This video shows an avocet with babies in Sweden.
This video shows an avocet with babies in Sweden.
This 7 April 2020 video says about itself:
Just a week after Amazon fired a worker who led a walkout, workers at the same Staten Island warehouse walked off the job again Monday to protest unsafe working conditions as online orders soar during the pandemic. We get an update from Angeles Solis, lead organizer at Make the Road New York, which helped organize the strike. Solis helps lead the group’s Beyond Amazon coalition in New York City. If Amazon doesn’t do more to protect workers, “they are not only profiting from this pandemic, but they’re helping to perpetuate it,” Solis says. We also talk about mutual aid organizing among immigrant and low-income communities, and Make the Road’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
This 28 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:
Facing dangerous predators from above, recently hatched sea turtles struggle to reach the safety of the open ocean.
From Florida Atlantic University in the USA:
Scientists develop new way to identify the sex of sea turtle hatchlings
Study provides crucial step to assess climate change impacts on imperiled turtle species
April 7, 2020
Summary: A new minimally invasive technique greatly enhances the ability to measure neonate turtle sex ratios. This is the first time that differences in sex-specific protein expression patterns have been identified in blood samples of hatchlings with temperature-dependent sex determination. The technique is a crucial step in assessing the impact of climate change on imperiled turtle species and will enable more accurate estimates of hatchling sex ratios at a population level and on a global scale.
Unlike humans, sea turtles and other reptiles like crocodiles do not have sex chromosomes. Their sex is defined during development by the incubation environment. In sea turtles, sex is determined by the nest’s temperature: warmer temperatures produce females and cooler temperatures produce males. It is especially challenging to identify the sex of hatchling sea turtles because they lack external sexual organs and heteromorphic sex chromosomes — no X or Y. To date, there are a limited number of ways to reliably identify sex in turtle hatchlings. With the rapid increase of global temperatures, there is an urgent need to clearly assess sex ratios in these imperiled animals.
Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science have developed a first-of-its-kind technique that is minimally invasive and greatly enhances the ability to measure neonate turtle sex ratios at population levels across nesting sites worldwide. They used this technique to identify sex in neonates of two turtle species: a freshwater turtle (Trachemys scripta) and a marine turtle (Caretta caretta) using analysis of small blood samples. This is the first time that differences in sex-specific protein expression patterns have been identified in blood samples of hatchlings with temperature-dependent sex determination. This research is a crucial step in assessing the impact of climate change on imperiled turtle species.
For the study, published in Scientific Reports, researchers used an immunoassay approach to test samples for the presence of several proteins known to play an important role in sex differentiation. Results of the study showed that anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) can reliably be detected in blood samples from neonate male turtles but not females and can be used as a sex-specific marker.
Researchers verified the sex of the turtles using histology or laparoscopy, which revealed that the new method they developed is 100 percent reliable for identifying sex in both the freshwater turtle and the loggerhead sea turtle in 1- to 2-day-old hatchlings and was 90 percent reliable for identifying sex in 83- to 177-day-old (120 — 160g) loggerhead juveniles.
“The challenges inherent in the methods that are currently being used to identify the sex of neonate turtles with temperature-dependent sex determination is what inspired us to look for an alternative approach,” said Jeanette Wyneken, Ph.D., co-author and a professor of biological sciences in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “Results from our study provide the field of reptile conservation, and in particular, turtle conservation and management, with a valuable new tool that can be used to accurately assess the sex ratios of hatchlings.”
In comparison to the current molecular methods for sex identification in turtles with temperature-dependent sex differentiation, the approach developed by FAU researchers using blood samples via western blot analysis is quick, minimally invasive (requires a very small volume of blood), and the hatchling turtle can then be released immediately.
“Information from our study should enable other scientists and managers to precisely monitor changes in sex ratios that might arise as a consequence of changes in temperature over time,” said Boris Tezak, Ph.D., senior author who conducted the research as part of his Ph.D. studies at FAU and is now a post-doctoral researcher at Duke University Medical Center. “It also will help them to estimate how climate change will affect future generations of hatchlings, and allow for expedited evaluation of management strategies used to help recover imperiled sea turtles and other reptile species with temperature-dependent sex determination.”
Identifying natural turtle hatchling sex ratios at nesting sites is challenging for a variety of reasons, spanning morphological limitations to ethical issues to a lack of understanding of the mechanisms that actually direct embryonic sexual differentiation. Generally, turtles are characterized by being long-lived and late-maturing, so they are not sexually dimorphic until approaching sexual maturity — marine turtle species often take more than 25 years to become sexually mature.
“Due to the difficulties associated with readily identifying hatchling sex, most large-scale studies investigating turtle hatchling sex ratios rely on proxies to infer sex ratios indirectly such as nest temperatures, air temperatures or nest incubation durations,” said Itzel Sifuentes-Romero, Ph.D., co-author, a post-doctoral fellow of biological sciences in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, and a post-doctoral fellow of FAU’s Brain Institute (I-Brain). “However, these alternatives often fail to match the primary sex ratios from natural turtle nests or rookeries. We believe that the novel technique we have developed will allow for more accurate estimates of hatchling sex ratios at a population level and on a global scale.”
This 6 April 2020 video from Britain says about itself:
Coronavirus social crisis: ‘I can’t live on universal credit’
The coronavirus outbreak is not just a public health crisis, it’s a social crisis. Owen Jones speaks to three self-employed people who have lost their livelihoods almost overnight and have turned to the universal credit system. How are they coping during the lockdown? And can they survive on government support?
Bogus self-employment epidemic collides with the coronavirus epidemic. MARK HARVEY of the Institute of Employment Rights argues that Britain has walked into a perfect storm due to employers forcing workers to register as self-employed — with no responsibility toward them in times like the present crisis.
By Peter Lazenby in Britain, 7 April 2020:
‘Gross negligence’ from tax bosses putting workers’ lives in danger
Union secure closure of one office after death but warns mandarins are blocking vital safety measures
PRESSURE to close all government tax offices where there have been cases of coronavirus mounted today after one was forced to shut following the death of a civil servant who worked there.
The closure of Trinity Bridge House in Salford, Greater Manchester, came following intense pressure on HM Revenue & Customs chiefs from the Public & Commercial Services union (PCS), which represents more than 180,000 Civil Service workers.
The coronavirus death in Salford was followed by the reported infection of another worker who had been instructed by bosses to continue working in the office.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 7 April 2020:
Doctors slam ‘useless’ PPE provision
Sixty-nine per cent of doctors say they do not feel protected from Covid-19 infection, according to BMA poll
DOCTORS condemned the provision of protective wear as “useless” today, warning that it was putting their lives at risk.
More than two-thirds of doctors (69 per cent) said they do not feel protected from Covid-19 infection, according to a British Medical Association (BMA) poll.
Some have also said they feel forced to work in high-risk areas without the right kit.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Non-essential transport workers must be stood down, union demands
NON-ESSENTIAL public transport workers must be stood down in light of a massive drop in railway travel, TSSA said today.
The rail union’s call came as statistics from Downing Street showed a widespread decline in the use of public transport since the coronavirus lockdown took effect, with the number of rail journeys now just 20 per cent of what is usually is.
TSSA was set to have a meeting with the Commons transport select committee today.
This 7 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:
Mounting anger among US healthcare workers as watchdog warns of “severe” supply shortages. By Evan Blake, 7 April 2020. As the Department of Health and Human Services warned Monday of “severe” shortages of vital protective equipment throughout the country, healthcare workers are demanding safe working conditions and the provision of the equipment necessary to keep them safe while treating COVID-19 patients: here.
This 6 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:
Donald Trump gets clobbered by a nurse. John Iadarola and Francesca Fiorentini react on The Damage Report.
US military calls for another $20 billion to counter China. By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2020. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, an Indo-Pacific Command report to the US Congress sets out plans for a further military build-up in the region directed against China.
The deadly consequences of the gutting of America’s public health infrastructure. By Gary Joad, 7 April 2020. Politicians and media pundits have accepted that mass sickness and death are the inevitable product of the COVID-19 outbreak.
This 6 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:
US hospitals raise prices, cut costs and lay off staff in midst of COVID-19 crisis. By Warren Duzak and Douglas Lyons, 7 April 2020. Funds to purchase necessary health equipment and increase operating capacity to battle the coronavirus will come from raising hospitals’ already extortionist rates for procedures, while cutting vital staff.
New Jersey hospitals cut staff as COVID-19 cases surge. By Erik Schreiber and Clara Weiss, 7 April 2020. On top of decade-long budget cuts to health care, a shortage of ventilators, PPE and hospital beds, the layoffs of medical workers will contribute to an increasing death toll.
At least 33 New York City transit workers dead as contagion spreads on buses and trains. By Daniel de Vries, 7 April 2020. Transit workers’ lives are being sacrificed while city and state officials refuse to provide workers and commuters protective gear or an alternative to packed buses and trains.
Workers on Facebook have reported that at least two UPS workers have died in the Chicago area from COVID-19, including Jerome Sutton, who left behind a wife and a young son. Neither management nor the Teamsters has confirmed these reports: here.
From the World Socialist Web Site, 7 April 2020:
Coronavirus infecting postal workers
Some 4,420 postal workers are under quarantine as a result of possible exposure to coronavirus, according to the United States Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC). Already some 294 have tested positive for COVID-19 with 8 deaths. Postal workers nationwide are reporting a lack of protective equipment and cleaning supplies for its 630,000 workforce.
In an April 3 statement, Fredric Rolando, president of the NALC, said to union members, “USPS has committed to provide daily supplies necessary for postal employees to clean frequently touched items in the office as well as provide necessary supplies for letter carriers to use to clean steering wheels and other frequently touched surfaces in postal vehicles. … You should have sufficient hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean all day as you touch the many surfaces on your route.”
But letter carriers deny this to be the case and in another statement, Rolando admitted, “In some places, all of these things are being done. However, in too many places they are not.”
Irvine, California nurses protest lack of protective equipment
Over 50 nurses at the UCI Medical Center in Irvine, California staged a protest April 3 over management’s refusal to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disciplinary measures against nurses who wear masks in areas where they are restricted. Nurses marched from the hospital to UCI Health administration facility to deliver a petition but were denied entry to deliver it.
“We’re here to fight,” Maria Louviaux, a UCI Health nurse, told CBSLA news. “Even just to wear our surgical mask throughout our shift, we have to fight for that, and unless nurses meet certain criteria, we aren’t allowed to wear masks. In fact, we are intimidated and on the verge of bullying at times by managers and directors.”
Nurses claim the hospital has N95 respirator masks, but they are kept locked up. According to a management statement, the hospital is “keeping PPE secure so they are available for health care workers who need it,” essentially barring nurses from their use.
This 7 April 2020 video says about itself:
The Wisconsin governor delayed the primary election vote, however, a court just overruled him. Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.
By Jacob Crosse and Patrick Martin in the USA:
Wisconsin state Supreme Court overturns governor’s action, orders in-person voting today
In actions that have far-reaching and ominous implications for democracy in America, both the Wisconsin state Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court have intervened to support the demand by Republican Party officials in Wisconsin that the state conduct an in-person election today, despite the danger of coronavirus infection for any voter who goes to the polls.
The Wisconsin election is to go forward, both the Democratic presidential primary, a statewide vote for the state Supreme Court and a state referendum, and hundreds of local contests, despite the last-minute effort by Democratic Governor Tony Evers to postpone it until June. After weeks of prevaricating, Evers issued an executive order Monday to put off the in-person voting until June 9.
As of Monday, Wisconsin had 2,440 cases of coronavirus, of which 1,256 cases and 40 deaths were in Milwaukee, followed by Dane County (Madison) with 278 cases and nine deaths, Waukesha County, 160 cases and four deaths, and Kenosha County, 104 cases and one death. There is little doubt that holding a primary election with in-person voting will drive these numbers upward.
The vote is an election in name only, however. Because of the dangers of COVID-19 infection, particularly to the predominately elderly and retired people who traditionally staff polling places, there will actually be few places for voters to cast their ballots if they attempt to do so. Thousands of poll workers have refused to participate in the election because of the risk to their health.
In the entire city of Milwaukee, with a population of nearly 600,000, only five “voting stations” will be open. The city was compelled to reduce the number of polling stations from the usual 180 to five because it was essentially without poll workers. Nearly half of the 85 people who have died of coronavirus so far in Wisconsin were Milwaukee residents.
Many other cities were following suit. Green Bay, for example, cut the number of polling places from 31 to only two. Only Madison, the second-largest city and a Democratic stronghold, indicated it would open the usual number of polling places. But Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said, before the state Supreme Court issued its order, “I certainly hope that anyone who has any influence on the decision recognizes again that from a public health perspective, it would be a really, really bad idea to hold the election.”
The Republican-controlled state legislature has achieved its wildest dreams: an election in Wisconsin in which voters in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, and in many other smaller cities, are effectively disenfranchised, while voters in sparsely populated rural areas, where the coronavirus is not yet a major factor, are expected to turn out. And this has been sanctioned by a 4–2 vote of the Wisconsin state Supreme Court, on a party-line vote, with one Republican, Daniel Kelly, who is up for reelection in today’s ballot, recusing himself.
This travesty of democracy has been further sanctioned by the US Supreme Court, which issued a ruling, shortly after the state Supreme Court decision, overturning a federal district court decision to allow more time for voters to complete and mail in absentee ballots. By a party-line 5–4 vote, with five justices appointed by Republican presidents overruling four justices appointed by Democrats, the high court found that the lower court had exceeded its authority and that the coronavirus emergency did not justify allowing voters to mail in absentee ballots after the April 7 primary.
In his opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh explicitly declared that the court was not taking a position on whether the primary election should be held on April 7. That was left to be decided by the state Supreme Court. This is the opposite of the position taken by a 5–4 Republican majority on the court in the notorious 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore, in which the US Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Florida state Supreme Court to allow a statewide recount to continue because all voters, under the Florida state constitution, had the right to have their votes counted.
“The Court’s order requires absentee voters to postmark their ballots by election day, April 7—i.e., tomorrow—even if they did not receive their ballots by that date. That is a novel requirement,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent of the 5–4 decision, adding, “the Court’s order, I fear, will result in massive disenfranchisement.”
The US Supreme Court overturned the ruling made by District Judge William Conley, for the Western District of Wisconsin, which would have required counting absentee ballots mailed later than April 7 provided they were received by April 13, the legal deadline. Nearly 600,000 absentee ballots mailed to voters at their request have not yet been returned. Some 11,000 ballots had not yet been mailed out Monday morning to the voters who requested them. Given the disruption caused by the coronavirus epidemic, it is likely that tens if not hundreds of thousands of ballots will not be postmarked by April 7 and those votes will be disqualified.
In issuing Executive Order #74 to postpone the April 7 vote, Governor Evers cited language in the state Constitution which allows him to take extraordinary action which “he or she deems necessary for the security of persons and property.” The two top state Republicans, Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, immediately filed suit with the state Supreme Court, accusing Evers of “unconstitutional overreach.”
Evers had dithered over whether to go ahead with the election, even after 11 other US states with votes scheduled between March 24 and mid-May had either postponed their elections or switched to mail-ballot-only to allow voters to observe social distancing rules aimed at curbing the coronavirus infection. On Sunday, the mayors of nine Wisconsin cities, including Milwaukee and Madison, appealed to the state’s Department of Health Services to ban in-person voting Tuesday on health grounds.
After initially claiming he had no legal authority to postpone the vote, Evers issued the executive order Monday, with his spokesman saying conditions had changed because of the pandemic: “This is an unprecedented situation in our state’s history, and thus this is not even really a choice, but a need in order to protect personal security to not allow in-person voting tomorrow.”
The election is now supposed to go forward, putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people needlessly at risk. President Trump voiced his approval for the court’s decision, writing on Twitter, “The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that tomorrow’s election will proceed as scheduled. VOTE for Justice Daniel Kelly tomorrow, and be safe!”
In an interview with the Washington Post, Lois Frank, 57, the village clerk of tiny Cambria, located in rural eastern Wisconsin, spoke of the danger clerks like her will face tomorrow. “We’re going to be on the front lines just like the health care workers, I just personally know a lot of clerks that do have health risks, myself included.”
No in-person primaries have been held in the US since March 17 when Florida, Arizona and Illinois voters risked their lives waiting hours to vote in crowded understaffed polling stations. In the declaration accompanying his executive order, Evers compared the infection rates between Michigan and Ohio to explain why the elections needed to be postponed.
Michigan currently has 17,221 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 727 deaths, while Ohio reports 4,400 cases of COVID-19 with 142 deaths so far. Ohio actually has a larger population, and the two states are comparable in the social devastation and poverty of former industrial centers like Detroit, Cleveland and Youngstown. But Michigan held a presidential primary on March 10, in which some 1.4 million people voted, while Ohio canceled its scheduled in-person voting on March 17.
This past Saturday Evers had called a special session of the legislature to take up his belated request to postpone the primary until May 19 and to convert the election to an entirely mail-in election. The Republican-dominated assembly gaveled in and out of the special session in less than 20 seconds without taking up the governor’s request.
In addition to the Democratic presidential primary contest between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the April 7 elections features the aforementioned supreme court race between Kelly and current Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky, as well as hundreds of contests for county board, school board and municipal judges.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that up to 7,000 poll workers had already made it known that they were not going to violate Evers “stay-at-home” order by working the polls. According to Evers’ own executive order, the city of Waukesha, with a population of nearly 73,000 people, would have had one available polling station. But limiting the number of stations exacerbates the danger of spreading the infection, since it insures longer lines at the polls.
Evers and the GOP had sought a deal to “protect” poll workers, many who are older and at higher risk of falling ill, floating a proposal to replace the older poll workers with younger ones. When this proposal, unsurprisingly, found few volunteers, Evers decided to call up soldiers from the Wisconsin National Guard to needlessly endanger themselves by manning the few polling stations that will be available.
RBG SOUNDS THE SIREN: DISENFRANCHISEMENT IN WISCONSIN Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg excoriated her conservative colleagues over their decision to deny Wisconsin Democrats’ request to extend absentee voting beyond the state’s election on Tuesday, despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court’s conservative bloc declared absentee ballots must be mailed by Tuesday. Ginsburg said the decision means voters will have to risk their health “or they will lose their right to vote.” [HuffPost]
This video says about itself:
A Rufous Motmot was spotted feeding another some papaya on the platform. This behavior between two adults of the same species is known as “allofeeding.” This type of activity is right in line with the start of mating season (as well as the rainy season) in Panama. It’s also interesting to note that the motmot doing the feeding is the one-eyed individual that we have been observing for well over a year now on the feeder.
This 7 April 2020 video says about itself:
American Abroad Able to Access COVID-19 Test Easily, Compares to U.S. | NowThis
In US news and current events today, the coronavirus pandemic has people around the world struggling, especially the hospital staff and emergency medical workers who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19.
Naskeh Habibi, an American from Oregon, shared her experience getting tested for COVID-19 while abroad in Iraq. Habibi describes her testing experience as a ‘pretty simple’ process, and she shares her surprise and criticism over how getting a test in the U.S. is not as easy.
TRUMP ADVISER WARNED OF PANDEMIC IN JANUARY President Donald Trump said repeatedly in March that “nobody” could’ve predicted a crisis at the scale of the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc across the globe. But Peter Navarro, Trump’s top trade adviser, sounded clear alarms in the West Wing with memos in late January and in February about the potentially catastrophic human and economic devastation of the virus on the United States. [HuffPost]
Hospital workers fear they’ll get too sick to care for patients.
Women in health care are already overworked. Where do they turn when the toll of coronavirus hits them?
By PJ Grisar in the USA, April 6, 2020:
In the time of coronavirus, the world looks to Anne Frank
On Sunday March 22, as New York State marked nearly 17,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, Anne Frank’s picture appeared on a Manhattan courthouse.
The oversize closeup of Frank’s smiling face, projected above the columns of an immigration court, came with a trenchant all-caps message for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: “Anne Frank died of typhus. Not a gas chamber. If detainees can’t social distance, Governor Cuomo, free them all!”
The protest, a version of which happened simultaneously at a Boston courthouse and a week later in Philadelphia, was the work of the Jewish activist group Never Again Action, and aimed to urge Cuomo, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf to release undocumented immigrants from ICE detention centers to protect them from the close-quarters spread of coronavirus. Frank is believed to have died of typhus in February, 1945 at the Bergen-Belson concentration camp in northern Germany. By invoking Frank, the group was making a forceful statement: Without decisive action, Cuomo and Baker could create a humanitarian crisis that could cause the death of innocents. …
Since her diary’s publication in 1947, people have looked to Frank for comfort and courage in unsure times; now, as we face a global crisis that hits us all at home, many are identifying with her in even more direct — and intimate — ways. …
The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, one of the central keyholders of Frank’s legacy, has provided an especially telling example of her potential at this moment, particularly for today’s plugged-in youth. While the museum is closed until at least June 1, it has launched a new initiative to engage kids during the pandemic, rolling out a 15-part YouTube “video diary” that asks “What if Anne Frank had a camera instead of a diary?” The series, which documents Frank’s life from her diary entries of March 29, 1944 to her apprehension by the Nazis on August 4 of that year, premiered its first episodes in the Netherlands on March 30.
Flight attendants call for a halt to all leisure travel during the pandemic.
COVID-19 is ravaging Black communities. A Milwaukee neighborhood is figuring out how to fight back.
TRUMP ATTACKS REPORTERS IN CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING Trump repeatedly badgered and berated members of the news media during Monday’s White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, calling one “horrid” and another a “third-rate reporter.” McClatchy reporter Francesca Chambers asked Trump about the federal government’s new Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, saying it had gotten off to a “confusing start.” After repeatedly interrupting the reporter, Trump said, “I wish we had a fair media in this country, and we really don’t.” [HuffPost]
DEMOCRATIC lawmakers have formally protested against the Navy’s dismissal of the commander of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, who requested urgent aid to stop a coronavirus outbreak on board his ship. … Just three weeks ago, Miguel Rodriguez (55) had ‘a comfortable living situation’ working as a waiter in a Maryland restaurant in a job he’d held for 20 years. But everything changed overnight when La Ferme, a French restaurant in the upscale Chevy Chase suburb of Washington, was forced to close amid statewide shutdowns to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak. His wife, a waitress at another restaurant, also lost her job.: here.
INDUSTRY ASKS CALIFORNIA TO DELAY POLLUTION RULES Industry groups have sent at least six letters to California officials in the past two weeks requesting delays or modifications to new pollution limits on the oil and gas, transportation, building and agriculture sectors, according to documents shared with HuffPost. The rules are set to go into effect later this year, but industry is asking to push back or indefinitely delay those dates because of the economic stress the COVID-19 pandemic. [HuffPost]
“Jaws” actor Lee Fierro dies of coronavirus complications.