Thousands of baby spiders released in countryside

Thousands of baby spiders released in countryside – Thousands of baby spiders bred in a kitchen will be released into the countryside this week in a bid to revive an endangered species, a government biodiversity agency said Friday.

Some 3,000 baby fen raft spiders reared by ecologist Helen Smith will be let loose in the Castle Marshes nature reserve in Suffolk, according to Natural England.

The fen raft spider is classed as endangered in Britain and can be found at only two sites in England and one in Wales.

The spiders are large — the body of an adult female can be as long as 23 millimetres — with distinctive white, cream or yellow stripes across the abdomen.

The baby arachnids were reared in individual laboratory test tubes to prevent them from attacking each other, and were hand-fed with fruit flies.

Smith said raising the creatures was an “exhausting” job.

“At one stage I was up until 2:00 am, seven days a week, feeding flies to hungry young spiders in my kitchen,” she said.

“I’m excited and relieved to see them making their own way in the world — and I can finally have my kitchen back.” ( AFP )


Experts warn tigers face extinction in 12 year

Experts warn tigers face extinction in 12 year – Environmental experts have warned that the world’s tiger population could soon be extinct because of illegal trophy hunting, deteriorating habitats and the use of tiger parts in eastern medicine.

World Wildlife spokeswoman Marie von Zeipel says the tiger is one of the most threatened species and could face extinction within 12 years. The organization estimates that there are 3,200 tigers in the wild.

Von Zeipel told the AP that the wild tiger population has shrunk 97 percent in 100 years and that “if nothing drastic happens the (population) curve is heading straight for disaster.”

Her comments on Friday came after the wildlife organization hosted a seminar in Stockholm about the plight of wild tigers. ( Associated Press )


Lady Gaga cancels concerts amid French protest chaos

Lady Gaga cancels concerts amid French protest chaos – The French pension protests have hit fuel depots and threaten to destabilise the government, and have now claimed their latest victim – Lady Gaga.

The Bad Romance singer has postponed her concerts in Paris amid the standoff over a bill to raise the retirement age.

She has pushed the dates back from October 22 and 23 to December 19 and 20, according to a representative by Live Nation, the events company.


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Lady Gaga will now perform in Paris in December Photo: AP


The Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins, who was due to tour with his band, has also cancelled his trip to the capital.

The French Senate is wrapping up debate on the pension reform bill and could vote today or tomorrow.

Students are planning nationwide protests to urge legislators to strike it down.

More than a quarter of the nation’s petrol stations are out of fuel because strikers have been blocking oil refineries and fuel depots. Lady Gaga’s website says the singer postponed two Paris concerts “as there is no certainty the trucks can make it” to the show.

In Marseilles early on Thursday, passengers carried luggage on foot to reach the airport, blocked by union protesters. ( telegraph.co.uk )

Jennifer Lopez’s Twins Make Modeling Debut!

Jennifer Lopez’s Twins Make Modeling Debut! – Jennifer Lopez’s 2 1/2-year-old twins, Max and Emme, make their modeling debut as the faces of Gucci’s new children’s line — and UsMagazine.com has your first peek.

They appear in the ads along with mom.

“It’s the first time I have worked with my kids in that way,” Lopez, 40, tells the new Us Weekly (on newsstands now). “It was a totally special experience.”

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Jennifer Lopez with her twins, Max and Emme Us Magazine/Gucci

In honor of the collection (with pieces ranging from $80 to $1,600, in stores in November), Gucci donated $1 million to UNICEF’s Schools for Africa initiative and $50,000 to Lopez’s charity the Maribel Initiative, which promotes greater access to health care for women and children worldwide.

“It’s exactly why I’m excited to be a part of this,” says Lopez, who admits she and husband Marc Anthony were hesitant to have their kids participate until they learned of the charity connection. “Now there are two Gucci spokesbabies for a beautiful cause!”

Lopez tells Us the twins “had fun” posing.“I did a photo shoot when they were 3 weeks old, but now that they are 2 1/2, it’s totally different!” Emme is already showing signs of a fashionista.

Says mom, “Emme picks out her own outfits and likes to sleep in her princess dress.” As for her son, Lopez admits, “It’s hard to get Max dressed. He prefers to run around the house with no clothes on.” (Us Magazine )