Speedy undershoes among inventions showcased in Geneva
Switzerland

Speedy undershoes among inventions showcased in Geneva

Rollkers, lightweight undershoes that allow you to walk at speeds of 12 kilometres an hour, are among the more unusual products on display at Geneva’s 41st annual exhibition of inventions, which began on Wednesday.

Rolex and Nestlé crack top ten reputation list
Switzerland

Rolex and Nestlé crack top ten reputation list

Two Swiss companies cracked the top ten list of global companies with the best reputations for the first time, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

French debt making Europe ‘vulnerable’
France

French debt making Europe ‘vulnerable’

The European Commission singled out France on Wednesday for some harsh warnings over serious public sector debt levels that could prove the Achilles heel for the entire eurozone.

French cheese causes a stink at US customs
France

French cheese causes a stink at US customs

A specialty French cheese has provoked a cross-Atlantic row after US customs officials refused to allow almost a tonne of it into the country, citing concern over “allergies”.

Spain’s top celebrity lookalikes unveiled
Spain

Spain’s top celebrity lookalikes unveiled

In this week's The Local List, we match famous Spaniards with their celebrity doppelgangers from around this world and beyond.

Greenpeace ‘polar bears’ protest Arctic oil drilling
Norway

Greenpeace ‘polar bears’ protest Arctic oil drilling

Two Greenpeace activists dressed as polar bears boarded an oil platform in Norway on Wednesday to protest against Norwegian oil and gas group Statoil's planned drilling in the Arctic.

Mother cleared over son’s 9/11 ‘bomb’ T-shirt
France

Mother cleared over son’s 9/11 ‘bomb’ T-shirt

A court in southern France on Wednesday acquitted a mother who sent her three-year-old son Jihad to school wearing a sweater with the words "I am a bomb" on the front, along with his name and 'Born on September 11th' on the back.

Swedish nurse fights ‘absurd’ parking fine
Sweden

Swedish nurse fights ‘absurd’ parking fine

A Swedish nurse is fighting a parking ticket he got while stuck in the emergency ward because heavy snow saw the number of accidents go up, a fact that left the ticketing company unimpressed.

Ten strangest Swedish insults and put-downs
Sweden

Ten strangest Swedish insults and put-downs

When it comes to putting a fellow Swede down, the Swedish language provides a number of colourful opportunities. From banishments to the forest to boots full of excrement - we've gathered the strangest ten.

Spanish dads score breastfeeding leave
Spain

Spanish dads score breastfeeding leave

Spain's men will be able to share breastfeeding leave with their partners after a public servant employed by the police labelled the current regime discriminatory.

Queen Sofía struts her stuff for Africa cause
Spain

Queen Sofía struts her stuff for Africa cause

Queen Sofía of Spain has praised the work of Spanish voluntary workers on her visit to Mozambique, where she even had a go at the African country’s traditional dance.

Thatcher ‘no role model’ for Norway’s ex-PM
Norway

Thatcher ‘no role model’ for Norway’s ex-PM

The first woman democratically elected as head of government in Europe, Margaret Thatcher inspired but also exasperated a generation of women political leaders, including Norway's first woman prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Zlatan, Silva and Becks offer PSG cause for hope
France

Zlatan, Silva and Becks offer PSG cause for hope

Can Paris Saint-Germain pull off a major upset and beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou on Wednesday night? The odds are stacked against them and not many outside France give them a prayer, but there is reason for hope.

Daimler prepares for potential profit warning
Germany

Daimler prepares for potential profit warning

The head of German carmaker Daimler said on Wednesday that European demand had been weaker than expected in early 2013, paving the way for a possible lowering of the company's annual targets.

Job centre’s advisor speaks the right lingo
Germany

Job centre’s advisor speaks the right lingo

With issues like language barriers and outdated societal roles making finding work extra tricky for children of immigrants, a job centre in Baden-Württemberg has specifically employed a Muslim counsellor.

Swedish halal sausages laced with pork
Sweden

Swedish halal sausages laced with pork

Sweden has found halal-marked salami for sale that contains more than 10 percent pork, which observant Muslims do not eat.

Truck driver dies after train collision
Sweden

Truck driver dies after train collision

The driver of a truck that was struck by a passenger train carrying 60 passengers in south central Sweden on Wednesday afternoon has died from his injuries.

Pickpocket gangs cause closure of Louvre gallery
France

Pickpocket gangs cause closure of Louvre gallery

The world famous Louvre art gallery in Paris had to close on Wednesday when employees reportedly staged a walk-out in protest against pickpockets at the museum.

Damaged Lufthansa plane crosses Atlantic
Germany

Damaged Lufthansa plane crosses Atlantic

Lufthansa on Wednesday said it was investigating how one of its planes was flown across the Atlantic with a damaged rear end - without any of the staff realizing.

Cruise giant fined €1m for crash that killed 32
Italy

Cruise giant fined €1m for crash that killed 32

Italy's Costa Crociere, the biggest cruise operator in Europe, on Wednesday accepted limited responsibility for the Costa Concordia disaster as the employer of some of those under investigation over a shipwreck tragedy in which 32 people died.

Swedish bra saleswoman wins discrimination case
Sweden

Swedish bra saleswoman wins discrimination case

The top Swedish labour tribunal (Arbetsdomstolen - AD) on Wednesday found a Swedish lingerie shop guilty of gender discrimination after making female staff wear a pin stating their bra size.

Merkel’s coalition hits winning poll position
Germany

Merkel’s coalition hits winning poll position

Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government is doing better in polls than it has done for more than three years, with less than six months to go before the general election, a survey published on Wednesday showed.

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Switzerland

UNICEF warns of austerity impact on kids

The UN in Geneva warned on Wednesday that austerity measures are hitting children hard, as it published a ranking of kids' well-being in rich countries topped by northern European countries, with Switzerland in eighth place, and showing Britain climbing out of the bottom tier.

EU hands Spain stark warning on debt
Spain

EU hands Spain stark warning on debt

The European Commission warned on Wednesday that Spain and Slovenia pose Europe's biggest economic risks at present and must quickly tackle excessive imbalances, giving them just weeks to show they can deliver the changes needed.

A global classroom in the heart of Stockholm
Sweden

A global classroom in the heart of Stockholm

Imagine a learning environment where every day is a lesson in cultural diversity, set within a global classroom. Fellow pupils come and go from all around the world. And should you move country, you can take your education to your next destination.

Hamburgers bump pizza from fast food top spot
Spain

Hamburgers bump pizza from fast food top spot

Hamburger joints are the new kings of Spain's fast food world while pizza restaurants are having to tighten their belts.

Hollande vows to wipe out world’s tax havens
France

Hollande vows to wipe out world’s tax havens

French President François Hollande promised he would ‘eradicate’ tax havens ‘in Europe and the world’, as part of his government’s major anti-corruption push, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Richest man in France ends bid to be Belgian
France

Richest man in France ends bid to be Belgian

France's richest man, Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH luxury goods empire, has renounced his controversial bid to become a Belgian citizen, he told Le Monde newspaper on Wednesday.

Teens girls to be charged in Instagram riot case
Sweden

Teens girls to be charged in Instagram riot case

Prosecutors in Gothenburg have decided to file criminal charges against two teen girls believed to be behind a "slut-shaming" account on Instagram that caused local teenagers to riot last year.

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Spain

Spanish industrial output slows in February

Spanish industrial output fell faster in February, dropping by 6.5 percent from the same month a year earlier following a decline of 4.9 percent in January, official statistics released on Tuesday showed.

Thatcher’s top 10 quips about the Germans
Germany

Thatcher’s top 10 quips about the Germans

Margaret Thatcher didn't care much for the Germans, and she had few qualms about expressing her dislike. Following the death of the former British prime minister this week, The Local List collects her most memorable quotations about the Germans.

‘Ötzi the Iceman had bad teeth’: Zurich scientists
Switzerland

‘Ötzi the Iceman had bad teeth’: Zurich scientists

Ötzi the Iceman went to the dentist in Switzerland and the results of the checkup are not good.

Wigged bank bandit fakes faint to stall trial
Spain

Wigged bank bandit fakes faint to stall trial

A bank robber known as 'El Solitario' who is famous for his many disguises pretended to faint while in court on Tuesday in a bid to have his case put on hold.

France has ‘no choice’ but to freeze benefits
France

France has ‘no choice’ but to freeze benefits

French central bank governor Christian Noyer said on Wednesday that France should freeze pensions, civil servant salaries and social benefits to save €40 billion by 2014 as it tries to cut a swollen public deficit and jumpstart growth.

Citizenship bid fails in trick question scandal
Spain

Citizenship bid fails in trick question scandal

A Senegalese man living in the southern Spanish city of Almería is appealing a legal decision that saw his application for Spanish citizenship denied because he did not know the name of the wife of the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

‘Paris is where it all happens, suck it and see’
France

‘Paris is where it all happens, suck it and see’

For this week's My French Career, Briton Nick Ord, who works in Paris, hands out a few helpful tips on how to get your foot in the door and how its important to accept French working culture, especially when it comes to the kissing.

Plan to ‘clean up’ politics turning into French farce
France

Plan to ‘clean up’ politics turning into French farce

President François Hollande's campaign to clean up French politics after the Cahuzac Affair began in earnest this week, with a demand for cabinet ministers to make their assets public. His attempt at 'transparency', however has been mocked in some quarters.

Minister bashes mobile firms’ ‘unrealistic’ claims
Sweden

Minister bashes mobile firms’ ‘unrealistic’ claims

Sweden's mobile phone operators may face tougher regulations if they don't improve network coverage and provide customers with more accurate information, IT and Energy Minister Anna-Karin Hatt warned on Wednesday.

Swedish teens achieve less in school: study
Sweden

Swedish teens achieve less in school: study

The education levels of Sweden's teenagers have dropped sharply over the past decade, according to a Unicef study into children's well-being across the industrialized world.

Norwegian student raped in Cape Town
Norway

Norwegian student raped in Cape Town

A Norwegian teenager has been raped and robbed at gunpoint by two armed men in South Africa's top tourist city of Cape Town, police said Tuesday.

Key gay marriage article passes French Senate
France

Key gay marriage article passes French Senate

France’s Senate voted ‘Yes’ to the first and most important article of the government’s divisive gay marriage bill, which would allow for same-sex unions, late on Tuesday night.

Anti-evictions group gears up for busy spring
Spain

Anti-evictions group gears up for busy spring

Spain's anti-evictions movement, the PAH, are planning to follow up nationwide protests on Tuesday with a busy spring involving continued protests in front of the office of the ruling Popular Party around the country.

Chocs to clocks: 16 myths about the Swiss
Switzerland

Chocs to clocks: 16 myths about the Swiss

Everyone knows about the snow-capped mountains and pen-knives with lots of attachments but do they represent the real Switzerland? Here, the author of The Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss explodes — and confirms — a few myths.

Real endure onslaught as Malaga suffer heartbreak
Spain

Real endure onslaught as Malaga suffer heartbreak

Real Madrid withstood a second-half onslaught from Galatasaray to qualify for their third successive Champions League semi-final, but Malaga were knocked out after conceding two goals in the dying minutes against Borussia Dortmund.

French assembly adopts contentious job reforms
France

French assembly adopts contentious job reforms

France's lower house has adopted controversial labour law reforms that supporters say are crucial to boosting jobs and competitiveness, but opponents have blasted as unfair for workers.

Klopp admits Dortmund lucky to make semis
Germany

Klopp admits Dortmund lucky to make semis

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admitted they had ridden their luck – and the offside flag – as their dramatic 3-2 victory over Malaga put them in the Champions League's last four.

Swedish envoy back to Belarus after teddy spat
Sweden

Swedish envoy back to Belarus after teddy spat

Sweden plans to send its first diplomat to Belarus since its ambassador was expelled last summer after hundreds of teddy bears were dropped from an airplane in a pro-democracy stunt organized by a Swedish PR firm.

Stockholm taxi driver killed by passenger
Sweden

Stockholm taxi driver killed by passenger

A 64-year-old taxi driver was killed just north of Stockholm late on Tuesday night after what witnesses reported was a fight with a passenger.

Westerwelle slams media limits for neo-Nazi trial
Germany

Westerwelle slams media limits for neo-Nazi trial

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Wednesday said Germany's image abroad could suffer because of a court's failure to guarantee Turkish media access to a neo-Nazi murder trial starting next week.

New snag for Swiss deal on Swedish jet fighters
Sweden

New snag for Swiss deal on Swedish jet fighters

Switzerland's purchase of 22 Swedish fighter jets hit a new snag Tuesday as the Swiss parliament suspended funding discussions, amid reports that EADS was trying to undercut the deal by offering used fighters at half-price.

German parents want more state support
Germany

German parents want more state support

German parents are unhappy with family support on offer from the government, according to a new study. Most said they wanted more day care places and help balancing work and caring for children.

New in German cinemas this week: ‘Oblivion’
Germany

New in German cinemas this week: ‘Oblivion’

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

Germany renews nuclear waste dump search
Germany

Germany renews nuclear waste dump search

Germany has decided to start a fresh search for a radioactive waste depot site in the country, delaying for years a tough decision on an issue that has long divided the nation.