African marabou storks versus eagle


This 14 January 2020 video says about itself:

Undertaker Birds Defend Their Catch from an Eagle

A flock of marabou storks have stumbled on a handsome bounty: a small shoal of catfish. But their clumsy enthusiasm has attracted the attention of another opportunist.

African grey parrots help each other


This 2008 video says about itself:

African Grey Parrots in the Wild

Grey Parrots (Psittacus erythacus) foraging and flying in Cameroon, Africa. To help save wild grey parrots, please support us by clicking on the DONATE button and learn more about what we’re doing for these birds here.

From ScienceDaily:

African grey parrots spontaneously ‘lend a wing’

January 9, 2020

People and other great apes are known for their willingness to help others in need, even strangers. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on January 9 have shown for the first time that some birds — and specifically African grey parrots — are similarly helpful.

“We found that African grey parrots voluntarily and spontaneously help familiar parrots to achieve a goal, without obvious immediate benefit to themselves,” says study co-author Désirée Brucks of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany.

Parrots and crows are known for having large brains relative to the size of their bodies and problem-solving skills to match. For that reason, they are sometimes considered to be “feathered apes”, explain Brucks and study co-author Auguste von Bayern.

However, earlier studies showed that, despite their impressive social intelligence, crows don’t help other crows. In their new study, Brucks and von Bayern wondered: what about parrots?

To find out, they enlisted several African grey parrots and blue-headed macaws. Both parrot species were eager to trade tokens with an experimenter for a nut treat. But, their findings show, only the African grey parrots were willing to transfer a token to a neighbor parrot, allowing the other individual to earn a nut reward.

“Remarkably, African grey parrots were intrinsically motivated to help others, even if the other individual was not their friend, so they behaved very ‘prosocially'”, von Bayern says. “It surprised us that 7 out of 8 African grey parrots provided their partner with tokens spontaneously — in their very first trial — thus without having experienced the social setting of this task before and without knowing that they would be tested in the other role later on. Therefore, the parrots provided help without gaining any immediate benefits and seemingly without expecting reciprocation in return.”

Importantly, she notes, the African grey parrots appeared to understand when their help was needed. When they could see the other parrot had an opportunity for exchange, they’d pass a token over. Otherwise, they wouldn’t.

The parrots would help out whether the other individual was their “friend” or not, she adds. But, their relationship to the other individual did have some influence. When the parrot in need of help was a “friend”, the helper transferred even more tokens.

The researchers suggest the difference between African greys and blue-headed macaws may relate to differences in their social organization in the wild. Despite those species differences, the findings show that helping behavior is not limited to humans and great apes but evolved independently also in birds.

It remains to be seen how widespread helping is across the 393 different parrot species and what factors may have led to its evolution. The researchers say that further studies are required to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the parrots’ helping behavior. For instance, how do parrots tell when one of their peers needs help? And, what motivates them to respond?

African immigrants die in Trump’s jails


This 2 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

French National Dies in ICE Custody, Marking Agency’s Ninth Death in 2019

A French national being held by the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency passed away on Sunday, marking the agency’s ninth death in custody in 2019. According to a statement shared by ICE, the individual, whose identity has yet to be released as officials work to identify next of kin, was a 40-year-old native of Angola. It is still unclear how the French national came to arrive in the U. S. or why they were being held under ICE custody. The agency has yet to detail what led up to the individual’s death. Newsweek has requested more information from ICE. On Monday, BuzzFeed News reported that a French national had died in ICE custody, citing a person with knowledge on the matter. The outlet reported that the individual had been a man detained by ICE since November 12. The agency has yet to confirm those details, however.

By Kevin Reed in the USA:

Three African migrants die in US custody during Christmas and New Year holidays

3 January 2020

During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, three African migrants died while in the custody of two divisions of the US Department of Homeland Security.

On Saturday, December 21, a 56-year-old Nigerian man who was being held by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill, Maryland, was found unresponsive in his cell. He was pronounced dead at 5:23 a.m. after efforts by medical staff to revive him were unsuccessful.

ICE officials reported that Anthony Oluseye Akinyemi committed suicide within 24 hours of being convicted of sexually assaulting a minor in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The agency said, “the preliminary cause of death appears to be self-inflicted strangulation; however, the case is still under investigation.”

ICE reported that a detainer had been issued against Akinyemi in July for the assault charge. The agency also said that he had violated the terms of his entry on a non-immigrant visa into the US in December 2017. Following his conviction in Baltimore, immigration authorities moved to have Akinyemi deported.

With the number of deaths at its detention facilities rapidly on the rise, ICE issued what can only be described as a boilerplate public relations statement following Akinyemi’s death: “ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident as it does in all such cases.”

Attempting to present the number of deaths in ICE custody in a favorable light, the statement went on, “Fatalities in ICE custody are exceedingly rare statistically and occur at a fraction of the national average for the detained population in the U.S.”

On Christmas Day, a 41-year-old Congolese woman died shortly after she entered the US border station at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge in Laredo, Texas. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has not yet identified the woman.

The perfunctory CBP statement on the death said that on Christmas Eve, “During initial processing, she was medically screened to include a review of paperwork she provided highlighting a previous medical condition, cleared by on-site contracted medical personnel, and transferred to the Lincoln Juarez Bridge for additional immigration processing and overnight holding.”

The CBP statement reported the woman told them on Christmas morning that “she was suffering from abdominal pain and had vomited.” The agency reported it then transported her to the Laredo Medical Center for an evaluation but, “The subject’s health declined rapidly and she passed away at the hospital.”

The agency said that, “The Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that the death is not suspicious, as the individual had a preexisting medical condition.” According to USA Today, CBP declined to answer follow-up questions about the case and the medical examiner’s office and the embassy for the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Washington, D.C., did not return messages.

The death of the Congolese woman brings to at least 11 the number of people who died in CBP custody in 2019. As was shown in the death of a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy at a CBP detention facility in Weslaco, Texas, last May, the official explanations of what has happened to those who die in US immigrant detention centers cannot be trusted. Video surveillance footage exposed that Carlos Hernández Vásquez was left on the floor unresponsive for hours and had not been checked on by staff as official reports had claimed.

On New Year’s Day, ICE reported that a 40-year-old Angolan native with French citizenship in their custody died on Sunday, December 29, at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The report said that an autopsy to determine the official cause of death was pending but the preliminary cause was identified as a heart attack.

Samuelino Pitchout Mavinga, who was pronounced dead by hospital medical staff at approximately 12:20 p.m., had been brought there on December 12 for evaluation and treatment for bowel obstruction. The ICE statement said, “According to DHS records, Mavinga was admitted into the United States on Nov. 28, 2018, by immigration officials at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City under the Visa Waiver Program. Under the program, he was required to depart the U.S. no later than Feb. 27, 2019.”

Mavinga had been taken into custody on November 11, 2019, by CBP and handed over to ICE the following day for “remaining in the United States for a period longer than authorized.” He was initially detained at the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, New Mexico, and was transferred to Torrance County Detention Facility (TCDF) in Estancia, New Mexico, on December 11 pending his removal from the US.

The official ICE statement also concludes with boilerplate PR verbiage that is designed to protect the agency from legal claims by the loved ones of the deceased, saying, “ICE’s Health Service Corps (IHSC) ensures the provision of necessary medical care services as required by ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards and based on the medical needs of the detainee. Comprehensive medical care is provided from the moment detainees arrive and throughout the entirety of their stay.”

A recent study reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune found that the number of African migrants entering the US through Mexico has increased dramatically over the past two years. According to data provided by the US government, the number has doubled from 2,700 in 2018 to 5,800 in 2019. The majority of those coming to the US through Mexico continue be from Latin American countries.

Highlighting the shifts in migrant populations moving throughout the world, the increase in African migrants at the US southern border poses many challenges for those making the journey.

As the Union-Tribune explained: “The journey isn’t easy, many of them are robbed and beaten while traveling north. On top of these dangers, African migrants face additional obstacles in the way of language and cultural barriers. They also have less access to services from legal aid organizations who do not have staff who speak the same language as the migrants.”

In August, the Mexican government stopped issuing transit visas to African migrants in an effort to stop the number of people coming to North America to escape civil wars and ethnic conflict instigated by US and European imperialism across the African continent.

According to a website maintained by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, forty-four deaths have occurred at ICE adult detention facilities since December 2015. The growing number of deaths shows that the mistreatment of immigrants by the US government, including the detention at a network of concentration camps, is not incidental but deliberate. The purpose is to discourage workers from coming to the United States in search of a better life for themselves and their families.

In a cowardly act of belated and false protest, Democrats in the House of Representatives issued a call on December 23 for an investigation into the “troubling pattern of abuse and poor treatment” of migrants. A letter from Carolyn B. Maloney (Democrat from New York), chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, to Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, calls for documents related to all CBP deaths to be submitted to the committee by January 10.

The fraud of this exercise is fully exposed by the fact that the House Democrats voted with the Republicans on December 17 to approve a record $738 billion military appropriations that includes $1.375 billion for Trump’s border wall and removed a provision that would have barred the president from transferring money from other Pentagon accounts for the anti-immigrant wall project.

African climate change problems neglected


This 17 December 2019 video says about itself:

COP 25: African climate concerns put on the back burner

After two weeks of discussions, the UN climate conference closed on Sunday in Madrid with African demands not taken into consideration.

Executive president of the Network of Civil Society Organizations for the Green Economy in Central Africa, Nicaise Moulombi, explains why he thinks the continent is struggling to make its voice heard on climate matters.