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Clinton hopes to save elephants, rhinos

Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined plans Thursday for an $80 million effort to curb the poaching and trafficking of elephants in Africa, warning that the continent’s elephants could face extinction without swift action.

The former secretary of state and her daughter, Chelsea, announced the three-year project at the Clinton Global Initiative, telling activists and supporters that the killing of elephants to support the sale of ivory around the globe had reached a crisis point.

“Unless the killing stops, African forest elephants are expected to be extinct within 10 years. I can’t even grasp what a great disaster this is ecologically, but also for everyone who shares this planet,” the former first lady said.

The Clinton initiative aims to prevent the killing and trafficking of elephants and rhinos. It also hopes to address the demand for ivory in Asia and the United States. Several conservation groups have banded together to prevent the slaughter, including the Wildlife Conservation Society and the World Wildlife Fund.

Cuoco engaged to Emmy date

“The Big Bang Theory” actress Kaley Cuoco is off the market. After a quick courtship, Cuoco is engaged to tennis pro Ryan Sweeting, her rep confirms.

The 27-year-old actress and 26-year-old Sweeting began dating about three months ago. The engagement comes a few days after Cuoco took Sweeting as her date to the Emmy Awards. At a pre-Emmy event, Cuoco called Sweeting the “greatest date ever” on a photo posted to her official Twitter and Instagram accounts.

It will be the first marriage for both.

Lange seeks wolf hunt suspension

Minnesota native and actress Jessica Lange is urging Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to suspend the state’s wolf hunt. The two-time Academy Award winner wrote a letter to Dayton, dated Wednesday, on behalf of anti-hunt group Howling for Wolves.

Lange, a Cloquet, Minn.-area resident, wrote that methods used to trap and kill wolves are cruel. She noted that Minnesota’s wolf population declined about 25 percent in the last five years, the lowest since 1988.

The letter is posted on Howling for Wolves’ website. The group is leading the effort to collect more than 50,000 signatures to present to Dayton. Dayton said in a statement Thursday that only the Minnesota Legislature can change the wolf hunt.

The birthday bunch

Actress Jayne Meadows is 93. Actor Wilford Brimley is 79. Singer-musician Randy Bachman (Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 70. Rock singer Meat Loaf is 66. Comedian Marc Maron is 50. Rock singer Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind) is 49. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is 41. Rapper Lil’ Wayne is 31. Singer Avril Lavigne is 29.


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Detained Saudi women driving campaigners branded traitors

new  Just weeks before Saudi Arabia is set to lift its ban on women driving, the kingdom’s state security said Saturday it had detained seven people who are being accused of working with “foreign entities.” Rights activists say all those detained had worked in some capacity on women’s rights issues, with five of those detained among the most prominent and outspoken women’s rights campaigners in the country.