Art by prisoners exhibited in London


This video from the USA is called Jailhouse Art.

From British daily The Morning Star:

CHRISTINE LINDEY welcomes a new exhibition of outsider art from the inside world of the prison.

ABOUT 200 works by prisoners and others in confinement in Britain, including those in high-security psychiatric hospitals and immigration removal centres, are exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Rare European Roller seen in Wales


This video from Spain is called European Roller, Carraca. Coracias garrulus.

From Wildlife Extra:

European Roller seen in Wales

National Trust staff were amazed to see a bird which is more suited to the warmer climes of Europe passing time on the Welsh coast. Local naturalist, Barry Stewart, first spotted the European Roller at Welsh Moor Common on the Gower Peninsula in early August. The bird stayed for a couple of days before heading off again. During that time hundreds of birders flocked to the National Trust property to catch sight of this unusual bird.

A rare visitor to these shores, each year there are on average two sightings of a European roller in the UK.

Seven-year-old Muslim boy stopped in US three times on suspicion of being a terrorist


This video from the USA is Press Play – A short film about paranoia.

Not just famous Egyptologists may be considered to be terrorists in the USA today …

From the Daily Mail in Britain:

Seven-year-old Muslim boy stopped in US three times on suspicion of being a terrorist

By JAYA NARAIN

Last updated at 10:41am on 20th August 2007

For seven-year-old Javaid Iqbal, the holiday to Florida was a dream trip to reward him for doing well at school.

But he was left in tears after he was stopped repeatedly at airports on suspicion of being a terrorist.

The security alerts were triggered because Javaid shares his name with a Pakistani man deported from the US, prompting staff at three airports to question his family about his identity.

The family even missed their flight home from the U.S. after officials cancelled their tickets in the confusion. And Javaid’s passport now contains a sticker saying he has undergone highlevel security checks. …

His father Nadeem Iqbal, 48, a consultant anaesthetist, said: “My son is psychologically traumatised by this experience and said he doesn’t want to fly to America again.

“The problem seems to be isolated to the US because this did not happen when we visited Tenerife. We don’t want to have to experience anything like this again.”

Javaid’s parents, who moved to Blackburn from Saudi Arabia in 2002, are now considering changing their son’s name.

I am afraid that if Javaid’s parents will take this drastic step, some paranoid bureaucrat somewhere will in the meantime have put the little boy’s new name on some “terrorist” list, and the lunacy will start again.

After Private Lynndie England, a lieutenant colonel on trial for Abu Ghraib torture … but will Rumsfeld and Bush be?


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

And this video says: ‘Shocking pictures have come to light revealing the extent of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib – and it’s much worse than anyone imaged.’

After Private Lynndie England, depicted in pro Bush media as one of very few ‘rotten apples’ in an otherwise spotless US occupation … err … ‘liberation’ of Iraq; now, a lieutenant colonel is on trial for torture in Abu Ghraib prison. However, will Rumsfeld and Bush, still a lot higher in the chain of command, be tried for the torture and other crimes in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere?

Reuters reports:

Abu Ghraib interrogation chief faces court-martial

Sunday August 19, 2007

WASHINGTON – A court-martial will start Monday for a US Army intelligence officer charged with abuses at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, where he headed the interrogation centre, the Army said today.

The trial of Lt. Col. Steven Jordan will be convened at Fort Meade, Maryland, outside Washington, the Army said.

Jordan is charged with cruelty and maltreatment of detainees as well as making false statements and obstruction of justice, disobeying a superior officer and failure to obey orders.

The charges stem from violations of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice alleged to have taken place at the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Centre at Abu Ghraib on or about Sept. 17, 2003 to Aug. 19, 2004.

An investigation of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib carried out by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in 2004 described Jordan as one of several directly or indirectly responsible.

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba also considered Rumsfeld and Bush responsible, which this article does not mention.

A preponderance of evidence showed Jordan failed to prevent the unauthorized use of dogs and the humiliation of detainees kept naked for no acceptable purpose while he was a senior officer in charge, among other failings, Taguba said.

Jordan acquitted: here.

Bush’s ‘supersize Berlin wall’ stops jaguars from returning to the USA


This is a video about jaguars and the “supersized Berlin Wall” betwen the USA and Mexico.

From the New Zealand Herald:

Security fences prevent jaguars coming home

Monday August 20, 2007

By Peter Huck

The jaguars are coming home. Until recently the big cats, which evolved in North America, then spread south, were rarely seen in the United States.

The last known female was shot in 1963. But over the past decade at least four jaguars, probably males and identified from photographs by the unique rosette patterns on their fur, have padded north via a wildlife corridor of “sky islands,” mountains that straddle the border, into southern Arizona and New Mexico.

But the cats, protected by the US Endangered Species Act, may become victims of America’s paranoia about illegal immigration and national security, as the Department of Homeland Security moves to seal the US-Mexico border.

“It’s potentially catastrophic for the species’ recovery prospects in the northern part of its range,” explains Michael Robinson, who monitors jaguars for the Centre for Biological Diversity.

Steel fences, which have begun to appear along part of the 3138km border, would strand existing jaguars in the US, prevent others from increasing the nascent population, and limit the cat’s gene pool.

Last June, the American Society of Mammalogists said jaguars could survive in the US only if they could roam across the border. This charismatic animal is one of 30 species – including pronghorn antelope, ocelots, bears and wolves – environmentalists say would suffer from a solid fence.

This barrier would also devastate ecosystems, repaired in schemes costing millions of dollars, and wreck bustling eco-tourism in struggling communities.

See also here.

And here.

And here.

AFL-CIO blog on this: here.

US wildlife agency killed 1.6 million animals in 2006: here.

Immigrant detainees dying in US custody: here.

New seed shrimp species discovered in North Atlantic


This is a video of ostracods, zooplankton in a jar from a pond, eating a dead worm.

From Biology News Net:

Exploring life in the North Atlantic Ocean at various depths of 800 to 3,500 metres, a team of 31 scientists are returning from a five-week scientific expedition which has surfaced a wealth of new information and insights, stunning images and marine life specimens, with one species thought to be new to science. …

The team already think they may have discovered a new species of Ostracod (or seed shrimp) that was found swarming in large numbers on the western side of the ridge. Specimens are on their way to experts in Southampton where world-renowned expert, Professor Martin Angel, will ultimately determine whether this is a new species, describe it and allocate a name.

See also here.

Mantis shrimp vision reveals new way that animals can see: here.

The mysterious, fascinating, and lightning-quick mantis shrimp: An Interview with Maya deVries: here.

ScienceShot: Mantis Shrimp Armor Can Take a Beating: here.

If sea creatures were Marvel comic book characters, the peacock mantis shrimp would be Thor. These colorful crustaceans have a hammerlike claw that can smash prey with the acceleration of a 0.22-caliber bullet — not unlike the superhero’s mythological weapon: here.