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OFFBEAT

‘Drink DSK’: French firm hijacks Strauss-Kahn’s initials

A fizzy drink with alleged aphrodisiac qualities carrying the initials of disgraced IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will hit French night clubs this summer, its makers said.

The Drink Safran Kiwi (DSK, or Saffron Kiwi Drink), to be sold in Paris and the French Riviera, is geared towards "the in-crowd, night clubbers" who will mix it with a hard drink," its creator Stephane Briault told AFP.

Briault came up with the idea for a "natural, pasteurised drink without colouring or preservatives" in his contacts with saffron producer Patrice Guillard from the Cher region in central France.

"Since ancient times, saffron is known for its many benefits," Briault explained.

"It's an anti-depressant, has the reputation of being fun and bringing wisdom, is good for the liver, lowers blood pressure, stimulates respiration and is believed to be an aphrodisiac for women."

Briault and Guillard started out with the idea of a saffron-based soda but needed a fruit to go with it.

"Kiwi has interesting benefits, it's an antioxidant," believed to slow the natural ageing process, said Briault. "But then we needed a name."

"'Saffron Drink' didn't sound very sexy", so we thought of 'Drink Safran Kiwi' which could be shortened to 'DSK'.

"We asked ourselves if that wasn't too brazen," given the connection with Strauss-Kahn, once considered a favourite for the French presidency who has been caught up in a string of lurid sex scandals.

"But people will remember it more easily," Briault said.

France's National Industrial Property Institute has registered 22 companies carrying the DSK acronym.

Briault also claimed that saffron alleviates the negative effects of alcohol.

Canvassing in Paris and Riviera clubs has started with 10,000 bottles.

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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