‘World’s loneliest bird’ Nigel dies in New Zealand

This undated handout picture provided by the Friends of Mana Island and released on February 7, 2018 by the Department of Conservation — New Zealand shows fake concrete gannets on the Mana Island off the Wellington coast. (AFP)
Updated 07 February 2018
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‘World’s loneliest bird’ Nigel dies in New Zealand

WELLINGTON: New Zealand wildlife lovers are mourning the death of a gannet named Nigel, dubbed “the loneliest bird in the world” due to the absence of any feathered friends on his island home.
Instead the seabird, also known as “no-mates Nigel,” spent years living among a colony of fake concrete birds set up by conservationists in a bid to attract wildlife.
The antisocial avian fell in love with one of the decoys on Mana Island, off the Wellington coast, and was seen preening, nestling and even trying to mate with it.
“Nigel chose to live on Mana, and we know he was happy there because he could have left any time and didn’t,” Department of Conservation ranger Chris Bell said Wednesday.
“It was odd behavior for a gannet, but every group has their individuals.”
Bell found Nigel’s body lying next to his stony sweetheart late last month and believes he died of old age, although an autopsy is yet to confirm the theory.
Sadly, Nigel may have died just as the fake colony was having its desired effect, with Bell reporting that three gannets began visiting Mana in late December.
Bell said Australasian gannets like Nigel, while not endangered, needed nesting sites that were not vulnerable to introduced pests such as rats and stoats.
“Gannets are extremely social birds and they make their decisions on where to live based on that,” he said.
“The decoys are our way of telling passing-by gannets that this place is safe, it’s predator free and it would be a good place for them to live.”
He said the three gannet newcomers were now regular visitors to the island and may yet set up a colony that could act as Nigel’s legacy.
“We are conscious that without Nigel the other three might not choose to nest here but only time will tell. We’re optimistic,” he said.


Ex-Hollywood executive Weinstein to surrender on sex assault charges

Updated 24 May 2018
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Ex-Hollywood executive Weinstein to surrender on sex assault charges

  • More than 70 women have accused the co-founder of the Miramax studio and The Weinstein Co. of sexual misconduct including rape.
  • The allegations have given rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment.

NEW YORK: Former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to New York City police on charges of sexual misconduct on Friday, the New York Times reported, citing two unidentified law enforcement officials.
Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Weinstein, declined to comment on Thursday’s report.
More than 70 women have accused the co-founder of the Miramax studio and The Weinstein Co. of sexual misconduct including rape, allegations that gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment.
Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.