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New mass death of birds in Sweden

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UPDATE: Mass bird and fish deaths becoming worldwide phenomenon

In a week that saw unexplained massive bird deaths in the southern United States, up to 100 birds were found lying in a snow-covered street in Sweden Wednesday, officials said.

“Most were dead,” Christer Olofsson of rescue services in the southwestern town of Falkoeping said of the 50 to 100 jackdaw birds, a type of crow.

Ornithologist Anders Wirdheim said the find was surprising.

“This is unusual,” he told tabloid Aftonbladet, which posted online a reader’s photo of dozens of black birds littering a snow-covered road.

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“They are probably jackdaws. They spend the winter in large flocks. If they are exposed to disturbances, they can become so stressed that they fly themselves to death,” he said.

Olofsson told AFP the birds were first spotted around midnight by a police patrol, and that five had been taken in for analysis.

Olov Andersson of the National Veterinary Institute told news agency TT the carcasses would be analysed and that bacterial and viral tests, including for swine flu, would be performed.

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The Falkoeping incident comes after two unexplained mass bird deaths in the United States.

On Tuesday, officials in Louisiana said 500 birds were discovered dead, shortly after thousands of birds were discovered dead in neighbouring Arkansas.

Arkansas officials said preliminary testing showed no signs of disease in the dead birds and that they died of “acute physical trauma.”

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US officials said possibly New Year’s Eve fireworks had provoked the birds to take flight in the dark, and that due to poor night vision they may have died after bumping into houses, trees and other birds in their fright.

Swedish rescue services told media Wednesday fireworks had been heard in the area where the birds were found.


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Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer

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Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.

Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.

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Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump

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Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."

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Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush

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The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.

That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.

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