Skip to main content

Bolivia rejects 'offensive' chicken donation from Bill Gates

Bolivia rejects 'offensive' chicken donation from Bill Gates

/

'Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia'

Share this story

JP Yim/Getty Images

Bill Gates' philanthropic efforts are usually greeted with near-universal praise, but a recent attempt by the US billionaire to donate 100,000 chickens to impoverished countries has ruffled some feathers. The leftist government of Bolivia, one of the nations reportedly earmarked to receive the poultry, has refused the donation, describing Gates' gift as "offensive."

"He does not know Bolivia’s reality to think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce," said César Cocarico, Bolivia's minister of land and rural development, according to the Financial Times. "Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us."

Gates announced the chicken initiative — dubbed "Coop Dreams" — earlier this month as a partnership with Heifer International, a charity that aims to eradicate poverty by giving away livestock and agricultural training. The gift of 100,000 chickens is to be distributed among countries with high poverty levels: mostly nations in sub-Saharan Africa, but also including Bolivia, reports Reuters.

"if I were in their shoes, that’s what I would do — I would raise chickens."

"It’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens," wrote Gates in a blog post. "In fact, if I were in their shoes, that’s what I would do — I would raise chickens." He says that the animals are easy and inexpensive to raise, empower women ("because chickens are small and stay close to home"), and can help feed children in poor families.

But Bolivia's government, led by anti-imperialist president Evo Morales, says the South American nation already produces 197 million chickens annually, and has the capacity to export 36 million. Bolivia's pride is justified: the country's economy has nearly tripled in size over the last decade, with its GDP per capita jumping from $1,200 in 2006 to $3,119 in 2015. The IMF predicts that Bolivia's economy will grow by 3.8 percent in 2016, making it the best performer in South America.

Minister Cocarico told reporters in the country's capital La Paz that Gates should "inform himself that us Bolivians have a lot of production and do not need any gifted chicks in order to live, we have dignity." He added: "It think it’s rude coming from a magnate that does not know Bolivia’s reality." Well, he certainly knows now.


Bill and Melinda Gates on their foundation, philanthropy and more

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 6:45 AM UTC Dimorphos didn’t even see it coming

T
Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.


R
Twitter
Richard Lawler12:00 AM UTC
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 26
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James VincentSep 26
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James VincentSep 26
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.