Lost US passport in Austria? Go to McDonald's for help

Outlets of the US fast food chain throughout Austria will help American citizens from Wednesday to get in touch with their embassy. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 May 2019

Lost US passport in Austria? Go to McDonald's for help

  • Outlets of the US fast food chain throughout Austria will help American citizens from Wednesday to get in touch with their embassy
  • The US embassy did not immediately return a request for comment if Austria was the only country offering such services at McDonald's

VIENNA: Lost and hungry for help? American citizens who find themselves in distress in Austria can now seek support at an unusual address -- McDonald's.
Under a new partnership, outlets of the US fast food chain throughout Austria will help American citizens from Wednesday to get in touch with their embassy, it said on Facebook.
"Staff (at any McDonald's in Austria) will assist them in making contact with the US Embassy for consular services," the embassy wrote.
Consular services include reporting a lost or stolen passport or seeking travel assistance, the post said.
The US embassy did not immediately return a request for comment if Austria was the only country offering such services at McDonald's.
Facebook users commenting on the post wasted no time in coining terms such as "McVisa" and "McPassport".
While some hailed the move as "awesome", others seemed less impressed.
"Because apparently we are too incompetent to look up the us embassy online??" one user wrote.


Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye

Updated 16 November 2019

Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye

  • Wildlife ranger Craig Dickmann made a split-second decision to go fishing in a remote part of Northern Australia known as ‘croc country.’
  • ‘That noise will haunt me forever I think, the sound of the snap of its jaws’

CAIRNS, Australia: An Australian wildlife ranger has recounted his terrifying escape from the clutches of a “particularly cunning” crocodile, after wrestling with the reptile and sticking a finger in its eye.
Craig Dickmann, who made a split-second decision to go fishing last Sunday in a remote part of Northern Australia known as “croc country” last Sunday, said a 2.8-meter (nine-foot) crocodile came up from behind him as he was leaving the beach.
“As I’ve turned to go, the first thing I see is its head just come at me,” he told reporters on Friday from his hospital bed in the town of Cairns in Queensland state.
Dickmann said the animal latched on to his thigh.
“That noise will haunt me forever I think, the sound of the snap of its jaws,” he said.
The 54-year-old said he wrestled with the croc on the remote beach as it tried to drag him into the water.
Dickmann stuck his thumb into its eye, saying it was the only “soft spot” he found on the “bullet-proof” animal.
“Their eyes retract a fair way and when you go down far enough you can feel bone so I pushed as far as I possibly could and then it let go at that point,” Dickmann said.
After a few minutes, he said he managed to get on top of the croc and pin its jaws shut.
“And then, I think both the croc and I had a moment where we’re going, ‘well, what do we do now?’”
Dickmann said he then pushed the croc away from him and it slid back into the water.
The ranger had skin ripped from his hands and legs in the ordeal and drove more than 45 minutes back to his home before calling emergency services.
It was then another hour in the car to meet the Royal Flying Doctors Service who flew him to Cairns Hospital, where he is recovering from the ordeal.
“This croc was particularly cunning and particularly devious,” he said.
Queensland’s department of environment this week euthanized the animal.
“The area is known croc country and people in the area are reminded to always be crocwise,” the department said in a statement.
Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to seven meters long and weigh more than a ton, are common in the vast continent’s tropical north.
Their numbers have exploded since they were declared a protected species in the 1970s, with attacks on humans rare.
According to the state government, the last non-fatal attack was in January 2018 in the Torres Strait while the last death was in October 2017 in Port Douglas.