Archive | June 15, 2017

Iran Seizes Arab Vessels Entering its Territorial Waters*

Iran Seizes Arab Vessels Entering its Territorial Waters*

U.S. vessels captured by Iran show on Iran’s state T.V. January 12 2016


Iran has seized three vessels belonging to one of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf after they entered Iranian territorial waters.

According to Fars news agency, the vessels were seized while in Iran’s territorial waters by 12 kilometres.

“Twenty-one crew members were also arrested,” it added.

This is not the first time foreign naval forces have entered Iran’s water.

On January 12, 2016, two U.S. Navy riverine command boats were seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy after they entered Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. military initially claimed that the sailors have entered Iranian waters due to technical failure, but it was later reported that the incident happened because of navigational errors.

Following an exchange of phone calls between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, the sailors were released, unharmed, 15 hours later.

Kerry later thanked Iranian authorities for their cooperation, adding that “we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago.”

Obama administration hailed the release as an “unintended benefit” of the new diplomatic relationship with Iran established by the nuclear accord, while some of his Republican rivals, including presidential hopefuls such as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump criticized the U.S. response as being “too weak”.


Related Topics:

What Really Happened When Iran Captured Two American Vessels*

U.S. Fires Captain Detained by Iran in January*

Terror Attacks in Iran Were Joint Saudi-Israel-U.S. Project*

Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties with Qatar for Not Wanting War with Iran*

Hacked Emails Show Top UAE Diplomat Coordinating With Pro-Israel Think Tank Against Iran*

Russia and Iran Escape the Petro-dollar*

Iran State TV Declares Rouhani Winner for 2nd Term*


Turkish MP Sentenced to 25 Years for Exposing MIT Arms Aid to Terrorists in Syria*

Turkish MP Sentenced to 25 Years for Exposing MIT Arms Aid to Terrorists in Syria*

A Turkish court has sentenced a prominent lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to 25 years in jail for his role in leaking secret documents to a newspaper showing the country’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) shipped weapons to foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists in Syria.

On Wednesday, Istanbul’s 14th Heavy Penal Court handed down the sentence to CHP Deputy Chairman Enis Berberoglu for releasing secret documents with the purpose of political or military espionage.

Berberoglu was arrested in the courthouse after the hearing. He will remain under arrest while waiting for the appeal process to conclude.

CHP spokesman Engin Altay sharply condemned the decision, saying he saw the verdict as an attempt by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to intimidate the opposition.

“This decision is intimidation to the opposition. This decision is intimidation to all who are displeased with the Justice and Development Party (AKP),” Altay told reporters outside the Caglayan Justice Palace in Istanbul.

He said the decision was a sign that the judiciary in Turkey was under the command of government executive organs.

Back in May 2015, Cumhuriyet daily posted on its website footage showing Turkish security forces in early 2014 intercepting a convoy of trucks carrying arms for the militants in Syria.

The paper said the trucks were carrying some 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of grenade launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy weapons.

Ankara denied the allegation and claimed that the trucks had been carrying humanitarian aid to Syria. However, Berberoglu defended the video, saying it was genuine.

The incident triggered a huge controversy in Turkey with many bashing the government for explicitly supporting terrorism in neighbouring Syria.

Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul were among other defendants in the case.

Last year, Dundar and Gul were sentenced to at least five years in jail for revealing what was said to be state secrets. The prosecutor is now seeking an additional 10 years in prison for the two over the report on MIT trucks.

Turkey arrests 78 lawyers in post-coup crackdown

Meanwhile, Turkish forces have arrested 78 lawyers as part of an investigation into suspected links to the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having orchestrated last year’s failed coup against Erdogan.

A security source, who asked not to be named, said the detentions were carried out across eight provinces.

Istanbul’s chief public prosecutor had earlier issued arrest warrants for 189 lawyers on charges of affiliation to Gulen’s movement. Some are also accused of using ByLock encrypted messaging application for communication with fellow opposition members.

Also on Wednesday, a Turkish court sentenced Aydin Sefa Akay (shown in the picture above), a top judge attached to the U.N.’s Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, to seven years and six months in jail on charges of links to the failed July 15 coup.

The court also placed an overseas travel ban on Akay, effectively making his cooperation with the U.N. courts system impossible.

He was released pending the ruling from the Supreme Appeals Court.

Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the government of Erdogan was no more in charge of the country.

A few hours later, however, the coup was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.

Gulen has censured the coup attempt and strongly denied any involvement in it.

Turkey, which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups, who were believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.

Over 40,000 people have been arrested and more than 120,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants, over alleged links to the failed coup.

Many rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have denounced Ankara’s heavy clampdown.


Related Topics:

Russia, Iran, Turkey Reach Consensus on De-escalation Zones in Syria*

U.S. Marines Invade Syria, helping ISIS and Turkey*

Syria’s Water Cut off by Turkey Following McCain, Erdogan Meeting*

Turkey Continues Repeated Violations against the Sanctity and Unity of Syria’s Sovereignty*

Muslims ‘protecting Christians’ against ISIS by Lending them Hijabs in Marawi*

Muslims ‘protecting Christians’ against ISIS by Lending them Hijabs in Marawi*

In a desperate bid to protect themselves from an ISIS-linked terrorist group, Christians in the war-torn Filipino town of Marawi are borrowing the hijabs of their Muslim friends and disguising themselves, a new report has revealed.

The Daily Mail reports that nearly a month after the Maute extremist group overtook the town, kidnapping and killing Christians and cutting off running water and electricity, residents have taken “extreme measures” to ensure they stay alive.

Zia Alonto Adiong, a local politician managing rescue and relief efforts, told the outlet that in a text message pleading for help, one family said they had “started to eat their blankets”.

While thousands fled the Muslim-majority after Maute overtook it in May, it’s estimated that 300-600 civilians are still trapped or are being used as “human shields” in areas controlled by the terrorist group. Currently, there are believed to be about 100 militants in the city, and the organization’s news agency, Amaq, said its fighters controlled two-thirds of the city.

At least 100 people have escaped on foot, while still others have made it across the river to safety. On Tuesday, five Christians and five police officers braved sniper bullets to run across the town’s commercial district this morning to reach a government-controlled area on the Agus River western bank.

A doctor treating those who make it to safety revealed that Muslim residents are “protecting” Christians by lending them their religious head-coverings.

“Some of the stories that stuck were Muslims helping protect Christian workers by letting them borrow a hijab,” said Dr Gioia Ancheta, head of the psychosocial therapy team.

However, not everyone is so fortunate: when a group of 18 civilians attempted to flee Tuesday morning, “the terrorists ran after them and indiscriminately fired at them, killing five of the civilians and taking the remaining eight as hostages,” says the Mail Online.

Last week, authorities found the bloodied bodies of eight Christian men thrown in a ditch. Their hands were tied, and beside them was a cardboard with the word “munafiq,” which means hypocrite, according to GMA News.

The men were workers at a local bakery who were caught trying to escape to a nearby city, two witnesses told ABS-CBN. The militants reportedly separated from the group those whom they identified as Christians.

The ISIS-linked Maute group has been joined by Jihadists from other countries, sparking fears that ISIS could be trying to establish an Asian foothold as it weakens in Syria and Iraq.

“IS is shrinking in Iraq and Syria, and decentralizing in parts of Asia and the Middle East,” Rohan Gunaratna, security expert at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said according to Reuters.

“One of the areas where it is expanding in Southeast Asia and the Philippines is the centre of gravity.”

So far, the military has killed militants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi, Yemen, Chechnya, Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco and India.

Colonel Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said they are “exploring different means” to meet the deadline while considering the safety of the civilians, ABS-CBN reported.

Arevalo confirmed reports that the militants are separating the Christians from the Muslims.

“It’s sad that we are getting reports from the ground that the terrorists are separating fleeing Christians and Muslim,” he said.

“They are letting the Muslims go but not the Christians.”

On Wednesday, security official who is familiar with the region told Reuters the battle in Marawi does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

“At the very least, it is not at all clear that government forces are presently winning or even gaining significant ground,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“ISIS demonstrated significant determination and success in capturing and holding Mosul in Iraq and their effort in Marawi is of a similar notable quality.”


Related Topics:

Christians Join Forces with Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon*

Iraqi Troops Free Yazidi, Christian Women Prisoners from ISIS*

Muslim Residents Help Rebuild Christian Church That Was Destroyed By ISIS*

Muslim Man Saves 64 Christians from being Executed by Terrorists in Philippines*

Arab Christians Pushed into Mass Exodus*


Electricity Prices Fall into Negatives as Germany’s Renewable Energy Boom Occurs*

Electricity Prices Fall into Negatives as Germany’s Renewable Energy Boom Occurs*

A renewable energy boom in Germany has triggered a fall in price to negative figures. Coal and nuclear now accounts for only 15% of Germany’s energy demands.


By Amando Flavio



Since 2015, Germany has produced too much energy from renewable sources, selling the excesses to its neighbouring countries at a much cheaper price.

Taking a cue from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Germany shut down nine of its nuclear reactors. Combined, these nuclear reactors had the capacity of generating enough power for at least 20 million homes in Europe.


But due to the extreme dangers associated with nuclear power, Germany doesn’t want to gamble with the nation’s health. It is better to invest in ventures that are sustainable. The country has an ambitious target in renewable energy.

Sweden hopes to run entirely on renewable energy by 2040. Germany has set this target by 2050, 10 years behind Sweden. Since the target was set, the German government has invested heavily in renewables. The government has also set up what is known as Energiewende, an initiative to transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear power to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply by 2050.



Although Germany has over 30 years to the deadline it is set to fully transition to renewables; current development appears to suggest the country might reach an earlier target by decades than the original set 2050.

On Sunday, April 30, renewable energy from wind, solar, biomass and hydro power provided a record 85% of Germany’s total energy. According to the country’s energy officials, this was a new record set by the country in its energy sector.

Germany’s public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle reports that energy from coal has fallen to a record all-time low in the nation. The outlet added that coal-fired power stations were only operational between three and four on the afternoon of April 30. The plants generated only eight gigawatts of energy, well below their maximum output of around 50 gigawatts.

Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende confirmed the good news to the Australian news outlet RenewEconomy. He said:


“Most of Germany’s coal-fired power stations were not even operating on Sunday [April 30]. Nuclear power sources, which are planned to be completely phased out by 2022, were also severely reduced.”


Mr Graichen further added that due to the massive investment in renewables by the German government, he is sure that the country will shut down all of its coal and nuclear plants by 2030.


What happened on April 30 made electricity prices in Germany fall into negative figures. The renewable sources fed so much power into the national grid that supply far exceeded demand. The surplus was then sent to neighbouring countries.

This isn’t the first time energy supply has exceeded demand in Germany. In 2015, similar things happened. According to energy experts, Germany needs to start investing in a technology that can store energy for future use, due to how the country is over producing the commodity.

The current overproduction in Germany is being spilled into its neighbouring countries such as Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Experts have warned these countries that depend on surplus energy from Germany need to speed up the process of generating their own energy as a disruption in power supply in Germany would badly affect them.

Already, grid companies in Germany have started to invest in energy storage infrastructure; they have planned to invest some $24 billion to upgrade networks and modify existing high voltage power lines.

The German auto giant company, Audi — which became the first to use power to gas technology, converting excess electricity into gaseous energy, producing a zero carbon hydrogen gas and converting it into renewable methane, which can be used as an energy source in the future — is said to be making a concerted effort to help store energy in the country. Audi has already built a 6 MW power-to-gas facility in its home, Ingolstadt.


Apart from these ongoing developments in Germany, the country is also planning to do away with fossils in its transportation sector. Last year, the country announced that it will soon start operating hydrogen-powered trains in an effort to affirm its noble objective of boosting clean and renewable energy.


The train, known as Coradia iLint, will be the first train in the world to be powered with hydrogen. Currently, Germany runs around 4,000 trains. All are powered with diesel, polluting the atmosphere as they move along. Coradia iLint is developed by the French rail transport company, Alstom.




According to Alstom engineers, the hydrogen that fuels the train is held in huge battery cells on top of the train.  As the hydrogen is mixed and burned with oxygen, it produces remarkable amounts of heat, which in turn, cranks the turbines of the engine of the train for extreme amounts of electricity.  The only byproduct from this reaction is water vapor or steam, meaning the train doesn’t pollute the environment.



 Related Topics:

Germany Proving there is a Sustainable Energy Alternative

Stop E.U. from Hijacking Africa’s Clean Energy Future*

India Permits Free Energy Technology Despite Threats from U.K., U.S., Saudi Arabia*

Thousands Set to Die of Fuel Poverty this Winter, while Tories Makes a Killing from U.K.’s Energy Supply*

The World’s First Island Powered by an Off-Grid Renewable Energy System*

Niqab-Wearing Muslim Woman Comforts Injured Elderly Woman in London*

Niqab-Wearing Muslim Woman Comforts Injured Elderly Woman in London*

Religion unites humans, but many ‘religious’ human beings disregard the fact that humanity is the religion which all religions preach, that humanity is above all religions, and that the religion of humanity is compassion.

Fortunately, humanity is still alive, humans are still compassionate, and a lot of truly religious human beings still practice the religion of peace and harmony. Although not many incidents are reported in the mainstream media, when they are, they send a message that needs to go out to every human being out there.

Recently, a moving photo of a Niqab-wearing Muslim woman comforting an 84-year-old injured woman touched the right chord worldwide.

Hamza Osman Bakri was travelling on a bus from Ilford to Barking, when he saw an elderly woman fall and get her head stuck between the door and metal pole after the bus hit a dip in the road. An unidentified Muslim woman walked over and comforted her for 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived to help. Hamza captured the heartwarming moment and shared it on Facebook with the caption: “This is the real Islam.”

Facebook users have been quick to praise her actions:

According to the Metropolitan Police, Islamophobic hate crimes have increased fivefold following the London Bridge attack on June 3. Recorded hate crime is up to 54 incidents a day versus a daily average of 38 for 2016; recorded hate crime with an anti-Muslim motive reached 20 versus a daily average of fewer than four last year.


Related Topics:

Grenfell Tower Resident Praise Muslim Youth for their Bravery in Helping Survivors*

Another Appeals Court Rules ‘Muslim Ban’ Discriminatory*

£1000 to be Awarded to U.K. Muslim Students for Academic Excellence Third Year Running*

Muslim Residents Help Rebuild Christian Church That Was Destroyed By ISIS*

Muslim Man Saves 64 Christians from being Executed by Terrorists in Philippines*

It Took a Nine-year-old Muslim Boy 35 Seconds to Rumble Theresa May*

China Increases DNA Testing of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Region*

Muslims Launch the World’s First Islamic Sign Language Book*

New Licenses Awarded to Muslim Radio Stations*

Legal Advocacy Groups Sue DHS for Info on Treatment of Muslims at Border Stops, Airports*

Austrian President calls on All Women to Wear Hijab in Solidarity with Muslims against Islamophobia*

U.K. Arms Firm Sold Spyware to Repressive Middle East States*

U.K. Arms Firm Sold Spyware to Repressive Middle East States*

BAE Systems distributed the software which allowed governments to trace the activities, locations and traffic of pro-democracy activists

A BAE Systems booth at a trade show for naval and maritime safety in France (AFP)


A leading British arms company has been selling spy software across the Middle East, potentially risking the security of activists and dissident groups.

The findings come after a year-long investigation by BBC Arabic and a Danish newspaper, which revealed that BAE Systems had been selling a mass surveillance software called Evident, acquired after the purchase of Danish company ETI in 2011, to governments in the Middle East, including those involved in crackdowns on pro-democracy activists.

“You’d be able to intercept any internet traffic,” said a former ETI employee speaking anonymously to the BBC.

“If you wanted to do a whole country, you could. You could pin-point people’s location based on cellular data. You could follow people around. They were quite far ahead with voice recognition. They were capable of decrypting stuff as well.”

Among the clients for the software was the government of the former Tunisian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who used it on opponents before being overthrown in the 2011 Arab Spring demonstrations.

“ETI installed it and engineers came for training sessions,” explained a former Tunisian intelligence official, speaking to the BBC.

“[It] works with keywords. You put in an opponent’s name and you will see all the sites, blogs, social networks related to that user.”

According to Freedom of Information requests made by the BBC and the Dagbladet Information newspaper in Denmark, other clients included Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Morocco and Algeria.

The rise in surveillance technology in the Middle East is thought to have had a serious impact on the activities of pro-democracy campaigners in the region since the beginning of anti-government protests in 2011.

Yahya Assiri, a former Saudi air force officer who fled the country following the posting of pro-democracy comments on social media, told the BBC he “wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said more than 90% of the most active campaigners in 2011 have now vanished.”

Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, described the sale of the technology as “unacceptable”.

“Each and every case where someone is silenced or ends up in prison with the help of E.U.-made technologies I think is unacceptable,” she told the BBC.

“The fact that these companies are commercial players, developing these highly sophisticated technologies… requires us to look again at what kind of restrictions maybe be needed, what kind of transparency and accountability is needed in this market before it turns against our own interest and our own principles.”

The U.K. government has, however, been keen to support BAE Systems, a major employer, with regards to its activities in the Middle East.

In particular, Saudi Arabia is a vital market for the company, which employs more than 80,000 staff worldwide and accounts for one percent of U.K. exports, according to the company.

The U.K. government has approved more than $4.2bn of arms to Saudi since the start of the conflict in Yemen 2015, and last month The Times reported that the British government threw its weight behind the company to secure a long-awaited Typhoon jet contract with Saudi Arabia for 48 new aircrafts.

Olly Sprague, Amnesty U.K.’s programme director for military, security and police, told MEE that BAE is hiding behind the U.K.’s “warped rules on arms exports”.

“BAE Systems acknowledge they have more than 6,000 people working in Saudi Arabia helping to strengthen the country’s arms capability – so it is outrageous that they continue to hide behind the UK Government’s warped ‘rules’ on arms exports as a justification for their work,” he said.

The U.K. Department for International Trade issued the following statement:

“The government takes its defence export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world.

“All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against strict criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application, including human rights considerations.”


Related Topics:

U.K. Base Used by U.S. to Kill Thousands in the Middle East*

Sorry European racial “purists,” it turns out your ancestors were African and Middle Eastern*

Former U.K. Ambassador Refers to the West Returning to their Own Vomit

How America Betrayed its Sunni Allies in Middle East?

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Security Update Installs Chrome Spyware*

Microsoft Shifts Spyware Windows 10 to ‘Recommended’ Update, Automatic Download*

U.S. Computer Makers Lose Markets Courtesy of NSA Spyware*

Judy Malware Infects Over 30 Million Android Users Worldwide*

Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World*

Apple Records Your Messages from iMessage and Sends the Data to Police*


Officials Face Involuntary Manslaughter Charges for Flint Water Crisis*

Officials Face Involuntary Manslaughter Charges for Flint Water Crisis*

“Everyone has to die of something,” said one of the accused.

By Yessenia Funes

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced charges relating to the investigation into the water crisis on April 20, 2016, in Flint, Michigan. He is leading this investigation and announced new charges today. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images


The investigation over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan is ongoing, with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announcing felony charges against two new individuals today (June 14) and additional charges for four others.

The predominantly Black city of nearly 100,000 saw toxic levels of lead in its water back in 2014 as a result of the city and state deciding to switch its drinking water source. The water is still not 100 percent safe to drink. But the lead wasn’t the only issue with the water after the switch: A Legionnaire’s disease outbreak overtook Genesee County, where Flint sits, and killed 12 people in 2015 and 2016. Legionnaire’s is an extreme form of pneumonia caused by bacteria and afflicted—but didn’t kill—another 79 people.

Nick Lyon

Nick Lyon, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is being charged with two felonies: misconduct in office and involuntary manslaughter for the death of 85-year-old Robert Skidmore, one of the 12 who died of Legionnaire’s disease during the outbreak. Lyon is the highest-ranking official to face charges in the investigation.

This is what Schuette had to say about Lyon on Twitter:

Mr. Lyon failed in his responsibilities to protect the health and safety of citizens of Flint.

— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) June 14, 2017

After allegedly being informed of the growing legionella situation in Flint, Nick Lyon failed to inform the public of this health threat.

— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) June 14, 2017

This threat cost the life of Robert Skidmore.

— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) June 14, 2017

The MDHHS’s chief medical executive, Eden Wells, is also facing a felony charge for obstruction of justice and a misdemeanour for lying to a peace officer. She allegedly provided false testimony to a special agent and threatened to withhold funding for the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership if the partnership didn’t stop investigating the Legionnaire’s outbreak in Flint. Schuette said this about her on Twitter:

Ms. Wells, as the Chief Medical Officer of Michigan, similarly failed to protect the health and safety of citizens of Flint.

— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) June 14, 2017

During the investigation of the Flint Water Crisis, Wells allegedly attempted to withhold funding for programs designed to help victims.

— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) June 14, 2017

Ms. Wells then allegedly lied to an investigator about material facts related to the investigation.

— A.G. Bill Schuette (@SchuetteOnDuty) June 14, 2017

The four individuals for whom the state is adding charges include Stephen Busch, a water supervisor for the state’s department of environmental quality; Liane Shekter-Smith, former chief of drinking water and municipal assistance at the department; Howard Croft, previously the director of the Flint Department of Public Works; and Darnell Earley, the former emergency manager for the City of Flint.

The state had already filed charges against these individuals, but Schuette is now giving the four an additional felony charge of involuntary manslaughter related to Skidmore’s death. “Our charge is to determine what laws, if any, were broken,” Schuette wrote on Twitter. “And if so, to hold violators responsible. I owe that to the families of Flint.”

Lyon’s charges are most explicit in the warrant packet the attorney general’s office provided online: It alleges that the MDHHS director knew about the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak by at least January 2015 but failed to notify the public until a year later. He can face up to 15 years for this crime.

“At that time, Defendant [Lyon] knew that Legionnaires’ disease was deadly and that, if no mitigating steps were taken, the outbreak was likely to occur again,” the document goes on. Lyon later said, per the warrant, that “he can’t save everyone” and that “everyone has to die of something.”

Gov. Rick Snyder is standing by Lyon and Wells, who currently hold positions with the state, writing in a statement:

“Director Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells, like every other person who has been charged with a crime by Bill Schuette, are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Some state employees were charged over a year ago and have been suspended from work since that time. They still have not had their day in court. That is not justice for Flint nor for those who have been charged. Director Lyon and Dr. Wells have been and continue to be instrumental in Flint’s recovery. They have my full faith and confidence, and will remain on duty at DHHS.”

Residents and activists have been vocal in that they want to see Snyder face charges too as many find him responsible behind the lead-tainted water. Schuette said at the press conference today that investigators have attempted to interview Snyder on his role in the manmade disaster, but they have been unsuccessful.

“We only file criminal charges when evidence of probable cause to commit a crime has been established,” he said.

Schuette launched this criminal probe in January 2016 after the state requested that former President Barack Obama declare a state of emergency regarding the dangerous lead levels in Flint’s water supply. Now, the case is entering a new phase, as Schuette explained in the press conference: prosecution.


Related Topics:

Flint City Council Votes for Moratorium on Property Liens for Unpaid Water Bills*

Flint Threatens to Kick 8,000 Families Out of Their Homes if They Don’t Pay for Poison Water*

Flint to get New Pipes after $87mn Settlement*

A Water Crisis Like Flint’s Is Unfolding In East Chicago*

City Threatens to Turn Off Flint Residents’ Water*

In Flint, Level of lead in Children’s Blood Leads to a State of Emergency*

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Gains Ground in Dakota Access Court Case*

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Gains Ground in Dakota Access Court Case*

The Army Corps of Engineers did not “adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights or environmental justice,” per the court order.

By Yessenia Funes

Demonstrators rally downtown before marching to Trump Tower while protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on February 4, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty


The Dakota Access Pipeline may be flowing with oil, but that doesn’t mean that its opponents have given up. They had a victory last night (June 15) in a court case that’s been ongoing since July 27, 2016, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A federal judge ruled that the Trump Administration’s quick permit issuance for the pipeline in February violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by not properly considering the impact the 1,172-mile long pipeline would have if it leaked. Judge James Boasberg went on to explain that the water crossing on the Lake Oahe portion of the Missouri River (the main area of concern for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) did warrant an environmental impact statement, which the Army Corps of Engineers did not issue per the administration’s request.

Boasberg is requiring that the Corps re-examine its environmental analysis. In his 91-page opinion, he did not call on the pipeline to shut down, but he did request additional briefing to discuss that possibility at a status conference next week.

“This is a major victory for the tribe, and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a statement sent in an email from Earthjustice, the environmental law firm defending this case.

“The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline and President [Donald] Trump hastily dismissed these careful environmental considerations in favor of political and personal interests. We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately.”

Tribes challenging the pipeline, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, have attempted to stop the pipeline through other lawsuits, but this one has proven most successful—something Boasberg notes. The other two cases attempted to make cases on religious and cultural grounds, but it’s the pipeline’s environmental impact that piqued Boasberg’s interest.

“Although the Corps substantially complied with NEPA in many areas, the Court agrees that it did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial,” he writes.

And the impact has been quite controversial: The pipeline has already had three spills.


Related Topics:

Standing Rock Applauds Netherlands-based Bank’s Move to Offload DAPL Debt*

Standing Rock Sioux and Yakama Nation Sign Proclamation Calling upon the United States to revoke the “Doctrine of Christian Discovery”*

Two Police Officers Turned in Badges in Support of Standing Rock Water Protectors*

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Challenges Latest DAPL Move in Court*

The Dakota Access Pipeline Is Already Leaking*

The Company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline Just Had 2 Major Spills*

BNP Paribas Latest Bank to Dump Dakota Access Pipeline*

Buffet, Gates Foundation, Bono’s RED and the Dakota Access Pipeline