From Wildlife Extra:
New bat species found in Cambodia
Tube-nosed bat named after Wildlife Conservation Society scientist
October 2011. Scientists discovered the small brown-and-white bat during surveys in the Van Sai Protected Forests in north-eastern Cambodia. Little is known about Southeast Asia’s tube-nosed bats, so named for their extraordinary nostrils. Several new species have been described in recent years.
To honour of Joe Walston, The Wildlife Conservation Society‘s Executive Director for Asia Programs and to highlight Walston’s work to save bats and other wildlife in Southeast Asia, a group of scientists have dubbed the newly discovered bat species Murina walstoni, or Walston’s tube-nosed bat.
Joe Walston began studying bats in Vietnam in 1994. In 2000, he found a critically endangered bat species in Cambodia that had only been caught once before – in 1912 from a cave in India nearly 2,000 miles away. He has been director for WCS’s Asia programs since 2010.
The researchers, Csorba Gabor of the Hungarian Natural History Museum, Nguyen Truong Son of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Ith Saveng of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and Neil Furey of Flora and Fauna International described the new species, along with two other new bats, in a recent issue of the Journal of Mammology.
How bat wings can heal themselves: here.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Ten killed as air strike hits refugee camp in Somalia
Monday 31 October 2011
Kenyan planes bombed a refugee camp in southern Somalia on Sunday, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens of women and children.
Aid group Doctors Without Borders said that 52 people were injured by the attack on the camp in Jilib.
About 1,500 families had fled there in the face of a drought earlier this year.
Town elder Ahmed Sheik Don said: “The planes targeted a bus stop. They also hit a refugee camp and finally an al-Shabab food distribution centre,” referring to the armed Islamist group that controls most of southern Somalia.
Kenyan troops moved into Somalia in mid-October to try to stop al-Shabab’s uprising against the country’s UN-backed government, backed by military planes and with logistical support from the French military.
Residents and officials told Reuters earlier on Sunday that at least 12 civilians were killed when two Kenyan jets bombed Jilib.
See also here.
Kenya’s ill-advised incursion into Somalia on Oct. 16 after a rash of kidnappings in the tourist paradise of Lamu will most likely lead to a long and expensive quagmire. The escalation will further destabilize a region already reeling from war, piracy, famine, and international terrorism: here.
Kenya’s blundering mission in Somalia: here.
Kenyan troops set to attack Somali towns: here.
Kenyan army tweets: don’t sell donkeys to militants: here.
From southern Europe, it spread to the north (because of climate change?); it has by now reached Denmark.
According to Ecomare museum on Texel island, a few years ago the octopus stinkhorn showed for the first time in the Muy nature reserve in the north of Texel. It still occurs there. On animal dung, like elsewhere.
Texel fungi: here.
- Unusual Red Fungus (wendang42.wordpress.com)
This video is called Global Occupation: 1,000 cities unite in ‘Wall Street’ anger worldwide.
Americans have been worshiping a bull. Too many citizens, and particularly politicians, prostrate themselves to Wall Street’s bronze idol: here.
Police action in Colorado’s capital city, which included several injuries and 20 arrests, was part of a wave of repression in the US over the weekend, including in Nashville, Portland, Oregon, Rochester, New York and Austin, Texas: here.
REPORT: NYPD directing “drunks” and “aggressive” people to Occupy Wall Street protest: here.
Bill Keller’s Ridiculous Put Down of Occupy Wall Street | By Amitabh Pal: here.
A series of reports over the past ten days—on poverty, wages, income inequality and social mobility—have painted a portrait of America starkly at odds with the official mythology of the United States as the land of unlimited economic opportunity, the country with the world’s highest standard of living: here.
Australia: An estimated 1,500 people marched last Saturday in Melbourne as part of the international Occupy movement against social inequality. The protest was called to re-establish an occupation site after police brutally assaulted demonstrators, arrested about 100 people and dismantled the encampment at City Square on October 21: here.
This video is called Occupy London Stock Exchange (LSX) Protests 2011 | Day One.
From daily News Line in England:
Monday, 31 October 2011
ASSEMBLY SUPPORTS CHASE FARM OCCUPATION!
‘WE will defend Chase Farm Hospital with an occupation!’ was the message Bill Rogers, secretary of the North East London Council of Action, delivered on Saturday night to the St Paul’s occupation assembly.
Rogers said on the steps of St Paul’s: ‘We have been fighting for four years to stop the closure of maternity, paediatrics and A&E.
‘The only way to defend the hospital or for that matter libraries, schools, youth centres or any other service threatened with closure is by occupying the services to defend them and stop the closure.’
A roar went up from the crowd in enthusiastic agreement.
Rogers continued: ‘We are inviting you to all come down to Enfield for a mass march on the 10th of December and to bring as many people as you can.
‘We are then going to move to a daily picket of the hospital and from there to a full occupation of the services and departments threatened with closure.
‘Are you with us?’ Roger asked, and was answered a by a unanimous ‘Yes!’
David Adams, who was on the steps of St Paul’s listening to the meeting said: ‘I live near Luton in Hitchen. In Stevenage, our local hospital is called the Lister.
‘I am opposed to the closure of Chase Farm Hospital and I am against the closure of the QE2 hospital in Welwyn Garden City because patients from the QE2 will be forced to come to the Lister and if there is no space they will be forced into private health.’
He added: ‘Privatisation always means that they will extract surplus value as profit and the standards go down. We have to defend the NHS.’
One of the occupiers called ‘Squeek’ said: ‘It is ridiculous what they are doing to the NHS. Public health care is a basic human right.
‘I come from Ireland where it costs 3,000 euros a year for health insurance and that does not even cover you.
‘The NHS is precious, people fought for it! The occupation of Chase Farm hospital is necessary.
People need that hospital and I will participate in the occupation.’
Meanwhile, legal action has been taken out against the St Paul’s occupation and the occupiers are preparing to defend the camp by all means necessary.
Camper Ev Emanon said: ‘We heard that they want us out and that the City of London and St Paul’s Cathedral are going through the legal channels to get us removed.’
She added: ‘Our principle is that we are not going to move because we are demonstrating for freedom and against the corrupt system.
‘If we are demonstrating against a system, then why should we do what the system says?
‘The government should be for the people. When you have a government that will not let its people speak out then you have a dictatorship with an illusion of choice.
‘We are not moving our tents no matter how many times they ask us!’
Writer and curator Lucia Farinati said: ‘The legal proceedings against the camp are ridiculous. This is a peaceful camp and they should have the right to stay.
‘I have come down to support because I share their concern that it is not right that we should have to pay for their economic crisis.’
Occupier Matthew Horne said: ‘We will not be evicted. They will not succeed in doing a “Dale Farm” on us.’
Yesterday, the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, addressed the occupation over the Cathedral authorities’ offer of a public debate in the church in return for leaving.
Chartres said: ‘I do not think we are on the inevitable road to violence.’
Church and City move to evict Occupy London camp: here.
The Dean of St Paul’s resigned today saying he felt his position had become “untenable” after mounting criticism over the cathedral’s handling of anti-capitalist protesters camping on its door step: here.
Occupy London protesters: “This is a global movement”: here.
This video is called New Fossil in China Changes Evolutionary Origin of Birds.
From Science Alert:
Archaeopteryx ‘still the first bird’
Bob Beale, The University of New South Wales
Thursday, 27 October 2011
The crown of the famous 150-million-year-old Archaeopteryx fossil as the first bird has been restored by a new evolutionary tree.
In a study published today in the journal Biology Letters, Australian researchers say the feathered fossil is indeed of the first known bird, despite another study earlier this year suggesting otherwise.
Archaeopteryx had been considered for 150 years to be the first known bird since the first complete specimen was found in Germany in 1861, revealing a combination of reptilian and and bird features. But Chinese researchers asserted recently that a new and closely related fossil, Xiaotingia zhengi, was a bird-like dinosaur – therefore suggesting that Archaeopteryx was also a dinosaur.
However, the new study, led by Dr Michael Lee, of the South Australian Museum, used a more detailed analyis to show that Archaeopteryx was a bird.
“Archaeopteryx is iconic in palaeontology as the basal bird, however the plethora of discoveries of feathered dinosaurs in China, in particular, has progressively eroded the distinction of just what defines a bird,” says one of the authors, Dr Trevor Worthy, a palaeontologist in the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.
“This trend came to a head when Xaiotingia
was analysed most recently and in the analysis presented Archaeopteryx was found to jump ship as it were from the birds to the dromaeosaurs.
“This sensational result was presented and attracted much publicity, but the very weak statistical support for this new relationship was not given due consideration.
“In our work, Mike Lee has shown quite clearly that methodology is highly significant and that before a paradigm is overturned data needs to be rigorously examined.
“Using a different analytical methodology than that usually used by morphologists, but one always used by analysts of molecular data, we found that Archaeopteryx remains the basal bird and does so with strong statistical support.
“This case demonstrates that multiple analysis methods should be used, each with concordant results before a paradigm breaking result is accepted. And it shows that Archaeopteryx remains the key to understanding the origin of birds.”
We describe an enormous Late Cretaceous fossil bird from Kazakhstan, known from a pair of edentulous mandibular rami (greater than 275 mm long), which adds significantly to our knowledge of Mesozoic avian morphological and ecological diversity. A suite of autapomorphies lead us to recognize the specimen as a new taxon. Phylogenetic analysis resolves this giant bird deep within Aves as a basal member of Ornithuromorpha. This Kazakh fossil demonstrates that large body size evolved at least once outside modern birds (Neornithes) and reveals hitherto unexpected trophic diversity within Cretaceous Aves: here.
What colour were the first birds? Illuminating studies provide new clues: here.
- Systematic position of Archaeopteryx challenged? (phys.org)
- New Candidate for World’s First Bird (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- Bird ancestor reshuffles fossil pack (bbc.co.uk)
- New Bird-Like Dinosaur Settles Origins of Flight (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- World’s Oldest ‘Bird’ Fossil An Example Of Avian Evolution From Dinosaurs (VIDEO) (hngn.com)
- Archaeopteryx restored in fossil reshuffle (syndicatednewsservices.com)
- ‘Dawn bird’ sees Archaeopteryx return to bird fold (newscientist.com)
- Archaeopteryx back on its perch (thehindu.com)
This video is called Tens of Thousands in Israel Protest Rising Prices.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Thousands of Israelis on streets to call for action on inequality
Sunday 30 October 2011
Tens of thousands of Israelis marched in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on Saturday to demand that the government reduce the widening gulf between rich and poor.
Protesters carried banners reading: “The people demand public housing” and “the people demand a bigger budget.”
Another protest planned for the southern city of Beersheba was called off when Gaza militants retaliated against Israeli air strikes that claimed five militants with rocket attacks.
Some people noted that the timing of the air strikes was very convenient for Tel Aviv.
The Israeli government set up a committee to examine protesters’ economic demands in the wake of the wave of social protests that swept the country over the summer and approved the outline of proposed reforms in early October.
But protesters say that they do not go far enough and are calling on ministers to cancel next year’s national budget and relaunch a “social budget” after consulting the public.
See also here.
Police attack student demo in Sudan: here.
October 30, 2011
Egyptians Protest Against Torture and Murder of Prisoner
Jihan Hafiz reports on mass protest demanding accountability for crimes against prisoners
Top Egypt activists demand an end to military trials, call for day of action: here.
Egyptians Participate in, Examine the Revolution Through Rise of Graffiti: here.
Britain: Social justice campaigners slammed as “unjustifiable” today ministers’ attempts to call in arms deal debts racked up by Egypt’s hated ex-dictator Hosni Mubarak: here.