Trump-Saudi bloody war on Yemen


This 24 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump vs. Iran: It’s All About Saudi Arabia

Rebel HQ’s Emma Vigeland breaks down what Trump’s obsession with Iran is really about.

This 24 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Leaked Report: Western Arms Are Essential to Saudi Arabia’s War in Yemen

A French intelligence report reveals that Saudi Arabia and UAE depend on Western support for their war in Yemen. Just Foreign Policy co-director Hassan El-Tayyab speaks about the report and the need to override Trump’s veto of the Yemen War Powers resolution.

This 24 April 2019 video from Congreeswoman and Democratic presidential candidate in the the USA Tulsi Gabbard says about itself:

End Our Unholy Alliance with Saudi Arabia

Trump/Pence continue to try to hide the truth from their Christian supportersthe terrorist attacks on Christians/Christian churches in Sri Lanka and elsewhere are inspired by extremist Saudi ideology that Saudi Arabia spends billions of dollars propagating worldwide.

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Bat faeces and biodiversity in Indonesia


This 2015 video says about itself:

Bat Man of Borneo | Expedition Raw

Braving guano, urine, and infectious diseases is all in a day’s work for bat ecologist Donald McFarlane, who descends into the depths of Borneo’s Gomantong Caves [in Malaysia] to study the bats that live there.

From James Cook University in Australia:

Holy Pleistocene Batman, the answer’s in the cave

Let’s say you wanted to solve a 20,000-year-old mystery, where would you start?

April 25, 2019

Summary: Examining a 3-meter stack of bat feces has shed light on the landscape of the ancient continent of Sundaland. The research could help explain the biodiversity of present-day Borneo, Sumatra, and Java. It could also add to our understanding of how people moved through the region.

Let’s say you wanted to solve a 20,000-year-old mystery, where would you start? Perhaps archaeology and geology come to mind. Or, you could sift through a 3-metre pile of bat faeces.

Researchers from James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, chose the bat poo in their quest to answer to a long-standing question: why is there some much biodiversity on the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Java, when not so long ago (geologically speaking) they were all part of one vast continent?

One theory has been that the former continent (Sundaland) was dissected by a savanna corridor. “That might explain why Sumatra and Borneo each have their own species of orang-utan, even though they were linked by land for millions of years,” Dr Chris Wurster said. “The corridor would have divided the two separate rainforest refuges, as the sea does now.”

The corridor theory has been boosted by millions of insect-eating bats, which have gathered evidence about the landscape over millennia and deposited it in layers in their caves.

“Bat poo is highly informative, and especially so in the tropics, where the climate can make some of the more traditional modes of investigation less available,” Dr Wurster said.

A three-metre pile of bat faeces at Salah Cave in Borneo gave the researchers a 40,000-year-old record composed of insect skeletons.

“We can’t tell what insects the bats were eating throughout that time, because they’re in tiny fragments, but we can read the chemistry,” Dr Wurster said.

“Eating insects that have been feeding on tropical grasses results in faeces with a characteristic chemical imprint. It’s quite different from the result you’d get from eating insects that fed on tropical trees.”

According to the bat record the landscape around Saleh Cave (now featuring lush rainforest) was once dominated by tropical grasses.

“Combined with other cave studies in the region, this leads us to support the corridor theory, and also gives us some confidence as to the extent of the corridor,” Dr Wurster said.

The corridor could also shed light on human pre-history.

“A savanna corridor, which would be much more easily traversed than rainforest, might help to explain how people moved relatively quickly through this region and on to Australia and New Guinea.”

‘Savanna in equatorial Borneo during the late Pleistocene’ is published in the latest edition of Scientific Reports.

Dr Chris Wurster is a Senior Research Associate at James Cook University, specialising in stable isotope geochemistry.

Flower preferences of male, female bees


This 2015 video says about itself:

Carpenter bees (the genus Xylocopa in the subfamily Xylocopinae) are large bees distributed worldwide. Some 500 species of carpenter bees are in the 31 subgenera.

Their common name is because nearly all species build their nests in burrows in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers (except those in the subgenus Proxylocopa, which nest in the ground).

Carpenter bees are traditionally considered solitary bees, though some species have simple social nests in which mothers and daughters may cohabit. However, even solitary species tend to be gregarious, and often several nest near each other. When females cohabit, a division of labor between them occurs sometimes, where one female may spend most of her time as a guard within the nest, motionless and near the entrance, while another female spends most of her time foraging for provisions.

From Rutgers University in the USA:

With flower preferences, bees have a big gap between the sexes

Female and male bees of the same species frequent different flowers, study finds

April 24, 2019

For scores of wild bee species, females and males visit very different flowers for food — a discovery that could be important for conservation efforts, according to Rutgers-led research.

Indeed, the diets of female and male bees of the same species could be as different as the diets of different bee species, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE.

“As we get a better sense of what makes flowers attractive to different kinds of bees, maybe we can get smarter about bee conservation,” said lead author Michael Roswell, a doctoral student in the lab of senior author Rachael Winfree, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Five years ago, when Winfree Lab members were evaluating federally funded programs to create habitat for pollinators, Roswell noticed that some flowers were very popular with male bees and others with females. That spurred a study to test, for as many wild bee species as possible, whether males and females visit different kinds of flowers.

New Jersey is home to about 400 species of wild bees — not including Apis mellifera Linnaeus, the domesticated western honeybee whose males do not forage for food, Roswell noted.

The scientists collected 18,698 bees from 152 species in New Jersey. The bees visited 109 flower species in six semi-natural meadows with highly abundant and diverse flowers. The meadows were managed to promote mostly native flowers that attract pollinators.

Female bees build, maintain, collect food for and defend nests, while male bees primarily seek mates. Both sexes drink floral nectar for food, but only females collect pollen that serves as food for young bees, so they forage at greater rates than males.

From the flowers’ standpoint, both female and male bees are important pollinators — though female bees are more prolific because they spend more time foraging at flowers.

Before mating, the males of some species travel from the area where they were born. Targeting their preferences for flowers may help maintain genetically diverse bee populations, Roswell speculated.

“We see some intriguing patterns, where certain plant families seem relatively preferred or avoided by male bees, or where males have relatively less appetite for visiting flowers that only produce pollen and not nectar,” he said. “That could help pinpoint the right mix of flowers to improve bee conservation down the road.”

United States 2020 presidential election news


This 3 April 2019 CBS News TV video from the USA says about itself:

Two more women tell The New York Times that former Vice President Joe Biden touched them inappropriately. Washington Post national political correspondent James Hohmann and CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns spoke to CBSN about the impact these accusations could have if Biden enters the 2020 presidential race.

It is no longer: ‘if Biden enters’.

Joe Biden, ex vice president of the USA. has announced today he is campaigning to become the Democratic party’s 2020 presidential election candidate.

From Alternet in the USA:

Conservative McCain family to back Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential bid

The family of late Sen. John McCain is expected to support former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bid, the Washington Examiner reports.

The McCain clan will back Biden in a crowded Democratic field, and — if he wins the Democratic nomination — in a race against President Donald Trump. The McCain family has well-documented feud with the president …

Of course, primaries are the exact correct time to criticize candidates, and among Democrats — who are rightly concerned by aspects [of] Biden’s extensive record (from his support for the Iraq War, to his handling of the Anita Hill hearings), it’s unlikely her [Meghan McCain, John McCain’s daughter] family’s backing will move the needle.

Now, about other United States Democratic party candidates.

WARREN: MAKE HOSPITALS PAY Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out the problem of the disproportionately high rate of maternal mortality for black women and laid out a plan to address it. “I want to talk to the hospitals … in the language they understand: money,” she said. [HuffPost]

This 25 April 2019 video by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says about itself:

We Must Protect Our Environment

Growing up in Hawaii, wanting to take care of our beautiful environment came naturally. I gradually realized that I was most happy when I set aside personal interests to care for our environment or be of service to others.

This 23 April video about yet another candidate says about itself:

Buttigieg EXPOSED As A Centrist

Centrism is often an euphemism for being right-wing pro-Wall Street and pro-war.

Rebel HQ’s Emma Vigeland breaks down Pete Buttigieg’s positions, or lack thereof, and his choice to accept lobbyist donations.

This 24 April 2019 video says about itself:

Bernie Sanders is smeared for believing that voting is a right and prisoners should have the right to vote.

FLORIDA LAWMAKERS AIM TO RESTRICT VOTING ACCESS The Florida House approved a controversial measure requiring people with felony convictions to pay all financial requirements of their sentencing before they can vote again. [HuffPost]

Red admiral, golden oriole, lizards, orchids


The path to Skafi beach on Tilos island

After 20 April 2019, we were still on Tilos island in Greece. The photo shows the path to Skafi beach on the north coast. We walked there; not all the way to the coast, as there was much too see underway.

Again, Sardinian warblers singing. And a nightingale.

Again, many painted lady butterflies; on their spring migration?

Then, a different butterfly: a red admiral.

The scientific name of this species is Vanessa atalanta. Linnaeus probably named the species after the Greek mythological young woman Atalante, famous for her beauty and speed.

A bit further, a collared flycatcher on a tree.

This is a collared flycatcher video from Sweden.

On a wall, the most common of the five lizard species of Tilos: a snake-eyed lizard.

A male red-footed falcon flies past.

Then. on a rock, the biggest Tilos lizard species: a sling-tailed agama.

This 28 April 2018 video is called Sling Tailed Agama – (Stellagama stellio) – Κουρκουτάς – Cyprus.

As we walk back, a male golden oriole flying.

Barn swallows flying.

So does a kestrel.

Cypress, 21 April 2019

We approach a cypress tree near the ruin of an old farmhouse.

Walls, 21 April 2019

Only some of its walls are still standing.

Holy orchids, 21 April 2019

Between the ruined walls, these holy orchids grow.

Libyan oil war endangers refugees


This 25 February 2019 British TV video says about itself:

European Union immigration: Tortured for trying to enter Europe

New evidence of how Libyan authorities are tackling the “common challenge” of migration. Footage from inside camps in Libya shows migrants living in shocking conditions.

This video was edited on 6th March 2019 following a disputed date/origin.

And there are disturbing signs that some migrants are being tortured … This report contains images that some viewers will find distressing.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 24 April 2019:

The United Nations refugee organization has evacuated 325 refugees from a prison camp south of the Libyan capital Tripoli. According to the UNHCR, this was necessary because the safety of the refugees was at stake due to fighting in the neighborhood.

The refugees have been taken from the Qaser Ben Gashir camp to a detention camp near the village of Azzawya, some 50 kilometers west of Tripoli. According to UNHCR, it is safer there.

Yes, maybe less lethal fights nearby. But still, from one torture camp to another torture camp. While these refugees are not ‘guilty’ of any ‘crime’ worse than fleeing wars in Mali, in South Sudan, etc.

The immediate reason for the UNHCR decision was an incident yesterday, in which twelve migrants were injured when they protested against the conditions in the detention center where they were staying. What exactly happened is unclear, but the migrants had to go to the hospital for treatment. Amnesty International wants an investigation into whether there was a war crime.

“It has never been so dangerous for refugees and migrants in Tripoli as it is today,” says Matthew Brook of the UNHCR mission in Libya. “It is vital that refugees who are in danger are released and evacuated.”

Fear

At another detention camp in the Tajoura suburb, on the east side of Tripoli, Libyans have opened the doors so that refugees who are detained can flee. But according to Reuters news agency nobody dared to leave the camp.

“We can’t go anywhere,” a 20-year-old man told a reporter from the news agency. According to Reuters, most people in the camp do not dare to leave for fear of ending up in battles around the capital.

Offensive

At the beginning of this month the Libyan warlord Haftar started an offensive. He wants to overthrow the … government in Tripoli. Since then, there has been frequent fighting in the Libyan capital.

The UNHCR has already relocated 825 refugees and migrants in the last two weeks because of the fighting. The UN organization wants the 3,000 people still trapped in camps to be released.

Italy has asked the European Union to draw up a plan of action for if a flow of refugees might start due to fighting in Libya.

So, the Italian right-wing Salvini government is much more scared of Libyan and other African refugees fleeing to European countries than of those refugees being killed in the French-Italian proxy oil war in Libya. In this, Emmanuel Macron, French right-wing president and supporter of Libyan warlord Haftar, thinks just like Salvini, his enemy in the proxy oil war in Libya.