Green turtles in the Cayman Islands


This 2017 video says about itself:

Green Turtle‘s Battle For Survival | Planet Earth | BBC Earth

From the moment they are born, these plucky Green Turtles from the Ascension Islands will face a huge battle to survive. Those that do survive, like their mothers did before them, will return to exactly same beach where they hatched.

From the University of Barcelona in Spain:

Green turtle: The success of the reintroduction program in Cayman Islands

At the limits of survival due human overexploitation

January 18, 2019

The reintroduction program for the green turtle in the Cayman Islands is crucial in order to recover this species, which are threatened by the effects of human overexploitation, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Ecology and led by the experts Marta Pascual and Carlos Carreras, from the Evolutionary Genetics laboratory of the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona.

The new study, with its first author being Anna Barbanti (UB-IRBio), represents the first genetic study of the reintroduction project of this endangered species, and the wild population of green turtles in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory.

According to the conclusions, the current wild population of green turtle in the Cayman Islands has been recovered as a result of the reintroduction process; it presents a high genetic diversity and shows no difficulties regarding breeding. However, the authors of the study recommend conducting a genetic monitoring of the species in this Atlantic Ocean region since it shows a differential genetic heritage compared to other populations of the Caribbean. Other participants in this study were Clara Martín and Víctor Ordóñez (UB-IRBio), and other experts from the University of Exeter, the Cayman Turtle Farm (CTF) and the Department of Environment of the Cayman Islands Government (United Kingdom).

At the limits of survival due human overexploitation

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a migratory species globally distributed in tropical and subtropical latitudes -nesting beaches in the Mediterranean basin- which has been quite exploited by human activity. This species is the biggest one within the family of Cheloniidae -adults can weigh over 200 kg- and one of the species of marine turtles with a more natal phylopatric behaviour (it comes back to their birth place to lay its eggs). Factors such as marine pollution, loss of natural habitat, fishing pressure and bycatches endanger the survival of these turtles, classified as an endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

During the eighties, overexploitation of the green turtle in the Cayman Islands caused the disappearance of nesting populations. To recover this endangered population, a program of reintroduction of the species was launched, with individuals of the Cayman Turtle Farm (CTF). Forty years later, data show that the nesting population of the Cayman Islands has been restored but researchers did not know if this was the result of the reintroduction process or the natural recovery of the population for the improvement of threatening factors.

In the new study, experts analyse several genetic markers to see the degree of parentage of the natural population of the green turtle in the Cayman Islands with the breeding individuals in the farm, and therefore evaluate the effect of the reintroduction process on wild population.

“In wildlife, genetic diversity is a key factor that eases the adaptation of populations in the natural environment and their tolerance to environmental changes. In this context, it is crucial to conduct a genetic monitoring of the reintroduction processes to evaluate their success and the potential consequences for the target species of the reintroduction,” says Carlos Carreras, member of the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics of the UB and IRBio. “A threatened population -he continues- reduces their survival options due excessive inbreeding but a poorly planned reintroduction can have negative consequences because of the mix of genetically different beings, since they could create hybrids that are not feasible to the environmental conditions of the population.”

The population of the wild green turtle has a tight genetic relationship with the ones in CTF, the new study reveals. According to Marta Pascal, member of the mentioned Department and IRBio, “90 % of the wild individuals were related to the captive stock. This means the reintroduction process was very important in the recovery of threatened populations.”

The reintroduction process started in the farm with individuals of distant populations, and this explains why the genetic diversity of first generation turtles is higher than their parents’. This genetic diversity of the initial population has been changing as a consequence of the captivity process -as expected- but also because of the effects of the CTF population management. For instance, they use beings from the same cohort as reproductive adults to replace the losses hurricane Michelle caused in 2001, a strategy that has increased the degree of parentage among reproductive individuals in the farm. Therefore, scientific studies like the one in Molecular Ecology, are essential tools to take the right decisions in the management of threatened species.

Lights and shades in the reintroduction of endangered species

Current labelling studies show that there is a population between one hundred and one hundred and fifty reproductive female adults in the Cayman Islands. In this situation of biodiversity protection, the reintroduction programs for endangered species can become an effective tool of preservation but can also be inefficient, and can even have negative consequences for the threatened populations and natural ecosystems. “Therefore, it is essential to design these programs of reintroduction of threatened species with scientific rigor and to conduct a long term scientific monitoring to assess its success and the potential consequences for the species,” warn the experts.

The genetic studies carried out by the Evolutionary Genetics team of the UB and IRBio are part of the first scientific initiative to assess the global impact of the reintroduction of the species Chelonia mydas in the Cayman Islands from different sides: social and economic, commercial, and even gastronomic. This research study has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), as well as the Darwin project, with the support of Bosch i Gimpera Foundation (FBG) of the UB and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (United Kingdom).

New research is detailing how environmental stressors, including heavy metals, brought on by human activity are harming coastal green sea turtle populations — work that researchers hope will inform conservation efforts going forward: here.

‘Stop United States military intervention in Syria’


This 18 January 2019 video from the USA:

Rep. Ro Khanna: U.S. Troops Are a “Sitting Target” in Syria; It’s Time to Bring Them Home

In Syria, a suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the northern city of Manbij Wednesday, killing 19 people including four Americans. Two of them were U.S. soldiers. The bombing was claimed by ISIS and came just weeks after President Trump declared victory over the group and ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from Syria, prompting the resignation of Pentagon chief Jim Mattis. Just hours after the attack, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that ISIS has been defeated. Wednesday’s attack drew renewed calls from congressional hawks—both Republicans and Democrats—to reverse Trump’s Syria withdrawal. The U.S. has an estimated 2,000 troops stationed in Syria, even though Congress has never declared war on the country. We speak with Ro Khanna, Democratic congressmember from California. He is a leading critic of U.S. military interventions abroad.

German politician justifies murdering Rosa Luxemburg


This 15 January 2019 video says about itself:

Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht inspire the left to this day. They both founded the Spartakusbund (which eventually became the Communist Party) in 1916 calling for the overthrow of the German government [of Emperor Wilhelm II] and the end of the war.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

German SPD politician justifies murder of Rosa Luxemburg

18 January 2019

Although the SPD

The social democrat party in Germany.

Recently, United States sociologist Stephanie Mudge said there were three phases in the ideas of social democrat leaders: first, aiming to replace capitalism with socialism. Second, trying to improve things for the working class within capitalism with Keynesian economic policies and a welfare state. Third, giving up on Keynesianism and the welfare state, replacing it with Thatcherism-Reaganism-Clintonism-Blairism. That third phase, Ms Mudge said, may prove fatal for these parties.

About 1900, in the German SPD there was a ‘reformist’ right wing, thinking socialism might gradually and smoothly replace capitalism by legislation. Maybe a few capitalist individuals would grumble a bit, but that would be all. The revolutionary left wing in the SPD, represented by, eg, Rosa Luxemburg, thought things would go less smoothly. At least a general strike would be needed to reach socialism.

The Socialist International, including socialist parties all over the world, decided at its 2007 and 2012 congresses that, if war would threaten, the working class should stop it by a general strike.

In 2014, World War I threatened. Hundreds of thousands of peace demonstrators in Germany and elsewhere tried to prevent it.

Nevertheless, the right-wing leadership of the SPD decided to support Emperor Wilhelm II’s war; similar to right-wing social democrats in other countries. While Emperor Wilhelm’s government jailed anti-war socialists like Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Jailed them; not killing them yet. That would happen after the war, in 1919 when Emperor Wilhelm’s government had been replaced by an SPD government.

continues to officially dispute its complicity in the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht a century ago, Wolfgang Thierse, former president of the federal parliament, recently explicitly declared: We would do it again. The two revolutionary socialists and co-founders of the German Communist Party were brutally murdered one hundred years ago, on January 15, 1919, by Freikorps soldiers who were in close contact with the SPD Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske.

Thierse gave an interview to the Leipziger Volkszeitung on January 14 about the commemoration of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, which he described as a “dishonest honour.”

Asked whether the Social Democrats bore a portion of the blame in January 1919, Thierse answered, “There were radicalised elements among the workers. They had to be defeated by force of arms. It remains a painful episode, also in retrospect, but we know that the path that was then taken was the better one.”

According to Thierse, Germany after the November Revolution was divided between “radical forces who wanted something like the Bolsheviks in Russia, a revolution, and the moderate Majority Social Democrats, who said, we first need to win peace, we must ensure that the people don’t starve, that some sort of orderly relations exist.” In retrospect, one can say “that the moderate forces were right in not relying on a brutal revolution that would have resulted in a dictatorship, but instead working for democracy, the rule of law, and the social state.”

In summary, Thierse is saying that the suppression of uprisings by revolutionary workers, which claimed thousands of victims, and the execution of their leaders were necessary steps to secure democracy, the rule of law, and the social state. This is an incredible falsification of history, which can only lead one to conclude that Thierse and the SPD, confronted with similar conditions, would do exactly the same today as they did then.

The SPD government of Friedrich Ebert, Philipp Scheidemann, and Gustav Noske from 1918–19 did not defend democracy, but rather the authoritarian state, militarism and capitalist private property. They protected from the raging revolution all of the social forces that would assist Hitler to power 14 years later—the military caste, the big landowners, the industrialists Stinnes, Flick and Krupp, the Deutsche Bank, and the authoritarian judiciary and police apparatus. To this end, they organized the Freikorps, which carried out several coup attempts in subsequent years and went on to serve as the basis for Hitler’s paramilitary Stormabteilung (Storm Detachment, SA).

The concessions the SPD was forced to make in the process—a bourgeois constitution, universal suffrage, the eight-hour day, etc.—were purely tactical and were withdrawn at the first opportunity. The Weimar democracy was never more than an empty shell, which collapsed at the first signs of social unrest. Numerous serious historians, including those who oppose a socialist perspective, therefore explicitly describe the policies of the Ebert government as counter-revolutionary.

As the well-known publicist Sebastian Haffner wrote in his book on the November Revolution published in 1979, “The German revolution was a Social Democratic revolution that was put down by the Social Democratic leaders; an episode that is virtually unparalleled in world history.”

In his new book on the 1918 revolution, Joachim Käppner comments on this remark: “Had the Ebert SPD used the mass movement instead of fearing it, driven the old military to the devil instead of allying with it, the Republic probably wouldn’t have collapsed in 1933, or at least wouldn’t have fallen into the hands of the Nazis—according to Haffner’s train of thought, and it is difficult to disagree with his logic.”

Leon Trotsky summed up the character of the November Revolution in the concise formula, “As to the German Revolution of 1918, it was no democratic completion of the bourgeois revolution, it was a proletarian revolution decapitated by the Social Democrats; more correctly, it was a bourgeois counter-revolution, which was compelled to preserve pseudo-democratic forms after its victory over the proletariat.”

In the founding programme of the German Communist Party, Luxemburg noted that the Hohenzollerns [imperial dynasty] overthrown on November 9, 1918, were “no more than the front men of the imperialist bourgeoisie and of the Junkers. The class rule of the bourgeoisie is the real criminal responsible for the World War,” she continued. “The capitalists of all nations are the real instigators of the mass murder.”

On this basis, she concluded that the world war had confronted society with two alternatives: socialism or barbarism. She went on, “The World War confronts society with the choice: either continuation of capitalism, new wars, and imminent decline into chaos and anarchy, or abolition of capitalist exploitation.” Her warning was to be tragically confirmed by Nazi rule, the Holocaust, and the Second World War.

The 75-year-old Thierse is a powerful voice in the SPD. He grew up in East Germany, and began his political career as a civil rights activist during German reunification with the New Forum. Shortly before reunification, in the summer of 1990, Thierse became leader of the SPD in East Germany. He was subsequently deputy leader of the German SPD until 2005, and a member of its commission on basic values until 2013.

Between 1998 and 2005, Thierse played an important role as president of parliament in enforcing the agenda of the SPD-Green Party government, including foreign military interventions, the Hartz social welfare reforms, and the Agenda 2010. The bearded Catholic and spokesman for the Christian Working Group within the SPD was capable of bestowing a lofty moral aura on the reactionary policies of the Schröder-Fischer government.

The fact that Thierse has now openly attacked Luxemburg, instead of trying to distort or co-opt her as others have done, is an unmistakable sign of the SPD’s further shift to the right. Despised by workers and reduced to 14 percent in the polls, the SPD is preparing once again to brutally suppress social opposition in alliance with the most reactionary forces.