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Anastasia of Dubrovnik faces eviction

The city had always been kind to stray cats. The mayor said they had never gone hungry, but asks if they really need to house them now as well?

Anastasia, the 17-year-old stray cat, faces eviction from her ornate home in Dubrovnik. Photo: Maris Sisevic/AFP/Getty

The mayor of Dubrovnik has backed plans to evict a 17-year-old stray cat from an ornate wooden box outside the city’s 14th-century Rector’s Palace.

Anastasia has become a favourite with locals, one of whom built her new home in the style of the Palace – a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture – after officials removed a cardboard box in which she had been sleeping.

But now authorities say even the designer box contravenes bylaws protecting Dubrovnik’s “unique cultural and historic whole” against temporary shelters and dwellings.

Mayor Mato Frankovic said: “Dubrovnik is kind to stray cats. None of them go hungry. But do we have to house them as well now?”


An undocumented Algerian migrant in Belgium has been told he cannot claim a £200,000 lottery prize without proving his identity.

The 28-year-old is now in hiding after buying the winning ticket in a Zeebrugge supermarket, fearing he will be deported. His lawyer said: “My client is in an illegal situation, he has no papers and no bank account. We are looking for documents that can prove his identity.”

Bruges police have opened an investigation to find the lucky winner but have assured him he will not be sent back to Algeria until he has claimed his prize.


A rogue priest from Hückelhoven in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is being investigated for 145 counts of embezzlement and 65 cases of money laundering while he serves a 40-month sentence for trying to smuggle heroin into Belgium.

The 59-year-old, named only as Father Georg K, is said to have stolen the equivalent of £80,000 from the accounts of his former church. He faces 10 more years behind bars.

The priest, who was fined £2,250 for money laundering in 2017, still receives a subsistence allowance from the church, although the Archdiocese of Aachen refuses to pay his legal bills.


A ‘subway-surfing’ craze that has become popular among French users of TikTok has claimed its first victim after a 16-year-old boy was found dead on the tracks of the Marseille metro.

A series of videos on the social network show participants clinging on to the backs of trains as they arrive in underground stations, climbing on to their roofs and then standing up, before throwing themselves flat on their stomachs as the trains enter tunnels. Other TikTok posts show young people riding in the open space in between carriages.

Police said they were interviewing witnesses and studying CCTV to discover how the 16-year-old had died.


A 20-year-old was admitted to an intensive care unit in Winterthur, Switzerland after triggering a rare condition while masturbating

The Swiss felt a “sudden onset of sharp chest pain followed by shortness of breath” while pleasuring himself, according to the medical journal Radiology Case Reports. Doctors said he was suffering from pneumomediastinum, which occurs when air circulating through the respiratory system escapes up into the space in the chest between the lungs.

The report’s authors, Dr Nikola Rajic and Dr Christian Schandl, said the condition “mostly affects young men”.


A biscuit-loving brown bear who became a social media sensation when CCTV showed him breaking into a bakery in Roccaraso, Italy has returned to the scene of the crime for a second time.

The animal – who has been nicknamed Juan Carrito by residents of the ski resort – was rehomed 20 miles away in the Majella national park after his first offence.

He returned to Roccaraso in late March, before being caught again and moved to a nature sanctuary 100 miles away, but has been seen back in the town “tentatively trying to make friends with a few curious dogs.” As a precaution, the Dolci Momenti bakery has fitted its windows with “bearproof bars.”


Rapper Murda has been sentenced to four years and two months in jail in Turkey for lyrics that glorify the use of cannabis. Lawyers for Murda, aka Önder Doğan, had argued that lines like “I rolled a joint, lit it and man, it shook me” from the song Eh Baba were innocuous.

Prosecutors had asked for the Dutch-Turkish star, who did not attend court as he is recording an album in the Netherlands, to be imprisoned for between five and 10 years. The rapper called the sentence “very sad” and said he would appeal.

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