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1991: President George H.W. Bush nominates federal appeals court judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, beginning an ultimately successful confirmation process marked by allegations of sexual harassment.
Also on this day:
- 1863: The pivotal, three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg begins in Pennsylvania.
- 1946: The United States sets off a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
- 1963: Five-digit zip codes are launched by the U.S. Postal Service.
- 1973: The Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] is established.
- 1979: Sony introduces the Walkman, the first personal stereo tape player.
- 2002: The world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, the International Criminal Court, is established.
- 2013: Croatia becomes the 28th member state of the European Union.
- 2018: Andrés Manuel López Obrador wins the Mexican presidential election.
- 2018: Canada begins imposing tariffs on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods as retaliation for the Trump administration's new taxes on steel and aluminum imported to the United States.
LeBron James with the L.A. Lakers. (AP, File)
- 2018: LeBron James announces that he would be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in his career.
- 2019: Nike nixes the release of a Betsy Ross-themed Fourth of July sneaker after Colin Kaepernick complains it is offensive and has connotations of slavery.
News Source: FOX News
Illegal ivory trade shrinks while pangolin trafficking booms, UN says
The study, compiled using four years of data, showed that revenue from ivory trafficking peaked between 2011 and 2013.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that national bans on selling ivory, particularly the ban enforced in China in 2017, have caused the global trade to fall.
“The World Wildlife Crime Report 2020 has some good news and some bad news,” UNODC research chief Angela Me told Reuters.
“We see some shrinking in some markets, particularly the ivory and the rhino (horn) market, but we actually see huge increases in other markets, like the market of illicit trafficking of pangolins, in European eels but also in tiger parts and also in rosewood.”
Pangolins are a reclusive, nocturnal mammal covered in scales. Their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote blood circulation and reduce blood clots and there remains a large, legal market for this.An Ivorian wildlife agent holds up confiscated pangolin scales – THIERRY GOUEGNON/REUTERS
The causes in the shift in demand are opaque, due to the nature of the trade. The UNODC say the causes are multiple, but have cited the Chinese market as being the dominant driving force to the trade. Illegal poachers often catch the animals in Africa then smuggle them into Asia.
The annual income generated by the ivory trade between 2016 and 2018 is estimated to be $400m, down from over $1bn per year throughout the 1980s.
The UNODC say that a combination of market saturation and a shift in global attitude towards the trade have also contributed to a reduction in demand. Between 2014 and 2018, the price of illegal ivory in China halved.
By contrast, the seizure of illegally trafficked pangolin scales increased tenfold in the same period of time. The scales were primarily sourced from Africa and shipped to Asia. 185 tonnes of scales were seized during the four year window, which equates to approximately 370,000 animals being killed.
The UNODC say this shows that pangolins are now “arguably the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world”.