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07 Mar

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Recommended:

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

Le Monde>>

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French cardinal convicted of child sex abuse cover-up

Jeff Pachoud, AFP | Lyon’s archbishop, cardinal Philippe Barbarin, arrives at the city’s courthouse to attend his trial on January 8, 2019.

A French court has found top Catholic official Cardinal Philippe Barbarin guilty of failing to report to justice accusations against a paedophile priest in his diocese.

In a surprise decision Thursday in France‘s most important church sex abuse trial, the Lyon court handed Barbarin a six-month suspended prison sentence for not reporting the facts in the period between July 2014 and June 2015.

The Rev. Bernard Preynat’s alleged victims said Barbarin and other church officials covered up for him for years, but the statute of limitations had expired on some charges and even the victims had expected that the cardinal would be acquitted.

The prosecutor had also argued against convicting, saying there were no grounds to prove legal wrongdoing.

The priest has confessed to abusing Boy Scouts in the 1970s and 80s and will be tried separately.

Barbarin, 68, is one of the most prominent Catholic figures in France.

The French church has been roiled in recent years by allegations against predator priests which have come to light in the wake of a global move by victims to come forward with evidence.

Clerics have been denounced in countries as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ireland, and the United States, leading Pope Francis to promise to rid the church of the scourge that has done enormous damage to its standing.

The walrus, rusty patched bumblebee, Humboldt marten, leatherback turtle and a Florida sparrow face uncertain future

  

The Trump administration reversed an Obama administration decision to name the Pacific walrus as a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection. Photograph: Joel Garlich-Miller/AP

The Trump administration is eroding protections for America’s endangered species. Here are five species under threat in the age of Trump.

Walrus

 

Pacific walruses, which are found in the Bering and Chukchi Seas that abut Alaska, are one the largest flipper-footed marine mammals in the world, with males weighing as much as two tons. The animals rely upon sea ice for breeding, feeding and nursing their young, and a place to evade predators.

This has proved problematic as sea ice recedes, prompting the Obama administration to name the walrus as a candidate for ESA listing in 2011. The Trump administration reversed course in 2017, a decision walrus advocates called a “death sentence” for the species.

Rusty patched bumblebee

FILE - This 2016 file photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota. The Fish and Wildlife Service said that it was delaying listing the bee species as endangered, one day before it was to take effect. The listing was to take effect Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (Sarah Foltz Jordan/The Xerces Society via AP, File)

The rusty patched bumblebee has vanished from 90% of its historic range due to use of pesticides and habitat loss. Photograph: Sarah Foltz Jordan/AP

A crucial pollinator of crops such as blueberries, cherries and plums, the rusty patched bumble bee has vanished from 90% of its historic range due to use of pesticides and habitat loss. The Trump administration put on hold a plan to protect the bee before finally relenting following a legal fight.

The administration’s revised ESA regulations, however, could make it more difficult to safeguard habitat the bee will need for its recovery.

Humboldt marten

The Humboldt marten

The Humboldt marten is found in pockets of forest in California and Oregon. Photograph: Charlotte Eriksson / Oregon State University/Charlotte Eriksson / Oregon State University.

A stealthy forest-dweller about the size of a cat, the Humboldt marten is part of the weasel family and found in pockets of forest in California and Oregon.

Previously trapped for their fur and, more recently, pressured by the expansion of marijuana farms in California, fewer than 300 of the martens remain. Under court order, the Trump administration listed the marten as threatened but conservationists warn this will mean little if its proposals to provide lesser protection compared with endangered animals go ahead.

Leatherback turtle

The leatherback turtle.

The leatherback turtle. Photograph: Mark Conlin/Getty Images

Having to undertake huge transoceanic journeys before arriving on Florida beaches to lay and hatch eggs, leatherback turtles have come under pressure from rogue fishing nets, pollution and now climate change, with rising seas drowning nests and increased sand temperatures influencing the sex of offspring.

“Ten years ago leatherbacks were doing very well, there were increases all over the Atlantic, but we are seeing huge declines now,” said Dr Justin Perrault, director of research at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. “Sea level rise is a big problem in Florida, the erosion of the beach is getting much worse. We will make things much harder for the turtles if we don’t do anything about climate change.”

Following a request from a fishing group, the Trump administration is considered whether to downgrade the leatherback’s protective status from endangered to threatened. Further habitat may be required for the species if it is lost due to climate change, although the proposed Fish and Wildlife Service regulations would do away with any requirement to do this.

Florida grasshopper sparrow

Conservationists have warned that the Florida grasshopper sparrow is the most likely candidate to become the first US bird to go extinct in more than 30 years.

Once a regular sight in central Florida, the species has entered a steep decline since the 1970s as the region was intensively developed for farming and housing. Just 22 females and 53 males were found in the wild in a survey taken in 2017.

A captive breeding program was established in 2014 to revive the bird, which is just a few inches long and weighs barely an ounce. The Trump administration has eliminated federal funding for this program.

And:

World Politics

United States

DNC chairman Tom Perez cited New Yorker exposé on depth of administration’s ‘inappropriate’ ties to news network

in Oakland (now) and in Washington and in New York (earlier)

Fox News debate moderators Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier in Des Mones, Iowa on 28 January 2016.

Fox News debate moderators Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier in Des Mones, Iowa on 28 January 2016. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

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