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The Flying Squad

Indonesia is facing great problems today including the issues on illegal wildlife trade. This problem is due to the severe exploitation of wildlife resources where there government can

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Syria Needs Us

Nothing can be more atrocious than seeing the lives of innocent young children being senselessly murdered in chemical warfare.

Mideast Syria

You know there is a time when certain humanitarian atrocities step over the line and Syria stepped over that line a long time ago and now they have gone and destroyed any hope of a resolution, except for one that involves force from the outside world. It’s now time for the world to act. We all need to stand up and take action for these people. That said, what is the next step to make this stop, to solve this problem?

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Volunteer Opportunities…

Travelling is amazing and it seems like everyone wants to do more of it. If you

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Louis Theroux Documentary – African Hunting Party

Louis theroux is known for tackling sensitive subjects head on. He approaches and questions with a casual innocence more alike to a regular citizen rather than an investigative reporter. This allows him to often get inside the defense of his human targets and get answers to questions we all want answered. The African hunting party is yet another documentary in the long line of penetrating documentaries involving louis Theroux, which answers questions but also raises more questions. Louis’ questions are an attempt to find a personal view from those running game park hunting and often angry and borderline violent reactions shows somewhat a level of guilt felt by those running these parks. Louis tackles the sensitive subjects in his interviews without fear but yet so innocently that most of the time the subject being interviewed isn’t aware of it and sometimes made to look like a complete fool.

Along with the instigators of game park hunting are the insights to those that pay good money for the opportunity. Mostly coming form the United States, the prospect of big game hunting is too big to ignore for the rich who can afford the lofty price tag of taking down rhino or an elephant. The bigger the game the bigger the price tag. To see the mind set of these people is truly saddening and this documentary will shock you in many ways. This documentary along with any other louis Theroux documentaries is a must watch.

Being a BBC production the documentaries such as this don’t take that next step. These kind of docos are more of a subjective view than presented as a way to get involved, help and stop the ridiculous practices that are being carried out for the sake of some cash. I find it a big let down with such well made documentaries could go much further and actually make a difference as opposed to just telling the story and presenting facts. The impact of this doco is incredible but I only wish Louis and the BBC crew would take more of a stance. I guess though that make things literally impossible if they were openly against some of the subjects of these documentaries as opposed to finding and presenting the facts.

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Egypt’s Moral Police

The world watched as the Arab Spring unfolded online. Many of us had hoped that the revolution would bring progress and much-needed economic stability. It was widely considered a success when former President Mubarak stepped down from power. It took a mere two weeks to topple the regime. Those two violent weeks left at least 846 dead and more than 6,000 injured but it filled the nation with hope. After the chaos settled, President Morsi came to power. There were mixed feeling during his June inauguration but it seemed that the future could only be brighter.

It has been almost two and a half years since the Egyptian Revolution and hope is fading. Morsi, the former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, seems to be intent on dragging the country backward. Rumors are swirling about the violence brought by an omnipresent moral police force. While Morsi has publicly condemned the vigilantes who are attempting to enforce Sharia law, they continue to patrol neighborhoods.

The idea of having a group monitoring the behavior of the public is nothing new. Saudi Arabia has a Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice as well. The one major difference between the Saudi Arabian group and the Egyptian group is that the Saudis are controlled and monitored by the state. Many Egyptian leaders have come forward insisting that any policing group must be state-run. If state monitoring of the police force would actual improve anything is questionable.

The Saudi Arabian police are responsible for enforcing the strictest codes of Sharia law. Any native Saudi who doesn’t obey the laws is harshly reprimanded. These laws pertain to public as well as private life. Some laws are obvious- Saudis are forbidden from drinking alcohol and women must cover their hair in public. Others have left even the locals baffled. Earlier this year, the Saudi moral police abruptly closed down a dinosaur display for children in a local mall. The display had been traveling the Gulf states for decades until one day the police stormed a mall in the middle of the day, leaving families angry and confused.

The Egyptian moral police have also taken it upon themselves to instruct businesses on how to comply with moral code. Local barbers have reported receiving strict instruction not to shave men’s beards and clothing shops have been lectured on what exactly constitutes appropriate clothing.

The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice isn’t concerned with their rejection from Al-Azhar, the head of the Sunni Muslims. According to them, the majority of Egyptians welcome their services. They claim that they received approval by proxy when the Salafist Al-Nour Party won the election.

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Like every country, Egypt has their extremists and the now-infamous preacher Hisham el-Ashry clearly fits the bill. He recently created a wave of controversy when he appeared on a major television station saying,

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Taman Satwa Bengkulu

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The conditions for the animals at Taman Satwa Bengkulu are terrible

There are a lot of areas in Sumatra that need our help. Almost everywhere you look there are people or animals in need of some form of help or support. The Taman Satwa pusat Bengkulu is one such case and it is in desperate need of some attention as the animals are not in great condition and the enclosures are in a state of disrepair. Some of the animals are even chained up within their cages.

When it comes to owning and running a zoo there are certain aspects that benefit from keeping animals in enclosures. Of course first and foremost is the health and well being of the animals. If you cannot properly care for animals in enclosures then you should stop right there. Making sure the animal is happy and healthy is paramount and should be ensured before anything happens. As you can see in these photos here the animals are not well cared for and their enclosures are full of rubbish. It’s the worst “zoo” I have laid eyes on. But rather than getting angry it’s important to talk to the people first and find out the issues.

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It says a lot when you look into the eyes of this little guy. They need help.

In a country like Sumatra there certainly is a big need to preserve and conserve many species, raise awareness and educate the local people about the reasons for a species decline in order to help them make the lifestyle change for the sake of the future for the species and the environment. A big part of the benefit for a zoo is the ability to show the locals how special these animals are. The more time people get to spend with and see these animals the more they will fall in love with them and want to conserve them. The more they learn about their plight and how critically endangered a lot of animals are, then the hope is that the new generation will be able to provide the solutions necessary to stave off extinction of some amazing and iconic species only found here in Sumatra.

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Peaking out through the wood slats of a confined home

It breaks my heart to see these animals in such conditions. It’s a helpless feeling when I visit these guys. Occasionally I bring them extra food in the form of bananas, it’s not much but it’s better than nothing. Well today I decided I’m not helpless, I might be alone but I’m not alone in wanting to do something for the care of these amazing creatures.
Today I tracked down the person who runs the zoo. I managed to have a good conversation in Bahasa Indonesia about how I can help. We talked about the possibility of me being able to put some money up to buy the zoo in order to provide a much better home for these animals and provide a place to educate and raise awareness about the conservation of the amazing species here in Sumatra. It was very positive and he was quite welcoming to receive help. So I hope to hear from him in about 1 weeks time with more information in order to make a proposal to buy/contract the location. It could be a bit of a process and will require los of outside help from you and from investors, but in the long term it will be a great solution for these animals and provide a great location for people to learn about the plight of the animals in Sumatra.

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Sharing a tight space with a bunch of rubbish. This place needs action

In the short term I will continue to come in and provide some more food for the animals on a regular basis and see if I can try and clean the place up a bit.
It’s a start and a step in the right direction and here’s hoping a positive solution can be agreed upon in a future proposal.

 

 

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Did you know the largest landfill in the world is not on the land but in the Pacific Ocean? This garbage dump is a collection of

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How to Volunteer in South East Asia

Volunteering in SE Asia, a How-to Guide

250-adWhile at first glance, South-East Asia seems a calm and tranquil region, there are many problems that lurk just below the surface, both humanitarian and ecological. This article hopes to serve as an advisory guide to help you make a difference in the region, from helping to protect the endangered orang-utan from extinction in Borneo, to teaching English in Phnom Penh, to helping the orphaned and poverty-stricken children of Vietnam, there is much work to be done, and much that you can help with. If you don’t have the ability to volunteer personally, this guide will also show you other methods to make a difference.

The Plight of the Orang-utan

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