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Private zoo owner in Crimea pleads for public to take 30 of his bears so he won't have to euthanise them

3 heures 39 minutes ago

The owner of a struggling safari park in Crimea is giving more than thirty bears to save them from euthanasia.  Oleg Zubkov, the owner of the Taigan Lion Park near Simferopol, said he is seeking new homes for the animals because he can no longer afford to feed them. It comes after inspectors ordered the safari park, which is famous for its large collection of lions, found violations of veterinary regulations and ordered it closed for three months.  Speaking on his Youtube channel, “the Lion Man,” Mr Zubkov said he could not afford to feed and look after the animals without the revenue from ticket sales and was left with no choice but to find them new homes or put them down.  “Twelve lions and tigers will be moved to other zoos shortly, and a final decision will be made about… shooting 30 bears from the park,” he says in the video. “I’ve forced into these extreme measures because there are no other options left,” he said. Oleg Zubkov with BBC television presenter  Simon Reeve Credit:  Jonathan Young Mr Zubkov said he had already fed several dozen of his Vietnamese pigs to the lions and tigers in a bid to cut costs, and that he had informed regional veterinary authorities about his decision to cull his bears.  Valery Ivanov, the head of the state veterinary committee in Crimea, told Interfax no documents related to the killing of animals had been received.  The Taigan Safari Park, which is home to 2,500 animals, was opened in 2012. Mr Zubkov also runs a second zoo, called Skazka, in Yalta.  Both have been the subject of numerous complaints about the conditions in which the animals are kept, according to local officials.  Last year Taigan was at the centre of a small scandal after one of the lions bit a 46 year old female tourist posing for photographs with the animal.  Mr Zubkov's career has not passed without controversy Credit: Media Drum World / Alamy Stock Photo Mr Zubkov insists that his bears live in better conditions than in many other zoos in Russia, and that the biting incident was the only one of its kind. He has complained that authorities have been trying to shut him down ever since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsular after Vladimir Putin annexed it from Ukraine in 2014.  Mr Zubkov was an enthusiastic supporter the annexation at the time, and even featured in Russian television reports promising that his “fighting lions” would maintain order during the controversial referendum on “reunification” with Russia.  In the months afterwards he made an unsuccessful bid to enter local politics and even tried to call Vladimir Putin during his annual phone-in show to invite him to the safari park.   But by 2015 he had begun to complain that he and his zoo had become the target of a campaign of harassment by local officials apparently determined to put him out of business.


Indian Muslims to pursue review of Hindu temple site ruling

6 heures 37 minutes ago

An Indian Muslim group said on Sunday it would file a petition in the Supreme Court asking for a review of a ruling that awarded a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh to Hindus, allowing them to build a temple there. India's Supreme Court ruled on Nov. 9 that a 2.77 acre (1.1 hectare) plot of land should be awarded to Hindus, who believe it is the birthplace of Lord Ram, a physical incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. "There are apparent errors in the Supreme Court judgment, and we felt that it would be prudent to file a review petition," Syed Qasim Ilyas, a member of the group, told a press briefing.


UPDATE 1-Belarus threatens to pull out of Russia integration deal over subsidy row

7 heures 9 minutes ago

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday threatened to pull out of signing an integration deal with Russia next month if Moscow failed to resolve their dispute over energy subsidies. Russia has propped up its traditional ally with loans and subsidies to keep Belarus in its political orbit but now plans to phase these out to lessen the burden on its economy. Belarus previously said that it stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year from changes to Russian tax policy and has tried to negotiate compensation.


Forgotten Genocide: How a Quarter of Europe’s Roma Were Murdered by the Nazis, then Erased From History

7 heures 36 minutes ago

LONDON—It’s impossible to fathom the scale of the depravity. An eyewitness account by a Holocaust survivor—unearthed for a new exhibition in London—describes the conditions in the “gypsy” section of Auschwitz as even more inhumane than the rest of the appalling facility.“The conditions were worse than in the other camps,” wrote eyewitness Hermann Langbein in 1945. “The route between the huts was ankle deep in mud and dirt. The gypsies were still wearing the clothes that they had been given upon arrival… footwear was missing… The latrines were built in such a way that they were practically unusable for the gypsy children. The infirmary was a pathetic sight.”The Holocaust Didn’t End with the Liberation of Auschwitz and the Nazi Death CampsThe report by Langbein, also a survivor of the Spanish Civil War, is just one of the sickening contemporary accounts highlighted in the exhibition Forgotten Victims: The Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti at London’s Wiener Holocaust Library (to March 11, 2020).Over 90 percent of the Roma held at Auschwitz did not survive the war.In total, it is estimated that up to half a million Roma and Sinti, the name taken by the nomadic people based in Germany, died during the Holocaust. Accurate estimates are impossible but that may have been a quarter of Europe’s Roma and Sinti population.The plight of these people, commonly known as gypsies at the time, was overshadowed by the scale of the genocide perpetrated against Europe’s Jewish community, but the Romani suffering was not simply eclipsed; it was systematically erased in the post-war period. Romani survivors did not qualify for restitution; the mass murder of the Roma was largely ignored at the Nuremberg trials; Germany did not formally recognize that there had been a Romani genocide until 1982.Like homeless and gay victims of the Holocaust, the Roma and Sinti people were primarily categorized by the Nazi killing machine as criminals or “asocials.” For the tiny minority who survived, this meant they struggled to apply for compensation for their treatment in the same way as Jewish survivors.Despite the German authorities’ failure to recognize this as another strand of genocide, there was plenty of evidence that the Nazis were applying similar twisted pseudo-science to portray the Roma and Jews as lesser people.The exhibition highlights the work of a man named Dr Robert Ritter, who was responsible for running the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit from 1936. In 1941, he was promoted and also became head of the Criminal Biology Unit. Much of his work focused on trying to prove that the Romani people were racially inferior using a vast array of nonsensical and unscientific methods.He supported the sterilization of Roma women and expressed his concern about preventing intermarriage with other Germans. He was also personally responsible for identifying Roma and Sinti communities in Germany and Austria which were then raided by Nazis units who transported thousands to the camps.Ritter was never brought to trial. His racist project had obviously been influential among senior Nazi officials, however. In 1938, the head of the SS Heinrich Himmler wrote: “Experience gained in combating the gypsy nuisance, and knowledge derived from race-biological research, have shown that the proper method of attacking the Gypsy problem seems to be to treat it as a matter of race.”It’s utterly extraordinary that it took the German government until the 1980s to officially take Himmler’s word for it: the mass execution of the Roma and Sinti people was a racially motivated genocide.It wasn’t just within Germany; the Roma and Sinti people were largely left out of the picture when the world united to condemn the horrors of the Holocaust.“There was no reckoning, no recognition,” said Barbara Warnock, curator at the Wiener Holocaust Library. “At the Nuremberg war crimes trials, crimes against Roma weren’t part of the indictments. There are some documents that were entered at Nuremberg that are to do with persecution against Jews that happen to mention persecution against Roma too but it wasn't something that was being particularly focused on or investigated even though people were aware of it. There's never been that big moment of acknowledgement.”Warnock told The Daily Beast that there has been a historic and continued marginalization of Roma communities in Europe. “The failure to acknowledge the extent of persecution and suffering probably hasn't been helpful,” she said.Documents that tell the typically depressing story of Hans Brann, a Roma survivor of Auschwitz, have been located by the Wiener Holocaust Library. He was one of just a couple of thousand Roma who entered Auschwitz and left alive.According to a police letter, the response to his restitution claim was to order a police inspector to investigate his claim, and prove that he was a criminal, not a racial victim. Not all of the documentation survives, but he must have been turned down because six years later Brann made the same claim of restitution. He had waited more than a decade for any recognition of the torment he had suffered.For the Roma people in Europe, the wait goes on. Recent years have seen crackdowns on communities in Italy, France and Hungary.“Reflect upon the situation in Europe today,” said Warnock. “A massive amount of prejudice and discrimination continues.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Rogue elephant dies in captivity after killing villagers

7 heures 49 minutes ago

A rogue elephant named after the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday. The male animal -- nicknamed "Laden" -- was tracked for days by forestry officers and tranquilised on Monday after a deadly October rampage killed five villagers in Goalpara, in the northeastern state of Assam. It was moved to Assam's Orang National Park where officials planned to teach it to patrol wildlife parks and sanctuaries in the state, but said it died early Sunday.


UPDATE 1-Russia begins moving captured Ukrainian ships before possible handover

8 heures 11 minutes ago

Russia began moving three captured Ukrainian navy ships on Sunday after a Russian newspaper reported Moscow would return them to Ukraine ahead of a four-way summit on eastern Ukraine next month, a Reuters reporter said. The reporter in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, saw tug boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait towards the Black Sea where they could potentially travel onwards towards Ukraine. Russia seized the ships off the coast of Crimea in November last year after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors.


Water Cannon Fails to Move Holed-Up Protesters: Hong Kong Update

8 heures 24 minutes ago

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong police fired teargas and deployed a water cannon to try to clear a resistant band of protesters who occupied a university near the Tsim Sha Tsui district and blocked roads in the vicinity.Police launched round after round of teargas and repeatedly sprayed a blue-dyed liquid toward the demonstrators holed up at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Streets surrounding the campus were littered with bricks and other obstacles to keep the police at bay. Protesters shielded themselves with umbrellas and lobbed petrol bombs as the overnight standoff stretched into Sunday afternoon.On Friday, a five-day face-off between protesters and police at Chinese University of Hong Kong ended as the activists evacuated their makeshift fortress. Earlier, vice chancellor Rocky Tuan made a fresh appeal for demonstrators, who had built barricades and taken over a number of buildings, to leave the campus.The city’s government is trying to step up measures to halt escalating violence in the financial center after a week that saw countless incidents of vandalism, angry clashes between opposing sides and two deaths linked to the conflict.Key developments:Government suspends schools for another dayPolice officer on leave after firing sponge grenade at mediaPLA soldiers help clean upCity’s second-highest-ranked leader promises measures to halt violenceTwo German citizens reportedly detained by policeHere’s the latest (all times local):Officer suffers arrow wound (2 p.m.)A police media-liaison officer was admitted to hospital after he suffered an arrow wound to his leg, police said in a statement. The officer was injured when protesters charged at police and used bricks, petrol bombs, and bows and arrows to attack them near Polytechnic University, according to the statement.Police deploy water cannons (1 p.m.)Police deployed a water cannon to try to drive protesters out of Polytechnic University. After officers repeatedly fired a blue-dyed liquid from the vehicle toward the protesters, the standoff continued as the sides watched one another from across the rubble-strewn intersection, normally a busy traffic crossing.Schools suspended (12:00 p.m.)All schools would remain suspended on Monday because of safety concerns, the Education Bureau said in a statement. While classes are halted, the premises must remain open for students who need to go to school, and staff need to be arranged to look after the children, it said.If the situation allows, classes will resume on Tuesday, the bureau said.Airport traffic (11 a.m.)Hong Kong International Airport handled 5.4 million passengers in October, 13% fewer than a year earlier, and saw 34,300 flight movements, down 6.1%, Airport Authority Hong Kong said in a statement. Cargo throughput dropped 5.5% to 428,000 tonnes, it said.Face-off continues (10 a.m.)Police and protesters faced off Sunday outside Polytechnic University where activists had taken refuge. The officers fired rounds of teargas to try to disperse the crowd, which appeared to be a couple of hundred people, but the demonstrators returned to their position at the main traffic intersection near the campus after the clouds of smoke thinned.The clashes started when protesters threw objects at people trying to clean up the area on Saturday. Riot police moved in and tried to disperse the demonstrators, who retreated into university property and then returned to fling firebombs toward police.Police officer put on leave (9:47 p.m.)Hong Kong police are investigating an incident where an officer fired a sponge grenade while asking reporters to leave the scene during clashes with protesters early on Saturday. The officer involved is currently on leave, according to a statement from the government.Various media reports said a riot police officer fired a 40mm react round at a Commercial Radio reporter. Police reiterated that they fully respect the freedom of the press.In a separate development, the police and protesters are clashing outside the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology where petrol bombs and tear gas have been exchanged.City mops up (4 p.m.)Residents in Pokfulam and Kowloon Tong banded together to clear the blockaded streets, forming human chains to load skips of the bricks and rubble that covered the area. PLA soldiers in Kowloon Tong ferried buckets and wheelbarrows of debris off the roads before returning to their base in the district, RTHK reported.Chinese troops have been stationed in Hong Kong since the British handed the city back to China in 1997. But the city government has never requested deployment. In 2018, more than 400 soldiers helped clear fallen trees following Typhoon Mangkhut, the first time they had undertaken such a role.University occupation ends (3 a.m.)Protesters who occupied the CUHK campus for about a week have left the campus, according to a university spokesman. Police and workers cleared the streets early Saturday and all lanes were re-opened on Tolo Highway, which had been blocked by demonstrators.German Citizens Reportedly Detained by Police (2:31 a.m.)Two German citizens were detained by Hong Kong police amid the continuing protests, Deutsche Welle reported, citing an official at Germany’s foreign ministry. They are receiving assistance from the country’s consulate in Hong Kong, according to the report. Police in Hong Kong said two foreign men were detained during a demonstration in Tuen Mun, according to Reuters.Chinese University of Hong Kong Appeals To Protesters To End Siege (Sat. 12:27 a.m.)CUHK vice chancellor Rocky Tuan appealed to protesters to stop their siege of his campus, urging them in a letter to leave the university. The university had previously canceled classes for the remainder of the semester and asked students and staff to leave the premises. He said that if the university can’t clear out the protesters, it would have “no choice” but to ask the government to help resolve the situation.University heads call for all to ‘work together’ to bring peace (10:45 p.m.)Nine university presidents urged the government to take the lead in ending the political deadlock and restoring order as their campuses become “major political battlefields,” according to a joint statement.Demands that university disciplinary processes can fix the problem are “disconnected from reality” and the government’s response so far has not been effective, they said. “We call on all quarters of society to work together to bring peace and order back to Hong Kong.”City’s No. 2 vows more measures (6:07 p.m.)Matthew Cheung, the city’s chief secretary, promised “more decisive measures” to halt protest violence, including suspending civil servants who are arrested during demonstrations. Cheung -- joined by Civil Service Secretary Joshua Law, Transport Secretary Frank Chan, Education Secretary Kevin Yeung and Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Secretary Patrick Nip -- said departments would step up coordination.While Cheung declined to rule out further invocations of the city’s powerful Emergency Regulations Ordinance, he reaffirmed the city would hold District Council elections as planned Nov. 24.Overwhelming support for inquiry (4:45 p.m.)Some 80% of Hong Kong adults want the government to set up an independent commission of inquiry to examine the use of force by police throughout Hong Kong’s recent unrest, according to a new survey by Hong Kong Public Opinion Program. That’s up from 77% earlier this month.An inquiry is one of the five demands that protesters have been chanting about in marches throughout the city for months, but the government has so far ruled out any further political concessions.Hong Kong expects recession (4:30 p.m.)Hong Kong revised down its estimate for economic growth this year, with the government now forecasting the first annual contraction since the global financial crisis a decade ago. Gross domestic product will contract 1.3% in 2019 from the previous year, the government said Friday as it released final output calculations for the third quarter.The government said ending the city’s violent unrest is key to an economic recovery.Police classify death as murder (1:31 p.m.)Police upgraded their probe into the injury of a 70-year-old government worker to a murder investigation after the man died overnight. The man was struck in the head by an object during a scuffle Wednesday between protesters who had set up road blocks and others who were attempting to clear them.The man appeared to be filming in the direction of a group of black-clad protesters when one of them “deliberately threw” an object at him, Chan Tin-chu, senior superintendent for criminal investigations in New Territories North, told reporters at a briefing Friday. The victim didn’t participate in the argument or the attempt to clear the road blocks, Chan said.\--With assistance from Daniel Flatley and Jacob Gu.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Moxy Ying in Hong Kong at yying13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley James, Nicholas ReynoldsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Russia says it will return captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday

8 heures 43 minutes ago

Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday. A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine. Ukraine has been pushing for their return as a good will gesture from Moscow ahead of a possible four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month.


CORRECTED-Russia says India delaying signing helicopters deal -exec

9 heures 55 minutes ago

The head of Russian Helicopters said on Sunday that India was delaying the signing of a firm agreement for purchasing 200 helicopters despite providing all information. Chief Executive Andrey Boginsky also said it would benefit India if the planned order for over 100 rotorcraft for the Indian Navy could be combined with the 200 India is looking to buy for the Army. Russian Helicopters is owned by state-owned Russian conglomerate Rostec.


Iran's Khamenei backs petrol price hike decision: state TV

11 heures 32 minutes ago

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday voiced support for a decision to impose petrol price hikes and rationing that sparked protests across the Islamic republic. Protests flared across Iran after the price hike agreed by the High Council of Economic Coordination made up of the president, parliament speaker and judiciary chief was announced at midnight on Friday. "The heads of the branches made a decision with the backing of expert opinion and naturally it must be implemented," said Khamenei.


Former Sri Lankan defense chief wins presidential vote

11 heures 52 minutes ago

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense official revered by Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority for his role in ending a bloody civil war but feared by minorities for his brutal approach, registered a comfortable victory Sunday in the nation’s presidential election. Elections chief Mahinda Deshapriya announced the official results that Rajapaksa won more than 6.9 million votes in Saturday’s election, 1.3 million votes more than his closest rival, Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa.


US, S Korea postpone joint exercise criticized by N Korea

12 heures 43 minutes ago

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday the United States and South Korea have indefinitely postponed a joint military exercise in an “act of goodwill” toward North Korea. The move comes even as Japan’s defense minister, whose country feels threatened by repeated North Korean missile launches, told Esper “no one could be optimistic about” changing the North’s behavior. The statement by Japan’s defense chief, Taro Kono, was a stark illustration of the difficulties facing the U.S. and its international allies and partners as they struggle to get North Korea back to negotiations to eliminate its nuclear weapons and missiles.


US, China negotiators hold 'constructive' call on trade deal: ministry

14 heures 31 minutes ago

Top Chinese and US trade negotiators held "constructive" discussions over the phone on a preliminary trade deal between the two countries, China's commerce ministry announced in a statement on Sunday. The long-running trade war between Washington and Beijing has weighed on the global economy and spooked markets, with the two sides imposing punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade. US President Trump announced a "phase one" trade deal last month which has yet to be signed.


Elizabeth Warren takes risk with ad blasting billionaires

16 heures 28 minutes ago

Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates, has stepped up her assault on billionaires -- a rallying cry popular with her base, but one that could stymie her efforts to garner wider support among US voters. The one-minute campaign ad shows clips of several leading businessmen criticizing her plans for a wealth tax and predicting economic ruin if she is elected to succeed Donald Trump, a billionaire himself. Then the viewer sees Warren at a campaign rally, challenging America's most wealthy to pay up to help reduce income inequality in America.


Chile police stopped rescue workers helping dying protester: human rights watchdog

17 heures 8 minutes ago

Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday. Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile's publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said. Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.


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