By Liz Hampton HOUSTON (Reuters) - Energy Transfer Partners has filed a motion to bar the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from initiating an environmental study for its controversial Dakota Access pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Energy Transfer Partners requested on Monday that a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia stop the Corps from initiating the environmental impact statement process until a ruling has been made on whether the company already has necessary approvals for the pipeline crossing. The Corps said it would publish a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday stating its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the requested easement at Lake Oahe. The notice will invite interested parties to comment on potential issues and concerns, as well as alternatives to the proposed route, which should be considered in the study. The Corps in December denied Energy Transfer Partners an easement to drill under Lake Oahe, a water source upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation that has been the focus of protests. Members from the Standing Rock Sioux and others say the line could damage drinking water and desecrate sacred grounds. In July 2015, the Corps had granted Energy Transfer Partners permission for its proposed pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe. A representative from Energy Transfer Partners did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment. The 1,172-mile (1.885 km) Dakota Access Pipeline will transport 570,000 barrels per day of crude from the Bakken shale of North Dakota to the Midwest. The Standing Rock Sioux said the tribe was confident the environmental impact statement would support its claim that the pipeline cannot cross under the lake, adding that the best way to analyze new routes is through an environmental impact statement. Comments on the scope of the environmental impact statement will be due no later than Feb. 20, the Army Corp said. (Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Dan Grebler)
- The Independent
Jason Ravnsborg charged with three misdemeanour counts after accident leading to death of 55-year-old pedestrian
- Associated Press
A former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar killed himself Thursday, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. "This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
Australia's Fortescue Metals Group has apologised to an Aboriginal group for clearing land on a heritage site while flouting a government condition for representatives of the community to be present when the damage took place. It is the week's second such incident, despite pressure on Australian iron ore miners to show they have improved practices to manage important sites after Rio Tinto destroyed two sacred rock shelters for a mine expansion last May. Fortescue had state government permission to clear the land in the Weelamurra Creek area registered as sacred to the Wintawari Guruma people, on condition that community elders were present to perform salvage and cultural rites, four documents reviewed by Reuters showed.
- Associated Press
Less than a month after excoriating Donald Trump in a blistering floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would “absolutely” support the former president again if he secured the Republican nomination in 2024. “I've got at least four members that I think are planning on running for president, plus governors and others,” McConnell said. McConnell's remarks underscore an awkward balancing act he sought to maintain since Trump lost the election, reflecting the reality that McConnell’s own path back to power in the Senate hinges on enthusiasm from a party base that still ardently supports Trump.
- The Independent
Event being held in Orlando, Florida, will see former president deliver first public speech since leaving office
- FOX News Videos
Detention facilities are filling up fast in Yuma, AZ but strict social distancing guidelines are now forcing immigration officials to release some migrants into town with a date to appear in court later.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin will throw his support behind Congresswoman Deb Haaland to lead the Biden administration's Interior Department, he said in a statement on Wednesday, likely securing her confirmation to become the first Native American in a cabinet position. Manchin's "yes" vote is seen as crucial to Haaland's confirmation because he is a supporter of fossil fuel development who wields significant power in a U.S. Congress split 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans, meaning every Democratic backer counts.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warned of an attempted military coup against him on Thursday, and thousands took to the streets of the capital to support him after the army demanded he and his government resign. Russia, an ally of Armenia which has a military base in Armenia, said it was alarmed by events in the former Soviet republic and called for the situation to be resolved peacefully and within the constitution. Pashinyan, 45, has faced calls to quit since November after what critics said was his disastrous handling of a six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and surrounding areas.
- Reuters Videos
Wall Street's main indexes ended sharply lower on Thursday, with the Nasdaq index posting its largest daily percentage fall in four months.Investors rushed out of high-flying technology stocks, such as Apple and Netflix, following a rise in U.S. bond yields - with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield hitting a one-year high of more than 1.6%.Nicole Webb, financial advisor with Wealth Enhancement Group, directly links the sell-off in technology shares to higher yields. I really do think this is responsive to the uptick in yield. This has accelerated and it's accelerated quickly and I don't think Wall Street thinks there are mechanisms in place to stop it anytime soon and as a result its caused Wall Street to call into question whether or not the current valuations of companies make sense with interest rates at those levels."But as the rest of Wall Street tanked, so called 'meme stocks,' such as GameStop, soared. The video game retailer was up almost 70% at one point in a rally reminiscent of the stock trading frenzy in January, when retail investors sent its share price skyrocketing, hitting hedge funds with bets on its decline.After the bell food delivery company DoorDash reported an over three-fold rise in quarterly revenue in its first results as a public company but fell 10% after posting a net loss of $312 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, bigger than last year's loss of $134 million.
- Reuters Videos
A Russian fugitive has been caught in Bali after 13 days on the run. Andrei Kovalenka was on the Interpol wanted list and had been in detention - he was in the process of being moved when he escaped on February 11. Indonesia's authorities released CCTV video showing the 33 year old darting out of a room at a Bali detention center.They also detained his girlfriend, Ekaterina Trubkina, who is suspected of helping him evade authorities.Indonesia is still looking at whether the escape falls under the jurisdiction of the red notice, issued by Russia, or if it will be handled by local police.
Here's how a computer science student and his father cracked the secret code
- Yahoo News Video
A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Biden's administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.
- Reuters Videos
Lloyds Banking Group has a plan to restore profitability. It's going to take advantage of the trend for working at home, and slash office space. The lender plans to reduce its total footprint by a fifth within three years. The move comes after a big plunge in earnings. On Wednesday (February 24) the bank reported full-year pretax profits of 1.7 billion dollars. That was less than a third of the previous year's level, though it still beat analyst forecasts. The bank blamed mounting bad loans, which forced it to set aside billions of pounds to cover possible defaults. To turn things around the firm is investing in its insurance and wealth management operations, as well as aiming to cut costs. Wednesday also saw bleak numbers from rival Metro Bank, which saw losses multiply. It too warned that loan defaults would mount in the months ahead, as government support for businesses winds down. As for office space, commercial property firms will be watching developments with alarm. Earlier in the week bigger rival HSBC said it would cut its offices by 40%.
People across Myanmar are taking to the streets after a military coup that saw its leaders detained.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden's pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with America's allies to combat China's aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration's go-it-alone approach. Fluent in Mandarin, Tai served several years as head of China enforcement at the trade representative's office.
- The New York Times
JERUSALEM — The Israeli government has pledged to send thousands of spare coronavirus vaccines to foreign allies, reigniting a debate about Israel’s responsibilities to people closer to home: Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. On Tuesday, the governments of the Czech Republic and Honduras confirmed that Israel had promised them each 5,000 vaccine doses manufactured by Moderna. The Israeli news media reported that Hungary and Guatemala would be sent a similar number, but the Hungarian and Israeli governments declined to comment, while the Guatemalan government did not respond to a request for comment. The donations are the latest example of a new expression of soft power: vaccine diplomacy, in which countries rich in vaccines seek to reward or sway those that have little access to them. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Jockeying for influence in Asia, China and India have donated thousands of vaccine doses to their neighbors. The United Arab Emirates has done the same for allies like Egypt. And last week, Israel even promised to buy tens of thousands of doses on behalf of the Syrian government, a longtime foe, in exchange for the return of an Israeli civilian detained in Syria. The vaccines allocated Tuesday were given without conditions, but they tacitly reward recent gestures from the receiving countries that implicitly accept Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians consider their capital. Guatemala has moved its embassy to Jerusalem, while Honduras has pledged to do so. Hungary has set up a trade mission in Jerusalem, while the Czech Republic has promised to open a diplomatic office there. Israel has given at least one shot of the two-dose, Pfizer-manufactured vaccine to just over half its own population of 9 million — including to people living in Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories — making it the world leader in vaccine rollouts. That has left the Israeli government able to bolster its international relationships with its surplus supply of Moderna vaccines. But the move has angered Palestinians because it suggests that Israel’s allies are of greater priority than the Palestinians living under Israeli control in the occupied territories, almost all of whom have yet to receive a vaccine. Israel has pledged at least twice as many doses to faraway countries as it has so far promised to the nearly 5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli government says that the Palestinian Authority was given responsibility for organizing its own health care system in the 1990s, after the signing of the Oslo Accords that gave the Palestinian leadership limited autonomy in parts of the occupied territories. Israel has given 2,000 vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority and promised 3,000 more — token figures, given the size of the Palestinian population. And while Israel has hinted that more may come, it has yet to formalize any details. “A few weeks ago there were question marks about whether we had enough vaccines for our own people,” said Mark Regev, an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Now that it appears we do, we can be more forthcoming with our neighbors.” Regev added: “The virus won’t stop at the border, and we have a very strong interest that the Palestinians can be on top of this.” But Tuesday evening, an Israeli security official said that the military department that coordinates between Israel and the Palestinian leadership had not yet received government authorization to deliver more vaccines to the Palestinian Authority. In any case, human rights watchdogs say that Israel should organize a systematic vaccine program in the occupied territories, rather than sporadically deliver spares a few thousand at a time. They cite the Fourth Geneva Convention, which obliges an occupying power to coordinate with local authorities to maintain public health within an occupied territory, including during epidemics. The watchdog groups also note that the Israeli government not only controls all imports to the West Bank and Gaza but also, in recent submissions to the International Criminal Court, disputed Palestinian claims to sovereign statehood. “It is a system of oppression,” said Salem Barahmeh, executive director at the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, a Ramallah-based advocacy group. “It says a lot about a regime,” Barahmeh added, “that it is willing to send vaccines halfway across the world, potentially for a quid pro quo, and not offer the vaccine to the millions of Palestinians who live under the Israeli occupation.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Associated Press
Venezuela’s government on Wednesday ordered the expulsion of the chief European Union diplomat in the South American nation following the bloc’s decision to impose sanctions on several Venezuelan officials accused of undermining democracy or violating human rights. Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa was given 72 hours to leave the troubled country. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Brilhante Pedrosa was declared persona non grata by decision of President Nicolás Maduro.
- Business Insider
While President Biden visits storm-torn Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz will be giving a speech on 'cancel culture' in Florida
The president will tour the state with Gov. Greg Abbott.
- The Week
Journalist Tim O'Brien, who's seen Trump's taxes, thinks Trump's accountant will now flip in D.A. inquiry
Bloomberg's Tim O'Brien, one of the few journalists who has seen former President Donald Trump's tax returns, told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday night he will sleep better now that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance finally has eight years of Trump's financial documents, from 2011 to 2019. Trump "is very afraid of what's in these documents, I think," because they put him in serious criminal jeopardy, O'Brien said, but he isn't the only one implicated. O'Brien went on to explain why he thinks it's likely Trump's chief accountant, Allen Weisselberg, is likely to flip on Trump. "The thing to really focus in on here is that it's not just the tax records that Cy Vance has now," O'Brien said. "He probably has reams and reams of the accountant's work product. This is a criminal case, they're going to need to prove criminal intent on the part of Trump, his three eldest children, Allen Weisselberg, and anyone else in the Trump Organization who's fallen under the parameters of this investigation. And if there are email and notes and other records of communication about what they intended to do when they inflated the value of buildings so they could get loans against them and then turned around and deflated the value of the buildings so they could pay lower taxes on them, and there's a communication around that that predates any of these tax entries, that is gold for a prosecutor." A few hours earlier, O'Brien told MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace that the particular eight years of documents Vance's team has "is important, because it predates Trump's ascent into the White House, and I think helps build the narrative around the money trail and Trump's motivations for his destructive and obscene dance with people like Vladimir Putin. It's a shame they couldn't go back further — think this is one of the tragic misses of Robert Mueller's investigation, he could have gone back further, I think, than Cy Vance is able to into Trump's finances." O'Brien also underscored that the investigation implicates at least Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, and "it also targets people inside the Trump Organization who might flip on Trump if they're exposed to criminal liability," but "the brass ring in all of this is that if Trump has a criminal conviction, he cannot run for president again, and that's looming over this entire thing as well." More stories from theweek.comDemocrats should take the Romney-Cotton proposal seriouslyThe GOP's apathy for governing is being exposedThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chump
Billie Eilish's documentary gives an intimate look at her secret relationship with rapper 7: AMP - and why she decided to end it
They began dating in late 2018, when Eilish was 16. The film chronicles her frustration with his "lack of effort" and "self-destructive" behavior.