German slaughterhouse millionaire, no football boss anymore


This 29 June 2020 German video says about itself (translated):

Schalke fans protest against board member Clemens Tönnies

Football club fans have formed a human chain in front of the home arena in Gelsenkirchen. They demonstrated against the management of the association, which also includes meat entrepreneur Clemens Tönnies.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Controversial meat baron Tönnies resigns as director of Bundesliga club Schalke 04

Clemens Tönnies leaves as chairman of the board at Schalke 04 after almost twenty years, the German football club reports on its website. The 64-year-old businessman is under attack for the disappointing sports performance of Schalke 04 and the recent coronavirus outbreak at his meat factory Tönnies Fleisch.

Schalke 04 did not win the last sixteen Bundesliga matches, finished in twelfth place and again did not qualify for European football. It is the worst series in history. Even before the coronavirus crisis, the club from Gelsenkirchen balanced on the verge of bankruptcy. …

Coronavirus outbreak

Two weeks ago, a major coronavirus outbreak was diagnosed at a branch of the Tönnies meat factory in Rheda-Wiedenbrück (in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia). More than 1,500 people tested positive in the slaughterhouse, making it Germany’s biggest source of infection.

According to the authorities, Tönnies violated the coronavirus rules, endangering the entire region. About 7000 people had to be quarantined. In the slaughterhouses of Tönnies, many foreign workers work under appalling conditions.

Mr Tönnies also got much criticism, including by Schalke players, for his anti-African racism.

Where Australian bees come from


This 2019 video is called Native Australian Homalictus Bee.

From Flinders University in Australia:

Native bees’ exotic origins reveal cross-pollination

June 30, 2020

Ancestors of a distinctive pollinating bee found across Australia probably originated in tropical Asian countries, islands in the south-west Pacific or greater Oceania region, ecology researchers claim.

Describing the likely dispersal corridor for the ancestral lineage of the bee genus Homalictus will help understand the social evolution of the vibrant halictine bees, South Australian, Czech and PNG researchers say in a new paper.

It follows earlier research connecting the origin of other Australian bees to the polar south or Antarctica routes millions of years ago — helping to explain the diversity and complexity of natural ecosystems and their resilience or susceptibility during periods of climate change.

Ecologists are hopeful that the diverse origins of native bees are giving them an edge in withstanding and adapting further to climate change.

“Homalictus bees are a leading generalist plant-pollinator across Australia and as far north as southern China,” says Flinders University PhD candidate, photographer and native bee expert James Dorey.

“Our study highlights the importance of the habitat and ecology of tropical regions, including Papua New Guinea and the Fijian islands, for our endemic species and shows us how these bees might have expanded across the Pacific and possibly higher latitudes of Southeast Asia.”

SA Museum senior researcher Associate Professor Mark Stevens says the ongoing research aims to better understand the origin and radiation of insects and other animals, help environmental management during changing climates and mitigate the effects of further human expansion and habitat destruction.

“Many species historically evolved under different climatic conditions and those different histories may determine how they will cope with new climates,” he says.

“As climates change, species that have narrow thermal tolerances that are unable to adapt either track their preferred climate by moving, or become extinct. We see this in our studies on tropical bees and also in the studies of Antarctic biodiversity.”

“What has not been fully appreciated is the movement of bees in the southern hemisphere that included Antarctica as a likely dispersal corridor before it became the glacial continent that it is today.”

Antarctica was the crossroads between South America, Africa and Australia as the supercontinent of Gondwana was breaking up. The last landmass connections between Australia and Antarctica finished about 35 million years ago while the interchange with Asia began about 20 million years ago.

In contrast to the colourful tropical varieties, SA researchers have previously explored the origins of the cooler adapted and less colourful Exoneurine allodapine bees, believed to have originated in Africa but dispersed to Australia about 42-34 million years ago from Antarctica when there was still a land bridge connection to Tasmania.

Co-author on the online Homalictus paper, Associate Professor Mike Schwarz says Australia has the most unusual bee fauna in the world, resulting from three major events — the gradual breakup of Gondwana, then a period when the bees evolved in “splendid isolation,” long before humans arrived.

“Thirdly, there was a northern influx of species from tropical Asia as the Australian continent collided with Asia. “Australia’s complex systems diversity if a key ingredient for survival of our species,” Flinders Associate Professor Schwarz says.

“Hopefully, the diversity of our native bees will make them more resilient to future climate scenarios, which will be critical for agriculture in a changing world.

Online Tour de France cycling, 4 July


This 29 June 2020 video says about itself:

Official Virtual Tour de France 2020 – Cycling Race | Zwift

The Virtual Tour de France is coming to Zwift. The top men’s and women’s teams from across the world will compete for the ultimate prize. With Virtual L’Etape du Tour rides on new courses and high octane pro races to watch, this is cycling history in the making. #TDFVirtual

Watch the world’s best Zwift racers take on some ‘first-ever’ courses in the new France and Paris maps. Women and men pros are racing on Saturday and Sunday for three consecutive weekends beginning July 4th.

23 men’s teams and 17 women’s teams will participate.

Among the male participants will be former Tour de France winners Chris Froome, Egan Bernal, and Geraint Thomas. Greg Van Avermaet, Olympic champion and online Tour of Flanders victor this year, will also participate. Among the women, there will be Marianne Vos, Kirsten Wild, Olympic champion and 2018 world champion Anna van der Breggen, all from the Netherlands; and Chloé Dygert-Owen, from the USA, track cycling pursuit world champion.

The cyclists will ride on their home trainers at home. So, no coronavirus risk.

This virtual Tour de France will be six races, during the next three weekends. The start will be on 4 July: first the ladies, then the gentlemen. Both on a virtual hilly landscape based on the surroundings of Nice city in southern France.

The fifth stage will be climbing the famous Mont Ventoux mountain.

The sixth and final stage will be on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

TV stations in 130 countries will report about it.

The teams

Women

Alé BTC Ljubljana
Team Arkéa
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
CANYON//SRAM Racing
CCC-Liv Team
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling
Drops
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
Lotto Soudal Ladies
Parkhotel Valkenburg
Rally Cycling
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
Trek-Segafredo Women
TWENTY20 Pro Cycling
Team Sunweb
Valcar Travel & Service

Men

AG2R La Mondiale
Arkéa Samsic
Alpecin-Fenix
Astana Pro Team
B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Team Bahrain McLaren
Bora Hansgrohe
CCC Team
Team Cofidis
Circus-Wanty Gobert
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
EF Education First Pro Cycling
Groupama-FDJ
Israel Start-Up Nation
Team INEOS
Team Jumbo-Visma
Lotto-Soudal
Mitchelton-SCOTT
NTT Pro Cycling
Rally Cycling
Team Sunweb
TOTAL Direct Énergie
Trek-Segafredo

Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 second wave, Leicester, England


This 30 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

COVID-19: UK city of Leicester to remain under lockdown

Much of the English hospitality sector is due to reopen on Saturday, but pubs and restaurants in one city will remain closed for an extended period.

Government officials have recommended the current lockdown measures remain in force in Leicester for an extra two weeks, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull reports from Leicester.

See also here.

Broader reopening of UK schools leads to spread of COVID-19 infections. By Tania Kent and Tim Pearce, 30 June 2020. Recent outbreaks in schools almost doubled to 44 in one week—16 more than were recorded at hospitals.

“It’s eugenics by the back door”. UK disability campaigner Doug Paulley speaks on coronavirus pandemic. By Alice Summers, 30 June 2020. Doug has recently been involved in legal action opposing the use of “scoring” systems to deny ventilator treatment to the sick, disabled and elderly.

Think you won’t get coronavirus outside? Think again.

“They want to kill me”: Many COVID-19 patients experience terrifying delusions.

New York, USA homophobic police brutality


This video from the USA says about itself:

Police Use Force Against Protesters at NYC Queer Liberation March | NowThis

Police in New York City used pepper spray on peaceful protesters marching for Black lives over Pride weekend.

In US news and current events today, protesters peacefully marched as part of the Queer Liberation March for Black Lives & Against Police Brutality in NYC on June 28.

They were met with a violent response by some NYPD members. The march began in lower Manhattan, went around the Stonewall Inn, and ended in a rally at Washington Square Park. In one altercation, a police officer charged at protesters, yelling, ‘Get off the street.’ The NYPD said it arrested at least 3 people at the march but it was unable to give a full count. Protesters intervened as police were arresting 2 people for graffiti, and the police responded using pepper spray, according to witnesses who spoke to Gothamist. The march was held on the 51st anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising.

New extinct giant wombat discovery in Australia


This 25 June 2020 video says about itself:

A new extinct family of giant wombat relatives has been discovered in the Australian desert. The giant marsupial that roamed prehistoric Australia 25 million years ago is so different from its wombat cousins that scientists have had to create a new family to accommodate it.

This 27 June 2020 video says about itself:

A MEGA-WOMBAT the size of a bear that lived around 25million years ago has been unearthed. Scientists discovered the massive beast after digging up part of its skull and bones in Lake Pinpa, Australia.

The animal has been named Mukupirna nambensis – with the first part of its name meaning “big bones”. It weighed up to 171kg and was at least four times larger than all currently living wombats – bigger than a giant panda.

The animal has been classed as an entirely new species and is a member of a group of animals called Vombatiformes. The family also includes creatures such as koalas, modern wombats and their ancient relatives.

Scientists have said the discovery increases our understanding of how wombats developed digging and burrowing behaviour. Its teeth show it only ate plants and its arms suggest it would scratch for food on the ground, such as when looking for roots. Despite its massive size, however, it is not even the biggest wombat-like creature every found. Diprotodon has that honour, weighing in at an impressive 2,000kg – two tonnes – and surviving until at least 50,000 years ago.

Dr Robin Beck, from The University of Salford, who led the study, said: “Koalas and wombats are amazing animals. “But animals like Mukupirna show that their extinct relatives were even more extraordinary, and many of them were giants.” He added: “It tells us a lot about the evolution of wombats, koalas and their relatives. “It is remarkable for its large size – this was clearly an impressive, powerful beast.”

The bones were discovered after drought and strong winds blew the surface of the dry salt lake bed. The freak conditions uncovered the remains of animals that died after getting stuck in the mud millions of years ago. Archaeologists used an “acupuncture” method to find the bones, pushing metal rods into the soft mud until they hit something hard before digging it up.

Mukupirna is now the closest known relative of modern wombats, yet it is still so different scientists have given it its own family of creatures – Mukupirnidae. It is likely the mega wombat vanished during a global climate shift which saw its scrubby forest home vanish. Lusher and more diverse forests followed, which will have lead to climate conditions not suited for the Mukupirnids.

Professor Michael Archer of the University of New South Wales, who was part of the team that first uncovered the bones which have only just been identified in 1975, hailed it as a “mysterious new beast”. Julien Louys of Griffith University, who co-authored the study, said: “The description of this new family fills a crucial missing piece to the ancient bestiary of Australia. “It joins other weird and extinct marsupials from 25 million years ago, many of which we wouldn’t recognise today.”

Racism and police brutality


This 29 June 2020 video from Colorado in the USA says about itself:

Police Show Up in Riot Gear at Peaceful Protest for Elijah McClain | NowThis

Peaceful protesters demanding justice for Elijah McClain were met by police in full riot gear.

TRUMP SHARES VIDEO SHOWING PEOPLE SHOUTING ‘WHITE POWER’ President Donald Trump on Sunday shared a video that appeared to show one of his supporters yelling “white power” at a group of people protesting the president in a Florida retirement community. The video, apparently first shared Saturday on Twitter by user @davenewworld_2, captures a series of testy exchanges between Trump supporters and protesters in The Villages, an overwhelmingly white community that describes itself as “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.” [HuffPost]

Trump retweets video of supporter shouting, “White Power”. By Jacob Crosse, 29 June 2020. Seeking to bolster an administration in crisis by appealing to the most backward and reactionary elements in society, Trump left the video on his timeline for over three hours before deleting it.

Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2020.

By Linda Pentz Gunter, 29 June 2020:

Native Americans are invisible. So is their suffering

LINDA PENTZ GUNTER highlights how Amerindians are living a Third World existence in the richest country in the world

ON JUNE 8, Ian Zabarte posted a Native Lives Matter sign on his Facebook page. There were no words beside it. Just the simple hashtag, #BLM.

For Zabarte, principal man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians, the message is self-evident.

But a backlash is underway, in the US, Britain and elsewhere. It is orchestrated by those who, as Burnley FC captain Ben Mee pointed out, “completely missed the point,” after a plane trailing a White Lives Matter banner flew over the pitch before his team’s June 22 home loss.

One person killed in attack on anti-police violence protest in Louisville, Kentucky. By Warren Duzak, 29 June 2020. The suspected shooter, Steven Lopez, had been arrested by police earlier this month and was known to be in possession of a handgun and ammunition.

MISSISSIPPI LAWMAKERS VOTE TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE SYMBOL FROM FLAG Mississippi lawmakers voted Sunday to surrender the Confederate battle emblem from their state flag, triggering raucous applause and cheers more than a century after white supremacist legislators adopted the design a generation after the South lost the Civil War. [AP]

Althea Bernstein, 18, Black and Jewish, burned in hate crime.

Sacha Baron Cohen tricks right-wing rally into racist singalong.

Why is the European Union so white?