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MONDO EUROPE: Manure spillage covers German village

Volunteers leave the Lombrives cave in Ussat-les-Bains, south of France after spending 40 days without mobile phones or natural light - Credit: Photo by Fred Schieber/AFP via Getty Images

The German village of Wakendorf II, population 1428, was covered in a wave of liquid manure after the seal on a farm silo burst.

Locals said there was a “bestial” smell after the 230,000-litre holding tank, on a farm overlooking the village in Schleswig-Holstein, emptied its contents at 11am last Saturday. 

Christopher Möller, 22, said that the first property to be hit was a home with a carport containing five cars, a motorcycle and a boat. He said: “The vehicles were probably five centimetres deep in the liquid manure. I was in my rubber boots and grabbed a broom. It smelled so bestial. We then pushed the cars out with other neighbours.”

A 60-strong force from the local fire brigade re-sealed the silo and cleaned the streets with hoses, but could not stop the slurry flowing through the village’s sewer system into two of the six ponds on its local sewage farm. 

Fire department spokesman Christoph Rüter said: “We have now set up a blockade in front of the clarification ponds with a sealing cushion so that more manure does not get there. We have set up a water supply over two kilomtres long for the clarification ponds themselves and are now flushing them so that they do not tip over. “

Wakendorf II’s unusual name comes from the fact that there is another town, around 20km away, also called Wakendorf. 

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A woman from Lyon who ordered bed linen on the internet found the sheets arrived wrapped around thousands of ecstasy tablets.

The unnamed woman said she first thought of flushing the haul down the toilet, but was scared dealers would be trace her. She called her son and asked him to drive the package to the nearest police station, but as he told reporters, “If I had loaded all this in my car to go to the police station and had been arrested with 5 kg of ecstasy, the police would never have believed me and there it would have been a whole different story.”

They eventually called the police, who are investigating the delivery and have invited the dealers to contact them if they want their lost property returned.

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Salvatore Scumace, 67, has been fired from his job as a fire safety officer at a hospital in Catanzaro, Calabria, after he failed to turn up at work for 15 years.

Scumace, who earned a total of 538,000 euros (£467,320) during his career, was employed to monitor security cameras and hallways for fire emergencies. Neighbours said he had told them he was already retired.

He could now face charges including abuse of office, forgery and aggravated extortion as part of a police investigation into absenteeism by public workers.

Scumace’s lawyer, Luca de Munda, said the case was “very complex and in an embryonic stage, too early to comment.”

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A family in Eksjö, Sweden, had an unexpected guest for Sunday lunch – a moose which jumped in through their living room window.

The animal injured itself but managed to escape. Half an hour later, a motorist living nearby reported that a bloody moose had bumped into his car before running away.

Police said the matter was now in the hands of the municipal moose hunter.

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Freedom-loving monkeys have broken out of a zoo in Löffingen, Baden-Württemberg for the third time in two weeks.

In the latest incident, ten Barbary macaques got out of their enclosure and were found “hanging around” in a nearby forest.

That followed a breakout three days earlier by four monkeys. Three of the escapees were recaptured after they were spotted sitting by a motorway.

The big jailbreak came a fortnight ago, when 24 of the animals managed to make their way through a fence in their enclosure before being found and returned.

Zoo officials say construction work in the park might be to blame for the rash of monkey disappearances.

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Ten of the 15 people who lived in a damp, dark cave in southern France for 40 days and nights as part of a scientific experiment asked to go straight back in to finish projects they had begun.

The group of seven women and eight men, aged between 27 and 50, spent their time in the  Lombrives cave at Ussat-les-Bains without natural light, mobile phones, watches or any contact with the outside world. The temperature inside was 10 degrees celsius with relative humidity of  100%. 

Scientists say the experiment will help them better understand how people adapt to drastic changes in living conditions and environments.

They reported that, relying only on their own biological clocks, many of the participants had lost track of time and thought they still had another week to 10 days to spend underground.

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Austria’s new health minister, Woflgang Mückstein, has blamed a marriage split for a photo of him wearing grey New Balance trainers at a formal swearing-in ceremony with president Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna.

The 46-year-old GP, who has been nicknamed Dr Cool, had earlier tweeted a photo of himself arriving for the ceremony by tram.

Mückstein, a Green Party member, told journalists that most of his clothes and shoes were in storage after he left the family home last December. He has since presented a coronavirus update press conference while wearing trainers and jeans.