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February 24, 2016

Hunters kill at least as many animals illegally as they do legally — and with busy and underfunded wildlife law enforcement, anti-poaching teams can be strapped for the resources to catch the criminals. So wouldn't it be nice if there were some sort of zombie deer officials could keep an eye on, and then nail poachers when it was shot at — with no harm to an actual deer?

In fact, there is a kind of zombie deer roaming the American wilderness, along with robot elk, bears, turkeys, foxes, and wolves, The Washington Post reports. Across the nation, wildlife law enforcement are using taxidermy robot decoys that look and move like real animals in order to trick poachers into pulling the trigger. Officers drop into a region where they've been tipped off about illegal hunting and then set up the decoy, using a remote to move its head, tail, or legs. The officials can then arrest an illegal hunter who shoots at the decoy — and the mechanized animal can go on its merry, robotic way.

Without using decoys, "To have a poacher, a wild animal and a law enforcement officer at the same scene, it's like winning the lottery,” the Custom Robotic Wildlife owner Brian Wolslegel said. Plus, if the poacher gets caught, "the animal already died in the process."

But undead robots can still look real and alive, even after being shot 100 times. That is in part because they are filled with Styrofoam, so bullets pass through their cores without any problem. If the motor gets hit, it's replaceable. Law enforcement can make up to $30,000 in fines off each robot.

However, because the robots are outfitted in actual animal skins, they can look a little creepy to the knowing eye. Watch below. Jeva Lange

8:14 p.m. ET

Donald Trump spent his Memorial Day weekend the same way he spent every other day this year: Fighting on Twitter.

This time, his target was The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol. The kerfuffle started Sunday, when Kristol tweeted, "Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance." Trump wasted no time responding with an insult for Kristol wrapped in a piece of advice for Republicans. "Bill Kristol has been wrong for 2yrs — an embarrassed loser, but if the GOP can't control their own, then they are not a party. Be tough, R's!" He later tweeted, "The Republican Party has to be smart & strong if it wants to win in November. Can't allow lightweights to set up a spoiler Indie candidate!" and "If dummy Bill Kristol actually does get a spoiler to run as an Independent, say good bye to the Supreme Court!"

Kristol is a leader of the #NeverTrump movement, and told CNN on Monday morning he couldn't spill any more details on the alleged independent candidate because there are "still lots of I's to dot and T's to cross." On Monday evening, a clearly pleased with himself Kristol tweeted, "I'm traveling, so hadn't realized I'd so upset @realDonaldTrump. I'm sorry the mere mention of an independent candidate has so unnerved him." He then got in one more jab: "I hope my mention of an independent candidate didn't distract him while paying respects during whichever Memorial Day ceremony he attended." Trump hasn't responded to Kristol's latest tweets, having already moved on to a new opponent: Judge Gonzalo Curiel, "the totally biased" judge in his Trump University case. Catherine Garcia

7:14 p.m. ET
AFP/Getty Images

The former president of Chad, Hissene Habre, was sentenced to life in prison Monday for war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape, forced sexual slavery and kidnapping.

He served as president from 1982 to 1990, and during that time 40,000 people were killed and thousands more kidnapped, raped, and tortured. The 73-year-old's case was heard by a special tribunal organized by the African Union, under a deal with Senegal, and it was the first time a country prosecuted a former head of another country for rights abuses, Agence France-Presse reports. Over the course of the 10-month trial, Hasse refused to address the court, and never recognized its authority. He has two weeks to appeal the sentence.

Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam said Habre presided over "a system where impunity and terror were the law," and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the verdict proved "nobody is above the law." In 1990, after he was ousted by current president Idriss Deby, Habre and his wife and children fled to Senegal. Human Rights Watch says his conviction for raping a woman is a first by an international court trying an ex-world leader, and lawyers for the victims are planning on filing civil suits to obtain compensation. Catherine Garcia

12:50 p.m. ET

On Monday, President Obama marked his last Memorial Day in office with a White House breakfast reception for veterans groups and families of service members killed in combat, followed by a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. At Arlington, Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, commemorating the members of the U.S. military who died in service of their country.

Obama spoke of the duty the rest of the country has to care for the loved ones of fallen soldiers and veterans. "We need to be there not just when we need them, but when they need us," Obama said. He noted that 20 service members have died in combat in the past year, a reminder that the U.S. is fighting in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. You can watch Obama lay the wreath and hear the military band play the Star Spangled Banner in the video below. Peter Weber

12:02 p.m. ET

Mass bleaching caused by global warming and El Niño has killed 35 percent of the coral in the northern and central parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef in just the past few months, scientists said Monday. The southern section of the 1,400-mile reef has seen only minor damage. Warming waters have been causing bleaching in reefs around the world for two years, but the damage in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's east coast has occurred over just two months. Bleached coral that hasn't died can recover if the water temperature drops. You can learn more, including how the report is affecting Australian politics, in the Associated Press report below. Harold Mass

11:24 a.m. ET

Mexican police rescued international soccer star Alan Pulido hours after he was kidnapped in northeast Mexico. Pulido, 25, appeared at a brief news conference on Monday and told reporters he was "very well." He had a bandage on his right hand. Pulido, a striker who has played for Mexico's national team several times, was leaving a party with his girlfriend on Saturday night in Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state when their car was surrounded by several trucks. Pulido was taken away, and his girlfriend was left unharmed. You can watch Pulido's news conference below. Harold Mass

10:35 a.m. ET
STR/Getty Images

An estimated 700 Libyan migrants died last week as their boats capsized in the Mediterranean during an attempted crossing to Italy, adding to a swelling death toll of more than 8,000 migrants to Europe since 2014. In September 2015, those deaths were encapsulated in a photo of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian boy whose drowned body washed up on the coast of Greece.

Another such photo came out of a rescue effort off the coast of Libya on Sunday organized by a German humanitarian organization called Sea-Watch. It shows a German rescue volunteer named Martin cradling a drowned baby who appears to be sleeping.

Seeing the child's body floating in the water, "I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive," Martin said. "I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heart-rending moment. Just six hours ago this child was alive."

You can view the sad, unsettling photo here. Bonnie Kristian

10:26 a.m. ET

Last Week Tonight occasionally does a segment called "How Is This Still a Thing?" where a narrator pokes holes in a real thing that John Oliver and his writers think should disappear, like daylight savings and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. On Sunday night, "in the interest of innovation," Oliver posted a twist on this idea, proposing "non-things that should absolutely be thing-afied," as he explained. Some proposals, like an all-dog Blue Man Group and a universal key word to get out of awkward small-talk, are kind of silly. The search engine for parents, crying house key, and biodegradable home treadmill are all great ideas. And his biggest innovation? Well, you can decide for yourself: "Why do we not yet have bread pants — which are, of course, sweat pants made of bread?" If that sounds unsanitary, well, yes, but watch below to see if Oliver can sell you on the idea anyway. Peter Weber

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