Quirky World: Baker fires homeless hero who saved his life

Jerome Aucant: Was to be left the bakery in Dole, France.

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

FRANCE: A French baker who promised to give his business to the homeless man that saved his life has fired him instead.

Michel Flamant was close to dying of carbon monoxide poisoning when Jerome Aucant, the homeless man, raised the alarm. Flamant caused a minor media sensation by pledging to sell his business to Aucant for €1.

The 62-year-old said the abrupt change came after he went to his bakery shortly before midnight and found his would-be successor had invited a bunch of friends to drink on the premises in his absence.

“Last week, I returned to the bakery at 10.30, 11 at night as usual, and discovered that Jerome had set up a bar of sorts with wine and beer, and all his homeless friends in the oven room. I told him this was not part of the deal,” Flamant told state radio channel France Bleu.

“Tempers rose and he started insulting me, so I told him to pack his bags and go,” said the baker, who was saved when Jerome spotted him staggering around his bakery after a carbon monoxide leak.

Flamant, who had known Aucant for a long time, had handed over a set of keys to his premises in the eastern Jura region and started training the saviour-turned-successor.

Luxury loo


The Chinese government’s latest plan to perk up its slowing economy is based on the humble rice cooker and luxury toilet seats.

The development plan issued this week strikes a blow for China’s consumers, calling for better products to help create an economy driven by domestic consumption instead of trade and investment.

The cabinet document lays out an unusually detailed wish list: Better electric rice cookers, kitchen appliances, “smart toilet seats”, and smartphones.

China makes most of the world’s consumer electronics, furniture, and toys, but domestic brands are of uneven quality. The country has been plagued by repeated scandals over shoddy or fake food, medicine and other goods.

The latest plan says its goals are part of the ruling Communist Party’s campaign to make the state-dominated economy more productive by shrinking bloated companies in steel and other industries.

Sheep rustlers


Detectives are appealing for help after 450 sheep were stolen from a farm.

Investigators say the theft in Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway would have required careful planning as the animals were on grazing land covering thousands of acres. The stolen Cheviot sheep are worth an estimated £60,000 (€76,000).

Police want to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the 24 hours after 5pm on Sunday.

Lights out


When the announcement came over the public address system that someone had left their car lights on, Rochdale midfielder Callum Camps immediately began looking for some help.

The 20-year-old Camps happened to be on the field at that moment playing against Gillingham in a third-division soccer match.

“I was listening because the ball was out of play, and as soon as I heard the [registration] I was thinking, ‘that’s my number plate’,” Camps told BBC Radio Manchester. “I thought I’d blocked someone in, so I said to [teammate] Jamie Allen: ‘That’s my car, that’.”

Camps quickly found some help on the sidelines. “I looked over to [head of sports science] Kevin Gibbins and said, ‘My car’s just been read out, can you sort it out?’”

Camps went on to a score late in the first half to give his team the lead in the eventual 1-1 draw on Tuesday night.


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