Littering is ‘terrorism’ in Britain

This video is called Taking Liberties: The fight for rights and rights handed down from on high Part 1.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Civil liberties ‘under threat’ as councils caught abusing anti-terror law

Thursday 26 March 2009

SURVEILLANCE powers have been used by local councils more than 10,000 times for “crimes” as minor as littering.

Details disclosed on Thursday under the Freedom of Information Act showed that councils in England and Wales had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to investigate offences ranging from dog fouling to taxi overcharging.

Fewer than one in 10 inquiries resulted in any form of penalty.

The Liberal Democrats, who obtained the details, said that they represented a fresh erosion of civil liberties and warned that RIPA was becoming a “snooper’s charter.”

The findings were based on a survey of 182 district and unitary councils in England and Wales which responded to a freedom of information request.

They showed that RIPA powers had been used on 10,288 occasions since 2004 but just 9 per cent of those inquiries had led to a successful prosecution, caution or fixed penalty notice.

The alleged offences included littering, illegal street trading and taking the fairy lights from a Christmas tree.

Lib Dem local government spokesman Julia Goldsworthy said that when RIPA originally became law, only nine organisations – including the police and security services – were allowed to use it. That has since been extended to 795 bodies.

“This government sees civil liberties as little more than a temporary inconvenience. Slowly but surely, freedoms have been eroded,” she said.

Rare birth of laughing thrush in US zoo

This video is called White Crested Laughing Thrush, Garrulax leucolophus.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

NY zoo reports rare captive birth of Asian bird

The Associated Press

Wednesday, March 25, 2009; 2:51 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It’s called a white-crested laughing thrush and it’s bringing smiles to zookeepers in Syracuse.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo greeted a new bird March 7. The chick is named Zephyr.

The birth came as a surprise to zookeepers, who have had no success breeding white-crested laughing thrushes. Zoo officials say the chick is one of only three born in captivity in the U.S. over the last year.

The birds are commonplace in Southeast Asia, South China and East India and were once widely imported into the U.S., but avian influenza worries forced zoos to stop importation.

White-crested laughing thrushes are cooperative breeders, so the zoo’s three adult birds are helping feed the newborn.

That’s right: Zephyr has three parents. It’s still a mystery just which ones are mom and dad.