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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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2020 Election

Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report

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According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "

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Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

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The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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2020 Election

GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention after Trump yanked it from North Carolina: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Republican officials are having difficulties getting donors to pay for the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida after Donald Trump yanked the gathering out of Charlotte, North Carolina in a fit of pique over COVID-19 health restrictions.

At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.

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