Starling murmuration in London, video

This 9 May 2016 BirdLife international video shows a starling murmuration in London, England.

It is about a campaign on 16 May 2016 to send messages to the European Commission in Brussels, stopping them from undermining pro-conservation policies.

European Union bungling, refugees drowning

This video says about itself:

Hundreds of refugees reportedly drown in Mediterranean

18 April 2016

Sergio Mattarella said Europe needs to reflect on the new disaster. The asylum seekers were reportedly fleeing from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. They died when their boats capsized near Egypt. The Somali ambassador in Egypt says over 4-hundred are thought to have lost their lives. European countries have recently reduced search and rescue operations for likely stranded refugee boats. They took the measure as part of plans to halt the inflow of asylum seekers, escaping war in Africa and in the Middle East, especially Syria.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Fears 400 refugees have drowned in Mediterranean after boats capsize

Reports say the refugees were fleeing to Italy from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

EU neglect on search and rescue ‘killed refugees’ in Mediterranean

Monday 18th April 2016

EUROCRATS are guilty of “killing by neglect” by cutting rescue missions in the Mediterranean, potentially costing the lives of more than 1,500 refugees, academics revealed yesterday.

A report said that charities and UN officials warned European Union policymakers against ending Italy-led search and rescue mission Mare Nostrum in 2014.

Triton, its replacement, deployed fewer ships and prioritised deterring refugees over rescue operations.

The move could have a disastrous effect and lead to far more deaths at sea, according to the report, Death By Rescue: The Lethal Effects Of The EU’s Policies Of Non-assistance At Sea.

Documents unearthed by British academics showed the European border force Frontex pushed ahead with the change despite an internal assessment warning that if it was not properly planned, it “would likely result in a higher number of fatalities.”

The subsequent scaling-back of search-and-rescue operations during the refugee crisis “created the conditions that led to massive loss of life,” the report concludes.

Over 1,500 refugees died trying to cross the sea in the months after the change was implemented.

Report co-author Charles Heller of Goldsmiths, University of London said policymakers were guilty of “institutionalised wilful neglect.”

He asked: “Can we really qualify the ending of Mare Nostrum and its replacement by Triton, in all knowledge of the consequences this would have, as a mistake?

“I would rather argue that this was a case of institutionalised wilful neglect, and that European policymakers and Frontex have made themselves guilty of killing by omission.”

We face the greatest displacement of humanity in decades — more than 60 million people forced from their homes by war, misery or oppression from places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, or Eritrea. A tiny percentage of these desperate men, women and children have risked their lives on overcrowded boats and knocked on Europe’s front door. Faced with this crisis, European leaders were given a choice — to work together to provide asylum and help those in need, or push people out of sight to other countries, where the European public cannot see their suffering and where European leaders can more easily hide their shame. They chose the latter: here.

European Union deporting refugees to unsafe Turkey

This video from the USA says about itself:

EU Deports Refugees from Greece to Turkey

7 April 2016

The EU deportations do not solve the problem that refugees fleeing from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere confront, says Hazel Healy of The New Internationalist.

Dutch voters reject European Union-Ukraine treaty

This video in English from the Netherlands says about itself:

Ukraine: give back stolen art!

6 December 2015

Valuable paintings that were stolen from the Westfries Museum in The Netherlands in 2005, have turned up on the battlefield in Ukraine. The museum calls on anybody that knows where these paintings are, to return them to their rightful owners.

Vrouw Wereld, by Jacob Waben

This picture shows the painting Vrouw Wereld, made by Dutch painter Jacob Waben in 1622. One of 24 ancient paintings (including work by, eg Jan van Goyen) and much silver, stolen in 2005 from the Westfries Museum in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, today, after the exit polls, the majority of votes in the Dutch referendum on the European Union-Ukraine treaty has been counted.

According to NOS TV, 96.1% of all votes has been counted. Of those, 37.8% voted Yes. 61,5% voted No.

In Hoorn, where the museum was robbed, 66.3% of voters voted No; more than the national average.

The NOS says 32,2% of the electorate voted. More than 30%; making the referendum valid.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation on Sunday. The Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada, will vote to accept his resignation on Tuesday, April 12. He will be replaced as prime minister by the parliament’s chairman Volodymyr Groysman, a member of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. In a country where major political scandals and crises occur frequently and regularly, Yatsenyuk leaves government as one of Ukraine’s most hated politicians: here.