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Tunisian police break up anti-government rally with tear gas

TUNIS — Tunisian police fired tear gas Friday to break up an anti-government protest in the capital, with demonstrators accusing the authorities of using violence to end their peaceful action. After Friday prayers, hundreds of protestors joined a sit-in near the seat of government in Tunis’ Kasbah neighbourhood to demand…

Czechs deny using penis tests for gay asylum seekers

The Czech Republic is no longer using penis blood pressure tests to determine if asylum seekers are gay, the Czech Interior Ministry said Wednesday. The EU’s leading human rights agency first criticized the Czech government last year for using “phallometric tests.” The test gauges the subject’s level of sexual arousal…

Opponents to fracking disclosure take big money from industry

Congress isn’t going to regulate hydraulic fracturing any time soon. But the Department of Interior might. For starters, Interior is mulling whether it should require drilling companies to disclose the chemicals they use to frack wells drilled on public lands, and already the suggestion has earned Interior Secretary Ken Salazar an…

US lets some companies resume Gulf drilling

WASHINGTON — Thirteen oil companies have been authorized to resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico without submitting new plans for environmental review, the US Department of the Interior said. But the companies will still have to comply with tougher safety rules on offshore drilling that were put in…

Report: White House altered drilling safety report

The Interior Department’s inspector general says the White House edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts supported the idea of the administration’s six-month ban on new drilling. The inspector general says the editing changes resulted “in the implication that the…

US fines BP subsidiary $5.2 million for ‘false reporting’

WASHINGTON — The US government on Wednesday announced a 5.2 million dollar fine against BP’s US subsidiary for making “false, inaccurate or misleading” reports about its energy production on Native American land. Officials said that the fine, levied by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement…

US mandates new safety rules for offshore drilling

US authorities Tuesday ordered offshore drilling rigs to implement new safety measures in the wake of the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The new directive from the Interior Department allows shallow-water drilling — in depths of up to 500 feet (150 meters) — to continue if rigs are in…

US fires head of agency that oversees oil drilling

Salazar tells NBC Birnbaum resigned MSNBC reports, The head of the troubled agency that oversees offshore drilling resigned under pressure Thursday, Democratic sources said, as President Barack Obama moved more aggressively to take charge of the Gulf oil spill. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar confirmed to NBC News that the head…

US has approved 19 environmental drilling waivers since oil spill

On May 14, President Barack Obama announced that oil companies would no longer be given license to bypass environmental reviews of their drilling projects. “We’re also closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews,” Obama said. But in the month since the BP-run…

Angry Obama denounces oil companies’ ‘ridiculous spectacle’

US allowed drilling without required permits, court filing states WASHINGTON — A visibly angered President Barack Obama hit out at oil companies Friday for trying to avoid blame over a massive slick, and vowed an all-out effort to stop the leak pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. “I will not…

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