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This Week Could Be the Last Chance to Save Mexico's Vaquita Porpoise From ...

One thing for which we should give profound thanks this year is the success of environmental action at stopping or slowing the killing of many endangered marine mammals. As a result, populations of humpback whales, bowhead whales, gray whales, and other species are now rebuilding. But this Thanksgiving, one of the world’s 78 cetacean species still faces its do-or-die moment.   The vaquita, a small porpoise found only in the Gulf of California, is the world’s most endangered marine mammal. Fewer than 100 exist in the wild. Without drastic and immediate action, this species will almost certainly go the way of the Chinese river dolphin, or baiji—declared extinct after a 2006 survey of the Yangtze River turned up zero dolphins. It was the only cetacean humans are known to have snuffed out: a global moment of infamy, not just for China, but for us all. In a final effort not to share that shame, Mexico is expected to announce this week a last desperate effort to save the vaquita. The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a strange and elusive creature, only discovered by scientists in 1958.  It grows to a length of four feet, has a blunt, balloon-like face, and lives by feeding on fish and crustaceans in the shallow waters of the Gulf. People almost never see them alive. Vaquita sightings occur almost exclusively when fishermen pull them up entangled and drowned in the gillnets they use to catch shrimp, mostly for the American market, or to catch the endan...  

SMCC honors volleyball team, Tuller

-Monroe News photo by TOM HAWLEY Coach Diane Tuller speaks how proud she was of her girls as SMCC celebrated the 2014 Class C volleyball state champions, state finalist diver Mia Teifer, and cross country state qualifier Dominic Paoletti Wednesday. Diane Tuller tried to hold back tears as the packed St. Mary Catholic Central High School gym stood and applauded the coach who helped bring five state Class C volleyball championships to the school. “This is all pretty overwhelming and humbling,” Ms. Tuller told more than 450 students, faculty, parents and friends gathered for a pep rally honoring the volleyball team. “It has been a privilege for me to coach these girls.” Each member of the team walked into the gym one by one as she was introduced by senior Bryan Perkins and given a yellow rose. Also recognized were assistant coaches Karen O’Brien, Amber Maletich and Conor Kuriwchak and student manager Rose Kemmerling. The crowd saved its loudest roar, though, for Ms. Tuller, who ended her 23rd and final year as coach with another state title after the team defeated Schoolcraft High School in four sets Saturday. The Hall of Fame coach had decided already this season would be her last guiding the Kestrels. She has begun a new job as part-time volleyball instructor at Total Sports Complex in Monroe. In brief remarks before the crowd, she admitted to being a little ...  

Handball goes to the beach

By Johnson Were The 3rd edition of the Rotary Beach Handball tournament takes place on Saturday at Sports Beach, Entebbe. Teams expected to grace the event are Kyambogo, Kasangati, The Core, Kyengera, Bugolobi, and Lake Victoria, Prisons, UPDF, Police, Ever Green, Ndejje University, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Nkumba University. Nkumba University are defending champions in the club category while Bugolobi in the Rotary category. Meanwhile Prisons Spear, Nkumba University, and Police handball clubs will represent Uganda in the East and Central Handball Club Championships on December, 5-13, in Nairobi, Kenya. Last year Uganda Prison Spears and Nkumba University finished 3rd overall in the men and women categories respectively. Prison lost to defending champions Cereal Board 22 - 23 while Nkumba University lost to Nairobi Waters 24- 26. This will be the second time Uganda Prison Spears and Nkumba University are representing Uganda in this event while Uganda Police will appear for the first time in this event. Nkumba University and Uganda Prison Spears are the 2014 Uganda Handball Super League champions in the women and men respectively. RELATED STORIES: Handball: Nkumba take on Prisons in title decider Prisons, Police, Ndejje wins in handball league End of year review: Handball...  

US Realty Market Emerges as Investment Destination for Indians

Press Trust of India | Updated On: November 27, 2014 20:15 (IST) Heavy fog blankets lower Manhattan in New York Mumbai: With the US market emerging as an attractive investment destination, there is a growing interest from Indians to buy properties there, property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said. According to a report published by the US National Association of Realtors, buyers from India purchased residential properties in the US estimated at $5.8 billion in value during the one-year period ending March 2014. This investment magnitude recorded a growth of around 6 per cent over 2013. The report also said Indians spent $459,028 or Rs 2.81 crore on an average to buy properties across cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, and New York. "This is definitely an interesting finding. Indian high networth individuals (HNIs) who have obtained American citizenship and are settled there have several reasons for investing in properties in the US. Apart from India's long-standing love affair with the country, many Indians who have become naturalised US citizens have business interests as well as families in major American cities," JLL chairman and country head Anuj Puri said in a statement. He noted that after the steep post-Lehman downturn, countless investors had been able to snap up properties in American cities at unbelievably low prices, and these investments are seeing handsome returns now that the US real estate market is reviving. The Reserve Bank of...  

Shepton Mallet Prison's future 'should be done with local input'

HMP Shepton Mallet was the oldest working prison in England A campaign has begun in Shepton Mallet calling for the community to decide the future of the town's prison. The 400-year-old building closed along with seven others as part of government cutbacks announced in January 2013. Campaigner Claire Sully said: "My biggest fear is that a property developer takes over and turns it purely into housing." The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has said bids are being evaluated and commercial negotiations are continuing. 'Massive space' Last month, two local bidders had their applications turned down. The government has not revealed any details about current bids that are being considered. Ms Sully added: "It's a massive space; there's an opportunity for mixed use, for business to be in there and space for the community; because Shepton has no venue for communities to get together." Mendip District Council said it had asked the government agent selling the prisons to run a public consultation, but this was not done due to time constraints. Tessa Munt, the MP for Wells, said: "They say they are in commercial negotiations which means in reality, I suspect, they have chosen the person they think is the right person to buy the prison and that means we won't be able to do anything about it until they exchange contracts. "They have promised to let me know when they have exchanged contracts but of course by that time really, it'll be too late." ...  

Iron Bowl alternative: JD Crowe, Shari Smith to release new books during ...

"This is like the most Southern cultural experience I've ever had," JD Crowe. MOBILE, Alabama - Take your notions that book signings are boring, quiet affairs and throw them in the fire; along with a pair of shoes. Such is the message from authors JD Crowe and Shari Smith, who will debut their newest works during an event in rural Baldwin County that's nearly so unique it's indescribable. However, during an interview with AL.com on Wednesday, Smith gave it her best try. "It's a musical, but it's not. It's a play, but it's not," she said. "It's its own animal." What she's describing is a creative collaboration where the artists being featured - in this case she and Crowe, AL.com's editorial cartoonist - perform from an organically created script, interwoven with live music from an all-star band. One phrase attached to the performance is "literary hootenanny." Her new book is a collection of stories titled "I Am a Town," while Crowe is releasing a collection of illustrated musings called "Half-Thunk Thoughts and Half-Fast Drawings." The event is a formula Smith has been employing for quite some time with book releases in Virginia, Georgia, Indiana and Florida, she said. She is a founding member of the "Shoe Burnin's," a group of writers and musicians who released the book "The Shoe Burnin' - Stories of Southern Soul." "One person's work sort of melts into the next one's," Smith said. "The best thing ever is to have people hear the show and run over to the bookstore and ge...  

Jingle Ball to light up Moore Theatre | Concert preview

November 27, 2014 at 6:15 AM Mary Lambert at Sasquatch! 2014 (Genevieve Alvarez) The eclectic lineup for KISS 106.1 FM’s Jingle Ball includes Mary Lambert (shown here), Lindsey Stirling, Fences, Jake Miller, Rixton and Magic! But Lambert will be the belle of this ball, particularly now that Fall Out Boy, originally scheduled for the show, has canceled. Featured last Sunday at the 2014 American Music Awards, Lambert is the Seattle-based singer-songwriter and spoken-word artist who recorded the track “Same Love” (a gay-rights anthem) with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on the hit album “The Heist,” voted best rap album at this year’s Grammy Awards. The emotionally charged song reflects Lambert’s experiences growing up lesbian in an abusive household. Last year, she released her debut single, “She Keeps Me Warm,” sampling the chorus she wrote for “Same Love.” Lambert recently released her debut full-length album, the confessional “Heart on My Sleeve,” on Capitol Records. Violinist, dancer and performance-artist Stirling was featured on season five of “America’s Got Talent.” Indie-rock project Fences features Seattle singer-songwriter Christopher Mansfield, who has also collaborated with Macklemore. Up-and-coming Florida rapper and songwriter Miller released his debut album, “Us Against Them,” last year. MTV has touted him as “An Artist of Watch.”...  

Gatland expects World Cup judgement

Wales coach Warren Gatland talks to the media ahead of the Test against South Africa Autumn internationals: Wales v South Africa Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Sat 29 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 14:00 GMT; live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles. Warren Gatland expects his reign as Wales coach to be judged on how they fare at the 2015 World Cup. Gatland has faced criticism for his record of one win in 27 Tests against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. During the same period Wales have won three Six Nations titles, including two Grand Slams, and reached the 2011 World Cup semi-finals. "What we'll be judged on is the World Cup," said Gatland. Wales face South Africa in their final autumn Test on Saturday hoping to improve on their record of one win - in 1999 - and a draw against the Springboks. Last six Wales v South Africa meetings 8 November 2008: Wales 15-20 South Africa - Millennium Stadium - report ...  

Tennessee fails to up ante for drug treatment

A few months after Gov. Bill Haslam and his top deputies announced the “Prescription for Success” to address Tennessee’s pill popping problem, a budget is on his desk without any more money for addiction treatment and less funds for support services.The proposed budget from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services cuts $8.1 million to comply with the governor’s directive that every agency reduce spending by 7 percent. That’s the biggest reduction Haslam has asked agencies to budget since his time in office.One of the primary action points in the “Prescription for Success” is to “increase access and quality of early intervention, treatment and recovery services.” But the proposed budget eliminates funding for adolescent outpatient substance abuse services and adolescent day and evening treatment services — cuts totaling $1.4 million.“This is a huge hit and a tough one to hear,” said Rodger Dinwiddie, executive director of the youth-service organization STARS Nashville, which would lose funding. “Programs such as ours are making a huge difference in impacting the individuals that participate in these services, as well as the community at large.”Doug Varney, commissioner of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said his staff had prioritized programs from the most essential to the least essential, rather than doing an acros...  

Christmas markets ring in German festive season

Wooden huts and stands selling hot drinks, roasted almonds and Christmas decorations - these are prevalent in German city squares in the run-up to Christmas. Around 1,500 Christmas markets - both big and small - take place every year in Germany, with at least one in pretty much in every town. Some of these have a tradition and history going back centuries. Others are newer, more modern versions whose bumper cars and beer stands seem more like a winter fairground. But whether modern or traditional, "the run on the Christmas markets remains unabated," said Hans-Peter Ahrens, chairman of the German federal association of market stall holders and traveling performers. The markets attracted some 85 million visitors last year, up considerable from the 50 million who visited markets in 2000. The Christ Child and plaited cake The traditional Christmas markets in particular continue to pull visitors from around the world into the historic city centers. The most famous of those is probably the "Christkindlesmarkt" in Nuremberg. The Christ Child opens the market in Nuremberg The name derives from the Christkind - or Christ Child - who these days is picked every two years by the citizens of Nuremberg. Dressed as an angel, with a golden crown and wings, the child climbs on to the gallery of the Frauenkirche and festively opens the market by reciting the prologue of the Christ Child poem. At the 160 stands in the historic town center visitors can find everything from hand-crafted toys and...  


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