Warm weather amplifies tarantula mating season, but don’t fear these ‘gentle giants’

U.S. NEWS Warm weather amplifies tarantula mating season, but don't fear these 'gentle giants' https://linewsradio.com/warm-weather-amplifies-tarantula-mating-season-but-dont-fear-these-gentle-giants/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(SAN FRANCISCO) — Tarantulas are coming out in droves in Northern California just in time for Halloween. But the gargantuan spiders aren’t nearly as spooky as they look.

Warm weather in the region is encouraging male tarantulas to come out and mate, said Cameron Morrison, supervising state park peace officer for Mount Diablo State Park, where a large population of the spiders resides.

The mating season at Mount Diablo typically begins the first week of September, but Morrison and other experts didn’t see large numbers of the spiders until this past weekend, he said.

The females live in hillside burrows about the size of a nickel, and the males wander from burrow to burrow searching for a female seeking a mate, Morrison said.

Morrison fears that in past years the park may have encouraged too many visitors, which he theorizes negatively affected tarantulas and their mating process. Ever since the number of hikes offered at the park has been scaled back, more tarantulas have appeared, he said.

Although many are frightened of tarantulas because “they are big and they are hairy,” Morrison described them as “gentle giants.”

Tarantulas aren’t aggressive, the experts said. Like most spiders, they have venom, but the venom is mild and not painful to humans, Jason Bond, a professor of entomology and aematology at the University of California Davis, told ABC News. Despite their relatively large fangs, in the unlikely event of a bite, Morrison said, it would be less severe than a bee sting.

“They’re very reluctant to bite you,” Morrison said. “I’ve never had someone say that they were bitten by a tarantula.”

Their main method of defense is the hairs on their backs, which can rub off and cause irritation, Morrison said. The hairs have tiny barbs on them, which feel like fine fiberglass and cause a reaction on the skin, Bond said. So, if an animal like a dog or coyote gets the hair in its nose, it will start to itch, Morrison said.

“Otherwise, they’re generally sort of non-threatening,” Bond said, adding that they have poor eyesight.

Paul Marek, an entomology professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University who had a tarantula species named after him in 2016, even described them as the “puppies of the spider world.”

In addition, Tarantulas are extremely delicate, and both Morrison and Bond recommended people should avoid handling them. Even a drop from two or three inches onto a hard surface could kill or severely injure a tarantula, causing their abdomen to burst.

“The individual more likely to get injured when handling a tarantula is the tarantula,” Bond said.

The tarantulas, as with all other living species, are protected at Mount Diablo State Park, and visitors are not allowed to disturb them, Morrison said.

Tarantulas tend to be slow and move with purpose, unlike other spiders, which move more erratically, Morrison said.

“If a spider is running, it just runs,” Morrison said. “A tarantula is much more tentative and moves it one direction, thinking about why it’s moving there, feeling each step a little more.”

Females can live a whopping 25 years, while males usually live about six years. Once males reach maturity, they set off to mate and die soon after, Bond said.

“They’re not returning home,” Morrison said. “That’s their final voyage, basically.”

In contrast, regular spiders, or araneomorphae spiders, typically only live to about a year, sometimes two or three, Bond said.

Tarantulas belong to a group of spiders called mygalomorphae spiders, which also include trapdoor spiders and funnel-web spiders, Bond said. These types are considered “primitive” because of their simple method for making silk for webs and due to their different respiratory systems, which use two pairs of book lungs, he added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Furious Norwegian Spirit passengers demand refund after bad weather forces itinerary change

WORLD NEWS Furious Norwegian Spirit passengers demand refund after bad weather forces itinerary change  https://linewsradio.com/furious-norwegian-spirit-passengers-demand-refund-after-bad-weather-forces-itinerary-change/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

iStock(NEW YORK) — Norwegian Cruise Line is blaming “severe weather conditions” for forcing it to revise the itinerary of its Spirit ship, which has left guests irate and calling this cruise of a lifetime more like a holiday from hell.

The 14-day cruise on the Norwegian Spirit departed on Sept. 27 from Southampton, U.K., and is expected to return Friday, according to website Cruisemapper.

The ship’s current position was listed as Dublin, Ireland, on Wednesday. It was not immediately known how many people were on board.

According to Norwegian, the cruise is advertised as an “Iceland, Ireland and Norway: Mystical Fjords” adventure and starts at $1799.

It was supposed to stop in ports in France, Amsterdam, Scotland, Iceland, and Ireland, according to Cruisemapper. However, high winds forced the ship to cancel the first two stops, passengers said.

“While nine ports of call were originally planned for the voyage, the revised itinerary allowed the ship to call on eight ports. … We always do our best to provide our guests with a truly enjoyable and memorable vacation, but our very first priority is to ensure their safety and the safety of our crew,” Norwegian said in a statement to ABC News on Wednesday.

The statement continued: “We understand that it is disheartening when we are unable to call on ports that our guests have been looking forward to visiting. However, we do ask for our guests’ patience, cooperation and understanding that severe weather conditions are an act of God and cannot be controlled, influenced or remediated by the cruise line. Our goal is to showcase the beautiful destinations our ships visit and to provide guests with an onboard experience that is second to none.”

It would not confirm which of the ports its Spirit cruise ship had bypassed.

After three days at sea, livid passengers began posting on social media about overflowing toilets and stale food.

In a 24-second YouTube video posted by an account called NCL Hell2019 on Wednesday, people identified as passengers aboard were taped holding signs that read “We want refund” and “Shame on you” and chanting “We want refund! We want refund!”

In other videos posted by the account, passengers were seen yelling at security and at a uniformed ship official.

In a statement to ABC News, Norwegian apologized “for any inconvenience and disappointment” its guests onboard Spirit had experienced.

In a letter to guests that was posted to Twitter by account NCLHELL, Norwegian Spirit said that “unsafe docking conditions including gusty winds” had forced the Oct. 7 call to Greenock, Scotland, to be canceled.

“While it is always our intention to maintain the ship’s original itinerary whenever possible, the safety of our guests and crew takes precedence,” the letter said.

Norwegian said that any Greenock excursions paid for by guests would be refunded as a credit to their onboard account, according to the posted letter. Guests would also receive a 25% future cruise credit, the cruise line said.

“This credit is based on the original cruise fare paid and will be valid for 24 months from today’s date,” Norwegian said in the Oct. 7 letter.

The Spirit also tried heading to Norway but passengers were not allowed to disembark because the town was closed to tourists.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Fallen tree crashes through Washington home, just missing mom and 1-month-old

U.S. NEWS Fallen tree crashes through Washington home, just missing mom and 1-month-old https://linewsradio.com/fallen-tree-crashes-through-washington-home-just-missing-mom-and-1-month-old/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(WASHINGTON) — A Washington woman and her baby narrowly escaped a tree that crashed through the roof of their home and landed just feet away from them.

Aja Hauff, of Lakewood, was bottle feeding her 1-month-old daughter, Ava, on Monday afternoon when she heard a loud noise.

“I thought maybe someone was doing construction outside, but I really wasn’t sure what was happening,” Hauff told ABC News on Wednesday.

The noise got louder, and Hauff said she suddenly heard a crack.

“Just a couple feet away from me, I see the ceiling caved in, and there was this big hole,” she said.

A tree had come crashing down, falling diagonally across her home, stretching from one corner to the other.

“My daughter screamed,” Hauff said. “She’s only a month old and she’s normally a calm baby, so that was the only time she’s ever freaked out.”

Hauff quickly ran to the opposite side of her house to get her and her daughter outside. They both managed to calm down after a few minutes, but still have been rattled by the experience.

When the home inspector came, she was told that the tree’s base looked to be rotting so the fall could have been a mix of deterioration and weather. It was windy and rainy when the tree fell.

Hauff has since been staying with her mother-in-law ever since, and she doesn’t anticipate returning to the home anytime soon because of the extensive damage.

“It’s gonna need more than just roof fixing,” she said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Erik Prince’s company plans business in China province under human rights scrutiny according to financial disclosure

WORLD NEWS Erik Prince's company plans business in China province under human rights scrutiny according to financial disclosure  https://linewsradio.com/erik-princes-company-plans-business-in-china-province-under-human-rights-scrutiny-according-to-financial-disclosure/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

iStock(HONG KONG) — An American citizen stands to profit as his security company expands operations into a Chinese province described as a modern-day police state by human rights activists, and where the Chinese government is detaining up to a million Muslims in “re-education” camps.

Erik Prince, a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer and brother of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, is the deputy chairman and minority shareholder of Frontier Services Group (FSG), a Hong Kong-listed security, logistics and insurance company he co-founded in 2014. Prior to FSG, Prince founded Blackwater, a private military contractor that was mired in controversy for its actions in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — specifically when its employees were convicted of killing unarmed civilians.

FSG plans to spend approximately $15.4 (HK$120.8) million in Pakistan and Xinjiang, China by May 2020, according to a recent financial disclosure. The Trump administration announced sanctions this week against multiple Chinese entities tied to Xinjiang, citing the alleged human rights violations taking place in the region.

Earlier this year, Prince told Al-Jazeera that FSG “has zero footprint in Xinjiang, China. Period.” However, this new financial disclosure reveals that FSG has been planning to spend millions in Xinjiang since 2018.

The recent disclosure does not specifically outline what these funds would be used for, simply stating the money is for “setting up businesses in Pakistan and Xinjiang, China.” Nor does the document disclose how much money has been spent in these areas to-date. A spokesperson for FSG said the company won’t comment beyond what is in the financial disclosure.

However, according to a press release signed by the company’s board in Mar. 2018, FSG planned to spend the same amount ($15.4 million) to establish “training facilities” and buy “security equipment and vehicles” in Pakistan and Xinjiang. Prince told Al-Jazeera the information in this release was incorrect and that the money was for “construction services.”

The recent disclosure, issued by FSG’s board of directors on Sept. 23, provides “supplementary information” to FSG’s 2018 annual report, which was published in April of this year. The company’s original 2018 annual report did not disclose any intended funding for projects in Pakistan or Xinjiang, China. FSG’s 2019 interim report also does not disclose any such funding for Xinjiang projects.

According to company filings, FSG lends its services to companies associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a $1 trillion global development strategy implemented by the Chinese government to extend its political and economic influence across Asia and into Africa and Europe. Xinjiang and countries neighboring the province, such as Pakistan, are major economic junctures for the BRI.

The Chinese government has faced international scrutiny for its actions in Xinjiang — specifically for detaining up to a million people from its Muslim population in what human rights experts are calling “re-education camps,” while others call them “internment” or “concentration” camps.

Reports also claim that Xinjiang has become a surveillance state, with the government specially targeting the country’s Muslim population.

In May of this year, a FSG spokesperson responded to questions from ABC News regarding the company’s alleged plans to build training centers in Xinjiang, stating “We have no business in Xinjiang and are not building training centres there.”

In an early September interview with Recoil, a firearm and lifestyle magazine, Prince reiterated that FSG was “not building a training center in Xinjiang, China,” adding that the company does not provide training to any Chinese police or military.

However, in 2017, FSG acquired a 25% stake in Beijing’s International Security Defense College (ISDC), which claims to be the largest private security training school in China. The press release added that FSG would provide “world-class training courses” to those enrolled at ISDC.

On its own website, FSG refers to ISDC as “Our Facility,” and offers classes to “regular and reserve law enforcement officers” and “military personnel,” as stated on its enrollment form.

ISDC offers both military and police training, as well as “training and security solutions” for several Chinese entities, including China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and China Customs, according to ISDC’s website.

FSG declined to answer questions about discrepancies between Prince’s statement and the company’s policies on training Chinese police and military.

Prince last made headlines in April when the Mueller report claimed he provided some funding for a secretive effort to obtain Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails from “dark web” operatives. ABC News learned earlier this year that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was particularly interested in a 2017 meeting between Prince and a Russian financier with ties to the Russian government.

The Chinese government acknowledges the existence of camps located throughout its Xinjiang Province, but dubs them “vocational centers” — aimed at combating “extremist thoughts,” according to officials who work in the centers.

ABC News has reported on several accounts of torture taking place within some of these facilities. The Chinese government has denied all allegations of torture within these facilities.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Man killed wife, 3 kids in quadruple murder-suicide in Massachusetts home: DA

U.S. NEWS Man killed wife, 3 kids in quadruple murder-suicide in Massachusetts home: DA https://linewsradio.com/man-killed-wife-3-kids-in-quadruple-murder-suicide-in-massachusetts-home-da/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(ABINGTON, Mass) — A family of five, including 9-year-old twins and an 11-year-old girl, found dead at home were shot in a quadruple murder-suicide carried out by the dad, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The family was discovered Monday morning after a relative went to the condo in Abington, Massachusetts, to help get the three children to school Monday morning, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said. The relative called 911 around 7:30 a.m.

Family members were identified as: 40-year-old Deirdre Zaccardi, 43-year-old Joseph Zaccardi, 11-year-old Alexis Zaccardi and 9-year-old twins Nathaniel and Kathryn Zaccardi, according to the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that Joseph Zaccardi died by suicide while his wife and children died by homicide. All deaths were from gunshot wounds, prosecutors said.

“This is an incredibly terrible event,” Cruz said earlier this week. “It’s a crime. … A crime occurred in that building and three little children are gone forever as a result of this.”

Abington Police Chief David Majenski said, “There was no indication whatsoever and no previous calls that would certainly indicate any type of an issue going on at that household.”

Deirdre Zaccardi worked at EMI Strategic Marketing, a Boston advertising agency, for nearly 20 years, according to the company.

EMI is deeply saddened by the loss of our longtime colleague and friend, Deirdre Zaccardi,” the company said in a statement on Monday. “A ready smile, optimism in the face of the most daunting of projects, a raft of recipes for her beloved holiday Cookie Swap, a happy story about one or all of her three children — these memories and more will remain.”

“She brought kindness, friendship, caring and a can-do spirit to our community,” the company said, “may we all honor her memory by embracing those values every day.”

The three children attended public schools in Abington, which is about 25 miles south of Boston.

“Their presence touched so many lives and there are no words to express the sadness we feel,” Superintendent Peter Schafer said in a statement. “Counselors are and will be available throughout the district to help our students during and after school.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Arizona official arrested amid alleged illegal adoption scheme

U.S. NEWS Arizona official arrested amid alleged illegal adoption scheme https://linewsradio.com/arizona-official-arrested-amid-alleged-illegal-adoption-scheme/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(PHOENIX) — A local official in Arizona has been arrested and charged in connection with an adoption ring.

Paul Petersen and an associate are facing over 30 charges in connection to allegedly helping bring pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to the U.S. to give birth and then have the children adopted by American families.

Petersen serves as the Maricopa County Assessor, described on the office’s website as a position that administers property in the states’ most populous county.

He and a woman identified in court filings as Lynwood Jennet are facing 32 counts of different crimes including conspiracy, fraudulent schemes, theft and forgery.

The indictment alleges that the pair “facilitated travel for pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands … to come to Arizona for the purpose of giving a child up for adoption.”

Many of the fraudulent scheme charges pertain to the women being portrayed as residents of Arizona in order to receive state health care services.

Mia Garcia, a spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General’s office, told ABC News that 28 women were brought to the U.S. as part of the scheme. They gave birth to 29 children who were adopted by families in Arizona and other states including Utah.

Garcia said that officials are “not questioning the validity of the adoptions” and are focusing instead on how Petersen and Jennet allegedly violated a treaty between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands that banned bringing women over to give birth for the purposes of adoption and for the alleged fraudulent use of Arizona health care services.

“The last thing we want is that parents or these families to wake up and think ‘Is my child going to be taken?’ and that is not the case,” Garcia said.

That sentiment was echoed by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who spoke about the case at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

“We don’t have any interest in unwinding or interfering with adoptions that have taken place,” Reyes said.

An official involved in the investigation in Utah said at the news conference that the case was “unique” and took 18 months to complete. He said that since news of the case initially broke late Tuesday night, the Utah Attorney General’s Office received in excess of 30 calls from potential victims who had not been previously identified, suggesting that more charges could come later.

Both Petersen and Jennet were arrested Tuesday and booked into Maricopa County Jail. ABC News’ attempts to reach them were not immediately successful.

Questions were raised about Petersen’s law firm’s adoption practices in December 2018 following an investigation by the Honolulu Civil Beat. At the time, Petersen issued a statement to The Arizona Republic saying that he was “extremely proud” of the work his firm did.

“My work is personally rewarding as I have helped hundreds of couples trying to adopt children,” Petersen said in a statement to The Arizona Republic in December 2018. “I only work with children who are United States citizens. I follow closely the laws of the states I work in and adhere to federal rules and guidelines that govern adoptions.”

“I will continue doing the work that I love and enrich the lives of numerous families,” Petersen said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

‘I started painting the wall with my blood’: Inside Chechnya’s reported torture of gay people

WORLD NEWS 'I started painting the wall with my blood': Inside Chechnya's reported torture of gay people  https://linewsradio.com/i-started-painting-the-wall-with-my-blood-inside-chechnyas-reported-torture-of-gay-people/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

iStock(NEW YORK) — Amin Dzhabrailov remembers the day vividly. He was working in his hair salon in Grozny, the capital city of Chechnya, Russia, in 2017 when he says three large men came in, grabbed him and threw him in the trunk of their car.

“My life was going through my eyes. I was expecting that the door [was] gonna open and I’m gonna die,” Dzhabrailov said.

What he said followed is painful for Dzhabrailov, who is gay, to recount. Over several days, he was handcuffed to a chair, beaten black-and-blue and electrocuted, all while being pressured to reveal the names of other gay men in the Russian province, he said.

“They tell me that they know that I’m gay, and [to] tell [them] about more gay guys… The sense was [they would] probably just torture them also. … I didn’t give any name[s].”

Reports of hundreds of gay men in Chechnya being rounded up and tortured in 2017 shocked the world. Almost three years later, human rights groups and LGBT people who have fled the region say little has changed.

Dzhabrailov said that on the day he was kidnapped, he was put in the trunk of a car and taken to a basement. There, he said he was tortured and beaten for days. At one point, Dzhabrailov said, his captors staged his own execution.

“They took off my shoes… and they put me on the wall, put [a] bag on my head…. That guy charged his gun, and put [it] right here on my head. And I started painting the wall with my blood. And he said that it’s my last seconds.”

Dzhabrailov’s eyes filled with tears when he gave his harrowing account. He is one of several LGBT people from Chechnya who have spoken to Nightline about their experiences living in the region amid the reported anti-LGBT purges, which have been propagated by Chechen police in the semi-autonomous Russian republic since 2017.

Yet, despite at least 200 reported cases of horrific abuses against LGBT people in the region, Dzhabrailov is only the second victim to speak openly about what he says happened to him. Many others, some of whom spoke to Nightline on the condition of anonymity, fear reprisals for sharing their stories from the Chechen security services and even their own families. Despite the international outcry, LGBT people still routinely face terror and torture in Chechnya.

Dzhabrailov’s interview is part of an upcoming ABC News “Nightline” special. The team, led by ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman, spent a year speaking with multiple victims of the anti-LGBT campaigns carried out by Chechnya’s security services and exploring their lives in Russia and Europe, where some have taken shelter.

The team also traveled to Chechnya, where Longman confronted senior officials over the allegations of abuse and obtained exceptional access, talking directly with the some of the men allegedly responsible for the unprecedented persecution.

Chechen authorities have denied any wrongdoing.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

NBA events canceled in China as fallout over Hong Kong tweet continues

Sports News NBA events canceled in China as fallout over Hong Kong tweet continues https://linewsradio.com/nba-events-canceled-in-china-as-fallout-over-hong-kong-tweet-continues/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

iStock(SHANGHAI) — As the fallout over a since-deleted tweet voicing support for Hong Kong by the general manager of an American basketball team continues in China, several NBA Cares events were abruptly canceled this week in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, the world of esports is navigating a controversy of its own, after a high-profile gamer from Hong Kong was banned from the platform Blizzard for voicing support for protesters in Hong Kong during a post-game interview. In a statement announcing his removal, Blizzard said they were banning player Blitzchung for violating its competition rules by engaging in an act that “offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

Both cases have illustrated the difficulty of navigating China’s lucrative market.

Before the controversial tweet, the Rockets were one of the most beloved teams in China. On Oct 4., its general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. While the tweet was quickly deleted, the backlash was swift. Within a few days, China’s state-run broadcasting network ordered a blackout of NBA coverage. China’s internet giant Tencent, which inked a five-year, $1.5 billion deal in August to stream NBA games in China, also announced that they will not play Rockets games.

Morey has apologized, and the Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said that Morey does not speak for them. Rockets players James Harden and Russell Westbrook apologized at a news conference, with Harden adding, “We love China, we love playing there.”

Nonetheless, the fallout from the tweet continues in China. On Wednesday, video spread on social media of an NBA banner being ripped off the side of a building in Shanghai.

The NBA said that it was not its decision to call off Wednesday’s NBA Cares event with the Lakers, which was supposed to benefit the Special Olympics. On Tuesday, a separate NBA Cares event with the Brooklyn Nets at a school in Shanghai was also called off by the Chinese government. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that they would still donate computers to the education center as planned, according to ESPN.

In a statement announcing their decision to suspend plans to broadcast a series of NBA preseason games, China’s state-owned broadcasting network CCTV said it is “strongly dissatisfied and opposed” to Silver’s “claim to support Morey’s free expression of rights.”

“We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” the statement added. “To this end, CCTV Sports Channel of the Central Radio and Television General Administration decided to immediately suspend the current broadcast arrangements of the NBA preseason [China Games] and immediately investigate all cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA.”

As the NBA is still reeling from the fallout, the world of esports was rocked by a separate scandal after a high-profile gamer from Hong Kong spoke out in support of the anti-government demonstrations in an interview — and then was abruptly banned from the competition.

Ng Wai Chung, known by his gaming handle “Blitzchung,” was banned from the platform Blizzard, where he was competing in a Hearthstone tournament, after a post-game interview supporting protesters in Hong Kong. In a statement announcing his removal, Blizzard said they were banning Blitzchung for violating its competition rules by engaging in an act that “offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

On Wednesday, #BoycottBlizard was trending on Twitter in the U.S. Chung has not publicly responded to the news, but his Twitter bio was updated to read that he was “banned” as a grandmaster and states: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

The move drew bipartisan criticism from lawmakers on Twitter.

“Blizzard shows it is willing to humiliate itself to please the Chinese Communist Party,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a tweet. “No American company should censor calls for freedom to make a quick buck.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., shared the Blizzard news on Twitter, writing, “Recognize what’s happening here. People who don’t live in #China must either self-censor or face dismissal & suspensions.”

“China using access to market as leverage to crush free speech globally. Implications of this will be felt long after everyone in U.S. politics today is gone,” he added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Fisher hunters trying to round up 300,000 runaway salmon that escaped Norwegian breeding farms into rivers

WORLD NEWS Fisher hunters trying to round up 300,000 runaway salmon that escaped Norwegian breeding farms into rivers  https://linewsradio.com/fisher-hunters-trying-to-round-up-300000-runaway-salmon-that-escaped-norwegian-breeding-farms-into-rivers/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

iStock(NEW YORK) — Fish hunters in Norway are trying to round up as many of the hundreds of thousands of salmon that have escaped breeding facilities this year as they can, and an organization is spending a pretty penny toward those efforts.

Nearly 300,000 runaway salmon have left the farms and filtered into Norwegian rivers, according to OURO, the country’s aquaculture industry association for escaped fish, which is tasked with capturing them.

When fish kept in pens escape into connected bodies of water, it can affect wild populations as they compete for food and spawning partners, according to Seafood Watch, an information website run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

Fish farmed in non-native areas can establish themselves as an invasive species and disrupt the ecosystem.

In addition, when farmed species, which are “distinctly different from their wild cousins,” breed with wild species, the genetic makeup of the offspring may be less suited to surviving in the wild, according to Seafood Watch.

The escapes typically occur as a result of the structural failures of marine net pens, according to a 2013 study published in the Ices Journal of Marine Science that studied runaway salmon in Norway over a 25-year period.

Only a small percentage of escaped salmon aren’t caught once they swim out to sea, Trude H. Nordli, chief of OURO, told Eurovision.

“Fish bred in facilities are not fit to live in the sea or rivers, only at the facilities,” Nordli said. “But when accidents happen it is important we have the tools to make amends.”

The organization expects to spend around 6 million kroner, or more than $650,000, on the operation.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019

Mother and daughter in Texas create lifelong bond by attending college together

U.S. NEWS Mother and daughter in Texas create lifelong bond by attending college together https://linewsradio.com/mother-and-daughter-in-texas-create-lifelong-bond-by-attending-college-together/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(DALLAS) — At 16 years old, Emma Earhart is already a junior college graduate and a biology major at the University of North Texas.

She also has a familiar classmate: her mom, Kathy Earhart.

In fact, this semester, the duo is taking every one of their classes together.

Earhart received her associate’s degree when she was 15 and is on track to receive her bachelor’s degree next year.

“I always say that Emma’s on autopilot and I don’t want to jinx her because she’s got focus, she’s got drive, ambition,” Earhart’s father, Joe Earhart, told WFAA-TV, ABC’s affiliate in Dallas.

For more than a decade, Kathy Earhart stayed home raising three kids but was inspired when her daughter started college at 14.

“I always wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. I just thought the time had passed that I didn’t get to do that,” Kathy Earhart told WFAA-TV.

“And I was like, ‘OK, I’m doing this,'” she said. “If I set my mind to it, I will do it.”

The mother-daughter team is working toward bachelor’s degrees, and eventually, doctorate degrees.

“It’s a lot of fun. We’re competitive in a fun way. So you know, it’s ‘who did better on this, who did better on that.’ So we challenge each other,” Kathy Earhart said.

“It’s just created a bond that’s going to last a lifetime,” her daughter added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Oct 2019