Mostly Inuit, Greenland Chooses Autonomy

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Voters in mostly Inuit Greenland overwhelmingly approved a plan to seek more autonomy from Denmark and to take advantage of oil reserves that may lie off the glacial island, official results showed this week.

The Arctic island’s election commission said 76 percent of voters supported the referendum, which sets new rules on splitting future oil revenue with Denmark. The vote was seen as a key step toward independence for the semiautonomous territory, which relies on Danish subsidies.

The referendum, which is supported by Denmark, calls for the small population to take control over the local police force, courts and coast guard and to make Greenlandic, an Inuit tongue, the official language.

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Brazil goes high-tech in bid to protect vulnerable Amazon tribes

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The Brazilian government’s National Indian Foundation (Funai) recently said it would conduct flyovers in Amazonia, where it suspects Indians might be in danger from encroaching farmers, loggers and miners.

Military planes flying at high altitude will use radar, satellite, and infrared technology that can identify humans and their communities through their body heat, Funai and military officials said.

If pilot programs scheduled for next year are successful, the high-tech equipment could prove an indispensable weapon in protecting vulnerable tribes.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1202/p07s03-woam.html

Feds nearing decision on Black Mesa mine permit

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FLAGSTAFF – The federal agency that regulates surface mining could decide as early as next week whether to merge two northern Arizona coal mines under one permit, a move that could allow one to resume operations despite concerns about its water use.

The life of mine permit would cover Peabody Energy’s Kayenta and the now-closed Black Mesa mines. The mines operate under leases and surface rights of way easements granted from the Navajo and Hopi tribes.

Environmentalists expect the federal Office of Surface Mining to approve the proposal. Peabody has said it has no immediate plans to reopen Black Mesa, but the company is leaving its options open. The mine’s sole customer was a power plant on the Colorado River in Nevada that closed more than two years ago.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/12/03/20081203blackmesa-mine1203-ON.html

A Navajo welcome in Arizona

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The dirt track we’re bumping along doesn’t qualify as a road — even here on the sprawling, remote Navajo reservation. Next to me, behind the wheel of an old pickup, Christian Bigwater downshifts as he maneuvers over and around the rocks in our way.

“You’re in for a treat,” he says as he stops at a point beyond which even he won’t risk driving. From here, we hike through scraggly pines and yucca to a promontory from which the treat — Canyon de Chelly — reveals itself.

This national monument is nearly as spectacular as the Grand Canyon 200 miles to the west, but far less crowded with camera-clutching visitors.

http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-tr-navajo7-2008dec07

1975 AIM slaying defendants can see report of 3rd man who was…

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A federal magistrate ruled that two men charged with killing a woman in 1975 will be allowed to view parts of the third defendant’s presentence report.

John Graham and Richard Marshall are scheduled to stand trial starting Feb. 24 in Rapid City on charges they committed or aided and abetted the first-degree murder of Annie Mae Aquash (AH’-kwash).

Arlo Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 for his role.

http://www.kxmb.com/News/305155.asp

Director: Yucca nuke dump an ‘extreme stretch’

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WASHINGTON – The planned 2020 opening of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump is now an “extreme stretch,” the outgoing director of the project said today.

It is unlikely the repository 90 miles north of Las Vegas can be approved in three yeas as planned, while potential federal budget cuts fueled by Nevada’s political opposition will make it difficult to build the project on time.

“That date is in significant jeopardy,” said Edward Sproat, the Energy Department’s project director, a Bush administraion appointee who will be stepping down in January. “That’s going to be an extreme stretch to make.”

http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/early-line/2008/dec/04/director-yucca-nuke-dump-extreme-stretch/

Duck hunters may have encroached on nuclear plant security zone

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SEABROOK — Three duck hunters in a boat got close enough to FPL Energy Seabrook Station on Tuesday morning for nuclear power plant security, local police and the U.S. Coast Guard to respond.

The incident happened around 9 a.m. on Dec. 2. One of the hunters stepped out of the boat, according to information released by the Coast Guard. The men were armed with shotguns.

“One of the duck hunters jumped out to rustle up some ducks for the other hunters to shoot at,” said Lt. Dan Satterfield of the N.H. Marine Safety Detachment out of New Castle. “He was trying to flush out some ducks. We weren’t sure whether he crossed into the security zone.”

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20081205-NEWS-812050355