Track down giant pythons for cash in Florida?

Updated 08 December 2012
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Track down giant pythons for cash in Florida?

WASHINGTON: Floridians keen to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Everglades will have their mettle tested next month as the wildlife service seeks help in eradicating the giant Burmese python.
The public has been asked to join in a month-long hunt for the invasive species, which, lacking natural predators, snacks on native birds, deer, bobcats and other large animals, some of them protected. Cash prizes as high as $ 1,500 will be up for grabs when Jan. 12 kicks off a month-long program of “harvesting” the giant snakes, organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“Increasing public awareness about Burmese pythons and how this invasive species is a threat to the Everglades ecosystem, including native wildlife, is the goal of the 2013 Python Challenge,” a statement said.
The high-octane environmental challenge is open not only to “python permit holders” but also ordinary members of the public, the press release stipulated.

 


Prince William visits Jordan’s Roman ruins at Jerash

Updated 9 min 19 sec ago
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Prince William visits Jordan’s Roman ruins at Jerash

AMMAN: Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan on Monday, accompanied by his host Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah as part of a historic Middle East tour.
The two princes met children from Jordan and neighboring war-torn Syria during their visit to the site, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Amman.
The visit to Jordan by the second in line to the British throne has been billed as a chance to bond with Hussein, a fellow graduate of Britain’s Royal Sandhurst Military Academy.
William was also due to meet British troops based in the kingdom, before heading across the River Jordan to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The Duke of Cambridge and the heir to the Jordanian throne strolled along Jerash’s Colonnaded Street, a paved promenade lined with towering columns.
They also visited the Temple of Artemis, built on an elevated part of the site in honor of the goddess believed to protect the city, which was at its most prosperous in the third century.
When they reached the ancient site’s theater they were greeted by Syrian and Jordanian school children in traditional dress, who gave a performance including music and poetry.
The show was organized by the Makany Center, a UNESCO-backed program providing health and education to both Syrian and Jordanian pupils.
Some 650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since fleeing their country’s seven-year war which was sparked by peaceful anti-government protests in 2011.
Amman estimates the actual number is closer to 1.3 million people and says it has spent more than $10 billion (8.5 billion euros) hosting them.
William paid tribute in a speech on Sunday to “the way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees,” even as Jordan said the same day that it would be unable to host any new wave of asylum seekers.
His Middle East tour will see William become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories.
William, who is president of the Football Association, was flying into Jordan as England thrashed Panama 6-1 in the World Cup on Sunday, but he caught a recording of the match on television at his host’s home.