Researchers have finally figured out what is responsible for the thousands of dead fish washing up on the banks of the Mara River between Kenya and Tanzania: It was Mr. Hippo in the pool with … well, with a whole lot of poop.
Hippopotami, the researchers discovered, create so much waste that it actually suffocates hundreds and hundreds of fish to death when their sewage flushes downstream, The Atlantic reports. Every day, some 4,000 or so hippos crowd into "hippo pools" near the Mara River, where they keep cool and safe from the sun. But as a result, "there's hippo feces everywhere. Over the rocks. Over the bottom," said Chris Dutton, one of the researchers.
Just how much? Try 18,740 pounds in about a 62-mile stretch of water.
All that dung is consumed by bacteria, which also pulls the oxygen out of the water. Combine the lack of oxygen with the "ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, and other chemical grotesqueries" that occur in the bottom of what is essentially a gigantic communal hippo toilet, and you have yourself the perfect murder weapon, The Atlantic writes. When rains come, the lethal water pours downstream, and the low oxygen levels smother innocent fish along the way.
During a meeting later described as "disturbing," President Trump asked then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe a very personal and pointed question about the 2016 presidential election: Who did you vote for?
Several current and former U.S. officials told The Washington Post about the meeting, held last May in the Oval Office. McCabe, currently deputy FBI director, responded that he didn't vote in the election, the Post reports, but Trump wasn't done with him — he then shared his displeasure over donations McCabe's wife accepted in 2015, when she ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia state Senate. Jill McCabe, a Democrat, received $500,000 from a political action committee controlled by then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton; at the time of the race, McCabe was the assistant director of the FBI's Washington field office, and he recused himself from cases involving Virginia politicians.
McCabe, who was also serving as deputy FBI director when Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey last May, thought the conversation was "disturbing," one person told the Post, and his fellow FBI officials were also bothered by Trump asking a civil servant to share how he voted. The Post says this conversation is of interest to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump has tweeted several unfavorable things about McCabe, and Axios reported on Monday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pushed FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe, and Wray threatened to resign if McCabe is forced out. Read more about the conversation, plus Trump's intense dislike of McCabe, at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia
President Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with the Republican-controlled Senate, which once again failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this week. Trump's ire is particularly targeted toward Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who helped put the nail in the GOP health-care bill's coffin.
The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed!That should NEVER have happened!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2017
A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing & Replacing O'Care. My oh my has he changed-complete turn from years of talk! pic.twitter.com/t9cXG2Io86
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
In addition to his public airing of grievances, Trump has reportedly taken to mocking McConnell and McCain in private, too. Trump physically mocks McConnell's "slumped shoulders" and "lethargic body language" and mimes McCain by "imitating the thumbs-down of his historic health-care vote," Axios reports. Trump also reportedly mocked McConnell as "weak" at a private dinner on Monday, Politico reports, adding that the president also "called McCain 'disgraceful' on health care and mocked his thumbs-down gesture on the Senate floor against a GOP proposal in July, complete with a facial expression, attendees said."
Trump has a long road ahead, though — including needing Senate Republicans on his side for a tax overhaul. "With his stoking of the culture war and bombastic style amid national and global turbulence, Trump continues to make every issue about himself — at the very time that he most needs friends," Axios concludes. Jeva Lange
Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, calling him "a fool" and warning that his "chubby face looks kind" but he's a "son of a bitch."
The president of the Philippines is known for using crude language, and this isn't the first time he has spoken out against Kim, who is trying to build up his nuclear arsenal. On Monday, Manila will host the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, where representatives from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Russia, China, Australia, Japan, and South Korea, will come together to discuss North Korea's recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
Duterte also accused Kim of "playing with dangerous toys," and said if he "commits a mistake, the Far East will become an arid land. It must be stopped, this nuclear war. A limited confrontation and it blows up here, I will tell you, the fallout can deplete the soil, the resources, and I don't know what will happen to us." Catherine Garcia
President Trump loves golf, and he doesn't hide it — he has spent many of his weekends since January golfing, owns several courses, and has teed up with world leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A new article coming out in the August 7 edition of Sports Illustrated shares lots of interesting tidbits about Trump the golfer, like how he'll play a second ball if his first swing didn't go his way, and how he "doesn't play a round of golf so much as narrate it," adding hyperbole along the way. But while the article gives insight into what Trump's ostentatious clubs and courses reveal about the person he is, what's getting buzz are a few comments he reportedly made to members of his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The club, close to his home in New York City, was almost like a campaign headquarters before the election, and he's visited multiple times since his inauguration. It was there that, during a recent round of golf, he told some members of the club he was at Bedminster so often because "that White House is a real dump," Sports Illustrated reports. (A White House spokesperson denied this.) Sports Illustrated was also told that last November, when Trump was gearing up to interview Cabinet prospects at the club, he told members at a cocktail reception and dinner that "this is my real group. You are the special people. I see all of you. I recognize, like, 100 precent of you, just about." He then gave a blanket invitation to everyone in the room, letting them know they were more than welcome to swing by the Cabinet interviews. Read the entire Sports Illustrated report. Catherine Garcia
Immigration agents enjoyed a nice breakfast at a Michigan restaurant. Then they arrested 3 employees.
Several Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials went to Sava's Restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Wednesday and enjoyed a nice breakfast, perhaps a Belgian waffle or that insidious avocado toast. After eating, they promptly went into the kitchen and arrested three employees.
That's the account of Sava's owner Sava Lelcaj, who reports the agents interrogated her kitchen workers before taking three into custody and transporting them to Detroit, nearly an hour away. "They came in looking for one person, who was not on duty," Lelcaj said, but arrested the others anyway. The employees were released later Wednesday; all three have proper immigration documents to work in the United States but were not carrying their papers while on the job.
"It's really sad," Lelcaj said of the incident. "It scares the whole community. Today's a great indication even if you have your documentation, and you're at the wrong place at the wrong time, you can still be at risk." Bonnie Kristian
Several radical Islamist extremists say they are thrilled with Donald Trump's victory, and hope it ushers in an era of chaos for the United States.
Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, a senior al Qaeda member, used Twitter to share his thoughts on the win, The Guardian reports. "Trump reveals the real mentality of the Americans and their racism toward Muslims and Arabs and everything," he said. "He only reveals what his predecessors have kept hidden." A Syrian radical named Abdullah al-Muhaisny, believed by the U.S. to have a connection to al Qaeda, tweeted that Trump's win is an "important step toward the victory of the Sunnis. We have long tried to explain that the fight is not against terrorism, but against the Sunnis, and the mujahideen are just the frontline. The American strategy will not change much, what has changed is that the war is open and not secret, and that is a good thing."
Trump will set the path for "bloody battles and great chaos," al-Muhaisny said, and he is hoping that Trump's "exclusion and crushing opponents" will cause a greater divide in the U.S. Trump's words may soon even be used as propaganda — the head of the Twitter account of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the former wing of al Qaeda in Syria, said now, "we will no longer need videos explaining the West's plots. We will only need to retweet what Trump says." Catherine Garcia
Attendees of the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this June won't be able to meet with representatives from the Log Cabin Republicans, as organizers will not allow the gay GOP group to have an official presence at the event.
The Centennial Institute, a think tank affiliated with Colorado Christian University that puts the event together every year, said the Log Cabin Republicans cannot have a booth at an event that "promotes traditional family structure," The Associated Press reports. The institute's president, John Andrews, said a registration check for $250 has been returned to the conservative gay-rights group, adding, "We'd love to have them attend the summit and be in the discussion, but we have to draw the line at a formal relationship between two organizations with diametrically opposed policy beliefs."
Thousands will come out to the three-day event to hear people like Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) speak. It's the first time the Log Cabin Republicans have attempted to have a booth at the summit, and Alexander Hornaday, vice president of the group's Colorado chapter, says the move to block his organization is "short-sighted. What turns young people off from the right is a perception that the right is intolerant or anti-gay. This reinforces that perception." Catherine Garcia