Federer makes winning return to court in Spain
Switzerland

Federer makes winning return to court in Spain

Switzerland's Roger Federer made a winning return after a two-month absence from the court as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Radek Stepanek to move into the third round of the Madrid Open on Tuesday.

Brazilian diplomat tipped to head WTO: sources
Switzerland

Brazilian diplomat tipped to head WTO: sources

Brazil's Roberto Azevedo has beaten Mexican veteran Herminio Blanco in the race to become the new leader of the Geneva-based World Trade Organization, sources close to the process say.

Norwegian base jumper dies in Bern cliff crash
Switzerland

Norwegian base jumper dies in Bern cliff crash

Police launched an investigation into the death of a 48-year-old Norwegian who died while base jumping this week in the Lauterbrunnen area of the Bernese Oberland.

‘French workers need their public holidays’
France

‘French workers need their public holidays’

As French workers get ready to enjoy two public holidays this week, questions have been raised over the heavy cost to the economy of the enforced days off. But union leaders insist they must remain to maintain France's work-life balance.

Impractical joker swaps friend’s wine for acid
Spain

Impractical joker swaps friend’s wine for acid

A man has suffered severe burns to his lips, mouth and throat after a friend who worked at his local bar decided to serve him a glass of acid rather than wine as part of a “joke”.

Pot-smoking Dylan ‘not worthy’ of French honour
France

Pot-smoking Dylan ‘not worthy’ of French honour

Bob Dylan’s pot-smoking, peacenik antics during the 1960s and 70s may have put him out of the running to be given France’s highest award, the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour), according to claims in the French media on Tuesday.

Cops call spider man after catching tarantula
Germany

Cops call spider man after catching tarantula

Two Munich police officers out on their regular evening jog ended up having to call a spider man - after finding an escaped tarantula and managing to capture it in a beer glass.

Swedish app lets ‘everyone’ write music
Sweden

Swedish app lets ‘everyone’ write music

Two Swedes have launched an app that lets even the most tone-deaf user feel like an accomplished music composer, revolutionizing the way melodies can be created and saved.

Norway growth forecast cut amid Europe turmoil
Norway

Norway growth forecast cut amid Europe turmoil

Norway on Tuesday lowered its growth forecast for this year to levels that will still see it outpace its European neighbours, but which could weaken the current government ahead of September's election.

‘Hidden’ Spanish child abuse ad goes viral
Spain

‘Hidden’ Spanish child abuse ad goes viral

A high-tech advertisement by a Spanish charity which fights child abuse has become an internet sensation around the world.

German footie fans bid for Wembley CL tickets
Germany

German footie fans bid for Wembley CL tickets

More than three quarters of a million Germans are making moves to go to London to see Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25.

Migration increases as euro crisis bites
Germany

Migration increases as euro crisis bites

Germany is attracting ever more migrants as conditions at home worsen and the German job market continues to be strong, official figures revealed.

Judges delay court call-up for King’s daughter
Spain

Judges delay court call-up for King’s daughter

A Spanish court on Tuesday spared King Juan Carlos's youngest daughter Cristina from being questioned "for the time being" in a corruption probe that has plunged the royal family into scandal.

Youssou N’Dour scoops top Swedish music award
Sweden

Youssou N’Dour scoops top Swedish music award

Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho have won Sweden's 2013 Polar Music Prize, organizers said on Tuesday.

France tells Germany: we need growth too
Germany

France tells Germany: we need growth too

As Germany and France clash over how to move Europe's economy forward, the French Finance Minister told Germany's counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble, that committing to fiscal discipline must not stall growth.

Why social democrats in Sweden love Springsteen
Sweden

Why social democrats in Sweden love Springsteen

With Bruce Springsteen playing to sell-out crowds at Stockholm's Friends Arena, political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren explains why Sweden's old-school social democrats recognize themselves in The Boss's attempt to balance a political commitment with living in a consumer society.

Al-Qaeda urges attacks on French interests
France

Al-Qaeda urges attacks on French interests

One of the leaders of north African branch of Al-Qaeda issued a call on Tuesday for Muslims around the world to launch attacks against French interests in retaliation for France's military intervention in Mali.

Irish nudist begs pardon for alarming French nuns
France

Irish nudist begs pardon for alarming French nuns

An Irish nudist was warned by police this week to pay a bit more attention to where he was walking, after a ramble through the rolling hills of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence led him a little too close to a community of nuns at a nearby priory.

‘Spain’s laws may deter expat property buyers’
Spain

‘Spain’s laws may deter expat property buyers’

Foreign buyers are helping keep Spain’s property market afloat, but new rules including a crackdown on illegal home rentals and a legal requirement to declare overseas assets could hurt the market in years to come.

Scientists sound alarm over Arctic Ocean acidity
Norway

Scientists sound alarm over Arctic Ocean acidity

Scientists at a conference in Bergen expressed alarm on Monday over the rapid acidification of the Arctic Ocean caused by carbon dioxide emissions, which could have dire consequences on the region's fragile ecosystem.

Germany ‘lags behind on organic farming’
Germany

Germany ‘lags behind on organic farming’

Organic food sales are booming in Germany, but domestic farmers miss out as much of the fruit and veg is imported, even thought it could be home-grown. A study said on Tuesday there was not enough land designated for organic farming.

Adecco profits plunge over ‘challenging’ France
Switzerland

Adecco profits plunge over ‘challenging’ France

First quarter net profits for Swiss-based Adecco, the world's biggest temporary staffing group, dropped 40 percent to 67 million euros ($87.6 million) from a year earlier, due to restructuring costs and plummeting activities in its main market, France.

Maastricht hash cafes welcome back Germans
Germany

Maastricht hash cafes welcome back Germans

Germans can buy cannabis in the Netherlands again - but only in Maastricht - after a local court there lifted a ban on selling soft drugs to foreigners.

French taxman sends bill to dead man’s grave
France

French taxman sends bill to dead man’s grave

It’s often said that the taxman will chase you to your grave, but French authorities have taken this to the extreme, sending a tax bill to the cemetery and specific tomb of a man who had been dead for months, it was reported on Tuesday.

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Switzerland

Switzerland’s Ineos partners in PVC venture

Belgium's chemical group Solvay and its Swiss competitor Ineos on Tuesday announced the creation of a joint venture destined to become one of the world's three leaders in PVC production.

‘We can’t have Europe’s youth not working’
Spain

‘We can’t have Europe’s youth not working’

Italy's new premier on Monday used a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to urge the European Union to act quickly to tackle the problem of high youth unemployment.

Disney to make film of Swede’s 100-year-old tale
Sweden

Disney to make film of Swede’s 100-year-old tale

Best-selling Swedish book The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared will be made into a Disney movie by the end of the year.

Court slashes sentence in ‘honour killing’ case
Sweden

Court slashes sentence in ‘honour killing’ case

A Swedish appeals court has reduced a lower court's eight-year prison sentence for a 17-year-old boy found of guilty fatally stabbing his sister more than 100 times after she fled a forced marriage in Iraq, in what the court referred to as an "honour killing".

Bullfighter video shakes up ‘staid’ stereotypes
Spain

Bullfighter video shakes up ‘staid’ stereotypes

Spanish bullfighter Alejandro Talavante has surprised the highly traditional world of the bulls by producing a self-funded promotional video which advertises his appearance at an upcoming event.

French banking giant SocGen to cut 1,000 jobs
France

French banking giant SocGen to cut 1,000 jobs

French banking giant Société Générale revealed on Tuesday it would cut at least 1,000 jobs worldwide, in an effort to find almost €1 billion in savings by 2015. The announcement comes as the bank's first-quarter profit fell by half.

‘Invisible thread’ can help fight fashion pirates
Sweden

‘Invisible thread’ can help fight fashion pirates

Name brand fashion designers may soon have a new tool in their fight against pirated knockoff garments thanks to an "invisible thread" developed at Chalmers University of Technology in western Sweden.

Swiss jobless rate falls for third straight month
Switzerland

Swiss jobless rate falls for third straight month

Switzerland's unemployment rate dropped for the third month in a row last month, according to figures released by Bern on Tuesday.

‘The NSU trial is an aim in itself’
Germany

‘The NSU trial is an aim in itself’

Global attention was trained on a Munich courtroom on Monday as Beate Zschäpe and four neo-Nazis faced charges relating to a series of racially motivated killings. The Local's media round-up presents some of the reaction.

‘Two-hour lunch break? That’s ridiculous!’
Spain

‘Two-hour lunch break? That’s ridiculous!’

In the latest instalment of My Spanish Career, we talk to American consular agent Maritheresa Frain about working with US convicts in Spain, running a Seville-based study abroad company, and how she's managed to shake off old Spanish habits in the workplace.

More and more French teens turning to drink
France

More and more French teens turning to drink

French teenagers are acquainting themselves with alcohol earlier and earlier in their lives and getting drunk in worryingly high numbers, according to a study published on Tuesday, the latest to suggest that France has a growing alcohol problem.

Six ‘ETA separatists’ arrested in France
France

Six ‘ETA separatists’ arrested in France

Despite Basque separist group ETA officially having ended its armed campaign French authorities continue to hunt down its members. On Tuesday six suspected members of the organisation were arrested in raids across France.

Sweden ‘second best’ place to become a mum
Sweden

Sweden ‘second best’ place to become a mum

Sweden is the second best country in the world in which to be a mother, according to a new ranking which looked at pregnancy risks and infant health.

Ticino MPs seek Swiss anthem in schools
Switzerland

Ticino MPs seek Swiss anthem in schools

Students in Ticino schools should be required to learn the Swiss national anthem, the Italian-speaking canton’s parliament decided on Monday.

Public holidays to cost France €2 billion in 2013
France

Public holidays to cost France €2 billion in 2013

The healthy number of annual public holidays in France might mean good news for French workers but it is certainly not positive for the country’s economy, with a report claiming the days off will cost €2 billion euros this year alone.

Fecal matter found on Madrid’s public phones
Spain

Fecal matter found on Madrid’s public phones

A third of all Madrid's public and shared telephones contain traces of fecal matter, a study has found.

Arrested ‘Auschwitz guard’: I was just a cook
Germany

Arrested ‘Auschwitz guard’: I was just a cook

German authorities arrested Monday a 93-year-old alleged former guard at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz on charges of complicity in the mass murder of prisoners. He claims he was only a cook.

Italy court rules against moving Berlusconi trials
Italy

Italy court rules against moving Berlusconi trials

Italy's supreme court on Monday turned down an appeal by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's defence team to move sex and fraud trials against the media magnate from Milan to another city, Italian media reported.

Sharapova makes winning start in Madrid
Spain

Sharapova makes winning start in Madrid

Maria Sharapova survived a sticky start to move into the second round of the WTA Madrid Open on Monday with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania.

Suicide stirs up Spain’s home evictions debate
Spain

Suicide stirs up Spain’s home evictions debate

A man who was facing eviction in Spain was found hanged inside his apartment on Monday, the latest in a string of suicides linked to evictions in the country which is struggling with record unemployment and a double-dip recession, officials said.

Sucking pacifiers clean good for infants’ health: Swedish study
Sweden

Sucking pacifiers clean good for infants’ health: Swedish study

Parents who suck on their infants' pacifiers may reduce their children's chances of developing allergies, a team of Swedish researchers has found.

Three Germans die as volcano erupts
Germany

Three Germans die as volcano erupts

Three German tourists and their Filipino tour guide were crushed to death when one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes spewed a giant ash cloud and a hail of rocks on Tuesday, authorities said.

Italy’s ‘untouchable’ ex-PM Andreotti dies at 94
Italy

Italy’s ‘untouchable’ ex-PM Andreotti dies at 94

Giulio Andreotti, a Machiavellian seven-time Italian prime minister who dominated the political scene for decades, died on Monday at the age of 94.

‘Teaching in France is a great foot in the door’
France

‘Teaching in France is a great foot in the door’

Curious about living in France, but unsure about your career path? Not an EU citizen, and need a back door into the country? Working as a English teaching assistant in the TAPIF programme might be just what you need.

Hollande plans reforms to ‘change face of France’
France

Hollande plans reforms to ‘change face of France’

French President François Hollande pledged this week to launch a series of reforms that would "change the face of France". Hollande insisted his government had achieved a lot in his first year, but conceded there was more to do.

Cub photographer wins prize with fox picture
Germany

Cub photographer wins prize with fox picture

A teenager has become the youngest person to ever win a prize at the Society of German Nature Photographers (GDT) awards - with a picture of a young fox emerging from his urban den.

Abba – The Museum opens in Stockholm
Sweden

Abba – The Museum opens in Stockholm

While a reunion of Swedish super group Abba may never happen, a new museum opening on Tuesday in Stockholm offers the next-best chance to witness the foursome on stage.

Swedish royal regalia found in rubbish bags
Sweden

Swedish royal regalia found in rubbish bags

Police in central Sweden made an unusual discovery on Monday evening when they found two large rubbish bags containing a recently stolen sceptre and crown used in the sixteenth-century funeral of Sweden's King Johan III.