FROM Mark Palmer
Sea World Can't Win for Losing Hundreds of supporters and critics of SeaWorld of San Diego made for a long meeting last week of the California Coastal Commission. It ended with approval for spending $100 million to build bigger tanks to house 11 killer whales, but that's not the end of the story, as we hear from Hugo Martin, who was there for the Los Angeles Times .
Americans' Evolving Attitude toward Animals in Captivity Scientists now believe that all mammals and birds — even the octopus — are conscious beings, capable of thinking, feeling emotion and suffering. That's creating a sea change in attitudes toward the use of wild animals for popular entertainment. Sea World is still reeling from the documentary 'Blackfish' and now faces three lawsuits alleging mistreatment of killer whales. Baylor, the Baptist University, has cancelled its annual visit out of respect for "God's creatures." Meantime, Ringling Brothers is retiring elephants from the circus. But, while there may be a "mood shift" against keeping wild animals in captivity, zoos and aquariums are still more popular than sporting events. Are there better ways to introduce kids to the Animal Kingdom, keep species from going extinct and make discoveries about animal intelligence and emotion?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.