Bahraini torture prince now Syrian ‘humanitarian’


I don’t often quote the Bahrain News Agency, the mouthpiece of an absolute monarchy which tortures, gasses, and shoots its citizens fighting peacefully for democracy.

But now I will do so. With this item:

HH Shaikh Nasser Provides Bahrain’s Aids for Syrian Refugees in Turkey

05 : 54 PM – 24/11/2012

Bahraini torture prince His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the Turkish-Syrian border, photo Bahrain News Agency

Manama, November 24th (BNA) – Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Charity Organization, His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa received the representative of the Turkish Premiership Muhammet Donmez, in presence of the Director of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey, Carol Bøjer.

The mouthpiece of the dictatorial Bahraini royal dynasty omits that His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa is not only Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Charity Organization; but also chairman of the Bahraini Olympic Committee. As such, he presided and presides over the torture of Bahraini citizens, including Bahraini Olympic and Paralympic athletes; in which His Royal Highness himself participated.

The meeting was also in the presence of the Secretary-General of the Royal Charity Organization, Dr. Mustafa Al Sayed and Bahrain’s Ambassador to Turkey Ibrahim Yusuf.

It was under the directives of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa that HH Shaikh Nasser provided Bahrain’s aids for the Syrian refugees in Turkey.

So His Royal torturing Highness is interested in the bloody war going on along the Syrian-Turkish border. For humanitarian reasons? Does His Royal torturing Highness shed tears, other than crocodile tears, about the human tragedies of the refugees?

Very more probably, His Royal torturing Highness wants to help the CIA, NATO, Turkish warmongers, the Qatari absolute monarchy, and the Saudi absolute monarchy in “humanitarian” bloodshed, with as its result a Sunni sectarian, Al-Qaedaish, dictatorship in Syria, rather similar to the Bahraini regime.

On this occasion, HH Shaikh Nasser said that he was honored to express thanks and appreciation for the Honorary President of the Royal Charity Organization, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa for his continuous humanitarian initiatives to help the needy and provide relief to the afflicted.

HH Shaikh Nasser also said that HM the King’s directives also came out of the distinctive brotherly relations which bond Bahrain with Turkey, pointing out that Bahrain’s aids were for the Syrian refugees who fled from Syria to Turkey due to the situation in their country, so the aids were to relief their sufferings.

The head of Bahrain’s main opposition group says backers will resume street protests in a direct challenge to a government ban on political gatherings: here.

New emperor penguin colonies discovered


This video is called Emperor penguins – The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth – BBC.

By on About.com Birding / Wild Birds:

New Penguin Colonies Located

November 24, 2012

Penguin lovers have reason to be thankful this month with the discovery of two new emperor penguin breeding sites. According to ScienceDaily, the two colonies in Antarctica are home to 6,000 previously unknown chicks, which effectively triples the number of breeding emperor penguins believed to be in the area.

Emperor penguins are colonial nesters that breed in tremendous flocks, returning to the same nesting site year after year. When Antarctic ice changes disrupt those colonies, the birds can struggle to breed safely. In 2010 a large glacier fractured, and it was feared that emperor penguin numbers would drastically decline as a result.

Want to add the emperor penguin to your life list? Learn where in the world you can see penguins!

Emperor penguins Aptenodytes forsteri are able to survive the harsh Antarctic climate because of specialized anatomical, physiological and behavioural adaptations for minimizing heat loss: here.

Emperor Penguins: Encounters in the Antarctic Wilderness: here.

Clamorous reed warblers in Bahrain


In Bahrain, there are not only clamorous royals and their propaganda lackeys, clamouring that their absolute monarchy is really a land of freedom … and clamorous political prisoners, clamouring because of being tortured … fortunately, there are clamorous reed warblers and other birds as well.

Clamorous reed warbler, photo by Jem Babbington

From Jem Babbington:

Nicole and I went ringing again at Alba Marsh on Friday morning. A very early start from Saudi Arabia to get across the causeway and to the Alba Marsh site in Bahrain by first light was undertaken and after setting the nets it became apparent there were a few more birds about than the previous week.

As it turned out we caught a few more birds also, but almost all of them were Clamorous Reed Warblers with four re-traps from 2011 or 2012 amongst them all from the same site. I like Clamorous Reed Warblers more than almost any bird we catch and it was good to catch so many in a single session with the final total being nine birds.

We also caught a single Graceful Prinia, one Red-Backed Shrike (which was a new ringing species for me) and the first returning Common Chiffchaff of the year. A few birds were seen but not caught including two Purple Herons, two Eastern Marsh Harriers and lots of waders mainly Little Stint, Common Greenshank and Common Redshank.

We met a local hunter who had killed a Eurasian Teal and had a beautiful juvenile Gyr Falcon in his car which he said he was training to hunt.

Dancing cranes, video


This video was recorded on 22 June 2012 near Engbertsdijksvenen nature reserve in Overijssel province in the Netherlands. It shows two cranes dancing during the mating season (and some lapwings).

William Blake anti-war poem


This video is called William Blake Documentary.

From Richard Rozoff’s blog, about late eighteenth century British poet William Blake:

William Blake: O go not forth in Martyrdoms & Wars

November 24, 2012

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

***

William Blake: O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue to drown the throat of war!

William Blake: To peaceful arts shall envy bow

====

William Blake
From Milton

Rouze up O Young Men of the New Age! set your foreheads against the ignorant Hirelings! For we have Hirelings in the Camp, the Court, & the University: who would if they could for ever depress Mental & prolong Corporeal War.

And Milton said: I go to Eternal Death! The Nations still
Follow after the detestable Gods of Priam: in pomp
Of warlike selfhood contradicting and blaspheming.

Lo Orc arises on the Atlantic. Lo his blood and fire
Glow on Americas shore: Albion turns upon his Couch:
He listens to the sounds of War, astonished and confounded:
He weeps into the Atlantic deep…

This Wine-press is call’d War on Earth, it is the Printing-Press
Of Los; and here he lays his words in order above the mortal brain
As cogs are formd in a wheel to turn the cogs of the adverse wheel.

O when shall we tread our Wine-presses in heaven, and Reap
Our wheat with shoutings of joy, and leave the Earth in peace
Remember how Calvin and Luther in fury premature
Sow’d War and stern division between Papists & Protestants
Let it not be so now! O go not forth in Martyrdoms & Wars
We were plac’d here by the Universal Brotherhood & Mercy,
With powers fitted to circumscribe this dark Satanic death,
And that the Seven Eyes of God may have space for Redemption.

These are the Gods of the Kingdoms of the Earth: in contrarious
And cruel opposition: Element against Element, opposed in War
Not Mental, as the Wars of Eternity, but a Corporeal Strife…

Because we were combind in Freedom & holy Brotherhood:
While those combined by Satans Tyranny, first in the blood of War
And Sacrifice, & next, in Chains of imprisonment, are Shapeless Rocks
Retaining only Satans Mathematic Holiness, Length, Bredth & Highth.

Distinguish therefore States from Individuals in those States.
States Change: but Individual Identities never change nor cease.
You cannot go to Eternal Death in that which can never Die.

In Tyre & Sidon I saw Baal & Ashtaroth. In Moab Chemosh
In Ammon Molech: loud his Furnaces rage among the Wheels
Of Og, & pealing loud the cries of the Victims of Fire:
And pale his Priestesses infolded in Veils of Pestilence, border’d
With War…

Dutch snails’ speedy evolution


This video is called Yellow Banded Snail, Cepaea nemoralis.

Translated from Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands:

Snails in IJsselmeerpolders [Dutch Flevoland province] evolve at high-speed

In the eyes of people, snails may be very slow-moving; however, they evolve rapidly. This Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen of Naturalis Biodiversity Center discovered this, based on the IJsselmeer polders since they were reclaimed from the Ijsselmeer lake.

He calculated that after 50 years, snails in forests had evolved at a four times higher frequency certain colour forms than snails in grassland. This is one of the highest rates ever recorded in animals in the wild. The study will appear in the journal Heredity, the publication is already online.

Among evolutionary biologists, the grove snail Cepaea nemoralis is almost as famous as the Darwin finch. The snails’ shells come in a rich range of hues, under the influence of evolution depending on the environment where the snails live. So, lighter colored snails in full sun are less likely to overheat and so they survive better in grassland than in woodland. But how strong this natural selection is and therefore how quickly differences between forest and open terrain evolve, has remained unclear for a long time.

British nazis dishonour fallen soldiers


From Left Foot Forward blog in Britain:

by , November 18th 2012 at 9:00 am

Comment: The National Front wreath at the Cenotaph dishonours all those who fought Hitler

Last Sunday I joined thousands of others at the Cenotaph to remember those who had given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today.

As in previous years, there were two moments that particularly struck me: the march past of Second World War veterans and the laying of the wreaths from the Commonwealth High Commissioners. Both reminded me of our nation’s fight against Nazism, the tremendous debt we owe to those who fought Hitler and the hugely overlooked and critical contribution of people from across the British Empire who fought and died for a country many of them had never seen.

National-Front-poppy-wreath-at-Cenotaph-2012

With this in mind I looked at the wreaths after the service - wreaths from across the globe - and was aghast to see that amongst them was a wreath from the National Front.

To have a neo-Nazi organisation represented in the memorials at the Cenotaph is an insult to those who laid down their lives in the fight against fascism. It must be removed.

Not only is the wreath at odds with Britain’s struggle in the Second World War, it shows blatant ignorance for the enormous debt we owe to millions across the Commonwealth who fought under our flag.

I have long argued the contribution of the non-White forces in both World Wars has been grossly overlooked. Not only were these huge in number but understanding how many fought and died for Britain would do much to show the country that while the National Front’s and other fascists’ ideological sympathies lie with Hitler, non-White troops from across the world were fighting under the Union Flag against him.

In the Second World War, 2.5 million Indians volunteered to fight for Britain, the largest volunteer army in history. They received 4,000 decorations and 38 Victoria Crosses, losing 36,000 men and leaving 34,000 woundedSeven thousand Caribbean troops and 500,000 Africans fought for us in World War II. We should never forget this.

In the battles of the Great War, 5,000 Nigerians, 2,000 Kenyans, 3,000 Malawians and countless other Africans died for Britain while 2,000 members of the Chinese Labour Corps lie with the British dead in France. The numbers, names and countries go on - countless died for an island so far from home.

If the trenches were Hell for Europeans, imagine the horror, the cold and the suffering of those fighting thousands of miles from their families in an unfamiliar land.

For all the wrongs of Empire, in times of need people from the Caribbean to the Pacific came to Britain’s aid: from 1939 to 1945, 170,000 of them died for Britain’s freedom.

When the first waves of Commonwealth immigration came to the UK, most were from families that in some way or other had helped the British war effort. In light of this, the racism they encountered seems all the more perverse. Their descendants today have every right for their forefathers to be recognised for their valour and sacrifice in service of our country.

How disgusting that the National Front - who advocate repatriation of non-Whites, and maintain links with neo-Nazis who deny the Holocaust - should leave a wreath or organise a day to ‘remember the fallen’ when so many who fell were non-White and Jewish. Their ideological predecessors were interned as traitors while the grandfathers of so many of our Commonwealth cousins and fellow citizens were fighting Hitler.

The wreath laid there is an insult to those of every racial background who died for Great Britain and a disgusting juxtaposition to wreathes that commemorate the millions who made the ultimate sacrifice to defeat Hitler.

This country needs to do so much more to highlight the diverse nature of those who helped Britain in its darkest moment. The British Empire didn’t last for a thousand years but without doubt its finest hour was destroying Nazism. History would surely have unfolded very differently without the enormous contribution of the peoples of the Commonwealth. We owe them so much.

It’s time we reflect this in our schools and representations of the World Wars. But the first thing we can do is remove that wreath and others like it. Together we defeated fascism - seeing its remnants on Remembrance Sunday is an insult to those that died, the Commonwealth, and our diverse nation: A nation built upon the sacrifice of millions from across the globe.

When we say ‘We Will Remember Them’ let us ensure we do everything we can to remember all of them.

Ancient tombs discovery in Pakistan


This video from Pakistan is called Gandhara Civilization, Buddhist Remains Taxila.

From AFP news agency:

24 November 2012 – 08H46

Ancient tombs discovered in Pakistan‘s Swat

Italian archaeologists say they have discovered a cemetery that reveals complex funeral rites dating back more than 3,000 years in Pakistan’s Swat valley, recently controlled by the Taliban.

The Italian mission began digging in the 1950s at Udegram, a site of Buddhist treasures in Swat, the northwestern district formerly known as the Switzerland of Pakistan for its stunning mountains, valleys and rivers.

Archaeologists were aware of a pre-Buddhist grave site in Udegram, but only recently discovered the collection of almost 30 graves, tightly clustered and partially overlapping.

“Some graves had a stone wall, others were protected by walls and enclosures in beaten clay,” Luca Maria Olivieri, head of the Italian mission, told AFP.

“The cemetery… seems to have been used between the end of the second millennium BCE and the first half of the first millennium BCE,” he added.

Olivieri says the tombs point to the culture that predates the Buddhist Gandhara civilisation that took hold in northwest Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan from the first millennium BCE to the sixth century AD.

“The presence of a few iron fragments might be amongst the most ancient traces of this metal in the subcontinent,” he said.

Bodies were first laid to rest in open graves, fenced in by wooden railings. Then the graves were re-opened and the bones partially burnt before the graves were sealed and a burial mound built.

Men were buried with high quality flasks, bowls and cooking pots, and women with semi-precious beads, bronze hairpins, and spindles.

In October, the Taliban shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in the head in Mingora, the main town of Swat, in a case that sparked worldwide condemnation.

She is now undergoing treatment in Birmingham, England.