This video says about itself:
Drumming and making noise in the Chiado district of Lisbon, Portugal during the general strike march of November 23 2011.
The BBC reported on 24 November 2011:
This video says about itself:
Drumming and making noise in the Chiado district of Lisbon, Portugal during the general strike march of November 23 2011.
The BBC reported on 24 November 2011:
This video from Scotland says about itself:
7 August 2013
Ringing and Documenting Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel – Oceanodroma monorhis – August 7th 2013 2:30am. 8th record for Britain – 2nd for Fair Isle and Shetland! Both Fair Isle Records in the past 2 weeks! Caught at night with mist nets and sound recordings. Congrats to Dr Will Miles & Fair Isle Bird Observatory Warden David Parnaby. Also present Shetland Legend Denis Coutts & the young Logan Johnson the only birders to come to Fair Isle in the hope that the 1st Swinhoe’s would be recaptured but they were rewarded with a new unringed bird! Read more here.
From the Journal of Ornithology:
24 June 2015
Searching for a breeding population of Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel at Selvagem Grande, NE Atlantic, with a molecular characterization of occurring birds and relationships within the Hydrobatinae
Mónica C. Silva, Rafael Matias, Vânia Ferreira, Paulo Catry, José P. Granadeiro
Long-distance dispersal plays a critical role in population dynamics, particularly in species that occupy fragmented habitats, but it is seldom detected and investigated. The pelagic seabird Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel, Oceanodroma monorhis, breeds exclusively in the NW Pacific. Individuals have been regularly observed in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1980s, but breeding has never been confirmed.
In this study, we searched for evidence of breeding of Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels on Selvagem Grande Island, NE Atlantic, between 2007 and 2013. During this period, six individuals were captured, sexed and characterized molecularly for two mitochondrial loci, cytochrome oxydase I and the control region, to confirm species identity, survey genetic diversity and estimate evolutionary relationships within the Hydrobatinae.
These individuals were confirmed to be Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels, and all except one are females. Phylogenetic analyses suggest sister relationship with Matsudaira’s Storm-petrel and dismiss misidentifications with other dark rump species. Patterns of genetic variation suggest that dispersal occurred likely by more than a single female. Despite the record of a pair duetting in a burrow, breeding could not be confirmed.
Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels are regularly occurring at Selvagem Grande, but capture/recapture patterns suggest that a possible breeding population is small and likely not self-sustaining. In seabirds, long-distance dispersal events may facilitate colonization of new habitats created in the context of predicted climate change impacts on the marine ecosystems.
Exotic plants, invasive rats, and fishnets
By Nuno Barros, Fri, 03/07/2015 – 15:21
Crystal clear waters, rough steep cliffs and vibrant seas teeming with marine life are a typical scene off Portugal’s mainland and offshore islands. It sounds like a vacationer’s or scuba diver’s paradise, but for some seabird species it’s also the perfect place to nest and feed. Although they are amongst Europe’s most threatened group of birds, seabirds can still be found breeding in Portugal’s Azores, Madeira and Berlengas Archipelagos.
SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal) has been doing a great job to make sure it stays this way. They have been demonstrating how site specific protection works, and that Natura 2000, Europe’s largest network of protected areas established under the Birds and Habitats Directives, can serve as a foundation for marine conservation.
The Berlengas, only 6 nautical miles from the Portuguese mainland were initially set aside to protect the Common Guillemot. But because of a history full of neglect, the very species the reserve was created for is now sadly only part of the islands past as it has not been seen nesting here in over a decade. To stop other seabirds from sharing a similar fate, the islands are now at the heart of an EU LIFE Project run by SPEA. They are doing whatever they can to restore the Berlengas islands to their natural condition for seabirds and endemic/native plants, or at least, as close as possible to what they once were.
This has meant removing exotic plants and replacing them with native species and battling against invasive species like rats which often eat seabird eggs and chicks. Artificial nests are also being added and are quite effective because they offer protection against bad weather, from predators and other seabirds competing for space. They’ve also been working with fishers to find ways to prevent birds from getting accidentally entangled in fishing gear. Cory´s Shearwater, European Shags, and the only “continental” population of Band-rumped Storm Petrel are some of the seabirds that will benefit from all these activities. Sounds like an ambitious venture, but SPEA has shown it’s achievable because of a similar project recently finished, Safe Islands for Seabirds, in the remote Corvo Island in the Azores. It was so successful it even won one of 2013’s ‘Best LIFE’ Nature Projects award.
SPEA has also been working in the Graciosa Islets of the spectacular Azores Archipelago. The Azores is the only place in the world where Monteiro´s Storm Petrel is found, so it is a very special place indeed. There are just 250-300 pairs in existence and they only breed on two of the islets here. So far these petrels have been safe from ground predators, but there is always a risk that an invasive mammal species such as rats will swim ashore and cause disaster. It wouldn’t take much to wipe out these colonies completely. SPEA is now working on developing an action plan for the petrel so that the government will have the knowledge and tools in place to safeguard the species into the future.
Perhaps one of SPEA’s oldest fights has been convincing their government that the first step in conservation of sensitive marine areas should be the extension of Natura 2000 to the marine environment through the designation of Special Protection Areas (SPAs). So far only the Madeiran SPAs and little more have been established, but SPEA hasn’t given up this fight and there is some optimism that the Portuguese government will listen soon…
This video from the USA says about itself:
Smithsonian Museum Set to Receive Sunken Slave Ship Artifacts
31 May 2015
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will display objects from a slave ship that sank off the coast of Cape Town in 1794.
The artifacts were retrieved this year from the wreck site of a Portuguese slave ship that sank on its way to Brazil while carrying more than 400 enslaved Africans from Mozambique.
Objects recovered from the ship, called the São José-Paquete de Africa, include iron ballasts used to weigh the ship down and copper fastenings that held the structure of the ship together.
Lonnie G. Bunch III, the director of the African American history museum, said in a statement that the ship “represents one of the earliest attempts to bring East Africans into the trans-Atlantic slave trade.”
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is currently under construction in Washington and scheduled to be completed in the fall.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
South Africa beach service to honour slaves drowned in 1794 shipwreck
Ceremony to be held on Clifton beach, Cape Town, near recently discovered wreck site of Portuguese ship that sank, leading to the loss of 212 slaves’ lives
David Smith, Africa correspondent
Monday 1 June 2015 18.03 BST
A small, solemn memorial service will be held on one of South Africa’s most popular beaches on Tuesday, close to a recently discovered shipwreck where more than 200 African slaves drowned at the bottom of the sea.
The Portuguese ship, the São José-Paquete de Africa, was sailing from Mozambique to Brazil when it sank in turbulent waters near Cape Town in December 1794. Researchers say it is the first time that the remains of a slavers’ ship that went down with its human cargo on board has been identified.
Albie Sachs, a former constitutional court judge, will give a speech welcoming diplomats, activists and community leaders at the ceremony on Clifton beach, near the wreck site. “It’s profound and terrible to feel this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world and within such a short distance lie the bodies of 200 slaves who died there,” the 80-year-old said on Monday.
“Presumably they were still in shackles or they could have swum to shore. This has been an untold story that has repercussions and reverberations for us today. Somehow their memories survive even though they’re not in the history books.”
The São José was making one of the earliest voyages of the transatlantic slave trade from east Africa to the Americas, which persisted well into the 19th century. More than 400,000 east Africans, shackled in ships’ holds, are estimated to have made the four-month, 7,000-mile journey from Mozambique to the sugar plantations of Brazil between 1800 and 1865.
The São José had only been sailing for 24 days when, tossed by strong winds in view of Lion’s Head mountain, it was smashed on submerged rocks 100 metres from shore. An estimated 212 slaves perished. About 300 survived and were resold into slavery in the Cape. The Portuguese captain, Manuel João, and his crew were also rescued.
The wreck lay undisturbed for nearly 200 years but was found in the mid-1980s by local amateur treasure-hunters who misidentified it as the remains of an earlier Dutch vessel. But in 2011 Jaco Boshoff, a maritime archaeologist, discovered the captain’s account of the wrecking of the São José in local archives. Those on board “made ropes and baskets and continuing like this were able to save some men and slaves until five in the evening, when the ship broke to pieces”, it recorded.
Evidence steadily built. Copper fastenings and copper sheathing indicated a wreck of a later period, and there was also iron ballast – often found on slave ships as a means of counterbalancing the variable weights of their human cargo. The Slave Wrecks Project, an international collaboration, found an archival document in Portugal stating that the Saõ José had loaded 1,500 iron bars as ballast before she departed for Mozambique.
Further research located a document in which a slave was noted as sold by a local sheikh to the captain of the Saõ José prior to its departure, definitively identifying Mozambique Island as the port of departure for the slaving voyage.
Objects retrieved from the ship this year include fragile remnants of shackles, iron ballast to weigh down the ship and its human cargo, copper fastenings and a wooden pulley block. There has been no trace of human remains.
Boshoff, co-originator of the Slave Wrecks Project and principal archaeological investigator on the Saõ José excavation, said: “The more information we get the better. The memorial service will be a bit more emotional, but when we start work again we’ll have to dial back the emotion.”
He added: “Every day there are discoveries made but, in the history of the slave trade, this one is important. It’s the first time we’ve been able to look at a ship that sank with slaves still on board.”
The wreck site is located between two reefs and is prone to strong swells, making conditions difficult for archaeologists. So far only a small percentage has been excavated. “There is a lot to do,” Boshoff said. “We haven’t scratched the surface. It’s a wide-ranging project and I’m fortunate it’s on my doorstep.”
A public symposium, called Bringing the São José Into Memory, will be held in Cape Town on Wednesday. Some of the recovered objects are to be displayed on long-term loan at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.
Lonnie Bunch, director of the museum, who is due to attend Tuesday’s event, said: “Perhaps the single greatest symbol of the transatlantic slave trade is the ships that carried millions of captive Africans across the Atlantic never to return.
“This discovery is significant because there has never been archaeological documentation of a vessel that foundered and was lost while carrying a cargo of enslaved persons. The São José is all the more significant because it represents one of the earliest attempts to bring east Africans into the transatlantic slave trade – a shift that played a major role in prolonging that tragic trade for decades.
“Locating, documenting and preserving this cultural heritage through the São José has the potential to reshape our understandings of a part of history that has been considered unknowable.”
Plans for divers from Mozambique, South Africa and the US to deposit soil from Mozambique Island, the site of the Saõ José’s embarkation, on the wreck site has been abandoned due to Cape Town’s volatile winter weather and high tides.
For Sachs, an anti-apartheid activist who lost an arm and the sight in one eye in a bombing in Mozambique while in exile in the 1980s, the international flavour of the day will be important. “There is a wonderful cooperation between the Smithsonian and the Iziko Museums of South Africa. People are diving together and compiling the information together. This is a beautiful example of present-day globalisation recovering an example of terrible globalisation from the 18th century.
“It’s a healing to have people getting together to memorialise the dead. I was nearly killed by a car bomb planted by South African agents in Mozambique. Mozambicans saved my life. Here South Africans are honouring colleagues from Mozambique for this commemoration.”
Portugal’s birding at your fingertips
By Nuno Barros, Tue, 26/05/2015 – 14:50
Now available at your fingertips, all you need to know about more than 100 species of bird and birdwatching in mainland Portugal, the Azores and Madeira archipelagos. Yes, you can find all the information you need to know about all the best birding sites that the country has to offer, itineraries, and many other interesting facts and figures on the Portuguese Society for the Study of Bird’s (SPEA/BirdLife partner) new website.
Found in the south-western part of Europe, Portugal is a small but beautiful country, home to friendly people, a huge myriad of habitats, and many southern European bird species. In the last few years, more and more birdwatchers have come and discovered the many wonders of birding in Portugal, mostly in the Alentejo and Algarve regions. The country’s year round great weather conditions and ease of spotting elusive birds like the Black-winged Kite, Little Bittern, Great Bustard or Azure-Winged Magpie draws birders from far and wide.
Even in the peak of winter you can expect to see more than 100 species in a week, and with a bit of luck, enjoy some sunny days. And Portugal is so small, so it’s easy to jump from one amazing birding hot spot to another, and along with the local cuisine, culture and landscapes, a visit is simply a must.
There are certainly many other places to go birdwatching in Portugal and it’s islands, but this platform provides birdwatchers with what SPEA thinks are all you need to know about the “best” birding sites around, places that not surprisingly overlap with Important Bird and BiodiversityAreas (IBAs), the conservation background that is SPEA’s stronghold.
So all bird lovers, we invite you to come and explore our website, and see what this magnificent corner of Europe has to offer. You can also come to our next Sagres Birdwatching and Nature activities Festival, from 1-4th October, to celebrate some of Portugal’s birdwatching wonders.
This 2006 video, with English subtitles, is called Racism and xenophobia in Portugal.
In Britain, the Rupert Murdoch media have Katie Hopkins, advocating violence against refugees and other racism.
Portugal turns out to have a Katie Hopkins of its own. Not a Rupert Murdoch employee as far as I know. A professor in Milton Friedman-Margaret Thatcher-style economics (which are more ideology than science).
From Deutsche Welle in Germany:
A Portuguese professor has spread racist slurs on the Internet, and been getting away with it for years. Are they tasteless examples of economic theories, or a criminal offense? Jochen Faget reports from Lisbon.
Events took the worst turn conceivable: In order to justify tough austerity policies, a conservative MP representing the Portuguese governing party PSD quoted from the blog of Pedro Cosme Vieira, an economics professor, but he drew only derision and contempt rather than praise and approval. An opposition politician double-checked and discovered that the scholar from the north Portuguese city of Porto has used his blog to spread vile racist propaganda.
For example, all the migrant boats in the Mediterranean could be sunk by battleships; potential survivors could then be shot one after another. Initially, this would lead to the deaths of up to 5,000 people, but in the end no one would dare to risk making the trip to Europe. For years, the professor has been getting away with swaggering about “black scum;” pensioners, who could be shot in order to solve the social security funds problem; or about AIDS victims, who could be “put down” without, in his view, causing too much of a stir among the population.
Several years of blogging, no reaction
“The most amazing thing of all is that it took such a long time until those statements led to any consequences,” sociologist Joao Teixeira Lopes, who also teaches at Porto University, told DW. His dubious colleague had been blogging for more than five years without becoming caught in the crossfire of public opinion. His views had been called – at worst – bizarre or eccentric, but never disgraceful or unacceptable. “To some extent, his readers condoned or adopted his statements. There was no reaction at all. I think that’s alarming.”
Cosme Vieira’s employer, the University of Porto, set a bad example. When, eventually, public outcry increased, it issued a statement which called the professor’s opinions strictly private opinions that did not reflect the university’s views. In addition, the university’s ethics council would be tasked with investigating the professor’s actions.
That was definitely the wrong signal, according to Teixeira Lopes. “The university should have opened disciplinary procedures immediately, and it should have raised its voice very clearly against racist practices and statements.”
Racism as a legacy?
Portuguese society, however, still struggles when it comes to fighting racism, the sociologist continued. The country, which was proud of being the last European colonial power during the 1970s, has never really reviewed its history, he said. Even major massacres carried out by the Portuguese in Africa had never been reviewed, let alone punished. In part because of their colonial history spanning almost 500 years, the Portuguese viewed themselves as tolerant, paternal friends of the Africans – and a certain latent racism existed as a result.
“Of course it’s wrong to argue that all Portuguese are racists,” said Teixeira Lopes. “By the same token, it would be wrong to suggest that there are no racists at all. I’d say we have racists in Portugal – due to historic reasons.”
Those “historic reasons” may have played their part when the right-wing politician who quoted from Cosme Vieira’s blog did not take offense at the economist’s racist statements. The politician’s willingness to cite Cosme Vieira’s work is exactly what makes the issue so controversial, according to Teixeira Lopes. By condoning the racist comments as eccentricities of an out-of-touch yet competent professor, the politician revealed a major social and cultural problem.
Public prosecutors investigate
What about Pedro Cosme Vieira himself? In an e-mail, he expressed amazement about his sudden surge to fame, while declining requests for an interview, he did say he was using drastic examples because his readers were not highly educated. In his blog he also wrote: Yes, he was a racist and called racism the flip side of intelligence.
The racist comments on his blog, however, have been read by a public prosecutor. In contrast to the University of Porto, the prosecutor’s office has taken action and started an investigation into his statement for allegedly inciting hatred.
A Portuguese blog post about this is here.
The text of this image on that blog post says, with two Pedro Cosme Vieira quotes, translated:
A Portuguese Führer who teaches the minds of our young people!!!
“The black scum crossing the Mediterranean should be shot dead”.
“If you do the sanitary slaughter of everyone infected with AIDS, the disease would disappear from the earth”.
This video says about itself:
24 March 2015
From Associated Press:
Researchers Find Fossil of ‘Super Salamander’ Species
LONDON — Mar 24, 2015, 11:01 AM ET
Fossil remains of a previously unknown species of a crocodile-like “super salamander” that grew as long as a small car and was a top predator more than 200 million years ago have been found in southern Portugal, researchers announced Tuesday.
The species grew up to two meters (six feet) in length and lived in lakes and rivers, University of Edinburgh researchers said.
The team said the species, given the name Metoposaurus algarvensis, was part of a wider group of primitive amphibians that were widespread at the time but became extinct. They are the ancestors of modern amphibians such as frogs, and are believed by paleontologists to have lived at the same time the dinosaurs began their dominance.
Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said the new species, which had hundreds of sharp teeth, is “weird compared to anything today.”
The team says the find establishes that this group of amphibians lived in a more diverse geographic area than had been thought.
Andrew Milner, an expert on early amphibians at the Natural History Museum in London who was not involved in the study, said the find “is another piece of the picture.” The Portuguese site has “very good potential to give us more and different types of animal” from the Upper Triassic period, he added.
The dig in Portugal began in 2009 and took several years. The “super salamander” bones were uncovered in a half-meter thick layer of rock in a hillside that is “chock-full” of bones, Brusatte said. The team hopes to raise funds to continue excavating the site.
See also here.
The scientific description of this newly discovered species is here.