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DOJ Unlocks iPhone Without Apple’s Help, Dropping Legal Fight

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The Justice Department announced it has succeeded in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects and dropped its attempts to force Apple to break into the phone. The announcement ends a high-stakes legal battle but leaves a broader debate over encryption unresolved. The FBI wanted Apple to build a backdoor into the phone, but Apple said such a move would put the security of other iPhones at risk, as well. We ll have more on the story with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald later in the broadcast.

ACLU Sues over Sweeping Anti-Transgender Bill in North Carolina

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In North Carolina, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging a sweeping new law banning local governments from passing laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in public accommodations. The law, House Bill 2, commonly known as the “bathroom bill,” is widely considered to be the most wide-ranging anti-transgender law to take effect this year. It was introduced after the city of Charlotte passed its own ordinance seeking to protect the right of transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro announced the lawsuit.

Chris Sgro: “This morning, we re here to announce that Equality North Carolina, ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina and Lambda Legal have filed suit against the state of North Carolina in federal court in the state s Middle District. Along with those organizations, other plaintiffs join us in this suit, Carca o v. McCrory.

HB 2 is the most sweeping anti-LGBT bill in the nation, and it will not stand the test of time or the test of federal court.”

Georgia Governor to Veto Anti-LGBT “Religious Liberty” Bill

Meanwhile, Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal announced he would veto a so-called religious liberty bill critics say would allow discrimination against LGBT people. The measure would have let faith-based organizations in Georgia deny services and jobs to LGBT people. Deal had faced pressure to veto the bill from about 500 businesses and the National Football League, which implied Georgia might lose its bid to host the Super Bowl if the measure was enacted. We ll have more on the anti-LGBT measures in North Carolina and Georgia later in the show.

Arizona: Transgender Woman Detained by ICE, Sent to Male Detention Center

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A Mexican transgender woman and activist who has been living in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than a decade has been detained by U.S. immigration authorities and placed in a men s detention center, despite identifying as a woman. Local activists said Nayeli Charolet was given three choices: live at a men s detention center or in solitary confinement or in a segregated unit for transgender women. Activists say the segregated unit in Santa Ana, California, is known for its abuse of transgender women, with complaints of degrading strip searches by male guards and the denial of hormone therapy and other medical care. Charolet is currently being held in all-male facilities at the for-profit Eloy Detention Center in Arizona.

EgyptAir Flight Hijacked to Cyprus by Man Seeking to Speak with Ex-Wife

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A man claiming to be wearing an explosive belt hijacked an EgyptAir flight and forced it to land in Cyprus today over what authorities said appeared to be a “personal” matter, not a terrorist attack. The flight was en route to Cairo from the Egyptian city of Alexandria when it was diverted to the Cypriot port city of Larnaca. After negotiations, the alleged hijacker, Seif Eldin Mustafa, allowed most of the more than 50 passengers on board to walk free. He has now reportedly been arrested. Authorities say he wanted to talk to his estranged wife in Cyprus.

Brussels: Man Initially IDed as Third Airport Bomber Released

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In Belgium, a man charged with terrorism and identified by Belgian media as the “third bomber” in the deadly Brussels Airport bombings last week has been released. Faysal Cheffou, described as a citizen journalist, was picked out of a photographic lineup by a cab driver who said he drove the three bombers to the airport; two of them blew themselves up, the third escaped. Authorities released Cheffou Monday, saying they lacked evidence against him. They have now released surveillance video of the third bombing suspect at the airport, seeking help identifying him.


Capitol Police Shoot, Wound Man Accused of Pulling Gun

In Washington, D.C., police shot a man they say pointed a gun at them in a screening area of the visitor center at the U.S. Capitol. The man, identified as Larry Dawson of Tennessee, was taken to the hospital, as was a female bystander who suffered injuries. Dawson faces charges including assault with a deadly weapon. He is said to be in stable but critical condition. Police say he acted alone, and they have ruled out terrorism, saying, “There is no reason to believe that this is anything more than a criminal act.”

Fidel Castro on Obama Visit: “We Don’t Need the Empire to Give Us Anything”

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Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro has published a letter criticizing President Obama after Obama wrapped up a historic visit to Cuba last week. Castro invoked the multiple U.S. attempts to overthrow and subvert the Cuban government, from the Bay of Pigs invasion to the economic embargo. “We don t need the empire to give us anything,” Castro wrote. Responding to Castro, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said his words show Obama s visit made an impact.

Josh Earnest: “The fact that the former president felt compelled to respond so forcefully to the president s visit, I think, is an indication of the significant impact of President Obama s visit to Cuba.

We obviously were quite pleased with the reception that President Obama received from the Cuban people.”

Report: CIA Took Naked Photos of Detainees Before Sending Them for Torture

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The Guardian newspaper has revealed the CIA took naked photographs of people it sent to foreign countries for torture. The photographs, described by one U.S. official as “very gruesome,” were reportedly taken to protect the CIA from ramifications if the prisoners were tortured after being transferred to foreign custody. Human rights groups said taking naked photographs of prisoners constitutes sexual humiliation and could even be a war crime.

California Gov. Jerry Brown Unveils Deal to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

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California Governor Jerry Brown has formally announced a deal with lawmakers and union leaders to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The move avoids a November ballot measure that would have raised the minimum wage faster. On Monday, Governor Brown said California is the first state to take such a step.

Gov. Jerry Brown: “An agreement has been reached among key labor leaders, legislative leaders and my administration to raise the minimum wage, over time, to $15 an hour, making California the first state to do that. It s a matter of economic justice.

It makes sense. And it will help our entire state do much better for its citizens.”

Judge Strikes Down Puerto Rico’s Tax on Wal-Mart Amid Debt Crisis

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Wal-Mart has won a legal victory against Puerto Rico after a U.S. judge struck down a tax Puerto Rico tried to impose on the retailer. This comes as Puerto Rico faces a massive $70 billion debt. After Monday s ruling, Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garc a Padilla vowed to appeal, saying, “The judge just took away $100 million from the people of Puerto Rico and gave it to Wal-Mart.”

Argentina to Drop Funding for TeleSUR TV Network

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Argentina s new right-wing, pro-corporate government is cutting funding for the regional, Spanish-language television network TeleSUR. TeleSUR was launched in 2005 by a coalition of leftist governments, media outlets and movements, led by Venezuela under President Hugo Ch vez. Now, the administration of Argentine President Mauricio Macri will dump its nearly 20 percent stake, citing a lack of influence over financial and editorial decisions.

Al Jazeera Fires 500 Employees, Mostly at Qatar Headquarters

In other media news, the Al Jazeera Media Network has fired about 500 employees, most of them at its headquarters in Qatar. This comes after Al Jazeera announced in January it was shutting down its U.S. offshoot, Al Jazeera America.

Arizona: Maricopa County Recorder Apologizes for Primary Voting Mayhem

In Arizona, protests erupted inside the Legislature during a hearing over last week s primary voting day, when tens of thousands of people were unable to vote and many waited hours in line. One person was hauled away in handcuffs. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell addressed Arizona state lawmakers after the number of polling places in the county was slashed by 70 percent from 2012, from 200 to 60. Purcell apologized for the mayhem that resulted.

Helen Purcell: “As I said, we made some horrendous mistakes, and I apologize for that. I can t go back and undo it. I wish that I could, but I cannot. I can only say that we felt that we were using the best information that we had available to us and in past history.”

Former Blackstone Exec Arrested on Criminal Fraud Charges

In news from the financial world, a former top official at the massive private equity firm Blackstone Group has been arrested on criminal fraud charges for what U.S.

prosecutors called a “brazen” scheme to defraud investors of up to $95 million. Andrew Caspersen was a partner at the Park Hill Group, which until recently was part of the Blackstone Group. His father, Finn M.W. Caspersen, committed suicide in 2009 while under federal investigation for allegedly concealing millions of dollars in a tax shelter.

Report: 7 Million in U.S. at Risk of Human-Induced Earthquakes

About 7 million people in the United States live in areas at risk of an earthquake induced by human activity. That s according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey, which said states including Oklahoma and Kansas are now at as high of a risk as earthquake-prone California of a devastating earthquake. The Central United States has seen a spike in seismic activity due to the injection of wastewater from oil and gas drilling deep underground.

Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Winter Low Amid Unprecedented Heat

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A record swath of Arctic sea ice failed to freeze over the winter amid record-shattering heat. The National Snow and Ice Data Center said the sea ice s maximum expanse this winter was the lowest since record keeping began nearly 40 years ago. This comes after NASA announced two new missions to explore the disappearing sea ice in the Arctic. NASA scientist Walt Meier described the problem.

Walt Meier: “You ve probably heard that it s been a record-breaking winter in the globe, but it s been kind of turbo-charged in the Arctic record warmth. We ve seen temperatures 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. And then we ve seen the Arctic sea ice, that grows in the cold winter, dark winter period in the Arctic, it s been growing more slowly, because it s so much warmer than normal there, and it s covering less of an area than it normally does, and it s one of the lowest that we ve seen in our satellite record, going back almost 40 years now.”

Utah Becomes 1st State to Require Anesthesia for Abortions at 20 Weeks

And Utah has become the first state to require women having an abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy to receive general anesthesia. The measure signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert is based on the debunked claim a fetus can feel pain at that stage.

Doctors warn the law could force them to anesthetize women who have to have their labor induced because of problems with their pregnancy.

5 Things We are Being Harangued into Telling Ourselves About Zoos

Hello, all! It s been awhile since I have written and there is really no other reason other than life. Life just gets in the way and, I will admit, I am already setting my sights on Discount Holidays © holiday posts and shenanigans. I know, I know. It s only late September but I just can t help myself.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosDiscount Holidays © Holiday photos and shenanigans, such as these, take preparation, people!

And then, this article kept cropping up on my Facebook feed. It s titled, 5 Things We Need to Stop Telling Ourselves About Zoos1. My friends would post it; groups that I am a part of would share it and express their disbelief. I heard chatter at work, asking if we had seen or read it. For me, it sounded like another excellent example of word vomit2.

However, after seeing the link for the umpteenth time I went ahead and took the click-bait. I grabbed a glass of wine and prepared myself for a purge of unbridled anthropomorphism and fashionable rage. I read it and was a little surprised. No, there was nothing new about the reasons why society should attack zoos with pitchforks and torches. The surprising part was that the author seemed to try and show some restraint, presenting the shadows of a traditionally persuasive argument. As I have mentioned before, I hold cogent discussions in high regard so, please. Allow me to retort.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosLlllleeet s get ready to RUM-BLE!!

Proposed Myth #1: Zoos are for Conservation.

No dancing around here, the author went right for the heart of why we do what we do. I respect that. The author states,

While some zoos may contribute in small ways to conservation projects, the vast majority of animal species in zoos are not on the endangered list, and the ones who are will likely never be rehabilitated to their natural habitat. Contribute in small ways. Huh.

All of the education offered in dozens of ways to society by zoos and aquariums notwithstanding, let s get to what the author is referring to. MONEY. Zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) alone provide an annual sum of $160 million in funds3 for conservation projects around the world. Over 2500 projects in over 100 countries, to be exact. Sea World parks alone, who I mention because my opponent did, has given well over $10 million in grants through their conservation fund that was founded in 2004 by Ginny Busch. This does not include the $10 million they recently pledged to research of the critically endangered resident orca populations.

100% of the fund is given to conservation and research projects; this does not include any donations or monies spent from profits made by the parks. There is plenty more money, time, blood, sweat, and tears that all zoos and aquariums have given gladly over the years towards conservation.

It just takes some looking (or talking to us like human beings) to find the information because we are just now beginning to blow our own horns . Want to know who donates the most to conservation? American sportsmen contribute $3 million a day directly to wildlife conservation and protection through license fees, land usage fees, and excise taxes. That s almost $1.1 billion a year. This work has been done quietly for decades.

Haters gonna hate but it doesn t make all of that work or donations disappear.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosI said a hip hop,
Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don t stop, a rock it
To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie,
To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.

Now, let s look at our AR free the cages friends over at the author s table. PeTA and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are the first two non-profits that come to mind. As non-profits, all (or at least most) of their monies should be going towards conservation and/or education. Right? They wouldn t possibly thumb their nose at our efforts if theirs didn t at least match what zoos and aquariums were providing?

Here is the most recent report for PeTA on Charity Navigator (CN),4 where they earn 2 out 4 stars as a non-profit meaning by CN s standards, they are poor to middling in funneling donations towards much else other than crass campaigns aimed directly at your gag reflex.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosSays the troglodyte that swallowed, and then vomited, a live goldfish for his television show. I wonder how much this stunt cost you, taxpayers? Your compassion for animals underwhelms me, Steve-O.

The HSUS5 seems to be trying to clean their act up after an embarrassing Donor Advisory6 was issued by Charity Navigator in 2014. They were channeling their inner Ebenezer Scrooge and giving less than 1% of their donations (around $135 million annually) to the programs they touted to support. So tell me, HSUS, when exactly was it that you decided to rip off millions of consumers who fell prey to those tear jerker commercials?

Was it the plan from the jump or was it just too hard to see all that cash slip through your fingers?

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosJust remember, AR folks. When you point a finger, you have three more pointing back at you. #oldschool

As for the vast majority of animal species in zoos are not on the endangered list, and the ones who are will likely never be rehabilitated to their natural habitat , that s just straight up bamboozling. Rescue and release is a heavily mandated process through the federal government. Release is always the goal with wild animals that are rescued. It is vital to get them back out there so they can breed. Many of the animals that we care for permanently that are endangered, or critically endangered, are bred in the hopes of sustaining a population that could replace what s going extinct. This would happen in utopia when society finally joins hands to stop destroying their habitats, but we are always hopeful.

It will likely take several generations to faze ourselves out of the process if it happens; none of this matters yet because their natural world is on fire. So, in order to sustain our populations, this means we trade as part of our Species Survival Program (SSP) to keep the bloodlines fresh and the genetics diverse. Want to know what animals are threatened, endangered, or critically endangered so you can cross reference your local zoo? Here you go, check it out.7

Some animals we care for are not endangered, but are invasive or were confiscated (again, by the government) from irresponsible citizens. I have seen facilities housing tigers that were bought by drug dealers (Tony Montana-style), alligators raised on houseboats, monkeys with their teeth removed because they kept biting the person who bought them and pythons that suddenly weren t so fun to own as a pet once they reached 11 ft. in 5 short years. Many more animals were born at their facilities and humans are a part of their life, rendering them horribly vulnerable to harm in the wild.

There is much more to be said on this, but alas, I must move on.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosWell, at least they aren t feeding potato chips or cheeseburgers. *facepalm

Proposed Myth #2: Zoos are the best way to learn about animals

Let s all be honest, this is mired in opinion and we all know there is no shortage of those flying about. There have been some studies done here8, here9, and here10. Some were written (or funded) by AR advocates and some by zoo advocates. Ultimately, I can only speak for myself and what I have experienced firsthand. I have personally spoken to thousands of people over the last 15 years as part of my job. I have reached them from multiple posts; aquarist, biologist, marine mammal trainer, educator, and curator. Did I get to everyone?

No. Does everyone go to a zoo or aquarium to learn? No, they don t. They predominately want to touch things, take awesome photos/selfies, and ride roller coasters.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosBest. Photobomb. Ever.

The thing is that we don t care what brought you through the door. Once you are there, it is our job to jam some knowledge into your head and to plant the seed of critical thinking.

So for me, based on my 15 years of experience with endlessly discussing the same topic with the level of enthusiasm of doing it for the first time, this is my educated and professional opinion

Zoos and aquariums are our loudest and most effective voices for learning about our natural Earth and its inhabitants, as well as the challenges they face.

Proposed Myth #3: Zoos are a normal part of society

Okey doke. Let s look at the traditional definition of normal .

nor mal


Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.


The usual, average, or typical state or condition. So, what our author is implying is that you have been conditioned over time to just see the abuse of animals in human care as normal. Did you have any idea that you were so weak-minded? Neither did I. The article then goes on to compare zoos to freak shows of yore and refers to the fascination we had with humans (on display) that were profoundly different or of novel quality. Um, we still do that, genius.

It s called reality television .

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosJust one of MANY examples of our modern day Freak Shows

There is not a single zookeeper or animal care professional who will even try to say that their habitats are the size of the wild. What they will tell you is that they go to agonizing lengths to mimic every resource and environmental event that they need to behave naturally, independently and socially. What they will tell you is that their animals are not releasable, which is a decree that is made by our federal government. Take a wild guess what the other option is for most of them? It rhymes with sleuth-en-asia . (I m looking at you PeTA11)

What they will also tell you is that the better we do our jobs, the more naturally our animals interact with their environment and the more we learn about them and their intrinsic needs. In turn, this helps us more effectively communicate to our guests how our choices as a human population affect their wild counterparts.

Make all the sweeping statements about how vile you find zoos but our participation in research cannot be dismissed because it doesn t fit in your empty the cages rhetoric.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosI know, I know. Zoos are bad, m kay? and hearing anything else makes your face pucker.

Proposed Myth #4: Animals are happy in zoos

Okay, I have answered this question myself many a time and it just takes a fundamental grasp of biology and animal behavior. There is no way for us to tell if an animal is happy by the way we define happy as humans.

This is a perfect example of our author playing with anthropomorphism to make a point. What we can do as zoo professionals is look for behavioral cues that let us know how animals are receiving their environment. A wild animal s day is focused on one thing: survival. Every day is spent satisfying the first tier on Maslow s hierarchy of needs; physiological. They don t have the luxury of sitting around and musing if they are happy . We (humans) can only do so through endless years of evolution and probably why we are so neurotic. BTW, my activist friends.

Do you notice what is on the first tier? Sex. Keep that in mind when you scream for the termination of breeding programs.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosMaslow s Hierarchy of Needs

Animals in our care have food, shelter, and all the other components provided for them without fail which then leads us to securing their mental health and enrichment. What the author of this little think piece is trying to underpin his argument with is a phenomenon we call stereotypical behaviors . It s when, for any myriad of reasons, an animal repeats a behavior for noticeable time periods. It can be a reaction to an internal or external stimulus. It s something we look for with a critical eye as it can be a warning sign that something is up. And what is zoochosis ? That is a term coined by animal rights activists and not a term we use in zoological facilities. Psychosis is, again, a human condition that is still very much in the research phase.

Science learns more every day. Funny, while we are still learning the inner workings of human psychosis, our friends in the AR movement purport to know the inner workings of an animal mind. That s truly extraordinary.

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosNobody does.

As for eating excrement? Sometimes this can be a stereotypical behavior; sometimes it is completely normal. It depends on the species, the social group and hierarchy, the overall health and diet of that species, if an animal is in estrous, and many other variables. They are not humans so eating feces isn t something that earns them social ostracism. So please, if you see your male dog lapping up urine recently evacuated by a female dog do NOT flip out and diagnose them with zoochosis.

Besides, the vet knows you only want that diazepam for yourself. *wink*

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About Zoos

And finally (Thank God), we are at the final myth.

Proposed Myth #5: Zoos Care.

*Sigh.* You can make up your own mind on this one. This point has the feel of the circle jerk of I know you are but what am I? Talk to your local zoo or aquarium professionals and ask what their experiences are. Ask the rescue and rehab workers what it s like to be them and the emotional exhaustion they experience. This myth is a paper tiger and, quite frankly, the author doesn t even support this argument well him or herself. What caught my eye was the suggestion of observing animals in the wild or visit a sanctuary . Really? So, viewing animals in a sanctuary is different than viewing them in a zoo.

Why? Because they are non-profits? I think the majority of sanctuaries are performing miracles, having to rely on the scraps society throws them to provide quality care. It s either feast or famine with a sanctuary; when animals are fashionable they have funds pouring in. When the attention dies down, it s back to pulling veggies from their own homes to create a diet that day. Guess who donates a lot of money, resources, staff, and support for many sanctuaries on a consistent basis while society tunes in and out at their leisure? Come on you know!

You only get one guess! If you said, For-profit zoological facilities , you are correct!

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosI m always down for cookies.

Now, the suggestion to go out in the wild for a natural encounter as an alternative. There are some great programs and some terribly destructive ones. As the demand for wildlife encounters grows, legislation is simply not keeping up and funds are scarce to enforce existing regulations. Watch a perfect example of a legal area to swim with federal protected manatees and the ramifications shown HERE12. Our Florida Manatees migrate to find warmer waters annually, they cannot tolerate water below 68 degrees. It is imperative they find it in time (and stay there) to avoid cold stress and the subsequent frostbite (necrotic tissue and loss of limbs), suppressed immune systems, and respiratory issues.

So, yes. I strongly support the avenue of viewing animals in human care when this is the other option. A thousand times, yes. At the end of the day, make up your own mind. Utilize your critical thinking skills and determine for yourself how you feel about zoos, aquariums, and animals living in human care. Maybe it will lead you to support your local zoo/aquarium or maybe it will lead you to contributing to conservation in your own, effective way.

It is, and always will be, your choice. Ultimately, the most unpleasant experience I ve seen imposed on any animal today while writing this was forcing a Santa hat on that cat. You live life on the edge, sir.

I have a Gator game that is beckoning (GO GATORS!) so, until next time

Hugs and Fishes, ya ll!

5 Things We Are Being Harangued Into Telling Ourselves About ZoosWe bleed Orange and Blue!

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Marcato Checks Out Of FTSE-100 Hotels Giant

The American activist fund manager which demanded that InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) pursue a mega-merger with a rival has offloaded its 200m stake in the company.

Sky News has learnt that Marcato Capital Management, a San Francisco-based investment firm, sold most or all of its 4% shareholding in the owner of the Crowne Plaza and Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn brands several weeks ago.

It (Other OTC: ITGL1news2) was unclear on Sunday whether Marcato, which declined to comment, had since reinvested in IHG, which is the largest UK-based hotel operator and has a market capitalisation of more than 5.6bn.

However, sources close to the situation suggested that Marcato was no longer an investor in the British company.

They said the activist had sold its stake following a denial by IHG of a report in the Financial Times in late July which said that the UK-based company had held preliminary merger talks with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Marcato had made a “significant gain” on its holding in IHG, which operates nearly 5,000 hotels in 100 countries, one of the sources said.

Under UK listing rules, public companies are usually required to notify the market when shareholders with stakes of more than 3% materially increase or reduce their stakes.

However, some investment firms are exempt from this rule, which one source said explained why there had been no notification to the stock market of Marcato s disposal.

Marcato went public with its desire for IHG to pursue a combination with another hotel operator last November, arguing that the company had a “unique, limited-time opportunity to create significant long-term shareholder value”.

Referring to a report by Sky News earlier in 2014 that IHG had been approached about a deal by Wyndhams, another US hotelier, Marcato said it had become “concerned that the IHG board was not giving due consideration to the strategic alternatives available in the current industry and M&A mergers and acquisitions environment”.

The shareholder said it believed that “a combination with a larger hotel operator would have compelling strategic and financial merit and represents a unique opportunity to reshape the global hospitality industry”.

IHG issued a rebuttal of Marcato’s demands last year, saying that while it had met the firm twice and reviewed its analysis last autumn, its directors had “concluded that it remains in the best interests of all its shareholders to continue to pursue its current strategy for high quality growth and delivering strong operational and financial performance”.

IHG’s chief executive, Richard Solomons, has pleased shareholders with a series of substantial capital returns generated by the sale of flagship properties as it shifts its business model to hotel management rather than ownership.

In July, IHG sold the InterContinental in Hong Kong for almost $1bn, and said it would update investors on whether any of the proceeds would be returned to them alongside its annual results next February.

The group has also been accelerating its pipeline of new hotels, operating roughly 5% of the world’s existing rooms but with more than twice that level of the global industry’s slate of new rooms.

Despite its focus on organic growth, IHG did acquire Kimpton, the world’s biggest independent boutique hotels business, for 275m late last year.

It has also been named as a possible suitor for the parent company of Fairmont Hotels, which has been put up for sale for about $3bn, although insiders said that IHG would not be interested in pursuing a deal at anything close to that price.

Starwood is due to reveal the outcome of a strategic review which may lead to a sale in the next few months.

An IHG spokeswoman declined to comment, while a spokesman for Marcato did not reply to a request for comment.


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