European Parliament wants to be Congress — A poll released by Gallup last week showed that only 10 percent of Americans approve of Congress, the lowest ever recorded. The Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas, however, reports from Strasbourg, France that the legislative body is much more popular across the Atlantic. In fact, many in the European Parliament are looking to emulate the political and legislative system of America. Some have even called for the establishment of a controversial new political system, which is being called the “United States of Europe.” Europe apparently even has their own Ron Paul, as Pappas labels him. Daniel Hannan is a conservative member of the European Parliament who essentially doesn’t think the body, or any type of European integration, should exist. Secretary General of the European Parliament Klaus Welle said while most in the European Parliament do want to replicate Congress, one thing they don’t want to emulate is the approval rating.
CNN making itself more relevant — CNN is further broadening its lineup to focus on long form docs instead of politics, and, as Michael Wolff writes in his USA Today column, that’s a good thing. New shows from Morgan Spurlock (the Super Size Me guy) and Ridley Scott launched Sunday and continue the break from its traditional 24/7 news format. Americans, as Wolff says, have become apathetic with politics. Jeff Zucker, the new leader of CNN, is focused on human interest, and believes that will get people watching between the breaking news stories that Wolff says is the network’s “meat.” In between these stories of war, crime, weather and other general mayhem, the news audience drifts to their respective sides to watch talking heads on MSNBC or Fox News, leaving CNN grasping for viewers. With more action and more subjects, such as America’s fascination with marijuana (the subject of one of Spurlock’s Inside Man episodes), Zucker, and Wolff, believe it will draw a larger audience of people who are tired of hearing about politics and more interested in things that they can personally relate with, such as pot.
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Historically important fish species dying out — The story of America’s founding is a story of liberty, courage and rebellion. And, of course, shad. Many credit the fish to keeping George Washington‘s Continental Army together after the soldiers stumbled upon a run of shad so thick that, as one first hand account recorded, “when the fish were cornered in the nets, a pole could not be thrust into the water without striking fish.” But as WaPo’s Darryl Fears reports, the shad population is dying out. As Joseph Gordon, Pew Charitable Trusts manager of the U.S. Oceans in the northeast says, most of the population of both shad and river herring has declined 90 percent. The commercial fishing industry, along with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, are taking measures to conserve the species. Experts say shad and herring are important species and provide a strong base in the food chain. It’s predicted that, with appropriate measures, the species can be brought back to healthy numbers. The shad saved America, now it’s time for America to save the shad.