Tag: reports

Animal cruelty, abuse reports down for first time in years, humane society says

Reports of animal abuse and cruelty are down across the Island for the first time in years, according to the P.E.I. Humane Society.

The organization says the number of cases has dropped by 44 per cent compared to last year. 

“That’s really significant,” said Jennifer Harkness, the development and communications manager at the P.E.I. Humane Society.

“When we say abuse, cruelty, it means somebody saw somebody … physically abusing an animal or being cruel to an animal. It really can be really horrific.”

Those weren’t the only areas where reports declined.

Other cases show declines

Harkness said temperature-related cases were down 59 per cent, health and wellness reports fell 23 per cent and calls regarding animals lacking food, shelter or water also decreased by six per cent. 

It was a nice surprise, said Harkness, after dealing with twice the workload following the enactment of the Animal Welfare Act in 2017.

“We saw our cases double for 2017, 2018 and then 2019,” she said. “It’s probably not that there were more cases on the Island but people are more likely to call us.

“Hopefully, now that we’re seeing that number drop again, [it] means that people are less likely to commit a crime against an animal.”

Anyone who has a concern about an animal can reach out to the animal protection team. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

Harkness said the statistics are also good news for animal protection officers who now have the time to take a closer look at cases on the table and even revisit old reports.

“It’s nice to see some momentum in the other direction for once and just having a moment for our officers to realize that they’ve done some important work here.”

Anyone who does have a concern about an animal can reach out to the animal protection team via email or by calling 902-892-1191.

“We really just look at this as a win at this time,” said Harkness.

“People are aware of what the regulations are on P.E.I. and they know that people are watching.”

More from CBC P.E.I.

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ICE responds to reports officer wore NYPD jacket, says the word police is a law enforcement symbol

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is looking into reports that one of its officers wore an NYPD jacket that caused alarm for New York City residents, according to a report.

The agency said “police” is a “universally recognized symbol of law enforcement in most cultures.”

ICE PLANNING IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS IN SANCTUARY CITIES

“ICE officers are sworn federal law enforcement officers who enforce U.S. immigration laws created by Congress to keep this country safe. The word ‘POLICE’ is a universally recognized symbol of law enforcement in most cultures, an important distinction given that many of the individuals with whom ICE interacts are not native English speakers. Given the inherently dangerous nature of ICE officers’ work, their ability to quickly establish their identity as sworn law enforcement personnel could potentially mean the difference between life and death.”

Brooklyn residents in Fort Greene protested in front of the 88th police precinct Sunday after they claimed an immigration officer was caught wearing NYPD gear while knocking on doors in a building and climbing a fire escape.

“They were yelling ‘ICE, police, open up or we’ll knock your door down,’” an unidentified resident told PIX11 News in Spanish.

A similar incident happened in Upper Manhattan.

“They were saying, ‘Hey, can you open the door. We are just NYPD, we come from precinct 34. We’re not ICE,’” said a young woman whose father who has lived in New York for 30 years was detained.

ICE OPERATIONS NAB MORE THAN 2,000 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, MANY WITH CRIMINAL CHARGES, CONVICTIONS 

NYPD told PIX11 they have no record of the incidents.

“We’re seeing it happen in Fort Greene. We’re seeing it happen in northern Manhattan. We want answers,” said Jorge Muniz Reyes, an organizer with Sunset Park ICE Watch.

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Good Samaritan Society reports 7 COVID-19 deaths at Lennox location

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A sign thanking workers a the Good Samaritan Assisted Living complex is staked in the front yard on Friday, March 1, in Sioux Falls. (Photo: Erin Bormett / Argus Leader)

Seven residents of a senior living facility in Lennox have died from COVID-19, and five of those deaths have occurred in the past 10 days.

As of Friday afternoon, the Good Samaritan Society facility in Lennox has reported seven deaths and 14 active cases of COVID-19. Out of the active cases, nine are residents and five are staffers, said Tess Hedrick, senior media relations specialist for Sanford Health. The facility has reported 47 COVID-19 cases since March.

Todd Anderson, Good Samaritan Society Lennox administrator, said the facility is following CDC guidelines and using personal protective equipment.

“Staff members are screened daily, monitor their health and stay home if they feel sick or have symptoms,” Anderson said.

On Sept. 28, the Lennox facility was reporting 25 active cases and two deaths, Anderson said.

More: Daily COVID-19 cases reach record high again in South Dakota

The Lennox location has the most active cases out of all the Good Samaritan senior living facilities in the Sioux Falls area.

The Sioux Falls Village location on Marion Road in southwestern Sioux Falls has one active case, a resident. Since the pandemic began that location has seen 26 deaths out of 147 COVID-19 cases, Hedrick said. The Argus Leader reported 20 of those deaths occurred before May 12.

Luther Manor in Sioux Falls has no active cases and 12 total resident cases. Three residents have died. Sioux Falls Center has had three resident cases and one death, Hedrick said.

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Pound falls on reports UK could quit Brexit talks next week

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson as fears grow Brexit talks could collapse. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson as fears grow Brexit talks could collapse. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

The pound slid on Wednesday, after a report that the UK government could pull out of Brexit talks as soon as next week if not enough progress has been made towards a deal.

Sterling had lost 0.8% against the dollar (GBPUSD=X) by mid-afternoon in the UK, trading just below $1.29. It shed 0.7% against the euro (GBPEUR=X), with the pound selling for $1.09.

The flight from sterling reflects investors fears’ Britain could face severe economic upheaval if no deal is reached. It would likely spark disruption and sudden new barriers to long-standing trade and other ties with most of Europe when the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

Talks between negotiators are ongoing in London this week. The pound’s decline came after a source told Bloomberg the UK government was serious about threatening to walk out of talks over a trade deal next week.

READ MORE: Stocks mixed as US stimulus hopes endure despite Trump ditching talks

Last month UK prime minister Boris Johnson set a deadline of 15 October for reaching an agreement, in order for it to be signed off and put into place by the start of next year.

Meanwhile Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost told MPs on Wednesday that barriers had not yet been overcome on one of the key stumbling blocks of state aid policy, according to Reuters.

WATCH: Boris Johnson says he can live with a no-deal Brexit

“I feel we’re some way from a deal at the moment, if I’m honest, but we are at least having a decent discussion of this, you know, what is possible and what isn’t possible,” he said.

Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney also said on Wednesday that a “landing zone was hard to envisage” at present on another thorny issue, fishing rights.

“This is a big obstacle and I don’t think the British government should underestimate the strength of feeling on fishing of many of the Atlantic member states,” he said.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said fishermen’s demands on either side of the Channel “risk skewering a Brexit deal,” hitting sterling on Wednesday.

“Throughout the Brexit process, flotillas of British boats have made regular protest appearances, demanding priority catches for the fish in UK waters. But the EU’s determination not to throw the Common Fisheries Policy completely overboard, and instead netting continued access for its boats, is casting serious doubts that a trade deal will be reached,” she said.

“The EU stance appears to be hardening, leading to speculation that negotiations will now be forced to extend into November.”

Any concessions by either side are likely to “cause a stink for domestic politics,” but negotiators will be “highly conscious” of the economic damage from failure to secure a deal, she added.

READ MORE: UK and EU agree to ‘intensify talks’

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Florida official says state and federal law enforcement found no ‘malicious activity’ in voter site outage: reports

Investigators looking into Florida’s voter registration website crash Monday reportedly found “no evidence of interference or malicious activity” in connection with the fiasco, which prompted officials to extend the registration deadline to Tuesday evening.

Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee said Monday that the Online Voter Registration system went out “for about 15 minutes” due to an influx of web traffic. It was supposed to be the last day of voter registrations, with a midnight deadline.

But on Tuesday, after meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis, Lee’s office said the deadline would be extended until 7 p.m. for both online and in-person voter registration.

FLORIDA EXTENDS VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE AFTER WEBSITE CRASH

Voters could also turn in their registration to the offices of their local county elections supervisors, tax collectors, and transportation offices or through the mail postmarked by Oct. 6.

In a statement, Lee said the outage stemmed from “unprecedented volume and traffic” to the site.

“During the last few hours, the RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov website was accessed by an unprecedented 1.1 million requests per hour,” Lee said. “We will work with our state and federal law-enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process.”

FLORIDA VOTER REGISTRATION WEBSITE EXPERIENCED OUTAGE HOURS BEFORE DEADLINE

In a follow-up statement Tuesday evening, she said investigators had not turned up evidence that that was the case.

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Florida has a total population of just below 21.5 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate for 2019. According to the Florida Division of Elections, there were more than 14 million active registered voters in the state as of Aug. 31.

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India freezes Amnesty International bank accounts after reports critical of government

New Delhi — Global human rights organization Amnesty International has halted operations in India, accusing the government of an “incessant witch-hunt” and “constant harassment” over its reports criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. 

Indian authorities froze Amnesty’s bank accounts earlier this month for allegedly receiving foreign funds illegally, a charge the rights group denies. The organization said it had been forced to lay staff members off and pause its work in India because it could not access its funds. 

India Amnesty International
Amnesty International India employees work at their headquarters in Bangalore, India, in a February 5, 2019, file photo.  

Aijaz Rahi/AP


“India’s stature as a liberal democracy with free institutions, including media & civil society organizations, accounted for much of its soft power in the world. Actions like this both undermine our reputation as a democracy & vitiate our soft power,” Shashi Thraoor, a member of the opposition Indian National Congress party, said on Twitter about the government’s action against Amnesty.

“Guilty unless proven otherwise”

Amnesty’s bank accounts were frozen just days before the Indian government tightened up laws on foreign funding for non-governmental organizations. 

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) 2020, approved by India’s Parliament last week, gave the government sweeping new powers to cancel FCRA certificates issued to non-profit groups, prohibited the transfer of foreign funds to any other organization, put a cap on administrative expenses at 20%, and requires organizations to have a bank account in Delhi, among other restrictions. 

Major non-profit groups and social workers in India see the new law as a crackdown by the government, and warn it could cripple them as the Asian nation grapples with major economic, social and health challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.  


Skepticism of India’s low COVID death toll

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The Population Foundation of India (PFI), a non-profit that has promoted family planning, women’s empowerment and literacy in India for 50 years, warned that the new laws “will kill collaboration and cooperation amongst NGOs.” The organization said the government appeared to be “looking at all foreign contributions with suspicion,” which it said could damage India’s global reputation as a free democracy. 

“These amendments also assume that NGOs that are receiving foreign funds are guilty unless proven otherwise,” said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the PFI. “We are here because of the failure of the executive and government, because they do not do their jobs and we come in to fill the gaps.”

“This is the worst possible time to hamper civil society… just when this country needs its entire civil society to work together with the private sector and the government to address the multiple problems that confront us,” the Voluntary Action Network India (VANI), an alliance of more than 550 non-profit groups in the country, said during a press conference last week


Death toll climbs in India protests

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Indian government data show there are more than 20,000 non-profit groups registered to receive foreign grants under the FCRA. Many of these organizations have worked for years with smaller

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