Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rare uncontacted Amazon tribe photographed

This is just a quick update: MSNBC has a short slide-show of images Here

And a more in depth article(excerpt starts on next line) Here
While "uncontacted" Indians often respond violently to contact — Meirelles caught an arrow in the face from some of the same Indians in 2004 — the greater threat is to the Indians.

"First contact is often completely catastrophic for "uncontacted" tribes. It's not unusual for 50 percent of the tribe to die in months after first contact," said Miriam Ross, a campaigner with the Indian rights group Survival International. "They don't generally have immunity to diseases common to outside society. Colds and flu that aren't usually fatal to us can completely wipe them out."

Survival International estimates about 100 tribes worldwide have chosen to avoid contact, but said the only truly uncontacted tribe is the Sentinelese, who live on North Sentinel island off the coast of India and shoot arrows at anyone who comes near.

Maltese Frog's note: The Sentinelese would be: the only known truly uncontacted tribe... It's still a big world with a lot of "trackless" wilderness.

Images show Indians painted bright red,
brandishing bows and arrows

Friday, May 30, 2008

Uncontacted tribe photographed near Brazil-Peru border

To those of us who have lived our lives driving everywhere we go in our home towns and flying in aircraft to travel long distances it may seem hard to believe that there are people who choose not to partake of the "benefits" of our globe-spanning 21st century super-civilization; However, it is all but impossible to believe that these people don't (or didn't) know that the outside world exists.

It seems far more probable that they have heard of our culture and seen some of its works and have decided that they would rather remain in the forest and live their own way...

Members of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes have been spotted and photographed from the air near the Brazil-Peru border. The photos were taken during several flights over one of the remotest parts of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil’s Acre state.

‘We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist,’ said uncontacted tribes expert José Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Júnior. Meirelles works for FUNAI, the Brazilian government’s Indian affairs department. ‘This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence.’

Meirelles says that the group’s numbers are increasing. But other uncontacted groups in the region, whose homes have been photographed from the air, are in severe danger from illegal logging in Peru. Logging is driving uncontacted tribes over the border and could lead to conflict with the estimated five hundred uncontacted Indians already living on the Brazilian side.

‘What is happening in this region [of Peru] is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the ‘civilised’ ones, treat the world,’ said Meirelles.

There are more than one hundred uncontacted tribes worldwide, with more than half living in either Brazil or Peru. All are in grave danger of being forced off their land, killed and decimated by new diseases. Survival has launched an urgent campaign to get their land protected, and a unique film narrated by actress Julie Christie.

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘These pictures are further evidence that uncontacted tribes really do exist. The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct.’

From these peoples' stance vis-a-vis the aerial intruder
one might conclude that they have heard what lies in
store for them if they allow outsiders to come among

To find out more about the photographs of uncontacted Indians in Brazil, see below.
You can learn more about Survival's other news and campaigns on the main website

For further information please contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8700 or email

To visit Survival International's report of this contact click: Here

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scientist Creates Cold Fusion For the First Time In Decades

1:00 PM on Sat May 24 2008
By Elaine Chow

fusion, the act of producing a nuclear reaction at room temperature, has long been relegated to science fiction after researchers were unable to recreate the experiment that first "discovered" the phenomenon. But a Japanese scientist was supposedly able to start a cold fusion reaction earlier this week, which—if the results are real—could revolutionize the way we gather energy.

Yoshiaki Arata, a highly respected physicist in Japan, demonstrated a low-energy nuclear reaction at Osaka University on Thursday. In front of a live audience, including reporters from six major newspapers and two tv studios, Arata and a co-professor Yue-Chang Zhang, produced excess heat and helium atoms from deuterium gas.

Arata used pressure to force deuterium gas into an evacuated cell that contained a palladium and zirconium oxide mix(ZrO2-Pd). Arata said that the mix caused the deuterium's nuclei to fuse, raising the temperature in the cell and keeping the center of the cell warm for 50 hours.

Arata's experiment would mark the first time anyone has witnessed cold fusion since 1989, when Martin Fleishmann and Stanely Pons supposedly observed excess heat during electrolysis of heavy water with palladium electrodes. When they and other researchers were unable to make it work again, cold fusion became synonymous with bad science.

But the method Arata showed was "highly reproducible," according to eye witnesses of the event. If nobody calls this demonstration out as a sham, Arata might have finally found the holy grail of cheap and abundant energy—nuclear power, without its destructive heat.
Read the original article and comments: here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sinister secrets of the dustbin Nazis

Last updated at 9:24 PM on 19th May 2008

After Labour's mauling in the local elections, Gordon Brown announced that the hated plans for pay-as-you-throw rubbish taxes would be scrapped.

That was a blatant lie and he knew it. Within days it became clear that 'trials' would still be going ahead. Why bother piloting something which you have no intention of introducing?

Far from dropping the scheme, Labour is ploughing on despite the trivial matter of what the electorate thinks.

That's because ministers are obediently implementing orders from our real
government in Brussels. Gordon couldn't stop pay-as-you-throw taxes even if he wanted to, which he doesn't.

He was the one who cranked up landfill taxes in his last 'green' budget to meet EU recycling targets, which is why councils are cutting back on collections in the first place.

All is revealed in European directive 75/442/EEC on waste disposal. In answer to a parliamentary question from the Tories, ministers have been forced to admit that they are following rules laid down in an EU handbook entitled 'Variable Rate Pricing based on Pay As You Throw as a Tool of Urban Waste Management'.

This 'toolkit' lays down the blueprint for charging every household for the amount of rubbish it generates.

It has been produced by the Dresden University of Technology, which was commissioned by the EU under the 'Fifth European Commission Framework Programme'.

Rubbish! Gordon Brown said plans for pay-as-you-throw taxes would be scrapped. But now pilots are going ahead

The Eurocrats admit bin charges are a ' politically sensitive issue', and warn of 'uncertain and perhaps uncontrollable citizens' response'. But the handbook stresses 'this lack of consensus should not be allowed to intimidate us into avoiding innovation'.

They acknowledge that higher charges, tougher rules and fortnightly collections will be unpopular and will lead to an increase in littering, fly-tipping and dumping of waste in other people's bins and recycling containers.

To combat this, it urges the 'disciplining of citizens' by 'intensive observation of illegal waste disposal through patrol and special task forces'.

Councils should set up a 'police department' to sift through rubbish to search for the addresses of 'offenders' in discarded mail, and issue fines of up to £400.

All those stories about people being punished for leaving the lid of their bin open, putting out the 'wrong' kind of rubbish or dropping an old gas bill in a public litter bin can be traced back to this sinister document.

They weren't isolated incidents, or the result of over-zealous enforcement by bloody-minded local officials - they were part of the great masterplan.

Monday, May 19, 2008

black South Africa vents its anger on immigrants

Published Date:
19 May 2008
IT BEGAN just over a week ago at a discussion in a poor township about crime. By yesterday, it had become a black-on-black ethnic-cleansing frenzy that engulfed central Johannesburg, taking more than a dozen lives and leaving hundreds injured, thousands homeless and many raped.
The assaults by poor black South Africans on poor, terrified refugees, most of them Zimbabwean, is a crisis that has been waiting to happen for months and seems likely to escalate.

Reports yesterday said the attacks had spread to Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

Some three million Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa from the political and economic terror waged by president Robert Mugabe. They have been joined by an estimated one to two million economic migrants from Mozambique and Malawi. In a country with 40 per cent unemployment, ordinary black South Africans have accused the foreigners of stealing their jobs, houses and women. And they have been growing increasingly angry with their own head of state, President Thabo Mbeki, accusing him of being more concerned with appeasing Mr Mugabe than recognising the scale of the problem caused by the flood of Zimbabweans into South Africa.

Eight days ago, in Alexandra, a poor township in the shadow of Johannesburg's business district and the richest square mile of earth in Africa, Jacob Ntuli, 67, a community leader and former security guard, called a meeting of residents to discuss the rape of four women and a girl.

Somehow, what began as a discussion about crime ended in people seething with anger about foreigners. They decided it was time to act, and soon, with cries of "Let's go and kill foreigners", a mob armed with guns, steel bars and whips was descending on non-South African homes.

The first to die was Sipho Madondo, a 41-year-old South African who refused the mob's demand that he join the planned killing spree. He was shot dead in front of his wife, Pretty.

Soon afterwards the first Zimbabwean died. Lungile Mtweni, 31, had just arrived jobless from his own country and was due to begin work the next day as a gardener for a white South African in the hope of providing for his wife and two children. He had borrowed the equivalent of 65p from a neighbour so he could travel to his job and was walking home when he was overwhelmed by the mob. After hearing his accent, they beat and stoned him to death, before moving on to loot and burn the homes of other foreigners.

Hundreds of foreigners fled Alexandra as they were attacked and their homes set alight. Some deadly genie had been let out of the bottle. Copycat attacks began in other townships and settlements – Tembisa, Katlehong, Reiger Park, Thokoza, Jeppestown, parts of the giant township of Soweto, names familiar from the violence that marked the 1989-1994 transition from apartheid to democracy.

Yesterday at least seven foreigners were burned or hacked to death in Johannesburg and mobs besieged the Central Methodist Church, which Bishop Paul Verryn has turned into a shelter for hundreds of Zimbabwean exiles. With violence erupting in so many places, police were struggling to maintain control.

The victims of the violence are dishevelled and dirty, sleeping in their thousands, huddled together in police compounds, the car parks of hospitals where their loved ones lie wounded, in churches and on waste ground.

One Zimbabwean said he didn't know what to do – return to unbearable poverty in his homeland or stay in South Africa, where it was beginning to look like he faced certain death.

Poor blacks pay the price for Mbeki's dithering over Zimbabwe

Fred Bridgland reports on the refugee crisis that is pitting black against black in South Africa's townships

I HOPE my gardener, George, has survived Johannesburg's pogroms unscathed. George is a Malawian, but I confess I don't know enough about him because he is actually employed and paid by my landlady. He is precisely the kind of person being targeted by black South African mobs, who accuse migrants from Zimbabwe, in particular, and from Malawi and Mozambique, of taking their jobs because they are willing to accept lower wages.

Read the rest of the story Here

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 10th 1940

The Sitzkrieg is ended.

"All quiet on the Western Front" no more.

Sitzkrieg: "The Phony War" was the term derisively applied by many in the English speaking countries to the period after the invasion of Poland had resulted in chaos in the East with the dictator's ravaged victim partitioned and occupied while leaving the French and the English waiting.

Spring 1940, Adolph Hitler visits the troops

May 10th 1940 was my brother-in-law's birthday, he was born in Eindhoven which city is located about 100 KM west of Dusseldorf and is about 55 KM to the West of the German border with The Kingdom of the Netherlands.

On that Spring morning Adolph Hitler sent eighty-nine divisions of Germany's young men to attack The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The Luft-waffe's Stuka-Flugel (dive-bombers) screamed from the sky dropping bombs to terrorize the unprepared Dutch, Belgians and Luxemburgers, while armored columns advanced across nearly undefended borders.

German parachute troops outside Rotterdam 5-10-1940

A Stuka Dive-bomber releases its bomb

At the same time, in the pre-dawn hours the Luftwaffe carried out a series of raids on aerodromes in the North of France. Pontoise, Lille, Lyon, Metz, Amiens and Annemasse were all bombed in the early morning hours so that there was no mistaking the fact that the war in the West had begun.

After only two days of Blitzkrieg (lightning-war) the German war machine had reached the northern French border and was in position to bypass the major French border defenses. Conquest of Belgium and The Netherlands was continuing and within three weeks, vastly outgunned by their larger neighbor, both countries had been forced to surrender to German occupation. With Holland and Belgium neutralized German armored columns, over a hundred miles long, poured across the border into France and crushed the opposing forces.

It would be five long years and tens of millions of lives lost and hundreds of cities and towns bombed into rubble before peace would be restored in Western Europe.

Apocalypse threatens to engulf Burma but junta seizes aid

Published Date: 10 May 2008
By Stephen McGinty
BURMA is facing a disease epidemic of "apocalyptic proportions" after the military dictatorship blocked aid efforts and seized vital supplies forcing the United Nations' World Food Programme to temporarily halt mercy flights.

As the death toll from Cyclone Nargis climbed towards 100,000, with a further 1.5 million people left homeless and starving, the Disasters Emergency Committee yesterday warned of a catastrophic humanitarian disaster to follow unless the Burmese government accepted assistance from world aid agencies.

Last night the United Nations World Food Programme agreed to send in two further plane-loads of aid scheduled to arrive today, after initially calling a halt to its aid programme when two planes were impounded by the government on Friday. The WFP had sent some aid on a scheduled Thai Airways cargo flight on Thursday which went through without problems, however a bureaucratic mix-up led to the seizure of cargo from the next two flights. Instead of immediately whisking the consignment, which included 38 tonnes of high-energy biscuits and relief equipment, to the disaster zone in the Irrawaddy Delta it was immediately confiscated.

"All of the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated," said Paul Risley, spokesman for the UN's World Food Programme in Bangkok. He said: "It is being held by the government. It is sitting in a warehouse. It is not in trucks heading to Irrawaddy Delta where it is critically needed. The frustration caused by what appears to be a paperwork delay is unprecedented in modern humanitarian relief efforts. It's astonishing."

The United Nations also last night launched an international appeal for $187 million and urged the Burmese government to permit humanitarians into the country. Sir John Holmes, the UN secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and the UN's emergency relief co-ordinator said: "Every hour that passes more lives are lost."

Despite the plight of its people, the Burmese government, who for over forty years have viewed the West with deep suspicion and hostility, is adamant that while aid is welcome, aid workers are not.

Yesterday, members of the Disasters Emergency Committee said "they could do more" without opposition from the military junta. Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision Australia, said suspicion of foreign aid workers was hampering their work. He warned of an epidemic of "apocalyptic proportions" if aid does not get through. But he urged donors to continue giving, saying the charities were making a difference.

The DEC appeal, which is supported by The Scotsman, is run by British aid agencies and charities has raised £4 million in two days. Mr Costello said the Burmese government did not have the capacity to run the relief effort required, adding that the impact of Cyclone Nargis could be worse than the affect of the Asian tsunami on Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Speaking from Burma to a press conference in central London, he said: "The frustration is we know we could do more. We know what the potential is but actually we are getting to people and making a difference. He said the affected area contains 19 million people and around two-thirds of them are children.

He continued: "We certainly know that once an epidemic starts it's difficult to stop and becomes of apocalyptic proportions. The potential for this epidemic is extremely probable." He said the relief effort faced a "race against time" to prevent diseases such as diphtheria, cholera and malaria spreading. He said: "The size of this is simply extraordinary and in terms of its impact much greater than the tsunami impact in Sri Lanka or Indonesia. The capacity to absorb this level of suffering, dislocation and chaos doesn't exist (in Burma]. It really requires international aid, it cannot be done in-country."

Meanwhile a Red Cross official Anders Ladekarl, who is in Burma, revealed the magnitude of the task facing rescuers. He said: "We are simply lacking transportation. There are almost no boats and no helicopters. This is really a nightmare to make this operation run."

Entire villages have been submerged in the Irrawaddy delta. Yesterday the British ambassador to Burma, Mark Canning, estimated that the death toll was between 60-100,000. Mr Canning said just five of the 17 Britons unaccounted for following the cyclone have been tracked down so far.

Last night Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, chief executive of the Scottish multi-faith charity Mary's Meals, said they were determined not to walk away from their newly-opened food centres in Burma and on the Burma/Thai border. Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said: "My worry is that when the public sees such a respected body as the UN World Food Programme threaten to suspend aid flights into Burma it sends a message that the door has been slammed closed. We could have over 50,000 people dead and over a million suffering; politics will not bury the dead, feed the starving or get water to the thirsty.

"I hope that people continue to give and we can end the squabbling and get aid to those suffering. We at Mary's Meals are determined to rebuild our school feeding stations that have been destroyed ."

Last night the aid group Action Against Hunger noted that the delta region is known as the country's granary, and the cyclone hit before the harvest. A statement released by the group said: "If the harvest has been destroyed this will have a devastating impact on food security in Burma."

The effects were already being felt in Rangoon, where the price of increasingly scarce water shot up by more than 500 per cent, and rice and oil jumped by 60 per cent over the last three days.

Last night there was evidence of a change in direction as the Burmese government agreed to a single US military C-130 in the country on Monday, in what the White House hopes will be the beginning of a steady flow of aid to the stricken nation.

'Please help us, we are facing difficulty for our daily survival'

ONE week ago, the old life of Ma Khine was swept away in a tide of wind, waves and rain. Today, she and her family huddle together in a monastery, along with 500 other villagers from the township of Kyauktan, another victim of Cyclone Nargis.

Last Saturday, Nargis blasted the southern coastal area of Burma at 190kph, the worst natural disaster the country has experienced. Along with the ensuing tidal wave, measuring up to 12m high, the destruction left up to 100,000 people dead or missing.

As night approached and the flood waters rose on Saturday, many villagers crowded into the Sasana Beikman monastery with Ma Khine's family. Others held to vain refuge in their houses, until they collapsed. Some families clung to plastic containers to keep from drowning. Ma Khine said: "It was frightening. I was worried that my family members would be separated. Our faces went blue from cold and I thought we were going to die."

Huddling with her family in one of the hardest-hit areas in Rangoon division, Ma Khine talked briefly about a tough life made worse by the disaster. Economic conditions were so strained in the Irrawaddy Delta village where her family's simple house used to stand, that she had left school to work in a garment factory near the country's capital. She barely earned 200 kyat (£16) a month, she said.

The first reports of fatalities in Kyauktan township put the number of deaths at 16 of the 15,000 affected population and a number of authorities speculate it will grow considerably once they can access more of the 44 affected villages in the township.

In the temporary camp, children younger than five sit in their mother's arms, a shocked expression frozen on their faces. They don't want to return to their village, but their parents are anxious to start picking up the pieces of their shattered world.

As one mother said: "Please help us to rebuild our village. We are facing difficulty for our daily survival as our houses are now lying flat in the water; some are crushed by trees. We do not even have cooking utensils or clothes to wear."

According to a UNICEF team assessing the Kyauktan township situation, food is scarce among the 66 shelters there. Many villagers with houses remaining have been cooking and donating what they can.
Read the rest of the story and comments here.