European bird news update

This video says about itself:

Adriatic Flyway – The Central European Route for Migratory Birds

15 December 2015

On their flight from North and Central Europe to Africa migrating birds mainly take three routes: the Western route via Gibraltar is certainly the best known. This is the route taken by most birds flying from breeding grounds in Great Britain, many from mud flats of the Dutch and German Wattenmeer and also from Scandinavia. The Eastern route leads across Eastern Europe (the Baltic, Belorussia, the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria) into Turkey, over the Bosphorus and on over the Middle East to reach Africa.

The third route is often forgotten. It is known as the Central European migration route or the Adriatic Flyway. This route runs parallel to the Eastern route in Siberia and Northern Europe but later bears westward from Poland and Hungary over the Balkans and on over the Adriatic Sea, Southern Italy, Sicily and Malta to Africa. Many water birds from Central Europe, but also from North and East Europe and even Asia take this migration route to reach the Sahel region.

The movie introduces several important wetland areas in the Balkans and shows the threatened situation of migratory birds in this region.

For more information: here.

From BirdLife:

21 Apr 2017

The Bird Bulletin – Vol. 4

By Gui-Xi Young

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Bird Bulletin’ – our new weekly news brief. Every Friday morning, we’ll bring you bite-sized updates from across Europe & Central Asia – now you can kick start every weekend with ‘what a little bird told me!’

ONE WEEK to save farmland birds! The European Commission’s Public Consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy is open for only 1 more week. Join our E-Action and show your support for sustainable, nature-friendly farms with one click. #LivingLand.

SEAL OF APPROVAL – on the eve of France’s Presidential elections, our French partner LPO has asked voters to consider who is #LeCandidatDeLaNature?

Certainly not Macron, with his plan of an environmentally destructive gold mine in French Guiana, and his pro-Big Oil record when he was minister. Certainly not Marine Le Pen, with her climate change denialism and links to polluting Big Business. Certainly not Fillon with his links to Total Big Oil.

There is no Green Party candidate. Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon has proposed many pro-environment measures.

And they posed the question in style – a giant 50m2 chalk mural of a white seal suddenly appeared overnight on the square of La Défence in Paris. As the seal faded under the footsteps of passersby throughout the day, man’s destructive impact on nature was brought into stark relief. Check it out!

Spring into action! Spring Alive’ is a BirdLife initiative to get kids interested in nature. Their big ‘Bird Quiz’ kicks off next Monday (24th April) so follow on Facebook for 5 days filled with facts and fun!

And last, but certainly not least….

WALK WITH THE PENGUINS on a sub-Antarctic island and enter their magical, yet threatened, world. Seeing is believing – watch our breathtaking new 3D 360-degree film now and #ProtectAPenguin today!

Well that’s all for today’s ‘Bird Bulletin’ – tune in next week for more cheeps, chirps and chatter.

Bye Bye Birdies!

Frenchman murders policeman, Le Pen wants to punish refugees for it

Marine Le Pen's Islamophobia, cartoon

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

French [extreme right] presidential candidate Marine Le Pen demands that the government of President Hollande immediately reinstates border controls. “The government needs to restore our national borders,” she said in a reaction to the Paris attack last night. That was committed by a French-born man who had previously been convicted of murder attempts on policemen.

The culprit was born in a Paris suburb. After killing a policeman, he was himself shot dead by police.

The leader of the right-populist

racist, not ‘populist’.

So Ms Le Pen wants to punish refugees and other people outside France, for a crime inside France with which they have nothing to do, committed by a Frenchman.

Front National also wants to expel all foreigners who are monitored by the security services from the country.

Both measures are also included in her electoral program, but Le Pen wants Hollande to take action now. She also wants the police force to be expanded immediately with 15,000 officers.

Conservative François Fillon also wants more security forces.

French racist Le Pen scared of leftist Mélenchon

Holocaust survivor Cleo Yvel protests against French neo-fascist Marine Le Pen, photo by Weyman Bennett

This photo shows Holocaust survivor Cleo Yvel protesting against French neo-fascist leader Marine Le Pen.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

France: Le Pen ramps up hateful anti-immigration rhetoric

Wednesday 19th April 2017

FRENCH far-right presidential challenger Marine Le Pen reacted yesterday to increasing pressure from left hopeful Jean-Luc Mélenchon by cranking up her anti-immigration rhetoric.

The National Front (FN) leader told a rally that she would suspend all legal immigration into France because she wanted to stop “a mad, uncontrolled situation.”

She and the bankers’ candidate Emmanuel Macron had previously seemed like the contenders in a two-horse race.

But Mr Mélenchon and conservative hopeful Francois Fillon, who is embroiled in corruption allegations, have both made progress in recent weeks.

Mr Macron sneered yesterday that choosing the left candidate would be like “Cuba without the sun.”

Mr Mélenchon criss-crossed Paris by barge on Monday to address supporters and set up holograms of himself yesterday to appear at several events simultaneously.

About a third of French voters are still undecided, opinion polls suggest, making this Sunday’s first round unpredictable.

See also here. And here.

Leftist French presidential candidate Mélenchon, a threat to fascist Le Pen, Big Business Macron

This 14 March 2017 video, in English, is called French Presidential Election, Stick or Twist?

It is about how leftist French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a threat to fascist and racist Marine Le Pen, and to pro-Big Business, pro-militarist and anti-environment Emmanuel Macron.

French opposition to Trump’s war on Syria, xenophobia

This French 9 April 2017 video is about a pro-peace meeting by French leftist presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. 70,000 people were present. Mélenchon denounced war and NATO; and commemorated the refugees drowning in the Mediterranean.

By Alex Lantier in France:

Mélenchon gains in French presidential polls after Trump’s strike on Syria

11 April 2017

Last week’s US missile strike on Syria is shaking up the French presidential campaign, as international events again intervene to shift the poll numbers of the leading candidates.

Right-wing candidate and former favorite François Fillon has collapsed since he was targeted on corruption charges in January after calling for a Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis against Washington. For a time, the race was dominated by neo-fascist candidate Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, a former banker and economy minister backed by the ruling Socialist Party (PS) and supported by Berlin. He is calling for deep austerity and a revival of the military draft. Now, both Le Pen and Macron are fading after the Syrian strike and last week’s presidential debate.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a former PS minister and leader of the Left Front who is now heading up the Rebellious France (France insoumise) campaign, is rising in the polls, from 12 to 18 percent, overtaking Fillon. PS candidate Benoît Hamon has said he would endorse Mélenchon in the second round. Were Hamon’s voters (9-10 percent) to vote for Mélenchon, he would easily qualify for the run-off, facing either Macron or Le Pen for the presidency in the second round of voting.

The most significant aspect of Mélenchon’s rise in the polls is the fact that it is in response to his criticisms of war and the pervasive anti-Muslim sentiment stoked by the PS under France’s state of emergency, as well as by Le Pen‘s National Front (FN). Mélenchon held an election rally over the weekend in Marseille that attracted 70,000 people, according to organizers. He devoted much of his speech to criticizing war and the abuse of refugees.

Mélenchon attacked Trump and European leaders, including French President François Hollande, who have supported the strike on Syria. “I am the candidate of peace,” he said.

“Remember these days when you go vote, these people went behind him to hail Trump’s intervention, which has no foundation, no international legitimacy, which was done by a single person and could drag you into a war,” Mélenchon declared to applause from the crowd. “Think well about it: if you want peace, do not pick the wrong ballot in the voting booth. If you choose one for war, do not be surprised it war finally comes to you.”

He also referred to the drownings of thousands of refugees fleeing the war in Syria in the Mediterranean due to the callous and reactionary anti-migrant policies of the European Union. “Good sea, how is possible that you have become the graveyard of 30,000 people who perished under the waves?” he asked, observing a minute of silence for the dead, and adding, “Listen all of you, that is the silence of death.”

On the stirring up of hatred against immigrants, Mélenchon said that it is “up to us to reply that emigration is always a forced exile, it is suffering.”

The surge in support for Mélenchon reflects deep opposition within broad sections of the population to PS policies of war, austerity and appeals to racist and law-and-order sentiment. That these sentiments are coming to the fore refutes the narrative that the rise of the FN reflects a constant and accelerating shift to the right by an irredeemably racist French population. In fact, powerful left-wing, socialistic sentiments exist, above all in the working class, though they have been suppressed throughout Hollande’s presidency.

Five years of war and austerity under Hollande and 17 months of a state of emergency have produced an explosive social and political crisis. A poll last year found that two-thirds of the French population believes that class struggle is a daily reality of life. Despite constant official appeals to anti-Islamic hatred under the state of emergency imposed after terror attacks in 2015 in Paris, there is powerful opposition to nationalism.

After last year’s mass protests against the Socialist Party’s regressive labor law, there have been protests and riots this year against police brutality, including the police rape of Théo in Aulnay-sous-Bois and the murder of Liu Shaoyo in Paris.

On the murder of Liu Shaoyo, see also here.

It looks there is in France now a movement similar to the rise of Bernie Sanders in the USA, and of Jeremy Corbyn in Britain.

This is a 2 April 2017 French video about media manipulation on the election meetings of Macron and Mélenchon.

Further militarisation of the conflict in Syria won’t bring peace. Dutch Socialist Party Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut is deeply concerned about the American attack on Syria: here.

Marine Le Pen defends French anti-Semitic crime

This video says about itself:

6 April 2016

On April 5, a court in Paris fined former National Front party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen €30,000 for calling the Nazi gas chambers a “detail” of World War II.

By Lydia O’Connor:

04/09/2017 08:03 pm ET

Marine Le Pen Denies France’s Role In Major Holocaust Raid

France should not be blamed, the far-right candidate said Sunday.

Marine Le Pen, France’s far-right presidential candidate, is denying France’s culpability in a roundup of Jews in Paris during World War II.

In an interview Sunday on French television channel La Chaîne Info, Le Pen disputed France’s role in rounding up more than 13,000 Jews at the Vel d’Hiv cycling track in 1942 ― a raid that sent many to their deaths at Nazi concentration camps.

“I don’t think France is responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” the leader of the National Front party said.

“I think that generally speaking if there are people responsible, it’s those who were in power at the time. It’s not France,” she added, suggesting that those who carried out the raids in Vichy France should bear the blame, not France as a whole.

Le Pen’s comments are in sharp contrast to apologies for the roundup issued by former President Jacques Chirac in 1995 and by current President François Hollande.

Their apologies have “taught our children that they have all the reasons to criticize [France], and to only see, perhaps, the darkest aspects of our history,” Le Pen continued.

Emmanuel Macron, her opponent

not ‘her opponent’; one of ten opponents

in the election, told France’s BFMTV after her comments, “Some had forgotten that Marine Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen.”

Her father, from who she is estranged and had ousted from the National Front party he once led, has been convicted twice for contesting crimes against humanity and stating that the gas chambers used to kill Jews were a mere “detail” of history.

The French affiliate of the World Jewish Congress blasted the younger Le Pen’s comments.

“These remarks are an insult to France, which honored itself in 1995 by recognizing its responsibility in the deportation of France’s Jews and facing its history without a selective memory,” the CRIF umbrella group of Jewish organizations said in a statement published by The Times of Israel.

Le Pen will face off against the other candidates in the first round of France’s elections on April 23. The two top candidates from that election will vie for the presidency in a final election on May 7.

See also here.

So now we see what all that big media punditry claiming Ms Le Pen was so very ‘different’ from her father, National Front founder Jean Marie Le Pen, was really worth. Jean Marie Le Pen openly advocated World War II nazi crimes, and said that the 1940-1944 French Vichy regime, collaborators with Hitler, were supposedly ‘not traitors’. The differences between Mr Le Pen and his daughter are mainly public relations packaging. Marine Le Pen has claimed that the only difference between her and her father was that she had more hair.

There is a clear parallel to what Marine Le Pen says now about the Vichy regime’s round-up for Jews for the Holocaust, and her colleague Björn Hocke of her German extreme right sister party AfD. Björn Hocke called the Holocaust monument in Berlin a ‘shame’, claiming that commemorations of World War II needed a 180 degrees U-turn.