Crazy World: Nestle tempts dogs with TV ads

Nestle tempts dogs with TV ads

GENEVA: The world's biggest food company Nestle is seeking to conquer the dog food market with special advertising targeted at men's best friend.

"Nestle Purina has created the first-ever television commercial especially for dogs," it said in a statement.

"The TV commercial to be screened on Austrian television uses different sounds -- including a high frequency tone -- to capture the attention of four-legged friends and their owners," it added.

The advertisement includes three sounds that can be picked up by dogs, including a squeak that is similar to the sound made by dogs' toys as well as a high-pitched 'ping'.

Another is a high frequency tone that can be captured by dogs, but which humans can barely hear.

The Swiss food giant has been seeking ways to tempt man's best friend. In August it said it had developed an ice-cream for dogs, which are lactose intolerant and which are unable to digest regular dairy products properly.


England can breathe easy: bins to be emptied weekly

LONDON: A deeply unpopular money-saving measure was relaxed on Friday when the British government promised councils new funding to restore weekly rubbish collections in England.

A £250 million (ê390 million, 290 million euro) fund will allow local authorities to switch from fortnightly to weekly bin rounds.

The move follows a political row over bin collections, although the government said councils will need to guarantee weekly collections for five years and improve their recycling practices to be eligible for the cash.

Residents have complained that fortnightly collections lead to stinking rubbish being left outside homes and encourage the spread of rats.

When it was in opposition in 2008, Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party promised to restore weekly bin collections if it came to power.

But the Conservatives and their coalition government partners the Liberal Democrats came under fire in June following a review of waste policy, when the government admitted it could not force councils to restore weekly collections.

The minister responsible for communities, Eric Pickles, said ahead of the funding announcement: "Weekly rubbish collections are the most visible of all frontline services and I believe every household in England has a basic right to have their rubbish collected every week."

Friends of the Earth attacked the move to restore weekly collections, saying it was "an astonishing waste of taxpayers' money and will have a disastrous impact on recycling".

The environmental group argues that the reintroduction of weekly collections will remove the incentive to recycle waste rather than throw it away.

Guard's finger bitten off at city council debate

UKRAINE: An angry community leader banned from speaking out at a city council meeting in eastern Ukraine bit off part of a security guard's little finger on Friday, a correspondent said.

The city council in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk some 800 kilometres (500 miles) east of the capital Kiev was meeting to hear a proposal to move a popular food market from the city centre to the outskirts, when Mikhail Pashchuk, who is against the move, demanded to speak out.

A top city official leading the session asked Pashchuk to leave the meeting, prompting a guard to try to remove the activist from the room by force.

In the ensuing scuffle, Pashchuk hit the guard in the head several times and bit his hand, chomping off part of his little finger.

Pashchuk also bit the hands of several other guards who were trying to calm him down before making his exit.

Police detained the biter, who will now be examined by psychiatrists.

The guard who lost his fingertip was taken to a hospital where doctors were trying to re-attach it to the finger.

Man rakes in cash 'shifting snow' in summer heat

ROME: While holiday-makers sought shelter from sweltering summer heat in the Italian southern city of Palermo, one man was claiming overtime for shifting snow, the Repubblica newspaper said Thursday.

Salvatore Di Grazia claimed, and received, overtime payment for shifting snow off the streets of the island's sunny capital throughout the summer.

"There is a reason Sicily spends eight times more than Lombardy on the salaries of its 17,000 employees: here there really is a lot to do," the newspaper quipped, comparing the island to the developed north.

Salvatore Di Grazia, who works for the civil protection agency in the province of Palermo, claimed 17 hours overtime for shifting snow in April, when the minimum temperature registered was 10°C (50°F).

He went on to claim for 50 hours in May, 38 hours in June, 44 hours in July and 200 hours in August, when the temperature registered 30°C in the shade.

In total, Di Grazia was paid for 42 hours 30 minutes overtime before the provincial authorities blocked the payments, the paper said.