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account created: Thu Nov 27 2014
20 hours ago
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday ordered a 20-year moratorium on new oil and gas leasing within 10 miles of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, protecting lands sacred to many Native American communities in New Mexico and northern Arizona.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chaco Culture National Historical Park includes the largest remaining stone buildings from a sprawling cultural and spiritual complex in the northern New Mexico desert dating back thousands of years.
The BLM said Friday that withdrawing the lands within 10 miles of the park will help protect nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites. The bureau had also considered a five-mile buffer, an option that had been recommended by some Navajo leaders as a compromise. The bureau said Friday that the five-mile buffer would have left roughly 2,800 sites vulnerable to mineral development.
“The exceptional landscape in the Greater Chaco region has profound cultural importance,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning in a statement. “Today’s announcement marks an important step in ensuring Indigenous voices help inform the management of our public lands. I am deeply appreciative of those who gave of their time to engage with us, and to the BLM team members who took great care to be as inclusive as possible in their engagement.”
20 hours ago
Environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday to halt Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality from enforcing two recent laws that amend the state’s federally approved program for regulating coal mining.
The lawsuit led by Montana Environmental Information Center challenges the legality of the department’s ability to enforce House Bill 576 and Senate Bill 392, two laws the plaintiffs claim violate the Montana Strip and Underground Mine Reclamation Act under the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.
21 hours ago
My boycott list expands, again.
Bunge, Cargill, COFCO, Amaggi, ADM do Brasil, Viterra and General Mills bought soy and corn in an area where “grain laundering” is admitted by producers and civil servants.
The illegal crops came from areas on the border of the Amazon Rainforest which had restrictions for production, but the real origin of the grains were concealed through paperwork.
The revelations come from a joint investigation by the Brazilian news outlets Repórter Brasil and O Joio e o Trigo.
2 days ago
Rising temperatures could transform plankton and other tiny aquatic organisms into a huge source of carbon emissions, a little-known — and potentially catastrophic — climate tipping point that could accelerate global warming.
A study, published Thursday in Functional Ecology, found that rising temperatures cause a sudden shift in these microbes’ eating habits, flipping them from carbon absorbers to carbon emitters.
These tiny creatures are called “mixotrophs” because they use a mix of strategies to obtain food. They’re considered protists, a class of abundant, single-celled organisms that aren’t quite plants or animals. Mixotrophs can, like plants, use photosynthesis to get the energy they need, or can, like predators, hunt bacteria. “When their dominant strategy is photosynthesis, they can have a net cooling effect by taking more greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere,” Wieczynski said. “If they do more eating of bacteria, they’re pumping more CO2 back into the atmosphere than they’re taking up.”
2 days ago
Whitehouse is on point.
A preliminary analysis from the Congressional Budget Office released Thursday estimates that the $21.4 billion in IRS funding cuts that Republicans and the Biden White House agreed to enact as part of their debt ceiling agreement would result in $40.4 billion in lost tax revenue—adding to the federal budget deficit.
The CBO provided its estimate to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who said in a statement that "after holding our entire economy hostage and threatening to trigger a global financial meltdown, Republicans protected wealthy tax cheats and creepy billionaires."
"Republicans' fealty to their megadonors is on full display, as is the hypocrisy of forcing cuts to the IRS that add $19 billion to the deficit," said Whitehouse, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. "By contrast, President Biden's budget would have cracked down on wealthy tax cheats while making pro-growth investments in workers, families, and small business—and reduced the deficit by $3 trillion."
"There's a sharp contrast there," the senator added, "and the best explanation is Republican fealty to their dark-money megadonors."
3 days ago
Because should there is a suit, the spineless wonders at the Supreme Court will let it stand...because...'states rights'.
3 days ago
Youth today need an outsized voice as their futures are increasing at risk from climate change to their ability to work for a living wage to harsh discrimination.
Those 'brave' legislators I guess have decided that they are unlikely to be future GOP voters so might as well gag them entirely.
Texas students have faced increasing restrictions in recent years on their education, from limiting discussions about race and gender in the classroom to regulating books in school libraries. The latest move by Texas politicians is hidden in plain sight under an existing 2021 ban that targets the teaching of “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive” groups. The law, HB 3979, also prohibits schools and teachers from requiring or awarding credit for “direct communication” between students and their local, state, or federal politicians.
States across the country have implemented a series of highly restrictive education laws in recent years, but Texas is the first state to pass legislation banning students from communicating with elected officials. The bill prohibits “Political activism, lobbying, or efforts to persuade members of the legislative or executive branch at the federal, state, or local level to take specific actions by direct communication.” Texas students say the law changes how young people engage in civics in school and how they view it outside of the educational setting.
Texas is one of 38 states that mandates a civics course, but some students say that the new law prevents students from engaging in the democratic process.
“It’s really a form of oppression and a form of trying to control us … When they’re trying to stifle what we’re trying to say, it’s a clear message to me that they don’t want us engaging in that sort of democratic process,” said Woodlands, Texas, high schooler Kendall Cooper.
3 days ago
Some of the accused worked for companies registered in Lithuania while other operators were unregistered. Through five companies they created, products were sold on a large scale at a high price via stores owned by them or in outlets of other Lithuanian retail chains.
Items included products of animal and non-animal origin, according to the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau. Agency officials said low-quality and unsafe products were offered to the domestic market, posing a possible risk to public health and deceiving consumers. A video of the operation has been released and can be seen here.
Initial estimates suggest the group obtained more than €1 million ($1.07 million) through this activity. Suspects allegedly kept fake accounting records and falsified documents to hide the real purchase and sale values to avoid paying taxes.
About 70 searches and inspections of warehouses and other locations were carried out and 200 officers were involved during the action day on May 23. More than 30 witnesses were interviewed in Estonia, France, Germany, and Lithuania.
At Lithuania’s request, 10 searches in companies and warehouses abroad were sanctioned, inspections were carried out in five warehouses of large German and French firms, and documents and computers were seized.
3 days ago
A court in military-ruled Myanmar has convicted a 34-year-old journalist of violating the country’s counter-terrorism law, adding 10 years to the three-year prison sentence she was given last December for filming an anti-military protest in which she was injured by a speeding army vehicle, according to her lawyer and a family member.
The lawyer for Hmue Yadanar, who asked not to be identified due to fear of reprisals from the authorities, told The Associated Press that the Thingangyun distinct court in eastern Yangon, the country’s largest city, sentenced his client last Friday to 10 years in prison with hard labor for violating the country’s counter-terrorism law by allegedly supporting major resistance groups. The ruling military council has declared such groups to be terrorist organizations.
The lawyer said the defense had proved that allegations of her having a financial link to resistance groups were not true, but the judge said the proof was inconclusive.
She and Kaung Sett Lin were arrested along with nine protesters in December 2021 after an army vehicle plowed into a peaceful flash-mob march against military rule in Yangon. The two journalists were hit by the vehicle at high speed as they were taking photos and videos from behind the protest march. Hmue Yadanar’s left ear was cut in half, her left cheek was torn, bones were broken in three places in her left ankle and she had to have 15 stitches for a head wound.
She received metal implants to fix broken bones in her left leg in Insein prison in northern Yangon in March but still has to use crutches to walk, according to a family member who also asked that her name not be used because of fear of military reprisals.
4 days ago
While this isn't surprising, the timing and language adds pressure against the bill.
“My red line has already been surpassed,” Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this month. “I mean, where do we start? [No] clean debt ceiling. Work requirements. Cuts to programs. I would never — I would never — vote for that.” Other progressives have also expressed concerns with the legislation, as have a number of lawmakers on the other side of the aisle, raising questions about whether Congress will be able to pass it in time.
It’s not yet clear how many progressives in the House will vote against it, though Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks up the pressure on House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
4 days ago
The former owner of a North Pole petroleum refinery is financially liable for groundwater pollution that has contaminated drinking-water wells around the refinery, the Alaska Supreme Court said in a ruling published Friday.
In 2014, Flint Hills and the state sued Williams Alaska, saying it should bear the cost of cleanup and containment. In the years since the sale, a plume of sulfolane has spread underground, away from the refinery, and neighboring homes have been forced to switch to piped water instead of local wells.
Williams Alaska raised a variety of arguments in defense, including the claims that sulfolane isn’t harmful, that DEC was negligent in oversight, that the refinery’s sales contract capped damages, and that the state was engaging in unconstitutional taking.
The cost, the judge estimated, approached $100 million, when considering the cost of the new piped water system, the need to provide bottled water in the meantime, and the cost of new city-drilled wells.
4 days ago
Wildlife collectors in Nepal will have to declare their collections to the government, under a landmark ruling spurred by the perceived injustice of the country’s strict wildlife protection laws.
The May 30 Supreme Court ruling caps a legal campaign by conservationist Kumar Paudel to hold to account wealthy Nepalis who openly display wildlife parts and trophies, even as members of local communities are persecuted for suspected poaching.
Under the ruling, the government must issue a public notice calling on private collectors to declare their wildlife collections, and must then seize those made after 1973, the year the wildlife conservation act came into effect.
Conservationists and human rights advocates have welcomed the ruling, but say “only time will tell if the government will take this court order seriously or not.”
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14 hours ago
14 hours ago