Texas barn owl nest news update


This video from the USA says about itself:

27 May 2009

Hawk Creek Wildlife Center’s breeding project. Time elapsed barn owl egg hatching.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

The Barn Owls that took up residence in a new nest box on a Texas ranch are showing promising signs for the upcoming breeding season. The male has been bringing prey animals to the nest in displays of courtship, and both birds have been cozily tucked in their nest box almost every day for the last few weeks.

We’ve seen them mate a few times, and we hope to see them lay their first eggs sometime before the middle of April. Watch cam.

Iraqi refugee murdered, do Muslim lives matter in Texas?


This 7 March 2015 video from the Dallas Police Department in Texas, USA is called Suspect Video of Ahmed Al-Jumaili Murder.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ahmed Al-Jumaili killing: Iraqi immigrant shot dead in Texas as he watched snow fall for the first time

People have expressed outrage at the under-reporting of the story in the US under the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith

Sunday 08 March 2015

A Muslim Iraqi immigrant was shot and killed by an unknown gunman in Dallas, Texas, as he watched his first snowfall.

Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, and his brother are reported to have run outside of their apartment after midnight on Thursday to look at the snow, while his wife Zahraa took pictures. He was then shot in a hail of gunfire that left eight bullets lodged in a parked truck at the scene.

Cotner told CNN Al-Jumaili shouted “I’m hit” before running back to his apartment. He died later at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas.

Officers “haven’t excluded” the possibility that the murder is a hate crime, Cotner told the Dallas Morning News, and police are said to be working “tirelessly” on the case.

But many have condemned the lack of media coverage initially given to the story in the US, expressing their outrage under the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter.

The shooting comes just one month after a family of three young Muslims were shot dead at their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which was condemned by their surviving family members as a hate crime, though the killer’s wife maintains the shooting was over a parking dispute.

When Al-Jumaili and his family went outside to take pictures on Thursday, witnesses reported seeing between two and four men enter their apartment complex on foot, before the shooting happened.

Police are appealing for information in relation to the Dallas murder and have released footage of four men walking in the snow who are believed to be suspects in the hope of moving the investigation forward.

Residents at the apartment complex have already expressed their concerns over safety in the area, and neighbours Asad Obaid and Omar Khattab, who moved to Dallas from Egypt, told the Dallas Morning News they plan on moving out due to the shooting.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim civil liberties organisation, has urged the police to address the concerns over the motive behind the murder.

“Because of recent incidents targeting American Muslim, including the murder of three young Muslims in North Carolina, we urge law enforcement authorities to address community concerns about a motive in this case,” said the organisation’s executive director, Alia Salem.

Al-Jumaili had arrived in the US just 20 days before the fatal shooting. He and Zahraa had married 16 months ago, and she had travelled to the safety of her family in north Texas from Iraq, while Al-Jumaili stayed to work and save money.

When Al-Jumaili arrived in the country three weeks ago after a year of being away from his wife, she was waiting for him with a large sign reading: “I’ve waited 460 days, 11,040 hours, 662,400 minutes for this moment, welcome home.”

Read more:

Toddler shoots mother dead in Walmart with her own gun

Altanta man kills four including children before shooting himself

Dallas Police spokesman Maj. Jeff Cotner told the Dallas Morning News that for Al-Jumaili, “just like all of us, a pretty snowfall brings the child out in us”.

“You can just imagine the excitement between his wife and his brother and himself as they were enjoying the snowfall,” he added.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for any detail that could lead to an arrest of the assailants.

A ‘Silence the Violence’ reflective vigil is being held for Al-Jumaili on Sunday night at the apartment complex where he was shot.

Islamophobic violence in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Muslims discover dead pig at entrance to mosque by ICNA Houston – ABC News

5 December 2012

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A disturbing discovery was made outside of a Houston area mosque and now Islamic community leaders are calling it a hate crime. A dead pig was left in front of the mosque Tuesday in Cypress.

Ilyas Choudry says worshippers at the Islamic Outreach Center in Cypress found a mutilated dead pig Tuesday night near the doorstep of their five-month-old mosque.

“They were totally surprised to see this,” he said.

Leaders at the mosque say the dead pig was placed there sometime after worshipers left following afternoon prayer and arrived back for evening prayer. Muslims don’t eat pork and regard the pigs as an unclean animal. Some in the Muslim community are questioning if this was a gesture of hate.

“I think it borders on being a hate crime at least from our prospective, because we’ve seen these before and generally when people put pigs or have dead animals, it’s really something hateful,” said Mustafaa Carroll with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Islamic Outreach Center says it has not had any problems with neighbors before.

By Tom Carter in the USA:

Mounting violence against Muslims in America

19 February 2015

A series of attacks on Muslims in the US have occurred in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France and executions carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. These events have been seized on by governments around the world, including the Obama administration, to promote anti-Islamic sentiment so as to justify expanded military interventions in the Middle East and stepped up domestic repression.

On February 10, three Muslim-American students—Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19—were found shot in the head, execution-style, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The two young women were wearing traditional hijabs when they were killed.

The man who turned himself in to authorities in connection with the murders had previously brandished guns at the victims and threatened them. Before the shooting, Yusor Abu-Salha told her father, “Daddy, I think he hates us for who we are and how we look.”

On February 12, an Arab-American man was brutally attacked by two white men at a Kroger supermarket in Dearborn, Michigan. The attackers also taunted his daughter, who wears a hijab, making references to ISIS and Muslims. The attackers called the man and his daughter “r–head” and said, “Go back to your country.”

This video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

Quba Islamic Institute On Fire Southeast Houston, US

15 February 2015

An Islamic Center in Houston southeast side has been damaged by fire. Investigators are trying to determine whether the fire was arson.

No injuries have been reported in the blaze that erupted before morning prayers on Friday in a storage area of the Quba Islamic Institute mosque and school. Officials at the institute said investigators told them the fire was intentionally set. Muslim worshipers have described the incident as particularly troubling after the Chapel Hill attack that left three Muslim students dead. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on state and federal authorities to investigate the fire as a possible hate crime.

The Tom Carter article continues:

On February 13, the Quba Islamic Institute in southeast Houston, Texas was the target of an arson attack that destroyed a substantial portion of the building and caused an estimated $100,000 in damage. On February 17, police in Austin, Texas arrested a man for threatening to bomb an Islamic center as well as a Middle Eastern restaurant.

Last month, a “Texas Muslim Capitol Day” event (the declared purpose of which was to “engage American Muslims in the political process”) was attacked and disrupted by anti-Muslim thugs. Another attack was organized on “Muslim Day” in Oklahoma City. The attacking group’s Facebook page screamed, “Get Islam Out of America.”

The rate of hate crimes against Muslims in the United States stands at five times what it was before September 2001. A recent poll found that out of all religions, Americans harbor the most negative feelings towards Muslims.

The American political and media establishment bears a significant portion of the responsibility for these trends.

A recent report by the Center for American Progress entitled “Fear, Inc. 2.0, The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America” exposes a veritable “Islamophobia industry” operating on the periphery of the American state. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent over the past decade to promote anti-Muslim bigotry through a shady network of politicians, journalists, foundations, “activists” and “experts.”

This Islamophobia network enjoys close ties with police departments and the intelligence agencies. Anti-Muslim bigotry, the report indicates, can often be found “masquerading as law-enforcement counterterrorism training.” The training materials and “experts,” according to the report, encourage police and intelligence agents to see “a terrorist plot in every mosque.”

The intentional whipping up of anti-Muslim bigotry has intensified internationally in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks last month. As the World Socialist Web Site has explained, the campaign to vilify Muslims serves definite political ends.

Anti-Muslim hysteria provides a justification for imperialist mayhem abroad as well as a wedge with which to attack democratic rights at home. Policies can be pursued in the climate of such hysteria that would otherwise be unthinkable. And, as with all such campaigns against racial and religious minorities throughout the twentieth century, murderous and fascistic elements are mobilized that, in a crisis, can be unleashed against the working class as a whole.

In cultivating the conditions for an intensification of anti-Muslim violence within the United States, a particularly reprehensible role has been played by the racist, homicidal film American Sniper. The film features an elite US soldier heroically slaughtering Iraqi “savages” for God and country.

Chris Kyle, the real-life sniper behind Clint Eastwood’s pro-war propaganda film, boasted of killing more than 300 people. (He was apparently also a pathological liar who bragged about having shot and killed dozens of “looters” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and to have participated in other events that are unlikely ever to have happened).

During a military investigation of allegations that Kyle killed an unarmed civilian in Iraq, Kyle said, “I don’t shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.”

In the current toxic social climate, and in the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent, American Sniper has met with a certain and disturbing response. “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some f—ing Arabs,” wrote one individual on Twitter. “Nice to see a movie where the Arabs are portrayed for who they really are,” wrote another, “vermin scum intent on destroying us.”

Another individual wrote, “Great f—ing movie and now I really want to kill some f—ing r–heads.” And another: “American sniper made me appreciate soldiers 100x more and hate Muslins (sic) 1000000x more.”

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee described a “drastic increase” in hate speech on social media following the film’s release. It is not difficult to see how these kinds of responses can translate into real violence.

A revealing episode was provided by the “National Prayer Breakfast” on February 5. Bowing to pressure from the right, Obama utilized the occasion (a reactionary spectacle under any circumstances) to denounce “ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism, terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.” Obama also mentioned the Crusades and the Inquisition as examples of “terrible deeds” committed in the name of religion.

Obama’s appearance fueled an ongoing campaign by the Republican right denouncing the White House for not going far enough in vilifying Muslims. Obama was criticized on the grounds that his invocation of the Crusades and the Inquisition “throws Christians under the bus.”

“The words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ do not come out of the president’s mouth,” declared Republican Senator Ted Cruz. “The word ‘jihad’ does not come out of the president’s mouth. And that is dangerous.”

“The president’s comments… at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore told reporters. “He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.”

The engines of anti-Muslim agitation in the United States do not include only the usual suspects: the Republican Party, the military, AM talk radio, police, the intelligence agencies, Fox News, the Murdoch press, religious zealots, billionaire reactionaries, the Tea Party and so forth.

Instead, anti-Muslim prejudice has been lent a certain respectable gloss by so-called “liberal” and “left” sections of the political establishment. These layers either endorse the vilification of Muslims, acquiesce to it, or make hand-wringing scholarly inquiries into whether or not Islam is “inherently violent.”

“The rash of horrific attacks in the name of Islam,” read a front-page article in the New York Times on January 9, “is spurring an anguished debate among Muslims here in the heart of the Islamic world about why their religion appears cited so often as a cause for violence and bloodshed.” The article then weighs arguments—for and against—the proposition that Islam is “inherently more violent than Judaism or Christianity.”

No significant section of the political establishment in any of the imperialist countries has shown itself capable of taking a principled stand in opposition to the promotion of anti-Muslim sentiment. That task falls to the socialist movement, which stands for the international unity of the working class, defends its democratic achievements, and rejects all attempts to whip up national, ethnic or religious bigotry.

The author also recommends:

New York City police, CIA in massive spying operation among Muslims
[26 August 2011]

Great horned owl webcam in the USA


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:

Our newest Cornell Lab Bird Cam just went live—Great Horned Owls from Savannah, Georgia (thanks to our partners at Skidaway Audubon).

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.

Rare Kemp’s turtle beached in the Netherlands


This video from the USA is called Saving the Kemp’s Ridley Sea TurtleTexas Parks and Wildlife [Official].

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Rare turtle beached

Today, 12:18

At Den Helder beach last weekend a rare sea turtle washed ashore. Soon after that, the animal died, because it was starving. The turtle had not eaten for months.

According to director Marc Damen of Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam this is a Kemp’s turtle. That is a rare animal: since 1957 it had been seen five times in the Netherlands. The turtle is native to the Gulf of Mexico. It is threatened in its existence there.

Probably it had sailed in ballast water of a container ship. Damen: “If the ships reach the open sea, then they take in ballast water. And before they, for example, enter the port of Rotterdam, they will drop that ballast water. Probably the turtle had been sucked up.”

See also here.