Business Interests Are More Valuable to Bahrain’s Western Allies Than Democracy and Human Rights: here.
This video about Ecuador is called Give these amazing species an opportunity.
Company Seeks Funding to Protect Wildlife Through Photography
Ecuadorian image bank Ecuastock.com seeks crowdfunding to promote its efforts to save South American animal species
Amazonia, ECUADOR, August 15, 2014
Ecuador is home to thousands of animal species living in the jungle, mountains, coastal regions, and the Galápagos Islands, but many of these animal species are in danger of extinction. Ecuastock.com is a company hoping to raise awareness of the plight of these animals by selling professional photographs and using the proceeds to fund animal-saving programs. Ecuastock has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $150,000 by October 3, to help boost their sales and protect as many animals as possible.
Ecuador’s biodiversity is so extensive that just one portion of the country, the Yasuni National Park, has more native species than the whole of North America. Due to human behavior like petroleum exploitation, indiscriminate forest logging, trafficking of exotic animals, unauthorized fishing, and expansion of civilization, the multiplicity of animal species is in danger. “What we need in order to protect these animals is support from local communities and awareness around the globe of what is going on here in Ecuador,” said Ecuastock Co-Founder Daniel Silva. “We need to raise money to put an end to thoughtless practices that are eliminating entire species.”
Ecuastock’s business plan is simple. Professional photographers working together capture images of thousands of animal species in the wild and make them available for purchase. The proceeds from image sales help to improve resources, infrastructure, and equipment in the Amazon region and create a global awareness campaign through social media. Money from sales also helps document wildlife and share data worldwide as well as help support the acquisition of land for wildlife protection areas.
Supporters of the crowdfunding campaign will receive striking images of South American animal species, including printed postcards and souvenirs. Starting at the $5 contribution level, supporters will receive one full-color digital postcard. Those contributing $25 can download a high-resolution image of their choice, while those contributing $50 can download three images and those contributing $100 can download five images. Contributors giving $250 will receive a collection of images in a digital book, and those contributing $500 will receive that collection in a printed book.
Some of the larger giving level perks include a two-night visit to Ecuador, a guided tour to meet the native species. Contributors will also have the opportunity to plant a tree in the Amazon, and have a protected area where trees planted are named after them.
Ecuastock is a part of a digital marketing business that has created and developed several brands and projects over the past four years based on social media, digital communication, and online publicity. For more information or to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, visit igg.me/at/buyamazingspecies/x.
On 4 August 2014, again to Gooilust. In a ditch there, many yellow common bladderwort flowers.
This is a carnivorous water plant, feeding on small crustaceans and insects.
Himalayan balsam flowers on the bank.
At the dragonfly pond, another dragonfly. A female ruddy darter?
Then, a small rodent. A wood mouse.
A robin on a lawn.
A flock of blackbirds, feeding on rowan berries.
A speckled wood butterfly on a blackberry bush.
Finally, a grass snake swimming in a broad ditch.
In a ditch marking the border of Gooilust, a grey heron spreading its wings because of the heat. Minutes later, it cleaned its feathers.
Nuthatch sound. A great tit.
A bit further, an Egyptian goose flies, calling.
At the ‘dragonfly pond’, an emperor dragonfly flies around.
Many blue-tailed damselflies; like this couple in love.
Far above them, swifts flying. Soon, they will be on autumn migration to Africa.
Near the Gooilust mansion: two spotted flycatchers on a fence. Every now and then, they take off to catch insects. One of them sits down on a leafless branch; the usual resting spot for flycatchers, before humans made fences.
We arrive at the Gooilust garden. A buzzard flies past.
A recently fledged young mistle thrush is fed by a parent.
A bit further, a blackbird and a song thrush cross the footpath.
Willow emerald damselflies on the plants along a pond.
On a flower, a red admiral butterfly.
A bit further, a small tortoiseshell and a peacock butterfly on the same butterfly-bush flower; with a red admiral in the background.
This is a brimstone butterfly video.
Edible frog sound.
The weather changes fast: from hot and sunny to thunderstorm. We go back. First, we hear the thunder and see the lightning. Then, rain starts. A little rain. Then, very much more rain.
A song thrush on the forest floor.
As thunder, lighting and rain continued, a buzzard took off from Corversbos field.
Leiden parakeets get names and numbers
Leiden – Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:02
Chris de Waard
Already 85 wild parakeets in Leiden have recently received medals around their necks. Researcher Roland Jonker of the Center for Environmental Sciences of Leiden University wants the ‘Parakeets by numbers‘ project to map how the Leiden parakeet population evolves: “We would really like to know where the birds go, we are also curious about the size of the population and how long the Leiden parakeets live.”
The parakeets’ medals have unique letters and numbers, so the parakeets are easily recognizable. It is estimated that in and around Leiden approximately 850 ring-necked parakeets live. So by now about ten percent have clearly visible badges. Jonker hopes that from now on Leiden people will report back massively parakeets with medals by making pictures of them and posting these to the research project’s Facebook page. As a reward, people who rediscover a parakeet may name that bird.
The medals do not hinder the ring-necked parakeets, according to Jonker. Last year a few parakeets got ‘collars’ and when they were caught again later, it turned out they had not been harmed by them.
“Parakeets by numbers” is a joint project of the Center for Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University and City Parrots in collaboration with the Bird Migration Station and Waarneming.nl.
This research project chose medals, not leg bands, for parakeets; as with the numbers, the birds do not have to be caught again to read letters and numbers, causing less stress for the birds.
This is one of the prize-winning photos by Bahraini photographer Ammar Abdul-Rasool. It depicts a peaceful Bahraini pro-democracy demonstrator presenting flowers to police, hoping to defuse a tense situation.
From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:
29 July, 2014
As part of a wider repressive campaign against freedom of opinion and expression in Bahrain, the number of detained Bahraini photographers rises to six.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its concern for the Bahrain authorities’ continuing disregard of calls by international human rights organisations to end the security clampdown on Bahrainis demanding freedom and democracy. The BCHR is particularly concerned about the targeting of journalists, photographers and human rights activists whose peaceful activities have managed to break through the government’s news blackout and widely disseminate the far-reaching violations of the Bahrain government.
At dawn on Thursday 24 July 2014, 30 year-old Ammar Abdul-Rasool was arrested during a series of illegal raids affecting some ten houses in his home village of Akkar. Abdul-Rasool is the recipient of over eighty international awards for his photography, and is a member of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP).
According to a testimony from his family, a group of eight masked civilians accompanied by a military force raided Abdul-Rasool’s father’s house at dawn on Thursday 24 July in order to arrest the award-winning photographer. The troops had no legal permission authorizing the search of the house and did not present an arrest warrant. However, Abdul-Rasool does not live with his father, so the troops requested that the father take them to his son’s apartment, which was then broken into by the same force. The family said that the men ransacked the apartment and seized two digital cameras and a mobile phone belonging to Abdul-Rasool, whereafter he was taken to the criminal investigation department (CID), which is a well-known site for torture and degrading treatment of detainees; in particular political detainees and prisoners of conscience.
This is not the first time that Abdul-Rasool has been targeted. Previously, he was arrested in February 2013 and detained at the central police station before being released the same day.
In view of the Bahraini authorities’ vicious crackdown on freedom of expression and their targeting of media activity, the BCHR fears that detained Ammar Abdul-Rasool will suffer torture and/or imprisonment. The BCHR has previously documented six detained photographers – two suffered extra-judicial execution, and eight were fired at directly by security forces using shotguns.
The BCHR believes that the targeting and arrest of photographers represents a flagrant violation of the covenants and international treaties that guarantee the right to freedom of expression, in particular Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.”
On the basis of what has been mentioned above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and all other allies of the Bahrain government, and international institutions to:
Put pressure on the Bahrain authority for the immediate release of Ammar Abdul-Rasool and all detained photographers, and allow them to exercise their right to freedom of expression without hindrance;
Put pressure on the Bahrain authority to be regardful of the maintenance of human rights, in particular the freedom of the press and the freedom of dissemination of information;
Put the Bahraini government on trial at an international tribunal on account of its continuing violations of international treaties to which it is a signatory, in particular Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
A worrying new trend has emerged of unscrupulous employers confiscating all their workers’ identity documents in Bahrain, according to a noted rights activist. See more here.
This 11 July 2014 video from the USA is called Grandmother Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison After Protest at U.S. Drone Base.
From Alternet in the USA:
By Alyssa Figueroa
Woman Sentenced to Prison for Photographing a War Protest
‘We are losing a generation because of drones’ says activist Mary Anne Grady Flores.
July 26, 2014
Warplanes have long been based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, NY. But in 2009, something new arrived: MQ-9 Reaper drones that were flown remotely over Afghanistan, dropping missiles and bombs and unleashing terror.
Organizers in Upstate New York started protests soon after the drones arrived and founded Upstate Drone Action in 2010. In 2011, one longtime activist and member of the Catholic Worker movement, Mary Anne Grady Flores, 57, joined the struggle. As part of the “Hancock 38” in April that year, she was arrested for protesting at the base’s main entrance by participating in a die-in to illustrate the indiscriminate killing of civilians overseas by drones.
She was arrested again in October 2012 for another act of “civil resistance,” as she puts it, not “civil disobedience,” to uphold the U.S. Constitution and international treaties the U.S. signed. That led to Grady Flores and the 16 others being placed under court orders restricting their protest rights. Frustrated by the protesters’ persistence, a base commander, Col. Earl Evans, sought and received an orders of protection — usually reserved for domestic violence victims — which was used over time to bar approximately 50 protesters from the base’s grounds.
In February 2013, Grady Flores stood in the public intersection beyond the driveway leading to the air base taking pictures of the eight protesters participating in an Ash Wednesday action. Those witnessing were asking for forgiveness for what we as American citizens are doing with killer drones. She was later arrested across the street and down the road for “violating the order of protection.” A higher court has found the use of the order invalid.
But on July 10, DeWitt Town Court Judge David Gideon gave Grady Flores the maximum sentence of one year in jail for a second-degree criminal contempt charge, leaving a courtroom of supporters in shock. He defended his harsh sentence by claiming that she “would simply thumb her nose at the law once again.” DeWitt Town judges are planning on holding 20 upcoming trials from August 2014 through 2015, threatening to send each activist to one year in jail.
On Wednesday, July 23, eight protesters went back to the air base to issue their own “people’s order of protection” on behalf of drone victims around the world. Seven were arrested and charged with trespass. Two of the protesters — Grady Flores’ sister Clare and Martha Hennessey, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker — were charged with violating their orders of protection and are being held on $10,000 bail. All of them refuse to post bail and remain in jail pending their Aug. 6 court dates.
“These judges are out to try to stop the protests on behalf of the base,” Grady Flores said, who is out on $5,000 bail pending her appeal.
Alyssa Figueroa: You joined these anti-drone protests in 2011. What made you start?
Mary Anne Grady Flores: Drones are a critical issue for people in the countries that are under attack, and it’s important for those of us in the States to make the connections between poverty, racism and colonialism. As many black and Native feminists have pointed out, the violence that has historically and continues to be perpetrated inside the so-called borders of the United States sustains American imperialism abroad.
Lizia was so kind to send me this beautiful photo of a great crested grebe with chicks; photo taken from the Houtrustbrug bridge in the Hague. On 19 July 2014, cloudy weather.
First, a black vulture flying overhead.
Then, much closer, a blue-crowned motmot. First, on the lawn just before our feet; then in a nearby bush.
Twenty minutes later, at 11:55, two motmots.
Hours later, at 16:43, a female Baltimore oriole.
A clay-coloured thrush washed itself in a birdbath.
Then, late in the afternoon, two special birds at another birdbath: white-eared ground sparrows. In Costa Rica, they live only in the Central Valley. Because of their skulking habits, and ‘best seen at near … dusk’, many people don’t see them there.
So, a fine end to our last full day in Costa Rica.
Stay tuned for the blog post on our last Costa Rican early morning, 31 March!
Still 30 March 2014, in the botanical garden of Heredia in Costa Rica. Not just birds in that garden; art as well. This art, based on the woodcut print Metamorphosis III by Dutch artist M.C. Escher, was in one of the garden buildings; a round gazebo.
In Escher’s work, reptile forms slowly morph into other forms.
And bees morph into other insects.
And birds into fish.
And birds into mammals.
Until we were back at the reptiles again.