Clinton Foundation To Drastically Shrink If Hillary Clinton Is Elected

Former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton tour a primary school’s garden in Nairobi, Kenya last year as part of a tour of the Clinton Foundation’s projects in the country. Ben Curtis/AP hide caption

toggle caption Ben Curtis/AP

The Clinton Foundation is working now to “spin off” or “find partners” for many of its programs, including all international activities and programs funded by foreign and corporate donors, the head of the Clinton foundation tells NPR’s Peter Overby. An attempt to prevent conflicts, the “unraveling” would go into effect if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

It will take time to make the changes to each of the Foundation’s affected programs, said President Donna Shalala. “This kind of unraveling has to be done with a scalpel so that we just do not hurt people, and do not interrupt the very good work that’s being done,” she said.

Many of the Foundation’s programs will be become separate non-governmental organizations “without us participating in the governance obviously,” said Donna Shalala. Partner organizations, she says, will also “continue the work that was started by the Clinton Foundation.”

Founded by President Clinton, the foundation has become a major player in international health and global philanthropy. In 2014, The Foundation reported $439 million in assets, $338 million in revenue and spent $217 million in programs.

Donna Shalala is head of the Clinton Foundation. Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Eisenhower Fell hide caption

toggle caption Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Eisenhower Fell

But it has also been heavily criticized for potential conflicts with the State Department under Hillary Clinton’s leadership. Released emails have shown some efforts to connect donors or associates at the Foundation to personnel at the State Department.

And on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that as secretary of state, Clinton met or had phone conversations with 154 private citizens — more than half were donors or connected to entities that gave money to the foundation or its projects.

In response, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence called for the foundation to be “immediately shut down” and for an “independent special prosecutor [to] be appointed to determine if access to Hillary Clinton was for sale.” Donald Trump has also called for the foundation to be shut down.

The Foundation announced last week that if Hillary Clinton is elected, Bill Clinton would step down from the foundation board and it would stop accepting money from foreign and corporate sources. Shalala says Chelsea Clinton would remain on the board.

Shalala insists the changes are not a reactionary move. “We’re not responding to the outside criticism,” she said. “I was brought in a year ago to help start thinking through what the form would take if she was elected, and the president wanted to do it very carefully.”

It would have been “presumptuous” to make such changes before Clinton was the nominee, Shalala said.

The Clintons could have avoided conflicts by letting an independent board of directors oversee decisions, said Leslie Lenkowsky of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. But, he says, he hasn’t seen any clear evidence that foundation donors got more than small favors from Hillary Clinton’s State Department. “Unless it really gets to affecting public business, you know, it’s not nice to look at and the donors shouldn’t do it,” he said, “but you know, it happens all the time.”

“The most important thing to the president and to Chelsea is that the work continues but under different umbrellas away from the foundation, obviously, because we will not be able to accept corporate donations or international money as we have to support our programs,” Shalala continued.

Bill Clinton “will not be involved” in the initiatives that are spinning off or merging with another foundation, Shalala said. He also won’t do any fundraising for the Foundation.

So what will remain of the foundation? “We have some things that are funded by American foundations,” Shalala said. She also pointed to the presidential library and Clinton center in Little Rock, Ark. “There are elements of the Clinton Foundation that people often don’t think about that stay forever.”

If Clinton wins the election, Bill Clinton will not have any official connection to the Foundation, Shaala said, “I’m sure he’s going to go visit his library.”

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Gang Rape Of Aid Workers In South Sudan Is A Turning Point

The Terrain Hotel compound was ransacked by South Sudanese troops who went on to attack foreign aid workers who were holed up in the facility. Adriane Ohanesian/AP hide caption

toggle caption Adriane Ohanesian/AP

It was a tragic turning point.

On July 11, South Sudanese soldiers invaded a hotel in the capital city of Juba and gang-raped foreign aid workers.

“The soldiers just came to the bathroom where all the girls were hiding and they just picked us out of the bathroom one by one,” says one of the women who was in the hotel. She asked that her name not be used.

Despite calls for help to the U.N. compound a mile down the road, no one came.

Even in a country where violence is commonplace, where a simmering civil war has been reignited, where the humanitarian needs are among the most pressing in the world, this attack sent shock waves through the aid community.

“Certainly something changed and things happened that we were not used to seeing happen,” says Steve McCann, a security and risk assessment specialist. And now the repercussions are apparent: Some relief agencies have evacuated staff, and others have scaled back their operations.

The incident happened amid a whirlwind of fighting that erupted in Juba last month between government troops loyal to president Salva Kiir and soldiers aligned with former vice president Reik Machar. Machar and his soldiers had recently come back from exile as part of a peace process to end a conflict that began in 2013.

But Machar’s return quickly sparked open combat between armies split predominantly along ethnic lines.

When the fighting began on July 8 in the dusty dirt streets of Juba, foreign aid workers hunkered down in their compounds. The violence raged for 4 days and left more than 300 people dead, including refugees inside a United Nation compound and 2 Chinese peacekeepers. Thousands of people fled their homes.

On the southwestern edge of the capital, more than two dozen aid workers took shelter inside the grounds of the Terrain Hotel. The hotel, less than a mile from a large United Nation peacekeeping base, is popular with foreigners. During the fighting most of the foreign aid workers who sought shelter there were from the United States, Australia and the Philippines.

“There were intermittent highs and lows in the fighting,” says the American woman who spoke to NPR. “There was a lot of military activity on the road outside of our compound. We were told [by our head office] that they were trying to evacuate us but there were too many checkpoints along the road. That it wasn’t safe and that we just need to just sit there and wait.”

On the fourth day of the fighting dozens of South Sudanese troops broke through the gate into the hotel grounds.

A group of about 30 foreign aid workers and a South Sudanese editor who was working for a USAID funded project barricaded themselves in the second story of a block of apartments at the hotel. The block had been built as a “safe house” with metal gates on the balconies and steel reinforced doors.

For several hours the soldiers pillaged the hotel, ripping out appliances, ransacking rooms and even carting off the generator. The holed-up humanitarians frantically called the U.N., the U.S. embassy and private security firms to send help.

But help did not arrive. At a U.N. base just up the road, armed peacekeepers with armored vehicles couldn’t get authorization to leave their base and go to the hotel. The U.S. Embassy didn’t have the resources to dispatch a rescue team. Private security companies also said the streets were too dangerous to reach the Terrain Hotel.

“The soldiers were trying to break down the door and then they started shooting through the door,” says the American woman. One bullet hit a Vermont-based contractor in the leg.

Finally the door gave way.

Once they got in, the predominantly Dinka government soldiers shot and killed a South Sudanese journalist, John Gatluak. Gatluak, who’s from the Nuer ethnic group, was working for Internews, a USAID-funded project to teach media skills to local journalists.

Then the soldiers grabbed the women who were hiding in the bathroom.

“The soldier that picked me, he walked me in to another room,” says the American. “The room that he walked me in to there was blood on the floor and there were panties on the floor. So I knew what he was going to do.”

She collapsed on the floor in a fetal position, clutching her knees to her chest and refusing to move.

“He kept hitting me with an AK-47, yelling at me to open my legs,” the American woman says. She says the soldier kept screaming at her, “‘Open your legs. I’m going to kill you if you don’t open your legs.'”

Eventually, she says, another soldier who appeared to be a commander ordered the soldier to stop. She says she was not raped. But at least 5 women were. One told the Associated Press that 15 men assaulted her for hours.

Hours after the attack on the Terrain Hotel began, most of the aid workers were finally taken out of the hotel by security forces aligned with the same government troops that had attacked them. Three of the Western women weren’t rescued until the next morning.

Steve McCann, the security specialist, says South Sudan has been a dangerous place for years. His company, Safer Edge, trains international relief groups in conflict zones around the world.

In the past McCann didn’t expect that foreign aid workers in South Sudan would be directly and personally attacked.

“No,” he says. “We didn’t feel that international staff were the targets. No.”

There are places in the world where international aid workers simply can’t operate — parts of Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia for instance. Before the Terrain Hotel attack, South Sudan wasn’t one of those no-go zones. And McCann cautions that this incident won’t cause all aid agencies to pull their foreigners out of the country. But the growing insecurity will force groups to reassess their operations and be far more cautious in South Sudan.

Julien Schopp with Interaction, an umbrella group for development and relief agencies based in Washington, says this incident was the culmination of 2 years of growing insecurity for aid workers in South Sudan.

“If you look at the latest aid worker security report, for the first time South Sudan is the most insecure location in the world overtaking Afghanistan and Somalia, where we expect more violence,” Schopp says.

The insecurity for aid agencies in South Sudan comes at the same time the need for international relief is growing rapidly. There’s a cholera outbreak, malaria is on the rise, two and a half million people have been driven from their homes and millions more are dependent on international food rations. During the eruption of violence in July, even those food rations weren’t safe. An entire warehouse for the U.N. World Food Program in Juba was ransacked.

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New Residential Towers Bring Big Changes To New York's Skyline

The New York skyline is undergoing big changes with more than a dozen super tall residential towers going up now. Many of the global ultra-rich who buy these apartments spend just a fraction of the year in them. Critics say they’re paying a much lower tax rate than full-time New York residents. But defenders say these luxury buildings support a lot of good jobs and contribute to the local economy.

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Trump Off Camera: The Man Behind The 'In-Your-Face Provocateur'

Trump Revealed

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee is known for his outspoken personality and over-sized public image, which he believes help build his brand name.

“Whether it’s good press or bad press, it’s getting your name out there,” Washington Post investigative reporter Michael Kranish tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies. “Getting your name on the gossip pages and the front pages and even the sports pages, [is] all in the effort of building the name.”

Kranish and his Post colleague Marc Fisher are the authors of Trump Revealed, a biography about Trump’s life and career that is based on the work of more than 20 of the Post’s reporters, editors and fact-checkers.

Fisher says 20 hours of interviews with Trump helped him come to a better understanding of the candidate. “The man we’ve come to know and understand is someone who has led a strikingly solitary life given how public he is and how glad-handing his image is,” Fisher said. “When I asked him about friendships he said he really doesn’t have friendships of the kind that most people would describe.”

Interview Highlights

On what Trump was like as a kid

Marc Fisher: He was, by both his friends’ description and his own, a rambunctious kid who got in trouble a lot and who was a bit of a ruffian. From the youngest age, about age 6 or 7, he pelted the neighbor’s toddler with rocks from across the yard. He pulled the pigtails of a classmate. He got into a physical altercation with one of his teachers, and so he was someone who was kind of a rambunctious kid, even obnoxious by some accounts, and he says that he hasn’t changed since second grade. So that kind of in-your-face provocateur character that we’ve come to see in the campaign is something that traces back very cleanly and consistently to this childhood as kind of a tough kid.

On how a lawsuit that charged his father’s real estate company with racial bias influenced Trump’s business philosophy

Michael Kranish: This was a very serious lawsuit, one of the most significant racial bias cases at the time, and it’s very interesting, we were able to obtain, under Freedom of Information Act requests, all of the transcripts for this court case. What happened was, Donald had to decide, was he going to settle this case or was he going to fight the federal government? One night in Manhattan he walked into a nightclub that he belonged to, and there was a man named Roy Cohn, and Roy Cohn of course is the famous or infamous lawyer who was the aide to Joseph McCarthy of the Army-McCarthy hearings that was held in the 1950s. Donald got to talking to Roy Cohn and told him about this racial bias case brought by the federal government, and Cohn, who himself had fought the federal government many times in his career, said, “Don’t settle. Fight like hell. When they hit you, hit back ten times harder.”

The bottom line is, after this discussion at the nightclub, Donald Trump decided that he would, in fact, fight like hell, and he absorbed in a philosophy that he maintains to this day — when you’re hit, hit back ten times harder.

On Trump using a pseudonym to be his own press agent

Fisher: So what happened is in an effort to kind of spread his image around the city and around the country eventually, Donald Trump would act as his own press agent. He would call reporters as “John Miller” or “John Barron,” he wouldn’t bother even to disguise his voice, but he would call them up and say, “Donald Trump is going to be out at this club with this amazing celebrity or this model,” or “Donald Trump is going to be groundbreaking for a new building.” And he would kind of gin up press coverage as this alter ego, and he would also call reporters to complain about their stories or to encourage them to think about Donald Trump in a better light. …

Some of the reporters who got these calls knew that it was Trump, and they thought this was kind of weird, but they went along with it, others didn’t know. We were lucky enough to get a recording that someone sent me of one of these calls in which he presents himself as John Miller to a reporter for People magazine and if you listen to the recording, it sounds astonishingly like Donald Trump because it is Donald Trump. He carries this on as if no one knows what his very distinctive voice sounds like, and he talks about Donald Trump in this very extremely complimentary way and about what a ladies’ man he is, and how women can’t stop themselves from coming to him and seeking to go out with him, and this is something that he did for many, many years.

On Trump’s debt in 1990s

Kranish: [The banks] really felt that if they basically forced Donald Trump to repay his debts that they were going to lose everything themselves. Donald Trump had such extraordinary leverage that there came a day when the bankers were concerned that Donald Trump did not have insurance on his yacht, which he bought for some $20 million dollars. Trump’s associates basically told the bank, “Look, you need to pay for the insurance on the yacht, because if something happens to it, you’ll have nothing.” He eventually got the bank to pay insurance that Donald Trump himself didn’t have. Similarly, Donald Trump had five helicopters the banks wanted to take back. For a time, he actually hid those five helicopters, because he was concerned they’d be swept up by the banks. Eventually they were turned over, but it just shows you the difficult times that Donald Trump was having at that time.

On Trump’s business model of selling his name and his image

Fisher: Over time what Donald Trump learned was that he could do all these things for himself. So the big question is, is he capable of doing this for anyone other than himself? And the track record really makes me kind of skeptical about that, because what we have is someone who, throughout his career, has found ways to enrich himself at the expense of others.

What Donald Trump learned from that experience in New York and Atlantic City was that he could build his entire business model around this idea of selling his image and his name. The more he got people to believe that his image was worth millions, the more he would be able to go out and sell just his name. So many of his latter day projects over the last couple of decades, in fact most of them, do not involve Donald Trump building anything, do not involve Donald Trump creating jobs, they involve Donald Trump going to a developer and saying, “I will sell you my name that you can put on your building that you have invested in, with your money, and that you will give me a steady, guaranteed income flow.” That’s the arrangement he had on many if not most of his building projects in the United States and around the world that have been done in the last 10, 20 years, and similarly with all the other businesses that he’s gotten into, whether it’s selling medicines or selling a university that he created. All of these things are cases where his involvement on a day-to-day basis is marginal or even nonexistent — what he’s sold is the name and he gets a set multi-million dollar fee every year that’s guaranteed, even if the project fails.

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Wolverine's Mutton Chops To Hugh Jackman: 'This Ain't Over, Bub'

Hugh Jackman and mutton chops in X-Men: The Last Stand The Kobal Collection hide caption

toggle caption The Kobal Collection

Hey Hugh.

It’s us, the sideburns you wore while you played the character Wolverine. All the times you played Wolverine. To refresh your memory: When Wolverine 3 comes out next year, we’ll have been together, the three of us, for nine movies over the course of 17 years.

Seventeen years, Hugh. Do you know what anniversary that is? It’s the furniture anniversary. We were gonna make you a footstool!

My wife is going to be very happy. #GoodbyeChops #TheDebs

— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) August 22, 2016

But then you went on Twitter on Monday, after you finished shooting Wolverine 3, and shaved us off. Just like that. Just ritually murdered us for the amusement of your 6.74 million followers.

So we imagine you’re surprised to hear from us.

But you can’t kill us, Hugh. Not really. We mutton chops — we’re more than the follicles that make us up; we’re a way of life. An attitude. An emotional state. We are eternal.

And we’re here to tell you: We refuse to accept this. You owe us.

Oh sure, you were a working actor before we met. Your Curly in Oklahoma on the West End? Very impressive. We’ll note here: Your character’s name was Curly. Your hairstyle was essential to the character; it carried that performance.

Huh. How about that.

Life patterns start early, I guess.

But then in 2000 you got the part of Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s X-Men, replacing Dougray Scott, the man whose two names are three names.

Let’s face it; casting you was a stretch. Wolverine, in the comics, is 5 feet, 3 inches. You’re a full foot taller. He’s Canadian; you’re Australian. And yeah, you bulked up for the part, but the Wolverine of the comics is a compact ball o’ muscle, and you, Hugh, even at your most burly, retain a certain stubborn ranginess.

So. Go ahead, tell yourself it was your performance that sold audiences on your Wolverine. But we know the truth. It was us. It was always us.

That’s because, qua coiffures, mutton chops signify something very specific: chaos and control in perfect balance. Facial hair allowed to grow thick and bushy — pure untrammeled virility! — but only within rigid parameters. The cheeks, not the chin.

Business in the front, party on the sides.

Historically, we are worn by men who channel their aggression into proscribed outlets — military men like Gen. Ambrose Burnside, and, um, Colonel Mustard.

Wolverine is a character trained to be a weapon — a superhero whose superpower is the disemboweling of others. To be a hero, and to live among them, he must mediate his propensity for violence, he must keep his blood lust throttled.

And all of that back story? Is sitting on his cheekbones.

Yeah. You’re welcome.

You sure seem glad to be rid of us. You tell everyone who’ll listen how much your wife always hated us, which we’ll be honest: hurtful.

But that’s fine, because we’re not going anywhere, Hugh. We’ll always be here, just underneath the surface of your skin.


And we’re not alone. That ridiculous bushy hobo number you sported as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables is here with us, too. And that wildly unfortunate Van Dyke from your turn as Blackbeard in Pan.

So on nights when you’re drifting off to sleep, your beloved, us-hating wife in your arms, you may catch, just at the edge of hearing, our united voices raised in defiance.

We’re here.

We’re beard.

Get used to it.

That’s … that’s what we’ve come up with for now, but we’re … I mean we’re still workshopping it, obviously.

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Stanford Bans Hard Liquor From On-Campus Parties, Limits Bottle Sizes

Hoover Tower is seen through a sculpture by Kenneth Snelson on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2009. Chip Chipman/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chip Chipman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As Stanford undergrads get ready for the fall semester, the university’s administrators have issued a new mandate: Pack your books and calculators, but leave the fifths and handles at home.

On Monday, just over a month before classes resume, the university announced a set of changes to its alcohol policy.

Hard liquor will now be completely banned from on-campus parties — unless the party is hosted by groups exclusively for graduate students, and in that case, only mixed drinks are allowed. “Straight shots of hard alcohol are never allowed at any party,” the school says.

Beer and wine are still allowed.

And in dorms, individual students (provided they’re 21 and over) will be allowed to have liquor — but only in bottles smaller than 750 mL.

Violating the policy could prompt “administrative action” and could result in people being kicked out of on-campus housing.

In its statement, Stanford called this “a sensible, creative solution that has roots in research-based solutions.” Administrators say they are aiming not to prohibit alcohol, but to limit high-risk behavior, specifically. They believe limiting bottle sizes will have that effect:

“Most alcohol retailers only sell large-volume containers — 750 mL and above. Only select retailers sell hard alcohol containers smaller in volume than 750 mL. Therefore, the outlet density of establishments that sell hard alcohol around campus will be greatly reduced. Also, the costs associated with purchasing smaller containers of hard alcohol are higher than the cost per volume of larger containers, which may serve as a deterrent.”

Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin tells NPR that her office is not aware of any other college that has instituted a bottle-size limit on hard alcohol.

But Stanford is far from the first school to restrict liquor on campus. Bowdoin, Bates, Colby and Notre Dame have all had bans in place for more than six years.

Dartmouth banned hard liquor entirely at the beginning of 2015, while the University of Virginia established rules limiting hard liquor at large Greek parties to events with a hired bartender.

Both Dartmouth and U.Va. announced their policy changes in the wake of high-profile sexual assault allegations.

Stanford’s policy change comes just a few months after former Stanford student Brock Allen Turner was sentenced to just six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

During the case, Turner blamed his behavior on drinking. “I made a mistake, I drank too much, and my decision hurt someone … my poor decision making and excessive drinking hurt someone that night,” he said in a statement. “I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school.”

In a letter that went viral, the woman Turner assaulted repeatedly pointed out that drinking was not Turner’s crime: It was assault.

“You were not wrong for drinking. Everyone around you was not sexually assaulting me. You were wrong for doing what nobody else was doing,” she said, before graphically describing the assault. “Why am I still explaining this.”

“You realize, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone?” she said.

On Twitter, two Stanford professors expressed frustration with the announcement of the alcohol policy change, specifically that it was announced in the wake of sexual assaults but addresses drinking instead of consent.

Alcohol must be in bottle small enough so you can use it “secretly” so @Stanford isn’t blamed when you rape someone.

— Michele Dauber (@mldauber) August 22, 2016

#Stanford: not solving the problem, but solving a problem that, when you squint, is sorta kinda next to that problem

— Adrian Daub (@adriandaub) August 23, 2016

Lapin, the campus spokeswoman, says the concern over high-risk drinking at Stanford goes back “many months.” She pointed to a letter from the president and provost in March that mentions alcohol poisoning and academic problems, as well as sexual assault, as reasons for the college’s concern over alcohol misuse.

Meanwhile, the judge who gained infamy in the Brock Turner case has made headlines again.

Aaron Persky recused himself from a different sex-related case, in which he was due to decide whether to reduce a felony conviction for possession of child pornography to a misdemeanor.

The judge, who was subjected to a recall campaign after the Turner case, cited “publicity surrounding the case” that “resulted in a personal family situation” in stepping down from the child porn decision, The Mercury News reports.

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Robbie Fulks On Mountain Stage

August 23, 20162:43 PM ET

Robbie Fulks returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. One of the architects of alt-country, Fulks has a gift for a wide variety of roots-music sounds, which he employs with a showman’s wink and a healthy disrespect for the music industry.

Effortlessly sliding between honky-tonk, country, bluegrass and Replacements-style rock, Fulks has cut a wide swath in his career. He’s been a staff songwriter on Nashville’s Music Row; worked on ad campaigns for Budweiser, McDonald’s, Nickelodeon and Applebee’s; hosted his own show, Robbie’s Secret Country, on satellite radio; and written for a host of publications, all while remaining a respected sideman and producer.

In 2013, Fulks released the critically acclaimed Gone Away Backwards, while his most recent album, Upland Stories, finds him once again exploring the subversive side of bluegrass and country.

  • “Long I Ride”
  • “Alabama At Night”
  • “Aunt Peg’s New Old Man”
  • “The Buck Starts Here”

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Extinct 'Micro Lion' Is Named For Sir David Attenborough

Paleoartist Peter Schouten’s reconstruction of Microleo attenboroughi prowling along the branches of rain forest trees in search of prey. Peter Schouten/Courtesy of the University of New South Wales hide caption

toggle caption Peter Schouten/Courtesy of the University of New South Wales

Paleontologists at the University of New South Wales in Australia say they have identified a tiny new species of marsupial lion that lived around 18 million years ago.

The extinct, squirrel-size animal weighed about 1.3 pounds, very likely lived in trees and had teeth that suggest it was capable of ripping apart other small creatures with its molars.

The researchers named it Microleo attenboroughi in honor of Sir David Attenborough, the famed British naturalist who has hosted numerous documentaries on wildlife.

As the researchers write in their study, published in the online journal Palaeontologia Electronica, the etymology of the name is:

“From micro meaning small (Greek) and leo meaning lion (Latin). The species name honors Sir David Attenborough for his dedication and enthusiasm in promoting the natural history of the world and the palaeontological treasures of the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in particular.”

M. attenboroughi is the ninth, and smallest, marsupial lion species paleontologists have identified from fossils recovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage fossil site in Queensland, Australia. The first such species, Thylacoleo carnifex, which was identified in 1858 and more fully described in 1999, was much larger than the newly identified “micro lion.” T. carnifex was about 5 feet long, 2 feet tall, and had the impressive ability to rip through prey with its jaws.

On its website, the Australian Museum describes T. carnifex’s bite as “the most powerful bite of any mammalian predator, living or extinct” and says “it could have taken prey much larger than itself.”

The other species range in size from that of a leopard down to the size of a dog. Over time, Australian marsupial lions grew in size, from the Miocene period, when the newly discovered lion species lived, up to the Pleistocene period, when T. carnifex hunted. At any given point over about 5 million years, no more than two species of Australian marsupial lion existed at the same time.

Marsupial lions are not the ancestors of modern lions living in parts of Africa, though they are related to modern marsupials such as koalas. The term “lion” refers instead to the status of the ancient hunters as dangerous carnivores, much like the current status of big cats.

M. attenboroughi is not alone in its honorific name among the prehistoric marsupial lions of Australia.

There’s also Whollydooleya tomnpatrichorum, another recently discovered species. That animal, which is slightly larger than Attenborough’s namesake and has sharper teeth, was discovered at a fossil site called Wholly Dooley. Its name pays tribute to Australian paleontologists Tom and Pat Rich.

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