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From Bark to Bite: FBI Upgrades Animal Cruelty to Top-Tier Felony

    
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Call it puppy love! Last week, the FBI announced that it will reclassify animal cruelty as a Group A felony , on par with arson, assault, and homicide. This compares to its previous classification as an “ other offense ” along with a variety of “lesser crimes”. Furthermore, the FBI will now start tracking all forms of animal cruelty (including neglect, abuse, and torture) and publishing the findings in the Uniform Crime Report . Such changes “will play a vital role in bettering the lives of all… Continue reading

Ending the “Tragedy of Suicide” Among Veterans

    
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September is National Suicide Prevention Month . It is a month of particular importance for our current and former military members. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an American veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes . This equates to 22 veterans a day, or 8030 a year. In fact, the suicide rate among veterans is an astounding 35.9 per 100 000 , compared to 12.7 for the broader US population. Disturbingly, many experts believe that the number of veteran suicides is “probably a lot greater than reported ”. After… Continue reading

Spread of Ebola in West Africa Leads to Drastic Measures

    
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Right now, the small African country of Sierra Leone is in the midst of a 3 day lockdown . The drastic measure, which requires all 6 million citizens to remain at home , is the latest attempt to stop a devastating Ebola epidemic in the region. Also known as the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Ebola is a “severe, often fatal illness in humans”. In fact, it “can kill up to 90% ” of those infected. Symptoms of the disease include fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. This is often followed by vomiting, diarrhea,… Continue reading

An International Victory! Ozone Layer Starting to Rebound

    
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It is a (rare) great day in environmental news! According to a United Nations report, the ozone layer is “showing its first sign of recovery after years of dangerous depletion”. In fact, scientists estimate that ozone levels climbed 4% in key mid-northern latitudes from 2000 to 2013, representing a “significant and sustained increase”. The ozone layer, or ozone shield, is a layer in the earth’s stratosphere that absorbs most of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In excess,… Continue reading

In the Red: World Surpasses Annual Natural Resource Budget

    
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Last week, on August 19, the planet reached Earth Overshoot Day . Also known as Ecological Debt Day , the date marks the point at which “humanity has used up its natural resource budget for the year”, including land, trees, and food. In other words, “our use of resources has started to exceed the Earth’s ability to regenerate ”. The Global Footprint Network , a California-based non-profit, calculates Earth Overshoot Day annually. The Network divides the “ world’s biocapacity – the amount of natural resources generated by the planet that… Continue reading

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