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Big Mac’s legal plans in Italy are left in ruins

A legal bid by McDonald’s to build a drive-through in close proximity to some ruins in Rome has been ended by Italy's highest court.

The ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, still majestic even without the Golden Arches. Photo: Frank Bienewald/Getty.

Italy’s highest court has ruled against a bid by McDonald’s to build a drive-through restaurant next to the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. The judgment ends a three-year legal battle to protect the site, which dates from about AD216, and was home to Rome’s second-largest public baths, as well as gardens, a library and a temple.

McDonald’s have now scrapped plans for a 250-seat restaurant, but say they want to add to their 54 existing branches in the Italian capital. In 2019, they were denied permission to build a new outlet next to the Pantheon.

Ambitious thieves in Stabłowice, Poland, didn’t bother stealing cash, equipment or meat from a local butcher – they took her entire shop instead.

Passers-by watched as criminals used a crane to lift the shop, built into a repurposed shipping container, on to a flat-bed lorry before driving it away.

The owner has now managed to locate the stolen container and hopes to reopen once she has replaced her stock and equipment.

A drunk man who phoned German police and asked them to come to his flat in Limbach-Oberfrohna calmly led officers to a shrine to Adolf Hitler, surrounded by weapons.

Police said they confiscated items from an altar-like structure, including photographs of Hitler, Nazi memorabilia, an ammunition belt, three knives and two sets of brass knuckles, fitted with blades. Their owner, 53, has been hospitalised.

A Sicilian mafia fugitive who had been on the run for nearly two decades has been arrested in Spain after police spotted him on Google Street View.

Gioacchino Gammino, 61, was held in Galapagar, near Madrid, where he had been living under the false name of Manuel and operating a grocery shop and a restaurant.

Police said they had been working on intelligence that Gammino was living in the Spanish capital’s suburbs, and moved in after Google’s cameras caught him standing outside the grocer’s, called El Huerto de Manu, or Manu’s Orchard.

Gammino, a boss of the Stidda mafia group in Agrigento, Sicily, was convicted of murder and jailed for life in 1989 but escaped from Rome’s Rebibbia prison in 2002 while a film was being made there.

A 10-year-old girl in Linköping, Sweden, has been told she is not eligible to get her school bus as she lives six metres too close.

Elsa Liljeberg must make the 45-minute walk to the Fridtunaskolan instead, passing through an estate where drugs are sold openly and where there have been two shootings in the past year.

Elsa’s mother, Johanna, says the school has explained that their free transport is available only to students who live 3,000m or more from the school. The distance to her flat’s front gate is 2,994m. She said: “If they want to be like that, they should count the distance from our gate up to the apartment, then we have six metres.”

France’s official authority on matters relating to the French language has called for the country’s identity cards to be scrapped because of their “excessive” use of English translations.

Every category on the biometric cards carries a translation next to the French original, enraging the Academie Française. “It’s an absurdity”, it said in a statement. “French is the language of the republic.”

The academie said it was appealing to president Macron to issue new cards without translations, but would not rule out legal action if he failed to comply. Their stance was praised by hard-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who thanked the institution for “defending our language in the face of the continued invasion of English” and said it was “time to elect a president proud of French and of French culture”.

Spain has passed a shared pet custody law that means divorced couples will have to split time with their cats and dogs as they would with a child. The rules cover all pets, and one party can object to sharing only if their former partner mistreats the animal, or has a history of cruelty to animals.

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