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Oil to keep flowing in Dakota line while legal battle continues

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Oil will continue to flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline through the summer while authorities conduct additional review of the environmental impact, after a judge on Wednesday ordered more hearings in coming months.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg in Washington ruled in favor of Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who said more environmental analysis of the Dakota Access line should have been carried out. The tribes had said the 1,170-mile (1,880 km) line violates their hunting, fishing and environmental rights.

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On Wednesday, Boasberg set out a schedule of hearings that will decide what will happen to the line while additional review is completed.

A lawyer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for environmental review, would not estimate when asked by Boasberg how long additional review would take. The judge could still order the line to be shut at a later date following a series of hearings scheduled through the summer.

“Our view has been that the pipeline should be shut down,” said Jan Hasselmann, attorney for the tribes.

Energy Transfer Partners LP built the $3.8 billion pipeline to move crude from the Northern Plains to the Midwest and then on to the Gulf of Mexico. The line runs from western North Dakota into Patoka, Illinois, where it hooks up with another line to refiners in the Gulf of Mexico.

ETP said on Wednesday it was “pleased with the judge’s decision” for pipeline operations to continue while the process “unfolds.”

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The Native American tribes have been protesting the line’s construction for more than a year. The line finally went into service in June.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder in Washington; Editing by David Gaffen and Matthew Lewis)


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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