Colourful millipede discovery in Virginia, USA


These are Apheloria polychroma colourmorphs. Credit: Virginia Tech

From Virginia Tech in the USA:

Entomologist discovers millipede that comes in more color combinations than any other

January 26, 2018

The new millipede that Paul Marek discovered is as pretty as it is dangerous.

The thumb-sized millipede that crawls around the forest floor of Southwest Virginia’s Cumberland Mountains has more color combinations than any other millipede discovered.

Apheloria polychroma, as the millipede is known, also has an enviable trait in the animal world — it’s covered in cyanide, ensuring any bird that snacks on the colorful but lethal invertebrate won’t do it a second time. Lots of other millipedes that don’t have as much toxic defense mimic Apheloria polychroma’s coloring in hopes of avoiding becoming another link in the food chain.

This is the 10th species that Marek, an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences‘ Department of Entomology, has discovered and named in recent years. Apheloria polychroma was named for its rainbow of colors and was described by Marek; Jackson Means, a graduate student from Keswick, Virginia; and Derek Hennen, a graduate student from Little Hocking, Ohio. Marek runs the only millipede lab in the United States.

The team’s findings were recently published in the journal Zootaxa.

While Marek’s work is focused on small things, his research helps tell the larger story of the quickly changing natural world. By documenting the many living organisms of the planet, he is helping avoid anonymous extinction — a process in which a species goes extinct before its existence, role in the ecosystem, or potential benefit to humanity is known.

“It is imperative to describe and catalog these species so that we know what role they play in the ecosystem — and what impact we are having on them,” said Marek. “This region is ripe with biodiversity and is an excellent living laboratory to do this work.”

The millipedes that copy Apheloria polychroma use what is called Mullerian mimicry, where different species converge on a shared aposematic (warning signal) to defend themselves against a common predator. The more frequently predators encounter what appears to be the same brightly colored unpalatable millipede and memorize its warning colors, the better the collective advertisement of their noxiousness.

In addition to the millipede‘s colorful exoskeleton, it also serves an important role in the ecosystem as a decomposer by breaking down decaying leaves, wood, and other vegetation to unlock and recycle their nutrients for future generations of forest life.

In recent years, Marek also has had a tarantula named for him, explored the origins of bioluminescence, and discovered the leggiest creature on Earth.

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Charlottesville, USA police and violent racists


This video from the USA says about itself:

Charlottesville Terror: Police and Racists Too Cozy?

17 October 2017

Is there a political alliance between Charlottesville police and local white supremacists? TYT Politics Contributor Ryan Grim talks to Intercept colleague Alex Emmons who recently returned from Charlottesville, VA. Read more here.

Neonazis demonstrate again in Charlottesville, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Alt-Right Leader’s Speech Ends With Nazi Salutes

21 November 2016

At a recent alt-right conference it became clear that white nationalism was on the rise. Ben Mankiewicz, Grace Baldridge, and Francis Maxwell, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“WASHINGTON — By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless.

In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future … Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment.

But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun”, a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”

Read more here.

By Doha Madani in the USA today:

Richard Spencer And Fellow White Nationalists Return To Charlottesville

The rally in the town’s Emancipation Park was reportedly to support Confederate statues.

Less than two months after violence broke out at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists returned to Emancipation Park on Saturday evening to demonstrate in support of Confederate statues.

The rally in early August was purportedly organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate soldier Robert E. Lee from downtown Charlottesville. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency after the white supremacists clashed violently with counterprotesters, injuring at least 35 people and killing 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer.

On Saturday, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer led a group holding torches to the park and livestreamed the rally from his Twitter account. The images were reminiscent of the group’s previous rally in the city, when they held tiki torches and chanted “Blood and soil” as they marched. …

The governor responded to the rally Saturday evening on Twitter.

“We are monitoring this situation as we continue to oppose these racists and their message of hate”, McAuliffe wrote.

Mayor Mike Signer of Charlottesville reacted on Twitter as well:

Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards. You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.

The Doha Madani article continues:

The group sang the Confederate Civil War song “I Wish I Was In Dixie Land,” and chanted phrases like “the South will rise again” …

Spencer delivered a speech filled with his familiar rhetoric, and he claimed that the U.S. was founded by what he calls “white culture.”

“We define this country, not anyone else,” Spencer told his supporters.

The event brought out about three dozen white nationalists, reported NBC 29′s Matt Talhelm, who also said there was police presence at the rally.

The group disbanded after Spencer’s speech. “We will be back,” they chanted.

DeAndre Harris, an African American man who was savagely beaten by white nationalists during the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in September was charged by a local magistrate judge Monday with a felony of unlawfully wounding one of his assailants. Charlottesville police had just recently arrested a third man in connection with Harris’ beating: here.

Heather Heyer Street in Charlottesville, USA


This video from Virginia in the USA says about itself:

16 August 2017

Thousands of people carrying candles filled the streets of downtown Charlottesville for a vigil for Heather Heyer, the woman killed at a white supremacist rally.

Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi reports from Charlottesville.

From RT.com:

Charlottesville to rename street for woman killed during August protest

5 Oct, 2017 07:17

The city council of Charlottesville, Virginia has voted to rename a street after Heather Heyer who was killed while protesting a white supremacist rally on August 12.

On the 4th street in Charlottesville, where Heyer, 32, died there will be a sign with her name, as requested by her mother, Susan Bro.

“Even the thought of going there now is very challenging. I didn’t even go to the site until a week after she passed away, and that was very, very difficult,” Bro told CNN affiliate WVIR. “For me, that spot is the site of my daughter’s murder.”

Heyer was among the protesters who came to confront a white supremacist rally, which gathered to demonstrate against the planned relocation of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s statue. A driver then plowed into the crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heyer and injuring over a dozen others.

The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was charged with second-degree murder. He reportedly supported white supremacists.

Heyer’s killing and the violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters triggered a wave of Confederate monument removals across the US, which are seen by many as symbols of racism and support for slavery.

Ku Klux Klan mocked by United States artists


This video, by the satiric Indecline artists from the USA says about itself:

Ku Klux Klowns

7 September 2017

If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

Activists hang KKK ‘clown’ effigies from tree in a Virginia park

By Justin Wm. Moyer

September 7 at 4:31 PM

The art collective that unveiled naked statues of Donald Trump in major U.S. cities last year left Ku Klux Klan effigies hanging in a park in Richmond early Wednesday.

The faux Klansmen, left by the INDECLINE collective in Joseph Bryan Park overnight, were hanging from a tree dressed in multicolored wigs and clown shoes. A sign on one of the effigies read: “If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.”

A spokeswoman for Richmond police said authorities were investigating the display, which was removed. The park was closed and cordoned off with crime scene tape, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

A video published online Wednesday by INDECLINE includes footage of the clowns being assembled and mounted at dusk by people wearing masks. The video includes dialogue from a decades-old episode of the “Superman” radio show that ridiculed the KKK, interspersed with a Klan anthem featuring the lyrics: “Stand up and be counted/show that world that you’re a man … join the Ku Klux Klan.”

A statement from the group said Richmond was chosen for the display, called “Ku Klux Klowns,” because it was the capital of the Confederacy. The project is a response to the “White Nationalist uprising in the United States”, the statement said, and the park was chosen because it was the location of a slave rebellion in 1800.

INDECLINE was founded in 2001, according to its website. The group was thrust into the spotlight after it left Trump statues in New York, San Francisco and other cities before the 2016 presidential election. It has also covered stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with names of African Americans killed by police.

West Virginia policeman supports Ku Klux Klan: here.

Trump whitewashes nazis, British Theresa May still welcomes him


This 16 August 2017 video from Virginia, USA is about demonstrators during a peaceful march and candlelight vigil in Charlottesville, in memory of the murder of Heather Heyer by a nazi.

By Anthony J Onwuegbuzie and Richard Maunders in Britain:

Theresa May‘s crime of silence

Tuesday 29th August 2017

It would befit the PM to rescind Trump’s state visit in light of his tolerance for the neonazis of Charlottesville, write Anthony J Onwuegbuzie and Richard Maunders

ON Saturday August 12 white supremacists — some armed in paramilitary fashion, carrying shields, protective clothing, rods and automatic weapons taking advantage of Virginia’s lax firearm laws — gathered together in Charlottesville.

They and various other groups of neonazis and the Ku Klux Klan, known collectively as the alt-right, replete with their fascist regalia sought to parade their brands of obnoxious racist poison through the town’s streets.

They were met by fierce opposition from counter-protesters, which, by the end of the day, resulted in the cruel death of Heather Heyer by a deranged racist using the Isis-style tactic of driving a vehicle into the crowd of anti-racist marchers.

The KKK is no stranger to violence, murder, lynchings and burnings. Its vile history is a testament to the bigotry and hate of white supremacy.

The KKK’s first incarnation came out of the 1860s, followed by another reinvention around 1915 and, thirdly by the current brand, whose membership numbers range between 3,000 and 6,000.

Its ideology, which is based on the supremacy of the white man, includes nationalism, antisemitism, nativism, Christian terrorism, anti-Catholicism and neofascism.

This organisation would be banned in Britain (one hopes) for its dissemination of hate propaganda and the promotion of racial violence and terrorism.

Indeed, the United Nations defines terrorism as: “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes [which] are in any circumstances unjustifiable, whatever the consideration of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.”

There is more than one justification among those definitions to brand and to outlaw the KKK.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre and Anti-Defamation League have declared the KKK a “hate group”.

That they certainly are but surely, like Isis, they fall under the definition of a “terrorist organisation”?

President Donald Trump views them rather differently though; in his view there are some “fine people” among the KKK and other pro-confederate marchers, as he remarked three days after the Charlottesville atrocities. Disturbingly, Trump — who makes a statement one day and a contradictory statement the very next day, or even sometimes on the same day — is described by monopoly-owned Western media as the leader of the so-called “free world” and a friend of British Prime Minister Theresa May.

After the violent incidents in Charlottesville it took May four days to respond with the banal observation that “there is no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them” — the same platitudinous rhetoric that some other world figures had already made.

May, although stating that she thought it “important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them,” made no condemnation of Trump’s bombastic tirade during a press conference that was held at the infamous Trump Tower on Tuesday August 15.

The same Theresa May who could not wait to go to the White House and invite this parody of a president on a British state visit — anxious no doubt to show that she too is a leader of the “free world.”

Racism has no place in any civilised society or political class. Yet the legacy of racism runs deep throughout capitalist society, spawning as it did from an imperialist past of subjugation, slavery and exploitation.

Although May’s response to Trump’s inadequate handling of racism has been tame, she still has the opportunity to make a difference as British Prime Minister.

In particular, just as Shirley Lynn Phelps-Roper (a US lawyer and political activist [of the homophobic anti-Semitic fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church]) has been banned from Britain for “fostering extremism or hatred”; Stephen Donald “Don” Black (a US white supremacist) and Michael Savage (a US radio host, author, activist and conservative political commentator) have been banned for “fostering hatred that might lead to intercommunity violence”; and Abdul Alim Musa (a Muslim US activist) has been banned for “fomenting and glorifying terrorist violence in furtherance of his particular beliefs and seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts,” it would befit May to rescind Trump’s invitation. His rhetoric is not conducive towards racial harmony and it would be a fitting way to honour the murdered Heather Heyer. Failure to challenge Trump’s dangerous tolerance for racism would be tantamount to May committing a crime of silence.

African Americans Fighting Fascism and Racism, From World War II to Charlottesville: here.

The ‘Alt-Right‘: We Need Courage and Truth, Not False Equivalencies. We are living in an extraordinary moment in history, and this is no time to blame “both sides” for the chaos that has engulfed our country, by Eladio Bobadilla.

Theresa May fails to challenge Trump over Britain First in first call since incident, read out suggests: here.

WASHINGTON ― In 2005, the foundation run by Judge Roy Moore, now the Republican nominee for a Senate seat in Alabama, accepted a $1,000 donation from a group founded by Willis Carto, a white supremacist, Nazi supporter and World War II vet who famously said he regretted fighting for the U.S instead of Germany: here.

Nazi car murder, gunfire violence in Charlotteville, USA


This 16 August 2017 video from the USA is called Massive Candlelight Vigil Held For Heather Heyer In Charlottesville, Virginia.

By Carla Herreria in the USA:

08/26/2017 11:38 pm ET

Video Shows Man Shooting At Crowd During Charlottesville Rally, With No Police Response

The ACLU documented the incident two weeks ago, and the man has now been arrested in connection with it.

A man attending the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month fired his gun in the direction of a black counterprotester who was holding a torch, and police in their vicinity did not seem to respond.

As seen in the footage below, a man in a blue sleeveless shirt, a green vest and a bandana on his head pulls out a gun and aims it at a counterprotester, who is off camera and appears to be holding a makeshift lit torch. The first man appears to yell a racial slur at the black man, then fires the gun toward the ground in the direction of the counterprotesters.

The shooter then leaves the scene by joining a line of white supremacist protesters and walking past law enforcement officers, who were standing behind metal barricades about 10 feet away.

Police arrested Richard Wilson Preston, 52, in connection with the incident in the video above, the Daily Progress reported on Saturday. Wilson was charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school during the so-called “Unite The Right” rally on Aug. 12. He is in custody in Towson, Maryland.

Rosia Parker, a Charlottesville activist who was there when the man fired his gun, told the New York Times that police did nothing when the shooting occurred.

“We all heard it and ran ― I know damn well they heard it,” Parker told the Times, referencing the police who were standing behind the barricades. “They never moved.” …

In the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, the ACLU of Virginia has called on Charlottesville police to release body camera footage from the rally showing any civil rights violations similar to the one in the video.

According to the ACLU’s official statement, the video of the shooting is “consistent with our regular calls” for law enforcement agencies to release footage from the protests “that depicts any incident of public concern.”

The video was discovered while ACLU staffers were reviewing footage that staff and volunteers documented at the Charlottesville rally. The group turned in the video to the FBI on Aug. 17 and sent copies to the Virginia State Police and Charlottesville Police Department on Aug. 20. A person familiar with the video told HuffPost the ACLU refrained from making the video public until an arrest was made.

The Charlottesville Police Department and the Charlottesville communications director did not return HuffPost’s request for comment.

Only eight people were arrested on the day that violence broke out between white supremacists, fringe groups and anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, according to the Times. Among those arrested was James Fields, a 20-year-old white supremacist who killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured dozens of others when he rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters.

Two other arrests were made in connection with another violent crime caught on video that took place during the rally. Police arrested Daniel Patrick Borden, 18, and Alex Michael Ramos, 33, in connection with the beating of Deandre Harris, a black 20-year-old who was protesting the white supremacy rally.

A mob of white supremacists beat Harris with metal poles in a parking lot near police headquarters during the rally, leaving Harris bloodied, with a broken wrist, deep gashes to the head and a chipped tooth. The assault on Harris was filmed and shared widely on social media.

By Alessandra Freitas in the USA:

08/25/2017 06:06 pm ET Updated 17 hours ago

This Holocaust Survivor Noticed A Detail In Charlottesville You Might Have Missed

“You see something like this, you know, it brings back memories and I’m concerned about what could happen in this country.”

Shock and anger were common feelings for most Americans who followed the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

To Jack Rosenthal, the hate-filled imagery was something he never thought he’d see again, at least not in the United States.

Rosenthal is one of 10,000 Romanian refugees who came to America after World War II. At 88 years old, he still mourns the loss of seven family members who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was the only one to survive.

He was born and raised in a farming village in northern Romania. “Altogether in my village, there were 26 Jewish families,” Rosenthal told HuffPost. Most of them didn’t survive either.

He was 16 when he was taken to the German Nazi concentration camp in occupied Poland. Later, he was transferred to Buchenwald, another camp near Weimar, Germany, where he was forced to work for the Nazis ― the only reason he was kept alive until U.S. military forces began to evacuate the camp’s 28,000 prisoners in 1945. He came to the U.S. hoping to find a new beginning.

“After I was liberated, I thought to myself the world has learned what terrible traces hate can bring to humanity,” he said. “And now this gives me a depressing feeling because it’s happening again, and it’s happening now.”

The successful real estate agent watched the protests from his home in Roslyn, New York, where he lives during the warmer months of the year. In the winter, Rosenthal flies to Florida.

Decades later, he remembers how hard it was to get settled in the U.S. while dealing with the trauma from the war. “When I came here, I used to get really bad nightmares and I would get up in middle of the night not being able to go back to sleep,” he said.

Those days of lingering fear and uncertainty felt much closer after watching neo-Nazis rage during the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, he said. But after all the anti-Semitic speeches and the deadly car attack, it was one particular detail that caught Rosenthal’s attention.

He noticed it while reading about a Aug. 14 court hearing for James Alex Fields Jr., the man accused of plowing his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at the white nationalist rally, leaving a 32-year-old woman dead and injuring at least 19 other people. The article included a photo of Matthew Heimbach, who had helped promote the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, voicing his displeasure outside the courtroom after a judge denied bail for Fields.

The white supremacist’s T-shirt was the first thing Rosenthal saw. On the shirt was a picture of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, a pre-WWII leader of the Romanian fascist Legion of Saint Michael the Archangel and the Iron Guard political party, which were both linked to the [German] Nazi party.

White nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach yells at the media outside the Charlottesville General Courthouse on Aug. 14, photo by Justin Ide/Reuters

Codreanu was the face behind pogroms in Romania. The large-scale violent riots killed tens of thousands of Romanian Jews during the 1930s leading up to the Holocaust.

“I recognized the name right away,” Rosenthal said. “You see something like this, you know, it brings back memories and I’m concerned about what could happen in this country,” he said.

The groups behind the Unite the Right rally are not the only ones of their kind. According to a February report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least 917 hate groups exist throughout the country.

Many Americans were concerned when President Donald Trump failed to immediately condemn white supremacy in responding to the Charlottesville violence. Instead, Trump blamed both sides of the protests ― a point he repeated on Tuesday.

“You cannot compare fascism and Nazis to the other people protesting. Maybe there are people on both sides who are misguided, but there is simply no comparison,” Rosenthal said.

And he reminded us that the consequences of going through horrific violence never really end. “It’s 70 years after the war and it still has a tremendous impact on me,” he said. “It’s something I’ll never forget and that’ll always be with me as long as I live.”