x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Bullfighter who bolted is sued for breach of contract

A miserable Mexican matador, monkeys who don't know where the off switch is, ancient royal bones, and the question of Ozzy Osbourne's survival ?

A Mexican matador who fled in terror from a charging bull was sued for breach of contract. Astonished spectators watched as Christian Hernandez, 22, dropped his cape, ran for a wall surrounding the bull ring and then vaulted to safety. Officials at the Plaza Mexico in Mexico City brought charges against the matador, who was briefly arrested and then released after paying a fine. Announcing his immediate retirement from bullfighting, he later told a local TV station: "This is not my thing."

An American special forces team operating in Afghanistan has complained that it cannot fight the Taliban because it doesn't know what they look like. After four months of a tour in southern Afghanistan, the "A Team" says it has still to engage with the insurgents. The team's intelligence sergeant told the Army Times newspaper: "I don't know where to pinpoint them. They're not wearing awesome T-shirts that say, 'I'm Taliban'." He added: "This is our biggest failure."

Bones found in a thousand-year-old tomb in Germany have been identified as the oldest surviving remains of the British Royal Family. Anthropologists say the tomb contained the body of Queen Eadgyth, of the Kingdom of Wessex, who married the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I, in AD 929, and was a granddaughter of Alfred the Great. The queen, whose name is pronounced Edith, died at the age of 36 after having two children. Isotope analysis of the skeleton's teeth proved they belonged to an aristocrat of high status because of the high protein content. It also showed she lived for a time in the chalklands of southern England, where the young Eadgyth was banished to a monastery with her mother.

Monkeys enjoy watching television, especially when the circus is being shown, Japanese scientists have found. A study of the blood flow to the brains of monkeys detected pleasure when they were shown TV programmes. A three-year-old rhesus macaque particularly enjoyed watching a video of an elephant, a giraffe and a tiger performing in a circus. Another study by the team at Kyoto University showed that mother monkeys teach their offspring to floss their teeth.

The world is only years away from a "Doomsday" moment that will determine the course of the next century. The second decade of each century for the past 500 years has always seen what Prof Nicholas Boyle of Cambridge University calls a "Great Event". These include Martin Luther sparking the Reformation in 1517, the Congress of Vienna which followed the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 and the start of the First World War in 1914. Prof Boyle said: "If a century is going to have a character, it is going to become apparent by the time it is approaching 20 years old. The same is true of human beings."

Researchers are to examine Ozzy Osbourne's body to find out why he is still alive. An American company say the musician appears to have an extraordinary tolerance for physical abuse. They believe an examination of his genome could help explain why some people are able to lead lives of extreme excess while others cannot. Osbourne, 61, is a recovering alcoholic who once broke his neck on a quad bike and was given a rabies injection after biting the head off a live bat during a performance. Nathan Persons, the head of research at Knome, said: "Sequencing and analysing individuals with extreme medical histories provides the greatest potential scientific value." Osbourne observed: "Every time I have a medical, they say, 'There is nothing wrong with you', and they are shaking their heads as they do it."

jlangton@thenational.ae