UK: climate change link to ring ouzel decline?


Ring ouzel

From BirdLife:

Climate change link to ouzel decline?

31-05-2006

Pioneering research work undertaken by the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) has shown that a sharp decline in the numbers of one of the UK’s least understood birds could be linked to climate change.

Now conservation scientists from RSPB Scotland are to monitor the movements of the Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus using radio-tracking equipment, in the hope that the study will provide information to help them improve the status of the species.

The species is in serious trouble in the UK with an estimated population decline of almost 60% between 1990 and 1999.

The climate change research work published in the Journal of Animal Ecology reveals that the drop in the ouzel’s population could be linked to recent increases in UK temperatures in July and August after most chicks have fledged.

July 2011: The RSPB has teamed up with environmental funder SITA Trust and Dartmoor National Park Authority in an attempt to stem the decline of the ring ouzel in Dartmoor: here.

RSPB Scotland scientists have uncovered new evidence that could help to halt the dramatic decline of a rare upland bird. Scotland’s population of ring ouzels – popularly known as mountain blackbirds – has dropped by 36% since 1999 and these striking birds are vanishing from many of their former haunts in the rocky hillsides and gullies of the highest parts of the country: here.

Protecting albatrosses: here.

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Iraq: US troops kill two women, one of them pregnant


This video from the USA is called Iraqi Civilian Speeks at anti war rally.

Associated Press reports:

By KIM GAMEL

BAGHDAD, Iraq May 31, 2006 — Two Iraqi women were shot to death north of Baghdad after coalition forces fired on a vehicle that failed to stop at an observation post, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

Iraqi police and relatives said one of the women was about to give birth. …

The statement was issued after Iraqi police said a pregnant woman and her cousin were killed by American troops while driving to a maternity hospital in Samarra, a predominantly Sunni city 60 miles north of Baghdad.

The shooting deaths occurred in the wake of an investigation into allegations that U.S. Marines killed unarmed civilians in the western city of Haditha.

AP Television News footage showed the women’s bodies wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat.

Haditha, and these two women, are only the tip of the bloody iceberg in Iraq.

Britain and Haditha: see here.

USA: Abu Ghraib torture: Rumsfeld, not just ‘bad apples’


This video from the USA is called Abu Ghraib covered up, Congress misled by Rumsfeld.

By Simon Assaf in Britain:

Documents confirm horror of Abu Ghraib

A new batch of declassified US army documents has strengthened the case that torture in Iraq and Afghanistan was officially sanctioned, widespread and systematic.

Last week George Bush apologised for the abuse at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, describing it as “a mistake”.

But the new documents show that the abuse simply reflected the colonial mentality of the US led occupation – and that it was ordered from above.

One key document, dated 19 May 2004 and recently unearthed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), includes the testimony of a US officer.

It outlines a 35-page order commanding interrogators to “go to the outer limits to get information from the detainees”.

The order was sanctioned by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the US military commander in Iraq at the time.

Another document, entitled “Allegations of Detainee Abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan” and dated 2 April 2004, shows that senior officials were aware of the abuse.

Anthony Romero of the ACLU said the document proves that “this abuse of power was engineered and accepted at the highest levels of government”.

US ‘rendition’ torture flights: here.

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Israel: new invertebrate animal species found in cave


Crustacean, found by cave research in IsraelFrom the Hebrew University of Jerusalem:

30 May, 2006

Press Conference on New Species Revealed in Cave

A press conference to reveal details of new species of invertebrate animals discovered in Israel that have been unknown to science until now will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, May 31, at 9:30 a.m. in room 3602 of the Geography Department (building 6, Social Sciences Faculty) of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus campus.

The new species were revealed in a cave that was uncovered as a result of excavations in a quarry in the vicinity of Ramle [in Israel].

Scientists from the Hebrew University who examined the cave say they discovered there “a new and unique ecosystem,” including previously unknown aquatic and terrestrial species.

Update: what was said on the newly discovered cave and its animal species at the press conference: here.

See also here.

New invertebrate species in Grand Canyon, USA, caves: here

USA: poster against torture in Iraq


Anti torture in Iraq poster from New York

From Art for a change blog:

unidentified artists with a small budget produced the “iRaq” poster – a brilliant detournment of Apple Computer’s portable MP3 player ad campaign.

The subversive poster features the infamous image of an Iraqi prisoner tortured by American jailers at Abu Ghraib prison, with a subhead that reads, “10,000 volts in your pocket, guilty or innocent.”

The poster was designed by a New York artist’s collective whose members prefer anonymity.

Calling themselves Copper Greene, after the code name used by the Pentagon to describe its program of prisoner abuse in Iraq, these nameless artists succeeded in turning a multi-million dollar ad campaign on its head.

Eminem/Iraq remix video: here.