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News from the continent: Bayern’s night on the plane, and James Blunt’s burglary

Back on track: Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich arrive at the stadium prior to the match against Al Ahly at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar - Credit: FIFA via Getty Images

News that you might have missed from around the continent, selected by STEVE ANGLESEY

Bayern Munich’s superstar players spent a night on a grounded plane at Berlin’s Brandenburg airport because they were 30 seconds too late to take off.

The German champions, headed for the Club World Cup in Doha, had arranged for their match at Hertha last Friday evening to be brought forward by 30 minutes so they could beat a ban on flights departing after midnight, but their Qatar Airlines jet only completed its de-icing programme at 11.59pm and the pilot was told he had missed his slot by half a minute.

Club officials then spent another 80 minutes attempting to find a way around the problem before they and players bedded down for the night. When the plane was eventually allowed to take off, at 6.52am, it had to make an unscheduled stop in Bayern’s home city of Munich for a change of crew.


British singer James Blunt has been reunited with prized possessions, including a bayonet he used during his time as a soldier in the Kosovo War and a watch once owned by his grandfather, after police recovered belongings stolen from his 2,000,000 euro (£1.75m) villa in Ibiza.

Blunt said: “The thieves took about 100 items, including a black and white rug that my wife did not like, so I suspect she could be involved. They also took all my T-shirts and shirts, so they must not have a very good sense of style as I am not known for mine.”

Police detained two brothers of Romanian origin – one of whom stood for the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party in recent local elections –  in connection with a series of robberies of luxury homes on the White Isle and seized property including two sculptures valued at 70,000 euros each, jade carvings, antique clocks, gold cutlery and hundreds of bottles of wine, cognac and champagne.


Eighty-one orgygoers have been fined for Covid-19 rule violations after police broke up a sex party at a warehouse near EuroDisney.

Police in Collegien said the event violated France’s 6pm-6am curfew on parties or social gatherings. “There were also problems with masks and social distancing,” an investigator explained.

Last December saw 52 French citizens fined when Belgian police raided an orgy held next door to a Covid-19 clinic in the Ardennes town of Saint-Mard, two miles over the border with France. 


A 97-year-old Covid survivor from Rome has been told she is 475,000 euro (£420,000) richer after she opened the drawer of an old sewing machine and discovered an investment bond bought by her late husband in 1986. The unnamed woman found the windfall late last year while cleaning her flat after being told to self isolate. She has since tested negative.

Her husband, a former army officer, invested 50 million lire of his forces pension in the ‘Q Series’ scheme run by the Italian post office. It has offered her 200,000 euros (£175,000) based on interest rates over the intervening 35 years, but a consumer group says guarantees made when the bond was issued mean that the real figure should be 19 times the original investment. A court decision is expected in March.


The former owner of a cleaning company in France’s Loire region is under self-imposed house arrest while she fights a legal battle to prove that she did not die in 2017.

Jeanne Pourchain, 58, was mistakenly declared dead by an appeals court in Lyon as it settled a long-running compensation claim by one of her former employees. She claims authorities have seized her car over an unpaid debt resulting from the error and she believes they will try to take her furniture if she leaves her home in the village of Saint Joseph.

Mme Pouchain’s family had already been told her driver’s licence was invalid because of her demise, together with her health insurance. Her husband has been blocked from using their joint bank account. Her lawyer Sylvain Cormier called the court decision a “grave error”.


A 50-year-old man who spent 11,000 euros (£9,600) of home-made money on prostitutes has been given a three-year suspended sentence in Basel.

The counterfeiter made his banknotes, which lacked security watermarks and were often printed upside-down, on an ordinary colour inkjet printer but initially fooled the women he hired by insisting on paying them in a darkened room. The judge said his work was so shoddy that even “a blind man could still see that the money was not real”.


A con man pretending to be Clint Eastwood’s son cheated a Polish woman out of 600,000 zloty (£118,000) by telling her the actor was too ill to pay his medical bills.

The woman from Piaseczno, 16 kilometres south of Warsaw, paid up over several months after being told 90-year-old Eastwood’s condition meant his bank account had been frozen.

Police are investigating whether the case is linked to that of a woman in Lublin, who called police in December after sending 45,000 zloty (£9,000) to a fraudster who she believed was Hollywood actor Will Smith.

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