Greens tout cable cars for Geneva suburbs
Switzerland

Greens tout cable cars for Geneva suburbs

Geneva’s Green party has proposed a novel solution to improve the canton’s traffic congestion: a cable car system, much like a ski lift, to transport people between outlying suburbs.

Bardot seeks Swiss home for sick elephants
Switzerland

Bardot seeks Swiss home for sick elephants

Movie legend Brigitte Bardot, who threatened to follow actor Gérard Depardieu to Russia in a bid to save two circus elephants from being put down, is looking for a Swiss animal park to look after them.

One dead as helicopter crashes on autobahn
Germany

One dead as helicopter crashes on autobahn

A helicopter crashed on the A6 motorway in southwestern Germany Thursday, killing the pilot, after the aircraft got caught in high-voltage power lines and exploded, police said.

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Switzerland

Swiss freeze millions linked to Russian probe

Swiss prosecutors have frozen bank accounts as part of a widened probe into a Russian money laundering case linked to lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, whose death in a Russian prison sparked a row between Moscow and Washington.

Lööf has ‘lost credibility’ over polygamy claims
Sweden

Lööf has ‘lost credibility’ over polygamy claims

Experts say that Centre Party leader Annie Lööf, who on Thursday attempted to quell internal party dissent about a number of controversial new proposals, had "lost credibility" over statements regarding her stance on polygamy.

French taxi strike causes traffic chaos
France

French taxi strike causes traffic chaos

French taxi drivers on Thursday choked major roads, highways and airport routes across the country to protest government reforms that they say will hit their business.

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France

Police haul girl, 5, out of school over meals bill

A five-year-old French girl was pulled out of her school canteen by police because her parents had not paid her school dinners bill, French media reported on Thursday.

Kurdish militant leader among Paris dead
France

Kurdish militant leader among Paris dead

A co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and two other militants were found shot dead Thursday in Paris, a day after Turkey and the jailed leader of the banned group were reported to have agreed on a peace plan to end a three-decade-old insurgency.

Ex-CEO slams Volvo Cars over sacking
Sweden

Ex-CEO slams Volvo Cars over sacking

Stefan Jacoby, the ex-CEO of Volvo Cars, has admitted to feeling cheated by his old company after they fired him last year halfway through his recovery from a stroke.

Simon Rattle to quit Berlin Philharmonic
Germany

Simon Rattle to quit Berlin Philharmonic

Britain's Sir Simon Rattle said Thursday that he would quit as chief conductor of the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra after his contract expires in 2018.

‘Language doesn’t matter – kids are all the same’
Germany

‘Language doesn’t matter – kids are all the same’

In the first instalment of our new series My German Career, The Local sat down with Potsdam kindergarten teacher Chelsey Funk for a chat about tending Teutonic toddlers.

France frees impounded British scallop trawler
France

France frees impounded British scallop trawler

France has released a British trawler suspected of illegally dredging scallops in French waters after its owner paid €50,000 ($65,000) in bail, officials said on Thursday.

Credit Suisse sells fund to Black Rock
Switzerland

Credit Suisse sells fund to Black Rock

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said on Thursday it would sell its stock exchange-traded investment fund business to US investment firm BlackRock as part of a divestment plan announced last July.

Swedish documentary snags Oscar nomination
Sweden

Swedish documentary snags Oscar nomination

Swedish documentary Searching For Sugar Man was nominated for an Academy Award on Thursday, making it the only film from Sweden to be recognized by the academy this year.

Forty years in comics for ‘leftie bear’ Bamse
Sweden

Forty years in comics for ‘leftie bear’ Bamse

A brown bear in blue dungarees dubbed "the world's strongest bear" celebrated 40 years of leading the battle for a kinder world this week, despite charges of being a communist and a turn-coat capitalist. Ursus comicus Bamse is The Local’s Swede of the Week.

Swatch sales wind up ahead of forecasts
Switzerland

Swatch sales wind up ahead of forecasts

The world's biggest watch group Swatch reported on Thursday that sales in 2012 rose by 14 percent from the 2011 level, beating the most optimistic expectations in the industry.

Winter’s weekend return to banish balmy temps
Germany

Winter’s weekend return to banish balmy temps

Germany might have had a balmy start to the new year, but winter is set to make a comeback this weekend with sinking temperatures and light snow, according to the DWD national weather service.

Swede jailed for ‘long-distance’ child rape
Sweden

Swede jailed for ‘long-distance’ child rape

A 52-year-old Swedish man was convicted on Thursday for ordering the rape of 18 Filipino minors via webcam, with a court sentencing him to eight years in prison.

France mired in mild recession: central bank
France

France mired in mild recession: central bank

The French central bank repeated on Thursday its estimate that France fell into a mild recession at the end of 2012, putting contraction of the economy at 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter after equivalent estimated shrinkage in the third quarter.

BMW and Audi race to record sales in 2012
Germany

BMW and Audi race to record sales in 2012

German top-of-the-range carmakers BMW and Audi said Thursday they raced ahead to new sales records in 2012, with growth driven primarily by demand outside Europe.

Criminals more prone to crash their motorcycles
Sweden

Criminals more prone to crash their motorcycles

Motorcycle drivers who have a criminal record are twice as likely to get into accidents on the road than their law-abiding peers, a new Swedish study has found.

Firms and disabled slam new TV licence fee
Germany

Firms and disabled slam new TV licence fee

Drugstore chain Rossmann has become the latest German company to slam the country's new TV licence fee, saying it plans to go to court over its alleged 500-percent hike. Disabled rights groups have also condemned the charge per household.

Dawn raids target Rhineland burglary gang
Germany

Dawn raids target Rhineland burglary gang

Hundreds of police officers across western Germany carried out dawn raids on Thursday in an effort to crack down on what they believe to be a southeastern European burglary gang. Ten people were arrested.

Airport debacle hurts ‘Made in Germany’ brand
Germany

Airport debacle hurts ‘Made in Germany’ brand

From Berlin's benighted airport to Hamburg's hopeless concert hall, Germans are becoming concerned that their fabled international reputation for efficiency is being harmed by delays dogging major several projects around the country.

Two arrested after bank robbery shoot-out
Sweden

Two arrested after bank robbery shoot-out

Two men have been arrested after opening fire on police with automatic weapons in a north Stockholm bank robbery on Wednesday, while police in southern Stockholm were kept busy with another raid on an armoured car.

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Sweden

More Swedish men report being raped

Reports of male rape are on the rise in Sweden, new figures show, yet sexual violence experts believe the figures represent only the tip of the iceberg as many men are too ashamed to report the assaults.

Women drivers worse than men: Swiss study
Switzerland

Women drivers worse than men: Swiss study

Women drivers are more likely to have a motor vehicle accident in Switzerland than men, a new study based on accident insurance claims.

Fire guts conference centre near Stockholm
Sweden

Fire guts conference centre near Stockholm

Police have launched an arson investigation following a violent Wednesday night fire that left a popular hotel and conference centre in Sigtuna, north of Stockholm, in ruins.

Seventeen injured in Schaffhausen train crash
Switzerland

Seventeen injured in Schaffhausen train crash

Two passenger trains collided at a train station in northern Switzerland on Thursday morning, injuring 17 people, according to latest reports.

Bubbly lobby ‘should relax’ over Obama’s champagne luncheon
France

Bubbly lobby ‘should relax’ over Obama’s champagne luncheon

Would champagne by any other name taste as good? For French producers, the answer is a resounding "non" -- especially when the drink is to be served at the US presidential inaugural luncheon.

Three Kurdish women shot in the head in Paris
France

Three Kurdish women shot in the head in Paris

A co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and two other activists were found shot dead Thursday in Paris, a day after it emerged that Turkey and the jailed leader of the banned group were holding peace talks.

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Switzerland

Zurich calls for study on legalizing marijuana

The Swiss city of Zurich's parliament on Wednesday voted to call on the government to commission a national study on legalizing marijuana, local media said.

Minced pork declared ‘ticking time bomb’
Germany

Minced pork declared ‘ticking time bomb’

A much-loved German delicacy - the raw minced pork meat known as Mettwurst - could be a serious health hazard, the Green party has said after commissioning a nationwide study.

Berlin sees world’s first Scorsese exhibition
Germany

Berlin sees world’s first Scorsese exhibition

A Berlin museum will on Thursday open what it called the first exhibition worldwide dedicated to the work of veteran US film-maker Martin Scorsese, who opened his vast archive for the show.

Increase in Swedish girls taking ADHD drugs
Sweden

Increase in Swedish girls taking ADHD drugs

The number of Swedish girls given medicine to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has increased much more rapidly compared to their male peers.

Immigrant workers ‘paid less’ than native peers
Germany

Immigrant workers ‘paid less’ than native peers

Immigrants working in Germany who come from poorer countries get paid just over half of their native colleagues' salaries, it was reported on Wednesday. Poor language skills and a lack of qualifications appeared partially to blame.

Swedes leave porn and passports on old phones
Sweden

Swedes leave porn and passports on old phones

Swedes leave a trail of sensitive information behind them as they ditch their old mobile phones, potentially making themselves vulnerable to fraud.

What’s on in Germany:  January 10 – 16
Germany

What’s on in Germany: January 10 – 16

This Week's Highlights: Bach in Berlin, comedy in Frankfurt, and an exhibition about the German jazz label ECM in Munich.