3 top stories from home and away
By P.M. Fadden
WORLD VIEW – Unprecedented Barrier Bleach Blights OZ
Unprecedented coral bleaching in consecutive years has damaged two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, reports BBC World Service.
Almost 800 coral reefs over an 8,000km area were assessed in surveys by Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Findings suggest bleaching – or loss of algae – affects a 1,500km (900 miles) area of the reef, according to scientists.
The latest damage is concentrated in the middle section, whereas last year’s bleaching affected mainly the north.
Experts fear the proximity of the two events will give damaged coral little chance to recover.
NATIONWIDE – New York Trials Free Tuition
Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a tuition-free plan in January, making New York just became the first state in the nation to make tuition free for middle class students at both two- and four-year public colleges.
Lawmakers and Assembly approved the plan on Saturday with the Senate following late Sunday night.
The plan, which will be phased in over three years, states tuition will be free for residents whose families earn no more than $100,000 a year. The income cap will lift to $110,000 next year and will reach $125,000 in 2019, reports CNN.
FRONTIER FOCUS – Snakes on the Plane!
According to USA Today, a little boy, one of seven passengers on Sunday’s Ravn Alaska commuter flight from Alaska village of Aniak to Anchorage, was climbing on the seat when he spotted a pale slumbering snake about 4 to 5 feet long lying near the back of the plane and partially covered by a duffel bag.
Flight attendants grabbed the snake by its belly, dropping it into a plastic trash bag. It spent the rest of the flight in an overhead storage bin, and the plane reached Anchorage on schedule.
Flight spokespersons said the snake posed no threat and appeared to want only to go back to sleep.