Ghanaian ex-United Nations secretary Kofi Annan, RIP


Today, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has died.

He was born in Ghana. He studied economics and management in the USA. Nevertheless, he did not always agree with United States government policy.

In 2011, when he was no longer UN General Secretary, Annan criticized the NATO war on Libya; which would lead to horrible, still continuing bloodshed and human rights disasters like the reintroduction of slavery; which had been abolished in Libya when it was still legal in, eg, the USA and in the Dutch colonial empire.

In 2015, Annan said that the Iraq war of George W Bush and Tony Blair was the basic cause of ISIS terrorism. Though many others, including then United States President Obama, United States General Michael Flynn and George W Bush’s ex-neo-colonial viceroy in Iraq, Paul Bremer, agree with that, telling this truth still infuriates warmongers in the USA and elsewhere.

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Good Sandwich tern news


This May 2018 video is about Sandwich terns courting and mating nature reserve De Putten near Petten in the Netherlands.

Translated from Dutch Vroege Vogels radio, 15 August 2018; about nature reserve De Putten:

In the first year (2016), 104 [Sandwich] tern couples nested on the [new artificial] islets. In 2017, the number grew considerably: 2,100 couples were counted. But this year exceeded all expectations: this summer no less than 3,400 breeding pairs were counted. Besides the high number of pairs of terns there was also a large breeding success. From each breeding pair, 0.7 chick was raised. An excellent score for the Sandwich tern.

Islets

Together with Texel, this area located behind the Hondsbossche Zeewering dike now houses half of the European population of Sandwich terns. Ranger Marcel Groot of Natuurmonumenten is very pleased: “It has gone so fast. We would also have been very satisfied with two or three hundred breeding pairs but now there is a zero behind it: three thousand pairs.”

In addition to the Sandwich tern, the Harger and Pettemer polder also is home to, eg, the rare lesser white-fronted goose and on the islands also ringed plover, redshank, black-headed gull and common tern breed.

Xenophobic homophobia in Austria


This video says about itself:

Austria: ‘Let us stay!’ – Afghan asylum-seekers march against deportations in Vienna

20 May 2017

Hundreds marched against the deportation of asylum-seekers to Afghanistan, on the streets of Vienna on Saturday, under the motto “Afghanistan is not safe, let us stay.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

AUSTRIA: An immigration official has been disciplined for “linguistic lapses” after rejecting an Afghan man’s application for asylum on grounds of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan and those who murder gay people can use the victim’s sexuality as a mitigating factor, making it an “honour killing” with reduced penalties.

The Austrian official told the applicant that “neither the way you walk, nor your behaviour, nor your clothes even slightly suggested you might be homosexual.”

Right-wing Austrian bureaucrats may not know, but: LGBTQ people, like straight people, walk with two legs. Like with straight people, there are very big individual differences in behaviour among LGBTQ people. Like with straight people, there are big differences in ways LGBTQ people dress.

Child abuse, ‘Roman Catholic ecclesiastical law not working’


Pope Francis I and child abuse survivor Peter Saunders when he joined papal commission in 2014

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Although the Roman Catholic Church has its own legal system, it is “unsuitable to prosecute suspects of sexual violence“, says Peter Saunders. He was one of the two victims of abuse who took part in the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, set up by Pope Francis.

Last year he and the other victim resigned, partly because they got obstruction from the Vatican. “Ecclesiastical courts do not take the victims into account, and if they come to a conviction, then they impose far too light penalties, eg, a life of repentance“, says Saunders. A prison term is not an option. …

In Pennsylvania, for the first time in history, from outside the church the seriousness and extent of ecclesiastical abuse has been established in a United States American state. It is only one of the fifty states, but it is a beginning. …

Soon, the powerful cardinal George Pell will also have to stand trial in Melbourne. Recently, the Australian was the number three man in the Vatican, and he seemed untouchable. …

Many Chilean clergy are accused of absuse and the covering up of it. Recently, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of five Chilean bishops for an abuse scandal. But one of the protagonists in the cover-up, Cardinal Ezzati, is still at his post as Archbishop of Santiago. He will soon have to testify before a judge about the long-term cover-up of abuse. The parliament is considering annulling his Chilean citizenship, which the Italian born in 2006 received because of his “good works for the country”.