It looks like a win for landowners and those concerned with the environment (and actually a win for everyone). The State Department and White House decided to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.
The State Department said it needs more time to prepare its recommendation to the president because the pipeline route is mired in uncertainty. A legal dispute is underway in Nebraska over the route and it is unlikely to be resolved before next year.
The project has caused problems for landowners due to Transcanada’s confrontational, bullying tactics. They have been attempting to take the land under eminent domain even before the project has been approved by the government. They have tried to impose terms landowners don’t like.
Other issues include the fact that the pipeline would cross a huge, major underground water supply in Nebraska and that the production of this type of tar sands oil makes a large quantity of greenhouse gasses.
President Obama has said he would approve the project only if it could be proven not to worsen emissions of greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.
On March 27th, The U.N. Human Rights Committee in Geneva condemned the United States for criminalizing homelessness, calling it “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” that violates international human rights treaty obligations.
It also called upon the U.S. government to take corrective action, following a two-day review of U.S. government compliance with a human rights treaty ratified in 1992.
“I’m just simply baffled by the idea that people can be without shelter in a country, and then be treated as criminals for being without shelter,” said Sir Nigel Rodley, chairman of the committee. “The idea of criminalizing people who don’t have shelter is something that I think many of my colleagues might find as difficult as I do to even begin to comprehend.”
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty states: “While the U.S. government should be commended for recognizing that the imposition of criminal penalties on homeless people is counterproductive public policy…criminalization of homelessness at the state and local levels continues to cause significant rights violations.” So, the criminalization of homelessness is mostly occurring at the state and local level.
The U.N. committee called on the U.S. to abolish these laws and policies found at the state and local level.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty claims there is an estimated 3.5 million homeless people in the United States.
There are several examples of “proxy wars” in history between Russia (Soviet Union) and the United States. This is something to keep in mind as we watch events unfold in the Ukraine.
These were wars where the U.S. and Russia did not go “head to head” against each other, but rather, they supported another country in a war against the other.
For example, in the Soviet-Afghan war, the U.S. and other nations supported the Seven Party Mujahideen Alliance (or the “Peshawar Seven”) with weapons and money (reportedly in the billions of dollars) in order to help them fight the Soviet-led Afghan forces.
In the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese, the National Liberation Front and its military arm, the Viet Cong, received support from the Soviet Union and China. According to some analysts, by the late 1960s more than three-quarters of the military and technical equipment received by North Vietnam was coming from the USSR.
In the Korean War, the Soviet Union provided material aid to both the North Korean and Chinese armies. They provided weapons (including planes), medical services, and Soviet pilots to aid their fight against the United States.