Alty News: A Look at the GOP's Billionaire Backers; Navajo Election Could Affect Grand Canyon Development Plan | Buzz Blog

Friday, April 24, 2015

Alty News: A Look at the GOP's Billionaire Backers; Navajo Election Could Affect Grand Canyon Development Plan

Posted By on April 24, 2015, 11:01 AM

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U.S. drone strikes that killed an American and an Italian citizen being held hostage by Al Qaeda challenge the effectiveness of the lethal technology and operatives using the drones.

Top of the Alty World

"As Obama Apologizes for Deaths of Hostages in Drone Strike, Does the U.S. Know Who It Is Killing?"—Democracy Now!

Rand Paul's tough anti-drone stance has apparently softened since he announced his bid for the presidency.—Slate

The recent Navajo nation election could throw a wrench into a controversial Grand Canyon development plan.—High Country News 

The Atlantic takes a look at the billionaires backing the GOP presidential hopefuls.—The Atlantic

Top of Alty Utah

Environmental advocates worry about the timing of Utah's head of the Department of Environmental Quality stepping down while the state considers a bid to receive more depleted-uranium waste in Utah's west desert.—Utah Political Capitol

A new poll shows Utah Republicans split on their pick for the 2016 presidential election.—Utah Policy

The Utah Pride Center will now hold monthly public town-hall meetings.—Q Salt Lake

Utah's first planned hospice center for the homeless will seek to give a death with dignity to terminal Utahns living on the street.—Salt Lake City Weekly


Utah Politico Hub takes a look at state GOP Chair James Evans' vicious infighting and what it means for the party.

James often acts without informing other party leaders, leaving them to find out about his latest cockamamie idea from the newspapers. Rather than working with the people chosen to assist with specific functions, it’s almost entirely lone wolf actions.

Always lurking right below the surface of these public and private fights are the people who are trying to use the party as their own personal kingmaker machine. They thought they had a pretty good thing going with a party machinery that could expel members deemed unruly, change rules on the fly to their own favor, and generally use lawfare to attain more power. Unfortunately for them, they’ve alienated enough people to no longer enjoy any kind of popular support.—Utah Politico Hub

The Long View

Buzzfeed looks at how the Kremlin wanted action-movie star Steven Seagal to be an envoy between the United States and Russia.

Seagal, the martial artist turned washed-up action hero, was just the man to pull U.S.–Russia relations back from the brink, Putin said, according to four current and former U.S. officials. An American patriot through and through, Seagal truly knew Russia too: He was in touch with both his Russian roots — his grandmother was from Vladivostok — and with senior figures in the Russian political and security apparatus. Seagal and Putin had met in Moscow a few months earlier; the two men enjoyed a lunch at Novo-Ogarevo, then visited a martial arts complex. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that the two men were longtime friends. That all made Seagal the ideal poster child for friendship between their nations, Putin told Obama, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about diplomatic matters.

Obama was flabbergasted. “Our reaction was, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” a U.S. official who was present at the Lough Erne meeting told BuzzFeed News.—BuzzFeed

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