November 9, 2012

Rhino     Photo: Theyoungones1994/Flickr

U.S. Intelligence to Track Poachers

Wildlife trafficking treated as security threat

For the first time, the U.S. intelligence community will direct its resources toward tracking poachers in an effort to halt the illegal trade in rhino horns and elephant tusks. The Obama administration has stressed the importance of stemming the burgeoning illicit trade in wildlife products, but this is the first time it has addressed the trade as a security threat. "It is one thing to be worried about the traditional poachers who come in and kill and take a few animals, a few tusks, a few horns, or other animal parts," Hillary Clinton said at the State Department on Thursday. "It's something else when you've got helicopters, night vision goggles, automatic weapons, which pose a threat to human life as well as wildlife."

 

Via The Guardian

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Cluster-Balloonist to Cross the Atlantic

Will dangle from 365 balloons

Cluster-balloonist Jonathan Trappe is planning to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a seven-foot lifeboat carried by 365 balloons. Trappe, who holds the record for crossing the Alps using balloons, flying the most cluster balloons, and flying the longest distance, made headlines in 2010 when he sailed 230 miles from England to Belgium dangling from a few dozen helium balloons. Five people have died attempting to cross the Atlantic in a balloon and none have yet tried it using cluster balloons. Trappe is attempting to raise $300,000 for the endeavor, which he plans to undertake next summer. Taking off from Maine, Trappe plans to head toward Paris at an altitude of 18,000 to 25,000 feet. "I didn't wake up one day and think: 'I'm going to fly across the Atlantic,'" said the adventurer. "Every attempt before this was geared toward this flight. I've been training for a long time."

Via The Telegraph

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    Photo: johnthescone/Flickr

British Cycling Coach Hit by Van

Day after Wiggins was struck

Less than a day after Bradley Wiggins was hit by a car on a training ride, British Cycling's head coach Shane Sutton was hospitalized with brain trauma after being struck by a van while riding his bike early Thursday morning in Manchester, England. The 55-year-old Australian suffered a broken cheekbone and bleeding of the brain, but is expected to make a full recovery. Wiggins, whom Sutton has coached, was hospitalized Wednesday but released with minor injuries on Thursday. The back-to-back incidents have raised concerns about road safety. “Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity,” said a spokesperson for British Cycling, “but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads.” 

Via BBC

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