French tech college ISIS sparks customs alert

When you're a French IT engineering school with the initials ISIS, you're bound to run into a bit of trouble with customs.

French tech college ISIS sparks customs alert
Photo: A screengrab from the college's website.

A school of engineers in southern France called ISIS revealed on Wednesday it ran into trouble with Canadian customs agents worried over a possible link to the jihadist group with the same initials.

ISIS, a school specialising in IT engineering for the health sector in the town of Castres near Toulouse, is not to be confused with the Islamic State group, which is often referred to by the initials ISIS.

The problem arose when the school ordered some satellite positioning equipment from Canada for one of its research programmes.

“Considered potentially sensitive equipment, the Canadian customs blocked it,” a senior member of staff at the college told AFP, without giving his name.

“It took two months of requests for the school to finally get its order.”

He added that the college would quite like “to be done with this association” with the barbaric jihadist group based in Iraq and Syria, but was not yet planning to change its name.

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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.