Products made of threatened African wildlife sold at US expo

WASHINGTON — Photos and video taken by an animal welfare activists at a recent trophy hunting convention show an array of products crafted from the body parts of threatened big-game animals, including boots, chaps, belts and furniture labeled as elephant leather.Vendors at the Safari Club International event held last week in Reno, Nevada, were also recorded hawking African vacations to shoot captive-bred lions raised in pens. The club has previously said it wouldn’t allow the sale of so-called canned hunts.The hidden camera footage was released Friday by the Humane Society of the United States. Both federal and state laws restrict the commercial sale of hides from African elephants, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act.A Safari Club spokeswoman did not respond to messages seeking comment.Michael Biesecker, The Associated Press read more

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Sri Lankan maid rescued in Bahrain

Manjula, who has a seven-year-old son, has filed a police complaint against her sponsor claiming she was held under duress.However, the MWPS say she is set to return home penniless after lengthy negotiations with her sponsor about her severance pay broke down.The organisation will also have to fund her air ticket. “Because there is no representative here, workers and especially Sri Lankans and Ethiopians are taken advantage of.” A year later, she approached them again. But as she was not a victim of abuse, she was referred to the Labour Ministry.Manjula later took refuge at the MWPS shelter, where she has been staying for more than a month. Activists say she was promised a salary of BD85 a month, but got only BD60 when she arrived. She was also forced to work around 21 hours a day in two separate households. Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) general-secretary Beverley Hamadeh action committee head Liz Szalay said it was common for workers not to be paid the salary promised to them before they arrive in Bahrain.“It is a problem here and it is blatant,” she said during a Press conference at the society in Adliya yesterday.“You see advertisements for BD60 posted up but there is no Sri Lankan consular or embassy here. “She signed her contract in Sri Lanka at the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment that she would be receiving BD85 but she got just BD60,” said Ms Szalay.“She worked in two houses at the same time – the daughter’s house and the mother’s.“She worked 22 hours a day for only BD60 and still had to buy her own shampoo, soap, uniform, food and even her bed sheet.”  (Gulf Daily News) A 25-year-old Sri Lankan has been rescued after allegedly being held against her will by her sponsor for almost 18 months in Bahrain, the Gulf Daily News reported.Velusundaram Manjula arrived in the country in 2009 to work as a housemaid for a Bahraini family. Manjula reportedly went to the police after two years, but was allegedly ignored. read more

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