x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Hot dog fight ends with rival in handcuffs

A punch-up on the podium, a ban on Muslim mullets, an easier way up Snowdon, and Algeria's football players win the ugly mug.

A former hot dog eating champion was arrested after attempting to disrupt a ceremony crowning his bitter rival. Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi, 32, was taken away from handcuffs at the end of the annual Fourth of July dog-eating competition at Coney Island, New York. Kobayashi had withdrawn from the contest after a row with the organisers. After watching Joey "Jaws" Chestnut take the US$20,000 title (Dh73,458) for the fourth consecutive year by swallowing 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes, he then attempted to force his way on to the victory podium as the crowd chanted "let him eat". The former six-times champion is refusing to sign a contract with Major League Eating, the professional fast food competition body. However, he still holds the record for eating 57 cow brains in 15 minutes and 41 lobster rolls in 10 minutes.

Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has issued a list of approved hair styles for men. The cuts were shown at a Modesty and Veil Festival and exclude long hair, ponytails and a popular local style with gelled hair spiked into a style known "khorusi" or "rooster". Instead, short conservative styles are approved in a brochure to be distributed to barber shops. Jaleh Khodayar, the organiser of the festival, said: "The proposed styles are inspired by Iranians' complexion, culture, religion and Islamic law."

Climbers have complained that it is now too easy to climb the highest mountain in Britain outside the Scottish Highlands after the construction of a new route to aid handicapped access to Snowdon. Snowdonia National Park Authority says it built the Tarmac track up the 1,085 metre peak to help people in wheelchairs as well as families with pushchairs. One climber opposed to the path, Jed Thornby, asked: "What about mobility scooters? Will mountain rescue teams be on permanent call to retrieve people after their batteries run out?"

Algeria's footballers have been vote the ugliest in the World Cup, followed closely by the England team. According to a survey of 200,000 people by the dating website Beautifulpeople.com, the worst looking sides in the tournament also included Switzerland, Australia, Serbia, North Korea and Algeria. Greg Hodge, the managing director, said: "Collectively, the worst looking team is Algeria. The term 'trophy head' could have been coined for most of their team. England follows close behind, captained by the most unattractive player on the planet, Wayne Rooney." The survey picked Fabio Cannavaro of Italy, who has just signed to the Dubai club Al Ahli, as the most attractive player, followed by Spain's Fernando Torres and David Villa.

Undertakers in Belgium have plans to dissolve the dead rather than bury them. With burial space at a premium, the new method reduces bodies to a small quantity of liquid using chemicals. European Union officials are said to be considering giving approval for the departed to then be flushed into sewers, an idea that some Belgian critics have described as "disturbing."

@Email:jlangton@thenational.ae