Argentina kicks out Honduran dictators’ ambassador


From British daily The Morning Star:

Friday 14 August 2009

Argentina has ordered the expulsion of the Honduran ambassador because of her support for the coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

The foreign ministry released a statement on Thursday which said: “At the request of the constitutional President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, the Argentine foreign ministry ordered the cessation of functions of the Honduran Ambassador to Buenos Aires, Carmen Eleonora Ortez Williams.”

It added that Ms Ortez had voiced support for coup chief Roberto Micheletti, who is not recognised by the international community.

The ministry said that Argentina’s relations with Honduras will now be conducted through Honduras‘s embassy in the US.

Argentina, which has lived through the horrors of bloody coup d’états and dictatorships, knows what it is talking about.

The coup regime appeared to reverse course yesterday, rejecting any official visit by the head of the Organisation of American States, days after it had said that OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza could come as an observer with a diplomatic delegation.

Mr Micheletti declared that Mr Insulza was not welcome except as a tourist, saying: “For us, he is not welcome in this country unless he comes as a tourist, to spend dollars.”

The de facto dictatorial regime is racist:

The day after the military coup, Enrique Ortez Colindres was appointed foreign minister by the de facto authorities, replacing exiled minister Patricia Rodas. Since then, Ortez Colindres has made a series of degrading statements about U.S. President Barack Obama and Afro-descendants in general, including repeatedly using the term “negrito” and “negrito del batey” which translate into “little Black boy” and “little Black sugar plantation worker,” respectively.

The term “negrito” is a universally degrading and racist term used to refer to people of African descent in Latin America and synonymous with the English equivalent “nigger.”

This is a video of a solidarity picket with Honduras in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Solidarity in New York City: here.

Fossil whale discovered in Santa Cruz, USA


This video is called Ancient Whale Graveyard Discovered in Chilean Disert.

This video says about itself:

May 5, 2009—After a factory had found a 40-million-year-old whale fossil in a limestone kitchen counter, researchers investigated the stone’s fossil-packed Egyptian quarry, which could shed light on the origins of African wildlife.

From ABC News in the USA:

The partial remains of an ancient toothed whale species that roamed the ocean 5 million years ago have been discovered on a California beach. Crews removing a 1,000-pound slab of sandstone off the Santa Cruz County beach Wednesday discovered the remains and called in paleontologists.

Frank Perry, a paleontologist with the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, says the remains are an important piece of a puzzle that will help understand what life was like when meat-eating toothed whales roamed the shallow seas that once covered the region. Their descendants include the orca and dolphin.

Crews have not yet identified the exact species of the whale. Experts say the partial skull and several vertebrae found should make that possible.

See also, more extensively, here.

Santa Cruz whale watching: here.

How Threatened Are Killer Whales in the Wild? Here.

Spoonbill migration tracked by satellite


This video says about itself:

9 July 2012

A group of spoonbills rests and feeds in a pond before resuming its northwards migration.

There is spoonbill migration, eg, from the Netherlands to Mauritania.

One of these spoonbills, Harrie, was shot by a French hunter. See here.

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Blue tits bring medicinal plants to nests


This is a video of blue tit chicks leaving their nestbox for the first time.

From the BBC:

Blue tits use medicinal plants to disinfect their nests, scientists have discovered.

The birds line their nests with aromatic plants such as mint or lavender, which kill bacteria.

That creates a more sterile environment for chicks, which in turn grow faster and have a better chance of survival. …

The researchers describe their results in the journal Oecologia.

They found that aromatic plants, including lavender (Lavandula stoechas), apple mint (Mentha suaveolens), the curry plant (Helichrysum itlaicum) and Achillea ligustica significantly change the composition of bacterial communities living on blue tit nestlings.

Thieves have stolen hundreds of irreplaceable bird skins from the Natural History Museum’s collection based at Tring in Hertfordshire. Police are investigating the theft: here.

Young birds: here.

There are hundreds of bird species throughout the world that will readily use bird houses and nest boxes, however, and knowing which species are most likely to become tenants can help you prepare to be a bird landlord: here.

Rare Chinese tree flowers in Belgium


Emmenopterys henryi

From AFP news agency:

An endangered Chinese tree has flowered in a Belgian arboretum, an event seldom seen anywhere in Europe, the garden’s curator said Wednesday.

The Emmenopterys henryi, billed as “one of the most strikingly beautiful trees of the Chinese forests” has brought flower lovers flocking to the Kalmthout Arboretum in the northern province of Antwerp and will do so for up to a month, the site’s curator Abraham Rammeloo told AFP.