British nazis threaten photographers


This video is called English Defence League protestors giving Nazi salutes at their recent “protest” in Birmingham.

From London daily The Morning Star:

NUJ hits back at racist website’s threats

Friday 11 September 2009

by Louise Nousratpour

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned a website supporting the far-right English Defence League for carrying a thinly disguised threat against press photographers.

The organisation, which has held a series of demonstrations against what it calls Islamic extremism, objects to media images of its supporters making nazi salutes.

It has told demonstrators to treat photographers and camera operators as “hostile.”

NUJ freelance organiser John Toner said: “The NUJ takes threats against its members very seriously and we condemn the clear incitement to violence intended in the phrase ‘should be treated as hostile.’

“We have reported this threat to the police and their intelligence team will be briefed.”

Mr Toner added: “Journalists are providing a public service by exposing the thuggery of these racist bigots and we look to the police to protect media workers.”

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear demanded that the English Defence League remove “this obvious threat to photographers and to take down the pictures taken by our members that it has posted in breach of copyright laws.”

In response, UK Casuals United [=English Defence League] has posted a comment on its website calling NUJ officials “left-wing tosspots” and has refused to withdraw the threat to photographers.

“We’ll repeat, anyone taking film or pics who hasn’t been invited by us is to be treated as hostile,” the online statement reads.

About the self-styled “English Defence League” football hooligan nazis:

The EDL, which is organising tomorrow night’s provocation in Harrow, professes to be distinct from the BNP, against violence and non-racist. All three claims are false.

Anti-fascist magazine Searchlight has researched the league’s leadership and identified a number of far-right members and sympathisers.

Far from being non-violent, the EDL was behind a riot in Luton in May when 300 hooligans rampaged through the town, overturning cars, smashing windows and attacking passers-by.

Update: here.

The BNP on the BBC? Here.

BNP and German NPD nazis: here.

A report that claimed reporting racist abuse in schools was a waste of teacher’s time has sparked outrage from teaching union NASUWT: here.

Against cover-up of Iraq torture photos


This video from the USA is called Why Are People Fighting So Hard To Keep Torture Pics Secret?

By Jason Leopold in the USA:

High Court Urged to Reject White House Appeal to Keep Abuse Photos Secret

Friday 11 September 2009

The American Civil Liberties Union asked the US Supreme Court this week to deny a request by the Obama administration to review and, if justices take up the case, reverse a lower court’s ruling ordering the government to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request and release more than four dozen photos depicting US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan abusing prisoners.

The group’s 37-page opposition was supported by friend-of-the-court briefs filed by Human Rights Watch, the International Center for Transitional Justice and Amnesty International and another filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 16 media organizations. The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in 2003 to gain access to the images.

These photos may be profoundly disturbing, but they are a crucial part of the historical record and the appeals court was right to find that they should be released,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU National Security Project. “It’s disappointing that the Obama administration, which in other contexts has recognized the close connection between transparency and accountability, is continuing to argue that the photos should be suppressed.”

Outrage: House Sneakily Passes Bill Banning Release of Photos Showing Detainee Abuse: here.

The CIA shared with George W. Bush’s Justice Department the details of how an interrogation strategy – with an emphasis on forced nudity and physical abuse – could train prisoners in “learned helplessness” and demonstrate “the complete control of Americans”: here.

CIA Experiments on US Soldiers Linked to Torture Program: here.

White House “Ordered” Lawmakers to Amend FOIA in Order to Conceal Torture Photos: here.

British government apology on homophobia after 55 years


From the New York Times in the USA:

Britain: Apology to Gay Mathematician

By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Published: September 11, 2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized Friday to the mathematician Alan Turing, who committed suicide in 1954 after he was tried and convicted of “gross indecency” for being homosexual.

Mr. Brown said that Turing had been treated “terribly” and that the outcome of World War II could have been quite different had it not been for Turing’s efforts in cracking German codes, notably the Enigma coding machine. Turing is often hailed for his influence on modern computing. Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for a formal apology from the government, though Turing has no known surviving family, The Daily Telegraph reported. Writing in the newspaper, Mr. Brown said: “On behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work, I am very proud to say: We’re sorry. You deserved so much better.” Turing was sentenced, as an alternative to prison, to chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones, the prime minister noted.

See also here.

Comment: Brown’s apology to Alan Turing is not good enough: here. And here.

A Mind from Math: No one did more to build the foundation of computer science than Turing: here.

Homophobia in Britain: here. And here.

Gay Australians want marriage, not partnerships: here.

GAY RIGHTS IN THE FORMER EAST GERMAN DDR: here.

UGANDA – ON THE CUSP OF INTRODUCING DEATH PENALTY FOR GAYS: here.

The Ugandan government will put to death gay citizens repeatedly caught having sex and throw into jail those who touch each other in a “gay” way, if a new proposed Bill becomes law: here.

Indian butterfly rediscovery


Yellow crested spangleFrom Wildlife Extra:

‘Extinct’ butterfly rediscovered in India after a 100 year absence

Rediscovery of rare butterflies – (Yellow crested spangle (Papilio elephenor Doubleday, 1845) and Moore’s Cupid (Shijimia moorei Leech, 1889 ) from Ripu-Chirang Reserved Forests, India.

September 2009. The rediscovery has been made by Mr Kushal Choudhury, a young naturalist and Professor at Kokrajhar, Assam who is working on swallowtail butterflies for his PhD thesis.

The Yellow crested spangle (Papilio elephenor) has been recorded for the first time for a hundred years in Ripu-Chirang Reserved Forest (RCRF) in western Assam. These Reserved forests are a transitional zone between Manas Tiger Reserve in the east and Buxa Tiger Reserve in the west.

The butterfly was first spotted by Mr. Kushal Choudhury in May 2009. He believed that it was a mutated Spangle butterfly (Papilio protenor) that is similar in size and colour, the yellow markings on the abdomen and the bright yellow head were the most striking and peculiar features of this butterfly. Mr Kushal Choudhury then circulated the photo on ButterflyIndia@yahoogroups.com; an e-group for butterfly watchers around the world. It was finally identified and confirmed as the Yellow crested Spangle by Dr Krushnamegh Kunte, Post doctoral Research fellow, FAS centre for systems Biology, Harvard University.

June 2011: Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in the eastern Himalaya foothills of India has been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, following the advice of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): here.

Fiji petrel rediscovered


Fiji petrelFrom BirdLife:

Fiji Petrel found at sea – pungent fish attracts “lost” species

11-09-2009

An expedition to find the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi at sea has been successful, returning with stunning images and new information on one of the world’s least-known seabirds.

The expedition was partially financed by a grant from the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme and its official sponsor, the British Birdwatching Fair. The team included members of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, the BirdLife Species Guardian for Fiji Petrel.

Known from just one specimen collected in 1855 on Gau Island, Fiji, the Fiji Petrel was lost for the next 130 years. Since 1984 there have been a handful of reports of “grounded” birds that had crashed onto village roofs on Gau. Until now there had been no confirmed sightings of the seabird at sea.

The search for the elusive petrel is described in a paper in the latest Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club. Up to eight individuals were seen over eleven days in an area around 25 nautical miles south of Gau. The species’ flight, behaviour and detailed comparison to other species are also described for the first time.

The paper’s lead author, Hadoram Shirihai, said: “Finding this bird and capturing such images was a fantastic and exhilarating experience”. Fellow expedition member Tony Pym commented, “To see such a little-known bird at such close range was magical.”

Finding Fiji Petrel at sea was no accident, combining meticulous planning and luring the seabirds with a specially made food, called “chum”. The main ingredients of chum? Fish offal cut into small pieces and mixed with very dense fish oil, to which water was added and then frozen in 10-kg blocks. The chum was prepared a few weeks ahead by volunteers from the BirdLife Affiliate in Fiji, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, the official BirdLife Species Guardian for Fiji Petrel.

See also here.