Dutch sea eaglet ringed


This video is called Sea Eagles Oostvaardersplassen 2007.

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

08-06-2012 19:14

The white-tailed eagles in the nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen have nested successfully for the seventh year in a row.

When they started, that was the first Dutch sea eagle nest since centuries.

In the nest, one eaglet was found. The Forestry Commission has ringed the bird this Friday.

In 2008 and 2011 there were two chicks in the nest. Meanwhile, nine young eagles have hatched in the area which lies between Almere and Lelystad.

Lauwersmeer sea eaglet ringed as well: here.

Sea eagle near Zundert: here.

Texel sea eagle: here.

White-tailed Eagle reintroduction into England – Will the next choice be Cumbria? Here.

Six sea eagles have taken their first flight in Scottish skies, marking the end of a successful reintroduction programme: here.

Psychic animals’ football championship failures


From RIA Novosti in Russia:

‘Psychic’ Animals Vie for Euro 2012 Oracle Honors

MOSCOW, June 9

Following the success of Paul the ‘psychic’ Octopus, who correctly predicted the results of the 2010 World Cup, a pig, a cow and an elephant are among creatures attempting to guess the results of matches at the Euro 2012 football championships in Ukraine and Poland.

A swine named Funtik, who is a mainstay in the fan zone in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, had said co-hosts Poland would beat Greece on Friday – a prophesy which did not however come true as the tournament’s dramatic opener ended in a draw – but successfully predicted Russia’s victory over the Czech Republic later that night. Funtik divines, simply enough, by choosing between plates of corn chips, each bearing the flag of the two teams set to play.

A meerkat in Russia’s Urals town of Yekaterinburg, too, forecast his homeland’s triumph, but a deer in the northern town of Syktyvkar, not to be outdone, looked much farther ahead, saying Russia will reach the semi-finals.

Fred the Ferret

Poland’s own Citta the Elephant in the Krakow Zoo has also been credited with psychic powers, but they seemed to fail her after she picked her side to win at the National Stadium in Warsaw.

In Germany, Yvonne the cow has foretold defeat in the team’s opening match against Portugal to be played on Saturday night, a forecast countered by a psychic otter in the country’s small eastern town of Aue. Dutch elephant Nelly also indicated a win for Germany.

This music video is called Nellie The Elephant (Toy Dolls).

There is also Fred the Ferret in Kharkiv, one of Euro’s host cities in eastern Ukraine, whose prognostications are not yet known but who will surely be voted the cutest animal oracle of the tournament.

And last but not least, the successor to Paul, who sadly died of natural causes in 2010, is Paulus the Octopus, who was born in Germany but now lives – and works – in a tank in Portugal.

See also here.

Inspired by Paul the Octopus, animal owners across Germany are turning to their pets to predict the outcomes of European Championship matches. Germany’s animal protection agency says the trend is getting out of hand and singles out the use of a python and two live rats as especially tasteless: here.

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Greek disgust on nazi violence


Anti-nazi demonstrators in Greece yesterday

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Anti-fascist fury in Athens after far-right MP hit rival

Nathalie Savaricas

Athens, Saturday 09 June 2012

Greeks gathered for anti-fascist rallies across the country last night to protest against the actions of a far-right politician who punched a female opponent on a television show and then went on the run.

Ilias Kasidiaris, the Golden Dawn spokesman, attacked a left-wing candidate, Liana Kanelli, and threw a glass of water at another opponent in the heated debate on Thursday morning. He continued to evade police last night, with his arrest warrant due to expire today. A police spokesman, Athanassios Kokkalakis, told state TV: “We’ve been checking all the usual spots were this particular man could be.”

As protesters massed for the evening rallies, Greeks took to the internet to express outrage at the actions of Mr Kasidiaris. Writing on the popular Protagon website, Dimitris, a photographer and computer science student, said that Mr Kasidiaris revealed the true nature of Golden Dawn. “They’re dangerous neo-Nazis, so what happened was expected although absolutely unacceptable.”

Maria Svoronou, a film director, echoed that: “I’m shocked by the incident but then again I’m shocked that people like these exist.”

But the political analyst Theodore Couloumbis told Reuters news agency that he thought it could cost the anti-immigrant party votes. “My first reaction is that it will hurt their chances, especially with women,” Mr Couloumbis said. “You saw right in front of you the full brutality and ugly behaviour of a young neo-Nazi man beating up a defenceless woman. It’s as simple as that.”

Women’s groups also condemned Mr Kasidiaris, while a journalists’ union asked that Golden Dawn members be banned from news shows.

Prisoners, cleared for release, still in Guantanamo


This video is called Guantanamo Bay – USA.

By Andy Worthington, Andy Worthington’s Blog:

Guantanamo Scandal: The 40 Prisoners Still Held, but Cleared for Release at Least Five Years Ago

Friday, 08 June 2012 09:31

One of the greatest injustices at Guantánamo is that, of the 169 prisoners still held, over half — 87 in total — were cleared for release by President Obama’s interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force. The Task Force involved around 60 career officials from various government departments and the intelligence agencies, who spent the first year of the Obama Presidency reviewing the cases of all the remaining prisoners in Guantánamo, to decide whether they should be tried, released, or, in some cases, held indefinitely without charge or trial. The Task Force’s final report is here (PDF).

Exactly who these 87 men are is a closely held secret on the part of the administration, which is unfortunate for those of us working towards the closure of Guantánamo, as it prevents us from campaigning as effectively as we would like for the majority of these men, given that we are not entirely sure of their status. Attorneys for the prisoners have been told about their clients’ status, but that information — as with so much involving Guantánamo — is classified.

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: “With the continued erosion of civil liberties that began in the Bush years and has expanded in the Obama administration, it was hopeful that a federal judge struck down one of the most chilling laws in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): the right of the government to suspend habeas corpus and indefinitely detain US citizens under military authority”: here.

The US Supreme Court declined to review appellate decisions that shut the door to judicial review of the indefinite detention of Guantanamo prisoners. It also let stand an appellate ruling tossing out a civil law suit by Jose Padilla: here.

The government’s failure to secure the release of the last British resident in Guantanamo is in breach of both the Magna Carta and the Act of Habeas Corpus, campaigners have declared: here.

The tragic case of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif hit a dead end when the US Supreme Court issued an order refusing to hear his case last week. Latif, a Yemeni man, has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay since January 2002, after being detained while traveling to seek medical treatment: here.