Sea turtle saved from fish net in Maldives


This 8 October 2019 video says about itself:

Struggling Sea Turtle Saved From Fish Netting In The Maldives

“Sailing to the Baa Atoll in the Maldives with Voyages Maldives, our captain Abdula noticed a struggling turtle. I gathered my mask and fins and jumped in the ocean in a bid to save the turtle. When I got to the turtle, it was wrapped up in a fishing net and so exhausted that it didn’t put up a fight when I grabbed it. I brought the turtle back to the boat where the crew managed to cut the tangled net free.

Abdula estimated that the turtle had been struggling like this for 4-5 days and the net had cut into its neck. As seen in the video the turtle swam free. It is however very sad imagining how much marine life get caught in ocean pollution and aren’t as lucky as this little turtle.”

‘Arrest Boeing bosses for killing aircraft passengers’


This 16 October 2019 video says about itself:

When a commercial airplane crashed off the coast of Indonesia in October 2018, global aviation authorities were shocked.

The aircraft was a 737 MAX, one of the newest models of US manufacturer Boeing.

And then when a second MAX dropped out of the sky in Ethiopia in March 2019, investigators said they believed that software on the airplane played a role in both crashes.

With 346 people dead and the MAX now grounded, aviation authorities around the globe have asked what went wrong, how the US certified the aircraft in 2017 and how oversight failed. Families and investigators are still searching for answers.

A former Boeing engineer who worked on the plane, and asked to remain anonymous, recalls that the design and testing of the 737 MAX took place amid immense commercial pressure.

“Cost pressure and time. Time pressure was the biggest impact, biggest driver … [There was] immense pressure on getting the airplane to market as soon as possible”, he told Fault Lines.

“On the 737 MAX there was constant pressure to not change anything. From a cost perspective, change costs money. The business side drives the culture.”

Captain Dennis Tajer from the Allied Pilots Association believes “the system failed”.

“The system is Boeing, the FAA, other oversight areas from within those groups,” he says. “What’s the measure on that judgment? These crashes. It’s that simple: the system failed. It failed our passengers, it failed the globe.”

Fault Lines traces what led to the two plane crashes and asks if US aviation regulators have allowed the industry too much control over safety.

By Bryan Dyne in the USA:

Why haven’t Boeing’s executives been arrested?

21 October 2019

A leaked conversation between two Boeing employees provides further evidence that even though the aerospace giant was well aware of potentially catastrophic problems of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, it still decided to introduce the aircraft for commercial flights. Within two years of executives making the decision to put it into service, the deadly aircraft crashed twice—first in October 2018 and then in March of this year—killing 346 men, women and children.

So why aren’t any of Boeing’s executives facing criminal charges?

The exchange between Boeing pilot Mark Forkner and his colleague Patrick Gustavsson, first published by Reuters, again reveals that the company subordinates passenger safety to the drive for profit. With only six months to go before the release of the aircraft, Forkner noted “fundamental issues” with the Max 8 that other Boeing officials “claim they’re aware of”. He specifically mentioned that “MCAS” was “running rampant in the [simulator]” and that “the plane [was] trimming like crazy.”

These comments by two Boeing employees dovetail with black box recordings and other data collected on the two crashes, Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which show that a previously unknown system, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), forced the planes into an unrecoverable nosedive. The system was ostensibly installed so that pilots of previous Boeing 737s would require next to no training on the new aircraft, a major selling point the company used to push its plane onto customers over European rival Airbus’s A320neo aircraft.

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg speaks during a news conference after the company's annual shareholders meeting at the Field Museum in Chicago, Monday, April 29, 2019. (photo by John Gress/Reuters via AP, Pool)

The real reason MCAS was developed, however, was to correct for a tendency of the Max 8 to stall. In order to shorten development time for the aircraft, Boeing essentially welded on new engines to a half-century old airframe, which meant the jet constantly had a slight pitch up. Instead of designing a new body for the engines, company executives determined it would be much quicker and cheaper to apply a software fix to faulty hardware.

Moreover, Boeing did everything it could to hide this development from regulators. Forkner, who at the time was a technical pilot for the company, told Gustavsson “I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)” because neither he nor his coworker had been informed of how much control MCAS could assume over an aircraft. Despite this incident, which was likely one among many, Boeing not only hid the dangers of the system from aviation safety officials, it kept the software out of Max 8 flight manuals. Even after the Lion Air crash, many pilots in the US and internationally were unaware of MCAS and the potential dangers it posed.

There is no innocent explanation for these omissions. They indicate reckless and criminally negligent behavior on the part of Boeing executives to rush into service a flying deathtrap in order to gain market share over its corporate rivals.

That none of them have been prosecuted, much less arrested, speaks to the incestuous relationship between airline companies and the US government. Ali Bahrami, one of the heads of the aerospace industry’s lobbying group, was one of the leading members of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during the initial development of the Max 8. FAA Acting Administrator during both crashes was Dan Elwell, a former American Airlines executive. Stephen Dickson, the new head of the agency, was a Senior Vice President at Delta.

It also indicts Boeing’s Wall Street investors, which see lives lost only as the cost of doing business. This includes The Vanguard Group, T. Rowe Price Associates, the Newport Trust Co., SSGA Funds Management and Blackrock Fund Advisors, among others. They collectively control 27.9 percent of Boeing’s stock, valued at $59.4 billion, which is more than twice what it was when Boeing first introduced the Max 8.

Boeing’s executives themselves also made a tidy sum. During the meteoric rise of the company’s stock in January and February, Chief Financial Officer Gregory Smith, Executive Vice President John Keating, General Counsel Michael Luttig and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenberg all sold shares worth $9.5 million, $10.1 million, $9.5 million and $6.5 million, respectively. That the second Max 8 crash occurred within a month of these and other similar windfalls raises questions about what else corporate executives knew.

The relationship between Boeing, its executives and its Wall Street investors, however, is only a symptom of the logic produced by the deregulation of the airline industry as a whole, an effort spearheaded by the Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter in 1978. Aided and abetted by Professor Alfred Kahn … Carter pushed through the Airline Deregulation Act, which smashed the existing setup that treated interstate airlines as a regulated public utility, setting routes, schedules and fares.

At the same time, Carter drew up plans to smash the air traffic controllers’ union, PATCO, which were carried out in 1981 by his Republican successor Ronald Reagan—with the support of a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. This began an assault on airline workers and all sections of the working class … which accelerated the growth of financial speculation and parasitism which has dismantled much of the country’s industry.

The basis for this is the ongoing counterrevolution being carried out by the ruling elite against the social position and living standards of the working class asmwealth is concentrated ever more tightly in the top 1 percent and .1 percent of society. These same processes led the utility company PG&E to plunge millions into darkness two weeks ago without warning. The company, which has been implicated in the deaths of 85 people in last year’s Camp Fire, has stated that random blackouts will likely be the new normal for working-class Californians for at least a decade.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 disasters are the outcome of the capitalist ownership of the airline industry and the financial system. They point to the inherent incompatibility between the basic interests of the working class and the private ownership of essential industries, as well as the division of the world’s economy into rival nations. These catastrophes were driven by both the greed of Boeing executives and big investors and the intensifying trade conflict between the United States and Europe.

The only way forward is the opposite, the transformation of the airlines and other major corporations and banks into publicly owned utilities under the democratic control of the working class. This will be a key part of a political fight against the corporate-financial oligarchy and both of its parties, as part of the establishment of a planned economy based on social need, not private profit.

California condor chick fledges, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

California Condor Chick #980 Fledges! – Oct. 14, 2019

Big news! At just over 6 months of age, the young condor nestling #980 has fledged after 187 days. Watch the young condor confidently take wing on October 14. After making a sustained flight out of view, the fledgling returns to perch on its favorite rock in the nesting cave. Way to fly #980!

Watch live at www.allaboutbirds.org/condors

This condor nest, known as the Pole Canyon nest, is located in a remote canyon near the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. The parents of the chick in the Pole Canyon nest are mom #563 and dad #262. Dad #262 was laid in 2001 and was the first viable egg laid in the wild since the reintroduction program began. He was actually one of two eggs laid to a trio (male #100 and females #111 and #108) but was brought into captivity to ensure proper incubation. He hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo and was released back to the wild a year later in 2002. Mom #563 hatched at the Oregon Zoo in 2010. This is their first nesting attempt together but both have nested previously with mates who are now deceased. A single egg was laid in this nesting cavity, and the chick hatched on April 10, 2019.

Chilean right-wing government’s Pinochet style military repression


This 21 October 2019 video says about itself:

The government in Chile has imposed another curfew in the capital rocked by protests over the economy.

Set off initially by a rise in metro fares, it has since broadened to include protests about the mismanagement of the economy and the huge income disparity gap.

The military is struggling to keep control, and transport systems and the airport have shut down.

Al Jazeera’s Teresa Bo reports from Santiago.

By Andrea Lobo:

Chilean military deployed against protests for the first time since Pinochet

21 October 2019

For the first time since the fascist military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, tanks rolled into downtown Santiago, Chile, this weekend, deployed against protesters demonstrating against a drastic fare hike of the Santiago metro, from the equivalent of USD $1.12 to $1.16. Military personnel in plainclothes and uniform were filmed shooting machine guns and pointing them at crowds of demonstrators.

On Saturday, the right-wing government of billionaire Sebastián Piñera invoked the still-standing 1980 Constitution established by Pinochet to declare a state of emergency across the country and to impose curfews in Santiago, Valparaiso and Concepción, enforced by 9,441 soldiers and thousands of Carabineros, the infamous militarized police. The main border crossing with Argentina was also blocked throughout the weekend.

The seamless imposition of these dictatorial measures by the Chilean ruling class, with the backing of US and European imperialism, exposes the sham of a “transition to democracy” in which the basic political and military set-up under Pinochet remain untouched … .

A demonstrator holds up his hands toward advancing soldiers during a protest as a state of emergency remains in effect in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. Protests in the country have spilled over into a new day, even after President Sebastian Pinera cancelled the subway fare hike that prompted massive demonstrations. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

A demonstrator holds up his hands toward advancing soldiers during a protest as a state of emergency remains in effect in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

The international character of this process, reflected concurrently in the fascistic repression against the Catalan nationalists … in Spain and the military crackdown in Ecuador, demonstrates that the ruling class everywhere is responding to the crisis of capitalism and the resurgence of the class struggle with a return to dictatorship to impose the economic diktats of finance capital.

The metro rate hike, which was announced in early October, led youth and workers via social media to call for rallies last Monday. Users jumped over turnstiles en masse, meeting brutal police repression. On Friday, these demonstrations sparked mass social anger against growing inequality and triggered protests for broader social demands.

Expressing these sentiments, Alejandra Ibánez, a 38-year-old demonstrator, told AFP: “I don’t like the violence or that some people break things, but all of a sudden these things have to happen so that they stop mocking us and stuffing their fingers in our mouths, raising everything but salaries, and all of this to make the rich in the country richer.”

On Friday, demonstrations grew and shut down all 136 stations of the Santiago metro system. Dozens of stations were lit on fire, as was the headquarters of Enel, a private Italian firm that controls 40 percent of energy distribution in Chile, and the offices of the pro-Pinochet El Mercurio newspaper in Valparaíso.

On Saturday and Sunday, the curfews were defied by thousands of demonstrators and, in Santiago, protesters holding pictures of victims under the Pinochet dictatorship temporarily surrounded the tanks.

At 10 p.m. Saturday, hours after invoking the state of exception and calling demonstrators “true delinquents who do not respect anything”, Piñera said he had “heard with humbleness the voice of my compatriots” and announced the repeal of the most recent fare hike of 30 pesos for the Santiago Metro. (Metro prices in rush hour had already increased 100 pesos, or nearly 15 percent, since February 2018.)

The state of emergency, however, will continue indefinitely, and the curfew was also invoked on Sunday night. According to a statement Sunday by the Ministry of Interior, 1,462 people have been arrested and 15 civilians hurt.

Five civilians died when a supermarket in Santiago caught fire amid the demonstrations and repression. At the same time, entire sections of Santiago remained without electricity Sunday, while school classes were suspended today.

In a not-so-subtle reference to the Pinochet dictatorship, the Association of Retired Navy Officials published a statement Sunday claiming “we have preparation and vast experience organizing and running a country in a convulsive moment” and called for action that would “support the Armed Forces and Police to recover the rule of law in Chile.”

When the left … Salvador Allende was elected in September 1970, the [United States] Richard Nixon administration plotted his overthrow immediately. Jotted notes by then-CIA Director Richard Helms from orders given by Nixon 10 days after Allende’s election read, “Not concerned risks involved. No involvement of embassy. $10,000,000 available, more if necessary. Full-time job—best men we have… Make the economy scream. 48 hours for plan of action.” (Kissinger: A Biography, Walter Isaacson, 1992, p. 290)

Chile erupts as youth and workers take on the military in fight against austerity: here.

Dinosaurs of Isle of Wight, England


This 20 October 2019 video says about itself:

Walking Around the Dinosaur Island (Part 1)

Ben and Doug embark on a dangerous quest to walk around the Dinosaur Island – will they make it?

The Isle of Wight is known as the UK’s dinosaur island, and in this series we attempt to walk around the entire coastline, filming as we go to show you why this is such a unique place.

Australian media protest against government censorship


Australian newspapers' blackened front pages, in protest against government censorship, EPA photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Australian newspapers black out their front pages against censorship

The biggest Australian newspapers today have their front pages painted black, as a joint statement against government censorship and interference. “When government keeps the truth from you, what are they covering up?” was written under the black lines.

The campaign was prompted by raids earlier this year against a journalist of the media company News Corp. and at the headquarters of the public broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). A search was made for leaked government documents.

The journalist had written a story about Australia’s intention to give secret services more powers. The raid on ABC came after a scoop about misconduct by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

A former lawyer who worked for the army has been charged in the latter case. He is said to have leaked the information to ABC. Several journalists may also be prosecuted.

Decrease in press freedom

According to Australian media, the freedom of the press has decreased after the attacks on September 11, 2001. Since then, more than 70 anti-terror laws and measures have been adopted in the country, which politicians abuse according to media.

Eg, the government refuses to share in which care homes abuse is taking place, where the elderly are neglected and how much agricultural land has been sold to foreign corporations.

Prime Minister Morrison said today in response to the campaign that he could give no guarantees that the journalists will go free.

This 20 October 2019 video from Australia says about itself:

Media unites to rally for press freedom: Taking the campaign to front pages and airwaves | ABC News

The nation’s media companies have redacted their front pages to highlight the constraints on media organisations under strict national security legislation.

National mastheads, including The Australian and the Financial Review, ran special covers on Monday morning arguing the media is subject to a regime of intense government secrecy and the threat of criminal charges for journalists doing their job.

The nation’s broadcasters began running campaigns on air during their Sunday prime time line-ups, depicting redacted Freedom of Information requests and arguing the media cannot fulfil its duty in keeping the public informed if its work is being hampered.

The Right To Know coalition, of which the ABC is a member, is behind the campaign, calling for the decriminalisation of public interest journalism, and greater protection for the media and whistleblowers.

It follows the Australian Federal Police (AFP) raiding the Canberra home of News Corp political journalist Annika Smethurst and the ABC’s Sydney headquarters earlier this year.

Read more here.

The threat is a clear application by the government of the “Assange precedent.” The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London last April, and the unveiling in May of 17 US Espionage Act charges against him over lawful publishing activities, has opened the floodgates for an assault on journalists and media freedom around the world: here.

Bezos’ Amazon, biggest United States war profiteers


This 21 October 2019 video from the USA is called Amazon Becoming Largest Military Contractor In U.S.

So, not only the corporation of militarist Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world; and the corporation with the worst exploitation of workers

The US Department of Defense unexpectedly awarded a massive contract for cloud computing services to Microsoft Corporation on October 25, snubbing Amazon, which had been widely considered the front-runner for the ten-year agreement: here.