Every Friday journalists from euronews’ various language teams choose a selection of stories from Europe and beyond which did not reach the international headlines. Here are some of them.
Real-life action man travels five kilometres on roof of own stolen car
Osama Aoukili, from Bellignat in France, clung to the roof of his own car for five kilometers to try and stop it from being stolen.
Still clinging with one hand to the top of his moving car, he managed to dial the police with the other hand.
voiture 5 km
The rodeo scene worthy of an action film saw him travelling the streets of Oyonnax, then onto the A404 motorway at speeds of up to 130km/h. The thief was eventually apprehended, and will be presented to the prosecutor’s office. The victim came away with scratches, explaining his reaction as ‘impulsive’.
Singing foetuses cause controversy in Italy
This February, the San Remo Festival will be held for the 67th time. For the occasion the press office of Italy’s national broadcasting channel, RAI, published a promo of the festival. The video is set in a busy gynecologist’s waiting room, where we see one woman listening to music with earphones. The camera pans to her uterus, where we see first one, then three foetuses singing a version of “I have no age”, a song by Gigliola Cinquetti released more than 50 years ago.
Some viewers have accused the video of carrying a message from the country’s Ministry of Health, an attempt to force the pro-life message after the sabotage of a recent campaign that promoted fertility.
Sweden’s best-selling car is not a Volvo
For the first time in over half a century, the best-selling car in Sweden is not a Volvo. The honour was taken by the Volkswagen Golf, which racked up 5.9% of new car sales last year.
Volvo losing out to Volkswagen in Sweden will surprise some, given the robust year the carmaker has had. Volkswagen, by contrast suffered a massive blow to its reputation when the emissions scandal broke in late 2015.
The last time another car brand knocked the Swedish icon off the top spot in its motherland was in 1962, and it was also a Volkswagen: The Beetle.
Despite the VW Golf’s bumper Swedish sales in 2016, Volvo is still the pre-eminent brand in the country. According to the BBC, just over 20% of cars on Swedish roads are Volvos, compared to just over 15% for Volkswagen.
German man wakes up to find front door bricked over
Police say a man in western Germany woke up to discover his front door had been bricked up. The man who lives in Mainhausen, near Frankfurt, is reported to have been leaving his house on Monday morning when he found that an unknown perpetrator had – quietly and without attracting anyone’s attention – built a wall over the doorway during the night.
A police statement said the man “must have felt like a Berliner in August 1961,” referring to East Germany’s unannounced sealing of its border with the Berlin Wall. The police do not yet know whether a prank, a dare or an act of revenge is behind the wall.
Biggest dog in the world
Freddy the Great Dane has officially been declared the world’s largest dog by the Guinness World Records. The four-year-old dog lives with owner Claire Stoneman in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, Great Britain.
The pooch stands at a whopping 2.28 metres tall and weighs in at 92kg. According to his owner, Freddy loves to eat chicken and peanut butter and enjoys destroying sofas: so far 23 have met an untimely end.
Along with Freddy’s sister Fleur, Miss Stoneman spends more than £10,000 a year on her pets and shares her king-size bed with Freddy. “They are children to me… because I haven’t had any kids,” Miss Stoneman explains. “They need me and it’s quite nice to be needed,” she added.
Hollywood becomes Hollyweed
The iconic sign erected on the hills overlooking Los Angeles has been transformed as part of a New Year prank celebrating California’s vote to legalise recreational marijuana. Zach Fernandez and his ex-wife, Sarah Fern, both artists, began planning the trick two months ago. A security camera captured them on the night of December 31 draping tarpaulin on the famous sign in order to alter the nearly 14-metre-tall letters changing “Hollywood” into “Hollyweed”.
BLOUIN ARTINFO (@artinfodotcom) 4 janvier 2017
On Sunday, at roughly 3 am local time (11:00 GMT), they dressed in black and climbed the landmark to change the sign’s two O’s into E’s. The prank took 3 hours and cost 35 dollars.
Local university students had a history of doing similar pranks to the sign in the 1980s. Other alterations of the landmark were done in the following decade.
Eight tonnes of food saved by Hungarian foundation
The Food not Bombs Foundation in Budapest had a great year in 2016, saving 7,800kg of food during the year and transforming it into 10,400 hot meals which were offered to people in need.
The organisation said: “We have tried to improve the FNB Budapest chapter in many ways. We are so proud that we could launch the ‘More than a Meal’ extra food sharing service every other Saturday. We are glad we have a lot of volunteers taking part in weekend actions and the interest is more significant then before. Next year we’ll have more news. Many thanks for your yearly support, let’s also meet in 2017!”