This is a new cartoon from Internet Weekly in the USA.
McCain and neoconservatism: here.
This video in English is called No G8 Japan 2008.
From Isao Matsuda in Japan:
Dear friends in the world,
from Osaka in Japan
Many actions are prepared in various parts of Kansai towards G8 Summit meeting in July.
Although unified movement is prepared in Kyoto and Kobe, it is behind in Osaka.
There are motions of some groups towards the Ministers-of-Finance meeting on June 12. But, they are not unified.
We appeal for this unification and are preparing action on that day or the previous day.
As a step for that, we will rally against the G8 Summit meeting and against changing Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan on May 3 that is the memorial day of Constitution.
on May 3, Saturday From 1:00 p.m.
in main hole of Inhabitants’ Center of Osaka Kita-ward
at 4:30 p.m. start march up to Umeda
1. Problem submission; about G8 and Constitution
by Noboru Ogawa — chief organiser
2. Main lecture about G8 Summit;
by Mr.Yoshihiko Motoyama — Emeritus Professor of Kyoto University (international economist)
3. Special report;
by Mr.Yoshinori Ikezumi — head of the complainants who lodged a complaint and won in the Nagoya High Court against Self-Defense-Forces’ sending-troops to Iraq that is violation-of-the-Constitution
4. Another speech
1) by Mr.Nishihama — Representative of the trial support liaison committee about the work of Mr. Kenzaburo Ohe who are the most famous novelist in Japan
2) by the junior-high school teacher who fought the “Kimigayo” non-stood up action in Kadoma city (Osaka pref.)
If you are in Japan, please participate.
If not, I am pleased if you can send some messages in English, in order to heap up a movement against the Minister-of-Finance meeting in June, and G8 Summit meeting in July,
See also here.
This video is called Food prices could provoke economic crisis, says IMF chief.
From British daily The Morning Star:
The big questions
(Monday 28 April 2008)
INTERVIEW: Eric Hobsbawm
by DAN GLAZEBROOK
INTERVIEW: Marxist historian ERIC HOBSBAWM considers what’s in store for the British economy, US global power and socialism.
ERIC Hobsbawm is possibly the world’s most famous living historian. His series on the industrial revolution and its aftermath are widely seen as the definitive texts on the subject and, more recently, his magnum opus of 20th century history Age of Extremes has been widely revered across the political spectrum.
Now aged 92, he is still writing and lecturing, with his latest work Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism analysing the effects and prospects of free market globalisation, while comprehensively demolishing Bush and Blair’s wars of aggression.
I caught up with him at the Bath literary festival.
You have said that the capitalist world economy has been in a state of crisis since 1997-8. How do you see the current economic crisis unfolding and what are the likely results of this? Do you see any parallels with earlier economic downturns in, for example, the 1930s or 1970s?
“The capitalists themselves now say that the present economic crisis is the most serious since the war, since the 1930s.
“In one form or another, it will probably affect Britain, since this country has followed the US more closely than any other, adopting the economic policy which has led to the present problems, namely the deregulated globalised free market.
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News:
Australia Shark Count Breaking Records
April 28, 2008 — Australians apparently have a good chance of spotting a shark in the wild, since a new project called the Great Australia Shark Count has thus far determined at least 4,022 sharks swim in waters surrounding the land down under. …
While the project will continue throughout the year, the current most reported shark is the wobbegong [see also here], with 903 sightings. The grey nurse shark follows, with 733, and Port Jackson sharks round out the top three with a count of 519.
Other commonly spotted sharks include the grey reef shark, the whitetip reef shark, whale sharks, the blacktip reef shark, the tiger shark, gill sharks and the toothy great white. So far, participants have recorded 13 great white sightings.
Grey nurse shark video: here.
Ten captive bred wobbegong sharks tagged and released in Sydney: here.
Ningaloo Reef nomination for World Heritage status: here.
Grey nurse shark monitoring project launched in Australia: here.
Tiny Whale shark pup caught and released in the Philippines: here.
This video from Britain says about itself:
This clip shows Tony Blair lying in the British Houses of Parliament. It includes the famous lie about Iraq’s ability to use weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes. A claim based on fabricated intelligence …
On 1 May, there will be local elections in England, including in London; and in Wales.
From an item at the Socialist Unity blog in England:
“Since Labour won the 1997 election, it has shed 4.5 million voters, the vast bulk of whom fall into four main groups.
• The manual working class, which has seen well-paid jobs exported to low-wage economies
• Public-service workers, who resent private-sector penetration and government “reforms”
• Black and ethnic minorities, who have reacted against the Iraq war and ministerial racist scapegoating
• Urban intellectuals who have switched, largely to the Liberal Democrats, over the war.
A recent YouGov poll revealed that 15 million people self-identified as Labour voters, but one-third of them said that they would not vote Labour under present circumstances. “
In addition, the Party has lost 200000 members since 1997.
Anti BNP march: here.
From Queens University in Ireland:
For good or ill Ireland gains another mammal species
Dave Tosh, from the School of Biological Sciences at Queens University, found the greater white-toothed shrew in Tipperary and Limerick while working with University College Cork and BirdWatch Ireland. Its natural range is in parts of Africa, France and Germany and before now the closest it has been spotted to Ireland is in the Channel Islands.
As part of his PhD, Dave was studying the diet of the Barn Owl in Ireland. Last winter John Lusby, Barn Owl Research Officer from Bird Watch Ireland, sent him pellets (regurgitated food remains) from owls in Tipperary and Limerick to help with the study.
Dave explained: “It was amongst a batch that I was about to dry in an oven, that I noticed a very large shrew skull.
“Having looked at hundreds of pellets from Ireland already I knew that what I was looking at was very unusual as our native pygmy shrew is very small in comparison.
“I ended up looking through more and more pellets and discovered more and more of the strange shrew skulls.”
Professor Ian Montgomery, Head of the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s, says the animal is likely to have been introduced recently to Ireland and the discovery of a new mammal species in Ireland is extremely rare.
“These records are evidence of at least one recent introduction event, probably accidental, from continental Europe to Ireland and has resulted in a rapid increase in numbers over a short period.”
The discovery, however, raises issues related to ecological impact and control which need to be further researched. While the shrew is likely to sustain threatened birds of prey including the barn owl, it could lead to the loss of small native mammals including the pygmy shrew.
See also here.
The study showed that mitochondrial DNA lineages of three small mammal species – bank vole, field vole and pygmy shrew – form a ‘Celtic fringe.’ The researchers say that these small mammals colonised Britain, when it was still connected to continental Europe, in a two-phase process at the end of the last Ice Age: here.
Crocidura leucodon in the Netherlands: here.
Venomous mammal, the Hispaniola solenodon, and Hispaniola hutia targets of new study: here.
Pleistocene giant shrew Dolinasorex: here.
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News:
Egypt’s Pyramids Packed With Seashells
April 25, 2008 — Many of Egypt’s most famous monuments, such as the Sphinx and Cheops, contain hundreds of thousands of marine fossils, most of which are fully intact and preserved in the walls of the structures, according to a new study.
The study’s authors suggest that the stones that make up the examined monuments at Giza plateau, Fayum and Abydos must have been carved out of natural stone since they reveal what chunks of the sea floor must have looked like over 4,000 years ago, when the buildings were erected.
“The observed random emplacement and strictly homogenous distribution of the fossil shells within the whole rock is in harmony with their initial in situ setting in a fluidal sea bottom environment,” wrote Ioannis Liritzis and his colleagues from the University of the Aegean and the University of Athens.
The researchers analyzed the mineralogy, as well as the chemical makeup and structure, of small material samples chiseled from the Sphinx Temple, the Osirion Shaft, the Valley Temple, Cheops, Khefren, Osirion at Abydos, the Temple of Seti I at Abydos and Qasr el-Sagha at Fayum.
X-ray diffraction and radioactivity measurements, which can penetrate solid materials to help illuminate their composition, were carried out on the samples.
The analysis determined the primary building materials were “pinky” granites, black and white granites, sandstones and various types of limestones. The latter was found to contain “numerous shell fossils of nummulites gen.” At Cheops alone, “(they constituted) a proportion of up to 40 percent of the whole building stone rock.”
The findings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Cultural Heritage.
Nummulites, meaning “little coins,” are simple marine organisms. Shells of those that lived during the Eocene period around 55.8 to 33.9 million years ago are most commonly found in Egyptian limestone. Fossils for the organisms have also been unearthed at other sites, such as in Turkey and throughout the Mediterranean.
When horizontally bisected, a nummulite appears as a perfect spiral. Since they were common in ancient Egypt, it’s believed the shells were actually used as coins, perhaps explaining their name.
Between 1887 and 1889, the British archaeologist W.M. Flinders Petrie turned his attention to the Fayum, a sprawling oasis region 150 miles south of Alexandria. Excavating a vast cemetery from the first and second centuries A.D., when imperial Rome ruled Egypt, he found scores of exquisite portraits executed on wood panels by anonymous artists, each one associated with a mummified body. Petrie eventually uncovered 150: here.