Crews in Manhattan will begin spraying pesticides to combat the spread of West Nile virus in New York, officials said on Tuesday. While the city already sprays for mosquitos, the spraying scheduled for this Friday is different in that it will cover parts of Central Park and the wealthy Upper West Side. At least 41 people have died this summer from West Nile, a disease which causes flu-like symptoms of varying severity.
The White House issued a new set of fuel efficiency rules on Tuesday that require car makers to drastically increase the average fuel economy of new cars over the next 13 years. The new goal of 54.5 miles per gallon is nearly double the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy mark of 29 miles per gallon. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that the new rules would save drivers money, though he acknowledged that new vehicle technology would cost them more in the short term. "You put better technology in the car and the price is going to go up," LaHood said. "But it goes up a fraction of what you save on gas."
Officials in the Argentine city of Puerto Madryn have approved a plan to kill aggressive seagulls with hunting rifles, following a series of attacks on whales by the birds. Seagull populations there have exploded, in part due to easy access to open-air garbage dumps, and some of the birds have learned to peck out meat and blubber from surfacing southern right whales. In response, the “100-Day Whale-Gull Action Plan,” which was approved by the local government, calls for any whale-attacking seagulls to be shot down with air and hunting rifles. Proponents of the plan say that the aggressive birds are causing problems for the local whale-watching industry by driving away whales, or harassing them so much that they surface just enough to breathe through their blowholes. Environmentalists oppose the plan, saying the only way to reduce the seagull population is to close the open-air dumps and stop people from emptying fish remains into the water.
A member of the Danish Cycling Union's board was dismissed from his post following news that he tested positive for three banned substances at a veterans' race in June. Soren Svenningsen showed traces of testosterone and two kinds of glucocorticoids and will be forced to quit the DCU board and his position as president of the Holte Cycling Club. He claims the positives are linked to injections he took for a back injury. "I was of the view that the substances would have been out of the body well before the season," Svenningsen said. “This was apparently not the case and after talking to my physician I learned that the substances can be in the body up to 18 months.” Svenningsen is also a board member of the Clearidium anti-doping agency, which does work for the International Olympic Committee and WADA.