Brazil’s Arara tribe in Para state, home to the monstrous Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, has filed a complaint with Federal Public Attorneys saying that early-phase construction of the power plant is polluting the river with mud and dirt. Para’s Federal prosecutors have grown accustomed to complaints about Belo Monte by local tribes. Some public attorneys in the northern Amazon state have even tried to ban the construction of the dam themselves, but each case was overturned by a higher court in Brasilia, the nation’s capital.
It's official: The Obama administration is denying TransCanada's application to build the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, a proposed $7 billion, 1,700 mile underground oil pipeline linking the tar sands fields of northern Alberta to oil refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. Critics of the pipeline say it will have a hugely negative impact on the environment and potentially put large portions of the U.S. water supply at risk. They also say it will not lower oil prices because the international market will simply adjust supply to account for increased production.
The Seneca Indian Nation in western New York intends to spend $1 million to combat drug abuse, addiction and crime. The Dunkirk Observer reports (http://bit.ly/yKqkDd ) that the Seneca Tribal Council approved spending the money for anti-drug abuse efforts, including services and education. Seneca Nation Tribal Councilor Don John of the Allegany Territory says the nation is just as subject to the destructive forces of drugs as any other community. He says the Senecas will work with outside agencies, law enforcement and schools to help develop the program.
Emergency aid is being sent to northern Mexico where indigenous communities are suffering severe food shortages. The indigenous Tarahumara, famed for their long-distance running ability, have been hit by a prolonged drought and now freezing temperatures. Mexicans began donating supplies at the weekend amid reports, later denied, of suicides among the Tarahumara.