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24 February 2017

Shocking Footage Reveals Reality Of Cruel Trade In Russian Beluga Whales

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Shocking footage reveals reality of cruel trade in Russian beluga whales. (c)International Fund for Animal Welfare

The cruel trade in Russian beluga whales (the white whale), captured in the wild for sale to aquaria and travelling shows, has been condemned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as shocking new footage reveals the true depth of the animals' suffering for human entertainment.
The hard-hitting documentary, Born to be Free, follows 18 beluga whales captured from the wild in Russia in 2013 for display at the Georgia Aquarium in the US, who are stuck in tiny holding tanks for years while their ultimate fate is decided. Public outrage led to an import ban, which started long judicial proceedings and left the belugas in limbo. At least one of the whales featured died and the surviving whales were finally sold and transported to aquariums in China.
The film, showcasing the first investigation of its kind in Russia, shines a light on the secret and often murky international trade in marine mammals. Examining all aspects of the supply chain, it gives a revealing and distressing insight into the reality of a life in captivity for the animal victims.
Masha Vorontsova, IFAW Russia Director, said: "Beluga whales are highly intelligent animals with a very complex and social family structure. IFAW believes that belugas and all whale species are not suited to a life in captivity and belong in the wild.

Sadly little thought is given to welfare in this trade driven by profit. A captured beluga, once it has been trained to eat dead fish instead of hunting live prey in the wild, can fetch up to US $1million. When I heard that three daring young Russian women wanted to document this issue I was very pleased that IFAW could help them tell the story and bring it to public attention. Anyone who doubts the suffering of these animals need only watch this film.

IFAW urges the Russian government to ban all future wild capture of belugas and other cetaceans. We also ask members of the public not to support shows involving belugas or whales, which fuel this lucrative and unacceptably cruel trade."
IFAW has worked for more than 20 years to protect Russia's beluga whales from commercial exploitation for the whale meat trade, aquaria and harmful tourism activities. Since 1995, IFAW and researchers from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology have operated a non-invasive research station monitoring belugas off the coast of the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea and assessing threats to the species. In 1999, IFAW successfully campaigned for a ban on the commercial hunting of Russian belugas to supply whale meat to Japan.
The film, directed by Gayane Petrosyan, will premier in Russia on February 24 at the ECOCUP Green Documentary Film Festival. It is being distributed by Reflexion Films and Dogwoof International and will be available on Netflix starting March 21

Born to Be Free Movie Trailer:



About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare):
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats.

Mr. President & The First Lady Are Egg-Specting Two Eaglets!

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World-Famous Bald Eagle parents, Mr. President & The First Lady, have welcomed their second egg of 2017 into their Washington DC nest.

On February 19, The First Lady laid her first egg of 2017 LIVE on the DC Eagle Cam (dceaglecam.org). The world has been watching and waiting to see if she and her faithful eagle companion, Mr. President, would have the chance to raise two eaglets again in 2017, and now that opportunity has arrived.
On February 23 at around 4:26 pm EST, almost 4 days after the first, the mother eagle laid her second egg! (But, don't worry if you've missed it... you can watch the video at the end of this post.)
From this point forward, both parents will take turns diligently and vigilantly incubating and protecting their future-eaglets. Be it rain, hail, snow, thunder, lightning, predators, or even hurricanes, eagle parents are very protective and will weather all types of situations to keep their eggs safe and warm.
The approximate 35-day incubation countdown to hatching has now begun, which means the American Eagle Foundation (AEF), its DC Eagle Cam Project partners, and viewers will be on "hatch-watch" the last week of March.
In 2015, these eagle parents raised one eaglet (deemed DC1) in their nest at the top of this Tulip Poplar Tree in the U.S. National Arboretum. In 2016, they raised two eaglets (which were deemed DC2 & DC3 before the public officially nicknamed them Freedom & Liberty).
"If all goes well, we will be inviting DC4 & DC5 into the world in about 5 weeks! The fact that we only have two years of previous nesting data on these birds, however, still begs to question whether it's possible that The First Lady could lay a third egg this week, especially since their nest is slightly larger this year," says AEF representative Julia Cecere. "All we can do now is watch and wait. We are more than ecstatic about these two eggs...but watching three eaglets raised in one nest would be such a thrill for viewers everywhere."

For all of the DC Eagle Cam fans who have fallen in love with watching this eagle pair, there is now a beautiful hardcover book documenting the pairs' first two nesting seasons in the National Arboretum. The book can be purchased on www.eagles.org or by visiting www.dceaglecam.org.
"Eagles have been the proud and majestic symbol of freedom for the USA for 235 years," says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere. "During our second season online, we hope this American Eagle family reality show will again captivate, inspire, and educate many millions of animal and nature lovers, as well as die-hard patriots and Bald Eagle fans. This is certainly a wonderful experience that all Americans can rally around, embrace and feel united about."


The Video:





23 February 2017

Thailand's Infamous Tiger Temple Plans To Reopen Under Another Name

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To make them pose for photos with tourists, tiger cubs are separated from their mothers and brutally trained. World Animal Protection wants to end this cruel practice and believes that wild animals belong in the wild. (CNW Group/World Animal Protection)

An investigation by international animal welfare charity World Animal Protection has exposed that Thailand's controversial Tiger Temple Co. Ltd. is planning to re-open under the new name Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd.
The charity is extremely concerned about these developments, given the appalling circumstances and conditions that led to the closure of Tiger Temple, and is calling for the Thai government to not issue a zoo license to Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd. to open another venue.
Tiger Temple Co. Ltd, once a well-known tourist attraction because of its large collection of tigers, was recorded to have at least 147 tigers in 2016. After years of allegations of illegal breeding and trafficking of the tigers and their parts, in May of last year more than 500 officers from Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) raided the venue uncovering dead cubs in freezers alongside tiger skins, amulets and tiger teeth trinkets.
The Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd. is currently constructing a new venue in Kanchanaburi (in the West of Thailand) and have already been issued a provisional license by the DNP for this new business venture. However, a full zoo licence will not be issued unless they meet 11 specified conditions within six months. These include enclosures deemed large enough for the tigers and vet care, but worryingly it fails to ban breeding or tourist interactions with tigers at the proposed new venue.
Also, legal cases and police investigations into the illegal wildlife trade allegations against Tiger Temple Co. Ltd. are still ongoing, and granting a zoo license would allow them to continue running a tiger business that potentially harbours cruelty.
In 2016, World Animal Protection handed over a petition to the DNP calling for a thorough investigation into all captive tiger facilities in Thailand, and to ban the breeding of tigers at commercial venues which serve no conservation benefit for tigers in the wild.

Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, senior wildlife advisor at World Animal Protection says:
"Tiger farms have nothing to do with conservation – they just bring extreme suffering to these wild animals whilst living in appalling conditions.

"These venues need to be stopped in their tracks because they clearly have links to the dark side of wildlife trafficking rings."

Last year World Animal Protection released a study on tigers used for entertainment in Thailand which documented a 33% increase in the number of tigers at tourism facilities over a five-year period.

The main welfare concerns witnessed by the investigators at these tourist venues include:
  • Tiger cubs cruelly separated from their mothers, two to three weeks after they are born
  • Young cubs used as photo props with tourists, constantly viewed and mishandled hundreds of times a day, which can lead to stress and injury
  • Tigers being punished to stop aggressive unwanted behavior. One staff member told our researchers that starvation is used to punish the tigers when they make a 'mistake'
  • Most tigers were housed in small concrete cages or barren enclosures with limited access to fresh water. 50% of the tigers we observed were in cages with less that 20sqm per animal, a far cry from the 16-32km they would roam in a single night in the wild
  • One in ten (12%) of the tigers we observed showed behavioral problems, such as repetitive pacing and biting their tails. These behaviors most commonly occur when animals feel they cannot cope with stressful environments or situations.

Dr. Schmidt-Burbach adds: 
"Tourists need to be aware that their once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close to a tiger causes a lifetime of suffering. A selfie with a tiger is cruel, so don't do it."

>> Find out more about our campaign. << 

More Info:
  • Since January 2017World Animal Protection has written two letter to the DNP to not issue a license to the Golden Tiger Co. Ltd and impose a breeding ban.
  • Read the charity's report about Thailand's tiger entertainment industry.
  • Visit World Animal Protection's campaign site for more information on wild animals used for tourist entertainment.



ASLA Statement On Bill To Abolish The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) strongly opposes the recently introduced H.R. 861, which would terminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Society today sent a letter to Representative Matt Gaetz (Florida), the author of the bill, urging him to withdraw consideration of the proposed legislation.
"EPA's role, protecting human health and the environment, intersects with ASLA's work in leading the design and stewardship of land and communities," said ASLA Vice President and CEO Nancy C. Somerville, Hon. ASLA. "More than ever, public health and safety depend on joining together to protect our nation from pollution and the effects of climate change. We urge Representative Gaetz to withdraw the bill from consideration."
Drinking water and wastewater systems are deteriorating and are costing municipalities and ratepayers billions of dollars in maintenance and repairs. Many communities are looking to employ less costly green infrastructure solutions to address stormwater runoff—the major contributor to water pollution and unsafe drinking water supplies. Landscape architects, working with communities nationwide, rely on the EPA's programs and tools, including grants, research and other technical assistance to implement green infrastructure projects that address stormwater management and other water quality issues.
These EPA resources have a proven track record in the design and implementation of green infrastructure projects. If enacted, H.R. 861 would halt these critical programs and leave state and local jurisdictions without vital programming, guidance and technical assistance.
ASLA respectfully urges Representative Gaetz to withdraw consideration of the bill and to work with congressional colleagues to improve the EPA's programs and resources for the benefit of current and future generations.
American Society of Landscape Architects logo. (PRNewsFoto/American Society of Landscape Architects) 

About ASLA

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. Members of the Society use "ASLA" after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning and design of our built and natural environments; the Society's mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship.


22 February 2017

South Thanet: Will Nigel Farage (Former #UKIP Leader) Be Investigated By The Police?

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Former UKIP Leader Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage - image via HOPE Not Hate
Wow! The email I've received earlier from Nick Lowles of HOPE Not Hate has definitely got my full attention... not only it contains claims of some alleged wrongdoings during the 2015 General Election in a place relatively close to where I live (around 2 hours and half by car) but, some people I'm not, to put it midly, a fan of are also being mentioned... Nigel Farage (of course) and (one of Breitbart's poster boys) Raheem Kassam.

For those of you who have never heard of Breitbart, here are three (kind of) related posts previouly published on here:
So, yes, sure, I'm more than happy to share it with you guys.

Enjoy... and stay safe!

Loup Dargent

PS: I would have liked to ask Raheem what he had to say about the whole affair but, unfortunately, the little snowflake blocked me on Twitter ages ago.

Blocking people make Twitter a safe place for Breitbart's Raheem Kassam.


Raheem Kassam and Nigel Farage during 2015 General Election in South Thanet
Raheem Kassam and Nigel Farage - image via HOPE Not Hate
The Email:
"Dear Loup,
HOPE not hate is writing to the Electoral Commission and Kent Police to demand that they investigate the flouting of electoral law by UKIP during Nigel Farage's unsuccessful campaign to become an MP in 2015 in South Thanet.
A two-month investigation by HOPE not hate's new investigations team has found UKIP failed to declare significant election expenditure, misallocated spending and ignored electoral convention by dividing costs evenly between general election and local council candidates. We have calculated that Nigel Farage's campaign failed to appropriately declare at least £26,302 in its electoral returns and possibly well over £35,000.
While candidates were allowed to spend £15,087.30 in the 'short' campaign, the period from 9 April 2015 until polling day on 7 May 2015, our investigation has found UKIP spent at least £26,000 - almost twice as much as they were allowed to spend.
Our investigation found campaign staff, billboards and mobile advans omitted from the South Thanet electoral returns. We found thousands of pounds of campaign expenditure in the party's long returns (where it is allowed to spend more) even though the labour and materials were used in the short campaign.
And we found Farage's team ignoring Electoral Commission guidelines by equally dividing his campaign expenditure amongst 65 district and parish candidates. This led to the ridiculous situation where his taxi fares were divided 65 ways!
Kent Police is already investigating claims that the Conservative Party candidate hid campaign expenditure during the South Thanet. Now, we are writing to Kent Police to demand that it widens the investigation to include Nigel Farage's campaign.
UKIP has clearly benefited by the breakdown in trust people have in politicians and the political system. Now we can reveal that it is UKIP that has flagrantly flouted the rules.
Thanks
Nick"

THIRTEEN To Stream "Take This Hammer," Historic Documentary About Author And Activist James Baldwin

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James Baldwin in  "Take This Hammer"
James Baldwin, "Take This Hammer"
WNET, home to tri-state-area PBS Stations THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV, is making the groundbreaking 1963 documentary, Take This Hammer, available via Facebook Live on Friday, February 24 at 8 pm.
This event marks the first time WNET will release an archival film via Facebook. 
"We are privileged to have a broad archive of noteworthy film content from throughout our 54-year history," says WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro, "And Facebook Live can serve as yet another way to broaden the channels we use to reach the public with high-quality, informative and free content."
In Take this Hammer, author and activist James Baldwin meets with members of the local African-American community in San Francisco in the spring of 1963. He is escorted by Youth For Service's Executive Director Orville Luster and is intent on discovering "the real situation of Negroes in the city, as opposed to the image San Francisco would like to present."
Excerpts from Take this Hammer appear in the Academy Award-Nominated film, I Am Not your Negro, a film by Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck that explores Baldwin's plans to write a biography of Malcom X, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Join the livestream of Take This Hammer on Friday, February 24 at 8 PM here < It will be available for viewing for one-week.
WNET logo
WNET is New York's flagship PBS station. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

About WNET
WNET is America's flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as NatureGreat PerformancesAmerican MastersPBS NewsHour WeekendCharlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET's groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the MathOh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTSReel 13NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, 



20 February 2017

SS-GB: Why The Renewed Obsession With Alternative Nazi Histories?

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BBC/Sid Gentle Films Ltd/Laurie Sparham
By Sam Edwards, Manchester Metropolitan University

Nazis have taken over London – on screens at least. The BBC’s absorbing new series SS-GB, based on Len Deighton’s popular 1978 novel, imagines a world in which the Nazis have invaded and defeated Britain by 1941.

Such an imaginative conceit is by no means unusual. Similar dystopian visions of Nazi victory in World War II have long been popular. Take, for instance, Richard Harris’ Fatherland (1992), Stephen Fry’s Making History (1996), Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America (2004) and CJ Sansom’s acclaimed Dominion (2012). There was even Iron Sky, the 2012 film which imagined that the defeated Nazis fled to the other side of the moon in 1945 only to plan a space fleet to return to conquer Earth some 60 years later.

As Gavriel Rosenfeld has eloquently argued, persistent rewriting of history is intimately connected to changing perceptions of the Third Reich’s real historical legacy as well as to subversive efforts to “normalise” the Nazi past in the West, and especially in the United States and Britain. Through imagining a life of defeat and occupation, Britons and Americans (who have authored, read or viewed the vast majority of these visions) are able to bathe in the still-lingering glow of victory while at the same time closing the distance between themselves and their wartime enemies.

This nightmare of a Nazi military victory – and of a Nazified world order – was in fact first explored in pre-war fiction, most notably Katharine Burdakin’s Swastika Night (1937). But it was not until the Cold War that the idea took hold, with a flurry of activity in the early 60s.


The year 1964 saw The Other Man air on ITV (with Michael Caine in the lead role) and 1965 the cinematic release of the powerful and provocative It Happened Here. Using deliberately grainy 16mm black and white film, this latter production offered a harrowing portrayal of what a Nazi occupation of Britain might have looked like.

In the United States, meanwhile, the most powerful vision of a Nazi victory was surely Philip K Dick’s 1963 story, The Man in the High Castle. Set in the 60s, Dick describes an America occupied in the West by Imperial Japan and in the East by the Nazis. The two victors of World War II are technically at peace, but tensions are mounting, particularly once the Japanese government learns that their Nazi “allies” may be developing new and terrifying weaponry in order to secure overall control of the North American continent.


Tellingly, these 60s stories are once again very popular. Dick’s frightening vision is the subject of a current Amazon Prime TV series, now in its second season. Similar imaginings have featured in the NBC series Timeless (2016), which features an episode given over to a rewriting of World War II, while the 2011 Welsh film Resistance (starring Michael Sheen) begins with the failure of D-Day and the subsequent German invasion and occupation of Britain.

The BBC’s adaptation of SS-GB is just the latest in this line. Clearly, alternative histories of a Nazified world again have commercial and cultural traction.

Nazi obsessions
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ideas and images offered by such a counterfactual Nazi world seem to have worked their way into contemporary political discourse.

Amid the ongoing cross-Channel rancour connected to Brexit, Boris Johnson, the current British foreign secretary, asked whether the French president François Hollande’s function within the EU was akin to a Nazi prison guard. And during a recent and now typical Twitter outburst, Donald Trump, the US president, responded to his antagonists (in the media and intelligence community) with a pointed question: “Are we living in Nazi Germany?


Seen in this context, the contemporary fascination with counterfactual history is the popular culture counterpart to Trumpian political “truth”. In Trump’s pronouncements and press conferences, truth is invented and reinvented on a daily basis. Media critics are Nazis; civil rights leaders once battered by the baton are “all talk”; the families of heroic veterans can quickly become villains; and famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass is even resurrected from the dead.


Welcome to a Nazified London. Sid Gentle Films Ltd // Screen Grab

On TV, meanwhile, history is remade and re-imagined via the most persistent Anglo-American “what if” nightmare – Nazi victory. The popularity of this kind of television history in the “post-truth” age of fake news surely makes perfect sense: they are two sides of the same coin. While very different in purpose and power, both are suggestive of a world in which the lines between fact and fiction are increasingly blurred. But the apparently symbiotic connection between the two should also give us pause for thought, particularly when the last age of counterfactual fascination – the 60s – is kept in mind.

Now, beware a spoiler. At the very end of his story, Dick confronts the reader with a revelation. The “reality” of an Axis victory is a myth, and the counterfactual histories of Allied victory authored – to Nazi irritation – by the mysterious “man in the high castle” are instead the “truth”. It is a skillful plot device, arresting and jolting. It also invites a troubling thought: if the “man in the high castle” writes the truth from deep within a myth, what does this mean for Dick’s own relationship with – and to – the 1960s? Does it suggest that Dick was similarly in a high castle and that his counterfactual vision of Nazis in New York contained a “truth” of sorts?

Dick’s contemporaries later endured the Age of Nixon, witnessed frequent racialised brutality targeting African-Americans in the south, and encountered – and perpetrated – the massacre of My Lai in the Vietnam War (which one American soldier later admitted was a “Nazi kind of thing”).

As we enter our own counterfactual age, in which truth is twisted and lies disseminated, the renewed obsession with “alternative histories” provides a powerful cautionary reminder of what can happen when nightmares are made real.
The Conversation

About Today's Contributor:
Sam Edwards, Senior Lecturer in History, Manchester Metropolitan University


This article was originally published on The Conversation. .

19 February 2017

NASA Cargo Headed to Space Station Includes Important Experiments, Equipment

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Image via www.nasa.gov
Major experiments that will look into a range of scientific disciplines from human health to atmospheric conditions on Earth are on their way to the International Space Station following liftoff at 9:39 a.m. EST aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. About 5,500 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the station on the CRS-10 mission.
SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This was the first commercial launch from Kennedy's historic pad.
Astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Shane Kimbrough of NASA will use the space station's robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station. Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 on NASA TV and the agency's website, with installation coverage set to begin at 8:30 a.m. 
Research materials flying inside the Dragon's pressurized area include a crystal growth experiment that will crystallize a monoclonal antibody that is undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of immunological diseases. Growing the crystal in space will allow it develop more than it could on Earth where gravity causes crystals to collapse on themselves. Preserving these antibodies in crystals allows researchers a glimpse into how the biological molecules are arranged, which can provide new information about how they work in the body. So far, Earth-grown crystalline suspensions of monoclonal antibodies have proven to be too low-quality to fully model.
Better defining how some bacteria become drug-resistant is the focus of another experiment that aims to develop medicines that counter the resistance. Stem cells like those used to treat strokes and other occurrences also will be studied using experiment supplies brought up on this flight.
The equipment aboard the Dragon includes a major instrument that will survey Earth's upper atmosphere in a continuation of one of NASA's longest-running Earth-observing programs. Called SAGE III for Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment, the instrument examines the levels of ozone, aerosols, nitrogen dioxide and water vapor in the stratosphere and troposphere high above Earth. It is the latest version of an experiment that began in 1979 and has created a multi-decade record of measurements. The 2,200-pound instrument will be connected to the outside of the station to make daily observations for several years.
The mission is the company's tenth cargo flight to the station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon's cargo will support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations during the station's Expeditions 50 and 51.
Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station in late March, returning nearly 5,000 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies.
For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) 


  • Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at: nasa.gov/station
  • Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter
  • Learn more about SpaceX's resupply mission at: nasa.gov/spacex

SOURCE: NASA


18 February 2017

CAIR Calls on Feds to Probe Call to Violence Against U.S. Muslims at N.C. Meeting of Hate Groups

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged call to violence against American Muslims during a meeting of hate groups in North Carolina.
According to media reports, a "consortium of tea partiers, patriot groups and other conservative activists" met Thursday at a restaurant in Kernersville, N.C., to hear a presentation on "a supposed Muslim plot to conquer the United States." 
The presentation on the "Islamization of America" included "frequent interruptions about supposed Muslim treachery paired with testimonials about preparedness for violent confrontation and even expressions of readiness to kill Muslims."
One meeting participant allegedly asked the presenter for recommendations about how to stop "Islamization," then added, "Because my only recommendation is to start killing the hell out them." That same person allegedly stated: "I'm ready to start taking people out." He replied, "Shed some blood, too," in response to the presenter's call to "shed some light" on the issue.
In response to the reported call to kill Muslims, a member of the hate group ACT for America allegedly stated: "I can understand that. But we're not there yet." ACT for America's anti-Muslim bigotry was highlighted recently in a Washington Post exposé.
"Calls to violence against members of any minority group warrant a criminal investigation by state law enforcement authorities and the FBI," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "We call on President Trump to repudiate the growing bigotry in our nation targeting Muslims, Hispanics, immigrants, refugees, and other minority groups."
He said CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in hate rhetoric and bias-motivated incidents targeting American Muslims and other minorities since the election of President Trump.
Last month, CAIR condemned a terror attack on a Canadian mosque by a suspect who had expressed anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments on social media. Six worshipers were killed in the attack and 17 others were wounded.
Hooper noted that, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, The number of anti-Muslim groups in the United States tripled between 2015 and 2016.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.


17 February 2017

Prime Minister Trudeau Concludes Successful Visit To Europe

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today concluded a successful visit to France and Germany from February 16 to 17, 2017. During the visit, the Prime Minister addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, and visited Berlin and Hamburg, Germany.
The Prime Minister's visit reinforced the close bonds between CanadaGermany, and the European Union (EU). It was also an opportunity to promote Canada's role as a leader on progressive trade and investment, and highlight how the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will create good, well-paying jobs, bolster our shared prosperity, and help grow the middle class.‎
During his historic address to the European Parliament, the Prime Minister spoke of the importance Canada places on its relationship with the EU and welcomed the European Parliament's vote to approve CETA and the Canada-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement.
In Berlin, the Prime Minister met with outgoing President Joachim Gauck and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In these meetings, key economic and foreign policy issues were discussed, including CETA. They also exchanged views on pressing international security concerns, including migration, the situation in Ukraine, and the fight against terrorism and Daesh.
While in Berlin, the Prime Minister paid his respects to the more than six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. During his visit, he laid a wreath in honour of all the victims. He and Chancellor Merkel were greeted by the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, at Breitscheidplatz, central square in Berlin. Both leaders laid a rose in memory of the innocent victims of the Christmas Market attack in December 2016.
In Hamburg, the Prime Minister met with Mayor Olaf Scholz as well as officials from several of Germany's federal states. Following the meetings, the Prime Minister attended Hamburg's annual St. Matthew's Day banquet as this year's invited guest of honour and delivered remarks. The German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also spoke at the banquet as an invited guest.
Quotes
"It was a great honour to be the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the full European Parliament following this week's positive vote on CETA. This landmark trade deal puts people first, and will strengthen the middle class on both sides of the Atlantic. Together, I know Canada and the EU will continue to champion progressive free trade deals that benefit everyone."
—Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

"Germany is a key partner, ally, and friend. We will continue working with Chancellor Merkel to strengthen this important relationship, while advancing our common goals and growing the middle class in both our countries. I look forward to returning to Germany this July for the G20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg."
—Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts
  • While in Europe, the Prime Minister was joined by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade; and Stéphane Dion, who has been proposed as Canada's next Ambassador to the European Union and Germany.
  • Canada and the EU are expected to implement CETA in spring 2017, which will allow businesses on both sides of the Atlantic to take full advantage of the Agreement's significant economic benefits.
  • With CETA, Canada and the EU have set the bar high for progressive trade agreements, which will benefit consumers and workers, and protect the environment.

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