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‘Turkish air force killing Iraqi civilians’


This video says about itself:

Turkey kills “by mistake” 35 Kurdish civilians

30 December 2011

Tension increases at the border between Turkey and Iraq after Turkish officials confirmed their troops killed by mistake 35 civilians during an airstrike in the Kurdish village of Ortasu.

That was then. And now today, 1 August 2015.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

‘Turkish fighter jets again cause civilian casualties in northern Iraq

Today, 16:55

New attacks by Turkish warplanes on PKK targets in northern Iraq have killed ten civilians. This report the [Iraqi] Kurdish Rudaw media network, which has a reporter in the area. …

The attacks were on Zargali village, in the district Rawanduz. …

The Kurdish government in northern Iraq … condemned Turkey for “bombing civilians.” …

In The Hague this afternoon some 700 Kurds and Turks protested together against the Turkish bombardment of the PKK. The demonstrators marched from the central station to the Spui, where there were speeches.

Turks and Kurds demonstrate in The Hague, the Netherlands, against Turkish government bombing, 1 August 2015

Boy watches owls on TV, real owl joins him


Western screech-owl and Marlo Sarmiento, photo credit: Marlo Sarmiento

By Arin Greenwood, Animal Welfare Editor, The Huffington Post in the USA:

Boy Watches Owls On TV, Real Owl Shows Up To Join Him

“What a hoot!”

07/31/2015 04:50 PM EDT

Marlo Sarmiento was a few minutes into watching an animated TV show about owls with his 5-year-old son Ollie the other night when he got distracted by a blur in his peripheral vision, “which then thumped into a large window.”

“I took a look and was surprised to see a tiny owl, stunned and just sitting there on the windowsill,” Sarmiento told The Huffington Post. He immediately named the bird Elfis, inspired by the name of the cartoon owl on the TV.

Sarmiento, who lives in a woodsy part of Northern California that abuts a nature preserve, pieced together that the owl had flown in through an open front door and then banged into the closed window trying to get out again.

Birds have paid the family visits before, Sarmiento says, but usually more common blue jays and robins, and usually they fly right out of the house of their own accord.

Sarmiento speculates that Elfis decided to stick around for a bit, possibly “attracted by the owl screeches coming from the TV.”

“My sister quipped that it was a good thing we weren’t watching an episode about elephants,” he says.

Sarmiento fetched a towel to carry Elfis in and help him back outside, worried the bird was shaken up and unable to find his way out. He paused briefly during the rescue to take a couple of photos so folks would believe him when he told them about his nocturnal visitor.

“Probably 4-5 minutes total visiting time,” Sarmiento says. “Didn’t even finish the show or stay for a drink/snacks!”

This was a lucky encounter in more ways than one.

“Most birds that crash into a window or wall are suffering head trauma and could be in shock. Stress from being handled could kill them,” says Damen Hurd, a wildlife rehabilitator with Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center in southwest Florida, who believes that Elfis is a Western screech-owl.

Hurd adds that if someone comes across an owl or other bird of prey that might be hurt, they should put the creature in a towel-lined box or dog carrier, and then get it to a wildlife rehabilitator for a checkup and any necessary treatment.

“Sometimes a bird is only stunned shortly and can be released soon after, but many die after an accident like this,” he says.

Rehabber Paula Goldberg, with City Wildlife in Washington, D.C., says that the Sarmientos are fortunate not to have gotten hurt.

“Although the little guy is as cute as a Steiff stuffed animal, it has talons, and when they latch, they don’t let go,” Goldberg says. “What an incredible moment and it is so nice to see someone else’s kids zoned out while watching TV seated next to an owl.  What a hoot!”

Sarmiento says his son has been demanding that the owl cartoon be played over and over again in the days since Elfis first dropped by.

As yet, Elfis has not flown back into their lives. Given all the risks, it’s probably for the the best that their feathered friend seems to have turned out to be more of a feathered acquaintance. But, still, if the family’s learned anything by now, it’s that you never know whoooo-whoooo might drop by.

“I am leaving the sliding back doors open just in case,” says Sarmiento.

Selma to Washington civil rights march in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

NAACP Announces March From Selma to Washington, DC

18 June 2015

NAACP President/CEO Cornell William Brooks announces America’s Journey for Justice on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. #JusticeSummer

From Reuters news agency:

Sat Aug 1, 2015 11:44am EDT

March to Washington begins with civil rights rally in Selma

By Letitia Stein

The NAACP is launching a 40-day march across the U.S. South on Saturday with a rally in Selma, Alabama, aiming to draw on that city’s significance in the 1960s civil rights movement to call attention to the issue of racial injustice in modern America.

Organizers of the so-called “America’s Journey for Justice” want to build momentum behind a renewed national dialogue over race relations that was prompted by the killing of a number of unarmed black men by police officers over the past year.

Organizers, led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, say the outcry triggered by police killings in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City’s Staten Island a year ago needs to be channeled into a long-term commitment to bring about change.

“We can continue to be serially outraged, or we can engage in an outrageously patriotic demonstration with a commitment to bringing about reform in this country,” said Cornell William Brooks, president and chief executive of the NAACP, one of the oldest and largest civil rights groups in the United States.

The march will feature “teach-ins” and other events in five states – Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia – as it makes its way to the nation’s capital, where organizers hope to draw thousands at a final rally on Sept. 16.

“We are at a point where it is not enough to protest. We have to educate, demonstrate and ultimately move our Congress to legislate,” Brooks said. “We have to bring about change.”

The NAACP aims to bring attention to racial injustice across issues like policing, public education, incarceration, voting rights and income inequality.

Brooks said the NAACP will look to mobilize thousands by the time it arrives in Washington, working with organizations representing labor unions, environmentalists, women’s advocates and Judeo-Christian religious leaders.

The inaugural rally in Selma will take place at the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, where police beat peaceful marchers with clubs and doused them with tear gas, in an incident that became a catalyst for the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act, signed into law 50 years ago this week.

After two aborted attempts, civil rights activists led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. eventually marched from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery in 1965 to build support for the legislation, which seeks to protect the rights of minority groups to vote.

Saturday’s march comes almost a year after the shooting death of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a slaying that led to widespread protests and debate about U.S. race relations.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida; Editing by Frank McGurty and Alden Bentley)

Rare green snaketail dragonfly news


This is a 2009 video, showing a green snaketail dragonfly along the Roer river in Limburg province in the Netherlands.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Friday, July 31, 2015

It’s a good year for the green snaketail dragonfly. This rare species has been absent for decades in the Netherlands, but since 1996 it’s back in Limburg [province]. Three years ago, the green snaketail dragonfly was seen along the Dommel [river in North Brabant province] and it has been seen there once again.