UPDATED 26. October 2019 - 2,410 arrests and 535 injured (210 from rubber and plastic bullets)

Barcelona protests: Hundreds of thousands to join rally after Catalan separatist leaders jailed

Students wave a Catalan pro-independence flag as they protest during a demonstration in front of the police headquarters in Barcelona ( AFP via Getty Images )

Major roads blocked off across Catalonia and main streets in Barcelona closed to traffic in anticipation of marches

By Corazon Miller @c0ra_z0n - 18. October 2019

Thousands of pro-independence supporters from Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia are pouring into Barcelona for what will be the fifth day of protests. 

Local unions have also called for a general strike on Friday and thousands from around the region took part in the cross-country march arriving in the Catalan capital today.

Many can be seen waving pro-independence flags and carrying signs and banners as they march towards Barcelona.

The recent unrest in the capital of the Catalan region was sparked by the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to jail nine separatist leaders for their role in a failed 2017 independence referendum. 

UPDATE 19. October 2019: More than 7,000 people marched to protest against the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) for its animal testing, amid the recent publication of shocking footage taken from within its lab in Mienenbuttel. The demonstration took place in the Neugraben-Fischbek region of Hamburg on Saturday Footage (see video below) shows protesters chanting slogans while marching with banners and signs reading "Laboratory of pain and torture" and "Only freedom is species-appropriate." Demonstrators, who answered the call of the non-profit organisation 'Soko Tierschutz', were urging for experiments on animals to be put to an end and the facility to be shut down. The distressing footage that prompted the protests was reportedly obtained at the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) by an undercover activist working for the Soko Tierschutz and Cruelty Free International organisations. It shows monkeys strapped in metal harnesses and kept in cramped containers, while cats and dogs are left in degrading conditions after alleged toxicity testing.
Animal activists Soko Tierschutz, along with Cruelty Free International, carried out the undercover investigation to reveal the harrowing abuse allegedly taking place at the LPT Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Mienenbuttel, on the outskirts of Hamburg. Yesterday, the footage spread round the world, inciting anger at the horrific treatment of monkeys, dogs and cats. Shortly after, authorities in the Harburg region performed a spot check at the laboratory, where they confirmed some of the disturbing allegations. After disgusting footage of monkey strapped into harnesses and dogs bleeding in cages emerged, German authorities raided the laboratory – and it’s now facing closure.

Distressing footage: Animal cruelty activist films undercover at German testing laboratory

Horrific reality at German testing lab. Viewers discretion advised - graphic content!

By Euronews 

Animal rights groups are calling for the immediate closure of a laboratory in Germany after the publication of a harrowing undercover video.

The eight-minute footage, released by SOKO Tierschutz and Cruelty Free International, purports to show monkeys screaming as they're strapped into upright positions in metal neck braces and their arms restrained on rests.

Dogs are also seen standing in cages that appear to be covered in pools of blood, while others are strung up after their death.

Explosive investigation exposes brutal slaughter of thousands of healthy racehorses

Warning: Graphic. One of the biggest names in horse racing has responded with disgust at hidden camera footage of racehorse abuse.
If you need to watch the 0:48min VIDEO: WATCH AT SOURCE

By Shannon Molloy (*) - ABC - 18. October 2019

Racehorses sent to their death in Australia

Warning: Graphic content

Thousands of healthy thoroughbred racehorses are being shipped to their brutal deaths at abattoirs where many are mistreated before being inhumanely killed for meat for human consumption.

An explosive report on ABC program 7.30 last night blew the lid on the “industrial scale” destruction of an enormous number of animals from Australia’s $1 billion horse racing industry.

It’s a practice that regulation should prevent, and which NSW Racing insists doesn’t occur, but secretly captured vision tells a very different and horrific story.

People in Botswana Urged to Vote for Candidates That Understand the Importance of Animal Conservation

The present government of Botswana doesn't care about wildlife or Aboriginal peoples and sees wildlife only as resource to be exploited.

By Africa.com

With just over a week to go until Botswana’s general election, the NGO Political Animal Lobby (PAL) urges voters in Botswana to think wisely when casting their votes on 23nd October and consider the importance of animal conservation to their country’s economic growth.

Tourism accounts for a fifth of Botswana’s economy and rampant poaching could have devastating consequences for their economy and people. Rhinos and elephants are being slaughtered at an unprecedented rate in Botswana and PAL lays the blame squarely on the present Botswana government.

Researchers find persistence of antibiotic-resistant GMO genes in sewage sludge

Graduate student, Sandra Un Jan Contreras, and Assistant Professor Courtney Gardner in Gardner's lab.

By Tina Hilding - 18. October 2019

Antibiotic-resistant genes that have been inserted into genetically modified food are able to withstand conventional wastewater treatments.

The findings, contained in a research paper published recently in the journal, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, might point to a previously unknown way that bacteria may become resistant to life-saving antibiotics. The work is based on graduate work done at Duke University by Courtney Gardner, now an assistant professor in WSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She, along with Professor Tim Ginn in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, have recently received a 3-year, USDA grant to continue the research.

We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe

The technology is coming, but contrary to what some people say, there could be health risks

Mega Communicationsystems Tower 
Credit: Bill Oxford Getty Images

By  - Scientific American - 17. 

The telecommunications industry and their experts have accused many scientists who have researched the effects of cell phone radiation of "fear mongering" over the advent of wireless technology's 5G. Since much of our research is publicly-funded, we believe it is our ethical responsibility to inform the public about what the peer-reviewed scientific literature tells us about the health risks from wireless radiation.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced through a press release that the commission will soon reaffirm the radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure limits that the FCC adopted in the late 1990s. These limits are based upon a behavioral change in rats exposed to microwave radiation and were designed to protect us from short-term heating risks due to RFR exposure.  

Flying foxes found dead and emaciated across eastern Australia as dry weather bites

A baby black flying foxes is bottle fed after dry winds and low humidity led to massive food shortages and deaths in its eastern Australia habitat. Photograph: Mandi Griffith

Vets say conditions have led to a ‘starvation event’, killing creatures or leaving them ‘looking like they’ve been mummified’

By  -

Flying foxes, including threatened species, have been dying or taken into care in large numbers due to a food shortage in their habitat in eastern Australia.

Authorities in Queensland and New South Wales say there have been increased reports since September of sick and dead flying-foxes in an area stretching from northern NSW up to Gladstone in Queensland.

Many of the animals found on the ground have been highly emaciated and dehydrated.

A Total Ivory Ban Must Be Installed Again

Strong Elephant  and an Eland antelope bull in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem that streches on both sides of the colonial boundary between Kenya and Tanzania. - the tusker is known as "Fred".
Photo credit: Fran Duthie

By VF/ET - 17. October 2019

Today, 30 years ago, on 17. October 1989 in Ottawa/Canada - during the Conference of the Parties to the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) - the 10 year moratorium and the global ban of ivory trade was adopted, since in the 1970s and 1980s, Elephant poaching triggered by the rush for ivory was at a dramatic high.

It was estimated in 1980 that Africa still boasted over a million Elephants (1979 estimate 1.5 million), but by the end of the decade the estimate was that only 400,000 remained.

The African Elephant was first listed by Ghana in CITES Appendix III in 1976. The following year, 1977, at the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP1) to this United Nations species protection convention, African Elephants were moved to Appendix II. Under Appendix II rules, species are not necessarily seen as threatened by extinction but their trade requires control to avoid use that would be detrimental with their survival as a species.

UPDATE - 24. October 2019: BOYCOTT ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT - they exported the baby Elephants to China - see update below the call to stop.

Previously Mugabe exported ivory for weapons to China, his successor - dubbed "the Crocodile" - now exports baby Elephants to China ... and for What? Done against the will of the Zimbabweans and the International Community. Outrageous!

Zimbabwe activists bid to stop alleged plan to export 35 baby elephants

The elephants are reportedly being held in Hwange National Park, pictured here in a photo from November 2012.

By Jack Guy, Columbus S. Mavhunga, CNN - 16. October 2019

Harare (CNN) - Wildlife activists in Zimbabwe are pushing to halt an alleged plan to sell 35 baby elephants to China and Pakistan as part of an ongoing row over wildlife exports.

The sale has been in the works since last year, according to Advocates4Earth, an environmental lobby group that is suing the government over the alleged plan.

Activists claim the shipment of the baby animals has only been delayed because of a High Court application filed in May this year.

Zimbabwean wildlife authorities, meanwhile, deny they plan to sell the elephants.

SA reclassifies 33 wild species as farm animals

The greatest shame is the South African canned killing of lions behind fence by bloodthirsty, rich psychopaths collecting trophies for sport. (Photo: EMS Foundation)

By Don Pinnock - DM - 16 October 2019

By the stroke of a legislative pen, a list of iconic and in some cases endangered wild animals can now be manipulated as farming stock. What happens next is anyone’s guess.

The shocking state in which many captive-bred lions have been found also raises concerns about the ability of the newly formed Ministry of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and the departments under its watch to ensure the welfare of wild species now legally defined as farm animals, says the writer.

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME South Africa ! We will start the boycott of South Africa again for this, for the opposition to the ivory ban, for the ongoing genocide against the San/Bushmen and for still being a corrupt and brutal Apartheid state.

Update: The U.S. funded so-called LIMA Group of mostly extreme-rightwing, undemocratic governances in South-America get a rough awakening - the people stand up. - see new videos below

Heavily armed with deadly weapons the military of the dictatorship ois deployed against unarmed civilians in Chile.

Chile and Ecuador Suffer Repression by Their Right-wing Presidents

By Orinoco Tribune - 22. October 2019

The images that can be found show total violence by the police and the local army. Unlike the dictatorships of the last century, this time the armed forces are beating civilians who only ask that the price to basic elements such as public transport or gasoline not be increased.

Presidents Lenin Moreno and Sebastián Piñera are rising as the big intolerants of the American continent. In Ecuador, there was an unexpected petrol price hike that brought students and indigenous people to the streets, who protested non-stop for days to prevent the man, who delivered Julian Assange, from raising fuel prices in a country injured by poverty.

Rio. An artistic ‘Earth Demonstration’ on Ipanema Beach

A fire they can’t put out

By Extinction Rebellion - 15. October 2019

Change takes time: even at the rate we’re going – and need to be going – it’s never going to happen all at once.

But things are changing. The past week has been a moment in history: to simply list the thousands of arrests, the many tens of thousands undertaking civil disobedience, would not do it justice. We have proven to the world that this rebellion is a truly global movement, growing rapidly within and between nations, and comprised of people with the selflessness, the creativity and the courage to resist the madness of this ecocidal system.

In each country, we’re only beginning to see the political and cultural ramifications. For all the actions we report here (even these are just some of many), it’s impossible to do justice to the hard work and love that goes into them, and the creativity, joy and community which result. There is little space to convey the significance of that action, and the impact it leaves on media discourse and national dialogue.

But rest assured, every act of disobedience sends ripples, big or small.

... and just look around yourself.

On Psychopathy And Power

By  - 15. October 2019

Due to a very painful and disturbing revelation in my personal life I have had the unfortunate occasion to spend the last several days thinking a lot about psychopaths and what makes them tick. I don’t want to get into the hairy details at this time, but I would like to share some of the more general thoughts that have been coming up here on the matter.

It is interesting that psychopathy should have reached a dark tentacle into my life in the way that it did, given that the three years I’ve been at this gig have been spent writing more and more about the way our world is run by calculating manipulators who are devoid of empathy.

Quantifying the impacts of defaunation on natural forest regeneration in a global meta-analysis

Loss of fauna triggers also loss of flora - especially hardwood tree species.

By Charlie J. GardnerJake E. BicknellWilliam Baldwin-CantelloMatthew J. StruebigZoe G. Davies -

Abstract

Intact forests provide diverse and irreplaceable ecosystem services that are critical to human well-being, such as carbon storage to mitigate climate change. However, the ecosystem functions that underpin these services are highly dependent on the woody vegetation-animal interactions occurring within forests. While vertebrate defaunation is of growing policy concern, the effects of vertebrate loss on natural forest regeneration have yet to be quantified globally. Here we conduct a meta-analysis to assess the direction and magnitude of defaunation impacts on forests.

Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

Julia Steinberger, an ecology-economist at Britain's University of Leeds, endorses mass civil disobedience to pressure governments to tackle climate change at a protest at London's Science Museum, Britain October 12, 2019. Louise Jasper/Handout via REUTERS

By Matthew Green - 13. October 2019

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost 400 scientists have endorsed a civil disobedience campaign aimed at forcing governments to take rapid action to tackle climate change, warning that failure could inflict “incalculable human suffering.”

In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne.

Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolize their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London’s century-old Science Museum in the city’s upmarket Kensington district.

“We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law,” said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology. She read the declaration on behalf of the group.

UPDATE 22. October 2019: The 5 days ceasefire ended with many violations from the side of Turkey. Close to 180,000 people have now been displaced in NE Syria: 80,000 of them children.

UPDATE 17. October 2019: Under serious international and U.S.American pressure a 5 days ceasefire has been agreed and Turkey will stop its inhuman onslaught in Kurdistan for that period in the core zone along the border with and inside Syria. 

Syrian jihadis in Trump-greenlit invasion just murdered a Kurdish women’s rights leader

Hevrin Khalaf, the Secretary-General of the Kurdish Future Syria Party was allegedly brutally raped and confirmed murdered in execution style just after Trump abandoned his Kudish allies. Video evidence shows that even after she had been killed her body was abused by her excited killers.

By Vinnie Longobardo - 13. October 2019

The catastrophic consequences of Donald Trump’s sickening betrayal of America’s Kurdish allies in Syria are becoming clearer by the minute as Turkish forces invade the Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria.

The danger to the long-time fighting partners of American forces in the Middle East is coming from more than just the invading Turks, however, as reports of atrocities by Turkish-backed Arab militias in the area raise fears of an ethnic cleansing campaign and a resurgence of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in a region where they had largely been contained by Kurdish forces.

The most disturbing report today came from the news that a senior female Kurdish political leader —Hevrin Khalaf, the Secretary-General of the Kurdish Future Syria Party — was dragged from her car and executed by “Turkish backed mercenary factions” while traveling in a highway convoy on the road to the city of Qamishlo.