Solar Impulse plane heads to US in jumbo jet
Switzerland

Solar Impulse plane heads to US in jumbo jet

A Boeing 747 is set to fly to the United States from Switzerland on Thursday with the disassembled parts of the Solar Impulse experimental plane in its cargo hold.

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Switzerland

Super-rich foreigners to pay more Swiss tax

Foreigners who move to Switzerland are set to face a tax hike from January 1st 2016, according to a Swiss tax authority timetable published on Wednesday.

Swiss stores pull meat over horse cruelty claims
Switzerland

Swiss stores pull meat over horse cruelty claims

Swiss supermarket chains removed horsemeat from store shelves following the broadcast of a TV documentary showing stark cases of cruelty on horse farms in the US, Canada, Argentina and Mexico, where the meat is sourced.

Merkel says fracking Germany not easy
Germany

Merkel says fracking Germany not easy

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday expressed caution over whether the revolutionary oil and gas technique of "fracking" could be introduced in Germany, saying public safety was the main concern.

‘Only a court can stop a Sarkozy comeback’
France

‘Only a court can stop a Sarkozy comeback’

Speculation has flourished in recent weeks that former President Nicolas Sarkozy will run for presidency in 2017. The Local asks political author Neila Latrous whether a Sarko return is really on the cards.

First lady Trierweiler slams own ‘bullshit’ mag
France

First lady Trierweiler slams own ‘bullshit’ mag

France’s first lady Valerie Trierweiler might have to lose out on 'employee of the month'. The journalist at the weekly publication Paris Match allegedly launched a foul-mouthed rant at her own editor-in-chief, slamming the "bullshit magazine".

‘Mumpreneurs’ promotes women in business
Switzerland

‘Mumpreneurs’ promotes women in business

In our new series profiling the careers of foreigners who’ve moved to Switzerland, The Local meets British-Zimbabwe born Lisa Chuma, founder of a Swiss “Mumpreneurs” group.

Subway robber suspected of Paris killing
Sweden

Subway robber suspected of Paris killing

The man who robbed a drunken man in Stockholm as he lay on the subway train tracks is now suspected of killing someone in Paris in 2011, after a French television viewer recognized the thief from security camera footage.

Malmö mayor concerned about Islam-critical show
Sweden

Malmö mayor concerned about Islam-critical show

The mayor of Malmö has slammed an upcoming exhibition of work by controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks, saying he hoped no one would visit the gallery to see artwork he said was "associated with xenophobes".

Queen appeals swastika montage publication
Sweden

Queen appeals swastika montage publication

Sweden's Queen Silvia has resubmitted a press ethics complaint concerning the newspapers that chose to reproduce artwork that she found "insulting and hurtful" because it portrayed her scrubbing a Nazi swastika off the floor.

Cyclist Contador ducks court in doping case
Spain

Cyclist Contador ducks court in doping case

Former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will not testify at the Operacion Puerto trial in defence of Manolo Sainz, his former manager at the Liberty Seguros cycling team, the defendant's lawyer confirmed on Tuesday.

Kidnappings: France ‘will not yield to terrorists’
France

Kidnappings: France ‘will not yield to terrorists’

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday that France would not give in to "terrorists" after the kidnapping of seven members of a French family in northern Cameroon. France has told its citizens not to leave the north of the country.

Builder Ferrovial sees profits slide off track
Spain

Builder Ferrovial sees profits slide off track

Spanish builder Ferrovial, owner of London's Heathrow airport, said on Tuesday its net profits plunged 43 percent in 2012 after major one-off gains the previous year.

Sales slumber prompts 1,000 Volvo job cuts
Sweden

Sales slumber prompts 1,000 Volvo job cuts

Volvo Cars said on Wednesday it was preparing to axe 1,000 mostly white-collar jobs as car sales in Europe have fallen to a two-decade low.

Spanish navy stymies Somali pirate plans
Spain

Spanish navy stymies Somali pirate plans

The Spanish and Dutch navies on Tuesday detained nine alleged pirates off the Somali coast, Holland's defence ministry said in a statement.

Spanish PM talks tough on corruption
Spain

Spanish PM talks tough on corruption

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy used his first state of the nation speech on Wednesday to declare that the country was clean despite a number of several high-profile corruption cases involving his Popular Party.

Beloved children’s author Otfried Preußler dies
Germany

Beloved children’s author Otfried Preußler dies

Renowned German children's author Otfried Preußler, who wrote The Little Witch and The Robber Hotzenplotz and sold over 50 million books around the world, has died aged 89 his publisher said on Wednesday.

French designer unveils new ‘scooter-bike’
France

French designer unveils new ‘scooter-bike’

A new urban ‘scooter-bike’ designed by Frenchman Philippe Starck was unveiled in the French city of Bordeaux this week. The Pibal, as the hybrid bikes have been named, will be rolled out on the streets of the city later in the year.

Nuisance bear destroyed in Graubünden town
Switzerland

Nuisance bear destroyed in Graubünden town

A brown bear who came into contact with humans too many times in a Swiss mountain valley was shot dead on Tuesday, officials from the canton of Graubünden said on Wednesday.

Watchdog probes Amazon’s pricing policy
Germany

Watchdog probes Amazon’s pricing policy

The German competition watchdog on Wednesday launched an investigation into the policy of online retailer Amazon which bans third-party traders from selling their products cheaper elsewhere on the web.

British pound weakest in 20 years against krona
Sweden

British pound weakest in 20 years against krona

The British pound is at its weakest in two decades against the Swedish krona, with experts suggesting that now is the time to head to London for a spot of shopping.

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France

French cosmetics giant drops Pistorius adverts

French cosmetics firm Clarins said on Wednesday it was dropping an advertising campaign featuring South African track star Oscar Pistorius as he faces charges of murdering his girlfriend.

Five teens held after sexual attack at party
Germany

Five teens held after sexual attack at party

Five teenagers are being held in custody in Munich after two girls aged 15 and 16 were sexually abused and possibly raped at a party in the centre of the Bavarian city at the end of last week.

Swedish princess inks her wedding invitations
Sweden

Swedish princess inks her wedding invitations

Sweden's New York-based Princess Madeleine is getting ready to send out her wedding invites, but says she will forego the Anglo-Saxon tradition of bridesmaids as she marries her British-American fiancé.

Row holds up child abuse compensation
Germany

Row holds up child abuse compensation

A row has broken out about who will pay for a fund to pay out €100 million to German victims of child abuse in schools, state children's homes and church-run institutes.

‘Sweden will continue to punch above its weight’
Sweden

‘Sweden will continue to punch above its weight’

Sweden’s ability to pack a foreign policy punch equal to the jab of the big EU three - Germany, France, and the UK - is neither remarkable nor a passing fad, writes international relations Ph.D. candidate Annelie Gregor.

Lufthansa orders new jets amid job cuts
Germany

Lufthansa orders new jets amid job cuts

Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, said on Wednesday it plans to order new aircraft worth €9 billion despite a cost-cutting drive involving job losses and the closure of at least two sites.

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France

French diner screams at sight of frog’s legs

The French might have a reputation for indulging in frogs' legs but it appears not everyone in France is a fan of eating the little amphibians, especially if one turns up dead in your salad, as was the case for one horrified diner.

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Sweden

Returnees outnumber Syrian immigrants

Sweden welcomed record numbers of immigrants in 2012, with Syrian newcomers tripling compared to 2011, according to a new report from Statistics Sweden that also showed that returnee Swedes dominated the league table.

American CEO mocks French factory workers
France

American CEO mocks French factory workers

The head of US tyremaker Titan has mocked French workers at a Goodyear factory for putting in only "three hours" a day and talking and eating too much. French union bosses hit back suggesting the CEO might need psychiatric care.

‘CV discrimination is idiotic’: opposition
Sweden

‘CV discrimination is idiotic’: opposition

The Social Democrats accused the right-of-centre government of pessimism, infighting and wage dumping on Wednesday, as leader Stefan Löfven introduced new proposals to shore up the welfare state and boost jobs if the party takes power in the 2014 elections.

Swiss resident hits Euro Millions jackpot
Switzerland

Swiss resident hits Euro Millions jackpot

A Swiss citizen living in northwestern Switzerland won 75.6 million francs in the Euro Millions lottery on Tuesday night.

SAP founder Plattner joins billionaire giveaway
Germany

SAP founder Plattner joins billionaire giveaway

One of Germany's wealthiest men, SAP founder Hasso Plattner, has promised to give away half of his €5-billion fortune to good causes. The pledge makes him the first German to join a initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

New in German cinemas: ‘Les Misérables’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘Les Misérables’

Find movies playing in English in Germany with The Local's cinema guide.

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France

French stud farm owner exploited refugee slave

The owner of a stud farm in the northern French region of Normandy has been handed a one year suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay damages to a vulnerable Cambodian refugee, whom she employed for slave labour.

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Switzerland

FBI probing Swiss insider trading on Heinz

The FBI is examining possible insider trading in Heinz shares ahead of last week's buyout announcement, after US regulators identified suspicious trades from a Swiss account.

Anti-Semitic attacks soar by 82% in France
France

Anti-Semitic attacks soar by 82% in France

The year 2012 saw "unprecedented violence" against members of France's Jewish community as the number of anti-Semitic attacks, both physical or verbal, rocketed by 82 percent percent, according to a report on Wednesday.

Drivers protest over ‘smelly’ bus passenger
Sweden

Drivers protest over ‘smelly’ bus passenger

Public transit officials in Uppsala in eastern Sweden were forced to make a house call to a malodorous man after a flood of complaints from passengers and drivers about the man's unbearable stench.

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France

Diamond robbers strike upscale Paris jeweller

Just hours after masked thieves staged a spectacular five-minute robbery at Brussels airport pilfering diamonds worth €37 million, armed robbers targeted a Paris diamond jeweller, stealing millions of euros worth of valuables.

France’s Le Pen lambasts ‘European Soviet Union’
France

France’s Le Pen lambasts ‘European Soviet Union’

Around 100 protesters greeted the controversial appearance of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen at a debate held at Britain's Cambridge University on Tuesday. During her speech Le Pen called for a "new deal" on immigration.

Kidnapped French family taken to Nigeria
France

Kidnapped French family taken to Nigeria

Kidnappers who seized seven members of a French family, including four young children, in Cameroon, have taken them across the border into Nigeria, Cameroon's government has said.

British fury over Swedish coach’s athlete picks
Sweden

British fury over Swedish coach’s athlete picks

Veteran Swedish athletics coach Peter Eriksson has come under fire in the UK for "ridiculous" decisions about which athletes will represent Britain at the upcoming European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.

Police bust massive property fraud scheme
Germany

Police bust massive property fraud scheme

German police have carried out a string of busts against a network of companies alleged to have stolen more than €100 million from would-be real estate investors, prosecutors in Frankfurt said.

Pirate Party targeted in push to close Pirate Bay
Sweden

Pirate Party targeted in push to close Pirate Bay

Lawyers representing Swedish copyright holders have threatened legal action against the Pirate Party in a fresh attempt to shutter filesharing site The Pirate Bay.

Hamburg Airport strike cancels over 100 flights
Germany

Hamburg Airport strike cancels over 100 flights

Over 100 flights at Hamburg Airport were cancelled on Wednesday due to an ongoing labour dispute with security personnel.

Biking for free in Berlin
Germany

Biking for free in Berlin

One man has made it his mission to set up a bike-sharing network in Berlin, loaning out Fahrräder for free. Trust advocate Graham Pope spoke to The Local about cycling into the future.