Children, separated from parents by Trump’s policy, cry, audio


This 18 June 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Leaked Audio Of Children Separated From Parents Will Break Your Heart

“The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here”, he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.” Then a distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt. Just one call, she begs anyone who will listen. She says she’s memorized the phone number, and at one point, rattles it off to a consular representative. “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt”, she whimpers, “and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.””

Read more here.

Hosts: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian.

This 18 June 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Ann Coulter: Don’t Fall For The Actor Children!

Ann Coulter has monetized white supremacy. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss. “Conservative commentator Ann Coulter called children crying at the border after being separated from parents “child actors” during an appearance Sunday on Fox News.

Coulter also said President Trump should not fall for the “child actors” as he faces pressure to end his zero-tolerance policy at the border, which has resulted in parents being separated from their children so that they face immediate deportation. “I would also say one other thing, these child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now — do not fall for it, Mr. President“, Coulter said on “The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton.”” Read more here.

Yeah, right, Ms Coulter. Thank you so much for your discovery about the two-year-old girl from Honduras crying in Texas when separated by Trump’s Border Patrol from her mother. You, Ms Coulter, have opened our eyes to your discovery that this two-year-old is really an actress with over six years training at the acting school of the Communist International, the Learned Elders of Zion and the Muslim Brotherhood, at how to cry convincingly to mislead the American people [sarcasm off].

Scottish Conservative politician supports Honduras, Haiti dictatorships


Scottish Conservative Andrew Bowie campaigning with British Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017

By Conrad Landin in Scotland:

Exclusive: Ruth Davidson called to condemn Scottish Tory MP over links to coup-backing lobby group

Andrew Bowie took sponsorship from International Republican Institute accused of links to coups in Honduras and Haiti

SCOTTISH TORY leader Ruth Davidson is facing calls to condemn one of her MPs, after he met with a US lobby group linked to a series of coups d’etat.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie was sponsored by the International Republican Institute (IRI) on a two-day junket to Paris worth £450, the Morning Star can exclusively reveal.

The Tory politician told parliamentary authorities that the purpose of the January trip was “to discuss from a British perspective the response to populism and the changing political landscape in the West.”

The IRI has been linked to the failed 2002 coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

It has also been accused of playing a role in the successful removal of Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, and of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya in 2009.

Labour’s Holyrood shadow Brexit minister Neil Findlay said: “The Scottish Conservatives have tried to distance themselves from the more extreme elements in the Conservative Party.

“And yet here we see one of their MPs working hand-in-glove with an organisation that is implicated in the undermining of democracy and sovereign states.”

Mr Findlay said Scottish Tory leader Ms Davidson “should condemn and distance herself from the actions of this MP.”

The IRI is one of several organisations funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which was established by the US Congress in 1983 after US president Ronald Reagan’s seminal speech at Westminster calling for an international alliance “to foster the infrastructure of democracy.”

It received a US government grant of $339,998 (over £230,000 at the time) for “political party building” in Venezuela prior to the short-lived 2002 coup.

On the day Mr Chavez was temporarily ousted, IRI president George A Folsom said Venezuelans “rose up to defend democracy.”

Stanley Lucas, institute boss in Haiti, was accused by former US ambassador Brian Dean Curran of behaviour which “risked us being accused of attempting to destabilise the government.”

Mr Lucas was an avowed opponent of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and counselled the opposition to refuse to work with the social democrat government in order to cripple it, according to the New York Times.

In 2004 a group of right-wing military chiefs ousted the Aristide government in a coup.

In 2009 Mr Zelaya was ousted as Honduran leader in another military coup.

The IRI said the sham election which followed was “free of violence and overt acts of intimidation” and appeared credible.

SNP MP Chris Stephens told the Star: “This revelation demonstrates that the Scottish Tories, far from being centrist, are hard-line rightwingers, whose views on domestic and international issues continue to alienate the electorate.

“Ruth Davidson should distance herself from Bowie. The extremist views held by the Scottish Tories are the reason they have lost 21 elections in a row in Scotland.”

Nine years on from the coup, we still need to stand up for Honduras: here.

Washington presses Central America to militarize and turn away from China: here.

Mass protests against endemic poverty, government corruption convulse Haiti: here.

Rusty tussock moth lays eggs, video


This 19 June 2018 video shows a female rusty tussock moth laying eggs. The females of this species don’t have wings, so they don’t move much. Often, they lay their eggs on the cocoons of their chrysalis days; like in this video.

Toon Gevers in the Netherlands made this video.

Refugees, stay out, European Union says


This video says about itself:

Human Flow Official Trailer

18 August 2017

A ground-breaking new documentary about the global refugee crisis from Ai Weiwei.

About Human Flow: Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II.

Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. Human Flow is a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter and justice: from teeming refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings to barbed-wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaptation; from the haunting lure of lives left behind to the unknown potential of the future.

Human Flow comes at a crucial time when tolerance, compassion and trust are needed more than ever. This visceral work of cinema is a testament to the unassailable human spirit and poses one of the questions that will define this century: Will our global society emerge from fear, isolation, and self-interest and choose a path of openness, freedom, and respect for humanity? Amazon Studios, Participant Media and AC Films present Human Flow, a film directed by Ai Weiwei.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

EU now wants to keep refugees outside its borders

The European Union wants refugees to be stopped “on the edges of the EU” from now on. This must be done at special places where ‘real’ refugees are separated from economic refugees. …

Now, dear European Union bureaucrats, what is an ‘economic refugee’? A farmer in Syria who cannot keep farming because of climate change? A worker in Yemen, unemployed as the Saudi royal air force has bombed his factory and who cannot get food in any other way because of Trump-Saudi royals coalition famine warfare? A fisherman in Sri Lanka, whose ship was bombed by the government as part of their civil war? A poor Afghan, who, if he wants to survive, has two ‘solutions’: selling his eight-year-old daughter as child bride to a rich warlord; or selling his little son as child prostitute ‘dancing boy’ to a rich warlord; neither of which he wants, so he flees the country?

This can be read in the preliminary conclusions that European leaders will talk about at a summit next week. At this moment, top diplomats discuss the texts.

The reception of refugees on the edges of the EU probably means creating special places

an euphemism for prison camps. Called ‘concentration camps’ by, eg, Pope Francis and by the Greek government.

in countries such as Tunisia or candidate country Albania. …

The Libyan Coast Guard needs to be strengthened further

So they can do more torture and more selling of refugees into slavery.

and new refugee routes must be stopped immediately.

Furthermore, it is stated in the text that refugees who are not entitled to asylum will be deported sooner. …

The diplomats did not agree on a thorny issue in the refugee debate: who would let the migrants in and then will they be allowed to travel to other countries? Later today, German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron discussed the migration problems at a meeting in Berlin.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk from Poland, will take the conclusions during the course of his tour of several European capitals in the coming days. Today he is in Stockholm and later he will fly to Madrid. Tomorrow he will visit the Austrian Prime Minister Kurz,

who has a government coalition with a neofascist xenophobic party

who will play an important role as the new President of the EU from July onwards, and on Friday Tusk will call on the Hungarian capital Budapest for an interview with Prime Minister Orban. Next week he will also visit the Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, Merkel and May. He hopes to get the European countries singing from the same hymn sheet with his tour.

The idea of ​​receiving refugees outside the EU has already been suggested in the aftermath of the major refugee crisis of 2015 by, among others, the Hungarian Prime Minister Orban. Almost two weeks ago it became known that Denmark

where the government steals refugees’ jewelry and persecutes old ladies for helping refugee babies

and Austria were writing a plan to absorb refugees outside the European Union.

Dutch daily De Volkskrant headlines on this today: ‘Tusk chooses Fortress Europe’.

The same Volkskrant writes today that in 2017 there were more refugees than ever fleeing violence and oppression.

EU ‘deliberately condemning people to drown at sea’, warns Doctors Without Borders.

Hungarian right-wing Orban government wants to jail people for helping refugees.

There is agreement between liberal and far-right ‘populist’ EU leaders over strengthening the repressive Fortress Europe measures against refugees and asylum-seekers. They just disagree about how to do it, writes KEVIN OVENDEN.

Macron moots sanctions against EU members who won’t co-operate over refugee crisis: here.

Germany: The Social Democratic Party (SPD) has approved the asylum package of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU). The SPD, which is part of the ruling three-party grand coalition government, has lined up behind the refugee programme of CSU Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, which lays out a policy of sealing off the country’s borders, accelerating deportations and establishing closed refugee camps: here.

EU foreign policy chiefs asks for cash for network of African refugee holding camps: here.

Under the slogan “Stop the deaths in the Mediterranean,” tens of thousands demonstrated in Germany on Saturday against the savagely inhumane refugee policy of the federal government and the European Union. In Berlin, over 10,000 people demonstrated, more than ten times as many as the organizers of the coalition “Seebrücke” had originally expected. Demonstrations also took place in Hamburg, Hanover, Bremen and a dozen other cities in Germany: here.

European Union reduces maritime rescue operations in the Mediterranean: here.

European Union emulating Australian anti-refugee policy; in some ways even worse than Australia: here.

Red-breasted flycatcher sings, video


This June 2018 video shows a male red-breasted flycatcher singing in the Veluwe region in the Netherlands.

He hopes to attract a mate; but he does not have much chance, as red-breasted flycatchers nest in eastern Europe, not in the Netherlands.

Jeroen van Wijk made this video.

Macron, stop your anti-refugee policy, Amnesty says


Amnesty protest slogan in Paris: By protecting their [the refugees'] dignity, we preserve our humanity. AFP photo

Not just President Trump of the USA gets lots of criticism for his harsh anti-immigration policy. So does French President Macron, Trump’s partner in crime in bombing Syria and in other issues; since Trump’s trade war and Iran shooting warmongering, now (temporarily?) a bit less of a partner.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Migration causes headaches for President Macron

Amnesty International protests in France against the new harsher migration policy of the Macron government. Today the debate on this begins in the French Senate. The first version of the law has already been approved by the French House of Representatives, the Assemblée nationale.

With light rays, Amnesty projected words and sentences on the Palais Bourbon, the stately Assemblée building. “There is room for everyone”, was read on the facade. And also: ‘How can you let people die at sea with a good conscience?’

President Macron recently came under fire because of his migration policy. Paris initially said not welcome as the [rescue ship] Aquarius drifted around the Mediterranean with more than 600 migrants on board.

What is behind the Aquarius refugee ship crisis? The European Union has to recognise that its war adventures caused the refugee crisis and start working on a real solution, by Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo, 17 Jun 2018.

The government got criticism from within their own party, La République en Marche. “We have to take care of these people, it’s about human lives,” said MP Sonia Krimi of LREM.

It was only after the growing criticism that Macron came up with a concession: the boat refugees can apply for asylum in France, but the procedure must start in Spain, where they could land.

Illegal camps

Last month there was already criticism from the city council of Paris. In the capital three illegal camps were created with a total of 3000 migrants in tents and hovels on sidewalks and under viaducts. “The government must take its responsibility and provide shelter for these people“, said Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

The new asylum law is also controversial. Many aid organizations are particularly angry that the government is locking up children in anticipation of their deportation. Paris has often been criticized by the European Court of Human Rights for this.

Last year, an estimated 300 minors with their families ended up behind bars because they were illegally in France. A petition against this has now been signed by more than 100,000 French people.

Addressing the migration crisis creates divisions in the European Union. At the end of this month, the EU is organizing a migration summit to come up with solutions to the refugee crisis. Macron talks about it today with the German Chancellor Merkel and has already sat around the table with the Italian Prime Minister Conte.

Amnesty protest slogan In Paris: There are thousands of reasons to welcome refugees. Which one is yours? AFP photo

World’s oldest Sumatran orangutan, RIP


This video from Perth Zoo in Australia says about itself:

Farewell to the Oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the World!

18 June 2018

Yesterday the Zoo family farewelled Puan, the oldest orangutan in the world, due to age related complications.

Puan was one of a kind, an individual to the end. She was a grand old lady who demanded respect and earned respect.

As the founder of our world-renowned breeding program her legacy is phenomenal with descendants living all over the world.

Rest in peace Puan, may you climb happily in the jungles of the sky.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Her offspring have been placed in other zoos all over the world, some of them have been placed back in the wild.

Puan received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 2016 because of her old age. Adult animals of the endangered species are rarely older than 50 years in the wild.

Breeding program

According to the World Wildlife Fund, some 14,600 Sumatran orangutans live in the wild. The species is threatened by poaching and deforestation.

Perth Zoo has an extensive breeding program with the aim to place as many young animals as possible back in their original habitat.

Grenfell fire disaster, London march for justice


The front of Saturday’s Grenfell march passes Parliament in London, England

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 18 June 2018

Joint Justice4Grenfell-FBU demonstration

THERESA May we don’t trust you, we trust the FBU’, shouted over 3,000 marchers from Downing Street in London on Saturday. The joint march organised by the FBU and Justice4Grenfell attracted delegations of firefighters from as far as Ireland and Scotland.

A number of banners from the lecturers’ union UCU were also on the march. Humberside FBU Brigade Secretary, Gavin Marshall, told News Line: ‘We want to see justice done that’s why we are launching our own inquiry. ‘We see that the building regulations have been fragmented over the last decade. This government wants to privatise everything.

‘We have seen job cuts coinciding with deregulation, meaning that safety inspections have been reduced. ‘It’s these cuts combined with inflammable cladding that led to why we are here today so don’t point finger of blame in the direction of firefighters. We went above and beyond throughout the night. ‘When you are asked to write your name and number on the top of your helmet you know you are in a difficult situation. ‘That is done to identify you if you don’t come out of the building, and that is what firefighters on that night had to do.’

Chris McGlone, FBU executive council member for Scotland said: ‘We’re here today to show our continuing support for the people of Grenfell.’ Also from Scotland Denise Christie said: ‘It reminds me of Hillsborough – as soon as there was pressure on the government they look for someone to blame. At Hillsborough it was the fans and at Grenfell they’re trying to blame firefighters.’

Caron Morton, from South Shields, said: ‘The truth needs to come out and stop blaming the firefighters. ‘I’m here in London to look after my dad but I have had to come here to show my support. ‘This government is responsible. I despise everything they have done.’

At a rally outside Downing Street before the march west London firefighter Lucy Masoud said: ‘The fact that still over half of those affected by the fire have [not] been housed after surviving trauma and neglect shows the contempt that this government has for the residents. ‘The Grenfell fire was like no other, it should not have happened. Why was there flammable cladding and combustible material around windows?

‘Why were residents’ warnings ignored? The victims never stood a chance. In Britain’s unequal society the privileged can buy their safety. ‘If it was down to the government and PM May Grenfell would be kicked into the long grass, this cannot be allowed to happen. ‘We must all lead a fight to see those responsible be brought to justice. May and the government should be dragged to that building to see the consequences.’ A 72 second silence for the victims of Grenfell was held at the rally.

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, addressing the rally said: ‘Never again will we allow this to happen, it is despicable that it had taken place in the richest borough in the country. ‘We don’t just want the truth from the inquiry, we want justice. ‘We will end the austerity which has cost 11,000 firefighters’ jobs in the last few years leading to cuts in inspections.

‘5,000 people are now living on the streets in London and thousands more on housing waiting lists.

‘Above all else, we will be proud to build council homes again and the big corporations and the rich are going to pay their taxes for a change.’

North Kensington resident Joe Delaney, who lived in flats next to Grenfell Tower said: ‘I was there on the night and saw how awkward the situation was for firefighters. ‘They had to get riot shields from the police to protect themselves from falling cladding which was in flames.

‘The Blair government sold off the building research leading to deregulation of building. We should not be making short term savings. ‘How many of the buildings around here have this cladding?

‘Parliament is just getting an 8 billion pound makeover but all our lives are important not just politicians.’ ‘When riots happened in London in 2011 24-hour courts was set up to give exemplary sentences to those involved. They were to be seen as a lesson to the public.’ ‘Those responsible for Grenfell should not only be arrested but locked up in prison covered in cladding till they rot.’

Paula Peters from Disabled Peoples Action Campaign said: ‘This government has blood on its hands.’

‘We need to place the blame on Theresa May and ex-Mayor Boris Johnson. They need to be held to account, and we must make sure that the enquiry is not a whitewash. ‘In a block of flats in Merton last week lives were in danger. The entry phone system in the block was locked and no one could get in or out for hours. This government needs to go!’

Tasha from Justice4Grenfell said: ‘Silent marches had been held across the UK in over 20 cities and vigils were held in Australia and the United States. ‘Today we call for change. They have heard our silence and now we will make some noise. ‘We called for an absolute ban on flammable cladding and it to be removed from over 300 buildings across the UK.’

On the march News Line spoke to firefighter Matt Lamb from the West Midlands who reported: ‘We have just had a ballot for industrial action against the imposition of unagreed contracts. ‘On a turnout of 82 per cent we had a massive 90% vote for strike action. Because of this massive vote management has conceded talks to resolve the issue.’

The march stopped outside the Home Office and was addressed by NEU teachers’ union joint secretary leader Kevin Courtney who told marchers: ‘I was born 8 miles from where the Aberfan disaster took place where over 100 children and their teachers were buried as a coal tip slid down the Valley. ‘The similarities are striking: the authorities ignored the warnings of the disaster.

‘The community fought for prosecutions which never came, they still are ignoring the people. Justice must be seen to be done, we need prosecutions.’

On the march Tash Joyce from Bendigo, Victoria, in Australia told News Line: ‘I made sure I would get here for this march. I got my flight brought forward a week so I could be here. I have brought books for the children of Grenfell.’ As the march returned to Downing Street more speakers addressed the crowd.

Eileen Short from Defend Council Housing said: ‘Grenfell is a result of 30 years of cuts and privatisation and condemned the first leader of Kensington and Chelsea council who said that residents were offered either sprinklers or decent home standards. How can you treat people in this way.’

Daniel Renwick, a local resident and filmmaker told the rally: ‘When Hillsborough happened the police lied immediately and blamed fans, 24 years later the minute this fire got out the fire service are blamed when there was a complete breach of architectural safety. ‘The Kensington and Chelsea Council and the tenant management organisation completely failed.’

FBU general secretary, Matt Wrack, told the rally: ‘In 35 years in the fire service I have never seen anything on that scale, no one has dealt with a fire like this. ‘From day one we said we want to see justice for the community. The FBU is not just about pay and conditions but for safety of the public. ‘In the 1980s we campaigned to stop furniture being filled with dangerous materials. It is glaringly obvious we have a hostile environment for the people of North Kensington.

‘The fundamental question is how and why a building can be wrapped in petrol in this day and age.

‘We need to hold the criminals to account. All those who have advised and signed off regulations need to be held to account. ‘Dozens of previous recommendations from previous fires have been ignored. ‘The only thing we can rely on is ourselves, the only way we can get change is by organising it ourselves, this is a national issue. ‘We need to build a mass movement, we need every trade union here, we need to stop the city in its tracks.’

Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad and Weyman Bennett from Stand Up to Racism also addressed the rally. Concluding the rally musician Niles Hailstones sang Bob Marley’s ‘Stand up for Your Rights’ and Moira Samuels from Justice4Grenfell called for all at the rally go back to the areas and support their campaign for justice.

THE RESIDENT of the flat in which the Grenfell Tower fire started said yesterday that police wanted to place him in witness protection after “distorted” press reports. Behailu Kebede gave a statement to the public inquiry through his lawyer, saying inaccurate media coverage had portrayed him “like a criminal who was to blame for the fire”: here.

FIREFIGHTERS were not to blame for the stay-put strategy in the Grenfell Tower, fire expert Dr Barbara Lane told the Inquiry, it is the refurbishment, she insisted, which was to blame for the spread of the fire which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children: here.

Ancient Precambrian animals named after Attenborough, Obama


This 14 November 2014 video says about itself:

The fossils of the first animal can be found in the Ediacara Hills in South Australia. This animal is called Dickinsonia. It was a cushion like creature that lay on the seafloor. Its size ranged from a penny to a bath mat. It crept around very slowly to look for food.

From the University of California Riverside in the USA:

Two new creatures discovered from dawn of animal life

June 18, 2018

Earth’s first complex animals were an eclectic bunch that lived in the shallow oceans between 580-540 million years ago.

The iconic Dickinsonia — large flat animals with a quilt-like appearance — were joined by tube-shaped organisms, frond-like creatures that looked more like plants, and several dozen other varieties already characterized by scientists.

Add to that list two new animals discovered by a UC Riverside-led team of researchers:

Obamus coronatus, a name that honors President Barack Obama’s passion for science. This disc-shaped creature was between 0.5-2 cm across with raised spiral grooves on its surface. Obamus coronatus did not seem to move around, rather it was embedded to the ocean mat, a thick layer of organic matter that covered the early ocean floor.

Attenborites janeae, named after the English naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough for his science advocacy and support of paleontology. This tiny ovoid, less than a centimeter across, was adorned with internal grooves and ridges giving it a raisin-like appearance.

The discovery of Obamus coronatus was published online June 14 in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, or AJES, and the Attenborites janeae paper is forthcoming in the same journal. The studies were led by Mary Droser, a professor of paleontology in UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences. Both papers will be included in print in a 2019 thematic AJES issue focusing on South Australia’s Flinders Ranges region, where the discoveries were made.

Part of the Ediacara Biota, the soft-bodied animals are visible as fossils cast in fine-grained sandstone that have been preserved for hundreds of millions of years. These Precambrian lifeforms represent the dawn of animal life and are named after the Ediacara Hills in the Flinders Ranges, the first of several areas in the world where they have been found.

In the hierarchical taxonomic classification system, the Ediacara Biota are not yet organized into families, and little is known about how they relate to modern animals. About 50 genera have been described, which often have only one species.

“The two genera that we identified are a new body plan, unlike anything else that has been described”, Droser said. “We have been seeing evidence for these animals for quite a long time, but it took us a while to verify that they are animals within their own rights and not part of another animal.”

The animals were glimpsed in a particularly well-preserved fossil bed described in another paper published by Droser’s group that will be included in the Flinders Ranges issue of AJES. The researchers dubbed this fossil bed “Alice’s Restaurant Bed”, a tribute to the Arlo Guthrie song and its lyric, “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant.”

“I’ve been working in this region for 30 years, and I’ve never seen such a beautifully preserved bed with so many high quality and rare specimens, including Obamus and Attenborites”, Droser said. “The AJES issue on the Flinders Ranges will support South Australia’s effort to obtain World Heritage Site status for this area, and this new bed demonstrates the importance of protecting it.”