Littering is “terrorism” in Britain

This video is called Taking Liberties: The fight for rights and rights handed down from on high Part1.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Civil liberties ‘under threat’ as councils caught abusing anti-terror law

Thursday 26 March 2009

SURVEILLANCE powers have been used by local councils more than 10,000 times for “crimes” as minor as littering.

Details disclosed on Thursday under the Freedom of Information Act showed that councils in England and Wales had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to investigate offences ranging from dog fouling to taxi overcharging.

Fewer than one in 10 inquiries resulted in any form of penalty.

The Liberal Democrats, who obtained the details, said that they represented a fresh erosion of civil liberties and warned that RIPA was becoming a “snooper’s charter.”

The findings were based on a survey of 182 district and unitary councils in England and Wales which responded to a freedom of information request.

They showed that RIPA powers had been used on 10,288 occasions since 2004 but just 9 per cent of those inquiries had led to a successful prosecution, caution or fixed penalty notice.

The alleged offences included littering, illegal street trading and taking the fairy lights from a Christmas tree.

Lib Dem local government spokesman Julia Goldsworthy said that when RIPA originally became law, only nine organisations – including the police and security services – were allowed to use it. That has since been extended to 795 bodies.

“This government sees civil liberties as little more than a temporary inconvenience. Slowly but surely, freedoms have been eroded,” she said.

See also here.

THE police are using anti-terrorism laws to prevent amateur photographers from legitimately recording scenes of everyday life, MPs heard on Wednesday: here.

CIVIL LIBERTIES campaigners called on Monday for the scrapping of a national DNA database which can hold the details of members of the public indefinitely – even if they have not committed a crime: here.

Rare birth of laughing thrush in US zoo

This video is called White Crested Laughing Thrush, Garrulax leucolophus.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

NY zoo reports rare captive birth of Asian bird

The Associated Press

Wednesday, March 25, 2009; 2:51 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It’s called a white-crested laughing thrush and it’s bringing smiles to zookeepers in Syracuse.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo greeted a new bird March 7. The chick is named Zephyr.

The birth came as a surprise to zookeepers, who have had no success breeding white-crested laughing thrushes. Zoo officials say the chick is one of only three born in captivity in the U.S. over the last year.

The birds are commonplace in Southeast Asia, South China and East India and were once widely imported into the U.S., but avian influenza worries forced zoos to stop importation.

White-crested laughing thrushes are cooperative breeders, so the zoo’s three adult birds are helping feed the newborn.

That’s right: Zephyr has three parents. It’s still a mystery just which ones are mom and dad.

Germans say get troops out of Afghanistan

This is a video from Germany: people demonstrated there to get the German troops out of Afghanistan.

From Dow Jones in the USA:

Most Germans Want Their Troops Out Of Afghanistan – Poll

BERLIN (AFP)–A poll published in Germany on Wednesday showed almost 60% support for a pullout of the country’s troops from Afghanistan just over a week before a key North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit.

Just 36% of those polled by the Forsa institute in the survey commissioned by Cicero magazine were in favor of Germany’s roughly 3,500 troops staying, while 58% want them to come home.

The German contingent, the upper limit of which parliament voted last year to increase to 4,500, is part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force). The soldiers are based in the relatively peaceful north of Afghanistan.

The mission has always been highly unpopular in Germany, the country’s first major overseas military operation since World War II. Thirty-one German troops have died in Afghanistan since 2002, including 14 during attacks.

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to press his allies – Germany included – to do more at a 60th anniversary NATO summit on April 3-4 in Strasbourg, France and the German town of Baden-Baden.

Just like so many people in the USA and in Britain oppose the Afghan war.

From Reuters:

Police Say Two Afghan Farmers Shot Dead By NATO-Led Troops