IUCN news release Saharan Addax antelope faces imminent extinction

May 5, 2016 by

Hugh Paxton’s blog saw a Saharan Addax. Once. It was a long way away. It looked like the spirit of the desert. Almost invisible – a mirage – but out there. Are we to add another ghost to our list of human accomplishments? I dearly hope not!

This Blog is not going to bombard readers with conservation news repeatedly. Although it’s tempting! There’ll be more amusing stuff incoming soon. Andre, for example! He’s arriving here as my guest from Namibia. If that doesn’t involve some ghastly and highly amusing screw ups that will raise a smile I’m going to send him back!

But the Addax! That’s a shame! The Saudi Royals used to hunt them from Land Rovers with machine guns.

Cheers from Bangkok!

Hugh

From: IUCN Press [mailto:press@iucn-email.org]
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 6:02 AM
To: paxton.bkk@gmail.com
Subject: [IUCN news release] Saharan Addax antelope faces imminent extinction

View this email in your browser
NEWS RELEASE

Alistair Burnett, IUCN Media Relations m +41 79 452 2872 e alistair.burnett

Simon Bradley, SOS – Save Our Species Communications Officer m +41 78 711 6508 e simon.bradley

Photos are available at/from Dropbox: http://bit.ly/1q0pfmx
Embargoed until 00.01 GMT 6 May 2016
Saharan Addax antelope faces imminent extinction

Gland, Switzerland, 4 May, 2016, (IUCN) – Regional insecurity and oil industry activities in the Sahara desert have pushed the Addax – a migratory species of desert-adapted antelope – to the very knife-edge of extinction according to a recent survey which found only three surviving in the wild.

An extensive survey in March across key Addax habitat identified just three remaining individuals, report experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); two of its Members working in the region – the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) and the NGO Noé, as well as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

National legislation in Niger fully protects the Addax, meaning hunting and the removal of live Addax for any reason are strictly forbidden. It is also protected under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) because historical habitat extends into neighbouring Chad. Yet the Addax has suffered massive disturbance from oil installations in Niger operated by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and associated encroachment of desert-going lorries and bulldozers. Moreover, the assignment of military personnel to protect the oil industry means illegal hunting by soldiers has increased poaching levels considerably in its last remaining haven, and Africa’s largest protected area, the Termit & Tin-Toumma National Nature Reserve in eastern Niger.

Dr Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director of IUCN Global Species Programme says, "We are witnessing in real time the extinction of this iconic and once plentiful species – without immediate intervention, the Addax will lose its battle for survival in the face of illegal, uncontrolled poaching and the loss of its habitat. On behalf of all concerned parties we are recommending a set of emergency measures to help save the Addax from imminent extinction.”

The measures proposed by the experts from the conservation groups* include securing the remaining population of Addax; stopping poaching by soldiers and engaging with CNPC to cooperate on preventing the extinction of the Addax; as well as reinforcing the existing population through the introduction of captive-bred stock.

The increase in poaching also comes against a backdrop of escalating insecurity across the region. The collapse of Libya in 2011 saw an exodus of militia with arms and 4×4 vehicles to neighbouring countries into areas harbouring important wildlife populations. This also fuelled subsequent insurgencies in Mali and northern Nigeria which have added to the instability, and the formerly remote habitats of the Addax have become major crossroads for the illicit trade of wildlife, arms, drugs and migrants.

Dr Thomas Rabeil of the Sahara Conservation Fund says, “Those with commercial interests in the desert could make important contributions to the protection of the Addax by cooperating with the wildlife authorities and by adopting more sensitive practices, becoming stakeholders in the management of protected areas and by sharing sightings of these elusive animals with conservationists”.

The situation for the Addax has deteriorated precipitously since 2010 when an initial round of surveys estimated the population at 200 animals. Since then, conservationists have designed a three-pronged action plan to stabilise the situation by locating the remaining Addax and assessing their status. The plan aims to boost ongoing efforts to build the capacity of Niger’s wildlife service to protect the Addax and manage the Termit & Tin Toumma Reserve in close collaboration with the local population. The third, critical part of the plan is to engage with the Niger authorities and Chinese business interests to bring poaching under control and minimise the impact of oil-related activities, especially on prime Addax habitat.

Arnaud Greth, Chaiman of Noé, says, “Working in coordination with the Ministry of Environment, Noé has focused on reinforcing the capacities of the Management Unit in the Termit & Tin Toumma Protected Area and supporting Niger’s conservation policy to strengthen Addax conservation in the field. But human pressures are increasing faster than we can adapt given the current level of resource support for the Addax and the large distribution range of the Addax in the largest terrestrial protected area in Africa.”

Additional quotes

Dr David Mallon, Chair of the IUCN Antelope Specialist Group says, “We are gravely concerned about this unfolding wildlife disaster in the desert. This species is simply unable to cope with the current levels of disturbance and illegal killing. Without urgent coordinated action at all levels we will very soon witness its demise”.

Dr Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director of IUCN’s Species Programme and Director of its SOS initiative adds, “We have prioritised funding for emergency intervention with the Addax because of the crisis engulfing it. Unfortunately it is not the only species in the Sahara and Sahel regions under threat from human disturbance, habitat degradation and hunting: Cheetahs, Dama Gazelles and the Slender-horned gazelle are all hot on the heels of this desert icon.

Dr Bradnee Chambers of CMS adds, “The prospect of losing the Addax from the wild is most disturbing. CMS has long been engaged in efforts to conserve Sahelo-Saharan antelopes in cooperation with others such as the European Commission and the Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial. CMS is therefore calling for the support of the leaders of both Niger and Chad to increase the presence of wildlife rangers in key areas and to use their convening powers to bring all stakeholders- including oil companies- together to adopt meaningful action plans to halt the decline of the Addax and associated species before it is too late”.

Further information
Extensive aerial and ground surveys funded in part by IUCN’s SOS – Save Our Species initiative and Saint Louis Zoo and performed by SCF during March 2016 indicated the Addax was facing imminent extinction, however. Using cutting-edge Intelligence Reconnaissance and Surveillance (IRS) technologies, including infra-red capture and ultra-high resolution cameras capable of distinguishing species from the air, the survey covered more than 3,200km of transects across key Addax habitat using a C-208 Cessna Caravan aircraft hired from the Niger air force. Unfortunately, researchers could not identify one animal following 18 hours of flight time.

Meanwhile the ground team searched over 700km of prime Addax habitat and other areas where others had seen Addax tracks during the previous six months. After following some tracks for over 10km, the ground team confirmed sightings of one small group: three very nervous Addax individuals.

Several species of antelope once occurred in large numbers across vast tracof the Sahara desert and surrounding Sahelian grasslands. In the recent past, over a million Scimitar-horned oryx ranged across North Africa from the Atlantic to the River Nile for example. However, the species had disappeared from the wild by the 1990s because of uncontrolled hunting and loss of habitat. Now one more of its close relatives – the iconic Addax – is perilously close to sharing that fate.

*Proposed conservation actions include:

1. Monitoring and securing remaining populations of addax.

2. Stopping hunting by members of military escorts employed to protect CNPC assets and personnel in the region.

3. Engaging with CPNC to cooperate in the emergency conservation efforts required to save the Addax from extinction.

4. Encouraging statutory agencies, communities, NGOs, and commercial operators with interests in key wildlife areas to work together to achieve conservation goals.

5. Increasing the presence and effectiveness of rangers for protecting antelope and other species in key areas, including employment of community wildlife monitoring scouts.

6. Reinforcement of existing populations through reintroduction from captive-bred stock

7. Raising awareness of the plight of Saharan antelopes locally and globally to support conservation efforts.

Wildlife conservation in the Sahara is largely neglected compared to sub-Saharan Africa. However, a diversity of specially adapted and endemic species is found there. A high proportion of the Sahara’s large mammals, including antelopes and cheetah are threatened with extinction.

The Addax Addax nasomaculatus, is physiologically and behaviourally adapted to living in the harsh desert environment. This little known, elusive and irreplaceable species is in danger of extinction because of over-hunting and the degradation, fragmentation and loss of its habitat.

For more information or interviews please contact

Alistair Burnett, IUCN Media Relations m +41 79 452 2872 e alistair.burnett

Simon Bradley, SOS – Save Our Species Communications Officer m +41 78 711 6508 e simon.bradley

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its 1,300 Member organisations and the input of some 15,000 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. www.iucn.org

https://twitter.com/IUCN/

About IUCN’s Antelope Specialist Group

The Antelope SG is the world’s leading body of scientific and practical expertise on the status and conservation of all antelope species. It is a global network of specialists concerned with the conservation, monitoring, management, and study of antelopes. ASG is one of more than 120 Specialist Groups that are part of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

About The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF)

The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) is an international non-governmental organization established specially to conserve the wildlife of the Sahara desert and bordering Sahelian grasslands. www.saharaconservation.org

About Noé

Noé is a French NGO whose mission is biodiversity conservation. Present in ten countries and with a strong team of employees and volunteers, Noé develops programmes either in France and at the international level. www.noe.org

About SOS – Save Our Species

SOS – Save Our Species initiative is a grant-making mechanism funded by IUCN, the GEF and the WB and managed by IUCN which manages a portfolio of priority species conservation projects implemented by existing NGOs working on the frontlines of conservation issues worldwide. www.SaveOurSpecies.org

www.sospecies.org/sos_projects/mammals/addax/

www.sospecies.org/sos_projects/mammals/addax_and_dama_gazelle/

About the Convention on Migratory Species

As an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, CMS provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range. www.cms.int

International Union for the Conservation of Nature
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INTERPOL: Organized crime networks behind ivory and rhino horn trafficking targeted in East Africa

May 5, 2016 by

Hugh Paxton’s Blog applauds this latest INTERPOL bust. The Chinese imbecile who cooked up the garlic ploy to defeat sniffer dogs clearly needs his head examining. The dogs might have missed it. X ray machines have no sense of smell. This whole affair has the dismal horror of repetition. More murder, criminal networks, horn for Asia, blood for Africa, complex schemes, I guess the ingenious schemes are still working…why are these socially/culturally/ecological disruptive bastards doing it? It’s greed and piracy. And consumer demand.

Jacky Chang’s solution was to use Kung Foo. I love his movies!

My solution would be as illegal as the criminals running these trade routes. So I won’t tell you about it!

We must rely on morality, the law, and NGOs and INTERPOL and a sense of right and wrong.

Read on. Rejoice. And despair. That’s a lot of rhino horn! My beloved wife will today be releasing a UNDP blog. It includes a cartoon depicting a rhino on the brink of extinction complaining about being used as an aphrodisiac by a species numbering in excess of seven billion!

Cheers from Bangkok!

Hugh

From: Environmental Crime [mailto:environmentalcrime@interpol.int]
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 10:14 PM
Subject: Organized crime networks behind ivory and rhino horn trafficking targeted in East Africa [For official use]

Please find below the latest Press Release issued by INTERPOL regarding investigations into organized crime networks behind ivory and rhino horn trafficking.

Please also find here the link to the Press Release.

Best regards,

Environmental Security

INTERPOL General Secretariat
200 Quai Charles de Gaulle

69006 Lyon, France

environmentalcrime

www.interpol.int/crime-areas/environmental-crime/

Twitter @INTERPOL_EC

Juniper-Hawthorne Rust

May 4, 2016 by

I’m rather blessed with good company and surprising emails.

This one is definitely surprising! From my cousin Adele, a singer beyond compare! This thing might look like a flower but is in fact a fungal disease.

Cheers!

Hugh

Dogs and revolting behaviour

May 3, 2016 by

Dogs have noses that can detect things that are way beyond human comprehension. So why? Why does my dog eat everything that smells absolutely terrible? Not just terrible, repulsive! I might extend this – utterly revolting! Even I can smell a squashed frog writhing with maggots from 200 meters. But why does my dog get there first then eat it? And doesn’t leave me any maggots? It’s just bloody selfish!

This question arises because the dog just ate my curry. I’ve hit curry and curry but this little number was serious! I tried it and I thought no. This is going beyond poisonous. Nothing can eat that! Skip anything planned for ISIS and give em some food aid! That’ll wipe those devils out.

My dog gulped the lot. I’m waiting to see what the results will be! Not pretty. That’s my guess.

Hugh

A Pendergastian Announcement

May 2, 2016 by

This can only be good fun! I love these men!

Hugh

From: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child [mailto:dougandlinc@prestonchild.com]
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2016 5:12 PM
To: paxton.bkk@gmail.com
Subject: A Pendergastian Announcement

"Let sleeping aliens lie." –Palmer Lloyd

Dear friends and readers,

We don’t want anyone to be disappointed — so this is just a reminder that we’re giving out free, autographed photos of our heartbreakingly stunning visages with every copy of BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT ordered from the Poisoned Pen Bookstore. We’re doing this instead of signing the books themselves. If you’re interested, please order soon because we only signed 1,500 photos and once they are gone… that’s it!

Order your copy of BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT with the free autographed photograph of Doug and Linc here.

And now for a big announcement: the publication date for our next Pendergast novel has been changed. Because of our publisher’s efficiency (and our own hard work), the book’s pub date is being moved up three weeks, from November 8 to October 18.

The book is entitled THE OBSIDIAN CHAMBER and… What can we say about it? Almost nothing, unfortunately, without revealing spoilers. Much of the action takes place in the Florida Keys, along with Riverside Drive and the Kalahari Desert of Botswana. What we can say, however, is that Constance receives a rare orchid from a secret admirer; Proctor takes an unexpected world trip; and certain crimes are committed that will have a disturbing resonance for readers of THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES.

All best,

Doug & Linc

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

P.O. Box 162

Convent Station, NJ 07961

See what crazy things Preston and Child are posting on their Facebook page
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Pew Commends Broad Global Support for Proposed Shark and Ray Protections

May 2, 2016 by

The Pews are great!

Worth circulating. I wish Barbara had married somebody with a name like Smith. I guess her name sounds like ‘circle’. But that’s just a guess!

Love from Bangkok!

Hugh

From: Barbara Cvrkel [mailto:bcvrkel@pewtrusts.org]
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2016 6:05 PM
To: paxton.bkk@gmail.com
Subject: REL: Pew Commends Broad Global Support for Proposed Shark and Ray Protections

May 2, 2016

Barb Cvrkel, 202-540-6535

bcvrkel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pew Commends Broad Global Support for Proposed Shark and Ray Protections

WASHINGTON—In an unprecedented global call to action, more than 50 countries have agreed to co-sponsor one or more of the proposals to nominate all species of thresher shark, the silky shark, and all species of mobula ray for protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

April 27th marked the deadline for countries to add their names in support of Appendix II listing proposals submitted earlier this year. Those listings would require that all continuing trade in these species be sustainable. Co-sponsors include a wide range of countries in Africa, the host region for this year’s CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP17) meeting, along with the European Union and its 28 member nations, and many other countries from all around the world.

“It’s clear that CITES member governments have again put a priority on protecting shark and ray species that continue to be threatened with extinction because of widespread, unsustainable international trade in fins and gills,” said Luke Warwick, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ global shark conservation campaign. “The global support we are witnessing far surpasses that seen for previous Appendix II listings proposals and confirms the key role that CITES now plays in protecting the world’s sharks and rays.”

CITES is recognized globally as one of the most effective and best-enforced international conservation agreements. It provides protection to more than 30,000 species around the world and has been instrumental in preventing the extinction of many plants and animals. Votes on the proposed listings for thresher and silky sharks and mobula rays will take place at the CITES meeting in Johannesburg in September.

In recent decades, silky and thresher shark populations have declined more than 70 percent, while mobula rays have suffered similar reductions. That qualifies each for listing on CITES Appendix II. The declines have been driven largely by the international demand for fins and gills.

Before the last CITES conference four years ago, the international trade of sharks and shark products was essentially unregulated. That meeting produced landmark Appendix II listings for five species of sharks and all manta rays, meaning that for the first time, countries had to prove that any catch of these species was sustainable before engaging in trade. The 2013 listings have helped protect and better manage these species globally; however, that translates into regulation of only about 10 percent of the global shark fin trade. Many types of sharks and rays are listed as threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, though they do not have adequate protection from unsustainable catch and trade.

Recognizing the value and importance of healthy shark and ray populations to their marine ecosystems and national economies, the governments of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Fiji are seeking to build on the momentum created by the 2013 listings. In January, Sri Lanka submitted a proposal to protect three species of thresher sharks, the Maldives submitted one for silky sharks, and Fiji submitted one for all species of mobula ray. The proposals have received strong support from governments around the world.

“With more than 100 million sharks killed every year around the world, and 25 percent of all shark and ray species now assessed by the IUCN as threatened with extinction, we as a global community need to act urgently to help the most vulnerable populations,” said Abdulla Naseer, Ph.D., senior policy executive for the Maldives’ Ministry of Environment and Energy.

The implementation of the 2013 shark and ray listings has been widely hailed as a success. Dozens of governments all over the world have put domestic measures in place, and many have hosted training workshops for fisheries, customs, and environment officials on how best to create full protections or sustainable export limits, as well as the customs checks needed to prevent illegal trade.

“Numerous capacity development workshops have taken place to provide governments with the necessary information and tools to regulate the global shark fin and mobulid gill plate trade,” said Sumith Pilapitiya, Ph.D., director general of Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation. “To prepare for the new CITES listings, which will be adopted at CoP17, updated identification and training tools have been made available for countries to use once again.”

Eleni Tokaduadua, principal environment officer for Fiji’s Environment Ministry, said leaders around the world recognize the need for action. “Key governments from each continent, whether they have established shark sanctuaries or still record large shark and ray landings, have noted population declines,’’ Tokaduadua said. “They have chosen to add their support to these proposals to grant global protections and ensure only sustainable trade continues for these species that have been targeted by largely unmanaged fisheries.”

Said Warwick, “The rest of the world now has the opportunity to give these species the protections they need and list them on Appendix II of CITES, an act that could make the difference between extinction and recovery.”

The full list of countries cosponsoring one or more proposals: Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, The Bahamas, UAE, UK, Ukraine, USA.

For more information, visit http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/news-room/press-releases/2016/05/02/pew-commends-broad-global-support-for-proposed-shark-and-ray-protections

Or

www.pewsharks.org

For interview requests, please contact Barb Cvrkel

bcvrkel

202.510.5670

###

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.

Conclusion on Environmental Security – 12th Annual Heads of INTERPOL NCBs Conference

May 2, 2016 by

This is of interest. I think. If you are interested!

Cheers!

Hugh

From: Environmental Crime [mailto:environmentalcrime@interpol.int]
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2016 7:39 PM
Subject: Conclusion on Environmental Security – 12th Annual Heads of INTERPOL NCBs Conference

Dear Colleagues,

Following the recent annual conference of the Heads of INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs), the Environmental Security Programme (ENS) is pleased to announce the outcomes which call for enhanced collaboration with the INTERPOL Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee to address transnational environmental security threats. The Heads of NCBs adopted outcomes on 3 main areas :

· NCBs are invited to support the ECEC’s specialized working groups along with providing new solutions and recommendations.

· Further support for the INTERPOL General Secretariat to develop regional capabilities in investigative and capacity needs.

· NCBs are encouraged to work with the donor community and member countries to increase their investments in ENS.

With these elements in place, the adoption of the outcomes will bring ENS to the forefront of the global law enforcement agenda. ENS pledges our continued drive and support for impactful collaborative initiatives in emerging crimes and areas of interest including :

· Water security

· Supply chain security

· Climate change mitigation

· Illegal mining and mineral extraction

Please find attached the conclusion document (in draft form) adopted by the NCBs in English, French, Spanish and Arabic for further information.

We thank you for all your ongoing efforts and deep commitment towards safeguarding the environment, biodiversity and natural resources and look forward to working with you to fulfill our commitment towards environmental security.

Best Regards,

Environmental Security

INTERPOL General Secretariat
200 Quai Charles de Gaulle

69006 Lyon, France

Fax: +33 (0) 4 72 44 73 51

environmentalcrime

www.interpol.int/crime-areas/environmental-crime/

To unsubscribe from the INTERPOL Environmental Security news feed, please contact us at environmentalcrime.

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This message, and any attachment contained, are confidential and subject of legal privilege. It may be used solely for the designated police/justice purpose and by the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. The information is not to be disseminated to another agency or third party without the author’s consent, and must not be retained longer than is necessary for the fulfilment of the purpose for which the information is to be used. All practicable steps shall be taken by the recipients to ensure that information is protected against unauthorised access or processing. INTERPOL reserves the right to enquire about the use of the information provided.
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ARABIC DRAFT CONCLUSION 02 ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME .pdf

FRENCH DRAFT CONCLUSION 02 – ENVIRONNEMENT.pdf

SPANISH DRAFT CONCLUSION 02 MEDIO AMBIENTE.pdf

ENGLISH DRAFT CONCLUSION 02 ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME (REV).pdf

The Girl New post Here I Go Again

May 2, 2016 by

More from the girl! Hugh Paxton’s Blog is of the opinion she is enriching England by her presence! Glad she came over. With luck we might actually meet in August after I’ve started living in New York and have, I believe and hope three weeks to recover from the experience before returning to a costly rabbit hutch in Manhattan! If the Girl has time I hope for a picnic in a London park. Or boating on the Thames. Something along those lines! It’ll probably be a screw up. My daughter will be with me so we’ll end up in The London Dungeon. If it happens it will. If it doesn’t it won’t! But I admire her for energy and enthusiasm! If she’s wise she’ll leave London as soon as my daughter arrives! Perhaps New York?

Cheers from Bangkok!

Hugh

From: TheReporterandTheGirlMINUSTheSuperMan! [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2016 11:39 PM
To: paxton.bkk@gmail.com
Subject: [New post] Here I Go Again

TheGirl posted: "I am making a move one more time in less than 6 months, but hopefully this is where I will put down roots for a while. Although frustrating, it didn’t take me long to cram all my things into two giant suitcases, and my newly acquired books, which I will l"

Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on TheReporterandTheGirlMINUSTheSuperMan!

Here I Go Again

by TheGirl

I am making a move one more time in less than 6 months, but hopefully this is where I will put down roots for a while. Although frustrating, it didn’t take me long to cram all my things into two giant suitcases, and my newly acquired books, which I will lug around like chains of academia for the next few years, in a separate carry-on.

Although I have been very excited at the thought of finally having my own space, its actually pretty scary. I have gotten used to my house-share and boring neighborhood, and have made acquaintances at my local gym. It doesn’t help that my last day here was the most beautiful day in London and the fair has just opened at a nearby park.

Well, that is life. Hopefully I will settle into my new place quickly and adjust to a different schedule.

In fact, this week calls for quite a few adjustments. Not only will I be moving tomorrow morning, but I will also be starting new work. I found another "temporary rolling contract" at a company that pays better. These rolling contracts seem to be very popular in Europe; thus I guess its common too, for folks to just roll from one job to another month to month. The labor laws in the U.K and the rest of Europe are quite strict once you are a permanent employee, and that’s for government and private organizations. It is difficult to fire someone once they are given a permanent position and the "benefits" are apparently very expensive.

I’m not sure what benefits an employer pays for its permanent employees, because things like healthcare and pension are provided through the government and the taxes paid by the business and employees. If anything, it seems to be just vacation/holiday pay that an employer would shell out-of-pocket for. In the United States, an employer pays for healthcare insurance for an employee and any dependents he/she may have, as well as its common to pay into their private pension (what we call 401K), alongside what the employee is contributing too. Of course there is the public pension, called social security, which Americans get after the age of 65– but most Americans will have their SS, 401K, and maybe another separate private savings called an IRA to live out their glory days in old age.

But I digress –back to moving into my apartment all by myself, in a strange neighborhood, in a country where I’m not established, and as a single woman if I were to get trapped in an elevator or slip and fall and die, no one would notice that I was missing until a few months have gone by.

OK, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. But as I continue cleaning up, please enjoy these first (of hopefully many) pictures of my walk around in sunny northern London! For those of you in Europe if you took any pictures today, tweet me or post it on my page!

TheGirl | May 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Tags: friends, Life, moving on, northern London, park, saying goodbye, sunny day | Categories: Musings and Life | URL: http://wp.me/p2MqP7-CS

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USA politics! Trump and thumping the anti-Trump thumpers!

May 1, 2016 by

Hugh Paxton has heard quite a lot from US politicians. Much of it utter crap. Hillary? Why should some wife of a blow job I didn’t inhale president be credited with any sense of trust?

I don’t know enough about American politics to say anything credible but one thing is true…I’d vote for Trump. He’ll stir the pot. Maybe it’ll boil over. Maybe he will be the man to nuke North Korea before they start a weird wild catastrophe that kills my friends and family in Japan while they are tending their gardens or waving their kids off to school. He’s rich? Is that a flaw? How poor are the opposition. I think this is a great mail from Andre’s Mum! Food for thought!

From: Andre Gast [mailto:imagine1@iway.na]
Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2016 3:54 PM
To: Hugh Paxton
Subject: FW: [announce] FOE

From my mother to you – an article on USA politics below.

Kind regards

Andre Gast

For your friend in Thailand. He is going to USA soon. As bad as RSA and as stupid and phoney.

For the latest Fred, click on

http://fredoneverything.org/the-mask-comes-off-putrefaction-most-foul/

Bird and a glimpse of Burma

April 29, 2016 by

More from a Burmese village. When it is wet and the winds are roaring and trees are being thrashed by lightning and boomed at by thunder? Where to go? A motor bike!

Nobody will touch the bike. They’ll feed the birds. One very good reason I will miss Asia!

Cheers from Bangkok!

Hugh

From: Chang Htoo [mailto:chang19814@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2016 12:22 PM
To: Hugh Paxton
Subject:

Bird


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