Advertisements
It's the perfect chance for animal lovers of all ages to get close to one of the most majestic mammals in the world!

There’s a really dark side to ‘Elephant Tourism’: circuses, bull hooks and hard labour; check out Betty – the elephant’s abuse hidden in plain sight

The Dark Truth Behind Elephant Rides

Animal Defenders International

AIWA! NO!|This is a snapshot of a day in the life of Betty, an elephant used for rides in the US.

Travelling from city to city, Betty stands silent and still as groups of people clamber onto her back. After walking around in a circle, the group climbs off Betty and another takes their place. And so it goes on and on, day after day, month after month, year after year.

Try not to "squee" too loud while adoring these pictures of Betty White at the Reid Park Zoo
Try not to “squee” too loud while adoring these pictures of Betty White at the Reid Park Zoo

All the while Larry Carden stands by Betty’s side, bull-hook in hand, a constant reminder of what will happen if she does not follow his commands.

This is a man who was arrested and accused of animal abuse after using the bullhook on another elephant Bo as he led him off the stage during a performance at UniverSoul Circus in Atlanta in 2015.

Bullhook/ANKUS

Notice how he holds the torture devices in full view of the elephants in order to remind them what will happen if they get any ideas about refusing to perform confusing tricks or even just about reaching for a few leaves on a tree. I wonder if the elephants have ever thought about wrapping their trunks around one of those things and showing Mr. Scummy Handler exactly how it feels.

Notice how he holds the torture devices in full view of the elephants in order to remind them what will happen if they get any ideas about refusing to perform confusing tricks or even just about reaching for a few leaves on a tree. I wonder if the elephants have ever thought about wrapping their trunks around one of those things and showing Mr. Scummy Handler exactly how it feels.

As we know only too well, and have the evidence of our investigations to show, such abuse is usually hidden from view.

Oakland committee to vote on ban of bullhook use on elephants
Joshua Escobar on December 2, 2014

For Betty, Bo, and other elephants and wild animals suffering in circuses across the US today, please support state and federal legislation to help them: http://bit.ly/SCS-US

Our thanks to the ADI supporter who took this video of Betty at the Garden Bros Circus in Denver, Colorado this weekend.

Advertisements
US Senator Bernie Sanders says he will run again for president in 2020, making a second attempt to win the Democratic Party's nomination. The 77-year-old Vermont senator became a progressive political star in 2016 although he lost his candidacy bid. In an email to supporters, he said it was time to complete the "political revolution" they had started. An outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, Mr Sanders has described him as a "pathological liar" and "racist"

Bernie Sanders: 17 things the Democratic socialist believes

Sanders hugs one of his grandchildren onstage
GETTY IMAGESImage captionSanders often speaks of his grandchildren’s generation when he talks about climate change

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is catching up – and even surpassing – Hillary Clinton in some polls. What are the Vermont senator’s policies and beliefs?

1. He is a socialist. Sanders is running as a “Democratic socialist”, but in his long political career he became comfortable with just “socialist” (“I am a socialist and everyone knows it,” he once said.) He frames his political ideology this way: “Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.” His fight for equal treatment of the poor and middle class and against the “billionaire class” is a central tenet of his campaign, and the socialist mantle has positioned him further left of centre than Clinton.

2. Climate change is real. After the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marked 2015 as the hottest year on record, Sanders tweeted: “The debate is over. Climate change is real and caused by human activity.” He wants to tax carbon emissions, repeal fossil fuel subsidies and invest in clean energy technology. He has opposed the Bakken and Keystone XL oil pipelines.

Sanders hugs one of his grandchildren onstage
Image captionSanders often speaks of his grandchildren’s generation when he talks about climate change

3. College should be free. “A college degree is the new high school diploma,”Sanders wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, arguing that class equality is impossible if a majority of Americans don’t have access to a college education. He has introduced a plan to make tuition at public universities and colleges free by taxing Wall Street speculators.

4. Gun ownership is a “lifestyle that should not be condemned”. Sanders’ record on gun control has been mixed which he says is due to the fact that his constituents in Vermont are pro-gun and “99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law abiding people”. He supports universal background checks, but prefers to talk about reaching “common ground” when it comes to gun policies rather than sweeping new gun control regulation.

5. Black lives matter. Though Sanders was shouted down at his own campaign event by members of the Black Lives Matter group, he has since met activists and agrees that the high rate of unemployment and incarceration for African Americans is evidence of systemic racism in the US. He touts criminal justice reform as the answer to some of these issues.

6. He will not accept super PAC money. Sanders prides himself on the fact that his donors are mostly individuals and the average contribution to his campaign in the most recent quarter was just $27. He characterises the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision as “disastrous” and blames it for flooding the US political system with cash from special interest groups. “I do not believe that billionaires should be able to buy politicians,” he told the Washington Post.

Sanders speaks to supporters through a bullhorn
Image captionSanders sometimes prefers a bullhorn over taking the dais

7. The minimum wage should be $15 (£10.59) per hour, up from $7.25. Sanders argues that no one who works 40 hours a week should be impoverished, however, some economists from both sides of the political spectrum are concerned that such a dramatic increase could have unintended consequences for poorer cities and struggling businesses.

8. Americans are tired of the two-party system. For decades, Sanders has railed against both the Democratic and Republican parties, saying they are too beholden to corporate money. Sanders was elected to the Senate as an independent, and some have said his rejection of both parties left him bereft of allies and ineffectual. Sanders argues his outsider status is what has driven his grassroots campaign.

9. He prefers to fly economy. Pictures of Sanders flying in the rear of regular commercial airline flights have gone viral and supporters have seized on the practice with hashtags like #SandersOnAPlane to show that Sanders is a humble everyman who would safeguard taxpayer money. Some of the candid shots of Sanders working in the middle seat have inspired memes juxtaposed with Clinton or Donald Trump boarding private aircrafts.

Sanders sitting on a flight in coach

10. The US should adopt universal healthcare paid for by the federal government. Sanders has often spoken of his admiration for government-run healthcare systems in Canada and Scandinavian countries. “Bernie’s plan means no more co-pays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges,” his website promises. He means to finance it mostly from a payroll tax hike.

11. $1 trillion should be spent on infrastructure. Sanders wants to create jobs by investing heavily in new infrastructure projects that he says will create 13 million jobs over the course of five years. His “Rebuild America Act” would put that money into roads, bridges, water treatment systems, railways and airport projects – and comes with a $1 trillion price tag.

12. Tax the rich. Sanders wants to pay for his most sweeping proposals with a series of tax hikes and fees, mostly levelled at the wealthiest of Americans: hedge fund managers, Wall Street speculators and big businesses.

13. There should never have been a US-led war in Iraq. Sanders voted against the US invasion of Iraq in 2002 and says today that he stands by that decision. He calls it the “worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country”.

14. No boots on the ground in Syria or to fight IS. Sanders has a diplomacy-first attitude towards foreign policy and believes that Middle Eastern countries must lead the fight in their own region against the self-styled Islamic State group.

Sanders supporter with white hair T-shirt
Image captionSanders supporters celebrate his famously disheveled hair

15. Personal style is a waste of time. While the Obamas are said to be the most stylish presidential couple since the Kennedys, a Sanders White House will be decidedly more frumpy. Sanders’ wife Jane O’Meara once quipped that if he has “seven sweaters, that’s three too many for him”. When questioned about his frequently-rumpled hair, Sanders was brusque: “The media will very often spend more time worrying about hair than the fact that we’re the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee healthcare to all people.”

16. He likes to go by “Bernie”. While campaigning in his home state of Vermont, Sanders’ bumper stickers just said “Bernie”. “You have to reach a certain exulted status in politics to be referred to only by your first name,” Senator Patrick Leahy told the New York Times in 2007.

17. He would love to run against Donald Trump. “I have to tell you,” he said at a recent news conference, “on a very personal level, it would give me a great deal of satisfaction to run against Donald Trump”.

Assembled by Jessica Lussenhop.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is catching up – and even surpassing – Hillary Clinton in some polls. What are the Vermont senator’s policies and beliefs?

1. He is a socialist. Sanders is running as a “Democratic socialist”, but in his long political career he became comfortable with just “socialist” (“I am a socialist and everyone knows it,” he once said.) He frames his political ideology this way: “Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.” His fight for equal treatment of the poor and middle class and against the “billionaire class” is a central tenet of his campaign, and the socialist mantle has positioned him further left of centre than Clinton.

2. Climate change is real. After the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marked 2015 as the hottest year on record, Sanders tweeted: “The debate is over. Climate change is real and caused by human activity.” He wants to tax carbon emissions, repeal fossil fuel subsidies and invest in clean energy technology. He has opposed the Bakken and Keystone XL oil pipelines.

Sanders hugs one of his grandchildren onstage
Image captionSanders often speaks of his grandchildren’s generation when he talks about climate change

3. College should be free. “A college degree is the new high school diploma,”Sanders wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, arguing that class equality is impossible if a majority of Americans don’t have access to a college education. He has introduced a plan to make tuition at public universities and colleges free by taxing Wall Street speculators.

4. Gun ownership is a “lifestyle that should not be condemned”. Sanders’ record on gun control has been mixed which he says is due to the fact that his constituents in Vermont are pro-gun and “99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law abiding people”. He supports universal background checks, but prefers to talk about reaching “common ground” when it comes to gun policies rather than sweeping new gun control regulation.

5. Black lives matter. Though Sanders was shouted down at his own campaign event by members of the Black Lives Matter group, he has since met activists and agrees that the high rate of unemployment and incarceration for African Americans is evidence of systemic racism in the US. He touts criminal justice reform as the answer to some of these issues.

6. He will not accept super PAC money. Sanders prides himself on the fact that his donors are mostly individuals and the average contribution to his campaign in the most recent quarter was just $27. He characterises the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision as “disastrous” and blames it for flooding the US political system with cash from special interest groups. “I do not believe that billionaires should be able to buy politicians,” he told the Washington Post.

Sanders speaks to supporters through a bullhorn
Image captionSanders sometimes prefers a bullhorn over taking the dais

7. The minimum wage should be $15 (£10.59) per hour, up from $7.25. Sanders argues that no one who works 40 hours a week should be impoverished, however, some economists from both sides of the political spectrum are concerned that such a dramatic increase could have unintended consequences for poorer cities and struggling businesses.

8. Americans are tired of the two-party system. For decades, Sanders has railed against both the Democratic and Republican parties, saying they are too beholden to corporate money. Sanders was elected to the Senate as an independent, and some have said his rejection of both parties left him bereft of allies and ineffectual. Sanders argues his outsider status is what has driven his grassroots campaign.

9. He prefers to fly economy. Pictures of Sanders flying in the rear of regular commercial airline flights have gone viral and supporters have seized on the practice with hashtags like #SandersOnAPlane to show that Sanders is a humble everyman who would safeguard taxpayer money. Some of the candid shots of Sanders working in the middle seat have inspired memes juxtaposed with Clinton or Donald Trump boarding private aircrafts.

Sanders sitting on a flight in coach

10. The US should adopt universal healthcare paid for by the federal government. Sanders has often spoken of his admiration for government-run healthcare systems in Canada and Scandinavian countries. “Bernie’s plan means no more co-pays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges,” his website promises. He means to finance it mostly from a payroll tax hike.

11. $1 trillion should be spent on infrastructure. Sanders wants to create jobs by investing heavily in new infrastructure projects that he says will create 13 million jobs over the course of five years. His “Rebuild America Act” would put that money into roads, bridges, water treatment systems, railways and airport projects – and comes with a $1 trillion price tag.

12. Tax the rich. Sanders wants to pay for his most sweeping proposals with a series of tax hikes and fees, mostly levelled at the wealthiest of Americans: hedge fund managers, Wall Street speculators and big businesses.

13. There should never have been a US-led war in Iraq. Sanders voted against the US invasion of Iraq in 2002 and says today that he stands by that decision. He calls it the “worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country”.

14. No boots on the ground in Syria or to fight IS. Sanders has a diplomacy-first attitude towards foreign policy and believes that Middle Eastern countries must lead the fight in their own region against the self-styled Islamic State group.

Sanders supporter with white hair T-shirt
Image captionSanders supporters celebrate his famously disheveled hair

15. Personal style is a waste of time. While the Obamas are said to be the most stylish presidential couple since the Kennedys, a Sanders White House will be decidedly more frumpy. Sanders’ wife Jane O’Meara once quipped that if he has “seven sweaters, that’s three too many for him”. When questioned about his frequently-rumpled hair, Sanders was brusque: “The media will very often spend more time worrying about hair than the fact that we’re the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee healthcare to all people.”

16. He likes to go by “Bernie”. While campaigning in his home state of Vermont, Sanders’ bumper stickers just said “Bernie”. “You have to reach a certain exulted status in politics to be referred to only by your first name,” Senator Patrick Leahy told the New York Times in 2007.

17. He would love to run against Donald Trump. “I have to tell you,” he said at a recent news conference, “on a very personal level, it would give me a great deal of satisfaction to run against Donald Trump”.

Assembled by Jessica Lussenhop.

CLIMATE CHANGE – The BIGGEST Global Story The Media Struggles To Tell 

World media is struggling to tell the biggest global story  – ‘Climate Change’ 

Faced with a major UN report that warns of floods, drought, extreme heat and increased poverty should the world not take radical action to address climate change, Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically reluctant to speak out. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

|PETE VERNON, CJR|AIWA! NO!|The projections are dire: Widespread drought, food shortages, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040. That is the future we’re facing, according to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The story received prominent coverage on the homepages of the The New York Times and The Washington Post on Monday, and was discussed on cable news. But with a daily news cycle that churns out a constant stream of stories with sensational angles or immediate implications, can the press find a way to focus on a slow-moving crisis that affects everyone on the planet?

If history is a guide, then the answer is largely “no.” Writing in 2015, then-Guardian Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger argued that “the problem with this story is…it’s so big, and it doesn’t change much from day to day. Journalism is brilliant at capturing momentum, or changes, or things that are unusual. If it’s basically the same every day, every week, every year, I think journalists lose heart.

On Monday, Rusbridger surveyed the covers of UK papers and lamented the absence of articles on the UN report. “If voters are kept in the dark about global warming by newspapers then urgent action by democratic politicians becomes a hundred times harder,” he wrote. Climate change has long been held up as an example of the sort of story that news outlets know is important, but struggle to cover. This new report, which warns that world governments have only a dozen years to take meaningful action, could be a wake-up call, but only if journalists find a way to realign their priorities.

The Post’s Margaret Sullivan argues that the press must find a way to keep attention on this threat, even while dealing with the demands of the daily news cycle. “There is a lot happening in the nation and the world, a constant rush of news. Much of it deserves our attention as journalists and news consumers. But we need to figure out how to make the main thing matter,” Sullivan writes. “In short, when it comes to climate change, we—the media, the public, the world—need radical transformation, and we need it now.

In America, that transformation requires an acknowledgement that President Trump, who has questioned the very idea of climate change, heads a Republican party that is one of the few major political organizations in the world that rejects the basic scientific consensus. The Times’s Mark Landler and Coral Davenport note that Trump spent part of Monday in Florida, “a state that lies directly in the path of this coming calamity—and said nothing about [the new UN report].”

With the immediate implications of climate change being more dire that previously thought, heading off disaster will require a massive effort from governments around the world. The sort of political will required to make necessary changes could be driven by public pressure, but that pressure depends on an informed citizenry, which is where the press comes in. As Sullivan writes, it’s past time for fresh thinking: “Just as the smartest minds in earth science have issued their warning, the best minds in media should be giving sustained attention to how to tell this most important story in a way that will create change.”

Below, more on the coverage of a global emergency.

  • What’s different?: Previous studies had focused on the global damage caused by a rise in average temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius. The UN report released Sunday calculated the effect of a 1.5 degree increase, and found that the effects would include “inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty,” reports the Times’s Davenport.
  • Plain writing: The BBC’s headline on its story about the UN report lays out the stakes: “Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe.’
  • Other priorities: One anecdotal measure of how hard it is for this issue to gain traction in Washington: On Tuesday, neither Politico Playbook nor Axios AM, two influential DC morning tipsheets, contains the phrase “climate change.”
  • Not just Trump: Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who finished first in the initial round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday, has said he plans to follow Trump in withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement if he is elected. Brazil is the world’s seventh-largest producer of greenhouse gases.
  • Climate change on the ballot: The topic may have been completely ignored during the 2016 presidential debates, but Lyndsey Gilpin writes for CJR that climate change has emerged as an increasingly important topic in the heart of coal country. As part of our series on midterm races, Gilpin checks in from Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

BRITISH Virgin Atlantic Flies The First Ever Commercial Flight Using LanzaTech’s Sustainable Jet Fuel

Virgin Atlantic flies the first ever commercial flight using LanzaTech’s sustainable jet fuel; paving the way for a revolutionized way of doing ‘air business’ without adding toxic waste that damage the ozone layer –  causing climate change

|AIWA! NO!|Virgin Atlantic has completed the first ever commercial flight using LanzaTech’s innovative new sustainable aviation fuel – a huge cause for celebration. 

I was so proud to marshall the 747 into Gatwick and thank our team and customers for being a part of making aviation history. There was rapturous applause from the passengers and the crew – I could tell everyone was as excited as I was by the enormous potential of this new technology. 

Reducing carbon is a major priority at Virgin Atlantic – we’ve already taken a number of steps to reduce CO2 emissions, but this flight is a huge step in making this new technology a mainstream reality. There is no immediate replacement for long haul travel – and this technology is ready now and would have a significant impact on our carbon footprint.

Image from Virgin Atlantic

The LanzaTech process is so exciting because this fuel takes waste, carbon-rich gases that would otherwise go up the chimneys of steel and aluminium mills and gives them a second life – so that new fossil fuels don’t have to be taken out of the ground. It’s incredible that the factories can make the steel for the planes and then the waste product can be used to power the plane. This is a great opportunity for UK industry as it supports our steel mills while also decarbonising them.

It has the potential to produce up to 125 million gallons per year in the UK – enough to fuel 100 per cent of Virgin Atlantic’s flights departing Britain. This would result in nearly one million tonnes of CO2 savings per year, equivalent to 2,100 roundtrips flights between London Heathrow and JFK airports.

Image from Virgin Atlantic

We’re at a tantalising tipping point for making this ground-breaking new tech a commercial reality  – as long as we can get support from the UK government. We want to secure the world’s first carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) commercial jet fuel production facility in the UK.

Image from Virgin Atlantic

We’ve had some great support from the UK government so far. But we now need to turn this into firm government action on incentives and investor commitment, to help us accelerate towards building the world’s first full size plant producing jet fuel from waste carbon gases.

I want to say a big thank you to all our partners who made today’s flight possible and showed we’re ready for business.

African oil boom can offer ‘opportunities’ for Scotland’s North Sea oil sector

Africa is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Africa is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

TOM PETERKI (THE SCOTSMAN)AIWA! NO!//Scotland’s North Sea sector can take advantage of the “vast opportunities” offered by oil and gas exploration in Africa, one of Theresa May’s trade commissioners has said.

Scotland’s North Sea sector can take advantage of the “vast opportunities” offered by oil and gas exploration in Africa, one of Theresa May’s trade commissioners has said.

Emma Wade-Smith, newly appointed HM Trade Commissioner for Africa, says exporting Scottish energy expertise will be key trade strategy in the post-Brexit era.

HM Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith

On a visit to Scotland to promote trade links, Wade-Smith said the industry developed in Aberdeen should capitalise on the burgeoning oil and gas development in Africa which is creating a market worth billions of pounds.

Wade-Smith’s trip to Scotland follows May’s recent trade mission to South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to promote global trade after Brexit.

Image result for emma wade smith

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi – KENYA

Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Wade-Smith said Africa was one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, creating opportunities for Scottish business.

She said Scottish expertise should be harnessed to help countries like Senegal and Mauritania, who are starting out on oil and gas oil production.

It could also be used in countries like Angola and Nigeria where oil exploration is well-established.

Emma Wade-Smith Retweeted Department for International Trade

As Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa I know Africa is alive with business opportunities. My Africa Trade is here to help UK companies interested in doing business in Africa. DM me or email DITAfricaTrade@mobile.trade.gov.uk for more

Emma Wade-Smith added,

“There is a huge amount of expertise and experience clearly in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen,” she said. “So it is how do we take that to support countries across Africa in their own efforts to build an oil and gas capability? Also how do we use that experience and technological innovation to help African countries avoid some of the potential pitfalls of creating that domestic capability?”

She added: “There are vast opportunities for Scottish companies across the entire industry and supply chain to grow their businesses.”

Scottish expertise includes drillers, fitters and those involved with training. It also includes a host of supply chain enterprises which provide items such as equipment and clothing for an industry that has been hit by the falling oil price in recent years.”

Oil & Gas UK upstream policy director Mike Tholen said: “Embracing the opportunities available in the international export market could unlock an additional £150 million in the revenue of supply chain companies. It shows why industry, government and the regulator must put their shoulder to the wheel in pursuit of Vision 2035.”

%d bloggers like this: