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.
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.
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.”
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown