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Why shark attacks could be on the rise around the world

Published: Monday, May 23, 2016 @ 1:05 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 12:17 PM

Why Sharks are Attacking More People

Last year, 107 people in different parts of the world were bitten by sharks. Eight of those 107 people died.

While 107 may not seem like a large number when you are talking about a global issue, when it comes to shark and human interaction, that many "unprovoked" attacks mean it was a record-setting year.  

The  International Shark Attack File, the longest maintained database on worldwide shark attacks,  said it investigated 164 reports in 2015. The group classifies an "unprovoked attack" as an incident "where an attack on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark.”

>>Got a question about the news? See our explainers here 

A study released by the group blamed warmer waters and a jump in coastal population for the spike in numbers. The study said, in part:

 “As world population continues its upsurge and interest in aquatic recreation concurrently rises, we realistically should expect increases in the number of shark attacks and other aquatic recreation-related injuries …

“Shark populations are actually declining or holding at greatly reduced levels in many areas of the world as a result of over-fishing and habitat loss, theoretically reducing the opportunity for these shark-human interactions.

“However, year-to-year variability in local meteorological, oceanographic, and socioeconomic conditions also significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water and, therefore, the odds of encountering one another.”

Let’s take a look at some numbers.

Are there really more attacks happening?

When you talk about shark bites, researchers say you have to look at the ratio, not the numbers. In other words, are more people bitten by sharks because more people (and maybe more sharks) are in the same water?

"More people are using the ocean now for recreation than ever before, so there is no doubt that we're putting more people in the water," Chris Lowe, professor in the Department of Biological Studies at California State University Long Beach told Men’s Journal last year.

"And while there isn't a lot of good scientific evidence for this yet, I think that some shark populations are increasing due to better fisheries management and improved water quality," he said. "You put more people in the water and add more sharks to coastal areas, you will have more shark-human related interactions."

Professor George Burgess, director of the University of Florida Program for Shark Research, told The Telegraph in a story about 2015's spike in shark bites that, “Unlike in the movies, it’s not usually a one cause and effect type of a situation. More often it’s a combination of factors that might have led to there being more sharks or more humans in the water, but this is clearly a situation where there is something going on.”

What are the odds?

How likely is it that you will be bitten by a shark? Not likely at all. A group of researchers at Stanford University compared records of shark bites with information about how people use the ocean in California.  The found that an ocean swimmer had only one chance in 738 million of being bitten by a great white shark; surfers had a one in 17 million chance, and scuba divers had a one in 136 million chance. 

Who do they attack?

Sharks will likely bite the person who acts like a fish or looks like a seal. If you appear to the shark as his normal food choice – by being on a surfboard, looking sort of seal-like, or splashing around like a fish  –  he’s more likely to go for it. Humans are generally not on his menu.  

Where do they attack?

The United States leads the world in unprovoked shark attacks. Florida leads the United States. While there are more shark bites in the United States, if you are bitten here you are more likely to survive the bite. The fatality rate for shark bites in the U.S. in 2014 was  1.7 percent. For the rest of the world, it was 12.8 percent.

Could we see an increase in shark bite incidents again this year?

We could. If current trends continue, the U.S. coastal regions will see population grow from 123 million people to nearly 134 million people by 2020, according to NOAA.  That doesn't include the millions who vacation on the coasts every year.

Who is most likely to get bitten – man or woman?

Sharks don’t seem to prefer the ladies as 90 percent of shark attack victims are men.  It’s the ratio thing in play again – traditionally more men are swimming, snorkeling and surfing – activities that expose you to the greatest risk for shark attacks. 

Which are sharks responsible for most human bites?

Three species are most responsible for human bites – the bull shark, the tiger shark and the great white shark.

How many sharks are killed each year by humans?

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, between 20 and 100 million sharks die each year due to fishing activity. 

SEE IT: Roofers stand for national anthem in viral photo

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 6:22 AM

Hand on heart for American flag (stock photo).
Sadeugra/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Hand on heart for American flag (stock photo).(Sadeugra/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A photo of three Maine roofers standing for the national anthem is going viral.

>> Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests

According to WKRG, Michelle Lyons Cossar posted the photo to Facebook on Saturday after she spotted the roofers, who were standing on top of a house, acknowledging the anthem before a football game between Old Town and Waterville high schools.

>> See the post here

Standing for the National Anthem at the Old Town Waterville football game today and from behind the stands we hear, '...

Posted by Michelle Lyons Cossar on Saturday, October 14, 2017

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

"Standing for the National Anthem at the Old Town Waterville football game today and from behind the stands we hear, 'Hey, look! They aren't kneeling.' When I turn to see who said it, this is what I saw...three men roofing a house and respecting the flag," she wrote.

>> Read more trending news 

The post has been shared hundreds of times and sparked headlines nationally amid ongoing protests by NFL players.

Read more here.

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Man accused of ‘marrying’ 11-year-old stepdaughter, holding her captive for 19 years

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:18 PM

Man Accused Of ‘Marrying’ 11-Year-Old Stepdaughter, Holding Her Captive For 19 Years

An Oklahoma man was arrested in Mexico earlier this month amid allegations that he “married” his 11-year-old stepdaughter in a van, abducted her and kept her captive as his “wife” for nearly 20 years. 

Henri Michele Piette, 62, is charged with first-degree rape, two counts of lewd molestation and child abuse by injury, according to Oklahoma court records. He was taken into custody Oct. 5 in Mexico, where he lived with the victim and their children for years after her alleged abduction. 

The Oklahoman reported that the now 33-year-old victim, Rosalynn Michelle McGinnis, is speaking out about her ordeal since returning to the United States. Court records show that McGinnis escaped captivity last year with eight of her nine children and found her way to a U.S. Embassy in Mexico, where she received help. 

Her oldest child, a boy, had already run away from the remote village in which they lived. McGinnis told People magazine in August that she has since been reunited with her son. 

Piette was still at large and under investigation by federal investigators when McGinnis first detailed her ordeal and subsequent escape. 

“I knew that if I didn’t get out of there, I’d either go insane or I would end up dying and leaving my kids with that man,” McGinnis told the magazine.

She alleged in her interview that she was raped, beaten, stabbed, choked and shot during her captivity.  

Piette, who has since been returned to Wagoner County for prosecution, told Fox23 News in Tulsa last week that he’s innocent. 

“Most of it are lies,” he told the news station as he shuffled into a courtroom for a hearing, surrounded by deputies. “Ninety-nine percent are lies. I’m telling the truth.”

He also denied raping McGinnis.

“I never raped any children. I made love to my wife,” Piette said. “We were married.”

McGinnis told investigators that Piette first raped her at the age of 11 at their home in Wagoner, the Oklahoman reported. He later “married” her in the back of a van, giving her a ring.

Piette’s son told FBI investigators in January that he performed the “ceremony” for his father. The son was 15 at the time.

McGinnis told People that her “marriage” to Piette took place the day before he legally married her mother. 

McGinnis’ mother later left Piette because of abuse in the home, the Oklahoman said. She and her daughter were living at a woman’s shelter in Poteau, about 100 miles southeast of Wagoner, when Piette abducted the girl in January 1997 from her new school. 

Piette introduced McGinnis to his children as their new mother, court records obtained by the newspaper showed. In the subsequent years, they moved frequently, living in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana and Idaho before moving on to Mexico.

“McGinnis stated that she was sexually assaulted multiple times a day almost every day while she was with Piette,” the court documents read.

>> Read more trending news

Piette would return to Oklahoma occasionally and make McGinnis mail letters from there so authorities would believe she was still living somewhere in the state, she told investigators. He also changed everyone’s names often to stay hidden.

McGinnis told People that, at the age of 18, she was forced by Piette to get her name and photo taken off national missing persons’ lists. 

“He parked three blocks down the road from the Phoenix Police Department, and he had three of my children,” she told the magazine. “He told me what to tell them. He said that if I didn’t come back within two hours, I would never see my children again.”

McGinnis said she walked into the police station and told officers that she had run away from home at 12 because her parents were drug addicts and that “nice people” had taken her in and raised her. Police, with no evidence to the contrary, were forced to believe her. 

She returned to Piette and her captivity, where she remained for another 13 years. In that time frame, she had another six children by her alleged abductor. 

Larry Flynt offering up to $10M for information leading to Trump's impeachment

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 7:01 AM

FILE - In this April 30, 2011 file photo, Larry Flynt speaks in Los Angeles, Calif. Flynt is offering
FILE - In this April 30, 2011 file photo, Larry Flynt speaks in Los Angeles, Calif. Flynt is offering "up to $10 million" to anyone who produces information that leads to President Donald Trump's impeachment and removal from office. He lays out the offer in a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post. (AP Photo/Katy Winn, file)(Katy Winn/AP)

Hustler founder Larry Flynt is looking for information that will lead to President Donald Trump's impeachment – and he's willing to pay for it.

According to The Associated Press, the 74-year-old pornography publisher placed a full-page ad in Sunday's Washington Post to "announce a cash offer of up to $10 million" for the information. See the ad here.

"I do not expect any of Trump's billionaire cronies to rat him out, but I am confident that there are many people in the know for whom $10 million is a lot of money," the ad reads. "And just because you pay for information doesn't mean it's not good. Make no mistake, I fully intend to pay this entire sum."

>> Read more trending news

The ad continues: "Sure, I could use that $10 million to buy luxuries or further my businesses, but what good would that do me in a world devastated by the most powerful moron in history? I feel it is my patriotic duty, and the duty of all Americans, to dump Trump before it's too late."

This isn't the first time Flynt has offered money to derail Trump. The AP reported that Flynt offered $1 million during the 2016 presidential campaign for video or audio of Trump "behaving in an illegal or sexually demeaning manner."

Read more here.

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Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 5:35 AM



ActionNewsJax.com
(ActionNewsJax.com)

A man from Green Cove Springs, Florida, took his issues with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL to the sky Sunday.

>> Watch the news report here

At 1,000 feet, you could read the statement on the plane-towed banner saying, “Be American. Boycott the Jags and the NFL.”

Terry Smiley had the message printed on a banner that was flown above EverBank Field before the Jacksonville Jaguars' game against the Los Angeles Rams. 

This all-American sport is dividing fans after some NFL players took a knee during the national anthem.

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“I am asking people to boycott the football games. I don’t watch it on TV,” Smiley said. 

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Jaguars fan says he was asked to leave stadium for silent protest

People's feelings about politics and football seem to bleed together on the turf. 

“People need to realize the true message that they’re trying to send,” Jaguars fan Jay Crossman said. 

Smiley said he was disgusted by the Jags players who knelt in London. Now, he’s taking a stand, making his voice be heard. 

“Do you believe in your country? Do you believe in 'The Star-Spangled Banner'? If you don’t stand up for it now, you won’t have it in the future,” Smiley said. 

As a former Jags fan, he hired a pilot to fly his banner over the stadium for two hours to send his message about players kneeling. 

“I have the right to protest, and I’m going to protest it with bumper stickers, airplanes – whatever I go to do. I will continue to protest,” Smiley said.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts game after players take a knee during anthem

Some fans are on the offensive, saying players are kneeling for a greater cause – equality. 

“They are taking it in a peaceful manner. They are trying to use their words and use their actions instead of taking it to violence,” Jaguars fan Jaumari Day said. 

“They have publicly stated that they care about veterans and the flag and that’s not what they’re kneeling against,” Crossman said. 

Smiley is giving away bumper stickers in hopes his supporters will join him and boycott NFL football. 

>> Read more trending news

“We boycott them and we hit them in the pocketbook where it (hurts) them. (Before) long, we’ll have them on both of their knees,” Smiley said. 

“We have people who are legitimate concerns who happen to be NFL players. They still live in the community. They have a right to protest. That’s (Smiley's) right. Just like the NFL players who take their knee that’s their right. He has the right to do what he is doing,” Jaguars fan Calvin Sinclair said. 

A Green Cove Springs man took his issues with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL to the sky:

Posted by Action News Jax on Sunday, October 15, 2017

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