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Nebraska regulators approve Keystone XL pipeline route: panel vote

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Nebraska regulators voted on Monday to approve TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline route through the state, lifting the last big regulatory obstacle for the long-delayed project that U.S. President Donald Trump wants built.

The 3-2 decision by the Nebraska Public Service Commission helps clear the way for the proposed 1,179-mile (1,897-km) pipeline linking Canada’s Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries, but is likely to be challenged in court by the project’s opponents who say it poses an environmental risk.

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Trump, a Republican, has made Keystone XL’s success a plank in his effort to boost the U.S. energy industry. Environmentalists, meanwhile, have made the project a symbol of their broader fight against fossil fuels and global warming.

The proposed line has been a lightning rod of controversy since it was first advocated nearly a decade ago. The administration of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, considered the project for years before rejecting it in 2015 on environmental grounds.

Trump swiftly reversed that decision after coming into office this year, handing TransCanada a federal permit for the pipeline in March and arguing the project will lower fuel prices, boost national security, and bring jobs.

That decision placed the pipeline’s fate into the hands of the obscure regulatory body in Nebraska, the only state that had yet to approve the pipeline’s route.

(Reporting by Kevin O’Hanlon and Valerie Volcovici; additional reporting by Nia Williams and Ethan Lou in Calgary; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; editing by Grant McCool)

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Devin Nunes says Dems are accusing Trump of ‘thought crime’ in Orwellian opening statement

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On Thursday, ahead of testimony from National Security Council official Fiona Hill in the impeachment proceedings, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) unleashed a tirade of nonsense in his opening statement, claiming that President Donald Trump is being punished for a "thought crime," and listing off a bunch of false attacks on Democrats.

"President Trump, we are to believe, was just about to do something wrong, and getting caught was the only reason he backed down from whatever nefarious thought crime the Democrats are accusing him of almost committing," said Nunes. "I once again urge Americans to continue to consider the credibility of the Democrats on this committee who are now hurling these charges. For the last three years, it's not President Trump who got caught, it's the Democrats who got caught."

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For-profit colleges tap a Fox News host to influence Trump

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ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Pete Hegseth, the Fox News personality who urged President Donald Trump to pardon service members charged with war crimes, is trying to influence the White House on another military-related cause.

An Army veteran who talks to Trump periodically and has dined with him at the White House, Hegseth traveled to New Orleans in June to address leaders of for-profit colleges at their annual convention. They are pushing to enroll more veterans, a lucrative class of students — and Hegseth is the face of the colleges’ new campaign to defend a favorable carve-out in federal law.

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Here’s why Devin Nunes’ repeated meltdowns over impeachment threatrics are so silly

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A televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats.” With these words, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes expressed his discontent with the beginning of presidential impeachment hearings. He indirectly invited listeners – both supporters and detractors – to consider the relationship between theater and politics.

As the hearings continue, it’s important to remember that theater is one of the most consequential elements in U.S. history, enabling the killing of a president, the election of at least two, and probably the impeachment of another.

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