Are CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS Made In USA Rifles The Top Gun Used To Poach Big Game In Africa?

Kathi Lee Austin of  ConflictAwareness.org

Kathi Lee Austin of ConflictAwareness.org

Are CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS Made In USA Rifles The Top Gun Used To Poach Big Game In Africa?

Now that all the holiday food is settling into our fat cells for a long winter's nap, and Trump has pissed all over our country in the worst Christmas Day message I've ever heard, let me begin by saying that I did not just like the FB page for “CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS,” rifles, thinking that my closest friends might have a total meltdown.

If I liked the company, them this post would tag their wall, but then I would be bringing down a hornet's nest of gun lovers on my wall, and -- in retrospect -- I don't really want to do that. Elephant killer Donald Trump Jr -- or just 'Junior' as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls him -- would probably show up in person to give us all a big lecture on the thrill of killing wild beasts. Speaking of wild beasts, his father is absolutely behaving like one. Sorry, I digress.

However, this New York Times article How Did Rifles With an American Stamp End Up in the Hands of African Poachers? hit me between the eyes this morning, and they were barely open. NOTHING IS DEFINITE YET, and of course, the gun manufacturer 'CZ-USA' denies, denies, denies that they have anything to do with the reality that their rifles -- not the ones manufactured by their parent company in the Czech Republic -- are being investigated as being the #1 rifle poachers are using to kill the elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers -- you name it -- in Africa.

Like somehow “CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS,” got carved into the metal. It's a branding mistake. You know . . . like Trump makes major branding mistakes every day. This is just all about bad marketing.

While this is not a girl's only investigation, one lady in particular is in the lead: Kathi Lynn Austin.

Five Reasons Why 2018 Was A Big Year For Palaeontology

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Five Reasons Why 2018 Was A Big Year For Palaeontology

By Julien Benoit, Postdoc in Vertebrate Palaeontology, University of the Witwatersrand. First published on The Conversation Africa.

A lot happened in the world of palaeontology in 2018. Some of the big events included some major fossil finds, a new understanding of our reptile ancestors and a major controversy whose outcome could rewrite human history. The Conversation Africa asked Dr Julien Benoit to discuss five important moments in palaeontology you may have missed during 2018, and what they mean – particularly for Africa and its place in the story of human origins.

LVMH Acquires Luxury Travel's Belmond Hotels | Will Bernard Arnault Help Save The Elephants

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LVMH Acquires Luxury Travel's Belmond Hotels | Will Bernard Arnault Help Save The Elephants

AOC awoke Saturday morning to news that LVMH has set in motion the acquisition of Belmond Hotels. “Belmond, a fast-growing company based in London, offers its wealthy customers some of the most opulent travel experiences money can buy in settings like the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and Orient Express trains connecting major European cities,” wrote The New York Times.

LVMH, the world’s largest luxury company based on revenues from brands like Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Fendi, offered to pay $25 a share for Belmond, a premium of more than 40 percent on the company’s closing price, in a deal valued at $2.6 billion.

The deal emphasized the limitless financial resources available to the world’s very rich customers. as well as the ongoing move away from buying ‘things’ and the growing appetite for ‘experiences’. This transition to the value of ‘experiences’ is pronounced among the entire younger generation, regardless of income, and dovetails well with their environmental concerns over accumulating more stuff.

Perhaps it was no coincidence that Friday’s Porter Edit had a sponsored post from Belmond Africa, based in South Africa and Botswana. The luxury hotel jumping off point gave us an opportunity to update the hot topic of the well-being of Botswana’s elephants, the largest elephant population in Africa and one that has been relatively stable until disputed reports of almost 90 dead elephants hit headlines in September.

Mitch Landrieu Launches E Pluribus Unum Fund For Racial Reconciliation With Backing By Emerson Collective

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Mitch Landrieu Launches E Pluribus Unum Fund For Racial Reconciliation With Backing By Emerson Collective

The removal of the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in New Orleans, was the second of four Confederate monuments scheduled by then New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu for relocation in advance of the city’s 300 anniversary. The larger-than-life image of Davis atop an ornate granite pedestal roughly 15-feet high was erected in 1911, nearly 50 years after the end of the war, and commissioned by the Jefferson Davis Memorial Association.

A month earlier workers dismantled an obelisk that was erected in 1891 to honor members of the Crescent City White League who in 1874 fought in the Reconstruction-era Battle of Liberty Place against the racially integrated New Orleans police and state militia.

Two other works were also removed in the summer of 2017: a bronze statue of Gen. Robert E Lee that has stood in a traffic circle, named Lee Circle, in the city’s central business district since 1884, and an equestrian statue of P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general. 

Former Alabama Senator and Attorney General in the Trump Administration Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III bears the Confederate general’s name.

Protests on both sides of the Confederate statue debate were fierce, prompting Mayor Landrieu to make an eloquent, emotional and gifted speech on the subject of removing the Confederate monuments on Friday, May 19, 2017.

The full text of Landrieu’s speech was published by The New York Times. I consider it to be one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard — from its sweeping beginning to its soul-wrenching end.

Thank you for coming.

The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way — for both good and for ill. It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans — the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando De Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Colorix, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of France and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more. Read on.

Elephant Conservation Update From Botswana Includes Pending Prince Harry Transfer Of Elephants To Zambia

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Elephant Conservation Update From Botswana Includes Pending Prince Harry Transfer Of Elephants To Zambia

PORTER escapes to Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, an adventurous tented hideaway in Botswana’s Savute Channel, part of Chobe National Park and boasting the highest concentration of elephants in Africa.

Belmond Savute prides itself on a “happy marriage of style and substance; for the eco-conscious traveler”, offering “the tents’ sustainable design features (that) include the removal of all concrete, the use of eco-friendly composite bamboo decking in the principal areas, and a 95% solar-grid system for power.” 

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Elephant Deaths in Botswana

Since September 2018, controversy has swirled in Botswana around the story that 87 elephants were reported to be “killed by poachers’ in Botswana. The high-impact story originated with “Elephants Without Borders,” an NGO in the USA and Botswana surveying the elephant population.

Under the new government of Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana’s parliament is exploring its ban on trophy hunting, citing the large size of Botswana’s elephant population and the growing issue of human-elephant conflic (HEC) in the country.

Politicians have quoted the Botswana elephant population to be as large as 237,000. However the African Elephant Status Report (AESR) estimates Botswana’s elephant population to be 131,626 individuals migrating across an area of 228,073 square kilometres. The vast majority of these elephants occur in the northern region that includes Chobe, Moremi, and the Okavango Delta.

Male Gorillas With Engaged Parenting Skills For All Babies In Group Produce More Offspring

THE DIAN FOSSEY GORILLA FUND

THE DIAN FOSSEY GORILLA FUND

Male Gorillas With Engaged Parenting Skills For All Babies In Group Produce More Offspring

By Stacy Rosenbaum, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles. First published on The Conversation.

Paternal care – where fathers care for their children – is rare among mammals (that is, animals which give birth to live young). Scientists have identified more than 6,000 mammal species, but paternal care only occurs in 5 to 10% of them.

Humans fall into that category, along with species like mice and lions. There are also a number of South American monkey species where males take on equal or greater childcare burdens than females. But these species are the exceptions, not the rule.

Scientists believe the reason so many male mammals don’t get involved in caring for their young is because they get higher “returns on investment” if their energy is spent seeking out more mating opportunities rather than actively parenting. Simply put, male mammals that spend their time producing more infants rather than taking care of the ones they have will leave behind more offspring. Over time, natural selection favours males who use this strategy, so fathering behaviour rarely gains an evolutionary foothold.

Mountain gorillas, found in the mountains of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are among the exceptions to the rule.

Though mountain gorilla groups are full of complex social dynamics, just as human families are, in many groups some of the strongest social bonds we observe are between adult males and infants – even when the infants aren’t the males’ own offspring. From the time that young gorillas are old enough to move away from their mothers, they follow males everywhere. Males, in turn, are extremely tolerant. Some regularly hold, play with, groom, and let infants sleep in their nests with them.

In a recent study, my colleagues and I set out to determine why this might be the case, since this behaviour didn’t seem to only benefit their own infants. We found that the gorillas who spent the most time with any young, not just their own, also sired the most infants.

Chanel Ends Use Of Exotic Animal Skins Including Crocodile, Lizard, Snake + Stingray Skins

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Chanel Ends Use Of Exotic Animal Skins Including Crocodile, Lizard, Snake + Stingray Skins

On Monday, in advance of Chanel’s pre-fall Metiers d'Art show at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the luxury house announced that it has initiated a ban on exotic animal skins in its designs and products. Chanel will "no longer use exotic skins in our future creations," Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel's president of fashion, told WWD.

The ban extends to crocodile, lizard, snake, and stingray skins, and also includes fur, the use of which Chanel has already wound down in recent years in recent years. "It is our experience that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source exotic skins," the brand said in a statement, per WWD, noting its intention to begin innovating "a new generation of high-end products" sans skins and furs. In place of these animal products, Chanel will reportedly turn to fabric and leathers generated by the "agri-food" industry.

Aspirin Could Help Reduce HIV Infections In Women -- A Dramatic, Promising Research Result In Nairobi

WOMEN IN KENYA. PHOTO BY  JOHN MCARTHUR  ON  UNSPLASH

WOMEN IN KENYA. PHOTO BY JOHN MCARTHUR ON UNSPLASH

Aspirin Could Help Reduce HIV Infections In Women -- A Dramatic, Promising Research Result In Nairobi

By Colin Graydon, PhD Candidate in Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba and Monika Kowatsch PhD Student in Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba. First published on The Conversation Africa.

With nearly two million new infections and one million associated deaths each year, the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) pandemic is alive and well. Thirty-seven million people are now living with HIV, more than half of whom are women.

Today, most HIV transmission occurs through sex. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and others by keeping HIV away (abstinence, condom use, circumcision) or by inactivating HIV (microbicide gels or a combination of prophylactic anti-HIV drugs such as PrEP). However, these methods are not always feasible for many and can come with stigma.

Imagine though, if instead of targeting the virus, we could make people less susceptible to HIV and address the needs of communities by using a relatively safe, affordable and globally accessible drug with no associated stigma. This is where Aspirin comes in.

It may sound like a fairy tale, but results from our lab’s pilot study published last monthsuggest it may be true. Plus, there’s good science behind the explanation.

EYE: Alessandra Ambrosio For Numero Russia #53 | Alessandra + Nicoli Oddi +Alanui | GlamTribal Woolly Mammoth Jewelry

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EYE: Alessandra Ambrosio For Numero Russia #53 | Alessandra + Nicoli Oddi +Alanui | GlamTribal Woolly Mammoth Jewelry

Supermodel and former Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio owns three covers of Numero Russia issue #53, edited with a look a fashion’s future: NATURAL, EDGY and SENSUAL. Ovidiu Buta styles Alessandra in a faux fur Max Mara coat, a MM6 Maison Margiela t-shirt, Comme des Garcons coat and more for images by Elio Nogueira.

Alessandra Ambrosio’s relationship with Nicolò Oddi is going strong.

Alessandra was first seen with Italian fashion designer Oddi at the September 2018 Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Milan.

Nicolò Oddi launched his fashion label, Alanui, in 2016 with his sister and business partner Carlotta Oddi. The label carries over-sized cardigans designed for the nomad in each of us with the brand’s name meaning “large path” in Hawaiian.

From the first day I saw Alanui, I’ve connected it in spirit to my GlamTribal Design Jewelry + Gifts.

Woolly Mammoths were among the earth’s original nomadic creatures and while my primary focus is their migration out of Africa, they eventually made their way to what is now the American Southwest, a great source of inspiration for Alanui.

Halima Aden's TEDx Talk From Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

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Halima Aden's TEDx Talk From Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

Rising fashion star Halima Aden made another appearance in the pages of Vogue Arabia, posing in the November 2018 for images by An Le. The AOC post prompted me to circle back to watch Halima Aden’s TEDx Talk in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, now that it’s available online.

Aden expressed profound thanks for getting the opportunity to revisit the Kakuma, which was founded in 1992 and is currently home to more than 185,000 inhabitants. “This camp taught me so many lessons and I’m so grateful I had the chance to return,” the model told her 620,000 Instagram followers. “A lot has changed since I’ve left but we still have along way to go.” 

At this moment when refugees are under assault globally, including in America, Halima’s words are deeply felt here at AOC. I also found this essay expressing in words by Halima many of the concepts expressed in her TEDX talk, posted on Dream Refugee.org.

Immersed in trying to piece together all of the refugee models and their intersections with each other, I momentarily forgot my own words from April 1, in which I already wrote that Halima Aden and Adut Akech were both born in the same refugee camp: Kakuma.