Less common scoters in Wales


This is a common scoter video.

From Wildlife Extra:

Common Scoter numbers fall for second year in Carmarthen Bay

July 2008. Common Scoter numbers wintering at Carmarthen Bay have dipped below 16,000 for the second consecutive year, according to figures released by WWT.

Down from 20,000 – lowest since 1997

It was the 20,000 plus overwintering scoters that earned Carmarthen Bay the distinction of being the UK’s first marine Special Protection Area (SPA). However, the last few years have seen the marine duck suffer. An aerial survey carried out by WWT earlier this year recorded just 13,100 birds. This is the second year in a row the count has come in at under 16,000 – the lowest level that makes a population of international importance, and numbers are at their lowest since 1997/8, when the Sea Empress oil spill wiped out many birds.

Peter Cranswick, WWT’s Programme Manager for Threatened Waterbirds, said: “It is too early to draw firm conclusions about what may be happening in Carmarthen Bay, but the decline in this Biodiversity Action Plan species is of concern and merits close monitoring. We urge the Countryside Council for Wales to maintain a full programme of surveys of the SPA.”

Record-breaking numbers of sea ducks flock to Carmarthen Bay: here.

World’s oldest seal’s 50th birthday party


This video from the USA is called La Jolla Harbor Seals – Short Documentary.

From Vroege Vogels in the Netherlands:

The seal Else, in Ouwehands zoo in Rhenen, will have her fiftieth birthday this Friday. According to the zoo that makes Else the world’s oldest seal. On Friday, her keepers will give her a special fish pie.

Since 1974, Else used to live with male seal Dolf in a pond in the Amstelpark in Amsterdam. Dolf died in 2001, 39 years old. Else was saddened by this loss and was wasting away.

Then, it was decided to move her to the group of seals in the miniature Wadden sea of Ouwehands zoo. Between those thirteen seals with lots of space, Else started to feel better again. Else is healthy now, though almost blind, her keepers say.

Else dies: here.

New Mark Fiore animation about United States politicians manipulating photos


This video says about itself:

A World Without Picasso’s Guernica

Jul 18, 2012

A poem by Greg Mosson.

From his website:

During the infamous United Nations speech by then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arguing for invasion of Iraq, a blue curtain covered up this Guernica tapestry. The curtain hid Guernica from reporters and cameras waiting to question Powell and others when they exited the U.N. Security Council.

Art is a form of memory. That speech that day was not about proving, but forgetting.

A World Without Picasso’s Guernica

February 5, 2003

At the United Nations, blue drapes sheath
a tapestry rendition of Guernica, so speakers can paint
blitzkrieging dreams, burying screams affixed and aired;
killing machines can work again.

Who expunged Guernica from the U.N.,
and then did U.N. walls tremor
down to their foundation
in the “war to end all wars”
and covetous twentieth century?

Yesterday, today, or tomorrow
bombs drop and discombobulated body parts
hurl through the air, and brown limbs
burst from horses
and spin past a still-standing bystander
dumbstruck
as infernos smoke and buildings crumble.

There is a new Mark Fiore animation on the Internet.

It is about United States politicians manipulating photos with computer programs like Photoshop for propaganda; like with the speech by Colin Powell at the United Nations about supposed “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, the official excuse for the Iraq war.

The animation is here.

It is called Politishop 8.0.

Spider monkey adopts Syrian rat


This video is called baby spider monkey.

From the Earth Times:

Mexico City – A female spider monkey has adopted as its offspring a Syrian rat at a zoo in the eastern Mexican city of Veracruz, in a behaviour that experts have termed a “psychological maternity” derived from hormonal disorders, Mexican media reported Wednesday. Photographs published in the daily La Jornada show the monkey named Pancha with the little rat in its arms. The rat left the place in the zoo where it had been living to move to the area reserved for monkeys.

Pancha does not only hold the rat but also feeds it and picks off parasites on the rat. The relationship has become a sensation at the Miguel Angel de Quevedo zoo, some 400 kilometres east of Mexico City.

Zoo director Rafael Mariano Torres was quoted in Veracruz media as saying that visitors first discovered the phenomenon on Sunday, when they saw Pancha holding the rat on her lap.

See also here.

More Afghan civilian deaths by US bombs


This video is called Civilian victims of the US ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan.

From Reuters:

U.S.-led forces confirm killing Afghan civilians

Thu Jul 17, 2008

KABUL – U.S.-led coalition troops have killed eight Afghan civilians in an air strike in the western province of Farah during a raid against suspected militants, the U.S. military said.

The acknowledgement came as reports of more civilian deaths caused by a fresh air raid by foreign forces emerged on Thursday from the neighboring province of Herat. …

“The coalition convoy returned fire and called for close air support on the enemy positions. A house was hit; eight civilians were killed, two others injured,” it [the U.S. military] said in a statement late on Wednesday. …

Afghan officials said nine people, all members of the same family were killed in Tuesday’s bombing.

In Thursday’s raid, at least four men were killed, a spokesman for the regional police command said. Witnesses said 17 people were also wounded and taken to hospital.

Genoa, Italy 2001 police brutality


This video is called Mark Covell – Genoa G8 2001 – Diaz school.

From Bitish daily The Guardian:

The bloody battle of Genoa

When 200,000 anti-globalisation protesters converged on the Italian city hosting the G8 summit in 2001, all but a handful came to demonstrate peacefully. Instead, many were beaten to a pulp by seemingly out-of-control riot police. But was there something more sinister at play? And will the victims ever see proper justice? Nick Davies reports

It was just before midnight when the first police officer hit Mark Covell, swiping his truncheon down on his left shoulder. Covell did his best to yell out in Italian that he was a journalist but, within seconds, he was surrounded by riot-squad officers thrashing him with their sticks. For a while, he managed to stay on his feet but then a baton blow to the knee sent him crashing to the pavement.

See also here. And here.

The G8 protesters were brutalised, yet the Foreign Office showed complete indifference: here.

Italy: Judgement in G8 police raid trial: here.

Mandela, Morales, Senator Kennedy, and a million more “terrorists”, according to Bush


This video from the USA says about itself:

Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office spoke at the National Press Club about the need to reform the government’s terrorist watch list. The watch list now contains one million names based on the government’s own reported numbers. The ACLU says that the watch list could effect up to 5-10% of the U.S. population.

By Jerry White:

One million names on US government “terrorist” watch list

17 July 2008

One million people—including large numbers of American citizens—are on the US government’s so-called terrorist watch list, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which held a Washington, D.C. press conference earlier this week to mark the ominous milestone.

Since February of this year the ACLU has maintained an online “watch list counter” to track the size of the government’s watch list. A September 2007 report by the inspector general of the Justice Department reported that the list contained 700,000 names and was growing by 20,000 per month. As of this writing, the counter has passed the 1,001,500 mark.

The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was set up in December 2003 through a Homeland Security directive signed by President George W. Bush, who ordered the agency to consolidate more than a dozen separate terrorist watch lists maintained by different federal agencies.

The resulting Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) has been used to detain thousands of people during airport security checks or bar them from flying. Foreign nationals have been held up at US border crossings and prevented from obtaining visas based on the list. Local law enforcement agencies have also accessed the database during routine traffic stops.

Thousands of innocent people have been caught up in the government’s arbitrary dragnet and “no-fly” lists; many held for hours in interrogation rooms, threatened and denied due process. Those on the list have no right to access and challenge the data in which the list is based.

“Members of Congress, nuns, war heroes and other ‘suspicious characters,’ with names like Robert Johnson and Gary Smith, have become trapped in the Kafkaesque clutches of this list, with little hope of escape,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

The ACLU said those on the list included South African leader Nelson Mandela; Evo Morales, president of Bolivia; and US Senator Edward Kennedy, Democrat from Massachusetts.