Private prison corporation Geo Group kills immigrants


This video from the USA is called GEO Background – Investigation shows GEO group has history of prisoner abuse.

It says about itself:

1 Dec 2008

WILLACY COUNTY – The GEO Group, the prison corporation at the center of the indictments has a long history filled with allegations of prisoner abuse. The abuse has sometimes even turned deadly.

A former corrections officer who did not want to be identified says she was on-duty at the Willacy State Jail in 2001 when Gregorio De La Rosa, Jr. was beaten to death by fellow inmates. She says he was bloody and not very responsive after the incident. De La Rosa died just four days before his release date.

His family sued the prison owner at that time, the GEO group known then as Wackenhut. The family won a $47 million settlement.

Paul Wright, editor of Prison Legal News, a prison watchdog group, says that the GEO Group has a bad reputation for a reason. “They gain their contracts through lobbying and cronyism and political favoritism,” Wright said. “They make their profits once they have the contracts through short staffing their facilities and underpaying their staff.”

Wright says the GEO runs prisons full of problems. “Very high incidents of escapes, assaults, murders, sexual assaults and riots as well,” he said. However, the former corrections officer of the jail says that there’s always going to be riots and assaults in a prison setting. She says those incidents don’t make it to the news because they are kept in-house. Lawmakers are calling for a review of all GEO’s contracts in Texas, though they claim it has nothing to do with the Willacy County indictments, which accuse the Vice President of the U.S., Dick Cheney of wrong doing since he owns a stock in company connected to the GEO group.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Privateer ‘lacks humanity’ but wants probation

Friday 17th January 2014

Firm bids for sold-off service despite being slammed by prison watchdog

A privateer accused yesterday of lacking basic humanity is in the running to scoop lucrative contracts as ministers flog off the probation service.

HM Inspectorates of Prisons uncovered an appalling litany of failing at Geo Group-run Harmondsworth immigration removal centre.

Among the most alarming documented incidents was the death of an 84-year-old immigration detainee with dementia after he was taken to hospital in handcuffs.

The Canadian national, believed to be Alois Dvorzac, spent three weeks at Harmondsworth despite doctors saying he was unfit for detention.

His death is one of a number of “shocking cases where a sense of humanity was lost,” HMIP said in its report on an unannounced visit last August.

Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon asked: “Have the authorities responsible for Harmondsworth forgotten the basic principles of humanity and decency that must apply to any form of custody?”

Geo, a British subsidiary of the US group of the same name, also runs Dungavel House immigration removal centre in South Lanarkshire.

The firm, which has been dogged by allegations of abuse, mistreatment and fraud, runs an estimated 96 facilities and provides services to the US concentration camp Guantanamo Bay.

But the Ministry of Justice announced in December that Geo Group UK and Geo Delta were among the firms which had made it through to the next round of bidding on the spoils of the government’s selloff of 70 per cent of probation services.

Probation union Napo general secretary Ian Lawrence said: “Yet again we are hearing another private contractor’s failure to meet the requirements of their contract and it is the people they are charged with looking after that are suffering.

“The very idea that these companies should be in charge of monitoring and rehabilitating offenders in the community is ludicrous and dangerous.

“The public need to start asking this government why they insist on putting costs cuts before public safety.”

Last year, an 84-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease died in handcuffs in a British immigration centre: here.

Fears over public safety have led to a delay in privatising a large part of the probation service, shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said yesterday: here.

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Good American aplomado falcon news


This video from the USA says about itself:

16 March 2009

This is a video of Aplomado Falcons that have been reintroduced in south-eastern New Mexico. This is an educational video to familiarize people with the movements of the falcons and the type of preferred habitat. The recovery project is a group effort involving the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Peregrine Fund, Turner Endangered Species Fund and other organizations.

From BirdNote in the USA:

Aplomado Falcon

Species Recovery Projects Are Working!

Aplomado Falcons were once widespread residents of the American Southwest, but by the 1950s, they’d disappeared entirely from the region. Loss of habitat, loss of prey, and pesticides all played a role.

But in the 1980s, a group called The Peregrine Fund began breeding captive Aplomado Falcons. Over the next 25 years, 1,500 fledglings were set free in South Texas. At the same time, conservation pacts with private landowners provided more than two million acres of habitat. Learn more in Related Resources below.

Texas government cheats pharmacists on death penalties


This video from the USA, with music by Steve Earle, is called Huntsville, Texas death-row prison cemetery.

From News Line daily in Britain, Friday, 11 October 2013:

Meanwhile, the Reprieve charity has issued a statement that ‘Pharmacies in the US are demanding that executioners in Texas not use their drugs to carry out lethal injections, claiming that the state “misrepresented” their plans for the drugs, or that they were completely unaware of the intended use.’

Texas is one of a number of states – including Pennsylvania, Colorado and South Dakota – which has attempted to secure the execution drug pentobarbital from compounding pharmacies, after major pharmaceutical companies took steps to block the use of their products in capital punishment.

However, it has emerged that both of the pharmacies from which Texas procured supplies of ‘compounded’ (i.e. made-to-order) pentobarbital have either blocked the order or are demanding the return of the drugs.

One of the suppliers, Pharmacy Innovations, which is headquartered in Jamestown, NY, was according to court documents, ‘completely unaware that the drugs … were purchased with the intent to use them for lethal injections,’ and once informed, ‘cancelled the order before it had been filled’.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) had attempted to purchase under the cover name of the Huntsville Unit Hospital – even though the hospital has not existed since 1983.

The owner of the other supplier, the Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy, wrote this weekend to the TDCJ to ‘demand that TDCJ immediately return the vials of compounded pentobarbital,’ complaining that ‘the State of Texas misrepresented this fact (that the purchase would remain private) because my name and the name of my pharmacy are posted all over the internet.’

Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of legal charity Reprieve’s Death Penalty team said: ‘This shows that responsible pharmacies, like responsible drugs companies, do not want to be part of the death penalty system.

Texas’ underhand behaviour – trying to order the drugs through a non-existent hospital to mask their intended use – should come as a warning to pharmacies everywhere to be on their guard. Pharmacists are in the business of healing, not killing – it is high time all those US states desperately seeking new sources of execution drugs realised that.’

New butterfly species from Texas discovered


Vicroy's ministreak, Ministrymon janevicroy, left and gray ministreak, right

By Laura Klappenbach, About.com Guide in the USA:

New Species of Butterfly Named

May 29, 2013

Over a century ago, specimens of a tiny, green-eyed butterfly were preserved in the Smithsonian entomology collection. At the time, the butterfly specimen was classified as a gray ministreak. But recently, scientists re-examined the species and determined that it was not a gray ministreak after all. They declared it a new species and gave it the common name Vicroy’s ministreak.

The Vicroy’s ministreak is a native to Texas. The new species differs from the gray ministreak in that it has green eyes (not black, like those of the gray ministreak). The Vicroy’s ministreak is about the size of a thumbnail. Its habitat overlaps with that of the gray ministreak.

The new species was discovered by Jeffrey Glassberg, the president of the North American Butterfly Association. He named the species after his wife, Jane Vicroy Scott.

More about this is here.

The scientific description of the new species is here.

Butterfly Metamorphosis VIDEO: CT Scans Show Transformation Of Insects Inside Outer Shell: here.

New bee species named after Noam Chomsky


The new bee species, photo credit: Cory S. Sheffield (Royal Saskatchewan Museum)

From Nature World News in the USA:

New Species Of Bee Named After Noam Chomsky

By James A. Foley

Apr 04, 2013 12:21 PM EDT

Noam Chomsky is not a fan of ridiculous comparisons. So it’s still unclear how he’ll take to the newly discovered species of bee that has been named after him.

The new species belongs to one of the largest genera of bees, the genus Megachile, with more than 1,500 species in at least 50 subgenera. Chomsky, on the other hand, is one of a kind.

Endemic to Texas, the newly-discovered species of leafcutter bee, Megachile chomskyi, has highly particular tastes in the sort of pollen it goes after. Having lectured, wrote and researched at the same university for more than 50 years, you might say Chomsky is endemic to MIT, where he reportedly has particular tastes in turkey sandwiches: plan, no mayo, definitely no avocado, maybe some lettuce and tomato.

An exaggeratedly long tongue and definitive jaw structure are the most prominent features of the new leafcutter bee. As it is, Chomsky’s tongue, or at least his work as a linguist, is world renowned. Though it’s probably of average size.

Noam Chomsky is a highly regarded linguist, political philosopher and historian, who has been described as the “father of modern linguistics” and the world’s “top public intellectual.”

This is not the first time an animal has been named after Chomsky. A chimpanzee who was the subject of an extended study on animal language acquisition at Colombia University was named Nim Chimpsky, a clear pun of Noam Chomsky.

In naming the new species of leafcutter bee, its discoverer, Dr. Cory Sheffield of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, said, “In addition to naming the species after Dr. Chomsky to honor his many accomplishments, I also have been a huge fan and follower of his writings, lectures, and political views for a long time.”

Scheffield’s study of the Megachile chomskyi is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.