Many birds feeding in England

Lynford Arboretum is in Norfolk in England.

Tyrannosaur Trix travels around the world

This 30 September 2018 video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Philips and Naturalis scan 66 million year old T. Rex, Trix

Working with Leiden’s Naturalis museum in the Netherlands, Philips offered to scan one of the world’s most complete and best preserved T. Rex skeletons. The aim of the scan was to evaluate how images of Trix’s tail vertebrae obtained using Philips’ IQon Spectral CT imaging differ from conventional CT images, and to provide a level of detail not visible to paleontologists until now.

“We make the invisible visible”, said Anne Schulp, paleontologist and dinosaur expert at Naturalis.

To find out more about the study, click here.

Dutch weekly Leids Nieuwsblad, 18 October 2018, reports about female Tyrannosaurus rex Trix, property of Naturalis museum in Leiden.

As Naturalis museum is now being reconstructed and closed to the public, Trix is on a world tour. Already over a million people came to see her. 293,000 in Leiden before the tour started; 85,000 in Salzburg in Austria; 380,000 in Barcelona. And 260,000 and still counting in Paris, where the dinosaur will be exhibited until 3 November. After that, Trix will go to Glasgow. In mid 1919, when the reconstruction will be finished, she will be in Naturalis again.

A new dinosaur museum will be built in Nagasaki, Japan. One of the exhibits will be a 3D replica of Trix.

British government sued on Saudi weapons sales

This 9 April 2018 video from Britain says about itself:

As welcoming ceremonies were underway for the Saudi crown prince, anti-war activists rallied near Parliament and said they would protest later outside the gates of Downing Street against Riyadh and London’s roles in the war on Yemen.

London has also been bedecked all over with portraits of the crown prince bearing complimentary messages. The royal’s pictures have even been plastered on taxicabs, prompting social media users to say the British capital is now looking like Riyadh.

In a counter-measure by anti-Saudi [government] activists, buses have spent two days touring London with banners accusing bin Salman of war crimes.

May defended Britain’s links to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall its former Riyadh-allied government. The military aggression has so far killed [far] over 13,600 Yemenis.

The war is being led by bin Salman, also Saudi Arabia’s defense minister, with the help of the US and the UK.

In a fiery exchange with opposition lawmakers in parliament on Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May defended the country’s military links to Saudi Arabia … . She underlined her government’s support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen

May’s government has remained defiant in the face of growing pressure to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia, defending the sales amid evidence of war crimes and civilian deaths in Yemen. The UK has increased its weapons sales by around 500 percent since the onset of the Saudi invasion, according to a report by The Independent.

The UK has, so far, sold more than six billion pounds of arms to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and Britain have decided to finalize a multi-billion-dollar deal for the sale of 48 Typhoon aircraft to Riyadh, despite massive protests against London’s arms supply to the Arab kingdom during its deadly war against Yemen.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, military equipment maker BAE Systems said it signed the preliminary order from Saudi Arabia for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, without providing any financial details.

Amnesty International UK’s Director Kate Allen slammed the agreement, saying, “Selling more fighter planes to a country leading a military coalition that is already laying waste to homes, hospitals and schools in Yemen, is just adding fuel to a humanitarian fire.”

By Marcus Barnett in Britain, Thursday, October 25, 2018:

Human rights groups launch fresh challenge to Britain’s arms sales to Saudis

HUMAN rights groups have launched a fresh legal challenge to the British government’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK will be backing a Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) case to “test the legality” of the government issuing licenses for arms deals with King Salman’s regime.

Last year, the High Court dismissed CAAT’s claims that arms sales should be halted because of the likelihood that British weapons received by Saudi Arabia would be used to commit war crimes and other gross violations of international law.

However, CAAT has successfully appealed the ruling, and will go to the Court of Appeal in April 2019.

The groups will provide expert submissions in the case, and will seek to confront officials and ministers with what they will claim is the reality of their decisions to allow arms to go to Saudi Arabia.

Since Saudi Arabia entered the conflict in Yemen in March 2015, [far, far] more than 7,500 Yemeni civilians have been killed, with millions more on the brink of starvation.

The United Nations has concluded that the majority of casualties in the conflict have been due to bombing raids undertaken by the Saudi-led military coalition.

Since then, Germany, Greece and Norway have all cancelled or suspended various arms contracts to the country.

Amnesty International’s British legal programme director Rachel Logan said: “We strongly believe the UK’s sale of arms to Saudi Arabia is in clear breach of both the UK’s own law and international law.

“The risk of UK arms sold to Saudi Arabia being used in unlawful attacks in Yemen could hardly be much starker.

“Extensive and credible reports [have] demonstrated that such weapons have been used to commit serious violations, including war crimes, against civilians in Yemen and that in light of the clear risk, authorising further exports would be counter to the UK’s obligations under international law.

“It shouldn’t need a legal challenge to get ministers to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but it seems to be the only way to get the government to finally do the right thing.”

Swallowtail caterpillar becomes pupa

In this 25 October 2018 time lapse video, a swallowtail caterpillar becomes a pupa.

Gerrit Stronks made this video in a greenhouse in his garden in the Netherlands.

There were 10 swallowtail caterpillars in the garden. Mr Stronks put them in the greenhouse, with carrot leaves as food. All ten have become pupas by now. If all goes well, then there will be ten swallowtail butterflies flying in the spring of 2019.

Bezos, world’s richest man, smears Iraq war critic

Bezos and Saudi crown prince, SPA photo

This 31 March 2018 SPA photo shows Jeff Bezos being chummy with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman. Bezos is the boss of, notorious for its shabby treatment of workers, especially injured workers. Bezos is also the owner of the Washington Post daily.

At the time of this photo, Bezos could not know yet that, very probably on the orders of his princely buddy, his Washington Post employee Jamal Khashoggi would be murdered most cruelly. Since that murder, Bezos has been remarkably very silent on it, CNBC in the USA says.

Bezos did know at the time of the chummy photo that His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman was responsible for killing ten thousands of Yemeni civilians and threatening the lives of millions more by his famine warfare.

Bezos seems to quite like wars, and making money from wars.

So, apparently, he hates critics of, eg, George W Bush’s Iraq war.

From VoteVets in the USA today:

Jeff Bezos — the world’s richest person — is funding a massive Super PAC that claims to be non-ideological in their support of veteran candidates.

Sounds noble.

Big problem with that, though.

Right now that Bezos-backed Super PAC is running ads attacking Lauren Baer, a former State Department appointee and Democratic candidate running for Congress in Florida, outrageously questioning her love of country, after 9/11.

And it uses all the same images and stereotypes the neoconservatives used to smear anyone who opposed the Iraq War. It is an absolutely dishonorable and shameful attack that has already resulted in one member of the Super PAC’s board resigning.

But today, we need to stand up for Lauren. Because these attacks are not only shameful, they could cost us a swing race we need to win in order to elect a Congress willing to stand up to Trump. …

The Super PAC’s name is With Honor. We want you to remember that. They are supporting more than a dozen Republican House candidates. With Trump in office, now is the time to pick sides. And using veterans to elect just enough Republicans to protect the Trump-led status quo is something we must reject.

All our best,

The team at VoteVets

POST WRITERS HAD TIES TO RIYADH Before the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post [ownerd by Bezos] was fine with having two of the newspaper’s regular opinion writers connected to lobbying firms with contracts with the Saudis. [HuffPost]

Dutch businessmen in Saudi Arabia

Davos in the desert 2018, AFP photo

This AFP photo shows the 2018 Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia, nicknamed ‘Davos in the desert’.

On the central front row seat sits Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. Highly suspect of ordering the cruel murder of critical Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Guilty of killing ten thousands of civilians in his war on Yemen, and endangering the lives of millions more by his famine warfare. Guilty of mass beheadings. Guilty of jailing women activists for campaigning for the right of women to drive cars, and threatening them with beheading. Guilty of having bloggers flogged for blogging. But nevertheless, a favourite, at least until very recently, of NATO countries’ corporate media, big businessmen and politicians.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today; quoting Dutch businessman Cyril Widdershoven, present at the crown prince’s ‘Davos in the desert’:

A murder is not enough reason not to travel to a country. “If someone having been murdered means that you can not go to that country, then you can not show your face in the whole Arab world any more.”

Dear Mr Widdershoven: you are right that in all Arab countries, murders happen. You might have added that in all non-Arab countries, including the Netherlands, murders happen as well.

But I still have not heard about any Arab or non-Arab country, except Saudi Arabia, where a journalist is murdered cruelly in a consulate for criticism of the bloody war in Yemen. Where a death squad, including close associates of the crown prince, is flown in by plane with a bone saw and diplomatic passports. Where the death squad botch their cover up by dressing up one of the murderers in Khashoggi’s clothes, but forgetting (?) about Khashoggi’s shoes. No, Mr Widdershoven, I have never heard about any Arab or non-Arab country where the de facto autocrat very probably ordered this kind of murder plot, except the one where you are now, hoping to make profits.

According to Widdershoven:

Deals have been announced [at the conference] worth 65 billion dollars, including with Japanese car companies. “In 2017, the USA was much more at the forefront of the conference, the rest were hangers-on. Now many directors of big American companies have canceled and more attention is paid to the Europeans and Asians who are present.”


The subject Khashoggi is hardly discussed on stage at the congress …

According to Widdershoven, it is being talked about more in the corridors. “Every Saudi speaks about it you, and every Saudi thinks it is bad, it’s a subject that everyone talks about.”

Business, not politics

Not many Dutch people are present at the conference, although Widdershoven has already spoken to some that are currently working in the country. Eg, Philips, FrieslandCampina, Shell and Strukton [construction] are active [in Saudi Arabia].

A round-up shows that Dutch companies do not take any measures after the scandal about the killing of Khashoggi. … Eg, a spokesperson for FrieslandCampina: “We follow developments, but we are there for business, not for politics.”

Paint manufacturer AkzoNobel has a location in the country where 150 people work.

Moose eating underwater, video

This 21 October 2018 video from Minnesota in the USA says about itself:

Moose eating underwater

This diving moose is saving its ecosystem—for now. By eating underwater and pooping on land, these giant deer transfer key nutrients from shore, but what will happen when they disappear?

Read more here.

American far-right supports murderous Saudi government

This 24 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

[Extreme right broadcaster Rush] Limbaugh & [extreme right televangelist] Pat Robertson Defend Saudi [absolute monarchy] After Journalist Kílling.