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A huge win for the people protesting at Standing Rock — and for all of us.

The federal government stepped in to put plans for a pipeline on hold.

A huge win for the people protesting at Standing Rock — and for all of us.

After a months-long standoff, Native Americans at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota got some great and unexpected news from the federal government.

On Sunday afternoon, the Army Corps of Engineers put plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline on hold while it explores alternate routes for the $3.7 billion project.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement that the decision "underscores that tribal rights reserved in treaties and federal law, as well as Nation-to-Nation consultation with tribal leaders, are essential components of the analysis to be undertaken in the environmental impact statement going forward."


Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

It's a win for the water protectors of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, for indigenous rights as a whole, and for anyone who believes in the power of peaceful protest and organization — but there's still a long way to go.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe reflected on the victory, thanking tribal youth, the thousands of individuals who came to show support in person, the tens of thousands who helped from afar through donations, and other tribal nations that joined them in solidarity. Still, they understand the next few months will be crucial to the long-term safety of the land.

"We hope that [Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy] Warren, Governor Dalrymple, and the incoming Trump administration respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point," the statement read. "When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian Country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes."

Navy deep-sea diving veteran Rob McHaney leads a group of veteran activists back from a police barricade near Oceti Sakowin Camp. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

So, what happens now? According to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the pipeline's financial backer faces a rapidly approaching deadline that it's now sure to miss.

If Energy Transfer Partners misses the Jan. 1, 2017, deadline to finish the project, companies committed to ship oil through the pipeline at 2014 prices have the option of rescinding their support for the pipeline.

What does this mean? In short, even if the Trump administration reverses course on Sunday's decision, many of the companies keeping the project afloat financially can deliver their own blow to the pipeline's prospects. Should the administration go forward with the pipeline, putting pressure on some of the companies involved to pull out of the agreement might be the next step in pipeline activism.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

Fighting for what's right is a group effort, and the victory at Standing Rock truly shows that it's up to all of us to press for change.

With the help of religious leaders, Native American tribes and activists, celebrities, and many others, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe claimed a huge victory in both the fight for its land and the fight for justice.

Though not over by any means, what unfolded at Standing Rock can serve as a lesson for those who feel helpless in our current political climate: If we join together, we can overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

For now, and hopefully for good, DAPL is leaving Standing Rock.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Photo by Adelin Preda on Unsplash

A multinational study found that bystanders intervene in 9 out of 10 public conflicts.

The recent news report of a woman on a Philadelphia train being raped while onlookers did nothing to stop it was shocking and horrible, without question. It also got people discussing the infamous "bystander effect," which has led people to believe—somewhat erroneously, as it turns out—that people aren't likely to intervene when they see someone being attacked in public. Stories like this uninterrupted train assault combined with a belief that bystanders rarely step in can easily lead people to feel like everything and everyone is horrible.

But according to the most recent research on the subject, the Philadelphia incident appears to be the exception, not the rule. A 2019 multinational study found that at least one bystander (but usually more) will actually intervene in 9 out of 10 public conflicts.

The idea that people in groups aren't likely to intervene stems largely from research on the 1964 story of Kitty Genovese, a 28-year-old woman who was stabbed to death outside her apartment in New York, while dozens of onlookers in surrounding apartment buildings allegedly did nothing. However, further research has called the number of witnesses into question, and it appears that several did, in fact, call the police. Someone reportedly shouted out their window and scared the attacker away for a few minutes, and someone did rush to Genovese's aid after the second attack.

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