QUIRKY WORLD ... Swiss grab bull by the horns with incursion

SWITZERLAND: Swiss army helicopters have crossed the Franco-Swiss border in an unexpected incursion — to help thirsty Swiss cows.

QUIRKY WORLD ... Swiss grab bull by the horns with incursion

The aerial operation to scoop up water caught authorities responsible for Rousses Lake in the Jura mountains by surprise.

The helicopters also startled swimmers and fishermen enjoying the beaches of the lake in eastern France. Christophe Mathez, deputy mayor of the Les Rousses commune, said officials had “no idea this operation would occur” — and that the Swiss neither requested authorisation or nor warned before descending.

Swiss media reported the country’s military did ask for permission — but from the French airforce, not local authorities or police. “As soon as they contacted us, we realised there was a communication problem and we immediately stopped,” Denis Froidevaux, a Swiss military official, told the Swiss newspaper Le Matin.

Mathez said Les Rousses authorities are not “mad at our neighbours,” but as of yesterday the village was still waiting for clarification.

The Swiss army has been pumping water for livestock from its own Neuchatel and Joux lakes since last week, according to a statement from the Swiss Department of Defence. The federal government is bankrolling the operation, expected to continue no longer than August 4, with military aid disaster relief funds.

Rocky returns

USA:

A dog that went missing from a Mesa home two years ago is back after journeying

almost 3,000km.

KPHO-TV in Phoenix reported that Rocky, a boxer, was welcomed home Sunday morning by his owners.

Brittany Romero and her son, Aden Wasil, thought they might never see Rocky again despite the dog being micro-chipped.

Romero says the dog was last seen darting out of the home in 2013 and was nowhere to be found.

But then Romero recently got a call from an animal clinic in Elkhart, Indiana, alerting her that Rocky had been found. Numerous volunteers with Highway Heroes Rescue Transport, a nonprofit that reunites lost pets from great distances, split the drive it took to bring Rocky back.

Naughty ride

ENGLAND:

Boris Johnson “should have known better” when he gave his wife a “backie” on a bicycle, a cycling charity has said.

The mayor of London has been criticised for peddling his barrister wife Marina Wheeler through the city late at night on a bicycle designed for one person.

Sam Jones, from CTC, said the mayor’s actions were “very naughty” and said “he should have known better”.

Jumping for joy

ENGLAND:

A great-grandmother who decided to try skydiving for the first time aged 89 has described the jump as “a chance of a lifetime”.

Joan Wells, from Dornoch in the Highlands, volunteers for the charity Blythswood Care and put herself forward for the skydive when the opportunity to do an abseil challenge fell through.

Wells, who is believed to be the oldest person in Scotland to have done a skydive, said she took part in the 10,000ft jump because she had never done one before.

Two for price of one

USA:

One traffic stop netted two drunk-driving arrests in Vermont after police say a backseat passenger jumped in the driver’s seat.

State police stopped a car on Sunday on Interstate 91 in Rockingham after it was clocked doing 170k/m.

Authorities got driver Erik Polite out of the car before Leeshawn Baker took his place behind the wheel. Both are charged with driving under the influence, gross negligent operation, and drug possession.

They were jailed in lieu of bail.

Off the rails

ENGLAND:

A rail operator had been warned of cows on the track almost an hour before a train hit two of the stray cattle and derailed.

A driver reported seeing a cow on the line between Wye and Chilham in Kent, Network Rail said.

The sighting was investigated, but nothing was found before the collision at around 9.40pm. Sixty-five passengers were evacuated. No one was hurt.

An earnest effort

USA:

A white-bearded Florida man has won an Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest on his 15th attempt.

Retired air traffic controller Charlie Boice of Palm Beach Gardens won the competition at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a favourite venue of the author when he lived in Key West in the 1930s.

Slow start

USA:

A robot’s hitch-hiking journey across the US is off to a slow start.

HitchBOT caught its first ride in Marblehead, Massachusetts, last week, bound for San Francisco, but it still hasn’t left the state. Instead, it has bounced around the Boston area and was briefly taken to sea. On Friday, the humanoid robot took in a Red Sox game.

The robot is immobile and relies on strangers to transport it from place to place.

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