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Pregnant elephant dies in India after eating explosive fruit trap

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A pregnant elephant was killed in India after eating fruit stuffed with explosives, officials said Wednesday, sparking outrage over the use of such traps to protect crops and homes.

The wild elephant strayed into a village near Silent Valley National Park in south Kerala state last Wednesday when it ate the rigged fruit — believed to be a pineapple — which exploded and severely injured its mouth, officials said.

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“We are investigating the nature of the explosive and as well as the food fed to her,” Kerala’s chief wildlife warden, Surendra Kumar, told AFP, adding local police were involved in the probe.

“We are investigating to find the people and circumstances that led to her death,” he added.

Villagers in the region often use firecracker or explosive-filled pineapples — which act like pressure-activated landmines — to protect their fields from wild animals.

A similar incident took place last month when a female elephant was found with serious mouth injures in a nearby district, Kumar said, adding that it too died of its injuries.

There was widespread outrage on social media after a forestry officer’s Facebook post on Saturday received almost 10,000 reactions or comments.

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“She didn’t harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village,” Mohan Krishnan, wrote.

“She didn’t crush a single home. This is why I said, she is full of goodness.”

Photos of the pachyderm shared on social media showed it standing in a river after the incident, dunking its mouth and trunk in the water hours before she died.

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Two captive elephants were brought to lead it out of the river but it remained unmoved, said Krishnan, who led the rescue team.

India has lost vast swathes of forest to urbanization in recent decades, forcing animals closer to human settlements and resulting in an increasing number of encounters.

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Some 2,361 people were killed in attacks by elephants between 2014 and 2019, according to data recorded by the government.

Some 510 elephants died in the same period, including 333 from electrocution and around another 100 from poaching and poisoning, the figures stated.


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Here’s how bad things are for Trump after the Supreme Court ruling: columnist

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In a piece for Vanity Fair, columnist Eric Lutz addressed the degree to which President Donald Trump is in trouble after the ruling by the Supreme Court on his financial records.

Trump has spent the better part of four years fighting any transparency about his finances and taxes, which many have suspected might reveal illegal activity.

"He's not going to release his tax returns," said senior adviser Kellyanne Conway in 2017. "We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care."

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Trump gets advice from golfing buddies and right-wing Twitter as America faces a ‘crisis of truth’: op-ed

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Michael Gerson contends that President Trump is running the country through the prism of the "right-wing information bubble."

"Trump is not only using this right-wing information bubble to exploit his supporters," Gerson writes. "He also seems, increasingly, to have taken up residence there. As his failures have multiplied, his hold on political reality has loosened. Trump has become our boy in the bubble, with an intellectual immune system too weak for him to survive exposure to reality."

All sources of dissent and critical thinking have been removed systematically removed from his administration -- — posts formerly held by Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and Dan Coats, have now been replaced by sycophants, according to Gerson.

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‘Another hoax’: Trump whines and rambles about Supreme Court and New York in latest meeting

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After spending most of the day whining on Twitter, President Donald Trump spoke to the press from the White House Thursday afternoon to call questions about his taxes and financial documents a "witch hunt."

Trump has used the term to reference the Russia scandal, the Ukraine scandal, cases against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, his friend Roger Stone and any other topics he chooses on any given day.

"Do you have a reaction to the Supreme Court rulings today?" asked a reporter that sounded like CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

"The rulings we're basically starting all over again," Trump said. "This is a political witch-hunt... it's a witch-hunt, it's a hoax, just like the Mueller investigation... this is purely political..."

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