x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

There are easier, less cruel ways to enjoy camel meat

A roundup of the strange and unusual news you may have missed this week.

Two Vietnamese men who cut the leg off a live camel to see what it would taste like have been sentenced to 45 days in prison.

The workers crept on to a farm in Saudi Arabia and beat the animal unconscious with a bar, before removing the leg.

According to court reports, the men wanted "to taste camel meat". The camel's owner is seeking 450,000 Saudi riyals (Dh441,000) in damages.

Cops tweet before they shoot

The chief constable of Manchester, England, says an experiment that involved getting his officers to tweet their emergency calls for 24 hours is "the future" of policing.

Among the tweets recorded during the experiment were "suspicious men carrying a snake", a report of "loose cows in Atherton" and an incident "of man holding baby over bridge - police immediately attended and it was man carrying dog that doesn't like bridges".

Bad costume choice

A teenager who dressed as a breathalyser unit for Halloween was arrested for drink driving.

Matthew Nieven, 18, from Lincoln, in the midwestern US state of Nebraska, was pulled over by police on his way home from a fancy dress party.

Nieven was wearing a costume designed to look exactly like the mobile breathalyser he was then asked to blow into. He was charged with driving under the influence and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

A matter of grave concern

A Sicilian gangster known as the bandit king may have faked his own death as a skeleton exhumed from his grave turned out to be too short.

Salvatore Giuliano was long rumoured to have fled to the United States and buried a lookalike in his place. Giuliano, whose life inspired Mario Puzo's The Sicilian, led a gang and won a reputation as a modern Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

It was claimed he was murdered by a trusted lieutenant 60 years ago.

Relatives say he was at least five-feet nine-inch tall, but the body in the grave was barely five feet and two inches.

If alive, Giuliano would be 88. An Italian coroner has ordered further investigation.

A runner from underground

A Chilean miner, trapped underground for 69 days, will attempt the New York Marathon after training underground during his ordeal.

Edison Pena was one of 33 men rescued from the gold and copper mine after they were hauled to safety last month.

Mr Pena says he ran up to 18km a day along the underground gallery to get in shape after deciding he wanted to run in a marathon to celebrate his freedom and to draw attention to workplace safety.

Organisers of the New York event issued an invitation when they learnt of his ambition.

Another of the freed miners said: "We would rest and he would keep running. And then in the afternoon, he would go out and run again. He also would exercise and run with weight. He really did prepare."

Money isn't everything

Describing their good fortune as a "big headache", a couple from Canada have revealed they gave a lottery win worth C$11.5 million (Dh42m) to charity and local hospitals.

Allen and Violet Large, who are both in their seventies, say they decided against blowing the win on a spending spree and instead decided to give it all away.

The money was divided between organisations such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army, with the lion's share going to hospitals in Nova Scotia, where the couple live.

Mrs Large, who has been treated for cancer, said: "The money that we won was nothing. We have each other."

She added: "What you've never had, you never miss."