US scientists to protect whales from ship collisions

Off the west coast of the United States, the largest animal on the planet and giant ships are on a collision course. Dozens of blue whales are killed every year in shipping lanes off the coast of California.

    Off the west coast of the United States, the largest animal on the planet and giant ships are on a collision course. Dozens of blue whales are killed every year in shipping lanes off the coast of California.

    Now, scientists are looking at ways to develop a warning system for ships in order to save the whales.

    Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from Santa Barbara.

    Source: Read Full Article

    Olympic champion Simone Biles: 'I too was sexually abused'

    US Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles says that she too was a victim of Larry Nassar, the former team doctor who will be sentenced this week for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of young athletes in his care.

      US Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles says that she too was a victim of Larry Nassar, the former team doctor who will be sentenced this week for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of young athletes in his care.

      Al Jazeera’s Elise Holman reports.

      Source: Read Full Article

      Canada's BC submits new rules to restrict oil shipments

      New regulations proposed in British Columbia are seen as a blow to a contentious oil pipeline expansion project.

        The government of British Columbia has proposed new regulations restricting the transportation of oil through the western Canadian province in what is expected to be a major setback for a planned pipeline expansion project.

        The province announced on Tuesday it would seek the public’s feedback on the newly proposed regulations, which include “restrictions on the increase of diluted bitumen transportation” through BC.

        The restrictions would be in place “until the behaviour of spilled bitumen can be better understood and there is certainty regarding the ability to adequately mitigate spills”, the provincial government said in a statement.

        The province aims “to improve preparedness, response and recovery from potential spills”, the statement added. 

        George Heyman, BC’s minister of environment and climate change strategy, said that “the people of BC need to know that there is effective spill management across the province and, in particular, for our most environmentally sensitive areas, including coastlines.” 

        The move is widely believed to target Kinder Morgan’s $5bn Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which would transport 890,000 barrels of oil a day from the Alberta tar sands to the BC coast for shipment to Asia and other markets.

        Al Jazeera could not immediately reach Kinder Morgan for comment.

        “Kinder Morgan is aware of the Government’s announcement today and will actively participate in their engagement and feedback process,” Trans Mountain spokesperson Ali Hounsell told The Financial Post in an email.

        ‘Good news for the climate’

        Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, approved the expansion project in 2016 amid opposition from environmental and First Nations groups across the country.

        Environmental activist Cameron Fenton, a Canadian campaigner with the group 350.org, welcomed BC’s decision on Tuesday.

        “When it comes to fossil fuel expansion, especially massive tar sands projects like Kinder Morgan, the rule of ‘when you’re in a hole, stop digging’ is a good place to start. This announcement from the government of BC does just that,” Fenton said in a statement.

        “As of today, there’s a moratorium on new tar sands shipments to the West Coast, and that’s good news for the climate and communities.”

        The BC government, a coalition between the left-leaning New Democrats and the Green Party, had previously vowed to block pipeline expansion through the province.

        Kinder Morgan says the pipeline expansion project will create short and long-term jobs, increase tax revenues at the provincial and federal levels, and “increase the value of Canadian oil”.

        But protesters have rallied in cities across Canada against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project for several years.

        They say an oil spill would endanger drinking water and harm fish and other species off the coast of BC and worsen Canada’s environmental footprint.

        Indigenous communities along the pipeline route previously vowed to block the project from being completed.

        The Treaty Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 indigenous tribes across North America, said in 2016 that the project would not “see the light of day”.

        “The world might not be able to immediately stop using oil tomorrow, but the last thing it needs is more oil, and especially not more of the dirtiest oil on the planet,” the group says on its website.

        Source: Read Full Article

        Canadian veterans demand accountability over medication

        Canadian military veterans say they were required to take an antimalarial drug with serious side effects, including brain damage.

          A class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of Canadian military veterans has been put on hold.

          The former soldiers say they were required to take an antimalarial drug with serious side effects, including brain damage.

          They blame the Canadian government for a lack of support.

          Al Jazeera’s Daniel Lak reports from Ottawa, Canada.

          Source: Read Full Article

          Book released early: US president threaten to sue

          A new book exposing what’s described as chaos behind the scenes in the White House, has been released ahead of schedule.
          Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is threatening legal action against the author of ‘Fire and Fury’.

            A new book exposing what’s described as chaos behind the scenes in the White House, has been released ahead of schedule.

            President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is threatening legal action against the author of ‘Fire and Fury’.

            The author paints a highly-critical picture of life inside the Oval Office, describing the president as ‘mentally unfit for the job.’

            Al Jazeera’s Diane Estabrook reports from Washington.

            Source: Read Full Article

            Amer Othman Adi deported after living 40 years in US

            The Palestinian businessman was deported after being given conflicting information from immigration officials.

              The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) deported Amer Othman Adi, a Palestinian man who lived in Ohio, on Monday, according to local media.

              Adi had lived in the US for roughly 39 years before his deportation to Jordan, where he holds citizenship.

              He lived in Youngstown, Ohio, where he was “ripped from his four daughters, his wife, and the country that he has called home for over thirty years,” Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who fought his deportation, said in a statement. 

              Adi was a business owner in Youngstown, a city of 64,000. “He hired members of our community. He paid taxes. He did everything right,” Ryan continued.

              Born in Jordan to Palestinian parents, Adi came to the US at the age of 19. He received a green card, or permanent residence permit, after his first marriage.

              Immigration authorities began removal procedures against the immigrant after his first wife said their marriage was fake.

              After being charged with “marriage fraud,” Adi lived under a deport order from 2009. His first wife testified in a sworn affidavit that their marriage was legitimate, but that she was pressured by authorities to say otherwise.

              The Palestinian man was protected by “private bills” passed by elected officials in the US House of Representatives for years. 

              These bills typically provide relief to a specific person, as opposed public bills that address nationwide issues.

              The bill was rescinded under President Donald Trump, who has overseen a crackdown on undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers.

              “While ICE acknowledges Congress’ authority to pass legislation providing immigration benefits to non-citizens, alien beneficiaries need not be present in the United States for a private immigration relief bill to be introduced, considered and/or enacted,” ICE spokesperson Khaalid Walls said in the statement.

              Adi was detained without warning by ICE on January 16 after appearing for a routine check-in appointment. He was told last September that he would be deported by January 7, but was then reportedly informed the order had been called off.

              The Youngstown community was reportedly surprised to hear ICE apprehended the member of their community.

              Representative Ryan shared their surprised.

              “There are violent criminals walking the streets, yet our government wasted our precious resources incarcerating him,” he said in the statement.

              Source: Read Full Article

              FBI deputy director steps down amid Trump criticism

              Andrew McCabe is reportedly stepping down amid weeks of criticism from US President Donald Trump.

                The deputy director of the FBI has stepped down, a decision that comes amid several weeks of harsh criticism from Donald Trump, US media has reported.

                Andrew McCabe resigned from his position on Monday, the Associated Press reported, quoting two anonymous sources familiar with the decision who were not authorised to speak to the media.

                The exact reason behind McCabe’s early departure from the agency remains unknown, AP said.

                White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House does not “have any specific comments” on the reports, and she referred reporters to the FBI “on any specifics”. 

                Sanders added the White House had no hand in McCabe’s decision to step down. 

                McCabe, who assumed his position as deputy director in 2016 and had planned to retire this spring, has come under fire from the US president in recent weeks.

                Trump has accused McCabe of exerting influence on the FBI’s decision not to file charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server.

                In December, he tweeted that McCabe was “racing the clock to retire with full benefits”.

                Trump also reportedly summoned McCabe to his office in May, shortly after he had fired FBI Director James Comey, to ask him whom he voted for in the 2016 elections, The Washington Post reported last week.

                McCabe was serving as the FBI’s acting director at the time.

                When asked on January 25 to confirm or deny the report, Sanders said: “The president and Andrew McCabe have had limited and pretty non-substantive conversations. I can’t get into the details of what was discussed. I wasn’t there. There are widespread reports of his retirement.”

                FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is, and has been, a dedicated public servant who has served this country well. Bogus attacks on the FBI and DOJ to distract attention from a legitimate criminal inquiry does long term, unnecessary damage to these foundations of our government.

                As news of the surprise resignation broke on Monday, Eric Holder, the US attorney general under Barack Obama, tweeted his support for McCabe.

                “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is, and has been, a dedicated public servant who has served this country well,” Holder wrote. 

                Source: Read Full Article

                Pfizer ends research for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's drugs

                The drug company – which makes the lucrative drug, Viagra – said it was ending its neuroscience research to focus on areas where it was strongest.

                  Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s sufferers have been dealt a blow, with drug maker Pfizer deciding to end its research into the debilitating diseases.

                  Many sufferers and their families had felt new hope when the pharmaceutical giant began early-stage research, but the company has now decided to invest elsewhere.

                  Al Jazeera’s John Hendren reports.

                  Source: Read Full Article

                  NYPD drops charges against mother after outrage over arrest video

                  The video showed a 23-year-old mother from Brooklyn being arrested while clinging to her baby.

                    The New York Police Department (NYPD) has dropped charges against Jazmine Headley, a 23-year-old woman from Brooklyn, after video of her being arrested while clinging to her baby brought widespread criticism.

                    There were protests in New York in support of the woman whose one-year-old baby was pulled from her arms by the police officers. A video of the incident was posted on Facebook that led to a barrage of criticism.

                     

                    Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports from New York.

                    Source: Read Full Article

                    Senator calls for probe into report Saudi helped citizen flee US

                    Oregon senator calls for investigation into allegations Saudi Arabia helped citizen in hit-and-run killing flee the US.

                      A senior US Senator has called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to clarify if Saudi Arabia helped a citizen of that country flee the US ahead of his manslaughter trial.

                      In a letter on Friday, Senator Ron Wyden expressed strong concern over a local media report that said the Saudi government may have issued a new passport to its citizen, Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, in order to help him leave the US and escape justice over a hit-and-run killing in the state of Oregon

                      The Saudi student was accused of killing 15-year-old Fallon Smart, and was facing a 10-year jail term if found guilty of manslaughter charges. 

                      In a report last week, the Oregonian newspaper said US investigators believe Noorah, who was released on bail, fled the country in June last year on a private jet using a Saudi-issued passport under a different name.

                      Wyden said the claims were “shocking”.

                      The allegations – in the wake of the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi by the kingdom’s officials in its Istanbul consulate in October – “suggest a brazen pattern of disregard for the law and abuse of diplomatic privileges”, he said. 

                      “These claims must be thoroughly investigated. If they are accurate they would require significant restrictions on Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic privileges and call into question the future of America’s bilateral relationship with the Saudis,” he added.

                      The Oregonian said it was Saudi authorities who had provided Noorah the $100,000 he needed to post bail.

                      When the 21-year-old Portland Community College student was released, his passport was confiscated and he was required to wear an electronic bracelet on his ankle. 

                      But in June last year, just two weeks before his trial, Noorah cut the tracking device and disappeared. 

                      He arrived in Saudi Arabia seven days later. 

                      The Saudi government informed the US of Noorah’s return to the country more than a year later, in July.

                      The two countries do not have an extradition treaty, which means that the chances of Noorah facing justice in the US is low.

                      Saudi Arabia has come under increased scrutiny from the US senate following Khashoggi’s killing by Saudi officials in the country’s consulate.

                      Earlier this month, the Senate passed a resolution accusing the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ordering the murder, and called for an end to US military support for a Riyad-led war in Yemen.

                      Saudi Arabia denounced the resolution as “blatant interference”.

                      Source: Read Full Article