New York (AirGuide - Destination News - Food) Jun 3, 2013
Croatia [ETH] the new tourism star of the European Union The Croatian National Tourist Board has released a new promotional video entitled OCroatia [ETH] the new Tourism Star of the European UnionO in the run up to the countryOs admission to the EU in July. The video is an extension of last yearOs Ode to Joy by Ana Rucner, which marked a shift in the tourist boardOs approach to focus more on inland Croatia. You can watch the new video below: Jun 2, 2013
Istanbul student writes to eTN to report police madness Things are worse in Istanbul right now. Police are resting during the daytime and attacking at night. We cannot believe the limited footages we see. It is very intense. We need the international press to report the police madness here. ETurboNews continues to receive updates on the situation in Istanbul, Turkey, and publishes this letter from a university student there: I'm writing on behalf of my friends. I'm a 22-year-old university student from Istanbul. I saw your e-mail address on Twitter. As you know, Istanbul is the cultural and economic capital of Turkey, and Taksim is the heart of the city. But today Taksim is also the home of resistance, opposition, and maybe awakening. On Monday, people gathered in Gezi Park which is the only vivid green area near the district, to protest the decisions enabling to destroy this beautiful symbol of Taksim and to build a big shopping mall there instead. The protests started as a nonthreatening sit-in, people were reading on the grass, playing their guitars, and singing together. They even tried to share their food with the police forces surrounding them. After 4 days, that scene changed dramatically. At 5:00 am Friday morning, police forces started to use water cannons on sleeping people and made a mess of their tents. First, hundreds become thousands in Taksim. Everyone who wanted to stand up to this cruel intervention of the police went there. There were artists, poets, journalists, writers, and university students, so no one can say that it was a protest without awareness. On the contrary, it was the awakening of Turkish society. Many tweeted that they were going to Taksim not for just Gezi Park but also for the silence of the government after the Reyhanli bombing, the ban of basic rights, serious OadvicesO of the government concerning discussions on family structure and abortion but mostly for Erdogan's attitudes towards his people. (He gets more repressive and deaf to his people day by day.) This is Turkish people standing up for what they believe in and trying to avoid this situation worsening. They all say that they are doing this for their future, for the next generations. Even the least politically engaged generation Turkey has ever seen is actually roaring, aiming to be heard and listened. However, now PM Erdogan is calling those people "marginal groups." Moreover, the police forces are trying to kill them by cruelly using tear gas. Right now, there are dozens of people waiting for help on the streets especially in Besiktas, another famous district of the city. It has been 48 hours since the clashes began, and it doesn't seem to be ending soon. At least we know that the fight on the streets might end, but for those of us fed up with condescending, inconsistent, and abusive ways of our PM, hope is on the horizon. A minister is someone the public voted for, the PM is the one that is responsible for and to his people. He must be a leader, a pioneer, a negotiator at times, and at times like this, he must be the help his people are reaching out for. He should so the best for the country, even if it means to have a failure on his part. The real question here is, how can a PM stand still when the incidents are this severe? We see police forces abusing their power, beating people heavily, using plastic bullets, so at the end of the day it comes down to this: how can he put up with the pictures, videos, and news from the sights where the excessive force can be detected clearly? And it's not even just Istanbul anymore, dozens of cities in Turkey like the capital Ankara, Izmir, Adana, and Eskisehir are burning with this fire of freedom. Is it that hard to accept negotiations with the people? The trigger is most likely the words of Erdogan, that "they" had already made their decision concerning Gezi Park, implying there is nothing people can do (yes, he really said that). Well, we did prove him wrong, didn't we? By the way, on the second day of the clashes, after the police ran out of tear gas bombs, they started to use some other chemical gas bombs. As I said before, especially in Besiktas today, we've seen people being ambushed. Police attacked Bahcesehir University, because there were medical treatments to the injured people within the campus. Can you believe that? Unfortunately, Turkish media doesn't work. That's the unkindest cut of all. They only say that some "marginal" groups attacked police in Taksim. Thus, we need you support to be able to raise our voice. We need the help of the international media. Please don't be a part of that violence by ignoring us. Things are worse right now. Police are resting during the daytime and attacking at night. We cannot believe the limited footages we see. Erdogan is leaving for Tunisia tomorrow. It is very intense. We need the international press to report the police madness here. FInd out more about the Student reporting from Turkey: http://www.jessicastockwell.com/traveljournalist.html Jun 2, 2013
Sri Lanka elephant lives up to his Rambo name I first set eyes on Rambo in the early 1990s when I started visiting the Uda Walawe National Park. He was a young male elephant at that time, with a very calm demeanor. He had a very unique identifiable feature, where his right ear was torn in several places towards the edge. He must have been around 20-25 years at that time and was just beginning to show the characteristic pigmentation of mature elephants along the front of his trunk and ears. Subsequently, Rambo discovered that coming up to the electric fence along the Thanamalwila Road and soliciting food from passers-by was a very rewarding exercise. He was, in fact, one of the first elephants who started this habit of coming to the electric fence. Many passing vehicles used to stop and feed him with juicy tidbits such as watermelon, bananas, and sugar cane. He always paid respect to the electric fence, and never ever did try to break out. (The fence is really a psychological barrier because a full-grown elephant can easily knock over the fence, especially during the daytime when there is no electric current powering the fence.) As time went by, many other elephants learned this behavior from Rambo. Being intelligent animals, this type of copying behavior is quite prevalent in elephants. A few years back, there were some 18 or more regulars along the Thanamalwila Road electric fence. It was always the males who loitered around, since females in herds are wary of taking such risks. I did some casual, visual observations during this time, and found that there were about 10-12 adult males, including Rambo, and that the rest were young adolescent males who were learning the ropes. There was very strict territorial and hierarchical behavior that was evident. The adults had carved out their own stretches of the fence, which they patroled, while a few of them had the adolescent apprentices tagging along behind them. Although, I do not condone feeding these elephants, one day I bought some bananas to undertake an experiment to check out their behavior. The males were very protective of their territory, grabbing all the bananas being thrown into their domain, while the adolescents were forced to wait patiently behind the adults, who always had the first pick. Try as much as I did, I could not feed one adolescent directly, since the adults would immediately chase it away. One or two sharp young fellows did, however, manage to sneak in and get a morsel or two. Sri LankaOs foremost elephant researcher, Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando, told me that if the elephants were really looking for food, they would have breached the electric fence long ago. His assessment was that they were having enough to eat inside the park and coming for their dessert to the electric fence. So perhaps the elephants knew a good thing going and were very careful to maintain the status quo without breaking down the fence. There were many debates and controversies about this activity, and there were even some suggestions, that if it were properly controlled, this would be a good tourist attraction. However, all this changed about a year ago, when the wildlife authorities realized that they could not properly enforce the no-feeding rule along the Thanamalwila roadside, and erected a second electric fence behind the existing one. A large amount of money was spent on this second deterrent barrier last year, which extends from the end of the reservoir bund, right up to the corner of the park boundary on the Thanamalwila Road around 25th km post. This has proven to be quite successful, and today there are no elephants along this stretch of the road. However, the authorities had not bargained for Rambo. Unable to indulge in his favorite past time, he now started swimming across the edge of the reservoir and got on to the steep embankment along the reservoir bund, to access the roadway and to solicit food from vehicles passing by. Now Rambo continues to patrol this stretch of the bund. While this is quite an amusing and intriguing sight, which attracts a lot of attention, there is some concern that Rambo is getting too dependent on this type of food. I saw him last week, and he seems to be quite content to stay along the bund, eating whatever little vegetation is there and looking out for the additional favorite tidbit. The villagers told me that he more or less spends most of his time on the bund, which...