Wednesday

Crocodile's rock: Baby snapper enjoys a ride on the back of a hippo after mistaking him for a nice quiet spot to have a rest

This is the hilarious moment a baby crocodile mistook a giant hippo for a rock and lay across it to rest in the sun.

The cheeky croc crawled up the side of the wallowing hippopotamus and sprawled across its vast back to relax.

Even when the hippo began to move the young crocodile didn't get the hint and remained in position for about 15 minutes before getting off.

But the three ton beast apparently didn't seem bothered by the three feet long creature ended up giving it a piggy back ride. The moment was caught on camera in the Kruger National Park in South Africa by field guild Richard Millar.

Richard, 21, was just snapping the hippo in the water when the crocodile emerged.


He said: 'I came across this hippo in the water which at first had a heron on its back. Then all of a sudden this small crocodile crawled up one side of it and sat on its back.

'It must have thought it was a rock in the water and just chilled out on it for a while. They are cold-blooded creatures and need to rest in the sun.


'The hippo didn't seem to mind and did nothing to shake the croc off. It moved a little but the crocodile remained there for about 15 minutes.


'Hippos and crocodiles aren't rivals in the wild. A hippo may try and bite a crocodile but only when it feels its young is threatened. 'It was a complete once in a lifetime situation. I am pretty sure that I will never get another photograph like that for the rest of my life.'


The Trump administration is on course to cut tribal health care funding by hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of its proposal to impose work requirements on Medicaid eligibility and is most likely breaking the law in doing so.

This is wrong, illegal, and we in Congress have a responsibility to act.

In addition to the morally reprehensible idea of cutting health care for millions of people who rely on Medicaid to get critical opioid addiction services, primary care, and mental health care, the administration’s plan is also a violation of multiple treaties and legal decisions. The broader policy is inhumane on its own, but applying it to tribes is also illegal.

First, the administration is violating the federal trust responsibility, which requires the U.S. government to protect the health and well-being of tribes, including health care services. The federal trust responsibility originated from the dozens of different treaties the U.S. government signed with Native American tribes in exchange for land, and has been upheld in numerous court decisions handed down over the past 200 years.

Imposing Medicaid work requirements on tribal citizens would cut hundreds of millions of dollars from tribal health care facilities, while increasing demand for those services at the same time. The result would be longer wait times, fewer facilities, and reduced health care. That’s a clear violation of the federal trust responsibility.

The administration is claiming that tribal citizens are members of a racial group, not sovereign nations, and therefore, subject to the same cruel policy that Trump is imposing on millions of other Americans.


However, tribal members are not just members of a racial group; they are sovereign nations with a government-to-government relationship with the United States that is written into the Constitution and has been upheld by more than 200 years of legal doctrine. In addition, in 1974, the Supreme Court in Morton v. Mancari affirmed that the federal government must treat tribes differently than other groups in carrying out its trust responsibility. This decision has been used and reaffirmed in every subsequent court decision.

The history of our government’s treatment of Native Americans is nothing short of shameful. Through disease, war, famine, and forced relocation, our government’s actions have resulted in nearly the complete decimation of Native American populations and culture. Our government wrote ‘treaties’ that took advantage of the cultural differences between our peoples to cheat tribes out of their land and resources; we then went on to violate those treaties. Today, tribes face staggering health disparities and unemployment rates because the U.S. government intentionally located reservations in remote, undesirable areas. Let’s not repeat history.

Medicaid work requirements for tribes are not feasible, legal, or what Congress intended. A bipartisan group of members including myself have urged the administration to correct their legal interpretation. We must not allow the administration’s flawed and illegal plan to take effect.

Ruiz is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Via The Hill 

Earlier this month, she helped to rescue seven newborn kittens who had been left to die in a cardboard box in the woods.

Whitney Braley says that she knew something was up when Banner suddenly became distressed and started to pull on her dress outside their home in Georgia, USA.

‘She had been acting really weird all morning,’ says Whitney.

‘I couldn’t understand what was wrong with her. She wasn’t listening to me when I told her to come, which isn’t like her as she is always very well behaved.

‘I knew something had to be wrong. She was getting really distressed.’

Whitney let Banner lead her to the nearby woods and says that her dog dived straight in after she opened a cardboard box, and pulled out a tiny white kitten.She was astonished to find six more ‘barely alive’ kittens inside. And after bringing them back to her house, Whitney says that Banner refused to leave their side – cleaning, cuddling and napping with the cats as if she was their mother.


Whitney says: ‘Someone must have just put them into a cardboard box, closed the lid tight and left them there to die. They probably thought that no one would ever discover them.

‘I don’t even know how Banner knew they were in there. The kittens were freezing and weren’t meowing or anything. ‘She just knew somehow. She is a true hero. If she didn’t find the kittens, they would have all died. I think they were pretty close to death. They only looked around a day old.


‘It makes me sick that anyone could do that to these tiny innocent animals. It’s so cruel and heartless.’

Whitney says that the dog now like ‘their adopted mum’, who won’t leave their side. ‘She is a really maternal and loving dog. I’ve never met another dog like Banner. The kittens are really lucky. If she didn’t find them, there is no way they would have made it.


"I’m so happy that now because of Banner, these kittens will go on to live their lives with loving families."
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Monday

Police Officer Ira Cavin had an unusual standoff recently when a lone rooster was found standing in the middle of a five-lane street in Yakima, Washington.

The rooster refused to budge, which lead to a tense moment filled with humor – all of which was caught on camera.

“Some nights you arrest bad guys and some nights you have a staring contest with a chicken,” the police department wrote online. “You just never know what a shift can bring!”

The rooster and Cavin had a brief stare-down but in the end Cavin was able to convince the chicken to walk and he safely crossed the road.

As to why the rooster decided to stop midway through crossing the road, Cavin doesn’t have any idea.

“I’m not sure exactly why the chicken crossed the road. We’re still investigating that part,” Cavin told news station KIMA TV. “I attempted to question the chicken but he wasn’t really communicating with me.”


After shooing the rooster across the road, the bird disappeared into a yard, leaving us to ponder why did the chicken cross the road.
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Between 1965 and 1990, a subsidiary of Chevron, the fourth-largest oil company in the world, polluted the Amazon rainforest with billions of gallons of toxic waste, according to Agence France Presse.

That waste contaminated groundwater supplies for more than 30,000 Indigenous people in the eastern provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana in Ecuador.

For decades, a knotty court battle has played out in domestic and international courts trying to pin blame and win restitution for those affected, according to The Star.

Now a judge upheld an earlier ruling that the company must pay $9.5 billion in damages, setting a potentially important precedent for Indigenous and environmental rights, The Philadelphia Tribune reports.

Whether or not the fine will be paid, however, is another matter. Chevron long ago withdrew its operations from Ecuador and has rejected its responsibility in the matter, arguing that the state-run oil company Petroecuador is responsible for the pollution, AFP reports. The oil giant has even filed a counter lawsuit against the plaintiffs.

Texaco partnered with Petroecuador during the period of contamination, and Texaco was acquired by Chevron in 2001.


Because Chevron is refusing to be held accountable in Ecuador, the plaintiffs have to seek justice in international courts.

They have so far tried to sue Chevron in Brazil, Argentina, the United States, and Canada. In the latest international development, a Canadian court ruled that Chevron does not have to pay the fine on May 23.

The new outcome in Ecuador will give the plaintiffs another chance to try the case outside of the country, according to AFP.

“There is no turning back,” Pablo Fajardo, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told AFP. "It might take us a bit longer in foreign courts, but Chevron must pay. It cannot act like a fugitive from justice forever.”


The lawsuit is one of many playing out around the world that pit Indigenous rights against alleged corporate malfeasance. The Amazon rainforest, in particular, has become the site of contentious legal battles and protests over environmental degradation.

Since 1978, nearly 300,000 square miles of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. The vast forest has been subjected to intensive mineral extraction, urban development, agriculture, cattle-raising, and more, which has greatly harmed its biodiversity.


The destruction of the Amazon and other forests around the world leads to the displacement of Indigenous communities, which hold around 20% of the world’s land, yet have legal rights to just 10%, according to the World Resources Institute.

Land owned by Indigenous groups experience 50% less deforestation, WRI notes, which means that protecting these rights are critical to protecting the health of the planet as events like climate change intensify.

The lawsuit in Ecuador is about receiving compensation for grave injuries, but it’s also about protecting the right to a clean and healthy planet.
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