Cameron’s fox hunting plans stopped by Scottish nationalists?


This video from Britain says about itself:

Illegal Fox Hunt by Cameron’s local hunt

18 December 2012

Anti fox-hunt protesters filmed this footage of a hunt in Oxfordshire in which a fox is chased by hounds and killed. Members of the Heythrop hunt, Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield, admitted illegally hunting a fox on land in the Cotswolds after the footage was passed to the RSPCA for investigation. They were due to be sentenced on Monday. David Cameron has previously ridden with the Heythrop hunt.

From Common Space in Scotland:

SNP could make voting U-turn and oppose Tory fox hunting plans

Angus Robertson says that party will consider voting against repeal after “massive lobbying” campaign

18 May 2015

Liam O’Hare

THE NEW team of SNP MP’s at Westminster could be set to vote against a repeal of the fox hunting ban, despite an earlier commitment to not vote on the issue.

Writing in the Guardian earlier this year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explicity ruled out voting on foxhunting, as part of the SNP’s policy to not vote on matters that do not impact on Scotland.

In the article on 8 February 2015, Sturgeon said: “The SNP have a longstanding position of not voting on matters that purely affect England – such as foxhunting south of the border, for example – and we stand by that.”

However this position could now be reversed with group leader at Westminster Angus Robertson saying that the 56 SNP MPs would be looking “very, very closely” at the legislation after the party has been contacted by people opposing the plans.

Scotland banned hunting with dogs in 2002, followed by England and Wales two years later.

The Conservatives have pledged to hold a House of Commons vote on repealing the ban, with Tory MP Simon Hart saying it could take place within months.

Speaking on Sky News’ Murnaghan show, Robertson insisted that the SNP would not make a decision until they had seen the legislation.

“The SNP has of course opposed fox hunting and it’s with SNP votes that now no longer continues in Scotland,” he said.

“There’s a massive lobbying operation going to try and ensure that the ban is not repealed in the rest of the UK.

“SNP MPs still have to consider the legislation, which we haven’t seen. We need to see it, but of course we will be looking at that closely.

“You do of course understand that the UK Government imposes its will on Scotland without any significant legitimacy whatsoever, so we’re having legislation foisted on Scotland with only one MP.

“So we have to look at all of the issues coming forward in this new parliament following the independence referendum on its merits and we’ll be doing that when we see the legislation that is proposed by the government.”

The SNP is now by far the third largest party at Westminster and it has claimed that it will provide the “effective opposition” to the Conservative government.

The party has traditionally not voted on “devolved” issues at Westminster, but this position was rolled back during the General Election campaign, with Nicola Sturgeon suggesting that the party may vote on issues such as the privatisation of the NHS.

Robertson says that the party will listen to those who “care passionately” about the issue before making a decision on whether to vote against the repeal of the fox-hunting ban.

“We have to look at all of the opportunities we have to exercise our voice and our vote at Westminster and we will be doing it on the basis of seeing the proposals that are actually made and then making up our mind.

“There are a lot of people who care passionately about this issue and I understand why. Many of them have been getting in touch in recent days and I would like to assure them that we will be looking at the case they’re making very, very closely and will do so on the basis of the legislation when its proposed.”

Among those calling for the SNP to vote against fox hunting is the Labour party.

“The barbarism of fox hunting is clear for all to see,” said Labour’s environment spokeswoman at Holyrood, Sarah Boyack.

“Scotland’s moral voice as part of the UK doesn’t end at Berwick-upon-Tweed and the SNP must make clear they will vote against any bill which would repeal the hunting ban.”

SNP considers voting to stop lifting of foxhunting ban: here.

United States police racism, homophobia, pornography discoveries


This video from Florida in the USA says about itself:

Miami Beach cops under investigation for racism

14 May 2015

Two high-level former Miami Beach police officers sent hundreds of racist, pornographic and crude emails to fellow cops, spurring a criminal probe. State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine held a news conference on Thursday detailing the inappropriate messages.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Miami Beach cops sent more than 200 racist, homophobic and pornographic emails, says senior officer

Probe launched amid concerns hundreds of criminal prosecutions could be jeopardised

Andrew Buncombe

Miami, Sunday 17 May 2015

Police in Miami have launched an inquiry after it was revealed that a handful of officers – some of them senior figures – allegedly sent hundreds of racist and pornographic emails, which included so-called jokes about President Barack Obama.

Reports said an internal investigation had revealed that the sending of the emails possibly jeopardised dozens of criminal cases in southern Florida in which the officers were witnesses.

Police Chief Daniel Oates said that two of the 16 officers were senior members of the Miami Beach Police Department and were alleged to be the main instigators. One has retired, and the other was fired on Thursday, he said. They were identified as former Major Angel Vazquez and former Captain Alex Carulo, CBS Miami reported.

“They were the primary purveyors of pornography and high volume of it. I was shocked and angry,” Mr Oates told a press conference.

Mr Vazquez has since retired, but could face a potential criminal charge for his alleged role in circulating an post-mortem photograph of Raymond Herisse who was shot by police in 2011 during the Memorial Day holiday, Mr Oates said.

Mr Oates said the probe revealed about 230 emails that were demeaning to African-Americans and women, or else pornographic in nature.

Many were depictions of crude racial jokes involving Mr Obama or black celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods. One showed a woman with a black eye and the caption, “Domestic violence. Because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once.”

One of the racially offensive emails depicted a board game called “Black Monopoly” in which every square says “go to jail.”

Miami-Dade government prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle said about 540 cases in which the officers were witnesses are being reviewed to determine if they are tainted racially. Some charges could be dropped as a result, or prisoners could be freed from jail.

“These activities are a breach of trust. They are disgusting,” she said.

There has not yet been any public comment from the officers accused of sending the emails.

Mr Oates said the emails came to light in an unrelated 2013 internal affairs probe. Most of the messages spanned the years 2010 to mid-2012, and many of the officers involved apparently just received the offensive ones rather than forwarding them.

The case comes in the wake of another, similar scandal in the San Francisco Police Department involving officers exchanging racist and homophobic text messages.

It also comes amid a national debate about issues of race and law enforcement and the way some police treat black suspects.

A string of revelations by the Guardian newspaper have exposed widespread police torture by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) at a “black-site” detention facility known as Homan Square. Victims have described being detained illegally, without a lawyer, for hours or days, and being physically abused or sexually assaulted: here.

Reward for catching bird criminal in England


This video is about a marsh harrier and its nest.

From Raptor Politics in Britain:

The Eastern Daily Press offers £1,000 reward to catch egg thief who raided marsh harrier’s nest at Guist, near Fakenham in Norfolk

Police say an unknown number of eggs were taken from the site, on the marsh off Bridge Road, on Sunday, May 10. There are around 380 breeding pairs of marsh harriers in the UK.

Most nest in East Anglia, with dense reedbeds on the Norfolk Broads, north Norfolk coast and Ouse Washes among their strongholds.

Feeding on small mammals and birds which live around the wetlands, harriers carry out low-level swoops of their hunting grounds, with their wings held in a distinctive ‘V’ shape.

They are famed for their aerobatic courtship displays carried out in spring, when the male and female birds soar and loop around each other, sometimes throwing items of food in mid-air.

While it is impossible to put a precise figure on the birds’ value to our tourism industry, tens of thousands visit Norfolk from across the UK and further afield each year to see our county’s rich birdlife, including marsh harriers.

Pete Waters, brand manager for Visit Norfolk, said: “Norfolk has an enviable position as being the birdwatching capital of the UK and incidents like this can only damage our reputation.”

Marsh harriers are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and police would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area.

Mark Thomas, senior investigations officer with the RSPB, said: “Marsh harriers lay between three and five eggs on the ground, usually in a reedbed or among tall vegetation.

“Whoever has taken them is clearly someone who’s been watching the birds. My understanding is it’s a bird which had only been sitting on eggs for a short time. It’s a species which has been targeted before. We’re all on high alert.”

Up to 300 illegal collectors are believed to be active in the UK, with eggs from rare species highly-prized. They “blow” their booty using small drills before displaying them in cabinets.

EDP editor Nigel Pickover said the newspaper would offer a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief.

“These people damage our wildlife and tourism business just so they can admire something in private. It shows the sort of individuals they are,” he said.

Norfolk is one of the once-rare harrier’s strongholds, with nature lovers flocking to bird reserves like the RSPB’s Titchwell Marsh, near Hunstanton, to see the birds.

Pete Waters, brand manager at Visit Norfolk, said: “Norfolk has an enviable position as being the bird watching capital of the UK and incidence like this can only damage our reputation.”

•Anyone with information should call PC Jason Pegden, at Norfolk police, on 101.

This article written by Chris Bishop was first published by the Eastern Daily Press.

You can read the Norfolk Constabulary Press Release here.

May 14th, 2015

Defend wildlife against attacks, video


This video says about itself:

Nature is under attack – #itsmynature

11 May 2015

Europe’s land, forest, water and marine resources are at risk.

Vital laws that protect our most precious nature could be weakened if we don’t raise our voice.

Tell your politicians that you want nature to be defended here.

#NatureAlert #itsmynature

From BirdLife:

BirdLife launches #itsmynature campaign

By BirdLife Europe, Mon, 11/05/2015 – 20:06

Today we launch our campaign “It’s my nature” (#itsmynature). We have chosen this motto for a million reasons.

Here are just three:

1) From the beginning of the modern economy we have called our natural resources “Common goods”. They belong to all of us, each and every one of us. Air, water, biodiversity, life. Nature is the ultimate “common good”, and there must be a limit to what can be owned, consumed, sold, or destroyed. Because this air is my air, this water is my water, my bird, my tree, and my river. It’s my nature, and you can’t take it away from me.

2) Because “I am” the landscape where I grew up, the field where my father taught me football, the tree that shaded my first kiss, the colours and perfumes of flowers that announced Spring, the Seagulls on my roof that remind me that I am a sailor and should be out at sea. I am these things, they are me, we are connected. It’s my nature.

And 3) Because human beings are not only about slash and burn. Not only about destruction. We care, we protect, we shelter and love. It’s our nature, it’s my nature (to protect Nature). And it’s your nature, too.

Now, please, go and make your voice heard.

If you are a conservation expert, fill in the expert questionnaire instead.

It’s a tale of two miracles. The first: over 100 NGOs, in 28 European capitals, are launching a campaign today to stop Juncker’s attack against the laws that protect Nature. The second? By re-reading the Directives we’ve rediscovered an idea of Europe we can love: one of a community that protects its nature: here.

Red herrings, Trojan horses and booby traps: debunking 5 myths and lies on the “need to overhaul” nature protection laws: here

Hungary’s nature is in peril: here.

The challenge of bringing marine wildlife back in EU waters: here.

African Governments meeting in Brazzaville, Congo, last week agreed to a set of steps to address illegal trade in wild fauna and flora. At the International Conference on Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in Africa on 27-30th April 2015, leaders issued a strongly worded Brazzaville Declaration, agreeing to collaborate to stem the rising scourge that is estimated to cost African countries about US$200 million annually: here.