Anthology

Holey cow: Animal gets stuck down sinkhole

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Writing on its Facebook page, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the animal had reached an “inescapabull position”.

A specialist technical rescue team was called to the Norwood Green area, near Bradford, to help with the re-moo-val.

Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image:Fire crews working to rescue the animal. Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

The service said: “Crews and the farmer managed to dig a hole around the trapped cow and once the hole was big enough they used a lifting sling to cow-ordinate the animal out of the hole.

“The cow was rescued unharmed.”

Social media users praised the firefighters for their work.

One said: “Good work everyone. Heroes without a cape. I can see why my son wants to be just like you one day.”

Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image:The cow was rescued unharmed. Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Another said: “Well done to you all, what kindness there was to save this cow.

“My heart goes out to you all. Thank god we have folks like you that care.”

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Tin of soup – 46 years old – donated to foodbank

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The “Ready to Serve” Heinz kidney soup still bears its original price sticker and would cost 10d, meaning it was sold before decimalisation in 1971.

The Green Giants niblets corn cost eight pence, according to the package design.

Charity workers believe people wanted to be generous by donating items but may not have realised they were out of date.

Helen Bull, from Cardiff Foodbank where the tins were handed in, said: “Probably what’s happened is that it is harvest time and lots of people clean out their cupboards and donate items that they have never used and don’t really look at them.

“Unfortunately what sometimes happens is that when an older person dies the family will clean out the cupboards and they want to donate and don’t necessarily realise that it was out of date.”

Cardiff Foodbank, which handed out 14,189 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis in 2016, tweeted about the find: “It’s a record!! Never had a donation to @CardiffFoodbank with 10d on before! @HeinzUK”

Heinz responded by saying: “Wow! That soup was discontinued over 35 years ago. Should be in a museum rather than a food bank! :)”

Ms Bull, who said it costs between £80,000-£100,000 to run the foodbank each year, added the charity had to waste a lot of food which was out of date.

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Giant python fried up after fight with villagers

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Robert Nababan almost lost his arm when he attempted to catch the 25.6ft (7.8m) snake after discovering it on an oil palm plantation in the Batang Gansal district of Sumatra.

Undeterred by its huge size, police say he tried to capture it and stuff it into a sack.

However, the snake fought back and sunk its fangs into his left arm, nearly severing it from his body.

His life was saved when another guard and locals intervened, with one person clubbing the snake with a log.

The snake. Pic: AFP PHOTO / BATANG GANSAL POLICE
Image:Security guard Robert Nababan was treated in hospital being bitten. Pic: AFP/ Batang Gansal Police

Mr Nababan was taken to hospital for treatment after the attack on Saturday.

“The python was 7.8m long, it was unbelievably huge,” said local police chief Sutarja.

Locals later strung up the snake between two trees, before chopping it up and frying it for food.

Giant pythons are common in Indonesia and in March the body of a farmer was found whole inside one of the snakes when police sliced it open.

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Donkey tries to eat carrot-coloured supercar

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Police said that Vitus the donkey may have mistaken the orange McLaren parked next to his enclosure as a giant carrot.

Donkey tries to eat carrot-coloured mclaren
Image:McLarens cost upwards of £200,000

Vitus caused €5,800 (£5115) worth of damage when he bit the back, damaging the paint and a carbon-fibre piece.

The dpa news agency reported that the state court in Giessen sided with the car owner, who filed the suit after the donkey’s owner refused to reimburse him after the incident last September.

Donkey tries to eat carrot-coloured mclaren
Image:Vitus enjoys an actual carrot

At the time, local media reported the owner of the donkey refused to pay for the damage, telling the McLaren owner he should have picked a better parking place for his £200,000 car.

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Army goat who rubbed shoulders with royalty dies

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The Queen has been notified about the death of Lance Corporal Shenkin III, a Kashmiri from the Royal Herd at the Great Orme in Llandudno.

The goat was the Regimental Mascot of 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh. He died on Tuesday at the age of seven.

A letter has been sent to the Queen informing her of Shenkin's death
Image:A letter has been sent to the Queen informing her of Shenkin’s death

Described as a “total poser”, Shenkin made regular appearances at rugby internationals with his handler, Goat Major Sergeant Mark Jackson.

The Queen has been asked for her permission for the regiment to select a new goat.

Goats from the Great Orme herd have been presented to the regiment since 1844, when Queen Victoria presented the Royal Welch Fusiliers with its first official royal goat.

Lance Corporal Shenkin III stays cool as Prince Charles enquires about him
Image:No butting in: Shenkin cuts a calm figure as his handler meets Prince Charles

Shenkin III was selected for duty following the death of his predecessor, also called Shenkin, in 2009.

Sgt Jackson had been his handler for the past five years.

The pair have led officers and soldiers in freedom parades and the national rugby team on to the field at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

The goat will have a headstone commissioned outside regimental headquarters in Maindy Barracks, and flags have been at half-mast in tribute to Shenkin.

Sgt Jackson said: “He was a legend. He wasn’t just a regimental goat, but part of my family as well. He loved a crowd and was a total poser.”

The goat made regular appearances at rugby internationals
Image:The goat made regular appearances at rugby internationals

Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Crewe-Read, the commanding officer of the battalion, said: “Shenkin was the figurehead for the battalion and would lead us wherever we went.

“He was a symbol of the great traditions of The Royal Welsh.”

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‘Mermaid’ banned from pool over safety fears

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Leia Trigger, who goes by the name Mermaid Aries, had previously worn her costume to explore the water in the guise of “a mythical, amazing, graceful creature” at the swimming pool in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

However, the management has now put a stop to the 18-year-old’s aquatic exploits, citing health and safety reasons.

“It’s mainly the health and safety risk, because the legs are bound together and they worried that I might get into trouble in the water or that I might end up hitting somebody,” she said.

Leia Trigger has been told she cannot swim as a mermaid in public pool in Worcestershire
Image:Miss Trigger has been told she cannot swim as a mermaid in her local pool

While Miss Trigger’s tail, made of spandex-type material, cost £150, they can be purchased for up to £4,000.

The teenager said she had received positive feedback from others about the costume and is hoping she can find another pool that will allow her to wear it.

She said she was first inspired to try a tail after watching a YouTube video about mermaid outfits.

“But I’m out of action now,” she said.

“It’s more of a case of trying to find somewhere else to swim or seeing if there’s another path I can take with this.

“It’s quite a big drawback at the moment.”

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Man caught with kilo of gold hidden in rectum

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The 45-year-old India-bound passenger was seen behaving “suspiciously” in the departure lounge of Colombo airport, spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said.

“He was called for a thorough screening after customs officers noticed him walking with difficulty and appearing to be in pain,” Mr Jayaratne said.

A close examination revealed the man was hiding 904 grams of gold wrapped in black plastic sheets, including seven yellow “biscuits” and six chains, he said.

The haul was worth more than £22,000.

Mr Jayaratne said the contraband was seized and the man fined 100,000 rupees – just over £1,000.

The suspect was described as a courier for an organised smuggling ring.

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Red faces as Kalashnikov statue shows Nazi gun

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Just three days after the statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov was unveiled in Moscow, arms experts discovered that instead of showing an AK-47, a drawing on its base depicted a Sturmgewehr (StG 44) rifle.

The StG 44 was reportedly named by Adolf Hitler and used by Nazi forces during the invasion of the Soviet Union.

Workers used angle grinders to obliterate the drawing from the 7m (23ft) high statue.

A worker uses an angle grinder to remove the StG 44 drawing
Image:A worker uses an angle grinder to remove the StG 44 drawing

Sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov said he did not know how the mistake was made, adding that he did not have “any saboteurs in my team who might have chosen a wrong sketch on purpose”.

He told Russian state media: “I didn’t do that either. There may have been a mistake, but we still need to find out if it is or it is not.”

A spokesperson for the Russian Military and Historical Society said the drawing had to be removed otherwise “a lot would need to be explained”.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, pictured in 1997, holds aloft an AK-47
Image:Mikhail Kalashnikov, pictured in 1997, holds an AK-47 rifle

Mikhail Kalashnikov became a national hero after the AK-47 entered service in 1949 and became a standard weapon for Soviet forces.

It also became one of the world’s most widely used assault rifles, with an estimated 100 million made across the globe.

General Kalashnikov, who insisted the rifle was “a weapon of defence… not a weapon for offence”, died in December 2013.

During the unveiling of the statue on Tuesday, Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky praised the inventor and said the AK-47 was a “cultural brand for Russia”.

Guards of honour stand next to a monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov
Image:During a statue unveiling, General Kalashnikov was described as ‘incredibly talented’

He had added: “Mikhail Kalashnikov is in a way the craftsman of the 20th century.

“He’s the implementation of the best characteristics of a Russian man.

“He was incredibly talented, simple, honest and all these traits helped him design this line of weapons used to protect our motherland.”

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Canadian PM’s socks incur wrath of Shatner

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Justin Trudeau brazenly wore socks depicting Star Wars favourite Chewbacca at a business forum in New York City, resulting in a tweet of disapproval from the Starship Enterprise’s commanding officer.

Actor William Shatner, in a nod to the “rivalry” between Star Wars and Star Trek, tweeted: “@JustinTrudeau I thought we were friends. Chewbacca socks?”

His tweet also features a tearful emoji, for added comic effect.

@JustinTrudeau I thought we were friends? 😳 Chewbacca socks? 😢 pic.twitter.com/CK6U9hGWkv

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) 20 September 2017

Shatner’s mock distress elicited a response from Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, also known as Luke Skywalker, who tweeted: “Here’s another reason I love @JustinTrudeau.

“Plus – I have it on good authority what he was wearing UNDER his suit.”

Here’s another reason I ❤️ @JustinTrudeau Plus-I have it on good authority exactly what he was wearing UNDER his suit. #GreatWhiteNorthNerdpic.twitter.com/7LjaQN82l8

— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) 21 September 2017

Hamill included a photograph of Star Wars themed undergarments, which in turn caused Prime Minister Trudeau to respond with a tweet of his own.

Including the shorthand for “may the force be with you” – traditional Star Wars phraseology that’s guaranteed to woo fans – the Prime Minister wrote: “Thanks Mark. Sadly those haven’t fit in a while… #MTFBWY.”

Thanks Mark. Sadly those haven’t fit in a while… #MTFBWYhttps://t.co/J1DMyNLUoR

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) 22 September 2017

Predictably, social media was then awash with partisan commentary on the subject.

For Mr Trudeau’s part, he has a history of sporting novelty socks for all occasions – prompting US media to credit him with (or maybe accuse him of) “sock diplomacy”.

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Death Wish coffee recall over botulism concerns

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Specialist tests showed there was a “remote” chance, the company said, that its production process for the Nitro cold brew range could present a risk of clostridium botulinum, which can cause the rare illness botulism.

It said no illnesses had been reported but that it wanted to “err on the side of caution” by recalling the product.

It has warned anyone who might have cans of the coffee at home to “go ahead and get rid”.

Botulism is a rare and potentially fatal illness which attacks the nervous system and can cause muscle weakness and difficulty breathing.

In a statement, Death Wish Coffee owner Mike Brown said customer safety was “of paramount importance” to the firm.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause our customers and our retail partners, but we believe this is the right precautionary measure to take,” he said.

In the product recall notice, the company said: “Death Wish has undergone a rigorous, lengthy process with an independent, process authority to test the shelf-life, stability and safety of the Nitro Cold Brew coffee.

“After almost four months of ongoing tests, the Nitro Cold Brew has shown no degradation of quality or shelf stability at all. However, in order to ensure industry-leading safety of Death Wish’s cold brew products, a recommendation has been made to add a further step in the manufacturing process behind the Nitro Cold Brew.”

The company said it would refund customers who have bought the product.

The New York coffee brand, which claims to sell the “world’s strongest coffee”, made a name for itself following a commercial during the 2016 Super Bowl.

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