August 9, 2013

    Photo: Eric Tessmer

Homeless Flight Program in Hawaii Draws Opposition

Officials fear it may draw people to island

A proposed program that would set aside money to fly homeless people back home from Hawaii is drawing criticism in the 50th state. The so-called "return-to-home" program would provide homeless volunteers with a one-time, one-way ticket back to a city of their choosing. According to ABC News, the entire program would cost $100,000, enough to buy transportation for about 100 to 200 people.

In a twist, the island's Department of Human Services, which would be tasked with running the program, has spoken out against it, saying that a guaranteed safety net could attract new people to the island. "At the end of the day … we remain concerned this program is an invitation to purchase a one-way ticket to Hawaii with a guaranteed return flight home," the department said in a statement.

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    Photo: IBT/Screenshot

'Jungle Men' found in Vietnam

Fled during war, lived 40 years in forest

Two Vietnamese men who fled civilization to live in the wilderness more than 40 years ago are being reintigrated into society after villagers searching for firewood found them deep in the forests of Quang Ngai province.

Ho Van Lanh was an infant when his father, Ho Van Thanh, fled into the forest with him following his wife's and two of his children's deaths from a mine during the Vietnam War. According to Sky News, during their four-decades in the jungle, the pair lived in a treehouse, growing and foraging their own food and wearing loincloths made out of bark.

When a rescue team found the Hos, the now 82-year-old father was too weak to walk out on his own and had to be carried out. While he could speak some of the local language, his son apparently only knew a handful of words.

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Group of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins     Photo: Sheilapic76/Flickr

Mass Dolphin Die-Off on the East Coast

Animals are dying at a rate 7 times higher than usual

From Virginia to New York, dolphins are dying at seven times the normal rate, with at least 124 strandings reported since July, wildlife officials reported Thursday. In response to the die-off, the National Marine Fisheries Service declared a federal "unusual mortality event," mobilizing funding to analyze the incidents.

While researchers are unclear as to what is responsible for the spike in deaths, they believe that some of the dolphins have suffered from a measles-like "morbillivirus." Similar infections have been responsible for other die-offs in seals and dolphins.

"This is the highest number that we have had for this time of year since 1987," Susan Barco, the research coordinator for the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia, told USA Today. More than 740 bottlenose dolphins died in that year's outbreak.

In April, officials also declared an "unusual mortality event" in response to a series of stranding in Florida that saw 51 emaciated dolphins die.

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