Restore Eroded Habitat to Save Water Vole from Extinction

Originally published on September 23, 2014, at ForceChange.com

Target: David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Stop the dramatic decrease in water vole populations by recreating their destroyed habitats

Within the last 50 years, the water vole population in the U.K. has dropped by approximately 95 percent. The water vole is a semi-aquatic small mammal that resembles a rat. Water vole habitats have been deteriorating due to irrigation, watercourse management, and erosion. By recreating the lost habitats, the British government can give the water vole a chance to step away from the edge of extinction.

Fifty years ago, roughly eight million water voles populated the riverbanks and streams of the U.K. Their population has rapidly dropped to less than 200,000 water voles today. The leading cause is the rampant destruction of their breeding grounds and habitats. Unable to hide from predators or protect their young, the water vole population is dramatically decreasing.

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UK Announces Public Inquiry into Russian Spy’s Poisoning

Originally published on July 25, 2014, at NationofChange.org

Blaming Russia for the deaths of the 298 passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, including 10 passengers from the UK, the British government has announced a public inquiry into poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Seeking justice for her husband’s murder, Marina Litvinenko has met resistance from the British government until recent actions in the Ukraine and deteriorating diplomatic relations with Russia.

While investigating the assassination of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, former FSB agent Litvinenko met with three former KGB officers at the Millennium Hotel in London on November 1, 2006. Forensic evidence has revealed Litvinenko’s teacup had been poisoned with the radioactive isotope, polonium-210. Enduring intense agony, Litvinenko entered a hospital and eventually died of heart failure 22 days later.

Before his death, Litvinenko revealed the names of his killers: Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, the former KGB officers who had tea with him, and Vladimir Putin, the man who had ordered his execution.

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