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Players, coach and reporters brawl on pitch in Brazil (Reuters)

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Thu Jul 22, 6:10 am ET

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Goias players and their coach Emerson Leao were involved in a brawl with radio reporters after their team drew 2-2 away to Vitoria in a Brazilian championship match.

Photographs showed former Brazil goalkeeper and coach Leao being led away by police after the incidents at the Barradao stadium in Salvador.

Media reports said he was taken to a police station for questioning along with Goias striker Rafael Moura.

Trouble broke out after the final whistle of Wednesday’s midtable match in which Vitoria had snatched an 89th minute equaliser.

Leao, who coached Brazil from 2000 to 2001 and played in goal for them at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, headed straight to the referee to protest about the goal, claiming it was offside.

Touchline radio reporters attempted to broadcast the conversation, leading to a scuffle involving a number of Goias players.

Television pictures showed that at one point, a reporter was pushed to the ground by a Goias player.

Touchline reporters are a distinctive feature at Brazilian matches. They interview players on the pitch immediately before or after games, when players are sent off, and also run on to the field when there is a disturbance.

Known for his fiery temper, the 61-year-old Leao is coaching his 17th Brazilian club.

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Colorado man delivers pizza and saves heart attack victim (Reuters)

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DENVER (Reuters) – A laid off paramedic who turned to delivering pizzas to make ends meet is credited with saving the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest just as a pizza was delivered to his door.

Christopher Wuebben, 22, was delivering a pizza late last week to the suburban Denver home of George Linn, when he heard the man’s wife screaming for help, according to Wuebben’s boss, John Keiley.

“Chris told the woman that he was trained in CPR and knew what to do,” Keiley, owner of Johnny’s New York Pizza, said on Tuesday. “He got him on the floor and brought him back to life before the fire department showed up.”

Linn was transported to Swedish Medical Center where he is listed in serious condition in the hospital’s critical care unit, hospital spokeswoman Julie Lonborg told Reuters.

Keiley said Wuebben is a military veteran who recently moved to Colorado after he was laid off from his paramedic job in Illinois. He said Wuebben is not scheduled to work at the pizza restaurant until later in the week, but Keiley may not have his new employee for long. At least one local hospital and a fire department have called to offer Wuebben a job in his chosen field after hearing of his heroics.

“He’s a good kid who was very nonchalant about what he did and hopefully this will work out for him,” Keiley said.

(Reporting and writing by Keith Coffman, editing by Greg McCune)

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K99 ice cream and other cool flavours for dogs (Reuters)

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LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s first ice cream van for dogs will open for business at a “pet party” in London’s Regent’s Park Saturday.

The van will serve canine-friendly flavours such as “Dog Eat Hog World” — a chicken and gammon sorbet — and “Canine Cookie Crunch,” a more traditional vanilla ice cream, albeit sprinkled with dog biscuits.

“The weather has been so hot, we thought dogs deserved a cooling treat as much as anyone else,” said Sally Bezant of event organiser Boomerang Pets Party.

She said a team of pet nutritionists had been through a complicated scientific process to determine the tastiest and safest flavours for the dogs’ dessert.

And although the unusual flavours were tested on a panel of dogs, they can be eaten by humans.

“It’s safe for humans … I’ve tried it myself,” she told Reuters, adding, perhaps diplomatically, that doggie ice-cream tasted “different.”

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Steve Addison)

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Chinese police beat official's wife by mistake (Reuters)

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BEIJING (Reuters) – Plainclothes police severely beat the wife of a provincial official, mistaking her for one of many Chinese who petition government offices in the hope of redressing wrongs, the China Daily reported on Wednesday.

The case of mistaken identity has become a hot topic among Chinese Internet users, highlighting the abuse that China’s armies of petitioners routinely suffer at the hands of police and hired thugs who wish to silence them.

Six public security officers set on Chen Yulian, the wife of a provincial law enforcement officer, last month when she tried to enter her husband’s office building, which houses the Hubei provincial party headquarters, the China Daily said.

“This incident is a total misunderstanding,” the Communist Party chief of the district bureau explained, according the newspaper. “Our police officers never realized that they beat the wife of a senior leader.”

China’s leaders are obsessed with maintaining social stability and “building a harmonious society” has been their chief concern in the recent years.

Thousands of petitioners take their grievances to Beijing every day. Many of their complaints stem from land seizures, while others seek redress for lay-offs dating from massive bankruptcies in China’s state sector in the 1990s.

The men who beat Chen were later identified as public security officers from Wuhan, the provincial capital, who had been assigned to guard the office building and “subdue” petitioners.

“A strong wave of fists rained down on her for more than 16 minutes,” the report said.

Chen was knocked to the ground despite her attempt to explain that her husband worked in the office building. She was then transported to a police station and yelled at when she requested medical attention, according to the paper’s account.

The attack left her with a concussion, and damaged brain and nerve tissues. Chen was released and sent to hospital after she reached her husband by phone, and ranking police officers apologized profusely.

“Does this mean the police are not supposed to beat leaders’ wives, but the ordinary people can be battered?” the China Daily quoted an anonymous visitor to Chen’s ward as saying.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Lucy Hornby and Ken Wills)

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Farm boy Oosthuizen celebrates Open win with new tractor (Reuters)

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BRO, Sweden (Reuters) – British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen has shunned the glamour of a new Ferrari or Porsche and instead spent some of his 850,000-pound winnings on a custom-built tractor.

“I’ll have a kiddie seat on it for my daughter Jana,” the 27-year-old South African told reporters in Sweden on Wednesday, on the eve of the Scandinavian Masters at the Bro Hof Slott course near Stockholm.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun. I bought the tractor for my farm. Being a farm boy it was one of my big dreams.

Oosthuizen, who won at St Andrews by seven strokes, also enjoyed another concession to his new-found fame and riches.

“Flying in this morning by private jet… It’s all starting to sink in,” he said.

Oosthuizen appeared to be still a little stunned by his first major success, however, adding: “I got a call from Mr Greg Norman and he said something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

“He said I am the first person to get him to watch a full round of golf on television. He watched my first shot (on Sunday) to my last and couldn’t leave the couch.”

Oosthuizen was sure last week’s overwhelming success, which pushed him up the world rankings from 54 to 15, would keep him at a higher level.

“Confidence-wise it’s going to help,” he said. “I now tee it up every round knowing I am good enough. When you win one (major) you start looking for your second, then third, you never stop.

The South African is joined at the Scandinavian Masters by Sweden’s 2008 European number one Robert Karlsson, who finished tied 15th at the British Open.

Britain’s Robert Rock, tied seventh at St Andrews, is the second highest British Open finisher in the field.

(Editing by Alison Wildey)

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The perils of eating fire in Saudi Arabia (Reuters)

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RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi artist Maher al-Luqman is always nervous when he goes on stage to eat glass and fire or to walk on nails, for fear the country’s religious police will disrupt his show.

The leader of a troupe of 12 strongmen, Luqman struggles for acceptance in a country whose austere version of Sunni Islam means that many forms of entertainment and unusual feats of strength are sometimes seen as sorcery.

“They have stopped us for two years, branding us as sorcerers, and calling for people to fight us and report us,” Luqman, 35, told Reuters.

Bearded religious policemen roam the streets of the Gulf Arab kingdom of 25 million people to enforce gender segregation, search for drugs and alcohol and to stop behavior they consider immoral.

The Saudi government is trying to promote internal tourism but its efforts are complicated by restrictions on singing, dancing and mixing of unrelated men and women enforced by a powerful religious establishment.

Public entertainment like that provided by groups such as Luqman’s Altineen — which means “dragon” in Arabic — is rare. Every summer the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities organizes public festivals in cities in the kingdom.

Last year, concerts and some circus shows were banned due to what the religious police described as contradiction to Islam.

Conservative clerics and religious police, backed by powerful members of the Saudi royal family, resist some activities that they believe do not comply with the cultural and religious norms of the country.

Jeddah’s annual summer film festival was canceled last year despite the support of local governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal. In Abha in the kingdom’s southwest mountains, some concerts were also banned from a tourism festival.

Luqman’s group had permission to perform last week in a desert town 200 km north of the capital Riyadh but was abruptly stopped from going on stage by an order from the religious police.

“I am fed up. I want to leave. It is so sad to see these talents go to waste,” Luqman said.

He keeps trying to perform because of the loyal fans who flock to his shows.

“I really enjoyed the show. They deserve encouragement,” said Ahlam Abdullah, a woman clad in black after watching how Luqman’s men piled five huge bricks on his stomach and smashed them one by one with a hammer while he was lying still.

“Frankly, this was quite a performance,” agreed Mezher al-Qarni who to came with his daughter to watch the group performing in a park near Riyadh.

(Reporting Nael Shyoukhi and Asma Alsharif; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Angus MacSwan)

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