Blacktip shark saved from fishing line


This video says about itself:

Occurred on February 9th, 2017 / Jensen Beach, Florida, USA

“Myself and two of my buddies were at the beach fishing for jacks and bluefish while we saw a shark struggling in the surf. We realized it was wrapped around something and ran to see if we could help. At this point my buddy Adam jumped into the surf to rescue the blacktip shark. We then got the fishing line unwrapped from around the body and took the hook out of its jaw. Adam then released the shark and it swam off to live another day.

See also here.

Eurasian teal videos


This is an Eurasian teal video from Sweden.

This is another Eurasian teal video from Sweden.

German corporate anti-refugee ‘sex mob’ fake news


This video says about itself:

20 February 2017

Today’s Alternative News Channel – Fake News Alert.

Viral Story About Refugee Sex Mob Was Completely Fabricated

German newspaper Bild has emphatically apologized for an article it ran claiming women had been sexually assaulted in Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve by a “rioting sex mob” of Arab refugees. According to Bild, the accusations are baseless, and neither police reports from that night nor an investigation following the report turned up any evidence to support the claims made by alleged “victims.”

“The editorial staff of Bild emphatically apologizes for this untrue report and the allegations that it made against those concerned. This reporting in no way reflects the journalistic standards of Bild,” the paper said.

By Marianne Arens in Germany:

German newspaper publishes fraudulent refugee “sex-mob” report

1 March 2017

On February 6 in its Frankfurt local edition, the Bild newspaper ran an article with the headline “37 days after New Year, victims break their silence. Sex-mob raged in the Fressgass”—a popular city boulevard in the city. The news spread quickly but proved to be a pack of lies.

The article centred on the testimony of a sympathiser of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), pub owner Jan Mai. Citing Mai, Bild reporter Stefan Schlagenhaufer wrote that a mob of “900 mostly drunken refugees” had rioted on New Year’s Eve, stealing from and sexually harassing those attempting to celebrate.

The article reported that dozens of foreign men had invaded Mai’s bar, First-In, where they assaulted women and stole a number of jackets.

The tabloid quoted Mai as follows: “When I entered, the whole place was full with a group of around 50 Arabs. They did not speak German, drank the drinks of guests, and danced in a provocative manner. The women asked me for help because they were being attacked. The mood changed completely.” Even two hours later there were “problems with the masses of refugees” in front of the bar.

Bild also presented a witness, the businesswoman Irina A., who said she had been sexually harassed in the bar by “around 50 Arabs,” “masses of refugees,” “900 mostly drunken refugees.” The vocabulary used by Bild is precisely that associated with the far-right AfD and Pegida movement. The Bild report was then taken up by many other news outlets, including the television channel Sat.1, the ultra-right Junge Freiheit newspaper and in Great Britain by the UK edition of Breitbart News.

Sensationalist reports appeared in “serious” newspapers and dailies such as the Frankfurter Rundschau, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Offenbacher Post.

The next day, the Frankfurter Neue Presse and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung printed critical commentaries referring to “A sex mob that nobody has seen” (FAZ). But the false report was rapidly spread on Facebook and Twitter by right-wing groups.

The falsified report played into the hands of leading local politicians. Christoph Schmitt (CDU) protested about the “downside of refugee policy,” i.e., “masses of men … making the city unsafe.” He called for “more police on the streets, and mobile video surveillance.”

Stephanie Wüst from the FDP (neo-liberal Free Democratic Party) group in the Frankfurt parliament agreed: “The state should punish the perpetrators with the full severity of the law and also not shy from deportations.” These standpoints were in turn taken up by Bild, which ran a new article demanding hysterically: “Zero tolerance! Video monitoring! More police!”

The Frankfurt police, however, were unable to find any evidence of the alleged incidents. It initiated an investigation but found nothing. When police questioned people living in the affected area they could find nothing to support Mai’s claims.

The police then turned to the public prosecutor, who undertook investigations into the witnesses cited by the Bild newspaper. A search of the apartment of Irina A., the chief witness for the report, uncovered air tickets and other evidence that showed she had spent New Year’s Eve in Belgrade. The woman, who had claimed that strange men had “grasped her everywhere” in First-In, was forced to admit she had not been in Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve.

After less than a week the web of lies collapsed, with the police acknowledging that after “intensive and extensive investigations” the Bild report “lacked any foundation.” The entire story of refugees rampaging on New Year’s Eve in Frankfurt was a pack of lies.

On February 16, the Bild-Zeitung had to apologise publicly for the “untruthful reporting and the accusations made against the affected parties.” But the story had already travelled around the world.

On February 23, the New York Times wrote: “The story, about a mob of Arab men rampaging through the well-heeled streets of Frankfurt and sexually assaulting German women as they went, must have been irresistible—so irresistible that Bild, a popular newspaper, published it early this month with little scrutiny.”

The BildZeitung acknowledged this criticism indirectly. Julian Reichelt, the head of the editorial board, told the Berlin Tagesspiegel: “The accusation [levelled at the paper] that we failed to report incidents concerning refugees became, apparently, the impetus for the report.”

Bild had relied on a “witness” who was easily identifiable as an AfD supporter. On his Facebook page (which he has now switched off), Mai posted hate comments against refugees and praised the AfD. After the AfD received more than 14 percent in a recent vote in Berlin, he wrote: “Keep it up, AfD.” He also spread a right-wing video with the title “Merkel must go.”

The owner of the MAI Gastro Group GmbH belongs to a layer of social climbers who seem to be encouraged by the rise of Donald Trump and the “alternative facts” spread by his spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway. Mai owns a number of bars, restaurants and luxury establishments in Frankfurt and the surrounding area, plus numerous other properties. Formerly, he served two years as a full-time soldier in a parachute regiment.

The unmasking of his story and the lies spread by Bild throws further light on the alleged mass sexual harassment of women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015 and 2016. The alleged attacks in 2015 were the pretext for an unprecedented xenophobic campaign and build-up. There is no evidence to indicate such mass attacks took place.

The following year, thousands of policemen were mobilised in Cologne and horrific reports were then circulated about the activities of hundreds of so-called “Nafris” (a racist police term for “North African hardened criminals”). Police selected people based on racial characteristics, held several hundred young men in a police cordon and did not permit them to enter the city centre.

Later, the police had to apologise and correct their statements. Initially the police referred to around 2,000 “North African-looking young men” who had come to Cologne. Later the police admitted that they had identified just 674 suspects, of whom only 30 stemmed from North Africa!

What took place in the city of Hamburg on New Years Eve 2015 was also falsified and exaggerated. On November 1, 2016 a judge from the Hamburg District Court freed the last of three accused persons and raised serious accusations against the investigation carried out by the police and prosecutor’s office.

The media image of “dangerous, criminal alien hordes bothering German women and girls” is part of the arsenal of the far right and serves as propaganda for the building of an authoritarian state.

Mexican-American students about the border


This video from the USA says about itself:

28 February 2017

Mexican-American high school students in El Paso, Texas talk about what life is like on the second busiest US-Mexico border crossing. They express opposition to Trump’s wall and his government’s campaign of fear.

Those interviewed are defiant against the police state policies of Trump and speak of their desire for a better world without borders.

Red-throated, black throated loons videos


This May 2011 video shows red-throated loons in Västmanland province in Sweden.

This June 2014 video shows also red-throated loons, and their youngster, in Västmanland province in Sweden.

This May 2011 video shows black-throated loons in Västmanland province in Sweden.

Anti-Semitism, racism, deportation in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump’s America: Anti-Semitism is Back, and It’s Not Going Away

10 November 2016

Donald Trump being elected President of the United States has legitimized the voice of the alt-right in this country and the anti-Semitic rhetoric that comes along with it.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Behind the anti-Semitic and racist attacks in the US

1 March 2017

The coming to power of the Trump administration has encouraged the most reactionary, racist and backward forces in American society. Nearly 100 bomb threats have been phoned in to Jewish Community Centers around the country, all of them so far hoaxes, but causing widespread fear and disruption. Two Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated, most recently Saturday night in Philadelphia, when more than 500 gravestones were displaced or broken—an effort that clearly involved a sizeable and determined effort.

Last weekend, an Indian immigrant software engineer was murdered in Kansas City, shot to death in a bar by a bigoted Navy veteran who apparently thought he was killing an Iranian, and who echoed Trump’s campaign rhetoric, shouting “get out of my country,” before opening fire. This is only the most flagrant in a wave of violence and intimidation against immigrants and Muslims, inspired by Trump’s executive orders targeting refugees and immigrant workers.

Trump gave lip service to concern over racist and anti-Semitic attacks at the beginning of his nationally televised speech to Congress Tuesday night. His crocodile tears were belied almost immediately as he returned to his main campaign theme of demonizing immigrants as criminals, drug dealers and gang members.

The president’s real attitude to the wave of anti-Semitic attacks was expressed in his remarks at the White House Tuesday to a group of state attorneys general. Trump was asked about the bomb threats and desecration of graves, and he replied, “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people—or to make others—look bad,” he told the state officials.

This was not the first time that Trump has suggested that his political opponents are staging the anti-Semitic attacks in order to embarrass his administration. Trump said much the same thing, albeit in a typically confused and rambling fashion, when asked about the attacks at his February 16 press conference. “You have some of the signs and some of that anger caused by the other side,” he claimed. “They’ll do signs and drawing that are inappropriate. It won’t be my people. It will be people on the other side to anger people like you.”

Similar claims have been promoted by far-right elements like former KKK leader and neo-Nazi David Duke, with the “people on the other side” replaced with the statement that it is Jews who are responsible for the desecrations.

Officials of Jewish groups have criticized Trump’s latest remarks, as they have a series of comments and actions that have no serious explanation except as expressions of deep-seated anti-Semitism among key officials in the Trump White House.

The most flagrant was the official White House statement commemorating worldwide observances of the Holocaust, which made no reference to the Jewish victims of Hitler’s “final solution,” an omission that White House aides said was intentional.

The ties between Trump and the foul swamp of anti-Semitism and white racism have been noted as far back as his notorious reluctance to distance himself from Duke, who fervently endorsed Trump in the Republican primaries.

Trump’s closest policy adviser, who has taken on a leading role in virtually every area is Stephen Bannon, the fascist-minded former head of Breitbart News, which has become one of the main Internet watering holes for white racist, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi elements. In his political utterances, Bannon invokes what are diplomatically described as “dog whistles” for anti-Semitism, thinly disguised tropes like his denunciation of the “corporatist, globalist media” at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

Trump himself embraced “America First” as the theme of his fascistic inaugural address, despite—or because of—the fact that the group of that name in the 1930s was headed by Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh and the slogan became identified with hostility to Jews.

The White House has repeatedly rebuffed charges of anti-Semitism by pointing to Trump’s family—his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, now a top White House aide—and to prominent Jewish members of Trump’s cabinet like Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. The issue is not resolved so easily.

Trump’s promotion of anti-immigrant racism and American nationalism has a definite political logic, aligning his administration with the foulest and most retrograde tendencies in American political life. These elements flocked to the Trump campaign and were emboldened both by his election victory and his promotion of figures like Bannon, Sebastian Gorka (associated with the Hungarian neo-Nazi group, the Order of Vitéz) and Michael Anton (who has denounced Islam as a “militant faith”) to high positions in the White House.

The Trump administration has been steeped in racism and chauvinism from its first day in office. Significantly, while he was forced to make a perfunctory condemnation of anti-Semitism last week, Trump has not said a word about anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant violence. He said nothing about the massacre of five Muslims at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, carried out by an ultra-right racist and Trump admirer.

Throughout this period, the major policy initiative of the new administration has been to launch a pogrom-style onslaught against immigrants, whether Muslim refugees fleeing US bombs and missiles in the Middle East, or Mexicans and Central Americans, feeding their families by working at low-paying and arduous jobs across the United States.

The heavily publicized raids, round-ups and mass jailing of innocent people have served as a green light to every racist vigilante in America. The Trump administration is morally and political responsible for the upsurge of anti-Semitism and racism, and it must be held accountable.

The Trump administration, however, is an expression of a profound disease, and one that did not begin with the entry of Trump and Bannon into the White House. Far-right nationalism in general and anti-Semitism in particular have always been associated with social and political reaction. It is employed by the ruling class to divert popular anger and to create the ideological foundation for war.

The 1930s saw a savage rise of anti-Semitism, not only in Europe, but in the United States as well. This was also a period of racist lynchings in the south, followed during the Second World War by the mass internment of Japanese Americans ordered by the Roosevelt administration.

All of this nationalist filth is again reemerging. Similar forces are on the rise throughout Europe, with parties and organizations that promote Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, violent attacks on immigrants and the buildup of the police and military—all the trappings of a revival of the fascist forces that were responsible for the greatest crimes of the twentieth century.

In country after country, the ruling class is bringing forward the worst forms of nationalism and religious bigotry. The war policies of American imperialism in the Middle East, with the backing of NATO, have driven tens of millions of refugees to flee their homes. More than a million have made their way to Europe seeking safety and a decent future. But the policy of the Trump administration, and its co-thinkers in Europe, is to brand the victims of imperialism as “terrorists” and bar their entry.

In the final analysis, the mix of fascistic reaction thrown up by the Trump administration is a product of the crisis and breakdown of the capitalist system.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes spike in New York City: here.

03/17/2017 07:48 pm ET: Top Trump Adviser Faces Calls For Resignation After Reports Of Ties To Nazi-Aligned Group. Sebastian Gorka proudly wears a medal from a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazis during World War II: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

24 February 2017

The wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the man who was shot and killed at an Olathe bar on Wednesday night, said to reporters that “he wanted to do so much for this country” and “he did not deserve a death like this.”

WIFE OF SLAIN KANSAS INDIAN MAN: ‘DO WE BELONG HERE?’ Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, asked in a lengthy Facebook post what the U.S. government was going to do to address hate crimes. [HuffPost]

By Wasantha Rupasinghe:

Popular outcry against murder of Indian immigrant in US

1 March 2017

There is growing popular anger in both India and America at last week’s murder of an Indian immigrant in Olathe, Kansas and at US President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn the xenophobic attack.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old software engineer, was shot dead and fellow Indian immigrant Alok Madasani wounded by a man who had hurled racial slurs at them, was asked to leave Austins Bar and Grill, then returned with a shotgun. Before opening fire, the shooter shouted, “Get out of my country” and “terrorist.” Also injured in the attack was Ian Grillot, who tried to tackle the gunman.

Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old US Navy veteran, has been charged with one count of premeditated murder and two counts of attempted murder in the February 22 shooting.

Witnesses to the crime suggest that Purinton believed the men were Muslims and from Iran. Madasani, who worked with Kuchibhotla at the GPS manufacturer Garmin, told the New York Times, the shooter had asked them “what visa are we currently on and whether we are staying here illegally.”

Last week’s tragic events took place against the background of the virulent anti-immigrant campaign launched by Trump and his administration. This includes an executive order targeting immigrants and travelers from Iran and six other mainly Muslim countries, a vast expansion of the arbitrary powers of immigration police to arrest and deport immigrants, a wave of raids targeting undocumented workers and their families, and preparations for mass deportations and internment camps.

The Trump administration has baldly denied any connection between its anti-immigrant witch hunt and stoking of anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican sentiment and a sharp spike in hate crimes.

Speaking last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer curtly dismissed a reporter’s suggestion that the “rhetoric” of Trump and his administration could have “contributed in any way” to the Kansas shooting and other violent attacks targeting Muslims, Jews, and immigrants. “To suggest there’s any correlation,” Spicer claimed, “…is a bit absurd.”

But working people in both India and the US are increasingly drawing the connection, as well as noting Trump’s conspicuous silence on the Kansas killing.

No less politically revealing is the failure of Trump’s Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to condemn Kuchibhotla’s murder.

Modi has frequently boasted of his close ties to the growing Indian immigrant population in America and casts himself as the fiercest opponent of “terrorism.” Yet he has said nothing about the lethal attack targeting Indian immigrants in Olathe. India’s Prime Minister has been similarly silent on Trump’s discriminatory travel ban targeting Muslim countries, although India is home to some 175 million Muslims, making it the third-largest Muslim country in the world.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is notorious for its anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinism. However, the principal reason for Modi’s silence on both Trump’s Muslim ban and the Olathe attack is his determination not to do anything that might embarrass or antagonize the Trump administration. Under Modi, and with Indian big business’s enthusiastic support, New Delhi has dramatically expanded its military-security partnership with Washington. In the hopes of boosting their own great-power ambitions, the Indian ruling elite is recklessly transforming India into a “frontline” state in Washington’s military-strategic offensive against China. Last month, the Pentagon revealed that India is to become a service and repair hub for the US Seventh Fleet, the arm of the US Navy charged with spearheading military action against China.

Popular anger over the horrific events in Olathe and the Trump administration’s whipping up of animosity toward immigrants is, nevertheless, proving to be a political problem for India’s government. As the outcry grew in India, Pratik Mathur, the press secretary at the Indian embassy in Washington, issued a statement expressing deep concern at Kuchibhotla’s killing and calling on US authorities to conduct a “speedy investigation.”

Yesterday, the Indian government hastened to deny media reports that New Delhi had issued a diplomatic demarche to the US over the lethal attack in Olathe. Indian External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay claimed prompt action by US authorities had “obviated” the need for such action. “It is important to note,” asserted Baglay, “that the US authorities are engaged with us on the larger concern regarding safety of Indians in the US, a matter which continues to receive the government’s top priority.”

In reality, the Trump administration fully intends to press forward with its anti-immigrant witch hunt, both so as to make immigrants scapegoats for the mass unemployment, falling living standards, and social deprivation produced by capitalism and to justify the buildup of the repressive apparatus of the state.

Indian immigrant workers are certain to be among the primary victims of the Trump administration’s plans to dramatically curtail the H1B Visa program under which US employers can temporarily employ high-skilled foreign workers.

The Indian government’s indifference to Kuchibhotla’s fate and eagerness to work with the Trump administration stands in marked contrast to the sentiments of working people in India and America. In both countries, there has been an outpouring of anger, much of it directed against Trump, and support for the victims and their families.

As of Monday, more than 8,000 people had contributed $1.25 million to a GoFundMe campaign, launched by a former coworker of Kuchibhotla, to raise funds for the victims of the Olathe shooting. According to the Kansas City Star, hundreds participated in a peace march there Sunday to protest the anti-immigrant attack.

Protests rallies were also held in Andhra Pradesh, the southern Indian state where Kuchibhotla grew up and his family lives. His funeral, which was held in Hyderabad yesterday, was in part a political protest, with many of the participants chanting or holding up “Down with Trump” and “Down with Racism” signs.

Unlike the Modi government, some sections of the Indian press have pointed to the connection between the shooting in Olathe and the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant witch hunt. A February 27 Indian Express editorial, titled “The Cost of Hate,” said, “President Donald Trump and his political allies, who fanned the red-hot coals of white nationalist tendencies in the United States through the course of their election campaign, must answer questions raised by [Kuchibhotla’s] murder.” The Hindu said the Olathe shooting “cannot but shine a spotlight on President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant actions,” then rebuked Trump for failing to condemn it. A Times of India editorial, “Shot in Kansas: A Hyderabad engineer falls victim to festering socio-economic turmoil in America,” noted that “Indians were blamed for ‘stealing’ jobs from Americans during the Obama administration as well.”

The Indian media’s comments are indicative of their concerns that the ultra-rightwing agenda of the Trump administration will incite popular opposition to the Indo-US military-strategic alliance and disrupt the operations of India’s IT firms, whose US operations are India’s largest source of export income.

USA: Yousef Ajin, 48, a Jordanian working class immigrant who has lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for 18 years, received a waiver from deportation at the conclusion of a deportation hearing Tuesday. Ajin, a maintenance worker, was arrested on January 30 following a routine check-in with his immigration officer. Ajin won wide support for his case, with over 200 people attending the protest in front of the courthouse and official statements from local politicians in Ann Arbor: here.