Nazi terrorism kills, injures peaceful anti-racists in Virginia, USA


Peaceful anti-racist demonstrators injured by extreme right terrorism in Charlottesville, USA. AP Photo/Steve Helber

By Greg Evans in the USA:

Car Plows Plows Into Charlottesville Counter-Protesters – UPDATE

August 12, 2017 11:52am

UPDATE A car has crashed into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville, with the Associated Press reporting around 2 pm ET that at least one person on the ground received medical treatment but eyewitness reports on MSNBC saying at least nine people were hurt and bodies “were flying.” An MSNBC producer on scene said the badly damaged car drove away after the crash, with police in pursuit.

By Brennan Gilmore in the USA on Twitter today:

Video of car hitting anti-racist protesters. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims.

Nazi and Confederate flags at racist rally in Charlotteville. Photo Andy Campbell / HuffPost

UPDATE:

One person has died and 19 others have been injured after a car plowed into a crowd of people during a white supremacist rally Charlottesville, Virginia, where attendees clashed with anti-fascists and a state of emergency was declared.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

At least 10 pedestrians struck along route of white nationalist rally in Charlottesville

By Joe Heim, Ellie Silverman, T. Rees Shapiro and Emma Brown August 12 at 2:50 PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE — This picturesque college town devolved into a chaotic and violence state on Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members — planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back” — clashed with counterprotesters in the streets. …

By early afternoon, hundreds of [extreme right] rallygoers had made their way from Emancipation Park — where they had expected to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue — to a larger park two miles to the north. …

There, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer urged them to disperse. But he promised that they would gather again for a future demonstration, blaming Saturday’s violence on counterprotesters.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke also spoke, calling Saturday’s events “the first step toward taking America back.” …

They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West.

“The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didn’t do a goddamn thing,” said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va. …

A group of three dozen self-described “militia” men, who were wearing full camouflage and were armed with long guns, said they were there to help keep the peace, but they also did not break up the fights. …

By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally.

Counterprotesters held “Black Lives Matter” signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said “the Goyim know,” referring to non-Jewish people, and “the Jewish media is going down.”

“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the counterprotesters chanted.

“Too late, f—–s!” a man yelled back at them.

Naundi Cook, 23, said she was scared during the morning protests. Cook, who is black, said she came to “support her people,” but she’s never seen something like this before.

When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps.

“I’ve seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face all over their clothes. People getting maced, fighting,” she said. “I didn’t want to be next.”

Cook said she couldn’t sit back and watch white supremacists descend on her town. She has a three-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said.

“Right now, I’m not sad,” she said once the protests dispersed. “I’m a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like we’re on top right now because of all the support that we have.”

After police ordered everyone to vacate the park, columns of white nationalists marched out, carrying Confederate and Nazi flags as they headed down Market Street in an odd parade. Counterprotesters lined the sidewalks and shouted epithets and mocked the group as they walked by. …

Tensions began Friday night, as several hundred white supremacists chanted “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!” as they carried torches marched in a parade through the University of Virginia campus. …

Saturday’s Unite the Right rally was being held to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in the Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.

Saturday marked the second time in six weeks that Charlottesville has faced a protest from white supremacist groups for its decision to remove the statue. On July 8, about three dozen members of a regional Ku Klux Klan group protested in the city.

Robert E. Lee was the commanding general of the army of the separatist slave states of the Confederate States of America during the 1861-1865 American Civil War. Before the war, he had been a slave plantation manager in his native Virginia; punishing runaway slaves by having them tied to trees to have them flogged or flogging thm himself.

Nazi in Charlottesville, USA

The caption of this photo on Twitter says:

To those demanding photographic evidence of Nazi regalia in Charlottesville, here’s what’s on display before breakfast. Be safe today

By Andy Campbell, Christopher Mathias in the USA today:

White Supremacists Show Up To A City That Didn’t Want Them, Chant ‘Blood And Soil’

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ― A “Unite The Right” rally organized by white nationalist Richard Spencer descended into chaos and violence Saturday in Charlottesville, as thousands of “alt right” activists, Nazis, KKK members, other assorted white supremacists, and armed militia groups fought with anti-fascist groups and other counter-protesters. …

Tensions were high well before the scheduled noon rally. As they marched toward Lee Park, members of the so-called “alt-right” chanted the Nazi phrase “blood and soil!” and “white lives matter!”

Two fences and a line of cops helped to separate the supremacists and counter-protestors. The alt-right side, with their plethora of Confederate flags and Nazi memorabilia on full display, began chanting: “Fuck you faggots.”

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Ancient Triassic reptile was not aquatic


LAND LIVING Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi, an ancient lizardlike critter (illustrated), wouldn’t swim well, scientists now say, arguing the creature’s style of motion and protective coverings were more suited to land. T. Scheyer/Palaeontological Institute and Museum/University of Zurich, Switzerland

By Ashley Yeager, 7:00am, August 9, 2017:

Fossil find suggests this ancient reptile lurked on land, not in the water

Exquisitely preserved specimen may overturn ideas about spiny creature’s home

A round belly, stubby feet and a tapering tail made one armored reptile a lousy swimmer. Despite earlier reports, Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi might not have swum at all, scientists now say.

E. dalsassoi was first identified in 2003. Fossils were found near Monte San Giorgio at the Swiss-Italian border alongside the remains of marine reptiles and fish that lived roughly 240 million years ago. That association led scientists to conclude the creature was aquatic. But a complete skeleton of E. dalsassoi unearthed in 2002 in the Swiss Alps and recently assembled contradicts that idea.

At just under 20 centimeters long, the fossil, probably of a youngster, shows that E. dalsassoi widened at the stomach and slithered forward with stiff elbow and knee joints and spadelike claws. That’s not a swimmer’s build, paleontologist Torsten Scheyer of the University of Zurich and colleagues report June 30 in Scientific Reports.

Armed with rows of small spikes along its back and spear-shaped plates framing its head, sides and tail, the animal resembled today’s girdled lizards. The researchers speculate that this particular E. dalsassoi died on a beach and then got washed into the ocean.

Libyan gunmen drive Doctors Without Borders refugee rescuers away


This video says about itself:

On August 26 [2015], a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) rescue ship, the Bourbon Argos, completed two rescue operations, saving some 800 refugees from smugglers’ boats in the Mediterranean Sea. The first boat was a large wooden fishing boat in distress with approximately 650 people on board; the second was a rubber boat first spotted by a Tunisian fishing vessel, carrying about 150 people. After the rescues, the Bourbon Argos began its journey with around 800 people, most of them from Syria, along with people from Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, towards the port of Vibo Valentia in Italy.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) leaves the Libyan coast for the time being

Today, 18:52

MSF’s ship Prudence no longer sails near Libya to rescue migrants. MSF said to have decided that because they said the Libyan coastguard is hostile to humanitarian organizations sailing near the coast of Libya.

Which Libyan coastguard? There are at least three governments in Libya, all with their own gunmen killing each other and civilians.

MSF says the Libyan authorities want to set up their own coastal rescue zone, which will continue into international waters. Libya would like to stop the presence of foreign ships.

Code of Conduct

The Libyan attitude worries MSF, among other things, because it makes the fate of the migrants still more uncertain. According to witnesses, the Libyan coastguard often abuses boat migrants. In addition, the migrants are brought back to Libya against their will.

Back to Libya, where they will be locked up in torture jails and be subject to sexual abuse.

The organization is also concerned about the cooperation of the Italian and Libyan coastguards. …

Recently, a ship from the organization Jugend Rettet was chained in Sicily because it was said to have collaborated with Libyan smugglers to pick up migrants. Italy demanded from all organizations that they would sign a code of conduct to counteract such practices. Jugend Rettet and Doctors Without Borders have refused that.

UPDATE: Rescue organisations Sea Eye and Save the Children have done the same as MSF.

Solar eclipse in the USA, August 21


This video from the USA says about itself:

Get ready for the total solar eclipse: Here’s what to expect | CNBC

11 August 2017

Jeffrey Kluger, Time Magazine editor-at-large and author of “Apollo 8,” discusses the cross-country total solar eclipse on August 21st.

As the moon passes in front of the sun during the Aug. 21 Great American Eclipse, scientists will be doing some serious work: here.

The Great American Eclipse on August 21 will be much more than a spectacle. As the moon passes in front of the sun, scientists will be doing some serious work. A fleet of telescopes, spectrometers and polarizers will turn skyward to look directly at the parts of our nearest star that are usually invisible: here.

What do plants and animals do during an eclipse? A citizen science project aims to gather data to put science behind anecdotal evidence. By Lisa Grossman, 7:00am, August 12, 2017.

Moon had a magnetic field for at least a billion years longer than thought: here.

Tunisian conservation after the Arab Spring


This video says about itself:

20 January 2017

Watch our short documentary about the Bou Hedma National Park! in June 2016 we released this short film “Forgotten places of Tunisia – Wild Bou Hedma”. It is an appeal to save this unique wild habitat and endangered species.

The Bou Hedma NP has never enjoyed a fraction of the support it deserves from government. It has always been treated as an afterthought, falling victim to the misguided philosophy that it should cost very little to maintain a mountain range, an acacia savannah or threatened native wildlife species.

Please share this video and help to save one of Tunisia’s last wild and exceptional habitats. The park is not going to survive unless we can convince more people of its value. I think we need to make a better case that Bou Hedma NP needs more resources, more love, more attention and more active scientists and researchers. We should not let things come so far as to be lost forever.

By Shaun Hurrell:

11 Aug 2017

After the Arab Spring: Learning to love nature again

From “protect by punishment” to “protect by involving people”: read about the peaceful revolution that is changing nature conservation in North Africa and the Middle East

Our relationship with nature is dependent on more than the way the wind blows and the flowers bloom. During a period of societal turmoil, for example, nature can become an unlikely political symbol.

In Tunisia, Awatef Abiadh saw it happen during the Arab Spring: “The Protected Area system was established by the government without any consultation with local communities”, she says. “Declared by law. Full-stop.”

As such, during the Tunisian revolution, people turned their resentment of an oppressive regime to collateral damage. “Locals ransacked Ichkeul, Bouhedma and Chaambi National Parks, taking threatened species like oryx and gazelle, and cutting many trees in anger against the government”, she recalls.

For Abiadh, this showed there was a lack of harmony between local people and nature across the region, and today inspires her work for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), which has invested in bringing people together for conservation in the Mediterranean for the last five years.

“I grew up in the countryside in Kairouan where I learned my first lessons about nature,” says Abiadh. “We needed to use and exploit nature to earn our life, but we loved it and kept it close.”

Abiadh started a career as a teacher, but in 2007 whilst working as a lecturer, she became involved with a series of wildlife surveys on Tunisian islands, because her supervisor was seasick and suggested she go instead.

Volunteering and a passion for conservation followed, and today she works as the Programme Officer for North Africa for the CEPF Mediterranean Hotspot, granting projects and helping non-governmental organisations (NGOs), large and new, with their social and environmental challenges.

“Since we started in the hotspot, we have contributed to a 180-degree change in conservation, from ‘protect by punishment’, to ‘protect by involving more local peoplee’”, she says.

The project closest to her heart, and family home, is led by Notre Grand Bleu (NGB; “Our Big Blue”), a local group of nature enthusiasts and divers that emerged out of the Arab Spring into a fully-fledged NGO, and were granted by CEPF to protect the Kuriat Islands – and their Endangered turtles – from bad tourist management and fishing.

Kuriat is a positive story of hope, where NGB succeeded in forming the first ever co-managed committee for nature conservation in Tunisia. Jamel Jrijer, NGB, said: “Engaging locals in conservation activities gives them a sense of belonging and creates commitment to good environmental practice.”

Together with 18 stakeholders including government, research, tourism, and fishing, NGB are close to creating a Marine Protected Area that everyone is behind. Whilst the Arab Spring helped mobilise North African civil society, some organisations of course already existed.

AREA-ED, in neighbouring Algeria, was founded in 1998 and has worked to create the National Parks Babor and Tadabort, providing crucial high-altitude habitat for an endemic and Critically Endangered Algerian fir tree, resident fluffy monkeys, barbary macaque (Endangered), and bark-climbing Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti (Endangered) – all threatened by fire, illegal logging and overgrazing.

A CEPF project in 2014 allowed AREA-ED to work in new ways. “Both of these projects are the first times a participatory approach has been used in creating protected areas in North Africa,” says Abiadh. One lesson that has emerged from all 106 CEPF grants in the Mediterranean is that nature conservation is a powerful way of bringing diverse people together, and even just time spent in nature can be transformational for some.

When you see the smiles on people’s faces at a turtle hatchling release on the Kuriat Islands, it’s easy to understand; but perhaps nowhere is it more important than in trying to rebuild a country in civil war: Libya. …

Despite a low level of species endemism (4% unique to the country) Libya certainly has some great natural assets. With nearly 200 km of Mediterranean coast and a vast semi-arid region leading to the Sahara Desert, there are coral reefs, ponds and mangroves; plus salt marshes and mud flats for migratory birds. “Ecotourism is a realistic opportunity for Libya once conditions allow,” says Abiadh.

Sadly, ever since NATO’s 2011 war on Libya, conditions clearly do not allow.

“Wherever people have free time, they enjoy spending it in nature. In Tunisia, we have ecotourism projects that are still receiving a lot of local visitors, and from abroad e.g. Algeria.”