Here are today’s top reads laying out what the world is saying about the U.S.
The men who shoot at goats
The Pentagon will soon have to explain to Congress how and when it plans to stop maiming goats and pigs.
As the BBC reports, “live tissue training” allows military medics to learn how to treat gunshot wounds on living animals. About 10,000 animals are used each year, primarily goats.
But the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 will soon bring the practice to an end. Of 22 NATO countries, the U.S. is one of only six nations that still uses the practice. After the U.S. phases out the practice, the remaining countries will be Canada, Denmark, Norway, Poland and the UK.
The BBC describes how the training works:
During a typical week-long US military training course, combat medics attend lectures and are shown videos before practising on mannequins, simulators which mimic human physiology – known as partial task trainers – and sometimes cadavers, according the the (sic) Pentagon.
The course culminates with the “live animal exercise, where students must show that they are competent to provide these life-saving procedures”, the Pentagon says. Often this takes place in a wooded area or an open field to mimic combat conditions.
Despite the fact that, according to the Pentagon, 90 percent of the animals survive, a Peta spokesperson adds: “You wouldn’t train a veterinarian to treat dogs by running people over.”
Talk about not doing your homework
John Kerry and Michelle Obama were all set to present a State Department award to Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian human rights activist, today. But Ibrahim, one of the women forced to undergo “virginity tests” in Tahrir Square in 2011, apparently had posted several anti-Semitic messages on her Twitter account over the last few months.
The activist at first said her account was hacked but now, according to a report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, has admitted she authored the posts. “I refused to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America on the previous statements hostile to Zionism under pressure from the American government, so the prize was withdrawn,” Ibrahim tweeted Thursday.
Some of her statements included calling a suicide bombing that killed five Israelis in July “very nice news.” She also expressed agreement with Hitler’s sentiment that “no crime, no act against morality” is committed without the help of the Jews.
Ibrahim, who had flown all the way to Washington D.C., is now on her way back to Egypt.
U.S. won’t sanction Russian officials who voted for adoption ban
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia remain high over Russia’s decision to ban Americans from adopting children.
Now U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul has been publicly forced to deny rumors that the U.S. will prevent Russian officials who voted for the ban from visiting America.
In comments carried by the Russian state news-agency RIA Novosti, McFaul said: ““We don’t want that. On the contrary, we want more contacts between your and our lawmakers.”
“They need to see what America looks like,” McFaul continued. “I’ve read some of the things your lawmakers said about America . . . that doesn’t reflect reality. So I want them to come [to America] more often, and not just to Washington – visit my California, that’s a different part of America.”
A petition to ban Russian lawmakers who oppose American adoption attracted 25,000 signatures in the U.S., meaning the White House must review it.