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Honor student needs help not jail: supports 2 siblings, runs fr job to job, homework til 7am..too tired for school, missed class

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Diane Tran, Honor Student At Texas High School, Jailed For Missing School
Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes, KHOU-11's Sherry Williams reports.

The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school. "She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework." Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.

Tran's case has spread online, with dozens of news outlets across the country picking up her story. HelpDianeTran.com, a site set up by the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance in partnership with Anedot and Gatorworks, has raised over $28,000

A petition at Change.org that calls for the judge to revoke the teen's fine and sentencing was approaching 28,000 signatures on Monday afternoon.

*Update May 31, 2012*

Charges dropped against honor student jailed for truancy
The 17-year-old Willis High School honor student whose 24-hour stay in jail for excessive truancy drew national attention had the charge rescinded Wednesday, records show.  read more »

6th Annual Endangered Species Day: Friday, May 18, 2012; one in four of the world's mammals are threatened with extinction

Endangered Species Day, May 2012

top: a red kite, one of several species of Scottish birds of prey to have been found dead from poisoning; bottom: endangered species California Least Tern

endangered species: arctic fox and polar bear

endangered species: sea otters and turtles

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Endangered Animal Photos For Earth Day - On Earth Day, it is important to not only recognize cute animals, but also those whose species may be in peril. For many species across the globe, extinction is a legitimate threat. A 2008 IUCN study found that one in four of the world's mammals are threatened with extinction.

Several of the species seen at above link are what the World Wildlife Fund calls "flagship species." Protection of these species "influences and supports the survival of other species" and "offers opportunities to protect whole landscapes or marine areas," according to the organization.  read more »

Oceans of trash? >9 million volunteers remove 153 million lbs of trash from >312000 miles of coastline and waterways in 26 years

Ocean trash: enough food packaging to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years

top ten items of garbage found in the oceans

ocean trash killing wildlife: fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians, corals & sponges

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New Data Shows What Trash is in Your Ocean and Waterways
New data released by the Ocean Conservancy highlights the need for humans to clean up their acts. The numbers, generated during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup last September, are staggering.

With 598,076 volunteers around the world who picked up 9,184,428 pounds of trash from 20,776 miles of shorelines, rivers and lakes, it’s not surprising what is the most prolific item found – cigarette butts. If you are wondering how Ocean Conservancy knows down to the last one, how many butts there were, each volunteer is issued an inventory control sheet to keep tabs.

By now you are probably feeling a little ill, seeing just how much junk is floating around and landing on the world’s shores. But what about the damage being done to our wildlife? We know better — they don’t.

Stop Trash at the Source – You  read more »

"Deforest to prevent wildfire", "kill barred owl to save another species"...sounds like whalers blaming whales, not overfishing

to save the endangered spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a plan to shoot barred owls (pictured), a rival bird
northern spotted owl

Nature has nature’s law. We humans are just part of Nature. Forests, rather than dead land without trees, supply priceless necessities (shelter, food, oxygen, balanced weather, etc...) for humans... A good example - life in all forms is easily sustained in forests. Wildfires, if not caused by human error, are Nature’s call, and trees will come out the following spring. Sensitive birds (remember they have wings) know full well to fly away from harmful situations, particularly at the onset of smoke when the fire starts... yet unfortunately they can hardly survive without the environment for them to survive – forests... and sadly their speed is no faster than a hunter’s bullet. When mankind appreciates and takes care of Nature, Nature takes care of mankind. Philosophy and science are mostly stemmed from observing nature, and discovering nature’s laws, which make us wiser. As Einstein once said, “look into nature, and you will understand everything better”.

The golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, belongs to the family Accipitridae.

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Iran is not Iraq. Israel unilateral strike on Iran? US would be $3.7 trillion richer without just-ended Iraq and Afghan war

Top: US soldiers kneel during memorial ceremony for Captain Daniel Whitten and Private First Class Zachary Lovejoy in Afghanistan; Bottom: estimated dollar costs of wars, in $ billions

memorable images from the Iraq War: flag-draped coffins of fallen soldiers

Top: elderly Iraqi woman carries dishes past old houses in central Baghdad; Bottom: countries that hold detainees arrested as part of US War on Terror

Iran is not Iraq in terms of size as a nation -
Iran - population: 75 million (17th); area: 1,648,195 km2 (18th)
Iraq - population: 30 million (36th); area: 438,317 km2 (50th)

Iran is not Iraq considering their geographic neighbors –
Iran borders with Russia and Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
Iraq borders with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey.

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Persian Gulf tensions mount as U.S. engages Israel on Iran: Israel has not ruled out a unilateral strike on Iran

January 2, 2012 Huffington Post: The United States will have spent a total of $3.7 trillion on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, costing 225,000 lives and creating 7.8 million refugees, by the time the conflicts end, according to a report released on Wednesday by Brown University.  read more »

Antarctic Ocean. Life in peril: 7 Japanese ships, $29mil Tsunami-fund armed coastguards vs 23 nations' volunteers

Top: woman feeds her baby at a shelter for those evacuated away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Bottom: Japanese vessel, on its sides reads in giant letters 'Government of Japan'

Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States have jointly condemned Japanese annual 'scientific' whaling

*Update Dec. 31, 2011* Indeed odd: 7 Japanese ships seem not interested in whales but - "Japanese government security ship Shonan Maru #2 continues to tail the Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot" on their way back to port for repairs. Now the Bob Barker is alone at the mercy of the other 6 Japanese ships with armed coast guards continuously moving eastward (to where?), far from any rescue/backup as the Bob Barker, on January 6'2010, rescued Ady Gil's 6 crew who were nearly killed when the Ady Gil was suddenly sliced in two by a whaling ship.

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"Despite the suspension of the program this year, we of MAFF are determined to continue the program until it leads to the resumption of commercial whaling," senior vice minister Nobutaka Tsutsui said.

Takanarita, a widely experienced journalist, blogged his disappointment. Pro-whaling politicians had taken control, he said. It had become an expression of male pride: ''We can't give in to the likes of Sea Shepherd.''  read more »

Save Ocean, save Earth. UK: no whale meat; Germany: honor Ric O'Barry for dolphins; EU: label oil/ tar sands as carbon-intensive

importing whale meat into the UK or Europe is in breach of international law

Ric O’Barry, Campaign Director for Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project and star of the hit documentary The Cove, will receive the Bambi Award in Germany.

Protesters outside the White House in Washington against TransCanada's proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline would take oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, and carry it through a pipeline cutting across Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.
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Do not bring whale meat home from Iceland, British tourists told - Whale meat on sale at Keflavik airport prompts the Foreign Office to issue a warning to Britons at risk of breaching international law
Up to 70,000 Britons who visit Iceland each year have been given a stiff warning by the Foreign Office not to bring home any whale meat, saying to do so is in breach of international law protecting endangered species.

Penalties of imprisonment or fines up to £5,000 could be meted out by the courts, says the Foreign Office, because importation into Britain and other EU countries is illegal under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (Cites).  read more »

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