Some precinct changes on tap for Tuesday
- The Daily Beast
Scott Buffon/Arizona Daily Sun via APJust 10 miles south of the entrance to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a giant hole in the ground where miners are hoping to strike it big with one of Earth’s rarest but deadliest elements—uranium. Despite it only being about 17 acres in size, the Canyon Mine extends over 1,400 feet down into the Earth’s surface and critics worry it could scar the Grand Canyon itself and pollute a nearby tribe’s water.Mining has been prevalent in the region surrounding the Grand Canyon since the early 1900s. During the atomic era of the 1950s, it was a little bit like the Wild West—interest in uranium mining soared and it evolved into a highly unregulated industry, where people were walking around with Geiger counters and shovels, hoping to sell it to the government for profit.As the price of uranium plummeted, so did interest in mining the region. However, in the mid-2000s, there was a massive market spike in the mineral, and the craze was back on. While better regulated, by the end of the decade there were over a thousand new uranium mining claims in the area surrounding the Grand Canyon.In 2012, unsure of the environmental consequences of uranium mining in the region, the Department of the Interior put a 20-year ban on staking new claims—effectively banning all new mining activities near the Grand Canyon.Conservationists were ecstatic about this. But there was just one small problem.Using a mining law from 1872 that critics call outdated, the USFS determined that miners who had established “valid existing rights,” to mine before the ban could continue to do so. To have such rights, a miner must have, before the ban, discovered and unearthed a “valuable mineral deposit”—one that can be extracted, removed, and marketed at a profit.The USFS found one mine to possess “valid existing rights,” and to thereby be exempt from the ban—Canyon Mine.The 2012 ban continued to draw scrutiny from both sides. Conservationists argued the ban should be made permanent, meanwhile, the Trump administration took steps to potentially eliminate it and make uranium more lucrative as a geopolitical strategy.As a result, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act to the House on Feb. 26, 2019, a bill that seeks to permanently ban all new mining in the region and protect the Grand Canyon from industrial interests.The bill passed the House via a partisan vote, and has been introduced into the Senate, where it is expected to pass as well.While conservationists view this as a good first step, the singular issue remains—Canyon Mine, which courtesy of the USFS decision in 2012, would remain exempt from the permanent ban.To get at the controversy of Canyon Mine, you don’t need to go too far down the shaft. In fact, even the name of the mine itself is a point of contention.The mine, which was named Canyon Mine across several owners and several decades, was recently renamed by its owner, Energy Fuels, to the Pinyon Planes Mine.Outlets have speculated that this was done to draw less attention to the mine. Curtis Moore, the VP of marketing and corporate development for the company, confirmed this, when he told The Daily Beast that this was done, “because conservationists were making it seem like we were mining in the Grand Canyon, which we are not.”Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation nonprofit, laughed this off: “They named it Canyon Mine in the first place because of how close it is to the Grand Canyon—not us,” he said. He added—“It’s funny, I don’t think Pinyon Planes is even a real place.”As you delve deeper into the mine, the story only becomes more complex, obscure, and flat-out strange.Get this: In the 35 years it has been operational, there has never been uranium ore extracted from the mine. While this is mostly due to a lack of demand for uranium, among other factors, that doesn’t mean the mine isn’t filled with other problems—or at the very least, the potential for catastrophic ones.For starters, the mine is operating under a USFS Environmental Impact Statement, as required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) dating back to 1986, one that was originally challenged by the Havasupai Tribe in court. Despite the bans and the increase in knowledge about the hydrology of the Grand Canyon, as well as calls from conservationists and local tribes to conduct a new study, the USFS has refused to do so. A Federal Appellate court upheld this decision by the USFS in 2013.Moore defended the decision and said that having a new study done was unnecessary. “It’s like getting a permit for your house,” Moore told The Beast. “We were already approved—why get a new one?”McKinnon, of course, sees it another way. Citing that they haven’t extracted any uranium, he laughed, “If each EIS took 5 years, they could’ve done four by now. The truth is,” he added, “they don’t want to delve into the facts and the truth because they’re afraid.”However, in 2017, the inevitable happened. Despite the original environmental impact statement from 1986 that claimed the mine “would have no significant impact,” on the environment or the public interest,” and also suggested that “flooding was nearly impossible,” Energy Fuels pierced an aquifer in the mine, and water came gushing out.How “bad” this situation is depends on who you ask.For environmentalists, it’s as close to disaster as it gets. Several groups including the Center for Biological Diversity have called for the shutting-down and closure of the mine as a result of the flooding and the company’s response to it, which according to conservationists and the Arizona Daily Sun involved spraying contaminated water into forests and loading water into trucks to be taken to Utah. However, Energy Fuels doesn’t see a problem.In fact, when The Daily Beast mentioned the flooding to Energy Fuels, Moore defended it, claiming it was “done on purpose,” “all part of the plan,” and “in compliance with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the USFS.”Moore explained that the aquifer they pierced is perched, isolated, separate from the aquifers environmentalists are most afraid of being contaminated—groundwater aquifers—and that there is “no evidence,” and “no chance” that it currently is impacting or in the future will impact the Grand Canyon.Of course, environmentalists are already concerned it is happening. McKinnon said, “No one can assure us or them that this aquifer which was pierced was not connected to the Grand Canyon springs—which could both drain the springs and contaminate the groundwater.”While Moore said they have monitors to test the groundwater, environmentalists insist there should be more extensive monitoring done, especially since, “ADEQ has acknowledged that if there were a uranium leak into the groundwater, there is no plan to fix it,” said McKinnon.“The bottom line,” McKinnon argues, “is that they’ve created a flooding problem. The water flooding the mine and being pumped out exceeds EPA standards for dissolved uranium and arsenic. There are no guarantees in the long run—there are no guarantees that mining won’t harm the deep aquifer in the near future, even if it isn’t harmed now.”Moore argues that the flooding has been drastically reduced in recent years, and that comparing it to EPA standards for drinking water, as environmentalists frequently do, is irrelevant.“No one is suggesting you drink the water,” Moore intoned.As of now and as a result of these floods, the ADEQ is actually in the midst of developing a new draft Aquifer Protection Permit for Pinyon Planes Mine, which is expected to be out by April 26th.While this could lead to the end of Pinyon Planes Mine, conservationists aren’t getting their hopes up.“We petitioned to have them make a closure permit, but we doubt that will happen,” McKinnon said.For Moore, shutting down the mine would be a huge mistake. He views uranium as a path towards a greener, carbon-free future. “These activists are antinuclear for some reason,” he said, adding, “even though it is the best way to address climate change.” He went as far as to assert that “all of these claims [made by conservationists] are not based in science or reality.”For conservationists, they are just hoping this bill passes the Senate, although it will be the first battle in what they view as a long war.“The passage of this legislation would demonstrate the need to deal with Canyon Mine even more forcefully,” Taylor McKinnon said. He added, “But the bill itself, it’s narrow. It’s important but there’s a lot more that needs to be done, including a multi-level, multi-billion-dollar clean-up.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
A portrait photograph of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Elizabeth, captured by Annie Liebovitz, is accompanied by a moving quote from 1997.
Prince Philip died at the age of 99 on April 9, which is Prince Charles and Camilla's wedding anniversary. They've been married for 16 years.
- Reuters Videos
The palace officially announced the Duke of Edinburgh's death with a notice outside the palace."It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," it said."The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."Prince Philip passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, the statement said.
Ukraine's defence minister said on Saturday his country could be provoked by Russian aggravation of the situation in the conflict area of Ukraine's eastern Donbass region. The minister, Andrii Taran, said Russian accusations about the rights of Russian-speakers being violated could be the reason for the resumption of armed aggression against Ukraine. "At the same time, it should be noted that the intensification of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine is possible only if an appropriate political decision is made at the highest level in the Kremlin," he said in a statement.
- Reuters Videos
A 3,400-year-old "lost" city was unveiled in Egypt's Luxor on Saturday (April 10), a find which archaeologists hail as the most significant since the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb."I call it lost city because it was lost, no one really believed that the city could exist here."Renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass and a team originally began searching for a mortuary temple in September.Within weeks, they found mud brick formations in every direction and eventually unearthed the well-preserved city."Three main districts, one area for storage, we found a big area for the storage of making sandals, also sewing clothing, precious stones for making necklaces and bracelets; pottery tells us about the relation of Egypt with the New Kingdom. We think that this is the beginning of the discovery."According to historical references the site once housed three palaces of Amenhotep III, the ninth king of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, alongside the empire's administrative and industrial center.It has almost complete walls and rooms filled with tools of daily life, along with rings, scarabs, and coloured pottery, all shedding light on the day-to-day lives of ancient Egyptians.
The star, who appeared on the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006, had anorexia.
What was it like to take on the part of the Duke of Edinburgh in the award-winning Netflix series?
Police rushed to the scene of the reported shooting at an industrial park in Bryan, Texas, on Thursday afternoon.
- The Telegraph
One of the hallmarks of greatness is to do good for its own sake. A huge amount will be written about the Duke of Edinburgh over the coming weeks celebrating his life, his achievements, and doubtless his personal idiosyncrasies. As with any major figure on the national – in this case, world – stage these accounts will capture the public record, but how much will they capture of the man himself? I had the privilege of seeing something of the Duke at close quarters during the ten years I worked for the Prince of Wales. He was a towering presence at any event and any meeting, not just because he was the Duke of Edinburgh, but also by the way he made his presence felt. He spoke his mind. He had a deep sense of humorous irony. His observations might often cut against the grain of the argument in train. They could be blunt, trenchant, sometimes acerbic. But they were always insightful, informed, and adept at opening up the unthinkable or laying bare what had been imperfectly thought through. Few conversations with him followed easy or accepted lines. To find yourself approached by him at a reception was always a moment to be on your mettle: his opening line would invariably be unexpected, and he could always meet a witty response with one even wittier. “Are you still here?” he would often ask when he saw me yet again in a receiving line at Westminster Abbey. The style was a hallmark, and one which never failed to raise a, sometimes nervous, smile. The Duke’s wry sense of humour gave him over the years a reputation for misjudged remarks. At times they caused offence to those who wanted to be offended. But his humour was intended not to offend but to lighten the atmosphere. Many people meeting a senior member of the Royal family for the first – or only – time in their lives would lose both confidence and reason. I recall a very senior Egyptian businessman on meeting the Prince of Wales during a visit to Cairo dropping to the floor in a perfect curtsy as he was introduced. The Duke was only too well aware of the problem. Humour could lance the intimidating atmosphere of a brief conversation and make possible, as no other gambit could, a more productive talk on things that actually mattered. It was a style perfected by the Duke, which other members of his family use to great effect. This was entirely different from his approach to the serious issues about which he was well informed and cared deeply – young people, the environment, the Armed Services, technology, the role of monarchy, the spiritual. As the Duke himself explained, there was no formal role laid down for the husband of the Monarch. He spent his life in devoted support of the Queen – both as consort and husband. I have a fond memory, early on in my time in the royal household, of the Duke leading the Queen on to the dancefloor at the annual Ghillies Ball at Balmoral. But his life was much more.
- Idaho Statesman
The couple was reported missing after they didn’t return from a camping trip, police said.
- The State
The Cup Series completed 42 laps after a long rain delay and before the skies opened up again Saturday night.
- Architectural Digest
While locations of the kitchen and bathrooms are set, clients can customize the layouts to fit their needs, including open or traditional floor plans, and add amenities such as balconies, gardens, and parking. Architect Jeffrey Sommers of Square Root designed the semi-customizable C3 Pre-fab—the first LEED Platinum–certified home in Chicago—using corrugated Galvalume, reclaimed wood, and fiber cement. Modular construction allowed the firm to build on a narrow site that would have not have allowed traditional building methods.
Britain's Prince Charles paid a personal tribute on Saturday to his "dear papa" Prince Philip, saying the royal family missed him enormously and that the 99-year-old would have been amazed at the touching reaction across the world to his death. Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth who had been at her side throughout her record-breaking 69-year reign, died at Windsor Castle on Friday. "As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously," Charles, the couple's eldest son and heir to the throne, said outside his Highgrove House home in west England.
- Associated Press
The NHL says the Vancouver Canucks will reopen team facilities Sunday and resume play Friday after a COVID-19 outbreak in which 21 players and four staff members tested positive for the virus. The Canucks’ next game will be their first since March 24. Vancouver general manager Jim Benning said Friday he was optimistic his team would still be able to complete the shortened, 56-game season.
- Associated Press
Rain forced the postponement of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway after just 42 laps Saturday night, setting up a doubleheader Sunday. Denny Hamlin passed pole-sitter Joey Logano just four laps into the race and led the rest of the way until light drizzle intensified and the drivers were told to come down pit road for a red flag delay. Conditions on the track were good, but pit road was very wet.
- Associated Press
The Colorado Avalanche reacquired Patrik Nemeth, trading a fourth-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings for the veteran defenseman. Detroit received Colorado's fourth-rounder in 2022. Nemeth spent two seasons in Colorado from 2017-19.
Monitors report another "explosive event" at a volcano on the now ash-covered Caribbean island of St Vincent.
- WBAL - Baltimore Videos
Determined action came at the end of the week from lawmakers in Annapolis after Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed police reform bills. The Republican governor vetoed legislation Friday that includes the core components of a series of police reform bills. The legislation, nearly a year in the making, is in response to the Minneapolis police in-custody death of George Floyd and the protests of thousands of people demanding more police accountability and transparency.
- LA Times
The Angels waited out a rain delay that pushed back the first pitch by more than 2½ hours and then were crushed 15-1 by the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.