Personal Secretary Ferial Govashiri, Sept. 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
950 MAIN ST.
WHO: Ferial Govashiri, President Obama’s former personal aide
WHAT: Lecture, sponsored by the Clark University Speakers’ Forum
WHEN: Tonight, Monday, April 24
WHERE: Jefferson 320, Clark University Campus, Worcester
Ms. Ferial Govashiri will reflect on a decade of her career alongside one of the world’s most powerful leaders, and will speak about the importance of identifying your passion and working hard to achieve your goals.
Govashiri is an Iranian-American political aide who has served as the personal aide to United States President Barack Obama since 2014.
She worked on then-Senator Barack Obama’s campaign, beginning in the summer of 2007 in his Chicago headquarters in the department of Scheduling and Advance.
Govashiri went on to work in the White House after the election. She is an active member of the Iranian American Women Foundation and has spoken at conferences on their behalf.
For the first five years of the Obama administration, Govashiri worked on the National Security Council (NSC), first as a Senior Advisor to Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor and then as the Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff and the Director of Visits at the NSC.
She helped plan the President’s foreign trips as well as foreign leaders’ visits to the White House.
IT’S TIME TO END CANADA’S BLOODY SEAL SLAUGHTER
By Danielle Katz
This year marks Canada’s 150th birthday, but as it prepares to celebrate, a dark cloud hangs over the festivities: the bloodbath that takes place off the East Coast every year.
I’m talking about Canada’s commercial seal slaughter, which began earlier this month. As you read this, baby seals are likely being shot to death or bludgeoned with hakapiks, deadly hooked clubs with a sharp metal tip.
Canada’s commercial seal slaughter is the largest mass killing of marine mammals on Earth, and it has become a stain on the country’s international reputation.
If we want this year’s to be the last one, every kind person must rally.
Thanks to sustained activism by PETA and others, we are close to ending it, but that’s little consolation to the tens of thousands of baby seals who will still be killed this year.
Sealers object to calling these animals “babies,” of course, but that’s exactly what they are. Many are slaughtered before they’ve even eaten their first solid meal or learned how to swim. While sealers are not allowed to kill “whitecoats,” the infants with the iconic fluffy white fur, they are permitted to do so as soon as the fur is shed, when the pups are only about 3 weeks of age.
Most are killed when they’re between 3 weeks and 3 months old.
These babies are defenseless and have no escape from the violence that rains down on them. Eyewitnesses have seen weeks-old pups shot in the face and wounded pups left to choke on their own blood as sealers rushed to attack the next fleeing victim. This horrific spectacle is repeated again and again on Canada’s ice floes every spring, and for what? For fur, a frivolous product that no one needs or even wants.
All major markets for seal fur have closed, including in the U.S., the E.U. and Russia. Effective April 1, Switzerland became the 35th country to ban imports of seal-derived products. And despite a marketing blitz that has cost Canadian taxpayers millions, China—where PETA Asia is active—has shown little interest in buying seal skins or meat.
In desperation, the industry is now trying to revive the trade in seal penises, dubiously marketing them as aphrodisiacs.
One by one, Canada’s excuses for continuing to defend the slaughter are disappearing. The commercial East Coast slaughter is not a subsistence activity but rather an off-season venture that enables a few small fishing villages to earn some pocket change.
When you factor in costs such as deploying the Coast Guard for several weeks each year to break up ice and rescue stranded sealers, flying delegations around the world to try to fight bans on seal fur, activist surveillance and funding the seal-hunt bureaucracy, the seal slaughter actually costs Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
And while commercial fishers have long scapegoated harp seals for diminishing cod populations, a scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says that the evidence for this claim is lacking. To the contrary, cod and seal populations have both grown over the last 10 years, according to John Brattey, who believes the seals actually prefer eating other types of fish. “We often find that seals are blamed for a lot of things,” he says.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tackled many social issues since taking office. Now, he has another opportunity to offer help to others who desperately need it: baby seals.
Please take a moment to urge Prime Minister Trudeau to lift the cloud darkening Canada’s anniversary celebrations by ending federal subsidies of the commercial seal slaughter. (Visit PETA.org to find out how.) Then use your social media accounts to help spread the word and get more people involved. Together, we can help make 2017 the year that this cruel massacre is brought to an end.