April 30, 2013

Peace Agreement at Everest     Photo: Alan Arnette

Peace Agreement Signed on Everest

Parties meet at Base Camp after fight broke out

On Monday at Everest Base Camp, with Nepal army major Sunilsingh Rathor standing witness, a group of Sherpas and the alpine trio of Simone Moro, Ueli Steck, and Jonathan Griffith signed a peace agreement. The parties feuded this past weekend while climbing between Camp II and Camp III. In simple language that any law official—or parent—would appreciate, the parties apologized for their fighting, agreed not to talk about the issue again, and resolved to go to the appropriate authorities at Base Camp for any further disagreements.

1. On April 27 2013, above Everest Base Camp, at Camp 2 and Camp 3 an agreement arose between foreign climbers and Nepali climbers and the situation was discussed today at this meeting. Both parties have realized their errors and apologized to each other in front of those present. Furthermore, both parties agreed to help each other in the future to make successful each others goals. It has also been decided that this issue will not be raised again.

2. All those present agreed and committed that such activities must never be repeated by anyone in mountaineering and in the tourism sector. If any party is dissatisfied with the actions of another party, they commit not to go into conflict or use violence against the other party. Instead they commit to report the actions to the government representatives or releventent government recognized association present at the base camps, to come to an amicable solution between the parties.

Full text and pictures of the signed peace agreement are available at AlanArnette.com. Stay tuned for an account from climbers at Base Camp.

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Blood Transfusion     Photo: El Alvi/Flickr

Operation Puerto Doc Guilty (UPDATE)

Judge denies anti-doping authorities access to evidence

The doctor at the center of the Operation Puerto drug bust was found guilty Tuesday in a Spanish court of endangering public health, seven years after a raid on his clinic sent shockwaves through cycling.

Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and banned from working as a doctor for four years. Three of his colleagues were acquitted, while Ignacio Labarta, a former trainer of the cycling team Kelme, was handed a four-month sentence, according to CyclingNews.

Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria rejected calls from international sports federations and anti-doping authorities for permission to analyze the 211 blood bags found in the raid, several of which may have been used by the Basque soccer team Real Sociedad, and other soccer and tennis players.

Update: The Spanish Anti-Doping agency intends to appeal the judge's decision to destroy evidence found in the raid. "We know the truth that says that Dr. Fuentes is not a good doctor because he did some practices that are very bad for the health of athletes. But, on the other hand, it is necessary to know the names of the athletes," Ana Muñoz, the director of the agency, told the Associated Press.

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The ruins of Jamestown.     Photo: Robert Sears

Cannibalism at the Jamestown Colony

First physical evidence found

Anthropologists have found the first physical evidence of cannibalism at the Jamestown colony during the bleak winter of 1609-1610.

The proof: The skeleton of a 14-year-old girl found in a cellar full of debris. Her skull, lower jaw, and leg bone bear the marks of an ax or cleaver and a knife. While the cause of her death remains unknown, the closely spaced cuts are evidence that she was dead and not struggling when they were made.

“Historians have to decide whether this type of thing happened,” Douglas Owsley, a physical anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, told the Washington Post. “I think that it did. We didn’t see anybody eat this flesh, but it’s very strong evidence.”

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    Photo: Twonix Studios via Shutterstock

Mt. Fuji to be World Heritage Site

Expected to be formally listed in June

UNESCO has recommended the iconic Mount Fuji for cultural World Heritage status, a decision that many Japanese citizens have been pushing for more than 20 years. It is expected to be formally recognized in June, when the World Heritage Committee meets in Cambodia. 

The 3,776-meter peak is Japan’s tallest mountain, an active volcano, and home to local shrines, waterfalls, and five major lakes. World Heritage status would mean a boost in tourism and an official commitment to preserving Mt. Fuji and its surrounding sites.

That comes as even better news considering environmental concerns around the already popular tourist spot. Japan’s central government has been nervous that UNESCO would reject Mt. Fuji because it has been so polluted by visitors. Now that it's set to be inducted, Japan can celebrate its 13th registered World Heritage site—and hopefully make plans to keep it clean.

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    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Victory For Iceland's Pirates

Won three seats in parliament

Today, in cruelly misleading news, Iceland’s nascent Pirate Party made an electoral breakthrough. In a Saturday poll, the party earned 5.1% of the vote and several of the 63 seats in Iceland’s parliament, the Althingi.

Sadly, the party has little to do with the country’s seafaring roots. Formed in 2006 by a group of hackers and file-sharers, the "Pirates" have devoted themselves to freedom of information and expression. They are, according to party leader, Birgitta Jonsdottir, the "political arm of the information revolution." Though the party sports a buccaneering black flag as its logo, its members are largely free of scurvy and wooden limbs.

The Pirate Party has made significant headway in Iceland since the country’s 2008 financial collapse, pushing populist ideas such as a new, crowd-sourced constitution. Jonsdottir, who has collaborated with the group WikiLeaks in the past, served in the government in 2009 as part of the Citizens’ Movement, and is the only elected member with parliamentary experience.

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    Photo: Lorence Photo

Rusch Crushes Kokopelli Record

Mountain biker tackles 142-mile trail

Mountain biker Rebecca Rusch set a new female speed record on the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail, riding from Moab, Utah, to Fruita, Colorado, in just 13 hours, 32 minutes.

Rusch, who won the Leadville 100 four times in a row and is the reigning champion of the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo, ran into several hitches during her ride, starting when she separated her finger in a crash early on.

"Without thinking I put it back in place, flexed it to see if I could still operate the brake, and hopped back on," she said. "It hurt but felt fine in the flexed position."

Her light later died in the middle of the night, forcing her to ride the last section of the trail by moonlight.

Learn more about how Rusch has made a career out of suffering in The Queen of Pain.

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