A man checks the quality of ivory stocks before an auction at the London docks in January 1948.
Credit Popperfoto / Getty Images
President Daniel arap Moi ignites $3 million of elephant ivory and rhino horn confiscated from poachers by Kenya National Park game wardens in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 1989.
Credit Tom Stoddart / Getty Images
Seized elephant tusks are crushed with a steamroller during a ceremony at the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, Philippines, on June 21.
The value of elephant ivory has skyrocketed in the past few years. That's led to a huge increase in elephant poaching in Africa and, in turn, created new urgency to stop the trade. And as poachers have become savvier, scientists have devised more sophisticated methods of catching the thieves.
A pound of ivory is now worth more than $1,000, with wildlife experts attributing the rise in price largely to consumers, especially in Asia, who have new money to spend on ivory carvings.
Johnny Depp says that with his portrayal of Tonto in <em>The Lone Ranger,</em> he tried to "right the wrongs of what had been done with regards to the representation of Native Americans in cinema."
Adorned with a dead black crow, headband and face paint, Depp said he knew his Tonto would need to go "against the grain of what had been done before, [he] knew it would require a very, very important iconic look."
Some critics aren't fans of Disney's Tonto and think that the character is a major setback for the Native American image.
Johnny Depp pauses on the red carpet before the Comanche Nation premiere of <em>The Lone Ranger.</em>
The Lone Ranger has long been a fictional hero, taming the Wild West with his trusty Indian guide, Tonto. The faithful companion helps the white man fight bad guys, and does so speaking in pidgin English.
Tonto made his first appearance on the radio in the 1930s, voiced by a non-Native American actor, John Todd. In the series, Western settlers face down what they call "redskins" and "savages." And trusty Tonto is always on hand to interpret the smoke signals.
All week, we are looking at demographic changes in the currently very red, very Republican Lone Star state. Democrats hope the growing size and potential voting clout of the Latin population will turn Texas blue.
Whether that happens or not, the Texas Democratic Party already bears little resemblance to what it looked like when it last dominated Texas politics decades ago.
NPR's Don Gonyea brings us the latest in our series Texas 2020.
President Obama announced, last week, a hugely ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and push the country towards cleaner energy. Right now, just nine percent of our energy consumption comes from renewable sources.
Former U.S. secretary of energy Steven Chu would like to see us get to 50 percent by the middle of the century. Chu left the cabinet in April, but even before that, he began talking to utility companies could adopt a radically different business model.
And farther south on the African continent, President Obama is wrapping up a three-country tour. He's in Tanzania now, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president and reports on Obama's first day in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.