Green hermit hummingbird at Panama feeder

This 30 November 2018 video says about itself:

New Cam Species: Green Hermit on the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam at Canopy Lodge | Cornell Lab

With a flutter and a dip of its bill, this Green Hermit became the first of its species to visit the Panama Fruit Feeder cam.

Green Hermits are relatively large hummingbirds of the Neotropics. Adults are sexually dimorphic: females are more strongly patterned than males, and have more elongated central tail feathers. Both sexes have a long, decurved bill, a tawny streak in the center of the throat, and elongated central tail feathers with white tips.

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Trump’s Bolton cozies up to Brazilian fascist Bolsonaro

This 11 october 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

“How Fascism Works”: Jason Stanley On Trump, Bolsonaro and the Rise of Fascism Across the Globe

In his new book “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them”, Yale professor Jason Stanley warns about the dangers of normalizing fascist politics, writing, “What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been.” We speak with Jason Stanley in New York.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Bolton visits Bolsonaro: a US meeting of the minds with Brazil’s fascistic president-elect

30 November 2018

Brazil’s fascistic president-elect, former army captain Jair Bolsonaro, hosted a meeting Thursday at his home in Barra de Tijuca, the wealthy beachside neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, with President Donald Trump’s right-wing national security adviser John Bolton.

The hour-long discussion reportedly touched on Venezuela, Cuba, Chinese influence in Latin America and Bolsonaro’s proposal to ape Trump by moving Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Bolton staged the brief stop in Rio and breakfast meeting with Bolsonaro on his way to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where the main question posed is the US trade war against China.

Bolton gave no statement to the press following the meeting, but tweeted: “We enjoyed a broad and productive discussion with the president-elect of Brazil and his security team.”

Similarly, Bolsonaro, who takes office on January 1, used his Twitter account to describe the encounter as “a very productive and pleasant meeting with the National Security Adviser of the United States.”

Accompanying Bolsonaro in the meeting was a group of incoming cabinet members who are representative of the most right-wing and military-dominated government to take office since the end of the two-decade-long US-backed military dictatorship in 1985.

These included his future defense minister Fernando Acevedo e Silva and head of the Institutional Security Cabinet Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, who are both retired generals. Also present was his foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, who has described climate change as a plot by “cultural Marxists” to undermine Western economies and boost China, and declared that his mission will be to liberate Brazil from anti-Christian “globalists”.

Bolton’s visit follows his bellicose speech earlier this month in Miami in which he laid out an agenda of regime change against the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. He labeled them a “troika of tyranny,” an obvious mimicking of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” theme, rolled out in advance of the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the same speech, Bolton described Bolsonaro—who has praised the country’s former US-backed military dictatorship and threatened opponents with jail or exile—as a “likeminded leader” and his election as one of the “positive signs for the future of the region.”

Last Tuesday, Bolton echoed this theme, declaring that Bolsonaro’s election presented a “historic opportunity for Brazil and the United States to work together in a number of areas, such as economy, security and others.”

Bolsonaro indicated his alignment with Washington against Venezuela. “Venezuela is a longstanding question, we have to find solutions,” he said following the meeting with Bolton. “Measures need to be taken.” Until now, Brazil has not followed Washington’s example in imposing sanctions against Caracas.

Similarly, the incoming Brazilian president has staked out a hard line against Cuba, forcing the exit of some 8,300 Cuban doctors. They were working in remote and poor areas of Brazil under a program known as “Mais Médicos” (More Doctors), initiated under the former Workers Party (PT) government of impeached President Dilma Rousseff. Bolsonaro has threatened to cut off diplomatic relations with Havana.

No doubt, for the Trump administration, the most attractive feature of the incoming far-right Brazilian president is his anti-China stance, which he promoted during the election campaign, repeating the slogan that China was “not buying in Brazil, but buying Brazil.” Bolsonaro also staged a trip to Taiwan last February, a provocative affront to Beijing.

For Washington, the principal strategic question in Latin America is countering the growth of Chinese trade and investment, which is challenging its hegemony in a region that US imperialism long regarded as its “own backyard.”

Anti-Chinese campaign demagogy is cheap, but shifting Brazil’s economic relations is a more complicated matter.

China has supplanted the US as Brazil’s number one trading partner. Between 2003 and June of this year, Chinese firms have poured almost $US54 billion in investments into around 100 projects in Brazil, according to figures from Brazil’s planning ministry.

Bolsonaro’s incoming vice president, another former general, Hamilton Mourão, recently described Bolsonaro’s anti-Chinese statements as “campaign rhetoric”. Mourão cautioned that, while Brasilia would seek closer relations with Washington, “we can’t neglect the other great actors on the international arena, we can’t neglect the relationship with China.”

Brazil has been a direct beneficiary of the escalating trade war with China, with its export of agricultural products, principally soybeans, increasing dramatically as a result of rising US-China tariffs.

Similar pragmatic profit interests arise in relation to Bolsonaro’s pledge to shift the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, an imitation of Trump with the same domestic political aim: currying favor with a powerful evangelical Christian political bloc.

After Egypt canceled a scheduled diplomatic meeting in apparent response to the proposal, Bolsonaro declared that the move had not yet been decided. The Arab countries together constitute the second largest buyer of Brazilian animal protein exports, which amount to some $13.5 billion.

[There was] a cry of outrage over media reports that the ex-army captain greeted Bolton with a military salute, which [Bolsonaro opponents] charged was a humiliating gesture of Brazilian subservience to US imperialism. … Guilherme Boulos of the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) described the gesture as “shameful, an unacceptable subservience”, while demanding to know what happened of Bolsonaro’s campaign slogan: “Brazil above all.”

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive advocates of wars and regime-change interventions, is expected to travel to Australia on the eve of the federal election that is expected to take place in May: here.

Warbler and opossums at Panama feeders

This 29 November 2018 video from Panama says about itself:

New Species: Mourning Warbler Flits Through Background of Canopy Lodge’s Fruit Feeders

A Mourning Warbler flits through the background of the canopy, marking another new species to visit the Panama Fruit Feeder cam. This small songbird of second-growth forests of eastern and central North America spends its winters in Costa Rica, Panama, and northwestern South America.

Watch LIVE 24/7 with highlights and viewing resources here.

This video says about itself:

Common Opossums Interact and Knock Log Off Panama Fruit Feeder Cam at Canopy Lodge, Nov 28, 2018

When the sun goes down, there’s still plenty to be seen on the Panama Fruit Feeder cam. Last night these two Common Opossums squabbled over the rights to the leftovers on the feeder platform. One opossum finally relinquishes and opts to take its food on the run, but we bet it wasn’t expecting what comes next!

Manchester Ariana Grande concert bloodbath, MI5 complicit

This 22 November 2018 video from Britain says about itself:

MI5 “Must Be Taken To Court” Over Manchester Bomber Salman Abedi Failure: Says Survivor Robby Potter

By Thomas Scripps in Britain:

UK Intelligence and Security Committee admits Manchester bomb attack should have been prevented

30 November 2018

Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has stated that the MI5 intelligence agency made a series of mistakes in its handling of the case of Salman Abedi, failing to prevent him from carrying out a horrific terrorist attack.

Abedi detonated a bomb at the end of a packed Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, killing 22 people and injuring over a hundred.

The ISC’s report stated that, “there were a number of failures in the handling of Salman Abedi’s case and, while it is impossible to say whether these would have prevented the devastating attack on 22 May, we have concluded that, as a result of the failings, potential opportunities to prevent it were missed.”

MI5 accepted that they “moved too slowly.”

In reality, the report and all such admissions are tailored to hide a host of damning facts about Abedi’s relationship with the British state that explain why such supposed “mistakes” were made.

The ISC is composed of tried and trusted MPs and Lords selected by the prime minister and sworn into the Queen’s Privy Council. Its “investigation” is meant to complete a whitewash begun in December 2017 with a report on UK terror attacks by David Anderson QC—building on the cover-up launched in the hours after the attack.

Immediately after the bombing, Prime Minister Theresa May claimed Abedi was a “lone wolf”, only known to the security services “to a degree.” Two D-Notices (a request to the press not to report on a particular issue) were issued over the attack and were for the most part slavishly obeyed by the mainstream media. Information soon emerged, mostly via the US, that tore the government’s claims to shreds.

It was revealed that the FBI had warned MI5 in January 2017 that Abedi belonged to a North African terrorist group looking for a political target in Britain. Then it was reported that Abebi was in contact with a Libyan Islamic State [ISIS] battalion and that he had twice visited in prison the convicted terrorist and fighter in Libya and Syria, Abdal Raouf Abdallah, which would have triggered extensive security checks as a matter of course.

Abedi regularly travelled from his home in Manchester to Libya to visit his parents, who were members of the anti-Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—which is closely tied to the British state. He is reported to have fought with Islamist forces himself. Actively investigated by MI5 in January 2014, Abedi soon had his case closed, to be reopened in 2015 and closed again within one day. At the time he detonated his bomb, four days after returning from a trip to Libya, he was supposedly not considered a threat.

Anderson’s December report was designed to cover for the security services in the face of these incriminating disclosures. He previously defended GCHQ’s mass surveillance of the entire population in a BBC documentary and paved the way for the Snoopers’ Charter with the report, “A Question of Trust.” He wrote, “It is not the purpose of the internal reviews, or of this report, to cast or apportion blame.” The case of Abedi outlined was cast in terms of “tragic” mistakes only noticeable “in retrospect.”

Anderson made no mention of the fact that came to light in August this year—that Abedi and his brother had actually been evacuated from Libya aboard a Royal Navy ship in 2014, with the personal knowledge of then Prime Minister David Cameron.

Royal Navy rescued suicide bomber 3 years before attack: here.

Why DID they hide the truth on the Manchester bomber? Victims left angry after they were kept in the dark over the Royal Navy plucking terrorist from Libyan warzone: here.

He refused to comment on whether he had known about the evacuation when compiling his report and, if so, why he had chosen to omit it.

The only conclusion to be drawn from the available evidence is that Abedi was viewed as an intelligence asset, allowed free rein to participate in jihadist formations aligned with British imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa. Only this explanation makes sense of the incredible “lapses in security” revealed by the ISC, whatever combination of fact and fiction they may be.

According to the committee, Abedi’s two visits to Abdal Raouf Abdallah in Altcourse prison brought “no follow-up action” and were “not passed to MI5.” He was never referred to the government’s “Prevent” strategy—meant to prevent people being radicalized by “extremism”—and did not have his travel monitored or restricted.

Another security “failing” caused “serious concern” due to its “highly sensitive security aspects” and will only be revealed only to the prime minister in a classified report. Concealing this information strongly suggests that it is highly incriminating and possibly relates to Abedi’s role as an asset in the operation to topple Gaddafi. Theresa May was home secretary at the time when the security services allowed LIFG members to travel to Libya, providing them with passports after they had been previously confiscated and giving them security clearance as part of the military operations to overthrow Gaddafi.

Abedi was never referred to Prevent, yet in 2015-2016 over a thousand schoolchildren were referred to its “deradicalization” programmes. The UK is a world leader in mass surveillance and had direct links with multiple Libyan Islamist militias. These “errors of judgement” were part of a deliberate policy.

The ISC’s members know this is precisely how MI5 and MI6 operate: maintaining and protecting networks of jihadist fighters, who can be deployed against Middle Eastern and African governments. If some go rogue and kill British citizens, then that is considered collateral damage.

This pattern was confirmed in October, when head of counter-terrorism policing Neil Basu said that fighters returning from Syria were no longer considered the biggest terror threat to the UK. According to the UK’s own counter-terrorism strategy documents, around 900 British nationals of “national security concern” are thought to have travelled to Syria, and 40 percent of them are thought to have returned.

Basu’s comments prefigured a statement from Chief of the British General Staff General Mark Carleton-Smith last weekend. Smith declared that the threat from terrorism paled in comparison to the threat posed by Russia. Having served as a bogeyman to justify endless wars of intervention and attacks on democratic rights, “the terrorists” are now far more helpful as allies in proxy wars against rival powers—above all Russia.

The only ISC recommendations likely to be enacted are those which use state-created atrocities as an excuse for yet greater state surveillance and censorship in connection with rapidly escalating militarism. The report states that communication companies were failing to fulfil their duty to detect terror planning online and suggested government pressure be brought to bear.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid jumped at the opportunity, saying “We have updated our counter-terrorism strategy, introduced new legislation to allow threats to be disrupted earlier and have increased information sharing with local authorities. We are also ensuring technology companies play their part by stopping terrorists from exploiting their platforms.”

The media passed over the ISC report with nothing more than a “so what”, with no further reporting on it after 24 hours. The BBC and the Guardian said nothing of Abedi’s extensive connections with Britain’s Libya campaign in their coverage. BBC home affairs and security correspondent, Dominic Casciani, provided an apologia for MI5, writing, “The big problem is that intelligence on suspects is fragmentary. A British-Libyan young man travelling to Libya is not the stuff of red alerts.”

Survivors and those bereaved by the Manchester attack criticised the government and intelligence agencies. Survivor Robby Porter is considering taking legal action against MI5. “This could have been stopped,” he said, “and we’re finding out now that it should have been stopped.”

The author recommends:

UK terror report confirms Manchester and London terror attackers known to MI5
[17 December 2017]

MI5 ‘unlawfully retaining innocent people’s data for years’ says Liberty: here.

The domestic spy agency MI5 and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence-gathering unit have been forced to admit in court that they are acting illegally in their use of bulk data, gathered by intruding into the lives of millions of innocent people. MI5 “has been unlawfully retaining innocent people’s data for years”: here.

FIVE judges of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal have given a divided ruling over a secret MI5 policy allowing security service agents to commit serious crimes on UK soil. The judges decided 3-2 that MI5’s policy was lawful. The claimants in the case confirmed they would immediately seek permission to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal: here.

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents wildlife, past and present

This video from Britain says about itself:

Life at hydrothermal vents | Natural History Museum [in London, England]

30 November 2018

Hydrothermal vents are unique environments. Dr Adrian Glover and Dr Maggie Georgieva are looking at how animals adapt to survive on these ocean floor hot springs by comparing specimens of living and fossil species.

Discover more about life on hydrothermal vents here.