Gay cruises to 100-metre victory at Lausanne meet
Switzerland

Gay cruises to 100-metre victory at Lausanne meet

Former world champion Tyson Gay celebrated the Fourth of July by cruising to victory in the 100 metres in 9.79 seconds at Thursday night's Diamond League Athletissima meet in Lausanne.

Downsized plant set to burn Geneva’s garbage
Switzerland

Downsized plant set to burn Geneva’s garbage

Geneva plans to demolish its garbage incineration plant and build a more up-to-date replacement expected to be operational by 2022 at a cost of 255 million francs ($267 million), officials announced on Thursday.

Buenos Aires picked for 2018 Youth Olympics
Switzerland

Buenos Aires picked for 2018 Youth Olympics

Buenos Aires won the right to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games after a vote by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

Almedalen Dispatch: white skin, black masks
Sweden

Almedalen Dispatch: white skin, black masks

According to some critics of the Almedalen political week the seminars and events are as whitewashed as many of Gotland's houses. Peter Vinthagen Simpson takes a look and wonders if something really is rotten in Visby.

Obama cakes: recipe for Italian baker’s success
Italy

Obama cakes: recipe for Italian baker’s success

Naming a chocolate cake after US President Barack Obama has helped a small bakery in Salento, a region in southern Italy with acute unemployment, defy the economic crisis. The move has been described as "cunning marketing".

Italy rejects Snowden’s asylum claim
Italy

Italy rejects Snowden’s asylum claim

Italy has rejected the asylum claim made by Edward Snowden, the US fugitive, Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said on Thursday.

Sarkozy quits top French court over expenses
France

Sarkozy quits top French court over expenses

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy resigned from the country's highest legal body the Constitutional Council on Thursday shortly after it confirmed he had breached spending limits during last year's presidential election campaign.

Croatian banks told to rejig Swiss-franc loans
Switzerland

Croatian banks told to rejig Swiss-franc loans

A Croatian court ordered eight banks on Thursday to recalculate home loans made in Swiss francs to the local currency kuna ruling that they failed to inform clients of risks when agreeing the loans.

IMF cuts Italy growth forecast
Italy

IMF cuts Italy growth forecast

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday cut its growth forecast for Italy and urged it to speed up reforms, warning that prospects remained weak, unemployment was "unacceptably high" and market sentiment was "fragile".

Hidden cash rumour sparks run on rubble
Spain

Hidden cash rumour sparks run on rubble

Dozens of people risked injury in a perilous treasure hunt on Wednesday after a rumour circulated that €3,000 ($4,000) in cash was buried in the ruins of a collapsed building in Catalonia.

The siblings that have seen a century
Italy

The siblings that have seen a century

The Melis family may seem like any other traditional Italians; going to mass, tending a vineyard and living on the same soil they grew up on. But there's something unique about the Sardinian brothers and sisters that has them breaking a world record.

Tour de France: Greipel takes stage 6
France

Tour de France: Greipel takes stage 6

German rider Andre Greipel out-sprinted rivals including Britain's Cavendish to win stage 6 of the Tour de France on Thursday. History was also made when Daryl Impey, an Orica-GreenEdge rider, became the first South African to ever wear the yellow jersey.

Top ten scraps between the US and France
France

Top ten scraps between the US and France

The latest spying revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden provoked a Transatlantic row this week between France and the US. But as our top ten gallery of US-Franco wrangles reveals the two countries have a rich history of going toe to toe with each other.

Shipbuilders fight to keep industry afloat
Spain

Shipbuilders fight to keep industry afloat

Spanish shipyard workers, most in their blue overalls, demonstrated on Thursday in the Galician town of Vigo against the possibility that the EU will force shipbuilders to pay back billions of euros in state aid, a move they say would sink the sector.

‘I need to reclaim Swedishness’: Evin Cetin
Sweden

‘I need to reclaim Swedishness’: Evin Cetin

Social Democrat Evin Cetin decided to pull a sartorial stunt to knock the air out of the Sweden Democrats' day at the political conference Almedalen. Wearing national costume, she declared she loved all Swedes, not just the blonde ones, making her "more Swedish" than the anti-immigration party.

Catalonia lifts veil on ‘burqa ban’ plans
Spain

Catalonia lifts veil on ‘burqa ban’ plans

The Catalan Government has announced plans to control the wearing of burqas and other face-covering attire in public spaces "for reasons of public safety".

Letta demands Libya action on boat migrants
Italy

Letta demands Libya action on boat migrants

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Thursday urged his Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan to reinforce controls to stop boats filled with migrants from heading for Italian shores.

Swedish gay rights group in gay marriage threat
Sweden

Swedish gay rights group in gay marriage threat

The head of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) has been threatened with lifetime imprisonment by a Pakistani court if the organization does not stop supporting the same-sex marriage involving a person of Pakistani origin.

Banks pay heirs of dormant Swiss accounts
Switzerland

Banks pay heirs of dormant Swiss accounts

Swiss banks paid just over $6 million last year to the heirs of people who left dormant accounts under a system created after a scandal over money left by Jews during the Second World War.

Politician: Call Snowden to Germany as witness
Germany

Politician: Call Snowden to Germany as witness

A conservative German politician has called on the judiciary to circumvent whistleblower Edward Snowden's asylum denial - by summoning him as a witness in a criminal case against US spy programmes.

First conviction handed down after Husby riots
Sweden

First conviction handed down after Husby riots

A 26-year-old man has been sentenced to prison for his role in the unrest that plagued Husby and other Stockholm suburbs in May, making him the first person to be convicted in connection to the disturbances that sparked headlines across the globe.

Spain pays price for Portuguese upheaval
Spain

Spain pays price for Portuguese upheaval

Spain's medium-term borrowing costs rose in a debt auction on Thursday amid concern over political turmoil in neighbouring Portugal.

The good and the bad of internships in France
France

The good and the bad of internships in France

In France the internship or 'stage' as it is known here, has become a rite of passage on the way to landing a job. With thousands of young foreign professionals and students signing up for internships in France The Local is on hand to offer a breakdown of the good and bad points.

‘French Big Brother’ hit by spying claims
France

‘French Big Brother’ hit by spying claims

Just days after France reacted angrily to claims its Washington DC embassy was spied on by the US, French daily Le Monde published 'revelations' on Thursday that French intelligence services have been operating a similar mammoth spying operation in France.

Court: US porn films ‘too primitive’ for copyright
Germany

Court: US porn films ‘too primitive’ for copyright

A German court has rejected a US company's request for copyright on two pornographic films. Their "primitive" depiction of sex meant that they did not count as intellectual property, the judge decided.

Bonino: Don’t reduce Morsi ouster to a tweet
Italy

Bonino: Don’t reduce Morsi ouster to a tweet

Emma Bonino, Italy’s foreign minister, has responded to the ousting of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and warned against passing swift judgement on the military takeover.

Lawyer’s strike could delay Concordia trial
Italy

Lawyer’s strike could delay Concordia trial

A court official has warned that national strike by Italian lawyers could delay the start of the manslaughter trial of the Costa Concordia's captain, charged for the cruise liner's deadly shipwreck in January 2012.

‘Boom Boom’ Lisicki – new German tennis hero
Germany

‘Boom Boom’ Lisicki – new German tennis hero

Even Wimbledon's ultra-patriotic crowd discovered a soft spot for the 23-year-old Berliner Sabine Lisicki on Monday, when she defeated world number one Serena Williams. She's our German of the Week.

Swedes use most mobile data in the Nordics
Sweden

Swedes use most mobile data in the Nordics

Swedes are guzzling more than twelve gigabytes of data from mobile devices per year, making them the most data hungry across the Nordic region.

Top ten: Best Stockholm subway stations
Sweden

Top ten: Best Stockholm subway stations

The Stockholm metro has often been referred to as an art museum in itself, with many of the stations featuring either themed designs, vibrant colours, or traditional paintings on the walls. The Local's Elodie Pradet lists the best ten in the city.

‘Working hours in Spain are too long’
Spain

‘Working hours in Spain are too long’

Spain moves to a different rhythm to the rest of Europe with people working, eating and going to bed later than anywhere else. In The Local's latest opinion piece, we ask whether its time for a change to the country's habits.

Opposition backs new sublet proposal
Sweden

Opposition backs new sublet proposal

The government has secured backing from the Social Democrats on a reworked proposal for a new housing law extending the rights of tenant-owners to sublet their properties.

Spanish Old Master fetches record new price
Spain

Spanish Old Master fetches record new price

El Greco's 400 year-old painting "Saint Dominic in Prayer" on Wednesday broke the record for a Spanish Old Master, selling at a London auction for £9,154,500 ($14,000,000).

British man charged with wife’s murder in Brittany
France

British man charged with wife’s murder in Brittany

Briton David White was charged on Thursday with the murder of his wife Susan, also a British national. Susan White was found dead on a roadside in rural Brittany on Monday, having suffered a fractured skull. Earlier her family had made a public appeal for information.

Official vandalizes ‘blasphemous’ sculpture
Italy

Official vandalizes ‘blasphemous’ sculpture

Alessandro Bruzzi, a former right-wing political advisor, sparked a row in the city of Carrara on Wednesday after allegedly vandalizing a sculpture he deemed 'blasphemous' because it depicts a woman with her legs spread as she runs.

First post-terror summer camp for Labour youth
Norway

First post-terror summer camp for Labour youth

The youth wing of Norway's ruling Labour Party (AUF) has assembled for its first summer camp since the Anders Behring Breivik terror attacks two years ago, in which 69 people lost their lives.

Baby increase narrows birth-death divide
Germany

Baby increase narrows birth-death divide

Germany has had a dwindling birth rate for years, but 2012 saw a rare increase in the number of babies being born, official statistics released on Thursday showed. Deaths still outweigh births, though.

Germany fears ‘setback for democracy’ in Egypt
Germany

Germany fears ‘setback for democracy’ in Egypt

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Wednesday said the military intervention that toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was "a major setback for democracy in Egypt" and called for "dialogue and political compromise".

Swiss share of births out of wedlock doubles
Switzerland

Swiss share of births out of wedlock doubles

The number of children born out of wedlock in Switzerland has virtually doubled in the past decade, but the rate remains well below the European average, a report released on Thursday shows.

Norwegian Airlines sets new passenger record
Norway

Norwegian Airlines sets new passenger record

Some 1.9 million passengers travelled with Norwegian Airlines in June, a 21-percent increase from last year.

Stockholm visitor guide gets online makeover
Sweden

Stockholm visitor guide gets online makeover

The Stockholm Visitors Board launched a new and interactive version of its official tourist website on Thursday, with the board promising users an even smoother and more colourful guide to getting around the Swedish capital.

Italy intercepts migrant boat from Syria
Italy

Italy intercepts migrant boat from Syria

Another migrant boat carrying around 100 people was intercepted by the Italian coast guard today and taken to the port of Syracuse in Sicily.

Spain warns against all travel to Egypt
Spain

Spain warns against all travel to Egypt

Spain's foreign ministry is advising travellers to "very seriously consider" postponing any travel to Egypt amid fears of further violent clashes in the North African country.

PSG’s Leonardo slapped with one-year ban
France

PSG’s Leonardo slapped with one-year ban

Sometimes in football it's clearly better to take the punishment. PSG's Leonardo will be regretting appealing against a nine-month ban for shoving a referee after French football authorities on Thursday increased it to 12 months. (See video)

Chinese Nestlé unit cuts baby formula prices
Switzerland

Chinese Nestlé unit cuts baby formula prices

A unit of Swiss food giant Nestlé is cutting prices for baby formula in China by as much as 20 percent, it said after the government launched a investigation into alleged price-fixing by foreign firms.

Divers join hunt for missing mother of two
Sweden

Divers join hunt for missing mother of two

As police continue to question a man being held overthe disappearance of a 20-year-old mother of two, divers have taken to the lakes and storm drains around Trollhättan, western Sweden, in the hopes of finding her.

Grandad fined for porn letters sent to 160 women
Switzerland

Grandad fined for porn letters sent to 160 women

A 67-year-old grandfather who sent pornographic letters anonymously to more than 160 women was fined 4,000 francs ($4,200) this week by the Baden district court in the canton of Aargau.

France rejects Snowden’s asylum request
France

France rejects Snowden’s asylum request

France officially rejected an application for asylum by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday leaving the fugitive former CIA operative facing a narrowing number of options as he seeks to avoid being forced to return to the US.

Norway intel ombudsman wants Prism info
Norway

Norway intel ombudsman wants Prism info

The parliamentary committee chair for the intelligence service wants Norway to get to the bottom of whether the US surveillance programme has collected data about Norwegian citizens.

Cold, wet, spring pushes potato prices up
Germany

Cold, wet, spring pushes potato prices up

A late harvest and cold, wet, spring have pushed up the price of potatoes – Germany's favourite carbohydrate – by at least third since last year, it emerged on Thursday.

Merkel’s unemployment drive under fire
Germany

Merkel’s unemployment drive under fire

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU leaders pledged action on Wednesday on tackling mass youth unemployment in Europe. But the opposition said her austerity policies were directly responsible for the problem.

‘Valencian and Catalan are the same language’
Spain

‘Valencian and Catalan are the same language’

Valencia's Academy of Language is demanding that the regional parliament dump a move by the Popular Party (PP) to have Valencian reclassified as a separate language from Catalan, warning against using language as a political tool.

Tour de France 2013: Stage 6 preview (video)
France

Tour de France 2013: Stage 6 preview (video)

Video: After a long and chaotic stage 5, won in the end by Britain's Mark Cavendish, attentions turn on Thursday to the 177-km stage 6 between Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier. See below for an preview of the day's race including an expert analyis.

Teen turns himself in over Stockholm murder
Sweden

Teen turns himself in over Stockholm murder

A 19-year-old man has turned himself into police after he stabbed another man to death on the streets of central Stockholm last week.

Andy Murray survives scare to down Verdasco
Spain

Andy Murray survives scare to down Verdasco

Spain saw its Wimbledon hopes ended on Wednesday after Andy Murray pulled off a dramatic comeback from two sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

‘Invasion of beggars’ fails to materialize
Norway

‘Invasion of beggars’ fails to materialize

The Salvation Army has said there are fewer European migrants asking for money on Oslo's streeets this summer compared to figures last year that had certain observers warning of an "invasion of beggars", while others warned such talk was close to racist "propaganda".

Sweet-smelling French underpants go on sale
France

Sweet-smelling French underpants go on sale

A French firm launched a new revolutionary line of underwear this week that it promises will help men “change the world”. The 'Made in France' underpants from 'Le Slip Français' smell sweeter the more you sweat and are now on sale.

Campania politicians face expenses probe
Italy

Campania politicians face expenses probe

Fifty-seven out of the 60 elected councillors in the Campania region of southern Italy are under investigation for unjustified expenses ranging from hair dye to subsidizing private televisions.

Spanish fighter jets fire up Gibraltar strife
Spain

Spanish fighter jets fire up Gibraltar strife

The tiny British-held territory of Gibraltar complained to London on Wednesday that four Spanish air force jets entered its territory without permission, the latest in a string of disputes over alleged Spanish incursions into its territory.

Dig seeks to establish age of Swedish castle
Sweden

Dig seeks to establish age of Swedish castle

Archaeologists are working to establish the age of Kalmar Castle in southern Sweden, which has long been accepted to have been built in the 1100s but could be significantly older, or younger.

Man falls down dead on Hove festival stage
Norway

Man falls down dead on Hove festival stage

Norwegian music lovers were barred entry from parts of the Hove Festival area after a man collapsed and died on the main stage.

Mafia drug profits on the rebound
Italy

Mafia drug profits on the rebound

Italian police on Wednesday arrested 24 suspected mafia members for alleged involvement in drug trafficking, including a local boss who officially worked as the director of a funeral home.

Justice Minister set to reply to Snowden letter
Norway

Justice Minister set to reply to Snowden letter

Norway's Justice Ministry is set to reply to a plea from the Norwegian PEN Society to review whether the country will accept US whistle-blower Edward Snowden's application for asylum, despite the former CIA contractor filing the documents from abroad.

Firefox phones make world debut in Spain
Spain

Firefox phones make world debut in Spain

The world's first consumer sales of a smartphone powered by the Firefox operating system have launched in Spain. The foundation is hoping to find a niche in the smartphone market alongside the dominant duopoly of Apple and Google.

The ever-popular Cologne Cathedral
Germany

The ever-popular Cologne Cathedral

As part of our tour of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites, we climb the massive spires at the country's most visited landmark, the Cologne Cathedral.

Unions blast free Air France flight for Bruni
France

Unions blast free Air France flight for Bruni

Air France might be in the midst of making job cuts to make up for recent losses but it can still afford to hand out free tickets for a Paris-New York flight to former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Trade unions have taken umbrage.

‘Sweden Democrats divide us as a people’
Sweden

‘Sweden Democrats divide us as a people’

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt used part of his speech at the Almedalen political week to attack the Sweden Democrats (SD), underlining that the Moderates would not do business with them.

Bildt: respect democratic principles in Egypt
Sweden

Bildt: respect democratic principles in Egypt

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has underlined the importance that democratic principles and "constitutional order" be followed in Egypt following news that President Mohammed Morsi has been arrested and the army has seized power.

Germany: ‘silver lining’ in Greek debt turmoil
Germany

Germany: ‘silver lining’ in Greek debt turmoil

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on a visit to Greece on Wednesday that he believed the country was beginning to see a "silver lining" in its debt turmoil and urged international creditors to recognize its achievements.

Merkel and Obama talk spy scandal concerns
Germany

Merkel and Obama talk spy scandal concerns

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with President Barack Obama late on Wednesday to address mounting European concerns about broad US surveillance programs.