November 8, 2011
Austrian Alps

Austrian Alps     Photo: jeffwilcox/flickr

Alps Mummy Likely Died in Climbing Fall

Man world's first mountaineering fatality

Researchers at Austria's Innsbruck University think that Europe's oldest natural mummy probably died as the result of a climbing fall, not from an arrow wound as previously assumed. The 5,300-year-old mummy, known as Ötzi the Iceman, was excavated from a glacier in the Italian Ötztal Alps 20 years ago and was roughly 45 years old when he died. If the new theory holds, he would be the world's first known mountaineering fatality. 

Read more at the Austrian Times

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Sasamat Lake

Sasamat Lake     Photo: M. Wernicke/Wikimedia Commons

Another Foot Found in British Columbia

Boot-clad appendage is ninth to wash up

A human foot washed up on the shore of a Vancouver-area lake on Saturday, raising to nine the number of severed feet found in British Columbia's waterways in the past four years. The foot, clad in a size 12 Cougar hiking boot, is the first of the missing feet to turn up in freshwater rather than on the coast. Authorities say they don't suspect foul play, and have distributed images of the shoe to the media in hopes that someone who might be able to link the footwear to a missing person will come forward.

Read more at The Globe and Mail

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Julia Gillard

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard     Photo: Kate Lundy/Flickr

Australia Passes Carbon Emissions Tax

Law will charge polluters for released CO2

The Australian Senate voted 36-32 on Tuesday to approve a tax on carbon emissions. Australia follows the European Union as the world's second-biggest economy to impose a tax on emission. The new laws will charge $23.70 per ton of carbon emitted by the country’s 500 biggest polluters. The tax is seen as a victory for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, but opposition leader Tony Abbot has already said he will repeal it if he is elected in 2013. In 2015, the plan will change to an emissions trading scheme.

Read more at Reuters

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Keystone XL protesters, November 6, 2011

Keystone XL protesters, November 6, 2011     Photo: tarsandsaction/Flickr

IG to Review Keystone XL Decision

Concerns grow over State dept's report

The inspector general for the U.S. Department of State has launched an inquiry that will examine whether an environmental impact statement issued last month in support of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline violated federal laws. The report was approved by the State Department but conducted by a contractor, Cardno Entrix, which has close ties to TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL project. The pipeline would carry oil more than 2,000 miles from Canada's tar sands fields to refineries in the southern United States. It has been the subject of two major demonstrations in Washington, D.C., including one with as many as 12,000 protesters on Sunday.

Read more at The New York Times

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