Rare birds in Britain update


This video from Wales says about itself:

A flock of 50 waxwings arrived outside the BBC buildings in Bangor today, 31 October 2010, HALLOWEEN day. Here is a short film in HD of the birds and the twitchers.

From Rare Bird Alert in Britain:

Sunday 30th August 2015

New discoveries today included two juvenile Pallid Harriers together at Hillwell, Shetland, single Citrine Wagtails on North Ronaldsay, Orkney and at Black Hole Marsh, Devon and a Red-rumped Swallow at Dungeness RSPB, Kent.

Lingering rarities included the Black Storks in East Sussex and East Yorkshire, Red-footed Falcon in Lincolnshire, Lesser Scaup in Somerset (now at Chew Valley Lake) and two Bee-eaters in Cumbria.

Scarcity highlights were singles of Woodchat Shrike, Marsh Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Ortolan Bunting, Rose-coloured Starling, Dotterel, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope, two each of Bluethroat, Barred Warbler and Hoopoe, three White-winged Black Terns, at least six Honey Buzzards, seven Red-backed Shrikes and 21 Wrynecks. A flock of 23 Cattle Egrets in the Avon Valley in Dorset and Hampshire is almost certainly a British record.

– Will Soar, RBA

British government not helping Briton tortured in UAE


This video says about itself:

‘Repeatedly interrogated’: Muslim American sues FBI for torture in UAE prison

19 March 2015

An Eritrean-born American citizen is suing the FBI for pressuring him to collaborate and torturing him in a foreign prison when he refused. Yonas Fikre says he was arrested and interrogated in the United Arab Emirates.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

FCO refused to aid tortured student

Tuesday 25th August 2015

Government did not ask United Arab Emirates for a pardon

THE government refused to request a pardon for 22-year-old British student Ahmad Zeidan, who has allegedly been tortured into admitting drugs charges in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a human rights charity said yesterday.

Mr Zeidan has been locked up for nearly two years, but his case was not raised during Prime Minister David Cameron’s meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi last month, just before 900 pardons across the UAE were announced, Reprieve said.

He alleges that, in the course of a week, he was hooded, stripped, kept in solitary confinement for two days, beaten and threatened with rape before being forced to sign a “confession” in Arabic, which he cannot read or write.

Reprieve death penalty team leader Maya Foa said Mr Zeidan had suffered a “staggering miscarriage of justice” and urged the government to help him end the “nightmarish ordeal.”

The charity has received an email from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) admitting that it had not sent a letter in support of a pardon scheduled for September, despite it being official policy to do this for British nationals.

British consular staff in UAE have forwarded letters from Mr Zeidan’s father appealing for clemency to the ruler’s court in the emirate of Sharjah and to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa and Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, the FCO email added.

The FCO, when contacted by the Star, did not comment on why it has not supported the pardon request.

Mr Zeidan, of Reading in Berkshire, was studying at the Emirates Aviation College in Dubai when he was arrested in December 2013.

Police found 0.04g of cocaine — with a street value of around £3 — in the glove compartment of a car in which he was a passenger.

He always maintained that the drugs were not his, but he was sentenced to nine years in prison last summer. His six non-British co-defendants have been released. He also “narrowly missed a death sentence,” Reprieve said.

His family have twice called on the government to formally petition for his release.

Mr Zeidan, who is being held in Sharjah Central Jail, said he has suffered “a mountain of pain,” with seizures and disturbing flashbacks waking him during the night.

He said: “I’m not coping. I feel like I am going to self-implode. I’m just holding onto a thin line of something and I feel it’s going to run out very soon.”

Canadian family campaigns for release of father detained and tortured in UAE. Salim Alaradi has spent 362 days in a cell in the United Arab Emirates, detained without charge and allegedly tortured as the prisoner of state security agents: here.

Song for bumblebee conservation


This music video from Britain says about itself:

All Through The Day

24 July 2015

An arrangement of the popular Welsh Hymn, raising awareness of the plight of the Bumblebee and other pollinators.

Lyrics by Oliver Swingler
Music Arrangement by Matt Ratcliffe and Natalie Windsor

Natalie Windsor – Voice
Matt Ratcliffe – Piano
Steve Trumans – Bass
Andrew “Woody” Wood – Drums

Recorded at Deal Maker Studios Nottingham
Produced by Tom Harris

Shot on location at Rose End Meadows with thanks to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

Other footage kindly donated by Dusty Gedge and images thanks to Ryan Clarke and The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.