Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Cuban, US scientists bond over big sharks

Yahoo - AFP, Robert Macpherson,July 2, 2015

"Tiburones: Sharks of Cuba" marks the first time that TV cameras have
 recorded American and Cuban scientists working side by side to explore the
mysteries of shark behavior, habitats and migration (AFP Photo/James Watt)

Washington (AFP) - Somewhere in the North Atlantic right now, a longfin mako shark -- a cousin of the storied great white -- is cruising around, oblivious to the yellow satellite tag on its dorsal fin.

In mid-July, that electronic gizmo should pop off, float to the surface and instantly transmit a wealth of data to eagerly awaiting marine scientists in Cuba and the United States.

How the mako became one of the first sharks ever to be satellite-tagged in Cuban waters is the subject of an hour-long documentary that is a highlight of Discovery Channel's cult summer series Shark Week.

"Tiburones: Sharks of Cuba" marks the first time that TV cameras have recorded American and Cuban scientists working side by side to explore the mysteries of shark behavior, habitats and migration.

It also comes as Cuba and the United States renew full diplomatic ties, more than five decades after Fidel Castro's communist revolution.

"The Caribbean has, I think, 20 percent of the world's biodiversity of sharks and Cuba is the heart of that," the show's director Ian Shive told AFP by telephone from Los Angeles.

What's more, a half-century of isolation and limited development mean Cuba's coral waters have largely escaped the kind of negative environmental impact seen elsewhere in the region, Shive said.

"The oceans surrounding Cuba are like time capsules," he said. "You can go back and look at the Caribbean as it was 50 years ago."

Inspiring the project was a shark of legend -- El Monstruo, or The Monster, a great white caught by fishermen off the Cuban village of Cojimar, east of Havana, 70 years ago.

Biggest ever

Reputedly 21 feet long (6.4 meters) long and weighing in at 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms), it remain perhaps the biggest great white ever captured anywhere in the world.

"All the fishermen and their families came down. They were excited because they had never seen such a big animal in Cojimar," fisherman Osvaldo Carnero, a young boy at the time, told the filmmakers.

Tagging a similar big shark was one of the goals of the 15-day expedition in February that brought together shark experts from Cuba's Center for Coastal Ecosystems Research and Florida's Mote Marine Laboratory as well as Shive's camera crew.

They found initial success along Cuba's south coast in a pristine coral reef system known as the Gardens of the Queen, once visited by Christopher Columbus and now one of the Caribbean's biggest marine parks.

There they successfully tagged two large silky sharks with help from veteran Cuban diver Noel Lopez Fernandez, who wrangled them underwater with his bare hands and then rubbed their bellies to sedate them.

Surprising data has already been received from the silkys, Robert Hueter, Mote's associate vice president for research, told AFP in a telephone interview from Sarasota, Florida.

Not only do they prefer to stay near the reef, the satellite tags -- which measure sea depth as well as location -- revealed that the sharks can dive as far down as 2,000 feet (610 meters), much deeper than assumed for the species, Hueter said.

From the Gardens of the Queen, the scientists set off for Cojimar and struck it lucky by snagging the longfin mako, with top shark cinematographer Andy Casagrande underwater capturing video of the rarely seen oceanic creature.

Only the second

It is only the second longfin mako to be sat-tagged, Hueter said. The first, in 2012, roamed from the Gulf of Mexico and around Florida before turning up in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, on the US East Coast.

Hueter is hoping for the so-called "pop-up" satellite tag, worth about $4,000, to come off the shark and commence its data dump sometime in mid-July.

"Everyone's eager to get that data," said Shive, who recalled the two years it took to get US permission to go to Cuba and for Havana to green-light the first-ever satellite tagging of its sharks.

Hueter is hopeful that better relations between Washington and Havana will facilitate more joint projects between Florida-based scientists and their Cuban counterparts just 90 miles away.

"In some ways (the February expedition) was the culmination of a lot of work, and in other ways it was the starting point for what will hopefully be a new age of cooperation between the United States and Cuba," he said.

"Tiburones: Sharks of Cuba" premieres Tuesday in the United States. Discovery Channel, which launches its 28th annual Shark Week on Sunday, plans to air the show in other countries in the coming months.

Friday, July 3, 2015

BP set to pay largest environmental fine in US history for Gulf oil spill

  • BP will pay $18.7bn after the justice department and four states sued
  • Money will be divided among states and earmarked for cleanup projects

The Guardian, Dominic Rushe in New York, Thursday 2 July 2015

The 2010 disaster at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused devastating
pollution in the Gulf of Mexico. Photograph: Gerald Herbert/AP

BP has agreed to pay a record environmental fine of $18.7bn to settle legal actions brought by the US and several states over the fatal 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The US justice department, along with the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida, all sued BP for damages not covered by the company’s earlier settlements with businesses and individuals harmed by the worst offshore spill in US history.

The settlement ends all litigation between BP, the states and the US government and allows the company to pay over 18 years. BP’s share price rose on the news.

Last September, judge Carl Barbier, who has overseen the tortuous legal case resulting from the disaster, ruled BP had been “grossly negligent” in its handling of the well. The decision opened up BP to the highest possible fines.

The company will pay $7.1bn in “natural resource damage assessment”, and the money will be divided among the states and earmarked for environmental cleanup projects related to the spill. BP was fined $5.5bn under the Clean Water Act.

Some environmentalists were disappointed with the fine, which has yet to receive court approval. Jacqueline Savitz, vice-president for Oceana in the US, said: “If the court approves this proposal, BP will be getting off easy and ‘we the people’ will not be fully compensated for the natural resource damages that we suffered, and the law requires that the public is made whole for those damages.

“For these two payments alone, Clean Water Act violations and natural resource damages, BP would be getting away with less than half of what the law would justify,” she said. “The court should not let BP get off the hook without fully compensating Americans for what was lost. A low-end settlement would not only cheat the public, but it would send the wrong message to BP and the other companies that drill in our oceans, telling them that they may not have to pay for the future damages they cause.”

The 2010 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cost 11 lives and resulted in 4.2m barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf over 87 days, according to the US government.

BP argued the volume of the spill was far lower. Barbier eventually ruled BP was responsible for the release of 3.1m barrels. The spill affected the shore of the Gulf coast from Louisiana to Florida. Its impact on seafood and wildlife is still being assessed.

Louisiana attorney general James “Buddy” Caldwell said: “This agreement is the result of five years of hard-fought litigation and intense scientific research, and it provides Louisiana the coastal restoration and compensation it needs following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.”

He said Louisiana, the state most affected by the spill, was recovering more than $10bn from BP – more than any state has ever recovered for this type of case. “This agreement lets us focus right away on improving the state without further litigation delays and appeals that could take years. I am extremely pleased by the work done by the court and all the parties in this matter to reach an agreement that will bring great and historic benefits to Louisiana and the Gulf.”

“Five years ago we committed to restore the Gulf economy and environment and we have worked ever since to deliver on that promise,” said BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

“We have made significant progress, and with this agreement we provide a path to closure for BP and the Gulf. It resolves the company’s largest remaining legal exposures, provides clarity on costs and creates certainty of payment for all parties involved.”

More than five years after the disaster, environmentalists and Gulf residents are still counting the cost. Fatalities among dolphins and other marine life have surged in the spill’s aftermath.

“No monetary award can ever undo the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But, while we look forward to additional details, today’s agreement, the largest environmental settlement in American history, represents a significant step toward justice for the Gulf Coast ecosystems, economies and communities that were damaged by the disaster,” Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement. “More than five years later, this agreement between the five Gulf states, BP and the department of justice brings real hope for the future of the Gulf Coast.”

Related Articles:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thai crackdown on rogue fishing as fears grow over EU ban

Yahoo – AFP, Preeti Jha, 1 July 2015

Migrant workers sort fish in a port in Mahachai on the outskirts of Bangkok (AFP
Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)

Mahachai (Thailand) (AFP) - A belated Thai clampdown on illegal fishing is forcing unlicensed vessels ashore, threatening to paralyse a key industry as the kingdom desperately tries to avoid a European Union ban on exports worth $1 billion a year.

Barrels of fish packed in ice are usually rolled off boats at a bustling port in Samut Sakhon, a coastal province near Bangkok, by Myanmar and Cambodia migrant workers who prop up the world's third largest seafood producer.

A migrant worker sits on a fishing boat
 in a port in Mahachai on the outskirts of
Bangkok (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)
But many will sit idle from Wednesday, say their Thai employers, who have failed to obtain necessary fishing permits under a raft of new government rules aimed at cleaning up the shadowy industry.

Next to buckets of red snapper destined to become fish balls for the local market and fishmeal to rear shrimp marked for Europe, a Thai vessel owner says there are "too many rules and too little time".

"We will have to keep paying bills with no income," said the worried 59-year-old, who withheld his name, as he prepares to cease operations until he can meet the conditions for a new permit.

The Wednesday deadline to register boats with authorities and acquire permits under revised standards, including installing equipment such as tracking devices, comes after the European Union threatened to ban fish imports from the kingdom unless it combats illegal fishing.

In April Brussels issued Thailand with a "yellow card" for inadequate fisheries monitoring, controls and punishment, warning that a "red card" and eventual import ban would follow if it failed to improve within six months.

The spectre of losing $1 billion in European sales is a shortfall the ruling military can ill-afford in an already sluggish economy.

Thailand saw only 0.3 percent growth in the first quarter and exports have been slowing in part, says the World Bank, due to an erosion in competitiveness.

Aphisit Techanitisawad, president of The Thai Overseas Fisheries Association, estimates around 3,000 fishing vessels nationwide will forsake the seas from Wednesday.

A worker checks canned fish at the 
Anusorn Group factory in Tasai, on the
 outskirts of Bangkok (AFP Photo/
Nicolas Asfouri)
"About 80 percent of all the fishermen, they're coming back to shore" to seek permits, he told AFP at his fisheries factory in Samut Sakhon.

Thailand's image battered

A recent shortage in fresh fish has already seen his workers stop processing crab sticks for French export, instead focussing on canning sardines and mackerel from frozen supplies for the Myanmar and Cambodian markets.

A labour ministry spokeswoman said around 80,000 migrants were working in Thai fisheries since the deadline for compulsory migrant registrations closed Tuesday.

Aphisit thinks the government could have imposed a more lenient timeframe for changes.

But premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha has remained adamant the industry has been left unchecked for too long.

"Don't put any more pressure on government," he said when asked about rising anger within the fishing industry.

"If we don't pass these measures a 200 billion baht ($6 billion) industry could be wiped out so everybody should cooperate," he said.

Thailand's image has been battered in recent years by a series of fishing abuse allegations from prominent rights groups of ships using slave and child labour as well as trafficking victims.

Migrant workers at work in a port in 
Mahachai, on the outskirts of Bangkok
(AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)
And last year the US downgraded the kingdom to its lowest ranking on human trafficking, a designation that can trigger sanctions.

Bangkok is desperate to improve its standing, while sanctions have not yet been imposed, laying out new measures including a ban on fishing workers under 18 in the months since. The latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report is due for imminent publication.

Observers say that while the latest threat of an EU ban has triggered a renewed sense of urgency in authorities, rushed actions will fail to combat illegal fishing in the long-term.

Improving "monitoring, control and surveillance" will help to tackle longstanding problems of pirate fishing, slavery and trafficking in Thailand's fisheries industry, said Daniel Murphy, a Bangkok-based campaigner for the Environmental Justice Foundation.

But by rapidly regulating the neglected sector the government "risks regularising more vessels than Thailand's exhausted waters can support as well a significant number of vessels which have spent years openly flouting fishing laws", he said.

In this handout photograph released by Indonesia’s Ministry of Fishery on
 April 8, 2015, hundreds of rescued foreign fishermen mostly from Myanmar and
Thailand are gathered during an operation at the private Indonesian fishing firm
 Pusaka Benjina Resources located in remote Benjina island of Maluku
province. (AFP Photo/Ugeng Nugroho/Ministry of Fishery)

Related Articles:

A fisherman formerly held in slave-like conditions by a Thai-owned fishing firm in
Benjina, Maluku, shows evidence of abuse. (Antara Foto/Humas Kementerian

Nemo's garden off Italy offers hope for seabed crops

Yahoo – AFP, Olivier Morin, and Angus MacKinnon in Rome, 1 July 2015

Project coordinator of Nemo's Garden, Gianni Fontanesi, checks condensation
inside immerged Biosphere (AFP Photo/Olivier Morin)

Noli (Italy) (AFP) - In the homeland of pesto, a group of diving enthusiasts have come up with a way of growing basil beneath the sea that could revolutionise crop production in arid coastal areas around the world.

The pungent green herb has long been synonymous with the steep, terraced cliff-sides of Liguria, the northern Italian region known for its spectacular Riviera coastline and for producing one of the world's best-loved pasta sauces.

Those two standout features of the region could now become even more intimately associated thanks to the pioneering efforts of Sergio Gamberini.

A diving nut and specialist in under-water communications, Gamberini has begun growing basil in large plastic spheres anchored to the sea bed 100 metres off shore and eight metres below the surface in an experiment he has dubbed "Nemo's garden".

"The idea came to me because I wanted to create more interaction between the surface and the diving activity," Gamberini told AFPTV.

Having started with a simple plastic ball into which he place a tub with herb seeds planted in compost, he is now in his fourth season of production from an under-water garden comprised of three "biospheres" which he is allowed to keep in the water for three months a year.

Project coordinator of Nemo's Garden, Gianni Fontanesi, checks immerged
Biospheres, in Noli (AFP Photo/Olivier Morin)

"I chose a typical activity of farmers, and I said 'why not bring it under water?'" he said. "I realised that there was an opportunity to create a new site to grow vegetables."

Evaporation ensures humidity between 80 and 90 percent inside the spheres, the condensation provides the necessary moisture and, even well below the waves, there is enough light in this sunny corner of Europe to ensure the plants themselves regenerate their oxygen supply via photosynthesis.

Having proved the system works, Gamberini's challenge now is to prove that it can produce herbs and vegetables in a cost-efficient way.

"I don't know if it will be the future because we have to prove that it can be self-supportable," he said. "If a pound of lettuce (grown underwater) costs too much, it won't have a future."

Parasite-free zone

The primary advantage of underwater growing is the stability of thermal conditions.

"The sea maintains the temperature without a great difference between day and night," said Gianni Fontanesi, who is in charge of running the project.

In late June, at the start of the European summer, the water on the coastal shelf of the northern Mediterranean is 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), while inside the spheres the temperature reaches 29 degrees C.

Ocean Reef CEO Sergio Gamberini, head
 of Nemo's Garden project, pictured in Noli 
(AFP Photo/Olivier Morin)
The plants are thriving in an environment where they are protected from the insects and parasites that would normally be giving a basil grower headaches at this time of year.

The results so far have have been encouraging, with the spheres producing more densely-leafed plants than is usual -- perfect for being ground up with pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil to produce authentic Ligurian pesto.

An experiment with lettuce is already underway and mushrooms, tomatoes, tomatoes and green beans will all be given a go this summer.

"In the longer term, this could be a solution for arid regions next to the sea," said Gamberini, who admits there is still much work to be done to work out how to apply his principles on a larger scale.

But he is not the only one to have faith in his idea: under-water basil was one of the 20 food-related innovations chosen to represent Italy at the ongoing World Expo in Milan which has "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" as its theme.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Coral gardening beckons ecotourists to restore reefs

Yahoo – AFP, Kerry Sheridan, 30 June 2015

Diving instructor Patti Gross plants coral and scrubs algae off coral as part of a
 gardening project at Alligator Reef in the Florida Keys on May 23, 2015 
(AFP Photo/David Gross)

Miami (AFP) - Coral reefs are fragile and in danger worldwide, but a growing movement to restore them is based on the science of breaking off pieces in order to grow more, known as coral gardening.

It works like this: marine biologists cut off the tips of live branching corals, hang the pieces on man-made underwater trees where they grow, and later "outplant" them on real reefs on the ocean floor.

After years of trial and error, scientists in Florida are now bringing their methods to the public -- via diving trips, ecotourism outings and summer camps for teens -- to counter the harmful effects of climate change, pollution and industrial development.

Scientist Diego Lirman (R) from the 
University of Miami, shows a volunteer
 how to make coral cookies, which will
 be nailed onto the ocean floor in 
Biscayne Bay, Forida on May 23, 2015
(AFP Photo/Kerry Sheridan)
"It is just like if you had a rosebush in your garden. As you prune that rosebush back, it grows back healthier, bushier, a little more lively," explains Stephanie Schopmeyer, senior research associate at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine Science, which runs a program called Rescue a Reef that allows citizen scientists to join the project.

"Corals that are fragmented actually grow back faster and with more branches," she said.

On a recent outing, Schopmeyer and about a dozen other divers and snorkelers spent a sunny spring morning on the water, traveling first by boat to an underwater nursery in Biscayne Bay where they scrubbed algae off the man-made trees on which Staghorn corals hang, and later to another area where they planted nursery-grown bits of coral on an existing reef.

Certified scuba divers did the underwater work, while a handful of tourists and students helped make cookies -- small discs on which they use epoxy to affix finger-sized pieces of coral. Then, the volunteers snorkeled, watching the divers nail their handiwork on the ocean floor.

Nicole Besemer, a graduate student at the University of Miami, says she was surprised to learn that corals can survive and thrive after being cut and nailed in a new place.

"As a diver in south Florida, I want to make sure that my reefs are as healthy as they can be," Besemer says.

"I know they are not what they used to be."

Reefs in danger

Corals may look like rocks or plants but they are actually animals in the same family as jellyfish and anemones. Each individual coral is called a polyp, and the reef grows as polyps grow copies of themselves. Most corals reproduce by releasing eggs and sperm into the water.

Coral reefs are important because they provide habitat and food for fish, turtles, seahorses, sea urchins and other creatures.

But the reefs are struggling, with their numbers down 50-95 percent in some parts of the world.

Pollution cuts off their light and food supply, overfishing removes the creatures that keep them clean and healthy, development and dredging cause sediment to smother them, and ocean acidification makes it harder for them to grow.

Storms can also kill them. Diego Lirman, an associate professor of marine biology and ecology at the University of Miami, did his dissertation some 30 years ago on the impact of hurricanes on a place nearby called Elkhorn Reef.

Now, he says, there are no Elkhorn corals left there.

"It got to the point where I was getting tired of just watching things die and learning about them in the process. I wanted to be able to do something to recover them," says Lirman.

He credits scientists in nations like Israel, Fiji, Indonesia and the Philippines for coming up with the coral gardening techniques that Florida researchers are now using, and says sharing knowledge across borders helped everyone perfect their techniques.

"We are now reaching ecologically meaningful scales," Lirman says.

"We realized it is all about the numbers -- the numbers you can grow, the numbers you can put back."

Explosive growth

A major part of the movement in Florida and the Caribbean is led by the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), which employs about 10 staff and leads an army of volunteers on regular expeditions.

CRF and the University of Miami's reef programs were initially funded in large part by the Recovery Act of 2009, a White House initiative to kickstart the US economy following the global financial crisis. Donations have poured in as well.

Volunteers prepare to make a dive to plant coral as part of the University of 
Miami Rosentiel School’s Rescue a Reef program, in Biscayne Bay, Forida
on May 23, 2015 (AFP Photo/Kerry Sheridan)

"We are kind of at the explosive growth stage," says CRF president Ken Nedimyer.

A few years ago, the foundation planted a few thousand corals per year. Now they have 500 underwater trees in Florida that are growing 40,000-50,000 corals at any one time, he says.

For those who want special training, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) offers courses and certifications in coral reef restoration.

Scuba divers must be aged 14 or older, and must be able to control their buoyancy underwater so as not to harm the reefs, says Patti Gross, a master diving instructor with PADI who says she has certified around 250 people in coral restoration in the past four years.

"This is way harder than it appears on land," she says.

"But it is very rewarding in the end."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jiangsu man finds fairy (shrimp) at bottom of his garden

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-06-29

Fairy shrimps. (Photo/CNS)

A man in Lianyungang in eastern China's Jiangsu province has found a fairy shrimp in the water tanks that he uses to plant lotus, reports the online media outlet Jiangsu China based in Nanjing.

Zhang said he put out two water tanks for the lotus in his winter garden. He changes the water in the tanks regularly because the garden gets a lot of sunshine in the afternoon. He found it remarkable that a shrimp could survive in the high temperature of the water.

Zhang took the shrimp out of the tank and placed it in a glass bowl. The shrimp is about five centimeters long, mostly green color with a little bit of red on its tail.

Speculating on how the shrimp arrived in his tank, Zhang said there is no way the shrimp could have been hiding in the tank when he first set it out or came through the tap water. He suspected it may have come in dirt from the mountain that he added to the tanks.

An expert said the shrimp Zhang found is a fairy shrimp (anostraca), a type of crustacean that has been on Earth for around 200 million years.

The expert said fairy shrimp require soil that is high in sodium and its life cycle is around one to three months. Its eggs are small with a tough shell that can protect against heat and drought. In the soil, an egg can remain unhatched for years until the conditions are right.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

China, US agree to deepen cooperation on ocean protection

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-06-26

Yang Jiechi, left, and John Kerry during the session on ocean protection,
June 24. (Photo/CNS)

China and the United States on Wednesday praised the huge progress achieved in their cooperation on ocean protection, while agreeing to make new efforts to explore opportunities of deepening such cooperation.

The two countries held a special session on ocean protection under the framework of the seventh China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), which started on Tuesday. The meeting was co-chaired by Chinese state councilor Yang Jiechi and US secretary of state John Kerry.

Yang lauded the positive contributions by the two great ocean powers to promoting maritime research, development, maintenance and protection, citing the increased maritime policy exchange and practical cooperation, and the fruitful cooperation in the areas of oceanic scientific research, maritime enforcement, maritime security, maritime search and rescue, and sustainable use of maritime resources.

Yang expressed the hope that China and the US will build on the progress achieved to turn ocean protection into a new area of growing bilateral cooperation.

He called on the two sides to create more channels of communication and increase frequency of dialogues in order to jointly explore ways of conducting practical cooperation in the spheres of maritime ecological civilization construction, oceanic environmental monitoring and protection of fishery resources through sharing experiences and complimenting each other with each side's respective advantages.

He also suggested the two sides join hands in building a peaceful and safe maritime environment, by increasing the contacts between their maritime enforcement agencies, and elevating the level of cooperation in cracking down on illegal drift net fishing on high seas, conducting maritime humanitary search and rescue, and managing transportation of hazardous materials.

The two countries, he added, also need to jointly maintain a fair and reasonable international maritime order, and promote prosperity and the sustainable development of the ocean, through practical cooperation within the framework of international institutions, such as the United Nations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

For his part, Kerry said the US and China, as the two largest economies and maritime powers that lead maritime scientific research, should cooperate to tackle tough challenges in ocean protection and its sustainable development. They should play the leading role in ocean protection through cooperation, which benefits not only both countries but also the world as a whole.

The US is willing to work together with China to expand cooperation in areas of ocean protection and promoting maritime sustainable development, he pledged.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Australian fishermen lure rare monster shark

Yahoo – AFP, 24 June 2015

An official measures a giant basking shark that was accidentally picked up by
 a fishing trawler in the Bass Strait off the Australian mainland's most southeastern 
point (AFP Photo)

Fishermen off Australia who accidentally caught a whopping basking shark have provided scientists with a rare opportunity to study the second-biggest fish on the planet.

The 6.3 metre (20 feet) fish is causing a sensation Down Under where little is known about the species -- smaller only than the whale shark -- as it is not often captured in southern hemisphere waters.

The rare specimen has been donated to Museum Victoria, in the southern city of Melbourne, where scientists plan to use the body to research the shark's genetics, diet and life history.

The museum -- which currently has only three samples from basking sharks, all over 80 years old -- said Wednesday it also plans to use the head and fins to build a full-scale exhibition model.

"These rare encounters can provide many of the missing pieces of knowledge that help broader conservation and biological research," said the museum's senior curator of ichthyology, Martin Gomon.

Basking sharks are slow-moving plankton feeders which can grow up to 12 metres long. Unlike other sharks, their teeth are tiny -- about two millimetres long -- and they feed by trapping tiny plankton and jellyfish in their huge mouth, the museum said.

They are migratory and widely distributed, but only regularly seen in a few favoured coastal locations such as such as Cornwall in England as they can dive deep into the depths of the sea in search of food.

A giant basking shark that was accidentally picked up by a fishing trawler in
the Bass Strait off the Australian mainland's most southeastern point (AFP Photo)

The shark was accidentally picked up by a fishing trawler in the Bass Strait off the Australian mainland's southeast.

Museum Victoria's senior collection manager of vertebrate zoology, Dianne Bray, said basking sharks had been sighted over the years off Australia's Victoria state, but never in large numbers.

"They are rare in southern waters, but not that rare in northern waters," she said. "We have no idea of what their numbers may be."

Bray she had been inundated with requests for tissue and other samples from around the world as opportunities to study an entire animal were rare.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Japan and China to sign off on maritime liaison mechanism

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-06-23

A standoff between Chinese and Japanese coast guard vessels in the waters
 near the Diaoyutai, July 2012. Japan would nationalize the islands a few months
later. (Photo/Xinhua)

China and Japan are likely to establish their first liaison mechanism next month to prevent a war over disputed East China Sea islands currently under the administration of Tokyo as the Senkaku (Diaoyu to China, Diaoyutai to Taiwan), reports our sister paper Want Daily.

Sources from China told Want Daily that representatives from the two nations have held five meetings to discuss the creation of a maritime liaison mechanism for members of the two nation's naval or coastal guard units to communicate with each other in English in the event of a contingency in the waters near the islands. It is very likely to be formalized in July, the sources said. Beijing has yet to decide whether it will establish a similar mechanism in the disputed South China Sea, they added.

The maritime liaison mechanism regulates Chinese and Japanese activities in the air defense identification zone, exclusive economic zone and open waters declared by both nations in the region of the East China Sea. It does not include the territorial waters and airspace of China or Japan.

According to the agreement, the People's Liberation Army Navy will notify Tokyo whenever Chinese aircraft or warships go near the waters of Okinawa in the future. The Ground Staff Office of the Japan Self-Defense Force and the General Staff Department of the PLA will also establish a hotline, according to the report.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

'Moral duty' to save Mediterranean migrants, says Gauck

The German president has called for more compassion toward migrants in view of Germany's own experiences with forced migration after WWII. He said providing them with sanctuary was 'non-negotiable.'

Deutsche Welle, 20 June 2015

 Refugees on board a ship REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Speaking on Saturday at a ceremony in Berlin to remember victims of displacement, Gauck said he hoped that the memory of German expellees who were forced to flee the country's former eastern territories during and after World War II would deepen understanding for migrants today.

He described how 12 to 14 million Germans lost their homelands by the end of the war, leading to a population increase of 20 percent in the former West and East Germanies.

Gauck pointed out that if Germany had been able to integrate millions of refugees 70 years ago when it was "poor and devastated," it should be able to do more in the present refugee crisis, and even benefit from it.

"Why should a Germany that is economically successful and politically stable not be able to recognize future opportunities in today's challenges?" he asked.

"Let us remember what a great part refugees and forced migrants played in successfully rebuilding Germany," he added.

More European help

He also called on European Union countries to do more to help cope with the current growing wave of refugees coming to Europe.

In view of the huge number of migrants who have died attempting the perilous boat crossing from Africa to Europe over the Mediterranean, Gauck said it was a "moral duty" to save people from drowning.

"We would lose our self-respect if we left people drifting on waters near our continent to cope for themselves," he said, adding that all European states had an obligation to provide people with a safe refuge.

This obligation was "non-negotiable," and lasted until migrants either could return home without danger or had found a place to live in safety either in Germany or elsewhere, he said.

'No easy solutions'

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere also spoke at the ceremony, warning that there were no "easy solutions" to the current migration crisis.

Last year, the German government declared the 20 June to be a day of remembrance for refugees and displaced people, in conjunction with the United Nations' World Refugee Day.

The German day is partly to commemorate the millions of Germans who were forced to flee their homes in several eastern European countries as a result of World War II and seek refuge in Germany and Austria, greatly swelling the populations there.

tj/sgb (AFP, dpa, KNA, epd)
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EU approves military mission to tackle migrant smugglers: sources

Rohingya hope for peaceful Ramadan in Indonesia

Rohingya women are seen standing at a confinement area in Kuala Cangkoi,
Indonesia's Aceh province (AFP Photo/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

EU approves military mission to tackle migrant smugglers: sources

Yahoo – AFP, Alix Rijckaert, 19 June 2015

EU member states approved plans on Friday to launch as early as next week
 the first phase of a military operation against people smugglers in the Mediterranean,
sources said (AFP Photo/Jason Florio)

Brussels (AFP) - EU member states approved plans Friday to launch as early as next week the first phase of a military operation against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, sources said.

"Everything is now in place so that EU foreign ministers meeting Monday can approve the launch of the mission," one EU diplomat told AFP.

Other sources said member states have committed to supply enough ships and aircraft to allow the first, intelligence-gathering, phase of the operation to go ahead.

Stung into action by the loss of an estimated 800 migrants when their rickety boat sank off southern Italy, EU leaders agreed at an emergency summit in April to formulate a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem at source.

As well as boosting search and rescue efforts, they called on EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini to draw up military options against the ruthless traffickers exploiting the waves of humanity seeking to get to Europe across the Mediterranean.

The first phase of intelligence gathering is meant to be followed by active intervention to board and disable smuggler vessels and arrest the traffickers.

A third phase would extend these actions into Libyan territorial waters and possibly inside the country itself.

While some EU states such as Britain and France favour moving promptly to Phase 2 and 3, others have serious reservations about direct involvement in a chaotic Libya where rival factions are fighting for control and the internationally-recognised government has fled Tripoli to take up residence in Benghazi.

To meet these reservations, the EU April summit agreed that Phase 2 and 3 would only go ahead if the bloc obtained Libyan consent -- a difficult prospect -- and a UN Security Council resolution.

Russia, one of the five UNSC permanent members, and others "want a clear Libyan consent; we are still working on it," said a senior EU official who asked not to be named.

"We are rather optimistic that in the end there will be a UNSC resolution to go on with the other phases; there is no absolute certitude but there is a very good prospect," the official said.

Newly arrived migrants huddle together as they try to protect themselves from
 the rain while waiting to be registered in Mytilene, Greece, on June 19, 2015
(AFP Photo/Louisa Gouliamaki)

Opposition to sharing burden

Some 100,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year, most of them landing in Italy, Greece and Malta which all want their EU peers to share more of the burden.

The European Commission has proposed that 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean asylum-seekers who have arrived in Europe should be redistributed and that 20,000 Syrians living in camps outside Europe should be resettled across the 28-nation bloc.

Many member states are prepared to contribute to the humanitarian efforts of search and rescue but are less forthcoming when it comes to taking in more migrants or backing the military option.

Migration is a hugely sensitive issue and far-right and eurosceptic parties have capitalised on public concerns about a massive influx of refugees to make considerable inroads at the expense of established parties.

Earlier this week, EU ministers could not reach agreement on the Commission proposals.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday that member states remained "far from consensus" on how to distribute refugees between them.

"These are difficult discussions we're having at the moment and all my conversations with European colleagues show that we remain far from consensus and that a lot persuasion will still be necessary," he said.

"In our view, the best way is mandatory quotas for the European member states."

Germany last year took in 200,000 asylum seekers and expects as many as 450,000 this year.