QUIRKY WORLD ... Cattle on the catwalk for bovine beauty pageant

India: Hundreds of cows and bulls walked the ramp in a north Indian town Saturday in a bovine beauty pageant aimed at promoting domestic cattle breeds and raising awareness about animal health.

As farmers led their animals, the panel of experts judged the beasts for their size and overall looks, the length of their horns and, for the cows, their milk-yielding capacities.

The judges selected 18 winners in various categories, choosing the healthiest and best-looking cows and bulls from more than 630 animals in the contest, held in the farming town of Rohtak in Haryana state.

On the ramp, the bovines displayed their individuality. Some sashayed with casual grace, while others dug in their heels and had to be pulled and prodded by their owners to walk for the judges.

The winners, representing three different breeds, carried home prizes and a winner’s sash.

The farmers led their prize cows with pride at the sprawling grounds of the International Institute of Veterinary Education and Research.

Lost ashes

USA: The new manager of a Colorado funeral home is trying to find relatives for the cremated remains of about 170 people that were left in the building’s basement after going unclaimed.

Matt Boyle said he moved Rose Memorial Parlour into the Montrose building in October and found the remains during renovations.

Some of the remains have no name and no way to identify who they belong to, or when the person died, he said. Some date back to 1947.

Boyle said he wants to locate the relatives, even though it is not his responsibility.

“When we first found it, I felt so overwhelmed,” he said. “But we’re trying to do the right thing, and I think that’s giving these people a dignified committal.”

Two state agencies are investigating allegations of fraud and misconduct with a past owner, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported.

The first business opened in 1931, and a number of mergers and owners have clouded the investigation.

Grand Junction attorney Joe Coleman, who owns the building, said he did not know about the remains until after a tenant left.

After Boyle moved in, they learned many of the remains were labelled, and they contacted the local historical society and published the names to try to notify families.

Remains not claimed by May 29 will be included in a multi-denominational service at a cemetery.

Bacon masterpiece

Britain: A rare Francis Bacon masterpiece, estimated at more than £20m (€25.3m), is among three new works announced for Christie’s 250th anniversary sale.

Version No 2 of ‘Lying Figure with Hypodermic Syringe’, which is one of the few examples of female nudes in Bacon’s art, controversially depicts his companion Henrietta Moraes in the grip of a drug trip and set a new auction world record for a work by the British artist when it was sold for $15 (€13m) at Sotheby’s in New York in 2006.

Undie run

USA: Colorado State University students went ahead with Friday’s annual ‘Undie Run’ despite opposition from university officials.

The event started as an end-of-semester clothing donation drive but has devolved over six years into a raucous gathering.

According to KMGH-TV, university police say there were no serious incidents as students ran about in their underwear.

University official said in a campus-wide email it will trash all clothing discarded in the event.

Chilly relations

Russia: A Russian company is trying to cash in on chilly relations between Moscow and Washington by releasing an ice cream called Little Obama.

The product, called Obamka in Russian, is glazed with chocolate and its wrapping features an image of a smiling black boy, wearing an ear ring and holding an ice cream.

With relations at a post-Cold War low since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its intervention in Syria, Russian state media and pro-Kremlin activists have often berated and mocked US president Barack Obama in terms US officials have called racist and insulting.

The company that makes the ice cream, Slavitsa, said it was part of a range aimed at children featuring “cheerful” characters.

“With different flavours and glazes, the ice cream symbolises the main races of people on our planet,” it said, adding that the picture of the boy had been inspired by a Soviet film.

“Ice cream names need to be memorable. For those with a rich imagination, various associations might arise, but this product is for children and is a long way from politics.”

A US official, who declined to be named, told Reuters he saw the ice cream as part of a disturbing pattern.


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