Starling murmuration in Wales, video

This video from Wales says about itself:

23 March 2016

Peregrine falcons causing an amazing but very quick starling murmuration at Pentraeth, Anglesey.

Ever wonder how European starlings came to the U.S.? Blame Shakespeare: here.

Refugees forced to wear coloured wristbands in Britain

This video says about itself:

Hungary: Remembering Jews forced to live in ‘Yellow-Star’ houses

21 June 2014

Exactly 70 years to the day since Jews in Budapest were forced to move to houses bearing a large yellow Star of David, some of the buildings still standing have been opened up to the public.

After the yellow stars for Jews in nazi Germany and its allies and occupied countries … and the G4S red doors for refugees recently in England … now this.

From daily The Independent in Britain, 24 January 2016:

Asylum seekers being ‘forced to wear coloured wristbands‘ in Cardiff

There have been allegations that asylum seekers were told by members of staff they would be reported to the Home Office if they refused to wear the wristbands

Shehab Khan

Asylum seekers in Cardiff are reportedly being forced to wear brightly coloured wristbands at all times.

Those housed in the Welsh capital by Clearsprings Ready Homes, a private firm contracted by the Home Office, have been told they will not be fed unless they wear the wristbands, according to the Guardian.

The wristbands entitle the asylum seekers, who cannot work and also receive no money, to three meals a day.

There were also allegations that asylum seekers were told by members of staff they would be reported to the Home Office if they refused to wear the wristbands.

Eric Ngalle, 36, who spent a month in Cardiff told the Guardian: “On the road we had to walk down there is often heavy traffic. Sometimes drivers would see our wristbands, start honking their horns and shout out of the window, ‘Go back to your country.’ Some people made terrible remarks to us.

“If you take off the wristband you can’t reseal it back onto your wrist so if you want to eat you have to wear it all the time.”

The news comes days after asylum seekers in Middlesbrough said they had their doors painted the red by G4S, the private firm responsible for housing them, resulting in harassment and abuse from the public.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Refugees have to wear wristbands

Monday 25th January 2016

HOME OFFICE private contractors are forcing asylum-seekers to wear neon wristbands or risk being denied food, it was reported yesterday.

Migrants newly arrived in Cardiff and living in the premises of Clearsprings Ready Homes have complained about the brightly coloured identifiers which exposed them to xenophobic abuse.

Former resident Eric Ngalle, who was granted refugee status last November, described his time there as “one of the most horrible experiences in my life.”

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Ngalle said: “If we refused to wear the wristbands we were told we would be reported to the Home Office.

“I made a complaint about the wristbands to Clearsprings, but nothing was done.

“We had to walk from accommodation about 10 minutes away to Lynx House to get food and sometimes when we were walking down the street with our wristbands showing …”.

He added that people sometimes shouted at him after noticing the wristband: “Go back to your country.”

The report comes less than a week after a housing provider in Middlesbrough was forced to repaint the front doors of its asylum-seeking residents after being accused of marking them out with the colour red.

A spokesman for anti-racism campaign Hope Not Hate told the Star: “Coming off the back of the ‘red door’ debacle in Middlesbrough, the mind boggles at the insensitivity of these Home Office contractors.

“Refusing people access to food is just plain wrong and the means of identification used both clumsy and demeaning.

“Surely it’s not too hard to come up with a better solution than this?”

Jurassic dinosaur discovery in Wales

This video about Wales says about itself:

New dinosaur: Welsh dragon Dracoraptor hanigani discovered

20 January 2016

Scientists have discovered the fossilised skull and bones of a dinosaur on a Severn Estuary beach near the town of Penarth. Report by Sarah Duffy.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Ancient ‘dragon’ found in Wales, named Dracoraptor hanigani

The apparently youthful dinosaur was running around Wales about 200 million years ago

Andrew Griffin

Dragons really did roam around Wales. But about 200 million years ago.

Scientists have found the skull and bones of a huge beast near Penarth. The creature has been named Dracoraptor hanigani and is one of the world’s oldest Jurassic dinosaurs.

Dracoraptor is Latin for “dragon robber”, an apparent reference to the dragon on Wales’ flag.

Flag of Wales

The rest of the name comes from Nick and Rob Hanigan, the amateur fossil-hunters who found the bones while they were looking for ichthyosaur remains.

The dragon was related to the Tyrannosaurus rex. But it was a lot less terrifying, scientists say.

The bones aren’t yet fully formed, and so the specimen probably belongs to a youngster.

The dragon would have roamed before dinosaurs took over the world, when it was instead dominated by crocodiles and mammals.

Mammals just started their evolution during the early Jurassic, and were not dominant yet.

The climate of Wales would also have been very different and much warmer.

Dinosaur scientist Steven Vidovic, from the University of Portsmouth, one of the experts whose description of D. hanigani appears in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, said: “The Triassic-Jurassic extinction event is often credited for the later success of dinosaurs through the Jurassic and Cretaceous, but previously we knew very little about dinosaurs at the start of this diversification and rise to dominance.

“Now we have Dracoraptor, a relatively complete two metre-long juvenile theropod from the very earliest days of the Jurassic in Wales.”

Welsh opposition to World War I

This video says about itself:

8 August 2014

Anti-NATO protesters begin 192-mile march on NATO SUMMIT to WALES, UK.

“Peace activists have set out on a three-week ‘Long March on Newport’ to protest against September’s NATO Summit. Police say they have drafted in 9,000 officers to face the protesters in one of the UK’s biggest ever police operations. More than 20,000 activists from around the world are expected to take part in demonstrations during the summit, where a week-long peace camp and a counter summit are among some of the events planned in what has been billed as Wales’ largest protest in a generation.

Sixty world leaders from the 28-nation military bloc will meet at the Celtic Manor in Newport for the NATO summit on September 4 and 5. Previous NATO summits in Chicago and Strasbourg saw thousands protest war, austerity and global inequality.”

By Phil Broadhurst in Britain:

Timely tribute to Welsh heroes who resisted war

Monday 11th January 2016

Not in our Name: War Dissent in a Welsh Town
by Philip Adams
(Briton Ferry Books, £15)

PHILIP ADAMS’S book is not only an important addition to local history in the area of south Wales it covers, it’s also an appeal to people in towns and cities across Britain to dig deep into their own local history and bring alive the long-lost stories of opposition to the first world war.

It was inspired by two simple family heirlooms, autograph books filled with signatures, quotes, sketches and sayings, given to the author’s aunt at Christmas 1914 and to his father at Christmas 1918.

These small pieces of contemporary personal history, in a family which included two conscientious objectors, provided a hidden history of vibrant peace activism in a small town in Wales during and after the first world war.

Briton Ferry, one of several towns across south Wales to earn the label “Little Moscow,” had 33 conscientious objectors and many more anti-war campaigners, who came from both political and religious backgrounds.

This was a time when, particularly in south Wales, lines between politics and religion were blurring and preachers and politicians were standing next to each other declaring their shared belief in socialism.

By researching the names in the autograph books, Adams has produced a roll of honour recognising and remembering the work for peace and justice of both the famous and the forgotten.

The autographs belong not only to locals but also to many national leaders, speakers and campaigners who came to speak in Briton Ferry at the time.

But it is not the pages on the likes of Bertrand Russell, Fenner Brockway, Sylvia Pankhurst or any of the other well documented signatories which are the most interesting or most important.

Names like dockworker Ernest Gething, railway shunter William Meyrick Davies, tinplate worker Ivor Johns and student teacher Brynley Griffiths will mean nothing to most people outside their families.

But now, thanks to Adams, their actions in resisting war are finally documented in a way their courage merits.