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Press freedoms at tipping point: RSF

Press freedom is declining globally, warns Reporters Without Borders/Reporters sans frontières, today releasing the 2017 World Press Freedom Index showing press freedoms “in the worst state we have ever seen.”

“Once taken for granted, media freedom is proving to be increasingly fragile in democracies,” said an RSF analysis. Authoritarian regimes and dictatorships are not the only culprits for abuse, it said. “In sickening statements, draconian laws, conflicts of interest, and even the use of physical violence, democratic governments are trampling on a freedom that should, in principle, be one of their leading performance indicators. “

Even the leading European democracies  have declined, notably Finland and the Netherlands, said RSF.

“By eroding this fundamental freedom on the grounds of protecting their citizens, the democracies are in danger of losing their souls,” said RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire.

From FSF’s press statement:

Media freedom has retreated wherever the authoritarian strongman model has triumphed. Democracies began falling in the Index in preceding years and now, more than ever, nothing seems to be checking that fall.

RSF’s “global indicator” has never been so high (3872). This measure of the overall level of media freedom constraints and violations worldwide has risen 14% in the span of five years.

As we have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms, this 2017 World Press Freedom Index highlights the danger of a tipping point in the state of media freedom, especially in leading democratic countries.

European countries  — which also rank high on assessments of citizen happiness and economic competitiveness — ranked at the top of 180 countries, led by  Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Canada dropped four spots in one year to 22. France and the United Kingdom ranked 39 and 40 respectively, with the United States at 43. Mexico is far less free, at 143; Russia at 148, and China at 176. Dead last is North Korea. The biggest change is in Italy, which jumped 25 spots year over year to 52nd place.

RSF bases its results on a questionnaire about pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information. It explains its methodology here.

Compare press freedoms where you live to other countries using RSF’s table, here.



Facts and Opinions is a boutique journal of reporting and analysis in words and images, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O is funded by our readers. It is ad-free and spam-free, and does not solicit donations from partisan organizations. To continue we require a minimum payment of .27 for one story, or a sustaining donation. Details here; donate below. Thanks for your interest and support.

F&O’s CONTENTS page is updated each Saturday. Sign up for emailed announcements of new work on our free FRONTLINES blog; find evidence-based reporting in Reports; commentary, analysis and creative non-fiction in OPINION-FEATURES; and image galleries in PHOTO-ESSAYS. If you value journalism please support F&O, and tell others about us.


Our regulars at F&O are taking a breather this Labour Day, to savour the last of summer and brace for the passage into fall and winter — a snowy and cold one, if the Farmer’s Almanac has anything to say about it.

Our journal is a trove of thoughtful, informative and sometimes delightful stories — as those who browse our Dispatches and Commentary and Features well know. But when you’re done here, for now, we have some recommendations elsewhere:

The Hive is inspired by scientific research into bee health. Designed by Wolfgang Buttress, it was originally created as the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, and is now installed at Kew Gardens in London.  The installation is made from thousands of pieces of aluminium which create a lattice effect and is fitted with hundreds of LED lights that glow and fade as a unique soundtrack hums and buzzes around you. Photo: Kew Gardens

The Hive, a current installation at London’s Kew Gardens, was inspired by scientific research into bee health and designed by Wolfgang Buttress for the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo.
The lattice effect is created with thousands of pieces of aluminium and hundreds of LED lights that glow and fade as a unique soundtrack hums and buzzes. Watch the video below, and read about it in a Toronto Star piece, here.  Photo: Kew Gardens

For the Big News file, the Guardian reports on the announcement by the United States and China — the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases — that they’ll formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement. This is significant because, as the Guardian notes, “If the Paris agreement comes into force this year as hoped, it means the nearly 200 governments party to it will become obliged to meet emissions-cutting pledges made before the deal last December.”

Frances Bula’s piece, Miner to missionary: The Ross Beaty story Ross Beaty, is a good tale about someone who, instead of resting on their laurels (and millions), is trying to make a difference. Beaty, writes Bula, ” was one of mining’s giants before taking a green turn eight years ago to become the face of British Columbia’s alternative energy sector. He’s finding both his new industry–and his controversial new message for a “no-growth” way of life–a tough sell.”

American Indians are gathering from throughout the country in rural North Dakota, to protest construction of a $3.7 billion pipeline on the plains. As the New York Times points out in a useful who/what/where/why, a web of 2.5 million miles of pipelines crisscrosses the country. This one has become a flash point, especially for aboriginal people. Perhaps, as High Country News writes, it’s because “social media and broad anxieties over climate change are bringing more publicity.”

As regular readers may have observed, F&O strives to avoid giving the oxygen of publicity to one unspeakable American presidential contender. I’ll break that tradition, briefly, to suggest anyone watching the cage fight of American politics might almost find pity in their hearts for He Who Should Not Be Named after reading this pithy work by author and radio personality Garrison Keillor, in the Chicago Tribune, “When This if Over, You Will Have Nothing That You Want.”  Indeed.

Last but not least: as the Paralympics proceeds in Rio, shamefully unsung compared to the massive attention bestowed on the Olympics , have a read of this thoughtful plea by Olympian  Deidra Dionne: The Olympic model is broken: An open letter to Thomas Bach‘You understand that a $900 per diem is not the norm,’ right?” Dionne writes. Well, no. If he understood, the IOC would be a different beast.



Also posted in Gyroscope

Good reads: fresh Facts, and provocative Opinions

KINGS OF THE RANCH. By Brian Brennan   Feature

After a historic cattle ranch was added to a major conservation site in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, the two eccentric brothers who originally owned the ranch were again in the spotlight. Although they saw the property appreciate in value to an estimated $6 million during the 60 years they lived and worked on it, Maurice and Harrold King always gave the outward impression they were barely keeping the wolf from the door. They were squabbling bachelors who disagreed about almost everything yet couldn’t live without one another.

Inequality threatens democracy — investors. By Laurie Goering  Report

Global wealth inequality is becoming a fundamental risk to democracy and to economies around the world as more people feel government rules are “rigged” in favour of the rich leave them with few options, say investors and governance experts.

Move everything, to curb climate change — investors. By Laurie Goering   Report

 Meeting the goals of a new global agreement to tackle climate change will require social change on an almost unprecedented scale,  sustainable investment experts told a global conference. That includes shifting trillions of dollars each year into renewable energy – up from $345 billion last year – and making everything from transport to agriculture and consumer products much greener very quickly.

Khamis, 24, (Back) and Khlouf, 25, prepare an artificial limb inside a mobile truck clinic in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria March 20, 2016. Two university students forced to interrupt their studies have learnt to make and fit hundreds of new limbs in the past four years in opposition-held areas of Syria. A mobile clinic operating from a truck has gone some way to improve access to treatment. While most patients are between 15 and 45, the clinic also helps children and the elderly with replacement limbs. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi SEARCH "SYRIA AMPUTEE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIESSyria’s mobile amputee clinic, photo-essay. By Khalil Ashawi  Magazine

In what looks like an ordinary white truck, two men are helping victims who have lost limbs in the conflict in Syria to walk, play, and even herd sheep again.  The five-year war between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and insurgents has killed at least 250,000 people and wounded many more. Most of the wounded are between 15 and 45, but the clinic also fits children and the elderly with replacement limbs.

The fix: world waterworks near obsolescence, Erica Gies   Report

Globally, water systems in developed countries are nearing the end of their useful life. The lead-poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, was a wake-up call. Can innovative technology and financing prevent the next disaster?

In Commentary:

The despair and death of America’s middle-aged women, Penney Kome, Over Easy column

Americans are dying in their prime years, especially middle-aged white women. The rise of an entire population’s death rate shows the folly of America’s insistence that health care is a private matter and not a public responsibility.

Why I fear Americans more than terrorists, Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda column

A true story of living in a country overwhelmed with firearms, and how it constantly leads to you imagine the worst. About a month ago, I went to see the movie Zootopia with my family in Frederick, Maryland. We like to sit close to the screen, so we planted ourselves about six or seven rows back. I noticed a tall young man sitting in the very front row, but didn’t think much about it at first. As the pre-show features came to an end, that changed.

Jim McNiven’s Thoughtlines column and Jonathan Manthorpe‘s International Affairs column will return next week.



Facts and Opinions is a boutique journal of reporting and analysis in words and images, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O is funded by our readers. It is ad-free and spam-free, and does not solicit donations from partisan organizations. To continue we require a minimum payment of .27 for one story, or a sustaining donation. Details here; donate below. Thanks for your interest and support.

F&O’s CONTENTS page is updated each Saturday. Sign up for emailed announcements of new work on our free FRONTLINES blog; find evidence-based reporting in Reports; commentary, analysis and creative non-fiction in OPINION-FEATURES; and image galleries in PHOTO-ESSAYS. If you value journalism please support F&O, and tell others about us.

For curious people who think: Facts, and Opinions, that matter

Brain food for your week: Facts, and Opinions, that matter. Enjoy.


The Dunblane massacre at 20: how Britain rewrote gun laws. By Peter Squires

Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School, near Stirling, Scotland on March 13 1996, armed with four legally-owned handguns and over 700 rounds of ammunition. In three to four terrible minutes, he fired 105 shots killing 16 children and their teacher, and wounding 15 more children. His last shot killed himself. In the 20 years since Dunblane, a great deal has been learned about preventing gun violence.

German economist challenges orthodoxy, inequality, by Noah Barkin

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Marcel Fratzscher, in contrast to many of his German counterparts, does not believe the German economy and the rules-based governance – Ordnungspolitik – that has shaped it since World War Two is a model that others should emulate.

Trying (and Trying) to Get Records From America’s “Most Transparent Administration” By Justin Elliott Report

Documents are the lifeblood of investigative journalism, but these problems aren’t of interest only to reporters. America’s  Freedom of Information Act is supposed to deliver on the idea of a government “for and by the people,” whose documents are our documents. The ability to get information from the government is essential to holding the people in power accountable.

Undersea Mining: scientists race to the bottom first, by Brooke Jarvis, OnEarth

Ask oceanographer Craig Smith what the Clarion-Clipperton Zone of the Pacific is like beneath all that water, and he’ll describe a strange undulating world far beyond the reach of sunlight, populated by an enormous array of bizarre-looking creatures, both huge and tiny, known and unknown. And he’ trying to get to them before the underwater miners.

Beyond silicon: the search for new semiconductors, by Thomas Vandervelde

Our modern world is based on semiconductors. But  silicon – used in all manner of computers and electronic gadgets – has its technical limits, particularly as engineers look to use electronic devices for producing or processing light. The search for new semiconductors is on.

Orcas: the whales with a dam problem. Photo: Minette Layne

Orcas: the whales with a dam problem. Photo: Minette Layne

Whales with a Dam Problem, by Chelsey B. Coombs

The only resident population of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest befuddle biologists, because their numbers seem to be stuck at around 80 individuals. The stagnation, recent research shows, may largely come down to the fact that these orcas are picky eaters whose primary food source—salmon—are having population problems of their own.


RIP George Martin, the Fifth Beatle. By Mike Jones

George Martin was so integral a part of the Beatle’s story that he was called “the Fifth Beatle.” – a moniker that, in the 1960s, was also given to their then manager Brian Epstein. In both instances, the accolade is richly-deserved – without Epstein the Beatles would have not won a recording contract, and without Martin they would not have made records.

Man Booker International 2016 Longlist. By Deborah Jones

Household, pseudonymous and new names are included in the longlist of 13 books in line for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, released March 10.


 View of the entrance to the Bosphorus from the Sea of Marmara, as seen from the Topkapı Palace. Photo Gryffindor/Wikipedia

Manthorpe: the prospect of war between Russia and Turkey is troubling. Above, the Bosphorus. Photo: Gryffindor/Wikipedia

Russia and Turkey eye each other with guns drawn, by Jonathan Manthorpe, International Affairs Column

Of the many disaster scenarios that could spring from the civil war in Syria, the prospect of war between Russia and Turkey is by far the most troubling.

The sound of white noise, by Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda  Column

Sometimes, when I’m driving late at night to pick up my wife at a train stop, or on my way to some event in Washington (about an hour from where I live) I turn on conservative talk radio. Just to listen to the other side. And the angry voices fill my car.

Out of Time: Daylight (Saving) Delusions, by Deborah Jones, Free Range   Column

Listening to rain lashing windows as I moved through the house changing time, I wondered, Do we think we’re magicians, able to “save” daylight any more than we can conjure an end to a storm?


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Also posted in Current Affairs

Matters of Facts, and Opinions, this week

Catholic nuns pray during a mass by Pope Francis, as rain falls in Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 26, 2015.REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Catholic nuns pray during a mass by Pope Francis, as rain falls in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, November 26, 2015.REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

What deserves attention, in this crazy and constant flood of distractions? That, always, is F&O’s  top question. Our aim to offer a journalism boutique of the best, most interesting, stories –to earn a regular spot in your travels through the web. Here are our new reads for the weekend; on Monday, we’ll have a series for the climate summit in Paris. If you have comments or suggestions,  please drop me a line at djones AT Thanks for your interest and support.


Paris, Pilots and our rhetoric around ISIS. By Sheldon Fernandez

The day after the atrocities in Paris I found myself pacing in my Toronto apartment, a split consciousness, my Facebook feed saturated with conflicting responses to the carnage.

U.S. Space mining law dangerous and potentially illegal. By Gbenga Oduntan

An event of cosmic proportions occurred on November 18 when the US congress passed the Space Act of 2015 into law. The legislation will give US space firms the rights to own and sell natural resources they mine from bodies in space, including asteroids.

Catholic confusion over the troublesome Pope, by Jonathan Manthorpe, International Affairs columnist

For faithful Catholics, the whole point of the Pope and the Vatican is that they should be pillars of certainty in a troubled and troubling world. But as Argentinian Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio approaches the end of his third year as Pope Francis, the relationships between the Pontif and his cardinals — the Princes of the Church – and the standing of the management of the Vatican – the Curio – are all beset by uncertainty and confusion.

Catastrophe will result if climate summit fails — Pope. By Philip Pullella and George Obulutsa

World leaders must reach a historic agreement to fight climate change and poverty at upcoming Paris talks, facing the stark choice to either “improve or destroy the environment”, Pope Francis said in Africa on Thursday.

Belgian soldiers and police patrol in central Brussels on November 22, 2015, after security was tightened in Belgium following the fatal attacks in Paris. REUTERS/Yves Herman

REUTERS/Yves Herman

Why the Paris attackers were based in Molenbeek. By Martin Conway

Just as during the German invasions of 1914 and 1940, war, it seems, is coming to France through Belgium. If one follows the logic of the statements of various French political leaders since the bloody attacks in Paris on November 13, Belgium has become the base from which Islamic State has brought the conflicts of the Middle East to the streets of Paris.

The Painting That Saved My Family From the Holocaust by Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica

Seventy-seven years ago, my grandmother left her fourth-floor apartment in Munich carrying a painting by Otto Stein, a modestly popular German artist. Earlier that month, the Nazis had launched a nationwide pogrom against Germany’s Jewish minority, a rampage in which gangs of men burned stores, schools and synagogues. In the aftermath of what became known as Kristallnacht, the Gestapo rounded up hundreds of Jewish men and sent them to the Dachau concentration camp. Among them was my grandfather, Jakob Engelberg.

How I watched Lee Child write a Jack Reacher novel. BAndy MartinLee Child. Photo courtesy of author, © Sigrid Estrada

Nobody really believes him when he says it. And in the end I guess it is unprovable. But I can put my hand on heart and say, having been there, and watched him at work, that Lee Child is fundamentally clueless when he starts writing. — British professor Andy Martin, who spent much of a year with author Lee Child as he wrote the 20th novel in his Jack Reacher series.



Facts and Opinions, a journalism boutique of words and images, is independent, non-partisan and employee-owned. F&O is funded by you, our readers. We are ad-free and spam-free, and do not solicit donations from partisan organizations. You are welcome to try one story at no charge. If you value our work, please support us, with at least .27 per story. Click here for details.  Real journalism has value. Thank you for your support. Please tell others about us, and find us on Facebook and Twitter.

F&O’s CONTENTS page is updated each Saturday. Sign up for emailed announcements of new work on our free FRONTLINES blog; find evidence-based reporting in Reports; commentary, analysis and creative non-fiction in OPINION-FEATURES; and image galleries in PHOTO-ESSAYS. If you value journalism please support F&O, and tell others about us.

Also posted in Gyroscope

Marg!, Princess Warrior joins the fray

Newfoundland writer, actress and comedian, Mary Walsh, finally chimed in on the Canadian election with her character, Marg! Princess Warrior, this week with her Marg Brings Change campaign. Made famous on This Hour has 22 Minutes, Marg has been smiting politicians with her foam sword for many years and her love for Stephen Harper is legendary.

“Don’t waste time turning in your neighbours on the barbaric Harper hotline; send some real ‘cents’ to Ottawa instead,” advises Princess Warrior Marg Delahunty.

“Prime Minister Harper didn’t want to save Syrian refugees, our right to privacy or democracy, but he did want to save the penny. Unfortunately, like the cent, Harper will take a while to get out of our system so let’s send a load of cents to Ottawa now — and on October 19.”

Joining the ever-increasing crowd of prominent Canadian musicians, writers, artists, scientists, social activists, unions, environmentalists and the millions of Canadians who want change this election, Marg urges Canadians to help her bring change to Harper.

“I’ll give Mr. Harper our two cents,” Marg promises Canadians. In a campaign launched today entitled, Marg Brings Change, the Princess Warrior has created a video calling for Canadians to click on the virtual cent on her website ; she vows to match every click and every share with a real cent. Later this month Marg will personally deliver everybody’s two cents to Mr. Harper.**

“And vote!” the Princess Warrior commands. “Vote anything but Conservative! Don’t make me come back and smite you!”

**All money will go to aiding Syrian refugees in Canada.

Watch the Video, Click the cent, Share widely and Help Marg bring your two cents to Ottawa!


or the Facebook page: Marg Brings Change

Also posted in Canadian Journalist, Current Affairs, Gyroscope Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Facts, opinions, and more

An international group of jurists recently launched the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations. The jurists, from Brazil, China, India, the United States and the Netherlands, propose a set of principles based on human rights laws to force governments to act on climate change. The Netherlands was one of the first test sites for the concept: hearings were held last week at the Hague into a case against the Dutch government, by nearly 900 citizens organized by the Urgenda Foundation. A decision is expected within six months.

F&O Natural Security columnist Chris Wood explains why the issue matters: it concerns both the essential purpose of the state, and the role of the courts. Click here for Wood’s essay,  The Dutch Prescription:  take the future to court, or take it outside. (by donation)

In case you missed them, other new pieces on F&O include:

BRIAN BRENNAN’s  latest Brief Encounter: Giving a Canadian Accent to the Stratford Festival: John Hirsch. In Commentary, read  TOM REGAN  on the unbearable lightness of US presidential campaignsJONATHAN MANTHORPE  on how generals in mufti still control Burma, and JIM MCNIVEN on economics: Now for Another Debt Crisis. And you’ll never look at a seal the same way again after reading GREG LOCKE’S piece, How to make seal flipper pie

Recommended elsewhere:

Eritrea and North Korea top the list of the 10 most censored countries in the world, released this week by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The list is part of the CPJ’s annual report, scheduled for release April 27. Censorship is most extreme in the following countries, some of which are also the most dangerous, and top jailers of journalists. The CPJ report on the 10 worst countries for censorship can be read here. The countries include:

  1. Eritrea
  2. North Korea
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Vietnam
  7. Iran
  8. China
  9. Myanmar
  10. Cuba

Also in the world of journalism, ProPublica this week updated its comprehensive chart on the scandals surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s International News company. Click here to read Murdoch’s Circle: The News International Scandal. At the least, it might make readers think twice about trusting information sources concentrated in the hands of corporations tainted by scandal.

Finally, The Machines Are Coming, by Zeynep Tufekci, New York Times, can not be wished away as science fiction. Tufekci, a contributing opinion NYT writer and assistant professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina, has an issue with technology. Excerpt:

Optimists insist that we’ve been here before, during the Industrial Revolution, when machinery replaced manual labor, and all we need is a little more education and better skills. But that is not a sufficient answer ….  It’s easy to imagine an alternate future where advanced machine capabilities are used to empower more of us, rather than control most of us. There will potentially be more time, resources and freedom to share, but only if we change how we do things. We don’t need to reject or blame technology. This problem is not us versus the machines, but between us, as humans, and how we value one another.


Facts and Opinions is an online journal of select and first-rate reporting and analysis, in words and images: a boutique for select journalism, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O performs journalism for citizens, funded entirely by readers. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from foundations or causes. Help sustain us by telling others about us, and purchasing a $1 day pass or subscription, from $2.95/month to $19.95/year. To receive F&O’s free blog emails fill in the form on the FRONTLINES page.

Also posted in Current Affairs, Gyroscope

Artists call for ban on fracking near national park


Gros Morne National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bonne Bay, Newfoundland, Canada. Photo by Greg Locke © 2014

Thirty two well known artists sent an open letter to Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, and  Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Paul Davis, calling on them to establish a permanent buffer zone free of industrial activity around Gros Morn National Park  and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland.

The area has been the target of many unsuccessful oil exploration attempt over the past two decades. In 2012 a number of companies proposed to conduct hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) drilling right up to the park’s boundaries. Last summer, UNESCO called on Canada to do more to protect the site. There was much public opposition, and in 2013 the proposals failed. There is currently a moratorium on fracking while the provincial government reviews a commissioned industry study.

The artists include musician Tim Baker of Hey Rosetta, authors Lawrence Hill, Lisa Moore, Michael Crummy and Joseph Boyden, astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar, painter Mary Pratt, and actor Greg Malone, who said, “If we can’t protect the most brilliant places in our province and in our country, what are we doing?”

Also posted in Canadian Journalist, Current Affairs Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

F&O’s first magazine feature wins kudos

Brennan B&W

Brian Brennan

Congratulations to F&O founding feature writer Brian Brennan, whose story Canada’s Mayor — F&O’s first original magazine feature — won Runner-up, Best Feature Article, in the 2014 Professional Writers Association of Canada Awards

Here’s what we said on our Frontlines blog to announce the piece when it was published September 30, 2013:

When river flooding inundated downtown Calgary, it caused billions of dollars in damage and tested the leadership of Naheed Nenshi, a first-term mayor who handled the crisis so adroitly that he attracted national and international media attention. 

How did this former policy wonk and self-styled “brown guy,” a liberal and a Muslim, come out of nowhere to defy the stereotypes?

How did Nenshi become the unlikely leader of Canada’s politically conservative energy capital, at a time when oil companies and environmentalists anxiously await a decision from President Obama on the future of the Keystone XL pipeline? 

We thought it was an excellent piece, good enough for our launch. We’re thrilled that PWAC agrees, and we thank the association and congratulate all of the winners. 

Also posted in Canadian Journalist, Gyroscope Tagged , , , , |

A whale for the taking

 Photo by Greg Locke - COPYRIGHT 2014

A team from the Royal Ontario Museum begin dissecting a blue whale on the beach at Woody Point, Newfoundland. Photo by Greg Locke © 2014 …click to enlarge.

Anybody want a dead whale?

After a rough winter in the waters around Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast a number of dead whales, including a number of endangered North Atlantic blue whales, washed up on the beaches of many small fishing villages. The question became how to dispose of a 100 tonne, 25 metre, rotting carcases that threatened the health of the people in the communities and dampened the pending tourist season. One town went as far as to offer it up on eBay. Its a story of something no one was going to touch …until someone wanted it. Then the stink began.

Part 1, by Greg Locke, looks at the smelly dilemma on the beach of a Newfoundland village.
Part 2, by Deborah Jones, examines the ramifications of the mystery deaths of the endangered North Atlantic Blue Whales.

*Subscription or a $1 site day pass  required to read A Whale For The Taking.

*Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O serves and is entirely funded by reader payments. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from non-journalism foundations or causes.

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