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Walter Palmer — the dentist who killed Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion — faces calls for prosecution

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US uproar over death of protected animal forces Walter Palmer’s practice to close, as hunter and landowner prepare to appear in Zimbabwean court

There are mounting calls for the prosecution of an American dentist who shot dead one of Africa’s most famous lions, as two other men involved in the hunt prepare to appear in court in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Walter Palmer, who runs a dental practice in Minnesota and hunts big game in his spare time, is accused of illegally killing Cecil , a protected lion, in Zimbabwe on a $50,000 (£32,000) hunt.

Two men thought to have accompanied Palmer on the hunt, professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst, and Honest Ndlovu, a local landowner, will appear in court in Victoria Falls to face poaching charges.

Cecil, a popular attraction among international visitors to Hwange national park, was lured outside the reserve’s boundaries by bait and killed earlier this month.

“Both the professional hunter and land owner had no permit or quota to justify the offtake of the lion and therefore are liable for the illegal hunt,” the Zimbabwean parks authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

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The statement made no mention of Palmer. But the charity Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Palmer and Bronkhorst had gone out at night with a spotlight and tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil into range.

In a statement to the Guardian, Palmer confirmed he had been in Zimbabwe in early July on a bow-hunting trip. “To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted,” he said.

He is facing angry calls in the US for his prosecution.

Former speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gringrich tweeted that Palmer should be jailed.

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Betty McCollum, a Democrat-Farm-Labor member of Congress who represents Minnesota, called on the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Justice to investigate whether the killing violated endangered species laws, according to the local Star Tribune .

Protesters placed animal toys outside Palmer’s River Duff dental practice in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis. The practice was forced to close due to the uproar over the incident. Two protesters staged a recreation of the hunt involving cuddly toys and water pistols.

Safari operators said Cecil, aged about 13, was an “iconic” animal who was recognised by many visitors to Hwange due to his distinctive black mane.

“A lot of people travel long distances coming to Zimbabwe to enjoy our wildlife and obviously the absence of Cecil is a disaster,” Emmanuel Fundira, president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, told reporters in the capital, Harare.

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Palmer’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and website of his dental practice were all closed after being overwhelmed with criticism.

Comedian Ricky Gervais , boxer Lennox Lewis and writer Neil Gaiman were among those expressing disgust.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report

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President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.

A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.

“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."

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Israel’s Netanyahu just christened a building named after Trump — that doesn’t even exist

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent his Father’s Day dedicating a new Trump Tower-type building that hasn't been built in a town that doesn't exist.

Standing in front of a large sign saying "Trump Heights," Netanyahu, who is being forced back into another election, announced the building before planning even began, Axios reported.

A great day on the Golan. PM Netanyahu and I had the honor to dedicate “Trump Heights” — first time Israel has dedicated a village in honor of a sitting president since Harry Truman (1949). Happy Birthday Mr. President!! @POTUS pic.twitter.com/fdYWzokFLK

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This graphic explains why Speaker Pelosi is resistant to impeachment

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has told her caucus that they can do investigations into the president without impeachment. The difference, however, is that there are fewer legal benefits available to Congress in their oversight role than in impeachment.

Theoretically, it should enable Democrats to do the research they need, but the White House is taking the bold step to defy the oversight the Constitution outlines. The only option open to the Democrats has been to go to court with their case outlining how the White House is breaking the law. Thus far, they've won two lawsuits about their investigations, and they will likely gain more.

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