The launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea will mean a complete cessation of the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine and will lead to security breakdown for Eastern and Central Europe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
“The very fact that Nord Stream 2 can hypothetically be put into operation is extremely destabilizing for our region,” Zelensky said in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, answering the question whether it is not enough to endanger the launch of the gas pipeline to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia is investing in various levers of pressure on European countries in order for this gas pipeline to operate, which means the end of gas transportation through the territory of Ukraine. If this happens, the security of Eastern and Central Europe will come crashing down at once,” the head of state said.
Marineland has been charged under the Criminal Code with using dolphins and whales to perform as entertainment without Ontario government authorization, according to Niagara police.
Marineland has been charged under the Criminal Code with using dolphins and whales to perform and entertain customers without Ontario government authorization, Niagara police say.
Police said they began an investigation into allegations captive cetaceans (marine mammals including whales, dolphins and porpoises) were being used at the theme park in Niagara Falls in October.
Mario Lagrotteria, the police service’s Niagara Falls district commander, said there was video evidence throughout August. He also said it’s the first time Niagara police have laid this charge.
“The information [investigators] received substantiated the allegation that this did happen within the month of August,” he said.
Police previously confirmed their investigation was launched following a complaint received in October.
Marineland said in a statement to CBC News the park is following the law and “we look forward to the opportunity to defend ourselves in a court of law.”
Law changed regarding cetaceans
Miranda Desa, Canadian counsel for the U.S.-based non-profit Last Chance for Animals, said the group filed a complaint on Sept. 30 and a followup complaint in late October based on the use of dolphins and beluga whales for entertainment.
A member of Last Chance for Animals visited Marineland on Aug. 3 and Aug. 16, according to Desa. She said they recorded videos of dolphin and beluga whale shows, and sent them to police with their complaint.
Desa said the complaint focused on the use of belugas that were instructed to do tricks for food in front of park attendees.
The video, viewed by CBC News, appears to show dolphins doing flips and tricks for an audience with music playing in the background.
Under a section of the Criminal Code that was introduced in 2019, captive cetaceans cannot be used “for performance for entertainment purposes” unless the performance is authorized with a licence from the province.
After years of debate, the new law, part of Bill S-203, banned the captivity of cetaceans. It included a grandfather clause, however, for animals already in captivity.
Niagara police said the charge against Marineland was for the alleged use of captive cetacean for performance for entertainment purposes without authorization.
Marineland says show is educational
Marineland said in a statement the routine was an “educational presentation.”
“Our animal presentation contains marine mammals undertaking behaviours they exhibit in ocean environments. These behaviours are combined with an educational script delivered by Marineland staff, providing a foundation in understanding of these important marine species.
“Marineland continues to be committed to our mission of research, education and conservation and will continue to provide world-class care for the animals who call Marineland home,” the theme park said.
Lagrotteria said police found the evidence it gathered “met the threshold to lay the charge,” but couldn’t say much else as the case is before the courts.
He said any other concerns about the welfare of animals at the park should be directed to Provincial Animal Welfare Services.
Criminal charge precedent setting, expert says
Kendra Coulter, an associate professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., who’s an analyst of labour involving animals, expressed skepticism over the idea such performances are educational.
“Any marine animals who are being kept in tiny tanks are not behaving normally,” Coulter said in a phone interview.
“But the bigger question here is around the ethics of captivity and whether these large, complex, intellectually robust animals can in any way have healthy and positive lives in such tiny tanks and conditions … the consensus is increasingly no.”
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his last day in office, Aug. 10, 2021. REUTERS
New York’s ethics watchdog panel ordered disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo to return the $5.1 million in profits from his pandemic book deal to the state next month.
The extraordinary resolution was approved Tuesday by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in a 12-1 vote — coming a month after the ethics agency voted to revoke its prior approval allowing Cuomo to earn outside income from his book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” while he was still governor and New York was still battling the deadly viral bug.
JCOPE rescinded its approval after concluding that Cuomo violated pledges not to use state resources or government staffers to prepare the book.
The resolution, drafted by commissioner David McNamara, a Senate Republican appointee, said Cuomo now “lacked the legal authority to engage in outside activity and receive compensation in regard to the book” since JCOPE rescinded its approval. The disgraced ex-governor’s pandemic book “American Crisis.”AP
“Gov. Cuomo is not legally entitled to retain compensation … for any form of outside activity related to the book,” McNamara said.
The panel found Cuomo’s book proceeds should be turned over to state Attorney General Letitia James — whose office’s investigative report forced the three-term Democrat’s resignation after substantiating a slew of accusations of mistreatment and harassment leveled against the disgraced ex-governor by current and former staffers.
“It is ordered that by no later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, Gov. Cuomo pay over to the attorney general of the State of New York an amount equal to the compensation paid to him for his outside activities related to the book,” the resolution says.
James would determine to whom the profits would be distributed — the state, the book publisher, or others.
Cuomo’s book deal also is being investigated by James, the FBI, and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office. The state Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment report found that Cuomo used staffers extensively to help prepare the book — though he insisted the work was done voluntarily and legally.
Cuomo’s team was also accused of low-balling coronavirus-related nursing home deaths while he negotiated the book deal, leading to accusations he was trying to look better to make a quick buck off the tragedy. Cuomo’s book deal is being investigated by James, the FBI, and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office. Above, copies of the hardcover on display in 2020.
Cuomo’s lawyer claimed JCOPE’s action was illegal and would challenge it in court.
“JCOPE’s actions today are unconstitutional, exceed its own authority and appear to be driven by political interests rather than the facts and the law,” said Cuomo attorney Jim McGuire.
“Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”
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