Caspian tern in Portugal, video


This video is about a Caspian tern in Alvor, Algarve province, Portugal.

Portuguese birdwatching festival


This video is about birdwatching in southern Portugal.

From BirdLife:

2013 Sagres Birdwatching Festival celebrates bird migration

Thu, Sep 19, 2013

The Sagres Peninsula, which is the only place in Portugal where the autumn migration of soaring birds can be observed, will host the fourth edition of the Birdwatching Festival from 4th to 6th October 2013.

The event is the biggest in Portugal devoted to birds and will include a range of activities with the aim to complement birdwatching with the enjoyment of nature, meeting the needs of both children and adults. The festival is organised by SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal) and the association Almargem, and is part of the rural development project “Um Outro Algarve” (Another Algarve).

Although birds will be the event’s main attraction, this year there will also be fieldtrips and mini-courses on topics such as astronomy, mushrooms, nocturnal butterflies or sharks. “This diversification of activities aims to make the most of, and familiarise people with, the region’s natural heritage, focusing on the development of nature tourism”, states Nuno Barros, Marine Program Assistant at SPEA.

During the festival it will also be possible to take part in dolphin watching activities, or even to go horse riding accompanied by pack donkeys. Local businesses are offering special prices on accommodation, tourist activities and restaurants.

Sagres, in the municipality of Vila do Bispo, is one of the most important areas for birdlife in Portugal. The area is home to unique species in the region of Algarve: from August to November, it becomes the main migratory corridor in the country for storks, eagles, vultures, hawks and falcons, and almost all the species of soaring birds found in Portugal can be seen here, as well as a number of rarities.

The programme and the registration procedure can be found at the official website of the 4th Sagres Birdwatching Festival.

For more information: please contact Nuno Barros, Marine Program Assistant at SPEA.

Recently, the independent record label Second Language released the third volume of its compilation, Music & Migration III. The CD celebrates migratory birds and it includes exclusive contributions from international artists, such as Chris Watson, Mark Fry and Colleen. The third volume follows the success of previous releases in 2010 and 2011 and is dedicated to BirdLife International on its 20th Anniversary and particularly celebrates its global work for migratory birds. Read more here.

Bird migration in Zeeland, the Netherlands: here.

USA: The growing popularity of birding received several shots of affirmation over the past week, highlighted by national media reports of a birding landmark, and the launching of a new young birders club in Northeast Ohio: here.

Bolivian president victimized in Snowden witch hunt


Thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, we now know that United States spying organisations not only spied on millions of United States and other citizens, but on allied governments, including in Europe, as well.

These spied upon governments include France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, as far as I know.

However, it seems that people high up the bureaucratic pecking order in France, Portugal, etc. seem to think that participating in witch hunting Snowden, basing themselves on untrue rumours about Snowden‘s whereabouts instead of on facts, is more important than doing something against the massive spying on their countries.

This video is called Bolivian Minister: Morales’ Plane Rerouted On Suspicion Snowden On Board.

From AFP news agency:

Bolivian leader’s plane diverted over ‘Snowden‘ suspicions

by Dmitry Zaks, Agence France-Presse

Posted on 07/03/2013 8:44 AM | Updated 07/03/2013 10:39 AM

MOSCOW, Russia (UPDATE) – US fugitive Edward Snowden’s struggle to find a safe haven sparked a diplomatic row Tuesday, July 2, after Bolivia President Evo Morales‘ plane was diverted to Austria over suspicions he might be on board.

The incident happened hours after Morales had said his country would consider a request for political asylum if Snowden submitted one.

Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca accused France, Italy and Portugal of having denied airspace to the plane, forcing it to reroute.

“The president was forced to land in Vienna,” he told reporters in La Paz. Morales’s life had been endangered by what he described as a forced emergency landing, he added.

“There were unfounded rumors that Mr Snowden may have been on board the aircraft,” Choquehuanca said.

“We have no idea who made up this huge lie.”

Austrian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Schallenberg confirmed to AFP that Morales’ plane had landed at Vienna and that Snowden was not on board.

“President Morales will leave early Wednesday morning [July 3] for La Paz,” the Bolivian capital, he added. Austria did not know why the plane had landed at Vienna, he said. …

Hope from Latin America

As Snowden’s options narrowed however, there was some comfort from Morales’ response.

And another leftist Latin American leader, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, also offered him a degree of hope.

Maduro, who like Morales was in Moscow for a two-day energy summit, praised Snowden’s actions in leaking information on US spying activities.

“What is happening now should not be — he never killed anyone or planted any bombs,” he added.

But Maduro refused to entertain Russian media speculation that he might take Snowden on a plane with him from Moscow.

From Associated Press:

In a midnight press conference, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said that not only France and Portugal, but also Italy and Spain were denying the plane permission to fly through their airspace.

He described Morales as being “kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe.

“The ambassador for Spain in Austria has just informed us that there is no authorization to fly over Spanish territory and that at 9 a.m. Wednesday they would be in contact with us again,” said Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra, adding that the Spanish government had put as a condition for passage the “revision of the presidential plane.” …

While Bolivia’s foreign minister had earlier said officials did not know who was behind the “lie” that Snowden was on Morales’ plane, the country’s defense minister later expressed no doubt.

“We want to declare very firmly that it was an American story that Edward Snowden was on this flight,” said Saavedra at the VIP terminal of Vienna’s airport. “This is a plot by the U.S. government to destroy president Morales’ image. We say this simply is a lie. And we will confirm this.” …

In Venezuela, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said that changing the flight’s route without checking on how much fuel it had endangered Morales’ life.

“All the countries that have denied permission for the flight of our brother president, Evo Morales, must be held responsible for his life and his dignity as president.”

Another possible landing spot for Snowden is Ecuador, where Wikileaks founder and publisher Julian Assange has been seeking asylum.

“We are willing to analyze Mr. Snowden’s request for asylum and this position has not changed,” said Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on Tuesday. “What we have said is that we will be able to analyze the request when Mr. Snowden is in Ecuadorean territory or in an Ecuadorean mission.”

Patino added that two weeks ago a hidden microphone was found in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where Assange is holed up. “We want to find out with precision what the origin of the apparatus is.” …

On Monday, WikiLeaks posted a statement attributed to Snowden on its website, in which he slams Obama for “using citizenship as a weapon.”

“Although I am convicted of nothing, (the United States) has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person,” Snowden says in the statement. “Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

“Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.”

See also here.

And here. And here.

Planet without a visa! – Putin turns his back on brave whistleblower Snowden: here. And here.

US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper apologised on Tuesday for telling Congress earlier this year that the National Security Agency did not collect data on millions of US citizens: here.

On Tuesday, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein apologizing for statements that he had made in March before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Clapper sought to justify lies he made at the time regarding National Security Agency spying programs by claiming he had made a “mistake”: here.

Greek-Egyptian-French singer Georges Moustaki dies


In this French music video, Georges Moustaki sings his song Le Métèque.

The lyrics of the song are about prejudices against immigrants. Moustaki himself was a Jewish-Greek-Egyptian immigrant to France.

The French word “métèque” is derived from ancient Greece. In the city-state of Athens, metics were immigrants who were not slaves, but had no citizen rights either.

In France since the nineteenth century, “métèque” became a term of abuse against Jewish and other immigrants.

From the BBC:

23 May 2013 Last updated at 10:52 GMT

Georges Moustaki, composer of Edith Piaf hit song, dies

Georges Moustaki, the French singer and composer who wrote Edith Piaf‘s 1958 hit song, Milord, has died aged 79.

Moustaki, whose real name was Giuseppe Mustacchi, sang in several languages and penned in the region of 300 songs.

Born in Egypt on 3 May 1934, he changed his name in honour of his idol, the French singer Georges Brassens, after he moved to Paris in 1951.

Among the French stars who sang his compositions were Yves Montand, Juliette Greco and Pia Colomba.

Moustaki was the son of an immigrant Jewish couple from Greece who settled in Egypt.

He was known for his romantic ballads, his repertoire included songs in French, Italian, English, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic and Spanish.

The song, Milord, was a number-one hit in Germany in 1960, reaching number 24 in the UK that same year.

It has been covered by various artists over the years, including Cher, appearing on her second solo album, The Sonny Side of Cher, released in 1966.

This music video is the song Portugal, by Georges Moustaki.

It is from 1974, when the carnation revolution managed to overthrow the dictatorship in Portugal.

The lyrics mention this as a sign of hope, while the Franco dictatorship in Spain, and the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile were still torturing; and the Vietnam war still continued. They express the hope that this revolution would end Portuguese colonialism in Africa.