Beluga whale, mammoth, fossils discovered in North Sea


This video is called Beluga Whale Video Clip 1.

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

ROTTERDAM – Workers of the Natuurhistorisch Museum in Rotterdam on Monday have recovered a dorsal vertebra of a prehistoric white whale [beluga]. It was found in the North Sea near the Nieuwe Waterweg.

According to Kees Moeliker of the museum, also a ,,splendid” front leg of a woolly mammoth was found. The museum workers were, together with fishermen, looking for remains of the extinct sabre-toothed tiger. This time, these have not been found; however, Moeliker expects to have more success in this soon.

Also, a rhinoceros bone was found; with hyena tooth marks on it, according to Dutch NOS TV.

European diplomats damage Egyptian whale fossils: here.

US peace activist and poetess Grace Paley dies


This video from the USA is called Grace Paley from AFTERLIFE on My CrossOver.

From Democracy Now! in the USA:

The acclaimed American poet, short story writer, and anti-war activist Grace Paley has died. She was 84 years old and died Wednesday in her home in Vermont. We go back to a Democracy Now! interview with her talking about the peace movement and the role of poets in a time of war. [includes rush transcript]

See also here.

French president Sarkozy’s speech on Africa gets much criticism


This video is called Algerian Genocide by France.

From British daily The Guardian:

Mbeki criticised for praising ‘racist’ Sarkozy

· SA president congratulates French leader on speech
· Senegal address widely condemned by Africans

Chris McGreal in Johannesburg

Monday August 27, 2007

South Africa’s president, Thabo Mbeki, has been forced to defend his description of Nicolas Sarkozy as “a citizen of Africa”, for a speech by the French president that was widely condemned elsewhere on the continent as racist.

Mr Mbeki wrote to the rightwing French leader praising an address to a university audience in Senegal last month in which Mr Sarkozy said that Africans had turned their back on progress.

“The tragedy of Africa is that the African has never really entered into history … They have never really launched themselves into the future,” Mr Sarkozy said.

In fact, a rehash of German philosopher Hegel two hundred years ago. Hegel, however, still had excuses like that he had never been to Africa, and not that much about Africa was known in Europe then. Sarkozy does not. Has he never been to the Louvre in Paris to see ancient Egyptian history? Or to another museum in Paris to learn about the architectural history of Tombouctou?

Mr Sarkozy also defended France’s past role in Africa by saying that while it may have made “mistakes”, it “did not exploit anybody”.

So, Mr Sarkozy repeated his distorted views on the history of the French slave traders in Africa. Has he also never heard about French oil corporations in Africa? About cotton corporation Cotonfran in Chad and elsewhere?

The speech was widely condemned, including by the head of the African Union commission, Alpha Oumar Konare. “This speech was not the kind of break we were hoping for,” he told Radio France Internationale. “It reminded us of another age, especially his comments about peasants.” Other critics said that while Mr Sarkozy asked younger Africans if they wanted an end to corruption and violence, he failed to acknowledge the role of France in propping up abusive regimes. …

Mr Mbeki’s letter has led to criticism in the media and among African diplomats.

One South African political commentator, Xolela Mangcu, wrote in The Weekender newspaper: “Does Mbeki say one thing in public and a different thing in private correspondence with western leaders? Could that be the reason he is treated by suspicion by some African leaders?

“At the very least I would have expected him to have joined other African leaders and publicly condemn Sarkozy.” …

Backstory

France maintains closer ties to its former African possessions and their leaders than other former colonial powers. It underpins the common currency used in some central and west African Francophone countries, maintains large military bases there and has proven more willing to send troops to the continent to defend its allies, including the Hutu regime in Rwanda that oversaw the 1994 genocide.

African nations can no longer afford to be France’s garden: here.

UK: Brown continues Blair’s policies against Chagos islanders’ rights


This video is called Chagos: The Never-Ending Struggle.

From British daily News Line:

Brown refuses to meet Chagossians

The News Line is pleased to publish two important letters. These concern the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the decision of the High Court that the Chagos Islanders should have the right to return to the outer islands of the group, and the decision of the Brown government to continue with a third appeal against this decision, this time to the House of Lords.

The first letter is from the Chagos Islands Community Association to Prime Minister Brown and was delivered to Downing Street on June 29 just days after he took office as Premier:

Update 1 July 2008: here.