More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.
Poaching has been ruled out, because no tusks have been removed from the elephants’ bodies, but it is possible the animals are dying of a disease that could spread to the human population.
“Yes, it is a conservation disaster — but it also has the potential to be a public health crisis,” National Park Rescue Director of Conservation Dr. Niall McCann told BBC News. nullReport Advertisement https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1278329244767137792&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ecowatch.com%2Felephants-dying-botswana-2646313336.html&partner=rebelmouse&siteScreenName=EcoWatch&siteUserId=78361556&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px
Botswana’s tourism ministry first said that it was investigating the deaths in mid-May, when 12 dead elephants were found over two weekends in the country’s Okavango Delta, Phys.org reported at the time.
By the end of May, 169 elephants had died, and that number had more than doubled by mid-June, The Guardian reported.
“This is totally unprecedented in terms of numbers of elephants dying in a single event unrelated to drought,” McCann told BBC News.
But despite the scale of the deaths, the government has not yet completed testing of the animals to determine the cause, earning the criticism of conservation groups.
“There is real concern regarding the delay in getting the samples to an accredited laboratory for testing in order to identify the problem — and then take measures to mitigate it,” Environmental Investigation Agency Executive Director Mary Rice told The Guardian. “The lack of urgency is of real concern and does not reflect the actions of a responsible custodian. There have been repeated offers of help from private stakeholders to facilitate urgent testing which appear to have fallen on deaf ears … and the increasing numbers are, frankly, shocking.”
The government, meanwhile, attributed the delay to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have sent [samples] off for testing and we are expecting the results over the next couple of weeks or so,” Dr. Cyril Taolo, acting director for Botswana’s department of wildlife and national parks, told The Guardian. “The Covid-19 restrictions have not helped in the transportation of samples in the region and around the world. We’re now beginning to emerge from that and that is why we are now in a position to send the samples to other laboratories.”
Taolo said the government had confirmed 280 out of 350 reported deaths and is working to confirm the rest.
Local reports indicate that animals of all ages and sexes are dying, with some spotted wandering in circles, a sign of neurological damage. The cause is likely a poison or disease, but experts are not sure which.
More than 100 elephants died in October 2019 in a suspected anthrax outbreak, Phys.org reported, but McCann told BBC News he had tentatively ruled out anthrax as the cause of the most recent deaths. Cyanide poisoning used by poachers is another possibility, but scavengers are not dying after eating the carcasses, The Guardian pointed out.
“It is only elephants that are dying and nothing else,” McCann told BBC News. “If it was cyanide used by poachers, you would expect to see other deaths.”
Botswana hosts the world’s largest elephant population at more than 135,000 animals, about a third of all the elephants in Africa, Phys.org pointed out. The Okavango Delta, meanwhile, is home to 10 percent of Botswana’s total population, or around 15,000 animals. African elephants are considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Botswana was considered one of the safest countries for elephants until recently, Science Alert pointed out. But the government made a controversial decision to lift its elephant hunting ban in May of 2019, and poaching is on the rise. An Elephants Without Borders study published in Current Biology last year found that new elephant carcasses in northern Botswana had increased by 593 percent between 2014 and 2018 and that at least 385 elephants had been poached between 2017 and 2018.
Two of the salads impacted by a series of recalls linked to a Cyclospora outbreak. FDA
A Cyclospora outbreak linked to bagged lettuce has sickened 206 people in eight Midwestern states and sent 23 to the hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday. No one has died.
The outbreak has led to several recalls of salads made at a Fresh Express production facility in Streamwood, Illinois that were sold at major retailers Walmart, Hy-Vee, Aldi and Jewel-Osco, USA TODAY reported.
“[O]bviously there was some breakdown in the quality chain,” Rutgers University food microbiologist Donald W. Schaffner told The New York Times. He said the size and spread of the outbreak suggested “some rather significant sanitary breakdown in the production of this food.”
The parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis causes an infection called cyclosporiasis when humans eat or drink contaminated food or water, according to the CDC. The main symptom is watery diarrhea, but it can also cause stomach cramping, appetite loss and fatigue. It can last from a few days to longer than a month and is typically treated with antibiotics.
The first major foodborne cyclosporiasis outbreak was in the mid-1990s, Schaffner told The New York Times, and no one knows exactly what caused it. The current outbreak marks the third year in a row that there has been an outbreak of the illness during the warmer months.
“It’s likely due to the quality of the water used to irrigate the produce, and it probably has something to do with human fecal contamination of that water, but of course there’s a whole lot of unknowns,” Schaffner said. “Very often with these fresh produce outbreaks, we never learn the definitive cause.”
Illnesses from the current outbreak have been reported in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin between May 11 and June 17, the CDC said. So far, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation has uncovered a Fresh Express bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage as the likely culprit.
The outbreak has already prompted a number of recalls.
1. Brand: Marketside brand Classic Iceberg Salad
States: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Bag Size: 12 to 24 ounces
Use By: 05/19/2020 through 07/04/2020
2. Brand: Little Salad Bar brand Garden Salad
States: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Bag Size: 12 ounces
Use By: 05/01/2020 through 06/29/2020
3. Brand: Hy-Vee brand Garden Salad
States: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Bag Size: 12 ounces
Use By: All dates
4. Brand: Jewel-Osco Signature Farms brand Garden Salad
States: Illinois, Indiana and Iowa
Bag Size: 12 ounces
Use By: 05/16/2020 through 07/04/2020
Then, on Saturday, Fresh Express issued a voluntary recall of all the salads made at its Streamwood facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage or carrots. The recall only impacts salads with a “Z” at the beginning of the Product Code in the upper-right-hand corner of the front of the package. The recalled salads have a Product Code of Z178 or lower.
“Our immediate thoughts and concern are for those consumers who have become ill due to the outbreak,” Fresh Express said in a statement Saturday reported by USA Today. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have issued a voluntary recall of both branded and private label salad products that were produced at the Streamwood facility and contain those ingredients.”
The Fresh Express recall came after the FDA began an investigation of the Streamwood plant and raised concerns that some products not already recalled might be impacted, according to the FDA.
“Consumers should not eat, and restaurants and retailers should not sell or serve any Fresh Express products currently on the market that were made in the Streamwood, Illinois, production facility and contain either iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, or carrots,” the agency recommended.
#AceNewsReport – July.06: Two boats attempting to enter the U.S. illegally along the San Diego coast failed to yield to CBP Air and Marine Operations and the U.S. Coast Guard, leading to CBP marine interdiction agents shooting out one engine at sea, and U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehending 14 others after their boat landed at Dog Beach early Friday morning: “We had multiple agencies involved in bringing this dangerous smuggling attempt to a safe conclusion,” said Christopher Hunter, Director of Marine Operations for CBP in San Diego. “Smugglers have no regard for the lives and safety of everyone on board when they make reckless maritime manoeuvres.”
At about 1 a.m. on July 3, a CBP multi-role enforcement aircraft tracked two pangas as they crossed from Mexican territorial waters towards the U.S. The aircraft directed a CBP coastal interceptor boat to the location of one panga, and a U.S. Coast Guard small boat to the other panga: At about 3:30 a.m., the CBP coastal interceptor boat reached the first panga with lights and sirens going, directing the panga to stop: However, the panga failed to yield and instead fled from the CBP marine interdiction agents: The marine interdiction agents fired two marine warning shots, and the panga still failed to yield: Finally, the marine interdiction agents fired a disabling round into the panga’s engine, which stopped the boat about five miles from Point Loma. On board, marine interdiction agents found seven people.
The USCG small boat reached the second panga, which also failed to yield. The second panga was able to land on Ocean Beach in San Diego, near the area known as Dog Beach: U.S. Border Patrol agents in place along the beach immediately apprehended four individuals on the beach who attempted to climb out of the boat and flee: Agents apprehended nine others in a nearby park with assistance from the crew of the multi-role enforcement aircraft: One additional person fled by trying to swim away from agents on the beach: Thanks to a citizen calling in with information, U.S. Border Patrol agents were able to apprehend him on the jetty at Dog Beach.
The marine interdiction agents brought the seven individuals from the first boat safely to the dock, and turned them over to U.S. Border Patrol agents for processing: Border Patrol agents determined that all seven, six men, ages 19-50, and one woman, age 29, were Mexican nationals with no legal ability to enter the U.S: U.S. Border Patrol agents also processed the 14 individuals they apprehended from the second boat: The group included: three women, ages 27-40; ten men, ages 18-45, and one unaccompanied male teenager. All were Mexican nationals with no legal ability to enter the U.S………………….In both cases, CBP Air and Marine Operations seized the panga boats:
If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please call the San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834 extension 1, or notify local law enforcement by dialing 9-1-1.
#AceNewsDesk report ………………Published: July.06: 2020:
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First Lady Melania Trump channeled supermodel chic by wearing a whimsical Alexander McQueen dress that was created by student fashion designers — many of whom were minorities.
The dress, which is called “Dancing Girls,” was part of the McQueen fashion house’s goal of celebrating unity during the coronavirus crisis.
Mrs. Trump wore the “Dancing Girls” dress while accompanying President Trump to a July 4th celebration at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
There, President Trump vowed that unhinged leftists will never tear down Mount Rushmore.
“This monument will never be desecrated,” Trump promised. “These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never, ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten. And Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.”
The white sleeveless dress that Melania wore features abstract line drawings of “dancing girls” that were created by fashion students.
“This dress has a greater meaning,” Glass magazine reported. “Every single member of the team contributed to the embroidery by hand…Alexander McQueen aims to nurture and contribute to the success of young designers and creatives, and this sense of community that went towards one single dress proves this.”
A photo of the designers who created the “Dancing Girls” dress shows that several were black/brown students. The aspiring fashion designers were all credited with the design of the dress.
Clueless leftists breathlessly mocked Melania’s dress. They thought they were so clever that they repeated the same left-wing talking point/joke.
One man tweeted: “Looks like Donald took his Sharpie to Melania’s dress.”
Looks like Donald took his Sharpie to Melania’s dress. pic.twitter.com/vafal1tjK4
— Devin Duke (@sirDukeDevin) July 4, 2020
Another Trump-hater chimed in: “Donald Trump got bored and drew all over Melania’s white dress with a sharpie on Air Force One.”
Donald Trump got bored and drew all over Melania’s white dress with a sharpie on Air Force One pic.twitter.com/iFQ0C8VI7i
— Red (@Redpainter1) July 4, 2020
One bleated: “Melania pulled a plain white dress for her evening in North Dakota and before they left Trump took a sharpie marker to it.”
Melania pulled a plain white dress for her evening in North Dakota and before they left Trump took a sharpie marker to it. pic.twitter.com/8tWiTykUvT
— Outspoken (@Out5p0ken) July 4, 2020
Still another leftist huffed: “What’s with Melania’s graffiti dress?”
What’s with Melania’s graffiti dress? pic.twitter.com/6lKUdeliik
— Rebecca Starovich (@RStarovich) July 4, 2020
Some Twitter users claimed Melania’s dress paid homage to victims of child sexual abuse. There’s no evidence to support this contention.
One woman tweeted: “Social media made fun of Melania’s dress she wore last night. They said it looked like President Trump scribbled on it with a marker. It is a dress designed by Alexander McQueen using sketches drawn by victims of child sexual abuse to describe their feelings.”
❤️ Social media made fun of Melania’s dress she wore last night. They said it looked like President Trump scribbled on it with a marker. It is a dress designed by Alexander McQueen using sketches drawn by victims of child sexual abuse to describe their feelings ❤️ @FLOTUS pic.twitter.com/p2hsN5Kl1C
— Celeste Rousseau ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@celesteka) July 5, 2020
Actor James Woods underscored how gorgeous Mrs. Trump looked and that it amused him to see leftists get so triggered by her.
Woods tweeted: “Melania turns on that million megawatt smile and the liberals go into troll purgatory for a month. They lose their warped little minds. It’s just delicious!”
Melania turns on that million megawatt smile and the liberals go into troll purgatory for a month. They lose their warped little minds. It’s just delicious! pic.twitter.com/pLfs67qiGK
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 5, 2020
While patriotic Americans celebrated the nation’s birthday, hateful leftists tore down statues and torched the U.S. flag.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 5, 2020
By wearing the McQueen dress, Melania Trump unwittingly trolled haters into trashing a design created by students whose goal was to send a message of unity.
Trump-haters proved once again that hate and destruction is what drives them.
President Trump has repeatedly said that he could not be prouder of his wife for her grace under pressure.
Melania is relentlessly criticized and mocked by the snarky left-wing media, which claw at her because they hate her husband.
The situation has gotten so out of hand that even the mild-mannered Canadians have noticed the brutal treatment Melania receives as the first lady.
“If you think your holiday obligations are endless, consider, for a moment, Melania Trump,” observed a Canadian columnist, who noted that Mrs. Trump’s job comes with “no paycheque and a chorus of criticism.”
The CBC also noted how Melania is dissed around the clock while most political spouses in other countries fly under the radar. “It’s ridiculous to expect the spouse of a president to be a domestic superstar,” the CBC remarked.
Despite being relentlessly attacked by anti-Trumpers, Mrs. Trump calmly shrugs off her haters. Nothing enrages haters more than the realization that their vitriol doesn’t affect their targets.
“I love Washington,” Melania has gushed. “We love to live in the White House. We are very honored to serve our great nation.”
The First Lady said she stays happy despite the constant negative press coverage because she focuses on what’s important: Being a great mom and wife who leads a meaningful life.
“I want to live a meaningful life, and that’s the most important thing to me,” Mrs. Trump said. “I know what my priorities are and I’m focused on that.”
This woman has never been on the cover of a national fashion magazine… pic.twitter.com/rok3gYWGTg
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) December 14, 2018
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By Daniel Flynn
Do you remember that time the entire Democratic Party in California behaved like cultists, enraptured by Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones?
If you lived through the bizarre suicides of 918 people in Guyana on Nov. 18, 1978, it’s hard not to remember where you were when you heard the news. It would be like forgetting about the Challenger explosion or Sept. 11.
But collective amnesia over just who aided and abetted Jim Jones is much easier to explain. The same influence used on Jones’s behalf during his life helped after his death to erase the causes and candidates he supported.
“Such greatness I have found in Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple,” Harvey Milk gushed. Yes, that Harvey Milk.
Willie Brown, later speaker of the California assembly and mayor of San Francisco, compared Jim Jones to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Dianne Feinstein joined the rest of the San Francisco board of supervisors in honoring Jones “in recognition of his guidance and inspiration” in furthering “humanitarian programs.”
Jerry Brown, California governor then as now, actually spoke at Peoples Temple. George Moscone, who owed his position as mayor of San Francisco to Jones, appointed Jones to San Francisco’s Housing Authority Commission, where he quickly became chairman.
Left-wing lawyers Charles Garry and Mark Lane depicted Jonestown as a paradise and aggressively defended Jones in the media. Jane Fonda joined other luminaries in expressing that she was “familiar with the work of Reverend Jones and Peoples Temple and have no hesitancy in commending them for their example in setting a high standard of ethics and morality.”
Herb Caen, a Pulitzer Prize winner who long served as one of San Francisco’s most admired newspaper writers, acted as a hype-generator for Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple.
The local enthusiasm for Jim Jones proved contagious for national Democrats. Rosalynn Carter called Jones at her husband’s behest. She held a private meeting with him, put him in touch with sister-in-law Ruth Carter Stapleton, and had the Peoples Temple leader introduce her at a 1976 campaign event.
Jimmy Carter’s running mate, Walter Mondale, met with Jones on the tarmac in San Francisco.
Before Jim Jones’s victims drank the lethal Flavor Aid in South America, the powerful in San Francisco had already drunk the Kool Aid themselves. In fact, the latter facilitated the former.
I interviewed a number of Temple survivors as part of researching my new book, Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco. They reflected that Jones’s associations with the mighty both legitimized him and struck fear into them. Without powerful politicians, in the U.S. and Guyana, running interference for him, Jones could never have been so bold with the murders he committed. And the politicians cozied up to Jones because Jones provided rent-a-rallies for free. He flooded campaign headquarters with “volunteers.” He spoke forcefully for fashionable causes.
He preached the gospel according to Karl Marx. “I call capitalism the devil,” Jones said from the pulpit, “and socialism is God.” The Symbionese Liberation Army, Jones maintained, “moved us a little closer to change.”
Upon a pilgrimage to Cuba, Jones claimed through his newspaper that the island-prison had succeeded in abolishing racism, but he criticized it for not providing enough “freedom of choice” on abortion — a Temple commandment for women who became pregnant. “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,” he told parishioners. “No, my country ’tis of thee, terrible land of inequity, that’s what it is.”
The people of Peoples Temple paid a terrible price for idolizing Jones. But the politicians who elevated him escaped consequences. Willie Brown, who had endorsed Jones as “a close personal friend and a highly trusted brother in the struggle for liberation” in a 1977 letter to Fidel Castro, characterized the Peoples Temple leader as “an obscure but charismatic San Francisco religious cult figure” in his 2008 memoirs. In a don’t-look-at-me passage, he wrote that “the enormity of the tragedy involving his followers makes one wonder how politicians and police failed to notice his sinister hold on people.”
But they failed to notice because Brown, Milk, and other powerful people in San Francisco lionized Jones, treating him as a hero rather than a villain. And after using their power to make Jim Jones, they used it to make his memory disappear.
Daniel J. Flynn, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is the author of Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco (ISI Books, 2018).
Joe Biden says he wants to be president. Well, if you want to be president, I’m of the opinion that you need to answer the tough questions. If you can’t do that, you probably can’t actually make the tough calls in a pressure-packed situation when you need to. So, with that in mind, the Trump/Pence campaign has come up with five questions that Joe Biden should probably answer before he starts criticizing Donald Trump on anything.
View original post 421 more words
EarthJustice News Release
Unprecedented victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe after four-year legal battle
Owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) must halt operations while the government conducts a full-fledged analysis examining the risk DAPL poses to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a federal judge ruled today. The court decision delivered a hard-fought victory to the Tribe, which has been engaged in a high-profile struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline since 2016.
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