Rare Madagascar ducks back in the wild


This 1 January 2019 video says about itself:

World’s Rarest Duck Has Been Reintroduced Into Wild

The world’s rarest duck has been saved from extinction after being reared in Madagascar in the first ever floating aviaries made from converted Scottish salmon farming cages.

Over the last seven years, around 100 Madagascar pochards were bred by British aviculturists on the island just off Mozambique. This month 21 of them have been successfully transferred to the wild to live on Lake Sofia in the north of the island. They had spent a week in the converted fish farm cages to protect them, get them accustomed to the environment and increase the chances of them returning when they can fly.

Staff from the Gloucestershire-based Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust say they have adapted well to the lake and the cages. They have been seen diving and flying, as well as mixing with other wild ducks, and have repeatedly returned to the aviaries where they are thought to feel safe.

With a wild population of now nearly 50, the duck may be even the rarest bird on the planet. The pochard was thought to have become extinct until it was rediscovered by American wildlife experts from The Peregrine Fund in 2006. Three years later teams from the UK organizations went over to Madagascar and helped rear some of the birds in captivity using a box and a Tupperware container as a ‘lake’.

For this reason, a plan was conceived to convert Scottish salmon-farming cages into the world’s first floating aviaries. After successful trials in 2017, the aviaries were shipped from the UK to Madagascar and assembled on Lake Sofia this summer. With much of the wetlands across northern Madagascar severely degraded due to human encroachment, conservationists have also been working to improve the condition of Lake Sofia. The state of the wetlands in Madagascar is so poor they would probably not survive if they left the lake. Consequently, the pioneering approach of using the cages helped ensure they settled on the lake and did not stray to less habitable environments.

The Madagascar pochard is a species endemic to the African island. While it was once common, widespread deforestation and water pollution caused by the arrival of humans on the island led to the decline in the species and the belief it had been entirely wiped out. The British organizations have about 80 pochards still in captivity, 21 have been released into the wild using the unique system of converted Scottish fish farm cages. A further 25 are believed to be living wild on the island.

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Netflix censors criticism of Saudi crown prince, Yemen war


This video says about itself:

Update: Saudi Arabia | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix

9 December 2018

Hasan Minhaj further dissects the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and examines the connection between American weapons and the mass starvation and destruction occurring in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Translated from Dutch site Joop.nl today:

Netflix censors broadcast by Hasan Minhaj as requested by Saudi Arabia

Streaming platform Netflix has taken an episode of the satirical and socially critical program ‘Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’ offline at the urging of Saudi Arabia, the Financial Times reports. In the broadcast, the comedian Minhaj fiercely criticizes the Saudi crown prince, his role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the dubious role that the regime plays in the war in Yemen.

Netflix confirms that they have removed the episode after a request from the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission which claims that the broadcast would supposedly violate ‘cyber-crime’ laws. These laws are used more often to silence critics. Activists who speak out against the government or their laws on social media are often sentenced and locked up for so-called cybercrimes. Article 6 of the law states that “production, preparation, broadcasting or storage of material that threatens public order, religious values, public standards and privacy” is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $ 800,000 fine.

The Netflix broadcast [by Minhaj] can still be seen on YouTube.

Let us hope it will stay there. I cannot be sure. As there has been censorship on YouTube, eg, of a German anti-fascist video.

An episode of “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj” has been removed by Netflix after Saudi Arabia expressed complaints.

SAUDI BAN HELPS MINHAJ Hasan Minhaj responded to Netflix complying with Saudi Arabia’s demands to block an episode of his talk show, saying on Wednesday that the move has only made the episode more popular. [HuffPost]

Netflix is currently presenting to its worldwide audience the virulently anti-Semitic television series, Trotsky, which was originally produced by the Russian state in 2017: here.

Anti-refugee massacre attempt in Germany


This 1 January 2019 German language video says about itself (translated):

Motorist (50) runs over people in Bottrop: Apparently xenophobic background

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Car runs over people in Germany, police suspects xenophobia

In the center of the German town Bottrop last night a car ran over a group of people. Four people were injured, one seriously.

The police suspect that the German driver especially targeted foreigners. According to the police, a number of victims are from Syria and Afghanistan.

After the collision at Berliner Platz, a square in the center of the city, the 50-year-old motorist fled. Eventually the police could arrest him in Essen, more than 10 kilometers away. There too he is said to have tried to run over people at a bus stop.

The police assume that the man acted premeditatedly. According to the police, the 50-year-old driver screamed xenophobic language during his arrest.

50 Indian bird songs, video


This 2017 video says about itself:

Beautiful bird songs – Calls of 50 Indian birds with video

Singing and chirping of 50 Indian birds with videos….captured from various parts of India…mostly from south India (Bangalore and Kerala)…few from north India…from 2006 to 2017.

Most of the videos are shooted with my Panasonic HC V 520 camcorder and few with my old Sony DCR-DVD 308 camcorder. I have used Kdenlive video editor to edit the videos…

Please enable the subtitles (CC) to see the location details.

Pentagon ‘celebrates’ 2019 with nuclear war threat


Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The US Department of Defense has apologized for a New Year’s wish that threatened with a bomber warplane and a heavy bombardment.

When Times Square in New York traditionally dropped a crystal ball to celebrate the New Year, the Pentagon‘s Strategic Command department tweeted that it is “ready to drop something much, much bigger, if ever needed”. The text was accompanied by a video of a B-2 bomber dropping big bombs.

Strategic Command, which is responsible for the nuclear arsenal of the US, removed the message a little later, after much criticism of the ‘funny’ New Year’s wish. Many people said via Twitter that they found it frightening that this department is bragging about US American weapons or joking about heavy bombing.

Eg, the American lawyer Walter Shaub, who until last year was the director of the ‘ethics office’ of the American government, reacted in a shocked way to the report. “What kind of maniacs are running this country?” he asked himself on Twitter. …

According to the ministry, no nuclear weapons can be seen in the video, as some people suggested. It were supposedly images of a war game with an MOP. That is a bomb of almost 14,000 kilos, the heaviest non-nuclear weapon that the US Air Force uses.

So, something similar to the ‘mother of all bombs’, never used till the Trump administration escalated the Afghan war, killing prisoners of ISIS with it.

It is not really surprising that people thought about nuclear weapons; as that is the Strategic Command’s department.

How ironic, their #PeaceIsOurProfession hashtag. Maybe like the slogan in George Orwell’s 1984: War is peace.

On New Year’s Eve, the US Strategic Command, which oversees the United States’ nuclear arsenal, posted a tweet declaring its readiness to “drop something much, much bigger” than the “big ball” at Times Square in New York. The implication of the tweet is that the United States military is not only quite ready to kill people with nuclear weapons for a third time, but quite eager: here.