Turtles dying from eating trash show plastics scourge

Turtles dying from eating trash show plastics scourge
A staggering 75% of all dead green turtles and 57% of all loggerhead turtles in Sharjah had eaten marine debris, including plastic bags, bottle caps, rope and fishing nets, a new study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin. (AP)
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Updated 09 February 2022

Turtles dying from eating trash show plastics scourge

Turtles dying from eating trash show plastics scourge
  • This turtle is one of 64 retrieved from the shores of Kalba and Khor Fakkan, in Sharjah, to be analyzed in Yaghmour’s lab

KALBA: The hawksbill sea turtle lay belly-up on the metal autopsy table, its shell ashen and stomach taut.
A week ago, the adolescent turtle washed up on a beach in Kalba, a city on the east coast of the UAE. 
Once unspoiled, the coast of mangrove trees is now fouled by piles of trash dragged from nearby landfills. Strewn across the shore are plastic bags, packages, bottle caps — and far too often, dead turtles.
At first, Fadi Yaghmour, a marine expert who has examined some 200 turtles for the first research on the subject from the Middle East, extracted typical fare from the carcass — squid beaks and oysters.
Then, a culprit for the creature’s demise became clear: Shriveled balloons and plastic foam, some of the last things the turtle ate.
“It’s probably malnourished,” Yaghmour said as he worked. Plastic clogs turtles’ intestinal tracts, he said, and can cause them to starve.
This turtle is one of 64 retrieved from the shores of Kalba and Khor Fakkan, in Sharjah, to be analyzed in Yaghmour’s lab. His team of researchers has published a new study in the Marine Pollution Bulletin that seeks to document the damage and danger of the throwaway plastic that has surged in use around the world and in the UAE, along with other marine debris. When discarded, plastic clogs waterways and chokes animals — not just sea turtles but whales, birds and all sorts of life.
A staggering 75 percent of all dead green turtles and 57 percent of all loggerhead turtles in Sharjah had eaten marine debris, including plastic bags, bottle caps, rope and fishing nets, the study found. The only other research from the region, published in 1985, found that none of the studied turtles in the Gulf of Oman had eaten plastic.


Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands

Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands
Updated 08 August 2022

Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands

Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands
  • Svalbard is dotted with warnings about polar bears; visitors who choose to sleep outdoors receive stern warnings from authorities that people must carry firearms
  • Some residents in Svalbard, home to more than 2,500 people, want a round-the-clock polar bear watch, while others advocate killing all bears that get close to humans

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: A polar bear attacked a campsite Monday in Norway’s remote Arctic Svalbard Islands, injuring a French tourist, authorities said, adding that the wounds weren’t life-threatening. The bear was later killed.
The woman, who was not identified, was part of a tour group of 25 people camping at Sveasletta, in the central part of the Svalbard archipelago, which sits more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of the Norwegian mainland. The campsite was located across a fjord from Longyearbyen, the main settlement in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.
Authorities responded to the news of the attack, which came shortly before 8:30 a.m., by flying there in a helicopter, chief superintendent Stein Olav Bredli.
“The French woman suffered injuries to an arm. Shots were fired at the polar bear, which was scared away from the area,” he said. Further details on her injuries weren’t disclosed. She was flown by helicopter to the hospital in Longyearbyen.
The main newspaper on the Arctic archipelago, Svalbardposten, said the victim was a woman in her 40s, and quoted local hospital official Solveig Jacobsen as saying that the woman was slightly injured.
Bredil later told Svalbardposten that the animal has been “badly injured” and following “a professional assessment” it was put to sleep. It was unclear how it was killed.
Svalbard is dotted with warnings about polar bears. Visitors who choose to sleep outdoors receive stern warnings from authorities that people must carry firearms. At least five people have been killed by polar bears since the 1970s. In 2011, a British teenager was killed and the last time a fatal polar bear mauling was reported on Svalbard was in 2020, when a 38-year-old Dutchman was killed.
Following that attack, there was a debate as to whether people should be allowed to camp in tents but no ban has been decided.
Some residents in Svalbard, home to more than 2,500 people, want a round-the-clock polar bear watch, while others advocate killing all bears that get close to humans.
From 2009 to 2019, 14 polar bears were shot, Norwegian broadcaster NRK said. An estimated 20,000-25,000 polar bears live in the Arctic.
In 2015, a polar bear dragged a Czech tourist out of his tent as he and others were camping north of Longyearbyen, clawing his back before being driven away by gunshots. The bear was later found and killed by authorities.


Dua Lipa named Kosovo honorary ambassador

Dua Lipa named Kosovo honorary ambassador
Updated 08 August 2022

Dua Lipa named Kosovo honorary ambassador

Dua Lipa named Kosovo honorary ambassador
  • Singer, 26, traces her ancestry to the Balkans
  • Artist seeks support for EU visa liberalization campaign

LONDON: Dua Lipa, the English-Balkan pop star, was awarded the title of honorary ambassador for Kosovo on Friday.

The 26-year-old singer, whose parents have Kosovo Albanian ancestry, announced the news in a social media post. Kosovo is a Muslim-majority nation in the Balkan region.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to represent my country all over the world and to continue my work and efforts globally to see that we leave our mark and make a difference,” she said in an Instagram post.

“The youth of Kosovo deserves the right to visa liberalisation, freedom to travel and to dream big. Thank you,” she added, in reference to a campaign by the country for visa-free access to the EU.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DUA LIPA (@dualipa)

 

Lipa received the honor on Friday while she was in the country for the Sunny Hill Festival, the show that she and her father organized.

She was given the title by the Republic of Kosovo president Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, who invited her to receive the title in an emotional letter which the singer shared on her social profile.

“Aside from being a world-class and a once-in-a-generation musician, you are also a role model for many girls and women across the world as a forthright and conscientious activist,” the politician wrote.

“But above all, what you have done for the people of Kosovo, in raising awareness of the Republic of Kosovo is unmatched and truly invaluable,” Osmani-Sadriu added.

The singer-songwriter, known worldwide for her signature disco-pop music style, grew up in the UK.

Following Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008, she moved back to the country’s capital Pristina with her family where she launched her musical career, before returning to London in 2015.


Footballer misses own wedding to be with new club

Footballer misses own wedding to be with new club
Updated 06 August 2022

Footballer misses own wedding to be with new club

Footballer misses own wedding to be with new club
  • Sierra Leone forward Mohamed Buya Turay asks brother to take his place at ceremony
  • Turay tweets images that were taken before actual wedding

DUBAI: Sierra Leone forward Mohamed Buya Turay was reported to have “missed his own wedding” after asking his brother to take his place at the ceremony so he could join his new football club.

Turay signed with top-flight Swedish side Malmo on July 22 and reportedly missed his wedding ceremony so he could complete an immediate transfer to the club.

Swedish media reports said instead of joining his wife-to-be, Suad Baydoun, on their special day, the 27-year-old asked his brother to represent him at the ceremony, as his new club wanted the striker to join his teammates as soon as possible.

However, when contacted on Twitter by Arab News, Turay’s channel (@turay_buya), a message said there had been a “misconception” about the whole wedding because of the news headlines.

According to the message received, the footballer was in Sierra Leone and signed a contract with Malmo so he had to travel to Sweden (emergency) to start work.

“Marriage is important, but his work is too. We did the ‘Tie Kola’ (form of a traditional marriage in Sierra Leone) and a pre-wedding shoot because he was not going to be part of our Nikkah celebrations,” the message continued.

Nikkah is the official term used for a ‘marriage contract’ as per Islamic Sharia.

The reply further explained that the Turay’s brother represented him at the Nikkah wedding on July 31, which was arranged for family and friends to celebrate.

“We are Muslims and from a fullah background, there are traditional values one must follow,” concluded the reply.

 

 

 

Turay previously played for Chinese Super League clubs Hebei China Fortune and Henan Songshan Longmen.

News of the wedding surfaced after the forward took to social media and tweeted: “I married my sweetheart, wife and my best friend today. What an amazing human being. And what a blessing. Mrs. SBT Suad Baydoun I can’t wait to enjoy life with you together.”

The footballer posted three photos of himself and his new wife, saying that the images were taken ahead of the wedding ceremony.

Turay’s tweet received over 1,300 likes.

The footballer was quoted by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, saying: “We got married on July 21 in Sierra Leone. But I wasn’t there because Malmo asked me to come here earlier.”

He explained that the wedding photographs were taken in advance.

“So it looks like I was there, but I wasn’t. My brother had to represent me at the wedding. I will try to get her to Sweden and Malmo now so she can be close to me. She will live here with me.”

Turay made his debut for Malmo in a Europa League match against Dudelange on Thursday that ended with a 3-0 win for the Swedish club.
Following their win, the newlywed tweeted: “What an Incredible night, I had my UEFA Europa League qualifying debut at Eleda stadion @Malmo_FF with a great team win.”


Python hunt! 800 compete to remove Florida’s invasive snakes

A Burmese python is held during a safe capture demonstration on June 16, 2022, in Miami. (AP)
A Burmese python is held during a safe capture demonstration on June 16, 2022, in Miami. (AP)
Updated 06 August 2022

Python hunt! 800 compete to remove Florida’s invasive snakes

A Burmese python is held during a safe capture demonstration on June 16, 2022, in Miami. (AP)
  • Since 2000, more than 17,000 pythons have been removed from the Everglades ecosystem, according to a news release

CALIFORNIA: More than 800 competitors will be trudging through the Florida Everglades for the next eight days, in search of invasive Burmese pythons that will bring in thousands of dollars in prize money.
The python hunt officially began Friday morning and runs through 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, according to officials who gathered in Miami to kick off the annual event.
“This is significant because every python removed is one less invasive species preying on our native birds, mammals and reptiles,” said Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis.
Since 2000, more than 17,000 pythons have been removed from the Everglades ecosystem, according to a news release. Burmese pythons, which are not native to Florida, prey on birds, mammals and other reptiles. A female python can lay as many as 100 eggs a year.
Cash prizes of up to $2,500 are available in both the professional and novice categories for those who remove the most pythons, officials said. There are additional prizes for the longest python in each category. Each python must be dead, with hunters facing disqualification if they kill them inhumanely or kill a native snake.
So far, the registered hunters represent 32 states and Canada. Registrations are being accepted throughout the competition. It costs $25 to register and participants must also complete an online training course.


1968 plane wreckage found on Swiss glacier

1968 plane wreckage found on Swiss glacier
Updated 05 August 2022

1968 plane wreckage found on Swiss glacier

1968 plane wreckage found on Swiss glacier
  • The pieces emerged on the Aletsch Glacier in the southwestern Wallis canton
  • Wallis police said the wreckage was discovered on Thursday

GENEVA: Wreckage from a plane that crashed in the Swiss Alps in 1968 has been discovered on a glacier more than 54 years on, police said Friday.
The pieces emerged on the Aletsch Glacier in the southwestern Wallis canton, near the Jungfrau and Monch mountain peaks.
Wallis police said the wreckage was discovered on Thursday.
“Investigations have determined that the parts were from the wreckage of a Piper Cherokee, registration HB-OYL, which crashed at this location on June 30, 1968. Recovery work will be undertaken as soon as possible,” police said.
The 24 Heures regional newspaper said that on board were a teacher, a chief medical officer and his son, who were all from Zurich.
They had a fatal accident 500 meters south of the Jungfraujoch saddle between the two peaks. The bodies were recovered at the time, but the wreckage was not.
“At the time of the accident, more than 50 years ago, the technical means to recover aircraft wreckage in difficult terrain were limited,” the police said.
“Due to the melting of the glaciers, particularly in summer, it is therefore possible that other pieces or pieces of wreckage may be released from the ice.
“In case of discovery, these elements must not be handled in order to avoid any risk of injury. They must be marked and immediately reported to the police.”
24 Heures reported that a mountain guide discovered the wreckage during an expedition in the area.
Due to climate change and the glacier melting, the route has changed and now passes where the plane pieces were found.