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Energy Transfer says not slowing construction of North Dakota pipeline

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Energy Transfer Partners LP on Tuesday said it was not slowing down construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota that is contested by environmentalists and Native Americans groups.

The owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Tuesday said it was moving equipment to prepare for tunneling under Lake Oahe, the water source that has been a focus of protests, even as federal regulators have not given a go-ahead signal that the line will be able to proceed.

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Army Corps spokesman Thomas O’Hara told Bloomberg News on Monday that the company had agreed to slow down construction, a statement Energy Transfer refuted.

“The statement released last night by the Army Corps was a mistake and the Army Corps intends to rescind it,” Energy Transfer said in a statement released on Tuesday. “To be clear, Dakota Access Pipeline has not voluntarily agreed to halt construction of the pipeline in North Dakota.”

The Army Corps of Engineers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Construction on part of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline was halted in September following protests from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others, who said the line would desecrate sacred grounds and a spill could contaminate drinking water.

President Barack Obama last week said the U.S. government was looking at ways to reroute the pipeline.

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The continued construction comes amid mounting pressure from activists on banks financing the pipeline to pull their support.

Citigroup Inc on Tuesday said it had discussed its concerns with Energy Transfer Partners and urged it to reach a resolution with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Norwegian bank DNB this week said that it would reconsider its participation in the financing of the pipeline if concerns raised by Native American tribes are not addressed.

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“It’s clearly causing a lot of public concern and this is really a challenge to the reputation of the banks involved in this loan and how they stand on human rights and indigenous rights,” said Amanda Starbuck of Rainforest Action Network, an environmental group that opposes the line.

Energy Transfer said it was confident that it will receive an easement from the Army Corps for two strips of land adjacent to Lake Oahe, and expects no significant delays in its plans to drill under the lake.

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The company said also construction of the pipeline is complete on each side of Lake Oahe.

The 1,172-mile (1,885 km) pipeline would deliver oil from the Bakken shale of North Dakota to markets in the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast.

(Reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston; additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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2020 Election

Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist

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In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.

As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."

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Black Londoner explains George Floyd protester support with story of how cops murdered his brother

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In an interview with MSNBC's Molly Hunter, a Black Londoner explained why he turned out for a protest near Trafalgar Square in support of Americans who have hit the streets in the U.S. over the murder of George Floyd by four former Minneapolis police officers.

According to the man -- identified as Daniel and who was wearing a COVID-19 mask and a New York Yankees hat -- his brother was also murdered by police and the cops walked free.

"You've been marching all day," Hunter began. "Look, I have two questions for you: what was it like watching the U.S. this week from London? Does it resonate?

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Denver cops busted for doing drive-by shootings of anti-police brutality protesters

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In a video posted to Twitter, a young Denver man protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minnesota police officers, found himself on the receiving end of an attack by police himself as he filmed them riding on the side of a truck -- only to have his phone hit by a fired police projectile while still in his hand.

According to Rachelle D'nae, a staff writer at Slate, her brother went to the Denver protest and was filming the officers when the incident occurred.

"My older brother went to a protest in Denver last night. as the police were leaving, one of them shot him with a pepper pellet that smashed the back of his phone and exploded in his face. they were ~30 feet from each other and it looks like the officer aimed directly at his face," she wrote before adding in a second tweet, "when my brother told me he was going I prepared for the worst. I made sure he had my number memorized so I could bail him out if I needed to and I sat up until he made it home, trying not to cry as he told me he had been tear-gassed."

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