A former Hong Kong grocer has been sentenced to 16 months in jail for threatening to kill a stolen poodle if the owner did not pay a HK$40,000 ransom.Lau Tsz-kit, 24, told his blackmail victim that he would throw the nine-month-old dog into the sea or chop the animal up in the absence of swift payment, behaviour the magistrate called “despicable”.West Kowloon Court heard on Tuesday that Coffee the poodle was stolen from the 37-year-old owner’s shop in Sham Shui Po at about 1am on September 5…
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden fractured his right foot while playing with one of his dogs, an injury discovered in a scan Sunday and that will likely require him to wear a boot for several weeks, his doctor said.
Biden suffered the injury on Saturday and visited an orthopedist in Newark, Delaware, on Sunday afternoon, his office said.
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“Initial x-rays did not show any obvious fracture,” but medical staff ordered a more detailed CT scan, his doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said in a statement. The subsequent scan found tiny fractures of two small bones in the middle of his right foot, O’Connor said.
“It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks,” O’Conner said.
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Fractures are a concern generally as people age, but Biden’s appears to be a relatively mild one based on his doctor’s statement and the planned treatment. At 78 he will be the oldest president when he’s inaugurated in January; he often dismissed questions about his age during the campaign.
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Reporters covering the president-elect were not afforded the opportunity to see Biden enter the doctor’s office Sunday, despite multiple requests. Leaving the doctor’s office to head to an imaging centre for his CT scan, Biden was visibly limping, though he walked without a crutch or other aid.
Biden sustained the injury playing with Major, one of the Bidens’ two dogs. They adopted Major in 2018, and acquired their first dog, Champ, after the 2008 election. The Bidens have said they’ll be bringing their dogs to the White House and also plan to get a cat.
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Last December he released a doctor’s report that disclosed he takes a statin to keep his cholesterol at healthy levels, but his doctor described him as “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”
Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.
A retired British military attack dog was awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross on November 24 after losing a paw while tackling an Al-Qaeda gunman during a 2019 raid in Afghanistan. Kuno, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal in London for “bravery and devotion to duty.” In May 2019, Kuno was involved in a raid on an Al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan, in which British soldiers were pinned down by a lone insurgent, unable to move without sustaining casualties. Kuno ran into the open and attacked the insurgent, sustaining several bullet wounds in his back legs. He was given first aid, but after multiple operations, one of his paws was amputated. The UK’s Ministry of Defence said: “His instinctive courage and determination unlocked the stalemate and undoubtedly saved the lives of multiple coalition soldiers. The operation resulted in the most significant success against Al Qaeda for several years; Kuno was fundamental in this.” Credit: UK Ministry of Defence via Storyful
As South Australia endures its first day of a strict, six-day lockdown, ABC audiences have flooded the phonelines and social media with to voice concerns over what to do with their dogs now they’re banned from exercising outdoors.
There has been a huge demand for puppies and rescue dogs since the beginning of the pandemic
Giving your dog activities to do can provide entertainment for them while they cannot be exercised in public
Dog experts say now is a great time for giving your dog extra training
To those without a pooch, it may seem like a trivial worry, but ask any dog owner and they will soon tell you there is almost always a big change in their canine’s behaviour if they have not been for their daily wander.
So how do you keep your four-legged family member from chewing the house apart while in lockdown?
Well, it seems the answer could be as simple as letting them sniff their energy away.
Emma Hack is a South Australian dog training assistant and the proud ‘fur mum’ of Porsche, a two-year-old Leonberger and Hilde, a three-year-old Burnese Mountain Dog.
The well-known artist-turned-dog-trainer said setting up enrichment activities at home that allow your dog to sniff out treats and problem solve is key to keeping them entertained and at ease.
“Dogs are natural hunters and sniffing is a calming mechanism for a dog,” she said.
“It’s pretty hot at the moment, so you can also freeze some treats in a plastic tub and let them gnaw on the ice.
“It’s amazing what five minutes of mental stimulation can do. Sniffing can actually use more energy than a walk.
“So, if your dog is anxious or needs to run, these things will help slow them down.”
The activities can be done in the space of a few minutes either in the yard or inside.
But Ms Hack stressed that dogs must be supervised while sniffing out and “hunting” their treats, to avoid them chewing or swallowing something that could cause harm.
“Make sure you pack down when they’re done and that everything is put away.”
Other activities like filling up a toddlers swimming pool or hiding treats in a sand pit can also keep your dog entertained, she said.
We’re all in this together — and that means your dog too
With the entire state ordered to stay home, including school kids, Ms Hack says its important for dog owners to make sure their pet is coping with the added activity in the home.
“Some dogs really need their quiet time and things like having kids at home and all that extra noise can really affect them,” she said.
And just like humans, dogs can also experience anxiety.
“If that happens, make sure they get their quiet time.
“Give them a bone or a chew somewhere where they can be relaxed.
“If the dog wants to sleep, let them sleep and don’t wake them up.”
‘No better time to train’
Breeders and shelters across the nation have reported a surge in demand for puppies and rescue dogs since the pandemic started earlier this year.
Ms Hack says the lockdown will give pet owners extra time to train their dog.
“Use it as a good time for training.”
She said even pet owners who are working from home could embrace the extra time they have with their canine.
“You can choose one thing to teach them and do five-minute sessions a couple of time per day using treats to reward them,” she said.
And do not forget to reward your dog for good behaviour, even when they’re not training.
“Every time the dog looks calm just throw them some treats.”
Damien Cook was the first player at Cody Walker’s side when it became apparent he was in a seriously bad way.
The NSW five-eighth lay prone on the turf when he was knocked out making a tackle in the 76th minute of Queensland’s 20-14 win in Wednesday night’s State of Origin decider.
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Walker was flat on his stomach and had not moved after being accidentally collected by Blues teammate Angus Crichton. The referee blew time off as medicos rushed to the playmaker’s aid — as did his South Sydney teammate Cook.
The NSW hooker held Walker’s hand as he was assessed, comforting his mate for more than 15 seconds until being ushered away to make room for more medical staff.
The Blues were six points down and had less than five minutes to save the series but in this moment, compassion was more important than football for Cook.
Walker never returned as Queensland secured a stunning series win, but post-match coach Brad Fittler provided a promising update.
“Cody is on the phone to his wife at the moment, so that’s a good sign,” Fittler said.
“He’s a bit vague on a lot of the game at the moment. It’ll be monitored over the next day or so, but it was a heavy knock.”
Walker’s partner also took to Instagram to let people know he was doing better.
“Hi everyone, it’s Nellie. I’ve just spoken with Cody and he’s asked me to let you all know he’s alright,” she wrote.
“Thank you to everyone for checking in on him and all the messages and well wishes.”
Walker’s concussion was the last thing NSW needed as they searched desperately for a match-levelling try in the dying minutes, and came after fullback and captain James Tedesco was ruled out of the match after suffering a brutal head knock in the 20th minute.
Maroons forward Jai Arrow came under fire for banging Tedesco’s head into the turf after his scary blow, but defended himself after the match, saying he had no idea the Blues skipper was in such a bad way.
“I was fired up and obviously I’ve been told some comments were made about Tedesco and I just want to come out and say at first I was fired up and I, honestly, personally, am not a grub like that,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I actually didn’t know he was knocked out. If you actually watch the full footage you watch me go back and put my hand up.
“I was checking his welfare because I actually realised he was knocked out when I sort of slammed him back on the ground, which I’m very apologetic about.
“When I was speaking to him after the game I said, ‘Look mate, I’m sorry I didn’t realise you were knocked out until probably a couple of seconds after I threw him back on the ground’.
“People are always going to have comments about it but I know myself, I know what I do as a player, I’m not out there to try and hurt someone intentionally.”
Depicted standing proudly on a plinth, the gold-coated canine is an Alabai, a Turkmen-bred variety of the Central Asian shepherd dog and a symbol of national pride in the reclusive, authoritarian nation.
State TV Watan Habarlary showed President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov waving to clapping onlookers as he unveiled the statue this week, in a ceremony replete with traditional dancers, a child holding a real Alabai puppy, and a balloon release. A video screen wrapped around the statue continuously plays footage of the local breed running through grass or the desert and playing with children.
Along with horses, dogs are considered part of the country’s national heritage and are widely used by the many traditional herders among the population of six million. Berdymukhamedov, 63, has written a book and a poem about the Alabai dog and in 2017 gifted Russian President Vladimir Putin with a puppy for his birthday.
The large, stocky breed is known as “wolf crusher” for its prowess in guarding sheep and goats and is also used to guard homes.
The golden statue is the latest addition to Ashgabat’s growing collection of monuments, joining a gold-coated statue of President Berdymukhamedov himself seated on a horse mounted on a white marble cliff, built at another major junction in 2015.
Berdymukhamedov has held tight control of the country since the 2006 death of his equally authoritarian predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov.
Other projects include a $2.3 billion airport shaped like a bird and a $5 billion so-called “Olympic village” for the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, according to British think tank, The Foreign Policy Centre.
Despite the glitzy capital and billions of dollars spent on architectural curiosities, Turkmenistan’s population faces hyper inflation and food shortages.
A 2019 report by The Foreign Policy Centre, suggests Turkmenistan’s economy — which relies on the country’s vast reserves of gas — is in the grip of its worst economic crisis and on the “brink of collapse,” driven in part by low gas prices and falling natural gas exports.
The government’s inaction to respond to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has also exacerbated the country’s already dire food crisis, which has been compounded by poor harvests and shortages of subsidized food, according to a September report from Human Rights Watch and the Turkmenistan Initiative for Human Rights.
Local people interviewed by the rights group reported waiting for hours in lines for subsidized food, of which up to 70 to 80% of their income goes toward, as prices skyrocket. Adding to their economic woes is that the pandemic has put many Turkmen out of work and slashed foreign remittance money to families, according to HRW. Authorities have never released unemployment figures but the FPC estimates that up to 60 to 70% of the eligible workforce is either unemployed or underemployed.
But HRW said the Turkmenistan government denies the existence of poverty in the country and has failed to provide relief to communities struggling economically.
“Turkmenistan’s government has prioritized the country’s image over people’s well-being,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “With no effort to identify and assist the people most in need at this critical moment, Turkmenistan is callously neglecting the most basic norms of human rights, which include the right to food.”
Previously, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry did not respond to CNN requests for comment regarding allegations that the government is responsible for human rights abuses. CNN has reached out to the Turkmen Foreign Ministry for further comment.
Turkmenistan has officially reported no cases of Covid-19 — one of very few countries in the world not to.
The US Embassy in Turkmenistan, however, said on its website the country “may be disinclined to do so if cases were confirmed” and that it has received reports “of local citizens with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 undergoing Covid-19 testing and being placed in quarantine in infectious diseases hospitals.”
Information coming out of the former Soviet republic — labeled by HRW as one of the world’s most repressive — is strictly controlled. There is no independent media and most foreign websites are blocked, according to the independent watchdog group Freedom House.
Human rights abuses are commonplace, activists often disappear, and forced labor is a concern, according to HRW. Foreign media outlets have little access to Turkmenistan; religious and political expression are “brutally punished” by the government; torture is rife in the country’s prisons, and no independent monitoring groups are allowed in the country, HRW said.