Opposing rallies mark ‘dog meat day’ in South Korea

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South Korean dog farmers eat dog meat during a counter-rally against animal rights activists demonstrating against the meat’s trade on Friday, July 12, 2019. (AFP)
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Members of the Korean Dog Meat Association stage a rally to support eating dog meat in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on Friday, July 12, 2019. (AP)
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American actor Kim Basinger and Chris DeRose, president of Last Chance for Animals attend a rally against the practice of eating dog meat in Seoul on July 12, 2019. (Yonhap via Reuters)
Updated 12 July 2019

Opposing rallies mark ‘dog meat day’ in South Korea

  • Dog meat is neither legal nor explicitly banned in South Korea
  • Many people still oppose outlawing dog meat because they view it as surrendering to Western pressure

SEOUL, South Korea: Dozens of people opposing dog meat consumption, including American actress Kim Basinger, rallied in Seoul on Friday to mark a “dog meat day” in South Korea.
About 20 others stood on the opposite side calling for a legalization of dog meat during a protest near the National Assembly building. There were no reports of violence.
Under a traditional belief, Friday is the first of three hottest days in South Korea. Many South Koreans believe eating dog meat or chicken soups on those three days gives them strength to beat the heat.
“They do not need your tears, they need your help,” Basinger said. “We have to end this cruelty on this planet. We have to help anything suffering, and these dogs and cats are suffering.”
The anti-dog meat protesters held placards that read “How Many Millions Have to Die Before Dog Meat Ends?” They also put mock dog carcasses on a table.
About 10 meters away from them were farmers who raise dogs that are sold to restaurants. They brought along steamed dog meat and ate it with kimchi.
Anti-dog meat rallies routinely take place on the three hottest days.
Dog meat is neither legal nor explicitly banned in South Korea. Dog meat restaurants are a dwindling business in South Korea in recent years as pets grow in popularity. A survey last year indicated that about 80 percent of South Koreans had never eaten dog meat in the past year.
But many people still oppose outlawing dog meat because they view it as surrendering to Western pressure.


Republican stalwart Rooney ‘thinking’ about impeachment

Updated 52 min 19 sec ago

Republican stalwart Rooney ‘thinking’ about impeachment

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump gave an atta-boy to Republican Rep. Francis Rooney last year on the congressman’s home turf in swing state Florida.
“I love it when he defends me,” the president said then. He might feel differently now.
The second-term Republican said publicly Friday what others in his party are not, namely that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged a quid pro quo was at work when Trump held up US aid to Ukraine in exchange for Kyiv’s investigation of Democrats and the 2016 elections. Mulvaney later claimed his comments had been misconstrued, but Rooney said he and other Republicans heard them clearly.
“He said there’s a quid pro quo,” Rooney said of Mulvaney during a telephone interview. “I just don’t think that the power and prestige of our country is supposed to be used for political things.”
Asked whether he thinks Trump’s conduct is impeachable, Rooney replied, “I’m still thinking about it.”
Anything short of a “no” on that question, even from only one of 197 Republicans in the House, is notable amid the drive by majority Democrats to impeach Trump. The president has made clear that he does more than notice what he considers acts of disloyalty; he is fond of making examples of Republicans by threatening to sink their re-election bids and following through in a few cases.
Friday night, Trump tweeted, “REPUBLICANS MUST STICK TOGETHER AND FIGHT!” That tweet was accompanied by a video targeting Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who has been critical of Trump’s handling of Turkey’s assault on Syrian Kurds.
When Rep. Justin Amash of politically critical Michigan became the first House Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment earlier this year — and quit the party — the backlash from Trump’s orbit was swift.
But that was before revelations about Trump’s pressure on Ukraine, which made his impeachment by the end of the year a real possibility. Since the release of a rough transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president, many current and former administration officials have testified before House impeachment investigators.
Then Mulvaney spoke on Thursday. Rooney said in a telephone interview that the chief of staff’s comments marked a turning point for him from giving the president “the benefit of the doubt.” And he said GOP colleagues are newly troubled.
“They were all going around saying what the president said — that there wasn’t a quid pro quo,” Rooney said. “There were a lot of Republicans looking at that headline yesterday. I think people were concerned about it.”
Rooney said he had not received any blowback from the White House for his comments, though about half of the calls he’s getting are from constituents who are critical, including “some pretty hostile” ones from ardent Trump supporters.
Only a year ago, at a presidential rally in Estero, Trump praised Rooney as “a man who’s so great to me on television. This guy is special. He was a great businessman. Now he’s a great congressman, Francis Rooney.”
He went on: “I love him when he defends me. He’s brutal. He gets the job done, right, Francis? Thank you, man.”
Rooney, 65, is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, a solid member of the Republican establishment. Among the wealthiest members of the House, he won his second term last year with 62 percent of the vote. His foreign policy bona fides come in part from his service as ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush.
His official biography tells the story of his longtime connection to the GOP. In 1984, the family started Rooney Holdings Inc. One of the company’s subsidiaries counts among its projects the presidential libraries for both Bush and his father, George H. W. Bush, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans football stadiums, the US Capitol Visitor’s Center, the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research and the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.
Rooney has at times been a Trump critic. He was one of 13 House Republicans to join a Democratic effort early this year to stop the president from declaring a national emergency to fund his border wall with Mexico.
On Friday, Rooney was no longer one of Trump’s defenders, on television or elsewhere.
“Whatever may have been gray and unclear before is certainly clear now,” he said on CNN.