An-eight-foot crocodile on Hollywood beach was caught Monday afternoon, after its appearance that morning drew television news helicopters and hundreds of onlookers.
A wildlife officer snared the crocodile by the neck and dragged it up the beach, as the big reptile remained motionless, its mouth open. Officials tied its mouth shut with black tape. It was placed on a truck and driven off the beach, to cheers and applause from beachgoers who appeared to be rooting for the crocodile to emerge safe from its encounter with wildlife officers and police.
The crocodile was released unharmed that evening in "suitable habitat" somewhere in Broward County, said Katie Purcell, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The crocodile, a native Florida species that's distinct from the more common alligators, was first spotted near the Dania Beach pier, drifted south and came ashore around Johnson Street, said Joann Hussey, spokeswoman for Hollywood. As the crocodile attracted a crowd of beachgoers — many of them guests at the nearby Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort — police officers held people back.
An unusual visitor arrived on Hollywood beach: a six-foot crocodile that drew news helicopters and hundreds of onlookers. It was eventually caught by wildlife officers. Click here for the full story.
A Hollywood police officer approached people taking photos and told them to back up.
"Can you run 18 miles an hour?" the officer asked one woman.
"No," she said.
"He can," the officer said. Everyone backed up.
Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy, riding on a dune buggy with the police as the crocodile headed south, joked, "So when it gets to Hallandale, we're done, right?"
"We've already posted some cool photos on Facebook," said Joe Fusco on vacation from Detroit with his family. "We were planning to go for a swim, but probably not now. It's kind of fun actually, but no one can get in the water until they get this thing out of here."
American crocodiles, which can grow to 16 feet, live in brackish and salt water in coastal areas. Their U.S. population is strongest in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park and the Upper Florida Keys. But they have been spotted in Hollywood, Boca Raton and other coastal cities, as well as on the Gulf coast.
As the crocodile came within a half-mile of the Hallandale Beach border, a reporter called Hallandale Beach City Manager Roger Carlton, who appeared surprised by the news.
"As soon as we hang up, I'm going to call the police chief," he said. But he added that he had nothing against crocodiles.
"Hallandale is a very inclusive community," he said. "And we welcome all visitors."
Diane Warner came out after seeing the crocodile on TV.
"This is a sight to see," she said. "I've heard of alligators coming up on the beach but never a crocodile. This is his environment, but I think the crowd's freaking him out."
Although there have been very few known attacks by American crocodiles on people in the United States and no known fatal attacks, there have been attacks — some fatal — in other parts of the crocodile's range, which covers the Caribbean, Central American and northern South America.
Once occupying a range that extended as far north as Lake Worth on the east coast and Tampa Bay on the west coast, they had been reduced by coastal development and hunting to a stronghold in northern Florida Bay by the 1970s.
But crocodile numbers rose sharply in the past 20 years or so, partly due to the inadvertent construction of good crocodile habitat in the cooling canals of the Turkey Point nuclear plant and in the earthen banks of a failed housing development on Key Largo that would become the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
From a low of 300 or so in the 1970s, crocodiles have increased their numbers to about 2,000, not counting hatchlings, according to the state wildlife commission. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service upgraded their status from endangered to threatened.
Purcell, of the state wildlife service, called them "an endangered species success story."
Man gets his dying wish: To be buried with 2 cheesesteaks LAINS, Pa. (AP) — A man who always joked that he didn't want to venture into the afterlife hungry got his wish when he was buried with two cheesesteaks from his favorite sandwich shop — Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia.
According to his grandson, Dominic Lussi, when asked what he wanted to take with him when he died, Richard Lussi replied, "What do you think? Pat's cheesesteak!"
"No onions," his grandson said he would say, "because they'll come back to haunt me."
The 76-year-old father of four died of heart complications on Oct. 10.
Richard Lussi, from Plains Township, was a rabid fan of Philadelphia sports teams, and that loyalty spread to the famed cheesesteak shop after a pregame meal decades ago, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer .
"We hear that there's other cheesesteak places in Philly but we haven't seen them," his son, John Lussi, said.
Richard Lussi loved the sandwiches even though he had a bad heart and his doctor had warned him to watch what he ate, said Dominic Lussi.
At family gatherings, Richard Lussi would often challenge family members to drive 2 1/2 hours to Philadelphia and back to get the sandwiches.
So the day before his funeral, his son, grandson and two friends made the trip to pick up cheesesteaks for the coffin. They had planned to buy just one until they remembered a piece of advice he had given them: "If you're going to Pat's you always get two, you never order just one."
Pat's owner, Frank Olivieri Jr., said he was flattered and bewildered by someone choosing to be buried with his sandwiches. As for what the second cheesesteak might be for, he speculated: "Maybe it's a bribe for Saint Peter."
Information from: The Philadelphia
How the Quakers Became Champions of BDS A century-old religiously based pacifist organization transformed itself into one of the leading engines for the Palestinian cause By Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander Joffee
In a not-so-earth-shattering move, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has appointed a Palestinian-American, Joyce Ajlouny, as its new Secretary General. Ajlouny is a native of Ramallah and formerly the head of the Quaker school there, a "passionate" advocate for Palestinians and for "evenhandedness."
Ajlouny may be the perfect candidate to run the AFSC, the leading American Quaker organization, which over the years has cultivated its image as peaceful and supremely benign. Few suspect, much less know, that one of their central missions these days is promoting the BDS movement that opposes Israel's existence.
How did a century-old religiously based pacifist organization transform itself into one of the leading engines for the Palestinian cause? Part of the answer lies in the AFSC's evolution, which has gone from trying to save Jews to vilifying them. Its Quaker theology has similarly gone from emphasis on the "Inner Light" that guides individual conscience to something like old-fashioned Christian supersessionism and Replacement Theology, where Jews deserve to be hated. The result is that the organization is now effectively captive to progressive Israel-hatred.
Founded during World War I to provide alternative forms of "service" to pacifist Quakers, the AFSC quickly became one of the foremost refugee relief organizations of the early 20th century, with operations around the world. A favorite of Eleanor Roosevelt's, the AFSC was also active within the US during the Depression, teaching skills across Appalachia and the South.
With the rise of Nazism, AFSC became involved with what would be the greatest refugee crisis in history. But the experience also demonstrated the organization's approach to religious diplomacy and relief efforts, where naïve idealism alternated with practicality. Shortly after Kristallnacht in November 1938, AFSC leaders traveled to Germany to personally investigate the suffering of the Jews and pled their case with Reichsführer-SS Reinhard Heydrich to bring relief aid. They were unsuccessful.
But the AFSC's post-war record in refugee relief was so exceptional that along with a British Quaker group, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. By the late 1940s, the AFSC had a distinctive place in American and international society, a well-established Christian NGO with global reach. But it was also a universalist organization that went against the grain to unpopular causes. Its humanitarian ethic and pacifist ideology were radical both in the American and Protestant contexts. These tensions would ultimately undo the AFSC.
The shift began when the AFSC was invited by the United Nations to run Palestinian refugee relief in Gaza in late 1948. Quakers had been in the Holy Land for over a century, running schools and hospitals for local Christians. But the refugee program was a turning point. Relief workers had never encountered refugees who did not want to be taught new skills or to be resettled elsewhere, only to be maintained at someone else's expense until Israel disappeared.
So traumatic was this for the AFSC that after 18 months it refused to be part of any future Palestinian refugee program, citing among other things the "moral degeneration" of the refugees brought on by becoming welfare recipients. This view was prescient—almost seventy years later, the Palestinians remain the world's largest recipients of international welfare through UNRWA and the UN system.
The Gaza experience—where in fact the AFSC excelled at providing relief and creating infrastructure, despite resistance from the refugees themselves—was enough to convince the leadership to get out of the relief business altogether. At the same time, a faction of the organization's leadership advocated a radical pacifist, and anti-American, agenda, aimed at nuclear disarmament and elevating the status of the Soviet Union and Communist China. By the 1960s, the AFSC became a liberal pressure group, one that openly supported North Vietnam. Support for Saddam Hussein and North Korea quickly followed.
But the AFSC never lost entirely lost interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict. After 1967, the AFSC escalated its involvement, beginning with quasi-theological criticism of Israel, acting as PLO's legal representatives in Jerusalem during the 1970s, and conducting 'interfaith' events in which American Jews were shamed for supporting Israel. The Quaker tradition of even-handedness and political neutrality was long gone; by the late 1970s the AFSC had effectively enshrined Palestinians as the "new Jews." Support for Palestinian terror as "resistance" against Israel's "structural violence" and against sanctions on Iran's nuclear program is now standard.
These policies are reflected in the educational curriculum of Quaker schools across the country, but most of all in the AFSC's leading role in the BDS movement. Today, the AFSC runs several offices dedicated to supporting the BDS movement, partners with the odious Jewish Voice for Peace and with the Muslim Brotherhood backed Students for Justice in Palestine to train BDS activists and run campus events at which Israel is vilified and its supporters are harassed, and endorses the Palestinian right of return, which would destroy Israel as a sovereign Jewish state.
Joyce Ajlouny's appointment epitomizes the transformation of the AFSC. Quaker schools and education have long been hijacked by Palestinian advocacy, as was recently seen at Friends' Central School in Wynnewood, PA, where BDS supporter Sa'ed Atshan was scheduled to speak to students. Ajlouny, who served for 13 years as the Director of the Ramallah Friends School, will undoubtedly increase that kind of education, given her stated desire to, "bring educational programming on Israeli-Palestinian issues into Quaker schools, where many of the students are Jewish."
Many Jewish parents are attracted to Quaker schools, which seek to instill values mistakenly believed to be analogous to those of Judaism, especially since the Quakers and their schools have enshrined "social justice" as a guiding principle. This is misleading. The AFSC's concept of "justice" is one-sided, and Jewish parents must decide whether Jewish values and Quaker values, as they exist today, are really the same. Ajlouny's appointment makes this more pressing.
Bolivian Schindler' saved some 9,000 lives during Holocaust, papers show Carmen M. Llona Published March 17, 2017
Mauricio Hochschild (Archivo Histórico de la Corporación Minera de Bolivia )
Out of dusty old documents found in a La Paz, Bolivia warehouse has come out the extraordinary story of Mauricio Hochschild, a German immigrant and mining tycoon who helped thousands of Jews escape from the Nazis in the late 30s.
Hailed by the local media as the "Bolivian Schindler," Hochschild left behind a trove of files and photographs that document his leading role in saving at least 9,000 lives. In many cases he paid for their travel and initial accommodations out of his own pocket.
The discovery is all the more surprising because in his time Hochschild was vilified as a ruthless tycoon.
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Moritz, or Mauricio, Hochschild in 1920. UNESCO has listed the Hochschild documents in its Memory of the World documentary preservation program. (Archivo Histórico de la Corporación Minera de Bolivia)
"These papers are going to change many things of the Bolivian history; the political ramifications are yet to come," said Edgar Ramirez, the archive director of the Mining Corporation of Bolivia (Comibol). "Hochschild was the bad guy."
Hochschild was born in Biblis, western Germany, in 1881 and moved to Bolivia in 1921 lured by his love of mountain climbing.
A Jew himself, he amassed his fortune mostly through tin mining – he is one of Bolivia's "Barons of Tin" – and became an influential figure in political circles. That's how in 1938 he persuaded President German Busch to provide especial visas to Jewish migrants who were fleeing Europe amid escalating Nazism. He argued they could contribute to the country's force labor, especially in the farming sector.
Ramirez said he believes Hochschild had high connections with the Resistance.
"I am convinced that Hochschild was part of the anti-fascist apparatus," Ramirez told Fox News. "In order to do what he did he had to be a man linked to the resistance movements that were operating around the world."
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Letter to Mauricio Hochschild Kinder- Garten Miraflores (Archivo Histórico de la Corporación Minera de Bolivia )
The documents show Hochschild also placed some of the newcomers in his mining firm and set up schools for the children in La Paz. One handwritten letter on behalf of the children asks Hochschild to expand their facility "in view of the number of children who are here and others who want to come."
Organizing and filing the Hochschild documents was a titanic task, Ramirez said, because they had been left exposed to the elements and in complete disarray. He said they were mixed up with garbage and all kinds of unrelated material.
After being moved at least twice throughout the decades, the giant pile of documents was found in a Comibol storage warehouse.
"When we started rescuing the documentation, everything was mixed: mixed with titles and deeds, with cartons, with trash," Ramirez recalled. "A selection was made, the material was classified and that is when the find takes place."
He said the papers show Hochschild created two organizations directly related to the aid effort: the Society for the Protection of Israeli Immigrants (SOPRO), dedicated to obtaining funds for the Jewish families, and the Colonization Society of Bolivia (SOCOBO), which managed an agricultural project in Nor Yungas, where he bought three estates to receive the Jews.
"Was he a charitable man? I have a question mark there because Hochschild is considered the worst of the three 'Barons of Tin'; they say he was short-tempered, he didn't pay taxes, he exploited his workforce," said Ramirez.
The other two mining magnates were Victor Aramayo and Simon Patiño. All three were responsible for over half of global tin production at the time.
Things changed quite drastically for the industry in the mid-40s, when the government enacted a law requiring more tax contribution from mining corporations. Hochschild refused to comply and ended up in prison. After his release in 1944, he left Bolivia for the United States and never returned.
He died in Paris in 1965, by then owner of a worldwide empire still thriving today.