Dogs recruited to protect German sheep from wolves

German officials wanting to protect their sheep from wolves are calling in the experts, two Pyrenean mountain dogs named Ben and

Saxony state environment minister Frank Kupfer said Tuesday the services of the specially trained dogs are now available to worried shepherds.  The dogs, a breed that has guarded German livestock for centuries, will protect sheep if Saxony’s wolves ignore obstacles such as electric fences.

Wolves are protected and have established themselves in parts of Germany over the past decade.  Official figures show Saxony, on Germany’s borders with Poland and the Czech Republic, has 45 wild wolves living in five packs, the biggest population in the country.

Wolves have killed some 200 sheep in the German region over recent years.


German bride spends first night with crate of vodka

A bride in Germany spent her wedding night passed out next to a crate of vodka in the back seat of a car and had to be rescued by police when the BMW began to overheat in the sun.

Police in the western city of Cologne said on Monday the inebriated 30-year-old remained unconscious even after they smashed the car window to get her out.

“Only after being shaken several times did she eventually regain consciousness,” police said in a statement.

Still clad in her wedding dress, the dazed woman had to scramble through the broken window because she had no idea where the car keys or her husband were, police said.

Somali pirates get $2.7 mln ransom for German ship

Somali pirates holding a German ship with five Germans, three Russians, two Ukrainians and 14 Filipinos on board have received a $2.7 million ransom and are counting it before releasing the ship.

The German-flagged container vessel Hansa Stavanger was captured about 400 miles (645 km) off the southern Somali port of Kismayu on April 4.

The release of the 20,000 tonne ship, owned by Hamburg shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg, was expected last week but it was delayed after the pirates demanded a higher ransom.

Earlier, a Malaysian-owned tugboat held for over seven months was released after a ransom was paid, with 11 Indonesian crew.

Gangs of Somali pirates in the shipping lanes linking Asia and Europe have made millions of dollars in ransom payments from ships hijacked in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.