March 5, 2012
A team of dogs at the 37th Iditarod

A team of dogs at the 37th Iditarod     Photo: Alaskan Dude

40th Iditarod Underway in Alaska

66 teams head to Nome

The 40th Iditarod began on Sunday in Willow, Alaska with 66 teams competing for more than $500,000 in prize money at sled-dog racing's most prestigious race. Wasilla, Alaska's Ray Redington Jr. holds an early lead over Hugh Neff and four-time champion Lance Mackey through the Rainy Pass checkpoint. The fastest teams are expected to finish in eight or nine days after covering nearly 1,050 miles on the way to Nome, Alaska.

Read more at the Anchorage Daily News

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Avalanche

Avalanche     Photo: Sean Gillies/Flickr

Avalanche Destroys French Ski Lift

70 skiers on lift unharmed

A massive, slow-moving avalanche destroyed a chair lift carrying 70 people at a ski resort in the French Alps on Sunday. Ski patrollers at St Francois-Longchamps were able to evacuate all of the skiers and riders from the lift without injury. The lift operator said she stopped the lift when she saw the avalanche approaching. Several skiers captured video footage of the slide, which measured 26 feet deep in places.

Read more at Global Post

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UCI President Pat McQuaid

UCI President Pat McQuaid     Photo: nuestrociclismo.com/Wikimedia

Pro Teams Have No Confidence in UCI

Riders clash over radios, revenue sharing

The association representing pro cycling's biggest teams on Friday recorded a vote of "no confidence" in the leadership of the International Cycling Union. The Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels, or AIGCP, is upset at UCI President Pat McQuaid's reluctance to share revenue from television broadcasts or negotiate over a rule that bans riders from wearing radios during races. In a statement, AIGCP said it "respects the hard work of the UCI" but "does not have confidence in its current leadership.”

Read more at VeloNews

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Humboldt penguin

Humboldt penguin     Photo: Thomas Tolkien

Tokyo Zoo Hunts Escaped Penguin

Bird seen swimming in nearby river

Keepers from a Tokyo aquarium are working to find a missing Humboldt penguin that escaped after apparently scaling the wall of its enclosure. The bird has since been spotted in the nearby Kyu-Edo river, but managed to evade officials attempting to capture it. "It's a bit of a struggle to catch it when it is swimming, because it swims at a tremendous speed," Takashi Sugino, an official at Tokyo Sea Life Park, told the AFP. "We are hoping to catch it when it climbs up on land to sleep." Even if it does make it to the sea, the bird will have a long way to go before it can get home: Humboldt penguins are native to South America's Pacific coast.

Read more at the BBC

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Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Deepwater Horizon oil spill     Photo: lagohsep/Flickr

BP Settles Suit for $7.8 Billion

Trust will benefit people affected by spill

On Friday, British Petroleum agreed to a $7.8 billion settlement with some 100,000 people and businesses who sued in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. If approved by a federal court in Louisiana, it would become the largest class-action settlement on record. BP will likely establish a trust to compensate fishermen, cleanup workers, and business owners. The settlement does not include forthcoming fines and environmental claims from the states and the federal government, which could total tens of billions of dollars.

Read more at the Washington Post

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