An 800-year-old tradition of counting the swans owned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth started on Monday.


An 800-year-old tradition of counting the swans owned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth started on Monday, an annual ceremony of "swan upping" that in modern times has become a means of wildlife conservation.

The upping sees three teams -- one representing the queen and the others the old trade associations of the Vintners and Dyers -- patrol the River Thames in south England over five days to capture, tag and release any families of swans with young.

The upping dates back to the 12th century when the English crown first claimed ownership of all mute swans, then considered a delicacy that would be served at royal banquets.

Britons no longer eat swans and the birds are protected by law.

Last year's count showed there were 132 new cygnets on the Thames, reversing a declining trend in previous uppings.

The queen's team of uppers, in red shirts emblazoned with her royal logo, were directed on Monday by a "swan marker" wearing a gold-embroidered ceremonial blazer, David Barber.

"The law states that the queen can own any swan swimming in open waters if she so wishes, but she mainly exercises that right on the River Thames," Barber said.


Google slapped with a massive fine in Europe!

European regulators slapped Google with a record $5-billion fine for forcing cellphone makers that use the company's Android operating system to install Google search and browser apps. The EU says Google's practices "restrict competition and reduce choices" for consumers.

Google quickly said it will appeal, arguing that its free operating system has led to lower-price phones. Android has "created more choice for everyone, not less," Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted.

In its ruling, the EU said Google broke the rules by requiring cellphone makers to take a bundle of Google apps if they wanted any at all. The fine caps a three-year investigation and is the biggest ever imposed on a company by the EU for anticompetitive behavior.

But Wait, There's More...

  • Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has previously asked regulators to investigate how Google tracks users of Android phones. He tweeted that the fine should "be a wake-up call" to the FCC and should lead U.S. enforcers to protect consumers. 

130 Billion dollars of sunken treasure has been located!

A Russian warship believed to hold $130-Billion in gold bullion and coins was found off the coast of a South Korean island. The vessel sunk 113 years ago during the Russo-Japanese War.

South Korean, British and Canadian explorers found the wreckage from the Dmitrii Donskoi over 1,400 feet below sea level off the coast of the South Korean island of Ulleungdo, reports say.

The Russian Imperial Navy cruiser had a literal treasure chest onboard. Explorers unearthed about 5,500 boxes of gold bars and coins weighing some 200 tons. An agreement has reportedly been reached to return half of the gold to the Russian government, with portions of the remainder going towards business development in Asia. About 10% would be set aside for tourism projects on Ulleungdo, including a museum dedicated to the ship.

Source: New York Post

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