Altered Obama photo sparks outrage
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A Republican group in California has apologized for putting a photo of Barack Obama's head on a donkey and surrounding it with watermelon and ribs.
This month's newsletter of the 200-member Chaffey Community Republican Women, based in Uplands, Calif., mocks the Democratic presidential candidate on a bogus $10 bill referred to as "Obama Bucks" and inscribed with the words "United States Food Stamps," the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
The illustration, showing Obama surrounded by stereotypical African American food, has been condemned by Democratic and Republican leaders, the Times reported.
In her apology, club President Diane Fedele said she did not mean to offend anyone or seem racist. "It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of Obama's statement that he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."
Activists object to pretend elk hunt
GRASMYR, Sweden, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Animal rights activists have condemned a pretend hunt in Sweden where pre-school children were encouraged to shoot at a cloth elk puppet.
"Pre-school children are a target group identified by the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management. They run specific campaigns to encourage children's interest in killing animals," said the Swedish animal rights group Djurens Ratt.
Children at the Vintergatan pre-school in the northern town of Grasmyr held their pretend hunt last week, the prey being an elk puppet filled with buns, the Swedish news agency tt reported Sunday.
Teachers at the school defended their actions as helping children prepare for everyday life, reported the newspaper Vasterbottens-Kuriren
"For our children who grow up in an environment where hunting is part of everyday life it is important that the children also be given the chance to take a position on the issue," said teacher Maria Nygard.
Musician becomes living art frame
KARLSRUHE, Germany, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A Swiss musician says he must forfeit the large tattoo on his back upon his death to a German man who paid him to become a living, breathing picture frame.
Musician Tim Steiner said as part of his deal with Rik Reinking, he endured 30 hours of tattoo work and must surrender his back skin to the German art collector upon his death, The Sunday Times of London reported.
"Nothing has changed for me," he said. "I'm just the frame that gets to carry the picture round."
Steiner must also make at least three appearances at art shows each year to show off the back tattoo.
The 30-year-old said while he is loathe to think about what will become of the decorated skin on his back upon his death, he is "amused" to be wearing the art work created by conceptual artist Wim Delvoye.
"I don't like to think about that just yet," Steiner said of the post-mortem details of his agreement, "but my back will gain a sort of permanence, outliving everyone else. That amuses me."
Britain retains fondness for town criers
HASTINGS, England, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Though they seem a relic from the past, town criers remain popular in Britain where they compete to see who can be the clearest -- and the loudest.
A veteran crier's voice can reach a deafening 120 decibels, The Sunday Telegraph reported, noting contestants also are judged on diction, clarity, inflection and dress.
"It's a good life. I get a firkin (small barrel) of ale a year from the council, and you're always first in the buffet queue," said Michael Wood, 54, a three-time world champion from East Yorkshire.
Contestants at the National Town Crier Championship, in Hastings, East Sussex, begin with the traditional "Oyez, oyez, oyez!" -- a corruption of the French word for listen, ecoutez -- and end with the national anthem, the British newspaper reported.
Town crier Doris Eastwood, 75, a former pub worker, said she honed her skills yelling at hard-drinkers to go home.
"It's been a wonderful life," Eastwood said of her career as a town crier.