September 5, 2012

    Photo: OiMax/Flickr

Japan to Buy Disputed Islands

China calls the deal "illegal and invalid"

Japan has struck a deal to buy the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, claimed by both China and Taiwan, Japanese media reported Wednesday. The government will pay the Japanese family that owns the islands about $26.2 million at the end of the month for three of the five islands. Chinese officials quickly responded, calling the deal illegal. "China's will and determination to defend its territorial sovereignty is unshakable," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. "China is closely watching the situation and will take necessary measures to protect its territorial sovereignty." Last month, Chinese cities witnessed large-scale anti-Japanese protests when Japanese activists raised a flag on one of the islands.

Via Chicago Tribune


Armstrong signing his book 'Comeback 2.0' at a Borders in New York City.     Photo: lev radin/Shutterstock

California Senators Target USADA

Call for congressional review

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency may be facing additional scrutiny after 23 California state senators asked the state’s two U.S. senators to request a review of the organization. The letter sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D) on Tuesday does not mention Lance Armstrong explicitly, but it does take aim at the agency’s “dealing with athletes who have never failed a drug test.” The letter raises issues with the constitutionality of the arbitration process and agency’s conduct. In June, Armstrong raised similar questions before a federal court, but his case was dismissed after the judge upheld USADA’s jurisdiction and ruled that the agency did not violate Armstrong’s right to due process.

Via USA Today


    Photo: wwarby/Flickr

Officials Plan Controversial Emu Underpass

Experts say the birds won't use it

Are emus too dumb to walk under a highway? It’s a question Australians are currently mulling as they decide whether or not to move forward with proposed additions to the country’s eastern Pacific Highway. Authorities are spending millions of dollars on upgrades and expansions to the roadway, which currently includes “four dedicated underpass structures designed for the emus, three 5.5 meters (18ft) high and the other four meters (13ft) high," according to a spokesperson. However, wildlife experts don’t think the birds, which grow as tall as 6’6’’ and cannot fly, will be able to understand the purpose of the underpass. “Emus are big birds with little brains," said Gary Whale of Birdlife Australia. Instead, experts say that the planned additions to the Pacific Highway will intersect the emu foraging and breeding area. "It could see the extinction of the coastal emu," Whale said. The decision on whether or not to use the underpasses will be finalized later this year.

Via The Guardian


Andy Schleck

Andy Schleck     Photo: Petit Brun/Flickr

Andy Schleck Postpones Return

Still hurting from Critérium du Dauphiné crash

Andy Schleck has postponed his return to racing due to "shooting pains" from a back injury that he suffered last year. The 27-year-old Radioshack Nissan rider had been scheduled to race in Sunday's GP Fourmies before pulling out. "It makes no sense to appear at races where I might not be able to even reach the finish line," he said. Schleck hasn't raced since this year's Critérium du Dauphiné, when he fractured his sacrum in a crash during the event's time trial. Schleck says he will now focus on building up fitness for the 2013 season, though he still holds out hope of returning before the end of 2012.

Via Velonation