April 4, 2012
USS Cleveland anchored off the coast of Papua New Guinea

USS Cleveland anchored off the coast of Papua New Guinea     Photo: U.S. Navy Images/Flickr

Australian Company to Mine Ocean Floor

Scientists split on project

An Australian company plans to mine for minerals on the ocean floor near Papua New Guinea next year. Nautilus Minerals obtained a license for a in 30-month pilot project to mine a 23-acre section of seafloor for copper, gold, zinc, and silver deposits left behind by an undersea hot spring. The company will use remotely operated vehicles to break up rock, which will then be sucked up to a mining vessel by a riser pipe. Scientists are split on the project, which will disturb undersea vents. "They are one of the wonders of the Earth to be preserved, as far as I'm concerned," says George Woodwell, one of the founders of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The company, which plans to begin operations in late 2013, still needs to raise at least $90 million to fund the project.

Read more at NPR


Greg Mortenson November 2011

Greg Mortenson November 2011     Photo: CAI SARFRAZ KHAN 2011

Mortenson Announcement Set for Thursday

Montana AG will release findings

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock plans to release the results of a year-long investigation into allegations that author Greg Mortenson mismanaged the Central Asia Institute on Thursday at 11 A.M. MST, according to a press release from the Attorney General's office. In April, 2011, author and former Outside contributor John Krakauer published an article for Byliner suggesting that Mortenson improperly used CIA funds to purchase copies of his book, Three Cups of Tea, and travel on a private jet. Outside's editorial director Alex Heard, who will live tweet Bullock's press conference tomorrow, is the only journalist to have spoken with Mortenson since the publication of Krakauer's article. Mortenson is also facing a class-action suit brought by readers of his book.

Read more at Outside


Bear Creek, near Telluride

Bear Creek, near Telluride     Photo: wordcat57/Flickr

Developer Chapman Reclaims TDX Land

Conservation easements in jeopardy

Controversial real-estate buyer Tom Chapman has reclaimed a dozen parcels of Colorado land that were slated for protection from development, according to a press release from his company, TDX. In 2006, Chapman sold a collection of properties in Colorado wilderness areas to developer Mark Young for $1 million. Young agreed to finance the sale with tax breaks collected by protectecting the properties from development. He later defaulted on two payments to Chapman, who sued and offered to resell the land to mine owner Bill Koch. In a 2011 letter to Koch, Chapman wrote that neither the federal government or people concerned with preserving the land would want to see him retake the properties from Young. "It’s probably a fair bet to say I’m the last person in the world the government and conservationists would like to see retake possession of these wilderness lands," he wrote. Notably, Chapman's settlement with Young includes only 12 pieces of land, meaning Young has likely retained seven of the 19 parcels in the 2006 deal.


Levi Leipheimer wins the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Levi Leipheimer wins the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge     Photo: aperturismo/Flickr

Track Cycling World Records Tumble

First two finals see new pursuit, sprint marks

On Wednesday, teams from Great Britain and Germany set new world records in the first two finals of the track cycling world championships in Melbourne, Australia. The British pursuit team of Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh, Steven Burke, and Geraint Thomas broke a record they set at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, raising expectations for Olympic gold in London this summer. "We're in the ballpark now and we're on the right path to London which is the big one," Clancy said. Germany's Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel upset Australia's three-time defending champions, Anna Meares and Kaarl McCulloch, in the women's team spring, breaking the world record by .205 seconds.

Read more at Sports Illustrated


Mogadishu skyline

Mogadishu skyline     Photo: Scoobycentric/Wikimedia

Bombing Kills Somali Olympic Officials

Prime Minister also present, unharmed

A suicide bomber killed two high-ranking Somali sports on Wednesday during a ceremony in Mogadishu. At least 10 people are reported dead and dozens of others wounded. Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali was delivering a speech when the bomb detonated but escaped unharmed. The officials killed included the president of Somalia's Olympic Committee and the head of the national soccer federation. The International Olympic Committee said it was shocked by the incident. "Both men were engaged in improving the lives of Somalian people through sport and we strongly condemn such an act of barbarism," it said.

Read more at ESPN