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Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: Urgent relief for UH students

Reaching $1 million has a nice ring to it — and it’s extra nice that the funds will help students complete their education. That donation milestone was recently reached by the University of Hawaii Urgent Student Relief Fund, which aids students across the system’s 10 campuses. The campaign was launched March 23 as the coronavirus crisis hit, leaving many in dire straits: facing tough choices between food, shelter or completing their studies. Hawaii’s lockdown continues at least through April 30, as does the need for relief. For more, see

A seal and a shameful slap

It was the slap seen ’round the world.

A young man approached a critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal lounging on an Oahu beach and slapped it. The seal lunged at him as he ran off. The incident was captured on TikTok and other social media platforms. Aside from the obvious violation of the Endangered Species Act — for which the culprit paid state and federal fines, and apologized through his lawyer — it raises another issue. Will this widely viewed act discourage future incidents, or encourage them?

Such are the perils of social media “stardom.”

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