‘Wildlife-friendly’ kerbs in Scotland

This video is about frogs during the mating season in Scotland.

From the BBC:

12 November 2012 Last updated at 10:36 GMT

‘Wildlife-friendly’ kerbs installed in Blairgowrie

New “wildlife-friendly” kerbs have been installed in Blairgowrie as part of efforts to prevent animals becoming trapped in gullies.

Perth and Kinross Council are to pilot the use of the special kerbs at a site in the town’s Elm Drive.

The new kerbs contain a recess allowing animals to follow the lower edge of the kerb while keeping them clear of the drains.

Wildlife rangers will monitor them to assess the scheme’s success.

The kerb pilot follows the results of a series of surveys on roads carried out over the past two years in East Perthshire by the authority’s Countryside Rangers.

Trapped animals

In 2010, the council examined 322 road gullies – 69% of those examined contained wildlife, comprising 641 amphibians and 56 mammals (mainly voles but also mice and shrews).

In 2011, 636 gullies were checked – wildlife was trapped in 63 of them. The rangers found 1,087 amphibians and 114 mammals.

The council was concerned that when animals were moving en masse, such as during the breeding season, the gullies became very hazardous, as once an animal became trapped it was unlikely to escape or survive for any length of time.

The Elm Drive site was chosen for the pilot as it is close to a local pond already included in the biodiversity survey, allowing the site to be compared before and after the installation of the kerbs.
Exciting project

Previous use of similar equipment elsewhere in the UK has shown a major reduction in the number of creatures getting trapped in road drains.

Environment convener Alan Grant said: “This is an exciting and innovative project which has been made possible through a landfill tax grant and has received a national award from the animal charity Peta.

“It will help us determine whether using these special kerbs can make a difference to local biodiversity by giving wildlife a safer route when on the move.”

Ladders for saving frogs and other animals in the Netherlands: here.


‘Free’ new Libya not free

This video says about itself:

Sep 12, 2012

Washington continues to support militant Islamist groups as long as it’s politically expedient to do so, says global affairs researcher Benjamin Schett.

US military adventurism, and the war crimes committed by the country’s forces, impoverish the entire region and ultimately lead to a rise in the number of Islamic militant groups, he told RT. Such groups, he says, can end up posing a threat to US citizens.

Schett spoke to RT about the killing of American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff in Libya.

See also here.

From the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (Cairo, Egypt):

Libya: ‘Demonstration and Set-in Organizing Law’ – a New Law to Repress the Freedom of Opinion and Expression

11 November 2012

Press release

Cairo — ANHRI expressed its deep concern due to “the Libyan national conference, “Parliament” to enact the law on “Demonstration and Set-In organizing”, which stipulates that it is conditioned to obtain a permit from the authorities and to determine the place and time of the demonstrations in addition to make the organizers responsible for maintaining the security and order during the demonstrations.

The National Conference has enacted the law that organizes the demonstrations which could restrict the significant means of the freedom of expression. In addition to that, it restricts the significant tools to press the ruling authorities to achieve the will of the people. The law stipulates that the demonstrations’ organizations shall be in accordance with the constitution and shall not hinder the flow of work of the public utilities. The law provides that the demonstrators shall obtain a precedent permit from the competent authorities. “The demonstration shall have an organized committee composed of three people, head and two members, who shall be named by notice to the security directorate in which the demonstration places in its jurisdiction. The committee shall maintain the order during the demonstration and ban any speech that violates the public order or include incitement for crimes”.

The law emphasises the necessity that the demonstrators shall submit a written request to “the security directorate in whose jurisdiction the demonstration is planned . Such written request shall include the date and the time of starting of the demonstration, date of start, itinerary and ending it before the specified time of the demonstration of 48 hours”.

The law also gave the authorities and the concerned bodies the right to amend the date of starting the demonstration and its end. In addition to determining the place of held and its itinerary in order to maintain the public interest, not to disable the interests of the country, maintaining security and exposing the citizens safety to risks. The law also make it possible to abort the attempts to freedom of expression through demonstration as it gives the right of dispersing and banning the demonstrations to the authorities in case of it causing public security disturbance.

ANHRI said that “Such a law is deemed to restrict the freedom of opinion and expression. It is natural that the authorities would ban the demonstrations which erupted against its governmental performance. In addition to, not let the demonstration take place in the significant utilities of the country which deemed to be one of the main basic tools to press the government to respond to the request of its people”.

ANHRI calls for the necessity of removing this article related to the restricting of the protest and notifying the authorities that liberties should be like in the majority of the world. In addition to that, the notifiers should not be liable to maintain the security which is among the core of the work of the executive authorities and its security bodies.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thank you Maria de Suède!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo

Thank you, Maria de Suède of the blog Paris en Photographies, for nominating Dear Kitty. Some blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

The rules of this award are:

1- Display the award logo on your blog
2- Link back to the person who nominated you.
3- State seven things about yourself.
4- Nominate fifteen other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5- Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

The seven things about myself are:

1. I am now (gradually) reading Irvin D. Yalom, The Spinoza Problem.

2. I am also reading a biography of Dutch poetess M. Vasalis.

3. I read a book on South African poetry as well.

4. Last week, I ate macaroni.

5. On the day before that, I ate risotto.

6. The trees opposite my window have lost many of their leaves. Not all yet.

7. There was a problem with my central heating, but it is solved now.

My fifteen nominees are:

1. Where’s my backpack?

2. ExploreDreamDiscover Talks

3. Serendipities of life

4. 4writersandreaders

5. Experience The Wilderness

6. On Genocide

7. The Crafty Cook Nook

8. Lady Budd

9. Animal Sciences .. Serving Humanity

10. Geanina Lisandru

11. Cristian Lisandru

12. Travel . Culture . Food

13. Rodposse.

14. Queen’s end

15. Gabriel I Photography

CIA boss resignation, really about Libya?

This video from the USA is called CNBC: BENGHAZI IS NOT ABOUT LIBYA. “It’s An NSC Operation Moving Arms & Fighters Into Syria”.

By Barry Grey in the USA:

The Petraeus affair

12 November 2012

According to the official story surrounding the sudden resignation of Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus, the departure of the former commander of US and allied forces first in Iraq and then in Afghanistan was the result of a personal moral lapse, unrelated to political or intelligence issues.

As the Washington Post, quoting a “senior intelligence official,” wrote on Sunday, “This is a very personal matter, not a matter of intelligence.”

On Friday, Petraeus released a statement to CIA staff in which he said President Obama had accepted his request, submitted the previous day, to resign from the agency. The retired four-star general gave as the sole reason for this step his involvement in an extramarital affair. “Such behavior is unacceptable,” he wrote, “both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”

The claim, generally being promoted by both the media and the political establishment, that Petraeus’ resignation has no political dimension is not credible. From the reporting thus far of the circumstances surrounding his exit, it is impossible to determine with any precision the specific political issues involved. However, given who Petreaus is and the nature of the various institutions affected, his resignation cannot fail to involve significant political questions.

Regarding the circumstances leading up to his resignation, various media reports, in virtually all cases citing unnamed sources, have converged in general terms on the following narrative:

Last spring, a female associate of Petraeus, identified Sunday as 37-year-old Jill Kelley of Tampa, Florida, reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that she had received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, a 40-year-old writer who recently authored a glowing biography of Petreaus.

Kelley is the State Department liaison to the military’s Special Operations Command. Broadwell is a wife and mother, graduate of the US Military Academy, and Army reserve officer. She spent a year in Afghanistan in close contact with the general when he was commanding the occupation forces there.

The FBI, an agency of the Justice Department, launched an investigation several months ago and came across emails between Petraeus and Broadwell making clear they were involved in an extramarital affair. Some press reports speak of unwarranted access by Broadwell to Petreaus’ personal email account as well as unspecified classified documents.

At some point the FBI interviewed both Petraeus and Broadwell. However, the FBI and Justice Department purportedly concluded that there had been no security breach and no laws had been broken.

For reasons unexplained, neither Congress nor the White House was informed of the FBI investigation of the CIA director until after last Tuesday’s election. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, nominally Petraeus’ superior, was supposedly informed only Tuesday afternoon. The White House was told Wednesday, but Obama himself learned of the affair only Thursday when he met with Petraeus. Obama told the CIA head he wanted 24 hours to consider his request to resign, and on Friday accepted the resignation.

Various members of congressional intelligence committees interviewed on Sunday news programs said they had no advance knowledge at all of either the investigation or the resignation. Some called for a congressional probe into the FBI handling of the case.

This bizarre scenario, very possibly involving violations of laws requiring disclosure to Congress of significant intelligence matters, itself strongly suggests unstated political agendas and conflicts. For one thing, all of this was taking place in the run-up to the presidential election and being concealed from the electorate.

Moreover, Petraeus was scheduled to testify this week in closed session before both the House and the Senate intelligence committees on the role of the CIA in connection with the September 11 assault on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of the US ambassador and three other Americans, including two CIA operatives. Both committees now say he will not appear before them this week, although some committee members have suggested he might be called to testify at a later point.

The events in Benghazi have far-reaching implications, since they involve Washington’s alliance with jihadist forces, including those linked to Al Qaeda, in last year’s war to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. This alliance continues in the current drive for regime-change in Syria.

The fact, as well, that one of the US ruling class’ chief police-intelligence agencies launched a probe resulting in the downfall of the head of a rival agency suggests that questions of policy as well as “turf” and status were involved.

Last month, the Washington Post, in a series of articles on Obama’s expansion and institutionalization of extrajudicial drone assassinations, took note of differences between Petraeus and Obama’s counterterrorism chief, John Brennan. Pointing out that Petraeus was pressing for an expansion of the CIA’s fleet of armed drone aircraft, the Post wrote:

“Brennan is leading efforts to curtail the CIA’s primary responsibility for targeted killings. Over opposition from the agency, he has argued that it should focus on intelligence activities and leave lethal action to its more traditional home in the military, where the law requires greater transparency.”

Regardless of how the crisis engulfing Petraeus arose, the decisions regarding its handling were political. If one accepts the official narrative, the question arises: Why did Obama decide, after being told of the sexual affair by Petraeus on Thursday, to accept his resignation? As some commentators have pointed out, in light of the reported absence of a security breach or violation of law, Obama could very well have treated the entire affair as a merely personal matter that did not warrant Petraeus’ departure.

This brings us to another important aspect of the Petraeus affair: the perverse political environment in which a fairly commonplace event in marital affairs is treated as something akin to a felony, often becoming the pretext for settling political scores.

Petraeus is a deeply reactionary figure, but he has not been brought down because of war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere. Rather, he has been declared unfit because of perhaps the first reported act that indicates he is human.

As military journalist Tom Ricks told CNN: “You put an officer out there on repeated tours and if he doesn’t slip, I’d be surprised. What he have today is shocking proof that Gen. Petraeus is a human being.”

The fall of Petraeus is but the latest example of the extraordinary degree to which sex has become a powerful instrument of political and personal control.

Libya: Failed Nato Mission Exposes U.S. Generals: here.