This video says about itself:
23 July 2017
Police turned water cannons and pepper spray on protesters decrying the arrest of two Turkish teachers in Ankara on Sunday.
From Ekathimerini daily in Greece, 16 December 2017:
All state workers or teachers, the Turks claimed they feared persecution in their country, where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a purge of the civil service and armed forces after a failed coup in 2016.
Coming just a few days after a tense visit to Greece by Erdogan, who demanded the extradition of eight military officers who fled to Greece after the failed coup, there are fears that an asylum request from the 32 Turks could further strain bilateral [NATO] ties.
Around 1,000 Turks have applied for asylum in Greece since July 2016.
This is a lesser kestrel video.
14 Nov 2017
Greece takes action on 3 iconic bird species
Roula Trigou from HOS (BirdLife Greece) tells us why the future looks brighter for 3 charismatic bird species in Greece: the Egyptian vulture, the Lesser White-fronted Goose and the Lesser Kestrel.
In a landmark first for Greece, three Species Action Plans (SAPs) to protect three iconic bird species have been adopted by the government in Athens. The long-awaited National Action Plans for the Egyptian Vulture and the Lesser White-fronted Goose – as well as the Regional Action Plan for the Lesser Kestrel in Thessaly, central Greece – describe very clearly the necessary actions that must be taken in Greece in order to safeguard these iconic species over the next five years. All three species are listed in the Red Data Book of Endangered Species of Greece and are strictly protected by national and European legislation, as well as by international conventions.
This is a double-win for vultures with this development coinciding with the recent adoption of the Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures at the 12th Meeting of the Convention on Migratory Species COP 12 in Manila.
The Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS/BirdLife Greece) delivered this great result – with the help of other partners from respective LIFE+ projects – after many years of effort and close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Energy.
The National Law for Biodiversity, in Greece, views the adoption of such Species Action Plans as necessary for the effective protection of endangered species. Greece’s contribution to international conservation efforts to protect these migratory birds is especially significant due to the country’s importance in the species’ annual life cycle.
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
The Egyptian Vulture is the most endangered vulture in Europe. Within the last 30 years, its Greek population has plummeted by 95%, largely due to the illegal use of poison baits. It now stands on the precipice of national extinction, with only five pairs left, having already disappeared completely from many other Balkan countries. This is particularly alarming as practically the entire Balkan population of Egyptian vultures migrates through Greece.
In 2016 HOS, together with three project partners (BSPB-BirdLife Bulgaria, WWF Greece and RSPB-BirdLife UK) completed the EU-funded LIFE+ Project “The Return of the Neophron” (see Layman’s Report). The newly-adopted National Action Plan was drafted by HOS in collaboration with WWF Greece.
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus
The Lesser White-fronted Goose is classified as Critically Endangered in Europe and it is the most endangered waterbird in Europe. The species’ Fennoscandian (the Nordic region comprising the Scandinavian Peninsula, Finland, Karelia, and the Kola Peninsula) population winters in the wetlands of Northern Greece and currently counts as few as 30 pairs. HOS has been working for its conservation for the past 20 years. HOS was the coordinating partner of the recently completed LIFE+ Project for the Lesser White-fronted Goose. The newly-adopted National Action Plan was drafted by HOS in collaboration with the Forest Research Institute of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization “Demeter”.
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
The Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni is a small migratory falcon that breeds in colonies in the southern Europe and winters in sub-Saharan Africa. The Thessaly Plain in central Greece hosts the largest breeding colony in Eastern Europe with over 5,000 pairs. The Lesser Kestrel nests in the buildings of the villages spread along the Plain and feeds on insects (mainly grasshoppers) on the neighbouring fields. The rapid changes in the rural landscape, mainly due to the intensification of agriculture and the use of insecticides and fertilizers, have resulted in a sharp decline in the population over the past 30 years. HOS participated in a 5-year project “LIFE for the Lesser Kestrel” coordinated by the University of Thessaly (see www.lifelesserkestrel.eu).
Everyone at HOS is delighted and very proud to see the fruits of many years of hard work come together with these Species Action Plans. The news is particularly important as this is the first time that Greece has adopted Action Plans for the protection of endangered species. Although such plans have been drafted in the past, none have been endorsed until now due to the lack of a concrete legal framework. HOS is now eager to see their implementation in the hope of securing brighter future for these three iconic species.
This video says about itself:
See Statues and Mysterious Disk Found in Ancient Greek Shipwreck | National Geographic
18 October 2017
Archaeologists have discovered additional intriguing artifacts from the Greek shipwreck famous for carrying an “ancient computer.” Discovered over a century ago off the island Antikythera, the ship, large for its time some 2,000 years ago, was carrying luxury goods, probably to Rome.
The site represents what one of the team’s co-leaders reports is the largest known cache of shipwreck cargo in the Mediterranean. In addition to the so-called Antikythera mechanism, a device for tracking celestial movements, the ship carried pottery items and bronze statues.
This year’s expedition has brought one more fragment of the latter to light, a disembodied arm, much like the “orphan limbs” that sponge divers first spotted when they discovered the wreck in 1900. Another bronze artifact just discovered is a disc decorated with the figure of a bull. The function of this piece is a mystery.
This February 2017 video is called The Surprising Intelligence of Raccoons.
Raccoons solve an ancient puzzle, but do they really understand it?
Study investigates whether mammals understand the principles of water displacement
September 29, 2017
Scientists have been using an ancient Greek fable written by Aesop as inspiration to test whether birds and small children understand cause and effect relationships. In “The Crow and the Pitcher“, a thirsty crow realises it should drop stones into a pitcher in order to raise the water level high enough so that the bird is able to drink it. A group of US scientists led by Lauren Stanton of the University of Wyoming have now extended this body of work to study raccoon intelligence. Their research in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition is the first to use the Aesop’s Fable paradigm to assess if mammalian carnivores understand the principles of water displacement.
The research team included Sarah Benson-Amram and Emily Davis from the University of Wyoming, as well as Shylo Johnson and Amy Gilbert from the USDA National Wildlife Research Center, where the experiments were performed. The scientists first tested whether eight raccoons (Procyon lotor) held in captivity would spontaneously drop stones into a clear fifty centimetre tube of water to retrieve floating pieces of marshmallow. They found that, similar to studies of birds, the raccoons did not spontaneously drop stones into the tube from the start.
Following previous studies on birds and human children, the scientists then trained the raccoons to drop stones into the tube. They did this by balancing stones on a rim on top of the tube. If the raccoons accidently knocked the stones in, this raised the water level high enough to bring the marshmallow reward within reach. Raccoons could then learn that the stones falling into the tube brought the marshmallow closer.
During training, seven raccoons interacted with the stones, and four raccoons retrieved the marshmallow reward after accidentally knocking the stones into the water. Two of the four raccoons that got the marshmallow during training then learned on their own to pick up stones off the ground and drop them into the water to get a reward. A third raccoon surprised the scientists by inventing an entirely new method for solving the problem. She found a way to overturn the entire, very heavy, tube and base to get the marshmallow reward.
The two raccoons that successfully dropped stones into the tube were then presented with different objects that they could drop into the tube to solve the problem, such as large versus small stones, and sinking versus floating balls. These experiments enabled the researchers to determine whether the raccoons really understood the problem. If the raccoons understand water displacement, they should select the objects that displace the most water, like the large stones and sinking balls.
The raccoons performed differently than birds and human children did in previous Aesop’s Fable studies, and they did not always pick the most functional option. Stanton, however, believes the raccoons’ performance is not necessarily a reflection of their cognitive abilities, but more so of their exploratory behaviour and the build of their dexterous paws.
“We found raccoons to be innovative in many aspects of this task, and we observed diverse, investigative behaviours that are unique to raccoons”, says Stanton, adding that the way in which the experiment was conducted might also have played a role. She explains that the raccoons had fewer opportunities to interact with the puzzle than did many of the birds that were tested in previous studies. Therefore, the performance of the raccoons might improve if they have more time to familiarize themselves with the stones and the water tube.
Despite the low success rates of the raccoons, Benson-Amram is optimistic about running more experiments with raccoons. As Benson-Amram explains “Our study demonstrates that captive raccoons are able to learn to solve novel problems and that they approach classic tests of animal cognition in diverse and exciting ways. We can’t wait to see what they do next.”
This video says about itself:
Pavlos Fyssas Death Sparks Outrage In Greece
20 September 2013
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Greece: Murdered anti-fascist remembered
Monday 18th September 2017
Thousands march for rapper Killah P
They then continued towards the offices of the Golden Dawn party, though were prevented by thousands of riot police from reaching the fascist HQ.
Hundreds of Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants joined the march after rallying separately in Omonoia Square to denounce the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people by the Myanmar authorities.
Marchers chanted: “Golden Dawn to jail — smash the nazis!”
They included “delegations of hospital workers, workers in the non-governmental organisations which have just cut their refugee support operations as funding ceased, and other trade unionists,” according to eyewitness and Morning Star contributor Kevin Ovenden.
Mr Fyssas, also known as Killah P, was stabbed to death in an attack by a crowd of fascists on September 17 2013, and indicated Golden Dawn canteen worker Giorgios Roupakias as the culprit while he lay dying.
Mr Roupakias has since admitted to the murder before a judge but was released from prison last year as his trial had still not begun and he had hit the legal limit for pre-trial detention.
The anti-fascist Keerfa coalition rejected accusations that the march was “anti-American.”
Tonight a wide array of forces will rally with the Fyssas family in Perama, an adjacent district of Piraeus to the site of Mr Fyssas’s murder.
It will include the Communist Party of Greece, whose leading trade unionist Sotiris Poulikogiannis was nearly murdered by Golden Dawn four years ago in the same area.
This Euronews Business video says about itself:
20 February 2015
Over 12.5 million Germans are now living below the poverty line which is the highest number on record since reunification [of West and East Germany] 25 years ago.
Berlin, the capital of the eurozone’s economic powerhouse is one of the poorest regions in Germany.
The figures come in a report by one of the country’s welfare organisations.
The poverty threshold was calculated at 892 euros a month for a single household and 1,873 euros for a family of four.
Berlin with 21.4 percent falling into the poor category is well above the country’s average.
Read more here.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
Poverty in Germany: ‘The only thing I can economize on is food’
According to many, it is an underexposed theme in the German election campaign: poverty among the elderly. Economically, Germany is doing well
for rich people
, but not everyone benefits from it. Many older people have hardship and in the future the Altersarmut [poverty of elderly people] can become a much bigger problem.
By 2015, around 5.7 million elderly people lived below the poverty line. In 2010, this was 4.9 million. Due to increasing aging, it is expected that in 2022 one fifth of all Germans from over 55 will live in poverty. These people have to live at less than 958 euros a month.
At the food bank in the Berlin district of Köpenick, volunteer Annette Meisen has for a long time seen an increase in the number of elderly people. “At first, the numbers of unemployed people and elderly people were equal, now it is clearly more elderly people. It is mostly people from the [former] German Democratic Republic who could not find decent work after the fall of the Berlin wall.”
But not only that, another volunteer adds. “Germany has only had a minimum wage for two years, many people have worked for 3 to 4 euros per hour for a lifetime.
As with Frank (72, last name he does not want to say). Frank worked in several factories, at several jobs. “I worked from my fifteenth to sixtiest. I always thought that my income was OK, but obviously it was not enough.” His pension is less than 850 euros per month and therefore he is dependent on the food bank.
He has to adjust his life. “I get a lot less outside, can not go on holiday anymore.” And he says, laughing, “I’m going a lot less often to the pub, but maybe that is not so bad!” To earn something, he sells Christmas trees in November and December ….
Lioba Bichl (76) also criticizes politics. And she expressed that recently during a live broadcast on German television against Chancellor Merkel. “I can only live if I’m stingy”, she says. “But the only thing I can economize on is food, the rest is fixed and I have to pay that.”
According to Bichl, many things are wrong with pension schemes in Germany. …
The problems are likely to grow for Bichl next year. “I’m lucky I’m still living comparatively cheaply, but my house will be demolished next year, and then I have to move to a house that will costs 180 euros a month more. How I’ll do that, I do not know yet.”
The tight pensions cause many older people to still have to work in their old age. Many of them have jobs, and in cities you often find people stumbling down the streets looking for deposit bottles. Also elderly people like Alex (60). …
Alex was a carpenter until he could do that no more. Now he collects bottles. “I’ve been doing it for ten years. What I find, I take, and I do that daily until about 10 in the evening.” For fear of his Grundsicherung [low level income for elderly people] being cut because of his additional earnings, he would rather stay anonymous.
This video says about itself:
22 February 2017
Many Greeks cannot make ends meet after years of an imploding economy and austerity imposed by the country’s creditors. They need help, often in the form of free food, free meals and free medical care.
See also here.