Murderous Greek Golden Dawn nazis convicted


This 14 October 2020 video says about itself:

A member of the far-right Golden Dawn party has been handed a life sentence for the 2013 murder of a rapper.

Yiorgos Roupakias was found guilty of the murder. Other senior members of the group were also given jail terms.

That includes the head of Golden Dawn, Nikos Mihaloliakos, who has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The group is now considered a criminal organisation.

By Kevin Ovenden in Athens, Greece:

Greek neonazi leaders sentenced to 13 years jail in historic victory for anti-fascist movement

THE leadership of neo-nazi party Golden Dawn have been sentenced to hefty 13-year jail terms in a historic victory for the anti-fascist movement in Greece and internationally.

Would-be fuehrer Nikolaos Michaloliakos and five other former MPs received that sentence, two years short of the maximum, today for “directing a criminal organisation.” A seventh got 10 years. They constitute the fascist party’s whole executive committee.

The panel of three judges in the most important trial of Nazi criminality since Nuremberg will next consider applications to suspend those and other sentences of the 57 Golden Dawn convicts pending appeals, or instead to issue arrest warrants and send them to jail.

Appeal hearings could be years away. Lawyers for Golden Dawn’s victims insist that vindication for their clients and for democratic public opinion in Greece depends on the neonazis being jailed.

It is also a matter of public safety, according to anti-fascist campaigners. One convicted leader is Ilias Kasidiaris, who has set up one of several breakaway Golden-Dawn-lite parties looking to take up its mantle.

He became notorious for assaulting female left MP Liana Kanelli on TV in 2012. A botched state prosecution meant he was not convicted.

Other sentences include five to seven years for the 20 convicted principally for membership of a mafia-type organisation, and life imprisonment for the murderer of anti-racist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. His co-perpetrators got seven to 10 years. That crime in 2013 led to the popular eruption that forced a conservative-led government to prosecute Golden Dawn.

Those guilty of the attempted murder of Egyptian fisherman Abouzid Embarak got seven to 10 years; of the attack on trade unionists of the Pame organisation, two years — the maximum sentence was three.

Mr Embarak’s lawyer, Thanasis Kampagiannis, said, “The sentences for the leaders are stiff, but not the strictest. The penalties for those involved in the criminal organisation and for the perpetrators of individual crimes are lower than what is appropriate.”

The Communist Party of Greece said similarly and added: “These sentences must be applied immediately to put the Nazi criminals in prison.”

There was little doubt that if that did not happen, then popular indignation would burst onto the streets as it has done repeatedly in driving through the conviction of Golden Dawn that parts of the Greek state fought to avoid.

In any case, anti-racist campaigners of the Keerfa coalition and others are to hold two days of action this weekend in solidarity with refugees held by the state in inhuman camps and to build on the court victory.

On Monday, the Greek equivalent of the Daily Telegraph newspaper ran a feature on how respected lawyer Dimitris Zotos first brought a suit to have Golden Dawn declared a criminal gang in 1996 on behalf of socialist activists assaulted by the neonazis. He was also part of this prosecution under the same penal article.

We might well imagine that Pavlos Fyssas and others would be alive today had the state authorities not blocked Mr Zotos’s legal action 24 years ago.

No-one in Greek public life can honestly claim that they did not know. This week, international labour movement opinion certainly knows.

Mysterious young sea stars, new research


Valvaster striatus sea stars

From the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, 13 October 2020:

Sea star’s ability to clone itself may empower this mystery globetrotter

October 13, 2020

Summary: The identity of wild cloning sea star larvae has been a mystery since they were first documented in the Caribbean. The most commonly collected cloning species was thought to belong to the Oreasteridae, on the basis of similarity with sequences from Oreaster reticulatus and Oreaster clavatus.

For decades, biologists have captured tiny sea star larvae in their nets that did not match the adults of any known species. A Smithsonian team recently discovered what these larvae grow up to be and how a special superpower may help them move around the world. Their results are published online in the Biological Bulletin.

“Thirty years ago, people noticed that these asteroid starfish larvae could clone themselves, and they wondered what the adult form was,” said staff scientist Rachel Collin at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). “They assumed that because the larvae were in the Caribbean the adults must also be from the Caribbean.”

Scientists monitor larvae because the larvae can be more sensitive to physical conditions than the adults and larval dispersal has a large influence on the distribution of adult fishes and invertebrates. Collin’s team uses a technique called DNA barcoding to identify plankton. They determine the DNA sequence of an organism, then look for matches with a sequence from a known animal in a database.

“This mystery species was one of the most common in our samples from the Caribbean coast of Panama,” Collin said. “We knew from people’s studies that the DNA matched sequences from similar larvae across the Caribbean and it matched unidentified juvenile starfish caught in the Gulf of Mexico — but no one had found a match to any known adult organism in the Caribbean. So we decided to see if the DNA matched anything in the global ‘Barcode of Life’ data base.”

“That’s when we got a match with Valvaster striatus, a starfish that was thought to be found only in the Indo West Pacific,” Collin said. “The is the first-ever report of this species in the Atlantic Ocean. We could not have identifed it if Gustav Paulay from the University of Florida didn’t have DNA sequences from invertebrates on the other side of the world.”

But why are the larvae common in the Caribbean if adult Valvaster starfish have never been found here? Are the adult starfish hidden inside Caribbean reefs, or are the larvae arriving from the other side of the world?

V. striatus is widespread but rare in the western Pacific. The few reports from collectors and the confirmed photos on iNaturalist range from the Indian Ocean to Guam and Hawaii. These starfish live deep in the reef matrix, only coming out at night. So, it is possible that there are adults in the Caribbean that have never been seen. But the other possibility, that the ability to clone themselves may allow them to spread around the world, is also intriguing.

“It’s possible that the ability of the larvae to clone themselves is not just a clever way to stay forever young,” Collin said. “There’s a natural barrier that keeps organisms from the western Pacific and the Indian ocean from crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. After they make it around the tip of Africa, they are met by a cold current that presumably kills tropical species.”

“Just how cloning could help them get through the barrier is still not known, but it’s intriguing that another sea star species from the Indo West Pacific that was collected for the first time in the Caribbean in the 1980s also has cloning larvae,” Collin said.