Hong Kong blackmailer jailed for threatening to slay dog if owner did not pay HK$40,000 ransom

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…

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Joe Biden fractures foot while playing with dog and will probably need to wear a boot | US News

President-elect Joe Biden has fractured his foot while playing with one of his dogs and will likely need to wear a boot for several weeks, his doctor has said.

Mr Biden visited an orthopaedist in Newark, Delaware, on Sunday afternoon after suffering the injury the day before.

A CT scan found tiny fractures of two small bones in the middle of his right foot, his doctor Kevin O’Connor said in a statement.

Joe Biden was playing with his dog, Major. Credit: Delaware Humane Association Instagram

“It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks,” Mr O’Connor added.

The Democrat’s political opponent Donald Trump later tweeted him to say “Get well soon”, in a move considered surprising by some.

Mr Biden was spotted limping as he left the doctor’s office for his CT scan, although he did not use a crutch or walking aid.

Wearing a mask and casual clothing, he seemed in good spirits as he waved to reporters.

The president-elect had been playing with his dog, Major, when he sustained the injury.

Major was adopted from a rescue centre in 2018, meaning that in January he will be the first rescue dog to live in the White House.

The Bidens also have another dog, Champ, and have said they plan to get a cat.

At 78, Mr Biden will be the oldest president when he is inaugurated in January, although he has frequently brushed off questions about his age.

In a doctor’s report he released last year, he was described as “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency”.

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Joe Biden fractures right foot while playing with his dog, will likely wear boot – National

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.

Read more:
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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.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Joe Biden, wife Jill highlight importance of Americans staying home for Thanksgiving'

Coronavirus: Joe Biden, wife Jill highlight importance of Americans staying home for Thanksgiving

Coronavirus: Joe Biden, wife Jill highlight importance of Americans staying home for Thanksgiving

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.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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British Military Dog Who Lost a Paw Tackling Al-Qaeda Insurgent Awarded Dickin Medal

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

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New dog run, bird perch opens at East Coast Park

SINGAPORE: A new dog run and bird perch have been opened at East Coast Park for visitors to bring their furry or feathered friends. 

The dog run, at 0.2ha (2,000 sq m), is the largest in the east and located at Parkland Green within East Coast Park, said the National Parks Board (NParks) on Sunday (Nov 22). 

READ: New central green corridor connecting East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park to be created: Heng Swee Keat

View of the dog run at East Coast Park. (Photo: Facebook/NParks) 

Bird owners can also showcase their trained birds at the new perch located just beside the dog run. 

“Both the dog run and the bird perch were designed in consultation with the community and enhances pet-friendly amenities at the park,” said NParks. 

The perch, for example, was built using upcycled woods from East Coast Park and was designed in consultation with bird owner community Bird Craze. 

READ: New 3.5km path linking Changi Airport and East Coast Park opens, featuring dinosaur exhibits

Bird Perch at East Coast Park

The new bird perch is located beside the dog run. (Photo: Facebook/NParks) 

In addition to these amenities, NParks said it has also set up a new community initiative”to promote stewardship and responsible use of Singapore’s green spaces”. 

The Friends of East Coast Park, which includes various stakeholders and volunteers, will allow residents to play a more active role in ground-led programmes and initiatives, said NParks. 

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee has been appointed as adviser to the new initiative. 

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Bad dog! Naughty beagle peeps out of hole in sofa when he is caught ripping the furniture apart

Bad dog! Naughty beagle peeps out of hole in sofa when he is caught ripping the furniture apart

  • Tua-ngork, a naughty beagle puppy, ruins the family sofa by ripping it apart
  • His besotted owner, Sirichar, calls the destroyed sofa ‘a great piece of artwork’ 
  • A video of the damage was filmed in Maha Sarakham, northeastern Thailand

A naughty beagle puppy called Tua-ngork peeps out of hole he made in the sofa when he is caught caught by his owner ripping the furniture apart.

But rather than get a scolding, his besotted owner, Sirichar, calls the damage ‘a great piece of artwork’ and the pup goes on to destroy the rest of the couch.

Footage of the puppy’s creation was filmed in the family’s house in Maha Sarakham, northeastern Thailand.

Naughty beagle puppy, Tua-ngork, peeps out of hole he made in the sofa when he is caught caught by his owner ripping the furniture apart in the family’s house in Maha Sarakham, northeastern Thailand

The clip shows the cheeky pooch pop his head out of a hole he has made in the sofa when his owner calls him.

He has made the hole just about big enough for his body to fit through and he wiggles out. 

However, his ‘artwork’ does not end there as the pooch is seen happily continuing to tear apart the sofa’s sponge using its teeth and paws.  

Later in the video, his owner surveys the full extent of his destruction as the camera pans over what is now a giant hole in the sofa.

Tua-ngork stays hidden in the inside of the couch this time, 

Later in the video, his owner surveys the full extent of his destruction as the camera pans over what is now a giant hole in the sofa.

Later in the video, his owner surveys the full extent of his destruction as the camera pans over what is now a giant hole in the sofa.

His forgiving owner Sirichar said: ‘My little sweetheart is creating a great piece of artwork. 

‘He looks so joyful with biting the couch.’

The video was filmed on September 23 and later posted online.

Beagles are well-known for their rowdy, destructive, and sometimes disobedient behaviour which stems from the breed’s origin as a hunting dog

Lots of energy in a domestic setting can turn to boredom – leading to destructive behaviour.

Rather than getting a scolding, his besotted owner, Sirichar, said: said: 'My little sweetheart is creating a great piece of artwork. He looks so joyful with biting the couch.'

Rather than getting a scolding, his besotted owner, Sirichar, said: said: ‘My little sweetheart is creating a great piece of artwork. He looks so joyful with biting the couch.’

According to a survey by Good Move, who surveyed pet owner’s across the UK, beagles were ranked the sixth most destructive pet, with the Moggie Cat claiming the top spot.

Last year a mischievous pair of beagles are were dubbed Britain’s naughtiest pooches – after they destroyed more than £6,000 of their owner’s designer handbags and shoes.

Six-year-old Reg and five-year-old Ron munched their way though two designer handbags, a leather armchair, a pair of Dubarry boots, two pairs of Ugg slippers as well as countless other pairs of shoes. 


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Paul Walton jailed for vile sex act with neighbour’s dog

Paul Walton pleaded guilty on Monday to stealing his neighbour’s Kelpie cross and taking it to his caravan for sexual penetration in April this year. Picture: Facebook

A man who stole his neighbour’s dog to commit a sex act on it has been unable to explain why he did it.

Paul Brian Walton was sentenced to 12 months’ prison combined with a two-and-a-half year community correction order by the County Court of Victoria on Friday.

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He had pleaded guilty to bestiality, animal cruelty, theft and drug possession over his actions in April this year.

The court heard the 53-year-old said in an assessment, “I don’t want it to keep happening.”

He “could not offer any insight into why he acted on his impulses”.

On April 6 Walton stole a 12-year-old Kelpie cross named Gemma from a neighbouring farm.

Paul Walton will spend a year in jail before being released on a community correction order. Picture: Facebook
Paul Walton will spend a year in jail before being released on a community correction order. Picture: Facebook

Police rescued the “visibly distressed” animal from Walton’s caravan at Ardmona near Shepparton the next day.

Pornography was playing on a television when police arrived.

They also found five grams of cannabis.

Judge Wraight said Walton stole the dog “to commit what can only be described as a serious act of animal cruelty”.

The 53-year-old had only been released from jail a few months earlier.

He was previously convicted for “very similar” offences involving three dogs.

Judge Wraight said Walton bore “assaults and harassment” in jail, “even within the sex offenders’ unit”.

The court heard he had also received social media threats since reporting of his last court appearance.

Judge Wraight ordered he undertake treatment and rehabilitation as conditions of his community corrections order.

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How to entertain your dog during Adelaide’s COVID-19 lockdown

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.

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.

Dog owners need to provide a quiet environment to allow their furry friends to cope with added activity at home.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

“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.”

A small dog lies in the grass
Dogs need to be supervised when they’re sniffing out treats, says dog expert Emma Hack.(ABC News: Kristian Silva)

‘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.”

A black and white dog laying down chewing on a stick.
Playing with dogs in a small swimming pool can keep them entertained.(ABC News: Rhett Burnie)

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.”

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Damien Cook touching gesture, Cody Walker, Jai Arrow dog act

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.”

RELATED: NSW admits coach made giant blunder

RELATED: Phil Gould certain Blues were robbed

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Turkmenistan’s authoritarian leader unveils huge golden dog statue in the capital

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.
In the years since, the President has embarked on a building spree that transformed the sleepy capital into a showcase of golden domes, giant statues and white marble buildings. The city holds the Guinness World Record for the highest density of white marble-clad buildings anywhere in the world, and Berdymukhamedov’s portrait hangs from many of them.
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.”

Presidential playground: Ashgabat, the marble city
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.
Its record has seen Turkmenistan hit the bottom of a number of human rights indexes, including the World Press Freedom Index and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

CNN’s Thomas Page and Julie Zaugg contributed reporting.

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