Thu, Apr 14, 2016 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Dog diet brings new life

A morbidly obese Texas dachshund once dubbed “Fat Vincent” because his belly was so large it hit the ground when he walked, has found its way out of animal shelter care by dropping half its body weight, and is on track to become healthy enough for a new owner. The seven-year-old canine with a love for fast food weighed 17.24kg with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 60 percent body fat in September last year when he was surrendered to a Houston animal shelter after his elderly owner died, its temporary owner said. His ideal healthy weight is about 7.25kg. “Besides terribly high cholesterol and BMI, Vincent’s back sloped downward in the middle and our vet was fearful that one false move would cause his back to break,” said Melissa Anderson with K-9 Angels Rescue in Houston. Now dubbed “Skinny Vinnie,” the dog weighs 7.9kg due to a healthier diet, swimming with a life jacket in a pool and long walks, Anderson said.

UNITED STATES

Turtle smuggler sentenced

A Canadian man who repeatedly entered Michigan to buy and ship thousands of turtles to his native China only to be caught with 51 of them strapped to his legs was sentenced on Tuesday to nearly five years in federal prison for smuggling. It was a tough punishment for Kai Xu (徐楷), who has been locked up for 19 months since his arrest and had hoped to be released. The 27-year-old expressed remorse to a judge and thanked agents “for stopping the darkness of my greed and ignorance.” Ahead of the hearing, Xu wrote a letter to District Judge John Corbett O’Meara, saying he sold turtles partly to make money for college. He said he was a semester short of an engineering degree. The government said Xu shipped turtles to China from Canada and the US, or hired people to fly with turtles in their luggage to China, where they are coveted as pets. He was apprehended with 51 of them on his legs at the Ontario, Canada, border in 2014.

UNITED STATES

Ring stolen from casket

Police in west Texas are searching for a woman seen in a surveillance video at a funeral home in Odessa stealing a ring from the body of an 88-year-old in an open casket. In a video posted on the Facebook page of the Odessa Police Department on Monday, the suspect is seen standing alone in front of the body of an elderly woman for about a minute on Friday last week and apparently twisting the woman’s finger to remove a ring. Police said after stealing the ring, the suspect fled in a car. The daughter of the deceased woman told the Odessa American newspaper that the family did not know the suspect.

CANADA

‘Black Widow’ re-arrested

An 80-year-old woman dubbed the nation’s “Black Widow” has been arrested after breaching the conditions of her release by using the Internet at a library in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A police spokeswoman said Melissa Ann Shepard was arrested on Monday. Shepard gained notoriety for killing and poisoning several men who were her intimate partners and has a lengthy history of offenses. The arrest came less than a month after Shepard was released from prison. She served just under three years for spiking newlywed husband Fred Weeks’ coffee with tranquilizers in 2012. Weeks survived after falling ill during a trip to Newfoundland. Shepard was convicted of manslaughter and served two years in prison in the early 1990s in the death of her second husband, Gordon Stewart, whom she drugged and ran over twice with a car.

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