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World Bank Projects Leave Trail of Misery Around Globe

World Bank leaves trail of destructionIn developing countries around the globe, forest dwellers, poor villagers and other vulnerable populations claim the World Bank — the planet’s oldest and most powerful development lender — has left a trail of misery.

Dams, power plants, conservation programs and other projects sponsored by the World Bank have pushed millions of people out of their homes or off their lands or threatened their livelihoods. In some cases, governments supported by World Bank money have arrested, beaten and even killed people who objected to being forced from their homes, according to interviews and official complaints.

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Cornel West warns of 'Planetary Selma' at Harvard fossil fuel divestment protest

Harvard divestment protestThe outspoken civil rights activist and academic Cornel West said Harvard University risked being on the wrong side of a “planetary Selma”, culminating a week-long campaign by students and prominent alumni campaigning for the most prominent university in the US to divest from fossil fuels.

The sit-in protest shut down the campus building that houses the president’s office for the entirety of so-called “heat week”, and forced the closure of another administration building for two days.

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Fracking Exclusion Not Allowed in Pa. Homeowners Earthquake Endorsements

fracking earthquakesThe Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued a notice telling insurance companies that earthquake endorsements to homeowners insurance policies in Pennsylvania cannot exclude coverage for earthquakes that may be caused by “human activity” such as fracking.

According to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s notice issued on April 11, some insurers have asserted that because of an increase in natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania by means of a process commonly referred to as ”fracking,” endorsements should exclude coverage on homeowners policies for earthquakes that are not “naturally occurring.”

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Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Oil SpillA blanket of fog lifts, exposing a band of rainbow sheen that stretches for miles off the coast of Louisiana. From the vantage point of an airplane, it's easy to see gas bubbles in the slick that mark the spot where an oil platform toppled during a 2004 hurricane, triggering what might be the longest-running commercial oil spill ever to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet more than a decade after crude started leaking at the site formerly operated by Taylor Energy Company, few people even know of its existence. The company has downplayed the leak's extent and environmental impact, likening it to scores of minor spills and natural seeps the Gulf routinely absorbs.

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Doing the Unthinkable: Giant Gas Pipeline to Flank a New York Nuclear Power Plant

Indian Point nuclear power plantA very large gas pipeline will soon skirt the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), an aging nuclear power plant that stands in the town of Cortlandt in Westchester County, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan.

The federal agencies that have permitted the project have bowed to two corporations - the pipeline's owner, Spectra Energy, and Entergy, which bought the Indian Point complex in 2001 from its former owner.

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Unlikely allies: Mexican miners and farmers unite over toxic spill

Mexico farmers and miners uniteThe pipes have gone silent. Gone is the hum of water flowing through them to the world’s second-largest copper mine, just south of the U.S. border. Instead, in the normally empty desert here, tents and buses line the highway. Dust and smoke from cooking fires fill the air while hundreds of people listen to speeches and discuss the day’s events.

This plantón, or occupation, which began on March 18, has shut down most operations at the Cananea mine, which consumes huge quantities of water pumped from 49 wells across the desert in order to extract copper concentrate from crushed ore.

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Colorado Report: What's in Larimer County fracking fluid?

Colorado fracking fuidsMore than 100 different ingredients have been used at 30 hydraulic fracturing sites in Larimer County since 2012.

Missing from 80 percent of those jobs was an oft-cited cause for health and safety concerns: benzene, a known carcinogenic.

The chemical was also absent in nearly 40 percent of reported fracks in Weld County this year, according to a Coloradoan analysis of the FracFocus database. That is the site to which all oil and gas companies in Colorado are required to report the makeup of hydraulic fracturing fluid.

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