Nadal weathers poor start to progress in Paris
Spain

Nadal weathers poor start to progress in Paris

Defending champion Rafael Nadal suffered another false start at the French Open in the Paris chill on Friday before moving into the third round.

Feminists win court war against ‘French Eminem’
France

Feminists win court war against ‘French Eminem’

French rapper Orelsan, known as the ‘French Eminem’ was convicted of insulting speech and incitement to violence on Friday over his violently misogynistic lyrics. The hip-hop star had been pursued in the courts by several feminist groups since 2009.

Cannabis town gives Catalan judge bad vibes
Spain

Cannabis town gives Catalan judge bad vibes

Plans by a Catalan town to combat the crisis by leasing out land for marijuana plantations have not been given the green light.

Spain’s socialists open door to policy talks
Spain

Spain’s socialists open door to policy talks

The leader of Spain's opposition socialist PSOE party, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, has once again expressed his willingness to form an alliance with the country's ruling Popular Party on a number of key policy issues.

Hollande scolds spooks over soldier stabbing
France

Hollande scolds spooks over soldier stabbing

French President François Hollande criticized a lack of information-sharing by intelligence services on Friday, after it emerged that a Muslim convert who stabbed a soldier in Paris was known to police, who didn't pass on their concerns.

Indian drug giant eyes Swedish pharma firm
Sweden

Indian drug giant eyes Swedish pharma firm

Indian group Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is in talks to buy leading Swedish drugmaker Meda AB in what could result in a $5 billion takeover, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Expat tobacco smugglers busted in Marbella
Spain

Expat tobacco smugglers busted in Marbella

Two Marbella-based expats, an Irish man and a Briton, have been arrested for their part in a massive international cigarette smuggling ring.

Quiz: Thank you for the music (and the frogs)
Sweden

Quiz: Thank you for the music (and the frogs)

This week's mystery quiz should be a piece of cake. The secret location is one of the top six most populated cities in Sweden, and a beautiful place to visit at that. But can you guess which one it is before the time runs out?

Woman escapes €70,000 parking fine
Germany

Woman escapes €70,000 parking fine

A woman who left her car in a parking lot for nine years escaped with a fine of €7,000, instead of the nearly €70,000 she would owe if she had been charged the standard €20 per day, it was reported this week.

Sweden turns to kids to shape future IT policy
Sweden

Sweden turns to kids to shape future IT policy

In an effort to ensure Sweden remains a leading IT nation, policymakers have sought help from an usual panel of experts: a group of kids, some of whom have yet to reach their teens. The Local's Sanna Håkansson finds out more.

Ten free, fun and original ways to learn French
France

Ten free, fun and original ways to learn French

Struggling to learn French? Just arrived or been here a while? Not everyone can go back to college, and we can't all afford pricey language schools or private tutors. So here are ten free, easy ways to learn French that you may not have thought of.

Sexy Messi poses for Dolce & Gabbana
Spain

Sexy Messi poses for Dolce & Gabbana

Lionel Messi, widely recognized as the world’s best football player, has posed for luxury Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana in a raunchy photo shoot.

What do Italians think of new Pope’s money talk?
Italy

What do Italians think of new Pope’s money talk?

Since arriving at the Vatican in March, Pope Francis has not been shy in expressing his views about wealth. Earlier this week, he said that money makes us lazy and selfish. The Local spoke to researcher Sebastiano Sali for some insight into his remarks.

French prosecutors want seizure of Ryanair planes
France

French prosecutors want seizure of Ryanair planes

Budget airline Ryanair has flown into a storm with French authorities.Prosecutors demanded on Friday the confiscation of four of its planes during a trial in the south of France over alleged breaches of French labour law.

Italy’s unemployment hits record high
Italy

Italy’s unemployment hits record high

Italy's unemployment rate reached a new record high of 12 percent in April, official data out on Friday showed, as the eurozone's third largest economy endures its longest post-war recession.

Verbier calls off planned weekend ski-lift opening
Switzerland

Verbier calls off planned weekend ski-lift opening

Operators at Verbier have dashed hopes of opening slopes at the Valais ski resort on Saturday because of bad weather.

‘The unemployed are not just numbers’
Spain

‘The unemployed are not just numbers’

This cancer sufferer is on a hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of Spain's poor. Meet Beatriz Martínez Figueroa, The Local's latest Spanish Face of the Week.

‘Magdeburg locals are always willing to help’
Germany

‘Magdeburg locals are always willing to help’

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our series offering an insider's take on their hometown. This week, Gitanyali Dayinta Ratitia talks about her adopted town, Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt.

‘A woman is not just a pair of boobs’
Spain

‘A woman is not just a pair of boobs’

A group of Spanish women have followed the example of Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie by showing off their post-mastectomy bodies during a fashion catwalk organized in the Galician city of Vigo.

Census shrinks German population by 1.5 million
Germany

Census shrinks German population by 1.5 million

Germany has revised down its population by 1.5 million to 80.2 million in the first census since before the country's 1990 reunification, the federal statistics office said on Friday.

Left Party calls Åkesson unrest analysis ‘pitiful’
Sweden

Left Party calls Åkesson unrest analysis ‘pitiful’

The Sweden Democrats have proposed the state withdraw child support from parents whose children take part in riots, with leader Jimmie Åkesson immediately facing flack from his parliamentary colleagues.

Pot smoking to become Swiss ticketing offence
Switzerland

Pot smoking to become Swiss ticketing offence

Possession of small amounts of marijuana will become a ticketing offence in Switzerland starting this autumn.

‘Drunk’ French tourists in Oz bring shame to France
France

‘Drunk’ French tourists in Oz bring shame to France

France's consul-general in Australia has been forced to issue a plea to French backpackers, saying their rowdy, rude and drunken antics as well as reported shoplifting is bringing shame on the country's community in Oz.

Chinese help Elysée pull in €300,000 in wine sale
France

Chinese help Elysée pull in €300,000 in wine sale

The first night of the austerity driven sell-off of the Elysée Palace’s fine wine collection was considered a roaring success after wine enthusiasts including one very active Chinese buyer, shelled out €300,000 to get their hands on the presidential plonk.

Huge anti-capitalism rally hits Frankfurt
Germany

Huge anti-capitalism rally hits Frankfurt

More than 1,000 people took part in multiple anti-capitalist demonstrations in Frankfurt on Friday, targeting among others the European Central Bank and banking giant Deutsche Bank, organisers and police said.

Winter bee loss stabilizes in Switzerland: report
Switzerland

Winter bee loss stabilizes in Switzerland: report

One in four bee colonies in Switzerland either failed to survive the winter or were too weak to produce honey, a new report shows.

‘We need to scrap mobile roaming fees’
Spain

‘We need to scrap mobile roaming fees’

Brussels is demanding that Europe's mobile phone operators scrap roaming fees on the continent within a year.

Spain clocks up chilliest May since 1985
Spain

Spain clocks up chilliest May since 1985

This May has been the coldest in Spain since 1985, as the country braces for what some meteorologists are saying could be the chilliest summer in 200 years.

Chinese artist shocks Venice with prison expo
Italy

Chinese artist shocks Venice with prison expo

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei tells the story of his 2011 incarceration with an installation of six large rusty metal boxes in the nave of a Venetian church at the Biennale art festival.

Swedish parties want to get closer to Nato
Sweden

Swedish parties want to get closer to Nato

With Sweden's main political parties in agreement that developments in Russia are going in the wrong direction, a key defence policy advisory committee has proposed Sweden seek closer cooperation with Nato.

Floods kill cyclist and block roads
Germany

Floods kill cyclist and block roads

Flooding in Germany has left one cyclist dead, cellars full of water and transport links disrupted. Rain should continue through Friday but, thankfully, begin to ease over the weekend.

Major Swedish free school firm to shut down
Sweden

Major Swedish free school firm to shut down

JB Education, one of Sweden's largest operators of publicly funded, privately managed free schools, is shutting its operations due to a lack of students.

Saturday supermarket hours spark retail row
Germany

Saturday supermarket hours spark retail row

Ten years after Germany relaxed its laws on Saturday opening hours, supermarkets in the cities have cashed in on staying open longer, while in rural areas few remain open past 6.30 pm. Trade unions say workers are under too much pressure.

Spanish royals booed at Barcelona opera show
Spain

Spanish royals booed at Barcelona opera show

Spain's Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia were faced with a chorus of boos on arriving at a Barcelona theatre on Barcelona on Thursday night.

Topless protestors crash ‘Heidi’s Horror Show’
Germany

Topless protestors crash ‘Heidi’s Horror Show’

Topless protestors stormed the season final of Germany’s Next Top Model on Thursday night, but the Femen activists couldn’t stop Heidi Klum from declaring 16-year-old Lovelyn the winner.

Minister confirms plan to ban e-cigarettes in public
France

Minister confirms plan to ban e-cigarettes in public

France's Health Minister Marisol Touraine told French media on Friday that she wants to crackdown on the smoking of e-cigarettes by banning them in public places and restricting their use to over 18s. The move could spell bad news for the growing industry.

Swedish strawberry bliss to sweeten Midsummer
Sweden

Swedish strawberry bliss to sweeten Midsummer

Despite the long, cold winter, strawberry growers in Sweden have announced that this year's harvest has survived and will be ready to be gobbled down in line with Swede's dessert-table traditions at Midsummer.

Swedes ponder younger princess’ wedding style
Sweden

Swedes ponder younger princess’ wedding style

With the Swedish princess' wedding just a week away, Swedish royal observers are wondering if Madeleine will carry on Bernadotte family tradition and wear the diadem brought to Sweden by Joséphine de Beauharnais' granddaughter.

Hollande under fire as jobless total hits 3.26m
France

Hollande under fire as jobless total hits 3.26m

France's jobless total rose for the 24th consecutive month in April to reach a record 3.26 million, the country's labour ministry announced on Thursday. The figures provoked a stinging attack on the French president from his political rivals.

Further flood warnings in place for south west
France

Further flood warnings in place for south west

Five departments in the south west of France remained on flood alert on Friday after heavy rain hit the region over night. The department of Tarn was added to the list of four other departments which have been on 'Orange alert' since Thursday.

Five-year-old from China loses deportation battle
Germany

Five-year-old from China loses deportation battle

A court in Düsseldorf ruled this week that a five-year-old Chinese boy must be deported, rejecting claims by his parents that their second son would suffer discrimination because of China’s one-child policy.

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Sweden

Boot with severed human foot found in forest

The police have found the remains of a human foot in a boot, which they think may belong to a woman who has been missing in Vilshult, southern Sweden, since early 2011.

PSG’s Leonardo slapped with nine-month ban
France

PSG’s Leonardo slapped with nine-month ban

Leonardo the Brazilian sporting director of Paris Saint Germain was handed a nine-month ban on Thursday after being found guilty of barging into a referee by French football authorities. PSG said the decision was unjust and plan to appeal.

Liberal Party flirts with the Greens
Sweden

Liberal Party flirts with the Greens

An invitation for the Green Party to join Sweden's governing centre-right Alliance coalition has left observers scratching their heads, after European Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson mentioned it as a possibility in a webcast interview.

Heidi Klum: supermodel, supermum, media mogul
Germany

Heidi Klum: supermodel, supermum, media mogul

Supermodel, supermum, super media mogul: Heidi Klum celebrates her 40th birthday in Los Angeles on Saturday. This edition of German of the Week goes to the country's most glamourous export.