Horse semen on menu at food festival
Picture for illustrative purpose only. (AGENCIES)
NEW ZEALAND: Long renowned for pioneering extreme sports such as bungee-jumping and heli-skiing, New Zealanders are now pushing culinary boundaries by serving up shots of horse semen to iron-stomached food lovers.
The equine delicacy will be on the menu at the annual Wildfoods Festival in the South Island town of Hokitika next month, along with other gastronomic delights such as raw scorpions, chocolate-covered beetles and deep-fried grubs.
"The idea is you'll have as much zizz as a stallion for a week afterwards," Christchurch racehorse breeder Lindsay Kerslake, who came up with the semen surprise, told Fairfax Media.
He said the shots being sold at this year's festival on March 12 would taste like a milkshake and be washed down with an energy drink chaser.
Organiser Mike Keenan said he expected many festival patrons would sample the shots as a dare, and he was prepared to put his own stomach on the line.
"Yeah, I'll give it a go," he told AFP.
Keenan said the festival began 22 years ago as a way of allowing city slickers to "get out of their comfort zone" and sample bush tucker.
While much of the fare such as venison and wild boar is relatively unchallenging for mainstream tastes, Keenan said organisers liked to spice up the menu with more unusual offerings.
In the past, these have included rams' testicles and bulls' penises, although Keenan admitted Kerslake may have set a new benchmark.
"He thought these flavoured horse semen shots would be something different," Keenan said. "He's working on a number of flavours, from vanilla, right through to strawberry and chocolate."
Son kills father for coughing
INDIA: A 75-year-old man, in the southern tip of peninsular India, was allegedly murdered by his own son who used a boulder to silence his father's persistent cough, police said.
Arokia John had confessed that despite medication, the cough of his father could not be controlled.
After feeling harassed when his sleep was continuously disturbed, John used a boulder he found near his house to kill his father.
Knife in head for 4 years
Picture for illustrative purpose only. (AGENCY)
CHINA: A 37-year-old man is recovering at the People's Hospital of Yuxi, Yunnan Province after a surgery last Saturday to remove a blade that had spent four years in his head.
The strange discovery astonished doctors of Yuanjiang County Hospital, as well as patient Li Fu's family, after an X-ray examination on January 24, when Li, puzzled by his bad breath and headaches, went there for examination.
"A miracle of miracles: a knife pierced his skull and stayed in the nerve and vascular intensive area," said neurosurgeon Luo Zhiwei.
The blade entered through his right lower jaw, went past his tongue, and came to a rest with the tip almost touching his brain.
Doctors carried out a four-hour operation to take out the 1.8-centimeter-wide blade. Li Fu's little brother said that in a robbery four years ago Li was stabbed in his right lower jaw.
Mexican woman on hunger strike for British wedding
In this photo taken Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011 at Buckingham Palace in London, a member of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, no name given, places invitations into envelopes, to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, before posting them to the lucky guests who will be present at the April 29, 2011 royal wedding to be held in Westminster Abbey. (AP)
MEXICO CITY: A 19-year-old Mexican woman was in the ninth day of a hunger strike in front of the British embassy, demanding an invitation to the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, she told AFP Thursday.
"I have been a fan of Lady Di since I was a little girl," said Estibalis Chavez, who set up a tent outside the British embassy in Mexico City. "My mother was also a fan... I promised myself I would go to the next royal wedding."
The young woman said she has been asking for an invitation to the April 29 ceremony at Westminster Abbey but that the embassy has told her it was impossible.
"I intend to fight until the very end... there is no turning back," she said, adding that the invitation could make up for a characterization on the BBC Top Gear program of Mexicans as "lazy," "feckless" and "flatulent."
Mountain named after Vladimir Putin
BISHKEK: Kyrgzystan's parliament on Thursday voted to put Russia's strongman prime minister on the map by giving his name to one of its mountain peaks.
A mountain measuring 4,446 metres (14,586 feet) in the country's northern Tian Shan range will henceforth be known as the Peak of Vladimir Putin, after parliament endorsed the idea proposed by the government of the Central Asian state.
A government official told the parliament that Putin, who enjoys being photographed in rugged outdoor pursuits such as horse-riding and swimming in lakes, was keen to climb the peak.
Putin heard of the idea from his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambayev and joked that he ought to be the first to climb the newly named mountain, the government's envoy to the parliament told lawmakers.
The initiative was backed by almost all the deputies in the recently elected coalition parliament.
"There's nothing wrong with giving a mountain the name of Vladimir Putin. After all, we're not giving him the whole mountain," said lawmaker Narynbek Moldobayev.
Another lawmaker, Nurlan Sulaimanov, fretted that the diminutive Russian premier might be offended by the relatively small size of the peak, in a country where several mountains tower above 7,000 metres (22,965 feet).
"We should give the Russian politician's name not to a 4,000-metre mountain but to a taller one," he told the parliament.
"Otherwise Vladimir Vladimirovich might be offended that we did not value him highly enough."
Only the country's nationalist ATA Zhurt or Fatherland party, opposed the idea, arguing that the country's mountains should only be named after Kyrgyz people.
"We all respect Vladimir Putin as a strong politician and Russia as a strategic partner, but we cannot give his name to a mountain," said leader Kamchybek Tashiyev, suggesting it be named after novelist Chingiz Aitmatov.
Kyrgyzstan already has a mountain named after the first Russian president Boris Yeltsin, and analysts said the current leadership wanted to emphasize its closeness to Russia.
The Central Asian state was wracked by unrest in 2010 which saw the ousting of the president and ethnic rioting that left hundreds dead. The country recently elected a new coalition government led by Atambayev.