FSRN Weekly Edition – November 4, 2016
- DAPL nears completion, encounters resistance at and away from construction site
- Crow Creek Sioux cut ties with South Dakota over police deployment to pipeline protests
- Los Angeles voters face controversial ballot initiative on medical marijuana regulations
- Colorado voters to consider a state-level single payer health insurance system
- Influx of new voters from Puerto Rico could sway election results in Florida
- Civilians in Pakistan’s tribal regions form peace committees to fight back against militancy
- Despite border closures, smugglers move hundreds of refugees through Europe daily
The Dakota Access pipeline project and the battle to block it both proceeded this week. The North Dakota State Capitol was briefly placed on lock-down Thursday when a group of US clergy members prayed and sang outside – at least 14 people were arrested.
The controversial nearly $4 billion dollar pipeline to carry fracked crude from the Bakken oilfields to a transfer station in Illinois is nearing completion. Native Americans in North Dakota say the segment crossing the Missouri River adjacent to the Standing Rock Reservation threatens their water, is an affront to their sovereignty, and that sacred land has already been destroyed by the pipeline’s construction. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.
The police response to protests has caused a ripple effect in nearby states, with Native Americans and their allies standing ground. In South Dakota, the Crow Creek Sioux severed ties with the state government after highway patrol troopers were sent to the standoff in North Dakota. FSRN’s Jim Kent has more.
As California prepares to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana, the state’s thriving medical marijuana industry is scrambling. In Los Angeles, the local government officially recognizes only a fraction of the city’s hundreds of dispensaries – and a battle is brewing over who can qualify for potentially lucrative new licenses. Carla Green reports from Los Angeles.
In Colorado, citizens are voting on another potentially historic ballot measure. Amendment 69 or the ColoradoCare initiative, would create the nation’s first state-run single payer health insurance system, a plan major players in the healthcare and insurance industry are donating millions to defeat. FSRN’s Hannah Leigh Myers has more from Denver.
In the final week of the 2016 presidential election, the race is still too close to call and will come down to voter turnout in just a few swing states. FSRN’s Seán Kinane reports, in the largest battleground state – Florida – a major influx of new voters from Puerto Rico could tilt the election.
Militancy linked to the Taliban continues to sow terror in the tribal regions spanning the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. While the group’s tactics were used to mobilize international public opinion in favor of an invasion of Afghanistan, the ongoing violence suffered by civilians in the area now fails to grab world news headlines. Area locals are building on so-called peace committees in an effort to oust militants. Robert Packard reads for Gabe Matthews, who visited one such village recently struck by a deadly attack.
Afghans and Pakistanis also make up a large part of the waves of refugees that continue to arrive in Europe, despite the closure and militarization of many of the continent’s borders. As FSRN’s Andrew Connelly reports from Belgrade, those policies have turned the Balkans into a smugglers’ paradise.