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Trump's announcement of the construction of Keystone XL Pipeline sparked protests among environmental groups and Native Americans. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump signed a presidential permit on Friday to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline across the border between Canada and the U.S. 2 years after he initially approved the project, reports the AP.

Details: The permit allows TransCanada Corporation to begin construction on the pipeline at the Montana border to import oil between the 2 countries. A federal district court judge in Montana blocked the construction of the pipeline in November 2017, and ordered an environmental review according to the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Stephan Volker, a lawyer who represented environmentalists during a lawsuit to stop the pipeline, said it was unlikely for the construction of the pipeline to continue without a court order, per the Washington Post.

Our thought bubble: This move reaffirms Trump's longstanding support for the pipeline, but it's unclear whether it does much else. The project is mired in legal and permitting setbacks that are unlikely to be resolved by a presidential permit.

Axios reached out to the White House regarding the presidential permit, but has not heard back.

Go Deeper: Trump will reverse Obama's actions on Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 9 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 9 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.