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Dead sperm whale in Indonesia found with 13 pounds of plastic in stomach

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A sperm whale has been found dead in Indonesia with 115 plastic cups and 25 plastic bags in its stomach, raising concern among environmentalists and throwing the spotlight on the country’s rubbish problem.

The items were part of nearly six kilograms (13 pounds) of plastic waste discovered in the 9.5-metre (31-foot) carcass when it washed ashore in Wakatobi National Park, in Southeast Sulawesi province, on Monday.

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Other debris included flip flops and ripped tarpaulins, the head of Wakatobi tourism, La Ode Saleh Hanan, told AFP on Wednesday.

Conservation group WWF Indonesia said on social media its staff found four plastic bottles and 3.26 kilograms of raffia rope, as well as the plastic bags and cups.

 AFP / La Ode M. Saleh Hanan Conservation group WWF Indonesia said its staff found four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, 3.26 kilogrammes of raffia rope and 115 plastic cups

The exact cause of the whale’s death is not yet known but there are signs that “plastic waste might have triggered it”, WWF Indonesia marine species conservation coordinator Dwi Suprapti told AFP.

Wakatobi district, a picturesque collection of four main islands surrounded by a marine reserve, has urged Indonesia’s central government to help tackle the problem of marine debris.

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Indonesia is the world’s second biggest contributor to marine debris after China, and a colossal 1.29 million metric tons is estimated to be produced annually.

The problem has grown so bad that Indonesian officials declared a “garbage emergency” last year after a six-kilometre stretch of coast along the island of Bali was swamped with rubbish.

The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands has pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025.

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It plans to boost recycling services, curb the use of plastic bags, launch cleanup campaigns and raise public awareness.

But poor waste-processing infrastructure and low awareness among its 260 million inhabitants prove major obstacles.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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LAX customs officer calls journalist ‘fake news’ and demands to know if he works for CNN or MSNBC: report

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On Thursday, Empire Magazine's James Dyer stated in a Twitter thread that he was stopped by a customs official while arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, aggressively interrogated about his journalistic career, and accused of being "fake news":

Wow. Just... wow. Just went through LAX immigration. Presented my journalist visa and was stopped by the CBP agent and accused of being part of the ‘fake news media’.

— James Dyer (@jamescdyer) August 22, 2019

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‘He does not belong in this office’: Ron Reagan says Trump ‘has been crazy because he is crazy’

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The son of Republican President Ronald Reagan blasted President Donald Trump on MSNBC on Tuesday.

Ron Reagan, Jr. was interviewed on "Hardball" by Chris Matthews.

The host recounted Trump's attacks on Denmark after they said Greenland was not for sale.

"He wants to fight with everybody, including the quiet, American-loving Danes. What’s up?" Matthews asked.

"Well, it’s craziness, but I take a little umbrage at this idea that we have to ascribe it to something like the economy or his anxiousness about re-election. He’s acting the way he’s acting because he is who he is and what he is," Reagan replied.

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Trump may look unstable now — but the economy is going to make him much worse: CNN’s April Ryan

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," analyst and American Urban Radio Network Washington bureau chief April Ryan walked through how President Donald Trump backed himself into a corner by trying to build his brand on a great economy — and is coming to pieces as a result.

"April, what are you hearing? Is the economy causing the president's erratic behavior?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.

"Yes, yes, and yes," said Ryan. "This president has been touting a great economy, and this is the cornerstone since I guess since the very beginning of his administration for people to feel that he should win re-election, that he is firmly planted for the American public and he's working for them," said Ryan. "But indicators, non-traditional indicators, are saying something different. He is having a hard time trying to marry the great economy with what it looks like for the American public, particularly the grassroots."

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