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Rare octopus off Dutch coast, video


This October 2018 video shows a curled octopus in the North Sea, about 8 kilometer off the Callantsoog coast in the Netherlands.

This is the first time ever that species was filmed in Dutch waters.

Saudi journalist murdered, official cover-up?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Can Trump’s Saudi Alliance Survive #Khashoggi?

TYT Contributor Ryan Grim reports from a protest outside the Saudi embassy in Washington DC. U.S. and Turkish officials say that Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident, was reportedly killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul this month. Read Ryan’s report for The Intercept here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday, October 15, 2018

The demand for sanctions on Riyadh is unanswerable

WESTERN allies of the despotic Saudi monarchy talk loudly of possible consequences if Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was indeed murdered in Riyadh’s Istanbul consulate.

Turkish officials were due to carry out a joint inspection of the consulate last night alongside Saudi officials, but is any evidence likely to survive a fortnight after Khashoggi’s disappearance?

Ankara claimed earlier to have evidence that the journalist, who has angered the House of Saud for reporting honestly on many issues, not least the barbaric war in Yemen, was murdered in the consulate by a specially dispatched hit squad before being dismembered and removed from the building.

If it has such evidence, what point is there in agreeing to a joint “inspection?”

Have the economic threats delivered by the Saudi monarchy hit home and persuaded Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — no slouch in the state terrorism stakes himself — to engage in a charade before concluding it’s all a mystery, so let’s move on.

It doesn’t require an internal consulate inspection to conclude that something very unpleasant happened there on October 2.

No-one disputes that Khashoggi went into the consulate to obtain documents needed for his marriage. The Saudi regime insists he left later, but his Turkish fiancée, waiting for him outside, denies this.

Saudi Arabia, like a number of oil-rich states, has amassed huge foreign investment funds over decades, investing substantial sums in Turkey and it clearly has the potential to cause problems for the Erdogan regime.

It is quite possible that, in their telephone conversation on Sunday, Saudi King Salman left the Turkish leader in no doubt that agreeing to a “joint working group” to probe the mystery of Khashoggi’s disappearance would be much less troublesome for Ankara than making a fuss about a hit squad and dismemberment of a body.

That Turkey can be intimidated by economic blackmail from Saudi Arabia and possibly its Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) allies is unsurprising, but what is the excuse for the US, Britain and the European Union?

US President Donald Trump has given one of the Grand Old Duke of York performances, declaring at the weekend that the Khashoggi case was “being looked at very, very strongly.”

He threatened “severe punishment” if Khashoggi was found to have been killed in the consulate, but, when asked about economic/military sanctions against Riyadh, the US president stressed that a potential $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia takes precedence over retribution against a close US ally murdering one its own citizens, chopping up his body and disposing of it.

Who could be surprised when both Washington and London have prioritised trade deals over strong action to persuade Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to end their murderous bombing of Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world?

Their avowed intent is to starve Houthi forces and the civilian population from which their fighters come in order to restore Riyadh’s ally

rather: puppet. Confined to house arrest in Riyadh.

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to the presidency. And the result is impending mass famine.

Theresa May’s government is up to its neck in Yemeni blood, sending the planes, missiles and expert RAF personnel to better prosecute the Saudi monarchy’s war.

Had the US and Britain not encouraged Riyadh in previous illegal adventures such as arming, training and financing jihadist extremists in Syria, this medieval gang of head-choppers would not feel able to threaten critics now.

The demand for sanctions on Riyadh is unanswerable, underlining the pressing need for election of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government to operate a less venal foreign policy.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Such a statement could be acceptable to all parties, says correspondent Lucas Waagmeester in Turkey. For Turkey, it is important to recognize that Khashoggi was killed, for the US it would be acceptable if his death was a mistake, and the Saudis would like to have mentioned that Khashoggi was not killed by order of the Saudi king.

If not by order of the king, then by order of the crown prince. It is hardly credible that in the Saudi absolute monarchy fifteen subjects just suddenly decide to take a trip to Turkey just for fun because they feel like it as individuals, bringing a bone saw with them.

Maybe this cover-up compromise statement is acceptable to the Saudi absolute monarchy, the Erdogan regime in Turkey and the Trump regime in the USA. But: acceptable to the millions of people all over the world who oppose torture and murder?

This Lucas Waagmeester tweet asks itself (translated):

Will this really be the end of the storm? Is “sorry, we tortured a bit too roughly, shit happens you know, just a little industrial accident” just okay? And: where’s the body?

If the intention of the Saudi death squad flown into Turkey was to torture Khashoggi, but not torture him to death, then it is hardly credible that killing him was an ‘accident’. Oh yeah, and why did the death squad bring a bone saw with them to cut up Khashoggi (still alive, or dead)?

The NOS article continues:

The Saudi king has told President Trump that he knows nothing about this issue and that the crown prince has nothing to do with it either.

“The denial could not have been stronger”, Trump said after the interview. That comment got him a lot of criticism from, among others, the Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. He said that Trump did public relations work for the Saudis with his statements.

36 beautiful birds, video


This 14 October 2018 video says about itself:

36 BEAUTIFUL BIRDS

1. BLACKBIRD
2. NUTHATCH
3. RED CROSSBILL
4. CHAFFINCH
5. ROBIN
6. BLUE TIT
7. STARLING
8. SISKIN
9. HOUSE SPARROW
10. WREN
11. SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER
12. HAWFINCH
13. WILLOW WARBLER
14. GREENFINCH
15. DUNNOCK
16. GREAT TIT
17. NIGHTINGALE
18. GOLDEN OREOLE
19. SONG TRUSH
20. BULLFICH
21. JACKDAW
22. GOLDCREST
23. FIELDFARE
24. CRESTED TIT
25. LONG-TAILED TIT
26. FIRECREST
27. BLACK REDSTART
28. MAGPIE
29. GOLDFINCH
30. JAY
31. GREEN WOODPECKER
32. CARRION CROW
33. ROOK
34. RAVEN
35. CHIFFCHAFF
36. KINGFISHER

These are bird species from Europe.

British Conservative May’s Dolly Parton parody song


This 11 October 2018 music video from Britain says about itself:

Theresa May (aka Folly Partin’) pleads with DUP leader Arlene Foster not to collapse her premiership with this haunting take on “Jolene“.

LYRICS:

Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
I’m begging of you, don’t collapse my premiership
Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
Please don’t, because I’ll never hear the end of it

I bribed you guys a billion quid to prop up us Conservatives
Is this how you repay me, Arlene Foster?

Yes, I blew my majority and came to you, the DUP
Remember how you said, “Eh, it’ll cost ya”
Your aims are contradictory: no border in the Irish Sea
And none on land either, that doesn’t work!

You don’t believe in dinosaurs and rights of women to abort
Some unionist you are, you utter berk

Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
Don’t f**k this up, for absolute f**k’s sake
Arlene, Arlene, Arlene, Arlene
I’ll give the money tree another shake

‘Gay’ penguin couple breeds egg


This 11 October 2018 video from Australia says about itself:

“Sphengic” on the ice – Sphen and Magic

Same-Sex [gentoo] penguin couple at Sea Life Aquarium Sydney

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The gay couple were first given a fake egg in their nest, so they could practice breeding. That went so well that they got a real egg. That egg came from the nest of another penguin couple that had two eggs.

‘Natural talents’

In the wild, gentoo penguins can usually only raise one youngster. So, the chick from the second egg will die. The biological parents did not even realize that an egg had been taken away by the caretakers, says [keeper] Hannan.

According to Hannan, Sphen and Magic are “real natural talents” as future parents. “They change jobs on a daily basis”, says Hannan. “One of the two is sitting on the egg and the other bird makes sure nobody can get around to steal stones from the nest.”

This 11 October 2018 video from Australia says about itself:

#LoveWins Sphen and Magic Penguin Couple

Penguins Breeding at Sea Life Sydney 2018

Enormous anti-racist demonstration in Berlin, Germany


This video is about the 13 October 2018 big anti-racism demonstration in Berlin, Germany.

By Ulrich Rippert in Germany:

A quarter-million protest in Berlin against the grand coalition and the return of fascism

15 October 2018

Nearly 250,000 people demonstrated Saturday in Berlin against racism, the far-right Alternative for Germany’s witch-hunting of immigrants, and the reactionary policies of the grand coalition government.

Organized around the central slogan “#indivisible—solidarity instead of exclusion”, the protest was one of the largest in recent German history.

The organizers had expected 40,000 participants and were stunned when more than six times that number showed up to demonstrate. The opening rally at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz was jam packed, and when the front of the demonstration arrived at the Victory Column, just under three kilometres away, many still had not set off from the starting point.

The protest was the culmination of a growing mobilization against the grand coalition government of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, which is implementing the xenophobic and right-wing extremist positions of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in all major policy areas.

In recent weeks, demonstrations against the AfD and the right-wing policies of the grand coalition have taken place in a number of cities. They have for the most part been given little coverage by the media. Most recently more than 40,000 people demonstrated in Munich and Hamburg against racism and a new, right-wing police law.

Especially since the events in Chemnitz and Dortmund, where far-right thugs and neo-fascists chased down foreigners, evoking sympathetic and supportive comments from the police, the secret service and the federal interior minister, resistance to the government has been increasing. On Saturday, protesters carried banners and posters saying, “No to Hate Against Muslims”, “No Place for Nazis” and “Racism is Not an Alternative.”

One banner read, “Solidarity with the Victims of Right-Wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence.”

In addition to the fight against racism and xenophobia, demonstrators opposed the government’s anti-social policies and the growth of economic inequality. Ulrich Schneider, chief executive of the Joint Welfare Association, warned of the effects of rising poverty in Germany and called for urgent action by the government against uncontrolled increases in rents in many cities. He also denounced the efforts to pit the growing ranks of the poor and needy against immigrants and asylum seekers.

An employee of the low-wage airline Ryanair spoke about the brutal conditions confronting the workers and the strikes by Ryanair pilots and flight attendants in recent months.

A section of the 250,000 person demonstration

The demonstration was called by the “Indivisible” alliance, a coalition of some 4,500 associations, organizations and individuals. The alliance was joined by church organizations, charities and trade unions. Many celebrities, including the well known actor Benno Fürmann, the television presenter Jan Böhmermann and the band Die Ärzte, supported the protest. In the evening, a performance was given by songwriters Konstantin Wecker and Herbert Grönemeyer.

When it became clear in the run-up to the demonstration that the turnout could be bigger than originally anticipated, a number of political parties attempted to become involved. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) spoke of a great “affirmation of tolerance and cosmopolitanism.” Instead of sealing off [borders] and promoting nationalism, he declared, what was needed was more diversity and solidarity.

This was said by an SPD minister whose party supports the so-called “master plan” against foreigners drawn up by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer of the Christian Social Union (CSU). The plan is a scheme for locking up immigrants in camps, where they can be bureaucratically abused and deported as quickly as possible. Last year, in the previous grand coalition government, then-Justice Minister Heiko Maas had attacked anti-G20 demonstrators in Hamburg as “left-wing extremists” and called for the holding of a “rock against the left” concert.

Minister Maas’ wishes became reality soon.

This German 15 Juli 2017 video is about many neonazis doing the Hitler salute and shouting Sieg Heil (illegal in Germany) at a concert in Themar, while police did nothing to stop them.

At the demonstration, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party—SGP) distributed many thousands of leaflets with the headline “The fight against right-wing terror requires a socialist perspective.” At two information stands, the SGP announced the publication of a new book titled Why are they back? Historical falsification, political conspiracy and the return of fascism in Germany. The book attracted great interest and sparked many discussions.

A young woman who had come to the demonstration with her mother from Luckenwalde in Brandenburg expressed great concern over the strengthening of the AfD and the increase in right-wing violence. “I think it is high time to fight right-wing tendencies and violence”, she said. “It is already the case that too much is accepted that is inhuman. We saw in World War II where that leads. In my opinion, we can see the beginnings here. We have to oppose that.”

Another demonstrator said she was participating in the protest to deliver on a promise she had made to her grandmother that she would never again experience such terrible events as she had experienced in her lifetime.

In many discussions, the right-wing policies of the grand coalition came up. It is widely understood that the establishment of a system of camps and the brutal deportation of refugees means that the government has adopted the slogan of the AfD, “Foreigners Out!”

A young man from Frankfurt am Main, who did not want to give his name for fear of reprisals, expressed indignation at the government’s policy. The treatment of refugees was “completely unacceptable”, he said. It was also “unacceptable that those who wanted to help refugees were treated like criminals”, he added. One had to assume, he continued, that in the next few years, because of the effects of climate change and the exploitation of the countries of Africa and the Middle East, more migrants would be forced to leave their homelands.

People are outraged by the fact that more than 1,500 refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean this year alone, and the German government and European Union are under such conditions constantly tightening their refugee policies. This was made clear by banners such as “Sea Rescue is Not a Crime.”

Michael said he was “appalled and angry” about the situation. The sealing off of Europe’s borders meant the government was allowing “hundreds of refugees to drown in the Mediterranean, which is terrible.”

Michael

He stressed that the government’s inhumane policy was directed not only against refugees, but also against its own people. While “billions of euros” were being spent on arming the military, “there is just as little money left for refugees as for healthcare, kindergartens and many other social needs”, Michael said.

At the closing rally, when it was announced from the platform that there were also SPD officials and leaders of … the Greens present, there were loud whistles and boos. Maya, a sales assistant from East Berlin, said angrily that it was “unheard of for the SPD to be demonstrating here while it carries out in government exactly the policy that is being protested against.”

Overall, the protest was characterized by a marked contradiction. While many demonstrators were outraged by the AfD, the growth of neo-fascist forces and the right-wing policies of the government, and were looking for a way to counter this, most of those addressing the rally sought to calm things down and de-escalate the situation. Their key words were harmony, reconciliation and neighbourly love.

In his speech, the secretary-general of the German section of Amnesty International, Markus Beeko, referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was passed almost 70 years ago. This guaranteed, he said, “universal and indivisible rights to every human being on this earth.” The right to think and say what you want, to believe who you want, to be protected from torture or persecution, to marry whomever you love—it was “a great idea” for which it was worthwhile getting involved.

The Protestant theologian and Berlin General Superintendent Ulrike Trautwein emphasized that hate damages social coexistence. She pointed to the peaceful demonstrations in East Germany in the autumn of 1989. At that time, a common slogan was “no violence.” The pastor exclaimed, “That should connect us today! No violence!” She said she feared that racism and anti-Semitism could make social violence socially acceptable again.

Jutta Weduwen, executive director of the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ASF), also expressed concern over the increase in social conflict and warned against “eroding solidarity and cold feelings.”

Hannah and Matthew

Many protesters responded to such calls for harmony with unease or hostility. This sentiment clearly emerged in a conversation with a couple from Berlin, Hannah and Mathew, who marched while wheeling their child in a pram. “I’m not as full of love as keeps being stressed here”, said Mathew, who comes from Scotland and is studying in Berlin. “When I see the right-wing extremists on the rise again, I’m angry. What I miss in all the speeches is a fight—not violence, but a political struggle.”

“It’s not all about love”, added Hannah, who has already completed her biology studies. “The cause of the problems is capitalism and the constant intensification of exploitation. We need a left-wing movement that fights against the existing system and does more than say love one another, be nice to each other. What is missing is a vision, a political idea.”

The demonstration Saturday was marked by the fact that very different positions on the fight against right-wing extremists and neo-fascists existed side by side. But it can already be seen that the aggravation of social conflicts will very quickly lead to a political differentiation.

The intervention of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei was directed toward preparing the next stage of the struggle and making clear that the fight against the right requires a struggle against capitalism and therefore a socialist perspective.

The SGP has shown in recent years how the rise of the AfD and the neo-fascists was ideologically prepared. It has fought against efforts to downplay the crimes of German imperialism and the Nazi regime by professors such as Jörg Baberowski and Herfried Münkler at Humboldt University. It has warned of and exposed the return of German militarism. It has fought to mobilize the working class against these developments and their source in the capitalist system and all of its political parties and apologists, including the supposedly “left” organizations such as the SPD … and the Greens.

The SGP leaflet to the demonstrators states: “The only social force that can counter this development and stop the right wing is the international working class. For this reason, we call for the expansion of working class struggles across the continent. The conspiracy of the grand coalition, the intelligence services and right-wing extremists must be ended.

“It is time to revive the revolutionary socialist traditions of Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Liebknecht, Lenin …”