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And also… stories from around the world you may have missed

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And also… stories from around the world you may have missed


Every Friday euronews’ different language journalists pick a selection of stories that didn’t make the top headlines around Europe and the world.

UK: Labour leader becomes sex symbol

Ed Miliband, the opposition leader and only true challenger to David Cameron as the next prime minister, has spent much of his political career being mocked for his apparent awkwardness.

Portrayed by right-wing sections of the media as a geek who has little in common with normal Britons, he has not helped himself by some unfortunate interviews and photo opportunities.

However, as the election approaches, a campaign has elevated him to the position of an unlikely sex symbol, receiving tens of thousands of pledges of love on social media

The campaign was started by a teenager called Abby who says she does not want to tell her parents as they are Conservative voters.

NZ Prime Minister in trouble over weird hair-pulling incidents

The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has apologised for pulling the ponytail of a waitress who accused him of bullying.

The waitress, who works in an Auckland café, said in a blog that Key had pulled her hair over several months.

Babushka’s dream come true: meeting Aznavour

A Russian woman has seen her lifetime dream come true: meeting French singer and composer Charles Aznavour.

About a month ago a journalist for Kommersant newspaper spotted 73-year-old Lidia Ivanovna staring at a photo of her idol, saying she fancied Joe Dassin as well and then suddenly burst into song, moving from Les Champs Elysees to the dreamy Dassin hit Et Si Tu N’Existais Pas and finishing with Je Ne Regrette Rien by the legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf.

The journalist wrote up the fleeting encounter and posted it and the video on Facebook, where it quickly drew nearly 400,000 viewers enchanted by the story of the singing babushka.

The entourage of 90-year-old Aznavour, who is due to perform in Moscow on April 22, wrote to Chernykh, saying the singer wanted to personally meet her backstage.

And then they met…. Aznavour offered her flowers and she sang for him. Here’s the video. Préparez vos mouchoirs.

Ukraine: professional holiday with a difference…

In the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, local policemen celebrated the National Police Day in an unusual manner. They gathered in a night-club and allegedly became very raucous after consuming a lot of alcohol. Witnesses say the policemen became aggressive with other customers, beat up one of them severely and eventually got into a fight with the club’s security. The management of the venue complained to the police and also alerted a local investigative journalist. Kherson’s prosecutor general’s office says an investigation has been started into a possible abuse of power by the officers.

There is a police reform underway in Ukraine in which the government is trying to bring the standards up to the European level, fighting notorious corruption and abuse of power, which police in many republics of the former Soviet Union are known for.


Police bust Spanish Gran Prix murder plan

Di Lauro clan targeted separatists in Spain for arms, logistics

Suspected members of a clan belonging to the Neapolitan Camorra mafia, arrested on Tuesday, are accused of planning to murder rival mobsters during the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Barcelona in April 2008. The Di Lauro clan based in Secondigliano had planned to assassinate 10 ‘separatists’ during a trip to the Catalonia capital in search of weapons and logistical support. However, a joint operation by the Italian and Spanish police, resulting from investigations in Italy, prevented the plan from being carried out. Early Tuesday police arrested 27 alleged affiliates of the Di Lauro clan on various charges including extortion and international drug trafficking, with availability of weapons and involvement of a minor as aggravating circumstances. The investigation turned up evidence of the management by the clan of the drugs trade in the Terzo Mondo and Berlingieri neighbourhoods using drugs imported from Spain.

Enjoy an espresso coffee in space

The SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft with a payload including Italian coffee was captured by a robotic arm and attached to the International Space Station on Friday, guided by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, with the assistance of NASA astronaut Terry Virts. The so-called “Dragon capsule” was launched from Earth on April 14 and loaded with scientific material for 40 experiments, along with supplies including an innovative Italian espresso machine. The Italian-made ISSpresso, the zero-gravity coffee machine, could innovate space food, the makers say.

ISSpresso marks the first time astronauts will have espresso in space.

Switzerland: no more photos with Saint Bernard dogs in Zermatt

The alpine town of Zermatt will ban the taking of photos with Saint Bernard dogs in front of the Matterhorn (mountain) because animal protectors had complained against the living conditions of the dogs. The Saint Bernards often have to wait for hours without moving or are held in an empty house in, according to the Swiss Animal Protection (STS), “not acceptable conditions”.

The website has published a report on the conditions of the dogs.

Turkey: gay porn ban upheld

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has upheld a law that stipulates a prison sentence for those who store “oral, anal, group, gay or lesbian” pornography on the grounds that they are “unnatural,” Turkish media reported on April 20.

The legal saga began when police raided a business in the western province of Aydın and confiscated a flash disk in which porn footage was found, according to a report in the daily Milliyet.

Dubai: how not to ask for directions!

Beware of getting lost in Dubai, especially if you are in a hurry. A Kazakh tourist found himself arrested after tapping the shoulder of a policewoman.

“She had her back to me and was talking with some other people,” the man explained. “I wanted to get her attention and ask for directions.”

The action was deemed to be harassment and the man found himself in trouble – he faces six months in prison and expulsion from the country if found guilty.

A verdict is expected on May 7th.

Morocco: “ghost train” travels 1.5 km without driver who went for a coffee

A train suddenly started to move away from the Kénitra station while the driver went off to get a coffee. The train travelled 1.5 kilometres “on its own” with its 20 passengers on board before coming to a stop. The Al Massae newspaper reports how surprised the driver was when he came back and saw the train moving.

The national railway company has acknowledged the incident on its Facebook page.


Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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