Happy Friday, Care2 members! Here’s this week’s news, in a nutshell:
As of 3pm EST, the Congress and President Obama are getting closer to a decision on the budget plan. If they cannot reach an agreement by midnight tonight, the government will shut down. Our fearless blogger Robin Marty is bringing you updates throughout the weekend here.
For all Care2 coverage on the potential government shutdown, click here.
As protests and fighting continue throughout the Middle East, Care2 brings you up-to-date coverage here.
The unrest in Libya has not abated. This week, the city of Misrata experienced a massacre when pro-Gaddafi forces brutally attacked civilians. Amidst all of the violence in his country, Gaddafi wrote a 3-page letter to President Obama, urging him to stop NATO’s intervention in the conflict. The White House has dismissed Gaddafi’s plea.
A group of 300 people trying to leave the country were killed when their boat capsized. The passengers were migrants to Libya who were fleeing the violence in their adopted country.
As more civilians are killed in anti-government protests in Yemen, the United States has officially withdrawn support for President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The U.S. is responding to claims that it has not been supportive of democratic reform efforts in Yemen.
Protests are also continuing in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is still refusing to lift the repressive emergency laws.
Violence is escalating in the Ivory Coast, where hundreds of civilians were massacred this week in a coastal town. The conflict stems from the November 2010 election. The Western-supported candidate Alassane Ouattara won the presidency, but incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo has refused to step down. The fight between the two sides has led to many brutal civilian casualties.
Gbagbo’s refusal to step down has led to many unnecessary deaths. He is also known for violating human rights throughout his tenure as president. Despite Gbagbo’s violent history, Pat Robertson approves. Gbagbo is a Christian, and for Robertson, it is more important to have a Christian in power than to have a democratic leader. Interesting set of priorities, Pat.
Animal Welfare Success Stories
A year after 100 sled dogs were unnecessarily slaughtered in British Columbia, B.C. Premier Christy Clark has announced significantly stricter animal cruelty laws. This is a win that Care2 members helped bring about, thanks to a petition that garnered over 100,000 signatures.
In the United States, politicians are attempting to stop animal cruelty as well. Newark Mayor Cory Booker has announced that he is raising funds for a state-of-the-art animal shelter, inspired by the story of Patrick the Pit bull, who was found in a trash chute nearly starved to death. The new shelter will be called Patrick’s Place.
Care2 blogger Sharon Seltzer brings us an inside look at one nonprofit’s attempts to rescue pets from Japan’s earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster. With the unpredictable danger of radiation, pets are sometimes left behind in the rush to evacuate. This group makes sure more animals are safe.
A victory for cats in the state of Utah: To deal with the feral cat population, one state representative tried to pass a bill that would allow anyone to kill a cat they judged to be feral without legal repercussions. Not only did this bill fail, a more comprehensive reform was passed. Senate Bill 57 supports a local animal group’s trap, neuter and return practice, which has seen promising results.
That’s all for now, members. Are you looking for something to do this weekend? I know what I’ll be doing — birdwatching!
Cartoon by Peaco Todd, Care2 blogger