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Activists get win for bears in China

Activists get win for bears in China

In what is being described by activists as a major victory against abusive animal practices in China, a government-owned company that has bred bears for traditional medicines has agreed to convert itself into a sanctuary. Animal welfare advocates hope the agreement, signed Tuesday at a news conference in Beijing, will prompt the government to phase out other bear farms nationwide. Some 70 such breeding facilities are thought to exist in China, caging 10,000 bears. Employees milk bile from the bears' gallbladders for medical purposes, exposing the bruins to infections, organ failures and other fatal diseases. Under the pact, Animals Asia will care for 130 Asiatic black bears caged at the farm in Nanning.

Award will honor AP photographer

A women's media group has created a new award for courage honoring Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan, the group announced Tuesday. The International Women's Media Foundation said the award will be given out every year to a female photojournalist whose work "follows in the footsteps of Anja Niedringhaus." It is funded with a $1 million gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private family foundation that seeks to improve the lives of the world's poor and marginalized — often the subjects of Niedringhaus' photographs. She was killed April 4 in the eastern city of Khost by an Afghan police unit commander who fired .

Berlusconi given community service

For a man who attracted headlines — and legal trouble — for cavorting with bevies of young, and sometimes very young, women, being forced to spend time with people closer to his own age may be a bitter pill for Silvio Berlusconi. Yet that is the fate that awaits Berlusconi, 77, the media mogul and former prime minister of Italy, after a Milan court on Tuesday ordered him to spend at least four hours a week helping incapacitated elderly people in a care facility in Lombardy, where his main home is. The sentence, a year of community service, was imposed as an alternative to the year in prison he received after a 2012 trial for tax fraud.

Times wires

Activists get win for bears in China 04/15/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:31pm]
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