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Spray-Painted Polar Bear Shocks and Worries Wildlife Experts
The footage, shared on Facebook Sunday by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) worker Sergey Kavry, shows the bear walk by with "T-34" sprayed in large black letters on its right side. The T-34 is a World War II Soviet tank, and some Russians paint its name on their cars during Victory Day celebrations in May, according to The Guardian.
"Why?!" Kavry wrote in a Facebook post, according to The Guardian. "He won't be able to hunt without being noticed!"
Kavry wasn't the only one surprised and concerned by the video. WWF Russia press officer Daria Buyanova told BBC News that the footage was "quite a shock."
Even the people filming the video seemed surprised, according to a translation and summary provided by The Siberian Times:
Why is it so dirty?' one of them asks as the recording begins.
'A spotty bear?' answers another, before realising there was writing on the predator.
We had to beep the rest of the recording due to the Russian expletives.
Kavry said he first received the footage from a WhatsApp group for the indigenous people of the Far Eastern Russian region of Chukotka, according to BBC News. However, he does not know where or when it was actually filmed. Experts are now trying to find out.
Anatoly Kochnev, a scientist at the Institute of Biological Problems of the North, said it could take weeks for the paint to wash off. Until it does, it could be more difficult for the bear to capture prey, since it relies on its white coat for camouflage.
Kochnev said the bear would likely have needed to be sedated for quite some time in order for someone to spray the letters so evenly.
'Scientists could not do this," Kochnev told Ria Novosti news agency, according to The Siberian Times, adding that it could have been a "joke."
Kochnev speculated further that the spray paint could have been related to recent "turmoil with polar bears" in Russia's Novaya Zemlya region. In February, authorities declared a state of emergency in the far north archipelago after more than 50 hungry polar bears entered human homes and buildings. The climate crisis has melted sea ice, forcing polar bears to wander into human settlements in search of food.
"[P]erhaps they took some measures ahead of the upcoming winter by catching and immobilising bears," Kochnev said.
Russian media also thought the spray paint might be a reflection of local anger over the increased presence of bears in human areas, BBC News reported.
If the spray-painting is a reaction to polar bears entering human settlements, it could backfire, Kavry speculated. In his Facebook post, he wrote that hunger could lead the bear to die, or harm others.
"It will enter villages," he wrote.
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'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
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In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands.
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By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
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Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
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Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
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