Got the hump: Spain police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 05 November 2021

Got the hump: Spain police end escaped camels’ night on the town

  • It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus
  • They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based

MADRID: Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.
It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.
They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.
“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight this evening,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a lama hanging around a street corner.
“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.
There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.
Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats — had been safely caught.
“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.
“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”
Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.
These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.

Related


Hospital patient without COVID shot denied heart transplant

Updated 28 January 2022

Hospital patient without COVID shot denied heart transplant

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital told the 31-year-old father of two that he was ineligible for the procedure because he hasn’t been vaccinated against the coronavirus
  • D.J.'s mother, Tracey Ferguson, insists that her son isn't against vaccinations, noting he's had other immunizations in the past

MENDON: A Boston hospital is defending itself after a man’s family claimed he was denied a new heart for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying most transplant programs around the country set similar requirements to improve patients’ chances of survival.
The family of D.J. Ferguson said in a crowdfunding appeal this week that officials at Brigham and Women’s Hospital told the 31-year-old father of two that he was ineligible for the procedure because he hasn’t been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“We are literally in a corner right now. This is extremely time sensitive,” the family said in its fundraising appeal, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars. “This is not just a political issue. People need to have a choice!”
D.J.’s mother, Tracey Ferguson, insists that her son isn’t against vaccinations, noting he’s had other immunizations in the past. But the trained nurse said Wednesday that he’s been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation — an irregular and often rapid heart rhythm — and that he has concerns about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“D.J. is an informed patient,” Tracey Ferguson said in a brief interview at her home in Mendon, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Boston. “He wants to be assured by his doctors that his condition would not be worse or fatal with this COVID vaccine.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital declined to comment on D.J. Ferguson’s case, citing patient privacy laws. But it pointed to a response that it posted on its website in which it said the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several immunizations required by most US transplant programs, including a flu shot and hepatitis B vaccines.
The hospital said research has shown that transplant recipients are at higher risk than non-transplant patients of dying from COVID-19, and that its policies are in line with the recommendations of the American Society of Transplantation and other health organizations.
Patients also must meet other health and lifestyle criteria to receive donated organs, and it’s unknown if D.J. Ferguson did or would have met them.
Brigham & Womens Hospital also stressed that no patient is placed on an organ waitlist without meeting those criteria, and rejected the notion that a transplant candidate could be considered “first on the list” for an organ — a claim Ferguson’s family made in its fundraising post.
“There are currently more than 100,000 candidates on waitlists for organ transplantation and a shortage of available organs — around half of people on waiting lists will not receive an organ within five years,” the hospital said.
Hospitals in other states have faced similar criticism for denying transplants to patients who weren’t vaccinated against COVID-19.
In Colorado last year, a woman suffering from late-stage kidney disease said she was denied a transplant by her hospital because she was unvaccinated. Leilani Lutali, a born-again Christian, said she opposed immunization because of the role that fetal cell lines play in some vaccines’ development.
There is a scarcity of donor organs, so transplant centers only place patients on the waiting list whom they deem the most likely to survive with a new organ.
“A donor heart is a precious and scarce gift which must be cared for well,” said Dr. Howard Eisen, medical director for the advanced heart failure program at Penn State University in Hershey, Pennsylvania. “Our goal is to preserve patient survival and good outcomes post-transplant.”
The United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit that manages the country’s organ transplant system, doesn’t track how many patients refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine have been denied transplants, said Anne Paschke, an organization spokesperson.
She said patients who are denied organ transplants still have the right to go elsewhere, though individual hospitals ultimately decide which patients to add to the national waitlist.
According to the online fundraiser, D.J. Ferguson was hospitalized in late November for a heart ailment that caused his lungs to fill with blood and fluid. He was then transferred to Brigham and Women’s, where doctors inserted an emergency heart pump that the family says is only meant to be a temporary stopgap.
“It’s devastating,” Tracey Ferguson said. “No one ever wants to see their child go through something like this.”


Elephant in Uganda park kills Saudi tourist

Updated 27 January 2022

Elephant in Uganda park kills Saudi tourist

  • The attack happened on Tuesday at the Murchison Falls National Park
  • Park officials said police will investigate the tourist’s death as they review security protocols

KAMPALA: A Saudi tourist was trampled to death by an elephant during a game drive at a popular park in Uganda, a wildlife official said Wednesday.
The attack happened on Tuesday at the Murchison Falls National Park when the man left the vehicle he was traveling in with friends, said Uganda Wildlife Authority spokesman Bashir Hangi.
“They stopped along the way and the deceased went out of the car, an elephant charged at him, killed him on the spot,” Hangi said in a statement.
The victim was identified as Ayman Sayed Elshahany.
Park officials said police will investigate Elshahany’s death as they review security protocols to “avoid repeat of such incidents.”
Animal attacks are not unheard of in the East African country.
In 2018, a leopard snatched and ate the three-year-old son of a female game ranger at another park in the west of the country.


Women attend Iran-Iraq match in Tehran stadium

Updated 27 January 2022

Women attend Iran-Iraq match in Tehran stadium

  • "I am very happy. This is the first time I have attended a match at Azadi Stadium," said a 26-year-old civil engineer who gave her name only as Mahya
  • "I wished to have my husband beside me but they said men and women are segregated," said another female spectator, Golnaz Bahari

TEHRAN: Iranian women were allowed Thursday for the first time in almost three years to attend a football match of their country’s national team in a Tehran stadium.
“I am very happy. This is the first time I have attended a match at Azadi Stadium,” said a 26-year-old civil engineer who gave her name only as Mahya. She carried the national green, white and red flag, and covered her head with a grey scarf.
The Islamic republic has generally barred female spectators from football and other stadiums for around 40 years. Clerics, who play a major role in decision-making, argue women must be shielded from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.
World football’s governing body FIFA ordered Iran in September 2019 to allow women access to stadiums without restriction and in numbers determined by demand for tickets.
A month later women were able to attend a 2022 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Cambodia in Azadi Stadium.
For the first match since then, 2,000 of the 10,000 tickets were exclusive to women on Thursday for the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Iran and Iraq, ISNA news agency reported.
“I bought the tickets online and got an SMS confirming it,” Mahya said, adding that “if we win, we will go celebrate the victory in the streets.”
She got her wish, witnessing a 1-0 home side win over Iraq.
“There is nothing strange or complicated” about a woman going to the stadium, said Mahya.
“It should have happened earlier,” she said. “I hope that this will continue.”
The female fans entered through a special entrance via a car park, controlled by policewomen wearing black chador robes and red badges on their arms.
“I wished to have my husband beside me but they said men and women are segregated,” said another female spectator, Golnaz Bahari, 24.
“It will be a lot better if families can come together,” said Bahari, carrying her child in one hand and a vuvuzela horn in the other.
Iran’s female fans sat behind the Iraqi goal.
Wearing thick coats against winter’s chill, some had the national colors painted on their cheeks, and many carried Iranian flags or horns in the national colors.
They sat apart from the men but united with them in supporting their side, with shouts of “Iran! Iran!” drowning out the few fans from Iraq. The two countries were at war for years in the 1980s.
The 2019 FIFA directive, under threat of Iran’s suspension, came after a fan named Sahar Khodayari died after setting herself on fire outside a court in fear of being jailed for trying to attend a match.
Dubbed “Blue Girl” because of the colors of the club she supported — Esteghlal FC — she had reportedly been detained in 2018 when she tried to enter a stadium while dressed as a boy.
Her death sparked an outcry, with many calling for Iran to be banned and matches boycotted.
Since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, women have borne the brunt of swift changes in the nation’s moral codes.
Women are subject to a strict dress code, and while deemed more liberal than that of many Arab countries, Iranian legislation since the revolution has been criticized as detrimental to women in cases of marriage, divorce and inheritance.
Women may hold high positions, including in parliament and the government, but cannot serve as judges and have not been allowed to run for president.
FIFA had been pushing for years for Iran to open its stadiums to women, but Tehran had until 2019 only allowed a limited number of them to attend matches on rare occasions.
Since October 2019, when women last attended a national match, Covid-19 restrictions put an end to attendance by any fans — until Thursday.


FIFA links more World Cups to averting migrant deaths at sea

Updated 26 January 2022

FIFA links more World Cups to averting migrant deaths at sea

  • In a speech to European lawmakers, Infantino said soccer was being dominated by the few who “have everything” and it needed to be more global and inclusive
  • “We need to give dignity, not by giving charity but by allowing the rest of the world as well to participate,” Infantino told lawmakers

GENEVA: FIFA President Gianni Infantino linked his plan for biennial World Cups on Wednesday to giving more hope to Africans who risk their lives crossing the sea to Europe.
In a speech to European lawmakers, Infantino said soccer was being dominated by the few who “have everything” and it needed to be more global and inclusive.
“We need to find ways to include the entire world, to give hope to Africans so that they don’t need to cross the Mediterranean in order to find, maybe, a better life but more probably death in the sea,” Infantino told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe at Strasbourg, France.
He spoke on the day Spanish authorities said at least 18 people died and more than 300 were rescued from several boats trying to reach the Canary Islands from North Africa.
“We need to give dignity, not by giving charity but by allowing the rest of the world as well to participate,” Infantino told lawmakers at a session he attended with Arsène Wenger, FIFA’s director of global development.
FIFA and Wenger have been strongly resisted across European soccer since launching a formal proposal in September to organize men’s and women’s World Cups every two years instead of four.
Infantino has said organizing more editions of the World Cup will lead to more countries qualifying and fuel interest there. It would also raise billions of dollars for FIFA and increase funding for its 211 member federations to develop soccer.
Though Infantino was a longtime staffer at UEFA before being elected to FIFA in 2016, a constant theme of his presidency has been countering Europe’s dominance of the World Cup — Italy, Spain, Germany and France won the past four tournaments — and its clubs hiring the best players from other continents.
One of Infantino’s first big projects at FIFA was adding 16 nations to the World Cup for a 48-team competition from 2026, when Africa will have nine entries instead of five. Europe will get 16.
“In Europe, there is no need for additional possibilities and events,” Infantino told lawmakers at the 47-nation Council of Europe which promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Soccer must not effectively tell the world to hand over its money and best players “but watch us on TV,” Infantino said. “We have to make (football) truly global, we have to make it truly inclusive such as the values that have built Europe and we are bringing as well all over the world.”
Infantino acknowledged “maybe the World Cup every two years is not the answer.”
FIFA’s push for biennial World Cups has been uncertain since it stalled ahead of a December online meeting of its members where a vote had once been expected but was not called.
Leaders of UEFA and South American soccer body CONMEBOL have threatened to boycott biennial World Cups. They said more World Cups risk disrupting the balance between national and club team soccer and damaging continental competitions such as the Champions League, European Championship and Copa America.
Star players such as Kylian Mbappé, a 2018 World Cup winner with France, have said doubling the number of World Cups would dilute its prestige and overload them in an already congested fixture schedule.
The International Olympic Committee has also publicly criticized FIFA’s plan which could put the World Cup in direct competition with the Summer Games by 2032.
The IOC also rallied other sports to challenge Infantino in December over soccer’s plan to acquire more space and commercial income in the global schedule.


Fists fly in Honduran Congress ahead of new president’s inauguration

Updated 22 January 2022

Fists fly in Honduran Congress ahead of new president’s inauguration

  • Legislators from leftist Libre party protested after 20 rebel members proposed Jorge Calix, one of their cohorts, as provisional congress president
  • Amid cries of "traitors" and "Xiomara!" angry Libre legislators forced their way to the podium while Calix was being sworn in, causing him to flee under a hail of punches

TEGUCIGALPA: Lawmakers exchanged blows in the Honduran Congress Friday as a dispute among members of president-elect Xiomara Castro’s party turned violent.
Legislators from her leftist Libre party protested after 20 rebel members proposed Jorge Calix, one of their cohorts, as provisional congress president.
Castro loyalists claimed this violated a pact with Libre’s coalition partner.
Amid cries of “traitors” and “Xiomara!,” angry Libre legislators forced their way to the podium while Calix was being sworn in, causing him to flee under a hail of punches and much pushing and shoving.
It was the first sitting of the 128-member Congress since elections last November.
Following an emergency party meeting later on Friday, the president-elect announced that the 20 members had been expelled from Libre, calling them “traitors” and “corrupt.”
The crisis began late Thursday when Castro called her party’s 50 legislators to a meeting to ask them to support Luis Redondo of the Savior Party of Honduras (PSH) as congress president.
The 20 rebel members did not attend.
On Friday, Libre leader Gilberto Rios told AFP that the 20 are backed by groups that wish to stop Castro’s promised anti-corruption campaign, including people in “organized crime” and “drug trafficking.”
Castro won elections on November 28 to become Honduras’ first woman president and end 12 years of National Party rule.
She won as part of an alliance between Libre and the PSH, to which the presidency of Congress was promised.
Castro accused the dissidents of “betraying the constitutional agreement” and “making alliances with representatives of organized crime, corruption and drug trafficking.”
Her husband Manuel Zelaya, a former president who was deposed in a 2009 coup supported by the military, business elites and the political right, is a senior Libre party official.
Castro is to be sworn in on January 27 along with other senior officials, including the congress president, at a ceremony attended by international guests including US Vice President Kamala Harris.