Harrowing same humiliation that they put the elephants through to teach them a hard way lesson to become circus stars.

Pulled to the ground by a web of ropes, a baby elephant learns the hard way how to become a circus performer.

In case the youngster doesn't want to co-operate, a trainer stands by with one of the sharp metal hooks used to manage the animals.

The disturbing picture is one of a series taken by a former trainer which campaigners say reveal the brutal reality of how elephants are prepared for circus work.

The pictures show them being dragged to the ground by ropes, chained side by side, pinned down by a hook in the back of the neck and checked by cattleprods.

Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - say the elephants are also separated from their mothers by force.

The photographs are being used to spearhead a campaign to tighten up laws on the use of wild beasts in circuses.

The Government here is considering legislation to impose stricter conditions on their care, training and performance, particularly where young are concerned.

The pictures were taken in the U.S. by handler Sammy Haddock, who worked for the Ringling Bros' Barnum and Bailey Circus until 2005.

They were taken more than seven years ago - but Peta says such methods are widespread, and 'effectively amount to the torture of defenceless animals'.

Haddock died last month and asked Peta to use his pictures to ease his conscience about the kind of treatment he administered during eight years at the Ringling centre in Florida.

Peta director Poorva Joshipura said: 'All the evidence suggests that the methods described by Sam Haddock are standard operating procedures.'

Ringling's dismisses Peta's claims as 'from the last century' and denies cruelty. It says it separates calves from adults only when they are old enough to demonstrate natural independence.

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Russian internet sensation: Giant triangular 'UFO' filmed hovering above Kremlin

Hovering ominously over the city, this video of what appears to be a triangle-shaped UFO has left Russians baffled.

Sitting motionless in the sky above the Kremlin in Moscow, clips of the unexplained object have become the most-viewed videos on Russia's YouTube.

The two videos, one taken at night from a car and one during the day, were both filmed by amateurs.

The UFO hovered for hours over Red Square in the Russian capital and was seen by hundreds of people.

The identity of the shape has not been confirmed but internet forums are buzzing with the sighting.

The UFO appeared on December 9th, the same night that a mysterious blue spiral light appeared over Norway. That was later attributed to a failed rocket launch from Russia.

Some have likened the object to one of the spaceships from Star Wars.

But others have said it is merely a reflection from inside the cameraman's car. If the object exists experts estimate that it could be up to a mile wide.

Some commentators have reacted sceptically to the videos and have pointed out that if hundreds of people had seen the object more videos and photos would have emerged by now.

Russian reports ruled out a UFO but police have refused to comment.

Nick Pope, a former Ministry of Defence UFO analyst, said it was 'one of the most extraordinary UFO clips I've ever seen'.

'At first I thought this was a reflection but it appears to move behind a power line, ruling out this theory.'

A spokesman for aerospace journal Jane's News said: 'We have no idea what it is.'

Amazing Pictures Majestic brown bears go head to head in remarkable 15-minute duel

These two brown bears couldn't have picked a more stunning setting to engage in a spot of rough and tumble.

In front of a spectacular, snow topped mountain range in Alaska, the giant animals took each other to task, with one even taking a crafty low side-swipe.

Despite one of the bears holding a definite weight advantage, the pair grappled and exchanged blows.
But after 15 minutes of hard combat they seemed happy to call it a draw and went hunting for salmon in a nearby river.

The incredible duel was captured on camera by amateur photographer Scott Cromwell during a special bear spotting trip.

He flew for six hours from Homer, Alaska, to Hallow Bay, which is part of the Katmai National Park, also in Alaska, just to see the majestic animals.
Scott, 38, said: 'The guide and pilot flew us over a known area and we spotted a few bears so we landed on the beach a few hundred yards away from them.

'We walked up to about 250ft from them and stood and watched from a dry part of the river bed.

'They instantly quit fishing for salmon in the river and ran out in the open in between us and the mountains.

'The smaller bear came out into the open first but then the bigger one galloped after it making a lot of noise.
'They circled around the whole large area a couple of times and then started wrestling right in front of us - we were no more than 100ft away.

'I couldn't believe what was happening - we had only just got off the plane and this all seemed to have happened instantly.'

Television repairman Scott said the bears battled for 15 minutes before getting bored or hungry and returning to hunting for salmon.

He added: 'I was leaning over the whole time while shooting, trying to get as close to the ground as possible without including any grass in the foreground.

'It truly was the most enjoyable 15 minutes of my life. In fact the whole trip was the best six hours of my life.

'Seeing bears this close really is incredible.'

Bizarre Black magic fears as boy, 2, is hospitalised with 50 sewing needles inside his body

A two-year-old is seriously ill after being admitted to hospital with 50 sewing needles inside him.

Doctors in Brazil believe the needles were deliberately pushed into his body through his skin - including 17 discovered in his digestive system.

Police have launched an investigation to discover who carried out the attack amid fears the boy may have been used as part of a sinister black magic ritual.
One of the needles perforated the youngster's left lung. Stunned medics admitted him to hospital in Barreiras in the state of Bahma, north east Brazil, after X-rays showed the 50 metal objects in his abdomen, neck, thorax and legs.

Today it emerged the macabre crime may be linked to a bizarre black magic ritual.

The boy, taken to hospital by a relative on Sunday with stomach pains, has not been named.

His mother, maid Marma Souza Santos, has told police she does not know who is responsible and said his gran used to look after her son while she was out at work.

But she has reportedly claimed in a statement the youngster's stepfather may have used the infant in a black magic ritual. He has denied the claims.
Police chief Helder Fernandes Santana said: 'We are certain someone introduced the needles because of the position of some of them in the child's body.

'At the moment we don't know who did it.

'It's such a strange situation. We could be looking at attempted murder, a serious assault or some type of revenge attack. We're not ruling anything out at the moment.'

Doctors at West Hospital in Barreiras where the boy is currently being treated, said they would considering trying to remove sewing needles just under the surface of the boy's skin.

But hospital director Luiz Cesar said none of the needles were endangering his life at the moment - and said he may have to live with them inside his body because of the risk involved in removing them.

He added: 'We're certain the boy didn't swallow the needles of his own accord.

'If he did, they would be in his gastrointestinal tract.

'I've never seen a case of its kind.

'Our priority at the moment is the boy's lung which was perforated by one of the needles.

'Fortunately his life is not in danger.' The boy's dad Gessivaldo Alves added: 'We have faith in God that he is going to get better.'

Silvio Berlusconi loses a PINT of blood after attacker breaks his nose and knocks out two teeth

Silvio Berlusconi lost nearly a pint of blood after he was punched to the ground by an attacker yesterday.

The 73-year-old Italian prime minister is facing a second night in hospital after doctors admitted his injuries were worse than they had thought.

Mr Berlusconi also suffered a broken nose and lost two teeth during the assault as he signed autographs at the end of a stormy political rally in Milan yesterday.

He spent a quiet, if painful, night in hospital last night and is having trouble eating, his personal doctor said today.

He is also suffering from a severe headache.

However his friends are rallying around him - a spokesman said French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Vladimir Putin have both already phoned to commiserate with Mr Berlusconi.

His doctor, Alberto Zangrillo, said the premier's injuries would take at least 15 days to heal.

Berlusconi, a popular but divisive figure, said 'I'm fine, I'm fine' as he arrived at the hospital yesterday.

He reportedly asked to be brought newspapers upon waking up, no doubt wanting to read coverage of the assault on the front pages.

Berlusconi was attacked when a man stepped from the crowd, dodging bodyguards, before smashing the politician in the face - apparently while clutching a model of the city's Duomo cathedral in his clenched fist.

The prime minister told an Italian TV presenter visiting him in hospital that he considered it ‘miraculous’ not to have lost an eye in the attack.

‘This is truly a bad day for Italy, and it's the duty of all the political forces to ensure that Italy does not go back to the years of violence,’ Gianfranco Fini, Berlusconi's top conservative ally, said.

The incident triggered an outpouring of solidarity for Berlusconi from allies and critics, just as the prime minister seeks to regain political momentum after a bruising year battling mounting legal troubles and sex scandals.

Allies blamed the assault on an atmosphere of hatred swirling around the billionaire businessman.
‘What they've done to Berlusconi is an act of terrorism,’ Umberto Bossi, head of the far-right Northern League and a close Berlusconi ally, said.

‘An oppressive climate has been felt for some time and what's happened today is a worrying sign.’

The attacker, named last night as Massimo Tartaglia, was arrested by police and taken away.
Just hours after the attack, Facebook groups had sprung up hailing or attacking Tartaglia, including one fan site with more than 32,000 fans that labelled him a man with "lots of courage".

Television footage showed a stunned Mr Berlusconi with blood around his mouth as he was lifted to his feet by aides.

He was bundled into his official car but immediately got out, apparently in an effort to show he was not badly injured. After looking out into the crowd, the aides pulled him back into the vehicle.

As police officers swamped the rally, Mr Berlusconi was driven to a nearby hospital where he was given a CAT scan.

Doctors said that as he was being treated on a stretcher, he had told them: 'I'm fine, I'm fine, don't worry about me.'

There was no immediate suggestion of a motive for the attack. Police sources said that 42-year-old Tartaglia, from Milan, was not known as a political activist and had no criminal convictions apart from minor driving offences.

They added, however, that he had been 'receiving medical attention for mental problems' for ten years.

Before the attack, Mr Berlusconi had delivered a fiery speech to supporters of his People of Freedom party in the square in front of the cathedral. Scores of opponents had also gathered to try to drown out his speech.

Defence minister Ignazio La Russa who witnessed the attack said: 'I saw blood coming from the premier's nose and mouth. He was then pushed into the car by his bodyguards and driven away.

'He was actually trying to step on the edge of the door so that he could stand and wave to the crowds but his bodyguards would not let him do it, they pushed him inside.
The attacker was held immediately by the police and it's a good job he was because he risked being lynched by the crowd. There would have been just pieces of him left.'

The attack came after a speech that had been billed as politically significant but revealed no big policy shift.

Berlusconi launched a familiar tirade against the left and rattled off a list of government achievements, in a characteristically feisty performance aimed at shoring up his standing and ratings.

It is the second time that Mr Berlusconi has been attacked in public. In 2004 he was hit over the head with a camera tripod while strolling in Rome.

Last night's incident came despite reports in November security had been tightened-around him following fears that he was being targeted by Left-wing terrorists.

Mr Berlusconi has been at the centre of controversy for much of the year. In April it emerged that he had attended the 18th birthday party of a lingerie model, giving her a £5,400 gold and diamond necklace.

It prompted his long-suffering wife Veronica Lario, 53, to announce she was divorcing him because she could no longer be with a man who ' associated with minors and was ill'.

In June it emerged that escort girls had been among women invited to parties at his official residences. One claimed to have slept with him.

He has also been at the centre of a political storm after an immunity law his government introduced was overturned, meaning he could be put on trail for corruption.

In recent weeks there have been claims he was in the Mafia, allegations he has dismissed as lies.

An opinion poll published on Saturday indicated his popularity had fallen four percentage points to just over 50 percent as Italians fretted that his legal entanglements could distract him from government duties.


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