Avalanches recently killed six across the Western United States.     Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Avalanches Kill at Least Six

Fatalities in three Western states

A recent string of avalanches across the Western United States has killed at least six people, with two fatalities per state in Oregon, Utah, and Colorado.

The Oregonian reports that an avalanche in the south Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia killed two cross-country skiers around noon Tuesday. The two victims were accompanied by six other skiers, two of whom suffered broken bones; the other four emerged unscathed. The skiers hailed from Seattle and were on a multiday ski tour of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, according to Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick.

In Utah, two people died in separate avalanches, USA Today reports. A Saturday avalanche in American Fork Canyon, about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City, killed Brigham Young University student Ashleigh Cox while she was snowshoeing. Although rescuers revived her, Cox was removed from life support the next day. Utah's other fatal avalanche occured in backcountry near Sanpete County's Huntington Reservoir, where a 36-year-old snowmobiler was killed while riding with three companions.

Tragedy also struck in Colorado, where separate avalanches killed two people. According to the Gazette, a 46-year-old skier died Monday when an avalanche swept him away. Searchers found his body on Tuesday. An avalanche also killed a snowmobiler near Kebler Pass, outside Crested Butte, on Monday. Officials think recent snowfalls may have lured adventure seekers into dangerous, unstable situations.


german polar bear wihelma zoo stuttgart germany dies coat bag

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Polar Bear Becomes Fashion Victim

Dies from ingesting a coat and bag

Anton, a 25-year-old polar bear in Germany, is dead, sadly, after ingesting a coat and bag that were carelessly dropped into his enclosure at the Wihelma Zoo in Stuttgart. He could have lived another 15 years.

The bear was reportedly acting ill for several days before he began regurgitating pieces of the coat. After realizing what was wrong, zookeepers administered a drug to induce vomiting, but it was too late. Anton passed away.

According to zookeeper Andreas Woessner, animals do not normally eat objects dropped into their habitats. "Usually he just ripped up things that fell into his enclosure," Woessner told the Mail Online. "I don't know why he decided to eat this object and can only assume there must have been something very tasty in there."

Unfortunately, this is not the first such incident at the Wihelma Zoo. A hippopotamus named Egon died after swallowing a tennis ball, and Charly, an elephant seal, died after ingesting a teddy bear.


News Outside Online

Molson may have to refill the fridge once or twice during the Games     Photo: Courtesy of Molson Coors

Canadians Get Free Beer in Sochi

Passport unlocks Molson fridge

Befriend the nearest Canadian and look for the cherry red fridge! In its latest marketing stunt, Molson Canadian has installed a locked fridge filled with beer on the streets of Sochi. The key? Insert any legitimate Canadian passport.

After the machine scans and verifies the passport, the fridge door opens to shelves of ice-cold Molson. Take as many you like, share with whomever, and keep coming back.

Molson hopes the fridge, and the beer, encourages people to seek out and meet Canadians all around the world. The attraction has been placed in several locations around Europe, including Canterbury, the White Cliffs of Dover, London, and several others.

“Here's to being proud of where you're from,” reads the campaign tagline.


An international summit aimed at tackling the illegal ivory trade threatening rhinos and elephants starts Thursday.    

Summit Aims to End Ivory Trade

Before elephants, rhinos disappear

Global leaders will gather in London Thursday in an effort to end the illegal ivory trade threatening elephants and rhinos.

The international summit, hosted by the British government, will include representatives from 50 countries. The meeting will be one of the highest-level gatherings yet aimed at stopping the illegal wildlife trade—estimated to be worth about $16 billion a year.   

An increasingly wealthy Asian middle class has driven the demand for ivory sky high. Rhino horn sells for more than $27,000 per pound (more than the prices of gold and cocaine), while a pound of ivory can fetch almost $1,000 on the black market.   

This increasingly lucrative business has devastated wildlife populations in a handful of African countries. A recent study found that five nations in central Africa lost 65 percent of their forest elephants during a nine-year period. More than 1,000 rhinos died in South Africa last year—up from just 13 in 2007.

The summit likely won’t dedicate additional money to fighting poachers, the Guardian reports. Instead, leaders from the 50 countries hope to sign a declaration to begin a coordinated offensive against the illegal trade. 


Opening Ceremony Outfits Sell for Thousands

And it's not even ugly sweater season

We've seen the outfits the U.S. Olympic team wore during the opening ceremony. We've scratched our heads. We've cringed. But despite the "ugly Christmas sweater" consensus, the hand-knit Ralph Lauren garments are flying off the proverbial shelf.

The Ralph Lauren website has already sold out of the $790 sweater-and-pants ensemble. And apparently people like the getup enough to spend as much as $3,000 on eBay.

“One sweater takes more than 12 hours," Elizabeth Park told the Los Angeles Times. "Lots of hand whipstitching, and it goes through many hands." Park owns the City of Commerce factory where the sweaters were produced.

Sounds like a lot of work, but is it worth three figures?