Photos by Ismael Mohamad/UPI
(Photos by Stephen Shaver. Story by Xixi Quan, UPIU contributor)
July 20th marked China’s largest environmentally-friendly funeral, during which the remains of 281 people were buried in biodegradable urns in Tianjin, southeast of Beijing. The funeral was held at Yongan Memorial Park and hosted by the Bureau of Civil Affairs of Beichen.
Tianjin city officials began promoting the urns in March. Several other cities have hosted funerals to promote the urns, and Chinese officials say they expect the practice to spread.
The patented urns are made of silver sand and look like earthenware jars. Each urn degrades after a few hours submerged in water, or after a few months buried underground. In a country which has 1/5 of the world's population and has a death rate of up to 10 million a year, the practice of eco-burials are designed to contribute to the protection of the environment as space at cemeteries has become a serious issue.
Kobayashi, 32, didn't compete in the annual Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest because of a contract dispute, the New York Daily News reported.
Kobayashi, a 128-pound Japanese who uses the nickname "Tsunami," was handcuffed after he allegedly tried to reach the stage during the awards ceremony at Coney Island by climbing over people. He was taken to a police station pending charges.
"He tried to jump on stage during the awards ceremony to disrupt it," the Daily News quoted contest organizer Richard Shea as saying. "It's unprofessional and unsavory and, frankly, rather frustrating."
The event was won for the fourth year in a row by Joey "Jaws" Chestnut (pictured below), 26, who wolfed down 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes. That was nine more than the second-place finisher.
Kobayashi had won the title several years in a row, beginning in 2000, but had finished second to Chestnut in recent years.
Thomas, 89, who covered the White House for decades, made her comments during an interview that later was posted online.
Thomas wrote for United Press International for more than a half-century and later for Hearst newspapers, covering every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.