Elk with tire around neck for two years finally free – National & International News – TUE 12Oct2021


Elk with tire around neck for two years finally free. DOJ appeals reinstatement of Texas abortion law. Iraq election: nationalist cleric al-Sadr’s party wins big.


Elk with tire around neck for two years finally free

A four-and-a-half-year-old, 600lb bull elk has finally been relieved of a burden he has been carrying around for at least two years. The elk’s plight was first noticed by wildlife officials in July 2019 in the Mount Evans Wilderness area. In the last week, wildlife officers have made at least four attempts to capture and help the animal before finally succeeding on Saturday.

Unfortunately, after tranquilizing the buck, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers Scott Murdoch and Donald Swanson were unable to cut the steel-banded tire from around his neck. Instead, the officers sawed off the animal’s 5-point antlers to remove the tire safely. That means the elk will not be as well equipped as his rivals during the rut season.

Murdoch said the buck’s neck was in surprisingly good shape despite the chafing. He said there was some hair missing an a small open wound about the size of a quarter.

Officials used this story to remind people who live close to wildlife areas to be mindful of debris and obstructions on their property. Deer, elk, moose, bears frequently become entangled in things like discarded netting, Christmas lights, tomato cages and other domestic refuse.

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DOJ challenges reinstatement of Texas abortion law

About two days after a federal judge in Austin issued an injunction against Texas’ S.B. 8, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court placed a stay on that injunction. That decision means that Texas’ ban on abortion after 6 weeks is once again in force. Now the Justice Department is appealing this latest decision, asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the stay. 

The judicial back-and-forth has made a tumultuous ride for abortion providers in the state. Only a few providers returned to offering the full range of legal abortion care during the less than 48 hours when the injunction was in place. Most say they are awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

While they wait, the DOJ states in their motion, the law will cause “irreparable harm” to individuals. The DOJ also contends that the court should reinstate the injunction since S.B. 8 is clearly unconstitutional because it denies citizens access to a judicial remedy due to its scheme of deputizing private individuals to enforce the law and collect $10,000 bounties for doing so.

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Party of nationalist cleric al-Sadr declares victory in Iraqi elections

Iraqi Nationalist party Saeroun has won a plurality in the recent Iraqi parliamentary elections, capturing 73 of the 329 seats. The party has the backing of Muqtad al-Sadr, a prominent Shia cleric with a long history of resisting U.S. and Iranian influence in Iraq. Al-Sadr cannot lead the government since he himself was not a political candidate. Saeroun will have to form a coalition with other minority parties in order to form a government.

The election had a record-low turnout of 41%, despite being called due to widespread protests across the country. The low turnout signals a lack of faith in Iraq’s democracy and mistrust of the U.S. influence on Iraqi politics generally. Despite Iraq’s massive oil wealth, successive U.S.-backed administrations have failed to rebuild the country, ensure safety, and provide adequate services for its people.

Who is Muqtad al-Sadr?

The name Muqtad al-Sadr will be familiar to many readers. Al-Sadr was a staunch opponent of the US-led occupation of Iraq. In the early days of the occupation, al-Sadr was the spiritual leader of the Shiite Mahdi militia. The Mahdi and other Sadrist militias carried out numerous attacks on the occupying coalition forces, including the Good Friday Ambush of 2004, which killed 8 defense contractors and three US soldiers.

Over the years, al-Sadr has mellowed somewhat and now largely rejects violence as a means of change. However, Sadrist forces did participate in fighting against ISIS. Al-Sadr is something of a maverick even among other Iraqi Shiite clerics. His politics are populist, which often brings him into conflict with Iraq’s political and clerical elites.

Al-Sadr now considers himself an Iraqi Nationalist. Most recently, he has allied himself with Sunni factions, Iraqi Communists and secular and independent political groups with the ultimate goal of purging both U.S. and Iranian influence from Iraqi politics. It remains to be seen whether Saeroun will succeed in expelling foreign forces once the horse trading involved in coalition-building is completed.

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