World War I Russian submarine discovery off Sweden


This 27 July 2015 video is called Footage Shows Foreign Submarine Found In Swedish Waters.

From AFP news agency:

Sweden says submarine wreck probably Tsarist-era Russian vessel

Submarine likely to be Som-class submarine, nicknamed Catfish, which sank after collision with Swedish vessel in 1916

Tuesday 28 July 2015 17.37 BST

The wreck of a submarine found off Sweden’s coast was probably a Tsarist-era Russian vessel that collided with a ship about a century ago, the country’s military has announced.

“We are most likely talking about the Russian Som-class submarine – nicknamed Catfish – which sank after a collision with a Swedish vessel in 1916 during the first world war and before the Russian Revolution,” the Swedish armed forces said.

Speculation had been swirling about the origins of the vessel after Swedish divers announced on Monday that a submarine had been found about 1.5 nautical miles off the coast of central Sweden.

The announcement came nine months after a high-profile hunt for a mystery submarine in Swedish waters, which some suspected was a modern Russian vessel.

The Swedish military said pictures of the wreck taken by the divers confirmed its own analysis and that it did not think a full technical analysis was necessary. Experts identified it as an imperial Russian navy sub that sank with an 18-member crew in May 1916 after a collision with a Swedish vessel.

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter said it was a submarine built for the imperial Russian navy in Vladivostok in 1904 and integrated into the naval fleet in the Baltic Sea in 1915.

“Judging by the pictures, it is the Som,” Konstanin Bogdanov, head of a state-backed team of wreck divers in Russia, told AFP, referring to what appears to be Cyrillic lettering on the submarine’s outer shell.

He said his team would be happy to study the find together with the Swedish divers. “We are ready to conduct a joint expedition,” he said, adding that if the wreck is confirmed as the Catfish it would be important to also “immortalise the memory” of those who perished.

Stefan Hogeborn, a diver with the Ocean X Team that made the discovery, said the mini-sub was completely intact with no visible damage to the hull and the hatches were closed. “It is unclear how old the submarine is and how long it has been laying at the sea floor, but the Cyrillic letters on the hull indicate that it is Russian,” he said in a statement on Monday.

In October, Sweden’s navy launched a massive hunt for a foreign submarine, suspected to be Russian, in the Stockholm archipelago. The military subsequently confirmed that “a mini-submarine” had violated its territorial waters, but was never able to establish the vessel’s nationality.

Last year’s hunt for the mystery vessel came at a time of particularly high tensions between Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine.

New nectar-feeding bat species discovered in Brazil


This video says about itself:

Green Ambassador Brazil Bat Research

11 May 2007

With the University of Campo Grande the Green Ambassadors researched the biodiversity of bats in the Pantanal, Brazil. Where over 700 plant species depend on bats for pollination.

The video is in Portuguese, but its subtitles can be switched to English or other languages.

From Wildlife Extra:

New bat species discovered

A new species of nectar-feeding bat from Brazil has been unexpectedly discovered during a study into the whole genus of Lonchophylla.

The scientists Drs. Ricardo Moratelli and Daniela Dias examined both wild and museum specemins of L. mordax, when they realised, rather than looking at one species they were looking at two different species.

Called L. inexpectata, the new species has considerably paler ventral (abdominal) fur and some of their measurements were inconsistent with L. mordax, including differences in the skull and the teeth morphology.

The scientific description of the new species is here.

Common scoters not migrating together


This video is called Male common scoter (Melanitta nigra).

From daily The Independent in South Africa:

Birds of a feather don’t fly together

July 28 2015 at 08:53am

London – The British Royal Family famously never travel on the same plane to ensure the survival of the monarchy in the event of a disaster.

Now scientists say Britain’s most endangered duck employs a similar tactic by splitting up when it comes to their migration.

Despite its name, the common scoter is down to just 40 breeding pairs in the UK – mostly in the Scottish Highlands.

Researchers who tagged four birds nesting in the same loch found they flew to different winter locations in Scotland, Ireland and Morocco.

A spokesperson for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust said: “The fact they stay apart in winter is a bit like the Royal Family never flying together – it means they can’t all be affected by a single issue like a storm or oil spill.”

The discovery is useful in the trust’s attempts to discover what is behind the falling population in Britain as the scoter is thriving elsewhere. “Whatever is causing their decline is more likely to be in the summer when they’re all together in the Highlands,” said the spokesperson.

Common scoters and other birds in Scheveningen, the Netherlands: here.

British Islamophobes’ ‘racial holy war’ plans


This video from North America says about an extreme right ‘racial holy war‘ propagandist:

14 July 2015

Paul Craig Cobb better known as Craig Cobb, is an American Canadian White Nationalist, White Separatist, Neo-Nazi, antisemite and Holocaust denier who operates the video sharing website Podblanc.

By Luke James in Britain:

Operation Race Riot

Tuesday 28th July 2015

Campaigners expose far-right bid to launch a race war off the back of insulting cartoon exhibition of the Muslim prophet Mohammed

A RACIST plot to spark a “civil war” in Britain by staging a provocative exhibition of prophet Mohammed cartoons was blown open by campaigners yesterday.

Anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate published a 32-page dossier alleging that a September 18 exhibition will be at the centre of a plan to spark confrontations in multicultural communities.

Chief executive Nick Lowles called on the authorities to stop the event, saying it is “simply seeking to incite division, hatred and violence.”

Mr Lowles warned: “Some simply want to provoke a violent reaction from Muslims in order to present them in a negative and intolerant light.

“Others hope the cartoons will spark a series of tit-for-tat violence that will ultimately lead to civil war.”

The Sharia Watch group — run by Ukip general election candidate Anne Marie Waters — announced plans for the exhibition earlier this month.

The event at an undisclosed central London venue is to feature cartoons from “satirical” magazine Vive Charlie, which counts Sun columnist Katie Hopkins among its supporters.

Infamous far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders, previously banned from Britain as an “undesirable” for his virulent Islamophobia, is to be the main speaker at the event.

A similar exhibition attended by Mr Wilders in Texas this year was attacked by two armed men, who were shot dead by police.

The Home Office appeared to suggest yesterday that Mr Wilders could be barred entry to Britain to attend the event.

A spokeswoman said the government doesn’t comment on individual cases before adding: “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude non-British nationals from the UK.

“The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they present a threat to our society.”

Organisers claimed the event was part of a campaign to defend free speech in the wake of the deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in January by Islamic extremists.

But Hope Not Hate’s year-long investigation has revealed the real and “sinister” motives behind the event.

The group has insider evidence that Ms Marie Waters and other white extremists discussed using the exhibition to ignite race riots.

She met last month with English Defence League founders Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) and Alan Ayling, as well as Britain First founder Jim Dowson, according to information passed to Hope Not Hate.

One idea allegedly discussed by the group was to hold a number of demonstrations in areas with large Muslim populations at the same time.

Racist activists would wave placards showing images of the prophet Mohammed in the hope of inciting a violent backlash from local Muslims.

“They believed that police would be too stretched to cope and at least one of the demos would lead to a riot,” the report states.

A source closer to Mr Lennon reported that “Isis sleeper sells within the UK would be activated to commit terrorist attacks” in response to the exhibition.

Mr Lennon was said to believe that ex-soldiers would then “take the law into their own hands.”

The report also highlights how British fanatics openly discuss plans for civil war scenarios online, including suggestions about urban warfare.

One recent fictional account of a civil war posted anonymously began with the publication of Mohammed cartoons.

Hope Not Hate says it is “highly disturbing” that people can openly talk about murdering Muslims in a civil war and face no police action.

Mr Lowles added: “This report is more than just an exposé of attempts to use the cartoons to incite a violent reaction.

“It is about a group of political extremists, as dangerous as the Islamists they claim to dislike, who are seeking to bring society to its knees and drive Muslims out of Europe through fear, violence and murder.”

Ms Marie Waters, who stood for Ukip in Lewisham East in May, denied the allegations and the party said it was standing behind her.

See also here.

Bird conservation works, new research


This video is about Dalmatian pelicans in Greece.

From BirdLife:

Scientists prove EU bird laws save threatened species

By Sanya Khetani-Shah, Mon, 27/07/2015 – 16:52

The European Union’s Birds Directive – often believed to be one of the world’s most progressive and successful set of nature conservation laws – has had a huge impact in protecting Europe’s most threatened bird species, according to new research by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB; BirdLife in the UK), BirdLife International and Durham University in England.

“We analysed information on all bird species breeding across the European Union”, said Dr Fiona Sanderson, RSPB scientist and lead author of the paper. “Our findings confirm that species with the highest level of protection under the Birds Directive [listed in Annex I]… are more likely to have increasing populations, and that these results are most apparent in countries that have been members of the European Union for longer.”

While this may sound natural, the study, published in the journal Conservation Letters, noted that as a result of stronger conservation measures, a majority of Annex I species (like Dalmatian Pelican, Common Crane, White-tailed Eagle and White-Headed Duck) are now improving their populations more than other threatened species that are not on that list.

This could point to a need to better implement protection projects for species across the other annexes as well. The report also stated that long-distant migrants didn’t do as well as those flying short distances, meaning even strong conservation measures are not yet able to sufficiently protect birds from dangers along their migration route and climate change.

The globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus Crispus was driven nearly to extinction in Europe in the 20th century due to loss of habitat, degradation, persecution and collision with power lines. However, thanks to the directives, more than 2,500 breeding pairs are now in existence, five times the number of a few decades ago.

White-headed Duck (Oxyura Leucocephala) was just as threatened. There were only 22 left in 1977 because of wetland destruction and persecution, but thanks to strong protection of their habitat and other conservation measures, there are now more than 2,000 in the wild.

Bird species listed in the other annexes are not as lucky. For example, Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa Limosa), despite being part of Annex II, continues to see a rapid decline in population and is listed as ‘threatened’ in Europe and ‘Endangered’ in the EU27. In Europe, the population size has decreased by an estimated 30-49% over three generations, while the EU27 has seen a 50-79% decline.

“Our research proves that, in an era of unprecedented climate change and habitat loss, those threatened birds protected by the Birds Directive are more likely to prosper”, Dr Paul Donald, the RSPB’s principal conservation scientist, said.

The research is being published just days after the closure on 26 July of a public consultation on the future of the European Union’s nature laws. The European Commission is currently reviewing the Birds and Habitats Directives, looking into their effectiveness. Signatures from 520,325 people and 120 NGOs supported the online campaign against this review in the largest public response to any consultation published by the European Commission.

“At a time when the benefits of EU membership are increasingly questioned, this research shows that, at least for nature, the EU is making a huge positive difference,” said BirdLife Europe’s Head of EU Policy, Ariel Brunner. “It would make no sense for the European Commission to demolish legislation proven to work and which enjoys a massive level of support among citizens.”

Read the report here.

Danish soldiers want to get out of re-started Iraq war


This video says about itself:

Outsourcing Torture – “Denmark knew about the world’s first rendition case”

15 June 2015

Three Muslim Danish citizens reveal how they were asked to cooperate with Danish intelligence services. Their stories point to what could be a hidden role for Denmark and Lebanon in a new form of rendition: the outsourcing of torture.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Danish soldiers tired and stressed by fighting ISIS

Today, 15:09

Danish soldiers do not want to participate any longer in the international fight against ISIS. They are tired and stressed by the “extraordinary effort” they have made in recent years in various missions. Military trade unions and trustees write this in a letter, addressed to, among others, Prime Minister Rasmussen.

The Danes since last October participate with seven jet fighters and 280 military personnel in the international fight against ISIS. The Danish parliament will have to decide in October whether the mission will be extended.

The letter writers believe that enough is enough. “People are tired and stressed and do not have time for their families. Absenteeism because of illness has never been so high.” The material has also suffered considerably by the missions abroad.

Denmark ‘violated the rules of war’ in Iraq. Military officials announced on Friday that they will investigate the handling of prisoners of war following “unpleasant” revelations that showed Denmark may have been in breach of the Geneva Convention: here.

What factor is common to Canada, Sweden and Denmark? The snow, perhaps? The cold weather? The social programs? Or maybe smoked salmon? How about rendition to torture? And how about cooperation with the intelligence authorities of countries which practice torture with total impunity? These may be some of the darkest common factors shared by the three countries, ones that not everyone is aware of: here.