Category Archives: USA

EPA To Gut Mountaintop Mining Rule That Protects Streams

Common Dreams
by Renee Schoof and Bill Estep

Mountaintop coal mines, such as this one near Mud River, W.Va., generate large amounts of waste. "With less than two months left in power, the Bush administration is determined to cement its legacy as having the worst environmental record in history," Earthjustice said in a statement. "This is a sad day for all people who are thankful for the clear mountain streams and stately summits of the Appalachians."(By Michael Williamson -- Post)
Mountaintop coal mines, such as this one near Mud River, W.Va., generate large amounts of waste. "With less than two months left in power, the Bush administration is determined to cement its legacy as having the worst environmental record in history," Earthjustice said in a statement. "This is a sad day for all people who are thankful for the clear mountain streams and stately summits of the Appalachians."(By Michael Williamson -- Post)

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday approved a last-minute rule change by the Bush administration that will allow coal companies to bury streams under the rocks leftover from mining.

The 1983 rule prohibited dumping the fill from mountaintop removal mining within 100 feet of streams. In practice, the government hadn’t been enforcing the rule. Government figures show that 535 miles of streams were buried or diverted from 2001 to 2005, more than half of them in the mountains of Appalachia. Along with the loss of the streams has been an increase of erosion and flooding.

The 11th hour change before President George W. Bush leaves office would eliminate a tool that citizens groups have used in lawsuits to keep mining waste out of streams. Mining companies had been pushing for the change for years. Continue reading EPA To Gut Mountaintop Mining Rule That Protects Streams

U.S. not among signers of cluster bomb treaty

National Catholic Reporter
By Rich Heffern and Thomas c. Fox

_Cluster bombs in an olive grove in southern Lebanon. (Photo by Simon Conway, courtesy Cluster Munition Coalition)
_Cluster bombs in an olive grove in southern Lebanon. (Photo by Simon Conway, courtesy Cluster Munition Coalition)

Some 100 nations signed a major anti-cluster bomb treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, during a conference that began Dec. 3 in Oslo, Norway. It is a move that supporters hope will shame the United States, Russia, China, Israel and other non-signers into abandoning weapons blamed for maiming and killing thousands of innocent civilians.

Norway was first to sign, followed by Laos and Lebanon, both hard-hit by the weapons. Continue reading U.S. not among signers of cluster bomb treaty

White extremists lash out over election of first black president

Los Angeles Times
The Ku Klux Klan is emerging from decades of disorganization and obscurity, and the turnaround is acutely evident — more than 200 hate-related incidents have been reported since the Nov. 4 election.
By Howard Witt
Reporting from Bogalusa, La. — Barely three weeks since America elected its first black president, noose hangings, racist graffiti and death threats have struck dozens of towns across the country. Continue reading White extremists lash out over election of first black president

Our system owes Troy Davis another day in court

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By WILLIAM S. SESSIONS
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It is wrong to execute an innocent man. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit will now consider whether it is constitutional. Troy Anthony Davis, convicted of murder, is asking the courts to hear evidence that key government witnesses have repudiated their testimony against him. But so far the courts have decided that, while he may be innocent, procedural rules prevent them from taking a second look. Continue reading Our system owes Troy Davis another day in court