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Police general Ferdy Sambo faces death penalty for ordering bodyguard’s murder

The investigation into the murder case of police brigadier Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat has entered an intense new chapter after the victim’s boss, Internal Affairs Division Chief Inspector General Ferdy Sambo, was charged with premeditated murder.

Seven police generals, including National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, held a press conference Tuesday evening to announce the major update to the case. 

“The special task force [for the case] has named FS as a suspect,” Listyo said, referring to Ferdy using his initials.

The top cop said investigators have evidence that Ferdy ordered his subordinates to shoot and kill Nofriansyah. Also known as Brigadier J, the 28-year-old cop served as Ferdy’s bodyguard.

In its first press briefings about the case last month, police said that Nofriansyah was gunned down by his colleague, Private Second Class E, in a shootout at the South Jakarta home of their boss, Ferdy, on July 8. The official line from the police is that Nofriansyah had molested Ferdy’s wife and threatened to kill her, before firing at E first after he was caught.

Listyo said the investigation revealed that there was no shootout, as Ferdy staged the crime scene to look like there had been one. Ferdy himself allegedly used Nofriansyah’s gun to fire at the walls of the house, but it’s not yet known whether or not he also shot his bodyguard.

Police have yet to establish Ferdy’s motive for ordering Nofriansyah’s murder. As of today, police have neither confirmed nor denied the sexual assault angle.

Ferdy was charged with premeditated murder, which carries the death penalty under Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP).

In all, police have arrested 11 cops with suspected connections to the murder. One of those is E, who testified to the police that Ferdy ordered him to kill Nofriansyah.

The conspiracy may have run even deeper, as investigators believe 31 cops were complicit in derailing the investigation, such as eradicating CCTV footage from the crime scene, in order to assist Ferdy.


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Tourists support trophy hunting ban

International tourists and South African citizens want to see an end to trophy hunting, in favour of wildlife-friendly experiences, new research reveals.

The research has been published as South Africa opens-up consultation on its draft Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity white paper. 

World Animal Protection commissioned a survey into public attitudes towards trophy hunting, surveying 10,900 people including international tourists from countries who most frequently visit South Africa, and South African citizens.

Wildlife-friendly

The survey suggests there is a universally strong opposition to the blood sport and a desire to finance the protection of the nation’s iconic wildlife through non-lethal alternatives such as responsible wildlife tourism.  

Key Findings:

84 percent of international tourists agree that the South African government should prioritise wildlife-friendly tourism over trophy hunting.

74 percent of international tourists agreed that making trophy hunting a key pillar of policy will damage South Africa’s reputation, and 72 percent would be put off from visiting the country altogether. 

7 in 10 South African citizens agree their country would be a more attractive tourist destination if they banned trophy hunting 

74 percent of South African citizens agree that trophy hunting is unacceptable when wildlife-friendly tourism alternatives have not been fully utilised. 

Killing

Nick Stewart, global head of campaigns for Wildlife at World Animal Protection said:  The white paper seeks to create a prosperous nation, living in harmony with nature where biodiversity is conserved for present and future generations, this is a great start.

“But it falls short on clarity or tangible commitments to end global commercial wildlife trade, which includes captive lion breeding, the use of big cats for traditional medicine and trophy hunting. 

“The Republic of South Africa needs to take decisive action to move towards a more wildlife friendly future.” 

He added: “It’s not too late for them to grasp the opportunity to make a clear stand, by fully embracing non-lethal wildlife-friendly alternatives, including responsible wildlife tourism, which is clearly what international tourists and local people are seeking.

“It’s time to make public, time bound commitments, starting with killing off trophy hunting – for good.”  

Non-lethal

Edith Kabesiime, wildlife campaign manager (Africa) at World Animal Protection said: The life of a wild animal is worth so much more than the trophy it is too often reduced to.

“This is the shared view of tourists, who want to visit the country to see wildlife alive and thriving, and of South Africans who want to see the incredible wildlife on their doorstep, protected properly, in a humane and ethical manner.  


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Rescuers plan to move whale stranded in French Seine River to saltwater

PARIS — French environmentalists prepared Tuesday to move a beluga whale that strayed into the Seine River last week to a saltwater basin in Normandy, hoping to save the life of the dangerously thin marine mammal.

A medical team plans to transport the 4-meter-long (13-foot-long) whale to a coastal spot in the northeastern French port town of Ouistreham for “a period of care,” according to Lamya Essemlali, president of the conservation group Sea Shepherd France.

Experts think the whale is sick and in a race against time for survival, she said.

The whale would remain in its temporary saltwater home for “two to three days” of surveillance and treatment before being towed out to sea, according to Isabelle Dorliat Pouzet, deputy prefect of the town of Evreux.

“Then, nature will take its course,” Pouzet said. “We have to be optimistic… the work has been painstakingly prepared.”

A team of some 80 people, including veterinarians and environmentalists, gathered Tuesday near a Seine River lock in the Eure region to plot the exodus of the new local celebrity.

Conservations groups said it would take 24 people to load the beluga into a refrigerated truck for the approximately 99-mile trip to Ouistreham, describing the the saltwater transfer as an “enormous operation.”

Because the region is experiencing extreme heat, the team plans to wait until nightfall before moving the ethereal white creature. It weighs about 800 kilograms (1,764 pounds).

Rescuers hope to spare the whale the fate of an orca that strayed into the Seine and died in May.

Authorities said that while the move carries its own mortality risk because of the stress on the animal, the whale can’t survive much longer in the Seine’s freshwater habitat.

They remain hopeful it will survive after it responded to a cocktail of antibiotics and vitamins administered in the last few days and rubbed itself on the lock’s wall to remove patches that had appeared on its back.

Sea Shepherd’s Essemlali said medical surveillance at the saltwater basin would help establish whether whale “is suffering from something we can help it with or from an incurable illness.”

Drone footage shot by French fire services last week showed the whale meandering into a stretch of the Seine between Paris and the Normandy city of Rouen that is far inland from the sea.

Conservationists have tried unsuccessfully since Friday to feed fish to the beluga. Sea Shepherd fears the whale is slowly starving in the waterway.




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Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, stands next to the lock of Notre Dame de la Garenne where a Beluga whale is being prepared to be moved, in Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, west of Paris, France, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. French environmentalists are moving a dangerously think Beluga that had strayed into the Seine River last week to a salt-water river basin to try and save its life. Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, said the ethereal white mammal measuring 4-meters will be transported to the salty water for “a period of care” by medics who suspect the mammal is sick. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)





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French fire brigade and Sea Sheperds members gather near the lock of Notre Dame de la Garenne where a Beluga whale is being prepared to be moved, in Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, west of Paris, France, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. French environmentalists are moving a dangerously think Beluga that had strayed into the Seine River last week to a salt-water river basin to try and save its life. Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, said the ethereal white mammal measuring 4-meters will be transported to the salty water for “a period of care” by medics who suspect the mammal is sick. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)





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News members and onlookers wait near the lock of Notre Dame de la Garenne where a Beluga whale is being prepared to be moved, in Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, west of Paris, France, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. French environmentalists are moving a dangerously think Beluga that had strayed into the Seine River last week to a salt-water river basin to try and save its life. Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, said the ethereal white mammal measuring 4-meters will be transported to the salty water for “a period of care” by medics who suspect the mammal is sick. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)





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General view of the lock of Notre Dame de la Garenne where a Beluga whale is being prepared to be moved, in Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, west of Paris, France, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. French environmentalists are moving a dangerously think Beluga that had strayed into the Seine River last week to a salt-water river basin to try and save its life. Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, said the ethereal white mammal measuring 4-meters will be transported to the salty water for “a period of care” by medics who suspect the mammal is sick. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)



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‘We need people to leave them alone’: Wildlife officials up their efforts to push a group of Kodiak bears from town

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A Kodiak brown bear and her three cubs that have taken up residence in town are prompting concerns for public safety, and wildlife officials are upping their efforts to haze the bears from residential areas – and urging the public to keep their distance. 

The sow and her cubs had been seen frequenting neighborhoods and popular hiking trails near town late last month. And on Friday, the Kodiak Police Department sent out a Nixle alert that the bears had swam to Near Island – a hiking area popular with families and dog walkers. 

A Kodiak brown bear eating berries on Otmeloi Way. (KMXT file photo courtesy of Matt Van Daele)

Nate Svoboda is the state’s area management biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He says the cubs are probably two-and-a-half-years-old, and by Monday, all four had found their way back to the heart of town.

“She was on Mission [Road], we followed her til about 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and then she swam across Potato Patch Lake, and then she ended up kinda by the hospital last night, and now this morning she’s been on Rezanoff [Drive],” said Svoboda.

The bear and cubs were also spotted by the ball fields and homes near Baranof Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Svoboda says it’s not unusual for bears to pass through residential areas on their way to other natural food sources – and overall, these bears have been pretty good about staying out of trash. 

“But, you know, people are getting too comfortable with her, she’s getting too comfortable with people, and that’s just a bad mix,” said Svoboda.

Svoboda says there’s also concern that the cubs may become desensitized to people. Attempts to haze the bears by the Kodiak Police Department, Alaska Wildlife Troopers and officials from Fish and Game – including bear spray and cracker rounds – haven’t worked, according to Svoboda. 

He says wildlife officials will be stepping up their efforts to push them out of town with other more forceful hazing techniques – like larger non-lethal rounds. If that doesn’t work, Svoboda says they’ll have to shoot them.

“It’s unfortunate, it’s just the reality of the situation. We all love bears, that’s why we love here, it’s why I’ve dedicated my profession to working with bears, but public safety is paramount,” said Svoboda.

Svoboda says people can help by cleaning up trash and other attractants from around their yards to make it less likely that the bears will stick around. But most importantly …

“We need people to leave them alone,” said Svoboda. “People are – she’s constantly got a group of people following her it seems like for the most part, and that’s not very helpful. It’s great to get pictures of her and it’s a cool opportunity to see them walking around, but we really don’t want her to get any more comfortable around people than she already is.”

Meanwhile, Svoboda says members of the public should be vigilant while the sow and cubs are still in town. 


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New restaurant in downtown Tuscaloosa focused on vegetarian, vegan options

Downtown Tuscaloosa is welcoming a new business this week geared toward those looking for meat alternatives and tasty vegetable-focused meals.

The Veganish Market is located on University Boulevard across from Tuscaloosa City Hall.

Owner Yazmyn Rozier said their menu features plenty of items catered toward those who are meat averse as well as those who want to dip their toes into the veggie-lovers lifestyle.

“The idea was to create a menu that caters to pescatarian, vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and those transitioning into a plant-based lifestyle so that everybody can enjoy the same inclusive space,” Rozier said.

Menu items include sweet potato street tacos, burger sliders, sun-dried tomato pasta and smoothie bowls.

In addition, the market is planning on offering a home for local artists to display their wares, Rozier said.




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All About HABS: Uncovering the Mystery of Harmful Algal Blooms

a green harmful algal bloom on Lake Erie in 2017

Harmful algal blooms (HABS) … it’s a term that many people became familiar with in 2018 due to a persistent “red tide” event along the Gulf Coast of Florida. In this podcast, we uncover what HABS are, what they aren’t, and how we can learn to minimize their effects on our daily lives.

Episode permanent link and show notes


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PETA Wants Cruelty-to-Animals Charges for Accused Springville Fire Starter

For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2022

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Springville, Utah – This morning, PETA sent a letter to Utah County Attorney David Leavitt, asking that he add cruelty-to-animals charges to those that investigators have proposed against Cory Allan Martin for allegedly igniting the Springville fire, which has ravaged 60 acres and undoubtedly caused animals to burn to death—including the spider Martin was reportedly attempting to burn with a lighter.

The group writes in its letter that causing animals to suffer and die painfully, as was likely the case in this fire, needs to be recognized as a violation of Utah’s animal protection laws, even though spiders are not covered under the state’s anti-cruelty statute. The letter notes that a “vast number of other species, from mule deer to yellow-bellied marmots” resided in and around the area burned and that prosecutors in California and Oregon added cruelty-to-animals charges in similar wildfire cases, resulting in convictions on those charges.

“Beginning with this spider, an untold number of terrified animals likely burned and died in agony,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “These victims deserve acknowledgment, and PETA is asking that as additional victims are identified, the person responsible face charges for causing so much suffering.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Leavitt follows.

August 9, 2022

The Honorable David O. Leavitt
Utah County Attorney

Dear Mr. Leavitt:

I hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to request that your office add cruelty-to-animals charges, as appropriate, to the reckless burning and related charges that investigators have proposed against Cory Allan Martin in connection with the Springville fire.

Although no humans lost their lives, the many wild animals who resided on the approximately 60 acres of land destroyed in the fire were undoubtedly less fortunate—including the spider whom Martin reportedly told police he was attempting to burn with a lighter when the surrounding brush ignited. Such catastrophic fires inflict terror and suffering on countless animals and cause them to endure prolonged, agonizing deaths.

Utah Code § 76-9-301 states that a person who “recklessly, or with criminal negligence … injures an animal” is guilty of cruelty to an animal and that a person who “kills an animal or causes an animal to be killed without having a legal privilege to do so” is guilty of aggravated cruelty to an animal. Although as an invertebrate, the spider Martin allegedly tried to burn to death wasn’t protected by Utah’s anti-cruelty statute, the mountains around Springville are home to a vast number of other species, from mule deer to yellow-bellied marmots, who are protected.

Given that Martin is accused of recklessly causing a fast-burning wildfire that surely led to serious injuries and death for an untold number of animals—and that such conduct does not qualify as lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping practices that exempt wild animals from protection against cruelty—I respectfully ask that investigators and your office add cruelty-to-animals charges to those the defendant already faces, as prosecutors in California and Oregon did in similar cases—both of which resulted in convictions on those charges.

Thank you for your consideration and for the difficult work you do.

Sincerely,

Sarah Deffinger

Senior Evidence Analyst

Cruelty Investigations Department




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