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Westerner 08/09/2020 01:54
A more than 1,300-foot underground passageway stretching from Arizona to Mexico was recently discovered — with the feds calling it “the most sophisticated tunnel in US history.” The unfinished tunnel — which ran from San Luis, Arizona, to neighboring San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico — had a ventilation system, water lines, electrical wiring, a rail system and extensive reinforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday. “This appears to be the most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history, and certainly the most sophisticated I’ve seen in my career,” said Carl E. Landrum, acting chief patrol agent with the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector. Feds unearthed the tunnel after finding a sinkhole along the US-Mexico border in mid-July. Border
Westerner 08/08/2020 14:59
Four executives from two Mississippi poultry processing plants have been indicted on federal charges tied to one of the largest workplace immigration raids in the U.S. in the past decade. U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Matt Albence, announced the indictments as the documents were unsealed Thursday. Their announcement happened a day before the one-year anniversary of the raids in which 680 people were arrested at seven poultry plants in central Mississippi. Hurst and Albence also scolded journalists for reports that focused on the arrests separating children from immigrant parents who were sent to detention centers. “If a parent puts their child in that position where they commit.
Westerner 08/07/2020 15:05
Mike Cook. This year’s New Mexico U.S. Senate race pits a Democrat with extensive government service against a Republican who is running for office for the first time. There’s also a Libertarian in the race. ...The three are vying for New Mexico’s Fall Senate seat, so named because former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Albert B. Fall was the first person to hold it when the state’s two U.S. Senate seats were created in March 1912, two months after New Mexico achieved statehood. Fall and the state’s other first-ever U.S. senator, Thomas B. Catron, were appointed by the New Mexico Legislature, Most U.S. senators were chosen by state legislatures until after ratification of the 17 th amendment to the U.S. Constitution in April.
Westerner 08/06/2020 21:57
Dan McLaughlin. Politically charged prosecutions — even ones that are thoroughly justified — often end badly for the justice system. So it appears with the federal prosecutions of Cliven Bundy and his sons. The government , resulting in a jury acquittal in 2016. Today, of Bundy’s own federal indictment (as well as that of several of his co-defendants) on the grounds that the government had waited until the middle of trial to disclose information that would have helped Bundy’s case, in violation of Brady v. Maryland. The misconduct was so severe and prejudicial to the Bundy clan’s case that the court barred the government from bringing the same charges again. The opinion was written by Jay Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, but joined by judg.
Westerner 08/06/2020 20:27
Mountain bikers scaling slickrock, hopeful hunters scouting for elk, footsore hikers pitching tents in pine forests—they're the activities typically associated with public lands. But as the 2020 election approaches, much of the action on federal lands is playing out in the polished halls of Washington, a political drama set in motion in June when the White House announced its had chosen veteran lands lawyer William Perry Pendley to permanently lead the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that oversees one acre of every ten in the United States. With the election just three months away, putting Pendley in that role is an election selling point for conservative westerners who favor his provocative record as a Sagebrush Rebel and eag.
Westerner 08/06/2020 20:05
In the 2017 report that rolled back Bears Ears National Monument, then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tacked on a footnote saying that a little-known swath of land in Montana — the Badger-Two Medicine — was worthy of monument status. A staggeringly beautiful landscape bounded by Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Blackfeet Reservation, the Badger-Two Medicine is part of the traditional homeland of the Blackfeet Nation. It’s home to many Blackfeet origin stories, and Tribal members still practice traditional ceremonies there. It’s also important habitat for denning grizzlies and their cubs, rare lynx, wolverines and some of the last genetically pure cutthroat trout on the planet. Now part of the Lewis and Clark Nationa.
Westerner 08/06/2020 15:12
There are 2.6 million miles of pipelines crisscrossing the US that will one day retire. Even in their afterlives, these zombie pipelines will be able to spill toxic materials. It’s happened. There’s also the risk of a pipe one day rising from its grave, exposed by floodwaters or erosion. Or, devoid of oil and gas that once coursed through them, they might accidentally drain bodies of water or do the opposite — pollute them. The COVID-19 pandemic rattled the fossil fuel industry, which saw oil prices turn negative for the first time ever. The industry will also need to grapple with the looming climate crisis and environmental campaigns that have won recent, high-profile victories against the Dakota Access, Atlantic Coast, and Keystone XL pip.
Westerner 08/06/2020 14:41
America contains acres upon acres of undeveloped, privately held land. Nothing has been built on this land, and no one is farming it or living on it. Its owners might have set it aside as an investment, or for future ventures, or just in case. But. suggests another effective use for all these acres: leave them alone, in order to help protect some of the country’s rarest animals. The United States is home to 160 species of endangered mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. “Just like every person needs a home, all of these species need a home,” says John P. Draper, a PhD candidate at Utah State University and an author of the new paper. This need is often best met by a protected area, which can offer respite from hunting, habitat destruction.
Westerner 08/06/2020 12:21
New York’s attorney general took action Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association after an 18-month investigation she said found evidence that the gun-rights group is “fraught with fraud and abuse.” Attorney General Letitia James said in the lawsuit that she found financial misconduct totaling millions of dollars and that it lost more than $64 million over a three-year period. The lawsuit also alleges that top NRA executives abused charitable donations for their own personal gain, including funding family donations. Executives also awarded contracts to friends and family members, the lawsuit claims. Dissolving the NRA is the most aggressive action Ms. James could take against the nonprofit organization, which falls under her juris.
Westerner 08/06/2020 11:44
Tom Knighton It’s been a little while since the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting. In fact, it’s been long enough that many of us don’t really think much about that incident. It didn’t have a high body count, thankfully, and it was soon eclipsed by other, more horrific shootings. Yet some of the idiotic ideas that sprung up during the aftermath of that shooting haven’t gone away. In particular, the scheme . A year after a gunman , killing two San Jose children, little progress has been made on San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s plan for first-of-its-kind measure to curb gun violence. The mayor’s proposed ordinance, which would require gun owners in the nation’s 10th largest city to either carry liability insurance or pay a fee to cover taxpayer co.
Westerner 08/06/2020 10:42
Mark Miller The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis over Memorial Day Weekend sparked protests and nationwide discussions of race, police abuse and criminal justice reform — a discussion that has yet to abate. His tragic death also renewed focus on a legal doctrine called “qualified immunity” that government bureaucrats and regulatory officers have used as a legal defense to violate people’s rights. For decades, qualified immunity has enabled government officials ranging from irresponsible tax collectors to violent police officers to violate people’s rights, often with little to no consequences. What is qualified immunity, and why is it so damaging? A brief history lesson explains. During Reconstruction following the Civil War, Congress
Westerner 08/06/2020 06:23
A grizzly bear was euthanized after killing a cow on private land in Montana last week. According to a news release from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the adult male bear was captured shortly after it killed the cow on July 29. In consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the decision was made to euthanize the bear due to this depredation and past livestock kills in the area. Relocating bears safely at this time of year is difficult due to many factors, including high bear densities, heavy recreation use and other land usage in nearby areas, the department said. This is the second management removal of a grizzly bear this year within the demographic monitoring area of Montana’s portion of the Greater Yellow.
Westerner 08/05/2020 20:21
A federal review of existing data unveils an alarming trend for the western bumblebee population, which has seen its numbers dwindle by as much as 93% in the last two decades. The find by the U.S. Geological Survey will help inform a species status assessment to begin this fall by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which may ultimately add the insect to its endangered species list. Tabitha Graves, senior author of the study and a research ecologist with the survey, said the trend with the western bumblebee documented between 1998 and 2018 is troubling because of their important role as pollinators. “They contribute a lot of money in terms of pollination services for our food crops,” she said. “Seventy to 80% of flowering plants and crops a.
Westerner 08/05/2020 20:12
A federal judge said a southern Indiana zoo violated the Endangered Species Act when it declawed tiger cubs for its controversial "playtime" sessions with visitors. The judge made the determination against Wildlife in Need and owner Tim Stark on Tuesday after a lawsuit filed by an animal rights group. Now, a permanent injunction bars Wildlife in Need from declawing the cubs, separating them from their mothers or putting them on public display at the zoo. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which filed the suit in 2017, said it was asked by the judge to help find "reputable sanctuaries" for the cats. "What we're going to be looking for, and what we've lined up are, sanctuaries that are accredited by the Global Federation of Animal S.
Westerner 08/05/2020 19:56
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s determination that the Dakota Access Pipeline should be temporarily shut down. U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg had last month while the Army Corps of Engineers works to prepare an environmental impact statement for a rule relaxation that allowed it to cross the Missouri river. However, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled Wednesday that the lower court did not have the “findings necessary” for such a move. Still, Wednesday's ruling was not entirely a win for backers of the Dakota Access Pipeline, with the appeals court declining to halt a prior ruling saying the Army Corps of Engineers needed to conduct another environmental im.
Westerner 08/05/2020 17:07
Zack Smith On the last day of the Supreme Court’s pandemic-extended term, the court that nearly half the state of Oklahoma remained reservation land. This thrust matters concerning jurisdiction on reservations and tribal lands on the center stage. The implications of the Supreme Court’s decision are staggering, especially in the criminal justice context. Some 2,000 convictions may now be at risk, and federal authorities have to take over prosecutions previously pursued by the state. Congress is currently considering legislation regarding the jurisdiction of tribal courts that may exacerbate matters—specifically, by not ensuring the rights of defendants accused of crimes on tribal lands. By way of background, jurisdiction is a morass of work.
Westerner 08/05/2020 16:20
Once every ten years a comet is visible in the night sky, the census counts every person living in the United States, and your water rights are at risk of abandonment in Colorado. Water is Colorado’s most precious natural resource. Colorado’s proposed decennial abandonment lists were published online on July 1st. Over four thousand water rights were listed, including over 630 rights in Division 3. This is a marked increase from decades past. Put another way, the lists prepared by the Division Engineers at the Colorado Division of Water Resources could result in a significant number of water rights being declared abandoned throughout the state. The Rio Grande Basin has been over appropriated since the 1890’s with groundwater resources deplet.
Westerner 08/05/2020 15:04
Keystone XL has struck a deal with four leading unions to build the Alberta-to-Nebraska oil pipeline, creating a potential headache for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who has vowed to kill the project even as he woos the labor vote. In a Wednesday announcement, TC Energy said a project labor agreement has been reached with the Laborers International Union of North America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters. “We’re proud to reach today’s agreement with TC Energy that will put UA members to work on this project, bringing safe and efficient energy to American families,” said Mark McManus, general president of the pipef.

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