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Nation in brief

PETA ads are racist, civil rights groups say

By wire services
Published August 14, 2005

RICHMOND, Va. - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is reconsidering a campaign linking images of animal abuse with those of slavery after complaints from civil rights groups and others.

The animal rights group's "Animal Liberation" campaign included 12 panels juxtaposing pictures of black people in chains with shackled elephants and other provocative images.

The Norfolk, Va., group wrapped up the first leg of the tour in Washington on Thursday, visiting 17 cities before deciding to put the tour on hold.

"We're not continuing right now while we evaluate," said Dawn Carr, a PETA spokeswoman. "We're reviewing feedback we've received - most of it overwhelmingly positive and some of it quite negative."

One panel showed a black civil rights protester being beaten at a lunch counter beside a photo of a seal being bludgeoned. Another panel, titled "Hanging," showed a graphic photo of a white mob surrounding two lynched blacks, their bodies hanging from tree limbs, while a nearby picture showed a cow hanging in a slaughterhouse.

"PETA operates by getting publicity any way they can," said John White, an NAACP spokesman. "They're comparing chickens to black people?"

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project with the Southern Poverty Law Center, in Montgomery, Ala., called the exhibit "disgusting."

"Black people in America have had quite enough of being compared to animals without PETA joining in," he said.

PETA officials apologized earlier this year for a campaign that compared the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust with that of factory animals.

Irene unlikely to threaten land, forecasters say

MIAMI - Forecasters said Saturday that Tropical Storm Irene was likely to turn north in the Atlantic and posed no threat to land.

At 5 p.m EDT, Irene was about 445 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and moving north-northwest, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters expected it to turn north Saturday night or today. Irene had top sustained winds of 70 mph, and would become a hurricane if those winds reached 74 mph.

Meanwhile, a tropical depression formed about 1,100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

"It's way out there and there's no indication that it's going to threaten land in the next five days," said hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart.

The depression had top sustained winds of 35 mph, and forecasters said it could become a tropical storm - with top winds of 39 mph - today. The next tropical storm will be named Jose.

Irene broke records by becoming the earliest ninth tropical storm to form in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

[Last modified August 14, 2005, 01:17:19]

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