Cycling chief McQuaid slams ‘smear campaign’
Switzerland

Cycling chief McQuaid slams ‘smear campaign’

Pat McQuaid on Monday launched his manifesto for re-election for a third term as head of the Swiss-based International Cycling Union (UCI), saying he was the strongman needed to defend the sport.

Hingis’s affairs sideline hall of fame honour
Switzerland

Hingis’s affairs sideline hall of fame honour

The induction of Swiss tennis star Martina Hingis into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the US this weekend is being overshadowed in the Swiss media by reports of her infidelities.

Shakira’s ex-pal fails to gain her Swiss cash
Switzerland

Shakira’s ex-pal fails to gain her Swiss cash

The ex-boyfriend of global pop star Shakira has failed in a bid to get a slice of tens of millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account, in the latest chapter of the former couple's legal battle, lawyers said Monday.

Tour de France: Sky ready to alter strategy
France

Tour de France: Sky ready to alter strategy

Team Sky chief Dave Brailsford said on Monday they will change their strategy for the rest of the Tour de France in order to maintain their grip on the race and fend off challenges from rival teams, who pushed yellow jersey holder Chris Froome to the limit in Sunday's stage 9.

Anti-mafia mayor quits after mob threats
Italy

Anti-mafia mayor quits after mob threats

The mayor of a town in Calabria, southern Italy, has resigned after a term steeped in threats and violence.

Defence lawyers dump embattled ex-treasurer
Spain

Defence lawyers dump embattled ex-treasurer

Lawyers defending the imprisoned former treasurer of Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) Luis Bárcenas resigned on Monday, citing "professional disagreements".

Sharks and jellyfish infest French waters
France

Sharks and jellyfish infest French waters

With no less than 160 sightings of sharks off the Brittany coast this year, and stinging jelly fish occupying the seas around the Côte d’Azur, holidaymakers to France this year would be forgiven for giving swimming a miss. But don’t worry, there’s no need to be scared.

Crown Princess to praise builders of luxury villa
Sweden

Crown Princess to praise builders of luxury villa

The Swedish crown princess is said to be "immensely pleased" by her newly completed 328-square metre second home on the Baltic island of Öland, a traditional summer retreat for Sweden's royal family.

Swedes cite unrest in ruling out Turkish homes
Sweden

Swedes cite unrest in ruling out Turkish homes

Swedish city-dwellers still flock to Spain and France when looking for a second home, with Portugal rising fast in the ranks while the Turkish holiday housing market is set to suffer due to recent unrest, according to a new report.

Spaniards cut spending on gambling
Spain

Spaniards cut spending on gambling

Spain's gaming industry may not be as crisis-proof as it seems, a new report suggests.

Spain remains top choice for Erasmus students
Spain

Spain remains top choice for Erasmus students

Spain has held onto its position as the leading destination for European university students in the Erasmus exchange scheme and is also the country that sends most students abroad, despite offering the lowest grants in the EU.

Italians invited to debate politics online
Italy

Italians invited to debate politics online

Italians are being asked to debate politics online, a bold move by the government in a country with low internet usage, and at a time of political disenchantment.

Italian mayor’s paint job saves town €10,000
Italy

Italian mayor’s paint job saves town €10,000

An Italian mayor and his council members have decided to fight the economic crisis proactively, picking up paintbrushes and re-painting the walls of their offices themselves to spare the town budget.

Swedish MPs abroad have ‘social skills deficit’
Sweden

Swedish MPs abroad have ‘social skills deficit’

Badly dressed, speaking poor English and giving cheap gifts to their hosts - a few of the accusations on a long list of faux pas made by Swedish MPs on business trips overseas, according to a new internal Riksdag report.

Gomez leaves Bayern Munich for Fiorentina
Germany

Gomez leaves Bayern Munich for Fiorentina

German football powerhouse Bayern Munich announced on Monday that striker Mario Gomez will join Italian side Fiorentina.

Norwegian trio busted for kidnapping themselves
Norway

Norwegian trio busted for kidnapping themselves

Three young Norwegians have been arrested for staging a kidnapping and trying to leach cash from one the trio's family members.

‘Be as curious as you possibly can’
Italy

‘Be as curious as you possibly can’

Leah Dunlop, from the UK, has come a long way since working as a waitress in Calabria in the 1980s. Now head of corporate practice in Italy for the Hogan Lovells' law firm, she talks to The Local about setting up a law firm, bridging business cultures and the rewards of learning Italian.

Boat shoot-out victim ‘too weak’ for questioning
Norway

Boat shoot-out victim ‘too weak’ for questioning

The Norwegian police have released three people held in connection with a shoot-out on a boat last week, stating that the victim cannot yet give a statement because he has lost too much blood.

Norwegian waste firm fined for withholding info
Norway

Norwegian waste firm fined for withholding info

Waste managers SAR has been fined 1.8 million kroner ($290,000) for withholding information about the cargo on board the Alrita, when the ship ran aground in 2009.

France ‘grants’ political asylum to Femen leader
France

France ‘grants’ political asylum to Femen leader

France might not have been keen on granting political asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden but it emerged on Monday that Paris has agreed to take in Inna Shevchenko, the Ukranian leader of militant feminist organization Femen.

Germany urges inquiry into Egypt killings
Germany

Germany urges inquiry into Egypt killings

Germany called for an independent inquiry into the killing of 42 loyalists of Egypt's ousted president Monday, saying it feared political violence in the country could continue to spiral.

‘Italy should lead on saving refugees’ lives’
Italy

‘Italy should lead on saving refugees’ lives’

As the Pope called for an end to global indifference to the plight of refugees on Lampedusa, Sebastiano Sali, a research fellow at the Department of War Studies, explains how Italy and the EU could mitigate the situation.

Merkel: NSA spying aided our security
Germany

Merkel: NSA spying aided our security

Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed German secret services profited from the spying and tapping operations of their USA colleagues. But whistleblower Edward Snowden says the extent of the cooperation was hidden from politicians.

France’s Total acquitted in Iraqi ‘oil for food’ case
France

France’s Total acquitted in Iraqi ‘oil for food’ case

French energy giant Total was acquitted by a court in Paris on Monday on charges of corruption and influence peddling relating to the United Nation's 'oil-for-food' programme in Iraq during the 1990s.

‘Women should learn to accept their body hair’
Spain

‘Women should learn to accept their body hair’

A Spanish journalist and blogger has captured plenty of attention by saying women should finally learn to live with their body hair.

Germany to Bulgaria: cut oligarch ties
Germany

Germany to Bulgaria: cut oligarch ties

German and French ambassadors to Bulgaria urged the country's leaders on Monday to sever links with oligarchs, as thousands continued to protest against corruption among the political elite.

Londoner all woolly inside for B&B alpacas
Sweden

Londoner all woolly inside for B&B alpacas

Londoner Paul Nicholls ploughed snow and erected 3G masts to make his fortune in Sweden, but his favourite furry creatures were never far from mind. He tells The Local about affection-hungry Speedy Gonzales, and the other 25 alpacas at his new bed and breakfast.

Spanish cops nab UK’s ‘most wanted’ man
Spain

Spanish cops nab UK’s ‘most wanted’ man

Police on Saturday broke into a hidden anti-assault 'panic room' in a Malaga villa and arrested a 41-year-old British man who had been on the run for over a decade after receiving a 24-year prison sentence for drug dealing.

France sees steep rise in price of beer
France

France sees steep rise in price of beer

Just as the sun comes out in France there is bad news for lovers of a cold beer. Anyone who enjoys a chilled Stella Artois or 1664 on the terrace of a Paris brasserie or a Riviera hotel might want to change their tipple as the price of beer soars.

Lawyers’ strike delays Costa Concordia hearing
Italy

Lawyers’ strike delays Costa Concordia hearing

An Italian court on Monday postponed to July 20th a hearing on the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster to rule on plea bargains requested by four crew members and one manager from the ship's operator.

Fiat moves closer to Chrysler merger
Italy

Fiat moves closer to Chrysler merger

Italian auto giant Fiat said on Monday it was exercising an option to increase its estimated €198 million stake in US partner Chrysler, bringing a merger between the two companies a step closer.

‘Spain to Space’ balloon ride nears lift off
Spain

‘Spain to Space’ balloon ride nears lift off

A Marbella-based travel agent has teamed up with spaceflight specialists in Barcelona to offer high-flying tourists a six-hour round-trip into the stratosphere using a high-tech balloon.

Old ‘guest workers’ much more likely to be poor
Germany

Old ‘guest workers’ much more likely to be poor

Foreigners are more than three times as likely to be poor in their old age as Germans, new data shows. Former "guest workers" are the most likely to be living in poverty.

French warned over eating too much fish
France

French warned over eating too much fish

Fish has for a long time been deemed an essential part of any healthy diet, but a French food standards watchdog has sounded the alarm bells by warning that any more than two portions a week could have dangerous adverse health affects.

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Switzerland

Damage from floods mounts into billions

The devastating floods that hit central and Eastern Europe last month caused up to $4.5 billion (€3.5 billion) in losses for the insurance industry, Switzerland's re-insurance group Swiss Re said on Monday.

Swedish police find girl’s body at Avesta lake
Sweden

Swedish police find girl’s body at Avesta lake

Police in central Sweden have found the body of a girl by a lake, with signs pointing to it being the five-year-old who disappeared from a playground in Avesta in central Sweden on Saturday.

Nine die after bus driver dozes off at wheel
Spain

Nine die after bus driver dozes off at wheel

The driver of a bus that smashed into a safety barrier on Monday near Avila, killing nine people and injuring 22, has been detained after he admitted to falling asleep at the wheel.

Police bust child porn ring with ‘torture’ plans
Spain

Police bust child porn ring with ‘torture’ plans

Spanish police have arrested eight people involved in an online child pornography network whose members were allegedly planning to kidnap, torture and murder their victims.

Swede bloodied in surprise beaver attack
Sweden

Swede bloodied in surprise beaver attack

Taking advantage of the first truly hot summer weekend in Stockholm, Sofie Adde was blissfully unaware that a casual dip would end in blood and stitches after a beaver mistook her thigh for lunch.

Gay pride parade draws more than a million
Germany

Gay pride parade draws more than a million

More than a million people took to the streets in the west German city Cologne on Sunday for the Christopher Street Day gay pride parade. The celebrations went without a hitch as onlookers revelled in the sunny weather.

Italy loses thirty-five businesses a day
Italy

Italy loses thirty-five businesses a day

The retail sector has been the hardest hit by the ongoing recession, according to a report by the Italian Chamber of Commerce.

Norway PM’s nephew predicts election loss
Norway

Norway PM’s nephew predicts election loss

The nephew of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, a fan of US superstar statistician Nate Silver, has come to the "unhappy" conclusion that his uncle will lose the next elections.

‘Extinct’ frog hops back to life
Germany

‘Extinct’ frog hops back to life

German scientists have found a frog thought to have been extinct for the last 60 years and which has been hailed as a living fossil.

Pope holds mass for perished migrants
Italy

Pope holds mass for perished migrants

Pope Francis arrived on Monday on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, a key destination of tens of thousands of would-be immigrants from Africa, in a visit the Vatican hopes will raise awareness of their plight.

One in five diagnoses could be wrong: agency
Norway

One in five diagnoses could be wrong: agency

The Norwegian Medicines Agency has warned that as many as 20 percent of medical diagnoses could be incorrect, putting patients' health and well-being at risk.

‘Cripple beer’ adds fizz to Swedish disability debate
Sweden

‘Cripple beer’ adds fizz to Swedish disability debate

A Swedish rights group and an artists' collective have joined forces to launch the "Crip is Hip" campaign complete with "cerebral palsy beer" in a bid to change attitudes towards disabled people, not just at the pub.

Fugitive bear held after two weeks on the run
France

Fugitive bear held after two weeks on the run

A fugitive bear, who had been on the run in the south of France, was finally snared at the weekend. After giving police the runaround for two weeks, the Tibetan brown bear was finally hauled back to the reserve from which it had escaped.

Spanish leaders lock horns over reforms
Spain

Spanish leaders lock horns over reforms

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has defended the pace and direction of his government's reforms programme in his first official meeting with former PM José María Aznar since being publicly criticized by his Popular Party (PP) predecessor.

Swiss unemployment falls for fifth month
Switzerland

Swiss unemployment falls for fifth month

Switzerland's jobless rate fell in June for the fifth month in a row, dropping to 2.9 percent from three percent in May, although the level of unemployment remained higher than for the same period a year earlier.

Ica Norway’s purchasing deal clears admin hurdle
Norway

Ica Norway’s purchasing deal clears admin hurdle

The Norwegian government has given a preliminary green light to a deal between supermarkets Ica Norway and NorgesGruppen, pending the final verdict of Norway's Anti-Trust Authority.

Price hikes cut into Italians holiday plans
Italy

Price hikes cut into Italians holiday plans

Travel price hikes will force more than half of Italy's population to stay at home this summer, according to a report from Codacons, the consumer association.

Cash-strapped hospitals ‘took on 13,600 new staff’
Germany

Cash-strapped hospitals ‘took on 13,600 new staff’

German hospitals have employed more than 13,000 additional nurses and carers over the last few years, despite continued complaints about underfunding, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper says.

One hundred children missing in Norway
Norway

One hundred children missing in Norway

With more than a hundred children gone missing without a trace from asylum seekers' residences across Norway, Save the Children has sounded the alarm and expressed fears the minors have fallen victim to human trafficking.

Swedish tennis star hails Murray Wimbledon win
Sweden

Swedish tennis star hails Murray Wimbledon win

Former world number one Mats Wilander has said that Andy Murray's Wimbledon title could open the floodgates for many more Grand Slam titles.

Road deaths mar first weekend of holidays
France

Road deaths mar first weekend of holidays

Despite pleas by road authorities and government ministers for drivers to take extra caution, the first weekend of the French summer holidays was marred by several fatalities on the country's roads. Dozens were also left injured.

Messel pit: A Mecca for fossil fans
Germany

Messel pit: A Mecca for fossil fans

As part of our tour of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites, we look around one of the best areas for fossil spotting in the world - the Messel pit site.

Spanish family rescued in Greece yacht drama
Spain

Spanish family rescued in Greece yacht drama

An 'uncooperative' Spanish family of five stranded on a yacht amid gale-force winds in the Aegean Sea was rescued by the Greek coastguard on Sunday after an operation including a helicopter airlift and a speedboat.

Hero’s welcome for ‘Boom Boom Bine’
Germany

Hero’s welcome for ‘Boom Boom Bine’

Berlin-born tennis star Sabine Lisicki may have lost the Wimbledon women's final but she arrived back in her native Germany on Sunday afternoon to high praise and adoring fans.

Sarkozy denies return at UMP crisis summit
France

Sarkozy denies return at UMP crisis summit

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy took to Twitter on Monday to insist that he was not making a dramatic return to politics despite attending crisis talks with top officials from his UMP party and a series of public pronouncements.

Police warned ahead of crazed knife attack
Sweden

Police warned ahead of crazed knife attack

Friends of the man who went on a crazed knife attack in Varberg in western Sweden on Sunday, killing one and injuring two and leading to his own death, had previously warned police over his state of mind.

Sweden’s Jonas Blixt claims US PGA Tour title
Sweden

Sweden’s Jonas Blixt claims US PGA Tour title

Swedish golfer Jonas Blixt won his second US PGA Tour title on Sunday, outdueling four rivals in near darkness on Sunday to win the $6.3 million Greenbrier Classic by two strokes.

Sicily: migrants rescued ahead of Pope’s visit
Italy

Sicily: migrants rescued ahead of Pope’s visit

Italian coast guards on Sunday rescued 120 migrants from a distressed boat off Sicily, a day ahead of a visit by Pope Francis to an island that has become a gateway for undocumented immigration into Europe.