Bahrain dictatorship keeps oppressing its people


This video from Bahrain has this caption on Twitter:

A very clear video of the security forces beating a man today, women trying to save him.

Bahrain ‘fires tear gas’ at protesters: here.

Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) expresses its deep concern regarding the brutal repression of the protests today and arrested of demonstrators including at least 10 women: here.

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Young grebe eats fish


Again, to the Baillon’s crake reserve today.

Near the entrance, gadwall ducks swimming.

A little grebe in the southern lake.

A group of five juvenile goldfinches on thistles near the entrance.

Northern lake: shoveler ducks, teal, lapwings.

A lesser black-backed gull, a few herring gulls, many black-headed gulls.

A speckled wood butterfly near the track near the railway canal.

The adult Egyptian goose with its five goslings a bit further to the north.

This is a great crested grebe video.

As I go back, in a canal near the entrance an adult great crested grebe with two chicks about half its size. The adult has a fish about half the youngsters’ size in its bill. It gives the fish to one of the chicks, which manages to swallow it with some effort.

New shieldbug discovered in England


NEW TO THE UK: The horehound shieldbug. Picture: Jason ElmoreFrom Wildlife Extra:

Shieldbug spotted in UK for first time

One of many animals to arrive here thanks to global warming

September 2011: A shieldbug never previously seen in Britain has been found at the headquarters of Kent Wildife Trust.

Originally discovered by local photographer and keen naturalist Jason Elmore at Tyland Barn, Sandling, near Maidstone – at least 50 more specimens have since been found there.

The find has been verified by national recorder and expert, Dr Tristan Bantock, who said: ‘The horehound shieldbug is one of many species of insects that have recently arrived in Britain as a result of climatic warming.

Likes warm, dry weather

‘Although very similar to the native pied shieldbug on the continent, the horehound shieldbug is found in warmer, drier situations and this will surely also be the case in Britain.’

Kent Wildife Trust’s Chief Executive, John Bennett, added: ‘This is indeed an exciting discovery. It shows that by being constantly aware of what is happening around us we can learn more about our wildlife and what is happening in our world.

‘In this case the arrival of a tiny traveller may tell us about the effects of a changing climate but it has also brought an exquisite jewel to join the rich variety of wildlife that finds sanctuary in the nature park at Tyland Barn.’

The foodplant of the species is the Black Horehound, a perennial herb that supports a number of scarce insect species such as the micromoth Nemophora fasciella and the ground bug Raglius alboacuminatus. Growing up to 3ft high, it has a very strong smell, and has clusters of hairy, reddish-purple flowers that bloom from May to August.

Rare flame brocade moth is established in the UK: here.

Climate change is disproportionately impacting women and there’s one film trying to let people know about it: here.

September 2011. More species could be saved from extinction under climate change thanks to a new model scientists have developed to guide allocation of conservation funding. The international team, led by Dr Brendan Wintle of the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, is the first to develop a pioneering decision-support model that incorporates both ecological and economic information to guide conservation investment in the face of climate change: here.

Cool-weather animals, put on your running shoes. A new study of historic climate patterns suggests that, as our current world warms, slower-moving critters may go extinct in far greater numbers than their speedier counterparts. The findings highlight the importance of giving animals enough room to move freely in the face of future climate change, researchers say: here.

Climate change coverage has collapsed in the media – 2010 was a record low for coverage, 2011 likely the same: here.

NY Times climate coverage dropped sharply since 2007, but they’re puzzled why public isn’t more engaged on issue: here.

Koch-funded climate scientists reports that climate change is…real. And caused by humans: here.

Bahrain fights on for democracy


This is a video of women in Bahrain today confronting the dictatorship‘s riot police.

From the Toronto Star in Canada:

West ignoring Yemen, Bahrain

Published On Thu Sep 22 2011

Re: ‘Stop this massacre,’ Yemeni doctor begs, Sept. 20

My thoughts and prayers are with the Yemeni people who are still fighting for a more democratic country after eight long months. Do we need more innocent people dying for the international media to focus on the country?

I am disgusted, yet not surprised, at the Saudi Arabia’s support of dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. After all, only a brutal regime can offer protection to a dictator.

Saudi Arabia’s king clearly continues to support the bloodsucking tyrant regime of Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, therefore denying the peaceful protestors their freedom and basic human rights. The Bahraini revolution has been going on for the past seven months now. Yet, just like Yemen, the West is turning a blind eye to their continuous struggle.

Sukeina Bhimji, Richmond Hill

President Ali Abdullah Saleh was greeted by mass protests and street battles today as he made a surprise return to Yemen: here.

Saleh Return Prompts Fears of More Bloodshed: here.

Tensions escalate as Yemen’s president returns: here.

Washington, DC –The United States Government must break its silence on Bahrain and condemn today’s ongoing violent attacks on peaceful protestors, said Human Rights First: here.

Baby giant octopus video


From Science News Blog:

Video: Baby Giant Pacific Octopuses at Vancouver Aquarium

C.C. – a giant Pacific octopus at the Vancouver Aquarium – laid a large batch of eggs last October. 300 of the eggs hatched earlier this month. Some of the giant Pacific octopus babies can be seen in the video below. The tiny babies are only 5 millimeters in length.

Dr. Dennis Thoney, director of Animal Operations at the Vancouver Aquarium, says, “Although it is not unusual for octopus eggs to hatch in aquariums, very few hatchings have ever survived. Chances of survival are very low because giant Pacific octopuses have a seven to ten month long pelagic larval stage. To further our knowledge of octopus reproduction, we will attempt to feed and maintain some [of] the larvae for as long as possible.”

Caribbean Reef Octopus: here.

Troy Davis’ execution


This video from the USA is about the execution of Troy Davis.

See also here. And here. And here.

Whatever you think about whether Troy Davis, whom the state of Georgia executed last night, was guilty of the crime for which he was convicted, it is unconscionable that the United States Supreme Court fails to have the courage to declare the death penalty unconstitutional: here.

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor protested the execution of Troy Davis Wednesday night in Georgia after the US Supreme Court refused to order a stay of his execution: here.

Beyond Troy Davis: How Race Colors Death Row “Justice”: here.

A UN human rights investigator has called on Georgia and Texas to halt the upcoming executions of two mentally disabled men: here.