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A Cow's Tale: Animated Version Of 'Yvonne' Coming To A Theater Near You

Yvonne, Germany's world famous freedom-seeking cow, is set to make her cinema debut in 2014. A deal has already been struck to produce an animated version of her feel-good story.

Yvonne, everybody's favorite Bavarian bovine (Facebook)
Yvonne, everybody's favorite Bavarian bovine (Facebook)


*NEWSBITES

BERLINMooooove over Mickey Mouse.

She may just be the world's most famous cow: Yvonne, a Bavarian bovine who became an international media sensation last year when she famously fled into the woods. The story of Yvonne, the "the cow that wants to be a deer," is pure Hollywood, which didn't wait long to make an offer that couldn't be refused.

Last summer, Yvonne's escape in the German region of Bavaria made headlines around the globe. She managed to avoid capture for 100 days before, of her own volition, she joined some calves in a pasture. The whole saga concluded with a happy ending when space was found for her on an animal farm, Gut Aiderbichl, that bills itself as an "animal paradise."

Yvonne's heart-warming tale is now set to be the subject of an animated movie about "the cow that wanted to be a deer," said Michael Aufhauser, the founder of the farm. It will hit theaters in 2014, with a working title of "Cow on the run."

The producer, British-born Los Angeles-based Max Howard ("Lion King"), came to visit the farm where Yvonne now lives and spent the day there. He and Aufhauser signed a contract in February. Aufhauser, who was present as events unfolded and was the one to finally capture Yvonne, is to be a "consultant" during production of the 90-minute film. The idea for the movie originated with a Munich production company, Papa Löwe, whcih is co-financing the movie's 30-million euro budget.

Aufhauser was amazed to receive the movie offer, but also said he wouldn't have agreed to any filming of the actual animal. Yvonne will instead be left in peace, allowed to live on quietly at Aufhasuer's farm while the animators work on the film elsewhere.

A spokesperson for the Gut Aiderbichl animal farm, Britta Freitag, said Yvonne is doing very well. She now enjoys the company of other members of her family, which were also given shelter on the farm. As a health precaution, Yvonne and her relatives are being kept away from the farm's other animals. The quarantine period, however, is almost over, meaning they will soon be able to graze in the meadows with the other cows.

"We're in the process of reinforcing the fencing now," said Freitag – just in case Yvonne gets the idea she wants to run like a deer again.

Read the full story in German by Britta Schultejans

Photo – Facebook

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Economy

Air Next: How A Crypto Scam Collapsed On A Single Spelling Mistake

It is today a proven fraud, nailed by the French stock market watchdog: Air Next resorted to a full range of dubious practices to raise money for a blockchain-powered e-commerce app. But the simplest of errors exposed the scam and limited the damage to investors. A cautionary tale for the crypto economy.

Sky is the crypto limit

Laurence Boisseau

PARIS — Air Next promised to use blockchain technology to revolutionize passenger transport. Should we have read something into its name? In fact, the company was talking a lot of hot air from the start. Air Next turned out to be a scam, with a fake website, false identities, fake criminal records, counterfeited bank certificates, aggressive marketing … real crooks. Thirty-five employees recruited over the summer ranked among its victims, not to mention the few investors who put money in the business.

Maud (not her real name) had always dreamed of working in a start-up. In July, she spotted an ad on Linkedin and was interviewed by videoconference — hardly unusual in the era of COVID and teleworking. She was hired very quickly and signed a permanent work contract. She resigned from her old job, happy to get started on a new adventure.


Others like Maud fell for the bait. At least ten senior managers, coming from major airlines, airports, large French and American corporations, a former police officer … all firmly believed in this project. Some quit their jobs to join; some French expats even made their way back to France.

Share capital of one billion 

The story began last February, when Air Next registered with the Paris Commercial Court. The new company stated it was developing an application that would allow the purchase of airline tickets by using cryptocurrency, at unbeatable prices and with an automatic guarantee in case of cancellation or delay, via a "smart contract" system (a computer protocol that facilitates, verifies and oversees the handling of a contract).

The firm declared a share capital of one billion euros, with offices under construction at 50, Avenue des Champs Elysées, and a president, Philippe Vincent ... which was probably a usurped identity.

Last summer, Air Next started recruiting. The company also wanted to raise money to have the assets on hand to allow passenger compensation. It organized a fundraiser using an ICO, or "Initial Coin Offering", via the issuance of digital tokens, transacted in cryptocurrencies through the blockchain.

While nothing obliged him to do so, the company owner went as far as setting up a file with the AMF, France's stock market regulator which oversees this type of transaction. Seeking the market regulator stamp is optional, but when issued, it gives guarantees to those buying tokens.

screenshot of the typo that revealed the Air Next scam

The infamous typo that brought the Air Next scam down

compta online

Raising Initial Coin Offering 

Then, on Sept. 30, the AMF issued an alert, by way of a press release, on the risks of fraud associated with the ICO, as it suspected some documents to be forgeries. A few hours before that, Air Next had just brought forward by several days the date of its tokens pre-sale.

For employees of the new company, it was a brutal wake-up call. They quickly understood that they had been duped, that they'd bet on the proverbial house of cards. On the investor side, the CEO didn't get beyond an initial fundraising of 150,000 euros. He was hoping to raise millions, but despite his failure, he didn't lose confidence. Challenged by one of his employees on Telegram, he admitted that "many documents provided were false", that "an error cost the life of this project."

What was the "error" he was referring to? A typo in the name of the would-be bank backing the startup. A very small one, at the bottom of the page of the false bank certificate, where the name "Edmond de Rothschild" is misspelled "Edemond".

Finding culprits 

Before the AMF's public alert, websites specializing in crypto-assets had already noted certain inconsistencies. The company had declared a share capital of 1 billion euros, which is an enormous amount. Air Next's CEO also boasted about having discovered bitcoin at a time when only a few geeks knew about cryptocurrency.

Employees and investors filed a complaint. Failing to find the general manager, Julien Leclerc — which might also be a fake name — they started looking for other culprits. They believe that if the Paris Commercial Court hadn't registered the company, no one would have been defrauded.

Beyond the handful of victims, this case is a plea for the implementation of more secure procedures, in an increasingly digital world, particularly following the pandemic. The much touted ICO market is itself a victim, and may find it hard to recover.

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