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Ecuador Amazon tribe win first victory against oil companies

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Ecuador’s Waorani indigenous tribe won their first victory Friday against big oil companies in a ruling that blocks the companies’ entry onto ancestral Amazonian lands for oil exploration activities.

After two weeks of deliberations, a criminal court in Puyo, central Ecuador, accepted a Waorani bid for court protection in Pastaza province to stop an oil bidding process after the government moved to open up around 180,000 hectares for exploration.

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The lands are protected under Ecuador’s constitution that establishes the “inalienable, unseizable and indivisible” rights of indigenous people “to maintain possession of their ancestral lands and obtain their free adjudication.”

Crucially, however, the wealth in the subsoil is owned by the state.

The constitution also enshrines the need for prior consultation on any plans to exploit the underground resources, given the probable environmental and cultural impacts on tribal communities.

The state reached an agreement with the Waorani over oil exploration in 2012, but the tribe’s leaders say they were duped.

The judges ordered the government to conduct a new consultation, applying standards set by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in San Jose.

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The ruling “has created a significant precedent for the Amazon,” said Lina Maria Espinosa, attorney for the plaintiffs, outside court.

“It has been demonstrated that there was no consultation and that the state violated the rights of this people, and therefore of other peoples.”

The Waorani, who number around 4,800, also inhabit other Amazonian provinces.

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Kayleigh McEnany suggests Trump has never lied as she clashes with CNN’s Jim Acosta over Twitter’s fact-checking

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During an exchange with CNN's Jim Acosta this Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany suggested that Donald Trump has never intentionally lied during his tenure as president.

After discussing Trump's recent attacks on social media platforms for allegedly being biased against conservatives, McEnany called on Acosta, who asked her if she thinks Trump should be fact checked on Twitter.

"...especially this president, who has made so many false and misleading statements that has put fact checkers to work across the world," Acosta said, adding that the Trump administration is "trying to silence fact checking."

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Kellyanne Conway voted by mail — before opposing it for other voters: report

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On Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway said voting by mail should not be universal, adding that people should be willing to wait in lines to vote during a pandemic if they are willing to wait in hour-long lines at Georgetown Cupcake. People were swift to point out the flaws in her argument, including that cupcakes are not a constitutional right and that Georgetown Cupcake is actually not allowing people to stand in line right now.

But there's another problem. On Thursday, the Huffington Post reported that Conway herself voted by mail in the 2018 midterm elections.

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Research reveals the damage right-wing media has inflicted on America — and it’s just the tip of the iceberg

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Donald Trump wants to go after social media because Twitter pointed out one of his lies. And, in fact, social media has done a lot of damage to America and the American body politic, with the most visible example being it’s help in putting Donald Trump in the White House in 2016.

But even more concerning should be Fox News and right wing hate radio. A new study out of Columbia university finds that when people in any particular ZIP Code experience a 1% increase in Fox News viewership, it “reduces the propensity to stay at home by 8.9 percentage points compared to the pre-pandemic average.”

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