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MONDO EUROPE: France’s unsafe safe robbers are totally crackers

BLUE COLLAR: One of 13 stray dogs found with bright blue fur in Dzerzhinsk; the animals were taken in to the care of vets - Credit: Mikhail Solunin/TASS

The news you might have missed from around Europe, selected by Steve Anglesey.

A group of hapless would-be thieves were arrested in Nancy, north-east France, after a disastrous attempt to rob a friend’s stash of several thousand euros.

Two men, one armed with a hunting rifle, aborted their first raid when a woman they did not know answered the door, leading them to believe they were at the wrong address. After checking where the friend lived, they mounted a second attempt the next day, but were chased away by a man wielding a hammer.

The pair ran to the meeting point for their getaway car and found the driver gone but the keys still in the ignition. With their pursuer closing on them, they drove away but were quickly stopped by a police patrol enforcing the local 10pm curfew.

Police spotted the rifle and were questioning the duo when the would-be getaway driver turned up to claim his vehicle. All three were arrested, and two have since been remanded in custody while the third was released under judicial supervision.


Dogs with brightly-coloured fur have been spotted in two Russian cities hundreds of kilometres apart but each renowned for their chemical plants.

Seven blue dogs were discovered wandering around an abandoned plexiglass factory in Dzerzhinsk, near Nizhny Novgorod, while green dogs were seen near an abandoned warehouse 450km away in Podolsk, which lies about an hour’s drive south of Moscow.

All the animals appeared to be healthy when tested and there is speculation that both sets of dogs may have rolled in leftover dye rather than suffering a chemical reaction.


One of Czechia’s key coronavirus advisers has been sacked after being spotted in a crowd watching Slavia Prague, just hours after he demanded the country be put into a hard lockdown.

Roman Prymula, a former health minister, was caught on camera in a group of VIPs including tennis player Petra Kvitová as Slavia faced Leicester City in the Europa League. Prime minister Andrej Babiš said: “Mr Prymula is a great expert on epidemics, but he lacks social intelligence.”

Prymula, who is a professor of epidemiology, said: “I had a negative test two hours before wearing a mask at a football match where spectators were allowed. I note that I did not have any holidays this year, let alone foreign ones. It seems that I am only allowed to be at home.”


A Ukrainian who phoned police and told them he had stabbed a man to death at his home has admitted he did so just to get them to clear the snow from the road to his house.
The unnamed man, from the northern city of Chernihiv, said he had killed his mother’s partner and that officers should bring a snowplough when they came to arrest him because “it was not possible to reach his house otherwise”.

When police arrived they found the alleged victim safe and well. The caller then admitted he had been unhappy with the way the road had been cleared earlier and hoped they would finish the job. He has been charged with wasting police time and faces a fine of up  to 119 hryvnias (£3).


The mayor of an Austrian ski resort that is closed to everyone but locals because of Covid restrictions has complained about a loophole used by British and Scandinavian tourists so they can use the slopes.

Though hotels in the Tyrolean Alpine resort of St Anton are closed until mid-March, Helmut Mall says dozens of visitors have dodged the ban by registering themselves as available for work in the town, allowing them to stay in local hostels.

He said: “I can guarantee nobody is currently looking for work, because there are currently no jobs.”


Police in Puglia have warned locals to stop walking their dogs, “approach trees with caution” and to not get out of their cars if they hit an animal while driving as sightings of a black panther continued in the region.

There is speculation that the big cat, which has been spotted in countryside near Bari, might have escaped from a domestic home as the popular Italian crime drama Gomorrah features a gangster who keeps a panther in his Naples flat.


Two Danes were awarded 2,500 kroner (£290) each after successfully arguing that a golf course’s offer of free green fees to women as part of a tournament to aid breast cancer charities discriminated against them as men.

Denmark’s Equal Treatment Board also upheld a complaint from the unnamed pair about a pub’s Ladies Night promotion which gave free shots of alcohol to female customers but not to men.

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