Italian priest praises nazi Himmler


This video is about the Roma Holocaust.

From news agency ANSA in Italy:

Priest ‘sorry’ for anti-gypsy Himmler rant

Cleric praises ‘man who attempted ethnic cleansing, in vain’

12 January, 17:34

Arezzo, January 12 – A Tuscan priest has been forced to apologise for ranting against gypsies and praising Nazi Holocaust mastermind Heinrich Himmler following thefts from his church premises.

Father Virgilio Annetti vented his feelings in his parish newsletter in Arezzo after losing a camera and 300 euros in the third robbery in a week, pinning the blame on local Roma.

And exactly what proof did the racist “Reverend” Annetti have that the thieves of the camera and money were not “ethnic Italians” like himself, rather than Roma?

“I can’t take it any more. I’m reminded of that man who attempted true ethnic cleansing, in vain, in his time. He was called Himmler. He gave this order: add a wagon of gypsies to every convoy. God bless Himmler but why just one instead of two?” The tirade outraged several parishioners over the Christmas period and the local bishop ordered him to recant.

“I distance myself completely from the arguments used and the improper and offensive use of very sad historical events,” Father Annetti said in a statement.

“I’m off to Auschwitz, kisses,” Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler wrote to his wife in newly discovered documents: here.

More than 250,000 concentration camp prisoners died in death marches shortly before the end of World War II. Many of them were murdered by German civilians. A new book tries to answer the question why: here.

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Tunisian protests continue


This video from Tunisia is called Protest in a college at Kelibia 07-01-2011.

Tunisia: Police and protesters clashed in the centre of Tunis today, bringing unrest to the government’s doorstep after nearly a month of deadly protests that pose the most serious challenge to the president in two decades of rule: here.

British trade unionists on Tunisia: here.

Tunisian dictator Ben Ali said to have dismissed army chief of staff for refusing to use army against the people: here.

Tony Blair at London Iraq war inquiry, 21 January


This video is called The Iraq War: Legal or Illegal?

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Tony Blair to appear before Iraq war inquiry on 21 January

Blair to make second appearance at inquiry, a year after he first gave evidence, in light of revelations about advice he received on the legality of the war

* Richard Norton-Taylor

* Wednesday 12 January 2011 12.07 GMT

Tony Blair, summoned back to the inquiry into the Iraq invasion in light of damaging and conflicting evidence revealed since he answered questions a year ago, is to appear before Sir John Chilcot on 21 January, it has been revealed.

A ballot has been held for 60 seats, with a third reserved for family members who lost loved ones in Iraq, the inquiry has announced. All the people who were successful in the ballot will be notified in the next few days, it said.

The former prime minister will attend in light of evidence about the legality of the invasion, and assurances he gave George Bush.

The inquiry is believed to be concerned about the revelation in documents released in June showing that the day before he privately assured Bush he would back US-led military action, Blair was warned by Lord Goldsmith, then attorney general, that an invasion of Iraq would be illegal.

Documents reveal how Goldsmith repeatedly warned Blair of the consequences of invading Iraq without fresh UN authority.

A note from Goldsmith to Blair, marked secret and dated 30 January 2003, stated: “I thought you might wish to know where I stand on the question of whether a further decision of the [UN] security council is legally required in order to authorise the use of force against Iraq.”

Goldsmith warned Blair that “the correct legal interpretation of resolution 1441 [the last security council decision on Iraq] is that it does not authorise the use of force without a further determination by the security council”. He concluded: “My view remains that a further [UN] decision is required.”

The document contains a handwritten note, by David Manning, Blair’s chief foreign policy adviser, which warned: “Clear advice from attorney on need for further resolution.”

An apparently frustrated Blair scrawled in the margin: “I just don’t understand this.” An aide added: “Specifically said we did not need further advice [on] this matter.”

The following day Blair flew to Washington to see Bush. Manning records the president telling Blair that military action would be taken with or without a second security council resolution, and bombing would start mid-March 2003.

The minute records Blair’s reaction: “The prime minister said he was solidly with the president.”

By 7 March, 2003, Goldsmith had told Blair that a new UN resolution might not be needed after all, though war without one would risk Britain’s indictment before an international court.

On 17 March, Goldsmith published a short note saying an invasion was lawful.

Lord Boyce, then head of the armed forces, Jack Straw, foreign secretary at the time, and three successive cabinet secretaries at the heart of the Whitehall machine will also be recalled.

The Chilcot inquiry has heard that Blair told Boyce, who was worried about the concerns expressed earlier by Goldsmith, that it was his “unequivocal” view that an invasion of Iraq would be lawful.

Goldsmith has been asked to supply the inquiry with further written evidence.

Lindsey German, convener of the Stop The War Coalition, said: “Blair will be met with demonstrations and protests at the Chilcot inquiry. Military families, former soldiers, peace campaigners, students and trade unionists will all be there.

“When two million marched in February 2003 we knew Blair was lying, we knew that the war was illegal. It seems so too did some at the highest levels of government.

“Blair should not be allowed to get away with lying again. We are determined to hold him to account and believe he should be indicted for war crimes over his wilfull determination to back George Bush and take Britain into this war.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Mr Blair’s hearing will start at 9.30am and is scheduled to last around four-and-a-half hours.

Angola 3 News interviews Dahr Jamail on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the media’s coverage of WikiLeaks, the actions of Bradley Manning and the military’s response to soldier resistance. Jamail says, “The US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq could not have more clearly violated international law. Even the former secretary general of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan, said in September 2004 that the Iraq war was illegal and breached the UN Charter. An illegal war is thus the mother of all war crimes, for from that stems all the rest…. What Manning did by leaking this critical information has been to uphold his oath as a soldier in the most patriotic way”: here.

Tony Blair wanted a ‘gung-ho’ approach to Saddam a year before Iraq invasion: here.

Early Dutch amphibian migration


This video from the USA says about itself:

Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory organizes volunteers to help amphibians cross roads during migration to vernal pools to breed.

Translated from the Dutch herpetologists of RAVON today:

Last weekend, just after the first frost period stopped, the first amphibians woke up and started walking. On January 7 in Gelderland province, a common toad was found on a road, and in Drenthe province, some common and edible frogs were reported. In the south of Limburg province, the first fire salamander was observed.

Dutch amphibian migration will really start in spring.

Common frogs in winter: here.

Dutch salamanders’ early spring migration: here.

Zoologists in Germany have analyzed the central factor for the development of morphologically distinctive features of tadpoles. The researchers were able to show that it is mostly the FOXN3 gene that influences the development of the cartilages in the oral region and the gills. These structures in particular belong to the evolutionary new developments typical of frogs: here.

Early British frog spawn: here. British amphibian and reptile photos: here.

April 2011: An army of volunteers will be wading into ponds across the UK this spring to map the spread of a killer amphibian fungus: here.

Catastrophic Amphibian Declines Have Multiple Causes, no Simple Solution.

May 2011: Buoyed by successes in the investigation into a killer frog disease, teams at wildlife charity Froglife and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) are gearing up for the next stage of the study. The public are urged to continue their support as knowledge about the deadly ranavirus advances: here.

The origin of modern amphibians: a re-evaluation: here.

The perilous journey of the Christmas Island red crab is an amazing mass migration spectacle: here.

Rare Haitian frogs rediscovered


Amid all the bad news from Haiti, about the United States government forcibly removing the democratically president … about the horrible earthquake … about basically no reconstruction … about occupation soldiers causing a cholera epidemic … about rape of women …. a bit of good news.

Juvenile Macaya Breast-spot Frog, Eleutherodactylus thorectes, a critically endangered species in the Massif de la Hotte, Haiti. About the size of a green grape when fully grown, this is one of the smallest frogs in the world. Last seen 1991

By Mischelle Esguerra:

Haiti frog lost rare species found in earthquake ruins after 20 years

Jan 12, 2011

Amid the ruins of Haiti earthquake, the conservation expedition to the deforested hills of the said country, has found six rare frog species unseen for 20 years, according to international news sites.

The discovery, which came despite heavy deforestation and widespread damage from last year’s earthquake, happened during the expedition last October 2010 to search for frogs that are rarely seen and could be on the verge of extinction.

The team, led by Conservation International scientist Robin Moore and Blair Hedges of Pennsylvania State University, took a trip to search for one, long-lost frog La Selle Grass frog, which has not been seen in more than a quarter-century. Rather than seeing La Selle Grass frog, they did find six other species of amphibians that had not been seen in nearly two decades. These critically endangered species from Massif de la Hotte, include:

1. Ventriloqual Frog, Eleutherodactylus dolomedes -last seen 1991.
2. Mozart’s Frog, Eleutherodactylus amadeus -last seen 1991.
3. Macaya Burrowing Frog, Eleutherodactylus parapelates -last seen 1996.
4. La Hotte Glanded Frog, Eleutherodactylus glandulifer -last seen 1991
5. Hispaniola Crowned Frog, Eleutherodactylus corona- last seen 1991.
6. Juvenile Macaya Breast-spot Frog, Eleutherodactylus thorectes- about the size of a green grape when fully grown, is one of the smallest frogs in the world, last seen 1991.

According to Moore, they “went in looking for one missing species and found a treasure trove of others. That, to me, represents a welcome dose of resilience and hope for the people and wildlife of Haiti.”

See also here; with photos.

See also here. And here. And here.

A video on the rediscoveries is here.

Haitian Activist Patrick Elie: “Haiti is Controlled by Foreign Govts & Foreign Interests”: here.

Haitians protest at Clinton’s office: here.

Robert Naiman, Truthout: “California Rep. Maxine Waters has called for the results of the disputed November presidential election in Haiti to be set aside and for new elections to be held. In a statement Wednesday, she writes: ‘I call upon the Government of Haiti to set aside the flawed November 28th elections and organize new elections that will be free, fair and accessible to all Haitian voters…. Haiti’s next government will be called upon to make difficult decisions that will have a lasting impact on Haitian society, such as the allocation of resources for cholera treatment efforts and earthquake reconstruction projects. If these decisions are made by a government that is not perceived as legitimate, the recovery process could be impeded for years to come'”: here.

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