Category: Politics

The Government’s So-Called ‘Wildlife Conservation Council’ is Packed with Trophy Hunters

Killing for conservation is not the ethos you would expect from a group called the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC). However, that seems to be exactly what this new advisory committee has been set up to promote. Created by the Trump administration late last year, the council will advise the Department of the Interior on the promotion of international trophy hunting. Elephants, lions, rhinos – species already at risk from poaching, habitat loss, and climate change – will be put between the crosshairs of a hunter’s scope if this council has its way. Appointed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke,...

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California Measure Could Become World’s Strongest Law Banning Cruel Cages for Farm Animals

Imagine spending your entire life in a cage. You cannot turn around. You share the tight cage with three other people. Below you sits a pile of your own waste and the waste of your cell mates. This is not a fictional, “what-if” scenario in a dystopian future. It is reality for millions of pigs, chickens and other animals farmed for food. But now, a proposed ballot measure in California could change this throughout the state by banning the sale of veal, eggs, and pork from facilities that force animals to live in cages and crates. The measure needs about 600,000 signatures...

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Reminder: Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico Still Needs Our Support

The 2017 hurricane season brutalized several parts of the United States. Texas and Florida were each hit hard and underwent months of recovery work. But for residents of U.S. territory Puerto Rico — an area hit harder than anywhere in the mainland United States — recovery is still in the distance. FEMA stopped delivering aid to Puerto Rico in January, but 11 percent of the island is still without power. The island’s economy can’t get back on its feet without electricity and the federal government shows no indication of doing anything. It’s time for private citizens to step up...

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The First Person Convicted Under Belgium’s Sexual Harassment Law Could Face Jail Time

Stopped for violating highway code, a man ended up with a conviction for a different crime when he called a female police officer a “dirty whore” and told her that her job did not suit women. The first person to be convicted under the sexism law that was enacted in Belgium in 2014, he faces a €3,000 ($3,725) fine for his comment. He didn’t show up in court for the hearing, and if he fails to pay the fine, faces up to one month in jail. The #MeToo and #ImWithHer movements have brought to light just how entrenched and...

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Emails Reveal True Motivation for Destruction of Bears Ear Monument — and No Surprise, It’s Oil

Last summer Lady Freethinker reported on the recommendation by the Trump Administration to shrink national monuments, including the contentious Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Though the message to the public focused on considering all interests and sides of the public lands debate as well as state versus federal rights, it is now known that those things had very little involvement in the decision-making process. Thanks to a lawsuit by the New York Times, more information has been released on this decision, bringing to light the true motivation: oil and other natural resource extraction. 25,000 pages of emails released...

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Die-Off of Endangered Whales Prompts Lawsuit Against Trump Administration

The U.S. government is failing to protect the few remaining North Atlantic right whales, who are at dire risk of extinction. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released a report last year describing an unusual mortality event (UME) of the species. So far, no steps have been taken to help them. But three nonprofit groups dedicated to wildlife are fighting for the whales, suing the Trump administration for their inaction. An unusual mortality event (UME) is defined by the unexpected die off of marine mammals. This is a big deal for the North Atlantic right whale. Once numbering in...

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Is the EU About to Ban Single-Use Plastics?

The European Union has signaled that it may ban plastic straws and other single-use plastics very soon. The EU announced in January 2018 that they aimed to make all plastics on the market recyclable or reusable by 2030. Now, after a Twitter battle with the United Kingdom on the matter, Frans Timmermans, vice president of the EU’s executive cabinet has hinted that the EU will create legislation on single-use plastics before summer. This comes after China’s ban on the import of many types of plastic waste went into effect last month. According to recent data, in 2016 China processed over...

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Humanitarian Crisis: Understanding the Rohingya’s Plight in Two Sentences

I’ve been seeing news pieces about refugees since, well, since I can remember looking at a paper or watching TV news. Civil wars and genocide in Africa, natural disasters around the globe, more recently people fleeing Syria and conflicts in the Middle East, and now the Rohingya. It can be overwhelming. It can give you a sense that humanity won’t ever be able to treat each other with compassion and dignity, without hatred and violence. Sometimes I just want to look away, to disconnect from the suffering I feel I can’t do anything about. But when we get to...

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