This video says about itself:
Did you know it’s the male seahorse that becomes pregnant and delivers the baby seahorses? See how the female transfers the eggs to the male!
In pictures: the seahorse fry found in English waters: here.
Egypt: Muslims And Christians Protest As One: here.
For Egypt’s military, big business means staying in power: here.
The longtime Middle East correspondent of The Independent newspaper in London joins us from Cairo to talk about the popular uprising ongoing across Egypt, its regional implications, and how Obama should respond. “[The protesters] are asking for nothing less than Americans expect in their own lives,” Fisk says: here.
Robert Scheer, Truthdig: “After a good start, the Obama administration’s response to the democratic revolution in Egypt has begun to exude the odor of betrayal. Now distancing itself from the essential demand of the protesters that the dictator must go, the administration has fallen back on the sordid option of backing a new and improved dictatorship. Predictably, it is one guided by a local strongman long entrusted by the CIA, Vice President Omar Suleiman, described by U.S. officials in the WikiLeaks cables as a ‘Mubarak consigliere'”: here.
Robert Naiman, Truthout: “To the disappointment of many, the Obama administration’s policy of ‘orderly transition to democracy’ in Egypt, which just a few days ago seemed to be embracing pro-democracy protesters’ demand that Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak leave office, now seems to be backtracking to the idea that Mubarak and Vice President Omar Suleiman can lead a credible process of transition to democracy, despite the unwillingness of the US-backed Egyptian government so far to accept any concrete demands for reform”: here.
On Saturday (5th February) around one thousand people – Egyptians, Londoners and others ‑ gathered outside the United States embassy and later marched through central London to the Egyptian embassy. The protest was called to show solidarity with the revolutionary struggle of the people of Egypt: here.
Ongoing protests in Egypt are inspiring anti-government demonstrations in Iraq: here.
This video from Egypt is called Women Protesting in Tahrir Square.
Egypt‘s democracy activists called on supporters today to expand their uprising in defiance of a warning from the new vice-president that their protests calling for President Hosni Mubarak to go could spark a coup: here.
USA: Obama Expected to Maintain U.S. Aid to Egyptian Regime in 2012 Budget: here.
US government is backing Omar Suleiman who “tortured Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib himself”: here.
Activists Rally at White House for Democracy in Egypt: here.
The End of the American Empire in the Middle East, by Tom Engelhardt: here.
This is a video about an anti-dictatorship demonstration in Sudan.
From the Sudan Tribune (Paris):
Egypt: Sudanese Opposition Declares Support for Uprising
8 February 2011
Khartoum — A coalition of Sudanese opposition parties has voiced support for the ongoing protests in Egypt, saying that success in toppling the Egyptian regime represents “a victory to the Sudanese people.”
Egypt has been engulfed in popular demonstrations against the 30-year rule of President Hosani Muabark and his National Democratic Party since 25 January.
President Mubarak announced he would not stand in elections when his current term expires in September this year but the protests continue unabated, demanding his immediate departure.
The National Consensus Forces (NCP), a clutch of anti-government groups including the National Umma Party of former Prime Minister Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and the Popular Congress Party of detained Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi, said on a press release seen by Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the NCF “stands in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution.”
The NCF called for immediate cessation of hostilities against the demonstrators, and said that the success of Egyptian people in taking their rights and freedoms by getting rid of the oppressive and corrupt regime is a victory for the people of Sudan.
Meanwhile, the Nasirist Democratic Unionist Party (NDUP), which stands for Arab nationalism and has a close affinity with Egypt, also issued a press release saying it stands in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution.
Sudan has been ruled since 1989 by President Al-Bashir and his Islamist government. In April 2010, president Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party won a landslide victory in general elections which were mired in reports of mass fraud.
U.S. Won’t Endorse Calls For Egypt’s President To Step Down Now: here.
Egyptian Protesters to Mubarak: No Deal: here.
Pepe Escobar on Egypt and Suleiman, America’s New Man in Egypt: here.
The Egyptian revolution, following on rapidly from the Tunisian uprising, has sent shockwaves across the whole of the Arab world: here.
The United Nations and the African Union jointly accepted on Tuesday a referendum giving independence to southern Sudan: here.
This music video is called Toyah – Danced (Live on Theatre Royal).
From the BBC:
9 February 2011 Last updated at 01:03 GMT
Toyah Willcox: Time to tackle ageism and sexism
Toyah Willcox explains how she has suffered ageism and sexism throughout her career.
Society needs to wise up according to pop star, campaigner and TV personality Toyah Willcox. After suffering sexism and ageism since her early 20s, she gives her personal viewpoint on why older women need more respect.
But I want to be relevant in the work place for at least another 15 years, and for people to look beyond the surface and see what I am capable of. …
Am I painting a picture of a victimised weaker sex here?
Perhaps, but when I was a teenager I didn’t have a barrage of self doubt and bad news and physical perfection thrown at me from virtually every magazine cover and tabloid newspaper, plus the internet, Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis.
Women of all ages need to be present in the media to instil girls and young women with self-confidence about their futures. And women of my age need healthy role models. Otherwise, how can we build the future dreams we still deserve to have?
I have experienced ageism and sexism. In my 20s, I was told by a camera lighting man I needed plastic surgery. In my 30s I was constantly told I needed to lose weight.
And in my 40s, as a presenter, I was dismissed from a TV programme because they wanted to try someone younger, And now I am in my 50s? Men affectionately call me an old woman.
My message to you is to insist all female age groups – and male for that matter – have equal, respectful, visible representation in all fields of the media.
This video from Australia is about Australian Mamdouh Habib, released without charge after years in torture prisons of the United States government and the Egyptian Mubarak dictatorship.
By Richard Phillips in Australia:
“All those involved in my treatment should be jailed for war crimes”
9 February 2011
On December 17, the Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard signed an out-of-court settlement with former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib to end his legal action over the Australian government’s complicity in his illegal detention, extraordinary rendition, and torture by officials from the United States, Pakistan and Egypt between 2001 and 2005.
The government’s sudden decision came after 54-year-old Habib presented its lawyers with testimony from a former Egyptian military intelligence officer, and from ex-detainee Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni, who was incarcerated with Habib in Egypt and at Guantánamo Bay.
Habib was seized by Pakistani police in October 2001, just after the September 11 terror attacks in the United States. Interrogated for three weeks, he was then rendered to Egypt, where he was incarcerated for seven months. During this time, he was systematically tortured and then transferred, via Afghanistan, to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was finally released and repatriated to Australia without charge in January 2005.
From the outset, the former Liberal-National government of Prime Minister John Howard claimed it had no knowledge of Habib’s rendition from Pakistan to Egypt. When news began to filter out in 2002 that Habib was imprisoned in Egypt, the government, backed by the Labor Party Opposition, rejected outright any investigation. Instead, senior government ministers consistently accused Habib of being an “Islamic terrorist”.
Department of Foreign Affairs media officers were directed to tell journalists that the government had no knowledge about the Australian’s kidnapping, but they had recently received “credible advice that [Habib] is well and being treated well”.
Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers claimed to have had no contact with Habib in Egypt. A spokeswoman for then attorney general Philip Ruddock told reporters that, “No Australian official, including ASIO, was ever provided with access to Mr Habib [in Egypt].”
Ruddock continued to insist, even up until a few days before the Australian’s release, that Washington had enough evidence to try Habib in a Guantánamo Bay military kangaroo court.
Questioned in February 2005, then foreign minister Alexander Downer conceded that Habib “may have been tortured” in Egypt, but denied that any Australian officials were present.
Habib’s legal case for compensation was strenuously opposed by the Howard government and the subsequent Labor administrations of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. All of them tried to quash the case and protect those involved in the crimes perpetrated against Habib.
The Gillard government has now initiated an inquiry by the Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence (IGIS) into actions taken by Australian intelligence agencies against the Australian citizen. The inquiry, which will be held in secret, is designed to maintain the cover-up.
Under the terms of the legal settlement, Habib cannot disclose the amount of his compensation payment. He has, however, provided the WSWS access to some of the damning testimony that compelled the government to produce its sudden offer.
The former Egyptian intelligence officer, who was employed at the prison where Habib was incarcerated, categorically states that “each nationality” had embassy, intelligence and medical officials at the Egyptian prison facilities where their rendered citizens were imprisoned.
US government is backing Omar Suleiman who “tortured Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib himself”: here.
Human rights campaigners condemned the ongoing incarceration of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held at Guantanamo Bay, as a “mockery of justice” today: here.
NAIROBI – A case filed before an African judicial body could open a new front in efforts by human rights groups to hold the CIA and its partners accountable for what they allege was the torture of innocent victims in secret “black site” prisons around the world: here.
Britain: MPs won a significant ruling today forcing the Ministry of Defence to hand over information on its involvement in extraordinary rendition: here.
Israel, Extraordinary Rendition and the Strange Case of Dirar Abu Sisi. Richard Silverstein, Truthout: “The gag [order] also prevented Israelis from knowing that Abu Sisi was jailed, what the charges brought against him were or what conditions he was being held under. I was especially concerned, because during such secret detentions the Israeli security service is often accused of torturing suspects to procure confessions, which are then used against them in court… Of course, all of this is speculation because the national security state prefers to operate in the dark, prefers opacity. We can only look forward to a day when extraordinary rendition and the other favored tactics of such a state are as discredited as the lynchings and apartheid of a bygone era”: here.
This video says about itself:
The pro-democracy protests in Egypt have entered their third week as demonstrators are holding another massive protest in Tahrir Square. While President Hosni Mubarak is refusing to resign, his regime is attempting to offer some new concessions in an attempt to end the protests.
Egypt protesters gain ground: Labour unions stage country-wide strikes and pro-democracy protesters extend demonstrations: here.
Tahrir square photos: here.
Wael Ghonim addresses thousands in Tahrir Square – video here.
Demonstrations and strikes across Egypt: here.
Rural Egyptians (allegedly Mubarak’s “silent majority”) are supporting the revolution: here.
Mubarak Family Fortune Could Reach $70Bn, Say Experts: here.
Munich Security Conference defends the Egyptian regime: here.
Egypt: The danger to the revolution comes from Washington: here.
The extraordinary endorsement of Egypt’s longtime military strongman Hosni Mubarak by the US special envoy to Egypt, Frank Wisner, has put the spotlight on the close ties between the Egyptian regime and an array of Washington lobbyists with close ties to the Democratic Party: here.
The mass protests in North Africa against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled his country on January 14, are shaking the French government. For the time being, attention has focused on Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie, who like many French politicians enjoyed close ties to the Tunisian regime: here.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is backing a right-wing, anti-Muslim campaign to divide the working class amid massive austerity, imperialist war, and rising social struggles in North Africa: here.
Last year’s floods have exacerbated food insecurity in Pakistan to the point that the poverty-stricken country could soon see Tunisia-style unrest, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has warned: here.
This video is called Poverty in Bahrain on CNN.
From The Raw Story in the USA:
Bahrain cyber-activists urge ‘revolt’
By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 — 11:31 am
DUBAI – A Facebook page urging “revolt” in Bahrain replicating similar calls elsewhere in the Arab world had by Tuesday amassed more than 6,000 “likes” on the social networking site.
“This is your chance to open the door for political and standard of living reforms, especially with the changes going on now in the Middle East. We will all chant ‘The people want to reform the regime’ on February 14,” a post said.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have played a major role in a wave of protests around the Arab world — fanned by poverty and unemployment — that have grown into revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.
The Bahraini activists listed 14 demands which include “releasing all (political) detainees and compensating them, reforming the judiciary system…, banning alcohol and prostitution… (and) halting torture and human rights abuses.”
They also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the Gulf kingdom’s only premier since independence four decades ago, as well as amendments to the constitution to allow genuine popular participation in government.
Shiite-majority Bahrain is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa family of King Hamad, which retains a tight grip on the premiership and key ministries.
Get Internet Access When Your Government Shuts It Down – PCWorld: here.
WORKERS and youth in Cairo held mass demonstrations yesterday following the release of the detained Google executive and facebook radical Wael Ghonim: here.
USA: National Egyptian Solidarity March Sat, Feb 12th, “Lafayette Park”, Washington DC 1PM: here.
Update on the Tunisian Revolution: Interview with Fahem Boukadous, Tunisian journalist: here.
8 February in the village.
Later, a great tit. And a blue tit.
This is a video about a juvenile great spotted woodpecker and its mother.
Then, a great spotted woodpecker.
Two blue tits on the house-shaped feeder, a male blackbird waiting under them for food to fall to the ground.
A starling near the feeder.
A great spotted woodpecker at the feeder, the blackbird underneath.
Just before I leave: great spotted woodpecker at the feeder, while a robin on the ground waits for food to fall.