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A.M. notes: Protester victory at Dakota Access Pipeline, world leaders resign, Utahns join fight against ISIS

A crowd gathers at the Oceti Sakowin camp after it was announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers won't grant easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A crowd gathers at the Oceti Sakowin camp after it was announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers won't grant easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman, AP

Here’s the news of the day to start your week.

Major victory for the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will no longer allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to pass through the Standing Rock reservation, marking the end of a contentious battle between the Army, protesters and local Native Americans, BuzzFeed News reported.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline,” Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement, according to BuzzFeed News. “Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.”

Officials said they made their decision with the intent to find alternative routes for the pipeline.

Protesters celebrated victory throughout the night. However, it doesn’t look like they’ll be leaving anytime soon. Protesters told VICE News that they want to stay to make sure the arrangement made Sunday actually happens.

"People will stay," Art Zimiga, a veteran, told VICE. "They want to make sure that the pipe is out of the ground."

But Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners, the group that manages the pipeline and has been advocating for its construction through the reservation, said in a statement that it plans to finish the route once President Barack Obama leaves office.

“The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency,” the statement read, according to The Verge.

World leaders resign

We saw two major world leaders announce resignations from their posts on Sunday, showing a shift in world politics as 2017 approaches.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he planned to resign for family reasons after serving for eight years, according to BBC.

"I don't know what I'll do next,” he said.

Reports surfaced that his wife gave him an ultimatum to stay with the job or not. Key denied this accusation in radio interviews later in the day, BBC reported.

"We talked about it and she likes the concept of me being home more but there was no ultimatum,” he said, according to BBC.

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced that he would step down after a reform plan was rejected by voters, BBC reported.

Renzi championed a referendum that would have strengthened the federal government while weakening the Senate, one of the houses of Parliament. Opponents, and apparently voters, said that this referendum would have given the government too much power.

Renzi will give his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella, who will decide whether to appoint a new prime minister or host an election, BBC reported.

Utahns urge electors to oppose Trump

Utah made waves during the 2016 election for opposing Donald Trump (the state did end up voting for him, however). Now, with the electoral college members set to vote for the Republican Party nominee, some Utahns are among the Americans who are speaking out against the president-elect, according to the Deseret News.

Salt Lake County Councilman Richard Snelgrove said this week that his inbox is filling up with messages and emails from people in Salt Lake County who want electors not to vote for Trump, the Deseret News reported.

Some of emails suggest the electors write in Mitt Romney’s name.

Utah law calls for electors to follow through with their votes. If they don’t, they will be replaced.

"Even if we were not bound as electors, who am I to overturn the will of the people?" Snelgrove said. "Trump carried Utah. He won it fair and square. No one elected me king to go in there and defy the will of the people."

A Change.org petition has called for the electoral college to nominate Hillary Clinton to the presidency. The petition, with more than 4.7 million votes, is the largest petition in Change.org history, according to Raw Story.

Utahns take on ISIS

Hundreds of people from around the world have gone to the Middle East to help fight in an ongoing war, helping the Kurdish militia face off against the Islamic State, according to the Deseret News.

“They are Americans. Australians. Brits. Veterans. Adrenaline junkies. Internet cowboys. Vigilantes. Idealists. The best of society, and the worst,” Deseret News reported.

One these fighters is Freeman Stevenson, a Utahn who had been following the Syrian civil war for years. When he saw videos of the Islamic State destroying ancient structures and relics across the Middle East, Stevenson felt the call to get involved in the war.

“Growing up Mormon, aren’t you taught you’re supposed to care about people?” asked Stevenson. "Supposedly, I'm supposed to stand up for these things, these values, these morals. As an American, as a person, as a member of a Western — supposedly secular — democracy."

Read more about Stevenson and his comrades at the Deseret News.

This fox is all of us

A fox made headlines over the weekend, after a video from the Planet Earth 2 video surfaced of the fox jumping into a pile of snow to capture its prey, according to Mashable.

Social media went wild for the fox.

More news from over the weekend:

Donald Trump nominates Detroit native Ben Carson for HUD secretary — The Detroit Free Press

Death toll rises to 33 in Oakland warehouse fire — USA Today

Police: Two dead after man shoots woman, dies while fleeing police — Deseret News

AP source: Huntsman a potential pick for Trump's secretary of state short list — Deseret News