Hurricane Sandy is growing into what experts believe could be the worst East Coast storm in 100 years. The hurricane, which killed at least 22 in the Caribbean this week, is expected to combine with a nor'easter and an inland snowstorm to form a powerful weather system, which the Wall Street Journal dubbed a "snor'eastercane," and could hit anywhere from North Carolina to Boston. "Essentially, all of the major models are now showing some form of phasing event similar to the perfect storm occurring sometime next week," said graduate student William A. Komaromi of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Sandy, the 18th named storm this year, could drop heavy snow in the Appalachians, and as much as a foot of rain in other areas.
The board of the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling's governing body, has asked Lance Armstrong to return the money he earned by winning seven consecutive Tour de France races between 1999 and 2005. UCI is also demanding money back from other cyclists implicated in the United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) recent report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but Armstrong has won by far the most; over those seven years, he took home nearly $4 million. "UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport," UCI President Pat McQuaid said. "We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent commission and we will put cycling back on track."
Following its Friday meeting in Geneva, the UCI board also announced that it plans to appoint an independent body to investigate its relationship with Armstrong. This measure is seen as a response to incidents in the USADA report that implicate the UCI in Armstrong's doping. For example, "former Armstrong teammates Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis," the New York Daily News points out, "both testified that Armstrong had told them that he had tested positive for EPO at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland—and that UCI officials had agreed to ignore the positive test." McQuaid said that the Union has never accepted bribes.
A federal judge has dismissed a wrongful death suit blaming federal researchers for a grizzly attack near the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. Erwin Evert, a 70-year-old Chicago botanist, was hiking near his cabin in Wyoming's Shoshone National Forest when he was killed by a grizzly that had been tranquilized, collared, and released just hours before. The 430-pound bear was being studied by researchers from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Team. Defense attorneys for the federal government said that signs warning of the research activity had been removed on the assumption that no one would be hiking in that remote area in such bad weather. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled that the government was protected under a Wyoming law that releases landowners from responsibility when allowing free outdoor recreation on their land.