In Blocking Montana Mine Enlargement, Judge Sees Company as ‘Inflating the Benefits of the Action While Minimizing Its Impacts’

first_imgIn Blocking Montana Mine Enlargement, Judge Sees Company as ‘Inflating the Benefits of the Action While Minimizing Its Impacts’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:A federal judge has blocked a proposed 176-million ton (159 million-metric ton) expansion of a central Montana coal mine in a ruling that criticized U.S. officials for downplaying the climate change impacts of the project and inflating its economic benefits.U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy issued an order Monday barring Signal Peak Energy from mining in the 11-square mile (28-square kilometer) expansion area at the Bull Mountain coal mine pending a new round of environmental studies.Molloy says the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining must consider the environmental effects of shipping the fuel to customers in Asia and from the greenhouse gases and other pollutants emitted when the fuel is burned to generate electricity.Federal mining officials said the proposed expansion would contribute almost $24 million annually in tax revenues. They also said there would be no additional environmental impacts from burning more coal from Bull Mountain because its customers would simply go somewhere else if the expansion were not approved.But Molloy rejected the claim.“This conclusion is illogical, and places the (Interior Department’s) thumb on the scale by inflating the benefits of the action while minimizing its impacts,” the judge wrote.Bull Mountain, located near Roundup, is a major employer in central Montana with more than 250 workers at the underground mine and a coal preparation plant on the site. As much as 95 percent of its coal has been exported in past years, to South Korea, Japan and the Netherlands, according to court volumes.The mine’s production volumes dropped sharply in recent years as overseas coal markets have been in decline. Signal Peak extracted 5.6 million tons of coal last year, down by 35 percent since peaking at 8.7 million tons in 2013, according to company filings with the U.S. Mine Health and Safety Administration.Under the proposed expansion, the company anticipated mining up to 12 million tons annually.More: Judge blocks 176-million ton coal mine expansion in Montanalast_img read more

Law Enforcement, Peter King At Odds About Which Extremist Groups Pose Greatest Threats

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen the White House held its controversial “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) Summit in March, organizations advocating on behalf of Muslims Americans questioned why the event predominantly focused on Muslim radicalization and mostly glossed over American radical right-wing extremism.Still, many Muslim advocacy groups attended the multi-day event. As one local Muslim leader explained at the time: Muslim Americans’ inclusion in the summit was a sign that the often marginalized community was moving from “the ‘outhouse’ to the ‘main house.’”National security hawks lamented what they perceived to be the summit’s lack of focus, while also criticizing the Obama administration for pandering. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), current chairman of the House subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, and former chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, had held five “Muslim Radicalization” hearings in 2011 and 2012. In an interview with the Press, the Congressman said that after the latest Obama-sponsored anti-extremism summit he came away thinking, “It’s almost as if we’re afraid, or the president is afraid…to identify this for what it is.”Last week’s shooting in Charleston, South Carolina by an alleged gunman who espoused racist views toward blacks has revived the discussion of entrenched racism and the current status of radical right-wing organizations in America. The mass slaying also fueled near-widespread condemnation of the Confederate flag’s continued presence in South Carolina and other Southern states.On Wednesday, the New York Times published a widely-shared article titled “Homegrown Radicals More Deadly than Jihadis in US” that cited a not-yet-published survey of police and sheriffs’ departments that by a wide margin reportedly ranks “anti-government violence” (74 percent) as their chief concern. Thirty-nine percent of law enforcement agencies selected al-Qaeda-inspired violence as their primary worry.The survey, which the Times said will soon be published by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security and the Police Executive Research Forum, is not the first of its kind, but rather the latest in a growing number of analyses that place right-wing extremist groups—not Islamic extremism—as constituting the greatest threats facing law enforcement agencies throughout the country.A report released by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to the Terrorism at the University of Maryland in July 2014 found that the dominant threat in the minds of law enforcement agencies nationwide was the right-wing “sovereign citizens” movement, followed by Islamic extremism.The Times story also included statistics compiled by the New America Foundation, which found that almost by two-to-one, right-wing attacks have killed more people (48) since Sept. 11, 2001 than Jihadists’ attacks (26). The nine people killed recently in Charleston were included in the foundation’s tally.“Law enforcement agencies around the country have told us the threat from Muslim extremists is not as great as the threat from right-wing extremists,” Charles Kurzman, one of the authors of the Triangle Center study, told the Times.Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) believes radical Islamist extremists pose the greatest threats to law enforcement agencies across the country. A growing body of analysis finds otherwise, ranking domestic right-wing extremist groups at the top of the terror food chain. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)Yet despite this growing body of data, King, one of the nation’s top counterterrorism officials, isn’t convinced. During a recent phone interview with the Press conducted on the same day when the Times’ report came out, he staunchly maintained that fundamental Islamic extremism poses the most immediate and significant threats instead.“The threat of Islamic terrorism is thousands of times greater than any homegrown non-Islamic threat,” he says, explaining that the “magnitude” of the threats posed by such extremism is disparate, because of potential cooperation from foreign powers.King also believes the New America Foundation statistics are flawed.“There could’ve been thousands of people killed if attacks weren’t stopped,” he says, citing the 2009 squashed plot to bomb the New York City subway system and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three but injured dozens.The Department of Homeland Security in 2009 released a report warning that the political and economic climate at the time—the economic downturn and the election of the nation’s first black president—could lead to a resurgence in right-wing groups. Homeland Security, however, noted that it had not uncovered any active threats.“Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning,” the report stated.The report was widely condemned by conservatives, and, as the Times noted, eventually withdrawn.Despite the apparent racist motivations that inspired the shooter to murder nine people inside a historic black church in South Carolina, no direct link has been made between Dylann Storm Roof and extremist groups, though a purported manifesto discovered on a website reportedly registered to Roof refers to the Council of Conservative Citizens, which fought against school desegregation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.The conservative group said on its website that it was “deeply saddened” by the attack.“We pray, for the sake of all Americans, that there will not be an escalation of racial tension,” it said, with a photo collage of the nine victims.Since Sept. 11, Muslims American communities from New Jersey to Long Island have been the focus of surveillance by the NYPD and nationwide by the FBI, the latter using informants to infiltrate mosques, sometimes under the threat of being placed on the government’s secret no-fly list. Such tactics have been condemned by Muslim leaders. In fact, the NYPD has said that surveillance of mosques and shops has not led to a single terrorism investigation.Widespread surveillance without evidence of criminal activity has fueled Islamophobia and cast suspicion on Muslim communities, advocates argued prior to Obama’s recent summit. The focus by the White House on Muslims in America and their purported path to radicalization due to outside threats like ISIS and al Qaeda led advocates to question why the same approach wasn’t being done to better understand extremism on the right.Right-wing groups are very much on the FBI’s radar, King claims, but they just don’t pose as great a risk to national security as their foreign terrorism counterparts, according to him.“They’re basically individual threats,” he says,referring to domestic right-wing extremist groups. “You obviously have the horrible shooting in Charleston. These are evil people, these are dangerous people, but they’re not a threat to the nation like Islamic terrorism is.”–With Christopher Twarowski View image | gettyimages.comlast_img read more

Long Island Pro Gamer Returns Home a Little Richer, Wiser

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With his team earning four bronze medals and $10,000 in cash prizes, Long Island’s top-skilled video gamer Nicholas Dicostanzo has returned home to Dix Hills after competing at the X Games in Austin, Texas, earlier this month.For the second year in a row, the extreme sports contest featured eSports, an electronic gaming competition, but for the first time, it was broadcasted live on ESPN. Dicostanzo’s four-member Team eLevate suffered a disappointing 4-0 loss in their final game, but the eSports competitors have certainly gained a lot more than they lost by landing in third place.“Obviously there were a lot of gameplay mistakes that I’m hashing over in my mind,” said Dicostanzo. “So I just keep playing and working on what I identify as my greatest weaknesses, building my intuition and reactions, and working on communication.”Diconstanzo, who’s been playing video games since 2007, only began playing competitively last year, winning team prizes across the country. For the MLG Professional League Championship in Austin, they were virtually slaying opponents in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.Compared to extreme skateboarding or BMX racing, eSports certainly differs from typical physical sports, but they share more similarities than not.“To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me if the world thinks of eSports as on the same level as athletic sports,” said Dicostanzo. “I know we put in a ton of time and practice like the athletes do, and we actually press to the physical limits similarly. But I don’t occupy myself with what others think about how eSports is situated.”He said his interactions with the other athletes proved to be supportive and insightful, helping both gamers and X-Game regulars gain mutual respect.“They were totally cool,” said Dicostanzo. “A lot of them play video games all the time, so they were interested in seeing how professional gamers play…Just like we were impressed by the stunts they could pull off, they were amazed to see the level of play we had.”So what’s next for the 23-year-old Long Island native, besides getting his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at the end of the year from Long Island University?“I enjoy getting back home, but I am focused on season three,” said Dicostanzo. “We’re putting together our roster now and want to make sure it’s top-quality, so we’ll see how that develops. We have a couple of plans in the works.”last_img read more

RoberCon 2020 goes virtual this weekend with activities for everyone

first_imgNot to mention, the convention will be hosting A-list celebrities like Paul McGann from Doctor Who, and Miriam Margoyles, better known as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter series. When it comes to setting up those virtual events, Eric Maruscak, an improv cartoonist and a panelist this weekend, had to get creative to bring the same in-person experience to the screen. “Flying them over, paying for their hotels would have been impossible for us to do, but having a virtual space, we’re able to eliminate those extra overhead costs,” said Shoemaker. With no in-person events, the entire convention will be virtually held. While it’s disappointing to not be able to interact in-person, there is a silver lining. Especially in a pandemic this year, organizers want RoberCon to feel like an escape from reality. “When you start seeing people from California and New Zealand registering for your small, hometown convention, it makes me feel feelings, they’re all good feelings,” said Shoemaker. For a full list of RoberCon’s schedule, head over to their website.center_img “There’s this shining light that we’re creating for this to be a bright spot,” said RoberCon Marketing and Events Coordinator Natalie Shoemaker. “For people to be able to just escape, to be able to laugh, and to be able to breathe over the course of the weekend.” “Quick Draw is basically like, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but it’s done with art and cartoonists,” said Maruscak. “It took us a while to just work over the plain zoom issues everyone has. Once we got past that and figured things out, it ended up going fairly smoothly, at least for our panel.” (WBNG) — Binghamton’s favorite ‘geek convention’, RoberCon, will be back this weekend. But this year’s events will look a little different as all activities are going virtual. Despite the changes to bring the convention online, organizers and panelists are ready for this weekend’s virtual adventure. “From my experience and what I’ve seen at large shows, you’re not losing quality by attending RoberCon this weekend. You’re going to see some amazing stuff,” said Maruscak. last_img read more

Dražen Boban is the new president of the Association of Catering Activities of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce

first_img“Our mission is to make catering a desirable and enjoyable activity for micro, small and medium enterprises and their employees. Caterers should be encouraged to get involved in the work of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce on a daily basis and include representatives from all over Croatia and thus make the most of the extensive chamber infrastructure.”, Said Boban, emphasizing that togetherness is the key to success and called for the establishment of cooperation and partnership with all those who represent the interests of caterers at the level of the Republic of Croatia and the EU. Given the current situation, the focus will be on creating more favorable business conditions through tax and administrative relief for caterers, and in the work plan for 2020, among other things, Boban said an analysis of the current situation in the hospitality industry, active participation in creating development strategies tourism of the Republic of Croatia in the coming period, connecting caterers with family farms, raising quality through the placement of domestic food and products, encouraging wage growth and improving working conditions of employees in the hospitality industry and simplifying and accelerating the process of obtaining residence and work permits for foreign workers. At the plenary session of the Association of Catering Activities of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Dražen Boban from the famous restaurant Vinodol was elected the new president, and Stipe Jelčić from Prokurative as his deputy. Photo: HGK Cover photo: Restaurant Vinodol FBlast_img read more

Booking.com has opened applications for the Booking Heroes competition about travel experiences

first_imgBooking.com will receive nominations on Facebook and Instagram until November 25, 2019, and the winners will be announced in early 2020. The “Booking Heroes” competition celebrates the extraordinary hospitality of accommodation providers who offer their guests more than just a bed to rest. When they share their story, guests have the opportunity to win 25.000 euros that they can spend on Booking.com – for themselves and for their “Booking Hero”. Source / photo: Booking.com Booking.com, announced the holding of the third “Booking Heroes” competition, which invites its users to share with the world the story of the accommodation provider that made their trip unforgettable. One exceptional “Booking hero” and the guest who nominated him will win 25.000 euros each, which they can spend on Booking.com, and two more guests and the heroes who nominated him will win 5000 euros each.center_img In order to nominate their “Booking Hero” and participate in the competition, Booking.com travelers simply need to share their story on Facebook or Instagram by November 25, 2019 and include the following information: Where they stayed on their Booking.com trip , the role of their “Booking hero” in the accommodation facility, how their “Booking hero” exceeded all expectations and the hashtag #BookingHero and #contest, and if they post on Instagram, they should make sure that their profile is public and mark the post with @bookingc . “At Booking.com we know that travel is more than just accommodation. The people you meet along the way are an integral part of creating memorable experiences“, Said Arjan Dijk, Vice President and Head of Marketing at Booking.com. “I am thrilled by the inspiring stories that guests share in this competition and I am immensely proud of the work that our partners put in to provide their guests with exceptional experiences. They are a mirror of hospitality at its best and I can’t wait to see who our next ‘Booking Heroes’ areHe added More information and all the terms and conditions of the competition can be found HERE.last_img read more

Don’t turn over VHA to private interests

first_imgIn late March, the Trump administration fired Veterans Health Administration [VHA] Secretary David Shulkin. Trump attempted to replace Mr. Shulkin with Ronny Jackson, who withdrew his nomination on April 26 amidst allegations of drunkenness.  Dr. Shulkin had resisted efforts by wealthy corporate interests to accelerate privatizing the VHA, now more than 25 percent privatized, and, thus came under intense attacks from the privatizers, many of whom insist the public sector can do nothing correctly and the private sector everything well. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion One goal of the privatizers, who include the billionaire Koch brothers, is to destroy VHA labor unions. Another is to leave VHA workers, one-third of whom are veterans, with no rights. And, of course, the Kochs and their allies want to add to their stupendous wealth and power by profiteering from veterans’ health care.Federal workers and their rights are under intense attacks from Trump, many Republicans, some Democrats and the privatizers. The VHA has problems for sure, but with bipartisan and public support, these problems can be greatly reduced.  The VHA needs stable, competent leadership committed to keeping the VHA a public entity. It also needs greater staffing and higher salaries to attract and retain qualified workers to help reduce the wait time for veterans to get care.  Do we want to throw the veterans into the private health care system, where health insurance companies deny care to so many of us? Do we want VA facilities in our region to close?Tom EllisAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Indonesia locks virus violators in ‘haunted house’

first_imgTopics : So Sukowati instructed communities to repurpose abandoned houses that were feared to be haunted — tapping widespread beliefs in the supernatural, which play a key role in Indonesian folklore.Five people have been tossed into Sragen’s spooky jails so far.”If there’s an empty and haunted house in the village, put people in there and lock them up,” Sukowati told AFP Tuesday when asked about the rule.Officials in Sepat village chose a long-abandoned house and outfitted it with beds placed at a distance and separated by curtains. So far, the village has locked up three recently-arrived residents who are being forced to spend the remainder of their two-week quarantine in the spooky abode.Among them was Heri Susanto, who said his punishment hadn’t brought him face to face with any ghosts — so far.”But whatever happens, happens,” said Susanto, who came from neighboring Sumatra island.”I know this is for everyone’s safety. Lesson learned.”center_img Fed up with people breaking virus quarantine rules, one Indonesian politician has decided to scare rulebreakers straight by locking them in a “haunted house”.Sragen regency head Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati says she issued the unusual edict this week to deal with an influx of people to the area after lockdowns in the capital Jakarta and other major cities.Some newcomers, however, weren’t respecting orders that they isolate themselves for 14 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus across the region on Indonesia’s densely populated Java island.last_img read more

Arsenal decide against disciplining Granit Xhaka due to his ‘fragile’ mental health

first_imgArsenal decide against disciplining Granit Xhaka due to his ‘fragile’ mental health Comment Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 30 Oct 2019 9:33 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.2kShares Advertisement Xhaka reacted angrily to boos from the home fans (Picture: Getty)center_img Xhaka went straight down the tunnel (Picture: Getty)But, while the club are furious at Xhaka’s actions, the Sun report that they have decided against disciplining him.AdvertisementAdvertisementFrom observing Xhaka over the last 48 hours, the club feel that Xhaka is already punishing himself and that he regrets the incident.Xhaka is yet to issue an apology to supporters but the club are worried about the midfielder’s fragile state of mind. #More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalA close friend of the midfielder, Patrik Dibrani, revealed he spoke to Xhaka after the game and described the Swiss as ‘grief-stricken’.‘It hurts me a great deal. Granit is like a brother to me,’ he told Swiss publication Blick.‘I understand that he did not react well to the booing but if you are a true fan of your club it is like a love affair.‘You have to be there for each other in the bad times as well as the good. There should be no place for booing your own players.‘I spoke on the phone to Granit after the game. He’s not in a good place – he is grief-stricken. ‘He regretted his actions straight away. He is an emotional person.’MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Man Utd were flattered by 4-0 win over Chelsea on Premier League opening day Granit Xhaka is said to be ‘devastated’ at the situation (Picture: Getty)Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka will not face a fine nor any further disciplinary action from the club for telling supporters to ‘f**k off’ as he left the field on Sunday during a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.The Switzerland international could lose the club captaincy for cupping his ears and reacting angrily to jeers from the home support as he trudged off the pitch against the Eagles.Xhaka was frustrated at being substituted on the hour-mark and it’s the third time this season that the former Borussia Monchengladbach ace has faced boos from Arsenal supporters.Unai Emery confirmed on Tuesday that Xhaka will play no part in the Gunners’ clash against Liverpool at Anfield tonight and the club have reportedly offered the Swiss counselling to deal with the incident.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisementlast_img read more

Muntari scores against Roma to rescue AC Milan

first_imgGhana midfielder Sulley Muntari stole the show at the San Siro as he scored a classy goal and set up another to help AC Milan secure a point in their 2-2 against Roma in the Italian Serie A on Monday night.The visitors led twice on the night but AC Milan star Muntari displayed admirable character to salvage a point for the Italian giants.Muntari was Milan’s hero as he struck a 77th-minute equalizer to snatch a draw and deny the Giallorossi all three points.The 29-year-old midfield talisman flicked a header inside the box for Christian Zapata to connect home from close range on the half hour mark before registering his name on the score-sheet.With Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman almost snatching victory for Roma, Muntari rose to the occasion as he powered a trademark right-footed drive into the near post to earn a point for Milan.Mattia Destro had opened the scoring for the visitors early in the first half, but Cristian Zapata leveled just before the break. Kevin Strootman looked to have sealed the points for Roma with a penalty early in the second period, only for Muntari’s late strike to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.The Ghana international’s intervention means Rudi Garcia’s men are now five points adrift of champions Juve, while Milan move into the top half of the table.Despite Roma’s dominance, Milan were level just before the half-hour mark through the unlikely source of Zapata.Muntari rose unmarked at the front post to flick on a right-wing corner and the Colombian defender ghosted in to head home his first league goal of the season.The 29-year-old Ghanaian equalised when he received the ball on the edge of the penalty area, shifted past Dodo and rifled his shot into the bottom corner. Milan needed a positive result from the game to inspire their resurgence after dropping to 12th place on the log and Muntari played a crucial role to ensure they ended the game with a point.While Mario Balotelli and Kaka were struggling to establish themselves in the game, Muntari stole the show with his impressive runs in midfield and workaholic play.last_img read more