Dolphin dies in New York
A dolphin that lost its way and got stuck in one of New York City’s most polluted waterways died on Friday, witnesses and local media said. The dolphin was spotted in the Gowanus Canal, a notoriously hazardous stretch of water in Brooklyn, earlier on Friday. Local TV footage showed the mammal rising to breathe, then dipping back down into the gray waters of the canal. By nightfall, the animal was clearly in trouble, then quickly died, NY1 and CBS TV reported. The US Environmental Protection Agency calls the canal “one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies,” and cites coal tar, heavy metals and the results of “years of discharges, storm water runoff, sewer outflows and industrial pollutants.”
Amazon to be inventoried
The government says it is undertaking a four-year, US$33 million study of its vast Amazon rainforest to compile a detailed inventory of the plants, animals and people that live there. Environment Minister Isabella Teixeira on Friday signed an accord with the country’s national development bank, which is funding the study. The government says the inventory will help in formulating environmental policies aimed at preserving the forest and preventing deforestation. Last year, Brazil lost 4,656km2 of Amazon to deforestation.
Prison riot kills dozens
Media are reporting that dozens have been killed in a bloody prison riot, and the government says it is investigating. Vice President Nicolas Maduro called the violence tragic early yesterday on TV and said the authorities launched an investigation. He and other officials did not give a death toll from the riot at Uribana prison in Barquisimeto. The newspaper Ultimas Noticias reported on its Web site that 54 were killed. The TV channel Globovision reported about 50 killed. Both cited Central Hospital director Ruy Medina.
New ship to search for plane
The government says a specialized ship will help scan the sea floor for a plane that disappeared carrying the CEO of Italian fashion house Missoni. The BN-2 Islander plane dropped off radar screens soon after takeoff on Jan. 4 from the resort islands of Los Roques. It was carrying two crew members and four Italian tourists, including Vittorio Missoni, CEO of his family’s fashion company. Rear Admiral Elsa Gutierrez is minister of air and sea transport. She told state media on Friday that the specialized ship would arrive early next month. She said the ship would expand current search efforts by searching for the plane in deep waters off the islands. Gutierrez said Italian authorities leased the ship to contribute to the search.
No survivors in plane crash
Search helicopters have found the wreckage of a small plane that crashed, carrying three Canadians. Search crews said they were not able to land at the site, but that nobody could have survived the crash. Two helicopters reached the site late on Saturday after bad weather thwarted rescue efforts for three days. Crews said the wreckage was on a very steep slope near the summit of a mountain in the Queen Alexandra range. The propeller-driven de Havilland Twin Otter was flying from a US station near the pole to an Italian research base in Terra Nova Bay when it disappeared on Wednesday. One of the men aboard was Bob Heath from the Northwest Territories, an experienced pilot in both the Antarctic and Arctic.