Crabby attitude

Forget unmarked bills and priceless jewels, the new heist target of choice is seafood. On May 20, a truck carrying over 25,000 lbs of Russian king crab was emptied of it’s contents on its way from Los Angeles to Seattle.

It appears this seafaring crime syndicate managed to get away with more than $400,000 worth of crab after deploying a rogue trucker to pick up the product using false documentation and a fake license. Stolen seafood is not as uncommon as you would think as the price of crab steadily increases.

We think an Oceans Eleven remake should be on the agenda!

Hot wheels world record jump

Most men will have fond memories of setting up a hot wheels track in their bedroom – if you were a real pro you would lay the track down the staircase and finish with a loop the loop.

In the spirit of boyhood creativity the Hot Wheels team constructed the iconic orange track on a grand scale to help beat the world record for jumping a four wheeled vehicle.

Stunt driver, Tanner Foust said: “You’re basically going down a really poorly designed rollercoaster, because there are no guard rails… We accounted for everything you could imagine outside of the weather.”

London postal strike

The Communications Workers Union has stated that thousands of London postal workers are considering strike action over proposed plans to close mail centres.It has been reported that the Vauxhall and Bow mail centres are on the chopping block. Postal workers fear that the closures would result in compulsory redundancies across the Royal Mail.

CWU official Martin Walsh said: “London postal workers have sent a clear message to Royal Mail in this ballot that they will not be bullied or intimidated by the company.

“Royal Mail’s closure plans are a clear threat of compulsory redundancy and this is completely unacceptable.

‘In their race to push services to the bottom, Royal Mail will eventually provoke a reaction wider than London.”

However, the Royal Mail has argued that support for the walkout is by no means universal, proved by the 51 per cent ballot turnout.

“There is no justification for strike action. The union has not received a strong mandate from employees,” said Gerry O’Rourke, regional operations director at Royal Mail.

“The reality is that almost 700 full-time Royal Mail people in London have already expressed an interest in taking a voluntary redundancy package that is worth up to two years’ salary. More than 300 are already being progressed.”

First ban for speeding in Venezuela

No one wants to be found guilty of speeding, but imagine being the first in a country. Ramon Parra, 41, has earned this unwanted trophy by becoming the first Venezuelan to receive a driving ban in the country’s history. Mr Parra was found guilty of speeding whilst driving an overloaded bus…which only had three wheels! Grounds for a ticket at the very least!

National police chief Luis Fernandez told reporters: ‘It is important to emphasise that this is a totally new act; for the first time in Venezuela we are suspending a driving license, for 12 consecutive months.’

Despite the law to suspend licenses being passed back in 2008, it has not yet been used. It is common practice to weave in and out of heavy traffic and to travel at speeds up to 100mph. With the price of petrol staggeringly low (it costs just 70p to fill a tank) officials are accustomed to a laissez faire attitude to speed and a devil may care approach to driving safety.

Hopefully this landmark ruling is a beginning of a new era of driving regulation and law enforcement.

Toy truck from UPS

UPS is going from iconic brown to green with its new truck model made of a lightweight composite plastic. Dubbed the CV-23, the new truck’s mileage is an improvement of 40% over older models, due to it being 1,000 pounds lighter.

Unlike alternative fuels, which require a shake up of the core infrastructure, the CV-23 does not require a radical change whilst still delivering obvious improvements. Unlike its older counterparts this greener truck a much more efficient manufacturing process and does not require polluting paints.

UPS clearly envisions alternative modes of transportation as a long term plan when it comes to the companies future business model. Dale Spencer, director of automotive engineering at UPS, stated that research into composite materials and new technologies was spurred by rising fuel costs.

“We’ve all been on this roller coaster ride on the price of fuel. Every time we get excited to do a project like this, the price of fuel drops down to $2 and you lose your zip,” he said.

“But we’ve seen the writing on the wall and we need to delve into alternative designs that are readily available.”


Carbon emissions on the agenda

A “radical” carbon budget is to be announced by the Prime Minister later this week. Environmentalists have celebrated tentatively after expectations that David Cameron would backtrack on his campaign trail promise to lead the “greenest government ever.”

Currently the plans will lock the UK into two decades of serious carbon emissions reductions, which will also be legally binding. Such a commitment will propel the UK as a leading country of carbon reductions.

Windfarm founder Adam Twine told Sky News: “It’s very exciting. If the Energy Secretary can pull this off it will be a real coup…It is what we need if we are to have any real commitment to decrease our impact on climate change. We need really robust and assertive policies to be pushed through”.

However, the news has caused in-fighting within the Cabinet, with Chancellor George Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable arguing that the drain on the UK’s economic recovery may be too damaging.

Phillip Inman, economic correspondent at The Guardian, said: “Businesses will be up in arms. They will think it is an extra cost and to some extent they will be right. There are going to be extra costs to bear.

“And they have had a bit of a free ride for a long time. And we are going to have to knuckle down and pay for this investment…But it is an investment and it is going to come good for us in the end.”

80mph speed limit proposal

The national speed limit on motorways could be raised from 70mph to 80mph as Mininsters look to address speed limits later this year. The Transport Secretary, Phillip Hammond, has made strides towards a new strategic framework for road safety and regulation.

When it comes to speed limits the UK is relatively conservative. Mainland Europe for example has either equal or slightly higher limits whilst Germany famously has no speed limit at all. Going further afield, Abu Dhabi reduced its speed limit from 99mph to 87mph in 2010.

Stephen Glaister, the director of the RAC Foundation, welcomed the proposal, “We should not be prescriptive about speed limits. The existing limits are not right just because they’ve been around for years.

“Traffic conditions change over time as do policy priorities. If there is good evidence to support a case for putting limits up – or down – then we should do so.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers has all but conceded the presence of “10% plus 2mph” guidelines that mean drivers will not be prosecuted as long as they driving under 79mph. The reality is that on the motorways there are many driving above 70mph, despite the fact that most cars become increasingly fuel inefficient at high speeds.



Hearse past the post

In what is surely an under contested category in the Guinness World Records, the Reverend Ray Biddis has set the record for the world’s fastest motorbike hearse – going at a speed of 114mph.

Injecting a bit of rock ‘n’ roll into the standard hearse design, the Baptist Minister decided to customise his 2.3 litre Triumph III to the tune of £20,000.

He said: “I nearly got wiped out on a ride and realised if I had done I would have to be carried to my funeral in a car and I didn’t want that. I know some people get taken in a motorbike sidecar but a true biker wouldn’t be seen dead in one of those, so I came up with the idea of an all-in-one hearse.”

He went on to joke, “I’d like to have another go and get faster but I don’t think I would get away with it with my wife.”