Provisional victory against Trump’s elephant killing plans

This video from the USA says about itself:

16 November 2017

Trump is making poachers great again. Ana Kasparian, Michael Shure, and Mark Thompson, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

The Trump administration plans to allow hunters to bring trophies of elephants they killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia back to the United States, reversing a ban put in place by the Obama administration in 2014, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official confirmed for ABC News today.

Even though elephants are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, a provision in the act allows the government to give permits to import such trophies if there is evidence that the hunting benefits conservation for that species.”*\

Read more here.

That was two days ago. But now …

From the Washington Post in the USA:

Trump puts hold on this week’s decision to again allow trophies from elephant hunts in Zimbabwe

by Juliet Eilperin and Darryl Fears

November 17 at 11:08 PM

President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday night announced that the administration’s reversal of a ban on importation of elephant hunt trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia has been put on hold until further review. The sudden decision follows protests from animal rights groups and even some conservatives after the administration decided to reverse an Obama-era rule barring such imports. …

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had announced the policy shift just two days earlier, with officials signaling in a statement that they would expand efforts to promote trophy hunting as a form of conservation. …

African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but the Interior Department agency said it had determined that large sums paid for permits to hunt the animals could actually help them “by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.”

Under the Obama administration, elephant-hunting trophies were allowed in South Africa and Namibia but not in Zimbabwe because Fish and Wildlife decided in 2015 that the nation had failed to prove that its management of elephants enhanced the population. At the time, Zimbabwe could not confirm its elephant population in a way that was acceptable to U.S. officials and did not demonstrate an ability to implement laws to protect it. …

The change was to apply to elephants shot in Zimbabwe on or after Jan. 21, 2016, and to those legally permitted to be hunted before the end of next year.

The African elephant population in that country has fallen 6 percent in recent years, according to the Great Elephant Census project. It is relatively stable in Zambia, which has decided to renew hunting after having previously banned it because of several decades of sharp decline. …

The Fish and Wildlife Service has also been reviewing whether to allow elephant trophy imports from Tanzania, where poaching is rampant and the species has suffered a sharp decline in recent decades. …

Two of the department’s existing wildlife advisory bodies — the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking and the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council — remain suspended as a result of a temporary freeze Zinke imposed earlier this year on all such panels. And the U.S. Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, which was codified into law last year and is led by Interior as well as the Justice and State departments, has not been active since Trump took office.

“If you care about wildlife, how can you ignore wildlife trafficking?” said Bob Dreher, vice president for conservation at the Defenders of Wildlife, who served as Fish and Wildlife associate director from 2014 to 2016. …

A representative of the [Safari Club International, a hunting advocacy] group, along with several other hunting activists, joined Zinke in his office on his first day as he signed one secretarial order aimed at expanding hunting and fishing on federal lands and another reversing an Obama-era policy that would have phased out the use of lead ammunition and tackle in national wildlife refuges by 2022. …

While hunting has fostered conservation in the past, allowing it now could undermine efforts to curb the widespread poaching that underpins the global ivory trade, according to Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder and senior scientist at the Nairobi-based Save the Elephants.

Africans, he said in an interview Thursday, are “being told don’t kill elephants, and rich Americans are being allowed to come and do it. When you go back in history, it did do good, but now is absolutely not the time to be opening up hunting.”

In another potential policy reversal, Fish and Wildlife posted an online guide for hunters on how to import lion trophies. In 2016, after listing African lion populations as threatened or endangered depending on their location on the continent, the agency established specific requirements for allowing imports of their trophies. The Service also banned imports of trophies from lion populations kept in fenced enclosures to be hunted.

How to treat animal trophies Americans shoot overseas has been a contentious issue for years. The pelts of nearly four dozen polar bears that U.S. citizens shot in Canada in spring 2008 have remained stuck there after Fish and Wildlife declared the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Read more:

Overwhelmed U.S. port inspectors unable to keep up with the illegal wildlife trade

This hunter wanted a rare trophy — a rhino’s head

Zimbabwe was home to famous lion — that was hunted and killed


Save elephants from Trump, petition

Donald Trump Jr. - Elephant hunter


This is Donald Trump’s son with the tail of an elephant he killed. Trump just gave him a sick gift, changing the law to let bloodthirsty American hunters murder elephants and bring their heads home as trophies. Let’s build a massive global campaign to shame the US into dropping this disgusting plan — Avaaz will work with African countries to deliver our call at a major wildlife protection meeting in days.

Trump Jr. shot and mutilated an elephant — and now his dad is rewarding him by making it so anyone can join the slaughter and bring home elephant body parts as souvenirs, even as ivory poaching threatens to wipe these amazing creatures out.

Save the elephants, drop this disgusting plan!

To President Trump, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and conservation authorities around the world:

Elephants are facing extinction and this is no time to strip them of protection. Trophy hunting drives the slaughter of elephants, increases demand for their body parts, and projects a double standard that makes it harder to tackle ivory poaching. We call on you to do all you can to reverse the US decision to allow the import of elephant trophies, before it is too late.

Save the elephants, drop this disgusting plan!

The Trump administration says it will only lift the ban on trophy imports from Zambia and Zimbabwe, countries it says have sustainable, well-managed elephant populations. But the population of elephants in Zambia is just 21,000, down from over 200,000 just 45 years ago, and in Zimbabwe government officials trap baby elephants to sell them to zoos!

Experts say it’s almost impossible to stop poaching when wealthy Americans are shooting elephants for fun. The only way to save elephants from extinction is to stop killing them, and reduce demand for their body parts.

When Cecil the lion was shot, an international outcry forced the US to better protect lions. Now we need to do it again – before it’s too late for elephants!

Let’s make sure that when government officials in charge of wildlife protection gather in a few days, we meet them with a giant call for the US to drop this disgusting plan. Sign now with one click and share with everyone!

Save the elephants, drop this disgusting plan!

Time and time again, our movement has rallied for elephants. We’ve pushed for ivory bans, funded undercover stings against poachers, and pushed for even greater protections. Now we need to come together for these amazing creatures again.

In hope and determination,

Bert, Spyro, Sarah, Danny and the rest of the Avaaz team


Donald Trump reverses ban on elephant trophy imports into US — The Telegraph

Trump Is Allowing Hunters To Import Elephant Trophies Back To The US — Buzzfeed

Trophies from elephant hunts in Zimbabwe were banned in the U.S. Trump just reversed that. — Washington Post

It’s not just the elephants: The Trump administration also rolled back regulations for lion trophies.

Trump helps elephant killing

This 18 February 2012 video from the USA is called The Trump family kill an elephant, leopard and many more animals in sick African killing vacation.

By Brianna Sacks in the USA:

Trump Is Allowing Hunters To Import Elephant Trophies Back To The US

The decision reverses an Obama-era policy aimed at protecting endangered elephants targeted for ivory.

November 16, 2017, at 4:56 a.m

The Trump administration will again allow hunters to import the heads of elephants killed in two African countries back to the United States, reversing an Obama-era ban and furthering the administration’s efforts to promote hunting.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed the decision Wednesday in a statement to BuzzFeed News, a day after announcing the reversal at a forum in Africa. …

Although African elephants are listed as an endangered species, the US government will enable hunters to kill the animals and import their trophies if there is proof the sport helps conserve the species. After some review, the agency said it had determined “well-regulated sport hunting” would actually help preserve the species and funnel resources back into conservation efforts.

In 2014, the Obama administration curtailed elephant trophy imports as part of an initiative to protect elephants, whose populations were alarmingly declining, targeted for wildlife trafficking and ivory. As a result, officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia bolstered efforts to combat poaching and enact stricter systems to keep track of permits and quotas.

The Safari Club and the National Rifle Association, which challenged the ban in court, are celebrating the reversal and praising the Trump administration for recognizing the importance of “sound scientific wildlife management.” …

Americans pay thousands of dollars to embark on African hunting voyages to kill animals, a practice that garnered intense controversy and outrage after a Minnesota dentist killed Cecil the lion in 2015

However, it is a beloved sport for several members of the Trump administration, including the president’s son, who famously ditched secret service in September to go on a hunting trip in the Canadian wilderness and, in March, called the sport “a great way to see the world” in a New York Times interview. Photos of him holding an elephant’s tail he had just severed outraged animal rights groups. …

Donald Trump Jr. - Elephant hunter

Now, hunters who killed elephants between Jan. 21, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2018, can apply to bring their trophies back to the US, a move that animal right’s groups say emboldens trophy hunters and disregards a threatened species.

“Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society, wrote in a blog post vilifying the decision.

Asians protest Donald Trump’s warmongering

This video from the USA says about itself:

On Asia Trip, Trump Met by Protests Calling on U.S. to Open Diplomatic Relations with North Korea

10 November 2017

President Donald Trump continued his five-nation tour of Asia, landing in Vietnam today for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. … In Korea, he attempted to visit the Demilitarized Zone, but his fleet of helicopters was turned back due to bad weather. We speak with Professor Bruce Cumings, who just returned from Seoul, South Korea, where Trump was met with protests. He is professor of history at the University of Chicago and the author of several books on Korea, including “Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History.”

Donald Trump after one year

Cedric Burgess

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Today it is exactly a year ago since the billionaire won the election. The NOS spoke to several American voters about President Trump. They are divided on their president. …

Cedric Burgess from Washington (64): With Trump everything got worse

“I did not even stay up at night to see who would win the election. When I woke up in the morning I was disappointed, but I would also have been disappointed if Clinton had won. In my community, Trump is extremely unpopular.

As a black gay man, of course, I am in two minority groups. Two groups whom Trump does not want anything to do with. What particularly upsets me is that Trump will never give anything to anyone who is less privileged than he is. I really think Trump will cause a war for our country. The way he talks to people and the decisions he makes are incomprehensible.”

Democrats scored lopsided victories in state and local elections on Tuesday, propelled by mounting popular opposition to President Donald Trump and his attacks on health care and democratic rights: here.

Resisting Trump and building an alternative: interview with John Catalinotto: here.

Syria signs Paris climate agreement, only Trump against

This video from the USA says about itself:

Top Climate Scientist, Journalist & Activists Blast Trump’s Withdrawal from Paris Accord

We host a roundtable discussion on President Trump’s announcement Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate accord signed by nearly 200 nations in 2015 and heralded as a rare moment of international collaboration to avert imminent climate disaster.

We are joined by Michael Mann, distinguished professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University; Kumi Naidoo, South African activist, former head of Greenpeace, now chairperson of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity; Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want; and Antonia Juhasz, oil and energy journalist, author of several books, including “The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry—and What We Must Do to Stop It.”

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Syria signs Paris Agreement – leaving US only country in the world to refuse climate change deal

The Paris accord was first signed by nearly 200 countries in December 2015

Mythili Sampathkumar, Harry Cockburn, New York

Tuesday 7 November 2017 14:54 GMT

Syria has become a signatory of the Paris climate agreement, leaving the US as the only country in the world not to support the framework deal to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

When President Donald Trump announced he intended to pull the US out of the agreement, it initially meant America would join Nicaragua and Syria on a small list of countries who were not part of the deal.

The war-torn Middle East nation made the announcement in Bonn, Germany at the COP 23 UN climate summit. Syria is facing the sixth year of a brutal civil conflict, which started with rebel groups fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad and expanded to include a battle against Isis.

Global warming is a major cause of that war, as a Dutch general and many others have admitted.

Until recently Nicaragua was also a holdout nation, but only because the Central American country felt the agreement did not go far enough in putting limits on emissions and helping poorer countries adapt to an already-changed planet with solid financial commitments by wealthier nations.

Scientists had confirmed the emissions levels agreed upon by top polluters like the US, EU, China, and India were not low enough to keep sea levels from rising and global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, let alone the recommended and more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.

However, parties to the deal agreed, it was far superior to having no global climate change agreement at all.

Nicaragua has been a haven for renewable energy – more than half of the nation’s energy comes from geothermic, wind, solar, and wave energy. They plan on increasing that to a 90 per cent share by 2020.

The World Bank called it a “a renewable energy paradise” in 2013.

… Domestically [for Trump‘s USA], the Paris withdrawal appears to be part of a larger scheme to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations, including the Clean Power Plan which was supposed to be one of the main vehicles for the US to meet Paris targets.

If left in place, the CPP would have reduced US power plants’ carbon emissions by 2030 to a level 32 per cent lower than they were in 2005.

Paula Caballero, Global Director of the Climate Program at Washington DC-based think tank the World Resources Institute said that “with Syria on board, now the entire world is resolutely committed to advancing climate action – all save one country. This should make the Trump administration pause and reflect on their ill-advised announcement about withdrawing.”

It remains to be seen whether or not this will impact the actions of the US delegation over the next fortnight of talks at COP23. The White House has said it “will promote coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an answer to climate change.”