Unjustly convicted boxer ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies


This music video is called Bob Dylan – Hurricane (original). The lyrics are here.

From the Canadian Press:

‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76

April 20, 2014 / 8:04 am

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the former American boxer imprisoned nearly 20 years for three murders before the convictions were overturned, has died at his home in Toronto.

Media reports say he was battling prostate cancer.

The Hurricane‘s autobiography, “The Sixteenth Round,” was published in 1975 it helped raise awareness for his case. Also in 1975 Bob Dylan wrote the song ‘Hurricane’ based on the book.

According to CTV, Carter was arrested in 1966, along with acquaintance John Artis, for a triple shooting in New Jersey. His conviction was quashed in 1985, with the help of a group of Canadians who fought to keep his case in the spotlight.

Eventually, Carter moved to Toronto, where he helped to form the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. He served as the association’s executive director from 1993 to 2004.

in 1999 Norman Jewison made the movie ‘The Hurricane’, Denzel Washington played the lead role.

See also here. And here. And here.

On race, the US is not as improved as some would have us believe. Despite the legacy of civil rights, some doors remain firmly closed. And across the US, schools are resegregating: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Anti-Semitism in Ukraine and the US State Department


This video from the eastern Ukraine says about itself:

19 April 2014

Ukraine: In multinational Donetsk, all are equal – Pushilin

Leaders of the Donetsk interim government gave a press conference in the Regional administration building in Donetsk, Saturday.

Denis Pushilin, the Deputy ‘People’s’ Governor of Donetsk and member of the interim government, recently said that it’s up to residents to decide where and how they want a referendum to take place.

Pushilin also responded to questions relating to a forged leaflet which showed up on social media networks, calling for Jewish people in Donetsk above the age of 16 to register their names and pay $50 (€60) in cash. Pushilin said that the republic of Donetsk is multinational and that all people are equal.

By Alex Lantier:

US imperialism and the anti-Semitic leaflet in Donetsk

19 April 2014

US outrage at a vile anti-Semitic leaflet circulating in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, demanding that all Jews register with local pro-Russian authorities, is a hypocritical fraud. US officials have seized on the leaflet, whose authorship is totally unclear and which stinks of a provocation to smear protesters hostile to the US-backed Ukrainian regime in Kiev, to denounce protesters and posture as opponents of anti-Semitism.

At talks between US, European, Ukrainian and Russian officials in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “In the year 2014, after all the miles traveled in the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque … beyond unacceptable.”

What hypocrisy! In the February putsch that toppled Ukraine’s government, Washington and its European allies worked directly with fascists, including the Right Sector militia and the Svoboda party. These forces—which hail the World War II-era Ukrainian fascists led by Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazis as they carried out the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine—now occupy top positions in the unelected, pro-Western puppet regime in Kiev.

Kerry was cynically seizing upon the leaflet to improve the US position in talks with Russia, by distracting from popular anger with the Kiev puppet regime’s ties to fascism and providing ammunition for hysterical attacks on Moscow.

US officials ignored the multiple signs that the document is a crude forgery. The leaflet—bearing the name of the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic, which is occupying local government buildings in Donetsk, and signed by its leader, Denis Pushilin—was reported on Wednesday in Israeli media.

It begins, “Dear Ukrainian citizens of Jewish nationality, due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community support the Bandera junta and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk, [we have] decided that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic’s territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register.”

It demands that Jewish citizens provide extensive documentation as to their property holdings and religion and pay a $50 fee to officials in Room 514 of the local government building occupied by the pro-Russian protesters. Otherwise, the leaflet said, they would face deportation.

The initial Israeli media reports made clear the highly dubious character of the leaflet. They cited Pushilin’s denials that his group had issued it, as well as broader doubts as to its authenticity. Alex Tenzer, a director of the National Association of Immigrants from the Former USSR in Israel, said: “It’s hard to tell whether the leaflet is valid or simply a provocation.”

Olga Reznikova, who sent YNet a copy of the document from Donetsk, said: “I do not intend to register. I am 32, I have lived in Donetsk my entire life, and have never had to deal with anti-Semitism until I laid eyes on this piece of paper. Though I take it very seriously, I am uncertain of its authenticity.”

Reporters for the New York Times who visited Room 514 of the Donetsk local government building on Thursday found it empty. They spoke to protesters who said the leaflet was a trick of the Kiev regime to discredit them. “We are laughing; this is propaganda,” one said.

As Western officials and media prepared for the Geneva talks, however, they baldly attributed the leaflet to pro-Russian groups. Ignoring continuing reports from Donetsk challenging the authenticity of the leaflet, they speculated that it could harm the pro-Russian forces and “change the narrative” about Ukraine—that is, undermine the credibility of anti-Kiev protesters.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph wrote: “A shocking story coming out of Ukraine: pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country are accused of asking Jewish citizens to register their identity or face deportation … It could change the narrative of the conflict yet again: the Russian separatism becomes a call not for self-determination, but outright bigotry informed by a desire for racial purity and Orthodox chauvinism.”

Kerry’s denunciations of the Donetsk protesters over the leaflet were echoed by other US diplomats. “Everything we’re hearing suggests this is the real deal, and that it is coming from someone on the ground there among these radical groups,” US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt told CNN, “either to stir fear or to create provocation justifying further violence.”

Reporting from Donetsk, however, CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh called the leaflet “by all accounts an isolated incident.” Referring to protesters and the Jewish community in Donetsk, he added, “All sides are really trying to calm this down. Bizarrely, really, it’s the US State Department focusing specifically on this allegation.”

This comment from CNN, which can hardly be accused of having a critical attitude towards US foreign policy, gives a far better idea than Kerry’s hypocritical statements about the political origins of the anti-Semitic leaflet. The US State Department, Kiev, and their collaborators in Europe know more about it, one may safely assume, than Moscow or the protesters in Donetsk.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Poland and the United States would announce next week the deployment of US ground troops to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO military forces in Central and Eastern Europe, in response to the crisis in Ukraine: here.

Leading German journalists, who have been agitating for weeks for a war against Russia, intensified their propaganda after Tuesday’s announcement that NATO was stepping up its intervention in Eastern Europe. Even after the experiences of the First and Second World Wars, some clearly can’t wait for a re-run of the Eastern Front: here.

Canada is deploying six F-16 fighter jets to Eastern Europe in support of the war threats against Russia made by the US, Germany and NATO, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday: here.

Russia: Fatal gun battle near Ukrainian city of Slovyansk shows Kiev is failing to rein in extremists: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Life imprisonment for Ugandan gay people?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Yup, She’s DEFENDING Uganda’s Anti-Gay Laws!

23 February 2014

“The right-wing women’s group Concerned Women for America (CWFA) expressed outrage on Sunday that President Barack Obama condemned a Ugandan anti-LGBT bill that would punish homosexual behavior with lifetime imprisonment.

According to the Joe My God blog, CWFA spokesperson Janice Shaw Crouse said that the president’s “arrogance is breathtaking” for saying that [the] Ugandan government should stop imprisoning and torturing men it suspects of being gay.

On Sunday, Obama released an official White House statement condemning Uganda’s proposed law outlawing same sex marriages and imposing lifetime prison sentences for repeated homosexual acts.”

Read more here.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ugandan men to go on trial on homosexuality charges

Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa face life imprisonment if found guilty in first such case since introduction of new anti-gay law

Barbara Among in Kampala

Thursday 17 April 2014 16.37 BST

Two Ugandan men will go on trial next month accused of homosexuality, the first people to be charged since a controversial new anti-gay law was passed.

Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they had sufficient evidence against Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa, who denied the charges when they first appeared in court earlier this year. They have been held in Luziro prison in Kampala since December.

Mukisa, 24, a businessman, was charged with “having sexual knowledge of a person against the order of nature” and Mukasa, 19, with permitting a person to have sexual knowledge of him against the order of nature.

They are the first Ugandans to face trial on homosexuality charges, with an earlier case collapsing before it reached court and the majority of those arrested paying stiff fines to avoid prison.

Uganda‘s president Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay law in February. It punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality”.

Since the law was passed several donors have cut aid to Uganda, while others have diverted development support to projects that promote human rights.

Mukisa and Mukasa, however, have been charged under the 1950 Penal Code Act, which also prescribes life imprisonment if a person is found guilty of homosexual acts.

They are expected to defend themselves during the trial, which is scheduled to start on 7 May.

Britain: KFC ‘sorry’ after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for ‘heavy petting’: here.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says the Anglican Church cannot support same-sex marriage: here.

USA: Mayor who fired lesbian police chief caught on tape in homophobic tirade: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bird nest webcams in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Cheep Cheep – A story about a bird’s nest of robin eggs hatching

“Cheep Cheep” is a mini-documentary that tells the day-by-day story of a bird’s nest we discovered under our deck in the Spring of 2012. The video was shot in HDTV on a Panasonic HDC-HS900 Camcorder, which was mounted on a monopod, and allowed extreme close up footage without disrupting the nest.

“Cheep Cheep” spans a twenty day period of time, and is appropriate for all ages. The story illustrates the incredible process of development in the life of a baby bird, and gives a heartwarming glimpse at the touching bond between parent and child.

Tip – For best picture, change your video playback quality to ‘HD.’

White-tailed eagle webcam in the Netherlands: here.
From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

We can scarcely keep up with all the developments at Bird Cams—especially our TWO new owl cams: a Barn Owl in Texas and a Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam in Indiana. Plus, the Cornell hawks are incubating three eggs, a Great Blue Heron has returned to the pond, and Kaloakulua, the young Laysan Albatross, is starting to show her first white feathers. Watch the cams.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Non-Muslim PTSD soldier kills, Islamophobe calls for massacring Muslims


This video from the USA says about itself:

Islamophobia: Melissa Boigon at TEDxGallatin 2013

22 September 2013

Melissa Boigon is a graduate of the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her studies focused on the relationship between international political dynamics and prejudices against Muslims in the United States.

As an Iraq war veteran with PTSD killed others and himself in Texas … some extreme Rightists think we need far more bloodshed still.

By James Bloodworth in Britain:

Breitbart contributor: “Time for Americans to start slaughtering Muslims in the streets”

April 3, 2014

A contributor to right-wing Breitbart website has called on Twitter for Americans to “start slaughtering Muslims in the streets”.

Breibartj

A writer for the American-based conservative website, which recently set up in the UK, made the comment on Twitter as news broke of a shooting at the Ford Hood military base in Texas. There is no evidence whatsoever that the perpetrator of the attack was a Muslim.

Dollard’s Twitter profile lists him as a ‘contributing journalist’ at Breitbart and he has his own author’s page on the website – albeit with no articles.

Pat Dollardj

Breitbart recently started a UK franchise, headed by Telegraph journalist James Delingpole and Raheem Kassam of the Henry Jackson Society. Let’s hope that none of the writers for the British site share Dollard’s bloodthirsty and racist sentiments.

Why the Iraq war has produced more PTSD than the conflict in Afghanistan: here.

New York Police Unit That Spied on Muslims Is Disbanded: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Homophobe becomes Mozilla boss


This video from the USA is called Mozilla Firefox Fallout: Brendan Eich‘s Proposition 8 Support Sparks Backlash From Employees, OkCupid.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

OkCupid boycotts Firefox after ‘homophobic’ CEO appointment

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

Brendan Eich donated money to anti-gay rights group Proposition 8

A popular dating website began yesterday a boycott to a homophobic internet browser.

Free online dating group OkCupid has launched a boycotting campaign against Mozilla Firefox after the internet browser company appointed anti-gay rights supporter Brendan Eich as its new CEO.

Users attempting to access the website through Firefox were met with a landing page requesting they opt for another browser.

“If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8 per cent of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal,” read the statement.

Mr Eich openly donated $1,000 (£600) to the Proposition 8 campaign, which put forward the view that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

OkCupid — which had over 10 million unique hits only last month — said its very nature was “creating love.”

To those wanting to undermine love, they wish “nothing but failure.”

Mozilla has released a statement denying homophobia but omitting its CEO’s political agenda.

Enhanced by Zemanta

United States chickadees and climate change


This video from the USA is called Carolina Chickadee Sound.

From All About Birds blog in the USA:

Warming Temperatures Are Pushing Two Chickadee Species—and Their Hybrids—Northward

By victoria on Thursday, March 6th, 2014

The zone of overlap between two popular, closely related backyard birds is moving northward at a rate that matches warming winter temperatures, according to a study by researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Villanova University, and Cornell University. The research was published in Current Biology on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

In a narrow strip that runs across the eastern U.S., Carolina Chickadees from the south meet and interbreed with Black-capped Chickadees from the north. The new study finds that this hybrid zone has moved northward at a rate of 0.7 mile per year over the last decade. That’s fast enough that the researchers had to add an extra study site partway through their project in order to keep up.

“A lot of the time climate change doesn’t really seem tangible,” said lead author Scott Taylor, a postdoctoral researcher at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “But here are these common little backyard birds we all grew up with, and we’re seeing them moving northward on relatively short time scales.”

This video from the USA is about black-capped chickadees.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Black-crowned night heron migration, new study


This video says about itself:

Black Crowned Night Herons – Nycticorax nycticorax

REGUA Brazil, September 2011. Juvenile bird followed by adults. A couple of Snowy Egrets as well.

From the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in the USA, with map there:

Black-crowned Night-Heron Study

Posted by Leah Culp and Amy Scarpignato on March 4, 2014

Every spring, approximately 100 breeding pairs of black-crowned night-herons arrive at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The herons have been nesting here since before the zoo was established in 1889, yet we still do not know where they spend the winter.

Last August, the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center and the Bird House began a pilot study to unravel this mystery. Three adult herons from the rookery were fitted with satellite transmitters. The satellite transmitters emit signals for 2 hours, daily during migratory periods and every other day the remaining months.

Signals from the transmitters are picked up by satellites passing overhead and relayed to processing centers where the data is collected and processed to provide coordinates of the bird’s location.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether the current locations of these birds are temporary stops or final destinations. One thing is certain, we know more now than we did last summer!

JoGayle (in green) left the breeding site on August 13 but remained in the D.C. area, near the Georgetown waterfront. Unfortunately, as of December 22, for unknown reasons, the transmitter stopped receiving locations.

Russ (in red) left the breeding site on September 22. Over the next 6 days, it made its way to Charlotte County, FL, a distance of 1400 km. It remained there since December 30, after which it travelled another 150 km to the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport. This transmitter also stopped receiving locations as of January 14, 2014.

Clive (in blue) left the breeding site on August 15 but remained in the D.C. area for another two months. On October 16 it started to move: first going to the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay and staying for about three weeks, then heading south on November 6. It has been in northern Florida, 20 km southwest of Jacksonville, FL since November 20. For unknown reasons, this transmitter also stopped receiving locations as of December 22.

Enhanced by Zemanta