Illustration by Wade MickleyShould wild horses be removed from Assateague Island?Yes: 1%The horses are not native to the islands and are suffering. They might seem like beautiful wild ponies, but in fact, they are non-native, feral horses brought over to the islands in the last century. Many have diseases, worms, and malnutrition. They’re also competing with native creatures for limited island resources. Many die getting stuck in marsh mud. And they’re destroying the marsh grasses and the sea oats along the dunes. For the sake of the horses’ health (and the island’s), their numbers should be reduced to a small demonstration herd. —Karen Tiemeyer, Mt. Laurel, N.J.No: 99%The wild ponies are as iconic to Assateague as the dunes and the lighthouses. They should not be removed. If the health of the ponies or size of the herd is of concern, then appropriate wildlife management practices should be considered. To remove the ponies would be a national tragedy. —Kristina Plaas, Knoxville, Tenn.Removing them from their homes will disrupt family units, cause undue stress to the horses, cost taxpayers money that can better be utilized somewhere else, create situations of homeless, unwanted horses that will be vulnerable to abuse and sale to slaughterhouses. —Emily Pompei, Hampton, Va. Those ponies have been there longer than most of us have been around. They are part of the region’s heritage and should be left alone. People have been culling the herds for generations and that should continue to keep the ponies from overrunning the islands and stay healthy. —Kent Clow, Bellvue, Neb.The horses were there before man decided to take over the island. They are as much a part of it as the swamps and trees and grass and foliage and ocean. They must not be removed from the islands. —Gail Jordan, Washington, D.C. Spandex: Cool or Not Cool?Cool: 37%Spandex is cool—when covered up. It functions well as a material and feels good on the skin, but I’m glad that folks aren’t walking around at the crag anymore wearing their lycra tights. In the late 1980s, some of us climbers wore them as a fashion statement. Now I realize it’s much better to express that with your chalkbag, and not something that reveals the furniture placed in the front room. —Lynn Willis, Blowing Rock, N.C.Have you tried spending all day on a bike without it? Maybe it happened the day I said “I do,” or maybe it happened the day I turned 39, but at some point, self-preservation started winning out over cool. —Lisa Mattson, via e-mail 1 2
On Sunday, Sterling was left out of Liverpool’s squad which flew out for their pre-season tour of Asia as talks over the big-money switch progressed. And by the time the Reds return, the England international is likely to be a City player, finally bringing an end to an acrimonious six-month saga. Sterling has been at loggerheads with Liverpool since February, when manager Brendan Rodgers claimed he had been offered “an incredible deal”. Two months later Sterling angered the club by confirming, in an unsanctioned interview with the BBC, that he had turned the contract down. The impasse deepened when Sterling’s agent, Aidy Ward, claimed the player would not sign even for “£900,000 a week”. He became embroiled in fresh controversy after photographs emerged of him appearing to puff on a shisha pipe, and then allegedly inhaling laughing gas. Sterling missed the start of pre-season training earlier this week, citing illness as he sat out Wednesday and Thursday’s sessions before returning on Friday. It had been reported that he had asked Rodgers if he could be excused from the pre-season tour, although he was initially named in the squad until Sunday’s developments. His actions have prompted criticism from a host of former Liverpool stars with Steven Gerrard the latest to speak out, the former Anfield skipper revealing he is “not happy with all that carry-on”. Sterling joined Liverpool from QPR’s academy as a 15-year-old in 2010 and has made 129 appearances for the club, scoring 23 goals. Wantaway Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling could get his wish this week and seal a £49million move to Manchester City. Press Association Sport understands the two Barclays Premier League clubs have finally agreed the fee for the 20-year-old. City have already failed with two bids, the second reported to be worth £40million, with Liverpool understood to be holding out for nearer £50million. Press Association
Nigeria’s fortunes at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas took an up swing with the women 4x200m snatching the gold in a dramatic final, staged in the early hours of Sunday.Okagbare started for the Nigerian quartet, she did well to stay close to the event’s defending champions, the USA who took a commanding lead from the start. They were on course for another win, but disaster overwhelmed the American ladies at the final changeover.Janeba Tarmon and Allyson Felix failed to reach an understanding, it ended with Felix crashing to the floor. Regina Geroge, Dominique Duncan and Christy Udoh made no such mistake, they coasted home to victory at 1.30.52 seconds to win the 50,000 dollars at stake also set a new national record. Jamaica finished a distant second in 1:31.73, one-and-a-half seconds slower than their time from last year, but one place higher on the podium.Germany were third in 1:33.61 while China set an Asian record of 1:34.89 in fourth.“I am very delighted with the performance of our Women winning the 4x200m relay in a World leading time of 1:30.52s ahead of all the leading nations – USA, Jamaica, Bahamas, France, Germany, China and Ireland. I had said it before now that we can rely on these women to showcase our prowess in the Relays and they have not disappointed us,” Athletics Federation of Nigeria technical director Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama stated.