Nestlé chair warns over ‘difficult’  Swiss climate
Switzerland

Nestlé chair warns over ‘difficult’ Swiss climate

Swiss-based Nestlé’s expat chairman warned on Thursday that while the world’s largest food company wants to stay in Switzerland, the environment for publicly listed companies in the country is becoming more difficult and the stability of laws for business is “constantly being challenged.”

Swiss president Maurer abandons Facebook
Switzerland

Swiss president Maurer abandons Facebook

Disappointed with the results of his brief foray into the most popular social medium on earth, Swiss President Ueli Maurer has given up his Facebook account.

‘Alaya is the iron lady of Spanish justice’
Spain

‘Alaya is the iron lady of Spanish justice’

This week's Spanish Face of the Week is a woman with the unenviable mission of presiding over the mother of all Spain's corruption scandals: the 'reptile funds' case. Meet Sevillian judge Mercedes Alaya.

Left slams call for Thatcher Street in Paris
France

Left slams call for Thatcher Street in Paris

A proposal to name a street in the French capital after the late Margaret Thatcher has caused left wing members of the Paris council to see red. One suggested it would be more appropriate to name a rue after an IRA hunger striker.

Author of breasts study: more research needed
France

Author of breasts study: more research needed

A new French study suggesting women could be better off without bras has been challenged by females. The professor who conducted the study explained his findings to The Local on Thursday, saying more research was needed.

Swiss court orders stolen German millions returned
Switzerland

Swiss court orders stolen German millions returned

Switzerland's supreme court on Thursday ordered Austrian bank UniCredit to pay Germany over 254 million euros ($333 million) to end a legal battle dating back to the fall of the Berlin Wall two decades ago.

Italian man catches thief, then gives him a job
Italy

Italian man catches thief, then gives him a job

The caretaker of a housing complex near Florence in Italy used a knife to scare off a thief trying to steal copper wiring and called in the police to arrest him.

Police allow prayer calls at Stockholm mosque
Sweden

Police allow prayer calls at Stockholm mosque

A mosque in the south of Stockholm was given the all-clear by Swedish police on Thursday to make prayer calls from its minaret, the first time such permission has ever been granted in the country.

Catalonia hits back in school language battle
Spain

Catalonia hits back in school language battle

Spain’s central government and Catalonia’s regional legislature are in the midst of a heated dispute over a new law that will boost the use of Castilian Spanish in Catalan classrooms.

Italian porn star bids to join Rome city council
Italy

Italian porn star bids to join Rome city council

Retired Italian porn star Llona Staller, better known as "Cicciolina", on Thursday said she would run for Rome's city council - 34 years after the blonde bombshell started out in politics.

Gibraltar gives green light to gay adoptions
Spain

Gibraltar gives green light to gay adoptions

Same-sex couples in Gibraltar will be able to adopt children after the territory's Supreme Court issued a ruling on the issue on Wednesday.

Nurse cleared over ambulance call death
Sweden

Nurse cleared over ambulance call death

A Swedish appeals court has freed a nurse who dismissed the emergency call from a 23-year-old who later died of a ruptured spleen.

France mulls US-style ‘class action’ law suits
France

France mulls US-style ‘class action’ law suits

The French government wants to adopt American-style "class action" lawsuits, designed to give consumers “effective weapons against fraudulent companies”. The reform will be proposed at a cabinet meeting on May 2nd.

Sweden takes best care of its citizens: study
Sweden

Sweden takes best care of its citizens: study

Swedish citizens are the most pampered in the world, according to a new rating that measures non-economic needs and aims to replace GDP as a well-being indicator.

Actor Redford slams ‘immoral’ Paris auction
France

Actor Redford slams ‘immoral’ Paris auction

Hollywood actor and director Robert Redford on Thursday weighed into a row about plans to auction off 70 ceremonial masks originating from the Hopi tribe of Arizona, calling the proposed sale "sacrilege".

Dutch horsemeat sold as beef for two years
Germany

Dutch horsemeat sold as beef for two years

Over 100 German food retailers have been buying horsemeat falsely labelled as beef from a Dutch abattoir before selling it on to the public, Germany's Consumer Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

Authorities uncover neo-Nazi prison network
Germany

Authorities uncover neo-Nazi prison network

German authorities are investigating a number of neo-Nazi prisoners who formed a secret nationwide network from behind bars, exchanging coded messages and possibly forging contact to members of far-right terror group.

‘Non-amputees can also feel phantom limbs’
Sweden

‘Non-amputees can also feel phantom limbs’

Swedish researchers have discovered that people with both their hands and arms can experience the sensation of having "phantom limbs", a phenomenon thought to be only felt by amputees imagining that their missing limb was still present.

Merkel aims to bolster Indian economic ties
Germany

Merkel aims to bolster Indian economic ties

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a joint cabinet session Thursday as the European export power and the Asian giant seek to boost economic ties.

Swede wows Katy Perry with jungle jingle
Sweden

Swede wows Katy Perry with jungle jingle

A hot new Swedish singer got a big boost this week from US pop star Katy Perry, whose social media shout-out helped Ellinor Olovsdotter, better known as Elliphant, reach millions of new fans, making her our pick for Swede of the Week.

Hepatitis outbreak blamed on frozen berries
Sweden

Hepatitis outbreak blamed on frozen berries

Swedish authorities announced on Thursday that frozen berries may have been the cause of over 20 Hepatitis A infections in Sweden since December.

Teens return 467,200 kroner found on train
Norway

Teens return 467,200 kroner found on train

Two Norwegian teens returned 467,200 kroner ($81,500) they found left on a train by an elderly passenger, Norwegian media reported on Thursday.

Ex-MP stirs up storm with ‘hippy’ tweets
Spain

Ex-MP stirs up storm with ‘hippy’ tweets

An ex-deputy for Spain's ruling Popular Party has kicked up a storm on Twitter by saying he would rip off the head of any hippy that attacked one of his daughters during an anti-eviction protest.

Grand Rabbi brought down by moment of truth
France

Grand Rabbi brought down by moment of truth

A scandal that would have stayed hidden in the margins of some academic journal is currently engrossing France. At the centre is Grand Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, the popular leader of France's Jewish community, who resigned on Thursday amid mounting pressure.

Disgraced minister has to move ‘every two days’
France

Disgraced minister has to move ‘every two days’

Hounded by the media over a major tax fraud scandal, France's former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac is having to "move every two days" to escape the glare, he said in an interview published on Thursday.

High speed highway heists baffle police
Germany

High speed highway heists baffle police

A new motorway theft phenomena – opening a truck's back doors and stealing its contents while driving at high speeds – has hit Germany and left police baffled. One vehicle drove for hours on the autobahn with open doors after the heist.

Severe flu season boosts Roche drug sales
Switzerland

Severe flu season boosts Roche drug sales

Basel-based drug giant Roche says heightened demand for its Tamiflu drug amid a severe flu season, as well as for its cancer medicines sent its first-quarter sales up five percent, beating analyst expectations.

Gay marriage dictionary entry ‘anti-democratic’
France

Gay marriage dictionary entry ‘anti-democratic’

Gay marriage has not quite been legalized in France, but it has been adopted by the writers of the next edition of the renowned Larousse dictionary. The move has been described as "anti-democratic" by one angry opposition deputy.

‘Idiot’ prosecutor fined after sex-buy sting
Sweden

‘Idiot’ prosecutor fined after sex-buy sting

A top Swedish prosecutor arrested in Stockholm for buying sex while he was on duty to register sexual crimes reports coming in from the police has pleaded guilty and been fined.

Teen mum hides dead baby in closet
Spain

Teen mum hides dead baby in closet

A 17-year-old girl has been arrested for the murder of her recently born baby in the Andalusia's Jaén province.

Swiss government backs away from Dalai Lama
Switzerland

Swiss government backs away from Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama will meet members of Swiss parliament for the first time during a visit to Switzerland starting on Saturday but members of the seven-person federal cabinet will not be receiving the Tibetan spiritual leader.

General Motors to invest €4 billion in Opel
Germany

General Motors to invest €4 billion in Opel

General Motors will invest €4 billion in its troubled German subsidiary Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall by 2016, the US auto giant has announced.

Anti-Semitism row rocks top Social Democrat
Sweden

Anti-Semitism row rocks top Social Democrat

Former party leader Mona Sahlin has questioned her Social Democrats peers for electing a member with ties to anti-Semitic propagandists to the governing board (partistyrelsen).

Ex-Pope’s shoes kick up storm in Granada
Spain

Ex-Pope’s shoes kick up storm in Granada

The famous red leather shoes favoured by retired Pope Benedict XVI have found their final resting place in a Granada museum.

Public transport fare dodgers face fine hike
Germany

Public transport fare dodgers face fine hike

Germany's public transportation fare dodgers will soon be hit with increased fines if caught by ticket inspectors, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

Julius Bär shareholders reject ‘excessive’ pay
Switzerland

Julius Bär shareholders reject ‘excessive’ pay

Shareholders in Swiss private bank Julius Bär have flatly rejected the bank's plan for executive compensation in a non-binding vote, amid outrage over excessive pay packages.

Jewish body holds crisis talks over Grand Rabbi
France

Jewish body holds crisis talks over Grand Rabbi

The body governing France's Jewish congregations will meet on Thursday for an emergency session over a plagiarism scandal involving the country's Grand Rabbi that has made waves at home and abroad.

Ancelotti hails PSG after Barcelona given fright
France

Ancelotti hails PSG after Barcelona given fright

Paris Saint-Germain were knocked out of the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday night after coming close to pulling off a major upset against the Catalan giants. Coach Ancelotti hailed his players' efforts.

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Sweden

Swedish reform to let more refugee kids stay

Sweden's Green Party and the government have agreed to lower the requirements needed for refugee children to get residence permits for Sweden.

Germany wants ‘tax FBI’
Germany

Germany wants ‘tax FBI’

Germany's finance minister said on Thursday he would welcome the state setting up a “tax FBI” in order to make it more difficult for people to stash money abroad in tax havens.

Women better off without bras: French study
France

Women better off without bras: French study

Women should forget everything they've been told about bras. According to a new French study, published on Wednesday, wearing a bra does nothing to reduce back pain, and the chest supports actually cause increased breast sagging.

‘Strip King’s son-in-law of passport’: Plaintiff
Spain

‘Strip King’s son-in-law of passport’: Plaintiff

A Spanish union acting as a private plaintiff in a corruption case against Inaki Urdangarin, King Juan Carlos' son-in-law, asked a court on Wednesday to order him to surrender his passport to prevent him from accepting a job offer in Qatar.

Barça hail supersub Messi after PSG scare
Spain

Barça hail supersub Messi after PSG scare

Barcelona survived a huge scare from Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday after the World Player of the Year helped guide the Spanish giants past Paris and into the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Paris Louvre gallery to reopen after staff strike
France

Paris Louvre gallery to reopen after staff strike

The world famous Louvre gallery will reopen on Thursday after a walkout by staff over a rise in aggressive pickpockets forced the closure of the famed Paris museum, a union representative said.

‘The booze won’t be free even if Greece wins’
Sweden

‘The booze won’t be free even if Greece wins’

In the latest in a series profiling different communities in Malmö as the city prepares to host the Eurovision Song Contest, The Local's Patrick Reilly talks to Greeks in Malmö to find out where their loyalties lie.

Thousands rally in Paris against homophobia
France

Thousands rally in Paris against homophobia

Around 5,000 protesters held a demonstration in Paris on Wednesday night to denounce critics of a gay marriage bill moving through parliament as "homophobic". The rally was held days after a gay couple were severely beaten up in the capital.

Dead man found frozen in lake ice near Stockholm
Sweden

Dead man found frozen in lake ice near Stockholm

A man and a dog were found frozen in the ice of Lake Mälaren near the Stockholm suburb of Bromma on Thursday, with police speculating they may have been in the water since last autumn.

Kohl says Thatcher behind UK-EU tensions
Germany

Kohl says Thatcher behind UK-EU tensions

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's hostility towards a closer Europe is the root cause of ongoing tensions between Britain and the EU, Germany's ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl said in an interview published on Thursday.

Swedish artist cleared over Holocaust ash art
Sweden

Swedish artist cleared over Holocaust ash art

Polish prosecutors have dismissed their probe into a Swedish artist's claims he used ashes of Holocaust victims, their spokeswoman said Wednesday.

‘He thought it was funny at first’
Germany

‘He thought it was funny at first’

A fashionable 83-year-old in Berlin has gained international fame after an Australian photographer started a Tumblr blog called 'What Ali Wore' showcasing his sartorial splendor. Ali is The Local's German of the Week.

US jury: fake Rockefeller guilty of murder
Germany

US jury: fake Rockefeller guilty of murder

A German fantasist who impersonated a member of the Rockefeller family, an English aristocrat and a Hollywood film producer, was convicted on Wednesday of murdering his California landlord in 1985.