Oktoberfest boss attacks boozing and music
Germany

Oktoberfest boss attacks boozing and music

Changes are afoot for Munich’s legendary Oktoberfest, as a plan to crack down on binge-drinking, loud live music and endless queuing for seats will be examined by the city council.

‘Is it my looks?’ Parent parrots kick out Nelson
Germany

‘Is it my looks?’ Parent parrots kick out Nelson

In what could turn out to be a canny career move, Nelson the baby parrot at Leipzig Zoo, dubbed Germany's ugliest bird, has been rejected by his mother, paving the way for what could be a Knut-esque career in the limelight.

East German prison labour claims spread
Germany

East German prison labour claims spread

East German political prisoners were not only making furniture for Ikea but also sewing bedclothes for West German companies such as Quelle and Neckermann, according to new claims in Friday's Handelsblatt newspaper.

DSK faces gang rape probe
France

DSK faces gang rape probe

French prosecutors said Friday they are examining witness testimony that suggests disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape at a sex party in Washington DC.

Confident Hollande heads for final straight
France

Confident Hollande heads for final straight

 

Socialist Francois Hollande was on track to defeat right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy as France saw the final day of campaigning Friday before its presidential election run-off.

 

Fillon to review chess prodigy deportation
France

Fillon to review chess prodigy deportation

Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Friday he would review the case of a Bangladeshi boy who is France's under-12 chess champion and is threatened with expulsion because he lives here illegally.

Why I’m swimming the length of the Rhine
Switzerland

Why I’m swimming the length of the Rhine

Swiss extreme athlete Ernst Bromeis explains to Meritxell Mir what’s motivating him to become the first ever person to swim the entire 1,230-kilometres of the Rhine, from its source in the Swiss Alps to the North Sea.

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France

French CERN nuke expert jailed for terror plot

A Franco-Algerian nuclear physicist was sentenced Friday to five years in jail – with one year suspended – for plotting terror attacks in France.

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Sweden

Rocko the cat found 250 kilometres from home

A man from southern Sweden was shocked to receive a call from someone who’d found his missing cat Rocko – three weeks after it went missing and 250 kilometres away.

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France

Frenchman Bruno finds dinosaur bone in garden

While tending to his flowerbeds in Louplande, west France, one Frenchman made a very rare discovery - a 100 million-year-old dinosaur bone.

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France

Dog from ‘The Artist’ to write memoires

Uggie, the dog from award-winning French film The Artist, is set to put paw to paper – his memoires are to be released in October.

Germany in grip of ‘sexual evolution’
Germany

Germany in grip of ‘sexual evolution’

Germany is in the midst of sexual evolution, according to futurologists who say ideas about relationships are being rethought – and the internet is helping people to design their sex lives as they like.

Some of the most amazing Swedish hockey goals ever scored
Sweden

Some of the most amazing Swedish hockey goals ever scored

With the 2012 ice hockey world championships underway in Stockholm, The Local has found a few stunning clips of goals by young Swedish players who may someday find themselves donning a Tre Kronor jersey.

Tears in court at autopsy details from Utøya
Norway

Tears in court at autopsy details from Utøya

Muffled sobs filled an Oslo courtroom on Friday as the first autopsy reports were presented for the 69 people massacred on Utøya island last July, but confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik displayed no sign of emotion.

Introducing… Doris Leuthard
Switzerland

Introducing… Doris Leuthard

Introducing... is The Local's new column giving the lowdown on a top Swiss personality. This week Lyssandra Sears looks at the woman who was recently voted Switzerland’s favourite politician and once got wellied at the Mountain Cheese Olympics.

Squeezing penis with hot iron ‘not assault’: court
Sweden

Squeezing penis with hot iron ‘not assault’: court

A woman who placed her ex-boyfriend's penis in a piping-hot hair straightener and squeezed is not guilty of assault, a Swedish court has ruled.

Jesus lives: altar wine prevents goat sacrifice
Norway

Jesus lives: altar wine prevents goat sacrifice

Jesus may not have to die for his sins after all, as the owner of a goat who attacked a police officer last weekend pledges to sell him for a canister of altar wine rather than throwing him on the grill.

Third of Germans want total Euro 2012 boycott
Germany

Third of Germans want total Euro 2012 boycott

A third of Germans want their football team to boycott the football European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in protest at the treatment of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Man keeps interest from €200 million bank error
Germany

Man keeps interest from €200 million bank error

A German man whose bank mistakenly gave him €200 million has been told he can keep the €12,000 interest earned while it was “resting in his account” overnight.

Aussie in 15 kronor Sweden food challenge
Sweden

Aussie in 15 kronor Sweden food challenge

Australian beach-volleyballer and current Stockholm resident Johannah Rohkämper plans to survive in the Swedish capital on 15 kronor ($2.20) a day to raise awareness about global poverty.

Greenpeace prompts new delay of Shell icebreaker
Sweden

Greenpeace prompts new delay of Shell icebreaker

Greenpeace activists halted an icebreaker headed for the Arctic for a third time this week, in a bid to block plans by Anglo Dutch giant Shell to drill for oil in the region, the environmental group said Friday.

Students find rare Roman temple on practice dig
Germany

Students find rare Roman temple on practice dig

Archaeology students got a taste of the real thing during a digging lesson, when they stumbled upon what was this week confirmed to be a Roman temple – in an area not previously thought to have been populated.

Co-hosts Sweden hope to snag ice hockey gold
Sweden

Co-hosts Sweden hope to snag ice hockey gold

Sweden's national ice hockey team, Tre Kronor, is hoping to avenge last year's upset loss to Norway – as well as reverse a recent string of defeats – in the quest for gold at 2012 ice hockey world championships.

Biking ‘more dangerous’ than driving in Sweden
Sweden

Biking ‘more dangerous’ than driving in Sweden

Almost half of the serious injuries caused in Sweden’s traffic accidents involve cyclists, a new study reveals, raising questions about the need for a new bicycle safety strategy.

Oslo summons Ukraine envoy over Tymoshenko
Norway

Oslo summons Ukraine envoy over Tymoshenko

Norway has summoned Ukraine's ambassador in Oslo to express its concern over the treatment of jailed former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko, the foreign ministry said late Thursday.

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France

Hollande and Sarkozy in final scrap for votes

Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande took the gloves off for the last major rallies of their ferocious battle for the French presidency, three days before their final run-off.

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France

Newlyweds cause 2km traffic jam on Paris ring road

A newly married couple caused a two kilometre traffic jam on the Paris Périphérique ring road by slowing down their wedding procession in the middle of the four lanes.

Merkel ‘will compromise’ if Hollande wins France
Germany

Merkel ‘will compromise’ if Hollande wins France

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is unlikely to budge from her strict austerity course if France elects Socialist front-runner Francois Hollande on Sunday, though analysts say she'll have to compromise on a few new growth measures.

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Switzerland

Holocaust victims’ families sue Swiss banks

Descendants of two Jewish families have filed a new lawsuit against Switzerland's largest banks to recover millions of dollars they say relatives deposited before the Holocaust, their lawyers said on Thursday.

Swordsman jailed for ‘cat-fight’ custody threat
Sweden

Swordsman jailed for ‘cat-fight’ custody threat

A Swedish court sentenced a man to six months in prison on Thursday after for using a samurai sword to try and intimidate a friend into giving him two cats.

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Switzerland

Swiss Re surprises analysts with huge gains

Reinsurance giant Swiss Re said Friday it had a first quarter net profit of $1.1 billion, beating
forecasts and more than reversing a year-earlier net loss of $665 million.

Sweden braces for asylum application spike
Sweden

Sweden braces for asylum application spike

Swedish migration authorities have ratcheted up their forecast for the number of asylum seekers and labour migrants who will arrive in Sweden during 2012.

Funniest mistakes the English make in German
Germany

Funniest mistakes the English make in German

In this week's Local List we turn the tables on Anglophone expats, and guffaw heartily at their embarrassing faux-pas as they negotiate the pitfalls of what Mark Twain famously called "The Awful German Language." Is it hot to you?

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Sweden

Left Party helped kids ‘hit politicians in the face’

Sweden's Left Party has come in for criticism for allowing young children to take whacks at the faces of centre-right government ministers which were plastered on a piñata at the party's recent May 1st festivities.

World Press Photo 2012 winners reach Hamburg
Germany

World Press Photo 2012 winners reach Hamburg

The world's most striking press images go on display in Hamburg, northern Germany on Friday, when the World Press Photo 2012 exhibition opens its doors to visitors.

Swedish passenger ferry rams ship in German port
Sweden

Swedish passenger ferry rams ship in German port

A Swedish passenger ferry slammed into another ship as it was pulling into the north German port of Travemünde on Thursday evening.