Lion cubs see-saw play, video

This 11 June 2020 video from South Africa says about itself:

Watch the cute moment a group of ferocious lion cubs is left on their own, and they discover the all-new See-Saw!

This adorable sighting was filmed by Daniel Bailey, a guide for MalaMala Game Reserve, when he was on a tour with his guests.

The lion cubs in this sighting, part of the Kambula Pride, were left alone for the afternoon on a stump of fallen over trees, while the adults were fast asleep.

One cub decided to be adventurous and tried balancing while walking all over the fallen trees. When he reached the end, he didn’t notice that the tree itself was having a hard time balancing, just like a see-saw. The tree tipped over to the other side, with the lion on top!

Although the little cub got a bit of a fright, this is nothing lions can’t handle!

Slowly, one by one, all the cubs then went and had a go on the new ride.

Nice way to be entertained!

COVID-19 worldwide disaster

This 15 June 2020 video from the USA says adbout itself:

GOP Lawmaker Has a Racist Theory on Why COVID Kills More People of Color | NowThis

In US news and current events today, Ohio State Senator Steve Huffman is under fire after his racially charged theory on why Black people and people of color have been disproportionately impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. With regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Senator Huffman offered the inane and offensive theory that people of color are less hygienic and wash their hands less frequently, asking ‘could it just be that African Americans or the colored population do not wash their hands as well as other groups?’

The COVID pandemic has decimated many communities of color, thanks to long-standing systemic inequities baked into our health care system and our society. To insinuate that this is a result of poor hygiene is an insult to those who have died because they are essential workers, live in small multi-generational homes, and are subject to the unequal health outcomes thanks to centuries of systemic racism.

HEALTH EXPERT: TRUMP’S TULSA RALLY IS ‘EXTRAORDINARILY DANGEROUS’ Trump on Saturday plans to head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to rally his reelection supporters inside a 19,000-seat arena. Trump’s rallies typically draw tens of thousands of screaming fans. They usually stand outside in line for hours before passing through airport-style security and cramming inside. Many attendees are older, which would put them at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19. Dr. Ashish Jha, director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, called the rally “an extraordinarily dangerous move for the people participating and the people who may love them and see them afterward.” [AP]

TRUMP LABOR SECRETARY SAYS WORKERS AREN’T BEING FORCED BACK TO WORK. WORKERS DISAGREE. Trump’s labor secretary didn’t like it this week when Democrats accused him of forcing workers off unemployment insurance even if their jobs presented a risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But the Trump administration, in coordination with state workforce agencies, has been forcing workers to make that choice for weeks. The president has called for workers to be “warriors” for the economy, and the Labor Department is prodding them into battle as the virus continues to spread. [HuffPost]

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Three primary schools in the Twente region town Glanerbrug remain closed today and tomorrow, because a teacher has the coronavirus. The other teachers now have to be tested and as a result there are too few people who can stand in front of the class, regional broadcasting organisation RTV Oost writes. One school will also be closed on Wednesday.

The infection came to light on Saturday when the infected teacher had himself tested. The organization that the schools fall under then made phonecalls. This revealed that more teachers had symptoms. They are being tested today.

CUOMO ‘MAY REVERSE’ REOPENINGS AFTER 25,000 COMPLAINTS New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned he could roll back reopening measures in some areas after the state received 25,000 complaints of businesses violating social distancing measures. “We’re getting reports from all across the state that there are large gatherings, social distancing is being violated, people are not wearing masks,” Cuomo said. “We have never received more complaints in a shorter period of time.” Cuomo pointed the finger directly at businesses in Manhattan and the Hamptons, where images of residents flocking to bars circulated widely this weekend. [HuffPost]

I’ve decided to come out as genderfluid after nearly dying from COVID-19.

Trump is quietly gutting the asylum system amid the pandemic.

KUDLOW VOWS END TO $600 UNEMPLOYMENT AID President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday vowed an end to an extra $600 a week in unemployment payments for the jobless, calling it a “disincentive to work” — assuming there is work. Kudlow’s dismissive attitude about the payments amid massive unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic was a dramatic contrast to his defense of the Payment Protection Plan for businesses, which can use the forgivable public loans to pay exorbitant executive salaries. He insisted on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the extra unemployment aid “might have worked for the first couple of months,” but “it’ll end in late July.” [HuffPost]

KUDLOW: NO ‘TRANSPARENCY’ PROMISE ON BAILOUT LOANS White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow claimed the Trump administration never promised to disclose which businesses received more than $500 billion in coronavirus relief loans, contradicting an earlier statement by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, made his statement to Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” about the Paycheck Protection Program, which Congress authorized in March to bail out companies harmed by the coronavirus pandemic. [HuffPost]

INDIA TO TRANSFORM TRAIN CARS INTO HOSPITAL WARDS India’s home minister has offered 500 railway carriages for use as makeshift coronavirus hospital wards as the capital New Delhi struggles to contain a spike in cases. Amit Shah, India’s second-most powerful politician after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was set to convene a meeting Monday with all major political parties represented on the deteriorating situation in the capital. Delhi has about 9,000 beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients among public and private hospitals, but a state government panel of experts has said that Delhi will need at least 15,000 beds by the end of June. [AP]

Trump legalizes cruel baby bear, wolf poaching

This 14 June 2020 video says about itself:

Trump Admin Reverses Obama-Era Ban on ‘Barbaric’ Hunting Methods | NowThis

The Trump admin just reversed an Obama-era ban on brutal hunting tactics that endanger bear cubs and wolf pups.

Under new rules, hunters can lure out hibernating grizzly bears to kill them using doughnuts soaked in bacon grease and use spotlights to blind bears and wolves & hunt them in their dens. These hunting methods were banned as barbaric under Obama in 2015 over protests from many Alaska officials and the big-game hunting lobby.

London Grenfell fire disaster and anti-racism

This 12 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Terrell Owens Demands [American football] NFL Let Kaepernick Back Into League

Terrell Owens is calling out the NFL. Rick Strom breaks it down. Give us your thoughts in the comments below!

People at the Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic at the base of the tower block in London, England on the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire which claimed 72 lives on June 14 2017

This photo shows people at the Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic at the base of the tower block in London, England on the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire which claimed 72 lives on June 14 2017.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 14 June 2020:

Editorial: The Grenfell anniversary and the fight against racism

THREE years after the terrible blaze that took so many lives at Grenfell Tower, Britain, like so much of the world, is convulsed by the fallout from the racist murder of George Floyd in the United States.

Anti-racist demonstrations have swept the US and demos of impressive size are taking place in many other countries, including Britain.

At the same time, disgusting scenes in London on Saturday saw the far-right’s reaction, as fascists chanted that they were proud to be racist and gave Nazi salutes, oblivious to the irony of doing so when the supposed purpose of their presence in the capital was to protect war memorials including to those who died fighting fascism.

Yet the vibrant Black Lives Matter rallies taking place across Britain — that in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, movingly addressed by communist veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle Ken Keable — show that it is the anti-racist cause which is winning recruits and growing in influence, as do the movement’s victories from the United States to France.

Grenfell’s anniversary should, though, be a sobering moment. Three years later the families of the victims have not had justice.

Nor has the likelihood that we will witness similar episodes of “social murder” significantly decreased.

The Fire Brigades Union points out that 300 high-rise buildings across Britain are still encased in the same aluminium composite material cladding that proved so lethal at Grenfell.

The inquiry into the fire has been a grim farce, with companies involved in the tower block’s renovation scrabbling to avoid any responsibility in what QC Richard Millett called “a merry-go-round of buck-passing.”

Its very remit ignores the wider context of building deregulation and the social housing sector that would explain why it was possible for a residential block to be so unsafe, as well as why its inhabitants were so despised by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council that their repeated raising of safety concerns was ignored.

For all its cost, the inquiry has yet to improve on author and rapper Akala’s summary within a day of the blaze: “These people died because they were poor.”

Grenfell’s residents were victims of a system that did not care about them. That system is still in place. The decades of deregulation that allow building companies to play fast and loose with workers’ and residents’ safety have not been addressed.

If we are to get justice for Grenfell, and if we are to secure lasting victories from the current anti-racist upsurge, we have to work for structural change.

That means understanding the role racial oppression, like oppression on the basis of sex, plays under capitalism to divide the working class and increase the rate of exploitation of sections of it.

It means working for unity among all oppressed and exploited people to fight back collectively.

It is advanced by fighting for specific demands that challenge oppression, such as the proposals for wide-ranging reforms of the national curriculum as proposed by the National Education Union, or for bans on dangerous restraint methods as we are seeing in the US and France — though not, so far, in Britain.

And with evidence that the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black and ethnic minority communities is linked to their place in the class system — disproportionately earning less, in more public-facing roles and more cramped accommodation — it is clear the battle for social justice must be waged against capitalism and racism simultaneously.

‘IT’S been an absolute outrage that three years later and the Grenfell families still have no justice, and homes are still unsafe’, Joe Delaney, local resident, activist and Grenfell campaigner said yesterday: here.

Firefighters condemn ‘shameless’ property developer’s call to relax ban on flammable cladding: here.

National Audit Office Says Families Will Live In Fire Deathtraps Until Mid-2022: here.

Birdlife in Bhutan, three videos

This video says about itself:

The first of three videos covering a birding trip to Bhutan from 17th April to 5th May 2018. It covers the start of the trip from Paro to Darachu and includes the Paro Valley, Chelela Pass, Jigme Dorji National Park, Dochu La Pass, the river valleys and dzong at Punakha, and concluding at Darachu.

The trip was led by David Bishop from David Bishop Tours ably assisted by local guides and a ground crew from Gangri Tours.

These two videos are the sequels.

Black Lives Matter, worldwide

This 12 June 2020 video from Minnesota in the USA says about itself:

Restaurant Owner Feeds BLM Protesters | In This Together | NowThis

This Minneapolis Black-owned and vegan restaurant fed hundreds of people who protested the death of George Floyd.

In US news and current events today, Louis Hunter is the owner of Trio Plant-Based, Minnesota’s first Black-owned 100% plant-based restaurant. Hunter says his restaurant’s mission is simple. Hunter’s cousin, Philando Castile, was shot and killed by a police officer in 2016. So for him, supporting the Black Lives Matter protestors is deeply personal.

Thanks to activists’ efforts, the idea of reshaping the police force is gaining momentum. One reform often proposed is to train cops to recognize their own biases. This idea gets pushed in the business world too, which is facing its own reckoning over racism. But there’s a problem: There’s plenty of research showing that implicit bias training doesn’t actually work. And there’s a recent real-world example: Police in San Jose, California, shot a Black man who works as an implicit bias trainer for their department with a rubber bullet at a protest. So why does implicit bias training keep getting talked up in efforts to reform police? Michael Hobbes, a HuffPost senior reporter, dug into the topic.

Protesters take part in an event in Leeds, organised by Black Lives Matter, following the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis

This photo shows protesters taking part in an event in Leeds, England organised by Black Lives Matter, following the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the United States city of Minneapolis.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 14 June 2020:

Veteran anti-apartheid campaigner praises Black Lives Matter activists

VETERAN anti-apartheid campaigner Ken Keable has praised Black Lives Matter protesters for fighting state racism and removing statues honouring slavers.

A message from Mr Keable, a Communist who was sent to apartheid South Africa in 1968 as one of the “London Recruits” tasked with helping the African National Congress in its struggle against apartheid, was read out on Saturday at a Black Lives Matter rally in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, which the activist was unable to attend for health reasons.

He said: “I am thrilled to see so many people taking to the streets all over the world to fight state racism, to assert that black lives matter and to demand the removal of monuments that honour slave traders and slave owners.

“To those who toppled the statue of Edward Colston, I say thank you. To those who want them prosecuted, I say removing an obscenity is not a crime.

Capitalism in Britain was founded on the enslavement of African people.

“To the young people who are here today, I say join a union! Build the unity of the working class! Solidarity forever!”

ANTI-RACISM protesters who tear down, ‘deface’ or graffiti statues and monuments to imperialism face jail sentences of up to 10 years under a forthcoming bill which Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel is to bring before Parliament: here.

By Ben Chacko, 14 June 2020:

Riot police attack anti-racism protest in Paris

RIOT police attacked anti-racism demonstrators in Paris with tear gas on Saturday after Paris Prefect Didier Lallement banned the demo.

Mr Lallement said the protest could not go ahead because of lockdown restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus, though the Council of State later stated that the right to protest remained.

An estimated 15,000 demonstrators were blocked by police from carrying out their intended march.

The rally was addressed by Assa Traore, sister of Adama Traore who died in police custody in 2016. Nobody has yet been charged over his death.

“We are all demanding the same thing — fair justice for everyone,” she said.

French Senator Laurence Cohen of the Communist Party told the crowds that it was “very important to be here, to demand a society of solidarity, fraternity and respect.”

She called on demonstrators to continue mobilising for reform of the police.

Officers assaulted protesters in some neighbourhoods, with videos being shared of peaceful activists being attacked.

A group of far-right demonstrators scaled a building overlooking the demo and unveiled a banner attacking “anti-white racism,” but residents were able to open their windows and tear it down. The rightwingers were later arrested.

La France Insoumise leader Jean-Luc Melenchon tweeted his support for the demo: “Congratulations to the Adama Traore committee and the anti-racists in the Place de la Republique,” he wrote.

“Beautiful demonstration, and beautiful resistance to the violent provocations of Prefect Lallement.”

Protests in France in solidarity with the George Floyd demonstrations in the US have already seen Interior Minister Christophe Castaner ban chokeholds and turned the spotlight on police violence.