New snail species named after Greta Thunberg


This 20 February 2020 video says about itself:

Greta Thunberg snail

A new to science species of land snail was discovered by a group of citizen scientists working together with scientists from Taxon Expeditions, a company that organizes scientific field trips for teams consisting of both scientists and laypeople. Having conducted a vote on how to name the species, the expedition participants and the local staff of the National Park together decided to name the mollusk Craspedotropis gretathunbergae. The species name honors the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg for her efforts to raise awareness about climate change. The study is published in the open access journal Biodiversity Data Journal.

This tiny snail was discovered in Kuala Belalong rainforest, Brunei in Borneo island.

Thunberg told she was “delighted” that the snail had been named after her.

Earlier, a newly discovered small Kenyan beetle species had been named after Ms Thunberg.

This video from Britain is called Beetle named after climate activist Greta Thunberg (1) (UK/Global) ITV & BBC News 25/26 October 2019.

Homophobic Brunei sultan, British Conservative ally


This 18 April 2011 video from Britain says about itself:

Proud Day For Sultan Of Brunei At Sandhurst | [British Armed] Forces TV

The Sultan of Brunei has said he values his country’s military relationship with the UK during an address at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The Sultan was there to represent the Queen during the Sovereign Parade and to see his own son commission as an officer. As he spoke to the new Second Lieutenants he said he had fond memories of his own time at college and wishes them success serving their own countries.

By Phil Miller in Britain:

Sunday, March 31, 2019

British base in homophobic Brunei criticised

BRITAIN’S military presence in the south-east Asian nation of Brunei is facing fresh criticism from campaigners after the country’s autocratic ruler passed a new law making adultery and homosexuality punishable by death.

The group ForcesWatch reacted: “Given the British military’s claims to be progressive on LGBT+ will they be taking this issue up with Brunei’s Sandhurst-trained sultan?

“We have personnel permanently based in the country … withdrawing would be a powerful bargaining chip, unless [the Ministry of Defence is] happy to prop up a brutal autocracy?”

The Sultan of Brunei has said stoning and whipping of homosexuals will come into force on Wednesday.

The British army has three military bases in Brunei at Sittang Camp, Medicina Lines and Tuker Lines, housing around 2,000 troops under an agreement signed by then prime minister David Cameron in 2015.

Many of the British soldiers are Gurkha mercenaries from Nepal, reinforced by army helicopters.

Although the troops use Brunei for jungle warfare training, critics say Britain’s presence there helps support the sultan — one of the world’s wealthiest men — who has ruled since 1967.

Brunei was a British protectorate until 1984 and Anglo-Dutch company Shell has major oil reserves in Brunei dating back to 1929.

The Ministry of Defence told the Morning Star that the new law will not affect any British LGBT soldiers stationed in Brunei as they are protected by a separate bilateral agreement.

However the Foreign Office has written to Brunei expressing concerns about the new law.

A spokesperson said: “Capital punishment goes against our national values and has been banned in the United Kingdom for decades.

“The Minister for Asia and High Commissioner have raised their concerns in person, and we have updated the travel advice to alert British citizens of the new local laws in Brunei.”

The Tory MP Penny Mordaunt, who is Minister for Women and Equalities, tweeted: “No-one should face the death penalty because of who they love.

“Brunei’s decision is barbaric and the UK stands with the LGBT+ community and those who defend their rights.

“LGBT+ rights are human rights.”

British troops are based in all these countries – but this is the Foreign Office’s travel advice:

Ellen DeGeneres Boycotts Sultan Of Brunei’s Hotels Amid Launch Of Anti-Gay Laws. Brunei implemented a law making gay sex punishable by death, so many are boycotting hotels owned by the country’s Sultan: here.

BRUNEI WON’T ENFORCE GAY DEATH PENALTY Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah extended a moratorium on the death penalty to legislation prohibiting gay sex, seeking to temper a global backlash led by celebrities such as George Clooney and Elton John. [Reuters]

Brunei absolute monarchy killing LGBTQ people


This video about Los Angeles in the USA says about itself:

Breaking Up With The Beverly Hills Hotel

12 February 2013

Dear Beverly Hills Hotel:

It’s over. And we are never, ever getting back together. Like ever.

That is, until your owners change their homophobic ways.

The Beverly Hills Hotel is owned by the nation of Brunei, where it is illegal to be gay.

Take a stand against homophobia — don’t eat, meet or sleep at the Beverly Hills Hotel!

Sign the petition here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

“Death penalty threatens for LGBTQ people in Brunei from next week on”

In the tiny Asian oil state Brunei, on Borneo, the death penalty for gays threatens from next week on. According to human rights organization Amnesty, new, strict … legislation will enter into force in the country on 3 April. With this, people who have sex with someone of the same sex can be stoned to death. And for people who steal something, in the worst case, amputation of a body part threatens. This also applies to children.

The penalties are in new sections of Brunei’s sharia law …

‘Sharia law’ is not by any means something monolithic, something uniform all over the Muslim world. Like, eg, the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran is a religious book, not a legal book. There are different schools of thought among Muslim legal scholars.

Eg, in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy like Brunei, judges can basically make up their own ‘sharia law’. As these judges are nominees of the royal family, they usually interpret that harshly.

Homosexuality is already punishable in Brunei, but is now punished with up to ten years in prison.

Similarly to other countries which used to be part of the British empire.

Amnesty reacts furiously. “To introduce such cruel and inhumane punishments is in itself terrible”, says a Brunei investigator of the human rights organization. She adds that Brunei should not even see some cases as crimes. “Including sex with someone of the same sex. Brunei must immediately stop their plans for these penalties.” …

Sharia was planned to be introduced in three phases: the first part contained fines for, eg, extra-marital pregnancy or not praying on Friday. Under heavy international pressure, the country did not continue with the introduction of the other two phases, but now Brunei intends to do so. …

Homosexuality is illegal in Brunei and can be punished with up to death by stoning.

As this blog reported, the absolute monarch of Brunei has banned Christmas.

The princely dynasty of Brunei are traditionally allies of the British empire. The present Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah was educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. Like his father, he has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, of which Brunei was a protectorate until 1984. He holds an honorary commission in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as an Air Marshal. He is also an Honorary Admiral of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, a title given to him by Queen Elizabeth II when he took the salute at the passing out parade of the 2001 summer term at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, the Royal Navy’s officer-training school in the United Kingdom. He has an English residence at Binfield Manor in Berkshire. In 1962, a rebellion against absolute monarchy in Brunei was put down by British troops from Singapore.

The full title of His Majesty is Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan dan Yang di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.

The princely family has been accused of sexual abuse.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is one of the richest men in the world. The spoils of the country’s oil riches are shared between His Majesty and the Shell oil corporation.

This video says about itself:

Brunei Shell Petroleum – AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS

6 August 2008

BRUNEI SHELL PETROLEUM COMPANY SDN BHD mistreat an employee and his family.

The United Kingdom maintains a military base in Seria, the centre of the oil industry in Brunei, with 1,500 soldiers.

Brunei is a former British colony and retains very close links with this country. Since the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, Brunei hosts the only remaining British military base in the Far East: here.

To make a long story short: the absolute monarch is Brunei is a staunch ally of the British empire … err … Commonwealth, of NATO, and of the Western ‘free world’.

Apparently, it is very possible to be both a close buddy of the Western ‘free world’, and to ban Christmas.

The NOS article continues:

“Sultan lived as a playboy”

Observers see the age of the sultan as a possible cause for the stricter religious rules. “He is getting a little older and would therefore try to collect some points to end up in heaven despite all his sins”, says correspondent Michel Maas.

The sultan has a past that is difficult to reconcile with his current piety. Together with his brother Jefri, he lived for years as a playboy and wasted billions of dollars.

They bought jets and other planes that they filled with polo horses or with models and actresses whom they flew in from all over the world and rewarded richly. “Jefri had a yacht called ‘Tits’ and the two speed boats on board were called ‘Nipple 1’ and ‘Nipple 2′”, says Maas.

Fortune has shrunk considerably

The extravagant lifestyle of the two came to light when the sultan deposed Jefri as finance minister, because he allegedly stole 13 billion euros. Jefri, in turn, sued some of his British lawyers who allegedly had misled him. Maas: “During the trial all the dirty details of the playboy brothers were discussed, much to the delight of the British tabloids.”

The brothers had wasted tens of billions of euros in twenty years. In the 1990s, the sultan was forced to take things a bit easier. All his income came from oil, of which the mini-state had more than enough for decades. But now the fortune of the sultan has shrunk considerably and the end of the large oil field of Brunei is coming into view.

Small new beetle species discovery in Brunei


This May 2017 video is called A new species Leptomorphus sevciki was described from Ulu Temburong National Park – Brunei – Borneo. That species is a fungus gnat.

From Science Daily:

Citizen scientists discover pinhead-sized beetle in Borneo

January 31, 2019

How many citizen scientists does it take to discover a new species? A recent expedition to the Ulu Temburong forest in [the Brunei part of] Borneo proved that you only need 10 enthusiasts with no professional training, yet fueled with curiosity and passion for the outdoors, to find a new beetle the size of a pinhead in leaf litter.

The species, named Clavicornaltica belalongensis, is a tiny, 1.25-mm-long leaf beetle that eats moss on the forest floor. Published in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal, it is the latest discovery from Taxon Expeditions, an initiative that organises scientific field trips to remote and biodiverse locations for teams of scientists and laypeople.

Unlike other science/adventure trips, Taxon Expeditions gives a unique opportunity for laypeople, or citizen scientists, to describe and publish new species of animals and focus on the thousands of ‘little things that run the world’. Thanks to the initiative, they learn about tropical biology techniques while participating in the process of taxonomy and the study of hidden biodiversity.

The new beetle, for example, is one of hundreds of thousands of tiny beetle species that inhabit the leaf litter of tropical forests and have remained unknown and scientifically unnamed up to our days.

In a YouTube video, Simon Berenyi, who joined the expedition along with his 14-year-old son, says: ‘I had no idea how special this would be; you become a student again — you become a child again.’

Entomologist and founder of Taxon Expeditions, Dr. Iva Njunjic explains: ‘We introduce the general public to all these tiny, beautiful, and completely unknown animals, and show them that there is a whole world still to be discovered.’

Last year, another survey in Borneo organised by Taxon Expeditions ended up with the description of a new water beetle species (Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi). Named after famous Hollywood actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, the discovery raised a real furore on the public scene, culminating in the new insect making an appearance on the profile image of the celebrity’s Facebook page.

Somali, Brunei Pentagon allies ban Christmas


This video about Los Angeles in the USA says about itself:

Breaking Up With The Beverly Hills Hotel

12 February 2013

Dear Beverly Hills Hotel:

It’s over. And we are never, ever getting back together. Like ever.
That is, until your owners change their homophobic ways.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is owned by the nation of Brunei, where it is illegal to be gay.
Take a stand against homophobia — don’t eat, meet or sleep at the Beverly Hills Hotel!

Sign the petition here.

Homosexuality is illegal in Brunei and can be punished with up to death by stoning.

As this blog reported, the absolute monarch of Brunei has banned Christmas.

The princely dynasty of Brunei are traditionally allies of the British empire. The present Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah was educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. Like his father, he has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, of which Brunei was a protectorate until 1984. He holds an honorary commission in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as an Air Marshal. He is also an Honorary Admiral of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, a title given to him by Queen Elizabeth II when he took the salute at the passing out parade of the 2001 summer term at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, the Royal Navy’s officer-training school in the United Kingdom. He has an English residence at Binfield Manor in Berkshire. In 1962, a rebellion against absolute monarchy in Brunei was put down by British troops from Singapore.

The full title of His Majesty is Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan dan Yang di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.

The princely family has been accused of sexual abuse.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is one of the richest men in the world. The spoils of the country’s oil riches are shared between His Majesty and the Shell oil corporation.

The United Kingdom maintains a military base in Seria, the centre of the oil industry in Brunei, with 1,500 soldiers.

To make a long story short: the absolute monarch is Brunei is a staunch ally of the British empire … err … Commonwealth, of NATO, and of the Western ‘free world’.

Apparently, it is very possible to be both a close buddy of the Western ‘free world’, and to ban Christmas.

There is another example of that. Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In Somalia it is prohibited from this year on to celebrate Christmas in public places. … “In our country Muslims should not celebrate Christmas“, said a government spokesman.

The security forces in Somalia are instructed to drive away large groups celebrating Christmas. For foreigners it is allowed to dwell on the Christian holidays, provided they do so in private.

There are few Christians living in the African country, which established sharia law in 2009. Somalia is after Brunei the second country to enact a ban on Christmas. In Brunei Muslims who celebrate Christmas face many years of imprisonment.

The Somali government consists of warlords, relying on military help from the United States Pentagon, British armed forces and other NATO countries, ever since the days of George W Bush.

This 2013 video says about itself:

Somalia jails alleged rape victim

In Somalia a woman who said that she had been gang-raped by soldiers has been jailed for a year by a Somali court, along with the journalist who reported her allegation.

Non-Christians at Christmas: ‘I love it as much as I love Diwali’. From Jews dining in Chinese restaurants to atheists indulging in Belgian beer, non-Christian readers tell us what they do at Christmas: here.

Brunei absolute monarchy bans Christmas


This video says about itself:

Brunei Shell Petroleum – AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS

6 August 2008

BRUNEI SHELL PETROLEUM COMPANY SDN BHD mistreat an employee and his family.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

The sultan of Brunei prohibits any Christmas celebration

Today, 21:37

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has prohibited celebrating Christmas in the strict Islamic statelet Brunei on Borneo. Muslims who are caught decorating a Christmas tree, wearing a Santa hat, singing carols or eating Christmas bread risk a prison sentence of five years, media on Borneo report.

Non-Muslims such as Christians are allowed to celebrate Christmas but only indoors. If they don’t hide their celebrations and other “Christmas phenomena” from Muslims, then they can also be brought to criminal courts. …

About 65 percent of the Brunei people are Muslims. Other religions are tolerated as long as they are not too visible.

Stoning

In 2013 Sultan Bolkiah introduced strict Islamic laws, such as death by stoning for adultery. He rules the wealthy oil state since 1967 with an iron fist.

Birdwatching in Brunei, Borneo


This video says about itself:

April 29, 2013

The Sandakan Borneo Bird Club is proud to announce the 1st Borneo Bird Race to be held on 31st May to 9th June 2013 in collaboration with Brunei Tourism and Sabah Tourism Board. This event is specially organized for Birders and Photographers primarily, with an offshoot of promoting Borneo Island as one of the premier nature tourism destination in Asia. This inaugural race will expand over the years including Sarawak and Kalimantan of Indonesia.

The Race — an overview

For the first time, we launch the first international Borneo Bird Race 2013, where 10 countries travel more than 1000 kilometres in search of more than 400 species of birds in a wide range of habitats from the coastal regions, freshwater swamps, lowland forests, to the hills and mountain ranges of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. At the end of the day, each team will enjoy the beauty of this land as they count the numbers of recorded species, and the longest list shall earn the prestigious “Bornean Bristlehead Cup”.

Race starts from Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei then continues to Kinabalu Park and concludes at Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok, Sabah where the 5th Borneo Bird Festival is simultaneously held.

The key objectives of the race are:
1. To promote Borneo as one of the premier bird watching destination in the world;
2. To network with birdwatching fraternities around Asian region and the world;
3. To increase arrival of eco-tourists and birdwatchers to Borneo;
4. Create awareness and conservation of the bird species unique to Borneo to the local Community and to the global birding fraternities;
5. Foster closer integration and harmony through nature festival of the neighboring States of Borneo, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia;
6. To enhance and complement the “Heart of Borneo” initiative – Tourism Program;
7. Further development of naturalist guide and birdwatching guide.
8. To create and further improve nature tourism facilities and infrastructure.

From BruDirect.com:

Borneo Bird Race To Rope In Nature Enthusiasts From Around Region

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 07:19

Siti Hajar

Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei Darussalam’s tourism plan will soon gain better momentum following the country’s wise investment that will see the pooling of efforts between two nations that aim to bring in nature enthusiasts from around the region.

Within the next few weeks starting May 31 until June 9, Brunei Tourism with co-hosts Sabah Tourism Board and Sandakan Borneo Bird Club has arranged to bring-in two dozen registered bird watchers from across seven Asian countries who will take part in the inaugural Borneo Bird Race 2013 that spans across the Abode of Peace and neighbouring Sabah.

A press conference chaired by Brunei Tourism Acting Director Mariani Haji Sabtu; Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Dato Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin; Cede Prudente, Chairperson of the Borneo Bird Festival and Race; Mohd Vol for the country’s Nature Festival; and Roger Rajah, Executive Board for the World Federation of Tourist Guide Association; explained that the event has been pegged to become a source for further economic diversification through eco-tourism. …

In total, the whole of Borneo spans an area of 743,330 square kilometres and is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world at 130 million years old, and shelters 13 primate species, 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and more than 680 species of resident and migratory birds.

Birds of Australia: here.