Congressional watchdog describes border wall harm, says agencies should work together to ease damage
Congress' official watchdog says in a report that the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border under former President Donald Trump toppled untold numbers of saguaro cactuses in Arizona, put endangered ocelots at risk in Texas and disturbed Native American burial grounds.
Manchin rails against 'revenge politics' on permit plan
Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday railed against what he called “revenge politics″ being used against him, as liberals in the House and Senate team up with Republicans to oppose his plan to speed permits for natural gas pipelines and other energy projects.
Apaches' fight over Arizona copper mine goes before US court
The Forest Service says it's doing what Congress mandated. ___OTHER LAWSUITSThe Apache Stronghold lawsuit is one of three filed over the copper mine, some of which have overlapping arguments. The San Carlos Apache Tribe, and a coalition of environmentalists, tribes and the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition, also sued the U.S. Forest Service. Apache Stronghold contends the land belongs to Western Apaches under an 1852 treaty with the United States. AdReuben Schifman, a U.S. Department of Justice Attorney representing the Forest Service, said Apache Stronghold can't assert ownership rights because it's not a federally recognized tribe.
Apaches object to Forest Service review of huge copper mine
The Forest Service now has 60 days to turn over a tract of land in Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix to Resolution Copper Mining, a joint venture of the international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP. Environmentalists contend the Forest Service was pressured to push the review over the finish line before President Donald Trump leaves office, complicating their efforts to reverse the land swap. The Forest Service said that's not true, while the mining company contends the publication already was delayed by months. It also contends the Forest Service legally can't transfer the land because it belongs to Apaches under an 1852 treaty. Resolution Copper is set to receive 3.75 square miles (9.71 square kilometers) of Forest Service land in exchange for eight parcels the company owns elsewhere in Arizona.
The Latest: US task force leader says pandemic in new phase
(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)CHARLESTON, W.Va. __ White House coronavirus task force leader Dr. Deborah Birx says widespread coronavirus infections in urban and rural America mark a new phase for the pandemic as she doubled down on calls to wear face masks and observe social distancing measures. South Africas caseload represents more than 50% of all reported coronavirus infections in Africas 54 countries. ___TOKYO Confirmed coronavirus cases are hovering at near record levels in Japan, raising worries the pandemic may be growing more difficult to control. Israel is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases after having largely contained an earlier outbreak in the spring. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the case fatality rate was progressively reducing and currently stands at 2.18%, one of the lowest globally.
Arizona congressman tests positive for virus; 2nd this week
(Bonnie Cash/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said Saturday he tested positive for the coronavirus days after he sat close to another member of the panel, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who also tested positive. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said in a statement that he has the virus but, like Gohmert, has no symptoms. He is at least the 11th member of Congress known to have tested positive for the coronavirus. Grijalva went into isolation after Gohmert tested positive on Wednesday, since the two had sat close to each other at a Natural Resources hearing the day before. The White House tests anyone who will be in close proximity to the president, which is how Gohmert found out he had the virus.
Officer challenges account of violent clearing of protesters
Repeating earlier statements, he said that in the days before the forceful clearing of Lafayette Square, protesters had hurled bricks, rocks and other items at officers, injuring at least 50 officers. Monahan did not address whether protesters in Lafayette Square launched any attacks against law enforcement immediately before the action on June 1. Park Police and other officers then began suddenly routing the crowd without warning to National Guard forces present, DeMarco said. A Park Police liaison officer told DeMarco that his forces were only using stage smoke, not tear gas, against the crowd. As the senior National Guard officer on the scene at the time, I gave General Milley a quick briefing on our mission and the current situation, DeMarco writes.
Congress passes sprawling plan to boost conservation, parks
Supporters say the measure, known as the Great American Outdoors Act, would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly 50 years. Supporters say the measure, known as the Great American Outdoors Act, would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century. Supporters say the bill will create at least 100,000 jobs, while restoring national parks and repairing trails and forest systems. Gardner and Daines are among the Senates most vulnerable incumbents, and each represents a state where the outdoor economy and tourism at sites such as Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone national parks play an outsize role. Visitors cannot enjoy national parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite if the bathrooms dont work, if the trails and campgrounds arent open, or if the roads are in disrepair, Heinrich said.
Watchdog eyes violent routing of protesters near White House
An Interior Department watchdog office will investigate law enforcement and security forces violent clearing of protesters from a square in front of the White House earlier this month. Greenblatt agreed late last week, telling the lawmakers that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had also asked for the review. Authorities have given at times conflicting accounts about who oversaw and ordered the forceful routing of protesters from Lafayette Square. Bernhardt, the interior secretary, has said violent attacks by the crowd warranted clearing the protesters. Reporters and other witnesses and Democratic lawmakers say they saw little sign of that scale of violence by the crowd.
Democrats ask for investigation of force against protesters
The violent clearing of demonstrators from the nation's premier protest space in front of the White House is spotlighting a tiny federal watch force created by George Washington. Democratic lawmakers want answers about the clubbing, punching and other force deployed by some Park Police in routing protesters from the front of the White House on Monday. The First Amendment rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, and free press are the building blocks of all other rights, the three lawmakers said. The three lawmakers letter, sent Monday, asks Interiors internal watchdog whether the force used by Park Police was lawful and in line with rules, policies and training standards for the force. Lawmakers also asked the investigators to determine who was giving orders to the Interior Department in the squares clearing.
A force trained to safeguard peaceful protests turns on them
Democratic lawmakers want answers about the clubbing, punching and other force deployed by some Park Police in routing protesters from the front of the White House on Monday. Bernhardt in the letter took responsibility for asking for the National Guard deployment at federal monuments in the Washington protests. White House officials and others in the administration had pinned the decision on Barr. The White House and the Park Police have emphatically denied that tear gas was used to clear the demonstrators Monday. Theres millions of people who come to the White House every year, Thomas said of the protest space.