This video is about autumn bird migration near Batumi in Georgia.
It shows both the beauty of the migration of raptors and other birds, and the killing of birds by poachers.
This video from TV9 in Georgia is called Georgian prisoners’ rape in Tbilisi 2012. When the sexual abuse in the prisons of Georgia became known, there was much anger among Georgians, contributing to the downfall of dictator Mikhail Saakashvili.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Monday 1st June 2015
Georgian ex-president appointed governor
by Our Foreign Desk
Billionaire Mr Poroshenko is often called ‘the chocolate king’ in NATO countries’ corporate media; as chocolate manufacturing is part of his business empire. Less often mentioned are other, less ‘innocent’ parts of that business empire. Like Poroshenko’s weapons manufacturing interests. Which might explain some of Poroshenko’s enthusiasm in waging bloody war on the east of his country.
who rejected Georgia’s request for his extradition last month, announced that Odessa’s new governor had also been granted Ukrainian citizenship.
Donetsk People’s Republic chairman Andre Purgin called Mr Poroshenko’s decision “a mockery and an absolutely unprecedented step.”
Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev referred to the appointment as a “Chapiteau-show,” in reference to a popular Russian farcical comedy.
The city is still smarting from the May 2014 slaughter of more than 40 people in and around the city’s trade union centre, which was petrol-bombed by pro-Kiev fascist groups who shot or beat to death anyone who escaped the inferno.
An opposition coalition, headed by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, revolted against his authoritarian rule, forcing him to leave office and homeland.
Two years earlier he had tried to revoke Mr Ivanishvili’s citizenship in a bid to hold onto power.
The current regime in Tbilisi sought his extradition from Ukraine on charges of ordering brutal attacks on opposition protesters, illegally raiding the Imedi TV offices and seizing property belonging to businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili.
He was also accused of having spent almost £300,000 of public funds on botox injections and depilation for himself and family members.
Mr Saakashvili denies the charges, calling them politically motivated, but he shows no desire to answer them in court.
Some observers speculate that the former Georgian leader’s close links with US politicians such as John McCain may prove useful to Mr Poroshenko.
However, Mr Poroshenko insists that he and Mr Saakashvili are simply “united by our love of Odessa and Ukraine.”
See also here.
This video says about itself:
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) calling for its mate on Dixon Branch of White Rock Creek in Dallas, Texas. This particular owl was hooting a territorial call for another owl that can be faintly heard some distance away beginning after the call around the 1:50 mark. The owls call to each other in a duet before finding each other for night hunting and nest building.
From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:
This cam was initially planned to broadcast from an established Bald Eagle nest nearly 80 feet above the coastal Georgia salt marshes. But last month a pair of Great Horned Owls moved into the nest instead. So, we’ll go with the owls.
Right now the female is incubating two eggs, which should hatch around the end of January. Don’t miss your chance to get to know these secretive denizens of the darkness as they raise owlets in the coming weeks.
Owl species in North America: here.
This video from Georgia says about itself:
Honey Buzzard migration, Batumi 2013-09-03
A short film of migrating Honey Buzzards in Batumi. The bottleneck of Batumi is probably one of the best places to be if you wanna see a lot of migrating raptors. In early september, the peak time of honey buzzards occurs and thousands of Honey Buzzards migrate.
However, there are always other days, better than good days.
Champions of the Flyway 2014 race helps mobilise falconers to save migratory raptors in Georgia: here.
Much has been written about the Batumi Bottleneck in Georgia and its importance for migrating birds. So it’s great to hear that its protection is valued and will continue, thanks to the Whitley Fund for Nature and the Society for Nature Conservation in Georgia (SABUKO)</a: here.
This video from the USA is called Targeting Cancer: The Story of Leukemia.
Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant:
Teeven again under fire after disputed deportation of dying Renata
By: Maartje Bakker – 02/08/13, 06:00
State Secretary of Immigration Teeven is again under fire because medical care to an asylum seeker has failed. When 6-year-old Renata from Georgia stayed first in a refugee center, later in a prison, the medical staff did not notice that she was suffering from leukemia.
There was no access to the GP, while there were serious indications of a serious illness
CDA MP Eddy Hijum
Opposition parties in the House of Commons wonder whether deporting Renata’s family was considered more important than proper health care. Renata Agamiryan, in the weeks before she was deported, had fever and nosebleeds and showed signs of anemia: all symptoms of leukemia. Nevertheless the doctor’s assistant in the refugee center did not send her to a doctor.
When Renata’s parents brought the girl on their own initiative to a GP, the doctor prescribed a blood test. Although the parents of Renata repeatedly insisted on that test, it was not done in the next week. The dying Renata was put on a plane to Poland.
Once deported, she was found to suffer from acute leukemia. At the Binnenhof [Dutch parliament] the story evokes memories of the Russian asylum seeker Alexander Dolmatov. While in prison, he also did not get the medical care which he needed. Nurses neglected to warn doctors about the suicidal tendencies of the Russian. Dolmatov hanged himself.
“No more indifference”
In the debate on Dolmatov’s death Teeven, Secretary of Immigration promised that in the future government personnel would act more humanely when dealing with asylum seekers – so, no more indifference. This was for the PvdA
the junior partner party in the coalition government with Teeven’s VVD party
a condition to keep supporting Teeven as Secretary.
CDA MP Eddy van Hijum doubts whether Teeven can live up to his words. In the case of Renata ‘Teeven can say that there should be attention for the human dimension in dealing with asylum seekers. But I do not have the impression that this is happening.” According to Van Hijum the government failed on three occasions. “There was no access to the GP, while there were serious indications of a serious illness. The medical information was not transferred from the asylum seekers center to the prison. And there has been no medical test prior to deportation, while that should be usual.”
Also D66 and SP parties will ask Teeven questions. “It’s like Dolmatov. You feel guilty – this should not be true in the Netherlands” says Sharon Gesthuizen (SP). Gerard Schouw (D66): “The aim of deporting someone seems to have prevailed here above careful assessment of the symptoms of illness.”
Also translated from De Volkskrant:
Renata’s disease has a cure rate of 90 percent, provided that it is detected early. Things are not going well with Renata now. Her fate now depends on a second round of chemotherapy in the hospital in Poland.
Renata Agamiryan’s name sounds Armenian. The president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, preaches bigotry against the ethnically Armenian minority in his country. This is probably the background of why Renata’s family had to flee to the Netherlands.
This video is called CARTA: Bipedalism and Human Origins-Comparative Anatomy from Australopithecus to Gorillas.
From the BBC:
4 June 2013 Last updated at 07:03 GMT
Human ancestors‘ diet changed 3.5 million years ago
By Melissa Hogenboom, Science reporter, BBC News
Researchers analysed fossilised tooth enamel of 11 species of hominins and other primates found in East Africa.
The findings appear in four papers published in PNAS journal.
Like chimpanzees today, many of our early human ancestors lived in forests and ate a diet of leaves and fruits from trees, shrubs and herbs.
Their diet included grasses, sedges, and possibly animals that ate such plants. They also tended to live in the open savannahs of Africa.
The new studies show that they not only lived there, but began to consume progressively more foods from the savannahs.
Researchers looked at samples from 175 hominins of 11 species, ranging from 1.4 to 4.1 million years old.
Their diet was analysed from the chemical make up of their teeth, identifying the carbon isotopes within them.
The ratios of different types of carbon atoms, or isotopes, in fossils can give clues to what a fossil creature ate because different foods have different carbon isotope signatures.
“What we have is chemical information on what our ancestors ate, which in simpler terms is like a piece of food item stuck between their teeth and preserved for millions of years,” said Dr Zeresenay Alemseged, from the California Academy of Sciences, co-author on two of the papers.
“Because feeding is the most important factor determining an organism’s physiology, behaviour and its interaction with the environment, these finds will give us new insight into the evolutionary mechanisms that shaped our evolution.”
It is not yet clear whether the change in diet included animals, but “the possible diets of some of our hominin kin” has been considerably narrowed down, Dr Matt Sponheimer, lead author of another of the papers, told BBC News.
A new habitat
“We now have good evidence that some early hominins began using plant foods that are not used in abundance by living African apes today, and this probably led to a major change in the way they used the landscape.
“One consequence could be that the dietary expansion led to a habitat expansion, as they could travel to more open habitats more efficiently.
“We know that many early hominins lived in areas that would not have readily supported chimpanzees with their strong preference for forest fruits. It could also be argued that this dietary expansion was a key element in hominin diversification.”
The study has also answered, at least in part, what researchers have long been speculating – how so many large species of primate managed to co-exist.
“They were not competing for the same foods,” said Prof Thure Cerling from the University of Utah, who led one of the research papers.
‘The modern human’
“All these species who were once in the human lineage, ventured out into this new world of foods 3.5 million years ago, but we don’t yet understand why that is.”
As well as looking at non-human primates, the researchers analysed fossils from other animals from the same era and did not find any evidence of a change in diet.
This combined research highlights a “step towards becoming the modern human”, said Dr Jonathan Wynn from the University of South Florida, who led the analysis of Australopithecus afarensis.
“Exploring new environments and testing new foods, ultimately might be correlated with further changes in human history.”
These four complementary studies give a persuasive account of shifts in dietary niche in East African hominins, Dr Louise Humphrey from the Natural History Museum in London, told BBC news.
Australopithecus was the ape-man ancestor of humans and walked upright
As many as nine different species may have existed two-four million years ago in Africa
The males were up to twice the size of the females. However, even the largest male was quite short compared to modern humans, at only 150cm tall
The species with hefty jaws and massive faces – known as robust australopithecines – are believed by many scientists to belong in a separate genus, Paranthropus
Source: BBC Nature
Multiple studies of carbon isotopes in fossil hominin teeth from southern and eastern Africa document the change from woodland to grassland diet which marked a major step in the evolution of early humans: here.
A newly discovered skull, some 1.8 million years old, has rekindled debate over the identity of humanity’s ancient ancestors. Uncovered at the Dmanisi site in the Caucasus in Georgia, “Skull 5” represents the most complete jaw and cranium from a turning point in early human history: here. And here.
This video is called STOP HOMOPHOBIA! (International Day Against Homophobia 2012) – Sand Animation by SILVIA EMME.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
Anti-LGBTQ discrimination widespread
Update: Friday, May 17, 2013, 08:56
Discrimination against gay men, lesbians and transsexuals is widespread in the European Union, researchers say. About half of all respondents felt in the year before the survey that they had been discriminated against or harassed because of their sexual orientation.
Lesbians (55%), respondents aged 18-24 (57%) and people with the lowest incomes (52%) had experienced this most. 90 percent of those did not report the discrimination to the police.
French President Francois Hollande signed into law a Bill authorising marriage and adoption by same-sex couples on Saturday: here.
Britain: Youth groups in Salford staged a thought-provoking photo exhibition dubbed Don’t Assume to help promote International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (Idaho) today: here.
Britain: A string of Christian academy schools were outed today for banning in policy the “promotion” of homosexuality: here.
Following a meeting with the Lithuania Gay League, John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International, said: “It is appalling that despite domestic rulings in favour of Baltic Pride organisers, the city of Vilnius has decided to ban the Baltic Pride march, in blatant violation of the right to freedom of assembly of Baltic Pride’s organisers and other participants: here.
Clashes break out during a rally to mark the international day against homophobia in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Friday. Thousands of conservative ultra-Orthodox supporters broke through heavy police cordons, clashing with gay rights activists: here.
Russian parliament passes anti-homosexual laws: here.
Russia’s law banning so-called propaganda in favour of homosexuality is a repressive measure that cannot be justified: here.
Dutch show support for Russia’s LGBT community: here.
Britain: A Christian bed and breakfast owner today lost her appeal against a ruling that she unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing them a double room: here.
Three schools reintroduce Section 28 style ban on ‘promotion’ of gay issues: here.
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven.” – Desmond Tutu: here.
Richard Cohen’s Extensive History Of Racism, Sexism And Homophobia: here.
US Methodist church convicts minister for officiating at son’s gay wedding: here.
“Kidnapped for Christ” is a compelling new documentary that follows the experiences of several American teenagers after they were kidnapped from their homes and shipped to Evangelical Reform schools located in the Dominican Republic. Many of these teenagers’ parents discover their children are either gay or experience same-sex attraction, and are sent to “therapeutic Christian boarding school[s]” in order to “transform into healthy Christian adults” in an environment outside of U.S. law: here.