This video is about red-throated loon mating season in Sweden.
This video is about red-throated loon mating season in Sweden.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Police raid against aldermen in The Hague on suspicion of bribery and corruption
In the city hall of The Hague, the National Criminal Investigation Department is searching the offices of two aldermen and the workplaces of a number of civil servants. The investigation focuses on official corruption, bribery and violation of official secrecy.
These alderman are Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui. The former is alderman for Economy, Sports and Outdoor Space and in addition 1st deputy mayor, Guernaoui is alderman for Finance, Integration and Districts. They are suspected of, eg, arranging permits for businessmen against payment.
Both aldermen are members of the political party Groep de Mos / Heart for The Hague.
Dozens of dertectives
The homes of the aldermen and the addresses of three entrepreneurs in The Hague who are suspected of bribery are also being searched. An examining magistrate from the Rotterdam District Court is in charge of the searches. Dozens of government investigators and two prosecutors are also taking part in the campaign.
One of the suspect businessmen was an election candidate for the De Mos / Heart for The Hague party. He allegedly financially supported the party in exchange for, eg, confidential information from the city council. In addition, a party council member is suspected of being involved in official corruption.
The situation around the chambers of The Hague parties in the city hall was ‘frozen’ this morning, reports Omroep West broadcasting organisation. Council members and group staff from other parties were not allowed to walk past the chamber of Groep de Mos / Heart for The Hague. Furthermore, they were not allowed to take mail from their mailboxes.
This 14 March 2016 video from the USA, from when Donald’s Trump’s presidential campaign had only started recently, sats about itself:
All the Times Trump Has Called for Violence at His Rallies
Trump, however, has a history of calling for violent acts against those who protest at his events that goes back until at least August of last year.
TRUMP SUGGESTED SHOOTING MIGRANTS IN THE LEGS Trump in March reportedly suggested soldiers shoot migrants in the legs in order to prevent them from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a new book, an excerpt of which The New York Times published. [HuffPost]
FAKE PRESIDENT SHOOTS MEDIA IN VIDEO AT PRO-TRUMP EVENT A graphic video featuring a fake President Donald Trump stabbing members of the news media and lighting the head of a political rival on fire was played at a conference for his supporters at a Trump resort over the weekend, according to a report in The New York Times. [HuffPost]
A conference of ultra-right supporters of President Trump, held at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami, with his son Don Jr. as featured speaker, included the showing of a gruesome video that portrays Trump slaughtering his critics in the media and the Democratic (and Republican) parties with an assortment of weapons: here.
By Andre Damon in the USA:
1 October 2019
President Donald Trump, in an implicit threat of violence against his political opponents, suggested late Sunday that the Democrats’ efforts to remove him from office could precipitate a “civil war”. This came as the Democrats escalated their impeachment drive, issuing a subpoena to Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, and lining up a series of administration officials for questioning by the House Intelligence Committee.
In a tweet, Trump quoted the statement of televangelist Robert Jeffress that “If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.”
On Monday morning, Trump broached arresting Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and charging him with treason.
“Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?”
By threatening a civil war, Trump is sending a clear message. He may not relinquish his office voluntarily if he is impeached by the Democratic-controlled House and convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate. The billionaire New York real estate speculator and reality TV personality is doing what he has always done when faced with a crisis, whether bankruptcy or political ruin—he is upping the ante.
Trump’s incendiary statements on Sunday and Monday followed his denunciation Saturday of four congresswomen from minority backgrounds—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley—and two Jewish House committee chairs—Schiff and Jerrold Nadler—as “savages”. On Friday, Trump met with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association. According to the New York Times, Trump asked the far-right head of the NRA if he “could provide support for the president as he faces impeachment.”
The previous week, Trump gave a fascistic speech to the United Nations General Assembly, warning that “globalists” wanted to “replace” national identity and libeling “socialism and communism” for supposedly killing more than 100 million people.
The Democrats, for their part, intensified their efforts to bring the White House to heel.
The major US newspapers published new disclosures from unnamed sources within the administration. The Wall Street Journal reported that “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the administration officials who listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president.”
The New York Times reported, based on the statements of unnamed officials, that “President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed Monday that the Senate will hold a trial, as required under the Constitution, should the House vote to impeach Trump, a distinct possibility.
“I would have no choice but to take it up,” he told CNBC, adding, “How long you are on it is a different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up based on a Senate rule on impeachment.”
Trump’s invocation of “civil war” and increasingly open appeals for violence testify to the breakdown of democratic forms of rule in the United States. Under the pressure of soaring social inequality, decades of war, and enormous growth of the “national security” state, the political order created to mediate social conflicts in the United States through the constitutional order is coming apart at the seams.
In the conflict between Trump and his ruling class critics, there is no progressive or democratic side. The divisions within the state are motivated above all by foreign policy. In particular, dominant sections of the state, including Republicans as well as Democrats, are concerned that Trump has failed to take a sufficiently confrontational approach to Russia and that his nationalist geopolitics and personal political interests are cutting across the long-term interests of US imperialism.
The campaign of the Democrats is led by powerful sections of the intelligence agencies. It was instigated by a leak from a CIA agent in the White House. The move by Democratic Party leadership toward impeachment only came after Democratic representatives with military and intelligence backgrounds declared their support for such an action.
The impeachment drive also followed the ouster of Trump’s national security advisor, an arch-warmonger who had come into conflict with Giuliani. On Monday, the Hill reported that Bolton had opposed Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president.
While Trump threatens a “civil war” in which his fascistic supporters might be mobilized against his opponents within the state, what all factions of the ruling class fear above all is any genuine mobilization of the working population against Trump and the capitalist system of which he is a product.
It is for this reason that the Democrats have ruled out basing their impeachment inquiry on anything but Trump’s efforts to solicit “foreign interference”. The New York Times, outlining the scope of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, declared Trump had the “absolute right” to pursue his chosen policies on “the environment, immigration, taxes, trade and other matters.”
Having suggested that his impeachment could provoke “civil war” and threatened to arrest the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on treason charges, President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted a map of the 2016 election results with the words “Try to impeach this” written across it. The map, a county-by-county presentation of the presidential election results, shows a solid mass of Republican red, with isolated blue (Democratic) patches on the west and east coasts. Trump won 2,626 counties to Hillary Clinton’s 487, according to the Associated Press, covering the vast bulk of the country’s territory. However, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.8 million ballots, as her support was concentrated in heavily-populated urban areas while Trump’s was based largely in sparsely populated rural and semi-rural regions. The tweet was yet another implied threat by Trump to resist by extra-constitutional means any attempt to remove him from office, aimed at inciting the far-right and fascist elements in his political base: here.
Trump’s Push For Ukraine To Probe CrowdStrike Is Rooted In Wild Conspiracy Theories As President Donald Trump prodded his Ukraine counterpart to investigate his potential 2020 Democratic rival, Joe Biden, he also made another request, one that stems from outlandish conspiracy notions that Trump has embraced and emboldened in recent years.
This 1 October 2019 video from the USA says about itself:
Host Smacks Down Democrat Defending Biden Corruption.
By Patrick Martin in the USA:
Hunter Biden made $850,000 on board of Ukraine gas company
1 October 2019
The son of Vice President Joe Biden, a lawyer-lobbyist with no known expertise in the production, transport, or distribution of natural gas, or in the complex financial operations of such a business, was placed on the board of the largest gas company in Ukraine in April 2014 and remained there until spring of this year, netting some $850,000 in payments.
The Hunter Biden-Ukraine connection has become the trigger for the opening of impeachment proceedings against President Trump, but the connection itself is worth examining in its own right. The younger Biden’s career sheds light on the decay of American democracy and the vast social gulf that has opened up between the ruling elite and the vast majority of the population, struggling to survive from paycheck to paycheck, and, as a recent survey found, unable to afford paying an unexpected bill of $400.
Hunter Biden, now aged 49, is the former vice president’s younger son, and the sole survivor among his children. Naomi, then a year old, was killed in the 1972 car crash that also took the life of Biden’s first wife. Beau Biden, the older son by one year, died of brain cancer in 2015.
The younger Biden has always been the black sheep of the family, even according to various sympathetic accounts, most of them appearing in publications—The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post—favorable to the Democrats.
The New Yorker piece, at more than 10,000 words by far the longest, published in July, was obviously planted by the Biden campaign for the purpose of venting all the bad news about Hunter Biden as a preemptive measure against anticipated stink bombs from the Trump campaign.
It was prepared through lengthy interviews by reporter Adam Entous with Hunter Biden. And it delivers a lot of bad news about a career devoted apparently to influence-peddling and drug abuse, both on a scale that matches or exceeds that of any dubious relative of any previous president, at least until Donald Trump.
Hunter Biden was hired by MBNA bank in Delaware, fresh out of Yale Law School, and paid a six-figure salary at the age of 26 because his father was a senator from that state and a fervent defender of the bank and credit card industries. MBNA was then the largest US issuer of credit cards.
He then moved to Washington to take a position in the last years of the Clinton administration. Once the Republicans came to power with the George W. Bush administration, in 2001, he became a lobbyist, helping Jesuit Catholic colleges insert earmarks into congressional appropriations bills.
When earmarks became more difficult to obtain, and after losing money in a speculative venture on the eve of the 2007-2008 financial crash, Biden formed a “consulting” group with Christopher Heinz, stepson of Senator John Kerry and an heir to the Heinz fortune, and a Yale friend of Heinz’s, Devon Archer.
Inevitably, after his father’s election as vice president, given a prominent international role in the Obama-Biden administration, Hunter Biden’s consulting firm branched out into global deal-making, focusing on countries where influence-peddling would be most lucrative and actual business credentials least necessary, among others, China and Ukraine.
In China, the younger Biden traveled on Air Force Two in 2013 with his father, who was making an official trip to Beijing. In the course of this, Hunter Biden introduced a Chinese business partner, Jonathan Li, to the vice president. He left China with promises of future investments, although not with the $1.5 billion that Trump now falsely claims. According to Hunter Biden’s attorney, no money has yet flowed from that particular connection.
Another Chinese business prospect gave Hunter Biden a diamond worth either $80,000 (according to his ex-wife’s divorce suit) or $10,000, according to Biden’s response to the suit, but in any case, much beyond the normal range of business gratuities.
But Ukraine is where Hunter Biden has apparently cashed in most extensively, trading on his father’s name and position. In 2013-2014, a right-wing … movement backed by the CIA and the German government gained the upper hand in an internal power struggle within the Ukraine capitalist class.
The Maidan “revolution” was actually a right-wing coup, spearheaded by outright fascist forces, some of whom marched under Nazi insignias, against the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was aligned with the Russian government of Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine has been a “wild west” for the operations of foreign intelligence services and capitalist oligarchs at least since the so-called Orange Revolution of 2004, the first successful effort by Washington to bring to power a US-backed regime in one of the major countries emerging from the breakup of the Soviet Union.
An election victory claimed then by Yanukovych was overturned on grounds of fraud, Yanukovych lost the rerun election in early 2005, and a succession of right-wing leaders headed pro-US governments until 2010. In that year Yanukovych made a successful political comeback, winning the presidential election with the advice and assistance of a number of American political operatives, including Paul Manafort, later campaign manager for Donald Trump. (Others who “meddled” in Ukrainian politics included Democrats like David Axelrod, Obama’s top political counselor, and Tad Devine … .)
The Maidan protests drove Yanukovych into exile in February 2014, and the faction of capitalist oligarchs aligned with him had to find new political instruments and allies. This included Mykola Zlochevsky, the cofounder of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest natural gas producers. Zlochevsky had served as ecology minister under Yanukovych and previously, as energy minister under President Leonid Kuchma (1994-2004), pushed through measures that saw him emerge as one of the richest energy capitalists in the country.
In the search for board members with the right contacts, Zlochevsky recruited Devon Archer, Biden’s business partner, the former president of Poland and ex-Stalinist Aleksander Kwaśniewski, and then Hunter Biden himself. Biden was brought on nominally to provide advice on corporate governance, although he never performed any actual legal work for the company
At the time, Joe Biden was the Obama administration point man on Ukraine, and had emphasized in public statements the importance of Ukraine building up its own gas production facilities to ease its dependence on Russian supplies—a perspective that dovetailed perfectly with Burisma, Ukraine’s largest producer of locally sourced natural gas.
The State Department declared at the time that Hunter Biden was a “private citizen”, and that his role in Ukraine had nothing to do with his father’s area of responsibility. According to the friendly account in The New Yorker, the two Bidens discussed Burisma only once, when his father told him, in December 2015, “I hope you know what you are doing”, and the son replied, “I do.”
This account is not very credible, but there does not as yet appear to be any substance to the charges by Trump & Co. that the vice president intervened to block the prosecution of his son’s company in 2016. While Burisma Holdings was nominally under investigation by the state prosecutor, the investigation did not concern Hunter Biden’s role, focusing on how Zlochevsky accumulated his fortune in the mid-2000s, and it was not active.
One telling fact is that after Shokin was fired, under US and EU pressure—with Joe Biden delivering the message to the Kyiv regime—Zlochevsky went into exile in Dubai for a number of years. He evidently was in greater fear of prosecution under Shokin’s successor, installed at Joe Biden’s insistence.
None of these facts alter the devastating political implications of the Ukraine exposure for the Biden 2020 presidential campaign.
Hunter Biden’s income from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian company, in a five-year period, is more than an autoworker or schoolteacher in the United States makes in 15 years. It is more than a minimum-wage worker makes in a lifetime. And it is only one income stream for Biden’s son, who profits from “consulting” deals in China and in the United States as well.
So much for Joe Biden’s efforts to promote himself as “middle-class Joe” and to pretend that he has some sort of intrinsic connection to the industrial working class because he was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, where his father managed a car dealership.
Concealed behind the mutual mudslinging between the Biden and Trump camps, and now by the media frenzy over impeachment, the truth is that Hunter Biden was a child of privilege, son of a US senator, a “fortunate one” as the rock song has it. He has cashed in on that status, both financially, and, in his case, staying out of jail despite a drug abuse problem that would have sent a working-class youth to prison for life.
BIDEN ‘HASN’T ASKED’ WHAT HUNTER DID IN UKRAINE Former Vice President Joe Biden said he doesn’t know what work his son Hunter Biden did in Ukraine while serving on the board of an energy company there for five years, but noted that it didn’t matter “because I trust my son.” [HuffPost]
This video from Belarus says about itself:
Eurasian hoopoe. Singing bird on a spring morning. Upupa epops.
This 1 October 2019 video says about itself:
In Memoriam: Jessye Norman. Morgen (Score Animation)
Gerhard Bosse, violin
Kurt Masur, cond.
Jessye Mae Norman (September 15, 1945 – September 30, 2019) was an American opera singer and recitalist. A dramatic soprano, Norman was associated in with roles such as Wagner’s Sieglinde, Ariadne by Richard Strauss, Gluck’s Alceste and Beethoven‘s Leonore, and Cassandre. Norman was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1999, and became a Spingarn Medalist in 2013. Apart from receiving several honorary doctorates and other awards, she also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts, and was a member of the British Royal Academy of Music. …
In 2015, Norman suffered a spinal cord injury. She died at Mount Sinai–St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan on September 30, 2019, aged 74, from multiple organ failure and septic shock, secondary to complications from the injury.
This October 2018 video says about itself:
There are three species of manatee in the world and they can be found in coastal rivers and waters.
Underwater manatee chatter may aid in their conservation
September 30, 2019
Summary: Scientists propose a new method for calculating populations of the Antillean manatee, a marine mammal in danger of extinction, through underwater recordings.
Listening in on manatee conversations could help restore populations of this endangered marine mammal. Each manatee has its own voice: their calls can be traced back to specific individuals, offering a way to estimate how many of them are present in a particular habitat in a given time. Researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and the Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, (UTP) propose a new method for detecting these calls from underwater recordings.
Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) populations have been continuously decreasing for a decade and are predicted to drop an additional 20% within the next two generations, according to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria. There are a few reasons for this, most of which are due to human pressure, including illegal hunting, habitat degradation, boat collisions and pollution.
In order to counter this decrease, conservationists need to be able to estimate manatee numbers and understand how they use their habitat. In Panama’s Bocas del Toro province, however, manatees live in turbid brackish waters, covered by aquatic vegetation, so standard visual counting methods are less than ideal.
“Estimating the manatee population in Panama is like working in total darkness: you cannot count what you cannot see,” STRI marine ecologist, Hector M. Guzman, said. “We made a first attempt few years ago using a side-scan sonar within the protected wetland, which yielded good preliminary results. However, the method was not suitable for other non-navigational rivers with dense aquatic vegetation.”
Although hard to sight, manatees often communicate with one another underwater, emitting whistles, squeaks and chirps to attract mates, warn their neighbors of danger or stay in touch with their offspring. With this in mind, researchers turned to sound.
“Working with a marvelous team of signal-processing specialists from the UTP, we created a new research horizon for manatees, opening the field for a continuous monitoring system of the populations based on vocalizations,” Guzman said. “Now, we can identify where, when and who is there, which we ecologists need to model population size and changes in time and space.”
The proposed new method for counting manatees, based on their vocalization spectrograms, was tested on a large data set of underwater recordings from the Changuinola and San San rivers in Bocas del Toro. This scheme uses the uniqueness of manatee sounds to generate individual clusters, with each cluster corresponding to a single manatee.
“This approach required the collaboration of several different specialists, and almost two years of development and analysis, to process over 375,800 two-minute audio clips from three years of continuous monitoring, to be able to successfully count and identify individual manatees from Bocas del Toro protected wetlands,” said Fernando Merchan, signal-processing specialist from UTP and lead author of the publication.
The scientists found that this method offers similar estimates of manatee counts than those encountered in previous studies, through different approaches. By linking individual vocalizations to specific manatees, this underwater acoustic-monitoring technique may become a valuable tool for ecologists to infer the seasonal presence of manatees in certain sites.
With the support of the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation of Panama (SENACYT), this method will be further extended to include wetlands in the Ngabe-Bugle indigenous reserve in Panama, and it could potentially be implemented in a network of manatee habitats in the region, such as in Mexico, Belize and Colombia, allowing for a greater comprehension of manatees’ migration patterns and regional population changes.
Future research projects, also financed by SENACYT, involve the development of a real-time detection and alert system that could continuously monitor the rivers and wetlands to prevent boat collisions, a substantial cause of manatee deaths. The team is also interested in developing advanced classification methods that would identify the sex and age range of manatees from their individual vocalizations, contributing to a better understanding of their habitat use for mating and nursing, and, ultimately, helping to inform conservation policies.