Berlin Made Dubious Tank Deal with Cairo – SPIEGEL ONLINE

On the night of Oct. 9, 2011, scenes of wanton brutality played out on the streets of Cairo. Shaky videos captured by mobile phones show images of peaceful demonstrators, including students and Coptic Christians, marching toward the Maspero building, which houses the Egyptian Radio and Television Union.


But then tanks rolled in and the masses panicked as the armored vehicles headed directly toward the crowds. Rather than slowing down, they accelerated and charged straight ahead. In the end, a dozen pro-democracy advocates lay dead, crushed by the tanks’ steel armoring or run over by their solid-rubber tires.

via Berlin Made Dubious Tank Deal with Cairo – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Plankton Bloom, Black Sea : Image of the Day – Polluting the Black Sea

The Black Sea, a large inland water body that connects eastern Europe and Asia Minor, frequently hosts widespread blooms of phytoplankton during the spring and summer seasons. This astronaut photograph, taken from the International Space Station, highlights a recent bloom in the Black Sea’s eastern half.

The phytoplankton are visible as blue to turquoise streams and swirls, carried by currents along the coastline and further out towards the middle of the sea. The urban areas of Anapa and Novorossiysk—the largest Russian seaport on the Black Sea—are visible along the northern shoreline as grey-white regions nestled between the sea and uplands dotted with limestone quarries. (Note that north is to the upper left in this image.)

Phytoplankton occupy the base of most aquatic food chains and therefore serve as the primary producers in these ecosystems, despite being microscopic in size. The term “phytoplankton” includes a number of organisms—cyanobacteria, diatoms, dinoflagellates, algae, and coccolithophores—that feed larger creatures such as fish and shrimp.

The Black Sea receives contributions of freshwater from several river systems, including the Danube, Dnieper, Dniester, and Don, but it is also connected to the saline Mediterranean and Marmara Seas. These same river systems transport nutrient-filled urban and agricultural runoff to the Black Sea; the nutrients are consumed by phytoplankton and lead to blooms.

via Plankton Bloom, Black Sea : Image of the Day.

(Politically motivated) Culls risk illegally exterminating badgers, animal expert warns | Environment | The Guardian

England’s highly controversial badger culls risk illegally wiping out every badger in the cull zones because the animals’ numbers are so poorly known, according to one of the UK’s leading badger experts.

The culls, intended to curb tuberculosis in cattle, are authorised to begin on 1 June but could prove unworkable because of the uncertainty over badger numbers, said Prof Rosie Woodroffe, at the Zoological Society of London.

The government is determined to have an impact on the disease which in 2012 meant that more than 37,000 cattle had to be slaughtered at a cost to the taxpayer of £100m. But the costs of carrying out and policing the culls will mount as animal rights campaigners mobilise to disrupt the night-time shoots and last-minute legal challenges loom.

The two pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset were postponed in October after farmers’ low estimates of badger numbers were rejected in favour of higher government numbers. Now the population estimates have been reduced again, after further government study.

Sources have told the Guardian that David Cameron has made clear to the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, that another U-turn on the culls is unacceptable and that Paterson’s job is at stake. An insider said that key officials in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are “pale with worry”.

via Culls risk illegally exterminating badgers, animal expert warns | Environment | The Guardian.


More about securing cattle producers votes than protecting their herds

(Racist and Far-Right) Protests over murdered British soldier, pressure on Cameron | News , International | THE DAILY STAR

Neo-Nazi Brits

In a tense but largely peaceful demonstration, supporters of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) rallied in London outside Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence waving placards and shouting anti-Islamic obscenities.

“Islamic extremism is probably the number one threat to Britain,” said one protester, Ben Gates. Other demonstrators chanted “Muslim bombers off our streets”.

Another protester, Samuel Hames, said, of Rigby: “He survived his tour of foreign lands and comes home to his family and what happened to him is disgusting.”

Nearly 2,000 people marched at a similar demonstration in the northern city of Newcastle on Saturday. Two men were arrested overnight for throwing firebombs at an Islamic cultural centre in Grimsby, in the northeast of England. Similar attacks were recorded last week.

As anti-racist groups warned there could be more reprisals, Cameron came under intense pressure on Monday for going on holiday, with pictures of him relaxing in Ibiza prompting newspapers to question his leadership at a time of unease.

“Is Ibiza chillaxed [relaxed] enough for you, Prime Minister?” asked the right-wing Daily Mail newspaper.

Faith Matters, a charity working to defuse religious tensions, said it had registered a spike in reports of Islamophobic attacks in calls to its hotline, describing incidents as “very focused, very aggressive attacks”.

Two war memorials in London were vandalised with red graffiti overnight, including the word ‘Islam’ spray-painted onto one monument.

via Protests over murdered British soldier, pressure on Cameron | News , International | THE DAILY STAR.

Racism, is racism. is racism…

Egyptian Aak: Week 21

As per usual, she is right on the mark on many things. I do wish that the government stops making excuses and finds people who can make things work!


ethipia(President Morsi in Ethiopia was welcomed by the Mining Minister. Photo via Almogaz)

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Warning! Expert: Transgenics could head off ‘the end of orange juice’

(First green revolution made Indian and South Asian farmers dependent on massive amounts of fertilizer and pesticides – same farmers ow recovering with updated traditional way of farming and using greenhouses. Transgenics become monoculture crops subject to new diseases that can wipe out whole crops. these are still folks who think/believe they are smarter than nature.)

Expert: Transgenics could head off ‘the end of orange juice’

Key players will converge on Texas A&M University June 4-6 to chart the course for the release of improved fruits and vegetables designed to head off deadly plant diseases and lead the world to a second Green Revolution, according to Dr. Bill McCutchen, executive associate director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

The North American Agricultural Biotechnology Council’s 25th annual conference, “Biotechnology and North American Specialty Crops: Linking Research, Regulation and Stakeholders,” will be held at the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M, College Station.

Stakeholders, including scientific researchers, government officials and industry leaders, will gather to discuss the role of biotechnology and regulatory policy in improving agriculture to continue feeding a growing world population, according to McCutchen.

via Expert: Transgenics could head off ‘the end of orange juice’.