mental breakdown” in the episode, which warrants say involved pounding on cars and grabbing at the drivers as they passed him on a street near the UT Knoxville campus.

“Did they screen this guy at all for mental health issues?” Burchett said Friday of 19-year-old Nofl Hassan Alatyah. “I’m not getting any answers, and I’m very frustrated.”

Continue reading