Saving a coral reef in the Philippines


This 29 May 2020 video says about itself:

Grandpa’s Reef – 360 | National Geographic

Travel with us to the Philippines, where a young girl takes up her grandfather’s lifelong pursuit of protecting an endangered coral reef. Inspired by true stories, this virtual reality experience will take you diving on some of the world’s most beautiful reefs. For a better viewing experience, watch in a VR headset using the YouTube app.

COVID-19 pandemic news, worldwide


This 3 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Can the Navajo Nation survive coronavirus? | The Stream

Native American communities are so disproportionately affected by the coronavirus that the Navajo Nation, the largest reservation in the US, has a higher per-capita infection rate than any state in the nation.

This week the tribe’s death toll reached at least 241 with as many as 5,250 people testing positive.

Stemming the tide has proven a monumental task given years of federal government neglect, a lack of running water, high rates of chronic illness and an ageing population. In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, tribal leaders have instituted as many as seven-weekend lockdowns during which nobody was permitted to leave or enter the reservation.

Despite the challenges, younger people have stepped up and played a pivotal role in their community’s grassroots response. Many feel it’s on their shoulders to protect their elders’ lives and ensure their traditions are passed down.

In this episode of the Stream we meet people from the Navajo Nation and ask why they are so disproportionately affected and what can be done to turn the tide.

White House Coronavirus Task Force effectively ended by Trump. By Bryan Dyne, 3 June 2020. Now that all fifty states have begun reopening in some form, the pandemic is considered over by the US ruling elite even as coronavirus infections and deaths continue to climb.

TRUMP: RNC WILL PULL CONVENTION FROM NORTH CAROLINA Trump said the Republican National Committee would relocate its upcoming nominating convention from North Carolina after the state’s governor refused to guarantee that tens of thousands of people could gather in an indoor arena during the coronavirus pandemic. “Governor [Roy] Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised,” Trump tweeted. [HuffPost]

HOW THE REPUBLICANS BECAME THE PARTY OF DEATH PANELS The phrase “death panels” became part of America’s political vocabulary in 2009, when Republicans were trying to stop the legislation that eventually became the Affordable Care Act. Now another national debate is taking place about how to open up businesses in the country amid a coronavirus pandemic that has already killed more than 102,000 people, many of them elderly and unwell, and is sure to kill many more. On one side is a group of people who act as if ― and occasionally even say ― that returning to normality requires tolerating mass deaths among some of society’s most vulnerable groups. [HuffPost]

I had coronavirus months ago. I didn’t expect to still be struggling now.

Canadian farm and industrial worksites become new coronavirus hotspots. By Carl Bronski, 3 June 2020. The reckless back-to-work drive across Canada is already producing new outbreaks of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

Canada’s governments ignored 2006 pandemic preparedness report. By Dylan Lubao, 3 June 2020. The 550-page “Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector” is further proof that the COVID-19 pandemic was both foreseeable and foreseen.

Australian schools affected by new coronavirus clusters. By Patrick Kelly, 3 June 2020. The cases have exposed state and federal government claims, both Labor and Liberal, that teachers, staff and children are safe to return to school.

Oppose the premature lifting of COVID-19 safety restrictions! By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 3 June 2020. The Socialist Equality Party opposes the profit-driven “back-to-work” campaign as the global COVID-19 pandemic worsens and fresh outbreaks appear across the country.

Mass anti-racist protests, worldwide


This 3 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Police Attack Reporters at Black Lives Matter Protests | NowThis

Police have attacked journalists reporting on Black Lives Matter protests more than 100 times in the past week.

In US news and current events today, despite freedom of the press, police are attacking journalists nationwide. Here’s a compilation of reporters being targeted for doing their jobs.

TRUMP CALLED IN THE MILITARY TO SCARE PROTESTERS. THEY CAME ANYWAY. Despite fearsome military displays and escalating police violence, protesters in Washington came out in force anyway Tuesday night, many of them saying they were stirred by the president’s outrageous rhetoric and efforts to stifle peaceful protests. Meanwhile, no governor accepted the president’s offer of military assistance to crush protests. [HuffPost]

RELIGIOUS LEADERS ‘TEAR-GASSED’ FOR TRUMP PHOTO OP Clergy were passing out water and snacks to protesters in front of St. John’s Church, in Washington’s Lafayette Square, before law enforcement officials in riot gear fired tear gas and flash-bangs to disperse the crowd so that President Donald Trump could walk to the church for a photo op. The Rev. Gini Gerbasi, rector of a different church, said she and seminarian Julia Joyce Domenick were tear-gassed and driven away by police. Washington’s Roman Catholic archbishop also roundly criticized Trump’s visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine on Tuesday. [HuffPost]

Trump’s use of the Bible was obscene. He should try reading the words inside it.

TRUMP VOWS TO UNLEASH MILITARY, PROTESTERS TEAR-GASSED FOR PHOTO OP Donald Trump issued an unprecedented presidential threat from the Rose Garden: He would send “thousands of heavily armed soldiers” into Washington to quell protests and would follow by invoking the Insurrection Act to deploy the military into other U.S. cities if mass protests against police brutality continued. As he spoke, federal law enforcement officials working alongside military police officers fired projectiles and tear gas upon American citizens protesting peacefully just yards from the White House so that the president could be photographed holding up a Bible in front of a nearby church. The church itself was “outraged” by the measures — and Washington residents opened their doors to protesters trapped by the police. [HuffPost]

WARREN CALLS FOR DOJ PROBE INTO BARR’S ORDER REMOVING PROTESTERS Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for an investigation following the violent dispersal of protesters near the White House amid reports Attorney General William Barr personally ordered federal officers to remove them. The Massachusetts Democrat wrote to the inspector general at the Department of Justice saying she was appalled after largely peaceful protesters gathered in Lafayette Park were confronted by federal police wielding tear gas and flash-bang grenades before Trump’s stroll to a church for a photo op. [HuffPost]

This 2 June 2020 video from the USA is called Reverend describes being pushed out from church for Trump photo-op.

Ice-T responds to Trump’s “Law and Order” tweet exactly as you’d expect

Don Lemon asks whether Trump is “declaring war” on Americans.

Michael Jordan shows support for police brutality protests “we have had enough.”

TRUMP’S HISTORY OF RACISM CATCHES UP WITH HIM After decades of cultivating racists, Trump continued his struggles trying to deal with the worst crisis in race relations in decades as he remained ― outside of a brief, tear-gas-enforced photo opportunity Monday at a damaged church ― bunkered in the White House. “Most of you are weak,” Trump berated the nation’s governors on a video conference Monday, blaming them for not using violent enough tactics against protesters. “You have to dominate or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks. You have to arrest and try people.” [HuffPost]

FACEBOOK ENGINEER RESIGNS OVER HANDLING OF TRUMP POSTS Timothy Aveni, Facebook engineer who works to combat the spread of misinformation on the platform, is resigning over how CEO Mark Zuckerberg has handled Trump’s “increasingly dangerous rhetoric.” “For years, President Trump has enjoyed an exception to Facebook’s Community Standards; over and over he posts abhorrent, targeted messages that would get any other Facebook user suspended from the platform,” Aveni wrote on Facebook. “Mark always told us that he would draw the line at speech that calls for violence. He showed us on Friday that this was a lie.” [HuffPost]

SENATE GOP-ERS BRUSH ASIDE TRUMP’S VIOLENCE AGAINST PROTESTERS Top Senate Republicans brushed aside the use of force against hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered to demand an end to police brutality against Black Americans near the White House. Some questioned whether it was a real protest in the first place. “That wasn’t even a protest ― that was a provocation that was created deliberately for national television,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Tell me those are real protesters and not professional agitators,” Rubio added. [HuffPost]

POLICE MAKE AP REPORTERS STOP COVERING NEW YORK PROTEST New York City police officers surrounded, shoved and yelled expletives at two Associated Press journalists covering protests Tuesday in the latest aggression against members of the media during a week of unrest around the country. Portions of the incident were captured on video by videojournalist Robert Bumsted, who was working with photographer Maye-E Wong to document the protests in lower Manhattan over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. [AP]

New Yorkers said f**k the police, so the police rioted.

Schools are considering terminating their contracts with the police.

There’s one big reason why police brutality is so common in the U.S.

The police have a white nationalist problem — and have for at least 15 years.

Black Lives Matter

DEFUND THE POLICE — It would be nice to blame the chaos and cruelty unleashed by police forces across the nation on Trump’s cartoonish brutality. He’s certainly provoking more violence, but the major policy choices that have led to the epidemic of police brutality — from macroeconomic management to police procurement — have been bipartisan. It ends by defunding police forces and reimagining community maintenance as an act of support, not an act of violence, writes HuffPost’s Zach Carter. [HuffPost]

LA RESIDENTS FLOOD ZOOM MEETINGS WITH CALLS FOR LAPD CHIEF TO RESIGN Los Angeles residents flooded a public Zoom meeting with anger and frustration on Tuesday over the city’s response to ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd. Hundreds of citizens called into the Los Angeles Police Commission’s first virtual meeting since the demonstrations began. For more than eight hours, dozens of residents repeatedly called on Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore to resign after he made comments on Monday blaming looters for “capitalizing” on the man’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last week. [HuffPost]

LOUISVILLE POLICE CHIEF FIRED AFTER BODY CAMS INACTIVE IN FATAL SHOOTING Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired Police Chief Steve Conrad after learning that the officers involved in a shooting that killed a man early Monday amid tumultuous protests rocking the Kentucky city did not turn on their body cameras. “This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated,” Fischer said. The police department already facing questions and mounting community rage over the March killing by officers of Breonna Taylor, a Black 26-year-old EMT shot as she lay in bed. [HuffPost]

FLORIDA COP SUSPENDED AFTER SHOVING KNEELING BLACK WOMAN Florida police officer has been suspended after he was seen shoving a kneeling protester at an anti-racism demonstration. Videos captured by bystanders show the man, identified by authorities as Fort Lauderdale police officer Steven Pohorence, confronting protesters outside a parking garage. As the officer, who appears to be white, is turning to walk away, he pushes to the ground a Black woman who is kneeling with her hands in the air. A Black female police officer can be seen pulling Pohorence from the crowd and scolding him as other demonstrators scream in response to his actions. [HuffPost]

AUTOPSY FINDS GEORGE FLOYD DIED OF ‘HOMICIDE BY ASPHYXIA’ An independent autopsy on George Floyd conducted at the request of his family concluded his cause of death was “homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.” The report by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson found that Floyd likely died at the scene where a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. [HuffPost]

STORE OWNER REGRETS 911 CALL ON GEORGE FLOYD The owner of Cup Foods, the Minneapolis store where a clerk called 911 on George Floyd, says his business will no longer involve the police in certain incidents until law enforcement stops “killing innocent people.” Mahmoud Abumayyaleh posted a lengthy note on Facebook to say that he supports the protests over the death of Floyd, a Black man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck outside Cup Foods, and said his store is “deeply saddened for our part of this tragedy.” Abumayyaleh also said that he’ll be “donating to pay for George Floyd’s memorial service.” [HuffPost]

Seven ways to support Black lives and protesters with your money.

Here are a few ways to reduce your coronavirus risk while protesting.

White supremacists pose as Antifa online, call for violence.

This 3 June 2020 video says about itself:

Brazil anti-racism rallies: Protesters blame Bolsonaro

Anti-racism demonstrations are being held in Brazil, where around half the population is Black or mixed race.

The protesters blame President Jair Bolsonaro for the growing discrimination.

Al Jazeera’s Teresa Bo reports.

Brazilian youth join international wave of protests against police violence. By Tomas Castanheira, 3 June 2020. Responding to demonstrations across the US, thousands of people took to the streets of Brazil protesting against police violence, racism and the fascistic president Bolsonaro.

Woman pinned down by police officers in London: “I can’t breathe”. By Thomas Scripps, 3 June 2020. Police violence is directed against the working class, particularly its poorest sections, and falls disproportionately on black communities.

This video is about the demonstration in Rotterdam today.

Australian police officers assault Aboriginal boy in Sydney. By Oscar Grenfell, 3 June 2020. The widespread anger provoked by the attack has prompted nervousness from the political establishment, under conditions of mass protests internationally against police violence.

Badger family in Ireland, video


This 29 April 2020 video from Northern Ireland says about itself:

Wildlife is thriving at the places cared for by the National Trust and during lockdown, with fewer people around, some creatures are taking a chance to enjoy themselves. Take a look at this badger family at Mount Stewart, having an evening outing. It’s thanks to your support that we can continue to look after these special places.

Israeli, Dutch reopened schools, COVID-19 epicentres


This 31 May 2020 video from Israel says about itself:

COVID-19 Outbreak in Jerusalem-based High School

i24NEWS DESK | The trend of coronavirus contamination in Israeli schools continued as three schools in Holon, Kiryat Ye’arim and Jerusalem reported overnight Saturday new cases of COVID-19.

After a major drop in the number of infections, prompting the Jewish state to gradually reopen its economy and restart the education system, a surge of new cases was recorded over the past weekend.

More than 100 pupils and staff members of Gymnasia Rehavia School in Jerusalem were tested positive for COVID-19. …

On Saturday, a seventh-grade pupil from Katzir School in Holon was found carrying the disease after he was feeling ill in the last few days. Four pupils and six teachers were sent into quarantine for 14 days following the incident, Hebrew-language outlet N12 reported.

In Kiryat Ye’arim, eight students were identified with coronavirus as more infections in the high school yeshiva in the ultra-Orthodox town are suspected.

Despite the spike in Jerusalem cases, the municipality had decided not to shutter schools in the capital — except for the Gymnasia school, having recorded 121 COVID-19 cases, which will not open this week.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

There is an outbreak of the coronavirus in schools in Israel. A total of 42 primary and secondary schools have been closed in several cities. At least 244 teachers and students are infected and almost 7000 teachers and students are in quarantine.

According to the Ministry of Health, schools are now the main source of covid infections …

Yesterday Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he would keep most schools open for the time being, but that may change later this week.

Yesterday, Israel had 116 new infections, the highest number in a month.

Also translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

A primary school in The Hague is closing because of two teachers who are infected with the coronavirus, a spokesperson for the umbrella organization The Hague Schools confirms after a report by Omroep West broadcasting organisation. It concerns primary school De Springbok, with two locations in the city.

The teachers were tested yesterday, today they received the results. The teachers have not taught since they felt complaints last weekend, says the school.

There are about 500 children at the school, seven of whom have symptoms of the coronavirus. …

The pupils are now getting online home education again.

Great crested grebes courtship dance


This 26 May 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

It’s hard not to be enchanted by the great crested grebes’ courtship dance. In spring, the birds face one another (sporting striking orange and black plumage) then flick their heads from side to side, bob in unison, and swim low and slowly towards each other in the water.

Find out more about the intriguing, impressive and quirky displays you might see in wetlands: here.

Coronavirus disaster in Europe, update


This video from Britain says about itself:

Ventilators not exterminators. With Hilary Wainwright and Sam Mason

Earlier this year, a nuclear weapons contractor began manufacturing 10,000 ventilators. It demonstrates how highly-skilled workers could be redeployed to produce socially useful goods and services once the Trident nuclear weapons system is scrapped.

We discussed these fascinating developments on Saturday 25th April with Hilary Wainwright, founding editor of Red Pepper, who has written extensively on defence diversification and democratising the economy, and Samantha Mason, policy officer at the PCS union. The seminar was hosted by Ian Chamberlain, CND‘s press and communications officer.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Swedish coronavirus strategist admits mistakes: ‘We should have worked differently’

Sweden should have adopted a different coronavirus strategy, Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said in an interview with the country’s public radio station. …

Tegnell heads the Swedish health authority and is the architect of the controversial Swedish coronavirus approach. He became a cult hero …

In the Scandinavian country, unlike many countries in the rest of the world, cafes, restaurants, gyms and primary schools remained open. Society thus remained open, but the slogan of the Swedes was that the elderly and the weak would be better protected.

More than 4,400 people died in Sweden. That is much more than in neighbouring countries, even when adjusting for population numbers. Despite the better protection they supposedly would receive, the virus hit hard on Swedish elderly people. …

Because of his approach, too many people in Sweden have died, the epidemiologist now admits.

NOS radio also reports that in Göttingen city in Germany, at least 80 people have become infected with COVID-19 after a party.

Britain‘s excess death toll nears 60,000 confirming it is one of the worst-hit countries globally: here.

Legal action filed against decision not to publicise findings on Britain’s preparedness for a flu pandemic: here.

UK police dismiss spitting case in COVID-19 death of rail worker Belly Mujinga. By Michael Barnes, 3 June 2020. A petition calling for Justice for Belly now has well over half a million signatures.

Health privatisation is wrecking Ukraine‘s ability to fight Covid-19: here.

More anti-police brutality demonstrations in Trump’s USA


United States protesters 'take the knee' as they oppose President Donald Trump's crackdown on anti-racist protests during his visit to a monument to Pope John Paul II on 2 June 2020

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 2 June 2020:

Editorial: The upheaval in the United States is shaking the world

THE greatest wave of protest to rock the United States since 1968 has prompted President Donald Trump to threaten his own people with the army.

Trump’s attitude from the start of marches demanding justice for George Floyd, murdered on camera by police, has been calculated to inflame anger.

He has revived a 1960s segregationist battle cry (“when the looting starts, the shooting starts”) and consciously used the word “war” to describe the confrontation between the rising anti-racist movement and the US state.

His determination to treat the crisis as a battle in the culture war is exemplified by using riot police to disperse crowds so he could pose with a bible outside a church — a stunt, it should be noted, that has been widely condemned by religious leaders.

Through all this, the protests continue to swell. It is an uprising with deep roots.

George Floyd’s death was the spark, but like those of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and countless others — among the latest David McAtee, gunned down in Louisville during the current protests — it forms part of a pattern of racist killings of black people which go unpunished.

Not all the above were police victims but the number of civilians killed by the US’s heavily militarised police force is at epidemic levels and black people make up a far greater proportion of the dead than they do of the population.

Popular fury cannot be divorced either from the backdrop to the protests: a United States which has lost over 100,000 lives to coronavirus, the highest death toll on Earth, where the pandemic has seen joblessness soar to 50 million.

Race matters in these statistics. Black US citizens are twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as their white counterparts.

As 75 per cent of front-line workers — in shops, driving buses, making deliveries, working in healthcare and so on — in New York are from an ethnic minority, the intersection between racial oppression and class exploitation explains the catastrophic death rate among black Americans.

As in Britain, US residents in the lowest-income groups are most likely to have been laid off or have had their income reduced further since the pandemic struck, and women have been hit harder than men.

These facts point to deep, enduring structural injustices in US society which are becoming intolerable.

In the face of this upheaval, the suggestion of the Democrats’ chosen standard-bearer of the anti-Trump cause, Joe Biden, that authorities could address police violence by training them to shoot at people’s legs is pathetic and tone-deaf.

It comes nowhere near grasping the causes of police killings or the scale of social and economic change needed.

This 1 June 2020 video is called Joe Biden Says Police should Shoot People in the Leg in light of George Floyd protests.

The defeat of Bernie Sanders for the Democrat nomination, like the shift from Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour to Keir Starmer’s in Britain, leaves the country with an “official” opposition that objects to some of the morbid symptoms of an unsustainable social order — Trump, Boris Johnson — but is too wedded to that order to lead the fight for a better one.

In the United States, the Black Lives Matter cause is now at the forefront of a movement of working-class people that is shaking cities from coast to coast.

Even as Trump rages against it, it has won important victories — the prosecution for murder of police killer Derek Chauvin, the dismissal of Louisville police chief Steve Conrad after McAtee’s killing.

Here, too, Parliament’s inability to reflect the interests of the working class means pressure for systemic change must be built up in communities and workplaces.

The fights against a chaotic, unprepared and barely monitored relaxation of lockdown and catastrophic job losses are already beginning.

The brave protesters taking to the streets in the US — whose very cause demonstrates the real danger they are placing themselves in — do not just deserve our solidarity, but have a great deal to teach us.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Monday said he would deploy the US military to US states that don’t use the National Guard in sufficient numbers to dominate the streets, as protests against police brutality raged across America: here.

President Donald Trump and his administration are increasingly blaming antifa, a loosely organized anti-fascist group, for violence at protests across the country against police brutality and racism. The president tweeted Sunday that antifa will be labeled a terrorist group, and on Monday he vowed to use the military and the Justice Department to aggressively crack down on “terrorist” protesters.

That Time Donald Trump’s Father Was Arrested At A KKK Rally In Queens.

As nationwide protests escalated over the weekend, most national media labored to track complex developments, both peaceful and violent, in cities and towns across the country. But on Fox News and across right-wing media, the narrative was simple: anti-fascist activists and vague “organized groups” intent on chaos were responsible for all the ills flashing across TV screens.

Prosecute George Floyd’s murderers – demand millions of workers across the world: here.

Protesters defy Trump’s threats, expand nationwide movement against police killings. By Jacob Crosse, 3 June 2020. Curfews, mass arrests and police terror have not quelled the powerful movement of youth and workers of all races and ethnicities in response to the police murder of George Floyd.