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Out of breath

n New York, Aug. 28 (Reuters): A New York illusionist emerged shaken and exhausted yesterday morning after spending a full day shackled and submerged in a water tank the size of a telephone booth.

With his arms and legs chained to his waist and neck, Criss Angel’s breathing regulator and mask were yanked from the tank at the end of the 24 hours, leaving him with only minutes to hold his breath and escape from the water tank, positioned in a windowfront in Manhattan’s busy Times Square.

Angel said he was inspired by the classic routine of legendary escape artist and illusionist Harry Houdini. Houdini would hold his breath underwater for several minutes while hanging upside down from a set of locked, heavy wooden stocks around his ankles.

Name game

Los Angeles (Reuters): But dear, Turok is such a nice name for the baby! Video game publisher Acclaim Entertainment Inc says it will give $10,000 in savings bonds to the first family to have a child on September 1 and name it “Turok,” after Acclaim’s new game of the same name to be released on that day. The game, “Turok: Evolution,” is Acclaim’s biggest title of the year; it will be released simultaneously on all major game platforms September 1, which the company has taken to calling “Turok Bloody Sunday.”

Gold Buddha

Phnom Penh (Reuters): Cambodian workmen have unearthed 27 solid gold Buddha statuettes, buried for hundreds of years beneath the foundations of a ruined pagoda hidden deep in the jungle, officials said. The statues, about 10 cm high and each weighing around 0.5 kg, came to light when builders started restoration work on the centuries-old pagoda destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Pol Pot’s ultra-Maoist guerrillas laid waste to temples, universities and businesses during a four-year reign of terror from 1975 to 1979 in which they tried to create a totally agrarian, peasant society. Nearly two million people were killed.

Hybrid cub

Beijing (PTI): A lioness in east China’s Nanjing city has given birth to the country’s first tiger-lion hybrid cub, that is now being suckled by a dog, a report said on Wednesday. The cub, with a lion’s body but striped like a tiger, is in good condition. Weighing 1.1 kg at birth after 112 days of gestation — similar to other big cat cubs — the hybrid cub now weighs 1.2 kg. The lioness, Tiantian, who gave birth to the cub at Hongshan Zoo, lacked maternal experience and posed wrongly to suckle the cub, before leaving her hungry offspring alone about eight hours after its birth.

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