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New rules threaten growing blue cat industry

New USDA inspection rules that hold foreign imports to U.S. standards could threaten that growing market

WYPR News

Andrea Appleton

When you think of forests in Baltimore City, you probably think of public parks. But 20 percent of the city’s tree cover lies in forest patches outside of parks, on land that can be bought, sold, and developed.

One community is currently in a desperate fight to preserve their neighborhood forest. Fairwood Forest, as it is known, is a four-acre wood on a ridge in Northeast Baltimore. The groundcover is a snarl of poison ivy and kudzu. But twice a year, migrating birds deem it worthy of a stop. A recent study here found an unusual diversity of native trees, including towering white oak and tulip poplar. And local birders say the forest lies along a major hawk migration route.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about whether or not the gun bill introduced at City Council Monday night would actually reduce gun violence. Bonessi shares her interview with Laura Dugan, professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. Also, listen to more to the research on mandatory-minimums for jail sentences and whether or not they reduce crime.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The mayor's gun bill introduced to city council Monday night would make possession of a gun a felony and impose a mandatory one-year jail sentence. Currently, six city councilmen sit on the fence of the controversial legislation. Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke is one of those on the fence. Even though the guns are illegal, Baltimore is a tough city and her constituents tell her they’re scared.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration warned the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday that it will sue if the federal agency does not stop coal-fired power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia from contributing pollution to Maryland’s air.

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WYPR Presents Humorist David Sedaris

Thursday, October 12 @ 7 pm, The Hippodrome

Out of the Blocks

all photos by Wendel Patrick

1100 Ward Street, Part 1

Back in the 1800’s, they literally herded pigs through the streets of Southwest Baltimore’s Washington Village, from the terminus of the B & O Railroad to the neighborhood’s meat packing plants and butcher shops. The nickname, ‘Pigtown,’ has stuck, but the industry is long gone from this part of the city. These days, the neighborhood is known for unemployment, homelessness, and drug addiction.

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More Than Words

Jonna McKone

Episode #7: Creativity As A Form Of Activism

For our final More Than Words story, Xavier started out interested in how activists in Baltimore see their work in the city as connected to and inspired by Civil Rights struggles of the past. As he researched and conducted interviews for this piece, he found writing to be an overlooked form of activism and decided to sit down with one of his favorite authors, D. Watkins.

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The Trump Organization is asking the federal government for special visas to hire scores of foreign workers for two of President Trump's private clubs in Florida — the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach and the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

Exxon Mobil says it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, after the office said the oil and gas giant must pay a $2 million penalty for allegedly violating sanctions on Russia.

The alleged violations took place in May 2014, when Exxon Mobil signed a series of deals with Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil company Rosneft.

Russian, American and French ballet dancers are gathering Thursday night for a bit of cultural diplomacy at New York City's Lincoln Center. They're celebrating the 50th anniversary of George Balanchine's masterpiece Jewels, considered the first full-length, nonnarrative ballet.

The first international robotics competition for high schoolers made headlines before it even started — and after the event was over as well.

First there was the story of the all-girl Afghanistan team, which was denied visas to attend for unknown reasons.

It's pink and fleshy, it's a giant mass of tentacles and it's just crash-landed in Mexico from outer space. What should humankind do with such a marvel?

How about The Nasty?

Among the four stars of Girls Trip — the third and funniest summer comedy about hard-partying women in trouble, following Snatched and Rough Night — Tiffany Haddish is the least well-known, having bounced around in minor roles on film and television before landing a spot as a series regular on The Carmichael Show. All that stands to change overnight. As Dina, a pleasure-seeker of unapologetic, bull-in-a-china-shop relentlessness, Haddish is so incandescently filthy that a new ratings system should be developed to accommodate her.

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan's enveloping and prismatic World War II movie, is the prequel — historically speaking — to Battle of Britain. That film, a jolly, G-rated celebration of British pluck from 1969, features an all-star cast, some of whom still show up in Nolan movies to this day. It made the deadliest conflict in human history seem about as scary as a V-E Day Parade.

Although Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is visually overstuffed and sometimes cloaked in darkness, one thing is easy to see: how its principal setting, the sprawling space-station Alpha, parallels writer-director Luc Besson's utopian filmmaking vision.

The Navy says it has its first female candidates for two elite special operations jobs previously closed to women — including a prospective SEAL.

One woman is in the pipeline to be a SEAL officer, and another is on the path to becoming a special warfare combatant crewman. The news was first reported by Military.com, an independent website. The Navy declined to identify the candidates, citing security considerations.

On a party-line vote, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to confirm President Trump's most controversial judicial nominee to date.

He is John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer and political blogger whose posts disparaged gay rights and compared the Supreme Court's abortion decision in Roe v. Wade to its pro-slavery 1857 Dred Scott decision.

And he is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

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