Turkish protests against pro-ISIS government


This July 26 2014 video from Canada is called Free, Free Kurdistan! Anti-ISIS rally in Toronto.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Battle for Kobani between Isis and Syrian Kurds sparks unrest in Turkey

President Erdoğan calls for ground operation to defeat militants as thousands protest over government’s inaction

Catherine James in Mursitpinar, Ian Black in London, Constanze Letsch in Istanbul and agencies

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Fighting between Kurdish forces and Islamic State (Isis) militants for the Syrian border town of Kobani fuelled rising tensions inside Turkey on Tuesday as thousands of protesters took to the streets to voice anger and frustration about the inaction of the Ankara government.

In a graphic illustration of the domestic and regional impact of the deepening crisis, demonstrations turned violent and Turkish police used teargas and water cannon.

Following a warning from the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, that Kobani was about to fall, Turkish media reports said up to 14 people had been killed in eastern cities and dozens more wounded.

The toll included eight deaths in the eastern city of Diyarbakir, the Dogan news agency said. One man was reported to have been killed by a bullet to the head in Varto in the eastern province of Mus when police allegedly fired live ammunition.

Clashes also took place at protests in the western cities of Ankara and Istanbul. Curfews were imposed in five Turkish provinces.

Erdoğan, speaking in the eastern city of Gaziantep, said that a ground operation was needed to defeat Isis – sidestepping accusations that he is unwilling to allow Kurds in Turkey to help their embattled kinfolk in Syria or to deploy the army across the border to fight Isis because of the country’s historic enmity towards Kurdish separatists – in addition to ongoing peace negotiations with them.

… Erdoğan also tested the readiness of the US, Britain, France and other allies by calling for a no-fly zone and a secure land zone as well as training for moderate Syrian rebels.

The Turkish parliament last week authorised the government to take military action against Isis. But Turkey has not announced plans for any operations, with Ankara apparently seeking a commitment from the west to move decisively against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, as well as the jihadis. Erdoğan said he wanted to fight both Isis and the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK).

If Kobani does fall, Turkey is likely to face a massive backlash from its Kurdish population. Thousands of people have already arrived on the border from all over the country to offer their support. “If they take Kobani, we know they will come to Suruc,” said Ibrahim Akkus, watching from the nearby hillside on Tuesday.

Isis now controls large parts of both Syria and Iraq and has ramped up its offensive in recent days despite being targeted by US-led air strikes.

Capturing Kobani would give Isis, a direct link between its positions in the Syrian province of Aleppo and its stronghold of Raqqa, further east. It would also give the group full control of a long stretch of the Turkish-Syrian border.

Kobani residents described seeing Isis fighters looking “relaxed” and walking freely in the streets. But those who entered were soon killed by Kurdish fighters who are more familiar with the locality. “I don’t know where they were all coming from, but once they were killed, more Isis would come,” a man named Mahmoud said as he walked from Kobani to a nearby town. He said he believed that the Isis men were using hard drugs because of their confident demeanour. Looking exhausted, the 50-year-old lamented that he could not stay in his home town to fight.

“If I die, who will look after my children?” he asked. “I want to go to my land. I don’t want to live in Turkey. I don’t want to live in any country. I just want to live in my own land. Why is Isis coming to my land? The world has turned its back on Kobani.”

In Istanbul, hundreds of nationalists attacked an office of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s party (HDP) with sticks and knives, trapping around 60 people inside the building. In another neighbourhood, groups of pro-Kurdish protesters set fire to the building of the local Nationalist Movement party (MHP) after shots were reportedly fired from there.

The MHP, also known as ‘Gray Wolves‘, is notorious for its extreme Right views and violence.

Protests across Turkey were accompanied by pro-Kurdish demonstations elsewhere, including at the European parliament in Brussels.

Isis in Kobani: At least nine killed as furious Kurds protest over Turkey’s inaction: here.

Pentagon officials say that the imminent ISIS takeover of the Kurdish border town of Kobani, despite getting a lot of publicity, won’t actually change the US military strategy against ISIS in Syria: here.

TENSIONS RISE WITH TURKEY OVER EMBATTLED CITY “U.S. airstrikes alone cannot save the militant-besieged town of Kobane, along the Syria-Turkey border, the Pentagon said Wednesday, amid rising tensions between the Obama administration and its Turkish ally. As American aircraft struck Islamic State positions around Kobane for the third day in a row, senior administration officials expressed growing exasperation with Turkey’s refusal to intervene, either with its own military or with direct assistance to Syrian Kurdish fighters battling the militants.” ISIS has allegedly captured a third of the city.

Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) battling to defend Kobane are effectively fighting on two fronts — against both Isis terrorist forces and Turkey’s corrupt government: here.

Kurdish forces in Kobane pushed so-called Islamic State (Isis) invaders out of the city yesterday.n People’s and women’s protection units (YPG/YPJ) in the besieged city in northern Syria launched counter-offensives against the militant group that forced Isis fighters to withdraw from parts of the city overrun on Tuesday: here.

Britain: The Sun’s ‘Unite against Isis’ campaign is a proxy for anti-Muslim bigotry. You, Muslim! Is your Islam ‘British’ enough? Are you standing up to extremism? If not, you are Part of the Problem, apparently: here.

Canadian government spying on its people


This video from Canada says about itself:

How much does spy agency CSEC know about your private life?

19 September 2014

Ultra-secretive government agency CSEC is collecting hugely revealing information on law-abiding Canadians.

You may have nothing to hide – but do you really want intimate details of your private life to be collected and stored in insecure government databases? Learn more and speak up now here.

A recent report in the Globe and Mail reveals that Canada’s signals intelligence agency has developed and field-tested software that can secretly hijack a computer and then use it as a springboard to hack into other computers: here.

Rare birds in North America update


This video is called Birds of Western Canada – Ducks, Geese & Coots.

From the American Birding Association:

Rare Bird Alert: September 5, 2014

By , on September 5, 2014

This week could reightly be called the week that Alaska exploded. Granted, this time of year means that there are groups of birders on two of the ABA’s most noted vagrant traps, Gambell and St. Paul Island, dedicated to finding Asian strays, but even by the exceptional standards that birders on those islands set year after year, this last week has been extraordinary.

We may as well get used to starting with Alaska this week, because I get the feeling we’ll be starting with Alaska regularly for the next few. On Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, birders seemed to hit the jackpot over and over again. The most notable find so far is likely the ABA’s 4th record of Tree Pipit (ABA Code 5), an accommodating individual present at least through the writing of the post. Also at Gambell one and likely two Brown Shrikes (4) have been hanging around, as well as a Eurasian Hobby (4) and a Yellow-browed Warbler (4) as recently as yesterday. Coming close to matching Gambell’s truckload of rarities, on St. Paul birders found a Jack Snipe (4) and a Siberian Rubythroat (4) . Lest you think all the action is on the islands, a Long-billed Murrelet (3) was photographed in Homer.

One first record this week, a report that went public only a few hours before this post published. In British Columbia, a Green Violetear, a first provincial record and the third for Canada, was photographed at Port Alberni. More on this as it develops. Also in the province, a Little Stint (3) was well-photographed in Sidney, a Ruff (3) was seen at Ladner, and a Lark Bunting at Port Hardy.

Washington also had a Ruff (3), this one at Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor.

Vagrant shorebirds in Oregon took the form of a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) in Coos. Meanwhile, an Indigo Bunting was seen inDouglas.

Excellent for Idaho was a young Sabine’s Gull in Valley.

A pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds visited two separate feeders on opposite sides of California this week. One was in San Luis Obispo and the second in Eureka. These are the 13th and 14th records for the state.

A nice find in Nevada was a Lark Bunting in Washoe.

Vagrants in Utah this week include an American Redstart in Weber, an Ovenbird and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher in Davis, and aClay-colored Sparrow in Salt Lake.

Colorado also had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, this one in Phillips, and an Eastern Towhee was found in Logan.

Arizona’s recurring Sinaloa Wren (5) has made its appearance for the third straight year at Fort Huachuca in Cochise.

In Texas, a Greater Pewee was seen in Houston, where it has spent the last 5 winters.

A Crested Caracara in Barber, Kansas, is that state’s 7th.

A Little Gull was seen this week on Yankton Reservoir, which straddles Nebraska and South Dakota, and the bird was seen on both sides of the line. Unique to Nebraska, however, was a Long-tailed Jaeger found in Lincoln.

A Long-tailed Jaeger was also seen in Marion, Iowa, this week, along with a Red Phalarope near Saylorville.

A Mottled Duck in Mason, Illinois, is around that state’s 10th record. A Ruff(3) was also seen in Chatauqua.

In Ohio, a Reddish Egret in Delaware is a remarkable record, and only that state’s 2nd.

Always a nice bird inland, a Great Black-backed Gull was photographed in Hamilton, Tennessee.

Infrequent in recent years, birders on a trip out of Hatteras, North Carolina, were surprised to get great looks at the enigmatic Bermuda Petrel (3).

In Virginia, a Wood Stork has spent the better part of two weeks in Clarke.

Less notable as the years wain, a White-winged Dove was seen in Cape May, New Jersey.

An apparent Brown Booby (3) was photographed in Queens, New York.

In Ontario, a Glossy Ibis was found near Hamilton.

Great for Quebec, a Lark Bunting was photographed at Côte-Nord.

Rare for Connecticut, a Parasitic Jaeger was spotted in the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound.

And yet another Brown Booby (3) stopped off on a fishing boat on the Grand Banks, Newfoundland, that province’s 3rd record.

Grizzly bear orphan returns to the wild in Canada


This video says about itself:

Grizzly Bear Encounters

Of all the species I have filmed in the wild I have to admit nothing can quite compare to the Grizzly! They are a powerful and majestic mammal that in one glance takes us back to the time of the last ice age when mega fauna roamed the earth. Like all bears, they are a curious and intelligent species. This footage was taken during the spring and these bears were busy looking for food after a long winter.

Close Grizzly bear encounters happen usually when people roam into the territory of the bear and as you’ll see in this film, sometimes people tend to get much closer then they should.

All grizzlies are technically called “Brown Bears” and they are omnivores like their Black Bear cousins. Unlike the Black Bear, a Grizzly female will protect her young very aggressively instead of sitting by while the cubs climb a tree as a Black bear would. In fact they will even stand up to a larger male grizzly if that’s what it takes to protect her cubs. If you ever do run across the cubs in the wild keep your distance, mama bear is sure to be close by and she wont appreciate the company. Please remember that these beautiful bears need clean and healthy habitat to continue to allow us to have amazing Grizzly Bear Encounters!

I’m Mark Fraser and to read up on future wildlife adventures and how you can protect help wildlife habitat, visit my web page.

From Wildlife Extra:

Grizzly orphan returns to the wild in British Columbia

A one-year-old orphan grizzly cub, called Littlefoot, has been released back into the wild near Cranbrook in British Columbia, after being found in the spring severely underweight. It is believed he was orphaned last autumn.

During this time he has been cared for by the Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) and gone from a scrawny 12.7kg to a far more respectable 48kg.

Lightfoot is part of a project, run by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, and the British Columbia Ministries of Environment, and Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, that monitors whether orphaned grizzlies can survive when released back in the wild.

Lightfoot is the sixth release since the pilot project began in 2008, and is the first one-year-old that NLWS has prepared for release. He has been fitted with a satellite collar and will be monitored for the next 18 months.

“When he came in, Littlefoot was older than most of the bears we receive for care,” said Angelika Langen of NLWS. “Because he had lost his mother last fall and hibernated by himself, he was in bad condition.

“Thankfully, the Ministry of the Environment allowed this bear into our care for a limited time period to give him a chance to gain weight so he could look after himself.

“We’ve picked a great release site for him away from people with a good berry crop out there, and I think he has a good chance of survival.”

“We were thrilled to see the approval for a yearling cub to enter the rehabilitation process,” said Kelly Donithan, Animal Rescue Officer at IFAW. “Our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation pilot projects around the world have been providing evidence that animals can be rehabilitated from a young age and, upon release, not only survive but thrive in their natural habitat.

“We are excited to see how Littlefoot navigates his new lease on life and becomes a fully functioning wild bear.”

Leach’s storm-petrel migration tracked using geolocators


This video is called Klykstjärtad stormsvala Leach’s Storm petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa).

From the Journal of Field ornithology:

Migratory movements and wintering areas of Leach’s Storm-Petrels tracked using geolocators

Volume 85, Issue 3, pages 321–328, September 2014

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence suggests that Atlantic populations of Leach’s Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) are experiencing significant declines. To better understand possible causes of these declines, we used geolocators to document movements of these small (∼50-g) pelagic seabirds during migration and the non-breeding period. During 2012 and 2013, movement tracks were obtained from two birds that traveled in a clock-wise direction from two breeding colonies in eastern Canada (Bon Portage Island, Nova Scotia, and Gull Island, Newfoundland) to winter in tropical waters.

The bird from Bon Portage Island started its migration towards Cape Verde in October, arrived at its wintering area off the coast of eastern Brazil in January, and started migration back to Nova Scotia in April. The bird from Gull Island staged off Newfoundland in November and then again off Cape Verde in January before its geolocator stopped working. Movements of Leach’s Storm-Petrels in our study and those of several other procellariiforms during the non-breeding period are likely facilitated by the prevailing easterly trade winds and the Antilles and Gulf Stream currents. Although staging and wintering areas used by Leach’s Storm-Petrels in our study were characterized by low productivity, the West Africa and northeastern Brazilian waters are actively used by fisheries and discards can attract Leach’s Storm-Petrels.

Our results provide an initial step towards understanding movements of Leach’s Storm-Petrels during the non-breeding period, but further tracking is required to confirm generality of their migratory routes, staging areas, and wintering ranges.