Tall Tales

Rats are ‘victims of prejudice’, says Paris councillor

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A rat

Rats are victims of human prejudice and should be renamed to remove the stigma that afflicts them, according to a councillor in Paris. Douchka Markovic, who is responsible for animal welfare and pest control, said the rodents “play an important role in the sewers by evacuating hundreds of tonnes of waste and unblocking the pipes”. Markovic has faced opposition for her views, said The Times, as rodents are “running riot” in the French capital.

Man becomes Italy’s oldest graduate

A 98-year-old man has become Italy’s oldest graduate for the second time. Giuseppe Paterno has added a masters in history and philosophy from the University of Palermo to a previous degree in the same subjects which he earned there two years ago. Paterno’s family announced on Facebook that he had passed the latest degree with top marks. Born in 1923, Paterno wasn’t able to go to university as a young man because he served in the navy during World War Two from the age of 20, said Reuters.

Man protests outside wrong hotel

A man who drunkenly protested in front of a hotel because staff wouldn’t let him access his room was moved on by police – because he had the wrong building. Officers were called to deal with an intoxicated man lying in protest on the pavement outside of the Premier Inn in Bournemouth, reported The Metro. “He laid on the floor in protest,” said the force. “Officers returned him to the hotel he had a booking for over the road.”

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