Ukrainian civilians against war


Debaltsevo in Ukraine

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“Ukrainian soldiers booze too much”

Monday Sep 29 2014, 16:53 (Update: 29-09-14, 17:03)

“As long as we do not need to fight, we are free. Then we can drink,” said a Ukrainian military man. Together with a colleague, he is in a pub in the town Debaltsevo in eastern Ukraine, where recently there has been heavy fighting against the separatists again.

Even if there is no fighting, the military make their mark on everyday life in the city, says the owner of the pub to reporter Gert-Jan Dennekamp. He points to a hole in the bar. “That happens when a drunken soldier has a gun in his hands. If someone would have been standing there, then that person would have been dead now.”

Shelters

Two months, the Ukrainian military positioned themselves in Debaltsevo. They shoot over the town at the positions of the pro-Russian rebels. Many civilians have fled the city because of the violence. Of the more than 50,000 people, about half are left. They live mainly in shelters beneath the city.

“They came to liberate us, but from what?” cries a woman about Ukrainian soldiers in the city. “We love Ukraine, but why this? The army kills us, and they die themselves as well.” Her house is shot to pieces, but whether that was done by the Ukrainian military or pro-Russian rebels she does not know.

“They call themselves protectors, but I do not know against what they protect us,” a man agrees with her. He also has had more than enough of the Ukrainian military in the city. “It’s a bunch of alcoholics and thieves.”

New chinchilla rat species discovery in Peru


This video is called South American Mammals TRAILER.

From the Earth Times:

Cuscomys comes back from the [dead]

By Dave Armstrong – 29 Sep 2014 15:16:55 GMT

The Asháninka arboreal chinchilla rat (Cuscomys ashaninka) has a new living cousin that also lives in trees and hung out with the Incas. The preserved rodents have been found in tombs so perhaps they have been more treasured in the past than they are now. The new species will be called Cuscomys oblativa as the northern Cusco locality is common to both animals while the head is slightly flattened, compared to its nearest relative, C. ashaninka The body measures 30cm, which males it cat-sized, even for the rat-like tail. The Andean cat, Leopardus jacobita is here for feline followers as “Andean cat in Patagonia”, now available in Argentina, well away from the mountains!

400 years ago, the species was known in pottery buried with Incas, then a photograph in 2009 was thought to indicate 2 new species of arboreal chinchilla rats were extant. The Asháninka species was only discovered in 1999. Roberto Quispe found the live animal in 2009 while the curator of a Mexican museum, Horacio Zeballos has been instrumental in searching Wiñayhuayna, an Inca site on the Machu Picchu trail. Montane and cloud forest dominate the plant communities there, although habitat loss could well be the prime danger for the Cuscomys.

All the researchers are presuming the species is herbivorous, but that can’t be easily proved. The rest of the work involved the discovery of at least 6 other new species to science, all increasing the hope that this big tourist resource of 2 National Parks will be worth greater conservation effort by the Peruvian authorities! More at Mongabay here as “In the shadows of Machu Picchu”.

Turkish government pro-ISIS, ISIS injures Turkish soldiers


This video from Turkey says about itself:

ISIS Rides Istanbul Metro, Turkey

27 September 2014

NATO member Turkey acts as a safe haven for ISIS allowing them entry into Syria.

Talking about blowback

Translated from (right wing) Dutch daily De Telegraaf:

Mon 29 Sep 2014, 16:37

Turks wounded by attack by ISIS

ANKARA – Five Turks, including two soldiers, were wounded when fighters of the extremist ISIS fired mortar shells from northern Syria that landed in Turkey.

One of the grenades, according to the channel CNN Türk, landed right near the border post Mursitpinar, close to a group of journalists and Turkish security people. Another landed about 1 kilometer from the border with Syria near a refugee camp.

The offensive by ISIS against the Syrian city Kobani inhabited by Kurds has led to tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds crossing the Turkish border.

See also here.

From daily Zaman in Turkey:

Nurse says she’s tired of treating ISIL terrorists

September 17, 2014, Wednesday, 16:39:43

A nurse who works at a private hospital in Mersin, a city and province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, has told Turkish authorities and Parliament that she is sick and tired of treating members of the terrorist organization the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which now calls itself the “Islamic State.”

The nurse, who was identified only by her initials, E.G., in a news story published by the Taraf daily on Wednesday, said of ISIL militants: “We treat them, and they go on to decapitate people. I am sick of treating wounded ISIL militants.” E.G. has also written a letter to Parliament and the National Police Department, saying she and her colleagues are extremely disturbed by the fact that they have to treat people “who chop off heads.”

Taraf reported that other health workers in Mersin and other provinces close to the Syrian border are uneasy about having to help wounded ISIL militants, who are responsible for extreme violence and bloodshed in northern Iraq and Syria.

In the letter she wrote to Parliament and the Police Department, E.G. said she has been employed at a private hospital in Mersin for a long time. She said her hospital has treated many wounded Syrians so far, who have introduced themselves as “opposition members.”

However, she noted that she had found out that most of the Syrians recently admitted to the hospital were ISIL members. “I was extremely distressed about this. I am very sorry about this situation. I am disturbed by the fact that these people are being treated in our hospitals while our people are being held by them,” she wrote, according to Taraf‘s report.

ISIL has been holding 46 Turks, and three consulate staff who are not Turkish citizens, as hostages for the past three months.

E.G. further wrote that she was “ashamed” to have played a role in the treatment of the militants. She also stated that the ISIL militants were checked into the hospital under fake names. She said an ISIL commander was treated at the hospital where she works in August. “The ISIL commander named Muhammet Ali R. who was admitted to our hospital on Aug. 7 was treated at room number 323. Many of his bodyguards kept watch around the hospital. Many other ISIL commanders like him and soldiers have been treated at our hospital, and returned to war after the completion of their treatment. I don’t want to help these people. I want you to inspect these hospitals. And I am referring the owners of the hospital and its management to God.”

US AIRCRAFT continued to bomb suspected Islamic State (Isis) positions in Syria today after President Barack Obama admitted to a “contradiction” in his policy on the Middle Eastern country: here.

Good wheatear news from Texel island


This is a northern wheatear video.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

29-09-14

In the Eierland Dunes on Texel this year, more than twice as many territories of northern wheatears have been counted than in other years: 26! Last year about 12 were found in the same area. Bird counters assume that each territory represents a nest. 26 wheatear territories is very good news, because this bird has had hard times in recent years. Their numbers have declined sharply in most parts of the Netherlands. Only between Callantsoog and Terschelling things are not so bad.

Migratory birds festival in Portugal


This video is about Eurasian crag martins and red-rumped swallows in Sagres, Portugal.

From BirdLife:

Portugal’s Sagres Birdwatching Festival returns to celebrate migration of soaring birds

By Elodie Cantaloube, Mon, 22/09/2014 – 08:33

The Sagres Birdwatching Festival returns, to the delight of bird lovers and ornithologists, who gather every year to observe the beautiful spectacle of different species flying over the village of Sagres on migration to warmer climates. Thanks to a collaboration between the Vila do Bispo Municipality, the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA, BirdLife in Portugal) and the NGO Almargem, the 5th Sagres Birdwatching Festival will be held from 2nd – 5th of October 2014 in this magnificent part of the southern Portuguese region of Algarve, which is home to unique bird species and the perfect place to witness a natural phenomenon that is not easily seen elsewhere in the country.

During the Festival’s four days, many events and activities will serve to highlight the importance of respecting nature and teaching children how even the smallest of species can affect the whole ecosystem. Activities will include birding tours, mini-courses on various topics, boat trips to observe cetaceans and birds out at sea, horse and donkey rides, photography projects and educational workshops for children.

This year, the attention will be focused on the beautiful Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans, a migrant passerine that enriches local wildlife during the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Similarly, sightings of species such as storks, eagles, vultures and falcons will delight visitors, who will also be lucky enough to samplethe excellent regional food.

In the past, this event has gathered around 800 people, drawing public attention to the migration of birds both in Portugal and abroad.

According to Nuno Barros, SPEA’s Marine Programme Assistant at the Department of Marine Conservation, “Sagres Peninsula is one of the most extraordinary places in Europe for birdwatching. Most of the species are in their post-breeding period between August and November. Thousands of migratory birds gather in this place, some on their way to Africa, others as a result of their dispersal to the South.”

The dynamism brought by the festival to this area has created a strong incentive for people to come back at other times of the year; English tourists are especially keen. The beauty of the landscape in the Sagres Peninsula, together with the fascinating natural phenomena and the festive atmosphere, makes this Festival an occasion that no bird lover would want to miss!

Please visit www.birdwatchingsagres.com for more information or contact Nuno Barros, Marine Programme Assistant at SPEA/BirdLife.

After Michael Brown’s death, Ferguson, USA update


This video from the USA is called Parents Of MURDERED Teen Michael Brown…SPEAK OUT.

By Eric London in the USA:

More arrests in Ferguson, Missouri after police chief “apologizes”

29 September 2014

Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri show no sign of subsiding seven weeks after the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

In recent days, local police officials have responded to ongoing protests by combining arrests and violence against demonstrators with empty apologies. On Thursday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson released a video in which he apologized for leaving Michael Brown’s body on the asphalt for four hours, but did not acknowledge that his killer, Darren Wilson, did anything wrong in shooting the unarmed young man six times.

“Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family,” Jackson said, adding to the parents that he was “truly sorry for the loss of your son.”

Brown’s killer has yet to have any charges brought against him. St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said last week that he does not expect a grand jury to come to a decision on whether to bring charges until mid-November. The grand jury has been granted an extension through early January, meaning that it might not come to a decision for five months following Brown’s killing.

Michael Brown’s father said Saturday in an interview with the Associated Press that “an apology would be when Darren Wilson was handcuffed, processed, and charged with murder.”

Later on Thursday evening, Jackson attempted to address a crowd of demonstrators, saying: “I’m sorry, and I said that from my heart. I had tried to get that off my chest. It’s been sitting there for two months.”

The crowd responded with indignation to Jackson’s apologies, with one demonstrator yelling: “If you are not resigning tonight, go home.”

When Jackson attempted to march with demonstrators, police arrested several demonstrators who expressed their opposition to the chief’s presence.

Jackson’s apology came two days after police attacked and injured several demonstrators who had gathered on West Flourissant Avenue after a memorial for Michael Brown was burned earlier in the day. Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said that he ordered the police to clear demonstrators on Tuesday because protestors were yelling and invading officers’ “personal space.”

The dominant sentiment amongst Ferguson police officers is hardly one of regret over the killing of Michael Brown. To the contrary, photos taken by demonstrators reveal that many officers on duty at demonstrations were wearing wristbands bearing the words “I am Darren Wilson” in support of the officer responsible for killing Brown.

Meanwhile, reports of two nearby shooting incidents on Saturday night underscore the continuing scale of social tensions in the suburban Midwestern city.

The first shooting took place at a community roughly two miles from the evening demonstrations on West Flourissant. According to initial reports, a resident fired shots at a police officer who was responding to a burglary call in the area. According to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, the officer “was able to get off a couple of shots” and was shot in the arm in the exchange. He is expected to live.

A second incident occurred several hours later, when an off-duty St. Louis police officer said he took fire from another car as he drove down a major freeway that passes through Ferguson. The officer sustained minor injuries.

Few details of the shootings have emerged, with police stating that neither incident was related to the demonstrations. Regardless of the veracity of these claims, the shootings will be used by the police to justify further crackdowns on protestors.

Just minutes after the shooting in Ferguson, dozens of police cars rushed to the area, and police armed with assault rifles took up positions around the perimeter of the scene.

USA Today noted that police went on a ninety minute “manhunt” for the alleged shooter, while Captain Johnson appeared nearby at the scene of protests and ordered the crowd to disperse.

FERGUSON POLICE ADMIT ARREST OF SOME PEACEFUL CITIZENS “St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who helped oversee last month’s aggressive response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, said Monday that communications failures led police to lock up peaceful citizens during daytime hours.” The ACLU is fighting to get rid of the “five-second” or “keep moving” rule that enabled such arrests. [HuffPost]