Great spotted woodpecker and cuckoo


This May 2017 video shows great spotted woodpeckers at their nest.

After this morning in the sand dunes nature reserve, in the evening a walk around a little lake there.

Up a tree, a great spotted woodpecker.

A cuckoo calls.

A nightingale sings.

Two carrion crows. A magpie flying.

A meadow pipit on a pole cleanses its feathers.

COVID-19 disaster in Trump’s USA, update


This 16 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Native Health Care Center Receives Body Bags Instead of PPE | NowThis

Workers at a Native health care center reached out to county, state, and federal agencies for more PPE and supplies to fight COVID-19 — they received body bags instead.

In US news and current events today, Abigail Echo-Hawk works for the Seattle Indian Health Board, which serves 6k American Indians and Alaska Natives. She reached out to State and Federal agencies for more PPE, but when a delivery came, the boxes only contained body bags.

This 16 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Food Sparks Rapid COVID Outbreaks

John Iadarola and Francesca Fiorentini break it down on The Damage Report.

“On April 10, Tony Thompson, the sheriff for Black Hawk County in Iowa, visited the giant Tyson Foods pork plant in Waterloo. What he saw, he said, “shook me to the core”.

Workers, many of them immigrants, were crowded elbow to elbow as they broke down hog carcasses zipping by on a conveyor belt. The few who had face coverings wore a motley assortment of bandannas, painters’ masks or even sleep masks stretched around their mouths. Some had masks hanging around their necks.

Sheriff Thompson and other local officials lobbied Tyson to close the plant, worried about a coronavirus outbreak. In an April 14 phone call, county health officials asked Tyson to shut down temporarily, Tyson said. But Tyson was “less than cooperative”, said the sheriff, who supervises the county’s coronavirus response, and Iowa’s governor declined to shut the facility.”

Read more here.

This 16 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders grills health officials over the ultimate pandemic question. What was the answer he received? John Iadarola and Jordan Uhl break it down on The Damage Report.

Crowned crane chases elephants from nest


This 12 May 2020 video says about itself:

Brave Bird Chases Elephants from Nest

A crowned crane is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and is protected by law in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. They are usually very territorial especially in pairs and can get quite aggressive defending their territory or chicks.

It’s a different story when size comes to play, and for this crane, it seems that size was not even a problem when it took on a herd of elephants!

This incredible sighting was shared with LatestSightings.com by WildEearth’s SafariLive show. It is a company that streams live safaris every day from Greater Kruger, East Africa and other reserves. This sighting was, too, streamed on a live safari and in this episode, Tayla McCurdy, the presenter, narrates the experience.

Tayla McCurdy from South Africa came across a wonderfully unique sighting in Maasai Mara. A crowned crane had some eggs in an open area when a herd of elephants tried to walk through, grazing on the water plants which seem grass-like.

“I cannot say for sure if this is a male or female crowned crane, as both genders sit on the nest during breeding season. The crane jumped to the defense of the unborn chicks, as the mother took on the elephants!”

“The elephant seemed rather bemused by the situation and remained curious as to why the bird was flapping its wings. Various alarm calls did, in fact, seem to work at the beginning, as the bird kept launching forward, flapping wings and calling in defense of its nest. Eventually, the elephant became rather irritated and tried to push the bird away with its trunk before wandering off, leaving the eggs unharmed.”

“The bird, seemingly relaxed, then turned its attention to a baby elephant calf grazing nearby, as soon as it tried to charge for the calf, the 1st young elephant trumpeted a warning call and paced quickly in the direction of the calf. The crowned crane moved off, realizing that there was no longer any danger, leaving the elephant to graze peacefully but keeping a close eye.”

Edvard Munch´s The Scream painting threatened


This 2017 video says about itself

Edvard Munch – The Scream (1893)

‘The Scream’ is one of the most iconic paintings in the world, but what is it about?

By watching this video you’ll learn the major facts about ‘The Scream’ by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944). The painting will be visually analyzed (composition, ordonnance, color, technique, style, etc.) and the common interpretations are explained.

From the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility:

Key to preserving The Scream

May 15, 2020

Moisture is the main environmental factor that triggers the degradation of the masterpiece The Scream (1910?) by Edvard Munch, according to the finding of an international team of scientists led by the CNR (Italy), using a combination of in situ non-invasive spectroscopic methods and synchrotron X-ray techniques. After exploiting the capability of the European mobile platform MOLAB in situ and non-invasively at the Munch Museum in Oslo, the researchers came to the ESRF, the European Synchrotron (Grenoble, France), the world’s brightest X-ray source, to carry out non-destructive experiments on micro-flakes originating from one of the most well-known versions of The Scream. The findings could help better preserve this masterpiece, which is seldom exhibited due to its degradation. The study is published in Science Advances.

The Scream is among the most famous paintings of the modern era. The now familiar image is interpreted as the ultimate representation of anxiety and mental anguish. There are a number of versions of The Scream, namely two paintings, two pastels, several lithographic prints and a few drawings and sketches. The two most well-known versions are the paintings that Edvard Munch created in 1893 and 1910. Each version of The Scream is unique. Munch clearly experimented to find the exact colours to represent his personal experience, mixing diverse binding media (tempera, oil and pastel) with brilliant and bold synthetic pigments to make ‘screaming colours’. Unfortunately, the extensive use of these new coloured materials poses a challenge for the long-term preservation of Munch’s artworks.

The version of the Scream (1910?) that belongs to the Munch Museum (Oslo, Norway) clearly exhibits signs of degradation in different areas where cadmium-sulfide-based pigments have been used: cadmium yellow brushstrokes have turned to an off-white colour in the sunset cloudy sky and in the neck area of the central figure. In the lake, a thickly applied opaque cadmium yellow paint is flaking. Throughout its existence, several elements have played a role in the deterioration of the masterpiece: the yellow pigments used, the environmental conditions and a theft in 2004, when the painting disappeared for two years.

Since the recovery of the painting after the theft, the masterpiece has rarely been shown to the public. Instead, it is preserved in a protected storage area in the Munch Museum, in Norway, under controlled conditions of lighting, temperature (about 18°C) and relative humidity (about 50%).

An international collaboration, led by the CNR (Italy), with the University of Perugia (Italy), the University of Antwerp (Belgium), the Bard Graduate Center in New York City (USA), the European Synchrotron (ESRF, France), the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY, Hamburg) and the Munch Museum, has studied in detail the nature of the various cadmium-sulfide pigments used by Munch, and how these have degraded over the years.

The findings provide relevant hints about the deterioration mechanism of cadmium-sulfide-based paints, with significant implication for the preventive conservation of The Scream.

“The synchrotron micro-analyses allowed us to pinpoint the main reason that made the painting decline, which is moisture. We also found that the impact of light in the paint is minor. I am very pleased that our study could contribute to preserve this famous masterpiece,” explains Letizia Monico, one of the corresponding authors of the study.

Hitting the right formula for preservation

Monico and her colleagues studied selected cadmium-sulfide-based areas of The Scream (1910?), as well as a corresponding micro-sample, using a series of non-invasive in-situ spectroscopic analyses with portable equipment of the European MOLAB platform in combination with the techniques of micro X-ray diffraction, X-ray micro fluorescence and micro X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy mainly at the ESRF, the European Synchrotron, in France, the world’s most powerful synchrotron. The study of the painting was integrated with investigations of artificially aged mock-ups. The latter were prepared using a historical cadmium yellow pigment powder and a cadmium yellow oil paint tube that belonged to Munch. Both mock-ups had a similar composition to the lake in the painting. “Our goal was to compare the data from all these different pigments, in order to extrapolate the causes that can lead to deterioration,” says Monico.

The study shows that the original cadmium sulfide turns into cadmium sulfate in the presence of chloride-compounds in high-moisture conditions (relative humidity, or RH ?95%). This happens even if there is no light.

“The right formula to preserve and display the main version of The Scream on a permanent basis should include the mitigation of the degradation of the cadmium yellow pigment by minimising the exposure of the painting to excessively high moisture levels (trying to reach 45% RH or lower), while keeping the lighting at standard values foreseen for lightfast painting materials. The results of this study provide new knowledge, which may lead to practical adjustments to the Museum’s conservation strategy,” explains Irina C. A. Sandu, conservation scientist at the Munch Museum.

“Today the Munch Museum stores and exhibits Edvard Munch’s artworks at a relative humidity of about 50% and at a temperature of around 20 °C. These environmental conditions will also apply to the new Munch Museum to be opened in Spring 2020. That said, the Museum will now look into how this study may affect the current regime. Part of such a review will be to consider how other materials in the collection will respond to possible adjustments,” adds Eva Storevik Tveit, paintings conservator at the Munch Museum.

Cadmium-sulfide-based yellows are not only present in Munch’s artwork but also in the work of other artists contemporary to him, such as Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh and James Ensor.

“The integration of non-invasive in-situ investigations at the macro-scale level with synchrotron micro-analyses proved its worth in helping us to understand complex alteration processes. It can be profitably exploited for interrogating masterpieces that could suffer from the same weakness,” reports Costanza Miliani, coordinator of the mobile platform MOLAB (operating in Europe under the IPERION CH project) and second corresponding author of this study.

Monico and colleagues, especially Koen Janssens (University of Antwerp), have a long-standing collaboration with the ESRF, the European Synchrotron, and in particular with the scientist Marine Cotte, to investigate these pigments and the best way to preserve the original masterpieces.

“At the ESRF, ID21 is one of the very few beamlines in the world where we can perform imaging X-ray absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy analysis of the entire sample, at low energy and with sub-micrometer spatial resolution,” explains Janssens.

“EBS, the new Extremely Brilliant Source, the first-of-a-kind high-energy synchrotron, which is under commissioning at the moment at the ESRF, will further improve the capabilities of our instruments for the benefit of world heritage science. We will be able to perform microanalyses with increased sensitivity, and a greater level of detail. Considering the complexity of these artistic materials, such instrumental developments will highly benefit the analysis of our cultural heritage,” adds Cotte, ESRF scientist and CNRS researcher director.

“This kind of work shows that art and science are intrinsically linked and that science can help preserve pieces of art so that the world can continue admiring them for years to come,” concludes Miliani, coordinator of MOLAB.

Coronavirus disaster, European news


This 13 May 2020 video says about itself:

Construction workers and safety experts condemn Boris Johnson for social murder

On the very day the Government urges all construction workers to return to work, the Office of National Statistics releases figure showing that keeping sites open has led to three times as many deaths of construction workers as healthcare professionals. Hundreds more will die if this appalling policy is allowed to continue – so Shut The Sites are calling for collective organisation to stop the carnage.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 15 May 2020:

Editorial: Schools are now a battleground between safety and profit

THE battle to stop the government’s reckless drive to reopen schools with scant regard for child or staff safety is led by educators and their unions.

Nonetheless, it is a battle whose outcome could hardly be of greater importance for the public. Reopening schools does not “merely” affect the millions who attend or work in them.

Once schools are operating normally all those who come into contact with those millions of people, the families, carers and dependants, are affected too.

Unless the government can demonstrate it is ready and able to enforce serious safeguards — such as those imposed when China began reopening schools, which involved smaller class sizes, classes using separate entrances, regular deep cleans and disinfection of everything used, physical distancing within schools, shorter school days and, above all, mandatory testing of pupils and staff before they were cleared to come in, each school risks becoming a “super-spreader” enabling the Covid-19 virus to spread like wildfire through communities.

It is not a partial or gradual easing of lockdown: it drives a coach and horses through it.

For the government as well as the public, reopening schools holds a significance that reaches way beyond the education sector.

Ministers have long promoted education policies that widen the gap between the children of richer and poorer families, such as academisation and baseline testing.

They have ignored repeated warnings from education unions on the terrible impact of austerity on children’s ability to learn, with teachers sounding the alarm over children too tired, too hungry or too ill to concentrate.

Now, these same ministers pose as champions of the disadvantaged, declaring that schools must reopen quickly so that the poorest do not fall too far behind richer pupils who are better placed to learn at home.

That won’t wash. Tory ministers want schools reopened because parents providing childcare are more difficult to dragoon back into the workplace themselves.

An Establishment propaganda barrage has been directed at teachers, accusing them of betraying these pupils’ interests through a presumably selfish desire to avoid being infected — with a virus that could kill them, members of their families or members of their pupils’ families.

As NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach warns, this is a “situation where the wrong decision will result in people becoming seriously ill and dying.”

Blairite figures in the Labour Party such as warmongering loudmouth Ian Austin savage trade unions in the press while former education secretary David — now Lord — Blunkett deploys literal peer pressure in the hope of bullying teachers into acting against their consciences.

This reached a crescendo in today’s Daily Mail with an appalling and grossly misleading assault on teachers’ unions. As Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner says, “it’s not ‘militant’ to demand safety measures are in place for children and staff alike.”

As for the familiar slur that union headbangers are imposing their will on a workforce eager to comply with government wishes, it is surely demolished by National Education Union joint general secretary Kevin Courtney’s observation that his union has recruited 7,500 new members in three days and received 100,000 responses to a members’ survey in 48 hours.

As Courtney makes clear, teachers do want to get back to work — when it is safe. The five tests that the union has set out are not just supported by teachers but by the British Medical Association.

The government must be made to back down. But this will only happen if it is faced with the reality that it is unable to reopen schools.

The lead taken by local authorities such as Liverpool City Council, which has confirmed that it will not take the risk of reopening schools in line with the government’s timetable, provides a model for other authorities and their following suit should be a core demand we make through our unions, trades councils and local campaigns. This is a winnable fight.

See also here.

Overwhelming opposition to reopening of UK schools amid worsening COVID-19 pandemic. By Tania Kent and Harvey Thompson, 16 May 2020. The closure of schools is a key measure recommended by medical experts internationally to reduce the infection and death rate from the coronavirus.

UK government ties Transport for London bailout to “back to work” drive. By Jean Shaoul, 16 May 2020. TfL, which runs the London Underground, bus and rail services, faced bankruptcy, threatening the Johnson government’s efforts to restore corporate profits.

NURSING staff in the UK are still under pressure to work without PPE and lack promised gowns. Over a third of nursing staff (34%) in the UK say they are still under pressure to care for patients with possible or confirmed Covid-19 without adequate protective equipment. The findings are revealed in the latest UK-wide member survey on PPE by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN): here.

One dead and more than 600 Irish meat processing workers infected with coronavirus. By Robert Stevens, 16 May 2020. There are 23,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland and 1,518 deaths—one of the highest death ratios in the world. In Northern Ireland, 4,317 people have tested positive, with 469 deaths

Coronavirus crisis exposes devastating conditions in the German meat processing industry. By Marianne Arens, 16 May 2020. German slaughterhouses have become coronavirus hotspots, with hundreds of workers, most of them sub-contracted from Eastern Europe, infected with the virus.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

German parcel delivery company DPD has closed a parcel centre in the municipality of Hückelhoven (North Rhine-Westphalia) after an outbreak of the coronavirus, the broadcaster WDR reports.

42 of the 167 employees tested were found to be infected with the virus. In total, about 400 employees work at the sorting centre. The results of the other tests are expected on Monday.

All employees are quarantined to prevent the virus from spreading further. The German health service has launched a contact investigation.

Herd immunity policy in Turkey risks thousands of new deaths. By Ulaş Ateşci, 16 May 2020. The government is launching a “normalization” policy forcing employees back to work over opposition from medical experts

Extreme right COVID-19 denialists update


This 15 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Elon Musk’s insanity has escaped twitter and found a bigger stage. John Iadarola and Madeline Peltz break it down on The Damage Report.

“Joe Rogan hosted Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the May 7 edition of his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience in which both host and guest repeatedly spread misinformation related to the global coronavirus crisis and minimized the deaths resulting from it. Musk has previously dabbled in coronavirus conspiracy theories on Twitter, called social distancing efforts states have enacted to curb the spread of the virus “fascist”,

An interesting variation, compared to other supporters of Donald Trump‘s and Elon Musk’s ‘Flu Klux Klan‘.

Who say that social distancing and other measures to protect public health from COVID-19 are supposedly ‘communist’. Like the Ku Klux Klan says that ‘race mixing’ is ‘communist’.

‘Dear’ Mr Musk, do you know what is really more like fascism? The view that workers’ health and lives are expendable and subordinate to making profits for rich people. Workers crowded together, playing Russian roulette with their lives, in unhealthy factories owned by you and other big businessmen. That was the way fascism worked in Mussolini’s Italy. That was the way in Hitler’s Germany. Where many workers, many of them forced labourers dragged from nazi-occupied countries, died for corporate sponsors of Hitler’s party.

The problem with some millionaires is that they want to become multimillionaires, to hell with everyone else.

The problem with some multimillionaires is that they want to become billionaires, to hell with everyone else.

The problem with some billionaires like Donald Trump and Elon Musk is that they want to become trillionaires, to hell with everyone else.

Billionaire and medical science denialist Elon Musk drives his workers back to his crowded Tesla car factory, risking illness and death for them. Elon Musk has the full support of the United States neo-nazi site the Daily Stormer (no, I won’t link to them). Like Musk, the Daily Stormer claims that the deathly COVID-19 pandemic is just ‘a little flu’. The Daily Stormer calls Musk a ‘hero’ for that. Another example of how fascists are the bully boys for Big Business.

The extreme right uses rallies for driving workers back to unsafe workplaces for racism: for scapegoating Asian-looking people, for blaming the pandemic on ´the Jews´ (or claiming it is a ‘Jewish hoax’) and/or for blaming the pandemic on ´the Muslims´.

Another example of that during the COVID-19 catastrophe is in Germany.

Yet another example is in Britain.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain, 15 May 2020:

Anti-racists sound the alarm against fascist mobilisation during coronavirus crisis

ANTI-RACISTS have sounded the alarm on far-right attempts to exploit the coronavirus crisis through anti-lockdown protests across the country today.

Under the name UK Freedom Movement (UKFM), publicity for the events, which have been linked to conspiracy-theorist “anti-vaxxers” and the far right, encourages people to “be a part of the largest mass gathering since the lockdown” in cities including Sheffield, Liverpool, Bristol, London and Leicester.

Multiple far-right groups currently claim the Freedom Movement tag, including Richard Inman’s UK Freedom Movement and Jayda Fransen’s British Freedom Movement — though the two [neonazi] ex-Britain First activists are strongly at odds.

COVID-19 denialism is often detrimental for the denialists. British Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who underestimates and mismanages the pandemic, landed on intensive care. Doctors there thought he had a 50% chance of dying from COVID-19. The spokeswoman of Donald Trump’s Vice President Pence in the USA became infected. A Brazilian general, the spokesman of extreme right President Bolsonaro, became infected. Donald Trump-supporting far-right fundamentalist preachers who repeated Trump´s lie of coronavirus being just ´a little flu´ died from COVID-19.

And this 15 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Coronavirus Karen” Probably Regrets Not Wearing A Face Mask

Sounds like “Coronavirus Karen” may have coronavirus. Cenk Uygur and Michael Shure discuss on The Young Turks.

“One of President Donald Trump’s supporters who gained viral infamy for refusing to wear a mask at Trader Joe’s now fears she has the coronavirus.

Genevieve Peters last week was asked to leave the California grocery, and employees called police, after she pulled a borrowed mask down below her chin, and Thursday she revealed on her Facebook page that she was experiencing some symptoms of coronavirus infection.”

Read more here.

Pine martens do social distancing


This July 2016 video says about itself:

The pine marten was once common across much of Britain, but is now one of our rarest mammals. Today, the pine marten population is increasing its range in Scotland, but in the rest of Britain, it is considered to be functionally extinct. The Vincent Wildlife Trust has embarked on a major recovery project to bring the pine marten back to England and Wales.

From the University of Exeter in England:

Pine martens like to have neighbors — but not too near

May 15, 2020

Summary: Pine martens need neighbors but like to keep their distance, according to new research.

Like newts and monkeys also do social distancing to stop contagious diseases from spreading.

Over three years, the cat-like predators were caught in Scotland and moved to mid-Wales by Vincent Wildlife Trust.

By attaching miniaturised radio-transmitter collars to 39 of the released animals, a tracking team followed them for a year as they explored their new home in Welsh forests.

The research, published today in the journal Ecology and Evolution, was carried out by Dr Cat McNicol from the Environment and Sustainability Institute of the University of Exeter with staff from Vincent Wildlife Trust.

Dr McNicol’s analyses have shown that the pine martens spent some time exploring their new habitats before settling into solitary territories, but that having pine marten neighbours helped them settle more quickly.

In the first release, when there were no other pine martens nearby, the new arrivals roamed long distances over two weeks before settling into their chosen territory — often close to the point where they were released.

The following year, when more pine martens were released in the same area, the new cohort established territories within a week, but further away from the release point.

Dr McNicol said “Although they defend solitary territories vigorously, pine martens depend on their neighbours when deciding where to set up home. Releasing martens near to others promoted rapid settlement. Using scent-marking as their main way of communication, newly-released martens can figure out which bits of woodland are occupied by other individuals and then set up home nearby. This behaviour results in a patchwork-quilt of new territories spreading across the Welsh countryside.”

Although smaller than a domestic cat, pine martens are highly mobile, and the tracked animals had an average range of 9.5 km2 (about 2350 acres).

The Scottish martens and their descendants are now thriving in Wales, where they are living and breeding in woodland habitats, mainly eating voles and mice.

The new arrivals are also tucking into grey squirrels.

In a separate study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and funded by The Forestry Commission, Dr McNicol attached similar tracking collars to squirrels as the pine martens were introduced.

She found that resident grey squirrels increased their ranging behaviour significantly in the presence of pine martens.

“The martens created a ‘landscape of fear’ for the grey squirrels, changing their behaviour to avoid predation,” Dr McNicol said.

The finding adds to a growing body of research showing that pine martens could have a negative impact on grey squirrels — which is good news for foresters and woodland owners.

BAE Saudi massacre of Yemenis profiteering continues


This Associated Press video says about itself:

(29 July 2019) Yemeni officials say an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a market in northern Yemen, killing at least 10 civilians, including children.

They say the strike took place Monday in the Saada province …

A hospital manager in Saada blamed the coalition for the attack.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to brief the media.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition.

The … Health Ministry said the airstrike wounded another 27 people.

While in Saudi invaders-occupied Aden hundreds of Yemenis are dying from COVID-19 … more Yemenis die from the famine imposed by the Saudi regime and its allies. And more Yemenis die from BAE British bombs dropped from Saudi Royal Air Force warplanes.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 15 May 2020:

Campaigners slam BAE’s ‘essential’ weekly flights to Saudi Arabian air base

BRITISH arms giant BAE has continued supplying military equipment to Saudi Arabia throughout the Covid-19 crisis, sparking fury from campaigners today.

Weekly flights from a BAE Systems factory in Warton, where Typhoon jets are made, to a military base in Saudi Arabia, have continued despite the global pandemic.

The Gulf kingdom is using its fleet of Typhoons to bomb Yemen.

On Monday, Junior Defence Minister James Heappey told Parliament that the trips had been designated as essential “logistics support” to the Saudi army.

He also admitted that the flights were using an RAF base in Cyprus to refuel en route.

The minister was responding to a question from Labour MP Sam Tarry, who had pressed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) about the purpose of the flights.

Investigative website Declassified previously revealed that the flights carry spare parts from Warton to the Saudi military’s main operating base, from where it launches its airstrikes on Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition of Gulf states announced a ceasefire in April, but campaigners say that the bombing has continued, with three civilians injured by an airstrike as recently as May 2, according to the Yemen Data Project.

“UK-made fighter jets have played a key role in the devastating Saudi-led bombing of Yemen,” said Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

“The war has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and, especially at this time, further military support for Saudi forces can only make it even worse.

“Despite the terrible humanitarian crisis and the outbreak of Covid-19, the war is still raging. There must be a meaningful ceasefire from all sides.

“The suffering of Yemeni people will be made far worse by the airstrikes that Saudi fighter jets are being used for.

“We are in unprecedented times and this should not be happening.

“Fighter-jet maintenance is not essential work, whether it is for the UK or any of the human rights-abusing regimes and dictatorships that BAE sells its arms to.”

Since 2015, Britain has licensed £5.3 billion worth of arms to the Saudi regime, CAAT said.

In 2019, the Court of Appeal ruled that the government had acted unlawfully when it authorised the supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia without assessing whether they would be used in Yemen.

However, this has not stopped the sale of weapons under previously granted licences.