Bern reveals ‘solution’ to settle US tax dispute
Switzerland

Bern reveals ‘solution’ to settle US tax dispute

The federal government revealed plans in Bern on Wednesday to settle a bitter dispute with Washington after lawmakers rejected a deal that would have halted US legal action against Swiss banks suspected of stashing cash for American tax dodgers.

Lyria drops Neuchâtel from Bern-Paris route
Switzerland

Lyria drops Neuchâtel from Bern-Paris route

Direct high-speed train service between Bern and Paris via Neuchâtel will be scrapped as of mid-December, Franco-Swiss rail operator Lyria said on Wednesday.

Egypt unrest sinks Oslo stock prices
Norway

Egypt unrest sinks Oslo stock prices

The weak European market and escalating tensions in Egypt were cited at the close on Wednesday as the Oslo Stock Exchange ended trading down by 1.25 percent.

‘Top French politicians had Swiss accounts’
Switzerland

‘Top French politicians had Swiss accounts’

A former executive of a Geneva-based bank says he gave authorities in France a list of 15 former and current French cabinet ministers with secret Swiss bank accounts.

Almedalen Dispatch: a room with a viewpoint
Sweden

Almedalen Dispatch: a room with a viewpoint

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt will head home shortly after his speech on Wednesday as he couldn't find a reasonably priced hotel. If Sweden's PM is stuck for digs, what does everyone else do? Peter Vinthagen Simpson finds out.

Alitalia asks for €55 million to balance books
Italy

Alitalia asks for €55 million to balance books

Italy's troubled flag carrier Alitalia on Wednesday said it needed millions more in credit by the end of the year and expected to balance its books in 2015 and return to profit in 2016.

‘If society is corrupt, football will be corrupt’
Italy

‘If society is corrupt, football will be corrupt’

Some of Italy’s top football clubs were recently raided as part of a corruption probe, the latest in a series of scandals to hit the beautiful game. The Local asks whether the game is a stain on Italy's reputation or a true reflection of life there.

Tour de France 2013: Cavendish takes stage 5
France

Tour de France 2013: Cavendish takes stage 5

Britain's Mark Cavendish won stage 5 of the Tour de France on Wednesday after a sprint finish to the line at the end of a race marred by crashes. The victory was Cavendish's 24th stage victory in the Tour de France.

Ica removes ‘hep A risk’ frozen strawberries
Sweden

Ica removes ‘hep A risk’ frozen strawberries

Swedish supermarket chain Ica announced on Wednesday that it was removing all frozen strawberries from its shelves, due to the risk of them being a source for the spread of the hepatitis A virus.

Germany: Portugal will stick to reforms
Germany

Germany: Portugal will stick to reforms

Germany is "confident" Portugal will stick to reforms agreed with creditors to unlock bailout funds, a government spokesman said on Wednesday amid fears the Portuguese governing coalition could be close to collapse.

Names of French with Swiss accounts turned in
France

Names of French with Swiss accounts turned in

Certain politicians in France might not sleep well in their beds tonight. A former banker in Switzerland has handed a list to French authorities which he claims contains the names of 15 prominent lawmakers who have secret Swiss bank accounts.

Italy to have more leeway in public spending
Italy

Italy to have more leeway in public spending

The European Commission said on Wednesday it was ready to accept an Italian request to modify the way public deficits are calculated, which would give Rome more leeway in spending while still respecting EU demands to keep the deficit below 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Madrid set to cash in on gay pride event
Spain

Madrid set to cash in on gay pride event

Madrid's gay pride event, known as 'MADO', kicks off on Wednesday and shops and bars located in the festival area can expect to make heftier than usual profits as a result.

Benicássim 2013 music festival saved by buyout
Spain

Benicássim 2013 music festival saved by buyout

The organizers of the major Spanish music festival Benicássim have scotched cancellation rumours with a statement on their official Facebook page confirming new owners have been found for the event.

Swedish TV pirate slapped with hefty fine
Sweden

Swedish TV pirate slapped with hefty fine

A man in eastern Sweden has been sentenced to pay 12.5 million kronor ($1.9 million) in damages after he was found to be the mastermind behind an extensive TV piracy network.

Opposition approves Nato joint training
Sweden

Opposition approves Nato joint training

The opposition Social Democrats have said Sweden should ramp up its cooperation with Nato, by allowing the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) to train with its rapid response unit.

Downgrade deepens debt misery for Spanish banks
Spain

Downgrade deepens debt misery for Spanish banks

Moody's credit rating agency has downgraded three nationalised Spanish banking groups, sending their debt deeper into junk bond territory on fears that private investors may get burned in case of trouble.

US upholds ban on ‘putrid’ French cheese
France

US upholds ban on ‘putrid’ French cheese

As France reacts furiously to claims that the US spied on its embassy in Washington, D.C., a Transatlantic spat of a different stripe has been brewing. US officials have effectively banned the beloved mimolette cheese, labelling it “putrid” and “unfit for food.”

The Bundesliga’s ten biggest bucks
Germany

The Bundesliga’s ten biggest bucks

After Bayern Munich and Dortmund bestrode Europe like a colossus in the 2012-13 season, the market value of the top Bundesliga footballers has soared. We count down the league's costliest players.

Body of British woman found by road in Brittany
France

Body of British woman found by road in Brittany

Police in western France are investigating the mysterious death of a 50-year-old British woman who was found with a fractured skull by the side of a country road not far from where she lived. French media have reported her partner has been arrested.

Top ten: Sweden’s all-time hottest men
Sweden

Top ten: Sweden’s all-time hottest men

A girl certainly ain't spoiled for choice in the hot men department, discovers love columnist Emilia Millicent after more than two years in Sweden. These boys know how to wield spoons, balls, and policy.

‘Open Snowden asylum case for privacy’s sake’
Norway

‘Open Snowden asylum case for privacy’s sake’

Norway should consider relaxing its asylum process and try the case of CIA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, because the revelations of data surveillance should be of concern to anyone who values their privacy, argues Sveinung Rotevatn, head of the youth wing of Norway's Liberal Party.

Italy rescues 400 migrants off Lampedusa
Italy

Italy rescues 400 migrants off Lampedusa

Italian coast guard and navy vessels on Wednesday rescued nearly 400 migrants on three boats ahead of a visit by Pope Francis next week to the tiny island of Lampedusa - a gateway for undocumented migrants and refugees into the European Union.

Arrest in hunt for missing mother of two
Sweden

Arrest in hunt for missing mother of two

A 35-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of having kidnapped a 20-year-old mother of two who was reported missing on Sunday.

Norwegian ‘mafia’ felled for contract killing
Norway

Norwegian ‘mafia’ felled for contract killing

A court in Norway has freed four men with ties to the Bandidos motorcycle gang from charges of organized crime, but found them guilty of contract killing and extortion.

Top ten weird Spanish drug busts
Spain

Top ten weird Spanish drug busts

When it comes to smuggling drugs into and around Spain, some people get very creative indeed. In this week's The Local List, we smoke out some of the strangest methods seen by the nation's narcotics police.

New in German cinemas: ‘The Heat’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘The Heat’

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

Bayern red-faced after Götze’s T-shirt gaffe
Germany

Bayern red-faced after Götze’s T-shirt gaffe

Germany midfielder Mario Götze got off on the wrong foot with his new employers Bayern Munich when he posed for the cameras at the European Champions in a T-shirt displaying the brand of a rival sponsor.

One missing after Italian oil rig sinks
Italy

One missing after Italian oil rig sinks

One person is missing and six were injured after an offshore rig belonging to Italy's Saipem sunk off the coast of Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo, the company said.

France wants trade talks suspended over spying
France

France wants trade talks suspended over spying

France called for a 'temporary suspension' in talks between the EU and the US over a free trade deal as the fallout from revelations that the US had spied on the French embassy as well as European Union offices continued on Wednesday.

Clooney and Bullock to open Venice Film Festival
Italy

Clooney and Bullock to open Venice Film Festival

Hollywood heavyweights Sandra Bullock and George Clooney will open the Venice Film Festival next month with their new movie, Gravity, where they play two astronauts on an ill-fated mission.

Police killed after 1,000m fall on Mont Blanc
France

Police killed after 1,000m fall on Mont Blanc

A police training exercise on Mont Blanc ended in tragedy this week when three climbers from the French gendarmerie plunged 1,000 metres to their deaths. It is believed the officers fell after their climbing rope became detached.

Düsseldorf airport: the ‘El Dorado’ of bag theft
Germany

Düsseldorf airport: the ‘El Dorado’ of bag theft

Düsseldorf may not be Germany's biggest airport, but it is where passengers are most likely to have their bags stolen, a study revealed on Wednesday.

Spanish hotel group offers free Wi-Fi to go
Spain

Spanish hotel group offers free Wi-Fi to go

A Spanish hotel chain is offering a free service which allows guests to access the internet when they are out and about in Spain, and not just while they are on hotel premises.

Mayor told: ‘We’re tired of being prostitutes’
Italy

Mayor told: ‘We’re tired of being prostitutes’

Prostitutes in Catania, Sicily, left a letter on a wall on a street in one of Catania's poorest suburbs, appealing to the city's mayor, Enzo Bianco, to help change their lives.

Report reveals shady Vatican bank transfers
Italy

Report reveals shady Vatican bank transfers

Italian police have found 13 suspicious money transfers through the Vatican bank, a newspaper said Tuesday, reporting that a senior cleric arrested last week allegedly offered his own accounts to transfer money for his friends.

Holiday snapshot proves fatal for Dutch tourist
Switzerland

Holiday snapshot proves fatal for Dutch tourist

A souvenir snapshot cost a 49-year-old Dutchman his life near the village of Sedrun in the Swiss canton of Graubünden on Tuesday.

Norwegian man injured in boat shoot-out
Norway

Norwegian man injured in boat shoot-out

A Norwegian man is being treated in hospital for serious injuries after being attacked with a shot gun aboard a boat in the Tønsberg Fjord south of Oslo on Thursday. Police have taken one woman and two men into custody.

Swedish man, 91, dead after lawnmower mishap
Sweden

Swedish man, 91, dead after lawnmower mishap

A 91-year-old man died on Tuesday after he got stuck under his own ride-on lawnmower in a garden in western Sweden. The man was known to use the vehicle as means of transport.

Coffee bar bandits make off with €500
Italy

Coffee bar bandits make off with €500

A pair of thieves have stolen a tip jar, filled with €500, from a coffee bar in Milan, CCTV footage shows.

Norwegian autopsy dip ‘could miss murder’
Norway

Norwegian autopsy dip ‘could miss murder’

Norway's Chief Pathologist has warned that coroners are not ordered to perform enough autopsies, citing fears that suspected murder cases may slip through the justice system's fingers.

Toyota recalls Yaris and Verso-S types in Norway
Norway

Toyota recalls Yaris and Verso-S types in Norway

Toyota Norway is recalling more than 800 cars sold on the Norwegian market between 2010 and 2012 due to problems with power steering.

Morales lands in Spain after Snowden saga
Spain

Morales lands in Spain after Snowden saga

The aircraft carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales home to Bolivia has landed in Gran Canaria airport for its scheduled pit stop. Spain earlier gave the plane permission to use Spanish airspace after it was forced to make an emergency landing in Vienna amid rumours US intelligencer leaker Edward Snowden was on board.

Justice Minister brushes off prison porn purge
Norway

Justice Minister brushes off prison porn purge

Bergen prison staff want to ban inmates from watching pornography in their cells, but Norway's justice minister is reluctant to outlaw the practice as porn is legal in Norway. One MP said the hit TV series True Blood could easily be deemed pornographic if guards were given censorial powers.

Snowden affair: France apologises to Bolivia
France

Snowden affair: France apologises to Bolivia

France has apologised to Bolivia after Paris admitted barring the Bolivian president's plane from entering French air space because of rumours Edward Snowden was on board. The mea culpa came a day after scores of protesters attacked the French embassy in La Paz.

Spaniards eye semi-final places in Wimbledon
Spain

Spaniards eye semi-final places in Wimbledon

Spain is hoping for a strong Spanish presence in the upcoming men's Wimbledon semi-finals with both David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco playing in the tournament's quarter finals on Wednesday.

Germany defends Snowden asylum denial
Germany

Germany defends Snowden asylum denial

Germany's main political parties defended Tuesday evening's decision to deny asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden, in the face of heavy criticism from the Greens and the Pirates.

Death threats for lesbian Somali-Norwegian
Norway

Death threats for lesbian Somali-Norwegian

Somali-Norwegian author Amal Aden has received more than 146 threatening messages after taking part in the Oslo Pride Parade this weekend. Recounting her ordeal, the lesbian activist said many Norwegians could not imagine the perceived tension of being Muslim and gay.

Pensioner killed by tigers at abandoned zoo
Italy

Pensioner killed by tigers at abandoned zoo

A pensioner was mauled to death by a group of tigers at an abandoned zoo in northern Italy.

The vestiges of Weimar’s literary past
Germany

The vestiges of Weimar’s literary past

As part of our tour of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites, we wander around the traces of Classicism in the beautiful city of Weimar.

Sweden keeps interest rate the same: Riksbank
Sweden

Sweden keeps interest rate the same: Riksbank

Sweden's central bank announced on Wednesday that the current repo rate of one percent will remain unchanged, predicting a gradual increase in the second half of next year.

French plan to root out fake online consumer reviews
France

French plan to root out fake online consumer reviews

A French organisation plans to introduce a new regime for policing online consumer reviews in a bid to root out fake commenters by demanding they provide personal information before submitting product reviews.

Terrorist web developer sentenced to six years
Spain

Terrorist web developer sentenced to six years

Spain's High Court have handed a six-year prison term to a Moroccan man living in the popular resort town of Denia, Spain, who ran websites that were designed to recruit Islamist terrorists.

Tour de France 2013: Stage 5 preview
France

Tour de France 2013: Stage 5 preview

Britain's Mark Cavendish will be among the sprinters with one eye on the finale of the Tour de France fifth stage from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille on Wednesday.

‘Shitstorm’ becomes official German word
Germany

‘Shitstorm’ becomes official German word

Facebook, Flashmob, and Shitstorm - the new edition of the official German dictionary Duden, to appear Thursday, contains a number of new words that probably sound familiar to Anglo ears.

Missing Swiss glider pilot found in France
Switzerland

Missing Swiss glider pilot found in France

Forest wardens in the southern French Alps on Tuesday recovered the lifeless body of a Swiss glider pilot after he went missing for seven days.

Man jailed after putting out cig in lover’s mouth
Sweden

Man jailed after putting out cig in lover’s mouth

A 23-year-old man has been jailed for assault after beating up his then girlfriend and putting out a cigarette in her mouth.

Merkel targets Europe’s youth unemployment
Germany

Merkel targets Europe’s youth unemployment

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts European leaders on Wednesday in a bid to tackle sky-high youth unemployment which has left more than half of under 25-year-olds out of work in several southern countries of the eurozone.

US rules out bomb in 1996 NY-Paris air crash
France

US rules out bomb in 1996 NY-Paris air crash

US aviation officials this week ruled out the possibility that the 1996 New York-Paris TWA Flight 800 was taken down by a missile or bomb. Despite a forthcoming documentary, investigators reaffirmed the deadly crash was caused by a fuel tank explosion.

Cows deployed in mosquito plague fight
Sweden

Cows deployed in mosquito plague fight

Gävleborg County Council in northern Sweden has announced that it has recruited 200 cows to graze land where mosquitoes lay their eggs in a bid to deal with the problem which afflicts residents of the Dalälv region every summer.

Bavaria to reform asylum after hunger-strike
Germany

Bavaria to reform asylum after hunger-strike

Bavaria is to make sweeping changes to how it deals with asylum applicants, the online edition of Der Spiegel reported Tuesday, two days after police cleared a camp of 50 hunger-strikers, many of whom were in a critical condition.

IVF linked to risk of mental disability: study
Sweden

IVF linked to risk of mental disability: study

A certain kind of in-vitro fertilization used for male infertility is linked to a small increased risk of intellectual disability, according to an international study published on Tuesday.