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Green Party’s Jill Stein could face vandalism charges over North Dakota oil pipeline protest

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Authorities in North Dakota are investigating possible charges against U.S. Green Party presidential candidate for allegedly damaging equipment during protests on Tuesday over construction of an oil pipeline in the state.

Jill Stein allegedly was part of a group protesting the building of the Dakota Access pipeline and spray painted construction equipment, Morton County Sheriff’s Department said. Protesters also attached themselves to bulldozers and broke a fence, the department said.

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No arrests were made, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in excerpts of a news conference posted to the department’s Facebook page.

The department also posted a picture that is said showed Stein spraying paint on construction equipment. “Authorities are investigating this criminal act,” it wrote in the post late on Tuesday. Possible charge could include trespassing and vandalism, according to media reports.

Representatives for Stein could not be immediately reached for comment.

The $3.7 billion, 1,100-mile (1,770-km) pipeline project would be the first to move crude oil from the Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Energy Transfer Partners is leading a group of firms to build it.

The project sparked violent clashes during the weekend between protesters and security officers near the construction site, which several Native American tribe oppose, saying it affects areas where they have sacred sites.

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On Tuesday, a federal judge granted in part and denied in part a temporary restraining order requested by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a neighboring tribe.

The judge said he would decide by Friday whether to grant the tribes’ larger challenge to the pipeline, which would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permits for the project.

Kirchmeier and other local authorities on Tuesday urged a peaceful resolution to the protests, which they said were continuing.

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A Reuters-Ipsos poll in late August showed Stein, whose party promotes environmental issues, with 2 percent of voters in a field with Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Stein was arrested for trespassing in Texas during her 2012 presidential campaign when she tried to take supplies to protesters opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.

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(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Additional reporting by Julia Harte; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)


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Elections 2016

California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’

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"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."

In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19

What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?

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Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.

How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?

- What is the origin of the cluster? -

Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.

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2020 Election

Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.

The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.

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