Turkey’s Erdogan not speaking at Muhammad Ali’s funeral


This video from the USA is called NBC News – Muhammad Ali on not going to war [in Vietnam].

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Ali family deletes Turkish President Erdogan from list of speakers

Today, 17:31

The Turkish president Erdogan will not speak at the funeral of Muhammad Ali. He has to cede his place in the scheme to another speaker, a spokesperson of the Ali family told The Associated Press. The same applies to the Jordanian King Abdullah. …

A correct decision by the Ali family. Someone who, like Erdogan, wages war against his own people, in Iraq and in Syria is not a good eulogist for an opponent of the Vietnam war.

The family of the deceased boxing champion had spent years organizing Ali’s funeral. The details are set out in a lengthy document that according to the family has become known as ‘The Book’. It says, among other things, that the funeral should be public and that the service should be preceded by a procession in Louisville.

Both desires will be fulfilled. The service is Friday at a stadium where some 15,000 people can go. Tickets are free; from the morning on they can be picked up at the stadium.

3 Day Quote Challenge, third day


3 Day Quote Challenge

Paul of wwwpalfitness blog has been so kind to nominate my blog for the 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thank you so much for this kind gesture!

Rules: Post three quotes for three consecutive days, and nominate three new bloggers to take on the challenge each day and thank your nominator.

My quote for this third and final day is:

Power is wonderful. Total power is totally wonderful.

Contrary to many other quotes on my blog, this is not a quote with which I agree. I quote it as a warning about how the mindsets of dictators work.

The quote is by Madame Nhu (Trần Lệ Xuân). She was the First Lady of the puppet dictatorship in South Vietnam from 1955 to 1963. She was the wife of Ngô Đình Nhu, brother and secret police boss of dictator Ngô Đình Diệm. A fanatically right-wing Roman Catholic in a mostly Buddhist country, she made the laws conform to religious anti-women rules of ‘decency’; making her the only woman allowed to wear ‘sexy’ clothes. She rejoiced in violent deaths of Buddhists.

My three nominees of today are:

1. Joëlle Jean-Baptiste – Author

2. Denisa Aricescu

3. natycalinescu

Boxer Muhammad Ali, RIP


This 1960s video from the USA says about itself:

Muhammad Ali on the Vietnam war draft

“My conscious won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father… Shoot them for what? …How can I shoot them poor people, Just take me to jail.”

Muhammad Ali’s passing at the age of 74 on Friday night shook the sports world. Athletes from all corners of the world weighed in on the icon’s impact, talking about how Ali affected their careers and the world at large: here.

The death of former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who, in his day, was a symbol of protest and resistance, has prompted the inevitable and instinctive effort by the establishment to appropriate his legacy for their own cynical uses: here.

Kent State killing of US peace demonstrators, 1970


This video says about itself:

United States: Kent State Shooting

4 May 2016

In 1970 [on 4 May], the Ohio National Guard killed 4 students at Kent State University during protests against the Vietnam War.

Bloody Thursday: Today marks 47yrs since Battle For People’s Park in Berkeley, California: here.

Vietnamese mourn rare turtle’s death


This video from Vietnam is called Turtle of Hoàn Kiếm lakeHanoi. Seen the 30th December 2010.

From the BBC in Britain today:

Cu Rua: Vietnam mourns revered Hanoi turtle

By Nga Pham BBC News, Bangkok

Vietnam is mourning an ancient turtle revered as a symbol of auspiciousness, whose death has shocked the country.

Thought to be one of only four living Yangtze giant softshell turtles, it was found floating in the Hanoi lake where it lived. Cause of death is unclear. …

The reptile – known as Cu Rua (great-grandfather) – will now be embalmed.

“Cu” is the Vietnamese word used to refer to old and revered people, giving some indication of the special place he occupied in the hearts of Hanoi’s inhabitants.

And not only Hanoians – people from all over the country also used to come to Hoan Kiem lake in Vietnam’s capital to try to catch a glimpse of him. Some even waited for days.

Social media in Vietnam has been flooded with posts lamenting his death, which came on a gloomy windy and wintry Tuesday afternoon.

Facebook user Nguyen Viet Nam said: “The turtle was a sacred animal for us Hanoians. Such sadness, such regret.” …

Douglas Hendrie, a Hanoi-based wildlife expert, says Cu Rua was one of only four known living specimens of his kind in the world.

“But more than that, the turtle also had a significant historical, cultural and spiritual value for the Vietnamese,” he adds.

Legend has it that the turtle – believed to be more than 100 and the oldest in Vietnam – was the incarnation of a mythical creature living in the lake in the 15th century.

Local legend has it that Le Loi, a real figure from Vietnamese history who would become emperor of Vietnam, borrowed a magical sword from the Dragon King to fight against Vietnam’s then Chinese oppressors.

After claiming independence for the Viets, he came to the lake and returned the sword to its divine owner via its disciple – a giant turtle which surfaced to take it from his hands before disappearing beneath the jade waters.

The lake duly became known as Hoan Kiem, or the Lake of the Returned Sword.

Scientists are not yet sure what killed Cu Rua – pollution, climate change or simple old age – but his body is being examined by experts. The authorities have already announced that it will be preserved.

New Vietnamese ferret-badger discovery


Cuc Phuong National Park

November 2011: Wildlife Extra reports the discovery of a new ferret-badger species in Cuc Phuong National Park in northern Vietnam.

It is called Melogale cucphuongensis.

A paper on the discovery was published in the journal Der Zoologische Garten.

Rare rabbit discovery in Vietnam


This 3 June 2015 video says about itself:

Rare Rabbit | University of East Anglia (UEA)

The University of East Anglia in England writes about this:

UEA researcher finds rare Vietnamese rabbit

A rare and elusive rabbit has been found, held and photographed by a researcher from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The Annamite Striped rabbit, found in the forests of Laos and Vietnam, was first documented by rabbit expert Dr Diana Bell and colleagues from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences in the journal Nature in 1999. It has rarely been seen since.

Researcher Sarah Woodfin, who is studying for a Masters in Applied Ecology and Conservation at UEA, set out on a three-month expedition to track the recently-discovered rabbit and study its habitat.

But she didn’t expect to see one in the flesh, let alone become the first researcher to hold one in her arms.

Under the tutelage of Dr Bell and in collaboration with a team from WWF Vietnam, she embarked on her trip to study the rabbit – which is named after its home in the Annamite mountains.

She said; “I didn’t expect that I would ever see one up close. I thought that if I was very lucky, I might see one from a distance in the forest. I certainly never expected that I would have the opportunity to hold one of these magnificent animals. I was utterly delighted.

“My team and I encountered the rabbit completely by chance on the first night of my trip.

“It was found hopping along a stream bank eating vegetation. One of my team members managed to catch it and brought it back to camp, where we were all able to have a good look at it.

“My first feeling was shock. I recognized it as a striped rabbit as soon as I saw it, as they are very distinctive, but I couldn’t believe that they had caught one.

“The rabbit was very handsome, with dark stripes against a pale gold background and a red rump. We were able to take some measurements and photographs before we released it back into the forest.

“I was completely awed by the encounter.

“I had never expected to get so close to the species but it was necessary to take its measurements. The rabbit was bigger than I had anticipated, but light and delicate.

“I have kept pet rabbits since I was five years old so I knew how to handle it safely. It was a lifetime experience.”

Images of the rabbit had previously been caught by motion sensitive ‘camera traps’. Sarah travelled to the WWF conservation area to survey and analyse the rabbit’s habitat and vegetation. She plans to use this information to model the potential distribution of the rabbit which will help further conservation efforts.

She added: “Nothing is known about the Annamite Striped rabbit and it is absolutely fascinating to think that anything I discover about it could be new.

“It is genetically very distinct from other rabbit species. Sadly there is a possibility that this species could be at risk of extinction due to deforestation and hunting. It is therefore extremely important that we understand as much as possible about this species so that we can evaluate its conservation status and implement appropriate conservation measures.”

The research project is funded by ZGap (the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations) and the Thrigby Hall Conservation Fund.