By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) - The Trump administration has rescinded an Obama-era ban on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in dozens of national wildlife refuges where farming is permitted. Environmentalists, who had sued to bring about the 2-year-old ban, said on Friday that lifting the restriction poses a grave threat to pollinating insects and other sensitive creatures relying on toxic-free habitats afforded by wildlife refuges. "Industrial agriculture has no place on refuges dedicated to wildlife conservation and protection of some of the most vital and vulnerable species," said Jenny Keating, federal lands policy analyst for the group Defenders of Wildlife. Limited agricultural activity is authorized on some refuges by law, including cooperative agreements in which farmers are permitted to grow certain crops to produce more food or improve habitat for the wildlife there. The rollback, spelled out in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service memo, ends a policy that had prohibited farmers on refuges from planting biotech crops - such as soybeans and corn - engineered to resist insect pests and weed-controlling herbicides. That policy also had barred the use on wildlife refuges of neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics, in conjunction with GMO crops. Neonics are a class of insecticides tied by research to declining populations of wild bees and other pollinating insects around the world. Rather than continuing to impose a blanket ban on GMO crops and neonics on refuges, Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Greg Sheehan said in Thursday's memo that decisions about their use would be made on a case-by-case basis. Sheehan said the move was needed to ensure adequate forage for migratory birds, including ducks and geese – favored and hunted by sportsmen on many of the nation's refuges. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose department oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, has made expansion of hunting on public lands a priority for his agency. Sheehan wrote that genetically modified organisms have helped "maximize production, and that neonicotinoids might be needed "to fulfill needed farming practices." It marked the latest in a series of Obama-era environmental restrictions to be reversed under Trump, his Republican successor, who campaigned on a pledge to roll back government regulations. In a 2014 Obama administration memo announcing plans to phase in the ban, Jim Kurth, head of the refuge system, wrote that seeds treated with neonics give rise to plants whose tissues contained compounds that could harm "non-target" species. He also said, "refuges throughout the country successfully meet wildlife management objectives without" GMOs or neonics. Thursday's memo named 50-plus national wildlife refuges across the country where the revised policy now applies. The entire system consists 560 refuge units encompassing roughly 150 million acres nationwide. (Editing by Steve Gorman and Sandra Maler)
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- Business Insider
Hooters employees are pushing back against new revealing uniforms that include shorts so short that they're 'like underwear'
"Soooo Hooters got new panties. I mean shorts," wrote one TikTok user. "Love my job but don't love wearing undies to work," wrote another.
- Washington Examiner
Who wears short shorts?
- E! News
The 22-year-old singer, whose real name was Emani Johnson, died after experiencing a "tragic accident," her manager told E! News.
- Country Living
LeAnn Rimes rocked the stage at the Austin City Limits music festival. Fans have a lot to say about her sheer, lace dress that she posted on Instagram.
Jennifer Gates, the eldest daughter of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, announced her engagement to Nayel Nassar in January 2020
- NBC News
One employee on TikTok described the new shorts as "like underwear."
The former Trump White House press secretary earned a blistering two-word rebuke from Mary Trump, the ex-president's niece.
- NBC Sports Boston
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele, drew some attention Saturday by appearing to reference New England in a Twitter exchange.
- Yahoo Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis on 'Halloween' beginnings, why Arnold didn't want her for 'True Lies' and her secret text code with Lindsay Lohan
Jamie Lee Curtis talks "Halloween," "Trading Places," "A Fish Called Wanda," "True Lies" and more in our new episode of "Role Recall."
- Associated Press
Eric M. Smith, who was 13 when he killed a 4-year-old boy with a rock in western New York, has been granted parole, corrections officials said on Saturday. Smith, now 41, appeared for the 11th time before the Board of Parole on October 5 and was granted release as early as Nov. 17, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in an emailed statement. Smith was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 for luring Derrick Robie into woods near the younger boy's home and striking his head with a rock.
Before and after photos of the course reveal dramatic change.
- Associated Press
A woman was raped by a stranger on a commuter train in suburban Philadelphia in the presence of other riders who a police official said “should have done something." Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department said officers were called to the 69th Street terminal around 10 p.m. Wednesday after the assault on the westbound train on the Market-Frankford Line. An employee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority who was in the vicinity as the train went past called police to report that “something wasn't right" with a woman aboard the train, Bernhardt said.
- USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
Oregon head coach Casey Martin underwent the procedure on his right leg earlier this week.
- Associated Press
It only took about a day after Chase Elliott wished Kevin Harvick “a merry offseason and Happy Christmas” for NASCAR's reigning champion to get the zinger on merchandise on his official website. It's the kind of trolling that typically would infuriate Harvick and incite another round of retaliation in his raging feud with Elliott. Elliott need not worry: NASCAR squashed this rivalry in a conference call with both teams before the drivers even arrived at Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's opening race of the third round of the playoffs.
- Miami Herald
All batches of Irbesartan tablets in 75 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg strengths and Irbesartan and Hydrochlorothiazide tablets in 150 mg/12.5 mg and 300 mg/12.5 mg strengths made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals have been recalled.
Los Angeles County is asking Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, and other family members to submit psychiatric exams in their legal dispute over photos of the helicopter crash scene that took her husband and daughter’s lives. The request was made in a court filing on Friday. It stems from a legal point: Did Vanessa Bryant […]
- USA TODAY Sports
There were highs and lows in Week 7 in college football. Georgia, LSU and Iowa were among the winners and losers from the field Saturday.
An unvaccinated couple refused the COVID-19 vaccine against their family's urges. Both parents died, leaving behind four children.
"They were going off what they've been hearing and reading on the internet," a relative said about the couple who left behind four kids ages 11 to 17.
- The Conversation
How Sarah Baartman's hips went from a symbol of exploitation to a source of empowerment for Black women
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- Washington Examiner
LONG BEACH, California — Crane operators who belong to a powerful union and earn up to $250,000 a year transferring containers from ships to trucks are worsening the supply chain crisis that threatens Christmas by goofing off on the job, frustrated truckers told the Washington Examiner.