A Real Battle of the Planet of the Apes

'Monkey Menace' Spawns Massive Protest

Wild monkeys have overrun a region of India and frustrated residents are taking to the streets demanding that the government put an end to the simian invasion.

Once quiet communities have been transformed into veritable warzones worthy of the Planet of the Apes films due to mobs of monkeys that are becoming increasingly brazen in their quest for food and territory.

The Indian city of Almora and an astounding 24 surrounding villages have been enveloped by the monkey menace in recent weeks, leading to mass protests about the problem.

“Monkeys have made our lives hell,” one exasperated protestor told the Hindustan Times, claiming that people cannot leave anything of value outside their home lest it be taken by the sticky-fingered simians.

Irate residents also say that their houses are being swarmed by the creatures, children are afraid to walk down the street alone, and people are staying inside their homes during the daytime to avoid running into the marauding monkeys.

While some may suspect that the furor over the monkeys is overblown, the stunning number of alleged attacks by the creatures suggest that is far from the case.

Organizers of the protest alleged that an area hospital has been treating a staggering ten people per day for monkey bites and that a similar number of daily incidents simply go unreported.

And so, with nowhere else to turn, over two hundred residents have committed to a two-week-long protest that they say will amplify into a hunger strike if the Indian government does not help them stop the monkeys.

Fortunately, there may be an unlikely solution in sight as the area has seen a recent uptick in leopard attacks which wildlife officials are also being asked to thwart.

Should the leopards set their sights on the simian surplus, the Almora area could finally find themselves free from their nightmare, although they’d eventually have to find a way to fend off the ferocious felines once they’re done feasting on monkeys.

Hindustan Times

Middle East Animal Wars

Hamas ‘seizes Israeli spy dolphin’ off Gaza

Hamas claims to have captured a dolphin being used as an Israeli spy off the coast of Gaza, local media report.

The militant Palestinian Islamist group, which dominates Gaza, says the mammal was equipped with spying devices, including cameras, according to the newspaper Al-Quds (in Arabic).

It was apparently discovered by a naval unit of Hamas’s military wing and brought ashore.  Al-Quds said that the newest recruit was “stripped of its will” and turned into “a murderer” by the Israeli security services.

It shows the extent of Israel’s “anger” and “indignation” at the formation of Hamas’s naval combat unit, the paper reports.

Israeli authorities have not commented on the media reports.

This photo was possibly released by Russian intelligence, apparently taken from a Russian mini-sub.

camerax2

The dolphin appears to have some type of massive camera harnessed to its back

It is not the first time that Israel has been accused of using animals – and birds – for spying purposes.

In 2010 Israel dismissed Egyptian claims that a series of shark attacks in the Red Sea could have been the result of a Mossad plot.

A few weeks later a vulture found in Saudi Arabia with a GPS transmitter was accused of being an unwitting Mossad operative.

And in 2012, villagers in Turkey feared a small migratory bird found dead with a ring on its leg had been an Israeli spy. Their fear proved unfounded.

 

gaza

Israel controls most of Gaza’s borders, coastline and airspace

More animal wars:

A huge vulture detained in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel has been returned home after UN peacekeepers intervened, Israeli officials said.

The bird, which has a 1.9m (6ft 5in) wing span, flew over the border from an Israeli game reserve and was caught by Lebanese villagers on Tuesday.

They became suspicious as the griffon vulture had a tracking device attached to its tail.

It is part of a conservation project to reintroduce raptors to the Middle East.

Wildlife officials say the vulture was brought from Spain last year and set free about a month ago in the Gamla Nature Reserve in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Tel Aviv University is involved in tracking the bird, and as well as a GPS transmitter, it had tags on its wings and an engraved metal ring on its leg saying: “Tel Aviv Univ Israel”.

animalq

 

‘Islamic State’ held city of Raqqa Liberated

RAQQA, Syria — U.S.-backed Syrian forces said Tuesday that Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters had been completely defeated in the city of Raqqa, which the Islamic extremist group had held and ruled over brutally as a de-facto capital for more than three years.

Earlier on Tuesday the ISIS holdouts had been corralled into the city’s sports stadium after losing their only other position in Raqqa, the hospital.

CBS News’ Holly Williams, one of the few foreign television correspondents to make it into the former ISIS stronghold with the militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said Tuesday that there were still thought to be ISIS fighters holed up in buildings and tunnels in the sprawling city.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition battling ISIS said later Tuesday that were were an estimated 100 militants in the city.

isis

In addition to the holdouts, Williams notes, it could take months before Raqqa is finally cleared of all the explosives laid by the militants.

Then, Syrians will somehow have to find a way to rebuild the shattered city, where there is hardly a building left unscathed.

Williams reported Tuesday morning from al-Naim Circle, in the very heart of Raqqa. It used to be an ordinary traffic circle, but ISIS turned it into a place notorious for public executions, and then posted evidence of those horrific killings on the internet as propaganda.

Al-Naim Circle was taken back by the SDF forces on Monday night, and Williams watched them on the streets of Raqqa celebrating; they were in a victorious mood after a brutal four-month battle for the city.

Williams said it was a bizarre feeling to stand in al-Naim, as during the three-plus years that ISIS held Raqqa, she would almost certainly have been taken captive and killed.

Some buildings have been pulverized by the fighting, others flattened by U.S. airstrikes. Nearly all citizens of Raqqa, perhaps all of them, have fled the city.

It is a terribly irony, notes Williams, that in order to retake Raqqa from ISIS, it had to be all but destroyed.

Raqqa is in really bad shape.

isis1

isis2

isis3

This is an incredibly horrific war.

isis4

isis5

I guess the destruction of Raqqa was necessary in order to corner those ISIS rats and put them out of their misery.

Trump goes postal against media critics

President Trump hurls unbelievable new insults at ‘Morning Joe’ hosts

00trump2

This guy is too thin skinned to be president. Any criticism hurts him so deeply that his temper explodes and he attacks like a rabid wolverine.

00trump

00trump1

Bully. Oh yes, he was a notorious bully in elementary school according to his own admission.

burger

 

Unexploded Bombs Find Everyday Use in Laos’ Villages

The Vietnam War ended 40 years ago, but left a deadly legacy, especially in Laos. The US military dropped more than 2 million tons of bombs on the country during the war between 1964 and 1973, making Laos the most heavily bombed country in the world on a per capita basis. There were more than 580,000 bombing missions on Laos, equivalent to one bombing mission every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years. Not all of those bombs did what they were supposed to do. An estimated 30 percent of ordnance failed to explode, remaining live in the ground years after the war. They continue to detonate at unexpected places and at unexpected times, such as when children are playing.

bomb

Boats made out of fuel tanks that were ejected from U.S. bombers.

A major cause of casualties, however, is villagers attempting to open the big bombs to sell the metal and the explosives inside to scrap dealers. A high quality bomb casing weighing up to 2,000 pounds can fetch more than $100. Empty bomb casings that once contained deadly explosives are visible all across the country in new forms — from hollowed out canoes and containers, to props holding houses above flood.

When photographer Mark Watson took a bicycle trip across the country, he was surprised to see these lethal devices being reused in extraordinary ways. “Scrap from such widespread bombing has been utilized in people’s homes and villages,” Watson said, “for everything from house foundations to planter boxes to buckets, cups and cowbells.”

Gathering bomb scraps is a deadly occupation, but the people were forced into the trade by poverty.

“Lots of agricultural land is denied to people because of the presence of UXO (unexploded ordnance), and this is the main problem. It prolongs poverty because people can’t do what they need to do. If they know that UXO is present, they will not plow deeply enough to get a good quality crop,” said David Hayter, of Mines Advisory Group (MAG), an NGO working to detect and remove mines and bombs.

But progress is slow and their budget limited. Meanwhile, people continue to get killed and injured by accidental detonation of live ordnance. As of 2012, at least 29,000 people have died from such accidents.

bomb1

Children pose near unexploded bombs recovered from around the village.

bomb2

A house in village uses a bomb casing as a garden decoration.

bomb3

Bomb casing used as a planter.

bomb4

Casings used as support stilts for a house.

bomb5

Metal recovered from bomb casing shaped into cow bells.

bomb6

A bomb casing turned into a boat.

Cratered rice field.

Phonsavanh, Laos.