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Heartless: Zoos in Europe kill 5,000 healthy animals every year

Revelation comes in wake of controversy over healthy giraffe put down in Copenhagen

Up to 5,000 healthy zoo animals - including hundreds of larger ones such as giraffes, lions and bears - are killed by zoos in Europe every year, it is claimed today.

The revelation comes in the wake of the international furore over the killing of Marius, a healthy 18-month-old giraffe, by Copenhagen Zoo. It has since been established that five of the animals have been put down by zoos in Denmark since 2012.

Across Europe, 22 healthy zebras, four hippos and two Arabian Oryx were also put down. The Oryx were killed at Edinburgh and London zoos in 2000 and 2001.

Several German zookeepers were prosecuted in 2010 for killing three tiger cubs at Magdeburg Zoo. However, some zoos, such as Twycross in Warwickshire, have a policy of not putting down healthy animals.

Light Sabers

The Revolution within Democracy

One more year is approaching its closure and many people across the globe will soon look at their children and say "Well, this one was as terrible as it gets but then 2014 should be better - must be!"

Years ago the most senior - by length of service, if not by age or statute - head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, called the outgoing year annus horribilis. With God's blessing, the ensuing years have brought up plenty of reasons for her and her large family to feel happy, joyful and optimistic - including this one, with the birth of her great-grandson George. But for many hundreds of millions of people 2013 has been one of continuous decline of fortunes, and the prospects for 2014 are pointing further downwards.

The establishment will have it that this is just one of those regular crises that are due to the cyclical nature of the markets driven by supply/demand mechanisms; well, a bit longer than the regular, yet soon to diffuse out (almost by itself). We beg to differ: the ongoing crisis exposed the underlaying faults of the current political system and the structural damage it wreaks onto its respective national economy and - as these are more and more interdependent - internationally as well. The culprit: the very existence of Nomenklatura.


Missouri man put to death for rape, murder of school girl after appeals dismissed

Convicted killer Michael Taylor is shown in this Missouri Department of Corrections photo released on February 25, 2014.
A Missouri man was executed early on Wednesday for raping and murdering a 15 year-old school girl, authorities said after the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a flurry of petitions seeking a stay.

Michael Taylor died by lethal injection 25 years after he and an accomplice abducted Ann Harrison while she was waiting for a school bus. The two men then raped her and then stuffed her in the trunk of a car where they stabbed her to death.

The 47-year-old had pleaded guilty. But his attorneys launched a string of appeals, including one asserting the drugs used for lethal injection could subject him to a slow and tortuous death.

Before his execution, Taylor told Reuters that he had great remorse for his crime and said it was fueled by crack cocaine.

Eye 2

Nigerian father arrested for fitting a PADLOCK to four-year-old son's mouth to stop him screaming as he beat him to death

© http://tiwasblog.com
A 30-year-old man has been arrested in Nigeria's Lagos state after authorities found he had locked his son's mouth to prevent him from screaming while the "evil child" was beaten to death.

Chris Elvis has been taken into custody pending further investigation into the incident.

Elvis has blamed the four-year-old Godrich for his ill-fortune in recent days and decided to kill his son as he was perceived as an "Ogbanje" or "child of evil".

The bizarre incident took place in the Meiran area of Lagos, the port and the most populous city of Nigeria.

Light Sabers

Armed group seizes Crimea's parliament and hoists Russian flag

© Photo from facebook.com/aleksandr.jankowski

Security forces are on alert after the buildings of the Crimean parliament and administration have been seized by an unknown group of people. Ukraine's autonomous region is divided over the acceptance of new authorities in Kiev.

Thousands gathered in front of the parliament building on Wednesday with crowds split between those supporting the new government and those calling for integration with Russia. Two people were killed and over 30 were injured in clashes.

What is Crimea? Facts you need to know

At around 4am local time, an unknown group of people barricaded themselves inside the buildings. According to local officials, those people might have been armed.

The men wore black and orange ribbons, a Russian symbol of the victory in World War II, according to AP. They placed a Russian flag on top of the Council of Ministers.

"I will participate in the negotiations. We will swiftly inform Crimeans of the current developments today. Everything is under control, the negotiating process is under way," Prime Minister of Crimea Anatoly Mogilyov told a local TV station.

Cow Skull

Slaughterhouse under criminal investigation for selling meat from dairy cows with eye cancer

© AP Photo/The Press Democrat, Conner Jay
In this January 13, 2014 photo, cows wait to be butchered at Rancho Veal Slaughterhouse in Petaluma, Calif. Rancho Feeding Corp. has voluntarily halted operations, as it tries to track down all of its beef shipments over the past year, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.
Rancho Feeding Corp., the Petaluma slaughterhouse that recently recalled 8.7 million pounds of beef, is under criminal investigation by the federal government for killing and selling meat from dairy cows with cancer, according to sources who would speak only on the condition of anonymity.

Rancho was allegedly buying up cows with eye cancer, chopping off their heads so inspectors couldn't detect the disease and illegally selling the meat, the sources said.

Although it's against federal law, experts say eating the meat isn't likely to make people sick. So far, no one has reported becoming ill from eating the meat.

The huge recall and criminal investigation hasn't just affected Rancho. Private cattle producers, who used the facility for custom slaughtering, have also been swept up, leaving the shelves with a dearth of local, natural and high-end beef.


Astronaut's near-drowning caused by NASA's failure to communicate information


NASA Astronaut Nearly Drowns In Space
NASA will admit on Wednesday that Luca Parmitano's spacesuit leaked on two space walks in July, after details on the initial incident were not properly disseminated, ABC News has learned.

The Mishap Board appointed to investigate the spacesuit accident is releasing its report online at 11 a.m. EST, with a teleconference scheduled for 2 p.m.

The question for investigators is familiar: How often does a system have to fail before it is acknowledged as a problem? The Space Shuttle Columbia accident, which killed seven astronauts in 2003, was blamed on NASA's repeated failure to understand the potential damage caused when insulating foam breaks off during launch.


Fascism spreads in Ukraine: Historic monuments toppled and replaced with Nazi symbols

© Ruptly video still
After a fortnight of violent clashes in the name of democracy, Ukraine seems to be falling into a totally different trend. Symbols of victories over Hitler and Napoleon are being torn down, while those glorifying Nazi rule are multiplying.

It started with dozens of Lenin statues getting torn down across the country, but quickly moved onto passionate salutes and questionable symbolism creeping up walls across the country.
@Yaro_RT Алексей, это у нас в городе (Чернигов)! Посмотрите, что рисуют и пишут! "Правый сектор" - с другой стороны. pic.twitter.com/CmpFdutjMo

- BRoMan (@KushRoMan) February 23, 2014
While the world's attention is focused on Kiev's Independence Square, heavy machinery moves in against one monument in Dniprodzerzhynsk.

Mr. Potato

Maryland police chief humiliated after citing satirical article to oppose pot legalization

© Reuters / Jason Redmond
Testifying against legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in Maryland, the Annapolis police chief cited a satirical article that claimed 37 pot deaths occurred on the first day Colorado legalized its sale.

"The first day of legalization, that's when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana," Chief Michael Pristoop said on Tuesday as part of testimony during a Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing. "I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths."

Pristoop was quickly corrected by a sponsor of one of the bills, according to the Capital Gazette.

"Unless you have some other source for this, I'm afraid I've got to spoil the party here," said Sen. Jamie Raskin. "Your assertion that 37 people died of a marijuana overdose in Colorado was a hoax on the Daily Currant and the Comedy Central website."

Bacon n Eggs

Food prices continuing to climb in U.S. as extreme weather takes toll on crops

© Unknown
If it seems like food prices are going through the roof, you're not imagining it. And they're going to keep going up.

That's what Matt Heimer, editor of the Encore blog at Marketwatch.com, predicts, and while there are several explanations, he says the biggest factor is weather.

Beef prices have gone up about 10 percent for steak and about 15 percent for hamburger this year, and dry conditions have been a major contribution, Heimer says: Drought has been "thinning out a lot of the big cattle herds, and fewer cows on the market means higher prices."

Vegetables affected by the drought as well, particularly the crippling one in California, Heimer says. The effects will take about six to eight months to show up, he adds.

For example, bread prices have risen because there was a rough winter last year in the northern Plains states, such as Nebraska, from where red winter wheat comes.