What seagulls eat, new research


This 5 March 2020 video from England says about itself:

Seagulls are more likely to pick up food that humans have handled

Seagulls prefer to approach food that has been handled by people, suggesting that the birds may use human cues to find a meal.

Madeleine Goumas at the University of Exeter, UK, says the idea for her research came from observing how seagulls acted around humans. “Are they just looking for food, or are they noticing what people are doing and picking up on their cues?” she says.

Read more here.

The video shows a herring gull.

Big pro-climate strike in Bristol, England


The Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest procedes through Bristol centre

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, February 28, 2020

20,000 join Thunberg in school strike for climate justice

CLIMATE activist Greta Thunberg joined a crowd of more than 20,000 people today to take part in Bristol’s 10th climate strike.

The 17-year-old Swedish campaigner gave a speech to the huge rally before joining a rainy march through the city streets, accompanied by a samba band.

Ms Thunberg accused officials, government, and media of “completely ignoring” climate change and urged the crowd’s large contigent of schoolchildren to “be the adults in the room”.

She said: “Once again, they sweep their mess under the rug for us — young people, their children — to clean up for them.

“But we must continue and we have to be patient. Remember that the changes required will not happen overnight since the politics and solutions are far from sight.

“We will not be silenced because we are the change, and change is coming whether you like it or not.

“This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power.

“Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.

“So what did you do during this crucial time? I will not be silenced when the world is on fire.”

She was joined in the pre-march speeches with a call for change from Mya-Rose Craig, also 17 and who last week became the youngest person to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bristol.

The student ornithologist — whose doctorate was in recognition of her Black2Nature organisation which runs nature camps for children from black and minority-ethnic backgrounds — called for greater diversity in the climate movement.

She told the crowd: “We have to engage with all of our communities in order to properly fight climate change. An unequal world can never be a sustainable one.”

Protesters of all ages waved flags, placards and banners and chanted as they made their way around the city centre.

Police said around 20,000 people attended, while organisers estimated the number was closer to 30,000.

Ms Thunberg, who triggered the global school-strike movement by sitting outside of the Swedish parliament in 2018, said she was visiting Bristol because of its strong climate-change movement.

The city last year unveiled a 15 metre-high mural of her painted on the side of the Tobacco Factory venue.

Dr Patrick Hart, a GP and member of Doctors for Extinction Rebellion, said: “We’re speaking out to raise the alarm on the impending health crisis.

“As healthcare professionals, our code of conduct compels us to act promptly where we notice unacceptable risks to patient health, both now and future.

“Climate change is the greatest threat to human life worldwide, so we’re demanding our government take urgent action to address the crisis before it’s too late.”

 Greta Thunberg stands alongside fellow environmental activists for the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at College Green in Bristol

Editorial: We need carbon-neutral production – with no compensation for corporations: here.

Like capitalism’s previous calamities, climate change hits the poorest worst: here.

British pro-peace demonstrators against war on Iran


Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the London, England anti-Iran war rally

From the World Socialist Web Site in Britain:

“We’ve seen this all happen before, with the Iraq war. We saw how that went. It was a complete tragedy

UK protesters speak out against war on Iran

By our reporters

13 January 2020

WSWS reporters spoke to attendees at Saturday’s demonstrations in the UK against the danger of war in Iran.

“The thought of us fighting against Iran is terrible,” said Carol, who attended the London protest with her friend, Titch.

“Exposing lies is very important … I believe Dr David Kelly [UN weapons inspector in Iraq] was murdered, but our government will never admit that. He said there were no weapons of destruction.”

Carol

Carol had planned to protest at Belmarsh prison in support of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but decided to attend the Iran war protest in London at the last minute. “It’s very dangerous,” she said. “You’ve got the Iranians on the other hand who have come out and said that they did shoot down the passenger plane and that it was a mistake. But either way, the blood is still on Trump’s hands. This was all because of Trump. It was started long before him, but he has kicked it to another level.”

Titch referred to the regime change operation orchestrated by the US and UK in Iran. “It all began in 1953 when we overthrew the Iranian government to strengthen the Shah. In 1979 the Iranian people overthrew him. Ever since then, America and the UK have had it in for Iran. They’re going to do whatever they can to get in there and tear up that country. Everyone knows it.”

Tia (left) and Maddy

Maddy, who attended the protest with her friend Tia, noted, “We’ve seen this all happen before, with the Iraq war. We saw how that went. It was a complete tragedy.”

Tia said, “The thought of there being more destruction in an area which has just been decimated over and over is really heartbreaking. There’s no chance of any resources being put into recovery, or into making positive change, when warmongering is the only option that our leaders seem to go for.”

“I’m on the demonstration to highlight the persecution of Julian Assange,” Jane noted. “Julian is locked up in Belmarsh prison because he spoke out against war crimes, and the fight to save him is the fight against war as well. I think all the terrible political and environmental issues we’re facing are connected. A consciousness is starting to emerge in the world, where people know there is something terribly wrong and it’s getting to the point where it’s either ‘do or die’.

“I think all our problems are caused by a system that sits above and beyond the government, which is about money and power and oppression, with a few very rich and very powerful people in charge.”

Diane

Labour Party member Diane noted, “Donald Trump is being impeached and it is a perfect diversion to start a war; historically that is what they do. [Former US President Bill] Clinton did it.” Asked her opinion of the US Democratic Party, she said, “I think ideologically they are the same [as the Republicans]. I think big corporations, big business, is behind what’s going on in the world. It is terrifying … how far it has gone to the right.”

John Kelsey stated, “I’m here today to stop war and because it’s been a US strategy for the last 30 years to dominate the Middle East.”

Lucia from Spain

Lucia, a student visiting the UK from Spain, said, “I don’t believe in war with anybody. People need to come together to solve all our problems, including climate change. Trump caused the problem, to create division between other countries to impose American imperialism.”

Deanna remarked, “I am definitely against what Trump is doing. People don’t understand what’s going on, but they need to know.’’

Deanna

About 100 people demonstrated on the steps of a bombed-out church in Liverpool, St Luke’s, which is preserved in memory of the devastation inflicted during World War Two.

David and Stephen, 16-year-old school students attended to express their opposition to war on Iran. “I am here because I’m against war, I’m against violence,” David explained. “Suleimani was visiting Iraq to sort out peace so it wasn’t good that he was murdered.

“Most people don’t want war. I saw on the media that Iranian people like people in America, they just don’t like the president … I imagine they don’t want to go to war with America. America would probably use nuclear weapons [against Iran], like in World War Two, in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. They didn’t need to drop the bomb. Japan were already on the verge of surrender. America killed Suleimani to prove they have the power to destroy. They want the oil. With how advanced weapons are today, there’s no future if war breaks out.”

“It’s my first rally,” Stephen noted. “I agree with stopping tension and war. It will affect the higher up people, but it affects the working class more and future generations, and ruins things for everyone. They won’t listen to us, what we want.”

Jennifer

Jennifer, a qualified social worker at a mental health charity said, “I feel strongly that the Iran war is detrimental and I think we’re going into it blindly with America. We can’t just sit back. We all need to get out there and say ‘no’.”

About 60 protesters gathered in Bradford City centre on Sunday. Performing arts student Carol brought her own banner reading, “Don’t Attack Iran.” She said, “Ever since the news first appeared, I was thinking, ‘What do we expect from a president who’s got a mindset for war?’ There are lots of tensions between lots of places which could get out of hand.

A lot of the attacks in the Middle East are based on lies. They are trying to find excuses to get more power and more money as that’s all that matters to them. Talking to my friends on social media, we are all opposed to what’s happening but feel a bit helpless about what to do.”

ESPER ‘DIDN’T SEE’ SPECIFIC EVIDENCE OF IRAN THREAT Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday defended President Donald Trump’s order to assassinate Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, but admitted he “didn’t see” any specific evidence backing up the president’s claim that Soleimani had been planning imminent attacks on multiple U.S. embassies. [HuffPost]

The assassination of General Qassem Suleimani, regarded as the second most powerful figure in the government of Iran, was planned more than six months before he and nine others were murdered in a January 3 US drone missile strike at Baghdad’s international airport, NBC News reported Monday: here.

US SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo has spilled the beans about the murder of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. He has revealed that it was part of a ‘bigger strategy of deterrence’ – dumping President Trump’s claim that the murders by drone were carried out to prevent an ‘imminent’ attack: here.

Australia’s Pine Gap spy base likely involved in the assassination of Qassem Suleimani: here.

Yesterday, the foreign ministries of Berlin, London and Paris said that they would submit a complaint against Iran for allegedly violating the 2015 Iranian nuclear treaty. This would allow them to then repudiate the treaty, which Washington repudiated in 2018, and support the reimposition of UN sanctions—aligning them with the US campaign against Iran that threatens to provoke all-out war in the Middle East: here.

Pushing the lie propagated by Donald Trump that the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani was aimed at combating terrorism, the government of Brazil’s fascistic President Jair Bolsonaro was one of the first to defend Washington’s war crime. Just one day after the attack, Itamaraty—the Brazilian Foreign Ministry—issued a note stating that “the Brazilian government expresses its support for the fight against the scourge of terrorism”: here.