Emmanuel Macron’s wife Brigitte is to take legal action over social media claims that she is transgender.
A conspiracy theory, thought to have originated in a now-deleted YouTube video, claims that the 63-year-old was born Jean-Michel Trogneux before having gender reassignment surgery.
It does not explain how she managed to give birth to three children with her previous husband, banker André-Louis Auzière, French conspiracy theory expert Tristan Mendès-France blamed “AntiMacron opportunists, ready to do anything to prove his corruption, including dirtying the image of his wife.” Right-wing groups have previously accused Jacinda Ardern and Michelle Obama of being transgender, while Macron was the subject of allegations that he had a homosexual affair with Matthieu Galet, head of Radio France.
Alien enthusiast Werner Jaisli, who left Switzerland to set up a ’UFO landing strip’ in an Argentine desert near the city of Cachi, has died, aged 71.
Jaisli became famous locally in 2008 when he began piling up white stones in the shape of stars and swirls to attract extraterrestrials. Seen from above, his creations resemble the designs of so-called ‘crop circles’ in the UK.
He and a friend claimed to have been given the design via “telepathic message” from a UFO which “stopped about 100 metres above our heads and projected a beam of light onto us”.
Although Jaisli fell from grace in recent years – in 2018 he was briefly jailed for stealing a tourist’s wallet – his ’alien airport’ was granted special status in 2020 and the mayor of Cachi granted him an honorary funeral mass in recognition of his impact on local tourism.
Public sex on Gran Canaria’s beaches is damaging one of Europe’s last mobile sand dunes, according to the Journal of Environmental Management.
A report said the semi-vegetated dunes of Maspalomas, which drift naturally, have suffered severe damage because of their popularity with swingers.
Jellyfish-eating giant lizards are dying out after eating discarded condoms and cigarette butts, while dune hummocks covered in plants – known to the locals as ’nebkhas’ – are being trampled as pleasure-seekers build nests for sex, also cutting branches off trees and shrubs to make a semi-private space.
The report said around 5,800 square metres of what is known as a transgressive – i.e. mobile – dune fields had been affected. Europe has almost no transgressive dune fields left after the building of holiday resorts and other development along its coasts in the last half-century.
An argument between two dog owners in Eisenach, Germany, ended with one biting the other on the leg.
A police spokesman said they were deciding whether to charge a 51-year-old woman with bodily harm after a quarrel that began when a 27-year-old claimed to have seen her hitting her pet during a walk on Christmas Eve.
A spokesperson said: “She says she told the older woman ’you don’t raise a dog like that’. An argument ensued and there was a tussle, during which the older woman fell. She says she did not know what else to do, so she bit her opponent on the calf.”
The spokesperson added that both dogs had “just watched the fight and there was no biting between them”.
Researchers who installed seismographs at the summit of the Matterhorn have discovered that the mountain is wobbling – but very gently.
The 4,478m peak vibrates by a few nanometres every two seconds, though since a nanometre is one-millionth of a millimetre, the phenomenon is not visible to the naked eye.
Samuel Weber of the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos said the movement is caused by seismic waves that also affect winds and tides, and can also be seen in the slight vibrations felt at the top of high-rise buildings or on tall bridges.
A Belgian was arrested in Charleroi while queuing for what would have been his ninth dose of coronavirus vaccine.
Police said the man had been offering his services for cash to vaccine sceptics who wanted to obtain a Covid passport for use in bars.
The ‘safe tickets’ became mandatory in Belgium on November 1, but the government is pondering whether to introduce mandatory vaccination as the Omnicom variant spreads.
The country’s anti-vaxx kickboxing champion Frederic ’The Undertaker’ died of Covid-19 in late December after discharging himself from a Liege hospital to treat what he called “the little virus” with oxygen.