Injured Bald Eagle Found In Nation's Capital

On Saturday, an injured bald was found eagle in southeast Washington, D.C.


Humane Rescue Alliance
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Humane Rescue Alliance

Just in time for the Fourth of July, animal rescue workers came to the aid of the national bird — a wounded bald eagle — on the streets of Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

The eagle was unable to fly, seemed lethargic and had labored breathing, the Humane Rescue Alliance posted to Facebook.The cause of the eagle’s injury is unclear.

Matt Williams is with the group and wrote NPR in an email that the bird’s condition appears to be stable and its prognosis “guarded,” meaning it may recover but with lasting complications.

The eagle was spotted in a developed area near a recreational center and an apartment complex in southeast D.C.

It is recovering at City Wildlife, a rescue and rehabilitation center in the nation’s capital.

Bald eagles can be found throughout North America, typically near large bodies of water. And while it is unusual to spot them in the middle of big cities, it is not unheard of.

The most famous duo of D.C. eagle denizens can be found in a Tulip Poplar tree at the U.S. National Arboretum and under 24-hour surveillance from a live eagle cam. There have been no reports of injuries to those eagles. A look at the footage on Sunday revealed one adult eagle and at least two eaglets.

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Trump Tweets Clip Of Him Bodyslamming CNN; Network Says 'Do Your Job'

President Donald Trump waves as he arrives on Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., on July 1, 2017, en route to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

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Carolyn Kaster/AP

Trash-tweeting the news media for the fifteenth time in a week, President Trump spent part of Sunday morning at his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey maligning CNN.

This time it was a video clip. Posted on Trump’s personal Twitter account, it shows him clotheslining wrestling empresario Vince McMahon at a “Wrestlemania” match 10 years ago that was billed as “The Battle of the Billionaires.” As Trump knocks McMahon to the ground with a forearm slam, an apparently photo-shopped CNN logo covers McMahon’s face. The takedown is repeated four times in the GIF, which is accompanied by two hashtags: #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN.

#FraudNewsCNN#FNNpic.twitter.com/WYUnHjjUjg

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017

The message from the nation’s 45th president seems unmistakeable: Trump would love to body slam CNN just as he floored McMahon.

On ABC’s This Week, host Martha Raddatz showed Trump’s taunting tweet to White House Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert, who was seeing it for the first time.

“That seems like a threat,” Raddatz said to Bossert, referring to the CNN logo pasted on McMahon’s face as he’s knocked down by Trump. “Certainly not,” Bossert replied. “I think that no one would perceive that as a threat, I hope they don’t, but I do think that he’s beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”

ABC NewsYouTube

CNN clearly took the presidential tweet as a threat.

“It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” the cable news network said in a statement. “Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the President had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, whom Trump labeled “fake news” at a Feb. 16 news conference, wryly asked in a tweet, “Isn’t pro wrestling fake?” Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted in response “Yes, just like your coverage.”

Isn’t pro wrestling fake?

— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 2, 2017

Yes, just like your coverage. https://t.co/ZLmiTVpDce

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 2, 2017

The clip itself was a mash-up of tie-ins to the president. Trump chose McMahon’s wife, Linda, to head the Small Business Administration after the McMahons donated at least $5 million to Trump’s private foundation. In late 2015, Trump told CNN, in a reference to his run for the presidency, “I’ll really do something that’s never been done before.”

Certainly no other U.S. president has used old video clips of himself body slamming a friend.

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Will Giving The Ganges Human Rights Protect The Polluted River?

While the Ganges is India’s most worshipped body of water, it is also the dirtiest.

Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

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Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

Small cradles of chrysanthemums, illuminated by a single candle, flicker in the moonlight, bobbing along the fast-flowing Ganges River.

They are offerings. For hundreds of millions of Hindus around the world, the river is the goddess Ganga, or Mother Ganga, who descended to Earth from her home in the Milky Way.

Devotees murmur prayers and chant her praises in riverside cities along their ghats, the cement embankments that lead into the river.

But if the Ganges is India’s most worshipped body of water, it’s also the dirtiest.

Flowing through five populous states that make up the Ganges basin, it traverses tanneries spewing heavy metals, factories spilling industrial effluents, and cities discharging urban waste. All of that, before dumping into the Bay of Bengal.

Indian Hindu devotees, reflected on the water, cross the polluted Ganges River at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati River, in Allahabad, India. Uttarakhand’s Court conferred rights on the Yamuna when it granted rights to the Ganges.

Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

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Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

The headwaters lie in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand where there’s an unusual bid to clean up the river underway.

The state’s high court has declared the Ganges to be a “living entity.”

Environmental lawyer Raj Panjwani says that includes all the “aquatic biodiversity that would depend on the river.”

The court reasoned that the Ganges is a “juristic person,” a concept in law whereby an entity “is not a human being, yet it has certain rights,” Panjwani explains, including the right to sue.

Indian law accepts that a deity embodied in a stone carving is a juristic person. Panjwani notes the court drew the analogy: “If a stone which is a deity can be conferred with rights, then water which has all the attributes of a deity can also be conferred with rights.”

With the power to reach millions, Indian religious leaders of many faiths have united to raise the dangers of polluting the Ganges and the need to revitalize it. They’ve joined hands under the group Global Interfaith WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) Alliance.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, center, and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, far right, join other faith leaders as they perform a puja, or prayers, pictured here, and aartis, or fire ceremonies meant to honor the Ganges.

Global Interfaith WASH Alliance/Parmarth Niketan Ashram

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Global Interfaith WASH Alliance/Parmarth Niketan Ashram

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, who’s been a leading voice in raising awareness about the pollution, agrees with giving the Ganges rights. In June, he led a congregation of leaders of all faiths working to provide access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at his ashram, in the riverside city of Rishikesh.

At the assembly, the swami presided over aartis, or fire ceremonies, meant to show humility and respect to the deity Ganga. Indians worship up and down the course of the 1,500-mile-long river, and Pujya Swamiji says that’s as it should be. But, he says, cremating the dead in the river is harmful and should stop. The Ganges is the lifeline for the lives of 500 million people.

“If Ganga dies, India dies. If Ganga thrives, India thrives. No Ganga, no India,” the swami says.

The slate gray river is relatively clean in Rishikesh. Its flow is fast and the river’s velocity helps increase its capacity to dilute pollution. But downstream, the Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment’s Susmita Sengupta says the river is clotted with pollutants.

“You have flowers, you have plastics, you have dead bodies, you have construction debris, so much filth coming in from the cities,” Sengupta says.

But the biggest contaminator is the millions of gallons of untreated sewage discharged into the river daily. Sengupta’s center found fast-growing cities on the Ganges to be hotspots of the bacteria fecal coliform. She says government data shows certain places are 230 times the acceptable level for human health.

A man bathes on the banks of the Ganges River in the town of Rishikesh near the headwaters. Up and down the 1,500-mile course of the iconic river, Indians worship, wash, and cremate their dead — a practice that environmentalists say pollutes the river and should be curtailed.

Julie McCarthy/NPR

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Julie McCarthy/NPR

“It’s not even suitable for outdoor bathing, leave apart drinking,” Sengupta says.

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, an American and prominent figure at Pujya Swami’s ashram, says many believe the Ganges is indestructible, which helps explain how Indians can consider the river holy and still pollute it.

“When you say to people things like, ‘Don’t put that plastic bag in the river, don’t pollute the river,’ they actually turn around and say to you, ‘That has no connection to her power. Pollution in the river has no impact on the divinity of the mother goddess,'” Saraswati says.

The faith leaders who gathered last month at her ashram seek to challenge those very attitudes. Pujya Sant Rameshbhai Ozaji, a Hindu sadhu or saint from Gujarat told me he welcomed the Uttarakhand Court’s decision granting the river the right to not be polluted.

“From the spiritual perspective, we say [polluting the river] is a sin,” Ozaji said. “But, of course, there are some people who aren’t convinced by that. And for them, we have to come in with strong court orders, with strong laws.”

Environmentalists meanwhile say the Ganges’ water is so dirty because sewage treatment plants can’t take the load.

Attorney Ray Panjwani says poor planning made them obsolete before they were even built. Panjwani says he was shocked to hear authorities tell the National Green Tribunal, the body tasked with safeguarding India’s environment, that when they laid out the blueprint for one of the treatment plants the sewage outflow was 2 million liters per day, and by the time it was constructed, it was 4 million. It’s now 8 million.

The remains of prayer material and discarded idols of Hindu deities pollute the banks of the river Ganges in Allahabad, India.

Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

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Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

“The government says there’s no difficulty where funds are concerned,” there’s more than enough money Panjwani says, quoting authorities. The environmental lawyers say what’s needed are “the right projections, the right technology and the right people who should undertake the sheer magnitude of the work.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have underestimated that work when he promised three years ago that the Ganges would be well on its way to be cleaned by now.

Thirty years of his predecessors’ schemes failed to improve the water.

In its ruling, the Uttarakhand High Court borrowed a precedent from New Zealand where the Maori tribe won recognition for the revered Whanganui River to be treated as a human being.

The Uttarakhand judges designated state officials to be “the human face” that would “protect and preserve” the Ganges. Legal experts say if they don’t, they could face fines and jail under existing laws, though it’s rare a polluter is penalized in India.

Still, Raj Panjwani says the court order represents a radical bid to change attitudes toward the Ganges.

“All these things take time,” he says, but Panjwani considers it “to be a first step in the right direction.”

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Utah's 'Zion Curtain' Falls And Loosens State's Tight Liquor Laws

Utah restaurant owner Joel LaSalle smashes a partition known as a “Zion Curtain” that prevented customers from seeing alcoholic drinks being mixed and poured. On Saturday, a new rule allowed some restaurants to tear down this wall.

Rick Bowmer/AP

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Rick Bowmer/AP

The sound of breaking glass reverberated through Utah on Saturday as the state’s so-called Zion Curtain liquor law came crashing down.

H.B. 442, a sweeping piece of alcohol reform legislation the Utah State Legislature passed in March, means some restaurants can take down the partitions meant to block the view of alcoholic drinks being mixed and poured.

The goal of the original rule was to shield kids from the supposed glamour of bar-tending and subsequent risks of underage drinking, reports The Associated Press.

“It feels fabulous and liberating. It’s a hallelujah moment,” Joel LaSalle, owner of Current Fish & Oyster told the AP as his glass wall smashed into smithereens.

Salt Lake City restaurant owner Joel LaSalle sits in front of a once-mandatory partition that prevented customers from seeing their alcoholic drinks being mixed and poured. New state legislation meant he could remove the partition on Saturday.

Rick Bowmer/AP

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Rick Bowmer/AP

“Over the last two years, it probably cost us $350,000 in sales,” LaSalle told Nicole Nixon from member station KUER in Salt Lake City. LaSalle said people didn’t want to sit at the bar and face a frosted glass wall instead of a bartender.

Opponents of the old law said it punished new restaurants, since those built before 2009 were not required to have the barrier and even with one kids could see alcoholic drinks being consumed anyway, reports AP.

But Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Spokesman Terry Wood toldThe Salt Lake Tribune that restaurants must first be inspected and approved before the barriers can come down. If restaurants take down this wall without approval they could be hit with fines or loss of a liquor license.

“Liquor laws in Utah are notoriously burdensome for restaurants,” reports Nixon.

The state is majority Mormon and “(a)ctive members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages,” says Brigham Young University.

Zion is understood by Latter-day Saints to mean “a group of God’s followers or a place where such a group lives.”

And unlike the actual Iron Curtain that once separated the former Soviet bloc from the West, there is no free flow of people following the fall of the Zion Curtain.

The rules state that in restaurants without the partition, minors must be kept at least ten feet from anywhere alcohol is poured.

As of midday Friday, around two dozen restaurants had been inspected and approved, Wood told The Tribune and in the coming weeks the department will be working through around three dozen additional applications.

The new rules are also making it pricier to buy alcohol in the state, increasing the liquor markup by 2 percent.

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