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Friday, Dec 09th

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Feds deny permit for Dakota Access pipeline

Dakota pipeline permit deniedFederal officials have denied the final permits required for the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota.

The Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday announced it would instead conduct an environmental impact review of the 1,170-mile pipeline project and determine if there are other ways to route it to avoid a crossing on the Missouri River.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said in a statement.

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Austrian far-right presidential hopeful soundly defeated

Van der BellenThe candidate vying to become Europe's first freely elected far-right head of state since World War Two conceded defeat in Austria's presidential election soon after polls closed on Sunday evening.

The result is a blow to populists who had hoped a wave of anti-establishment anger sweeping Western democracies would carry Norbert Hofer to power after Britain's Brexit referendum and Americans' election of Donald Trump as president.

Hofer, of the anti-immigration and anti-Islam Freedom Party (FPO), conceded he had been soundly beaten by former Greens leader Alexander Van der Bellen.

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Trump Camp Scrambles To Defend Diplomatic Blunder Over China And Taiwan

Taiwan fiasco denial by Trump teamPresident-elect Donald Trump’s team insists it’s not a big deal that he spoke directly with Taiwan’s president, breaking with years of delicate foreign policy precedent and leading to the Chinese government lodging a complaint over the matter with the U.S.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Trump campaign had “not to [his] knowledge” reached out to China following the outcry. He told host Chuck Todd that he “wouldn’t expect” a call this week, either.

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Death Toll From Chinese Coal Mine Disaster Rises To 32

Death toll at 32 in Chinese mine disasterThe death toll from a northern Chinese coal mine disaster rose to 32 on Sunday, state media reported, the latest accident in a country with a poor record of industrial safety.

The blast took place on Saturday in a small mine in the Inner Mongolia region, next to Mongolia, Xinhua news agency said. A total of 181 workers were initially trapped underground and 149 of them were rescued, Xinhua said.

This was the second major coal mine accident in the past week, coming at a time when the government told miners to resume production to tame high coal prices and meet winter demand.

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Green Party's Jill Stein moves Pennsylvania recount bid to federal courts

Jill SteinGreen Party presidential candidate Jill Stein moved her bid for a recount in Pennsylvania from the state courts to the federal courts.

Hours after dropping its case at the state level, the campaign said late Saturday it will pursue efforts in federal courts to contest the Nov. 8 election in Pennsylvania.

"We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans," Jonathan Abady, lead counsel for the recount campaign, said in a statement. "Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention."

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Fidel Castro's ashes interred in private ceremony in Cuba

Fidel Castro interredFidel Castro's ashes were interred in a private ceremony Sunday morning, ending nine days of mourning for the man who ruled Cuba for nearly half a century.

The military caravan bearing his remains in a flag-draped cedar coffin left the Plaza of the Revolution in the eastern city of Santiago at 6:39 a.m. Thousands of people lined the two-mile route to Santa Ifigenia cemetery, waving Cuban flags and shouting "Long live Fidel!"

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Donald Trump Tweets SNL Is ‘Totally Biased’ After Sketch About His Twitter Habit

SNL TrumpDonald Trump tweeted that Saturday Night Live is “unwatchable” and “totally biased,” after Alec Baldwin impersonated him in a cold open sketch mocking his tweets.

Saturday’s episode featured Baldwin as the president-elect constantly distracted by his Twitter feed during a national security briefing. The sketch opened in a classroom, where a high school student named Seth was retweeted by Trump—recalling Trump’s real retweet of a 16-year-old named Seth, who attacked CNN over its coverage of Trump’s false claim that millions of people voted illegally.

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Israel's Lehava stirs 'anarchy' in Jerusalem

Lahava hate groupFour youths in black T-shirts, bearing a distinctive yellow-flame insignia, approached "A" in July as he got out of a taxi in central Jerusalem to meet friends. They asked him the time. Suspicious of his accent, they confronted him directly: "Are you an Arab?"

"The moment I said, 'yes,' one of them punched me in the eye. The others jumped on me and started hitting me all over my body. There were many people in the area, but no one took any notice or tried to help."

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Suspected Russian warplanes bomb Idlib, dozens killed

Russuans bomb IdlibAt least 46 people have been killed in suspected Russian air strikes on several areas of Idlib province in northwest Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based monitor said on Sunday at least three locations were bombed in the northwestern province and most of the casualties were civilians.

At least 26 civilians, including three children, were killed in the town of Kafr Nabal, and another 18 people were killed in the town of Maaret al-Numan.
People and Power: Syria - Under Russia's fist

A witness told AFP news agency "six strikes hit houses and a crowded local market" in the village of Kafr Nabal.

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