A coalition of environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts filed suit in federal court on Wednesday to block the artist Christo from draping "silvery translucent" fabric over a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas river. The non-profit Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR) filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management, arguing that the agency environmental impact report did not consider increased traffic along Highway 50 or disturbances to the local bighorn sheep population. The construction period, due to begin this summer, would last two years and culminate in a two-week final exhibition in August 2014. Lawyer Michael Harris said the installation's construction would mimic an industrial mining operation. "For two years they're going to be in this canyonland, drilling 9,100 holes, sometimes 30 feet deep to place anchors to hold all this in place," he said.
A group of 145 waterskiers broke a world record on Friday when they skied together behind a boat off the coast of Tasmania. The previous record of 114 was set in the same location two years ago. The skiers ranged from 12 to 60 years old and, under Guinness rules, had to stay upright for one nautical mile for the record to count. The project required five miles of ropes, and a 308-foot boom was attached to a catamaran to keep the ropes from becoming tangled. One participant estimated that the efforts have cost more than a million dollars.
A ferry carrying as many as 350 passengers capsized and sank off Papua New Guinea on Thursday, killing at least 100 people. The MV Rabaul Queen capsized in high seas roughly 50 miles off the island's eastern coast. Nearby ships and rescue helicopters have saved 230 of the vessel's passengers. Emergency officials are working to determine how many passengers may have been aboard when the ship sank. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned that the death toll would be significant. "It is likely a very high loss of life here," she said.
Road closures caused by blizzards have trapped more than 11,000 villagers in the mountains of Serbia. The recent cold snap, which has killed 120 people in Eastern Europe, covered roads with as much as 16 feet of snow in some places. Aid workers have been forced to deliver food and fuel by helicopter to remote villages. Serbian emergency police official Predrag Maric said that while most villagers have enough food supplies to last the winter, many are running out of the diesel needed to run snowplows and other vehicles.