Flowering plants on New Year’s Day


This video from Arizona in the USA says about itself:

Winter wildflowers in Tucson

Deserts and canyons around Tucson are bursting into bloom in mid-February. Video by the Star‘s Doug Kreutz.

As this blog reported earlier:

Between December 25 and January 4, plant lovers will be looking everywhere in the Netherlands for flowering plants. We wonder how many different plants are still in bloom and which flowering plant will be most numerous.

Now, the results of this count are in. The Dutch FLORON botanists report today (translated):

During the first edition of the End of the Year Plant Hunt organized by FLORON a total of 383 different wild or feral plants were observed flowering. A remarkably high number for this time of the year.

This is about a quarter of all wild plant species of the Netherlands.

The three most frequent species were daisies (seen 346 times), annual meadow grass (323) and dandelions (296). Other frequent species: common groundsel, chickweed, shepherd’s-purse, red deadnettle, white dead-nettle, yarrow and orchard grass. Among the less frequent species, some were remarkable; like Hieracium amplexicaule and wallflower.

Grand Canyon wolf killed by hunter?


This video from Arizona in the USA is called Grand Canyon National Park.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

US hunter ‘shoots dead’ historic first grey wolf seen in Grand Canyon for 70 years

‘Echo’ attracted national attention when she made her way to the Arizona landmark through several states

Laura Zuckerman

Wednesday 31 December 2014

A gray wolf killed by a Utah hunter may have been “Echo,” a female who attracted national attention after wandering through several states to become the first of the protected animals seen at Arizona’s Grand Canyon in 70 years, officials have said.

The hunter, who was not named by authorities, told Utah wildlife officers on Sunday that he accidentally shot and killed a wolf equipped with a radio collar near the Arizona border after mistaking it for a coyote.

Wolves in Utah are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, which bans killing of imperiled animals without a special permit, but coyotes in the state are allowed to be shot on sight.

The incident, which is coming under sharp criticism by conservationists, is being investigated by federal and state conservation officers as a possible violation of U.S. and Utah wildlife laws, authorities said.

Information gleaned from the radio collar shows the wolf killed in Utah was a 3-year-old female that was captured and collared in January in northwest Wyoming, said Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Mark Martinez.

The wolf spotted near the northern rim of the Grand Canyon in October was also a young female, which had apparently roamed hundreds of miles (km) south from the Northern Rockies, according to an analysis of droppings near where she was seen.

It may be weeks before additional testing reveals whether the wolf killed in Utah is the same one, which was nicknamed Echo in a contest.

Echo was the first gray wolf seen in the Grand Canyon since the 1940s, when the last wolf there was killed as part of an extensive eradication campaign, said Chris Cline with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The gray wolf is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in most states.

Utah regulations require hunters to properly identify their target before shooting but cases of mistaken identity sometimes happen, Martinez said.

“It’s something we train people for in hunter education classes but it’s not a unique thing,” he said.

The hunter who shot the wolf near the city of Beaver in southwest Utah immediately contacted the state to report the incident as required by law, Martinez said. He said several coyotes in Utah have been equipped with radio collars tied to a research project.

Wildlife advocates said the death was shameful, whether or not the wolf was Echo.

“It’s very sad either way,” said Michael Robinson, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity.

United States anti-Semitic preacher tricks rabbis


This 6 December 2014 video from the USA is called Pastor Steven Anderson Admits He Hates Gays and They All Should Be Killed

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

Gay-bashing, anti-Semitic U.S. pastor dupes rabbis into appearing in film

Steven Anderson working on film titled ‘Marching to Zion’ that aims to prove Jews are no longer God’s chosen people.

Jan. 1, 2015 | 10:04 AM

A controversial American pastor duped four rabbis, including one who is a Holocaust survivor, into appearing in a film that aims to prove “Jews are no longer God’s chosen people.”

Arizona-based news outlets report that Steven Anderson, who heads the Faith Temple Baptist Church in Tempe, is working on a film titled “Marching to Zion.”

The promotional video for the film says its goal is “to prove that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people in the New Testament but that we as believers, we as Christians, are God’s chosen people [and] that the modern-day nation of Israel over in the Middle East is a complete fraud.”

Anderson’s church is among the “most hardcore anti-LGBT hate groups,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which says the pastor recently said the U.S. could have an AIDS-free Christmas if all gays are killed, as the Bible demands. He has also previously prayed for President Barack Obama’s death.

Now Anderson has turned his attention to the Jews, according to a blog post on the Phoenix New Times.

“These days, Anderson is all about bashing the Jews on YouTube where he posts hate-filled sermons with such snappy titles as ‘The Jews and Their Lies,’ ‘Jews Are Anti-Christs,’ ‘Christ-Rejecting Jews Are Children of the Devil,’ ‘The Jews Are Our Enemies,’ and the ever-popular, ‘The Jews Killed Jesus,'” writes Stephen Lemons of the New Times.

Anderson has outraged the Jewish community and the Anti-Defamation League with his recent antics – especially tricking four local rabbis into appearing in his film, which has been deemed anti-Semitic.

Anderson allegedly described himself as “an interested layperson” making a documentary about the Jewish faith, Arizona’s Jewish News reported.

“The subterfuge that he used to get these interviews from us is beyond belief,” Rabbi Irwin Wiener told the Jewish News.

Anderson reportedly told the rabbis he was making the documentary for the Public Broadcasting System. “When he used the words PBS to me, it sounded legitimate and I didn’t pursue it any further,” Wiener said.

In a press release on Anderson’s film, the ADL said it was “deeply troubled by the upcoming release of a new ‘documentary’ geared toward Christian audiences that purportedly will focus on ‘the history of the Jews,’ but in fact will likely serve as a tool for denigrating Jews and Judaism.”

“Pastor Steve Anderson’s warped views of Jews and Judaism are a perversion of our faith and people,” said Rabbi David Sandmel, ADL director of Interfaith Affairs. “It is deeply troubling when a pastor uses his pulpit to misinform fellow Christians about the nature of Judaism and to promote hateful anti-Semitic myths.”

This December 2014 video from the USA says about itself:

Pastor Anderson Hates on the Jews

from Voice Media Group

Wacko Tempe preacher Steven Anderson is now in the anti-Semitism business, and has been posting sermons to YouTube with such snappy titles as “The Jews and Their Lies,” “Jews Are Antichrists,” and “Christ-Rejecting Jews Are the Children of the Devil.”

That would be bad enough, but Anderson also recently convinced four local rabbis to participate in his upcoming DVD Marching to Zion, which promises to address the same sick themes. The rabbis, one of whom is a Holocaust survivor, say Anderson was not upfront about his intentions. In this segment from one of Anderson’s live YouTube shows, Anderson admits as much when New Times reporter Stephen Lemons calls in.

Save the Grand Canyon wolf in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Endangered Gray Wolf Could Be Roaming the Grand Canyon

3 November 2014

According to conservationists, a wayward gray wolf has been spotted several times this month around the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The wolf, which is wearing an inactive radio collar, could be the first of its species to roam Arizona in 70 years; gray wolves were exterminated from the state in the 1940s. Federal authorities are investigating the sightings.

From the Center for Biological Diversity in the USA:

THE GRAND CANYON WOLF IS IN THE CROSSHAIRS — HELP HER NOW

The wolf-haters‘ caucus is gunning for the Grand Canyon wolf, and all the other wolves who seek to reclaim their historic homeland. Help us stand up to wolf-hating politicians and keep wolves protected and free to roam. If you donate to the Predator Defense Fund now, your gift will be matched 2-to-1 by a generous supporter. Please stand with the Grand Canyon wolf today.

We’ve been top-rated by the American Institute of Philanthropy, and have more than two decades of success in saving endangered species and wildlands. You can trust us to make the most of your tax-deductible contribution.

Kill all gays, ‘reverend’ United States preacher preaches


This video from the USA says about itself:

Baptist Pastor Prays For President Obama To Die & Go To Hell! “Our Country Is Ran By Faggots

27 August 2009

“Pastor Steve Anderson from the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona wants Barack Obama dead—-reveals it during several sermons. Says that he is “Only preaching the Bible.” I don’t know what bible he is reading, but the bible I read never said that God wants homosexuals dead.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

US pastor Steven Anderson says gay people should be executed for an ‘Aids free Christmas’

The Arizona pastor said the ‘cure’ for Aids was contained in Leviticus

Antonia Molloy

Thursday 04 December 2014

A US Christian pastor has claimed that the world could be “Aids free by Christmas” if all gay people were executed.

In a sermon titled “Aids: The Judgement of God”, Steven Anderson told the congregation of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, that the Bible advocates genocide of LGBT people.

“Anybody who’s a homo or bi – it’s all the same category – sodomite is what the Bible would call them,” he said.

Speaking ahead of World Aids Day, which took place on 1 December, Anderson said the world had been “brainwashed” about the disease, which he claimed was in fact “the judgement of God”.

In a sermon during which he ranted and stomped his feet, he said he had discovered the “cure” for Aids in the book of Leviticus.

He said: “We can have an Aids free world by Christmas. Okay, it wouldn’t be totally Aids free, but we’d be like 90-some per cent Aids free by Christmas if we follow this.”

Telling his audience to turn to Leviticus 20:13, Anderson read aloud: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, even both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

He then said: “And that, my friend, is the cure for Aids. It was right there in the Bible all along – and they’re out spending billions of dollars in research and testing. It’s curable – right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.”

As the audience laughed, Anderson went on to quote “statistics” that he claimed proved that contracting HIV was directly related to being “homo”.

In the sermon he also stated that “no queers [are] allowed in this church” and boasted that there was no law against his rule. Anderson claimed that all gay people are paedophiles who would pose a threat to children in the congregation.

And he also suggested that openly condemning homosexuality was part of loving God and practising the Christian faith.

Anderson has gained a reputation as a fundamentalist and hate-preacher. He caused particular controversy in 2009 when he professed his hate for US President Barack Obama and prayed for him to die and go to hell.

He has also claimed that women who take the contraceptive pill are “whores” whose blood has turned green.

For someone who claims to know the Bible inside out, Anderson obviously didn’t read the part about loving one another…

Wolf travels 450 miles to Grand Canyon


This video from the USA is called Grand Canyon National Park.

From Wildlife Extra:

Gray wolf travels 450 miles to Grand Canyon

For the first time in 70 years a lone gray wolf has been sighted in Arizona. The female wolf originated from the northern Rocky Mountains and has travelled at least 450 miles to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

“This wolf’s epic journey through at least three western states fits with what scientific studies have shown, namely that wolves could once again roam widely and that the Grand Canyon is one of the best places left for them,” said Michael Robinson from the Center for Biological Diversity.

Gray wolves face an uncertain future. Almost 100 years ago, in 1915, the federal US government conducted began culling wolves in the western United States, and by the early 1920s most of the wolves had been exterminated and the last one was sighted Arizona in the 1940s. The Gray wolf was added to the country’s Endangered List and in the 1990s 66 wolves were brought to the Rocky Mountains.

As a result of this conservation work populations are increasing and the US Fish and Wildlife Service are now, due to the success, are proposing to remove the species from the list. But this has concerned some conservationists as they say without the protection the species could be persecuted again.

“It’s heartening this animal has been confirmed as a wolf. But I am very worried that if wolves are taken off the endangered species list she will be killed and wolf howls from the North Rim’s pine forest will never again echo in the Grand Canyon,” [said] Robinson.

Earlier this month, the Center released a first-of-its-kind analysis identifying 359,000 square miles of additional wolf habitat in the lower 48 states that could significantly boost wolf recovery which include Northeast, West Coast and southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the Grand Canyon.

“There’s so much more room for wolves in the West if only we extend them a bit more tolerance,” Robinson said. “The Grand Canyon wolf is a prime example of what wolves can do if only we let them.”

Arizona police kill mentally ill woman


This video from the USA says about itself:

2014-08-16: United In Red Rally in Solidarity with Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri at Phoenix City Hall, Phoenix, Arizona. Cloves Campbell, Jr. talks about the police shooting death of Michelle Cusseaux on Thursday, August 14th.

By Diana Green in the USA:

Phoenix police shoot 50-year-old woman during mental health call

29 August 2014

Police in Phoenix, Arizona shot and killed Michelle Cusseaux, a 50-year-old mentally ill woman, on August 13 as they were attempting take her in to a psychiatric facility following a court order. Officers claimed she threatened them with a hammer.

Hours after Cusseaux’s funeral on August 23, Phoenix Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia called a press conference to announce that he would have the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigate the shooting. Days before he had refused the request by her family for an investigation by an outside agency.

Standing with Mayor Greg Stanton and City Manager Ed Zuercher, Garcia spoke of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in response to the police killing of an unarmed young man, and stated, “The decision I made to have an independent department do this investigation will benefit our city, but it is bigger than the city of Phoenix.” Stanton added, “What matters most is that the public has complete trust.”

The day before Cusseaux’s funeral, her family and supporters marched her casket from Phoenix City Hall to the US attorney’s office to protest her shooting and the absence of an independent investigation.

Michelle’s mother Francis Garret was the one who called mental health services to get her ailing daughter into an inpatient mental health facility. She said her daughter suffered from depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

“This was the result,” said Garret. “I didn’t phone them and ask for my daughter to be killed. I did not ask for Michelle to be another statistic here, another homicide. I did not call them for that reason.”

Alicia Thompson, Cusseaux’s friend, told a local newspaper, “What happened was unnecessary, but now that it happened, we need to have a conversation of what police are equipped to do in situations like this. A bullet should have been the very last thing to have been used on Michelle.”

Michelle Cusseaux lived in the Maryvale area of West Phoenix. In the 1980s the police began to focus on this neighborhood for its drug and gang activities. The area is blighted by urban decay as suburban growth has moved west and south. What was once the main shopping center, the Maryvale Mall, now houses schools and a police station.

According to police shooting statistics for 2011, Arizona was one of the 10 most deadly states and Phoenix was one of the 10 most deadly cities. Arizona had 45 police shootings with 27 deaths. Phoenix had 15 shootings with 10 deaths. These are absolute numbers, not taking into account the fact that Arizona has a relatively low population, being the 16th most populous state according to the 2010 census.

There have been 31 cases of police shootings so far this year in Phoenix. The usual response to a law enforcement shooting in Maricopa County appears to be the same whether or not the person shot represented an immediate threat to an officer. The media accepts the prepackaged police version and predictable Maricopa County attorney’s findings without question.

Retired Mesa police officer Bill Richardson wrote in the Arizona Republic, “I recently reviewed the January 2013 Phoenix police homicide investigation of Quintine Barksdale, an unarmed black man shot to death by an off-duty white police officer with a history of integrity and misconduct issues. Shortly after the shooting the officer was fired for unrelated serious misconduct.

“Even though determining justification is the duty of the county attorney, Phoenix police concluded early on the shooting was a ‘justifiable homicide.’ Predictably, the county attorney quietly rubber-stamped the Police Department’s misguided conclusion.”

Even if the DPS conducts an “outside” investigation into Michelle Cusseaux’s shooting death, there is little doubt that they will draw the same conclusion that an internal city police investigation would and that the county attorney will rubber-stamp it as a “justifiable homicide”.

Minnesota, USA: ‘The problem is I’m black': video of Christopher Lollie arrested and Tasered ‘in front of his children’ sparks outrage: here.

On August 23rd, police shot and killed Joseph Jennings, an unarmed teenager, in Ottawa, Kansas. Jennings’ death comes amid a wave of police killings, including that of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which triggered protests against police violence this month: here.