Wendsler Nosie, former Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona, and David Smith, a lawyer who specializes in Native American litigation, spoke to law students Tuesday night about the protection of Native American sacred sites. The two experts focused on the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, which traded 2,400 acres, much of it tribal land, to the Australian-British mining company Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, the largest mining company in the world. Nosie is the leader of the Occupy Oak Flat, a movement which is in opposition to the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange, and he intends to protest until the Act is repealed.Smith said Nosie is a leader not only for the Apache but also for other native tribes.“[Nosie] is taking the issue of sovereignty and the importance of protecting culture and religion, and he has shown how it should be and how it should be preserved,” Smith said.Resolution Copper plans to use a mining method called “block caving,” which involves blasting the ore body deep underground before removing the copper. Environmentalists around the world oppose the method for its ecological risks.To start the lecture, Smith provided a review of the legal history of the protection of exercise of religions and focused on its application to Native American religions.The bill was proposed 13 times and denied, Smith said. He said it was only passed when it was included as a midnight rider onto the 2015 United States National Defense Authorization Act.“So within this 550-page piece of legislature regarding defense spending, there’s this 10-page bill turning the Apache sacred site over to the Rio Tinto mining company,” he said.Nosie said he was concerned people were not fully aware of the consequences that this mining project would have on the spiritual life of Apaches and provided a brief history of the oppression of Native Americans. He said without the knowledge of the foundations of Native American history and culture, it is difficult for Americans to have informed opinions about issues such as the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange.“The sad thing that I come across in fighting is that it seems like America knows nothing about all these issues,” he said. “It’s really alarming because it goes back to what we say about the possibilities that may occur down the road if America doesn’t wake up.”The bill did not initially have any support outside of Arizona congressmen, due to the fact that the congressmen from other states recognized the lack of transparency within the bill, Nosie said.“Nobody, other than our own congressional state leaders, supported [the bill],” he said. “And so, in 13 attempts in Washington it never passed because the other congressmen from the other states felt the same: that there was no transparency and that this wasn’t a good bill, not only for the religion part, but economically, environmentally, nationally and internationally.”More information can be found at apache-stronghold.com Tags: Apache, David Smith, Occupy Oak Flat, Resolution Copper, Rio Tinto mining company, Southeast Land Exchange, Wendsler Nosie
Since the first diagnosis of COVID-19, the spread of the pandemic worldwide has negatively affected global economic growth. According to the latest release by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), global economic growth will decline by 6% to 7.6% in 2020, depending on whether there is a second wave of infections.Similar trends are also observed for the U.S. economy. Real gross domestic product (GDP) in the U.S. decreased at an annual rate of 5% in the first quarter of 2020. The unemployment rate in the U.S. has reached its highest level since 1929, with a peak of 14.7% in April during the COVID-19 lockdown. The most recent unemployment rate is at 11.1% in June, indicating that the labor market has improved since the reopening of the economy. However, with the current surge of cases in the U.S. since reopening, and as some of the hardest-hit states beginning to pause reopening, it is difficult to predict how long the pandemic’s negative impact on the economy will continue.As cotton and cotton-related products are discretionary items, COVID-19 has significantly impacted demand for cotton. The greatest decline in consumption has been observed in China and India. Retail sales in clothing and clothing accessories in the U.S. experienced an 87% decline in April from the previous year. With the anticipation of a decline in consumers’ consumption of apparel, the recovery of the spinning industry is anticipated to be slow.Slightly lower production, reduced consumption and higher beginning and ending stocks are projected for the 2020 cotton crop globally. World cotton production in 2020 is forecast at 118.7 million bales, 3% (4.2 million bales) below the previous year. Global cotton mill use is forecast at 114.4 million bales in 2020, 11.5% (12 million bales) above 2019, but still significantly lower than 2017 and 2018 levels. The world ending stocks are also projected at 104.7 million bales, the second-highest level on record.U.S. cotton production is projected at 19.5 million bales in 2020, 2% (400,000 bales) below the 2019 crop. However, this number will most likely be adjusted down due to weather-delayed planting in several states and reduced acreage in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s June acreage report. The U.S. planted acreage for cotton was forecast at 12.2 million acres, down 11% (1.5 million acres) from last year. Fifteen of the 17 major cotton-producing states have declined in upland planted acres compared with 2019, with the largest decline in Texas. In Georgia, the planted acres declined to 1.2 million acres from 1.4 million acres in 2019. This decreased acreage nationwide is primarily due to lower prices and provides some opportunity for price recovery.U.S. cotton exports are projected at 16 million bales for 2020, 1 million above the 2019 crop, and the third-highest on record. U.S. ending stocks are projected at 7.3 million bales in 2019 and 8 million bales in 2020. Stocks-use ratio is projected at 43% for 2020, the highest since 2007. This increase in ending stocks in the U.S. creates downward pressure on U.S. cotton prices. The season-average farm price is projected at 57 cents per pound in 2020 compared to 59 cents per pound in 2019 and 70.3 cents per pound in 2018. New crop December futures closed at 62.95 cents per pound on July 2.