Danny Boyle insists Olympic sheep will avoid the abattoir

2012 Olympics torch

Olympic gossip: Reassurances over animals in opening ceremony, Kenyan runner's 'knife attack'

LAST UPDATED AT 12:10 ON Fri 29 Jun 2012

DANNY BOYLE, director of the London 2012 opening ceremony, has reassured animal rights campaigners that the farm animals used in the show will be well looked after and will not end up being eaten. Several groups had expressed concern about his plans to use 100 animals in the show, claiming the experience would be "highly stressful" for the animals, said The Guardian. Boyle said they would only feature at the very start of teh show and that "genuine care" would be taken of them. He also said he would ensure they were retired to animal sanctuaries.

STEEPLECHASE CHAMPION IN KNIFE ATTACK
Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi, two-time world steeplechase champion and Olympic medal hopeful, has been charged with assault after allegedly attacking a woman with a knife, reports The Daily Telegraph. Ann Njeri Otieno accused Kemboi of attacking her with a knife in his car after she denied his advances. Kemboi maintains his innocence, and said he had been attacked by five armed thugs, one of who was injured in a scuffle. The case has been adjourned until September, and Kemboi's lawyer Michael Chemwok says Kemboi "still plans to go [to] the Olympics".

BOLT, BLAKE AND POWELL ON COURSE FOR LONDON
The Jamaican sprint trio of Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Asafa Powell have all made it safely through to the semi-finals of the Olympic qualifiers. Bolt, the defending Olympic champion, won the first of four heats with a time of 10.06, reports the BBC. Blake, the only man to go faster than Bolt, ran 10.00, in the second heat. Powell advanced with a time of 10.19. The semi-finals and final are at the National Stadium in Kingston on Friday night, with only the top three qualifying for London 2012.

LEGAL ACTION OVER TOWER BLOCK MISSILES
Council tenants in an east London tower block have taken legal action to stop surface-to-air missiles being installed on their roof during the Olympics. The residents say the missile battery would breach their human rights, according to The Guardian, as they were not consulted about the plans, and it would mean "armed police patrols" at their homes. Lawyer Martin Howe argued that the Leystone block, which suffered fire damage last year, doesn’t need yet another risk of "explosion or disaster".

ARRESTS OVER GAMES 'TERROR PLOT'
Two men were arrested in east London early Thursday morning on suspicion of plotting a terror attack. Police were called after 18-year-old Jamal ud-Din and a 32-year-old known only as 'Zakariya' were spotted in a dinghy "suspiciously close" to the Games' canoeing venue in Waltham Abbey on Monday, according to The Daily Telegraph. Zakariya and ud-Din  were both arrested at separate residential addresses. A friend said they were simply "trying to get into the Olympic spirit", but believed they would be accused of training for "jihad". · 

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Kenyan medal hopeful charged with assault......case adjourned until September !!! Where are the express courts set up to try the hoi polloi. No-one should have the threat of imprisonment hanging over until after the Games.

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