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Blogging on animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women's issues, arts, and much more

Rihanna’s new music video and Eric Garner

This music video from the USA says about itself:

16 April 2015

American Oxygen” from Rihanna’s upcoming eighth studio album.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Is Rihanna’s American Oxygen an anthem for Eric Garner?

With lyrics “breathe out/breathe in”, Rihanna gets serious, while the music video collates the most emotional moments of US history. But does it work?

Malta poacher sentenced for killing northern lapwing

This is a video from the Netherlands about a northern lapwing and its chicks.

From the Times of Malta:

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 14:55 by Matthew Xuereb, Caroline Muscat

Hunter sentenced to three months in jail – ‘did not know’ that lapwing cannot be hunted in spring

Offender has pending case of attempted murder

Updated 6.08pm – Shaun Demicoli, 37 of Birzebbuga was sentenced to three months imprisonment and had his shotgun confiscated this afternoon after he admitted to shooting and injuring a lapwing bird early this morning. He also admitted breaching bail conditions imposed in 2011 and last year and relapsing. His pending cases include a charge of attempted murder of a Tunisian man.

Wearing a bus driver’s uniform, Mr Demicoli told the court that he did not know that that kind of bird could not be hunted in spring.

Mr Demicoli also had his hunter’s licence suspended for three years and was fined €200 for breaching the bail conditions. The court recommended that he should not lose his job, which he was given only recently.

He said he would appeal and walked out of court – the sentence only comes into force once the appeal is decided.

Lawyer Jason Grima was defence counsel.

The bird, which was handed to the police, was shot between Birzebbuga and Hal Far even though, in terms of Spring hunting rules, only turtle dove and quail can be legally hunted, in limited numbers.

The FKNK hunters’ federation said the offender was reported by other hunters. He is not one of its members.

It appealed to other associations to suspend him if he is their member, and said abuse will not be tolerated.

The incident followed another yesterday when Stefan Micallef, 43, of Naxxar, shot a protected cuckoo in Manikata. He was filmed by BirdLife volunteers hiding the bird under a bush after shooting it.

Mr Micallef told a court that he mistook the cuckoo for a Turtle dove, but was fined €2,500 and had his licence suspended for three and a half years. His shotgun and ammunition were confiscated. The sentence came with a stern warning from the court that protected species must not be shot.

Following the referendum, won by those in favour of the spring hunting season, the Prime Minister Muscat stressed on Sunday that illegal hunting would not be tolerated.

The incident yesterday was followed by a backlash on social media calling on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to keep his word with #josephzommkellmtek and #closetheseason.

Earlier today, the Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Welfare, Roderick Galdes was asked to define what the prime minister meant when he said that the season would be closed if there was flagrant abuse.

He told the media there had to be major abuse such as happened last autumn when the season was closed.


Kaccaturi San Ubertu (KSU) in a statement said it commended the immediate action taken by the authorities in apprehending and sentencing the persons responsible of shooting protected birds.

“Today’s incident, where a protected bird was shot, exemplifies ignorance on the part of the perpetrator being unaware that spring hunting is only practiced on turtle dove and quail. It also highlights an ambiguity in our gun licensing system where a person with a criminal record involving aggression of a police officer and a pending case of attempted murder is allowed a gun licence.”

Birds singing in England

This video from Britain says about itself:

Getting to grips with warblers 4: Whitethroat Vs Lesser Whitethroat

In the fourth of our series of videos aimed at helping with the tricky task of identifying warblers, we take a look at Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. BirdTrack reports show that May is a good time to catch up with them. So it’s a good time to brush up on the songs and ID features of these two common species.

By Graeme Lyons, in Sussex, England, on Twitter today:

Cetti’s Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat all singing at Woods Mill right now!

Mike Leigh will make Peterloo massacre film

This video says about itself:

9 September 2012

A short video about the Peterloo Massacre. (Song starts at 0:32)

I’ve added the lyrics as annotations because a few people from outside the local area have expressed difficulty understanding parts.

For more information you could or visit the amazing People’s History Museum in Manchester or if that’s too much of a journey for you then you could just read the Wikipedia article, though I’d still recommend trying to make an effort to visit the museum,

I do not own the rights to the music or any of the pictures in this video, it has been created for educational purposes and is therefore protected under fair use.

Historical figures in the video:

1:22, 3:04 and 4:51 – Henry Hunt (British radical, advocator of free trade and Parliamentary reform; organiser of the meeting. He was imprisoned for thirty months for ‘inciting a riot’).

1:56, 2:38 and 3:47 – William Hulton (Chairman of magistrates who gave the order for the Yeomanry to charge the crowd).

2:00 – Thomas de Trafford (commander of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry)

2:05 – Hugh Hornby Birley (local factory owner, captain of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry and leader of the charge).

2:14 and 4:55 – Samuel Bamford (British radical, leader of the Middleton contingent of the march. He was imprisoned for a year for ‘inciting a riot’).

4:26 – John Bright (Quaker, radical and Liberal politician. He was one of the leaders of the Anti-Corn Law League and a strong critic of British protectionism and foreign policy).

4:27 – Richard Cobden (Manufacturer, radical and Liberal politician. He was one of the leaders of the Anti-Corn Law League and a strong critic of British protectionism and foreign policy. He has been referred to as “the greatest classical-liberal thinker on international affairs”)

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Mike Leigh to make movie of Peterloo massacre

Veteran British director to return to 19th century for a film based on the 1819 Peterloo massacre in Manchester

Catherine Shoard

Friday 17 April 2015 09.45 BST

The director Mike Leigh’s next film will be Peterloo, a drama about the infamous 1819 massacre in Manchester, which killed an estimated 18 protesters and injured up to 700.

“There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo massacre,” Leigh told Screen International. “Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford.”

The massacre occurred when government troops – including local yeomanry – charged a crowd of around 60,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

The rally was organised by the Manchester Patriotic Union, who commissioned radical orator Henry Hunt to speak. But he was arrested shortly before the rally begun, and cavalry drew their sabres to try to disperse the gathered crowds, leading to confusion and loss of life.

The massacre – christened Peterloo as a nod to the Battle of Waterloo, which occurred four years before – preceded further government crackdowns. But the outcry sparked was one of the key contributing factors to the establishment of the Manchester Guardian.

Leigh’s previous film, a biopic of the artist JMW Turner, was a much-acclaimed return to period drama. It took four Oscar nominations and made more than $10m (£6.65m) in the UK and $3m in the US.

Peterloo will be shot in 2017, with Leigh reuniting with cinematographer Dick Pope, producer Georgina Lowe and executive producer Gail Egan. Leigh is currently in rehearsals for an English National Opera production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Mediterranean gulls in the Netherlands

This video shows a Mediterranean gull in summer plumage, with black-headed gulls in winter plumage.

Translated from the Dutch SOVON ornithologists:

Friday, April 17th, 2015

On Wednesday, April 15th large numbers of Mediterranean gulls flocked into our country. Counter Bert van Broekhoven even recorded a new national record from the counting site near Terneuzen: 238 Mediterranean gulls flying along. With its distinctive mewing cry and clear white wings this striking gull is conquering our country rapidly. Since the establishment of this species in the 80s of the last century it has increased exponentially.

New Rihanna music video about Ferguson, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Rihanna, Nas, Alicia Keys: Superstars react to Ferguson grand jury decision

5 November 2014

Social media has been set ablaze after the police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed an unarmed Michael Brown was not indicted by a grand jury in the murder trial in Ferguson, Missouri yesterday and big stars are now reacting differently from all over the world. Rihanna, Nas, Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Gabrielle Union, Keri Hilson, Katy Perry, Michelle Williams, Ludacris and many more jumped on social media to air their views on the shocking verdict which has now left the city of Ferguson in complete violence.

RiRi posted a picture on her Instagram of a board which read: ‘Justice for – (I left it blank) because I’ll probably need this next year’ and captioned it “Fact”. Nas wrote on Twitter: “You were put here to protect us but who will protect us from you? – KRS One” Pharrell Williams wrote: “I’m brokenhearted over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let’s all pray for peace.”

Keri Hilson wrote: “So disappointed . I can’t quite find the words but my heart weeps. I thought “we” had finally begun to matter. #MikeBrown #Ferguson” Jazzmine Suillevan wrote: “Being unarmed is not enough to receive justice I guess”. Gabrielle Union wrote: “Heavy Heart, Angry Soul… we matter. All our lives matter. Hear us, Feel us, Respect us… ALL”.

Former Destiny’s Child stars LeToya Luckett: “I could care less about a rule or a reason. It is NEVER ok to kill an UNARMED Human Being!!! And yet again #Nojustice” Meanwhile Michelle Williams wrote: “#mikebrown #ferguson #peace #justice #answers #trust #love” Ludacris wrote: “A system cannot fail those it was never designed to protect”.

Actor Will Ferrell posted a picture of a fully armed army in Ferguson and wrote: “I don’t have words. How can you plead for peaceful protest when you show us like this?” Katy Perry wrote: “Feeling stuck all the way over here in Sydney seeing the news just now… Sending my prayers to Ferguson and praying for an equal America.”

And many more… What is your reaction?

From Contactmusic in the USA:

Rihanna Gets Political In New Video With Ferguson Footage

16 April 2015

Now, Rihanna has reminded fans of the troubled times in America with a politically-charged new promo, which was released on her mentor Jay Z’s new streaming site, Tidal, on Thursday (16Apr15).

The video also features footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other civil rights-related demonstrations and events.

The images fit the theme of the song – last week (ends10Apr15) co-writer Sam Harris told Billboard.com, “There’s a lot of turmoil going on in this country right now… This country is great and has the potential to be something really, really incredible, but there are a lot of problems that we don’t acknowledge and it’s important to shed light on both those things.”

Missouri National Guard called Ferguson protesters ‘enemy forces': here.