Sun, Jun 28, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Illusionist rescues partner

Criss Angel’s rescue of an escape artist trapped in a water-filled box was no illusion. Angel and Spencer Horsman were rehearsing for the opening night of the illusionist’s show at a Connecticut casino when Horsman became trapped in the box dangling above the stage and Angel came to his aid. The Las Vegas Sun reports that Horsman is recovering from the Wednesday accident. Foxwoods Resort Casino president and CEO Felix Rappaport said in a statement that the show would go on. Rappaport said the opening night of The Supernaturalists was rescheduled from Thursday to Friday, because the safety of the cast and crew is the priority.

UNITED STATES

Mutt takes ugliest dog title

A 10-year-old mutt named Quasi Modo, whose spinal birth defects left him a bit hunchbacked, is the winner of this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog contest. The pit bull-Dutch shepherd mix and his owner took the US$1,500 prize on Friday night, besting 25 other dogs competing in the contest that applauds imperfection, organizers said. Quasi Modo was abandoned at an animal shelter before being adopted by a veterinarian in Loxahatchee, Florida, according to his biography posted on the contest’s Web site. “My appearance can be a little unsettling to some [I have had grown men jump on top of their cars to get away from me, because they thought I was a hyena or Tasmanian devil], but once they get to know me, I win them over with my bubbly personality,” his biography said. Two Chinese crested and Chihuahua mixes named Sweepee Rambo and Frodo took the second and third-place prizes respectively. An eight-year-old Chihuahua named Precious received the “spirit award,” honoring a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles and/or are providing service to the community. Precious, who is blind in one eye, is trained to monitor smells related to low blood sugar levels and alert her owner, a disabled veteran, of the problem, her biography said.

GERMANY

Artist defends gift horse

A German artist whose painting of a blue horse was presented as a gift to visiting British Queen Elizabeth II, prompting a quizzical reaction over its “strange color,” defended her work on Friday. Nicole Leidenfrost told German newspapers that her art was about “having fun” and insisted the 89-year-old queen had liked the rendering of her as a little girl being led on a pony by her father, King George VI. The modern artwork, based on a photograph, was presented to the queen, who is on a state visit to Germany with her husband, Prince Philip, by German President Joachim Gauck at the Bellevue Palace earlier in the week. “It’s a strange color for a horse,” the queen is seen saying in a brief video circulating on the Internet, before adding: “And that is supposed to be my father?” Leidenfrost shrugged off the reaction. “It’s about having fun! I don’t do deadly serious art,” she told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, highlighting the symbolism of the horse’s “royal blue” hue. In an interview with Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the artist said the queen had only briefly looked at the painting, but that it was visibly a “very cordial” situation. “She laughed and was pleased. And that was exactly my goal,” Leidenfrost said. German commentators on Friday also picked up on negative remarks in some British newspapers about the gift, with Berlin’s Tagesspiegel defending “artistic freedom.” And several could not resist adding: “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

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