Three buses carrying athletes, officials, and journalists from London's Heathrow Airport to the Olympic Village got lost on Monday, taking more than four hours to make the normally 45-minute trip. “Um, so we’ve been lost on the road for 4hrs,” tweeted American hurdler Kerron Clement. “Not a good first impression London.” Thousands of athletes arrived at Heathrow yesterday, making it the busiest day in the airport’s 80-year history. Pre-Olympics infrastructure concerns—back-up at Heathrow, construction traffic on the M4, London’s major highway—were non-issues. The buses moved smoothly, just not in the right direction, as drivers struggled with the GPS-equipped buses. “I understand that some of our visitors took the scenic route,” said the less-than-worried London mayor, Boris Johnson. “They saw more of our fantastic city than they would otherwise have done. And that’s no bad thing.”
Luxembourgish rider Frank Schleck was pulled from the Tour de France on Tuesday after testing positive for a banned substance. The International Cycling Union says the diuretic Xipamide, used as a masking agent for other drugs, turned up in Schleck's Saturday doping test. The 32-year-old RadioShack Nissan Trek leader took third in the Tour last year and was in 12th place overall before he was withdrawn. "Our team attaches great value to transparency," RadioShack Nissan Trek said in a statement. "After being informed by the UCI about the presence of Xipamide in the urine sample of Frank Schleck on 14 July, the team has decided to immediately withdraw Frank Schleck from the Tour de France." Elder brother Andy Schleck, who was awarded the yellow jersey in the 2010 Tour de France, has come out in his defense. "[I swear] on my life and my family, I am sure he hasn't taken anything," Schleck said.
Via BBC News
Delta airline passenger James Tonges, who bit into an in-flight sandwich containing a one-inch-long needle this week, has been placed on the antiretroviral drug Truvada, used for the treatment of HIV. "Since it punctured the top of my mouth, I had to be put on medication, and we're waiting to see if there's any type of substance on the needle,” said Tonges. Tonges was one of several passengers aboard four Delta flights who discovered a sewing needle in his sandwich. All of the needle-laced sandwiches were prepared by Gate Gourmet at the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. The company operates in 28 countries serving over 300 million passengers annually. The FBI is now investigating the incidents as criminal cases.
Via ABC News
Eleven-year-old climber Brooke Raboutou became the youngest person ever to climb a 5.14b route last week when she sent Welcome to Tijuana in Rodellar, Spain. "This is definitely the hardest route I have done so far, it is very beautiful and crimpy," Raboutou wrote on her 8a.nu profile. At just over 11 years and three months old, Raboutou edges out Adam Ondra, who climbed his first route of the grade shortly before his 12th birthday. Raboutou's brother Shawn redpointed Welcome to Tijuana last year when he was 13.
Via Dead Point Magazine
A new report from the National Climatic Data Center says that 55 percent of the United States is now experiencing moderate to extreme drought conditions, the most widespread since the 1950s. The report included an assessment of rangeland, pasture, and crops, which it says are rapidly deteriorating. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that 38 percent of the country's corn crop was in poor condition as of this week, compared with 30 percent a week earlier. The forecast for the next two weeks offers no relief in a year where 80 percent of the country is already drier than usual.
Via Los Angeles Times
The launch of New York's much-anticipated bike sharing program has been delayed until August, city officials confirmed Monday. Rumors of a delay have circulated since last week, when the Citi Bike Twitter account instructed a follower asking about the advertised July unveiling to “Look for the launch in August.” The program, which uses Citigroup sponsorship in place of government funding, is expected to bring 10,000 rentable bikes to 600 docking stations around the city. A $95 subscription allows patrons to ride the 3-speed bikes anywhere in the city. Modeled on bike-shares in D.C. and Boston, the New York City program promises to be the biggest of its kind in the U.S.
Via The New York Times