June 19, 2013

    Photo: Facebook

Driver Who Killed Man Trying to Dribble Soccer Ball to Brazil Arrested

Faces 10 years in prison

The Oregon motorist suspected of killing a man on a mission to dribble a football from Seattle to Brazil has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death of Richard Swanson.

Swanson set off from Seattle in May hoping to reach the World Cup openers in Sao Paulo by June 2014. He would have dribbled his way through 11 countries, hoping to raise money for the One World Futbol Project, which sends durable soccer balls to developing nations.

Just a few days into his trek, Swanson was hit from behind by Scott Van Hiatt. Hiatt stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators but faces up to 10 years if convicted. The Oregonian reports that Hiatt has racked up a number of violations in his past, including failing to drive on the right side of the road, speeding, and driving without insurance.


    Photo: Grayson Schaffer

Tornado Hits Denver Airport

Passengers crowd into shelters

A tornado that touched down at Denver International Airport on Tuesday afternoon diverted flights and forced passengers to take shelter in restrooms, but did not cause any injuries, a spokesperson for the airport said.

Laura Coale told the Denver Post that there was no major structural damage from the twister, which lasted approximately half an hour and downed several power lines. Outside senior editor Grayson Schaffer was at the airport when the tornado hit. In an email, he described the scene.

TSA agents were aggressively ushering people into the bathrooms, which double as tornado shelters. Most people were in disbelief that there was actually a tornado nearby. When I went outside, I immediately saw a handful of shuttle drivers clustered together with their phones out. The funnel cloud had formed almost directly above the airport. Planes were still landing despite what some passengers described as a 70 mile per hour tail wind. The funnel dissipated and moved east after five or ten minutes.

See incredible video from the scene of the tornado here.


    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Iceland Resumes Fin Whale Hunt

Will fill 154-whale quota

Iceland’s media announced Monday that the nation will resume its controversial fin whale hunt and has already dispatched two ships to begin filling the season’s quota of 154 whales. The two ships, Hvalur 8 and Hvalur 9 set sail on Sunday, heading west towards whaling waters.

Hvalur, the only company that hunts fin whales, the second largest after blue whales, killed 148 of the creatures in 2010, but cancelled hunts in 2011 and 2012 after it’s only market, Japan, was devastated by the tsunami.

The International Whaling Commission, in response to alarming drops in the whale population, imposed a global moratorium on hunting in 1986. However, both Iceland and Norway have continued to openly practice commercial whaling in defiance of the ruling.

Iceland also hunts mink whales, and began filling this season’s quota in May. They have harpooned seven so far.

For more on whale hunting, read Sebastian Junger's classic feature
The Whale Hunters.


Andy Schleck

"For me the 2010 Tour is forgotten," Schleck said.     Photo: Femke Hoogland/Soigneur

Andy Schleck to Lead RadioShack at Tour

Continues to improve and recover from fractured pelvis

Andy Schleck will lead RadioShack-Leopard at the upcoming Tour de France, the team announced Wednesday. Since crashing at the Critérium du Dauphiné and fracturing his pelvis last year, Schleck has struggled, dropping out of several races and failing to notch a victory.

Schleck has faced a perfect storm of setbacks since crashing last year. As recently as April, Schleck had announced that he would not be the team's leader at the Tour. But a 40th-place finish at the Tour de Suisse—a modest performance given his prior results—has apparently convinced team bosses that he's prepared to accept team leadership.

“Of course we don’t put pressure on our champion. After the last twelve months it would be unrealistic to expect a podium place,” Guercilena announced. “On the other hand, the lack of stress and pressure can be a positive stimulus to a brilliant performance.”

In 2010, Schleck finished second at the Tour before being declared the victor after Alberto Contador was stripped of his victory. He missed the 2012 edition of the race because of his injury.

RadioShack-Leopard will likely cease to exist in its current form in 2014 as Trek assumes sponsorship of the squad. While team leaders have expressed interest in keeping Andy on the team, brother Frank may be cut. In the past, Andy has stated that he'll never race on a different team than his brother.