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There are far fewer African elephants than we thought, study shows

Linyanti Swamp, Botswana (CNN)Scanning Botswana's remote Linyanti swamp from the low flying chopper, elephant ecologist Mike Chase can't hide the anxiety and dread as he sees what he has seen too many times before.

"I don't think anybody in the world has seen the number of dead elephants that I've seen over the last two years," he says.

From above, we spot an elephant lying on its side in the cracked river mud. From a distance it could be mistaken for a resting animal.

But the acrid stench of death hits us before we even land.

Up close, it is a horror.

more (warning, graphic images)


Humans suck.

Pentagon officials allowed government spending at strip clubs and casinos

Pentagon officials permitted their subordinates to use government charge cards to ring up nearly $100,000 in expenses at strip clubs and “adult entertainment establishments” and almost $1m at casinos, all without serious reprisal, a new report reveals.

Even after the US defense department’s official watchdog lambasted the expenses for adult entertainment and gambling, senior officials did not take “appropriate” disciplinary action, according to a report by the department’s inspector general released on Tuesday.

An audit of 30 government charge-card holders determined that defense department officials neither adequately reviewed travel vouchers for reimbursement nor took action to “eliminate additional misuse”. In fact, most of those audited – 22 out of the 29 who retained their travel vouchers – received “overpayments” on their requested reimbursements at the casinos or adult-entertainment centers, totaling $8,544.

Government charge cards are supposed to be used for expenses incurred for official government business, particularly during official travel. Beyond the embarrassment of Pentagon officials getting away with using their charge cards in the clubs and casinos, the inspector general found that Pentagon management “did not consider the security implications of improper personal use of the travel card”, the report found.


Wednesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest


Stand or sit






Wednesday Toon Roundup 2: Farewell, Gene

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1: America's Greatest Threat

Prosecution of Financial Crisis Fraud Ends With a Whimper


One source of great frustration from the financial crisis has been the dearth of cases against individuals over subprime lending practices and the related securitization of bad loans that caused so much financial havoc. To heighten the frustration, I offer Aug. 22, 2016, as the day on which efforts to pursue cases related to subprime mortgages were put to rest with no individuals — save perhaps the unfortunate former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre — held accountable.

On that date, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled its last remaining case against a former Fannie Mae chief executive for securities fraud related to the disclosure of the company’s subprime mortgage exposure. The agency accepted a mere token payment that will not even come out of the individual’s own pocket.

On the same day, a federal appeals court refused to reconsider its May ruling that Bank of America’s Countrywide mortgage unit and one of its former executives did not commit fraud by failing to disclose to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that the subprime loans it was selling to them did not come close to the contractual requirements for such transactions.


Tuesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest







Middle East



Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: Conning the Sick

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1: Sick Con

Monday Toon Roundup








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