Image

America Celebrates Her Freedom

fireworks-july-4-statue-of-liberty

Florida Manatee Deaths up Almost 50% in 2018

The Jaguar

A Florida manatee looking at the camera.
Florida manatee deaths rose significantly in 2018. Here’s Looking at You Kid – Meet a Florida Manatee by the U.S. Geological Survey. Public Domain.

Here’s a heart-breaking story by John R. Platt and Dipika Kadaba of The Revelator. It turns out that 824 Florida manatees died last year, almost 50% more than in 2017.

Those 824 mortalities (deaths) represent 13% of the Florida manatee population, and many of them were caused by people – either directly or indirectly.

The Revelator released a video that goes into more detail about why so many manatees died last year. Click below to watch it, and be sure to visit this link for the original story.

Video by The Revelator about the dramatic rise in Florida manatee mortalities in 2018.

View original post

‘Extraordinary’: Video shows octopus pushing pipe with eggs inside back towards ocean

 

video

https://t.co/dSGrr86uXN?amp=1&s=03/

On June 6, Sheree Marris, an Australian marine biologist, discovered a white pipe washed ashore on a beach in Melbourne’s McCrae suburb and decided to pick it up. 

But when she went to retrieve it, she saw reddish-colored legs start to emerge from inside the pipe. It was an octopus. 

Marris started recording video of the octopus attempting to roll the plastic pipe, which Marris soon discovered appeared to have eggs inside it, back into the ocean. 

Freeze frame of video showing octopus pushing white pipe with eggs inside it back towards the ocean.

RELATED: Sharks nearly went extinct 19 million years ago, study mysteriously finds 

The marine biologist can be heard in the background of the video admiring the creature as it slowly rolled the pipe back towards the water, “Look at that, how extraordinary!” 

“She was trying to protect her eggs inside, which were hanging like little white chandeliers from the roof of her makeshift nursery,” Marris said. 

Marris eventually took the pipe out into the water and stabilized it so it wouldn’t “roll around and back up on the shore.
“It was one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen,” she added. 

Storyful contributed to this report. 

https://www.ktvu.com/news/extraordinary-video-shows-octopus-pushing-pipe-with-eggs-inside-back-towards-ocean.amp?__twitter_impression=true

Update! $20,000 Reward Offered For Information On The Illegal Killing Of A Mother Wolf, This Sadly Marks The End Of The Wedge Wolf Pack

World Animal News

Lauren Lewis

Yesterday, animal welfare and conservation groups announced a reward of $15,000 for information on the poaching of the breeding female of the Wedge wolf pack. Today, Peace 4 Animals and WAN contributed $5,000 to raise the reward to $20,000 to bring justice to this slain female wolf. The mother wolf was found dead of a gunshot wound on May 26th in the Sheep Creek area of Stevens County in northeast Washington state.

Biologists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife discovered that the female wolf likely gave birth to pups earlier this year. It is speculated that the pups would not yet have been fully weaned and that her litter might not be able to survive on their own. Tragically, the female wolf’s death is thought to mark the demise of the Wedge wolf pack, as she was likely the only remaining female left. Now, it is thought that only one male wolf remains.

While gray wolves were prematurely stripped of their federal Endangered Species Act protections, they remain protected under state law in Washington. Despite those legal safeguards, since 2010, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed at least 12 poaching deaths of state-endangered wolves. Annual wolf reports issued by the agency over the same time period show that another eight to 16 additional wolves were found dead of “unknown causes.” Just a single poaching conviction resulted from these cases.

“There are currently a minimum of 178 wolves remaining in Washington state,” Julia Smith, Wolf Coordinator at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife told WAN.

“It’s incredibly important to the agency to bring wildlife poaching to justice. This helps put a spotlight on poaching, and we will do anything to stop it. Poaching of any wildlife is despicable. In many cases, with help from the public, we have been able to bring poachers to justice. Any sort of help or tips we can get is greatly appreciated,” continued Smith.

Since wolves began recolonizing Washington state in 2007, humans have been responsible for the majority of their decline. Wolves have also been killed by ranchers for conflicts with livestock, as well as by hikers and hunters in so-called “self-defense,” even though wolves try to avoid humans and are not known to attack people.

“Sadly, it’s not surprising, after months of expanded and legalized wolf-killing across the country, that a criminal would be emboldened to poach a wolf in Washington,” said Samantha Bruegger, Wildlife Coexistence Campaigner for WildEarth Guardians. “We hope for justice for this wolf, but we know that even more wolves will die nationwide, legally and illegally, until Endangered Species Act protections are restored.”

Anyone with information regarding this sickening incident should call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (360) 902-2928, report a violation on the department’s website, or text WDFWTIP to 847411.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

Categories: Breaking News, News Tags: Animal News, Animal Protection, Animal Welfare, animal welfare organizations, poaching, Washington, wolf

World Animal News

https://worldanimalnews.com/15000-reward-offered-for-information-on-the-illegal-poaching-of-a-mother-wolf-this-sadly-marks-the-end-of-the-wedge-wolf-pack/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Play time with the kids

I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day

“Gov. Noem slams Biden’s ‘devastating’ death tax on middle class”

“Dean Martin, Ken Lane & Foster Brooks – The Bar/Airline PIlot”

Angel Mom: Biden-Backed Amnesty Plan a ‘Legalization Bill for Criminals’

www.breitbart.com

John Binder 16 Jun 2021

An amnesty plan, backed by President Joe Biden and corporate interests, is a “legalization bill for criminals” living in the United States illegally, Angel Mom Michelle Root says.

Root, whose 21-year-old daughter Sarah was killed in January 2016 on the night of her graduation by illegal alien Eswin Mejia, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to ask lawmakers not to pass the “Dream and Promise Act of 2021.”

Root said:

The man who murdered my daughter entered the country illegally. He came in as an unaccompanied minor, committed additional crimes, drove while intoxicated, smashed his truck into my daughter, and then ran away after posting a $5,000 bond. His bail was less than what it cost to bury my baby. He was never convicted. Yes, this happened during the Obama administration when the policy was to catch and release, ignore sanctuary cities, and turn a blind eye to illegal immigration in the interior of our country. Unfortunately, those failed policies are back and the Biden administration has continued to endorse the lawlessness. [Emphasis added]

I’m here today to say that legislation rewarding illegal behavior is dangerous, and it’s a threat to our rule of law. As a parent, I sympathize with those who want a better life for their children. We would all do what it takes to give them a perfect life. However, you have to understand that rewarding illegal behavior only means we get more of it. The Dream Act, if enacted into law, would benefit people who are charged with crimes. It would legalize people in this country who have even been convicted of violent crimes. [Emphasis added]

Among the amnesty plan’s biggest issues, Root said, is that it would legalize for green cards and eventually American citizenship the kind of illegal alien suspects who killed her daughter.

“This is a legalization bill for more than children … this is a legalization bill for criminals,” Root said. “… the bill protects people who simply apply by giving them safe harbor to remain in the United States while their application is pending.”

“It rewards the illegal behavior that my daughter’s killer carried out. It excuses their criminal histories and does not make America better,” Root continued.

Rather than passing the amnesty plan, Root said lawmakers ought to support “Sarah’s Law” which would require the federal government to detain illegal aliens charged with crimes resulting in the death or serious injury of American citizens.

House Democrats, along with nine House Republicans, passed the amnesty plan in March but it has since stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Those nine Republicans included:

  • Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE)
  • Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)
  • Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
  • Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL)
  • Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA)
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Rep. Chris Smith (D-N.J)
  • Rep. Carolos Gimenez (R-FL)
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)

The amnesty plan would potentially provide amnesty to 4.4 million illegal aliens in the U.S. and has the backing of the nation’s biggest multinational corporations such as Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google, IBM, Uber, PayPal, Visa, Marriott International, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Chobani, Starbucks, General Motors, Target, and Hilton.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a major proponent of the amnesty plan, has been lobbying Senators for months to pass the legislation — calling it “critically important” to big business and corporate interests.

Illegal immigration has continued to skyrocket since Biden took office. The latest projections estimate that this year could be one of the worst years for illegal immigration in American history with about 1.2 million illegal aliens expected to be encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

https://www.breitbart.com/immigration/2021/06/16/angel-mom-joe-biden-backed-amnesty-plan-legalization-bill-criminals/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

“Tiniest Baby Elephant Copies Everything His Mom Does” The Dodo Little But Fierce

Biden changes immigration rules to open more pathways for migrants

Asylum-seeking migrants' families wait to be transported by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico on April 23, 2021 in Roma, Texas.

nypost.com

Mark Moore

The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department on Tuesday announced that they have expanded the Obama-era Central American Minors program. Getty Images

The Biden administration this week changed immigration policies to allow children from Central American countries to fly to the US on the taxpayers’ dime, and will allow migrants to seek asylum if they claim they are the victims of violence or crime — actions that come amid the backdrop of a record-smashing surge of migrants arriving at the border.

The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department on Tuesday announced that they have expanded the Obama-era Central American Minors program that ​allows children under 21 from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador with pending asylum claims to fly to the US to be reunited with a family member.

It also adds to the number of “qualifying individuals” — parents and legal guardians — who can petition for their children to be brought to the US while their claims are being processed, including those with pending asylum claims or those who have temporary protected status. Biden has expanded President Barack Obama’s migrant program.AP

The program, which the Trump administration ended in 2017, would open another pathway and substantially increase the number of child migrants coming to the US.

President Joe Biden talks about the May jobs report from the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

“These new changes will dramatically expand access to the CAM program,” a statement signed by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “We are firmly committed to welcoming people to the United States with humanity and respect, as well as providing a legal alternative to irregular migration.  We are delivering on our promise to promote safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America through this expansion of legal pathways to seek humanitarian protection in the United States.”

About 40 percent of the unaccompanied children who crossed the border this year came to reunite with a parent.

New U.S. citizens listen to remarks from a recorded message by President Joe Biden during their Naturalization Ceremony at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Headquarters on May 27, 2021 in Camp Springs, Maryland.

The change immigration policies will allow children from Central American countries to fly to the US.Getty Images

About 40 percent of the unaccompanied children who crossed the border this year came to reunite with a parent.AP

Under the expanded program, almost all of them would qualify, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing administration officials.

“The Central American Minors program is a continuation of President Biden’s open borders policies to allow anyone in the world to come to the United States regardless of the effects on mass illegal immigration,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the newspaper.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland vacated two rulings from the Trump administration about who qualifies for asylum, extending protections to women fleeing domestic violence or families threatened by gang violence. 

“These decisions involve important questions about the meaning of our Nation’s asylum laws, which reflect America’s commitment to providing refuge to some of the world’s most vulnerable people,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta wrote in a memo​ to the country’s immigration judges, NPR reported

Garland said immigration judges should ignore the rulings from former Attorneys General William Barr and Jeff Sessions and revert to previous precedent.

In 2018, Sessions issued an order making it more difficult for women to seek asylum based on claims of domestic violence, saying they weren’t part of a “particular social group” who are victims of persecution. 

Teenage migrant girls are loaded into vans to be transported out of the National Association of Christian Churches facility, on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Houston.

Barr in 2019 limited whether family is considered a “particular social group.”

A former Trump administration official who served in the Justice Department blasted Garland for vacating the orders, saying “[t]he American people deserve better.​”

“Today’s decision will lead to tens of thousands of meritless asylum claims — if not hundreds of thousands — in the months and years ahead,” Gene Hamilton, vice president of America First Legal, a nonprofit law firm, said in a statement, according to Breitbart.

“​This, of course, is part of a bigger plan under the Biden Administration that involves the Department of Homeland Security granting asylum en masse along the border to anyone who comes from a country with higher general crime rates than the United States​,” Hamilton continued. “The American people deserve better.​”

https://nypost.com/2021/06/17/biden-changes-rules-to-open-more-pathways-for-migrants/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Hunter famous for killing giraffe arrested for assaulting boyfriend with chicken

www.dailystar.co.uk

by Chris Murphy, Sebastian Murphy

Jennifer Booth, 43, from Florida is accused of hitting the 56-year-old who cooked her dinner after she launched the plate of chicken at his face in a “violent” outburst

A hunter who was once derided around the world for shooting a giraffe before posing with the corpse is in trouble again for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend with a chicken dinner.

The Smoking Gun reports that Jennifer Booth from Florida is now facing a domestic battery charge.

According to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff’s office, the 43-year-old allegedly hurled the plate of chicken at her boyfriend. The police report says it hit Bill Booth in the face and chest.

Investigators claim Booth struck the 56-year-old man with the chicken while they were eating last Wednesday night on the porch of their Bradenton home.

Jennifer Booth is a keen hunter and boasts about her kills online

Jennifer Booth is a keen hunter and boasts about her kills online

Booth’s companion, who cooked dinner told investigators that she “became violent” during a verbal argument and “picked up the paper plate of chicken and threw it in my face.”

Furious, the man dialled 911 and told officers about the alleged dinner assault.

Booth was arrested and booked into the Manatee County jail on a misdemeanour charge and later released Friday on a $500 bond. Jennifer and Bill Booth pose with bones

Booth, who works at a Lakewood hospital, has three prior arrests, “most recently 2015 Domestic Violence,” according to a court filing that does not include case dispositions, reports the investigative website.

While Booth and the man share a surname, a pre-trial services report lists her marital status as “single”. An arrest report identifies the victim as her boyfriend, who was not injured in the alleged attack.

Jennifer Booth is accused of attacking Bill Booth in Florida

Booth is an avid hunter whose Facebook page is stocked with pictures of her posing with animals she has shot dead, images that have prompted online derision.

One photo shows Booth holding the head of a giraffe killed during a 2017 hunt in South Africa, which she described in a Facebook caption as “One of the best days of my life.” Jennifer Booth is accused of chucking her plate of chicken at her boyfriend in Florida

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/hunter-who-shot-dead-giraffe-24337226.amp

Shock Trials: Why the U.S. Navy Detonates Bombs Near New Aircraft Carriers

nationalinterest.org

Kris Osborn

The Navy will explode bombs near its new USS Ford aircraft carrier as soon as next year to assess the new platform’s ability to operate in high-threat, major-power warfare on the open seas. They are called Shock Trials, a specific combat preparation exercise wherein Navy testers fire a wide range of weapons against or near the ship in a variety of different sea states.

Service weapons testers will detonate a wide range of bombs, including a variety of underwater sea mines to assess the carrier’s ability to withstand enemy attacks. “Shock Trials,” as they are called, are typically one of the final stages in the Navy process designed to bring warships from development to operational deployment.

report from USNI states that USS Ford Shock Trials are slated for 2021. Having Shock Trials as soon as next year is considered a major milestone as the ship nears its anticipated operational service several years from now. For instance, the Shock Trials may help move preparations along for the USS Ford, which has been experiencing some maintenance and technical delays. 

Interestingly, an essay on Shock Trials from several years ago explains that detonating bombs near the ship closely approximates the kinds of serious threats the ship might face in full combat. A 2007 Department of Defense-directed Shock Trials analysis by the non-profit MITRE corporation explains that many of the expected or most probable threats to warships come from “non-contact explosions where a high-pressure wave is launched toward the ship.”

MITRE’s report, interestingly, also identifies the inspiration for Shock Trials as one originating from World War II.

“During World War II, it was discovered that although such “near miss” explosions do not cause serious hull or superstructure damage, the shock and vibrations associated with the blast nonetheless incapacitate the ship, by knocking out critical components and systems,” the MITRE assessment, called “Navy Ship Underwater Shock Prediction and Testing Capability Study” states.

The MITRE analysis further specifies that, following a nearby explosion, the bulkhead of a ship can oscillate, causing the ship to move upward.

“Strong localized deformations are seen in the deck modes, in which different parts of the decks move at different frequencies from each other,” MITRE writes.

The first-in-class USS Ford has been specifically engineered for expanded air attack, being built with a larger deck space than the Nimitz-class to enable a greater sortie rate. Navy developers explain that the Ford configuration was developed to increase the air mission rate by as much as 33%, with a mind to creating a new dimension of air power projection. This strategy, initiated years ago, did seem to anticipate what could be described as a modern threat environment. More air power would be needed in any kind of major-power engagement, carriers need to have an ability to operate the first-of-its kind carrier-launched F-35C5 stealth fighter, and perhaps of equal or greater significance, modern carriers need to have longer attack reach.

Kris Osborn is the new Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Image: Reuters

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/shock-trials-why-us-navy-detonates-bombs-near-new-aircraft-carriers-164714?amp&__twitter_impression=true

I’m sure sea life really appreciated that… that’s some powerful testing!

Petition · Help Us Save The Asian Elephants by Liking and Sharing This Post #savetheasianelephants · Change.org

Above: a baby elephant beaten to the ground in the “training” process of pajan.

www.change.org

The plight of elephants in Africa is widely recognised, but far less is known of the even more desperate threats facing Asian (or Asiatic) elephants, whose surviving population is barely 5% that of African elephants, with numbers of Asian elephants declining from estimates of a million or more in the late 19th Century to scarcely 40,000 today.

 Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) is a not for profit association which aims to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian Elephants; working to end the terrible cruelty and brutal conditions suffered by this wondrous and ancient species.
Young elephants are snatched from their forest homes to supply tourist attractions, temples and festivals. Capture from the wild often entails slaughtering the mothers and other herd members who attempt to protect their young.

PAJAN – THE BRUTAL ‘BREAKING IN’ PROCESS
The captured calves are isolated and then forced into a pen and tied with ropes to prevent them moving. They are deprived of water, food and sleep. Terrified, they are brutally, often fatally, beaten with rods, chains or bullhooks (a rod with sharp metal hooks at the striking end) and stabbed with knives and nails. This practice – “pajan” – is designed to break their spirits and brutalise them into submission.

We respectfully urge:

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end pajan and ensure the proper treatment of captive elephants. These magnificent creatures should either be released into the forests or kept in genuine sanctuaries.

2. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Former Prime Minister David Cameron to urgently fulfil their Government’s Manifesto commitment to “support the Indian Government in its efforts to protect the Asian elephant”.

3. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to press its members including Virgin Holidays,  to remove elephant attractions from their itinerary in India and the rest of Asia. Only visits to genuine sanctuaries and wildlife reserves where tourists observe elephants at a respectful distance (and do not ride them) should be permitted.

Save The Asian Elephants now before it’s too late by signing our petition.

Find out more about Save The Asian Elephants at www.stae.org
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram

See STAE’s work 

07/10/18: Thai elephant tourism hides abuse

07/08/18: Save the Asian Elephants charity hands Theresa May 200,000-name petition demanding action against cruelty

04/02/18: A-Law spotlight on Save The Asian Elephants

10/08/17: How You Can Help Save The Asian Elephants Mistreated For Tourism And On The Brink Of Extinction

04/08/18: Calls for ban on holiday adverts with elephant rides and circuses

Thank you for your support.

http://stae.org  

https://www.change.org/p/help-us-save-the-asian-elephants-by-liking-and-sharing-this-post-savetheasianelephants

June 19th Declared a Federal Holiday

Petition:Please sent Matilda and her 10 piglets to a sanctuary

www.change.org

Lucy Booth started this petition to Animal Health Department and 3 others

RESCUE THE OLLERTON 11

A mother pig was discovered in a woodland by a dog walker along with her 10 piglets. She has been named Matilda and has been offered immediate rescued by Brinsley Animal Sanctuary, with a lifelong home with her piglets at Surge Sanctuary where they can all live out their natural lives. They are appealing to the farmer to let her be rescued as she has shown such bravery, determination and strong love for her babies. The dog walker was quoted as saying “she has earnt her freedom now” and we couldn’t agree more.

 Her motherly instincts kicked in and she knew she had to get herself and her babies to safety to protect them. Pigs would naturally live for 15-20 years, but are generally slaughtered at around 6 months old, unless kept for breeding. Pigs are extremely intelligent, one of the most intelligent species on earth. They can be smarter than some primates, dolphins, dogs and even human toddlers! They are highly social and emotional beings and can pick up on the emotions of other pigs in their group and naturally would live in very complex social groups, similar to wolves or great apes. Pigs communicate to each other with different grunts and oinks, signalling danger or just saying hello. They also have exceptional memories and can distinguish familiar and unfamiliar faces, even remembering who has treated them with kindness or cruelty.  The more we learn about pigs the more we come to understand that they see the world in many of the same way’s humans do.

 While people may think all pigs look the same, they all have very distinct personalities and while one pig may be confident and independent, another may be sensitive and shy. They love to run, frolic and even wag their tails when they are happy and full of joy, just like a dog would. They interact and play with each other and given the opportunity will even play with toys, such as balls, rope tugs and soft toys.

 Pigs make amazing mothers to their young, naturally they would build a nest and even sing to their young while nursing. Piglets quickly learn to recognise their mothers voice and will run to her when called. Pigs will learn to forage from their mother, in a natural behaviour called rooting. They can smell 2,000 times more than humans and can locate food deep underground. Unfortunately, Matilda has nose rings pierced into her snout, which prevents her from rooting and finding food for herself and teaching her piglets.

 Brinsley and Surge are appealing to find the farmer and Louise Smith has said “We are really hopeful the farmer allows us to commence the rescue and get Matilda and her family to a sanctuary where they can live out the rest of their natural lives.”

 Please sign the petition and get Matilda and her babies to freedom with the life they all deserve!

www.brinsleyanimalrescue.org

www.surgesanctuary.org

https://www.change.org/p/animal-health-departement-rescue-the-ollerton-11

Canadian Woman Busted for Selling Polar Bear Skulls | Focusing on Wildlife

Canadian Woman Busted for Selling Polar Bear Skulls

focusingonwildlife.com

Supertrooper Founder and Executive Editor

A Canadian woman, Vanessa Rondeau, was arrested and charged with the illegal sale and transportation of polar bear skulls to an agent pretending to be a buyer in Buffalo, New York.

A statement released by the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York confirmed the incident.

The charges carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Rondeau, 26, was released on $50,000 bail and will appear next in court in mid-June, World Animal News reported.

“On December 3, 2019, and again on December 28, 2019, Rondeau offered a polar bear skull for sale. The post included photographs listed an asking price of $750 dollars (in the first posting) and $799 (in the second posting). The post instructed interested buyers to “pm [private message] if interested.” On January 13, 2020, in a covert capacity, the USFWS Special Agent contacted the defendant and requested photos of any available polar bear skulls. Rondeau sent a photograph of a polar bear skull with a comment that it was her “Last one.” The defendant offered to sell the polar bear skull for $750, plus $30 for shipping to Buffalo, NY. After requesting and receiving additional photographs, the Special Agent agreed to buy the polar bear skull. The Special Agent received the polar bear skull on February 2, 2020,” the Justice Department’s statement read.

The items for sale violated the Endangered Species Act, the Justice Department’s documents allege.

Rondeau owns and operates a business called The Old Cavern Boutique, which sells a “variety of unique curiosity and oddity items, many composed in whole or in part from wildlife.” Many of the items posted for sale are protected under federal laws.

Sign this petition to ask G20 leaders to end the global wildlife trade.

This article was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 8 June 2021. Lead Image Source: Zhiltsov Alexandr/ Shutterstock.com.


What you can do

Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.


Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.


https://focusingonwildlife.com/news/canadian-woman-busted-for-selling-polar-bear-skulls/?feed_id=31030&_unique_id=60cc227e6e811&fbclid=IwAR3bbckUTvQtdNhNe2IjQrPzxDOq7aJ5d67AJMK5Mq1B6JuNWChEtd5XZPM

Grizzly bear ‘Felicia’ and her cubs may be euthanized for being too close to Wyoming road

news.yahoo.com

Felicia walking along a weeded area with her two cubs.
Felicia walking along a weeded area with her two cubs.

Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY

A grizzly bear mother and her two cubs are at risk for relocation or even death after making their home near a Wyoming highway.

The bear, known as “Felicia” by Jackson Hole residents poses a threat, wildlife officials say, for her family’s proximity to a 55-mile highway in the Togwotee Mountain Pass.

People have also been spotted approaching and feeding the bears.

“Human-conditioned behavior,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a news release, could lead to aggressive bear behavior.

If park rangers aren’t able to scare the bear off the road using rubber bullets or loud noises over the next 10 to 14 days, U.S. Fish and Wildlife service says Felicia and her cubs will likely be relocated or euthanized.

Wildlife advocates, including Savannah Rose Burgess, say euthanasia shouldn’t be an option. Burgess launched a petition on June 11 to save Felicia and her cubs that has more than 34,500 signatures as of Thursday.

With her team, Burgess is also working to launch a bear ambassador program where a person or multiple people would ensure visitors are following appropriate guidelines in the presence of bears.

“We have the opportunity here to make a really impactful change,” Burgess told USA TODAY. “It is absolutely horrible to try to think of removing this animal. She’s important and she’s vital, and not just vital to her species in the reproductive sense.”

She has been in contact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who are open to her efforts and are working with her.

Felicia, according to Burgess, has never been aggressive or charged anyone. Award-winning wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen, who has documented Felicia for over six years, also says that she is very calm and collected.

“This is more of a people management issue than a bear management issue. We need more people on the ground who are trained and educated,” Mangelsen told USA TODAY.

Yellowstone bear charges woman: National Park Service has launched investigation

‘Just didn’t seem quite right’: Bear with rare disease seems unfazed

Mangelsen and his assistant, Susan Cedarholm, are working with different entities such as the forest service and the wildlife service to come up with a solution to keep Felicia alive and other bears that may come along.

“We are all working for the same cause,” Mangelsen said.

Jack Bayles, owner of Team399 that helps fund grizzly bear education and protection, says that it is up to the person to be informed on bear guidelines. An incident happened in Yellowstone National Park where a woman disregarded park rules to stay 100 yards away from bears, and it ended up charging her.

“I think the bear ambassador program can be really effective. The wildlife brigade in Grand Teton National Park, for example, has been highly successful in managing people around these situations,” Bayles said.

Bayles said that part of keeping bears alive is respecting their boundaries.

“The bears have done nothing wrong. There just happens to be a road that goes through her territory,” Bayles said. “I think it’s incumbent upon the public to understand what their role is when they come into a grizzly habitat.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Grizzly bear Felicia, cubs near Wyoming road may be euthanized: FWS

https://news.yahoo.com/grizzly-bear-felicia-her-cubs-111502183.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw&tsrc=twtr

Cowpies and Potshards: How Arizona’s Archaeological Sites are Being Trashed by Cattle Grazing – CounterPunch.org

www.counterpunch.org

 Grazing damage adjacent to a rock art site, Sonoran Desert National Monument. Photo G. Anderson/WWP.

The Sonoran Desert National Monument was established in 2001 with very specific terms about how grazing should be managed on these lands. The Proclamation basically said that grazing should be permanently banned from parts of the monument and could only continue on portions of the monument where it was found to be compatible with resource protection. (You can read all about the early days of Western Watersheds Project’s involvement with the Sonoran Desert NM, but the short version is in 2008 we had to sueto get the Bureau of Land Management to start the process of determining grazing compatibility and in 2013 we filed another lawsuit because of their flawed determination process. We won that lawsuit in 2015 the Bureau was compelled to reassess its plans.)

During the Trump Administration, the Bureau of Land Management seized the opportunity of the court’s 2015 remand to expand grazing under its 2020 Resource Management Plan. To do this, they needed to determine if grazing was compatible with resource protection, for which they generally use proxy measures like rangeland health standards to assess things like wildlife habitats and cultural sites.

The 496,000-acre monument proclamation specifically identifies the need to protect and preserve:

“… [M]any significant archaeological and historic sites, including rock art sites, lithic quarries, and scattered artifacts. Vekol Wash is believed to have been an important prehistoric travel and trade corridor between the Hohokam and tribes located in what is now Mexico. Signs of large villages and permanent habitat sites occur throughout the area, and particularly along the bajadas of the Table Top Mountains. Occupants of these villages were the ancestors of today’s O’odham, Quechan, Cocopah, Maricopa, and other tribes. The monument also contains a much used trail corridor 23 miles long in which are found remnants of several important historic trails, including the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, the Mormon Battalion Trail, and the Butterfield Overland Stage Route.”

With such a rich array of archeological and cultural sites, you might think they would want to take a hard look at the effects of cattle trampling, cow pies, increased erosion, and other livestock-caused unnecessary degradation of these places.

You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

In this April 2020 email discovered through the Freedom of Information Act, the Arizona Bureau of Land Management’s State Archaeologist admitted that he “has never thought livestock grazing results in adverse effects in the 106 process, if the allotments are properly managed. I have always made findings of No Historic Properties affected for livestock grazing activities.”

By finding that no historic properties are affected, the agency is relieved of any obligations such as identifying historic properties, evaluating historic significance and effects, or consultation, and then, you know, actually protecting them. So, what exactly is this guy getting paid to do?

It’s appalling that the Bureau of Land Management would rubberstamp grazing authorizations like this, especially since his caveat – “if the allotments are properly managed” – is easily proven to be an baseless assumption. (That map is old, but it’s the most recent map we’ve got.) A huge percentage of western public lands managed by the Bureau are completely failing land health standards and many more have only outdated assessments or none at all.

In other words, the largest land management agency in the U.S. doesn’t even know the effects livestock have on cultural sites and, at least in Arizona, doesn’t seem to think that’s any big deal. We know that 1,400-pound cattle trampling ancient pottery will destroy it. We know that cattle tend to rub against ancient walls, toppling them over. And we know that a priceless and irreplaceable cultural legacy, spanning thousands of years of human occupation, is being destroyed everywhere that cattle are turned loose and left unattended on our public lands. So why, again, is the Bureau of Land Management allowing this to happen on lands specifically set aside to protect and preserve archaeological treasures and historic trails?

Greta Anderson is a plant nerd, a desert rat, and a fan of wildness. She is the Deputy Director of Western Watersheds Project.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/06/14/cowpies-and-potshards-how-arizonas-archaeological-sites-are-being-trashed-by-cattle-grazing/

Immigration Cases Have Doubled Since 2017

amp.dailycaller.com

By Kaylee Greenlee

Immigration cases deciding if migrants will be legally allowed to stay in the U.S. have doubled since 2017, according to migration data released Monday.

Over 1.3 million cases are pending, with more than 110,000 pending in New York courts alone, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Migrants wait an average of two and a half years for a judge to decide their case, Axios reported Monday.

“The number of pending deportation cases more than doubled during the Trump administration, but the court backlog still continues to grow under the Biden administration,” TRAC Assistant Professor Austin Kocher told the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.

The wait times caused by the backlog in the court system can encourage some migrants to come to the U.S. since they’ll probably be permitted to live and work in the U.S. as their case proceeds through court, according to Axios. (RELATED: Is The Biden Admin Breaking The Law By Not Issuing Migrants Court Dates?)

Immigration courts accepted nearly 127,000 cases between October 2020 and May, compared to the 68,000 cases the courts ruled on in the same time frame, according to Kocher. Less than 4% of new cases issued deportation orders based on the migrant’s alleged criminal activity, Kocher tweeted.

“As of the end of May 2021, there were more than 1.3 million people facing deportation just in the immigration courts. That’s about the number of people that live in Dallas, Texas. And the number only grows each month,” Kocher told the DCNF.

“At this point, it seems unlikely that the president  — whether Democrat or Republican — can fix the problem, and that Congress will need to step in and enact immigration reform,” Kocher added.

Nearly 28,000 removal and voluntary departure orders were issued from October 2020 through May, Kocher said in a tweet. Only around 20% of migrants issued deportation or removal orders had legal assistance.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

https://amp.dailycaller.com/2021/06/15/immigration-court-cases-backlog-biden?__twitter_impression=true

Just another day at the border…

Alleged rhino poaching kingpin ‘Mr Big’ shot and killed in Hazyview – Lowvelder

HOME17JUNE2021

By Chelsea Pieterse and Kara van der BergADVERTISEMENTnull

The police have confirmed the fatal shooting of Petros Sidney Mabuza, also known as ‘Mr Big’ or ‘Mshengu’.

He was allegedly shot in Hazyview earlier today and reportedly died on his way to Kiaat Hospital in Mbombela this afternoon.

Mabuza has been in and out of the courts since 2018 on charges of rhino poaching.

In 2018 he was arrested and charged with crimes ranging from rhino horn theft to the illegal possession of rifles and live ammunition. Family of Petros Mabuza gather in the Kiaat Hospital parking lot following the news of his death earlier today.

This is a developing story. Lowvelder will keep you updated.

https://lowvelder.co.za/733921/alleged-rhino-poaching-kingpin-mr-big-shot-and-killed-in-hazyview/?pwa-amp&&__twitter_impression=true

South Africa’s rhino crisis: Poachers, magistrates and kingpins

www.standard.co.uk

Abbianca Makoni

Poachers masquerading as rangers, magistrates allegedly taking bribes from kingpins and lenient sentences handed out to ruthless criminals – this is the current state of South Africa’s rhino crisis, according to campaigners.

Strict limits on travel due to coronavirus, imposed last year, had a positive effect on keeping poachers and smugglers at bay, with just 394 rhinos poached in the country in 2021, 30 percent fewer than the year before and the lowest yearly tally since 2011.

But with gates open again, the onslaught on rhinos and corruption inside courtrooms is once again rising, according to Jamie Joseph, head of the environmental charity, Saving the Wild.

Speaking from an undisclosed location in Africa, Joseph told the Standard: “For the last decade corruption has been driving rhinos into extinction, and it’s just getting worse.

The kingpins call the shots; we run the intel, they get arrested, but then they always get bail and never go to jail

Ms Joseph alleged that kingpins were able to “rule” because of the “dirty officers and magistrates on their payroll.”

Following the campaign’s expose on how the UK’s red list could pose a threat to African conservation efforts, campaigners have told the Standard that corruption in South Africa needs serious attention as Covid restrictions continue to ease.

The country is home to 80 per cent of Africa’s rhino population, but there are only about 25,000 rhinos left and roughly 1,000 are killed every year for their horn.

But the violent and deadly trade has brewed in the country for decades–in 2007 the country lost just 13 rhinos to poaching, the next year, that number jumped to 83. By 2014, a total of 1,215 had been killed in one year and deaths are still high.

The horns are made of keratin, the same substance as fingernails, which means they can grow back. They are considered to be worth more by weight than cocaine, and so traffickers go to great lengths to smuggle it out of, or around, Africa.

Corruption

Ms Joseph, a dedicated conservationist originally born in Zimbabwe, first launched what she describes as the “Blood Rhino Blacklist” in 2017 – a list of allegedly corrupt magistrates and lawyers who she claims have taken bribes on rhino poaching and other crimes.

Her Blacklist investigations led the Ministry of Justice to suspend KwaZulu Natal Court President, Eric Nzimande.

Nzimande, who was responsible for, among other things, the appointment of presiding officers to the province’s regional courts was suspended in October 2018.

He now he faces 112 disciplinary charges, including appointing acting regional court magistrates in return for payments.

Other cases of alleged corruption in courts include the case of alleged kingpin Dumisani Gwala, who is accused of running a trafficking ring.

He was arrested with rhino horn, but has pleaded not guilty to charges of dealing in protected wildlife parts.

Donate to the stop the illegal wildlife trade, here: / ESI Media

Donate to the stop the illegal wildlife trade, here:

An eight-month intelligence-driven operation led to Gwala’s arrest in December 2014.

It was hailed a significant bust as he had been caught several times before, but the cases had either been withdrawn, or the dockets “suspiciously” went missing, according to Joseph.

The case of Gwala is still ongoing but the campaigner said his trial at Mtubatuba Court is “long overdue.”

It has been mired with controversy and back in 2017 several wildlife campaigners argued that the case needed to be moved to a different court.

The trial is now scheduled for June 28 this year after it was delayed 30 times, Joseph told the Standard.

Jean​-Pierre Roux, the former police endangered wildlife detective, who arrested Gwala, said: “We faced corruption in all facets from police involvement in criminal activities, the robbery and corruption that comes after people are confronted or arrested to the corruption with the magistrates and prosecutors.

“We had to deal with all of that.”

Mr Roux, who has faced death threats for getting too close to information, claimed that some police officers left or retired from forces due to the state of the alleged corruption.

I think proper vetting should be implemented as well as background checks. But then you must take into consideration as well, that not all criminals or corrupt officials start off corrupt but they change when they come in.

“But another issue is that those good officials or rangers are afraid of speaking up out of fear of losing their lives because they might live in the same area as the criminal. They could get killed,” he added.

On the field

Ms Joseph claims that corruption doesn’t just lie inside courtrooms in South Africa but it also takes place on the fields, where rangers should be protecting the wildlife.

Ms Joseph alleged that the greatest challenge the Kruger faces “is the enemy within.”

One bust includes that of Phineas Dinda, who is a former Sanparks full corporal in the Rangers Corps.

He was arrested in Tshokwane section in May 2019 and was found in possession of trespassing the Kruger National Park, conspiracy to commit a crime, and possession of an unlicensed firearm, live ammunition and an axe, reported the Times Live.

Dinda was convicted for 16 years.

Three other SanParks employees were arrested for poaching in October 2020, according to Ewn news.

The two security guards and another worker from the technical services division were arrested during an operation between the park and the police.

In a statement published by Gareth Coleman, the managing executive of the Kruger National Park, at the time, he said: “It is always disheartening when colleagues from Sanparks are involved in criminal activities.

“It breaks down trust amongst employees which impacts our responsibilities to act as an effective conservation authority serving the people of South Africa,” it added.

Joseph, however, argues much more needs to be done as “rangers are being forced to work with poachers masquerading as rangers.”

“The thing is, you can have all the money and all the technology and all the weapons and all the soldiers in the world. But if you lose the war on corruption, you lose the war on everything,” she added.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/stop-wildlife-trade/south-africa-poaching-rhino-crisis-corruption-magistrates-kingpins-b940827.html

Woman who died at 97 shares her signature fudge recipe on her headstone

The headstone of Kay and Wade Andrews showing Kay's fudge recipe

mypositiveoutlooks.com

Most headstones include information such as names, birth dates, and death dates. But for Kathryn Andrews, her unique headstone displays her fudge recipe.

Set in Logan Cemetery in Utah, the headstone has been gaining popularity worldwide, thanks to photos being shared on different social media platforms.

“She really loved people,” Janice Johnson said of her mother, Kathryn, who went by “Kay.”

Janice said she would write poetry and bring her famous fudge whenever there’s a get-together. Photo by Todd Tanner | h/t: Fox News

 

Kay Andrews and Wade Andrews

Kay’s husband, Wade Andrews, first passed away in 2000. The couple’s headstone and the engravings in them provide a peek into the incredible lives that they lived.

Janice said her mom was crazy about her dad from the beginning. The pair were both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and met at a church event in New York City.

Kay moved from Utah to New York to study and fashion design, while Wade was already a U.S. Air Force Captain due to return to Europe.

 

Kay and Wade only had time for one date—a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. A photographer at the hotel snapped a photo of the pair, and the following day, Wade left for the war.YouTube

Kay, who went by “Katie” at the time, made an impression on Wade.

When he first got his B-24 bomber, the crew had painted a naked lady on it. But the man said the lady got a swimming suit, and that painting became “Salt Lake Katie.”

 

Salt Lake Katie plane

During their separation, the couple wrote over a hundred letters to each other. And when Wade’s duties were over, he traveled to Salt Lake City and asked Kay to marry him.

“Took her to the Capitol steps and gave her the Diamond and they were married 18 days later,” Janice said.

 

The couple had never seen each other in daylight until after their engagement as their date at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and their trip to the Capitol Building in Utah had taken place at night.

Kay and Wade tied the knot on December 18, 1944, and went on to have five children.YouTube

The Andrews family moved around the country a lot, living in Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado as Wade earned his Ph.D. in Sociology and became a professor. They ultimately settled in Logan.

 

Janice said her mom is the type of person who always looked out for others. The kind woman even kept Tootsie Rolls in her purse in case she meets children who need to have their day brightened.

Kay also kept a strong faith.

“She felt like prayer was so important. She lived by that,” Janice said.

When Wade passed away in 2000, Kay helped select the images that will represent him on one side of the headstone she now shares with him.

Her children suggested that she get equal billing, and Kay decided she wanted her fudge recipe to be displayed there.

Kay went home to her creator in 2019 at the age of 97.YouTube

Kay Andrews and Wade Andrews hugging each other

 

She was aware of the growing popularity of her headstone before her passing as it had been engraved there earlier. She’s glad that it made so many people smile.

Janice said the first headstone made included a typo that called for one tablespoon of vanilla, which can result in “runny fudge.” It has been recently updated to read one teaspoon.

If you’re in the mood to make some, here is Kay’s signature fudge recipe.

2 squares chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
Melt on low heat
Stir in 1 cup milk
Bring to boil
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Cook to softball stage
Pour on marble slab
Cool & beat & eat

 

Kay’s headstone ended with the words, “Wherever she goes, there’s laughter.”

Learn more about this story in the video below.

 

https://mypositiveoutlooks.com/woman-shares-signature-fudge-recipe-on-her-headstone/

So this is part of their game plan….They printed money they shouldn’t have!

Smartphone smugglers: How social media is reshaping border crime

amp.washingtontimes.com

The Washington Times https://www.washingtontimes.com

Mark Delgado told Border Patrol agents he was scrolling through TikTok one day when he came across a video asking for drivers and offering $4,000 a trip.

He needed the money, so he reached out to the guy on WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook. They made arrangements to meet this month in the Rio Grande Valley, where the TikTok recruiter put a man in the trunk of Mr. Delgado’s Nissan Altima and piled clothes on top to try to conceal the migrant, according to court documents.

Mr. Delgado was sent on his way with a warning — stay relaxed while going through the Border Patrol checkpoint — and a promise of $5,200 when the migrant was dropped off outside Houston.

A canine at the checkpoint alerted on Mr. Delgado’s car, and agents found the migrant. Agents said Mr. Delgado begged them to cut him a break: “Can’t you let me go since this is my first time?”

A day later, at the same checkpoint, agents nabbed another man, Alvaro-Vazquez-Ruiz, who said he was recruited over Telegram, another social media app. He was promised $1,500 for every person he was able to get through the checkpoint.

He turned the fuel tank of his Ford F-350 truck into a compartment to hide a migrant, but the smugglers told him he had to transport two people, so he tried to stash the second person underneath the back seat. Agents manning the checkpoint spotted that person and swooped in to make the arrest, according to court files.

Social media apps such as TikTok, Snapchat, Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have upended the smuggling world.

Connecting a driver to a group of migrants is as easy as messaging a GPS “pin” location. Scouts can alert smugglers to Border Patrol agents so they can avoid them or, in some cases, to make sure the migrants are spotted, distracting agents while a more valuable load is sneaked through.

FBI agents in California revealed that smugglers holding illegal immigrants for ransom also use WhatsApp to arrange meetups with relatives to transfer the cash.

Recent news reports show smugglers advertise their services on social media like regular businesses. The difference is that the “customers” are desperately poor migrants willing to go $10,000 into debt for an attempt to cross illegally into the U.S.

The value and dangers of a smartphone

There seem to be few areas where social media has not touched the smuggling world and few cases where it is not a factor.

The Washington Times reviewed 25 criminal smuggling cases filed in Arizona over the past two months in which migrants were held as witnesses — court documents usually provide the information — and found 17 had indications that smartphones were involved. That’s a rate of 68%.

The actual figure could be higher because Border Patrol agents filing other cases might not report smartphone use in court documents.

In about half of the Arizona cases, migrants were guided across the border and to rendezvous locations by smartphone.

Smugglers in several cases received real-time instructions or scouting reports. One smuggler said a text message gave a pin-drop location for his pickup. Another said he was communicating via WhatsApp with the smuggling coordinator throughout his trip. When agents got on his tail, he said, he was ordered not to pull over and to try to escape.

Smuggling organizations know the value — and the dangers — of the smartphone. Criminal case files are full of reports about foot guides, drivers and boat captains who tossed, smashed or wiped data from their phones once they saw Border Patrol agents closing in.

When agents do get access to texts or apps, they can build better cases and often puncture smugglers’ stories and excuses.

Smartphones also are valuable to migrants.

“I’ve never met an immigrant who didn’t have a modern cellphone, a smartphone, that was fully plugged into the social media world and that gave them live-time intelligence information about where to go, when to go and how people upstream were doing,” said Todd Bensman, a national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.

He said the most powerful lure is the collection of selfies their relatives, neighbors and friends text back home, advertising the ease of gaining a foothold in the U.S.

Smugglers have been using Facebook and Snapchat for years, but TikTok is relatively new, according to The Times’ database. Most major social media platforms have been used to recruit drivers or connect them with migrants.

Malik Jackson was nabbed in 2019 for smuggling after a citizen tipped off authorities. He said he responded to a Snapchat ad seeking drivers, according to court documents. He told agents the ad offered $300 per person to smuggle Mexicans and $600 per Chinese migrant.

Gequon Willis, nabbed at a highway checkpoint in California in 2019, said he saw a Snapchat video titled “Want to make some money.” He had been fired from his job and needed work, so he clicked through and someone contacted him and gave him instructions.

He picked up two illegal immigrants and was to be paid $1,000 per person.

WhatsApp is the most popular platform for smugglers, according to The Times’ database, followed by Facebook and Snapchat. WhatsApp is particularly useful once drivers are recruited. Smuggling organizers use the app to relay instructions, help connect drivers and migrants and make sure they get through checkpoints.

Connecting migrants with drivers, which used to be tricky in remote areas, is now as easy as messaging a GPS pin to the driver over one of the apps. Smuggling scouts can give step-by-step directions to help migrants on foot avoid checkpoints.

Drivers about to be caught are ordered to trash phones or erase data. Smuggling networks have been derailed by undeleted texts with stash house locations or names that can be used to build cases.

Trying to crack down

Customs and Border Protection said it is “aware of the use of social media” to connect with migrants and recruit operators.

The agency’s answer: public relations.

“CBP works in close coordination with its federal, local and international partner agencies, including local community leaders to message the inherent dangers to all would-be migrants thinking of crossing the border illegally, especially those using the services of smuggling organizations,” the agency told The Times.

Neither Telegram nor TikTok responded to questions about the platforms’ use in smuggling.

Snap, the company that runs Snapchat, also didn’t answer questions.

Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp along with its own platform, said it tries to ban illegal activity such as advertising for smuggling. The company pointed to an exchange between CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Rep. Buddy Carter, Georgia Republican, at a hearing this spring.

“That’s against our policies, and we’re taking a lot of steps to stop it,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

Mr. Carter told The Times this month that whatever Facebook is doing, it’s “clearly not enough.”

“We are facing a crisis at the border, and Facebook’s products are contributing to it. More needs to be done by them faster,” he said. “Congress has a responsibility to provide oversight over these companies, and I will continue to press them until their products are no longer used for human smuggling at the border.”

Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee have begun to probe TikTok’s use as a recruiting tool, particularly for the teenage audience that the app attracts.

Rep. John Katko of New York, the top Republican on the panel, said TikTok does have the power to flag and remove messages and can control which videos “go viral” and which clips are aimed at certain users.

“With such control, TikTok should be able to eradicate the cartel activities outlined above from the platform,” the Republicans wrote.

Illegal activity is sometimes in plain sight for those who know where to look.

Rolando Lucio, nabbed at the Falfurrias, Texas, checkpoint in December, told agents he used a YouTube video to coach the three migrants he was carrying on how to act and what to say to agents. He got tripped up when he told the agent the two migrants were family members but couldn’t remember their names.

An agent dryly wondered whether a relative wouldn’t know his family’s names. Lucio then came clean, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced this spring to 15 months in prison.

At times, social media accounts come back to bite the smugglers.

Edward Olivas, arrested at a Laredo, Texas, checkpoint in March, said he was a Lyft driver on a run from Laredo to San Antonio, albeit one booked outside of the app. He said he charged about $100.

When agents looked through his phone — after getting his legal consent — they found messages confirming that he knew he was smuggling and expected to be paid $2,000 to transport a Mexican woman through the checkpoint. He even checked to see whether her English was “decent.”

https://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/jun/16/smartphone-smugglers-how-social-media-is-reshaping/?__twitter_impression=true

‘You’re in the wrong business’: Biden loses his cool at CNN journalist!

Activists sue BLM for selling wild horses to ‘kill buyers’

Tuesday's Horse

REUTERS (16 June 2021) — An animal advocacy group has accused the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Denver federal court of running a wild-horse adoption program that fails to prevent their resale to slaughter facilities that process them for meat, in violation of prohibitions by Congress and of federal law.

In acomplaintfiled on Monday, Friends of Animals alleges that the BLM through its Adoption Incentive Program, which pays $1,000 a head to people who adopt wild horses the agency rounds up on federal lands, unlawfully fails to prohibit the horses’ sales to “kill buyers” at auctions.

BLM spokesperson Richard Packer declined to comment.

Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral said in a statement the group wants the suspension of the “faulty program that removed any safeguard to prevent the horses from certain death.”

The government pays to house horses it captures in holding facilities or private ranches…

View original post 142 more words

Zoos and other prisons – not vegan, not ‘conservation’, not ‘education’

Zoos and aquariums are just two types of place where members of nonhuman species face lifelong incarceration for the ‘entertainment’ of our species. Many with vested interests are quick to claim that the ‘entertainment’ aspect is only part of the story; that the main reason for imprisoning other species has something to do with ‘education’ or about ‘conservation’, and there’s no doubt that both these words frequently allow a free pass from criticism or even critical thinking for these widespread and lucrative businesses. 

Zoos , ‘wild life parks’, and sea world equivalents crop up frequently on social media and one doesn’t have far to look to discover that the folk myths about ‘education’ and ‘conservation’ are alive and well, and have been since long before the days of TV and film.

We may arguably live in at a time when the use of other animals is increasingly frowned upon as unethical in circuses, but meanwhile every family heading to look at imprisoned creatures for a day’s ‘entertainment’ is doing their bit – to the sound of cash registers and burger stalls – to reinforce the continuing message that humans are superior creatures and that other species exist for our entertainment.

I decided that it’s important to start to compile the best information and links into a single resource to be added to as more comes to hand, providing something to share when the subject is raised by those whose self interest blinds them to the facts. I start with a piece that I recently came across by the great Tom Regan. The other articles are in date order.

Are Zoos Morally Defensible?

1995  In this piece comprising a chapter of a larger work authored by others, Tom Regan (1938-1917) examines and discusses the ethics of zoos from the Animal Rights position, by providing valuable insights into how the sharply contrasting ‘utilitarian’ or ‘holistic’ stances affect the subject. He writes,

‘As will become clear as we proceed, my own moral position is not that of a neutral observer. Of the three tendencies to be considered, I favor one (what I call the “rights view”) and disagree rather strongly with the other two.’ https://d.lib.ncsu.edu/collections/catalog/mc00236_2596514_20201001_7045#

The Case Against Zoos

June 11 2021 ‘I find one statistic particularly telling about their priorities: A 2018 analysis of the scientific papers produced by association members between 1993 and 2013 showed that just about 7 percent of them annually were classified as being about “biodiversity conservation.”
People don’t go to zoos to learn about the biodiversity crisis or how they can help. They go to get out of the house, to get their children some fresh air, to see interesting animals. They go for the same reason people went to zoos in the 19th century: to be entertained.
A fine day out with the family might itself be justification enough for the existence of zoos if the zoo animals are all happy to be there. Alas, there’s plenty of heartbreaking evidence that many are not.’
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/11/opinion/zoos-animal-cruelty.html

The neural cruelty of captivity: Keeping large mammals in zoos and aquariums damages their brains

September 24 2020 ‘Some people defend keeping animals in captivity, arguing that it helps conserve endangered species or offers educational benefits for visitors to zoos and aquariums. These justifications are questionable, particularly for large mammals. As my own research and work by many other scientists shows, caging large mammals and putting them on display is undeniably cruel from a neural perspective. It causes brain damage.’https://theconversation.com/the-neural-cruelty-of-captivity-keeping-large-mammals-in-zoos-and-aquariums-damages-their-brains-142240

It’s Time to Stop Pretending Zoos Are Good for Animals

March 9, 2020 ‘We imagine the zoo as Noah’s Ark, preserving the last remnants of endangered species. And yet, 83% of species in zoos are not endangered, or even threatened. Why are these animals kept, if the zoo is all about conservation? Of the few zoo animals that are endangered, almost none of them will be released into the wild — they’ve been bred and raised for the entertainment of humans, and would not survive in nature. But even if zoos were successfully preparing their animals for release on a grand scale, it would be an inefficient use of resources: Conservation in the wild is far more effective than captive breeding, in almost all cases.

Going to the zoo to support conservation is like buying an extra load of groceries so you can donate $3 to St. Jude at checkout. https://tenderly.medium.com/its-time-to-stop-pretending-zoos-are-good-for-animals-ca72fd4599e5

Zoos are outdated and cruel – it’s time to make them a thing of the past

August 14 2019 ‘If zoos are so abysmal, why do they still exist on such a large scale? The answer is simple. Zooreaucracies and zoo-rocrats have a stamp collector’s mentality and an appetite and preference to please the public with iconic and non-threatened species, leading to their needless captivity and “consumption” for entertainment.

In other words, the public come first and not the animals. Is that conservation? Zoos don’t want you to know these facts because it would expose the fundamental flaws in the arguments they put out for their existence, and as a consequence merely prove that they’re in the conservation of business and not in the business of conservation.’

~ Damian Aspinall, Conservationist  https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/zoos-cruel-wildlife-conservation-species-a9056701.html

Zooicide: Seeing Cruelty, Demanding Abolition

November 16 2018 

  • ‘Zoos do not protect endangered species.
  • By making them objects of entertainment, they may serve the opposite function.
  • On average, zoos spend about 2-3 percent of their budgets on research. That’s it.
  • Zoos educate nobody. The didactics at most zoos are rudimentary at best.
  • Zoos are unhappy places for animals. Like people, they want to be free and among their kind.
  • The biggest threat to animals is habitat loss. So, what do zoos do? They sell McDonald’s hamburgers, KFC, and every other kind of fast food grown on lands that could have been used to sustain wild populations of animals.’ https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/animal-emotions/201811/zooicide-seeing-cruelty-demanding-abolition

Are zoo animals happy? There’s a simple empathy test we can apply

April 16. 2017 ‘If we are to continue keeping animals in confinement … Making animals happier must be a top priority, and written into the budgets of zoo managers. Nevertheless, we need to remember that enrichment is just a Band-Aid solution. It serves, like the Valium given to SeaWorld’s whales, to manage the symptoms. But it can’t treat the underlying disease. Only freedom from captivity can really resolve the illness.’ https://www.salon.com/2017/04/16/are-zoo-animals-happy-theres-a-simple-empathy-test-we-can-apply/

Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors? A
Critical Evaluation of the American Zoo and Aquarium Study

2010 ‘Modern-day zoos and aquariums market themselves as places of education and conservation. A recent study conducted by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) (Falk et al., 2007) is being widely heralded as the first direct evidence that visits to zoos and aquariums produce long-term positive effects on people’s attitudes toward other animals. In this paper, we address whether this conclusion is warranted by analyzing the study’s methodological soundness. We conclude that Falk et al. (2007) contains at least six major threats to methodological validity that undermine the authors’ conclusions.
There remains no compelling evidence for the claim that zoos and aquariums promote attitude change, education, or interest in conservation in visitors ‘https://www.wellbeingintlstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=acwp_zoae

https://theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/16/zoos-and-other-prisons-not-vegan-not-conservation-not-education/

theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com

Chicago becomes a war zone…

The dolphin project