US in Afghanistan has own “Abu Ghraib” torture


This video from the USA is called Moazzam Begg on detainment, torture, and civil liberties 1/5.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

From the Google cache.

US in Afghanistan has own “Abu Ghraib” torture

Linking: 10 Comments: 5

Date: 2/18/05 at 5:11PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: War, by Edwin Starr

From the article below:

Meanwhile, photographs taken in southern Afghanistan showing US soldiers from the 22nd Infantry Battalion posing in mock executions of blindfolded and bound detainees, were purposely destroyed after the Abu Ghraib scandal to avoid “another public outrage”, the documents show.

Hey, I thought I read recently that Ms Rose Mary Woods, ex secretary of Richard Nixon, of Watergate scandal legal evidence destroying fame, had died.

Was that report untrue and is Ms Woods still working, for George W. Bush???

From British daily The Guardian:

Papers reveal Bagram abuse

· Prisoners subjected to ‘mock executions’
· Photographs of detainees being sexually humiliated

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington and James Meek

Friday February 18, 2005

New evidence has emerged that US forces in Afghanistan engaged in widespread Abu Ghraib-style abuse, taking “trophy photographs” of detainees and carrying out rape and sexual humiliation.

Documents obtained by the Guardian contain evidence that such abuses took place in the main detention centre at Bagram, near the capital Kabul, as well as at a smaller US installation near the southern city of Kandahar.

The documents also indicate that US soldiers covered up abuse in Afghanistan and in Iraq – even after the Abu Ghraib scandal last year.

A thousand pages of evidence from US army investigations released to the American Civil Liberties Union after a long legal battle, and made available to the Guardian, show that an Iraqi detained at Tikrit in September 2003 was forced to withdraw his report of abuse after soldiers told him he would be held indefinitely.

Meanwhile, photographs taken in southern Afghanistan showing US soldiers from the 22nd Infantry Battalion posing in mock executions of blindfolded and bound detainees, were purposely destroyed after the Abu Ghraib scandal to avoid “another public outrage”, the documents show.

Read more here.

And here.

And here.

Higher death rate for British soldiers in Afghanistan than for US in Vietnam


This video from the USA is called Ted Goodnight. Bush protest. New London CT.

“Ted Goodnight of Veterans for Peace served fifteen years in the Reserves, volunteered for active duty after 9/11 and spent nine months in Afghanistan. He now strongly opposes the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”

From the Daily Mail in Britain:

Afghanistan death rate tops Vietnam

By GORDON RAYNER and JAMES CHAPMAN

British troops on the front line in Afghanistan are suffering the highest fatality rate since the Second World War after a dramatic escalation in fighting in recent weeks.

Soldiers are being killed in such numbers that if the current level continues the losses will be greater than among U.S. troops in Vietnam.

One in 36 would not survive a six-month tour of duty – a more chilling toll than experienced in the Falklands or the Korean War.

British security guard killed in Afghanistan: here.

USA: plover and tern on the verge of extinction in Iowa


This video is called bald eagles in Iowa city; in Iowa, USA.

From Animal science blog:

Two Iowa Birds on the Verge of Extinction

There are a number of wildlife species that have not fared well in the changing Iowa landscape and have been listed as endangered or threatened.

Endangered species are animals and plants that are in danger of becoming extinct and threatened species are animals and plants that are likely to become endangered in the near future.

No doubt that bald eagle which was once listed in the endangered species list is flying off the list. But still there are a number of species that remain on the list.

The Interior Least Tern and the Piping Plover are among the two species that are there in the list of endangered species and are facing the challenges. This means if steps are not being taken, they can become extinct.

Interior Least Tern:

Interior least tern is the interior population of the least tern which tops the list of endangered species. Dams, reservoirs, and other changes to river systems have eliminated least tern habitat. Least terns prefer the wide channels dotted with sandbars and these have been replaced by narrow forested river corridors.

Piping Plovers:

A resident of sand-flats and shorelines east of the Rocky Mountains, the population of Piping Plovers has declined dramatically due to human actions. There have been continuous loss of habitat and predation of their young.

See also here.

Endangered Species Act: here.

Animals and sleep: here.

California Least Tern population recovering but still fragile in Alameda Co.: here.

Invasive animals in the Great Lakes of North America


This video from the USA is called Alewife biology and conservation.

From National Wildlife Magazine in the USA:

Alien Invasion: A Great Lakes Dilemma

By Eric Sharp

Some 180 exotic species have found their way into the lakes during the past 200 years, jeopardizing the entire ecosystem; can we stop them?

ON A BRIGHT August afternoon last summer, an armada of 78 small craft pulled away from the Boat Tavern in Bath, Illinois, for an Illinois River fishing tournament in which no one was permitted to use a fishing rod. They returned three hours later with a staggering 1,804 fish that ranged from 5 to 20 pounds, every one of which either jumped into a boat or was scooped out of the air like a monstrous butterfly by people wielding landing nets.

The Redneck Carp Tournament was an attempt to focus national attention on a developing environmental disaster—silver and bighead carp from Southeast Asia that have invaded Midwest rivers and that may soon move into the Great Lakes, where experts already have tallied more than 180 exotic species from around the world. If they do reach the lakes, they could wreck the $5-billion commercial and sport fisheries that the governments of two nations have spent 40 years and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to restore after the last biological disaster there.

The first exotics to enter the Great Lakes were probably sea lampreys and alewives, initially recorded in Lake Ontario after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The massive barrier of Niagara Falls kept invasive species out of the four Upper Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior—until the Welland Canal in 1829 opened a waterway between Lakes Ontario and Erie, beginning a slow but steady progression of new creatures that threatened the survival of native species.

Bridle shiner in the USA: here.

Indian mathematicians’ discoveries predated Newton’s


This video is about the the three laws of physics of Sir Isaac Newton.

From ScienceDaily:

Indians Predated Newton ‘Discovery’ By 250 Years, Scholars Say

A little known school of scholars in southwest India discovered one of the founding principles of modern mathematics hundreds of years before Newton — according to new research.

Dr George Gheverghese Joseph from The University of Manchester says the ‘Kerala School‘ identified the ‘infinite series‘- one of the basic components of calculus – in about 1350.

The discovery is currently – and wrongly – attributed in books to Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz at the end of the seventeenth centuries.

The team from the Universities of Manchester and Exeter reveal the Kerala School also discovered what amounted to the Pi series and used it to calculate Pi correct to 9, 10 and later 17 decimal places.

And there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Indians passed on their discoveries to mathematically knowledgeable Jesuit missionaries who visited India during the fifteenth century.

That knowledge, they argue, may have eventually been passed on to Newton himself.

Dr Joseph made the revelations while trawling through obscure Indian papers for a yet to be published third edition of his best selling book ‘The Crest of the Peacock: the Non-European Roots of Mathematics’ by Princeton University Press.

He said: “The beginnings of modern maths is usually seen as a European achievement but the discoveries in medieval India between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries have been ignored or forgotten.

“The brilliance of Newton’s work at the end of the seventeenth century stands undiminished — especially when it came to the algorithms of calculus.

“But other names from the Kerala School, notably Madhava and Nilakantha, should stand shoulder to shoulder with him as they discovered the other great component of calculus- infinite series.

“There were many reasons why the contribution of the Kerala school has not been acknowledged – a prime reason is neglect of scientific ideas emanating from the Non-European world – a legacy of European colonialism and beyond.

“But there is also little knowledge of the medieval form of the local language of Kerala, Malayalam, in which some of most seminal texts, such as the Yuktibhasa, from much of the documentation of this remarkable mathematics is written.

Play on mathematics: here.

India in the 1920s: here.

I’ve got an article in the New Statesman guest edited by Melvyn Bragg about maths as the language of science: here.

USA: Bush and Gonzales want still more death penalties


This ia a musical video from the USA by Op-Critical. Protest statement against the Death Penalty. Just how much blood is on George W. Bush’s hands? Winner of Indie Music Video Festival.

From British daily The Independent:

Bush’s lethal legacy: more executions

The US already kills more of its prisoners than almost any other country. Now the White House plans to cut the right of appeal of death row inmates…

By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles

Published: 15 August 2007

The Bush administration is preparing to speed up the executions of criminals who are on death row across the United States, in effect, cutting out several layers of appeals in the federal courts so that prisoners can be “fast-tracked” to their deaths.

With less than 18 months to go to secure a presidential legacy, President Bush has turned to an issue he has specialised in since approving a record number of executions while Governor of Texas.

The US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales – Mr Bush’s top legal adviser during the spree of executions in Texas in the 1990s – is putting finishing touches to regulations, inspired by recent anti-terrorism legislation, that would allow states to turn to the Justice Department, instead of the federal courts, as a key arbiter in deciding whether prisoners live or die.

The US is already among the top six countries worldwide in terms of the numbers of its own citizens that it puts to death. Fifty-two Americans were executed last year and thousands await their fate on death row.

See also here.

Gonzales and the death penalty, cartoon

US Supreme Court upholds lethal injection, opening way to resumed executions: here. And here.

Executions by lethal injection in Texas and Virginia: here.

Bush approves execution of army prisoner: here.