World's Ugliest Dog Competition

There was shampoo, backcombing and enough diva antics to scare the steeliest of postmen but as beauty pageants go not every canine would have been quite so happy to participate.

But for those who did take part in the World's Ugliest Dog Competition at Sonoma-Marin Fair in California it was a question of ugly being the new beautiful.

In the dog-eat-dog, claw-biting contest a truly 'unique' looking creature beat off other hideous hounds to claim the crown for being the world's ugliest pedigree dog.

Miss Ellie, a pure breed Chinese crested hairless from Tennessee, is reported to be around 15 years old, has only a couple of back teeth, cataracts in both her eyes, several moles and pimples and limited hair - with such credentials the other mutts surely could not have stood a chance.

And like every good beauty queen Miss Ellie also had a heartfelt message for her adoring fans. According to her owner come spokesperson, Dawn Goehring, Miss Ellie really hopes to be a 'spokesmodel for rescue dogs of the 'not so cute' kind''.

'Her dream is to travel around to prove that ugly is just a word, and says nothing about how wonderful she is,' she said.

Ellie has come a long way from being kept in a kennel area for much of her life with an owner that saw no purpose for her.

When she was rescued she knew no commands and was not house trained but now rules the roost among her other rescue pals and even attended her owner's wedding in rival white dress and veil.

'Miss Ellie hopes that people get the message that there are plenty of wonderful rescue dogs out there just waiting for a chance,' added her proud owner.

As well as winning a modeling contract from House Of Dog lucky Ellie will also pick up a cheque for $1,000, a trophy to put in her kennel and even a professional photo shoot.

But it was Pabst the boxer who came through as the surprise overall winner of the contest.

His victory was an upset - the first place usually goes to a Chinese crested, like Miss Ellie.

The fabulously toothy four-year-old Boxer, who is also a rescue dog, has a 2in underbite, a large burn scar on his stomach and his nails grow in any direction they feel like.

While looking absolutely ferocious Pabst's bark is worse than his bite and in fact the loveable mutt is reportedly a pussy cat who likes nothing more than to take lots of naps in the sun.

World's Youngest Smoker

A two-year-old Chinese boy is thought to be the world’s youngest smoker.

Tong Liangliang was taught how to light up by his father, who believed the habit would alleviate pain caused by a hernia.

The toddler now smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and throws a tantrum if he can’t get his fix.

‘The father wasn’t aware of how serious the toddler’s habit became until the child began to increase the number of cigarettes he smoked per day’, China Radio International reported.

Tong received his first cigarette at the age of 18 months in a bid to reduce the discomfort caused by his hernia. The boy’s tender age meant he was too young to have an operation.

In 2005 a 37-year-old man submitted an application to the Guinness Book of Records, claiming to have smoked since the age of three.

The man was bidding for an accolade as the world’s youngest smoker, but his application was denied on the grounds that it promoted a harmful habit.

World largest Albino Snake

Oddball circus leader Jim Rose is to tour the US with the world's largest albino Burmese python.

The showman purchased Maurice Le Grand from a Belgian breeder for £42,000 - the highest price ever paid for a snake.

The giant slithering reptile arrived in America by crate on Monday and Rose is happy with his new housemate.

He insists fans will be shocked when they see the size of the beast at upcoming shows which will again feature a number of wrestlers including Sinn and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts.

'Until you see it you can't even come close to fathoming what a complete monster it is.

'It's actually pretty cool. We spent three months studying this species and the particulars of the nature of these rare albinos and we have also hired a snake butler who cares for it 24/7.

'Within two weeks I should be able to get into the encampment with it and begin bonding with the python.'

Asda's Extra Special Curry Sauce the dead mouse in it

When Cate Barrett brought a ??1.49 jar of tikka masala sauce from her local Asda store, she was expecting it to contain a bit of a kick.

But what she wasn't expecting to find was the dead mouse which had somehow ended up in the jar - along with the rest of her favourite sauce.

The nursery worker had begun making dinner for herself and her boyfriend, Nigel, when she poured the sauce into the pan, and noticed it was a little lumpy.

As she began stirring the sauce through, she noticed what looked like whiskers and a tail - and immediately knew it was a dead rodent.

The couple took the dead animal and the jar of Asda Extra Special sauce back to the shop where a manager apologised and said it would be sent for examination.

Ms Barrett, of St Austell, Cornwall, said: 'I stirred the sauce around and thought it looked a little bit more lumpy than usual and wondered if we had too many vegetables in the pan.

'Then as the sauce spread out, I saw whiskers, legs, and a tail. I shouted out to Nigel to come to see if it was what I thought it was. Then I fished it out.

'It was a really big shock to see it plop out of the jar. It's going to be a while until I get another one of those tikka masala sauces.'

Ms Barrett said the seal of the jar was firmly in place as the button on the top of the lid was not popped out, which would indicate it had already been opened.

She said she had no idea how the mouse came to be in the jar and she guessed it must have fallen in the moment before the lid was sealed.

She said: 'I wasn't angry but I didn't really know want to do.' she said.

'I went up to the customer services desk and showed them a photo of the mouse. The manger was very apologetic and said they'd send it away for analysis.'

'Asda have been good about it all. I'm not squeamish but that definitely got my heart pumping when I saw it and gave me a real fright.'

Environmental Health and Asda are investigating the incident.

An Asda spokeswoman confirmed the sauce had been sent away for analysis and that a full investigation is currently place.

The spokeswoman told Mail Online it was impossible to say how the mouse got in the jar until the investigation was complete.

'The curry sauce the mouse was in has been sent away for analysis,' she said.

'It will probably be between four and six weeks until we establish where the mouse actually came from.'

The spokeswoman added the company appreciated Ms Barret's patience and that Asda representatives would contact her once the results of the investigation were complete.

Scarred for life: The teenager who asked tattooist for THREE stars on her face and ended up with FIFTY-SIX

A teenage girl is suing a tattoo artist for £8,500 after she allegedly asked him for three stars on her face - but ended up with 56.

Eighteen-year-old Kimberley Vlaminck paid £55 for 'the graffiti that has ruined my life' in her Belgian home town of Courtrai.

She claimed the Romanian tattooist who performed the artwork misunderstood her French and English.

She claims she fell asleep while he was doing his work... and awoke to 'this nightmare'.

'It is terrible for me,' said Kimberley. 'I cannot go out on to the street, I am so embarrassed. I just look horrible.'

'I think he didn’t understand what I wanted. He spoke only fractured English and French.

'But I explicitly said in my native tongue, French, and also in a little bit of English when he looked confused, that I wanted three little stars only near my left eye.'

Rouslan Toumaniantz, who runs the tattoo parlour called The Tattoo Box in Courtrai, denies her claim, saying she knew 'exactly what she wanted'.

He added: 'She was awake and looked into the mirror several times as the procedure was taking place. The trouble all started when she went home and her father and boyfriend threw a fit.

'They are saying things now like I doped her or hypnotised her. What rubbish! She asked for 56 stars and that’s what she got.'

To remove the stars would require surgery costing £8,500.

But even the most advanced laser techniques would, while removing the tattoos, leave deep white marks all across Kimberley's face.

She has launched legal proceedings against Toumaniantz seeking damages, plus the money for the operation.

He was questioned by police earlier this year but they decided it was a civil matter and that there was nothing they could do.

Jules Clocher, a Belgian psychologist, said: 'The trauma this girl must be feeling is indescribable. She feels like a circus freak - and no wonder, because she looks like one.'

Guantanamo 4 hit shops on first day of freedom

Four Guantanamo Bay inmates have celebrated their first day of freedom in Bermuda by going shopping.

As a storm erupted over America releasing the four in the British colony without telling the Foreign Office, they bought trousers, toothpaste and other toiletries, then played football with local teenagers.

Salahidin Abdulahat, 32, one of the four Uighur Muslims, from eastern and central Asia, said: 'I have been in jail for over seven years. Innocently.

'First I would like to rest for a couple of weeks. Then I would like to work. I would love to have a Bermuda passport and live as a normal member of society.'

The Foreign Office, which controls the colony's security, expressed shock at the deal between the US and Bermudan Premier Ewart Brown.

'We are deeply disappointed that they negotiated the movement of the four people here with the United States without consulting us because, to us, it pretty clearly cuts across foreign affairs and security issues,' said island Governor Sir Richard Gozney.

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said it was 'astonishing' that Downing Street knew nothing of the deal.

But Gordon Brown said Barack Obama had called to thank him after the Uighurs' arrival on the island.

The US abandoned a plan to settle them on the outskirts of Washington DC after protests from locals.

The four are living in a waterfront cottage and have been given a woman interpreter.

A Bermuda official said they will be given work permits.

Police unveil new twist on old idea... the bobby on a (motorised) tricycle

With its bright colours and chunky wheels, it looks like a motorbike from a giant Lego kit.

In fact, the T3 Motion could be the future of law enforcement.

The electric scooter, which has a top speed of 25mph, is designed to be cheap to use, to be friendly to the environment and, with a 9in-high raised platform, to provide a great vantage point for policing crowds.

A model with police-style blue and yellow livery (and limited to 5mph) was loaned to Sussex Police to use at the South of England Show, a three-day agricultural show in Ardingly, near Haywards Heath, which runs until tomorrow.

Sergeant Paul Marsterson said the experiment had been a success - though hampered by the sheer novelty of the vehicle.

'We tried to do a tour of the arena. However, people were so interested in it, it took us 45 minutes to get a couple of hundred metres,' he said.

'The chief constable [Martin Richards] has had a go and I mentioned to him it is perfect for Gatwick airport, both indoors and outdoors.

'It gives high visibility and it's great to be able to talk to people you might not always be able to.'

The £5,000 trike is designed by a Californian firm and has been adopted by a number of police forces in the U.S.

It uses changeable power modules, costs a few pence a day to run and produces zero gas emissions.

Although Sgt Masterson's trike was not equipped for use on the roads, it was fitted with headlights, brakelights, running lights and emergency lights.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: 'There was a road safety area at the show and the theme this year is Then And Now, so there were old police cars and other emergency services vehicles right the way through to the present.

'The trike was an example of what we could potentially have in the future.'

The sunbathing killer: Briton who threw children from balcony relaxes in Greece

Stretching out in the sun with a cigarette and a cup of iced coffee, killer father John Hogan savours his last moments in Greece before returning to Britain a free man.

Hogan, 35, is pictured at the psychiatric hospital he has called home since killing his six-year-old son Liam by pushing him off a 50ft balcony.

In court, the former floor-tiler from Bristol argued he was suffering from an 'explosion of insanity'.

He was found not guilty and instead ordered to seek psychiatric treatment.

Less than three years after the incident, he has apparently made a full recovery and last month he was cleared to return to Britain.

Residents of the psychiatric facility in Dafni, on the outskirts of Athens, say he spends much of his time in the outdoor cafe, reading, drinking and chatting to other patients.

Hogan killed his son after an argument with his then-wife Natasha in Crete in August 2006.

He pushed Liam and his daughter Mia, two, from a balcony before jumping himself.

Mia survived and has since moved to Australia with her mother, who has remarried.

But Hogan is determined to be reunited with his daughter. In court last month he said: 'I must be there for her - strong and healthy.'

You dirty rat: Daring rodent shows puzzled leopard exactly who's boss by stealing its lunch

It's not so much snatching victory from the jaws of defeat as dinner from the jaws of danger.

But even the imposing presence of an adult leopard at feeding time is not enough to get between plucky young Rattus Norvegicus (better known as the brown rat) and a free meal.

This extraordinary series of images were captured by photography student Casey Gutteridge, as he trained his camera on the leopard for a course project.

The little rat - thought to be only two to three months old - was spotted scampering into the leopard's enclosure shortly after feeding time at the Santago Rare Leopard Project, in Hertfordshire.

So intent was the plucky rodent on its mission to snatch a tasty snack, that it seemed not to notice that its path was taking it within a whisker's breadth of 12-year-old Sheena.

Clutching a corner of raw meat with its tiny paws, the rat busily tucked in, until it sensed one of those whiskers moving in.

Sheena, bemused by the interloper coming between her and the remains of dinner, padded over on paws big enough to wreak vengeance with a single swipe.

But rather than giving the thief at very least the hearty set down it deserved, she gingerly lowered her nose for an exploratory sniff.

Rattus paused, lifted its dainty pink claws in submission, then - obviously deciding on a nothing-ventured-nothing-gained approach - continued to tuck in.

And after another tentative investigation, Sheena gave the leopard equivalent of a shrug and turned away.

Mr Gutteridge, 19, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, thought the rodent was a mouse.

Mr Gutteridge said: 'I have no idea where it came from - he just appeared in the enclosure after the keeper had dropped in the meat for the leopard.
'He didn't take any notice of the leopard, just went straight over to the meat and started feeding himself.

'But the leopard was pretty surprised - she bent down and sniffed at it and flinched a bit like she was scared.

'It was amazing, even the keeper who had thrown the meat into the enclosure was shocked - he said he'd never seen anything like it before.'

An expert at the Wildlife Trust said the creature was in fact a young and 'inexperienced rat', identifiable by its big paws and ears and more importantly its bald, scaly tail with a thick base.

Leopard project owner Jackie James added: 'My son threw meat in for the photographers and it just appeared. Sheena batted it away but it just came back. The determined little thing took no notice and just carried on.'

Sheena was brought in to the Santago Rare Leopard Project from a UK zoo when she was just four months old.

She is one of 14 big cats in the private collection started by Jackie's late husband Peter in 1989.

The African leopard can be found in the continent's forests, grasslands, savannas, and rainforests.

The leopard is the most elusive of all the big cats. They are solitary animals and are primarily nocturnal - preferring to hunt at night.

The species is also a strong climber and is capable of killing prey larger than itself.

The leopard's prey ranges from fish, reptiles and birds to smaller mammals such as hares and monkeys.

A stealthy hunter, leopards are known to stalk close to their prey and run a relatively short distance on the hunt.

They kill by grabbing their prey by the throat and biting down with their jaws, and store their larger kills in trees - out of the reach of prowling lions and hyenas.