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#1 2018-06-02 15:32:42

Gravy
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Registered: 2018-03-29
Posts: 44

Humanitarian Issues 2018

A General Thread for Humanitarian Issues. Feel fre to recommend additional boards :-)


May I be happy. May I be peaceful. May I be free.
May all beings be happy. May all beings be peaceful. May all beings be free.
May my enemies be happy. May my enemies be peaceful. May my enemies be free.

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#2 2018-06-05 22:44:56

Ninathedog
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 14

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

.
(Copied from the other thread --
http://www.therealgoldenthread.com/view … pid=97#p97)

Ninathedog wrote:

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
PCHRGaza.org

In New Crime of Excessive Use of Lethal Force against Peaceful Protesters in Gaza Strip, Israeli Forces Go too Far in Their Crimes, Killing Volunteer Paramedic and Wounding 68 Civilians, including 7 Paramedics, 8 Children and 2 Journalists

08146034332220785221312332368277.jpg

Razan Ashraf al-Najjar (21), a volunteer paramedic
Today: shot with a bullet that entered her chest and exited her back when she was 200 meters away from the border fence, providing aid to one of those wounded.

%D8%B1%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B1.jpg

Ref: 57/2018
Date: 01 June 2018
Time: 20:00 GMT

On Friday, 01 June 2018, using excessive lethal forces against the peaceful protesters in eastern Gaza Strip for the 10th Friday in a row, Israeli forces killed a volunteer paramedic and wounded 68 other civilians, including 7 paramedics, 8 children, and 2 journalists. 

%D8%B1%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%86.jpg

PCHR strongly condemns the crime of killing a Civil Defense paramedic and wounding 223 members of the medical personnel, including 29 paramedics with live bullets or due to tear gas inhalation, since the beginning of the March of Return demonstrations on March 30.  This high number of casualties among the medical personnel proves there is an Israeli systematic policy of targeting the medical personnel while carrying out their humanitarian duty.

PCHR emphasizes that upon a decision by the highest political and military echelons, the Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protesters, who posed no threat to the life of the soldiers.

IMG_8067.jpg

.......

Table of Civilian Casualties due to the Israeli Suppression since the Beginning of the Great March of Return on 30 March
http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=10903

.......

Investigations and observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers during this week emphasize the following:

¶¶ Dozens of Israeli Forces’ snipers continued to position on the hills, behind the sand barriers and in military jeeps along the border fence in front of the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip.

¶¶ According to PCHR’s fieldworkers, the number of youth gatherings near the border fence augmented to reach dozens who set fire to tires and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces.

¶¶ The Israeli snipers deliberately and selectively opened fire at the participants in the peaceful demonstrations which included thousands of civilians in different areas in the eastern Gaza Strip.

¶¶ The Israeli forces continued to target the medical personnel directly and deliberately as they wounded 7 of them; most of them in eastern Khan Younis. Moreover, an ambulance sustained damage.  PCHR emphasizes that the medical personnel members, means of medical transport, and field hospitals were distinctively marked and easily identified as the medical personnel was wearing their distinctive medical uniform while the ambulances were marked with the PRCS and ICRC insignias in addition to the clear badges on the field hospitals. Despite all of this, they were under the Israeli forces’ attacks.

¶¶ The Israeli forces widely used bursts of tear gas canisters and from drones, targeting the center of the demonstrations and near the demonstrators near the border fence. As a result, many civilians were directly targeted and hit with tear gas canisters, causing serious injuries, while the gas coming of them made hundreds, including PCHR’s fieldworkers who were documenting the incidents, suffer tear gas inhalation, fainting and seizures. Some of them were transferred to hospitals, including few so far receive medical treatment.

¶¶ The demonstrations were as always fully peaceful, and PCHR’s fieldworkers did not witness weapons or armed persons even dressed in civilian clothes among the demonstrators, who were thousands of elderlies, women, children and entire families, demonstrating near the border fence and raising flags, chanting slogans and national songs, flying kites and burning tires.

¶¶ Journalists were again targeted with tear gas canisters, wounding a number of them in eastern Gaza and al-Bureij refugee camp.

¶¶ The Israeli unjustified and fallacious incitement against the peaceful demonstrations and encampments continues, perceiving the demonstration itself as danger. This hereby violates the right to peaceful assembly codified in all International instruments.

.

The incidents today, 01 June 2018, were as follows:

At approximately 16:00, hundreds of civilians, including women, children and elderlies within entire families, started swarming to 5 encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege in eastern Rafah City; Khuza’ah in Khan Younis; al-Bureij in the Central Gaza Strip; Shija’eyah neighborhood in Gaza City; and eastern Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.

The number of participants gradually increased, reaching a peak at approximately 17:00, in the five demonstration areas, and they were estimated at thousands of men, elderlies, women and children.  They were inside and outside the encampment yards, raising flags, and chanting slogans and national songs in addition to flying kites, while hundreds of them, including children and women, approached the border fence, set fire to tires and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces.

The Israeli shooting which continued until 19:30 resulted in the killing of Razan Ashraf al-Najjar (21), a volunteer paramedic from Khuza’ah in eastern Khan Younis working for the Medical Relief Society after being shot with a bullet that entered her chest and exited her back.  She was wounded at approximately 18:45 when she was 200 meters away from the border fence, northwest of the Return camp in eastern Khzua’ah, providing aid to one of those wounded.  Her death was declared only minutes after her arrival at the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis, noting that Razan had been present since the first day of the opening of Return camp and worked as a volunteer almost daily evacuating and aiding dozens of civilians wounded.

Moreover, 68 civilians in the eastern Gaza demonstration areas were wounded with live bullets and direct hits of tear gas canisters, including 8 children, 7 paramedics and 2 journalists.  In addition, hundreds suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures after Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters.

.

¶¶¶ PCHR condemns this new crime committed by the Israeli forces, believing it is as a result of Israel’s enjoying impunity thanks to the U.S. and so encouraging the Israeli forces to commit further crimes upon an official decision by the highest military and political echelons.

¶¶¶ PCHR emphasizes that different attacks against the Palestinian medical personnel, especially those working in the field, constitute a serious violation of the international human rights and humanitarian laws and the international standards regulating the protection rules of medical personnel, including paramedics, their vehicles and medical facilities.  The serious violations and deliberate attacks against the medical personnel amount to war crimes according to the 1949 fourth Geneva Convention, particularly the scope of protection provided to them.

¶¶¶ PCHR emphasizes that continuously inflicting casualties, either killed or wounded, is unjustified and targeting and killing civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, using lethal force is a serious violation of the rules of intentional law and international humanitarian law.

¶¶¶ PCHR emphasizes that the demonstrations are fully peaceful and civilians have the right to raise their voices against the Israeli forces and closure and enjoy their right to return.  Thus, PCHR stresses that Israel shall be held accountable and prosecuted through investigating with it into these crimes.

¶¶¶ PCHR also stresses that this ongoing policy by Israel violates the Rome STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) and Fourth Geneva Convention, and its practices qualify to war crimes. Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation into these crimes in addition to prosecuting and holding accountable all of those involved in issuing decisions and orders in the Israeli forces at the political and security level and those applying the orders.

¶¶¶ PCHR asks for the presence of international observers from the United Nations (UN) bodies in the Gaza Strip to make sure that these demonstrations are totally peaceful and even if the Israeli authorities denied their access to Gaza, they can observe from the Israeli side of the borders.

¶¶¶ PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

¶¶¶ PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories.

¶¶¶ PCHR calls for the prompt formation of an intentional commission of inquiry according to the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the crimes committed by the Israeli forces against unarmed civilians in the Return March activities.
.......

© Copyright 2016 - Palestinian Center for Human Rights

ABOUT US
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Gaza City. ... More
http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=10903

Last edited by Ninathedog (2018-06-05 22:57:30)


Over half the people living in Gaza are CHILDREN.
http://the-goldenthread.proboards.com/thread/43?page=1

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#3 2018-06-05 22:59:40

Ninathedog
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 14

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018


Over half the people living in Gaza are CHILDREN.
http://the-goldenthread.proboards.com/thread/43?page=1

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#4 2018-06-07 14:52:34

Ninathedog
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 14

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

Netanyahu confronted over Gaza deaths by
prominent UK politician

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Updated 1:50 PM EDT, Thu June 07, 2018

London (CNN) A former leader of the UK Conservative Party challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday over the use of live ammunition against Palestinians during recent protests along the Gaza-Israel border fence.

Michael Howard, who led the Conservatives between 2003 and 2005, asked Netanyahu why Israeli forces didn't use alternatives like rubber bullets.

Netanyahu said other methods had been tried, but didn't work.

The Israeli leader was in London as part of a tour of Germany, France and the UK capitals during which he has attempted to persuade European leaders to ease their support for the Iran nuclear deal.

He faced questions on a range of issues at an event in London organized by the Policy Exchange think tank.

Howard, a prominent Jewish figure in British politics who is now a member of the House of Lords, said that many would understand the need to prevent protesters scaling the border fence during violent demonstrations. "Fewer people ... sympathize and understand the proposition that the only way to stop them scaling the fence was to kill them," he added.

RTX5F3ZM-gaza-protest-march2018-1120.jpg
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/20 … order.html

"Why couldn't you use rubber bullets? Why couldn't you -- if in extremis you had to use live ammunition -- why couldn't you shoot them in the legs? Why did you have to kill them to stop them scaling the fence?"

Netanyahu responded that everything suggested by Howard had been tried, along with other methods, but that they hadn't worked. "Nobody intentionally went out to kill anyone," he said.

_100636732_045850666.jpg
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk

4_57.jpg
https://static.timesofisrael.com/

The Israeli leader pointed the finger at Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza, saying it had wanted more Palestinian deaths. "Their goal was to have as many casualties. Our goal was to minimize casualties and avoid fatalities," he said.

The questions from Howard came a day after UK Prime Minister Theresa May told Netanyahu that her government was "concerned" about the loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza.

"The UK absolutely recognizes that Israel has a right for self defense," May said during an on-camera conversation in Downing Street, but added that she hoped Israel could alleviate the "deteriorating" situation in Gaza.

Responding, Netanyahu said the issue was "rooted in the fundamental goal of Hamas to destroy Israel."

th?id=OIP.Salu3fER5WnoUzxTjX4XLQHaDt&pid=1.1
http://the intercept.com

"This is not a non-violent protest, quite the contrary," Netanyahu said, referring to the Palestinian Great March of Return, a series of Friday demonstrations over six weeks from March to May. More than 100 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli fire during the protests, according to a CNN count based on Palestinian Health Ministry figures.

Netanyahu said the Israelis were doing "everything we can" to minimize civilian casualties, "and at the same time protect Israeli lives."

download-1.jpg
https://egyptianstreets.com/

Israel faced international condemnation last month after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians in bloody clashes at the Gaza border as the US officially opened its Embassy in Jerusalem just 50 miles away.

The Israeli Defence Forces, or IDF, said protesters were trying to storm the border fence between Israel and Gaza. It accused Hamas of "leading a terrorist operation" and inciting the protesters to conduct what Israel described as terror attacks.

AP18090487638154.jpg
https://www.vosizneias.com/

Palestinian leaders said the protests were peaceful and the use of force was wholly disproportionate to the threat.

000_13F8MT.jpg
https://static.timesofisrael.com

2018_3-30-gaza-protestc3.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&quality=75&strip=all&ssl=1
https://i0.wp.com/www.middleeastmonitor.com

The aim of the March of Return movement is to highlight the Palestinian right to return to homes and villages lost by their ancestors in the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli war.

CNN's Hilary McGann contributed to this report.

© 2018 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/07/uk/n … index.html

Last edited by Ninathedog (2018-06-07 21:06:03)


Over half the people living in Gaza are CHILDREN.
http://the-goldenthread.proboards.com/thread/43?page=1

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#5 2018-06-11 15:21:41

Alined
Member
Registered: 2018-03-29
Posts: 6

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

Italy’s New Populist Government Turns Away Ship With 600 Migrants Aboard

Migrants were rescued by the search-and-rescue ship Aquarius in the Mediterranean on Sunday.CreditKarpov, via Reuters
By Gaia Pianigiani and Jason Horowitz
June 11, 2018

ROME — Italy’s new populist government, following through on its campaign promise to crack down on immigration, refused to let a rescue boat with more than 600 migrants dock on Sunday and threatened to do the same to other ships on Monday.

The action set off a day of diplomatic confrontation with the European Union and its Mediterranean neighbors, until Spain said Monday afternoon that it would break the deadlock and accept the ship, the Aquarius, which had been at sea under a sweltering sun since Saturday.

But the blocking of the ship made for the first real test of whether Matteo Salvini, the country’s powerful interior minister and the leader of the anti-immigrant League, would keep the hard-line campaign promises to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants and to prevent new arrivals from landing on Italian shores.

He did, and after Spain offered to take the migrants, he declared victory for his government, saying at a news conference at his party’s headquarters that raising his voice had clearly paid off.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/worl … ctionfront

Let's focus on Unity & Peace!

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#6 2018-06-16 16:13:19

arashikage
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 39

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

Trump suggests separation of families at border is a negotiating tool
By Kate Sullivan
Updated 1:36 PM EDT, Sat June 16, 2018


(CNN) President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that he is using his administration's separation of families at the US border as a negotiating tool to get Democrats to cave on his immigration demands, which include funding for a border wall, curbing legal immigration into the US, and tightening the rules for border enforcement.

Trump again falsely blamed Democrats for his administration's actions, and said they could put a stop to the family separations by working with Republicans in Congress. Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from parents over a period of about six weeks in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

"Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!" Trump wrote in a tweet.



According to reporting by The Washington Post, White House officials said President Donald Trump has calculated he will gain leverage in congressional negotiations by enforcing a policy he claims to hate.

"I hate the children being taken away," Trump said Friday morning. But Trump suggested Friday in an interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" he would not reverse his administration's policy unless Democrats agreed to his longstanding immigration priorities.

RELATED: Republicans scramble to understand if Trump just sunk their immigration effort

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she sees "no prospects" for a legislative fix.

The separations stem from a deliberate policy shift by the Trump administration, which it has the power to unilaterally reverse.

CNN's Tal Kopan, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly



If he hates it so much, maybe he can stop making it happen? Human dignity is at stake. I pray for a reconnection to the awareness that all are sacred. If he has strayed that far into the darkness, that he thinks holding kids in the middle is an acceptable tactic, then he has rejected the sanctity, or notion of family.
Had he said they were being temporarily housed..., that would be one thing, but he did not say that.
"... being taken away", is what he said. If you take something, without asking, it is called theft, or stealing.
I pray he turns away from sin. I rebuke the actions he has done, and the spirit that guided him to do those actions.

May our future generations, forgive us. It is not too late to prevent the creation of more enemies. Extend respect to all. What burns into the minds of those seeing The U. S. as a monster? This fire needs to be put out, and quickly.

Last edited by arashikage (2018-06-16 16:55:26)


S   E   V   E   R   E   L   Y            S   T   O   K   E   D   !   !   !

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#7 2018-06-19 13:17:04

arashikage
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 39

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

https://stillnessinthestorm.com/2018/06 … concludes/

What I heard in an audio clip/s, of children being separated from their parents, were clearly traumatic events.

DHS Secretary Nielsen has claimed that the children are getting everything they need. I don't think she is qualified to make such claims.

What are the children being taught in the "schooling" areas of these internment-like facilities? Excuse me...just tasting a bit of bile coming up, as I am revolted at even the thought.

This reminds me of the movie "Hook", where Captain Hook takes Peter's kids, and tries to use various means of manipulating their minds, to endear them to their captor, with a result of souring against their parents. Hook's fear is the ticking of clocks, and his downfall comes not from Peter's sword, but at the collapsing of time.
This is just a feeling. I don't know all of what is going on in these places.

What I can see is levels of propaganda. Those that have been here, may be desensitized to it, having been inundated for so long.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and for some already, that impression is a wall. Separation is another word for a partition, or wall. So when I here Neilson say "Until the wall is built...", I am traumatized by her ignorance (of the importance of child parent contact, especially for the very young), her lack of respect (for the laws of nature), and appalled by her (and cohorts') toxically inhospitable stance, that seems devoid of moral questioning (I vas only following orders line).

If someone doing these separations, no matter which gang is claimed, speaks to me of traditional American family values, I will gladly hand them some toilet paper, and let them know that they have a little something on the side of their mouths. I'm sorry, but they have broken with tradition, and are an affront to humanity.

Where can bridges be built to bring humanity together?
We are all learning as we go, and I pray for my own ignorances and blockages to be removed, as well as those in others. Lord knows the logs in my eyes, but there is nothing that is too hard for the Creator to do.
I must give myself to the will of the Creator, and exercises the fruit of the spirit, against such there is no law.


S   E   V   E   R   E   L   Y            S   T   O   K   E   D   !   !   !

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#8 2018-06-27 02:36:20

arashikage
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 39

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

Federal Judge In CA orders...what???
http://abc7news.com/politics/california … s/3660287/

Oh yeah, and for those under 5 years of age, they must be reunited within 14 days of the order!

"Sanity" is still kicking. Trauma has happened. There is no changing that, but maybe there is a path toward healing.

Last edited by arashikage (2018-06-27 02:37:46)


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#9 2018-06-30 20:13:33

Ninathedog
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 14

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

The Marsh Builders: the Fight for Clean Water,
Wetlands and Wildlife

By Sharon Levy
Oxford University Press, May 2018

The marsh in the small northern California city of Arcata teems with life: river otters, frogs, ducks, falcons—and feces. This idyllic habitat was built to filter sewage. Powered by sun and wind, Arcata’s pioneering project has inspired treatment wetlands worldwide, from Arizona to Saipan.

For centuries, humanity has fouled rivers, lakes and bays while destroying the wetlands that act as natural filters for polluted water.  Today waters in the US and around the world are tainted with an overload of nutrients carried in runoff from farms and cities.  Nutrient pollution triggers algal blooms that can poison drinking water, and creates New Jersey-sized dead zones where no fish can survive.  Revived wetlands hold great promise for healing the waters that sustain us, as well as shielding coastal cities from the impacts of rising seas. Constructed wetlands designed to treat polluted water are already playing an important role in the ecology of migratory birds.

In "The Marsh Builders," Sharon Levy delves into the global roots of the citizen uprising that built Arcata’s marsh, as well as its lessons for modern activists and regulators.

Order at
https://www.sharonlevy.net/
© 2014 by Sharon Levy.


Over half the people living in Gaza are CHILDREN.
http://the-goldenthread.proboards.com/thread/43?page=1

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#10 2018-07-01 17:52:37

Ninathedog
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 14

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018


The Ecology of Artificial Wetlands

Sharon Levy
BioScience, Volume 65, Issue 4, 1 April 2015, Pages 346–352, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biv022
Published: 28 February 2015

Researchers find a complex mix of effects on wildlife

An alligator lunges off the bank, triggering a mighty splash that sends a startled heron into flight. As we roll along the levee, we pause to watch mobs of white ibis and roseate spoonbills pluck their prey from the water or sift it from the mud. Brian Garrett, wildlife coordinator for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), steps on the brakes as a handful of wood storks flush away from his pickup truck. The birds’ lanky, bald-headed bodies transform into soaring grace as they circle above us.

This lush South Florida marsh teems with wildlife, yet it is an industrial habitat, created to filter pollutants out of the runoff from sugar and dairy farms upstream. The SFWMD manages more than 42,000 acres of these wetlands, called stormwater treatment areas (STAs). A recent study found that bird populations in the stormwater treatment areas are more abundant and diverse than those found in adjacent natural marsh.

The findings are part of a new wave of research on the wildlife ecology of artificial wetlands, crucial habitats in a world in which many natural wetlands have been drained to make way for cities or farmland. Half of the planet's natural wetlands have disappeared since 1900.

Thousands of artificial wetlands now treat sewage effluent and contaminated runoff from city streets and farm fields. These wetlands are most often designed to improve water quality, not to nurture wildlife. Yet creatures from bats to snails exploit these rich habitats. Depending on the circumstance and the species, constructed wetlands may represent a lifeline or an ecological trap.

Tyler Beck, a biologist with the Florida Wildlife Commission, studied bird populations in and around the stormwater treatment areas as a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University. He found that bird density in the artificial marshes was 38 times greater than in nearby natural wetlands and species richness was 4 times higher. Remote, motion-activated cameras have caught images of the endangered Florida panther and of abundant coyotes and feral hogs. Thousands of people come to the stormwater treatment areas  each year to bird-watch, and hundreds more line up to hunt ducks and alligators.

The stormwater treatment areas are part of a massive effort to restore the ecology of the Everglades, an expanse of sawgrass marsh, cypress swamp, and coastal mangrove forest that once encompassed 4.8 million acres in south Florida. About 700,000 acres of the northern Everglades, at the edge of Lake Okeechobee, was drained to create farmland, in a frenzy of canal building that began in the early 1900s. Before this grand reengineering of natural flows, a sheet of shallow, clear water ran south from Lake Okeechobee across the tip of the Florida peninsula, sustaining sawgrass marshes adapted to low-nutrient conditions.

By the 1970s, Lake Okeechobee was choking on heavy loads of nutrients that ran off of sugar fields and dairy farms. Blooms of algae fueled by high phosphorus levels have at times covered as much as 153 square miles of the lake's surface. Immense algal blooms pump toxins into the water or drain it of oxygen, killing off fish and aquatic invertebrates. The polluted water flowed downstream into native wetlands, creating an explosion of cattail, which thrives in nutrient-rich water, outcompeting sawgrass and reshaping the ancient Everglades ecosystem. The shift in vegetation affected everything from tiny invertebrates in the bottom muck to cruising hawks, which have a hard time locating their prey amid the tall, dense stands of cattail.

In the late 1990s, as part of a settlement in a federal lawsuit over violation of water quality standards, SFWMD built six stormwater treatment areas at the interface of heavily fertilized agricultural land and protected native wetlands. The stormwater treatment areas’ thick stands of cattail slow the flow of water, allowing phosphorus-rich sediment to settle to the bottom. The plants also take up nutrients to fuel their own growth. Farther downstream in each stormwater treatment area are areas kept clear of cattail so that submerged plants—such as guppy grass (Najas guadalupensis) and muskgrass (Chara spp.)—can flourish and absorb more of the phosphorus load. The stormwater treatment area systems remove 60–80 percent of the total phosphorus, achieving a major improvement in water quality, although nutrient loads remain higher than those in the predevelopment Everglades.

Bird populations are dense in the stormwater treatment areas because the nutrient-rich waters fuel an intensely productive ecosystem. American coots form particularly abundant flocks. Beck calculated that 8 percent of the total American coot population is now wintering in the stormwater treatment areas.

Snail kites are a common sight in the stormwater treatment areas, flying low with their heads tilted down as they search for prey. The kite, an endangered subspecies that lives only in Cuba and the Everglades region, preys almost exclusively on apple snails—including invasive species of apple snail. Beck, who is now the snail kite conservation coordinator for the Florida Wildlife Commission, notes that a University of Florida research team found 100 active kite nests—a record number—in the stormwater treatment areas during 2014. That is a significant contribution to the survival of a bird whose total US population is estimated at only 1200 individuals.

Although water levels shift—deeper in the summer rainy season, shallower in the dry of winter—SFWMD keeps the stormwater treatment areas permanently flooded to maintain the plants that work to cleanse the water. This is far different from conditions in the undisturbed Everglades, much of which dried out for months at a time. Garrett and other managers control water levels in the stormwater treatment areas during the months when black-necked stilts are breeding. These elegant wading birds nest on the surface of muddy pond banks. An uncontrolled flood could wipe out hundreds of stilt chicks.

The threatened wood stork is also adapted to the ancient rise and fall of water in the undisturbed Everglades. The species traditionally feasted in small pools where fish congregate when wetlands dry out in winter. Wood storks have been hard hit by the loss of the seasonal changes in water flow. The long-term survival of the US population will probably require major changes in the plumbing humans have imposed on South Florida, to allow a rebirth of seasonally dry wetlands—a habitat the stormwater treatment areas cannot replace.

In Australia, wastewater treatment creates buffet for birds--
Every September, thousands of sandpipers and stints arrive at the edge of Port Phillip Bay, near Melbourne, Australia. Exhausted from their long migration—most of these tiny shorebirds breed as far away as northeastern Siberia or western Alaska—they settle in for some serious eating. At low tide, they spread out on the mudflats, probing the muck with their sensitive bills. The bay mud is a rich source of small invertebrates, made even richer by discharges from the Western Treatment Plant (WTP), which for decades has handled the sewage generated by millions of people living in Melbourne. Long-term discharge of treated sewage has given the bay's nearshore ecosystem a nutritional jolt, creating a feast for hungry shorebirds.

The Western Treatment Plant is the centerpiece of a conservation site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, a classification resulting from the site's intense use by waterbirds. In addition to helping feed large numbers of native Australian shorebirds and migrants from the far north, the Western Treatment Plant contains a series of sewage treatment lagoons, some of them built in the 1930s, which have become critical habitat for waterfowl.

Western Treatment Plant treatment lagoons lack emergent plants like cattail. Called waste stabilization ponds, these open-water systems are seen by some experts as the simplest, least energy-intensive means of treating sewage and are widely used in the developing world. In the lagoons, bacteria break down organic compounds, and algae and zooplankton flourish on the nutrients in the sewage.

Recent studies by Christopher Murray and Andrew Hamilton of the University of Melbourne have found that wastewater treatment ponds host more abundant and diverse bird populations than do remaining natural wetlands. “Over a period of 22 years, we found significantly more species, and higher numbers of birds, in wastewater ponds,” explains Hamilton.

Melbourne Water, the agency in charge of the Western Treatment Plant, monitors its bird populations. In a single day of observation at Pond 9, a 109-hectare segment of the Lake Borrie lagoon system, the agency has recorded as many as 15,000 pink-eared ducks, striking birds that sport zebra-striped plumage. They swim in dense flocks along with teal, shovelers, grebes, and swans; the team has recorded up to 20,000 birds at a time on Pond 9 alone and over 100,000 on the entire Western Treatment Plant. Perhaps the most dramatic example of a species that relies on habitat at the Western Treatment Plant is the blue-billed duck, a diving bird that forages for invertebrates on pond bottoms. In 2002, when the world population of this duck was thought to be about 12,000 individuals, almost 13,000 were counted at the Western Treatment Plant. “Under the Ramsar Convention, a site that supports 1 percent of a population is identified as being of international importance,” explains Will Steele, senior biodiversity scientist for Melbourne Water. “So the value of the Western Treatment Plant to this species is inestimable.”

Such mind-boggling abundance is not natural. “Waste stabilization ponds support a very different type of community when it comes to the balance between numbers and diversity of various species,” notes Hamilton. “They're great for waterbirds but not for diverse communities of amphibians and arthropods, which need emergent vegetation.… Because we've lost so much natural habitat, we're happy to have a place like the [WTP], sort of a McDonald's for waterbirds.”

After years of studying waterfowl use of treatment wetlands in Australia, Hamilton thinks that the spread of simple pond systems for sewage treatment in developing nations may aid the survival of migratory waterfowl as their natural habitat disappears. But he worries that a trend toward using higher-tech sewage treatment systems, which do not involve open ponds accessible to birds, may make a serious dent in available waterbird habitat.

Port Phillip Bay remains surprisingly healthy despite long-term discharges from the WTP and other sources in sprawling metropolitan Melbourne. A model of nutrient cycling in the bay created by scientists with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia's national science agency, predicted that continued nutrient loading could push the bay over the brink, clouding the water, smothering healthy algal mats that flourish on the bay floor, and killing off many species of benthic invertebrates. To prevent this, the WTP was ordered to improve its wastewater treatment and decrease the amount of nitrogen it released.

From 2003 to 2005, activated sludge plants were installed in two of the WTP's newer treatment lagoons. (Activated sludge systems use a managed community of aerobic bacteria and protozoa to treat polluted water.) Some of the older lagoons were removed from the sewage treatment process and began to receive fully treated effluent. Ecologists feared that cleaner water would mean less algae and invertebrates for waterfowl to dine on. Whereas one law mandated the upgrade to the sewage treatment process to protect Port Phillip Bay, another required that plant managers track and mitigate any resulting impacts on bird populations.

Surveys of waterfowl in the early years following installation of the activated sludge plants showed an overall decline in the time birds spent feeding on Pond 9 of the Lake Borrie system. Birds also changed their distribution and habits, spending more time on ponds downstream of the new activated sludge plants that had once been too eutrophic to attract them. Managers responded by trying various ways of bringing more nutrients back into Lake Borrie and ultimately decided to build a new pipeline to return sewage flows there.

The major changes at the WTP coincided with an epic drought that struck eastern Australia from 1997–2009. At the height of the drought, in 2008, aerial surveys found that about 70 percent of all waterfowl in the state of Victoria were at the WTP, sheltering on its reliably flooded ponds.

More recent data show that climate—specifically the drought and its end, which saw flooding of long-dry natural wetlands in the continent's interior—drove variations in waterbird use of habitat at the WTP. “In hindsight, having seen how bird populations rebounded after the drought, I reckon we'd have difficulty arguing for the major expense of the Lake Borrie sewage pipeline on the basis of bird habitat alone,” notes Steele. The pipeline will end up paying its way, as continuing human population growth in Melbourne creates a need for more treatment lagoons. It is a lesson in the complexities of managing treatment wetlands and the birds that flock to them.

Amphibians respond to toxic mix

In many urban areas, the only homes now widely available to amphibians are stormwater retention ponds, built to slow the flow of and filter toxins from the polluted water that runs off city streets. Joel Snodgrass, head of the wildlife department at Virginia Tech, has spent years studying amphibians in these artificial habitats. In a rapidly developing area of Baltimore County, Maryland, Snodgrass and his colleague Adrianne Brand found that most amphibian breeding activity took place in artificial wetlands and that these were the only places where tadpoles survived to metamorphosis. Survival of eggs and larvae was highest in ponds that went dry for part of the year, because permanent ponds are colonized by fish that prey on amphibian eggs and larvae.

Keeping native amphibians alive in an urbanizing landscape will mean managing stormwater ponds for the animals’ benefit. Just how to do this is a difficult question, because such ponds collect a poisonous stew left behind by the steady communal drip of gasoline, antifreeze, fertilizers, and pesticides. For example, an estimated 10,000 tons of zinc was released to US roadways through tire wear in 1999. Snodgrass's group found that wood frog (Rana sylvatica) larvae exposed to zinc from tire debris had decreased hatching success, slowed development, and lower weight at metamorphosis.

Further reading.
Beck TJ, Gawlik DE, Pearlstine EV. 2013. Community patterns in treatment wetlands, natural wetlands, and croplands in Florida. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 125: 329–341.
Gallagher MT, Snodgrass JW, Brand AB, Casey RE, Lev SM, Van Meter RJ. 2014. The role of pollutant accumulation in determining the use of stormwater ponds by amphibians. Wetlands Ecology and Management 22: 551–564.
Hersikorn BD, Smits JEG. 2011. Compromised metamorphosis and thyroid hormone changes in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised on reclaimed wetlands on the Athabasca oil sands. Environmental Pollution 159: 596–601.
Murray CG, Loyn RH, Kasel S, Hepworth G, Stamation K, Hamilton AJ. 2012. What can a database compiled over 22 years tell us about the use of different types of wetlands by waterfowl in south-eastern Australian summers? Emu 112: 209–217.
American toads (Bufo americanus) thrive in suburban Baltimore, but the wood frog is vanishing, in part as a result of dwindling forest habitat. In his lab, Snodgrass found that habitat loss is not the sole threat. He exposed wood frog and American toad tadpoles to sediments from Baltimore-area stormwater ponds, contaminated with chromium, copper, nickel, zinc, and road salts. The toads raised in these toxic sediments were smaller when they metamorphosed into adults than were their counterparts raised on clean sand. The wood frogs were devastated; none of those exposed to the toxic sediments survived to metamorphosis.

Recent evidence suggests that salt, used to melt road ice, is the deadliest toxin for sensitive species. The concentration of road salt in stormwater ponds appears to be a major factor determining which amphibians can successfully reproduce and survive in the urban landscape.

Andrew Hamer, an ecologist at the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, has spent many nights listening at the edges of stormwater treatment ponds in Melbourne, identifying frogs by their distinctive courting songs. Most of Melbourne's stormwater ponds, designed to hold water year round, harbor thriving populations of Gambusia holbrooki, known as the mosquitofish. Introduced from the southeastern United States in 1925, G. holbrooki became an environmental disaster in Australia, where it is now called the plague minnow. The little fish flourishes in polluted water, feeding voraciously on native aquatic creatures.

Hamer found that only tree frog, striped marsh frog, and southern bullfrog larvae survived to adulthood in the presence of plague minnows. In Melbourne, as in Maryland, stormwater ponds can act as ecological traps, luring adult frogs to breed in habitats in which their young cannot survive.

Snodgrass believes the growing body of evidence on amphibian mortality should ultimately lead to changes in stormwater pond management. Melbourne's ponds could be made more amphibian friendly by altering some so that they dry out for part of the year, preventing the establishment of plague minnows. That kind of habitat diversity has already been accomplished in the Baltimore area, but there, high contaminant levels remain a threat.

“We'll have to figure out where the critical thresholds are for pollutant levels and for combinations of pollutants: metals, pesticides, fertilizers, salts, polyaromatic hydrocarbons,” says Snodgrass. Some intensely polluted ponds will have to be fenced to keep amphibians out.

Oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada, produces vast amounts of an even more toxic stew. Separating bitumen from oil sand ore takes 2–2.5 cubic meters of freshwater for every 1 cubic meter of synthetic crude oil produced. As a result, large holding ponds full of oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) are accumulating, heavily contaminated with napthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals, and salt.

Constructed wetlands are part of the plan to restore the blasted landscape left behind by oil sands mining. A few wetlands have been built, whereas others have formed spontaneously. Research reveals both the remarkable resilience of native plants—sedges can still thrive—and the ecological complexities of creating wildlife habitat with heavily contaminated water.

Judit Smits, a wildlife toxicologist at the University of Calgary, has tracked birds and frogs in these reclaimed wetlands. In newly formed oil sands wetlands, wood frog tadpoles suffer delayed metamorphosis, which reduces their odds of reproducing. Their blood contains high levels of cytochrome P450 enzymes, proteins produced by the liver in response to toxin exposure—a sign that precious energy is being diverted from normal growth and development to the metabolism of poisons.

Over time, sunlight and microbial action degrade the organic pollutants, while metals and other toxins sink to the bottom of wetland ponds and are held in the sediment. The worst of the toxic impacts on wildlife fade with time: Wood frog tadpoles raised in OSPW wetlands more than 7 years old do about as well as those raised in undisturbed reference habitats.

Tree swallows feed on aquatic insects that spend their larval phase immersed in wetlands. Swallows living in newly reclaimed wetlands appear hard hit by the toxins in their diet. In the spring of 2003, when harsh weather triggered a widespread die-off of nestlings, the odds of survival on the most heavily polluted sites were 10 times lower than at the natural wetland used as a control. Some of the toxins in OSPW can impair the birds’ immune response to parasites, and nestlings at reclaimed wetlands were heavily infested with blow flies. “On the reclaimed sites,” says Smits, “the birds have to use energy to cope with toxicants. So they don't have the resilience or energy reserves of birds living in natural wetlands.”

Smits believes constructed wetlands can be a viable way of rehabilitating the postmining landscape in Alberta. The caveat is that OSPW wetlands will be highly toxic for the first 7 years of their existence. “If we want to protect the animals, we have to avoid [their] getting onto the younger wetlands,” she says. So far, there's no requirement that reclamation keep pace with oil extraction, and vast quantities of liquid mine tailings are piling up. Aside from a few wetlands built for research and aged enough to have lost their toxicity, Alberta's oil sands mine areas promise to remain a dead zone for years to come.

Treatment wetlands can never fully replace natural marshes. In some cases, they create vital refuges, and in others, they're downright dangerous to wildlife. The way we manage these humanmade habitats will have profound effects on wild creatures worldwide.

Issue Section: Feature
© The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

BioScience
Online ISSN 1525-3244
Print ISSN 0006-3568
Copyright © 2018 American Institute of Biological Sciences

Last edited by Ninathedog (2018-07-01 17:59:52)


Over half the people living in Gaza are CHILDREN.
http://the-goldenthread.proboards.com/thread/43?page=1

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#11 2018-07-07 16:46:32

Ninathedog
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 14

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

The following segment of transcript is relevant to this thread. Please visit http://neweaglesforum.proboards.com for the entire exciting transcript of today's Consistory Meeting --

Chair: Seat 9?
9: In light of events, I have only three motions this midday, Consistory time. The first: I move that the Gaza Strip be placed as a (quote) "Point of Continuous Extreme Humanitarian Interest" to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, and as so designated shall be placed in the list for immediate diplomatic action regarding the Palestinian People, and for a Two-State (Israel-Palestine) Solution, with a UN-designation of the City of Jerusalem as a "Permanent International City of Peace." With such a designation, it is also requested within this motion that the UN-Universal Declaration of Human Rights be strictly protected within Israel-Palestine, to include the increase of all hygiene/food/educational/political/social infrastructures equally for all peoples regardless of their Nation State. Within this motion, it is further requested that the Service-retired Rev. Drs. Crain, both former MJ1's, be the formal external Humanitarian Representatives to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, given necessary resources from the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic to accomplish these goals as best as possible with the greater community of Nation States, and reporting back their progress as requested. It is so moved.
Chair: Pursuant to prior notifications, this motion is accepted to the chair of the chair of the ConsisMaj, and is referred to the Clerk for read-back.
Clerk: Motion 638 of this our year 2018, states, "The Gaza Strip be placed as a "Point of Continuous Extreme Humanitarian Interest" to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, and as so designated shall be placed in the list for immediate Diplomatic Action regarding the Palestinian People, and for a Two-State (Israel-Palestine) Solution, with a UN-designation of the City of Jerusalem as a "Permanent International City of Peace." With such a designation, it is also requested within this motion that the UN-Universal Declaration of Human Rights be strictly protected within Israel-Palestine, to include the increase of all hygiene/food/educational/political/social infrastructures equally for all peoples regardless of their Nation State. Within this motion, it is further requested that the Service-retired Rev. Drs. Crain, both former MJ1's, be the formal external Humanitarian Representatives to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, given necessary resources from the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic to accomplish these goals as best as possible with the greater community of Nation States, and reporting back their progress as requested." Motion 638 so reads.
Chair: (gavel) the motion is accepted to the Grand Hall of the ConsisMaj. (gavel) Does the Chair hear a "Second" to the Motion labeled 18-638?
Floor (Echelon): Madam Chair!
Chair: The Chair recognizes Steven Ortiz, Mongrel Dawg, Chief of Security to the ConsisMaj.
Floor (Mongrel Dawg): (reading) I second and urge this motion be placed to the Consistory of the Majestic as a question to be immediately voted on by "Acclamation of the Body"!
(cheers)
Chair: (gavel) The motion has been placed, seconded, and the urgent request is heard to dispense with the rules, accepting this motion 18-638 to a vote of the Body by Acclamation? Do I hear the Body?
Hall: YES!
Chair: As Chair of this august Body, I hereby declare that Motion 18-638 is passed into rule by Acclamation of the Body! (gavel)
(cheers, standing ovation)

http://neweaglesforum.proboards.com/thr … ory?page=2





(Thank you!!!!!!)

Last edited by Ninathedog (2018-07-07 16:51:39)


Over half the people living in Gaza are CHILDREN.
http://the-goldenthread.proboards.com/thread/43?page=1

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#12 2018-07-07 18:44:02

arashikage
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 39

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

Right on!
Super excited to read that...and more.

☮️ Peace!


S   E   V   E   R   E   L   Y            S   T   O   K   E   D   !   !   !

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#13 2018-07-07 23:45:59

Gravy
Administrator
Registered: 2018-03-29
Posts: 44

Re: Humanitarian Issues 2018

Ninathedog wrote:

The following segment of transcript is relevant to this thread. Please visit http://neweaglesforum.proboards.com for the entire exciting transcript of today's Consistory Meeting --

Chair: Seat 9?
9: In light of events, I have only three motions this midday, Consistory time. The first: I move that the Gaza Strip be placed as a (quote) "Point of Continuous Extreme Humanitarian Interest" to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, and as so designated shall be placed in the list for immediate diplomatic action regarding the Palestinian People, and for a Two-State (Israel-Palestine) Solution, with a UN-designation of the City of Jerusalem as a "Permanent International City of Peace." With such a designation, it is also requested within this motion that the UN-Universal Declaration of Human Rights be strictly protected within Israel-Palestine, to include the increase of all hygiene/food/educational/political/social infrastructures equally for all peoples regardless of their Nation State. Within this motion, it is further requested that the Service-retired Rev. Drs. Crain, both former MJ1's, be the formal external Humanitarian Representatives to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, given necessary resources from the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic to accomplish these goals as best as possible with the greater community of Nation States, and reporting back their progress as requested. It is so moved.
Chair: Pursuant to prior notifications, this motion is accepted to the chair of the chair of the ConsisMaj, and is referred to the Clerk for read-back.
Clerk: Motion 638 of this our year 2018, states, "The Gaza Strip be placed as a "Point of Continuous Extreme Humanitarian Interest" to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, and as so designated shall be placed in the list for immediate Diplomatic Action regarding the Palestinian People, and for a Two-State (Israel-Palestine) Solution, with a UN-designation of the City of Jerusalem as a "Permanent International City of Peace." With such a designation, it is also requested within this motion that the UN-Universal Declaration of Human Rights be strictly protected within Israel-Palestine, to include the increase of all hygiene/food/educational/political/social infrastructures equally for all peoples regardless of their Nation State. Within this motion, it is further requested that the Service-retired Rev. Drs. Crain, both former MJ1's, be the formal external Humanitarian Representatives to the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic, given necessary resources from the Combined Reformed North American Consistory of the Majestic to accomplish these goals as best as possible with the greater community of Nation States, and reporting back their progress as requested." Motion 638 so reads.
Chair: (gavel) the motion is accepted to the Grand Hall of the ConsisMaj. (gavel) Does the Chair hear a "Second" to the Motion labeled 18-638?
Floor (Echelon): Madam Chair!
Chair: The Chair recognizes Steven Ortiz, Mongrel Dawg, Chief of Security to the ConsisMaj.
Floor (Mongrel Dawg): (reading) I second and urge this motion be placed to the Consistory of the Majestic as a question to be immediately voted on by "Acclamation of the Body"!
(cheers)
Chair: (gavel) The motion has been placed, seconded, and the urgent request is heard to dispense with the rules, accepting this motion 18-638 to a vote of the Body by Acclamation? Do I hear the Body?
Hall: YES!
Chair: As Chair of this august Body, I hereby declare that Motion 18-638 is passed into rule by Acclamation of the Body! (gavel)
(cheers, standing ovation)

http://neweaglesforum.proboards.com/thr … ory?page=2





(Thank you!!!!!!)

I was thinking of you as I read this. Wonderful!

Gravy


May I be happy. May I be peaceful. May I be free.
May all beings be happy. May all beings be peaceful. May all beings be free.
May my enemies be happy. May my enemies be peaceful. May my enemies be free.

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