Conservationists are making waves on Valentine’s Day with demonstrations in seven U.S. cities, including Washington, to protest the ritual killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.
The “World Love for Dolphins Day” events are organized by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which first exposed Japanese fishermen corralling and slaughtering dolphins in 2003. The group, based in Washington state’s Puget Sound, has been monitoring and protesting the annual dolphin roundups ever since, including sending out live streams of the hunt in a cove at Taiji last month.
The U.S. protests, all starting at noon local time, are planned in Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington. (D.C.’s will be outside the Japanese Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue.)
Japanese officials defend dolphin hunting as a long-held tradition in Taiji, on the Pacific coast southwest of Tokyo. “Dolphin is not covered by the International Whaling Commission control, and it’s controlled under responsibility of each country,” Japan’s chief Cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said at a Jan. 22 news conference.
Sea Shepherd activists monitoring the seven-month hunting season starting in September say they have documented the deaths of hundreds of dolphins, which are sold for food in Japanese coastal communities. Some dolphins are captured alive and sold to aquariums around the world.
The group’s Melissa Sehgal, who witnessed the hunt in January, told reporters that fishermen try to hide what they are doing, but “you can hear the dolphins splashing below” while their spinal cords are being stabbed.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."