East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, February 24, 2017, Page Page 7A, Image 7

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    NATION/WORLD
Friday, February 24, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 7A
Dakota Access camp cleared of protesters
Associated Press
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
White House strategist Stephen Bannon speaks
during the Conservative Political Action Conference
in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday.
Conservatives urged not
to ‘squander’ presidency
OXON HILL, Md.
(AP) — President Donald
Trump’s top aides on
Thursday delivered one
overriding message to the
thousands of conservative
activists gathered for their
annual conference outside
of Washington: Don’t blow
it.
Speaking at the Conser-
vative Political Action
Conference, White House
chief of staff Reince Priebus
pleased for patience and
unity, urging activists not
to squander the Republican
Party’s control of both
chambers of Congress and
the White House. Trump
adviser Steve Bannon made
his case for a governing
strategy based on aggres-
sive deregulation and an
“economic nationalism” in
negotiating new free trade
deals.
“What you’ve got is an
incredible opportunity to
use this victory,” Priebus
said. Some of Trump’s
plans for creating jobs and
putting more money in
people’s pockets will take
time, he said. “We’ve got
to stick together and make
sure we have President
Trump for eight years.”
Priebus’ pleas acknowl-
edged
conservatives’
underlying
skepticism
about the new president, a
former Democrat who in
the past has elicited boos
at the conference. Trump
has often suggested he
doesn’t prioritize the social
issues many conservatives
elevate, and his proposal
for a massive infrastructure
bill has cast doubts about
his commitment to curb
government spending.
But with a Republican
in the White House for the
first time in eight years,
many activists say they feel
energized and willing to
give him a chance.
The decades-old CPAC,
as the event is known,
is now really more like
“TPAC,” White House
counselor
Kellyanne
Conway said.
She and other Trump
administration
speakers
thanked conservatives for
voting for Trump last fall.
Bannon said appreciation
would largely be the theme
of the president’s remarks
Friday to the group. Vice
President Mike Pence
is scheduled to speak
Thursday night.
Many in the audience
chanted “Trump! Trump!
Trump!” as Bannon, a
provocateur and outsider,
and Priebus, a GOP party
insider, made a joint appear-
ance on stage. The duo’s
chummy joint interview
seemed designed to refute
media reports that the two
are working at cross-pur-
poses in a factionalized
White House.
Priebus presented their
partnership as evidence
that conservatives and
Trump supporters can work
together.
“The truth of the matter
is Donald Trump, President
Trump, brought together the
party and the conservative
movement,” he said. “If the
party and the conservative
movement are together,
similar to Steve and I, it
can’t be stopped.”
In his remarks, Bannon
emphasized Trump’s plans
to deregulate businesses
— or what he described
as “deconstruction of the
administrative state.”
“Every business leader
we’ve had in is saying not
just taxes, but it is also
the regulation. I think the
consistent, if you look at
these Cabinet appointees,
they were selected for
a reason and that is the
deconstruction,” he said.
Education
Secretary
Betsy DeVos urged the
activists to “engage” and
“be loud” in the face of
politicians who stand in the
way of change.
“We have a unique
window of opportunity
to make school choice a
reality,” she said.
CANNON BALL, N.D. — Authori-
ties on Thursday cleared a protest camp
where opponents of the Dakota Access
oil pipeline had gathered for the better
part of a year, searching tents and huts
and arresting dozens of holdouts who
had defied a government order to leave.
It took 3 ½ hours for about 220
officers and 18 National Guardsmen
to methodically search the protesters’
temporary homes. Authorities said they
arrested 46 people, including a group of
military veterans who had to be carried
out and a man who climbed atop a
building and stayed there for more than
an hour before surrendering.
Native Americans who oppose the
$3.8 billion pipeline established the
Oceti Sakowin camp last April on
federal land near the Standing Rock
Indian Reservation to draw attention to
their concerns that the project will hurt
the environment and sacred sites —
claims Dallas-based pipeline developer
Energy Transfer Partners disputes. The
camp gained increased attention starting
in August after its population had grown
and authorities made their first arrests.
At its height, the camp included thou-
sands of people, but the numbers had
dwindled during the winter and as the
fight over the pipeline moved into the
courts.
The Army Corps of Engineers said it
needed to clear the camp ahead of spring
flooding, and had ordered everyone to
leave by 2 p.m. Wednesday. The agency
said it was concerned about protesters’
safety and about the environmental
effects of tents, cars, garbage and other
items in the camp being washed into
nearby rivers.
Most protesters left peacefully
Wednesday, when authorities closed
the camp, but some stayed overnight in
defiance of the government order.
Before the arrests, protester Ed
Higgins 39, of Lowell, Massachusetts,
said by phone from the camp that morale
was high and opponents were prepared
to stay as long as necessary. Protesters
maintain that the camp was on land that
rightfully belongs to American Indians
under old treaties.
“They do not own the land. They
do not have the right to be here,” said
Higgins, who did not answer his phone
after authorities cleared the camp.
As police in full riot gear worked
to arrest the stragglers, cleanup crews
began razing buildings on the square-
Morton County Sheriff Department via AP
This aerial photo provided the Morton County Sheriff Department shows
the closed Dakota Access pipeline protest camp near Cannon Ball, N.D.,
on Feb. 23.
mile piece of property at the confluence
of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers.
American Indian activist Chase Iron
Eyes, an outspoken supporter of the
camp, said its shutdown is not the end
of the fight against the pipeline.
“The battleground has shifted to
the legal courts and the court of public
opinion,” he said, referring to lawsuits
filed by tribes and an effort planned by
the Lakota People’s Law Project to rally
lawmakers and others in Washington,
D.C., to their cause.
Authorities entered the camp
“cautiously and tactfully” to ensure
the safety of officers and protesters,
Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson said.
The arrests were a last resort, he said.
“We did not want this. Unfortunately,
there were some bad actors that forced
us into this position,” he said.
Only one person resisted arrest;
otherwise there were no major incidents,
and there were no injuries, Morton
County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said.
Afterward, officers showed visible
relief, smiling, shaking hands and
patting one another on the back.
Guardsmen and officers entered
the camp from two directions shortly
before midday, alongside numerous law
enforcement and military vehicles and
with a helicopter and airplane overhead.
As they checked and cleared buildings,
they marked them with a fluorescent
orange “X.”
They declared the camp cleared
shortly after 2 p.m., though Morton
County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier
said 50 protesters crossed the frozen
Cannonball River on foot to another
camp on the south bank. That land also
is Corps-managed but is on the Standing
Rock Reservation, where North Dakota
authorities don’t have jurisdiction. They
planned to station officers on the north
shore to keep anyone from re-entering
the main camp.
Before authorities moved in, Gov.
Doug Burgum had said those remaining
at the camp still had a chance to leave
without facing charges. The state sent a
bus to the site on Thursday to transport
anyone to Bismarck, where officials
were doling out basic necessities, along
with hotel and bus vouchers.
No one took advantage of the offer
Thursday, and only nine people used
the center Tuesday and Wednesday. The
center was closed Thursday due to the
lack of use, state Emergency Services
spokeswoman Cecily Fong said.
Energy Transfer Partners began work
on the last big section of the oil pipe-
line this month after the Army gave it
permission to lay pipe under a reservoir
on the Missouri River. When complete,
the pipeline will carry oil through the
Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in
Illinois.
Malaysia says VX nerve agent used in killing of North Korean
KUALA
LUMPUR,
Malaysia (AP) — The
banned chemical weapon
VX nerve agent was used
to kill Kim Jong Nam,
the North Korean ruler’s
outcast half brother who
was poisoned last week at
the airport in Kuala Lumpur,
police said Friday. The
announcement raised serious
questions about public safety
in a building that was never
decontaminated.
The substance, deadly
even in minute amounts, was
detected on Kim’s eyes and
face, Malaysia’s inspector
general of police said in a
written statement, citing a
preliminary analysis from
the country’s Chemistry
Department.
“Our preliminary finding
of the chemical that caused
the death of Kim Chol was
VX nerve,” said Inspec-
tor-General of Police Khalid
Abu Bakar. Kim Chol is
the name on the passport
found on the victim, but a
Malaysian official previously
confirmed he is North Korea
leader Kim Jong Un’s older
half brother.
Khalid said police were
still
investigating
how
the lethal agent entered
Malaysia.
The death of Kim Jong
Nam, whose daylight assas-
sination in a crowded airport
terminal seems straight out
of a spy novel, has unleashed
a diplomatic crisis that esca-
lates by the day. With each
new twist in the case, interna-
tional speculation has grown
that Pyongyang dispatched
a hit squad to Malaysia to
kill the exiled older sibling
of North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un.
North
Korea
has
denounced Malaysia’s inves-
tigation as full of “holes and
contradictions” and accused
the authorities here of being
in cahoots with Pyongyang’s
enemies.
According to Malaysian
investigators, two women —
one of them Indonesian, the
other Vietnamese — coated
their hands with chemicals
and wiped them on Kim’s
face on Feb. 13 as he waited
for a flight home to Macau,
where he lived. He sought
help from airport staff but he
fell into convulsions and died
on the way to the hospital.
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