Quirky World ... Feathers security check on 10,000 doves ahead of Chinese celebrations

CHINA BODY-SEARCHED 10,000 PIGEONS

Quirky World ... Feathers security check on 10,000 doves ahead of Chinese celebrations

The symbols of peace were released at sunrise in Beijing’s symbolic heart of Tiananmen Square in a ceremony for the October 1 holiday to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Beijing domestic security police officer Guo Chunwei was quoted in the Jinghua Times as saying workers checked the wings, legs and anus of each pigeon ahead of time to ensure they were “not carrying suspicious material”. The entire process was videotaped, and the birds were then loaded into sealed vehicles for the trip to Tiananmen Square, the newspaper said.

A similar report appeared in the Beijing News, and the People’s Daily tweeted about it in English: “10,000 pigeons go through anal security check for suspicious objects Tue, ready to be released on National Day on Wed.”

The reports — which did not say what the suspicious materials might be — drew amused and derisive responses from some Chinese readers, and many news sites.

MAN UNWITTINGLY INVITES FUGITIVE INTO HOME AMID MANHUNT

USA: A Silicon Valley homeowner unwittingly welcomed a fugitive into his home and shared a meal with the wanted man as California law enforcement officers canvassed the neighbourhood in a manhunt, police said.

Police in Palo Alto launched the search after receiving an emergency call about a possible fraudulent bank transaction linked to a man wanted in Oklahoma for a sex crime with a minor, the city’s police department said.

Officers tried to nab 35-year-old Dominique Tabb of San Francisco at the bank, but he hopped a fence and ran into a residential neighbourhood where officers began a yard-to-yard search, Palo Alto Detective Sergeant Brian Philip said.

A homeowner in his 60s saw Tabb in his yard with some minor scrapes, and Tabb told him that assailants had beaten him up and that he was trying to escape, police said. Believing his story, the homeowner invited Tabb into his home and they shared a meal.

More than four hours after he brought Tabb into his home, the man went out to drive him to San Francisco or a nearby train station, police said. A patrol officer then arrested Tabb.

HOCKEY CHALLENGE

ENGLAND: Two national hockey coaches are aiming to dribble two hockey balls up and down the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales for charity.

Team manager Andy Halliday and assistant coach Jon Bleby have taken time off from the GB men’s hockey squad to tackle the peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and finally Snowdon while hitting, flicking and bouncing a ball for charity in their own version of the Three Peaks Challenge.

GB hockey captain Barry Middleton said of their three-day challenge which includes 11,000 feet of ascent and descent without picking up the ball: “I think they are mad! This is an extreme challenge, one not for the faint-hearted.”

THIRSTY WORK

USA: Thirsty hikers will have to wait. The elk are first in line.

The animals are helping themselves to water frombottle-filling stations set up around Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona by lifting the spring-loaded levers with their noses and letting the water flow.

It is not exactly the kind of use officials had in mind when they installed the stations and dropped the sale of disposable water bottles.

Now, they are elk-proofing the stations to outsmart the animals, conserve water and protect visitors from aggressive behaviour.

About a dozen filling stations are set up throughout the park.

The elk favour the one at popular South Kaibab Trail. Chief resource manager Martha Hahn said caging in the water spout and changing the way of turning on the water should keep the animals away.

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