WATCH: Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer gives White House press conference
January 24, 2017
Bald eagles are turning up dead from lead poisoning all across Michigan for a surprising reason.
It doesn't take much lead to sicken or kill a bald eagle, and wildlife rehabilitators say the birds are being poisoned by accidentally ingesting bullets while scavenging carcasses from animals killed by hunters using lead ammunition, reported MLive.
“If you’ve ever seen an eagle that has been poisoned, it’s something you’ll never forget,” said John Buchweitz, nutrition and toxicology section chief at Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. “The animal may go blind. They can develop tremors. They can lose their ability to fly. It’s a sad statement on the truly adverse effects of a chemical, like lead, on an animal.”
America's national symbol were removed from the endangered species list after a then-controversial federal ban on the pesticide DDT nearly killed off the species, which had dwindled to just 417 nesting pairs in 1963 to more than 300,000 bald eagles currently living in the wild, and conservationists are now sounding the alarm on hunting or fishing with lead-based products.
“We’re going to have to use every available resource to get this out,” said James Manley, executive director of Skegemog Raptor Center. “There’s a lot of steps I think we’re going to have to go through to get enough people on our side where it’s like, okay, let’s quit putting a known toxin into the environment.”
A study published last year found nearly half of bald and golden eagles nationwide tested positive for chronic lead poisoning, and it's the third leading cause of death for the species in Michigan, and research shows the main source is lead ammunition from wild game carcasses and the entrails hunters leave behind from cleaning game in the field.
“Alternatives that are safer for people and wildlife do exist, and it makes sense to elevate the conversation and boost public awareness,” reads the state Department of National Resources webpage.
A childhood friend of Paul Murdaugh testified that he is "99 percent sure" the voice on a video recorded at the murder scene right around the time of the killings was the voice of South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, as the nationally watched murder trial continues, according to Crime Online on Thursday.
"While on the stand, Rogan Gibson described the Murdaughs as his 'second family' as he has known them since he was 11 or 12. At the time of Maggie and Paul’s slayings, Gibson’s dog was reportedly housed at the Murdaugh’s dog kennels, where the pair were slain," reported Jacqueline Gray. "On the night in question, Gibson said he asked Paul to take a video of his dog in a kennel. Paul reportedly filmed a 56-second video between 8:44 and 8:45 p.m. Prosecutors said that was around the time Maggie and Paul’s phones became inactive because they were dead."
The man speaking in the video is not visible; however, Gibson said he is "99 percent sure" it is Alex's voice, said the report: "The video was never sent to Gibson as prosecutors believe Paul and Maggie were killed three minutes after the footage was taken."
Murdaugh, whose family is prominent in South Carolina society, was charged with the murder of his family after a strange and well-publicized saga that involved another arrest for fraud after he allegedly faked his own death to try to arrange an insurance payout to his surviving son.
The night his wife was killed, she had texted a friend an ominous message saying, "he's up to something."
As the trial has kicked off, prosecutors have also introduced new evidence publicly for the first time, including a blue raincoat Murdaugh wore to his parents' house shortly after the killings that had gunshot residue on it.
Hosts at right-wing network One America News last year helped lead the push to peddle conspiracy theories about the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who was beaten by a hammer-wielding assailant in his own home.
However, after police released video of their response to the incident, OAN has now conceded that Pelosi was indeed assaulted by conspiracy theorist David DePape, who was most certainly not Pelosi's secret lover.
In a statement provided to CNN fact checker Daniel Dale, OAN wrote that "it's clear that an unwanted intruder with evil intent broke into the Pelosi home."
The network further praised Pelosi for his calmness under pressure in which he walked a fine line between "asking for immediate help without further aggravating a mentally disturbed intruder."
The network concluded by saying, "We wish Mr. Pelosi a speedy and full recovery."
As Dale notes, OAN hosts last year "repeatedly promoted the most obviously false conspiracy theories about the attack on Paul Pelosi, including claims that it didn’t happen at all," before finally coming around to admitting it did happen after the release of the police footage.