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Child killed for playing with toy pistol

Tamir Rice

By Samuel Davidson in the USA:

Twelve-year-old boy killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio

24 November 2014

A 12-year-old boy who was playing with a fake pistol in a playground was shot and killed by police in Cleveland over the weekend.

Tamir E. Rice died early Sunday morning, after being shot in the stomach Saturday afternoon by Cleveland police officers. Tamir had gone to the park with his sister and a friend, and the children were playing with a toy pistol.

A caller to 911 twice told the dispatcher that the gun was “probably fake” and that it didn’t look real. The caller also told 911 that the person with the gun was “probably a juvenile” who was playing on the swings. The caller ended the call by again saying he didn’t think the gun was real.

Police sent to the park claim that they ordered the youth to raise his hands and when he instead reached in his waistband to hand the officers the gun they shot twice, with at least one shot hitting the youth in the stomach. The youth never pointed the gun at the police.

Tamir was taken to a nearby hospital, but his condition continued to decline overnight and he died early Sunday morning.

The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave but are receiving full pay. Their names have not yet been released, but one is described as a rookie with less than a year’s service and the other as a 10-year veteran of the force. It was the rookie cop who shot and killed Tamir.

Birds of Cyprus, new book

This video is called 10 years BirdLife Cyprus: Protecting Nature, Inspiring People.

From BirdLife:

Up-to-date inventory of Important Bird Areas of Cyprus now available

By Alessia Calderalo, Mon, 17/11/2014 – 14:53

A new publication by BirdLife Cyprus, Important Bird Areas of Cyprus, lists 34 sites as the most important for birds and other nature on the island.

BirdLife Cyprus recently released a new and updated version of their book Important Bird Areas of Cyprus, considered to be the most comprehensive, geographically complete and up-to-date catalogue of the most Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) in the country.

The new publication is a revision of the third version of the inventory from 2004. In the same year Cyprus joined the EU and succeeded in aiding the Cypriot government in establishing a Natura 2000 network in Cyprus.

The book presents key areas that should enjoy legal protection and sympathetic management under EU nature protection directives. These 34 areas have been determined after extensive research and analysis carried out between 2010 and 2012.

Published with the generous support of the EEA Grants under the IBACareCY Project for the development of a network of IBA Caretakers in Cyprus, this book aims to promote the conservation of these important sites in Cyprus by inviting the reader – expert or not – to learn the importance of each site for birds, their general characteristics and the threats they face. The photographs of birds and landscapes in this book capture the beauty of our wonderful feathered wildlife and these precious sites.

The book also has a section for birdwatchers written by Jane Stylianou, which suggests seasonal itineraries to explore and enjoy these special wildlife sites.

Important Bird Areas of Cyprus can be found in an electronic form here.

For further information, please contact the main author, Martin Hellicar, Campaigns Manager at BirdLife Cyprus.

Fungi and nuthatch

Clouded agaric, 23 November 2014

On 23 November 2014, to the Corversbos nature reserve. Where we saw this clouded agaric fungus.

Before we arrived there, a great cormorant flying over the canal near the old harbour. A robin singing.

Clouded agaric fairy ring, 23 November 2014

Many fairy rings of clouded agaric mushrooms.

Mycena, 23 November 2014

In some fairy rings, smaller Mycena mushrooms joined their bigger colleagues.

Sulphur tuft on a fallen tree.

Shaggy ink cap, 23 November 2014

A bit further, a shaggy ink cap.

Nuthatch sound.

Common ink caps.

Birch polypores on a fallen birch tree.

Shaggy ink cap, old, 23 November 2014

Still further, another shaggy ink cap; older than the earlier one.

Shaggy ink cap, old one, 23 November 2014

Clouded agaric, on 23 November 2014

As we continued, more clouded agarics.

Autumn leaves, 23 November 2014

Beautiful autumn leaves on the forest floor. Some also still on trees.

Shaggy ink cap, young  one, 23 November 2014

Still further, this young shaggy ink cap.

Candlesnuff fungus, 23 November 2014

On a stump, candlesnuff fungus grows.

Candlesnuff fungus, on 23 November 2014

Rare mushrooms in the Dutch coastal dunes: here.

Turkish president attacks women’s rights

This video from Turkey says about itself:

Girls vs Cops: Violent clashes erupt at International Women’s Day march in Turkey

8 March 2014

Some 2,000 people marched peacefully in central Istanbul on International Women’s Day, protesting the Turkish government’s policies and violence against women. A small group of protesters later clashed with officers who blocked them from Taksim Square.

From Hurriyet Daily News in Turkey:

Turkish President Erdoğan says gender equality ‘against nature’

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears set to anger women and rights groups in Turkey once again after voicing his strong objection to the equality of women and men, instead recommending what he called “equivalency.” …

The Turkish president has consistently exhorted women to have at least three children, while also terming abortion “murder” and railing against Caesarian sections.

He also used the occasion to stage a strongly-worded attack on “feminism and feminists,” claiming that they “reject the concept of motherhood.” …

Women rights activists and lawyers constantly criticize the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which was led by then-Prime Minister Erdoğan from 2003 until he was elected to the presidency in August, for the increasingly conservative and authoritarian political culture they say it is fostering.

Turkey ranked 120th of 136 nations in the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Gender Gap Index, down 15 places since 2006, while a 2011 U.N. report indicated that Turkey’s domestic violence rates are almost twice those in the United States and 10 times higher than in some European countries.


International Young Conservationist Award for Malawi woman

This video is about wildlife in Malawi.

From BirdLife:

International Young Conservationist Award for Malawi BirdLife Partner volunteer

By Adrian Long, Wed, 19/11/2014 – 14:07

The International Young Conservationist Award has been given to Tiwonge I Mzumara-Gawa, a PhD student at the University of KwaZulu Natal and a volunteer Conservation and Research officer for the Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM) – the BirdLife Partner in Malawi. She has been key in assessing threatened species and IBAs in Malawi and also coordinates a garden bird count.

Speaking at the World Parks Congress, being held in Sydney, Australia, Tiwonge said:

“I am feel truly blessed and honoured to receive this award, which is really for the amazing team of people with whom I work with. It’s humbling to know that the work we are doing in Malawi can be recognized at such an international stage! It’s really given us the ‘wings to fly’ and given us the encouragement to do even more for Malawi’s birds in the coming years.’

The International Young Conservationist Award is a joint initiative of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and the International Union for the Conservation of NatureWorld Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN/ WCPA). The Award aims to recognise and raise awareness of the outstanding contributions made by young people to the conservation of protected areas; it honours their efforts and their passion, dedication and commitment.

It also seeks to encourage young professionals and, by presenting the award at a global conservation event, provides them with an opportunity to develop networks to enable them to further enhance their efforts. Recipients of the award are invited to join the IUCN WCPA Young Professionals Group and are invited to be on the IRF’s mailing list.

Journalist arrested in Ferguson, USA

Journalist Trey Yingst is arrested during a demonstration outside police headquarters in Ferguson, Mo. (photo: David Goldman / Associated Press)

From the Los Angeles Times in the USA:

Journalist Trey Yingst arrested during Ferguson, Mo., protests

By Kurtis Lee

November 23, 2014

A journalist’s arrest during a protest near the Ferguson, Mo., police headquarters early Sunday drew renewed attention to disputes over 1st Amendment rights in the wake of a white police officer’s killing of an unarmed black man.

Trey Yingst, a reporter with News2Share, was accused of unlawful assembly and taken into custody, according to St. Louis County police. News2Share publishes stories by freelance reporters online. …

A police summary notes that Yingst was among a group that was obstructing traffic at South Florissant Road and Compton Avenue. …

Several witnesses said Yingst was on the sidewalk when he was arrested.

Shortly after his release from jail, Yinsgt said on Twitter that he had been “arrested for exercising my 1st amendment rights on a public sidewalk.”

The protests in Ferguson began Aug. 9, when police Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot an 18-year-old unarmed black man, Michael Brown. In August, some journalists were arrested while covering the demonstrations.

On Sunday, the American Civil Liberties Union said it was “unclear what legal authority police officers would have had to order him to disperse.”

“We are deeply troubled that the 1st Amendment rights of the media are still being violated in spite of the recent court order we secured against such action by the County of St. Louis,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary swiftly pursue aggressive action to ensure that unlawful interference with the press comes to an end.”

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry ruled in October that the practice of requiring “peaceful demonstrators and others to walk, rather than stand still, violates the Constitution.” She issued a preliminary injunction banning St. Louis County Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol from using the tactic.

From NBC News in the USA:

FERGUSON, Missouri — When Londrelle Hall and Ray Mills heard about the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, they decided they wanted to do something not only to pay tribute, but also to change the image of African-American men. That’s when the pair decided that they would run more than 540 miles from Atlanta to Ferguson, Missouri, in hope of making a difference.

Neither of the men considers himself a runner; in fact, both have full-time jobs — Mills, 29, running a credit repair company in Atlanta and Burbank, California, and Hall, 28, as a videographer and artist. But when they heard about the killing, Hall said, it gave them a reason to run.

“I had a reason to run, not to run from my problems, but to run towards a problem and run for the problems of the world and the problems of America and what’s going on now.” he said.

A St. Louis County grand jury is scheduled to reconvene today to continue deliberations on whether to bring charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot Michael Brown on August 9: here.