‘Third-sex’ fear cited to snip transgender Swedes
Sweden

‘Third-sex’ fear cited to snip transgender Swedes

Two rogue MPs have asked their fellow parliamentarians to continue sterilizing transgender patients in Sweden, arguing that men who carry babies would result in a "third gender".

New trousers or jail for elderly sex offender
Switzerland

New trousers or jail for elderly sex offender

An elderly retired farmer convicted of repeated sexual offences involving minors will be forced to go to jail unless he buys a pair of trousers with a fly that closes, according to a newspaper report from the canton of Jura.

France’s famed Louvre art gallery gets new boss
France

France’s famed Louvre art gallery gets new boss

Fresh from being interviewed by French President Francois Hollande himself, Jean-Luc Martinez, an expert in Greek sculpture, was named on Wednesday as the new boss of the famed Louvre museum.

Ten terrible Spanish menu translations
Spain

Ten terrible Spanish menu translations

In our latest list, The Local serves up some of the most ridiculous menu mistranslations in all of Spain. Bon appetit!

Italian police nab Ticino gold smugglers at border
Switzerland

Italian police nab Ticino gold smugglers at border

Italian police say they found gold ingots worth 4.5 million euros ($5.8 million) hidden in a car headed to southern Switzerland on what appeared to be "an ordinary Easter day out with the family".

Expert faces threats for ‘apartheid bus’ comment
Sweden

Expert faces threats for ‘apartheid bus’ comment

A Swedish multiculturalism expert received death threats for comments made to The Local about racism in Sweden, but Mikael Hjerm says his quotes were taken out of context by anti-immigration websites.

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Norway

Russian military jet activity rises in Norway

Norway said on Wednesday it had observed an increasing number of Russian military jets near its airspace last year, amid President Vladimir Putin's massive rearmament plan.

DNB bank refunds savers for bad deals
Norway

DNB bank refunds savers for bad deals

Norway's biggest bank DNB said Wednesday it would compensate hundreds or even thousands of savers after the Supreme Court ruled it misinformed its customers about some of its products.

Bardot’s elephants set to receive royal treatment
France

Bardot’s elephants set to receive royal treatment

They once faced imminent death but have now been offered princely accommodation – two French zoo elephants who had been ordered put down are moving to a ranch belonging to Monaco's ruling Grimaldi family.

Six ways the winter is worse in Germany
Germany

Six ways the winter is worse in Germany

Germany is starting to feel like Narnia - and not in a good way with fauns and a magic lion. The winter has officially been going on forever. The Local List this week lays out six ways the ongoing cold could freeze up relations with Germans.

Eco wins friends as euro loses currency
Spain

Eco wins friends as euro loses currency

More than 1,200 Catalans have joined a movement which uses its own currency, the Eco, and has its own education and health systems as a way of beating the crisis.

US Army civilian workers demand wage hike
Germany

US Army civilian workers demand wage hike

Protestors handed out fake zero dollar bills at US military bases across Germany on Wednesday to demand a raise for the 22,000 civilian workers employed by the Allied armed forces.

Merkel angry at paparazzi swimsuit shots in Italy
Germany

Merkel angry at paparazzi swimsuit shots in Italy

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she was angry at paparazzi for taking photos of her and her family on holiday without permission. Shots of her in a swimming costume have sprung up in newspapers in and out of Germany.

New in German cinemas: ‘Beautiful Creatures’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘Beautiful Creatures’

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

Spanish tax returns: what you need to know
Spain

Spanish tax returns: what you need to know

It's tax season in Spain which means confusion and headaches as people try and work out what their obligations are. This week, the Local Spain tells you ten things you should probably know about Spanish tax returns.

King’s daughter lands corruption court call-up
Spain

King’s daughter lands corruption court call-up

Judges have summoned Spain's Infanta Cristina to testify as a suspect in a corruption case, a court official said on Wednesday, a historic blow to the prestige of the royal family including her father King Juan Carlos.

Meet Hommen: France’s latest topless activists
France

Meet Hommen: France’s latest topless activists

Paris has a new group of semi-naked activists roaming its streets, going by the name of Hommen. Set up in response to the notorious feminist organisation Femen, the bare-chested male members of Hommen are an emerging force in the anti- gay marriage movement.

‘Some bad people want to kill me, I’m not scared’
France

‘Some bad people want to kill me, I’m not scared’

Corsica, the so-called "Island of Beauty" is mired in a wave of violence that has seen dozens killed in recent years. The island’s top politician Paul Giacobbi speaks to The Local about the danger posed to his own life and how to put an end to the bloodshed.

Sweden’s own ‘Adele’: I didn’t like my own voice
Sweden

Sweden’s own ‘Adele’: I didn’t like my own voice

In his latest column on Swedish music, Paul Connolly catches up with Miriam Bryant, a Gothenburg-based singer often compared to Adele and who, despite her rising fame, still takes time to do her own laundry.

Norwegian fury over Swedish tax mix-up
Sweden

Norwegian fury over Swedish tax mix-up

Outraged Norwegian pensioners living in Sweden have reported the head of the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) to the police after being asked to repay four years' worth of taxes, claiming the agency gave them bad information.

Spanish PM targets 2014 as turnaround year
Spain

Spanish PM targets 2014 as turnaround year

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the leadership of the ruling Popular Party on Wednesday that corruption was a thing of the past in Spain, and that the country would see an economic turnaround in 2014.

Catalan radio:’Messi out for ten days, not twenty’
Spain

Catalan radio:’Messi out for ten days, not twenty’

Catalan radio station RAC-1 has dispelled fears that the Argentinian star would be out for approximately three weeks following a hamstring injury sustained on Tuesday night's game against PSG.

Hollande vows new law on ministers’ wealth
France

Hollande vows new law on ministers’ wealth

President François Hollande described the actions of disgraced ex-Budget Minister Jérôme Cahuzac on Wednesday as "an insult to the Republic" and vowed to introduce a new law on ministers' wealth. Cahuzac has been charged in a tax evasion probe.

Swiss banks inquiry forced Cahuzac’s hand
Switzerland

Swiss banks inquiry forced Cahuzac’s hand

The discovery by Swiss investigators of an undeclared bank account held by France's disgraced former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac appeared to have sparked his decision to finally come clean about its existence, a Geneva newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Ex Spanish PM hits free golf class bogey
Spain

Ex Spanish PM hits free golf class bogey

Former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar and his family racked up nearly 200 hours of free golf lessons on the public tab in 2001.

Ten mind-blowing ‘facts’ about Norse gods
Sweden

Ten mind-blowing ‘facts’ about Norse gods

We all know that Thor had a hammer, but did you know he was a redhead? Or that old one-eyed Odin was an alcoholic? Or that Loki was the mother (yes, mother) of an eight-legged horse? And that's just the beginning…

Vigilante granny fires rifle at noisy teenagers
France

Vigilante granny fires rifle at noisy teenagers

A pensioner in central France used more than a brush to take on a group of teenagers, who were making a racket outside her apartment, it was reported on Wednesday. To the shock of the youngsters the 81-year-old woman opened fire on them with a rifle.

France urges China to ease North Korea crisis
France

France urges China to ease North Korea crisis

France said on Wednesday it wanted China, which "has power over North Korea", to intervene in the military crisis rocking the Korean peninsula.

Stockholm’s Grand Hotel aims high with newly-renovated suites
Sweden

Stockholm’s Grand Hotel aims high with newly-renovated suites

Stockholm's storied Grand Hotel is set on being one of the top-ten luxury hotels in Europe by 2015, and recently offered a rare, behind-the-scenes look at a set of newly renovated suites that owners hope will help it get there.

Police ‘bungle’ missing woman probe: report
Switzerland

Police ‘bungle’ missing woman probe: report

Zug cantonal police are facing criticism for mishandling an investigation into the whereabouts of a 20-year-old Danish student, who went missing last Tuesday.

Swedish-Eritreans hit by blackmail torture threats
Sweden

Swedish-Eritreans hit by blackmail torture threats

Eritreans in Sweden are being forced to cough up tens of thousands of dollars to blackmailers who threaten to torture and kill their family members abroad.

Bieber ‘should not get his monkey back’
Germany

Bieber ‘should not get his monkey back’

Teen pop heartthrob Justin Bieber should not get back the little pet monkey confiscated by German customs officials, according to the man caring for the young animal.

Germany recognizes skills of 30,000 foreigners
Germany

Germany recognizes skills of 30,000 foreigners

Over 30,000 foreigners in Germany have applied for their professional qualifications to be recognized by government since the law changed a year ago to alleviate a dearth of skilled workers in Europe's largest economy.

Sweden’s jobless a cash cow for coaching firms
Sweden

Sweden’s jobless a cash cow for coaching firms

Private sector job coaching firms are earning double-digit profit margins from taxpayer-funded contracts with Sweden's Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) to help unemployed Swedes back into the workforce.

SBB warns rail upgrades mean timetable changes
Switzerland

SBB warns rail upgrades mean timetable changes

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is giving early notice of timetable and route changes starting in December 2015 and lasting for 10 years during major construction work to upgrade rail facilities around Lausanne.

Alps murders probe held back by Iraq safety fears
France

Alps murders probe held back by Iraq safety fears

An investigation into the cold-blooded murders of a three members of a British Iraqi family and a French cyclist in the Alps has been held back by France's Foreign Ministry after it blocked a request by French judges to visit Iraq.

‘Dismembered’ woman found in Stockholm flat
Sweden

‘Dismembered’ woman found in Stockholm flat

Two men are being held on suspicion of murder after a woman who was reportedly dismembered was found in a flat in south Stockholm on Tuesday night.

Norway schools delay exams amid Bieber fever
Norway

Norway schools delay exams amid Bieber fever

Norwegian schools have moved exams that clashed with Justin Bieber's concerts in the country, fearing some fans would rather cut class than miss out on an evening with the Canadian heart throb.

Libyan lifeline for bankrupt French oil plant
France

Libyan lifeline for bankrupt French oil plant

Bankruptcy administrators for the Petroplus oil refinery in Normandy have accepted bids from two firms to rescue the plant and have passed them on to a court, union sources said this week.

King faces ‘inheritance dodging’ claims
Spain

King faces ‘inheritance dodging’ claims

Spain's main opposition socialist party said on Tuesday it would ask the government if King Juan Carlos has his taxes in order after a newspaper reported he got an inheritance worth over two million euros following the death of his father.

Zlatan soars in PSG draw against Barcelona
Sweden

Zlatan soars in PSG draw against Barcelona

Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a pivotal, if not controversial, role in helping Paris Saint Germain manage a 2-2 draw against Barcelona on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final series.

Matuidi strikes at death as PSG hold Barça
Spain

Matuidi strikes at death as PSG hold Barça

Blaise Matuidi struck with the last kick of the game to earn Paris Saint-Germain a 2-2 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.

WWII bomb disrupts Berlin main train station
Germany

WWII bomb disrupts Berlin main train station

A 100-kilo World War II bomb found near Berlin's main train station was successfully defused on Wednesday, but rail passengers still faced delays for the rest of the day.

Chilly economic climate and weather hit zoos
Germany

Chilly economic climate and weather hit zoos

Zoos in North Rhine-Westphalia are under intense financial pressure as the cold keeps visitors away and the chill economic climate kills off corporate sponsorship, an investigation by a German regional paper showed this week.

Bayern put a foot in Champion League semis
Germany

Bayern put a foot in Champion League semis

Bayern Munich have one foot in the Champions League semi-finals after their 2-0 win at home to Juventus on Tuesday in the quarter-final, first leg clash.

Glass ceiling intact in most top German firms
Germany

Glass ceiling intact in most top German firms

Nearly 90 percent of all top jobs in Germany's publicly owned companies are occupied by men, prompting a women's manager group to complain of improvements coming in only "homeopathic" doses.

Afghan boys found abandoned in Uppsala
Sweden

Afghan boys found abandoned in Uppsala

Two young boys from Afghanistan have been found abandoned on the streets of Uppsala in recent days, prompting suspicions they were brought to Sweden via an organized people smuggling operation.