October 16, 2012

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Cuba to Lift Travel Restrictions

Citizens no longer need to apply for an exit visa

The Cuban government announced on Tuesday that come January 13, its citizens will no longer need to apply for an exit visa to travel, work, and live abroad. The policy, which has been in place since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, was designed to prevent the draining of human capital from the country’s fragile economy. Cuban citizens may now stay abroad as long as two years (11 months, under the previous policy) before losing their right to citizenship and access to the country’s universal health-care system. Under the United States’ “Wet foot/Dry foot” policy, anyone that flees Cuba and reaches U.S. soil can qualify for legal permanent resident status and eventually citizenship. It is currently unknown what Cuba’s eased restrictions and normalized relations with the U.S. will have on the policy.

Via New York Times


Levi Leipheimer

Levi Leipheimer in 2009     Photo: Richard Masoner/Flickr

Levi Leipheimer Booted From Team

Cyclist had testified in the USADA Armstrong case

American cyclist Levi Leipheimer has been fired by his team after admitting to doping in testimony to the United States Anti-Doping Agency. In a statement, Belgium-based Omega Pharma-QuickStep said that it would terminate Leipheimer's contract effective immediately. "We commend the rider for his open co-operation with USADA and contribution to cleaning up the sport of cycling. However, in light of the disclosures made by Mr. Leipheimer in his public statement on 10 October, the team has decided to terminate the contract," the statement read. Leipheimer, who has four top-10 finishes in the Tour de France to his credit, was one of 11 riders who testified against Lance Armstrong in the USADA report. He is currently serving a truncated six-month ban. Leipheimer is the latest casualty of the report, which also resulted in former U.S. Postal directeur sportíf Johan Bruyneel's removal as head of Radioshack-Nissan-Trek.

Via The Guardian


    Photo: whologwhy/Flickr

Tate Exhibit Criticized for Butterfly Deaths

9,000 killed in Damien Hirst's "Out of Love"

What is a windowless room filled with thousands of butterflies, some fruit, and a few humans? Possibly art and definitely a butterfly death trap. Over the 23 weeks it spent at London’s Tate Modern, Damien Hirst’s exhibit “In and Out of Love” killed about 9,000 butterflies, according to reports. The exhibit was comprised of butterflies flying around and eating fruit in two bare galleries, which museum goers were invited to walk through. Hirst introduced about 400 new butterflies into the rooms each week to replace those that had died from contact with humans and other causes. “Damien Hirst’s quest to be edgy is as boring as it is callous,” said a spokesman for PETA. “It does not matter whether Hirst killed the animals himself or sat by while thousands of them were massacred for his own unjustifiable amusement.” A Tate spokesperson defended the exhibit, saying, “The butterflies used in this work were all sourced from reputable U.K. butterfly houses and were selected from varieties known to thrive in the conditions created.” 

Via The Telegraph


BARCELONA - SEPT 28: Runners on start of Cursa de la Merce popular race in Montjuich Mountain on September 28, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain     Photo: Maxisport/Shutterstock

81-Year-Old Marathoner Breaks World Record

Shaves 16 minutes off with 3:30 time

Ed Whitlock, 81, shattered his age-group's world record on Sunday at the Toronto Marathon, running a 3:30:26, 16 minutes faster than the previous record time. "On finishing I wasn't that fatigued; the problem was that my legs had prevented me running properly," Whitlock wrote to Runner's World Newswire. "I put this down to the fact that I didn't have a long enough period of high-mileage training before the race and the lack of race practice—it was only my third race this year because of my injury problems." Whitlock says he is still recovering from breaking a rib last year after slipping on some icy steps outside of his house. He ran last year's Toronto Marathon in just 3:15:53, breaking his own 80+ world record.

Via Runners World