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Greenpeace sounds alarm over shark overfishing in North Atlantic

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Thousands of endangered sharks are killed each year in the North Atlantic due to a lack of protection against overfishing in international waters, Greenpeace said Thursday.

Fishing vessels dedicated primarily to catching swordfish in the area collectively caught four times more sharks than swordfish by weight with their long lines loaded with thousands of hooks, the environmental group said in a report based on findings from Greenpeace ship Esperanza which visited the region earlier this year.

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“It is absolutely immoral to kill sharks and other wildlife with these terrible fishing practices,” said Will McCallum, of Greenpeace?s Protect the Oceans campaign, in a statement.

“We are exposing the culprits at sea now, but we urgently need a strong treaty and tighter fishing limits to protect our global oceans.”

The shortfin mako, the fastest shark in the world, and the longfin mako are among the shark species being caught in large numbers in the North Atlantic, according to Greenpeace.

Both species are listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Spanish and Portuguese ships in the North Atlantic are catching as many as 25,000 mako sharks annually, according to Greenpeace’s investigation.

Environmentalists warn that losing sharks at the top of the food chain can mean smaller fish thrive and consume more of their prey, upsetting the ecological balance.

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WATCH: Ben Carson thanks God for Trump in bizarre prayer — and then asks Him to ‘Keep America Great’

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Monday opened up the White House cabinet meeting with a bizarre prayer that explicitly thanked God for the existence of President Donald Trump.

Carson began his prayer with a standard invocation thanking God for "the blessings that you have bestowed upon this country."

After that, though, Carson gave God a thumbs-up for the work He's done in putting Trump in the White House.

"We thank You for President Trump, who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism," Carson said. "We ask you give him strength to endure and wisdom to lead and to recognize you as the sovereign of the universe, with the solution to everything."

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Bill Barr sparks anxiety within the CIA as he investigates ‘origins’ of Mueller’s Russia probe: security analyst

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As the Justice Department, headed by Attorney General William Barr, investigates the origins of the Russia investigation, some CIA operatives who played a role in gathering intelligence for Robert Mueller's probe are hiring lawyers, according to NBC News national security reporter Ken Dilanian.

According to various reports, President Trump has granted Barr with "expansive powers" for the investigation and he's reportedly seeking to question CIA analysts.

Speaking to MSNBC's Morning Joe this Monday, Dilanian said that while it's not clear what Barr's intentions are, many in the CIA are "very rattled" at the news.

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White House personnel chief delivers a new blow to Trump: Top DHS candidates are not legally qualified

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President Donald Trump's quest to find an acting replacement for departed Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen was dealt a significant blow on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House personnel office chief Sean Doocey has informed the president that he doesn't believe either of his top two picks are legally qualified to hold the position.

As the Journal notes, "federal statute that governs vacancies states that acting officials in cabinet-level positions must either be next in line for a position or hold a Senate-confirmed position." Neither Ken Cuccinelli, who heads the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, nor Mark Morgan, who leads Customs and Border Protection, meet those standards, Doocey determined.

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