In France, the constitutional court has upheld a ban on fracking, the national gas drilling technique, saying the measure legitimately protects the environment from the damaging effects of blasting water and chemicals deep into the earth. France first banned fracking in 2011, despite pressure from the gas industry.
In North Dakota, more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil have leaked into a wheat field from a pipeline owned by the company Tesoro. The leak covered about seven acres of land, the size of seven football fields. It was roughly four times the size of the ExxonMobil pipeline leak in Mayflower, Arkansas, in March. A farmer found the leak on September 29, but North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said he was only told about it Wednesday night because its size had been underestimated. He said the state is now reviewing its procedures for reporting spills.
A group of U.S. whistleblower advocates has met with Edward Snowden in Russia to present him with an award for his revelations about spying by the National Security Agency. On Wednesday, Snowden met with attorney Jesselyn Radack and her client, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, as well as former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and former FBI agent Coleen Rowley. They gave Snowden an award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, a group of former CIA officials. Jesselyn Radack described the impact of Snowden’s disclosures in an interview with RT.
Jesselyn Radack: “It’s a dangerous time for whistleblowers in the United States, but the effect, the Snowden effect, has been the opposite. We have more and more whistleblowers coming to the Government Accountability Project than we have had before. So I think if the U.S. is trying to clamp down and send a message by making an example, courage is contagious, and I really think he has had a wonderful effect for the U.S. and for the world.”
The New York Times reports Edward Snowden was hired as a contractor for the National Security Agency despite earlier suspicions among his supervisors at the CIA that he had tried to break into classified computers without proper authorization. Unnamed officials said the CIA sent Snowden home due to the suspicions. A supervisor enclosed a report in his personnel file that also described changes in Snowden’s behavior. That was in 2009, four years before Snowden began leaking classified documents he obtained as an NSA contractor.