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The killing of Cecil the lion by a U.S. hunter in Zimbabwe has turned up the pressure on Washington to extend legal protection to the African lion by declaring it an endangered species, but some hunting advocates said that would lead to more regulations that could ultimately harm the big cats. The United States has the world's most powerful animal protection law, the Endangered Species Act, which has been extended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to many non-U.S. species including the African elephant and cheetah. Adding the African lion to the U.S. list would not prohibit trophy hunting but it would require a permit from the service to import lions or their body parts to the United States.
Australian rider Richie Porte, fresh from helping Team Sky's Chris Froome win a second Tour de France, announced on Saturday he will ride for the BMC Racing team next season. Porte, a key domestique in Sky's three Tour successes with Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and then Froome in 2013 and this year, is moving to pursue his dream of a Grand Tour success in his own right. "I want to win again races like Paris-Nice and the Tour of Catalonia," said the 30-year-old who was in the final year of his contract with Sky.
New Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor called for unity in the movement in his first audio message released Saturday amid reports of rifts in their ranks following the announcement of the death of former chief Mullah Omar. Mansoor replaced Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar, whose death was confirmed by the militants on Thursday, although the timing of his death is unclear. The audio message from Mansoor also mentioned peace talks with the Afghan government, though it was not clear whether he supported them.