Great spotted woodpecker eats hazel nuts


This 16 August 2019 video shows a great spotted woodpecker eating hazel nuts.

This video is from the garden of ALCM Janssen in the Nederlands, who made this video.

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Pedophilia billionaire Epstein’s death and corporate media


This 19 August 2019 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Buckingham Palace responds after video shows Prince Andrew in Epstein mansion

Britain’s Prince Andrew is responding to sexual abuse allegations against Jeffrey Epstein for the first time since Epstein hanged himself in jail.

Dear CBS: did Epstein really hang himself, without any ‘help’? That is still unresolved.

The video of Prince Andrew in the Epstein mansion is said to be from 2010; so, after Epstein had been convicted for sexual trafficking, and had been freed after a suspiciously short prison sentence.

According to Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws today, Prince Andrew’s behaviour in this is suspect; as, they say, he has fled to Spain.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

American media shuts down the Epstein story

19 August 2019

The corporate-controlled media in the United States has effectively shut down all reporting on the death of the politically connected multi-millionaire sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, only one week after his body was discovered in a prison cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

Epstein’s death was the most widely reported American event in the first few days of the week, with hours of coverage on cable television, the lead story on nightly network news programs, and pages upon pages of reporting in the New York Times, Washington Post and other leading daily newspapers.

There was ample reason for such attention, particularly by the standards of the sensation-obsessed American media. Epstein was, at least by reputation, both fabulously wealthy and dangerously predatory. He travelled in the highest circles of bourgeois society, hobnobbing with ex-presidents, future presidents, British royalty and numerous billionaires, some of whom he claimed to have enriched enormously.

And his crimes against teenage girls and young women had already resulted in a 2008 felony conviction that led to a slap on the wrist in jail time, in keeping with his status as a member of the class of super-rich “money managers”. Only hours before his death, moreover, 2,000 pages of new documents were released linking many prominent world figures, including Prince Andrew and several top Democrats, to Epstein’s sex-trafficking activities.

As to the death itself, that was sensational as well, with questions aplenty: How did it happen that after an alleged suicide attempt on July 23 Epstein was taken off suicide watch only six days later and returned to the cell where he died? Why was his cellmate removed, in violation of the normal protocol for a high-risk prisoner, only a few hours before his death? Why did the guards fail to do their rounds during the night of Epstein’s death, when they should have been checking on him every half an hour? Why was Epstein’s hyoid bone broken in several places, a medical finding more typical of homicide by strangulation than suicide by hanging, according to numerous experts?

The previous “suicide” attempt, if that was what it was, deserves greater scrutiny as well. Epstein was sharing a cell with a former New York policeman, Nicholas Tartaglione, who was facing four counts of murder as well as narcotics charges. The pairing would seem quite unusual, even provocative, given the disparity between the two in physical size and the likelihood that a former cop might be inclined to mete out punishment to a presumed pedophile and child rapist.

As it was, on July 23 Tartaglione summoned prison guards to find Epstein semi-conscious with “marks” on his neck. Epstein was resuscitated and placed on suicide watch. He later claimed to be afraid of Tartaglione and accused him of assault, which the ex-cop denied. After six days, Epstein was taken off suicide watch and put back in a regular cell, but with a different cellmate.

After Epstein’s death, social media was filled with speculation about the unusual circumstances in which he died and the possible motives of highly placed and political powerful individuals for doing away with him. The corporate media went into overdrive, led by the New York Times, to denounce such questions as “conspiracy theories”, without foundation in evidence—although the lack of evidence was due to the silence of the police and prison authorities as they sought to come up with a plausible explanation.

On Thursday came the revelation that Epstein’s hyoid bone had been broken in several places, which experts suggested was more typical in homicides than suicides. The Times again sought to tamp down speculation. Finally, on Friday, the chief medical examiner, who had delayed for several days drawing a conclusion, issued a formal finding that Epstein died a suicide. The corporate media immediately rubber-stamped this finding and sought to shut down any public questioning of it.

This was done so thoroughly that on Sunday, August 18, there was not a single reference to Epstein’s death on any of the five television interview programs. Over five hours of broadcast time, accounting, according to the transcripts, for 45,000 spoken words, the name Epstein was never mentioned.

This media silence is itself perhaps the most suspicious development in the entire Epstein case. Why was there no reference to the story which riveted public attention for several days last week? It had occasioned tweets by President Trump accusing various Democrats of collusion in his death, and statements by Democrats, such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a candidate for president, that the timing of Epstein’s death was “too convenient”.

If this had become a non-story only eight days after Epstein’s lifeless body was found, the question must be asked: what is the American media seeking to hide?

Again, the New York Times has taken the lead in the cover-up. It published a lengthy front-page story in its Sunday edition under the headline, “Epstein Feared Misery of Jail in His Final Days”, which has only one purpose: further shoring up the suicide verdict by painting a picture of Epstein as so desperate to avoid spending time in his cell that he brought his lawyers in for hours of consultation where he could sit in a conference room.

The circumstances detailed by no less than seven reporters can be read quite differently from the conclusion drawn in the article. Perhaps Epstein was desperate to avoid his cell because he feared what was going to happen to him there. After all, he had barely escaped with his life on July 23.

Moreover, the Times reports: “Outside the meeting room, Mr. Epstein mounted a strategy to avoid being preyed upon by other inmates: He deposited money in their commissary accounts, according to a consultant who is often in the jail and speaks regularly with inmates there.” This again suggests fear on Epstein’s part of what others might do to him in prison.

Epstein’s own lawyers have indicated they do not accept the finding of suicide. “The defense team fully intends to conduct its own independent and complete investigation into the circumstances and cause of Mr. Epstein’s death,” they said in a statement. “We are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner.”

There are also reports that some jail staff members are not cooperating with the ongoing investigation into Epstein’s death.

Bill Clinton, right, shaking hands with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in 1999

This photo shows Bill Clinton, right, shaking hands with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in 1999.

Neo-fascist violence against British journalist Owen Jones


This 21 June 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

Owen Jones meets Francesca Martinez | ‘Austerity is a psychological attack on the disabled

Comedian and activist Francesca Martinez went viral on Question Time for calling out the government’s legacy on austerity – and the impact it has had on disabled people. Francesca has cerebral palsy and says that changes to disability support have made her feel ‘humiliated and embarrassed’ and calls austerity measures a ‘psychological attack on the disabled‘. We also found time to discuss her groundbreaking role in Grange Hill and working with Ricky Gervais on Extras

By Robert Stevens in Britain:

Guardian columnist Owen Jones attacked by fascist thugs in London

19 August 2019

The Socialist Equality Party condemns the vicious attack on Owen Jones, the Guardian columnist and prominent Labour Party activist, by fascist thugs in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The attack is the latest in a series on prominent left-wing figures and political organisations. On his twitter account Jones describes himself as “Socialist, antifascist, Guardian columnist, author…” He has over 1 million followers between his Twitter and Facebook pages.

Jones was attacked by a group of four men after coming out of a pub in Islington, London at around 2am. He had been celebrating his birthday with his partner and five friends. Jones sustained injuries to the head and back in the attack. A photo showed scrapes on Jones’ back.

Describing the events after his party, Jones told the Guardian, “We were about 30 metres away, saying goodbye to each other, when four men charged directly towards me: one of them karate kicked my back, threw me to the ground, started kicking me in the head and back, while my friends tried to drag them off, and were punched trying to defend me.

“It was clearly a premeditated attack and I was their target. They all attacked me and only assaulted my friends when they tried to defend me.”

On twitter he added, “The group then scarpered: I don’t know if they said anything in the melee. I’m fine other than a big bump on my head and a cut back.”

Jones said the assault was bound up with “the rise of an emboldened far right, which is increasingly violent, and targeting minorities and people on the left.” He told the Guardian, “In the past year I’ve been repeatedly targeted in the street by far right activists, including attempts to use physical assault, and homophobic abuse. I’ve had a far-right activist taking pictures of me, and posting threatening messages and a video.”

“Because of this, and escalating threats of violence and death, I’ve had the police involved. My friends felt it was a matter of time until this happened. Give the context, it seems unthinkable that I was singled out for anything other than a politically motivated premeditated attack.”

Jones has posted videos of various attacks, one of which can be viewed here.

Jones is followed down the street and verbally abused by a fascist mob, including the far-right provocateur James Goddard. One shouts, “Why are you doing the dirty work for Corbyn?”

Goddard asks Jones, in relation to Corbyn, “Why do you support a communist?”

Jones is gay and the abuse dished out includes homophobic slurs.

The journalist posted a tweet Saturday reproducing a photo taken previously by a far-right activist of Jones in a pub, with a threatening message. The photo is captioned, “Picture today Islington London Owen Jones.”

Above the post, a message read, “It gets worse hope not hate [the name of an anti-racist group] I can get that close to your like minded people its [sic] scary. Do not underestimate my talents of my past and present I even know your address [sic] of all you radicals.” It was signed, “Scott Timothy … and I’ve had enough.”

On Sunday afternoon, Jones told the BBC, after being asked if his attackers said anything to him, “It is very difficult when you’re suddenly on the floor being kicked in the head.” He added that “I’ve had evidence since, which I can’t discuss … which suggests political motivations.”

He added, “What happened—to be clear—is they spotted me in the pub, waited for us to leave, and then launched their attack when we were away from the pub—it was planned, not a random attack.”

In the last year alone, three leading figures on the left in the UK have been attacked by far-right forces, along with other incidents in which left-wing groups have been targeted in violent assaults.

In July last year, Steve Hedley, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union assistant general secretary was savagely assaulted in a pub by fascists after he spoke at a Stand Up to Racism demonstration in London. Hedley was left bleeding heavily from a head wound. His partner was also assaulted, including being hit by a chair, and ended up in hospital. No charges were laid by the police over the attack.

In March, Labour leader Corbyn himself was subject to an attack by a far-right thug at the Finsbury Park Mosque’s Muslim Welfare House. John Murphy approached Corbyn and smashed an egg in his clenched fist into the side of the Labour leader’s head while he was sitting down eating with his wife, Laura. Murphy was only given a 28-day sentence for “common assault” despite previously threatening to kill … Muslims in online posts.

It emerged during the 2018 trial of Darren Osborne—who killed a Muslim worshipper and injured 12 others when he ploughed a hired van into a crowd outside Finsbury Park Mosque in 2017—that he had planned to murder Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Last August, fascists attacked the Bookmarks bookshop in central London, run by the Socialist Workers Party. Again, no charges were brought by the police.

In January this year, far-right activists surrounded a Rail, Maritime and Transport union picket line at Victoria Station in Manchester, verbally abusing striking guards.

Only weeks ago, more than 100 supporters of fascist Tommy Robinson marched through Manchester city centre, holding an unprecedented demonstration inside the privately owned Arndale shopping centre. As part of their rampage, they smashed up the stall of a left-wing organisation, the Revolutionary Communist Group.

The police have said they will be look at CCTV footage relating to the attack on Jones, but as is demonstrated by the incidents listed above, they have done little or nothing to arrest and charge any perpetrators.

It is beyond doubt that if anyone from the wider left had committed such crimes as the attack on Jones, they would have been immediately rounded up, arrested and charged.

The SEP warned after Corbyn’s attacker received a paltry prison sentence that the attack on the Labour leader must be taken as “a serious warning of the dangerous right-wing political climate being whipped up by Britain’s ruling elite and its media outlets.”

The attack on Britain’s most prominent left journalist underscores these warnings and raises the necessity for heightened political vigilance and security regarding fascist provocateurs, combined with a determined political counteroffensive for socialism based on a mobilisation of the working class.

Among the tens of thousands who tweeted their support for Jones after the attack was Corbyn who said, “Owen believes it was politically motivated, and we know the far right is on the march in our country. An attack on a journalist is an attack on free speech and our fundamental values.”

… Among the leading forces giving succour to the far right are the Blairites—who speak in similar terms as the fascists about the danger of a “hard left”, “communist” government if Corbyn were ever to take power.

The author also recommends:

The assault on Jeremy Corbyn is a warning that must be heeded
[6 March 2019]

See also here.

Three Owen Jones attack suspects arrested: here.