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U.S. President Donald Trump plans to sign two executive actions on Tuesday to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, an administration official told Reuters. The move comes after months-long protests by environmentalists and Native American groups in North Dakota against Energy Transfer Partners LP's $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which would bring crude oil from the state's Bakken oil patch through the Midwest and into the U.S. Gulf Coast. Under former president Barack Obama, Transcanada Corp's Keystone XL oil pipeline was rejected in 2015 after environmentalists campaigned against the project for more than seven years.
Russia, Iran and Turkey on Tuesday agreed to shore up a shaky truce in war-torn Syria, but rebels and Damascus made no breakthrough towards a political settlement of the conflict after indirect talks. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara, the sponsors of the negotiations in the capital of Kazakhstan, announced they would "establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire" in place since late December. "There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict and... it can only be solved through a political process," the final statement by Russia, Iran and Turkey, read out by Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, said.