Hector the bloodhound has swapped a life of crime for one of grime by being trained to detect blockages on Southern Water’s 40,000km network of sewers.
The company, which serves Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight, hopes to deploy Hector to sniff out problem areas through air gaps at ground level. His nose has 1,000 times more scent receptors than a human’s, and it is hoped he can be used to find some of the 17,000 blockages caused each year by fat, oil, grease, and wet wipes.
Competitive eater Joey Chestnut has won a turkey-eating contest in Connecticut, setting a record by devouring an entire bird.
Ten contestants vied to see who could eat the most of a 9kg turkey in a competition at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Chestnut, pictured right, ate 4.24kg of meat off the bone in 10 minutes. According to Major League Eating, the food equivalent of the NFL, he bested the previous record, which was held by Sonya Thomas, who ate 2.38kg of turkey in November 2011.
Chestnut,who turns 31 today, is ranked the top competitive eater in the world.
He took home $5,000 (€4,000) after stuffing his face with turkey. The remainder of the $10,000 purse was divided among other contestants.
An environmental group is calling for the prosecution of a hunters’ association behind a midnight massacre of crows inside the country’s fourth-largest city, allegedly after residents complained that the birds’ droppings were spoiling their cars.
Stole Velkovski, head of the Anima Mundi group, told The Associated Press that it is illegal to shoot wildlife in inhabited areas or at night, adding that the hunters had endangered human lives too.
Hundreds of crows were killed in the southern city of Prilep. A group statement deplored the “savage” shootings of what it defended as “intelligent, sociable, peaceful and non-aggressive, and not birds of ill-omen”.
French authorities have found a mysterious stone sculpture at the bottom of the River Seine, which may have been there for centuries.
Water police pulled the 60cm by 90cm sculpture of a human figure with wavy hair from the depths of the river beneath Paris’s oldest standing bridge, the Pont Neuf.
Experts have not yet identified its age or origin, but believe it could be a stone relief that fell from the original bridge.
On one memorable Sunday, Pastor Laura Truax surprised her congregation with a bold announcement: She was about to hand out money to everyone.
LaSalle Street Church had received a tidy $1.6m from a real estate deal, the pastor said, and $160,000 — a typical 10% tithe — would be divided among some 320 regular attendees. Each would get a $500 cheque with which to do something positive.
LaSalle, a non-denominational church, has long been involved in social causes, from feeding homeless families to buying an ambulance for a medical clinic in Niger.
Not surprisingly, many donations will reach far-flung places, including a school in the Himalayas and an irrigation project in Tanzania. Closer to home, some cheques are helping needy friends.
Church members, Truax says, are doing just what she’d envisioned when she distributed the cheques in September.
“I hoped that they would recognise the power they had to bless others and change somebody’s life,” she says. “And that has largely happened.”