Court upholds appeals against holiday homes
Switzerland

Court upholds appeals against holiday homes

A ruling from Switzerland’s top court made public on Wednesday threw thousands of Alpine holiday home development projects into disarray.

Lausanne scientists unlock clues to ageing
Switzerland

Lausanne scientists unlock clues to ageing

Swiss researchers say they have taken a step closer to unlocking the mystery of ageing after discovering the impact of a longevity gene in mice and then managing to extend the life-span of worms by 60 percent thanks to a basic antibiotic treatment.

Puerto Rican banker vies for top Olympic job
Switzerland

Puerto Rican banker vies for top Olympic job

Puerto Rican banker Richard Carrion added his name on Wednesday to the list of candidates vying to take over as head of the Olympic movement.

Femen mocks writer’s suicide at Notre Dame
France

Femen mocks writer’s suicide at Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was evacuated for the second time in two days on Wednesday when a topless feminist staged a mock suicide in front of the altar the day after far-right historian Dominique Venner shot himself in the church.

‘Kalimotxo’ conquers New York cocktail scene
Spain

‘Kalimotxo’ conquers New York cocktail scene

The red wine and Coca-Cola mixture, popular as a refreshing summer drink in many parts of Spain, has been praised in the New York Times.

Stockholm riots: a view from the street in Husby
Sweden

Stockholm riots: a view from the street in Husby

Following three nights of violence that left cars smouldering in several Stockholm suburbs, The Local travelled to the north-western district of Husby where the disturbances began to see how the riots have affected local residents.

New health law death shakes up Majorca
Spain

New health law death shakes up Majorca

The manager of a hospital in Majorca was fired on Wednesday after staff at his clinic repeatedly refused to treat a Senegalese man who later died of tuberculosis.

How to avoid getting ripped off in Rome
Italy

How to avoid getting ripped off in Rome

Remember those hapless tourists who were charged £54 for four cones of ice cream near the Spanish steps? If you’re planning a Roman holiday or moving to the city take note of our tips to avoid getting ripped off.

‘Most deadly’ skin cancer up 50% in last 10 years
Spain

‘Most deadly’ skin cancer up 50% in last 10 years

Experts in Barcelona say that melanoma, the most aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer, is still on the rise in Spain and urge caution this summer.

Cop faces charges for punching woman
Germany

Cop faces charges for punching woman

German state prosecutors filed on Wednesday charges against a policeman who punched a woman in the face, breaking her nose and eye socket while she was at a Munich police station in January.

France to spend €20m on embassy security
France

France to spend €20m on embassy security

France is to shell out millions of euros on increasing security around its embassies in Africa and the Middle East, the French foreign office announced on Wednesday. The move comes after a car bomb attack on its Libyan embassy last month.

‘Italians prefer to do business face to face’
Italy

‘Italians prefer to do business face to face’

When American dentist Rick Zullo came to Italy in 2010, he was intending to stay for just a few months. But after falling in love with his Italian teacher, he had to rethink his plans. Three years on, he tells The Local how he kickstarted a new career as an English teacher.

Bergman auction canned after suspected theft
Sweden

Bergman auction canned after suspected theft

An auction of items belonging to late Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman has been cancelled, the auction house said on Wednesday, after police said the objects were likely stolen from the family.

Why elitism is dragging France down
France

Why elitism is dragging France down

As France is split over planned school reforms aimed at improving equality in a country where the chances of success often depend on a pupil's background, here's what British author Peter Gumbel has previously said about how French elitism is holding the country back.

Swiss banks face huge US tax fines: report
Switzerland

Swiss banks face huge US tax fines: report

Swiss banks holding US citizens' funds that are not declared to American tax authorities face massive fines under a deal between Switzerland and Washington, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Cannes jeers Gosling’s film Only God Forgives
France

Cannes jeers Gosling’s film Only God Forgives

Boos rang out at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday for a blood-spattered revenge tale starring Ryan Gosling as a US fugitive running a Bangkok drugs racket and Kristin Scott Thomas as a cross between "Lady Macbeth and Donatella Versace."

Workers’ battle inspires online game ‘Kill Mittal’
France

Workers’ battle inspires online game ‘Kill Mittal’

The fight by French workers against Britain-based steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has inspired a new online game in which strikers can attack police. The game is called "Kill Mittal", despite its creators insisting it is not designed to incite violence.

Police raid suspected leftist extremists
Germany

Police raid suspected leftist extremists

Police on Wednesday carried out raids across several German states at more than 20 properties, which they believe are connected to a network of leftist extremists responsible for carrying out attacks over more than a decade.

Nestlé invests heavily in Singapore R & D centre
Switzerland

Nestlé invests heavily in Singapore R & D centre

Swiss-based global food giant Nestle says its has expanded its research and development operations in Singapore, amid robust Asian market growth.

Costa Concordia captain to go on trial in July
Italy

Costa Concordia captain to go on trial in July

Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship will go on trial from July 9th for manslaughter over the January 2012 disaster in which 32 people lost their lives, an Italian judge ruled on Wednesday.

Guerrilla group kidnaps Spaniards in Colombia
Spain

Guerrilla group kidnaps Spaniards in Colombia

Two Spanish tourists were kidnapped on Friday in a remote area of northeast Colombia by a group that claims to be part of the country’s notorious armed group FARC, Spain’s foreign ministry reported on Tuesday.

Swiss ban on toilet flushing ‘an urban myth’
Switzerland

Swiss ban on toilet flushing ‘an urban myth’

Finding a place to rent in Switzerland is hard enough. Adhering to the thicket of tenant rules governing everything from running baths to pet ownership can be even tougher, although misconceptions linger over when toilets can be flushed.

Government defends tribute to Nazi volunteers
Spain

Government defends tribute to Nazi volunteers

The Spanish Interior Minister has justified an awards ceremony earlier this month to honour Francoist volunteers who fought for Hitler's 'Blue Division' in World War II.

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Sweden

Stockholm man lay dead in flat for two years

Workmen in southern Stockholm found the body of man who may have lain dead in his flat for over two years, with the police blaming the belated discovery on society's broken social networks.

NSU known as neo-Nazi ‘terror cell’ before killings
Germany

NSU known as neo-Nazi ‘terror cell’ before killings

German intelligence services had identified neo-Nazi gang the National Socialist Underground (NSU) as a “terror cell” months before members killed their first victim in 2000, a secret document condemning the state's inaction has revealed.

Fashion prize turns Rookies into players
Sweden

Fashion prize turns Rookies into players

Swedish designers who fight for brand-name recognition in the notoriously hard-to-crack fashion business tell The Local's Victoria Hussey about the importance of the Swedish Rookies Award.

Four jailed for drugging internet date victims
Sweden

Four jailed for drugging internet date victims

Four thieves who used internet dating sites to find victims who they then robbed after drugging them with a concoction of sedatives and psychosis drugs were sentenced to prison on Wednesday by a Swedish court.

Paris kidnapping gang targets rich women
France

Paris kidnapping gang targets rich women

French police fear a gang of robbers is specifically targeting wealthy women in Paris after the second victim in a matter of weeks was kidnapped and forced to hand over tens of thousands of euros worth of valuables.

The Italian film director vying for a Palme d’Or
Italy

The Italian film director vying for a Palme d’Or

His film, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), is the only Italian contender for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The gong will be presented by a jury led by Steven Spielberg on Sunday. Meet Paolo Sorrentino, the Italian Face of the Week.

‘I hate Wagner but I hate him on my knees’
Germany

‘I hate Wagner but I hate him on my knees’

Germany is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner on Wednesday. Probably the country's most revered and reviled composer, the man considered both a musical genius and an anti-Semite is The Local's German of the Week.

Former Spanish PM Aznar hints at comeback
Spain

Former Spanish PM Aznar hints at comeback

Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar hinted at a possible return to politics in a TV interview on Tuesday in which he criticized members of the Popular Party, among them his successor, Mariano Rajoy.

New Barça shirts fly flag for Catalonia
Spain

New Barça shirts fly flag for Catalonia

FC Barcelona's newly-revealed away strip for the forthcoming football season prominently features Catalonia's 'senyera' flag as the region contemplates independence from Spain.

Girlfriend in a coma: Will Italy pull through?
Italy

Girlfriend in a coma: Will Italy pull through?

With their dazzling documentary film, ex-Economist editor Bill Emmott and film-maker Annalisa Piras rattled the Italian establishment in the run-up to the recent election. Now Emmott's rocky love affair with the country has entered a new phase, he tells The Local.

Rösler wants dual citizenship for IT talent
Germany

Rösler wants dual citizenship for IT talent

German Economy Minister Philipp Rösler appealed to top US university students this week to consider Germany as the place to start their IT careers and called for tech entrepreneurs to be offered dual citizenship.

More trouble for Hollande as Socialist MP jailed
France

More trouble for Hollande as Socialist MP jailed

The French President François Hollande’s bid to clean up French politics suffered an early setback on Wednesday when one of his parliamentary deputies was jailed for misappropriation of public money.

Riksbank unveils new board members
Sweden

Riksbank unveils new board members

Sweden's central bank has appointed two new board members plucked from banking and academia to replace two outgoing members, one of whom was an outspoken critic of the Riksbank's commitment to the government's inflation goal.

Doc went on holiday as Swede’s cancer spread
Sweden

Doc went on holiday as Swede’s cancer spread

A Swedish man has been left facing death after his doctor went on holiday, leaving a cancer diagnosis stranded in the computer system while the increasingly desperate patient fought for help elsewhere.

Thirty fires in third night of Stockholm riots
Sweden

Thirty fires in third night of Stockholm riots

Police arrested eight people on Tuesday night as thirty cars were torched across southern and western Stockholm, in what was the third consecutive night of unrest in the Swedish capital.

French embassy rapped for online banking link
Switzerland

French embassy rapped for online banking link

The website of the French embassy in Switzerland removed a link that allowed users to open a Swiss bank account online after the government in Paris came under fire from an opposition critic.

Director Bruni-Tedeschi gets personal at Cannes
Italy

Director Bruni-Tedeschi gets personal at Cannes

Italian-French director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, the sister of France's former First Lady Carla Bruni, relived a painful chapter of her family history in a film presented at Cannes on Tuesday in which she cast her real-life mother and ex-lover.

Robbers use Molotov cocktails in jewellery raid
Italy

Robbers use Molotov cocktails in jewellery raid

A group of armed and masked robbers looted a jewellery shop in broad daylight in Milan's luxury shopping quarter on Tuesday and threw Molotov cocktails in the street, wounding two people in their escape.

350 jobs lost as Ericsson shuts Swedish factory
Sweden

350 jobs lost as Ericsson shuts Swedish factory

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has buckled under the pressure of European competition and will turn off the switch on a cable production plant in Sweden, leaving 350 employees without jobs.

Swedish ‘serial killer’ cleared of two murders
Sweden

Swedish ‘serial killer’ cleared of two murders

A Swedish man originally convicted of eight murders saw two more of the killings wiped from his record when the prosecutor's office announced Tuesday it was dropping charges in a retrial.

Spain and Germany fight youth unemployment
Spain

Spain and Germany fight youth unemployment

Germany has agreed to provide vocational training and jobs for young Spaniards starved of opportunities in their crisis-hit home country.

Top Spanish store chain juggles €5 billion debt
Spain

Top Spanish store chain juggles €5 billion debt

Spain's top department store chain El Corte Inglés must restructure €5 billion ($6.5 billion) of debt, the company said on Tuesday, citing economic conditions as Spaniards shop less in the recession.

Opposition to English at French unis is ‘hypocrisy’
France

Opposition to English at French unis is ‘hypocrisy’

A highly contentious proposal to allow more courses at French universities to be taught in English will be discussed in the French parliament today as the minister behind the plan slams the “hypocrisy” of those opposing it.

Social Democrats seek revival on 150th b-day
Germany

Social Democrats seek revival on 150th b-day

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD), trailing behind the conservatives in the polls just months ahead of the elections, are looking to relaunch themselves as they celebrate their 150th anniversary later this week. AFP's Celine Le Prioux reports.

New in German cinemas: ‘Fast & Furious 6’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘Fast & Furious 6’

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

Germans bathe easy in clear waters
Germany

Germans bathe easy in clear waters

German outdoor swimming spots are cleaner than ever, results from a European Commission survey showed on Tuesday. On the whole, the EU's water quality has, it said, significantly improved.

Stockholm’s ten best-kept secrets – revealed
Sweden

Stockholm’s ten best-kept secrets – revealed

With summer in full swing and tourists filling the Swedish capital, part-time Stockholmer Erik Bloom shares the secrets of how to find the ten best places to visit in Stockholm that the average visitor may never find.

Spain and Germany fight youth employment
Germany

Spain and Germany fight youth employment

Germany has agreed to provide vocational training and jobs for young Spaniards starved of opportunities in their crisis-hit home country.

Justin Bieber’s monkey becomes ‘German’
Germany

Justin Bieber’s monkey becomes ‘German’

Justin Bieber's pet monkey, which was seized by German customs in March, officially became German property this week after the Canadian pop star failed to claim the animal, officials said.

Sweden has ‘lower tax burden’ than Senegal
Sweden

Sweden has ‘lower tax burden’ than Senegal

While Sweden has a reputation for having one of the most painful tax bills in the world, a new report ranks Sweden 20th when comparing the tax burden on salaries when social security payments and salary brackets are taken into account.