Killing of Gorilla At Cincinnati Zoo Sparks Mixed Reactions From Netizens

Gorilla on Rock

The killing of a 17-year old endangered gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo in order to save a 3-year old boy received mixed reactions from animal activists, anti-zoo groups, and people who accused the mother of bad parenting. The mother is also facing possible criminal charges.

The incident happened Saturday afternoon when the boy breached the gorilla enclosure and fell into the concrete moat surrounding “Gorilla World.” The 450-pound gorilla named Harambe approached the boy and at times seemed to be protecting the boy as onlookers screamed from above. The gorilla also dragged the boy through the water at high speed several times.

Later on, Harambe climbed up the ladder with the boy to the main level of the gorilla habitat. After ten minutes, a zookeeper fatally shot the gorilla. The boy was then taken to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and was released that evening. Hours after the incident, an online petition entitled “Justice for Harambe” got 100,000 signatures in a span of 48 hours. Some are saying that the parents should criminally liable for negligence.

Others say that the zoo should be blamed for the incident. A complaint was even filed with the US Department of Agriculture for the zoo’s failure to place adequate safety barriers between people and animals. The non-profit group Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) said that the zoo committed several violations. The Cincinnati Zoo has already been cited twice for similar issues.

Defending its action, Cincincati Zoo Director Thane Maynard explained that tranquilizing the animal was not the best option. They only take effect after several minutes and the 3-year old boy was in imminent danger. In addition, the dart could agitate the gorilla which could only make matters worse.

Harambe was transferred to the Cincinnati Zoo from the Gladys Porter Zoo in 2014. He belonged to a group called Western Lowland Gorillas, a critically endangered species. Maynard was hoping to use Harambe for breeding.

Ways parents can do to protect kids from dog bites

Parents should understand that it is common for children to go outside and play. However when kids play outside or to their friends’ home, they are at risk of suffering injuries when dogs are around. Dog bites is a significant concern in the U.S. as roughly 4.5 million people every year have been victims of dog bites, the CDC said.

For many, having dogs as pets has a lot of benefits compare to other domesticated animals. However, there are some situations that dogs tend to attack people. The CDC observed that children whose age is between 5 and 9 have the highest risk of sustaining dog bite injuries. Depending on the dogs’ breed, dog attacks are frightening mostly if it involves a child. A child, for example, may die or suffer incapacitating injuries if he or she is suddenly attacked by a pit bull. Dogs, according to website of the Abel Law Firm, may behave erratically and aggressively without being provoked. When children are about to go outside, parents should know where they are going. Always advise children to stay away from places or properties with pet dogs. The rule of thumb is always to stay away from dogs even if owners claim their pet is “harmless.”

When approached by a loose dog, advised children to refrain from moving. Tell a child not to panic and run away when a dog is sniffing him or her as it may become wild. A child who has been knocked down by a dog should curl and protect his or her head from being bitten. Tell a child not to disturb or agitate a dog mostly when it is sleeping. Aside from serious injuries that may include dismemberment, a child may also suffer fatal illness as a result of a dog bite. Parents whose child had sustained dog-bite injuries may possibly get financial assistance when pet owners fail to prevent sudden dog attacks.

Using Faith to Shield Felony Crimes

children_praying

It is not often that one hears another person say, “Yes, I would like to see my parents prosecuted.” In Idaho, however, and in five other states where people, identified as dogmatic faith healers, believe that faith and the power of prayer can heal illnesses, it is not a remote possibility that sick children suffering from serious health conditions, but denied medical care, would blurt out the same words.

The statement above was Mariah Walton’s. She is 20 years old, frail and permanently disabled. She has pulmonary hypertension and her only possible option for a cure is an extremely risky procedure which involves a heart and lung transplant.

Her sickness could have easily been prevented had her parents brought her to a doctor to have a small congenital hole in her heart closed while she was still an infant, or had she received treatment some years later, before permanent damage was done. However, like all other sick children whose parents were either fundamentalist Mormons or members of the Followers of Christ, a reclusive, Pentecostal faith-healing sect, Mariah was never brought to a doctor, since her parents, relatives and so many others in their community believed that the cure to an illness was faith, prayers and rubbing the injury with “rancid olive oil”; if prayers do not work and a sick child dies, then death should be interpreted as God’s Will.

In all other states, denying a child the medical treatment that he or she needs could easily be considered medical neglect and the guilty, convicted of a crime. Not in Idaho, though, where sect or church members enjoy a faith-based shield for felony crimes.

Employers and Anti-union Consultancies Undermining Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (Employees’ Right to Join or Form a Union)

union_teamAccording to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 14.5 million employee members in the 60 different labor unions all across the US. Instead of growing more in number, however, unions seem to be losing members because many employers are doing everything they can to discourage employees, especially new hires, from joining one. Not only this, the number of organized labor is consistently on the decline too, especially in the private sector, as many employers are now able to engage in union-busting almost without restraint.

Forming or joining a union is a right of every employee that is protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This Federal mandate guarantees employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, as well as the right to refrain from any or all such activities.

In connection to this basic employee right, Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA “makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act.”

Despite these federal mandates, an estimated 75% of companies in the US now hire law firms and consultants which are dedicated to fighting unionization. Otherwise called ‘persuaders,’ these consultants are called in as soon as workers express their intent to form or join a union.

Unions benefit employees greatly since these help improve their lives and that of their families. Unions also contribute to the nation’s economic growth and help ensure solvency of firms by helping lower employee turnover, increase productivity, make workers more competitive, and improve health and safety in the workplace.

These benefits, however, are slowly disappearing, no thanks to anti-union consultants because of whom collective bargaining has declined over the past ten years, resulting to massive wage inequality, stagnation in pay and increased employee turnover.

Many Truck Accidents are Actually Preventable Collisions

A special training, a written test (or knowledge test) and a series of skills tests are required of those who are hoping to earn a commercial driver’s license for the government to make sure that those issued with this type of license are fully qualified to operate a commercial vehicle (such as a truck or a school bus). Operating a truck, also called an 18-wheeler or a big rig, is so much more challenging and demanding than driving a smaller vehicle, thus the stricter requirements asked of applicants.

Besides a truck’s threatening size and weight, which can easily damage cars and other lighter vehicles, as well as cause serious injuries to their occupants, there are other reasons why trucks are considered road threats and just the type of vehicle other drivers are never comfortable sharing the road with. Some of these other reasons include: a driver lacking the required knowledge and skills on how to safely operate a truck; a totally unqualified driver or a driver with a recent driving violation record (especially a DUI) being hired to solve the issue of lack of drivers and so finish a job on time; drivers being required to work more than the maximum number of hours allowed by the law; drivers operating their trucks while drunk, sleepy or fatigued; the truck not having been subjected to regular maintenance and check-up; worn tires not being changed; parts made from low quality materials, especially brake parts being used on the truck; and, drivers (both of the truck and smaller vehicle) failing to properly observe necessary road behaviors which will help keep accidents from ever occurring.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which focuses on improving safety in the operation of trucks and other commercial motor vehicles (CMV), as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and state traffic authorities make sure that truck drivers and all other motorists are constantly reminded of the things they should observe and avoid whenever they share the road with each other. One very important reminder continuously extended to drivers of smaller vehicles is to keep away from a truck’s blind spots or “no zone” areas. Blind spots or “no zone” areas are areas where accidents most often occur because truck drivers often fail to notice the presence of smaller vehicles. A truck’s blind spots include its front area, rear and sides, especially the right or passenger side. While smaller vehicles should avoid driving on these areas, truck drivers are asked to always double check these same areas just to make sure that no motorist is oblivious of the fact that he or she is driving along a dangerous spot.

On its website, the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, discusses how tragic a truck accident can be. Getting severely injured is not the only possible consequence of a truck accident; there are also the costly medical treatments; long recuperation period, which will also mean long absence from work and, therefore, loss of salary. While personal injury lawyers are always ready to provide injured victims the legal assistance that may help them seek compensation, said law firm points out the importance of seeking legal aid only from a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer for greater chances of being deemed worthy by the court to receive this compensation and at its maximum amount too.

Pageant Mix-up Causes Black Backlash

Miss Universe Crown

Steve Harvey announced the wrong name of the winner while hosting Miss Universe 2015. He had mistakenly crowned Ariadna Gutiérrez, Miss Colombia, when the true winner was Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Philippines. Harvey is said to have incorrectly read the card that stated the winners. He later apologized on stage, on social media, and personally apologized to Wurtzbach outside the venue, after the pageant proper.

However, people in social media have not been so forgiving of his honest mistake.

In four hours alone, his mistake during the Miss Universe pageant reached over four million tweets on Twitter and it has caused viral news in both Colombia and the Philippines. A lot of the criticism against Harvey’s mistake has been to target his skin color as some people have taken to attack him due to his skin color and heritage, even going so far so as to use derogatory racial slurs against him.

Miss Universe has released a formal statement, giving their apologies to the families and supporters of both Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines, and citing human error as a possibility during live events. A video of Gutiérrez tearfully accepting what had happened as a mistake was also posted on Miss Universe’s social media platforms.

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