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Animal success stories that will make you call your senator to protect endangered species.

One of the things that seems it might be on the new administration's chopping block is the Endangered Species Act. Yep, really.

The Endangered Species Act is a federal law that protects over 1,600 vulnerable animal and plant species. To enforce these protections, the law restricts logging, drilling, and other forms of land use.

These restrictions have made the Endangered Species Act a popular target for deregulation pushes. Between January 2015 and January 2017, Congress put forth 135 different bills that would have weakened it, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The latest push seemed to come during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 15, during which Republican senators put forth ideas to — as they put it — modernize the act.


Some advocates have called the latest push an attempt to gut the landmark bill.

Even its most ardent supporters admit the act could be improved. As recently as 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed changes to the law designed to engage states and improve efficiency and transparency.

That said, some of the claims made against the law have been a bit ... out there.

Some argue the law's not really about protecting endangered species anymore, but instead, it's been unfairly exploited by environmentalists in order to stymie development.

In fact, in January, Representative Rob Bishop of Utah said, "[The law] has never been used for the rehabilitation of species." He claimed it has been used as a sort of scheme to control land and said he would "love to invalidate" it.

What? There are legitimate criticisms one could throw at the act, but really? Never rehabilitated a species?

So ... it didn't help save our national bird?

Photo from iStock.

The protection of the bald eagle was one of the reasons we have the act in the first place. When Nixon signed the law, the iconic animal was in danger of disappearing. Today, partly thanks to habitat protections from the ESA, their numbers have recovered.

They were taken off the act's list of endangered species back in 2007.

Or maybe they weren't — I mean, maybe that's just fake news at this point, right?

It didn't help keep wolves from disappearing from the lower 48?

Photo from iStock.

Gray wolves were once nearly wiped off the face of the lower 48 states. Today, there are estimated to be about 1,900 wolves spread throughout various western states. And while their reintroduction to some areas has been contentious, I don't think you could honestly claim their numbers haven't improved.

What about this stellar sea lion?

Photo from iStock.

Stellar sea lions live in the North Pacific. First added to the list in 1990, by 2013, the species had recovered enough to be removed from the list.

Maybe it's surprising to learn that the American alligator was once on the list.

Photo from iStock.

Perhaps it's time to schedule a trip to Florida? The American alligator spent about 20 years on the list, but by 1987, it had recovered enough to be delisted.

Or the fastest member of the animal kingdom — the peregrine falcon.

Photo from iStock.

Peregrine falcons can dive at up to 240 miles per hour and actually have taken a liking to living on some of our skyscrapers. You might not think such an amazing animal would need protection, but they did once upon a time. They were removed from the list back in 1999.

But, in fact, all these animals (and 32 other species) have recovered to the point of delisting — thanks in part to the Endangered Species Act.

Altogether, 37 different species have been delisted due to recovery, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including humpback whales, the Louisiana black bear, and the brown pelican.

That's not to mention the other more than 1,600 plants and animals still protected under the law. While only a few have recovered enough to be fully delisted, there are still many success stories in there, like the Southern sea otter, the grizzly bear, and the California condor.

Claiming that the Endangered Species Act has never helped is ridiculous. It absolutely has helped keep the U.S. one of the world's conservation champions.

During the Feb. 15 meeting, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Daniel Ashe called the law "the world's gold standard" for government conservation.

While no law is above a review, we shouldn't back down from acknowledging all that this landmark act has accomplished.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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The Late Late Show with James Corden/Youtube

The instructors were ruthless.

If you’re not familiar with James Corden’s popular "Toddlerography" segment, you’re in for a treat.

As the name suggests, celebrity guests on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” take a dance class taught by kiddy instructors. Sure, the “students” are usually pretty seasoned performers, like Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, and Jason Derulo, but their experience doesn’t make learning the moves any less intense. Anyone who’s tried to keep pace with a toddler knows it’s a helluva workout.

Billy Porter was the latest guest invited to participate in this wholesome fitness trend, and he did not disappoint.

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Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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via Freepik

A new mother struggling with postpartum depression.

We may be just months away from having the first-ever pill to help treat postpartum depression (PPD). The drug, called Zuranolone, was developed by Sage Therapeutics and Biogen, two companies out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The FDA has given the drug’s application priority review and the period ends on August 5, 2023.

Currently, there is only one FDA-approved medication for PPD, Zulresso, which is only available through a 60-hour, one-time infusion and can cost up to $35,000 per treatment.

If the medication is approved, it can also be used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD).

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North Carolina boy helps local bakery by selling them fresh eggs.

You don't have to be a market analyst to know that the price of eggs has skyrocketed. If you're just an average person buying eggs for breakfast, it may seem ridiculous that egg prices are so high when it appears that the local Tractor supply always has baby chicks for sale.

But with an outbreak of avian flu infecting nearly 58 million birds while people move away from meat protein and consume more eggs, the price increase makes sense. It's painful to people's budgets, but it's how the market works, and families aren't the only ones feeling the pinch.

Small businesses that rely on eggs are also experiencing their budgets busting due to egg prices. Sweet Anna's Bakery in Dallas, North Carolina, already had to raise prices due to the cost of eggs and other ingredients, but owner Courtney Johnson discovered she had a connection. Fifth grader Rylen Robbins has 21 chickens that were producing too many eggs for his family to eat. (You see where this is going, right?)

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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