July 18, 2013

    Photo: U.S. Air Force

Town Could Issue Drone-Hunting Permits

Obviously illegal, probably impossible

 

Ever dreamed of having a Predator mounted over your fireplace? If you live in Colorado, you may be in luck. Officials in the small town of Deer Trail are considering issuing permits that would allow residents to shoot down federally-operated drones with a shotgun, offering a $100 bounty to anyone who does so.
Despite the fact that bringing down an unmanned aerial vehicle with a shotgun is probably impossible, and definitely illegal, the author of the ordinance, Phillip Steel, says that the $25 permits could bring very real financial benefits to Deer Trail. "They'll sell like hot cakes, and it would be a real drone hunting license, he told Denver's ABC affiliate 7 News. "It could be a real moneymaker for the town." Deer Trail, which bills itself as the site of the world's first rodeo, is even considering starting a drone-hunting festival to bring in tourism.

 

Ever dreamed of having a stuffed Predator mounted over your fireplace? If you live in Colorado, you may be in luck. Officials in the small town of Deer Trail are considering issuing permits that would allow residents to shoot down federally-operated drones with a shotgun, offering a $100 bounty to anyone who does so.

Despite the fact that bringing down an unmanned aerial vehicle with a shotgun is probably impossible, and definitely illegal, the author of the ordinance, Phillip Steel, says that the $25 permits could bring very real financial benefits to Deer Trail.

"They'll sell like hot cakes, and it would be a real drone hunting license, he told Denver's ABC affiliate 7 News. "It could be a real moneymaker for the town."

Deer Trail, which bills itself as the site of the world's first rodeo, is even considering starting a drone-hunting festival to bring in tourism. Whether the federal government is actually interested in surveiling their 500-person town remains to be seen.

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    Photo: Courtesy of Elliot Sudal

WATCH: Man Wrestles 7-Foot Shark

Environmentalists angry over video

Nantucket resident Elliot Sudal has drawn the ire of animal activists and fish everywhere after video of the fishing enthusiast wrestling a 7-foot shark out of the water surfaced on the Web.

The 24-year-old Sudal, who claims to have caught-and-released over a hundred sharks over the past year says his pastime is largely harmless. "I pull them on shore, I photograph them, and then I let them go, I'm pretty conservation minded, I'm not trying to eat them or hurt them," he told National Geographic, who spoke to him about the video. "It's a big epic battle—after catching a big shark you can't really go back to catching five-pound fish."

Some have expressed concern over Sudal’s methods, specifically that he could be hurting the sharks without knowing it. "Sharks have very sensitive bodies, with some even having to keep water moving over their gills to breathe," said Amanda Keledjian of the environmental group Oceana. "Sharks can also easily have their internal organs bruised or damaged, which wouldn't be apparent after immediately being released.”

Sudal is aware of his critics but believes that he is far from the greatest threat to the oceans. "I am getting backlash, but the Chinese kill a hundred million sharks a year for their fins," he said "And I let this one go, and I didn't do anything illegal."

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Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell. Both have tested positive for banned substances.     Photo: thelefty/Shutterstock

Trainer Pushes Back Against Doping Accusations

Denies doping Jamaican Sprinters

The trainer of two top sprinters who recently tested positive for banned stimulants has pushed back against accusations that he doped the athletes, saying that he is being blamed as a scapegoat.

Earlier this week, the agent of Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, blamed their trainer, Christopher Xuereb, saying that he provided over 20 substances to the athletes, one of which likely led to the positive test. It's “pretty obvious to us where we needed to look,” Paul Doyle, the agent representing both athletes, said earlier this week.

In a statement released Tuesday, the trainer denied the accusations. “I did not provide any banned or illegal substances to Asafa Powell or Sherone Simpson,”  Xuereb said. “I am extremely disappointed that these athletes have chosen to blame me for their own violations."

According to an email obtained by The New York Times, Zuereb had provided the runners with 20 substances, from vitamin C to Actovegin, a drug used by professional athletes like Lance Armstrong and derived from calves' blood to boost stamina. None of the substances listed are on the prohibited list.


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Team Sky Selectively Releases Power Data

Attempting to remove doping suspicions

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford is in talks with the World Anti-Doping Agency to release power data detailing Chris Froome's performances from the last two years in hopes of quelling suspicion that he is doping. After a string of dominating results in this year's Tour, Froome has repeatedly been accused of doping, though he has never tested positive for any banned substance.

“We have been in contact with WADA and UKAD (U.K. Anti-Doping) and things are progressing,” Brailsford told VeloNews. “I don’t know what the process is because we have never done this before, but we are trying to react to a situation, trying to think creatively about a situation.

While Brailsford remains in talks with the official anti-doping agencies, he has already released power data from Froome's ascent of 18 climbs over the past two years—from the 2011 Vuelta a Espana to his ascent and win on Mont Ventoux—to L'Equipe, which had the data analyzed by Frederic Grappe, a reputed sports researcher.

After analyzing the data, Grappe has come to Froome's defense, saying that "During the last two years, his profile has not changed. It appears that the potential that he has today is similar to the one he had in 2011."

While some anti-doping advocates immediately lauded Sky's move toward transparency, others took to questioning Grappe's authority and the team's decision to selectively release data, ignoring the years before Froome joined Sky and saw marked gains (though it is unclear how much power data Froome has from that period).

Much of the criticism centers around Grappe's comments in 2001 in support of Lance Armstrong: "Certain people say silly things. When we are told that a rider is not able to put out 420-430 Watts in a time trial, that is false. Not so long ago, one of the riders with whom I was involved climbed Mont Faron at a power of 400 Watts for 20 minutes, and he is far from being Armstrong. Consequently, I am not astonished that Armstrong or others can produce 460 or 470 Watts on a mountain. It is not impossible."

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