Wednesday, December 2, 2020

New Zealand mass stranding leaves more than 100 whales dead

New Zealand mass stranding leaves more than 100 whales dead

More than 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins died after beaching themselves on the remote Chatham Islands off New Zealand’s east coast.

According to Reuters, rescue workers tried to help the whales and dolphins by trying to push them back into the ocean, but the remote location of the island hindered rescue efforts.

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) said a total of 97 pilot whales and three dolphins lost their lives after stranding themselves on the beach, adding that they learned about the incident on Sunday.

“Only 26 of the whales were still alive at this point, the majority of them appearing very weak, and were euthanised due to the rough sea conditions and almost certainty of there being great white sharks in the water which are brought in by a stranding like this,” said DOC Biodiversity Ranger Jemma Welch.

It is common for whales and dolphins to beach themselves on the Chatham Islands. In 1918, up to one thousand whales died in a similar manner.

Pennsylvania certifies election results, make Biden PA win official


The Pennsylvania Department of State has certified the results of the November 3 election, says Gov. Tom Wolf, making Joe Biden’s win there official and delivering 20 electoral votes for the Biden-Harris ticket.

The move to certify the election results is a blow to Pres. Trump’s efforts to overturn the will of the voters in Pennsylvania. The Trump campaign, in efforts headed by Rudy Giuliani, has spent weeks filing suits to block certification, discard ballots, and generally undermine the results of the election in hopes of somehow delivering the state for Trump. Just this weekend, a federal judge rejected one of the campaign’s frivolous lawsuits seeking to block certification. ‘This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations,’ U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann wrote in his ruling, blasting the Trump legal team for failing to provide meaningful evidence for widespread fraud they claimed occurred. ‘In the United States of America, [these arguments] cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.’

In his Twitter announcement of the certification, Gov. Wolf celebrated the work of election officials, poll workers, and other volunteers in the state, who have been subjected to intense political scrutiny and, in some ballot counting centers, forced to face masses of aggressive Trump supporters. Philadelphia elections officials even reported receiving death threats. ‘Our election workers have been under constant attack and they have performed admirably and honorably,’ Wolf tweeted.

President-elect Joe Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania is about 80,000 votes, or almost double Trump’s lead over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.