Pet dogs and strays suffer in Asia heatwave

Pet dogs and strays suffer in Asia heatwave
Dogs get treated for heat burns at a pet clinic in Kolkata on April 30, 2024. (AFP)
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Updated 01 May 2024
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Pet dogs and strays suffer in Asia heatwave

Pet dogs and strays suffer in Asia heatwave
  • Increasing number of animals suffer nosebleeds, severe skin rashes in Kolkata in heatwave
  • Experts say climate change makes heatwaves more frequent, longer and more intense 

Kolkata: Soaring temperatures across Kolkata have brought life in much of the Indian megacity to a standstill, but veterinarian Partha Das cannot recall a time when he was more busy.

His clinic has been swamped by distressed members of the public carrying in beloved pets suffering nosebleeds, severe skin rashes and lapses into unconsciousness in a relentless heatwave suffocating much of South and Southeastern Asia over the past week.

“Many pets are also hospitalized for three or four consecutive days, and they are taking a long time to get back to normal,” the 57-year-old told AFP from his surgery.

“We are getting several heatstroke cases in a day. It’s unprecedented.”




Dogs sit in a cage as they wait to be treated for heat burns, at a pet clinic in Kolkata on April 30, 2024. (AFP)

Kolkata has sweltered through days of punishing heat, peaking at 43 degrees Celsius for the hottest single April day since 1954, according to the city’s weather bureau.

Streets of the normally bustling colonial-era capital have been almost deserted in the afternoons as its 15 million people do what they can to stay out of the sun.

But even cats and dogs lucky enough to have an owner have been susceptible to falling ill, with Das saying the heat had triggered a surge in dehydration-related illnesses in pets from around the city.

Teacher Sriparna Bose said her two cats had become sullen and withdrawn in a way she hadn’t seen before when the heatwave hit.

“They are refusing food,” she said. “They hide in dark, cold corners of the room and won’t come out.”

The situation is worse for the 70,000 stray dogs estimated to live on city streets by municipal authorities, which have no owner but are often fed and tended to by nearby residents.

Many are spending the day taking refuge from the sun under parked cars, while a lucky few are hosed down by sympathetic humans to help them cool off.

“They are finding it difficult to stand on their soft paws because the roads are so hot,” said Gurshaan Kohli of Humanimal Foundation, a local animal welfare charity for stray animals.




Gurshaan Kohli of Humanimal Foundation poses for a photograph with a wounded stray dog at a veterinary clinic in Kolkata on April 30, 2024. (AFP)

“Scores of dogs and cats have died” even though he and his colleagues had rushed them to clinics for treatment, he added.

Large swathes of South and Southeast Asia are struggling through a heatwave that has broken temperature records and forced millions of children to stay home as schools close across the region.

Experts say climate change makes heatwaves more frequent, longer and more intense, while the El Nino phenomenon is also driving this year’s exceptionally warm weather.

The heat has taken its toll on animals across the continent.

“They are eating less, and they are reluctant to move,” Henna Pekko of Rescue PAWS, which operates an animal shelter near Thailand’s capital Bangkok, told AFP.

With temperatures in Thailand exceeding 40 degrees Celsius over the past week, Pekko said her charity had taken to bringing its rescues to the ocean to cool down with a swim, while older dogs were being kept indoors.

“We are definitely taking extra precautions because of this weather,” she told AFP, adding that the stress on animals from the heat was the worst she had experienced in the kingdom.

“Last year was bad. This year was worse.”


Police ask Texas prosecutors to treat attempted drowning of 3-year-old child as a hate crime

Police said that as the mother helped her son, Wolf grabbed the woman’s 3-year-old daughter and forced her underwater. (REUTERS)
Police said that as the mother helped her son, Wolf grabbed the woman’s 3-year-old daughter and forced her underwater. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 sec ago
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Police ask Texas prosecutors to treat attempted drowning of 3-year-old child as a hate crime

Police said that as the mother helped her son, Wolf grabbed the woman’s 3-year-old daughter and forced her underwater. (REUTERS)
  • The mother of the children, who wears a hijab, said in a news release from the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations that they are Palestinians who became American citizens

DALLAS: A Texas woman allegedly tried to drown a 3-year-old at an apartment complex pool in suburban Dallas after making racist remarks toward the child’s mother in a case investigators are asking to be treated as a hate crime, a police spokeswoman said Monday.
Elizabeth Wolf, 42, has been charged with attempted capital murder and injury to a child. The child’s mother told officers that Wolf told the mother she wasn’t American, along with other racial statements, police said.
The mother of the children, who wears a hijab, said in a news release from the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations that they are Palestinians who became American citizens. Neither police nor CAIR have released the mother’s name.
Euless police Capt. Brenda Alvarado told The Associated Press that the department has requested that prosecutors in Tarrant County treat the case as a hate crime. A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said Monday that they have received the case and are currently reviewing it.
Police said in a statement that when officers arrived to a call about a disturbance between two women on May 19 in Euless, witnesses told officers that a “very intoxicated” Wolf had tried to drown a child and had argued with the child’s mother.
The child’s mother told officers that Wolf had been asking her where she was from and if the two children playing in the pool were hers, police said. The mother told officers that after she answered, Wolf tried to grab the woman’s 6-year-old son but he pulled away from her grasp, causing a scratch on his finger.
Police said that as the mother helped her son, Wolf grabbed the woman’s 3-year-old daughter and forced her underwater. The mother pulled her daughter, who was yelling for help and coughing up water, out of the pool, police said.
Medics evaluated both children, who were cleared.
Wolf has been released on bond. A call to her attorney was not immediately returned Monday.
On Saturday, community leaders came together to denounce the attack on the child and how the woman treated the family.
“The trauma and pain this has caused for the immigrant community broadly and Muslim community more specifically cannot be understated,” said state Rep. Salman Bhojani, whose district includes part of Euless.

 


Kenyan police are leaving for a controversial deployment in Haiti to take on powerful, violent gangs

Kenyan police are leaving for a controversial deployment in Haiti to take on powerful, violent gangs
Updated 31 min 40 sec ago
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Kenyan police are leaving for a controversial deployment in Haiti to take on powerful, violent gangs

Kenyan police are leaving for a controversial deployment in Haiti to take on powerful, violent gangs

NAIROBI, Kenya: Hundreds of Kenyan police officers were leaving Monday for Haiti, where they will lead a multinational force against the powerful gangs whose deadly violence spiked this year and helped bring about a change in government.

The deployment is controversial. The government of Kenyan President William Ruto is defying a court’s ruling calling it unconstitutional. And critics have expressed concern about the long history of alleged abuses by police officers.

The 400 police officers are the first of the 1,000 that Kenya expects to send for the United Nations-led force in Haiti. Ruto’s sendoff ceremony on Monday was closed to the media, but his office shared a speech in which he urged the officers to uphold integrity.

“We have mediated many conflicts and are currently engaged in resolving more,” he said. “Don’t let down the confidence the people of Kenya and the international community have in you.”

A court case seeking to block the deployment is pending, but an initial ruling had called the deployment unconstitutional, citing the lack of a reciprocal agreement between Kenya and Haiti.

US President Joe Biden, however, thanked Ruto for Kenya’s leadership of the multinational force during Ruto’s recent state visit to Washington. The United States has agreed to contribute $300 million to the force, but Biden argued that an American troop presence in Haiti would raise “all kinds of questions that can easily be misrepresented.”

More than 2,500 people were killed or injured in the first three months of the year in Haiti. The spike in violence began in late February and has displaced more than half a million people. Gangs now control at least 80 percent of the capital, Port-au-Prince and key roads. Trapped outside the country as the international airport was closed, Prime Minister Ariel Henry was forced to resign.

The most recent allegations by watchdogs against Kenyan police for using excessive force came last week, when two people died during anti-government protests. One protester was shot dead by a suspected plainclothes officer. The other was killed by a tear gas canister thrown by police.

Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority is looking into police conduct during the protests in which more than 200 other people were injured.


China lunar probe to return to Earth with samples

China lunar probe to return to Earth with samples
Updated 44 min 22 sec ago
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China lunar probe to return to Earth with samples

China lunar probe to return to Earth with samples

BEIJING: A Chinese probe carrying samples from the far side of the Moon is expected to return to Earth on Tuesday, capping a technically complex 53-day mission heralded as a world first.

Beijing has not disclosed the spacecraft’s estimated arrival time, but experts say it will likely touch down in a barren expanse of desert in the northern Inner Mongolia region at around midday (0400 GMT).

It comes bearing soil and rocks from the side of the moon that faces away from Earth, a poorly understood region that scientists say holds great research promise because its rugged features are less smoothed over by ancient lava flows than the near side.

That means the materials harvested there may help us to better understand how the Moon formed and how it has evolved over time.

Chang’e-6 blasted off from a space center on the island province of Hainan on May 3 and descended into the Moon’s immense South Pole-Aitken Basin almost exactly a month later.

It used a drill and robotic arm to scoop up samples, snapped some shots of the pockmarked surface and planted a Chinese flag in the grey soil.

On June 4, the probe made the first ever successful launch from the far side in what Chinese state news agency Xinhua called “an unprecedented feat in human lunar exploration history.”

Authorities have been coy about disclosing updates on the probe’s progress since then.

But China’s space agency said in a social media post on Friday that it was “70 percent” of the way back to Earth.

Plans for China’s “space dream” have shifted into high gear under President Xi Jinping.

Beijing has poured huge resources into its space program over the past decade, targeting ambitious undertakings in an effort to catch up to traditional space powers the United States and Russia.

It has built a space station, landed robotic rovers on Mars and the Moon, and become only the third country to send astronauts into orbit.

But the United States has warned that China’s space program masks military objectives and an effort to establish dominance in space.

China aims to send a crewed mission to the Moon by 2030 and plans to eventually build a base on the lunar surface.

The United States also plans to put astronauts back on the Moon by 2026 with its Artemis 3 mission.


Without naming names, UN chief accuses Israel of misinformation

Without naming names, UN chief accuses Israel of misinformation
Updated 24 June 2024
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Without naming names, UN chief accuses Israel of misinformation

Without naming names, UN chief accuses Israel of misinformation
  • “The truth, in the end, always wins," Guterres says

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres accused Israel on Monday of spreading misinformation about him during the more than eight-month-long war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“I’ve heard the same source many times saying that I never attacked Hamas, that I never condemned Hamas, that I am a supporters of Hamas,” Guterres told a news conference on information integrity, without naming Israel.
“I have condemned Hamas 102 times, 51 of them in formal speeches, the others in different social platforms,” he said. “The truth, in the end, always wins.”
Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said the condemnations by Guterres were “empty words when compared to his actions.”
“His sole aim has been to help Hamas survive this war. We find it despicable that the secretary-general refuses to abide by the UN’s standards and paints a distorted picture of events on the ground,” Erdan said. “Antonio Guterres is an accomplice to terror and should resign today.”
Relations between the UN and Israel have long been fraught and have only worsened during the Israel-Hamas war.
Israel accused the UN of being biased against it and has accused UN staff of working with Hamas and other militants. The UN is investigating some of the allegations, but has said in many cases it is yet to received evidence from Israel.


Biden ‘appalled’ by clashes outside LA synagogue

Biden ‘appalled’ by clashes outside LA synagogue
Updated 24 June 2024
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Biden ‘appalled’ by clashes outside LA synagogue

Biden ‘appalled’ by clashes outside LA synagogue
  • People carrying Israeli flags also arrived, with jostling and sometimes blows between members of the two groups leaving some bloody, with a sizable police contingent later arriving to push back the crowds, AFP photos showed

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden said Monday he was “appalled” after pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered outside a Los Angeles synagogue over the weekend, prompting a counterprotest and violent clashes.
Protesters wearing keffiyehs and holding Palestinian flags gathered on Sunday outside the Adas Torah synagogue, where several US media outlets report a promotional event was being held by a real estate company specializing in Israeli and West Bank settlements.
People carrying Israeli flags also arrived, with jostling and sometimes blows between members of the two groups leaving some bloody, with a sizable police contingent later arriving to push back the crowds, AFP photos showed.
“I’m appalled by the scenes outside of Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles. Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic, and un-American,” the president posted early Monday on X.
The 81-year-old Democrat has repeatedly vowed to combat anti-Semitism, as the Israel-Hamas war flares tensions across the United States.
“Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship — and engaging in violence — is never acceptable,” Biden added.
California Governor Gavin Newsom also called the violent clashes “appalling,” while Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the city “will not be a harbor for antisemitism and violence.”
She said she had called on the LAPD to provide additional patrols in the area around the synagogue and “outside houses of worship throughout the city.”