AP NEWS

Max and Fluffy

August 6, 2018

Some of the last-minute work completed by Massachusetts legislators last week gave protections to our pets.

Lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that would double penalties on hit-and-run accidents on dogs and cats.

The penalty for such a crime would go from $50 to $100 for first-time offenders. For a second offense, the fine rises to $500 and medical expenses up to $2,500.

Another measure in the bill ensures animals would also no longer face mandatory extermination if involved in animal fighting.

There are a few other protections in the legislation. While our lawmakers are meant to be primarily protecting the citizenry, animals are much more than property to their owners, and it is good that the law reflects that.

Our pets are our helpless charges, and our humanity is enriched by their presence.

We hope that Gov. Charlie Baker agrees and signs the bill immediately.

Fallen heroes return

As a result of the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the remains of U.S. soldiers missing since the Korean War were handed over to U.S. military personnel.

In a solemn ceremony, 55 cases of remains were loaded into vehicles for transfer and returned to the United States last week.

The Pentagon reported that the remains are “consistent with being Americans” and the process to identify the U.S. soldiers for return to their families -- and a proper military burial with honors -- will soon commence. Some forensics experts said it could take years to complete the process, but the Trump administration and defense officials are committed to expediting the work.

Trump, addressing reporters, said, “I want to thank Chairman Kim in front of the media for fulfilling a promise that he made to me and I’m sure that he will continue to fulfill that promise as they search and search and search. These incredible American heroes will soon lay at rest on sacred American soil.”

Over 7,500 U.S. soldiers are missing from the Korean War, a conflict in which 36,000 Americans were killed.

President Trump deserves praise for bringing these beloved soldiers home. Hopefully, the North Koreans will truly understand the value of collaborating with U.S. officials to locate and return other Americans lost during that terrible war, bringing respectful closure to families left grieving for more than 60 years.

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