Indian birdwatching day


This video is called Birds of India – Owls, Raptors.

From ANI news agency in India:

National Bird Watching Day attracts large crowds in Ramnagar

Ramnagar (Uttrakhand), Nov. 12

Nature enthusiasts and students gathered at a barrage on the river Kosi in north India, observing migratory birds on the occasion of National Bird Watching Day, celebrated to mark the 116th birth anniversary of renowned biologist Salim Ali.

Armed with binoculars, notebooks, field guides and cameras, they stood at the edge of the reservoir, making a note of the resident and migratory species present at the site.

The bird watchers said that it was important to educate people about the importance of conserving the country’s diverse fauna.

“We brought a few children who study in a local school, so that they can make themselves aware of bird life. The message for the people of the country and people in the world is that we must keep (these birds) alive, so that we learn about them and protect them,” said a birder, Rohit Sati.

The waters of the reservoir had large numbers of Ruddy Shelducks and cormorants swimming, feeding and sunning themselves.

The reservoir at Ramnagar is close to India’s iconic Jim Corbett National Park, which is home to over 500 species of birds, a sizeable chunk of more than 1200 species found all over the country.

Winter sees many species of birds migrate from north and central Asia and other, colder parts of the world, as the birds breed and live in the more temperate climate of the Indian subcontinent.

The Director of the Rainbow Wildlife Awareness organisation, Rajesh Bhatt said that the reservoir itself played host to over 200 species of resident and migratory birds.

“The important birds here are the Ruddy Shelduck, the Ibisbill, wallcreeper, cormorant, garganey, pintail, Bar-headed Goose, which can be seen easily,” Bhatt said.

Born in 1896, Salim Ali, known as ‘the Bird Man of India’, made his name as one of the first Indian naturalists to conduct systematic surveys on birds. His field guides are used by many birdwatchers when they set out in pursuit of the hobby.

Ali, who died in 1987, is also credited with the creation and recognition of such biodiversity hubs as the Keoladeo National park in Rajasthan and the Silent Valley National park in Kerala.

NATO drone kills three Afghan children


This video is called CIA demands drones despite 80% civilian death rate.

From Pajhwok Afghan News:

NATO Drone Strike Kills Three Afghan Children

November 12, 2012

ISAF drone attack kills 3 boys in Logar

By Abdul Maqsud Azizi

PUL-I-ALAM: Three civilians were killed during an ISAF drone strike in the Baraki Barak district of central Logar province on Monday, residents and the provincial council head said.

The airstrike was conducted at around 1.00 pm in the Shati Qala area of the district, killing three boys, provincial council chief Ghulam Yahiya Ahmadzai told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the boys, all aged below 16 years, were working on their farm, and village elders later took their bodies to the governor’s office as a mark of protest.

Resident Haji Habibur Rahman said the boys, working on their carrot farm, had no links to insurgents.

Meanwhile, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) media office in Kabul said it was unaware of the incident. It would look into the issue, a brief statement from the NATO-led said.

US drone strikes more deadly to Afghan civilians than manned aircraft: here.

US troops in Afghanistan post 2014? Here.

Poet Attila the Stockbroker on anarchism and football


This video from Britain is called Attila the Stockbroker, Maggots 1 – Maggie Nil (Live@ Miners Welfare, Whitburn, 12/9/09).

By Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

Materialism without the dialectics

Monday 12 November 2012

Anyone been to the Anarchist Bookfair? It’s great. I hadn’t until the most recent one and, to be honest, I was half expecting the Bakuninite equivalent of two Trots and a dog – on a string of course.

But the place was heaving with hundreds and hundreds of people and the discussions and stalls were really interesting. Did a gig there with my old acoustic punk mate Patrik Fitzgerald and then we stuffed a ridiculous amount of gear into a hired Ford Galaxy and I set off for my latest tour of Germany and Holland with my band Barnstormer.

We started in Dortmund and as so often while on tour in Germany the subject got round to football and the vast difference in ticket prices over there.

One of the Borussia Rude Boys showed me his season ticket which cost 225 euros – about £180 – and that’s not just for a whole league season watching one of the top teams in Europe but for the home games in the first stages of the Champions League as well.

When I told him that my season ticket for my beloved Brighton & Hove Albion cost more than double that, and you’d pay double that again to watch the elite clubs in England, he and his mates gasped in disbelief.

The key factor of course is that in Germany and most other mainland European countries they still have standing areas and we don’t. Now that the Liverpool fans have been rightly exonerated and the whole police/Thatcher stitch-up at Hillsborough exposed, it’s time we reclaimed our game, got our terraces back and stopped pricing so many people out of watching the game we love.

From Dortmund we drove up for a show at Groningen in Holland where, Belgian beer fans, I had far too much Westmalle Tripel at a delicious 9.5 per cent ABV. Thence to a mad night in Amsterdam and a long drive to east Germany for shows in Halberstadt, Gorlitz and Chemnitz, or Karl-Marx-Stadt as it used to be called in the days of the GDR.

But history has only partly been rewritten because the huge statue of Marx’s head still dominates the Street of Nations by popular demand. Rather more surreally, when the local bank Sparkasse Chemnitz held an online vote so the public could choose between 10 different images for the bank’s new credit card, Marx’s statue won.

I don’t know what he’d make of that. Maybe mumble something about needing to make that kind of materialism a bit more dialectical?

Anyway, greetings from the beautiful Bavarian city of Regensburg. Nine gigs done, 2 to go. Tonight we’re playing for FC Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund fans at a pre-match party at the Tribut Kunstgalerie in Augsburg.

Punks and football fans having a party in an art gallery – now there’s a few stereotypes gone west.

For more info on Attila’s activities, visit www.attilathestockbroker.com.

Turkish ants, first checklist


This video says about itself:

Ants in Gulusluk, Turkey

Ants eating a Honey Nut Cheerio.

From Zootaxa journal:

First annotated checklist of the ant fauna of Turkey (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

KADRİ KIRAN & CELAL KARAMAN
Trakya University Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, 22030 Edirne-TURKEY.
E-mail: kadrikiran@trakya.edu.tr, celalkaraman78@gmail.com

Abstract

The first annotated checklist of the ants of Turkey is presented. A total of 306 valid names of species-group taxa (286 species, 20 subspecies) is recorded based on literature records and additional newly collected material carried out since 1998. Synonyms are included. New localities are added for some poorly known species.

Four species (Tapinoma subboreale, Formica georgica, Formica lugubris and Lasius balcanicus) are reported for the first time and thirteen species (Bothriomyrmex atlantis, B. meridionalis, Tapinoma madeirense, Camponotus robustus, Formica fuscocinerea, F. gagatoides, Rossomyrmex minuchae, Messor barbarus, Monomorium glabrum, M. salomonis, Myrmica vandeli, Stenamma westwoodii and Tetramorium forte) are excluded from the list of Turkish ants.

NATO’s ‘new’ Libya’s xenophobic violence


Not only in NATO member state Greece is there xenophobia: by violent nazi gangs, and by the government as well.

It is in the ‘new’ Libya, made by NATO’s 2011 war, as well.

This video says about itself:

Racism of the new Libyan government unveiled

Uploaded by ImazighenLibyaTV

Al Arabya TV (English) 27 November 2011 reports on demonstrations that are taking place on Martyrs square in Tripoli since five days denouncing the ostracism and the blatant discrimination that is being implemented by the self-proclaimed Libyan authorities and the newly formed cabinet of Abdel Rahim Al Kib who is systematically and methodically excluding the Amazigh population (also called “berbers” and who are the indigenous native people of Libya) as well as other non-Arab population of Libya such as the Tebus (living in the South of the country) from ministerial positions and reflecting what a growing number of the Libyan population is seeing as a blatant and institutionalized racism put in place against non-Arab population of Libya living in the country since centuries.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

New regime ‘worse than Gadaffi’ for immigrants

Monday 12 November 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

Amnesty International will warn tomorrow that abuses against foreign residents in Libya now are worse than under former leader Muammar Gadaffi.

The rights group compiled the report We Are Foreigners, We Have No Rights over several visits to the north African country between May and September.

Amnesty said foreign nationals are at risk of “exploitation, arbitrary and indefinite detention and beatings, sometimes amounting to torture.”

Armed militias acting outside the law were guilty of numerous abuses, it said.

In one case a Somali man was “kicked and dragged along the ground, punched in the eye and beaten with rifles and sticks” after he tried to escape from a detention facility in Khoms.

In another incident a woman from Nigeria detained in Tripoli’s Tweisha detention centre reported being beaten and given electric shocks.

“The world needs to know what is happening to us,” she told Amnesty. “For Libyans we are not even human.”

Libya makes no formal distinction between migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers and the government has refused to sign a memorandum of understanding with the UN refugee agency or ratify the UN refugee convention.

This means the thousands arrested for “migration offences” cannot legally challenge their detention.

In some cases those jailed are told to pay the cost of their own deportation and remain in legal limbo if they cannot do so.

Amnesty Middle East and north Africa deputy director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said: “It is shameful that Gadaffi-era abuses have not only continued but worsened.”

You might not expect women’s groups to welcome the posting of a video depicting a rape on You Tube – but Libyan feminists did just that last week: here.

Birds of Africa and art


Bird family: Francolins - Birds of Africa: Volume II; Plate 1

From Wildlife Extra:

Chance to buy the original artwork from the definitive “Birds of Africa

November 2012. Martin Woodcock painted virtually all the colour plates for the seven-volume definitive work The Birds of Africa. Now you can buy some of the original plates from Birds of Africa, and help support some of the African Bird Club‘s conservation fund to support ornithological projects in Africa.

The Birds of Africa is the definitive seven-volume ornithological book of all known African species. It was written by Hilary Fry, Stuart Keith and Emil Urban, and Martin Woodcock painted almost all of the plates, which are now for sale.

You can view the paintings here.

African birds: here.