European Union propaganda and Lesbos refugees reality

This video about Iraq says about itself:

Mosul Offensive Will Create More Refugees, Displacement, and Humanitarian Disaster

11 July 2016

Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Phyllis Bennis says the fightback against ISIS requires the abandonment of more military force, and the pursuit of diplomacy with Russia and Iran.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Things go well on Lesbos, says Brussels. Until you start looking there yourself

Today, 12:14

In spite of Europe we still exist.” That’s the predominant feeling on Lesbos, the Greek island that was flooded last year by boat people. 600,000 of the 1 million refugees who then reached Greece arrived on the island off the Turkish coast.

After the EU-Turkey deal in March this year, the number of refugee dinghies dropped drastically. But the people are still afraid, noted EU correspondent Arjan Noorlander ….

Distressing situation

Noorlander decided to look for himself what has become of all the plans and optimistic words he heard in Brussels in recent months. He was disappointed drastically at what the EU is doing to help the refugees and the people of Lesbos. “It’s a very different situation than I expected after following the political discussions in Brussels. From these you get the idea that they really are tackling problems. That idea proves to be untrue here. It is distressing.”

He is shocked by the extent of the problem. What struck Noorlander most was a huge pile of life jackets at a local landfill. “Such a stack as a symbol of all those hundreds of thousands of boat people hurts one pretty hard inside. Then it becomes from a problem that you know from TV or from the political corridors suddenly a real problem of real people.”

“Europe has done preciously little for Lesbos,” he says. “You can see that the refugees all these months anyway were mostly helped by volunteers. In the official camps you see United Nations stickers everywhere, because the United Nations [contrary to the EU] is present.”

Brussels was said they would help the Greeks with the reception and even take over refugees. All that does not happen, Noorlander notes. People are thereby stuck on the islands, where it starts to get more crowded.

The facilities are in reasonable order, but because of the bigger crowds the situation is not improving. “The atmosphere in the camps is tense. There has to be done little before things may get out of hand.”

According to official figures, 58,000 refugees now reside in Greece. 11,000 of them are on the Aegean islands Lesbos, Chios and Samos.

Last week fourteen migrants from Lesbos were returned to Turkey: eight Syrians, four Pakistanis and two Algerians. …

Most poignant is the situation around the so-called emergency procedure. Part of the agreement was that newly arrived refugees would get clarity within 48 hours about their applications for asylum. …

Nothing like that happened, says Noorlander. “I have spoken to people in the camps who have been there for months and have just been told they will have to wait until December for their first asylum interview.” …

Why the difference between the Brussels [European Union] reality and the actual situation in Greece? The problem, according to Noorlander, is that the Brussels politicians and diplomats do not themselves come to see how things are in Lesbos.

Divisions rise inside EU at summit between Germany, France and Italy: here.

Norwegian anti-refugee fence at Russian border: here.

Lead kills birds and people

This video says about itself:

Lead Poisoning: Kills Babies, Birds, and Beethoven

16 Oct 2013

Lead is a heavy metal that hides in paint chips and bullets, just waiting to be ingested by some poor sucker, or baby….or bird. Pick Your Poison Safety Tip #293 – Don’t put things in your mouth that aren’t food, you weirdo!

From BirdLife:

Lead: bad for birds and people

By Wouter Langhout, 22 July 2016

Lead is bad for you.

Already in Roman times, people were apparently experiencing the harmful effects of consuming lead, which was then used as a sweetener for wine. Logically, over time, the use of lead has become more and more restricted, and its use in gasoline and jewellery is banned in the EU. However, other uses of lead persist. As always there is a strong resistance from the industry against regulation that they feel interferes with their business model, even when that business model involves releasing tonnes of toxic material into the environment.

Birds are one of the main victims of the continued use of lead. For birds, like for people, lead is highly toxic. If they are exposed to lead, it could lead to a gruesome death – the lead paralyses their digestive system so the birds basically die of starvation, having limped around for days and days.

The main way most species are exposed is though ‘grit’. Grit are the small stones that many birds use in the wild to help them digest their food. In a fascinating quirk of evolution, birds have learned that by ingesting grit in their gizzard (part of the digestive tract) they can grind their food more easily, as the stones help them do the munching.

Unfortunately, lead shotgun pellets are often the same size as grit, so many birds often mistakenly ingest the pellets instead of stones. To make matters worse, in some wetlands there are more shotgun pellets in the sediment than natural stones, a legacy of years of hunting with lead. This is taking its toll on ducks, waders and terrestrial birds. The dead or dying birds also regularly get eaten by predators such as eagles and kites, which then in turn also suffer from lead poisoning.

Lead has been linked to population declines of the Common Pochard, the White-headed Duck and the Egyptian Vulture, all of which are threatened with extinction. The last two species are at precariously low population levels, and we cannot afford to lose even a single bird.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has consulted experts on the risks of lead shot in wetlands. BirdLife Europe has together with the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) submitted a pile of evidence which shows the need for banning lead shot.

The evidence also shows that a ban in wetlands only, which is currently proposed by ECHA, is not enough. Many birds such as Grey Partridges and Whooper Swans die from lead shot they ingest outside wetlands. In addition, experience with past bans shows that you really need to act on the sale and possession of lead shot, as the enforcement in many EU Member States is too limited and it gets very messy when you only ban the lead shot for some species or in some areas.

There is nothing unimaginable about banning lead shot. The Netherlands and Denmark have already done it. The only sector that would need to adapt is the ammunition industry, but that is a poor argument to continue harming birds and the people that love them.

We are looking to the European Union to save the birds from a gruesome death. ECHA and the EU Member States together can make this happen, if they have the vision and the will to do what is needed.