Jamie Pham/Los Angeles Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is bringing awareness to the Endangered Species Act with a unique hashtag.
In a tweet posted in early September, the L.A. Zoo expressed support for the ESA and said the act is being threatened. The tweet included a call for followers to show their own support for the ESA, but with an adorable twist.
"The Endangered Species Act is our greatest safeguard against extinction, and it’s under attack right now. Animals can’t speak up to protect their own kind, but they can blep. Give a blep if you think our leaders should protect the ESA. #Bleps4ESA," the tweet said.
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President Donald Trump on Saturday stood behind personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, one of his highest-profile and most vocal defenders, amid reports that federal prosecutors in the city Giuliani led as mayor are eyeing him for possible lobbying violations.
Behind the scenes, however, many of Trump's closest aides and advisers, inside and outside the White House, quietly wish the president would cut ties with Giuliani, whose leadership of New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks earned him worldwide admiration and the moniker of "America's mayor."
Giuliani was a force in Trump's defense during the lengthy Russia investigation by the special counsel. Yet the effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller led Giuliani to Ukraine, which now entangles the former federal prosecutor and mayor in legal jeopardy and is central to the danger threatening the presidency he labored to protect.
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The Los Angeles Angels' director of communications told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused the drug with the pitcher, according to an ESPN report published Saturday.
Director of Communications Eric Kay also gave the Drug Enforcement Administration names of five other players who he believed were also using opiates while on the Angels, the report stated.
Skaggs, 27, was found dead in a Texas hotel room on July 1, with the medical examiner labeling the death an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said that Skaggs had the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system along with alcohol.
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The unnamed Ukrainian official referenced in a federal indictment as directing a plot to oust the then-U.S. ambassador is Ukraine's former chief prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, according to a U.S. official familiar with the events.
According to the source, Lutsenko is the Ukrainian official who prosecutors say urged two associates of Rudy Giuliani to push for the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was forced out in May, NBC News reports.
The associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested Wednesday night as they prepared to board a one-way flight out of the country at Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C. The indictment says the efforts by Parnas and Fruman to remove then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, a respected diplomat with deep knowledge of Ukraine, were "conducted, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials."
Federal prosecutors didn't detail in the indictment or at a press conference why the unnamed Ukrainian official or officials allegedly urged Parnas and Fruman to scheme to push out Yovanovitch.
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Deep within a rainforest in Belize, scientists using lasers beamed from an airplane to peer beneath the dense foliage have discovered evidence of a vast network of ancient Maya farms that date back thousands of years, NBC News reports.
The findings, part of more than 20 years of research in this part of Central America, show how the ancient Maya civilization, which reached its peak at around 250 A.D. to 900 A.D., adapted their farming practices in the face of environmental challenges.
The farms were used to grow maize, beans, squash and avocados, most likely after a series of droughts starting 1,800 years ago forced Maya farmers to expand agriculture from the region’s dry slopes into the forest’s low-lying wetlands, said Tim Beach, a University of Texas geoarchaeologist and the lead author of a paper about the finding published Oct. 7 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The lines of evidence suggest the wetland fields were starting as early as 2,000 years ago, and really exploding around 1,200 years ago,” Beach said. “If the uplands are dry, we speculated that this would be a natural place to expand into for a resilient culture.”
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Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led the Pentagon through the first two years of the Trump administration, warned during an exclusive interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that the president's decision to pull troops from Syria's border in advance of a Turkish incursion could have dire consequences and lead to ISIS's resurgence, NBC News reports.
"We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don't recover," Mattis said in response to "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd's asking whether the United States would regret Trump's decision.
"We may want a war over; we may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the 'enemy gets the vote', we say in the military. And in this case, if we don't keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It's absolutely a given that they will come back."
Trump announced the decision to move U.S. forces from the region of northern Syria bordering Turkey on Sunday, stating that Turkey wanted to begin an operation in the region to resettle Syrian refugees.
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President Donald Trump spread shoddy information about Syria, the economy and matters at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against him in a week of caustic rhetoric.
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' quest for a second term as the Deep South's only Democratic governor will stretch over another month, as voters in his crimson state denied him a primary win Saturday and sent him to a runoff election.
The Democratic incumbent was unable to top 50% of the vote in the six-candidate field, raising questions about his reelection chances against a national Republican offensive that includes President Donald Trump. Trump made a last-minute appeal to Louisiana's voters to reject Edwards.
Edwards will compete in the Nov. 16 runoff against businessman Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman and longtime GOP political donor making his first bid for public office. Rispone largely self-financed his campaign, reaching the second-place spot after outspending fellow Republican contender U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham 5-to-1.
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Turkey's military said it captured a key Syrian border town under heavy bombardment Saturday in its most significant gain since an offensive against Kurdish fighters began four days ago, with no sign of relenting despite mounting international criticism.
Turkish troops entered central Ras al-Ayn, according to Turkey's Defense Ministry and a war monitor group. The ministry tweeted: "Ras al-Ayn's residential center has been taken under control through the successful operations in the east of Euphrates" River. It marked the biggest gain made by Turkey since the invasion began Wednesday.
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A heavy downpour and strong winds pounded Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday as a powerful typhoon forecast to be Japan's worst in six decades made landfall southwest of Tokyo, with streets, beaches and train stations deserted.
Store shelves were bare after people stocked up on water and food ahead of Typhoon Hagibis. The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of dangerously heavy rainfall in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, including Gunma, Saitama and Kanagawa, and later expanded the area to include Fukushima and Miyagi to the north.
An earthquake shook the area drenched by the rainfall shortly before the typhoon made landfall in Shizuoka prefecture on Saturday evening.
A bishop and a woman were shot and a suspect was in custody Saturday after a gunman opened fire during a wedding in Pelham, New Hampshire, authorities said.
One of the gunshot victims has been identified as Bishop Stanley Choate, according to the New Hampshire attorney general's office. He was transported to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where his condition is serious, authorities said.
New Orleans Fire Department via Twitter
A large section of a Hard Rock Hotel under construction beside New Orleans' historic French Quarter collapsed Saturday amid blinding dust and flying debris, killing two people and injuring more than 20. Rescue workers searched the largely unstable building until nightfall for one person still unaccounted for.
Nearby buildings were evacuated. A 270-foot (82-meter) construction crane — one of two still looming over the multistory building — also was dangerously unstable, fire officials said. The hunt for the missing was suspended at nightfall over safety concerns. A statement from the project contractor said its representatives would work "throughout the night" with emergency officials on a plan to stabilize the building.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are heading home from China, their roles as unwitting participants in a geopolitical drama that neither team had any role in starting or escalating now over.
The Nets beat the Lakers 91-77 in Shenzhen, China on Saturday, capping a two-game preseason series in China that was overshadowed by the fallout from a tweet on the protests in the country about Hong Kong by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. The league has played preseason games in China every year since 2007, with the exception of the lockout-shortened season in 2011. Now it's unclear if the fractured relationship can be mended for the series to continue next year.
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Kaylene Bowen-Wright -- a Dallas mother who faked her son's illness for eight years -- causing him to get surgeries he didn't need was sentenced to six years in prison Friday.
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President Donald Trump used Twitter on Saturday morning to come to the defense of an army officer charged with murder and said the man's case was now under review at the White House, NBC News reported.
Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, a decorated Green Beret, is charged with committing premeditated murder of an Afghan man he suspected of being a Taliban bomb maker on Feb. 22, 2010, while deployed near Forward Operating base McQuery in Marjah, Afghanistan.
A conviction of premeditated murder carries a maximum penalty of death.
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