Amur falcon video


This is an Amur falcon video.

There was a sad story of many of these small falcons being killed in Nagaland in India while on their migration all the way to Africa. Fortunately, that stopped later.

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Bahraini jihadists lure young Indians to death for ISIS


This video from the European Parliament, of Irish Fine Gael center-right MEP Sean Kelly says about itself:

10 July 2015

I spoke in plenary this week about the breach of human rights in Bahrain, particularly in the case of Nabeel Rajab. Rajab is imprisoned in Bahrain currently for tweeting about ISIS.

More specifically, Rajab tweeted about links between the Bahraini autocratic regime and ISIS. There are many such links.

Most people in Bahrain are against its absolute monarchy. To prop up its wobbly position, the royal family relies on the Saudi autocracy and its armed forces. And also on the fanatical Saudi wahhabist state ideology, the model for the ISIS ideology.

Twitter is a social conversation! We need to exercise every pressure we can to release him. Furthermore, I think it would be prudent to set up a working group between Bahrain and the EU to work on human rights– in particular, media freedom.

From the Times of India:

Keralites radicalised youth before being killed fighting for Islamic State [ISIS] in Syria

TNN | Updated: Jul 6, 2017, 09.50 PM IST

KOZHIKODE: The Kerala youth, who were killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, were the members of an extreme Salafi group in Bahrain before they joined the outfit (IS) [ISIS].

Sources told TOI that the two Salafi preachers from Kerala – one from Mankada in Malappuram and the other from Perumbavoor in Ernakulam – were instrumental in radicalising the youth. Four members of the group, including Muhadis from Vandoor, were killed in military operations within a span [of] four months in Syria.

The Salafi preachers had organised classes at a religious centre in Bahrain and at other places where they injected the extreme Salafism in the youth. A few members of the group were working with a catering company in Bahrain.

Sources said the preachers are members of a splinter group among the Kerala Salafis and have no connection with any of the established Salafi organisations in the state. One among them is currently in Mangaluru and his activities are closely monitored by the security agencies.

After getting initiated into extreme Salafism, the youth were learnt to contact some well-known Salafi scholars from Kerala who went to Bahrain at different times. “The Salafi scholars did not entertain the youth as they were found to have strong leanings towards the Islamic State,” sources said.

The youth later came into contact with Abdul Rashid Abdulla, the former employee of the Peace International School in Kozhikode, who had already become a full-fledged IS cadre. It is suspected that the Salafi preachers had a role in helping the youth in establishing contact with Abdul Rashid, who is learnt to have steered them to the IS stronghold in Syria. Rashid himself has landed in Afghanistan and is coordinating the propaganda activities of [the] Kerala module.

The unravelling of the Bahrain group has confirmed the suspicion of the security agencies that the influence of the IS runs deep[er] in Kerala than it was initially thought to be. The number of Malayalis who joined the terror outfit could be much higher than the official estimate which is based on missing cases. IS is suspected to have recruited more Malayalis working in the Gulf countries. Authorities feel that the members of the families of the IS recruits are either unaware of their migration to IS strongholds or are keeping mum due to fear of being ostracized by the society.

Insights gained regarding the Bahrain group have once again forced the law enforcing agencies to sharpen their focus on the Salafi groups in Kerala. Many youth in the Salafi organisations have lost sense of direction after the innumerable splits in the movement.

… Many of the youth who are associated with these extreme Salafi groups finally end up in the tentacles of the Islamic State [ISIS].

Fossil insect discovery in Indian amber


This video says about itself:

Frauke and Nina collecting Cambay Amber in Vastan, India in 2012. Video by Keith Luzzi.

From ScienceDaily:

Time flies: Insect fossils in amber shed light on India’s geological history

A new species of fungus gnat in Indian amber closely resembles its fossil relatives from Europe, disproving the concept of a strongly isolated Indian subcontinent

May 17, 2017

Summary: Researchers have identified three new species of insects encased in Cambay amber dating from over 54 million years ago. Researchers describe the new species of fungus gnats, which provide further clues to understanding India’s past diversity and geological history.

A new species of fungus gnat in Indian amber closely resembles its fossil relatives from Europe, disproving the concept of a strongly isolated Indian subcontinent.

Researchers have identified three new species of insects encased in Cambay amber dating from over 54 million years ago. In a new study published by PeerJ, researchers describe the new species of fungus gnats, which provide further clues to understanding India’s past diversity and geological history.

The most interesting finding from the discovery of these new gnat species is related to India´s plate tectonic history: Palaeognoriste orientale in Cambay amber belongs to a group that has previously been reported from slightly younger Baltic amber only. The species in Indian amber closely resembles its fossil relatives from Europe and therefore adds further evidence to regular faunal exchange between India and Europe while disproving the concept of a strongly isolated Indian subcontinent.

India, which was one part of the ancient supercontinent, Gondwana, started separating and heading north about 130 million years ago, finally collided with Asia some 59 million years ago, resulting in the Himalayan mountains. The time of formation of this amber (or at least its burial) is most likely around the time of collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia.

The fossils of long beaked fungus gnats (Lygistorrhinidae) found in the Cambay amber are an exciting discovery. The name of this group refers to one of their most conspicuous characters: an elongated proboscis, which is presumably for feeding from flowers. This small family of tropical flies is known by only seven fossil and eight living genera. Given the rareness of this group Indian amber has revealed a surprising diversity with three species in three different fossil and modern genera. This even exceeds the number of known species in the well-studied Baltic amber, from which only two species are reported.

Cambay amber from India has only been studied for a few years, but is already providing an important role in uncovering secrets regarding the origins of India´s fauna. For many years, the well-established theory stated that India formed an isolated continent during its drift, allowing a highly endemic biota to develop. However, flies and other insects entrapped in Indian amber continue to reveal faunal connections to different epochs and regions of the world.

Though the exact mechanisms of faunal exchange remain unclear so far, dispersal might have been facilitated by an island chain system between India and Europe, as has already been suggested for biting midges.

Thirsty king cobra gets drink in India


This video from India says about itself:

30 March 2017

The world’s longest venomous snake, the king cobra, usually tries to avoid confrontation with humans. However, a few days ago, a thirst[y] king cobra found its way to Kaiga village in Karnataka, presumably in search of water. Karnataka has been hit by drought and is suffering from scarcity of water. In an amazing video, a wildlife rescue worker is seen offering the thirsty cobra a drink of water from a bottle – and the snake can be seen lapping it up.