Mexico lashed out Thursday at US President Donald Trump for saying that some migrants are “animals,” calling the statement “absolutely unacceptable.”
No stranger to controversy for his hardline anti-immigration comments, Trump stoked new fury Wednesday when he made the remark to a group of California Republicans visiting the White House, during a discussion on his planned border wall.
“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are, these aren’t people, these are animals,” he said in referring to “people coming into the country, or trying to come in.”
Mexico, which has bristled at being on the receiving end of some of Trump’s harshest rhetoric, condemned the comment.
“In the Mexican government’s opinion, this is absolutely unacceptable, and we are going to communicate that formally today to the (US) State Department,” said Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray.
“Comparing any person to an animal, regardless of criminal record or immigration status… is an invitation to violate human rights, to hate, to xenophobic rhetoric, and that is something that cannot be accepted,” he told Mexican TV network Televisa.
Relations between the two neighbors have been tense since Trump won the election in 2016 with a campaign heavy on anti-Mexican rhetoric and promises to build a border wall.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has twice canceled plans to visit Washington over Trump’s ongoing insistence that Mexico pay for the wall.
Last month Pena Nieto also ordered a sweeping review of Mexico’s cooperation with the US, including in the vital areas of security and trade, after Trump ordered thousands of National Guard troops to the border following media reports on a caravan of Central American migrants crossing Mexico toward the United States.
The faintest whiff of a molecule from mammal blood known as E2D sends some animals into a predatory frenzy but frightens others — including people — into retreat, scientists have discovered.
Never before has the same molecule been known to provoke diametrically opposite behaviours in creatures ranging from horse flies to humans, hinting at deep evolutionary roots, they reported in the journal Scientific Reports.
Animals, and especially mammals, use their sense of smell to find food, hook up with partners, and detect danger.
Many of these chemical triggers are specific to one species, or work in combination with other odours.
But E2D — said to give blood a metallic aroma — appears to be in a class of its own.
“The odour of blood is characterised by a rare universality,” senior author Johan Lundstrom, a biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, told AFP.
In earlier research, authors participating in the study isolated E2D from pig’s blood and showed that wild dogs and tigers were no less attracted to its scent than to blood itself.
The new team duplicated those experiments, this time with wolves, and got the same result: the pack licked, bit and protected a piece of wood smeared with a synthetic version of the molecule as if it were a fresh kill.
Blood-sucking horse flies were likewise drawn to it, showing equal enthusiasm for E2D and animal blood.
But what about the hunted rather than the hunter?
If the molecule has persisted across tens, or even hundreds of millions of years, the scientists reasoned, then perhaps they would react too, though not in the same way.
“We hypothesised that prey species would be under evolutionary pressure to become sensitive to E2D, to help them avoid an area where a bloodbath is going on,” said Lundstrom.
Sure enough, rodents in a cage recoiled from the molecule, as much as they did from the red stuff.
When it came to humans, the researchers were not sure what to expect. Would people show blood lust or fear?
And how to find out?
“We couldn’t just expose people to the odour and ask, ‘how do you feel?’,” said Lundstrom. “We had to find objective measures not based on subjective feelings.”
– React like mice –
They did this in three ways.
In one standardised test, subconsciously leaning forward while standing indicates attraction, while a slight tilt backwards means one senses danger.
Forty volunteers smelled three scents, none more or less “pleasant” than the other. They did not know when the molecules were released, and knew nothing about the study or its relationship to blood.
Not only did E2D cause people to rock back on their heels, it only took a tiny dose.
“Humans are able to detect E2D at concentrations of less than one part per trillion,” said co-author Matthias Laska, a zoologist at Linkoping University in Sweden.
“This is uncommon. For the majority of odorants which have been tested with humans, the detection threshold is in the parts-per-million or billion range,” he told AFP.
The researchers also measured “micro-sweating”, and gauged response time in a visual test in which quick, accurate answers indicate a perceived threat.
In all three experiments, subjects exposed to E2D showed signs of stress and fear.
That humans react more like mice than wolves is not that surprising, the authors say.
“Although humans are thought to be opportunistic predators, palaeontological data indicate that early primates” — our distant relatives — “were small-bodied insect eaters,” said the study, published Friday.
The hunting of large prey such as mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers are relatively recent chapters in the human saga, they note.
E2D molecules occur as a by-product when lipids, or fats, in blood break down upon exposure to oxygen in the air.
Policemen attached to the Operation Yaki Security Outfit in Kaduna State have recovered over 100 cows and sheep from suspected rustlers in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The coordinator of the security outfit, Yakubu Yusuf, made the disclosure while parading the recovered animals before reporters on Tuesday in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.
Mr Yusuf said that the animals were recovered during a raid at a bush in Sabon Gaya, following intelligence report from patriotic residents concerning the activities of the suspected rustlers in the area.
He added that the suspected rustlers took to their heels upon arrival of the security operatives.
The coordinator also noted that some of the animals, which were stolen from Kano and Niger states, were brought to Kaduna State through the bush.
He assured the public that his men would not relent in the war against cattle rustling, banditry and other criminal activities across the state.
He called for the cooperation of the citizens in the fight against crime in Kaduna State.
This edition of EarthFile on Channels Television, takes a trip to Osun State, an inland state in South-western Nigeria.
The destination is Oyan town in Odo-ofin Local Government Area of the state, where the people have been culturing bees for human consumption.
The rich economic and ecological values of the insect come to the fore; ranging from its role in pollination, the production of honey and bees wax for human use.
From the food industry to the pharmaceuticals, the culturing of bees for the production of honey offers multi-industrial raw materials.
The experts from Oyan town also revealed that the honey bee venom, although quite devastating if experienced in a sting, could also offer even greater financial returns than the honey, if one could master the skills required to collect it and also market it.
We share the A to Z of culturing bees for personal use, as well as how to make a business off it.