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MONDO EUROPE: Swiss female soldiers get own pants at last

Swiss army reservists wearing protective face masks arrive at Moudon military base on November 8, 2020 - Credit: Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Switzerland’s army has launched a drive to attract more female recruits by introducing standard-issue women’s underwear for the first time.

At present, female soldiers are issued with the same regulation undergarments used by men. Armasuisse, the Swiss armed forces’ procurement organisation, said that “previous army equipment and uniforms were too little or not at all geared to the specific needs of women.”

National service is compulsory for men in Switzerland, while women have to volunteer and so make up only 1% of the Swizz armed forces. The government hopes the new underwear will help raise the number of female recruits to 10% of the total by 2030.


A would-be driver from the central Polish city of Piotrków Trybunalski is taking his theory test for the 193rd time.

The unnamed 50-year-old – who was only 33 when he failed for the first time – has spent 1,300 euros (£1,106) on tests so far.

Test centre worker Dariusz Misztal said that 70 per cent of people who took the theory test passed as the first attempt. He added: “We all want this man to pass his theory test. Maybe when he does, he will pass the driving bit first time.”


A hunter from the Czech Republic is to be reunited with his rifle, four months after a deer he was about to shoot ran off with it.

The animal is said to have charged towards the hunter, causing him to drop his weapon. It then picked up his rifle with its antlers and ran off with it into a forest.

Jiří Matzner, a police officer in Český Krumlov, close to the border with Austria, said the gun had been found in a snowdrift, adding: “The rifle is rusty and the stock is swollen. It is also bashed-up, as if the deer had tried to get rid of it.” 


A suspected member of Calabria’s ‘Ndrangheta mafia who had been on the run for seven years was caught after posting YouTube videos of himself cooking Italian food.

Marc Feren Claude Biart, 53, was held in the Dominican Republic and extradited to Milan to face charges of trafficking cocaine to the Netherlands.

Police said that while Biart concealed his face in the cookery videos, he was identified by distinctive tattoos on his arms.


A man who persuaded a funeral home to let him pay a final farewell to his mother swapped her coffin with a fake full of rubbish bags.

The bizarre deception, in the southern Swedish town of Bjarne, came to light when the funeral director who had dropped the coffin off at the woman’s home en route to her funeral noticed it felt lighter when loaded back into the hearse.

The son told police he had made the swap in order to fulfil his mother’s last wish to be buried privately. 


The northern European craze for magnetic fishing caused road closures in Rude Skov, Denmark, when detectorists fished an unexploded World War II grenade out of a lake.

Experts had to be called in to detonate the device, shutting down route 265 between Skælskør and Næstved for several hours.

The magnetic fishermen, who used a powerful magnet instead of a hook and bait, were looking for old bicycles and other resaleable metal items.


A confused 88-year-old who drove into his local cemetery and knocked over 22 gravestones while trying to get out has been fined in Orzesze, near Katowice.

Police said that doctors would examine the man, who may have been suffering from a spatial orientation disorder, to determine if he should be allowed to keep his driving license.


Strasbourg police have been urged to crack down on street entertainers dressed as Disney characters who are sexually harassing local women.

The suspects, who wear Mickey Mouse and Winnie The Pooh costumes, commit their offences after approaching passers-by and offering to pose for selfies.

Johanna, a 17-year-old high school student from Strasbourg, said: “We were stopped by two men disguised as Mickey, who offered to take a picture. We thought it was nice, until the moment when they put their gloves on our hips and caressed our backs.”

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