Teddy Bears are banned in Belarus – so democracy activists fly them in

On Thursday, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed that a small aircraft piloted by democracy activists had violated Belarusian airspace in July when it crossed over from Lithuania. The aircraft was carrying a cargo of teddy bears, which parachuted into the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on July 4.

Lukashenko was peeved at his military commanders and air traffic control had failed to stop the plane’s raid into Belarus. Government officials have been trying to sort out how the activists planned the attack and why national security operatives failed to stop the small planes raid into controlled air space.

The plane was piloted by the cofounder of a Swedish ad agency on behalf of Charter 97, a Belarussian democracy advocacy group. The group has since organized other teddy bear assaults, including staging of teddy bears in front of the Belarusian Embassy in London-which caused embassy officials to call the police– to protest Lukashenko’s repression. Protestors have adopted the teddy bears as a symbol of resistance against Lukashenko.

 

Source: Foreign Policy – Teddy bear aerial assault over Belarus confirmed

 

 

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As environmental regulations boost seal populations in New England – great whites return as well

This week, several great white sharks were spotted off the coast of Chatham, Mass., and two more near Cape Cod were swimming just 30 feet from the shore. One of the sharks was measured at 12 to 15 feet.

The summer months induce a chain reaction for shark sightings: Warm ocean temperatures entice more gray seals to the New England shores, and with more seals come more sharks.

The sharks have been paying more attention to New England the past few years because of the larger concentrations of gray seals, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Researcher Greg Skomal said. The gray seal population off Cape Cod has grown from 10,000 to over 300,000 ever since environmental regulations were put in place to protect the seals.

The United States averages 16 shark attacks each year, with only one fatality every two years. According to the International Shark Attack File, you have a higher chance of being struck by lightning, which kills about 41 people a year.

Zimmerman said there hasn’t been a confirmed shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936.

 

More on thisGreat White Sharks Return to Massachusetts Shores

 

 

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