Lion Dies In Argentine 'Torture Zoo'

Lion Dies In Argentine 'Torture Zoo'

The death of an African lion in Mendoza Zoo in Argentina has revived allegations of the zoo keeping its animals in awful conditions, said Clarín earlier this week.

The lion reportedly died two weeks ago, though the zoo apparently concealed this while they investigated the cause of death. Provincial environmental authorities recently declared it had died of "natural causes," after an autopsy revealed "a tumor in its spleen."

The death followed public anger about the state of another of the zoo's residents, Arturo, described as the last polar bear in Argentina. While activists have called for it to be sent to Canada, several experts decided in February that the trip would be too onerous and Arturo should remain in the zoo.

According to local animal-rights activist Jennifer Ibarra, nobody has seen Arturo since late April and "reliable sources are telling us he is sick."

The singer Cher, also concerned for Arturo, went further, saying Arturo's conditions amounted to "torture" and the government would have Arturo's blood on its hands should he die. Why isn't Argentina crying for Arturo, she asked on her Twitter account?

A map of the zoo in question Photo: gonzalemario

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Iran To Offer Master's And PhD In Morality Enforcement

For those aiming to serve the Islamic Republic of Iran as experts to train the public morality agents, there are now courses to obtain the "proper" training.

Properly dressed in the holy city of Qom.

Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.

Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.

The morality patrols, in force since the 1979 revolution, tend to focus mostly on young people and women, particularly the public appearance for the latter. Loose headscarves will send women straight to a police station, often in humiliating conditions. Five years ago, the regime announced a new force of some 7,000 additional agents checking on women's hijabs and other standards of dress and behavior.

A woman in Tehran walks past a mural of an Iranian flag

The traffic police chief recently said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes

Rouzbeh Fouladi/ZUMA

New academic discipline

Last week, for example, Tehran police revealed that they had "disciplined" agents who had been filmed forcefully shoving a girl into a van. Such incidents may increase under the new, conservative president, Ibrahim Raisi.

Speaking about the new academic discipline, Samadi said morals go "much further than headscarves and modesty," and those earning graduate degrees would teach agents "what the priorities are."

Iran's Islamic regime, under the guidance of Shia jurists, continuously fine tunes notions of "proper" conduct — and calibrates its own, interventionist authority. More recently the traffic police chief said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes, and "would be stopped," Prague-based Radio Farda reported.

Days before, a cleric in the holy city of Qom in central Iran insisted that people must be vaccinated by a medic of the same sex "as often as possible," and if not, there should be no pictures of mixed-sex vaccinations.

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