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Tokyo. Who's on trial, face jail? Whalers - hunting quota cut in half - cut antiwhaling Ady Gil (Earthrace) in half

Top L: Pete Bethune, skipper of Earthrace, the world record holder for circumnavigation. Middle: Earthrace, renamed Ady Gil, on new mission to defend ocean life but sunk by Japanese whaler. Bottom: Japanese 750+ tons iron&steel whaling ship running over 17 tons carbon-fibre (fibreglass) Ady Gil (Earthrace), space-age, only-one-of-its-kind trimaran with 6 crew on board including Captain Pete Bethune
In Tokyo court on trial today stands a New Zealander detained in Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary waters when delivering a citizen’s arrest. An international case all about whales. Who is guilty: whalers who killed 507 whales? Or anti-whaler who risked his life and lost his boat to have helped save 528 whales? The 1000-ton whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2 who cut 17-ton-fibreglass anti-whaling boat in half? Key witnesses are missing: the slaughtered whales packaged for the meat market and the saved whales [some are being hunted to extinction] who are free and happily enjoying the blue oceans and nursing their offspring. Remember, oceans and sea life do not only belong to all of us regardless of cultural background, but more so to our children, and children’s children. If the anti-whaler is guilty, who is not? The Ocean is dying...

(quote)  read more »

Glaciers not just ice but lifeline. Lewis Gordon Pugh to swim in half-frozen Mt Everest lake at breathtaking altitude of 5300m

Lewis Gordon Pugh is preparing for a 1km swim below summit of Mt Everest
Fearless journey to awaken conscience, to unite efforts, to rescue our planet. Lewis, with warmest heart we wish you success!

"This is not just about protecting a pristine environment," Pugh says, "it's about saving ourselves." Lewis’s Pick n Pay/SAP Everest Challenge on May 22 is all about spreading awareness of climate change and its effects. He will become the first person to attempt to swim 1km across an almost-frozen lake two-thirds of the way up Mount Everest, next to the Khumbu Glacier – at the breathtaking altitude of 5,300 metres.

Pugh is attempting a 1km swim in a glacial lake just under the summit of Mount Everest to draw attention to the melting Himalayan glaciers.

’This is not just about protecting a pristine environment, ‘ Lewis says. ‘It's about saving ourselves.’

Pugh once said “it’s a tragedy that it’s possible to swim at the North Pole.” He put himself through intense physical strain to raise awareness about climate change; he’s an ardent environmentalist who wants the world to know about the decrease in ice in the Arctic.  read more »

Oceans die, civilizations die. Defend sea, defend cultures. Jailed: Japanese Tokyo 2 & New Zealander Pete Bethune

Japan’s Junichi and Toru (‘Tokyo Two’); New Zealand’s Peter Bethune... defending the ocean from illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.Bottom L: “Tokyo Two” - Junichi Sato (left), Toru Suzuki (right), and their lead counsel, Yuichi Kaido (center) face reporters at a press briefing following their first pre-trial hearing at Aomori District Court in 2009. United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has already ruled that, in the defendants' attempts to expose a scandal in the public interest, their human rights have been breached by the Japanese government. Top R: New Zealander Peter Bethune boarded Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru No 2 in the Antarctic Ocean to serve a citizen’s arrest for destruction of his ship (Earthrace aka Ady Gil). He has been held by the whalers since then and was arrested on March 12 when the whaling ship docked in Tokyo.

living statue of Lady Justice protests in the Netherlands for release of ‘Tokyo Two’  read more »

US Navy Ship, USS Farragut, lets 11 Somali pirates go after sinking pirate ship in Indian Ocean

USS Farragut sinks pirate mother ship, captures then releases pirates
The guided missile destroyer USS Farragut passes by the smoke from a suspected pirate skiff it had just disabled in this March 31, 2010 photo. USS Farragut is part of Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force established to conduct anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

(quote)

A U.S. Navy ship has sunk a pirate "mother ship" in the Indian Ocean and captured 11 pirates, and then promptly let them go. It was the second time within 24 hours that U.S. forces captured Somali pirates. Earlier Thursday, five pirates were taken into custody after they attacked a U.S. warship.

While those five pirates remain in custody, the 11 captured Thursday were allowed to leave in small skiffs after the mother ship was sunk. The action prompted a Pentagon spokesman to deny that the Navy had a "catch and release" policy regarding pirates.

A Naval official told ABC News that the practice of releasing pirates is not unheard of. While piracy is illegal according to international maritime law, it is considered a criminal issue, not a national security one.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia and U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cassandra Thompson

Talks failed. War on extinction.150 wardens died..SAS veterans use guns to save elephants, rhinos & tigers from poachers

endangered African elephants in Namibia
Adorable tiger cubs at Tiger Canyon, South Africa

(quote)

The battle to save some of the world’s most endangered species is turning bloody, with wildlife charities deploying guns and military vehicles to protect elephants, rhinos and tigers from a surge in poaching. "We have to keep talking but so far, against a backdrop of catastrophic population declines of key species, there is little to show for it,” said Dominic Dyer, chairman of CWI. “These animals are being wiped out by poachers who are increasingly well equipped with automatic weapons, GPS satellites, night-vision kit and heat-seeking telescopes to spot animals at night. That means we also need a more robust approach to enforcement."

At least one British organisation, Care for the Wild International (CWI), is buying military-style field equipment and supporting the deployment of armed guards, while the US-based International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has bought night-vision supplies, ammunition and light aircraft.

WWF, formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund, has hired former SAS soldiers to train African wildlife wardens, and the Zoological Society of London is funding elephant-mounted patrols to protect rhinos in Nepal. The trend towards militarisation follows an estimated 150 deaths among game wardens in Africa in gunfights with poachers.

The disclosures coincide with a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Qatar, which has dismissed proposals to protect bluefin tuna, and this week likely to approve plans to restart sales of ivory taken from African elephants.  read more »

Women's Day hears voice of "comfort women", WWII survivors/victims, for justice, compensation, apology. Japanese Gov denies all

Victim, former “comfort woman” Lee Yong-Soo: ‘This is a war crime, but the Japanese government continues to be deaf.’
Former “comfort woman” Lee Yong-Soo (L) stands beside her supporters holding portraits of Philippine, South Korean and Chinese comfort women who were sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II, at a protest held in front of the Japanese parliament in Tokyo. Japan on 27 June 2007 brushed aside calls from US lawmakers for a fresh apology to wartime sex slaves, even as the former “comfort women” renewed their demands for Tokyo to acknowledge their plight. Japan said the US move to pass a resolution calling for an “unambiguous” apology from Japan for the coercion of women into army brothels during World War II would not damage relations between the two allies. Inset: Recruitment advertisements for comfort women in the Japanese Imperial Army.

surviving WWII ‘comfort women’ in Japanese Army’s “comfort battalions”
Top: Former comfort women want Japan to do more to apologize. Bottom right: Rangoon, Burma. August 8, 1945. A woman who was in one of the Imperial Japanese Army’s “comfort battalions” is interviewed by an Allied officer.

Former Filipino “comfort woman” Piedad Nobleza, 86, outside Japanese Embassy in suburban Manila
Former Filipino “comfort woman” Piedad Nobleza, 86, at a demonstration outside the Japanese Embassy in suburban Manila. Elderly Filipino women and their supporters demanded Tokyo’s clear-cut apology and compensation for wartime sexual slavery by Japanese troops.  read more »

Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, Feb 12-28, 2010. Photos: moments of challenge, daring, fun and basking in Nature

Top: US' Johnny Spillane wins silver medal in men's individual Nordic Combined. Bottom: Large crowd of spectators gather in final curve during Men’s luge competition at Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.
Top: United States' Johnny Spillane competes on large hill ski jump during men's individual Nordic Combined - the event combines ski jumping and a 10K cross-country race; he won the silver medal. Bottom: Large crowd of spectators gather in final curve during Men’s luge competition at Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

Left: Whistler ice sculpture of Olympic torch. Right: Anabellee Langlois & Cody Hay of Canada compete in figure skating program of Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
Left: Whistler ice sculpture of Olympic torch. Right: Anabellee Langlois & Cody Hay of Canada compete in figure skating program of Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Pacific Coliseum.

Alexandre Bilodeau of Canada wins gold medal for Freestyle Skiing Men's Moguls in 2010 Winter.
Alexandre Bilodeau of Canada wins gold medal for Freestyle Skiing Men's Moguls on day 3 of the 2010 Winter Olympics at Cypress Freestyle Skiing Stadium, becoming the first Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil at the Winter Olympic Games.

US Vice President Joe Biden attends women’s preliminary round Group B match of ice hockey between US and China  read more »

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