Happy Friday, Care2 members!
The Middle East and North Africa
Syria: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad granted amnesty to those charged with political crimes (aka those who protest against the government). This was seen as a purely symbolic gesture, and protests continue. Assad has been accused of killing and torturing his own people, including a 13-year-old boy who has become a martyr figure for the opposition movement.
Yemen: Violence in Yemen is escalating at such a rate that the country is on the brink of civil war. Today, the presidential palace was shelled by opposition forces, and President Ali Abdullah Saleh and four officials were wounded.
Bahrain: For the past 11 weeks, Bahrain has been governed under matial law, meaning the government has been giving protesters death sentences and using violent police tactics to scatter anti-government protests. King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa has just lifted these restrictions, which should, in theory, end the government’s irrational violence. However, protesters are skeptical. Security is still heavy and brutality against protesters continue.
Libya: More of Gaddafi’s government is defecting to Italy as attempts to negotiate with the dictator have repeatedly failed. Meanwhile, more than 200 migrants are missing after trying to flee Libya in boats across the Mediterranean.
Strange stories of the week
On his diplomatic trip to Europe, President Barack Obama used an auto pen to sign the Patriot Act renewal. Republicans tried to declare Obama’s signature unconstitutional. Maybe we should be focusing on the fact that Obama has renewed the Patriot Act instead of getting all riled up about what kind of pen he used? Just a thought.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie traveled in a state police helicopter to attend his son’s baseball game. After first insisting that this was no big deal, he eventually broke down and paid the state of New Jersey the $1,232.29 bill for using the helicopter. Now, it turns out that Christie has actually used the helicopters quite a few times during his time in office. So much for cutting costs for your state!
Who didn’t watch Sesame Street while growing up? Remember those lessons about being nice to your parents and not hitting the other kids on the playground? Actually, those seemingly innocent morals are actually pushing liberal propaganda on today’s youth.
For the first stop of her national tour, Sarah Palin crashed the Rolling Thunder motorcycle parade, which honors veterans every Memorial Day. However, instead of respecting veterans, Palin made the day all about her, and those in charge of the parade were not pleased.
Animal welfare success stories
25 circus lions from Bolivia have been rescued from their cages and are now living in a sanctuary in Colorado. After being cooped up and on the road for such a long time, it will be difficult to adjust to their new life. We wish them the best!
Laura Simpson brings us the heartwarming story of a raccoon family rescued from a drain pipe, where they were unfortunately stuck. Post-rescue, the raccoon mama and her babies are living happily in the forest where they belong.
Scientists have created a new fishing hook that will significantly reduce the chance of accidental shark catches. The SMART hook, as it is called, will minimize the number of sharks that get caught and killed by fishermen who are not trying to harm the creatures.
A temporary victory for sea lions who make their home on the Columbia River. Plans that would have killed as many as 85 sea lions to protect the local salmon population have been suspended. Thanks to Care2 members and our partner The Humane Society of the United States for taking action against this killing!
That’s all for me, Care2 members. Thanks for reading and have a fabulous weekend!
Image by Peaco Todd, a Care2 blogger.