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Police arrest 117 in crackdown on North Dakota pipeline protesters

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Police arrested 117 Native Americans and other protesters in North Dakota on Thursday in a tense standoff between law enforcement and demonstrators seeking to halt construction of a disputed oil pipeline.

The arrests came as police moved to clear a camp on private property in the path of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

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Native American protesters had occupied the site since Monday, saying they were the land’s rightful owners under an 1851 treaty with the U.S. government.

A female protester fired three rounds at police and was taken into custody on Thursday, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said on Facebook.

In another shooting incident, a man was taken into custody after a man was shot in the hand. That “situation involved a private individual who was run off the road by protesters,” the department said in a Facebook post.

Video posted on social media showed dozens of police and two armored vehicles slowly approaching one group of protesters during the confrontation.

Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the video, which showed a helicopter clattering overhead as some protesters said police had used bean-bag guns in an effort to chase them out of the camp.

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The sheriff’s department said in a statement that pepper spray was used on some of the estimated 330 protesters, some of whom threw things at police.

“This is not about the pipeline. This is not about those who wish to legally protest. This is about the rule of law,” Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a statement.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said police were successful in clearing the camp.

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“Private property is not the place to carry out a peaceful protest,” he said.

The 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline, being built by a group of companies led by Energy Transfer Partners LP, would offer the fastest and most direct route to bring Bakken shale oil from North Dakota to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

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Supporters say it would be safer and more cost-effective than transporting the oil by road or rail.

But the pipeline has drawn the ire of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and environmental activists who say it threatens the water supply and sacred tribal sites. They have been protesting for several months, and dozens have been arrested.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux asked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday to oppose the pipeline. She has not taken a public position on the issue.

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In September, the government halted construction on part of the line. The affected area includes land under Lake Oahe, a large and culturally important reservoir on the Missouri River in southern North Dakota where the line was supposed to cross.

Opposition to pipeline construction has increased in recent years, and environmental activists protested against the Keystone XL line that was rejected by the Obama administration.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney and Tom Brown)


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India removing monkeys ahead of Trump’s visit: ‘They come in search of food’

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US President Donald Trump makes his first official visit to India on Monday and work has been going on around the clock to spruce things up -- to the annoyance of some locals as well as monkeys.

The photo opportunity highlights of the 36-hour trip include a rally of 100,000 people at the world's largest cricket stadium and watching the sunset with First Lady Melania at the Taj Mahal.

A long wall has been hastily built, along the route in Ahmedabad in western India to the new Sardar Patel Stadium in order, locals believe, to hide a slum, although officials deny it.

Sardar Sarania, a resident of the slum, is disgusted at what he sees as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attempt to conceal reality.

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Here is why Gov Roy Cooper is offering ‘honorary’ citizenship for a Canadian Zamboni driver

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North Carolina's Democratic governor offered honorary citizenship for a Canadian on Saturday evening in a heartwarming display of sportsmanship.

Gov. Roy Cooper made the offer after a unique situation arose.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were scheduled to play Carolina Hurricanes in hockey, but both of the Marlies' goalies were out with injuries.

So 42-year-old Zamboni drive David Ayres suited up, becoming the second-oldest player to ever make their NHL debut.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Warren sets her sights on Bloomberg’s taxes — after shaming him on Non-Disclosure Agreements

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During a campaign speech in Seattle on the night of the Nevada Caucus, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tore into former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an "arrogant billionaire."

Warren warned about "a threat that is coming our way."

"It's a big threat. Not a tall one, but a big one -- Mike Bloomberg," she joked, as the crowd booed.

She argued the billionaire would be the "riskiest" choice for Democrats to pick to take on President Donald Trump.

After Warren successfully shamed Bloomberg into releasing three women from Non-Disclosure Agreements in the last debate, she turned her attention to Bloomberg's tax returns.

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