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Australian wildlife rescuers and 100+ island volunteers race to save 200 stranded whales and dolphins off Tasmania

nearly 200 whales and several dolphins beached themselves on King Island off Tasmania on 2 March 2009

(quote)

Australian wildlife rescuers were using jetskis and small boats today to try to save nearly 200 pilot whales and a small pod of dolphins beached on an island between the mainland and Tasmania.

Rescuers said only 54 of the 194 whales stranded on King Island had survived, and seven dolphins were still alive. It is the fourth beaching incident near Tasmania in recent months.

about 50 of 194 pilot whales and seven dolphins stranded on King Island were still alive

Rescuers dug trenches in the sand to channel water close to the whales as volunteers doused them with water and draped wet fabric over their bodies to keep them cool. More than 100 volunteers used stretchers to carry dolphins into the shallows, and other officials used small boats and a jetski to pull whales out to sea.

volunteers doused the mammals with water and draped wet fabric over their bodies to keep them cool

Whale strandings happen periodically in Tasmania during their migration to and from Antarctic waters, but scientists do not know why it happens. It is unusual, however, for whales and dolphins to get stranded together.  read more »

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Kicks off Middle Class Task Force's inaugural meeting with focus on green jobs

Vice President Joe Biden heads the Middle Class Task Force

(quote)

Creating green jobs is the first order of business for the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families. Led by Vice President Joe Biden, the Task Force held its inaugural meeting on Feb. 27, 2009 in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. "At a time when good jobs and good wages are harder and harder to come by - it is critical we find new and innovative work opportunities for middle class families," said Biden. "That's why we're here today - to learn and listen about how investing in green jobs can help build a strong middle class."

President Barack Obama (L), joined by Vice President Joe Biden, signs a set of executive orders that will strengthen the working rights of federal contract workers during a ceremony where he announced Vice President Joe Biden as the head of the newly created Middle Class Working Families Taskforce in Washington on January 30, 2009  read more »

An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist...

An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.

— Sydney J. Harris

Mar 11 '09 photo, Brazilian Amazon: woman holding naked child while being pushed away from her home by riot police

woman holding her naked child while being pushed away from her home by a line of riot police

Eviction
An woman holds her naked child while trying to resist the advance of Amazonas state policemen who were expelling the woman and some 200 other members of the Landless Movement from a privately-owned tract of land on the outskirts of Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon March 11, 2008. The landless peasants tried in vain to resist the eviction with bows and arrows against police using tear gas and trained dogs.

Winner in General News Singles category, 2008 World Press Photo of the Year.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Reuters/Luiz Vasconcelos-A Critica/AE (BRAZIL)

Original Source: Reuters

Song & dance, euphoria & sobriety, and a few moving moments at the 81st annual Academy Awards

crowds watched the fashion spectacle as stars walked the red carpets before the 81st Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles

(quote)

A year after its worst television ratings, the Academy Awards ceremony has been reinvented with a fresh, vibrant yet intimate atmosphere, a welcome change of pace that suited this year's runaway success, Slumdog Millionaire. The Indian rags-to-riches story was snubbed initially by the Hollywood studios but has captured the imagination of the world's cinema-going public, and yesterday it swept an astonishing eight Oscars, including the best picture and best director.

Hugh Jackman hosted the 81st annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood

Slumdog's Oscar-winning scriptwriter, Simon Beaufoy, said the award had come at an interesting time in international affairs. "The financial markets are crashing around the world and a film comes out (that) is ostensibly about being a millionaire, (but) it's a film that says there's more important things than money: love, faith and family, and that struck a chord with people," he said.

razzle dazzle ... Oscar host Hugh Jackman performs with Beyonce during the 81st Academy Awards  read more »

Bolivia's first indigenous President enacts new constitution, empowers indigenous majority, allows for land reform

supporters of Bolivia's President Evo Morales march towards La Paz, in the village of San Antonio, Bolivia, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008

(quote)

Bolivia's President Evo Morales has enacted a new constitution that aims to empower the country's indigenous majority and allows for land reform. Mr. Morales is Bolivia's first indigenous president.

On January 25th, Bolivia held a referendum to adopt a new national constitution, one that dramatically shifts the country, reversing discriminatory practices and granting many rights and self-determination to the 36 indigenous nations within Bolivia. After a lengthy count, officials announced that the referendum passed with over 60% of the vote.

President Evo Morales hands out copies of the new Constitution during a demonstration outside the governmental palace and after the congress passed the law to call a referendum on it, on October 21, 2008 in La Paz

Much political and legal work remains to implement the changes, but soon most of the country's natural resources will be state-owned, land ownership will be capped at 12,000 acres, and Morales will be able to run for a second term. President Evo Morales welcomed the constitutional win by saying "Here begins the new Bolivia", claiming the changes would work to "decolonize" Bolivia.  read more »

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we..

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

— George Washington Carver

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