Friday Wrap: A Homophobic Bill, a Bullfight and a Koala Heist
Happy Friday (the 13th!), Care2 members! It’s time for our weekly glance at some of the issues Care2 Causes has been covering this week.
Protests in the Middle East and North Africa
As fighting continues in Libya, many civilians are attempting to escape the violence. 61 African migrants fleeing Libya via the Mediterranean were left to die, as NATO forces ignored their cries for help with their boat. The death toll of migrants who have died trying to escape from Libya has reached more than 800.
One refugee who was lucky enough to escape Libya’s violence was Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who famously burst into a hotel full of journalists to tell the story of her brutal sexual assault by Gaddafi’s soldiers only to be dragged off by government officials. She is currently residing in neighboring Tunisia but is uncertain about her future.
One potentially positive development for the Libyan rebels: they now claim control over Misurata’s airport, which serves as a symbolic victory in the war-torn city. The event should also give the rebels access to humanitarian aid from abroad.
At least 10,000 protesters have been arrested in Syria this week, as protests against President Bashar al-Assad continue to become more violent. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has officially called for Assad to step down, which is the strongest stance the U.S. has taken against the regime so far.
Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill
The international community is outraged at a bill in Uganda that includes a death penalty for people charged with the ‘crime’ of homosexuality. Although there were rumors that the death penalty clause had been removed, Human Rights Watch has confirmed that it remains intact. The bill will be voted on today.
Strange stories of the week
Many people in Florida are not aware that they will be breaking the law in the bedroom come October. While passing a bestiality law that banned sex with all animals, legislators neglected to remember that humans are animals, too. As a result, Florida has accidentally banned sex. The law goes into effect October 1st.
After years of searching, the U.S. military successfully found and killed Osama bin Laden last week. We may never know exactly how the military discovered bin Laden. However, undergraduate students from a UCLA geography class successfully pinpointed his location within 300 km two years ago. As a recent UCLA graduate, I am proud.
The “first ever koala heist” in Australia came to an end this week. A koala who was stolen from a zoo near Sydney was found in the zoo’s parking lot two days later. He was returned to his home and his keepers are very happy to have him back.
One very proud cat has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s loudest purr. Smokey can purr 16 times louder than the average house cat. Congrats, Smokey!
Animal welfare success stories
This week has brought freedom to a lot of oppressed animals around the world.
Medical students at Massachusetts General Hospital will no longer be practicing trauma life support on live sheep. Massachusetts General was one of nine schools that still used live animals to train their students by inserting tubes into their chest cavities, cutting their throats and ultimately killing them. Hopefully the remaining eight schools will follow in Mass General’s footsteps and take the initiative to end this cruel practice.
Another species that experienced a big win this week. This week, the people of Ecuador voted to ban the violent practice of bullfighting. While some may mourn the loss of this form of cultural heritage, animal rights activists will celebrate the end of a cruel and pointless form of entertainment.
Thanks to the help of Care2 members, one persecuted tiger will soon be free. Tony the Tiger has lived in a cage at a truck stop in Louisiana for ten years. With 67,000 signatures from our members and 10 petitions, Tony is finally being released.
Another, soggier animal was released recently, as seen in an adorable video. A seal pup in British Columbia was found starving. He was rescued, nursed back to health and released into the wild. Good luck to him!
That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
Image from Peaco Todd, Care2 blogger