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French Prime Minister Jean Castex’s sheepish reception at the fair

From politicians unwelcome reception at the Salon de l’Agriculture trade fair to a woman in Berlin claiming she is in a relationship with a model plane - weird news you may have missed form Europe

Sheep flock to the Champs Élysées in Paris after the annual agricultural fair. Photo: Antoine Gyori/Corbis

Shepherds walked 2,022 sheep down the Champs-Élysées to mark the end of the Salon de l’Agriculture trade fair, which attracts farmers and breeders from all over the world to Paris.

The animals got a warmer reception than the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, and the prime minister, Jean Castex, who were booed by crowds.


A Berlin firm has invented a new, climate-friendly form of burial in which a body lies on hay, straw and flowers in a coffin-like “cocoon” that uses microorganisms and “modern green technology” to break the corpse down into organic material in just 40 days. The remains are then removed from the cocoon and placed in a grave only 30cm deep.

The scheme, which saves CO2 compared with cremation, is being trialled at a church in Mölln, Schleswig-Holstein, and has been approved by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in northern Germany. A spokesperson said: “Even the end of life has an impact on the ecological footprint of every human being.”


A 28-year-old airport worker from Budapest says she is in a relationship with a £500 model plane.

The woman, known only as Sandra, said that while she felt pangs of desire for real planes at work, it was the real thing with the toy, which she has christened “Luffancs”. “He’s beautiful and my soulmate,” she said. “I get to do everything with him.”

She admitted that she often touched or blew kisses to other planes at work, but insisted: “I have something special and I am not prepared to ruin it. I’m not too sure if I will go back to a human relationship. Planes are more reliable as partners.”


A missing €5,000 (£4,190) that caused a two-year police investigation and a rift between high school leavers at a school in Enns, Austria, has turned up exactly where two of the students insisted it had always been – in the night safe of a local bank where they left it after their graduation ball.

An envelope, one of four stuffed with cash from the party’s entrance fee and bar, had been jammed in a chute behind the safe’s rotating mechanism, but worked its way loose last week. The bank has offered to fund a class reunion, but the head of the leavers’ committee revealed that bad blood remained between the students who came under suspicion and their former classmates.

Julian Oberreiter said: “An unpleasant aftertaste remains. Unfortunately, the hasty prejudice against the students concerned clearly shows that friendships really do end when there is money.”


Croatian TV star Igor Mešin has assured fans he is fine after appearing to be in a confused state as he hosted the first episode of the country’s version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Mešin, a popular actor who has become known for hosting talent shows, muttered and stammered throughout the show, making it hard for viewers to understand him. He said: “I have been struggling with an acute allergy for the last few days and last night was not easy for me. Before the show, I took a pill that had tricky side-effects when you have to do a live show in the role of host. Thanks to the audience for understanding.”


A Czech man was arrested in Florence after setting fire to a black sheet that had been draped over a copy of Michelangelo’s David in the Piazza della Signoria as a gesture of solidarity with Ukraine.

Police said the perpetrator was already known to them, having been arrested in 2018 for hitting the artist Marina Abramović over the head with a painting.


Luxembourg cyclist Kevin Geniets was forced to abandon the Paris-Nice race after a gust of wind blew a metal sponsorship board on to him, knocking him off his bike.

The road race champion was going through the media mixed zone, where broadcasters conduct interviews, just before the penultimate stage seven in Nice. Geniets, 25, fell to the floor clutching his ankle and grimacing in pain after the incident. He started the stage, but was forced to withdraw shortly afterwards.

It was the latest incident to befall the race, which has seen 50 of the 154 original riders withdraw as outbreaks of flu, sinusitis and bronchitis have ripped through the peloton.


A drunk man who shocked churchgoers in Bremen, Germany, by waving a replica gun around before urinating against a pillar was overpowered by one of the clergy.

Onlookers said the church worker punched the man, kicked the gun out of his hands and then carried out a citizen’s arrest.

Police warned against carrying replica guns to prevent the risk of being shot by police, but did not mention the dangers of urinating against pillars.

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