Every Friday, journalists from euronews’ various language teams choose a selection of stories from across the world which failed to make international headlines.
Iran goalkeeper Sosha Makani banned for wearing SpongeBob SquarePants trousers
Iran goalkeeper Sosha Makani has been suspended for six months after wearing what was described as SpongeBob SquarePants trousers. A photo was posted online of the 29-year-old – who has three caps – before a game for club side Persepolis.
Iran has strict clothing laws and ISNA news agency said the penalty was for “inappropriate conduct”. The Iranian football federation’s morality committee cited Makani’s clothing as one reason for the ban. The photo was initially posted on social media on 6 May, causing the country’s media to liken Makani’s trousers to the American animation character.
A large sinkhole closed down part of the Canadian capital on Wednesday and forced the evacuation of businesses a few blocks from the national parliament, three weeks before Ottawa is due to host a summit of the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States. The sinkhole formed on a normally busy downtown street in an area that has been under construction for Ottawa’s new light-rail transit system. City officials said the cause of the sinkhole was still unknown but earlier gas and water leaks have been contained.
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Monkey causes nationwide blackout in Kenya
Kenya’s power generation company says a monkey caused a three-hour nationwide blackout. The Kenya Electricity Generation Company said in a statement late Tuesday that a monkey climbed onto the roof of the Gitaru Power Station in central Kenya and fell onto a transformer, tripping it.
The company said this caused other machines in the station to trip, resulting in the loss of 180MW from the plant, triggering a national blackout. The blackout lasted more than three hours before power was restored. The company said that its facility is secured with an electric fence, and that this was an isolated incident.
Finland’s national mail carrier, Posti, is running a competition to find the best sauna-related images, and says the stamps will share a key aspect of Finnish culture with the rest of the world, the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper reports.
Finns are being encouraged to send in eye-catching photos of sauna buildings, “interesting sauna details”, or sauna paraphernalia such as hot stoves or birch twigs. The four best submissions will be adorning Finnish letters from next spring. “Images on stamps travel around the world and spread the image of Finland in their own right,” says Tommi Kantola, Posti’s design manager.
The company has succeeded in making a splash with its stamp choices before: in 2014, it released a set featuring the homo-erotic artwork of Tom of Finland. There was huge international interest, although one Finnish supermarket refused to stock them and a Russian lawmaker asked Finns not to send them across the border.
Greek unions protest against ad’s ‘sexist’ image of nurses
A rather racy advertisement, aimed at encouraging blood donation in Greece, may have seemingly backfired. However, the campaign organisers are staunchly defending the contested video clip, saying that the use of satire was for a good cause.
The rather “suggestive” advertisement features nurses wearing red stilettos, mini-skirts and “inappropriate cleavage”, notes the Greek Reporter. The ad’s slogan also reads: “Now you too can be a hero.”
Both the Greek State Hospital Workers’ union and the Nursing Association have slammed the video, which they claim is sexist and is an insult to their profession. The Greek government gender quality watchdog has also joined the foray accusing the advert of promoting gender bias.
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French special forces down Big Macs to foil McDo heist
When two men decided to rob a McDonald’s in eastern France they hadn’t expected to come face to face with a table of hungry soldiers from an elite military force. The armed men burst into the fast food outlet in the commune of Ecole-Valentin late Sunday, with one firing a warning shot while the other raided the till for cash. But amongst the around 40 diners in the burger joint were 11 members of an elite branch of the French Armed Forces — particularly hardened soldiers who specialise in hostage situations.
The off-duty soldiers waited for the end of the heist to intervene so as not to put other patrons in danger, Besancon public prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot said on Monday.
The first man, who was carrying around 2,000 euros cash, stumbled as he attempted to flee and was captured, while the other was shot in the abdomen by one of the elite forces and arrested.
Out Of Control Soviet Tank Crashes Into Polish Disco
A decommissioned Soviet-era tank crashed the party this weekend when it slammed into a disco in Poland during a promotional bid gone awry, the club owner said. No one was hurt in the incident, which happened Saturday afternoon before customers began arriving at the “Mono Club” venue in Szubin, northern Poland.
“The brakes and steering failed as I was moving the vehicle in front of the club,” Rafal Pasionek, owner of the tank and club, told AFP. Pasionek and onlookers are heard swearing profusely during the incident, which was captured on video by an employee at the disco.
“I was incredibly lucky that the vehicle went right between the posts flanking the entrance – otherwise there would have been a lot of damage,” Pasionek added.
The clip was broadcast nation-wide by Polish media on Monday, after having gone viral on the Internet.
Hundreds were laying before busiest train station of Budapest
Around 200 people particpated in a flashmob organised by Hungarian Greenpeace activists in Budapest on Monday. They were laying on the floor at the gate of Keleti Pàlyaudvar (the main train station at Budapest) listening to the sound of chainsaws. The two-minute performance (represented trees which will be cut down in the biggest parks&from nord-coast of the Danube) was meant to protest against the planned modifications in Budapest’s parks which are seen as giving greater space to new constructions.
Giant inflatable dog drop disappears from Spanish town
Spain’s civil guard are investigating the mysterious theft of a giant inflatable dog turd. The 3-metre high blow-up poop was part of a local clean-up campaign in the city of Torrelodones, close the capital Madrid. Spain’s El Pais reports that local authorities are becoming increasingly creative about how they impart the message that owners should pick up after their dogs’ have answered a call of nature. One town allegedly mailed back the droppings to pet owners’ while others are using DNA testing to create a “dirty” dog database.