Bern denies getting Snowden asylum request
Switzerland

Bern denies getting Snowden asylum request

The Swiss federal migration office said on Tuesday that it had not received an application for asylum from American fugitive Edward Snowden, accused by US authorities of violating espionage laws.

Federer seeks rebound at Gstaad tournament
Switzerland

Federer seeks rebound at Gstaad tournament

Switzerland's Roger Federer is looking to bounce back from his Wimbledon humiliation by playing the Gstaad clay-court tournament in his home country for the first time in nine years later this month.

Almedalen Dispatch: staying past the canapés
Sweden

Almedalen Dispatch: staying past the canapés

Almedalen political week is like a Midsummer smörgåsbord - just when you are all set to enjoy the meatballs you spot the strawberries and cream. In Tuesday's Dispatch Peter Vinthagen Simpson ponders staying beyond the refreshments.

Mafia murders drop as gangsters go ‘clean’
Italy

Mafia murders drop as gangsters go ‘clean’

Italian mafia homicides have fallen by almost a half in recent years, underscoring the gangsters' ongoing shift into what look like legitimate business sectors, researchers said on Tuesday.

French minister sacked for slating budget
France

French minister sacked for slating budget

France's environment minister Delphine Batho was sacked by the French president on Tuesday after she criticized the government's budget. Batho's sacking comes after former Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac was fired earlier this year.

‘Scuba skeleton’ sparks Morocco ID mystery
Spain

‘Scuba skeleton’ sparks Morocco ID mystery

The discovery of a wetsuit-clad skeleton floating in the sea near Alicante, Spain, with flippers, phone, waterproofed clothes, a Moroccan passport and a wad of cash has triggered speculation as to the victim's identity, origin and cause of death.

‘They didn’t kill my dog, they killed my friend’
Spain

‘They didn’t kill my dog, they killed my friend’

A weekend trip to visit his girlfriend turned into a nightmare for one young Spaniard after his ten-month-old pet bulldog was killed by being thrown from a sixth-floor window.

Tour de France: Gerrans takes yellow jersey
France

Tour de France: Gerrans takes yellow jersey

STAGE FOUR: Australia's Simon Gerrans took hold of the yellow jersey after Stage 4 of this year's Tour de France after his Orica-GreenEdge team won the 25km time trial along the French Riviera. It comes a day after Gerrans triumphed on Stage 3.

Swiss-based group laments ‘extinction crisis’
Switzerland

Swiss-based group laments ‘extinction crisis’

A freshwater shrimp, an island-dwelling lizard and a pupfish from Arizona have been declared extinct, while nearly 21,000 species are at risk of dying out, a Swiss-based conservation group says.

‘Woody Allen would be wonderful for Sweden’
Sweden

‘Woody Allen would be wonderful for Sweden’

Woody Allen is just "a good idea" away from making a feature film in Stockholm, with one Swedish film expert excited at the possibilities considering one of the director's biggest influences was from Sweden.

Swedish police arrest amateur circumciser
Sweden

Swedish police arrest amateur circumciser

Swedish police have arrested a woman on suspicion of aggravated assault, after two young boys were circumcized in Eksjö, central Sweden.

‘Germany must face up to racist institutions’
Germany

‘Germany must face up to racist institutions’

Can a democratic state be racist? Of course, says Der Tagesspiegel's Andrea Darnbach - who argues that a nation with a past like Germany's must face up to the latent racism lying at the heart of German officialdom.

Woody Allen ‘needs a story’ for Stockholm film
Sweden

Woody Allen ‘needs a story’ for Stockholm film

US director Woody Allen has been offered the funding to make a movie in Stockholm, but says that the only thing stopping him is "a good story". Got any ideas?

Cloud Exchange to trade computing capacity
Germany

Cloud Exchange to trade computing capacity

Deutsche Börse, operator of the Frankfurt stock exchange, unveiled Tuesday plans to launch a new market place where companies, public sector bodies and research institutes can buy and sell excess cloud computing capacity.

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France

‘Miracle sailor’ survives 15-hour swim to safety

An amateur sailor has left the French public gobsmacked this week by swimming through sometimes freezing waters for 15 hours, after falling from his boat off the coast of south-western France. The 52-year-old said his children were the secret to his miraculous survival.

Renting in Spain: how to survive and thrive
Spain

Renting in Spain: how to survive and thrive

Looking for a place to rent in Spain can be a nightmare, but it doesn't have to be that way. In this article, Madrid-based relocation expert Pierre Waters gives us the lowdown on how to avoid some of the more common pitfalls for renters, and fills us in on the implications of Spain's brand new rental laws.

‘Hotel baby’ born after hospital blunder
Spain

‘Hotel baby’ born after hospital blunder

A Galician woman gave birth to a baby daughter in a hotel room on Sunday just two hours after hospital staff diagnosed her as not being in labour and sent her home again.

Italy evaluates Snowden asylum application
Italy

Italy evaluates Snowden asylum application

The Italian government said on Tuesday that it is evaluating an asylum request made by fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

Germany ‘to review’ Snowden asylum request
Germany

Germany ‘to review’ Snowden asylum request

Fugitive Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in a number of European countries including Germany, which said on Tuesday it was reviewing the request.

‘It was a mistake to strip Le Pen of her immunity’
France

‘It was a mistake to strip Le Pen of her immunity’

After the leader of France’s National Front party Marine Le Pen was stripped of her immunity on Tuesday, French political analyst and expert on the far-right, Jean-Yves Camus tells The Local why it was a mistake. However, anti-racism campaigners disagree.

Ex-cop ‘settles score’ in town hall shooting spree
Italy

Ex-cop ‘settles score’ in town hall shooting spree

The mayor and deputy mayor of Cardano al Campo, north of Milan, are in a serious condition in hospital after former traffic policeman Giuseppe Pecoraro went on a shooting rampage in the town hall.

Uncertainty drives down new car sales
Germany

Uncertainty drives down new car sales

New car registrations in Germany fell in June and have been generally low for the first half of 2013, data released on Tuesday showed. They are a key measure of demand in one of the most crucial sectors of Europe's top economy.

France sees sharp rise in homelessness: study
France

France sees sharp rise in homelessness: study

There has been a major increase in the number of homeless people in France over the last decade, according to a report published on Tuesday. The near-50 percent rise since 2001 is due in part to a surge in foreign asylum-seekers, the study said.

Google doodle honours anti-mafia judges
Italy

Google doodle honours anti-mafia judges

Four teenagers from Foggia, in Puglia, have designed a Google 'doodle' to commemorate anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, which they hope the world's largest search engine will publish on July 19th.

Swedish people just don’t understand small talk
Sweden

Swedish people just don’t understand small talk

The Local's Oliver Gee reflects on the small-time manners of Swedes, and ponders why Swedish people don't seem to know how to be "polite in passing".

It’s time Sweden takes Dawit Isaak seriously
Sweden

It’s time Sweden takes Dawit Isaak seriously

With Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak still in jail after over 4,000 days, Arne Ruth and Susanne Berger argue that it's time Swedish politicians got their act together and made a move to free him.

Court jails Russian spy couple
Germany

Court jails Russian spy couple

A German court on Tuesday jailed a married couple for spying for the Russian secret services for more than 20 years in one of the country's biggest espionage cases since the Cold War.

Kamprad return ‘part of a rich man trend’
Sweden

Kamprad return ‘part of a rich man trend’

Ikea founder and multi-billionaire Ingvar Kamprad's announcement that he plans to move back to Sweden is part of a long-term trend of rich people heading home following changes to wealth taxes, according to a media report.

French far-right’s Le Pen stripped of immunity
France

French far-right’s Le Pen stripped of immunity

French far-right leader Marine le Pen, looks set to be prosecuted in France for remarks she made likening Islamic prayers to the Nazi occupation, after the European Parliament on Tuesday stripped her of her immunity as a lawmaker.

Oslo mosque invites anti-Islamists to coffee
Norway

Oslo mosque invites anti-Islamists to coffee

Norwegian convert Yousef Assidiq has invited the anti-Islamist organization SIAN to come and drink coffee with congregation members at an Oslo mosque, tweeting "Dialogue, baby!" when the RSVPs began tumbling in. He tells The Local why it is time for a coffee break.

Swedish woman released after Turkey protest
Sweden

Swedish woman released after Turkey protest

A Swedish woman arrested during demonstrations on Istanbul's Taksim Square on Saurday has been released by Turkish police.

Mass school year failure raises questions
Germany

Mass school year failure raises questions

A German state government has launched an investigation into why an entire year group failed their school leavers exams at a private school. Their teachers' qualifications are now to be checked.

Norwegian boat owners push up pollution levels
Norway

Norwegian boat owners push up pollution levels

The release of pollutants into the environment increased by five percent in one year, show new figures from Statistics Norway that point the finger of blame at copper II oxide used to protect boats.

Wimbledon: Lisicki beats champion Williams
Germany

Wimbledon: Lisicki beats champion Williams

The “Sabine vs Serena 2013” Wimbledon match will go down in tennis history, after German Sabine Lisicki, ranked 24, fought back against five-time champion Serena Williams, breaking her run of unbeaten matches.

Spain slams door on Snowden asylum claim
Spain

Spain slams door on Snowden asylum claim

Spain's Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo on Tuesday ruled out the idea that intelligence leaker Edward Snowden could be granted asylum in Spain.

Sheep’s head left outside Sicilian farmer’s door
Italy

Sheep’s head left outside Sicilian farmer’s door

In a scene reminiscent of the horse's head in the Godfather I, Emanuele Feltri returned to his farm after a trip to Catania, in Sicily, southern Italy, to find his sheep slaughtered, with the head of one left outside his front door.

Immigrants ‘key’ to jobs dilemma  – agency
Sweden

Immigrants ‘key’ to jobs dilemma – agency

Immigrants are the solution to the labour market demands resulting from the withdrawal of baby-boomers from the workforce, according to a new report from Sweden's Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen).

Oslo Stock Exchange at mid-morning hover
Norway

Oslo Stock Exchange at mid-morning hover

The Oslo Stock Exchange hovered at near standstill on Tuesday, with the main index climbing 0.04 percent in the first half hour of trading.

Norway to get tough on deportation flaunters
Norway

Norway to get tough on deportation flaunters

Norwegian police warn that a rising number of foreigners who are deported from Norway manage to return, with police citing the "appalling situation in Europe" as the reason for people making their way north.

Hollande calls for EU united front on spying
France

Hollande calls for EU united front on spying

French President François Hollande called for the EU to take a "coordinated" stand in response to claims that the US had spied on envoys for European nations' as well as EU missions in Washington, DC and New York.

Swede denies links to Hezbollah in Thai trial
Sweden

Swede denies links to Hezbollah in Thai trial

A Swedish citizen of Lebanese origin on Tuesday denied links to the Hezbollah movement during his trial on charges of breaking Thailand's weapons laws.

French jobless sue job centre for failing them
France

French jobless sue job centre for failing them

A group of angry jobseekers in France are aiming to make history as they prepare to sue the country's employment agency. Their grievance? The job centre failed to do enough to find them work and they are demanding €1.8 million in damages.

Stockholm man lay dead in flat for 18 months
Sweden

Stockholm man lay dead in flat for 18 months

Police trying to evict a man from an apartment in central Stockholm were shocked to find his body inside, estimating that the man had died 18 months ago.

Socialists spit pips over sexist Spanish cherry ad
Spain

Socialists spit pips over sexist Spanish cherry ad

A video commercial for a special variety of Spanish cherries has been pulled after complaints it was "sexist" and "vulgar".

Wimbledon woes for Italy’s top players
Italy

Wimbledon woes for Italy’s top players

Italy’s best singles tennis players have crashed out of Wimbledon, after Andreas Seppi lost in straight sets to Argentine Juan Martin Del Porto.

Son suspected of slaying parents in Stavanger
Norway

Son suspected of slaying parents in Stavanger

A 22-year-old Norwegian man is believed to have killed his parents, before himself dying in a car crash on Monday evening. His mother was still alive when police arrived on the scene.

IOC candidates ratchet up Lausanne campaigns
Switzerland

IOC candidates ratchet up Lausanne campaigns

Electioneering fever is hitting Lausanne this week as the three cities bidding for the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the six men vying to succeed Jacqes Rogge as International Olympic Committee president make presentations to IOC members.

Lose your bottle and face fine: Prosecco police
Italy

Lose your bottle and face fine: Prosecco police

Bars and restaurants in Veneto will be slapped with a fine if they serve the region's Prosecco DOC from anything but a bottle after the Italian government launched a campaign to protect its treasured tipple.

Basel leads way with pay parking for motorbikes
Switzerland

Basel leads way with pay parking for motorbikes

Apart from being able to dart through traffic jams, one of the advantages of driving a motorcycle to work in Swiss cities is to escape costly parking fees, but those days may be numbered.

Minister slams Norway unions’ migration fears
Norway

Minister slams Norway unions’ migration fears

Norway's Energy Minister has called the trade union confederation's suspicion of labour migration a "senseless use of time and energy," and discarded claims the influx of employees would lead to wage dumping.

Spain sees record drop in jobless numbers in June
Spain

Spain sees record drop in jobless numbers in June

Spain's jobless line grew shorter again in June, with 127,248 leaving the queue in what was the fourth consecutive month of falling unemployment in the country. But the number of people out of work is still up 3.22 percent on a year ago.

Snowden applies for Norway asylum
Norway

Snowden applies for Norway asylum

American whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in several European countries including Norway, WikiLeaks announced on Tuesday morning.

‘Our students don’t live in an expat bubble’
Spain

‘Our students don’t live in an expat bubble’

In the latest instalment of My Spanish Career, we speak to Mark Pingitore, the director of the American School of Barcelona, about running an international school that is going from strength to strength despite the crisis in Spain.

Sicilian town scraps footballer’s citizenship
Italy

Sicilian town scraps footballer’s citizenship

Fabrizio Miccoli, the captain of Palermo football team, has had his citizenship revoked by Corleone town council for slurring the memory of murdered anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone.

French naturist faces jail for naked hike
France

French naturist faces jail for naked hike

A French naturist appeared in court on Monday accused of indecent exposure after he bumped into a mother and child during a naked hike. If found guilty the teacher could face a year behind bars. Furious naturists are demanding a change in the law.

Wounded Spain defiant after Brazil defeat
Spain

Wounded Spain defiant after Brazil defeat

Spain looked forward to a chance for World Cup revenge on Monday after Brazil hammered the world champions 3–0 in a humiliating Confederations Cup final at the Maracana Stadium.

Alarm sounded over state of Italy’s historic sites
Italy

Alarm sounded over state of Italy’s historic sites

Alarm bells are ringing once more over the upkeep of Italy's historic monuments, from the Roman city of Pompeii to the Colosseum, with budget cuts hampering repairs and UNESCO issuing a stern rebuke.

Director and deputy of Vatican bank resign
Italy

Director and deputy of Vatican bank resign

The director and deputy director of the Vatican bank have resigned amid a probe into fraud and corruption at the scandal-hit institution, the Vatican said on Monday.

Louis Vuitton group hit with €8 million fine
France

Louis Vuitton group hit with €8 million fine

The luxury group LVMH, which includes Louis Vuitton was hit with an €8million fine on Monday failing to tell financial markets that it was increasing its stake in luxury bag maker Hermes.

Tax Agency joins hunt for illegal immigrants
Sweden

Tax Agency joins hunt for illegal immigrants

The Swedish police have managed to circumvent the Tax Agency's confidentiality concerns and access the records of twelve people working in Sweden without the necessary residence permits.

Swedish free school system ‘needs tweaking’
Sweden

Swedish free school system ‘needs tweaking’

Twenty years after Sweden's school system opened the door for independent profit-making schools and expanded parents' choice, sliding results have the left-leaning opposition saying the system is a textbook example of privatization gone wrong.

Scientists: forecasting tames El Nino chaos
Germany

Scientists: forecasting tames El Nino chaos

A new method could double the lead time for forecasting the ocean warming trend known as El Nino and help communities better prepare for crop losses, floods and drought, German researchers said on Monday.

Brawl breaks out at kids’ footie game
Germany

Brawl breaks out at kids’ footie game

A group of seven- and eight-year-olds watched in disbelief at the weekend as an argument between their parents over their football game spiralled out of hand - escalating into a full-blown punch-up between 15 adults.

Wartburg Castle: 1,000 years of German history
Germany

Wartburg Castle: 1,000 years of German history

As part of our tour of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites, we check out the beautiful 12th century Wartburg castle in Thuringia.

Sweden Democrats fail to keep local politicians
Sweden

Sweden Democrats fail to keep local politicians

One in six Sweden Democrat politicians at the municipal level has abandoned the party since the last elections, a new review has shown.