Wild chimpanzees plan their breakfast


This video says about itself:

Backstage in the Wild: Yale Insights into Chimpanzee

20 April 2012

In the Ugandan national park Ngogo, Yale anthropologist David Watts and colleagues at the University of Michigan study the behavior of chimpanzees. Watts, who served as a consultant for newly released Disney nature Chimpanzee, describes his experiences with our with our primate cousins – and the urgent need to protect them in the wild.

From Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

Wild chimpanzees plan their breakfast time, type, and location

Significance

How do large-brained primates maintain high rates of energy intake when times are lean? By analyzing early-morning departure times and sleeping nest positioning of female chimpanzees as a function of the ephemerality of next day’s breakfast fruit and its location, we found evidence that wild chimpanzees flexibly plan when and where they will have breakfast after weighing multiple factors, such as the time of day, their egocentric distance to, and the type of food to be eaten. To our knowledge, our findings reveal the first clear example of a future-oriented cognitive mechanism by which hominoids, like great apes, can buffer the effect of seasonal declines in food availability and increased interspecific competition to facilitate first access to nutritious food.

Abstract

Not all tropical fruits are equally desired by rainforest foragers and some fruit trees get depleted more quickly and carry fruit for shorter periods than others. We investigated whether a ripe-fruit specialist, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus), arrived earlier at breakfast sites with very ephemeral and highly sought-after fruit, like figs, than sites with less ephemeral fruit that can be more predictably obtained throughout the entire day.

We recorded when and where five adult female chimpanzees spent the night and acquired food for a total of 275 full days during three fruit-scarce periods in a West African tropical rainforest. We found that chimpanzees left their sleeping nests earlier (often before sunrise when the forest is still dark) when breakfasting on very ephemeral fruits, especially when they were farther away. Moreover, the females positioned their sleeping nests more in the direction of the next day’s breakfast sites with ephemeral fruit compared with breakfast sites with other fruit.

By analyzing departure times and nest positioning as a function of fruit type and location, while controlling for more parsimonious explanations, such as temperature, we found evidence that wild chimpanzees flexibly plan their breakfast time, type, and location after weighing multiple disparate pieces of information. Our study reveals a cognitive mechanism by which large-brained primates can buffer the effects of seasonal declines in food availability and increased interspecific competition to facilitate first access to nutritious food. We discuss the implications for theories on hominoid brain-size evolution.

The research was in Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast model dies because of priority of money over healthcare


This video, in French from Ivory Coast, is about the burial of model Awa Fadiga.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

IVORY COAST: Locally celebrated model Awa Fadiga died in hospital on Friday because no-one was there to pay her medical fees, her family has said.

She was attacked on Wednesday night and thrown out of a cab beneath a bridge.

More than 8,000 Ivorians signed an online petition criticising the hospital’s behaviour and 21,000 have joined a Facebook group denouncing “the priority of money over basic healthcare.”

Ivory Coast primates being wiped out because of world demand for chocolate: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wars, torture survivors’ art exhibition in London


This video says about itself:

UK refuses group entry to France’s Syrian refugees

7 Oct 2013

British border police on Friday ruled out group entry for some 60 Syrian asylum seekers at the French port of Calais who are trying to enter the UK. British officials said they could only examine the refugee claims on a case-by-case basis.

A team of British border police on Friday ruled out a group entry for some 60 Syrian asylum seekers blocking a gangway at a ferry terminal in the French port of Calais. …

But the protesting refugees, most of whom arrived in Calais a month ago, have voiced disappointment at the way they were treated in France.

“We thought that France was the country where human rights are respected,” said Tarik, a 19-year-old.

The refugees had affixed cardboard signs reading “Take us to the UK”, and “We want to talk to David Cameron“.

“But we live outside like dogs, hunted down by the police, we see we are not welcome, how can we seek asylum here?” Tarik said.

Ali, a 38-year-old, said although French President Francois Hollande had taken a strong stand against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons, the French were not welcoming at all.

“Why does the president say one thing and the police another?” Ali said, adding that he had spent $13,000 (9,500 euros) to come to a country where the “president said ‘we must help Syrians'”.

“Here even animals are better treated than us,” he said.

From Reuters:

Young survivors of torture, war exhibit their art at top London gallery

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Thu, 7 Nov 2013 03:00 PM

Author: Alex Whiting

LONDON – Warm orange petals cluster together to form a flower, surrounded by fragments of what looks like a broken mirror and drops of blood-red paint.

The artist, Edwige, is one of a group of young refugees and asylum-seekers who have been using art to try to make sense of their past, and find ways to cope with the limbo in which they now live as they wait – sometimes for years – for the British authorities to decide whether they can stay.

Edwige says she and her mother were targeted by pro-government militia who attacked their home in Ivory Coast in 2011, killed her mother for her connections with the previous government, and gang-raped her. She went into hiding for 10 months, then fled to India, and came to Britain early this year, aged 25.

“I long to be surrounded by my family, but that is impossible. They are all dead,” she wrote for an exhibition of the group’s work to be shown at one of London’s top contemporary art galleries. “I am still surviving, but not like any ordinary person, or someone who is free. I feel like a prisoner. That is the reality of being a refugee.” …

Angel, from Uganda, smashed up glass bottles and used the shards to cover her painting of a road winding through green hills, to emphasise the loneliness and fragility of living in foreign places.

Some of the most revealing works in the exhibition are masks whose fronts are painted in large blocks of colour and, in one case, the words “everything is cool”. But the backs portray brokenness, anguish and pain. …

“FRAGMENTED SOULS”

Britain rejects most asylum applications. In 2011, only about 30 percent of the 36,000 applications reviewed were granted.

Asylum-seekers in Britain often have to wait years before they know whether they’ve been successful. In the meantime they are not allowed to work, many subsisting on about £5 ($8) a day in state benefits to pay for food, clothing and toiletries.

Many in the group survive on hand-outs, “literally surfing from one kind soul to another kind soul”, Rankin said. For the exhibition, they had to use paint scraped from dried-out paint pots, old canvases, and bits of discarded metal, wood, and cloth.

Even if an application is successful, the person is usually given permission to stay in Britain for just five years, and the authorities can review the case at any time. This makes it difficult for people to find work and plan a future.

“A lot of them were just sitting around waiting for a result from the Home Office (Interior Ministry), some of them for years,” Rankin said. “So the idea is, OK, who do you want to become? Let’s start working towards who you want to become.”

Even in the worst case scenario, if they have to go back, they will take with them some skills, confidence and drive to fulfil their potential, Rankin said.

“Human beings can be such barbaric animals, but at the same time we’ve got amazing potential and we can achieve amazing things,” he said.

“These young adults arrive fragmented individuals, fragmented souls. But it’s about being able to help them … to find those pieces and put them back in the way they want to be put back together,” he added.

Ivory Coast footballer supports African elephants


This video from England is called Yaya Toure Goals and Skills Manchester City 2012.

And this video is called Elephants in the Namib desert – Wild Africa – BBC.

From the United Nations Environment Program:

Cote d’Ivoire: Football Star Yaya Toure Flies the Flag for African Elephants at World Cup Qualifier

6 September 2013

Press release

Abidjan — International football star Yaya Toure will lend his voice to a UN-backed effort to prevent the illegal killing of elephants in Africa during a World Cup qualification match between Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco.

Côte d’Ivoire national football team star and captain of Manchester City FC, Yaya Toure and footballers at a World Cup qualifier match between Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco, will make a strong statement against the illegal killings of elephants in Africa on Saturday – in support of global efforts to stop the illegal trade in wildlife, championed by the United Nations and partners.

The sold-out game, which will be viewed by over 25 million people around the world, will feature the players carrying slogans to raise awareness against the killings of elephants and other wildlife.

Increased poaching and loss of habitats are threatening the survival of African elephant populations – especially in Central African countries – according to a report entitled “Elephants in the Dust – The African Elephant Crisis”, released in Bangkok in March at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The UN estimates that over 17,000 elephants were illegally killed in monitored sites in 2011 alone. Overall figures may be much higher

In Cote d’Ivoire, the number of elephants has fallen to 800 individuals, according to recent reports.

October 2013. As the surge in African elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade continues, the Government of Botswana and IUCN are convening a high-level summit on the African Elephant, calling for stronger global action to halt the illegal trade and secure viable elephant populations across Africa.

October 2013. An estimated 9,600 forest elephants still reside in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Republic of Congo, according to the results of a wildlife census commissioned by African Parks in 2012, but just released. Whilst higher than expected, this healthy number is believed to be a result of compression, with elephants fleeing highly poached areas outside the park and moving into the safety of the centre of Odzala: here.

MPs and charities are calling on the UK government to divert Foreign Aid money into helping fight wildlife crime like elephant poaching. An innovative Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled by Zac Goldsmith MP, asking the government to make a ‘substantial and strategically important contribution’ towards the protection of elephants across Africa.

Harry Potter’s Ivory Coast child slavery chocolate


This video says about itself:

The Dark Side of Chocolate is a 2010 documentary film about the exploitation and slavetrading of African children to harvest chocolate still occurring nearly ten years after the cocoa industry pledged to end it. Cocoa plantations in Ghana and the Ivory Coast provide 80% of the world with chocolate, according to CorpWatch. Chocolate producers around the world have been pressured to “verify that their chocolate is not the product of child labor or slavery. In 2000, BBC aired Slavery: A Global Investigation which brought the issue of child labor in the cooca industry to light. In 2001, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and its members signed a document that prohibited child trafficking and labor in the cocoa industry after 2008. Despite this effort, numerous children are still forced to work on cocoa plantations in Africa.

From Bob Fertik in the USA:

When children around the world buy Harry Potter chocolates, they could be supporting child slavery in the Ivory Coast.

Warner Bros. supplier Behr’s Chocolates scored 1 out of 48 possible measures to ensure their operations are slavery-free. Outraged consumers have asked Warner Bros. what steps are being taken to ensure their Harry Potter Chocolates are free of slave labor – but Warner Bros. has refused to respond. We’re heading into the busiest time of the year for Warner Bros. theme parks – that’s why taking a stand right now will make a big impact.

Please tell Warner Bros. to make sure Harry Potter chocolates are slavery-free.

Thanks for all you do!

Bob Fertik

Walk Free: The Movement to End Modern Slavery

Dear Activist,

Harry Potter chocolate

The only guilt from eating chocolate should be the calories, right? Unfortunately, with each tasty bite, you could unknowingly be supporting slave labor in the Ivory Coast, where children as young as 7 are forced to work long hours and beaten if they work too slow. Some are sold for as little as a couple of dollars, deceived and trapped into a life of slavery (1).

While many chocolate brands have made public commitments to find the best solution, we’re singling out Warner Bros. because:

  • An independent investigation (2) into their supplier Behrs Chocolates’ led to a failing score of 1 out of 48 possible measures to ensure their operations were slavery-free;
  • Warner Bros. dismissed the findings of the investigation, simply stating that they were ‘satisfied’ that fair labour practices were being used in the production of their chocolates.
  • Given the conflicting information, outraged consumers asked Warner Bros. what steps were taken to ensure there was no slavery in Harry Potter Chocolates. Warner Bros. refused to respond.

Right now, we’re heading into one of the busiest times of the year for Warner Bros. theme parks. Children excited to experience the world of Harry Potter will be asking their parents to buy these chocolates. That’s why taking a stand right now will make a big impact.

Ask Warner Bros. what steps they’re taking to ensure Harry Potter chocolates are slavery free.

As consumers, we deserve to know that the products we buy are free from the taint of modern slavery. If corporate giants like Warner Bros. refuse to be open and accountable, we just don’t know.

Thank you for joining me in taking action.

Jessica

(1) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/946952.stm
(2) http://thehpalliance.org/i/campaigns/nihn/behr-scorecard.pdf

Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world’s greatest evils: Modern slavery.

Ivory Coast students tear gassed


This video is called Lethal Use of Tear Gas in Bahrain from Amber Lyon of CNN.

From Associated Press:

Security forces tear gas university protesters in Ivory Coast

By Robbie Corey-Boulet

May 13, 2013 11:10 AM

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Security forces in Ivory Coast used teargas to disperse hundreds of students demonstrating Monday against overcrowded classrooms and empty libraries at the country’s largest university, sending at least two students to the hospital with injuries, according to witnesses.

The demonstration had been timed to coincide with an appearance on campus by Higher Education Minister Cisse Ibrahima Bacongo, said literature student Josue Kwame, who took part in the demonstration. When the minister took the microphone to speak, students began shouting him down. The minister and other officials quickly fled into an administrative building.

For the next half hour police lobbed at least six rounds of tear gas at the demonstrators, some of whom wore bright red headbands and armbands to signal their frustration with conditions at the university, named after President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, the country’s first president.

The campus, which serves some 60,000 students, was reopened amid much fanfare last September after being closed for 18 months following Ivory Coast’s near-civil war following the contested 2010 election. …

While significant infrastructure upgrades were made before the university’s reopening, students regularly complain about overcrowded classrooms, a lack of books in the campus’s two libraries, poor transportation and other problems.

“The minister had nothing to say about this, and that’s why we were shouting at him,” Kwame said, when asked why the demonstration got out of hand. “We students don’t want the ministers coming here trying to say everything is all right.”

An Associated Press reporter saw two students being taken away in ambulances, though the nature of their injuries was unclear. Before finally dispersing, the students raided a spot where lunch was provided for the VIPs.

Trafigura pollution scandal continues


This video is called Probo Koala trailer (Côte d’Ivoire toxic waste spill).

By Marietta Harjono:

How one company is getting away with a human and environmental tragedy

September 25, 2012 at 11:00

Six years ago a multinational company bought large amounts of unrefined gasoline in the US and refined it through an industrial process called caustic washing onboard a ship, the Probo Koala, in the Mediterranean Sea.

During one night in August 2006, this waste was later dumped in at least 18 different places around Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, close to houses, workplaces, schools and fields of crops. Abidjan, a vibrant city of more than 3.5 million people, was engulfed in a terrible smell that witnesses have described as thick, suffocating, akin to a mix of rotten eggs, garlic, gas and petroleum.

Probo Koala

Health centres and hospitals were soon overwhelmed. Over 100,000 people received medical care, according to official records. National authorities reported that between 15 and 17 people died.

What’s more, the company was long aware that the waste that they created onboard the Probo Koala was hazardous… and expensive to dispose of.

That company is Trafigura.

Today, Greenpeace and Amnesty International are releasing the most in-depth report into the incident ever concluded. We are calling for the UK government to begin a criminal investigation into Trafigura’s actions, for the victims to receive justice and international action to make sure this never happens again.

The Toxic Truth is the result of a three-year investigation and looks at the tragic litany of failures that created a medical, political and environmental disaster. It is a story of corporate crime, human rights abuse and governments’ failure to protect people and the environment. It is a story that exposes how systems for enforcing international law have failed to keep up with companies that operate trans-nationally, and how one company has been able to take full advantage of legal uncertainties and jurisdictional loopholes, with devastating consquences.

With medical treatment and time, the symptoms have abated, but for many the fear remains. Six years on, the people of Cote d’Ivoire still do not know what was in the waste. It had been illegally exported from Europe, illegally brought into Abidjan, and illegally dumped there. Numerous laws – both national and international – had been ignored.

In the Netherlands, Trafigura was prosecuted in relation to the illegal export of waste to Africa. This case was initiated by Greenpeace. Not only does Trafigura have an office there, this was also where it first tried to have the waste treated – and where the price tag rose after it became evident the content of the waste wasn’t what it had said. They were found guilty.

In September 2006, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise barred the Probo Koala from leaving port when it docked in Estonia. Back then we demanded that the Estonian authorities investigate the ship, and the European Commission, to ensure this never happens again.

Greenpeace has followed this from the start and will not rest until Trafigura is held to account.

Trafigura has spent over US$300 million using every scheming technique available to a multibillion dollar company to evade justice after the dumping. For that amount it could have paid for the proper disposal of the toxic waste almost five hundred times over.

And it could have saved a human and environmental tragedy of an unimaginable scale.

Find out what Greenpeace is doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Marietta Harjono is a Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner

See also here.

Trafigura boss Dauphin prosecuted for pollution


This is a satirical video from the Netherlands on Trafigura and their Probo Koala pollution scandal.

Translated from Greenpeace in the Netherlands:

Trafigura chairman will be prosecuted at last

Press Release – January 30, 2012

Amsterdam – After a long procedure including objection, appeal and cassation, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal today has decided that the prosecution is allowed to sue Trafigura executive Claude Dauphin in the case of the Probo Koala.

Dauphin can be prosecuted for actually directing the illegal export of the Probo Koala waste to Ivory Coast.

Material obtained from research by Greenpeace and others in recent years shows that the chairman of Trafigura, Claude Dauphin, was informed and involved, from the beginning to the end, in the origin and allowing of the dumping of toxic waste of the Probo Koala in Ivory Coast.

Earlier leaked email correspondence between the chairman and employees of Trafigura shows that from the beginning it was known that the experimental mixing process that Trafigura did aboard the ship Probo Koala would result in toxic waste. Also, the company knew that there are just a few places in the world where such toxic waste could be handled responsibly. The company knew that the transport of the toxic waste that would be produced from the European Union to other countries was illegal.

According to Greenpeace, that is deliberate circumvention of legislation. The judges thought so as well, and the Amsterdam Court recently convicted the company Trafigura for the deliberate and illegal export of waste to Ivory Coast.

Greenpeace is pleased that now the chief of Trafigura will have to stand trial as well. Marietta Harjono, Greenpeace: “Dauphin was personally involved and knowingly accepted the risk of causing damage to people and the environment by exporting the toxic waste to Ivory Coast.”

A timeline of all major events in this complex case is here.

Trafigura polluters accused


This video from Britain says about itself:

13 December 2009 — Trafigura and their lawyers Carter Ruck had been pursuing an ongoing libel case against the BBC over a news story that aired in May 2009. Until this week the story was still available on the BBC website. The link stopped working some time on December 10th or 11th.

Trafigura and Carter Ruck have become notorious for their willingness to use the UK’s repressive media laws to suppress legitimate criticism and comment. Uploaded for educational and news reporting purposes.

From Dutch news agency ANP:

Greenpeace accuses Trafigura

Published on: 18 May 2010 – 9:04am

The environmental organisation accuses the multinational of having influenced witnesses.

In the Netherlands, Greenpeace has filed a complaint with the public prosecution against the multinational Trafigura, accusing the latter of having influenced witnesses and also of forgery.

According to the environmental organisation, a group of drivers reported to be Ivorian would have agreed with Trafigura not to report being ill as a result of transporting toxic waste for the multinational.

A spokesman for Greenpeace has confirmed that information which had been disclosed by Dutch television and the center-left daily De Volkskrant.

According to the Ivorian justice, dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan in August 2006, by the cargo Probo Koala, chartered by Trafigura from Amsterdam, had killed 17 people and poisoned thousands.

See also Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad on this. See also here.

Hush money in Trafigura pollution scandal


This is a pirate satire about the Probo Koala scandal.

17 May 2010.

From Dutch NOS TV:

Drivers: hush money from Trafigura

Update: Monday, May 17, 2010, 21:58

Truck drivers who in 2006 in the Ivory Coast transported chemical waste from the ship Probo Koala now say that they then have signed false declarations in exchange for money. They say that they became sick after that transportation, but that they had concealed that in exchange for money.

According to the drivers, the false statements were written by a lawyer of Trafigura, which had hired the ship. This is reported by NOVA TV and the Volkskrant daily.

In 2006, Ivorian people living near landfills reported they had become sick, after waste from the Probo Koala had been dumped there.