Clashes over an oil pipeline slated to cross historic Native territory in North Dakota continue after more the 140 people were arrested in protests last week. The increasingly high-stakes face-off is one of the biggest actions by Native Americans in years.
The price of a barrel of oil has fallen to its lowest level in more than half a decade — and it's still falling. That's put a major dent in the economies of some of the world's largest oil producers, like Iran and Russia. But in the US, it's cause for celebration, as falling oil prices are translating into plummeting prices at the pump.
After a judge denied a halt to construction of the section of the Dakota Access pipeline that borders the Standing Rock Sioux Nation reservation, three federal agencies issued a joint hold on the portion in dispute. This marks a change in attitude by the federal government concerning Native American rights.
Highly flammable and explosive crude oil from the Bakken Shale of North Dakota is shipped by rail, much of it by BNSF Railways. An investigation by Oregon Public Broadcasting unearthed charges that the railroad carrier mishandles safety issues for its trains.