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CRIME

Drunk inventors caught cruising in car-pool

German police were left speechless at the weekend when they stopped a group of inventive revellers cruising around town in a unique swimming-pool-car of their own creation - sloshing water onto the pavement at every turn.

Drunk inventors caught cruising in car-pool
Photo: Polizei Chemnitz

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in Eibenstock near Chemnitz, southern Saxony, as a lone police sergeant made his rounds on his motorbike, the local force said in a statement.

Suddenly, he saw the strangest-looking convertible he’d ever seen – a roofless BMW, without registration plates, bordered around the open top with wooden boards and fake plastic flowers. It was also full of water.

Aside from the driver, the car held three young males clad only in swimming trunks – one of whom was lolling on the boot with his feet dangling down into the vehicle. All of them appeared drunk, the police said.

The sergeant turned back to get a closer look, and ended up chasing the BMW as it sped off into a car park – losing much of its liquid load as it went.

The young men brought their invention to a halt and jumped out, fleeing across a nearby dry riverbed to watch proceedings from the safety of the opposite bank.

The policeman found the men had hollowed out the inside of the car, sealed and waterproofed it, before painting it blue and filling it with water.

Concerned that the men would try to reclaim their “car-pool” and make a getaway, the sergeant let the air out of the tyres, disconnected the spark plug leads and waited for backup to arrive as crowds of curious onlookers began to appear.

Eventually the driver returned to fetch his belongings from the boot. The visibly intoxicated 27-year-old, who insisted he hadn’t been driving the unregistered vehicle, was allowed to recover his shoes and wallet – in exchange for a blood sample.

Police said they were investigating the man on suspicion of drink-driving and of driving an uninsured, unregistered vehicle.

Even legal experts seemed baffled as to which or how many other traffic laws the drivable-pool-project may have violated.

DPA/The Local/jlb

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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