The latest stories from around the country and the world:
U.K. Trash Cans Turned into Minions: Garbage bins in East Sussex, U.K., recently turned into Minions, and residents have been abuzz trying to figure who painted them, according to the local newspaper. The yellow cartoon characters appeared overnight this past Monday in the small southern U.K. towns of Peacehaven, Newhaven and Rottingdean, the Sussex Express reported. The bins were numbered one to 10, and it remains a mystery as to who painted them. The Peacehaven Town Council reportedly said it didn’t know who was responsible for the “binions,” as they’ve been called on social media, but said it “admired their creativity.” A spokesperson for the Lewes District Council said it doesn’t have a clue as to who painted the mysterious Minions, but that council members are happy they are bringing positive comments and “smiles from people passing by.” “Anything that encourages people to use the litter bins provided is a good thing as we want to keep the district clean and tidy for all to enjoy,” the spokesperson added.
Ocean Garbage Patch Twice the Size of Texas: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch that floats between California and Hawaii is even bigger than scientists believed—about twice the size of Texas, specifically. “We were surrounded by an endless layer of garbage,” a marine biologist who works for the Ocean Cleanup, which ran a survey expedition that returned yesterday, tells the AP. “It was devastating to see.” Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat, the 21-year-old behind the Ocean Cleanup, says that “if we don’t clean it up soon, then we will give the big plastic the time to break down into smaller and smaller pieces,” though the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Slat’s expedition found about 80% of the larger plastic out there hadn’t broken down yet. “Based on what we’ve seen out there, the only way to describe the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a ticking time bomb,” Slat says. He believes he can clean it up in 10 years, using floating barriers that are fixed to the seafloor. Current ocean garbage collection methods use nets, which Slat says is inefficient. “By using floating booms instead of nets, much larger areas will be covered,” he explains on his Indiegogo page. “Not using mesh means that even the smallest particles will be diverted and extracted.” The campaign raised nearly $90,000, and other fundraising efforts provided the “Ocean Cleanup Concept” with about $2.2 million. Slat hopes to begin the cleanup in 2020.
Puppies Rescued from Recycling Bin: Tampa police are trying to figure out who would throw away at least one puppy, which was found in a plastic bag in a recycling bin. Police say someone called 911 to report that there were dogs thrown away in the garbage can in Tampa last Monday, Fox reports. When officers arrived, they saw a mother dog on top of a recycle bin, looking like she was trying to pull a puppy out. Officers pulled the puppy out of the garbage and the plastic bag, and is expected to be OK. He was the runt of the litter, at about 4 pounds. Police said three more puppies, which were female, were found underneath a nearby shed. All of the puppies were alive. Tampa Police Spokeswoman Andrea Davis said it wasn’t clear whether the mom pulled all the puppies out of the trash can and brought them to the shed, or if only one puppy was thrown out. “Either way, it looks like someone threw away at least one puppy and mom dog was in the garbage can trying to get that puppy out,” Davis said. Officers interviewed several neighbors about what happened and seemed to focus on a subject who appears to live at the address where the dogs were found.