A Brazilian judge has ordered that work on the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon be halted on grounds that environmental commitments were not met, the court said Monday.
A spokesman for the Federal Court in Brasilia said Judge Antonio Souza issued the ruling Friday, suspending the projects environmental license as well work at the dam, located in the northern state of Para, following objections from state prosecutors
The judge said the license was granted on condition that the environmental commitments be honored.
The ruling also means that Brazils BNDES development bank, which is bankrolling the project, is barred from disbursing funds until the commitments are met.
We are not against the countrys development. But we say that the law must be applied, said Para prosecutor Thais Santi.
By Pete Yost, AP
October 26, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
WASHINGTON -- The violent crime rate went up 15 percent last year, and the property crime rate rose 12 percent, the government said Thursday, signs that the U.S. may be seeing the last of the substantial declines in crime of the past two decades.
Last year marked the second year in a row for increases in the crime victimization survey, a report that is based on household interviews.
The 2012 increases were driven by a rise in crimes that were not reported to police, a category frequently involving less-serious offenses. Simple assaults also rose. The rate of property crimes increased due to a rise in theft.
One year of bad news is something you notice but don't necessarily draw conclusions about. Two years of bad news suggests it might be time to start worrying, said Carnegie Mellon University professor Jonathan Caulkins.
University of Maryland criminology professor James Lynch said the crime victimization survey, combined with a separate report recently issued by the FBI, suggests that the 20-year trend of dropping crime rates may be approaching an end.
DEVESELU, Romania (AP) Construction has begun on a U.S. base in Romania that will form part of a ballistic missile defense system that has angered Russia.
The Deveselu base in southern Romania is expected to be operational in 2015. It will house SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar equipment.
James Miller, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, attended a ceremony Monday at the base.
He said that "as the (NATO) Alliance has entered new times, it has also addressed new threats. One of these is the threat of ballistic missile attack."
The U.S. government says the missiles will have no offensive capability and will only target incoming ballistic missiles launched by a hostile country.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House Republican working on immigration legislation is heading to the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida is slated to meet with the president on Tuesday. The congressman mentioned the session in an interview with Florida radio station WGCU and his office confirmed the meeting.
Immigration legislation has stalled in the House months after the Senate passed a comprehensive bill that would provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally and tighten border security. Most House Republicans reject a comprehensive approach, and many question offering citizenship to people who broke U.S. immigration laws to be in this country.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- After a three-year investigation into allegations of possible criminal civil rights violations at Idaho's largest private prison, the U.S. Department of Justice is declining to prosecute any current or former guards with Corrections Corporation of America.
U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson made the announcement Monday, saying the FBI's investigation into inmate-on-inmate assaults at the CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise was detailed and covered multiple incidences. Olson says that while the assaults at the prison have been problematic, prosecutors didn't believe they would be able to prove elements of a federal crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Under federal criminal civil rights law, prison guards commit a crime if they willfully fail to stop an assault or are deliberately indifferent to an inmate who is in need of medical care.
Source: Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) -- The United States could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows, German officials said Monday, as Europe weighs a response to allegations that the Americans spied on their closest European allies.
Spain became the latest U.S. ally to demand answers after a Spanish newspaper reported that the National Security Agency monitored more than 60 million phone calls in that country during one month alone. The report Monday in the daily El Mundo came on the heels of allegations of massive NSA spying in France and Germany, including Chancellor Angela Merkel's own cellphone.
With European leaders dissatisfied with the U.S. response so far, officials have been casting about for a way to pressure Washington to provide details of past surveillance and assurances that the practice will be curbed. The challenge is to send a strong message to Washington against wholesale spying on European citizens and institutions without further damage to the overall trans-Atlantic relationship.
As possible leverage, German authorities cited last week's non-binding resolution by the European Parliament to suspend a post-9/11 agreement allowing the Americans access to bank transfer data to track the flow of terrorist money.
Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_EUROPE_NSA_SURVEILLANCE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-10-28-15-03-55
Source: Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge has ruled.
District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics.
Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers brought the lawsuit, arguing that a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas. They also complained that requiring doctors to follow the Food and Drug Administration's original label for an abortion-inducing drug would deny women the benefit of recent advances in medical science.
The Texas attorney general's office argued that the law protects women and the life of the fetus. Attorney General Greg Abbott was expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel's order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TEXAS_ABORTION_RESTRICTIONS_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-10-28-15-08-10
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A slice of corporate America thinks tea partyers have overstayed their welcome in Washington and should be shown the door in next year's congressional elections.
In Michigan, longtime businessmen Brian Ellis and David Trott are challenging hardline conservative Reps. Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio in Republican primaries. This comes after three years of frustration over GOP insurgents roughing up the business community's agenda. That all came to a head with the 16-day partial government shutdown and the threat of a national financial default.
The Michigan races are a turnabout after several years of widely heralded contests in which right-flank candidates have tried to unseat Republican incumbents they perceive as not being conservative enough.
By Jonathan Tirone - Oct 28, 2013
Iran and nuclear monitors will seek to find a new approach to ensure the Persian Gulf nations atomic program is intended for exclusively peaceful purposes.
Irans Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi met with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano today in Vienna. Nuclear inspectors are seeking wider access to people and places suspected of conducting undeclared nuclear activities.
This is the time to take a new approach to resolving questions between Iran and the IAEA and look to the future for further cooperation, Araghchi told reporters before talks began. Inspectors need to play a role to ensure Irans nuclear program is peaceful and remains peaceful, he said.
Meeting world powers earlier this month in Geneva, Araghchi said Iran was willing to assent to more stringent inspections among confidence-building measures intended to defuse the decade-long standoff. Atop the IAEAs list of sites it would like to visit is the Parchin military base 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Tehran, where Iran allegedly experimented on triggers for a nuclear device.
This meeting is a very important opportunity for us to discuss a way forward, Amano said. It is important for all of us to show concrete progress.
By Andrea Gerlin and Jesse Riseborough - Oct 28, 2013
Millions of U.K. commuters were advised to stay at home today as the worst storm for five years forced rail operators across southern Britain to cancel morning rush-hour services.
The country braced overnight for hurricane-force winds and flooding caused by torrential rain after the Met Office issued an amber alert and warned of wind gusts in excess of 80 miles per hour (129 kilometers per hour). The Environment Agency posted more than 140 flood alerts.
We could see some uprooted trees or other damage from the winds, and theres a chance of some surface-water flooding from the rainfall, Martin Young, the Mets chief forecaster, said on the agencys website.
The storm, which developed over the Atlantic and has been strengthened by a strong jet stream and warm air close to the U.K., is forecast to hit London and the southeast around 7 a.m., according to forecasters.
Its impact will also be felt in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, where weather services warned of high winds, especially along Channel coasts.
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