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Animals rescued from ‘hellish’ Albanian zoo

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Albanian police on Sunday broke open cages at a private zoo and removed 11 animals including three lions and a bear being kept in “hellish” conditions, animal welfare workers said.

After the owner of the zoo at Fier, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the capital Tirana, allegedly refused to cooperate, officers forcibly entered areas where the animals were kept to allow vets access, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

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The animals were then tranquillised to allow them to be safely transferred to Tirana zoo.

“Living conditions for the animals in this zoo are absolutely horrible, it’s a hellish way of keeping animals,” said Ioana Gabriela Dungler of Four Paws.

Owner Petrit Osmani, who has been running the zoo for around 15 years, strongly opposed the raid.

“You don’t have the right! These animals are my children, you are taking away my children!” he protested, adding that he would lodge a complaint for violation of private property.

The zoo was visited in July by workers from Four Paws who then alerted authorities.

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“Lensi (one of the lions), had a serious eye infection and was at risk of going blind. He has happily been saved and is better, but they all need extra care in order to fully recover,” said Carsten Hertwing, another Four Paws worker.

In addition to the three lions, a bear and a zebra, some deer, antelopes and foxes were also removed.

After a spell in Tirana, the three lions will be moved to the Netherlands where their new environment will be similar to their natural habitat while the bear will go to Germany.

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© 2018 AFP


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WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview

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A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.

But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.

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US farmers are starting to worry as crop prices dip during COVID-19 crisis: ‘It’s kind of glum’

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Dave Burrier steered his tractor through a field, following a GPS map as he tried to plant as much corn as possible amid the yellow and green rye covering the ground.

Striving to get a massive yield out of his crops in rural Maryland is how Burrier hopes to make it through yet another uncertain year, beset by market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.

"We've had so much price erosion that we're basically at below the cost of production. We've got to figure out how to manage and turn a profit," Burrier told AFP.

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‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic

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President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."

Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.

"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.

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