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Hawaii residents fined $20K after Hawaiian monk seal pup mauled by unleashed dogs

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Hawaii residents fined $20K after Hawaiian monk seal pup mauled by unleashed dogs
News

News

Hawaii residents fined $20K after Hawaiian monk seal pup mauled by unleashed dogs

2024-06-21 11:25 Last Updated At:11:30

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii residents were fined $20,000 for their alleged roles in the fatal mauling of a female Hawaiian monk seal pup by unleashed dogs, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species. Only 1,600 remain in the wild. The loss of a female is a particularly hard blow to conservation efforts because she could have grown up to give birth to pups of her own.

A necropsy by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found the pup known as PO7 suffered puncture wounds consistent with dog bites and hemorrhaging consistent with being shaken by a dog.

NOAA's Office of General Counsel issued the fine on June 11, which didn't say how the two individuals were allegedly connected to the unleashed dogs.

Stefanie Gutierrez, a spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries, said further details were unavailable because “enforcement proceedings were ongoing.” The accused were fined $20,000 jointly.

The pup was born to a seal known as RN58 or Luana. She was seen with her mother for the first time on May 23 on Oahu's North Shore and reported to be a dog attack victim that same evening.

Those fined have the right to challenge the penalty and request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said one of the two individuals was a state parks employee who wasn't on duty. She reported the pup death to her agency, department spokesperson Dan Dennison said.

The department has started its own investigation into potential violations of state and county laws, he said.

Phone numbers for the accused could not immediately be found.

FILE - A Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup are seen on a Waikiki beach in Honolulu on June 29, 2017. U.S. officials on Thursday, June 20, 2024, said they fined two Hawaii residents $20,000 for their alleged roles in the fatal mauling of a female Hawaiian monk seal pup by unleashed dogs. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

FILE - A Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup are seen on a Waikiki beach in Honolulu on June 29, 2017. U.S. officials on Thursday, June 20, 2024, said they fined two Hawaii residents $20,000 for their alleged roles in the fatal mauling of a female Hawaiian monk seal pup by unleashed dogs. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s new Labour Party government campaigned on a promise to bring bold change at modest cost. Prime Minister Keir Starmer gets a chance to show how he aims to reconcile those two aims on Wednesday when the government announces its plans for the coming year.

King Charles III arrived at Parliament in a horse-drawn carriage to deliver the King's Speech, written for him by the government. Starmer said the legislation announced in the speech would “take the brakes off Britain” and “create wealth for people up and down the country” by spurring economic growth.

The King’s Speech is the centerpiece of the State Opening of Parliament, an occasion where royal pomp meets hard-nosed politics, as Charles dons a diamond-studded crown, sits on a gilded throne and announces the government’s legislative agenda.

Starmer said the speech would be a “down payment on our plans for the next five years,” which center on getting the U.K.’s stuttering economy growing.

Labour won a landslide election victory on July 4 as voters turned on the Conservatives after years of high inflation, ethics scandals and a revolving door of prime ministers. Starmer has promised to patch up the country’s aging infrastructure and frayed public services, but says he won’t raise personal taxes and insists change must be bound by “unbreakable fiscal rules.”

The government said Wednesday’s speech will include more than 35 bills – the Conservatives’ last speech had just 21 – ranging from housebuilding to nationalizing Britain’s railways and decarbonizing the nation’s power supply with a publicly owned green energy firm.

“It looks like it’s going to be very ambitious and very wide-ranging,” said Jill Rutter, senior research fellow at the Institute for Government think tank.

There will be moves to give more powers to local government, and a law to ensure all government budgets get advance independent scrutiny. Rutter called that the “anti- Liz Truss bill,” referring to the Conservative prime minister whose package of unfunded tax cuts in 2022 rocked the British economy and ended her brief term in office.

Also expected are new measures to strengthen border security, following on from Starmer’s decision to scrap the Conservatives’ plan to send people arriving in the U.K. across the English Channel on a one-way trip to Rwanda. The contentious scheme faced multiple legal challenges and cost the U.K. several hundred million pounds (dollars), without a single flight taking off.

There is also expected to be a law regulating the development of artificial intelligence, a possible break from the previous government’s light-touch approach to governing AI.

The government may also announce significant changes to the U.K.’s political system, including lowering the voting age from 18 to 16, one of Labour’s election promises.

It might even tackle an issue that has foxed previous governments: reforming the House of Lords. The unelected upper chamber of Parliament is packed with almost 800 members – largely lifetime political appointees, with a smattering of judges, bishops and hereditary aristocrats. Starmer has said he would like to remove the hereditary nobles and set a Lords retirement age of 80.

While much of Starmer’s agenda marks a break with the defeated Conservative government of former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Starmer may revive Sunak’s plan to stop future generations from smoking by gradually raising the minimum age for buying tobacco.

Wednesday’s address is the second such speech delivered by Charles since the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022. For all its royal trappings – including lords in ermine-trimmed robes and an official known as Black Rod -- it is the King’s Speech in name only.

“The king has zero agency in this,” Rutter said.

The King's Bodyguard the Yeomen of the Guard take part in a ceremonial search in the House of Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

The King's Bodyguard the Yeomen of the Guard take part in a ceremonial search in the House of Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate as King Charles III and Queen Camilla ride past in their carriage to the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate as King Charles III and Queen Camilla ride past in their carriage to the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The Imperial State Crown is seen in a carriage as it is taken to the Parliament, on the day of the State Opening in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Chris J. Ratcliffe/POOL via AP)

The Imperial State Crown is seen in a carriage as it is taken to the Parliament, on the day of the State Opening in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Chris J. Ratcliffe/POOL via AP)

The Imperial State Crown is carried through the Norman Porch ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Justin Tallis/POOL via AP)

The Imperial State Crown is carried through the Norman Porch ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Justin Tallis/POOL via AP)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Anti-monarchy Not My King protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. King Charles III's speech will set out the agenda of the UK's first Labour government for 14 years. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Sarah Clarke, the Black Rod, walks through the Royal Gallery on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Hannah McKay/POOL via AP)

Sarah Clarke, the Black Rod, walks through the Royal Gallery on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Hannah McKay/POOL via AP)

Members of the House of Lords and guests take their seats in the Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

Members of the House of Lords and guests take their seats in the Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Henry Nicholls/POOL via AP)

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer speaks during an interview at the Senedd as part of a two-day tour of the four nations of the United Kingdom in Cardiff, Wales, Monday, July 8, 2024.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer speaks during an interview at the Senedd as part of a two-day tour of the four nations of the United Kingdom in Cardiff, Wales, Monday, July 8, 2024.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)

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