Sandy Hook Promise renews call for preventative measures, gun safety amidst Nashville school shooting 

NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — As the country grieves yet another school shooting, Sandy Hook Promise is sharing the heartache and renewing its pledge to put an end to these tragedies once and for all. 

On Monday, six people including three children were killed at an elementary school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mark Barden, CEO and co-founder of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund said when a friend in Nashville texted him about the shooting, his mind immediately went to his son Daniel. 

Daniel was one of the 20 children who were killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“I just stared at the text with a blank,” he said. “I could just feel everything draining out of me as I read those words, taking me back to when my 7-year-old son Daniel was shot to death in his first-grade classroom. It’s very challenging to now think about these families who are embarking on this devastating, lifelong journey of pain of losing a loved one, of children being hunted and shot to death in their school.” 

Sandy Hook Promise: Turning tragedy into purpose

While thinking about those families, Barden said he is leaning on the work Sandy Hook Promise is doing to prevent gun violence. 

“I made a promise to my Daniel and to my surviving children, James and Natalie, that I would do everything I can to prevent other families from having to relive this pain,” he said. 

Sandy Hook Promise teaches schools and communities how to recognize the warning signs that someone wants to harm themselves or others. Barden said these trainings have prevented 14 school shootings. The organization is also working on legislation at the state and federal level that focuses on school safety, mental health and gun safety. 

“Those are proven effective policies that when implemented and people know that they have them and know how to use them, save lives when people are in crisis and actually protect people’s rights to own a firearm,” he said. “It’s not inevitable, it’s preventable and that’s why we continue to do the work that we do.” 

“Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation shared the heartbreak, saying more needs to be done when it comes to gun laws. 

Senator Chris Murphy said in a tweet, “The upside of assault weapons is just not worth the carnage.”

Also in a tweet, Senator Richard Blumenthal wrote, “Congress can help stop this senseless violence—now. Our thoughts & prayers are not enough.” 

The president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Holly Sullivan, issued a statement: 

“Sadly, we again see the devastation left by a depraved human-being intent on inflicting mortal harm on the most innocent. While impacted families are still processing today’s heinous events and an investigation has just begun, politicians are queued for the microphone. This is simply not a time to be politicizing broken hearts. There is an appropriate time and place for discussions on public policy but it is not tonight. This is a time share in the tears of our fellow Americans who are hurting and solemnly reflect on the love we have for all of our families and our communities.”

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Operation Wildlife helps spread awareness of endangered animals to keiki

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – You can teach children about endangered animals using textbooks and slideshows, but a Hawaii nonprofit has a more hands-on approach that encourages keiki to handle artifacts that came from endangered species.

“Oh! You should see their eyes! Ohhh! They are just in awe,” Hazile Sumile said.

She oversees Operation Wildlife, one of five philanthropic programs offered by Assistance League of Hawaii. The traveling presentation goes to schools statewide to teach kids about endangered animals and how people can protect them.

“We try to get that message across to the children that you can make a difference,” she said.

The difference maker is a show-and-tell section that grabs a child’s attention by letting them touch skulls and skins and other animal parts.

“This is the claw of a grizzly bear,” Sumile said, holding up a giant paw. “The kids like to look at this one and go, ‘Oh, my goodness! Look at the difference between their claws and my fingernails.’”

The presentation is tailored for fourth-graders and encourages them to do what they can to spread awareness of endangered animals. So far this year, Operation Wildlife has visited more than 25 schools.

“We check the standards to make sure what we are doing is addressing the standards that the teachers have to address, so that it’s not something way on the outside for the teachers to invite us to come to their school,” Sumile said.

The program was started more than 30 years ago by docents at the Honolulu Zoo. Over the years, it has amassed a sizable collection of donated animal artifacts.

“We have tons of skulls. We have a beaver skull and a beaver pelt. We have a leopard skin. The kids cannot believe that these were all real animals,” Sumile said.

Assistance League of Hawaii funds its programs through sales from the nonprofit’s thrift shop, and funding from grants and awards that enable it to assist families and children across the islands.

“We do a lot of really good stuff,” she said.

Assistance League of Hawaii takes care of all the expenses for sending the program to any school that wants an Operation Wildlife presentation, and scheduling is underway for the next school year.

“As long as the school want us to come, we will go,” Sumile said.

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Several wildlife-related bills get approval from Gov. Cox.

SALT LAKE CITY — Several wildlife-related bills passed in the most recent legislative session was signed into law by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox. Here is a few to be aware of.

Funding to rebuild Loa Fish Hatchery

Under the New Fiscal Year Supplemental Appropriations Act, or S. B. 2, Utah received $56.8 million to rebuild the Loa Fish Hatchery. It was closed in 2014 after it was discovered that it was infested by the New Zealand mud snail, which is an invasive species.

Originally built in 1936, the state was forced to close down the hatchery to avoid the spread of the mud snail. 

Historically, the Loa Fish Hatchery had the ability to produce the most trout of any fishery in the state. According to a news release, its closure has put a strain on fish production and stocking throughout the state.

Other wildlife-related bills – Aquatic Invasive Space Species

S.B. 112 made a couple of administrative changes to boating fees around the state. Previously, boaters could make their boating registration fee and their aquatic invasive species fee as one payment. 

This bill require boat registration to be paid through the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles. And then make a second and payment for the aquatic invasive species fee.

This bill was passed as a way to address fee-collection issues, according to the DWR news release. 

Hunting Menting Amendments

H.B. 237 allows an immediate family member to participate in an limited-entry or a once-in-a-lifetime hunt if a mentor passes away before the hunt. 

Such hunts can take years to successfully draw out for in Utah.

This law takes effect on May 3, 2023.

Electronic Stamp Designation

H.B. 341 now allows the DWR to sell duck stamps online at the DWR website. This was done to make the transaction more convenient for hunters. 

In the past, duck stamps could only be purchased from a local post office, license agents or by phone. 

Federal duck stamps provide funding for wildlife conservation around the country.

Wildlife Related Amendments

H.B. 469 makes a few rule changes to wildlife. This law will go into effect on May 3, 2023. 

  • Mountain Lion hunting: This bill will allow for year-round hunting of mountain lions with just a hunting or combination license, according to the news release. It will now allow for trapping of mountain lions. However, mountain lions are still considered to be protected wildlife.
  • Trail camera use: Trail cameras are not allowed on public lands between July 31 and Dec. 31. 
  • Hunting with air rifles: The bill will allow hunters to air rifles in turkey hunts. They can also be used in hunting for cottontail rabits and snowshoe hares. 
  • Regulating hunting guides: According to the news release, this makes it easier to understand when the Division of Professional Licensing is to refuse to issue, refuse to renew, or revoke a registration related to hunting guides.
  • Wildlife Land and Water Acquisition Program: The bill allows for the creation of this program and $1 million annually in funding to help the DWR to help protect wildlife populations. 
  • Increase in fees: The non-resident application fee will be increased by $1. Additionally, the Dedicated Hunter buyout hours moves to $40 per hour.

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Recipes from The Weekday Vegetarian: Stress-free recipes for the conscious cook, by The Australian Women’s Weekly. | Lithgow Mercury

4. Place millet in a medium heavy-based saucepan over low heat; stir continuously for three minutes or until lightly toasted. Pour 375ml water over millet, taking care as it will spit; stir in 60ml of the dressing. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until millet is tender and water absorbed. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, until needed.

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March Organised For Awareness On Animal Abuse, Feeder Rights | India News

A Delhi-NCR based group of animal rights activists is taking out a regular march to spread awareness on rights of those who feed and work to protect animals. The initiative, that started on March 16, 2023, aims to spread awareness about animal laws and to raise a voice against canine cruelty. The human-dog conflict has been an ongoing debate in the country, especially at residential societies in metro cities. 


Animal Activist Ashish Sharma said that their rally has seen positive response so far

“Students from different schools and colleges are joining in continuously since March 16, 2023. Every day new students are participating, which is very encouraging, considering they are inspiring each other,” he said.

The group, through Whatsapp and other mediums, fixes a meeting point daily to spread awareness against animal abuse. 

So farm the rally has been conducted a number of places in Delhi and Ghaziabad. Ashish Sharma further said that it’s important to educate people, especially youngsters on animal rights. 

Feeding stray dogs is also often a bone of contention in residential societies. The rally is also stressing on the importance of feeding street dogs and drawing attention to every citizen’s legal rights toward dogs. “Feeding stray dogs everybody’s fundamental right, “he said.


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Local start-up launches animal-free cosmetics testing platform

SINGAPORE – Local biotech start-up Revivo BioSystems has developed a cosmetics testing platform which mimics the flow of blood under the skin, paving the way for more companies to move away from animal testing.

The in-vitro platform, launched on March 2, makes the company one of the front runners in the emerging field of “organ-on-chip” technologies, which seeks to model – on small chips made of plastic, glass or silicon – how human organs work. 

These could make testing for drugs, foods and cosmetics in the lab more accurate and efficient.

In-vitro tests are performed in laboratories outside of human or animal bodies.

Revivo BioSystems’ platform has two devices that work together to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cosmetic products.

The first, known as the Revex chip, is a single-use plastic chip that has small channels that allow liquids to flow through. It has three chambers linked to these micro-channels, where human skin – taken, for example, from biopsies – can be placed and samples of the cosmetic product can be applied.

Synthetic substitutes for skin, created in laboratories, can also be used.

Four of these Revex chips can be put in a Relego collection device. As a liquid simulating human blood is pumped through these channels at body temperature (37 deg C), substances from the cosmetic product which have permeated through the skin sample and other proteins secreted by the skin cells dissolve in the fluid.

The fluid, and the substances it carries, is collected at preset time intervals. Its contents are analysed to show how the cosmetic product’s ingredients have interacted with the skin over time, to determine if the item is safe, or if it stands up to marketing claims.

Dr Massimo Alberti, chief executive and founder of Revivo BioSystems, said its dynamic platform is more accurate than traditional static cosmetic tests, which do not simulate the continuous flow of blood under the skin and can determine only the amount of permeated substances at a single point in time.

These static tests usually involve adding a test chemical to a reconstructed piece of human skin (made from cell cultures) that has the cosmetic product applied over it. As the chemical interacts with the skin, biological reactions occur and the substances formed can be analysed to determine if the skin reacted to the product in any way.

“Compared with other static systems which provide a very simplistic view of what is going on in the skin, our system allows us to look, over time, at what actually happens to the skin as it reacts to the cosmetic product,” said Dr Alberti.

Because the Relego collector is fully automated, the company said its platform reduces the man-hours needed to run in-vitro tests by up to 20 times.

It added that other cosmetic tests, such as those involving human volunteers where each is given a small dose of the product, still need to be performed.

With the enhanced accuracy and efficiency that the kit provides, Revivo BioSystems hopes that it will encourage more cosmetic companies to drop animal testing, which has already been banned in the European Union, South Korea and New Zealand.

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Loa Fish Hatchery funding, boating registration updates, and other wildlife-related laws passed during 2023 legislative session – Music Industry Today

Loa Fish Hatchery funding, boating registration updates, and other wildlife-related laws passed during 2023 legislative session – Music Industry Today – EIN Presswire

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Las Vegas woman accused of killing mother with shards of glass will not face death penalty

29-year-old called 911, later arrested in California, police say

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 29-year-old woman accused of stabbing and killing her mother with shards of glass from a broken coffee table will not face the death penalty, prosecutors said in court Monday.

Hend Bustami is charged with murdering Afaf Hussanen, 61, in October in a south valley neighborhood in the 10000 block of June Flower Drive near Jones Boulevard and Cactus Avenue. Bustami and Hussanen lived in the home together, police said.

As 8 News Now first reported, police said in August they arrested Bustami for reportedly skipping out on a restaurant tab and violating airport rules at Harry Reid International Airport. Bustami told officers at the time that she was under arrest because she was so good-looking, an arrest report said.

While officers were arresting her, Bustami said “that she was going to spit on all [the officers] and that officers were perverts and were trying to rape her because they [had] never seen anyone as good looking,” the report said.

A grand jury indicted Bustami on the murder charge last week, records showed.

During Bustami’s initial arraignment Monday in Clark County District Court, prosecutors noted the case would not go before a death review committee.

Photos shown to the grand jury include an image of the table accompanied by shards of glass. (KLAS)

During the grand jury hearing, prosecutors played the panel the 90-second 911 call police said Bustami made around 2:30 a.m. on Oct 26.

“I think I killed my mommy,” the woman, prosecutors said is Bustami, told a dispatcher.

“Why do you think you killed your mom?” the dispatcher asked.

“’Cause I did. I murdered her,” Bustami said.

“How did you do that?” the dispatcher said.

“I broke the table,” Bustami said.

A photo of Hend Bustami taken during her arrest in California as shown to a grand jury. (KLAS)

Photos shown to the grand jury include an image of the table accompanied by shards of glass.

California Highway Patrol troopers later located Bustami driving near Barstow, police said. While speaking to officers, Bustami, who police said was covered in blood, allegedly said she had killed her mother.

While speaking with investigators, Bustami said she and her mother had gotten into a fight before stabbing her with shards of glass. The grand jury transcripts indicate Bustami allegedly told a detective the fight was over cigarettes.

Las Vegas Metro police say Hend Bustami, 29, killed her mother, Afaf Hussanen, 61, on Wednesday, Oct 26, in a south valley neighborhood in the 10000 block of June Flower Drive near Jones Boulevard and Cactus Avenue. (KLAS)

Bustami pleaded not guilty. A judge did not set a trial date on Monday.

While Nevada has the death penalty, a person has not been put to death since 2006.

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Dead dolphin washes up on Baldwin County beach; necropsy underway

A necropsy is underway after a dead dolphin washed up on the shore of a Baldwin County beach Monday morning.

The dead bottlenose dolphin was discovered on North Beach in Fairhope, according to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, which studies marine life and educates the public.

While there is a possibility there was a “freshwater issue” that led to the dolphin’s death, a Sea Lab official told, the necropsy will determine how the dolphin died.

The Sea Lab said it would have further results of the necropsy Tuesday morning, but the full results could take several weeks.

Cristina Diaz-Clark with the Sea Lab’s Marine Mammal Research Program told Fox 10 the organization fields between 50 to 60 calls a year on dolphins washing up on Alabama beaches.

“We do have some hot spots, but we always ask everyone to make sure that they’re keeping a lookout because they can always end up anywhere that there’s water but definitely, this side of the bay’s a hot spot,” she said. “Dauphin Island’s a hot spot. Orange Beach can be a hot spot. It just depends on the time of year.”

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A Collection Of Hearty And Satisfying Vegetarian And Vegan Dishes

Muslims around the world observe Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection and choose to break their fast with a nutritious meals. While meat dishes are popular during this time, there are plenty of delicious vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. Here are some vegetarian Ramadan recipes to try.

Ramadan is a month of fasting and reflection for Muslims around the world, and many people choose to break their fast with a nutritious and hearty meal. While meat dishes are popular during this time, there are also plenty of delicious vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a satisfying main course or a tasty side dish, here are some vegetarian Ramadan recipes to try.


1. Hummus and Pita Bread

Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. It is typically served with pita bread or fresh vegetables for dipping. This protein-packed dip is a great way to start your iftar meal.

2. Baba Ghanoush

Baba ghanoush is another Middle Eastern dip made from roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. It has a smoky flavor and is typically served with pita bread or fresh vegetables. This creamy dip is a great way to add some variety to your iftar spread.

Main Courses

1. Lentil and Spinach Curry (India)

This flavorful curry is made with lentils, spinach, and a blend of spices that includes cumin, coriander, and turmeric. It’s a hearty and satisfying dish that can be served with rice or naan bread.

2. Stuffed Grape Leaves (Middle East)

Stuffed grape leaves, also known as dolmas, are a popular appetizer or main course in Middle Eastern cuisine. They are typically filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes nuts or raisins, and then rolled up and simmered in a flavorful broth.

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3. Vegetarian Tagine (North Africa)

Tagine is a traditional North African dish that is typically made with meat, but this vegetarian version is just as satisfying. It’s made with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and a variety of spices, including cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Serve it with couscous for a complete meal.

Side Dishes

1. Fattoush Salad (Lebanon)

Fattoush is a Lebanese salad that is made with fresh vegetables, herbs, and pita chips. It’s dressed with a tangy and flavorful dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil, and sumac.

2. Muhammara (Syria)

Muhammara is a roasted red pepper and walnut dip that is popular in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. It’s savory and slightly spicy, and it’s perfect for dipping pita bread or vegetables.

3. Biryani (India)

Biryani is a rice dish that is popular in India and other parts of South Asia. This vegetarian version is made with vegetables, spices, and fragrance! This is pretty famous in India, especially in Hyderabad. Biryani is not just food, it is an emotion. Veg biryani is a specialty, and number of recipes revolving the essence are created. Be it panner biryani, potato biryani, or more, a pan-Indian favorite, this dish is a must-have during any festival in India!

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