Porn videos hit Swiss tourist info terminal
Switzerland

Porn videos hit Swiss tourist info terminal

Visitors expecting to see tourist information on a computer terminal placed in the centre of Porrentruy’s medieval town centre this week were surprised instead to see erotic scenes from an internet porn site.

Aided suicide in question after botched diagnosis
Switzerland

Aided suicide in question after botched diagnosis

An Italian magistrate was not gravely ill as he was told before he went to Switzerland for an assisted suicide, an autopsy has revealed.

Four swimming deaths in a week prompt warning
Germany

Four swimming deaths in a week prompt warning

After three people died in Germany's Baltic waters this week, police are warning bathers not to underestimate the power of the sea. The body of a young man was also pulled from a lake in Berlin on Thursday.

Operator of remote control helicopter dies
Switzerland

Operator of remote control helicopter dies

A 41-year-old man died after apparently being struck in a freak accident by the remote control model helicopter he was trying out in the canton of Lucerne, police reported on Thursday.

Spanish runner smashes Mont Blanc time record
Spain

Spanish runner smashes Mont Blanc time record

Spanish extreme trail runner Kilian Jornet raced up and down Mont Blanc — the EU's highest peak — in just under 5 hours on Thursday, blasting the previous record out of the water in the process.

France’s ‘King of the Accordion’ falls silent
France

France’s ‘King of the Accordion’ falls silent

A musical prodigy, old-school French romantic, and Holocaust survivor - our French Face of the Week embodied a particular era of French culture. Next time you hear the sound of an accordion remember André Verchuren, who died this week.

Death threats for police who shot Bruce the dog
Germany

Death threats for police who shot Bruce the dog

German police officers who on Wednesday shot and then drove at a dog running loose on a motorway have become the target of online death threats. “Bruce” the dog, remains at large.

Zara boss Ortega named Europe’s richest tycoon
Spain

Zara boss Ortega named Europe’s richest tycoon

Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara, has taken over the title of richest man in Europe from Ikea boss, Swede Ingvar Kamprad, according to the Swiss financial magazine Bilan.

Tour de France stage 12: Kittel beats Cavendish
France

Tour de France stage 12: Kittel beats Cavendish

Germany's Marcel Kittel claimed his third stage win of the 100th Tour de France on Thursday when he beat Britain's Mark Cavendish to victory in a sprint finish at the end of Stage 12 in Tours. Sky's Chris Froome held on to the yellow jersey.

Italy’s murder rate hits 40-year low
Italy

Italy’s murder rate hits 40-year low

Italy’s murder rate hit a 40-year low last year with 526 homicides recorded in 2012, a report released on Thursday has found.

Runner scales Mont Blanc in record 4h 57min
France

Runner scales Mont Blanc in record 4h 57min

Most mountain climbers will take a few days to get up and down Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, but on Thursday one extreme athlete got up and down unscathed in just under five hours, to set a new world record. He managed it in shorts, a T-shirt and trainers.

Gotland ferry services may be nationalized
Sweden

Gotland ferry services may be nationalized

Ferry services to the Baltic island of Gotland may be nationalized before the end of the year, according to the government, with residents long asking for further state subsidies for their link to the mainland.

Neid: we deserve some of the football cake
Germany

Neid: we deserve some of the football cake

Germany's women footballers take on the Dutch on Thursday evening to start their European championship campaign. Trainer Silvia Neid is determined to take a bite of the championship cake. This makes her our German of the Week.

Italian aperitif killer jailed for 20 years
Italy

Italian aperitif killer jailed for 20 years

An Italian businessman who killed a Milan pharmacist with a cyanide-laced aperitif has been jailed for 20 years.

‘Royal birthday fete lays bare need for a republic’
Norway

‘Royal birthday fete lays bare need for a republic’

Splashing out 3.7 million kroner ($610,000) on security alone for a royal birthday party is a bit rich argues the Norwegian Republican Association, which says police officers deserve putting their feet up during summer rather than hiding in bushes to protect the privileged few.

Spanish sting op nets 74 cocaine arrests
Spain

Spanish sting op nets 74 cocaine arrests

Spanish police said on Thursday that they had smashed an international cocaine ring in a two-year operation with other forces that led to the arrests of 74 people in Spain, Brazil and Colombia.

Qatari sheikh vows to restore fire-hit mansion
France

Qatari sheikh vows to restore fire-hit mansion

The Qatari prince who owns the Hotel Lambert in Paris promised on Thursday to restore the 17th century mansion to its original grandeur after it suffered severe damage in a blaze on Wednesday.

Cocaine king and escape artist
Italy

Cocaine king and escape artist

With a briefcase full of cash and a diamond necklace, Roberto Pannunzi has long outsmarted police around the world. But his crimes have caught up with him and the drug lord is now back behind bars in Italy.

Post-terror police to get military aid
Norway

Post-terror police to get military aid

A new government proposal will make it easier for the Norwegian police to draft back-up from the military, one of the recommendations made in the July 22th report that reviewed failings in the emergency response to the Anders Behring Breivik terror attacks two years ago.

France engulfed in new row over shale gas
France

France engulfed in new row over shale gas

An outspoken French minister sparked a fierce row within his own fractured government this week by suggesting France should exploit the country’s immense shale gas resources in an environmentally friendly way. Old wounds have been reopened.

Italian skin doc slams cheeky mini-short craze
Italy

Italian skin doc slams cheeky mini-short craze

An Italian dermatologist has launched a scathing attack on women wearing "mini-shorts", saying the fashion "craze" exposes fat and cellulite, flaws that "seem to be exhibited with pride".

Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria
Italy

Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria

It’s this time of year when holiday fever hits the high temperatures but consider a place where you can vacation all year around. Activity-packed, with a backdrop of devastating beauty, there’s even more reasons to book a holiday to Gran Canaria and discover it’s capital Las Palmas.

Merkel’s election rivals promise minimum wage
Germany

Merkel’s election rivals promise minimum wage

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's top election rivals, seeking to gain ground ahead of a September vote, on Thursday vowed to take on the plight of millions of working poor by pushing for a national minimum wage.

Swedish wind turbines to power UK households
Sweden

Swedish wind turbines to power UK households

State-owned Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has announced plans to build two new wind turbine parks in the UK, with enough installed capacity to light up 162,000 British homes.

Swedish football maestro who snubbed Obama
Sweden

Swedish football maestro who snubbed Obama

Sweden's coach of the ladies team has always done things her own way in a long and hugely successful career. As she bids for Euro 2013 glory, outspoken trailblazer Pia Sundhage is the obvious choice for our Swede of the Week

Swiss-based Adecco faces French legal probe
Switzerland

Swiss-based Adecco faces French legal probe

Swiss-based Adecco, the world's biggest temporary staffing group, is under investigation by French competition authorities.

Arctic Muslims risk health during Ramadan
Sweden

Arctic Muslims risk health during Ramadan

Swedish Muslims north of the Arctic circle have long waited for and feared this summer. When the sun never sets, they have pondered how to observe Ramadan, when devout Muslims fast from sun up to sun down for a month.

Frozen foods king admits to fishy growth plan
Spain

Frozen foods king admits to fishy growth plan

The head of Spanish frozen fish giant Pescanova admitted on Thursday that he may have made bad decisions after an auditor's report said the group deliberately fabricated deals and financial results to disguise a €3.28 billion ($4.3 billion) debt.

Homeless Italian serves sentence on street
Italy

Homeless Italian serves sentence on street

Domenico Codispoti was placed under house arrest in 2006. There was just one snag: he didn't have a home.

‘Your sunscreen could be polluting the sea’
Spain

‘Your sunscreen could be polluting the sea’

Chemicals in sunscreens worn by beach-goers are posing a serious threat to marine ecosystems in popular tourist destinations, Spanish scientists have said.

The Swedish class system thrives in Visby
Sweden

The Swedish class system thrives in Visby

The Almedalen week of political debates might be a "democracy fest", but as such it also showcases the limits of democracy in a Sweden where socio-economic differences are on the rise. It has (middle-class) Ann Törnkvist choking on her own privilege.

France sees steep drop in number of road deaths
France

France sees steep drop in number of road deaths

The number of people killed on France’s roads has tumbled, according to new figures released by the country’s Interior Minister on Thursday. The government wants to cut fatalities even further and has muted a cut in speed limits on the country's roads

French ‘take 48 boxes of pills every year’
France

French ‘take 48 boxes of pills every year’

Each French person consumes 48 boxes of medication a year, according to a report published this week. The report is the latest in a series of studies that appears to confirm the French reputation for being overly obsessed with their health.

Germans expect ‘straight talk’ from US on spies
Germany

Germans expect ‘straight talk’ from US on spies

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he expected "straight talk" at high-level meetings in Washington Thursday on a simmering dispute over broad state surveillance.

Police investigate ‘United Stasi of America’ artist
Germany

Police investigate ‘United Stasi of America’ artist

Berlin police are investigating whether an artist who projected “United Stasi of America" onto the US embassy in the German capital earlier this week could be charged with a criminal offence.

Botched diagnosis led to Italian’s assisted death
Italy

Botched diagnosis led to Italian’s assisted death

An Italian magistrate who went to Switzerland for an assisted suicide was not gravely ill as he had thought, an autopsy has revealed.

Swiss investors regain optimism as stocks rise
Switzerland

Swiss investors regain optimism as stocks rise

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) rose above 8,000 points on Thursday for the first time since May on the back of comments by US Federal Reserve Chairman Bank Bernanke indicating the American central bank would continue its loose monetary policy.

‘Sexist’ own goal in women’s footie advert
Germany

‘Sexist’ own goal in women’s footie advert

As Germany's women footballers kick off their campaign to retain their European championship title in Sweden this week, national broadcaster ZDF has sparked criticism with its advert - featuring a headless woman and a washing machine.

Family of Swede lost in Colombia fear worst
Sweden

Family of Swede lost in Colombia fear worst

A 26-year old Swedish man has been reported missing in Colombia. The family of Jan Braunisch, from Norrköping, were last in contact with him in May and have now contacted Interpol to try and find him.

Spanish PM to avoid corruption case grilling
Spain

Spanish PM to avoid corruption case grilling

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy looks set to avoid an appearance in the country's Parliament to answer questions about a corruption scandal involving an illegal slush fund allegedly operated by the ruling Popular Party's ex-treasurer Luis Bárcenas.

Norwegian gives Oslo stock exchange wings
Norway

Norwegian gives Oslo stock exchange wings

The main index for the Oslo Stock Exchange kept going up for the fourth day running, spurred on Thursday by positive results from Norwegian Airlines, as well as from Fred Olsen Energy.

These shoes were made for renting
Italy

These shoes were made for renting

A shoe shop in Alassio, a seaside town in northern Italy, has come up with a novel way of keeping women looking stylish while defying the economic crisis: renting out their designer range.

Tan-loving Swedes cut back on the rays
Sweden

Tan-loving Swedes cut back on the rays

Four of ten Swedes say they spend less time in the sun than they did five years ago, with six percent stating they have given up catching rays completely, despite Swedes' proven aesthetic appreciation of deep tans.

Høyre wants to send teachers back to school
Norway

Høyre wants to send teachers back to school

Norway's conservative opposition party Høyre would like teachers to keep studying, with those who refuse to comply threatened with the possibility of losing the right to teach. The government said teachers would never accept such a move.

Spain tops charts for online chat
Spain

Spain tops charts for online chat

A new report has revealed that although Spain lags behind the rest of Europe in overall internet use, its citizens are the continent's most enthusiastic fans of services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Woman tumbles from Bergen hotel window
Norway

Woman tumbles from Bergen hotel window

Norwegian police have detained a man in Bergen after a woman fell from a window on the third floor of a hotel, despite attempts to cling on to the curtains, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

‘France should promote file sharing, not punish it’
France

‘France should promote file sharing, not punish it’

France has overturned the core of Hadopi, its controversial ‘three-strikes’ law on illegal downloading, after four years of criticism and legal wrangling. But where did it go wrong, and how well can France’s new fight against “commercial piracy” work? The Local asks two opposing experts.

Statoil fuel pump staff fear lay-offs
Norway

Statoil fuel pump staff fear lay-offs

Admninistrative staff at Statoil Fuel & Retail, which manages the distribution of fuel to consumers, fear that the new Canadian owners will ship their jobs off to Latvia.

Kamprad no longer Europe’s top tycoon: list
Switzerland

Kamprad no longer Europe’s top tycoon: list

Ikea founder and Swiss resident Ingvar Kamprad was dislodged from his title of wealthiest person in Europe in a top 100 list published on Wednesday by business magazine Bilan that includes seven Swiss citizens or families.

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Sweden

Police can search schools for asylum kids

Children of undocumented immigrants hiding in Sweden will have the right to go to school in the autumn and the police will have the right to search for them there, ending uncertainty over conflicting legislation.

Bari prison hosts first inmate wedding
Italy

Bari prison hosts first inmate wedding

A delegate for the city’s mayor, Michele Emiliano, will officiate the happy couple's big day on Friday. They were jailed in 2011 after robbing a 90-year-old.

‘You have nothing on me’
Spain

‘You have nothing on me’

Our unmistakable Spanish Face of the Week is José Bretón who was found guilty of the murder of his two young children by a unanimous jury decision on Friday.

US spying: Rights groups file lawsuit in France
France

US spying: Rights groups file lawsuit in France

The US spying scandal provoked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden continues to have knock-on effects around the globe as two human rights organizations were due to file charges in a French court on Thursday aimed at exploring whether IT giants like Google and Facebook had played a role.

Poet Pablo Neruda to have poison test in Spain
Spain

Poet Pablo Neruda to have poison test in Spain

A judge ordered the remains of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to be tested in Spain to determine whether he died of poisoning, court records showed on Wednesday.

Omega 3 heightens child allergy risk: study
Sweden

Omega 3 heightens child allergy risk: study

Omega 3 fatty acids increase the risk of children developing allergies, according to a new Swedish study published on Thursday.

Train ticket machine attacks ‘the work of pros’
Germany

Train ticket machine attacks ‘the work of pros’

Around 75 train ticket machines have been blown up across Germany over the last few months. The Frankfurt region has been particularly badly hit with the latest explosion rocking a station on Wednesday.

Kazakh family’s expulsion sparks inquiry
Italy

Kazakh family’s expulsion sparks inquiry

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has called for an investigation into the arrest and deportation of the wife and child of a Kazakh dissident, a move that has put interior minister and Berlusconi ally Angelino Alfano in the spotlight.

PM short 9,813 beds in hospital election promise
Norway

PM short 9,813 beds in hospital election promise

The Labour Party promised the Norwegian electorate 12,000 new hospital beds during elections in 2009, but four years on, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's government has conjured up only a rather slim 2,187 beds, according to a new review.

Berlusconi legal troubles raise the heat in Italy
Italy

Berlusconi legal troubles raise the heat in Italy

Italy's coalition government came under pressure on Wednesday from members of Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party protesting the former premier's legal troubles and from bad news on the economic front.

DIY chain Praktiker slides into insolvency
Germany

DIY chain Praktiker slides into insolvency

Are Germans losing interest in tool belts and hammers? One of the country's biggest DIY supply chains Praktiker declared itself insolvent on Wednesday night, with nearly 20,000 jobs now at risk.

Why I’ll never find a cure for Swedish cabin fever
Sweden

Why I’ll never find a cure for Swedish cabin fever

As Sweden's summer rolls into July, The Local's David Landes wants to know if he'll ever get over his annual struggle with Swedish cabin fever.

VIDEO: Tour de France stage 12 preview
France

VIDEO: Tour de France stage 12 preview

(Video) After Wednesday's race against the clock the Tour de France riders will be back racing against each other on Thursday when the relatively flat stage 12 is expected to see the specialist sprinters battle for the podium. Watch an expert video analysis of the stage.

DSK denies ‘problem with women’ in rare interview
France

DSK denies ‘problem with women’ in rare interview

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, by has claimed he doesn't have "any kind of problems with women," in an extended version of his interview with CNN, his first in English since being accused of rape in 2011.

Völklingen Ironworks: an industrial behemoth
Germany

Völklingen Ironworks: an industrial behemoth

As part of our tour of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites, we clamber around the breathtakingly industrial Völklingen Ironworks.

Oil spill disaster hearings draw to close
Spain

Oil spill disaster hearings draw to close

Hearings in the trial over one of Europe's worst oil spills in Spain wrapped up on Wednesday after eight months of testimony.

‘Phantom’ ship drama caused by overloading
Sweden

‘Phantom’ ship drama caused by overloading

Too much load on the deck, inappropriate ballast to stabilize the ship, and poor manuals and guidelines for securing the load are the reasons behind drama at sea involving the Gibraltar-flagged Phantom outside of Öland in 2012.

Swedes miss penalties in Denmark draw
Sweden

Swedes miss penalties in Denmark draw

Sweden were held to a 1-1 draw by neighbouring Denmark in their opening match of the Euro 2013 women's football tournament on Wednesday, missing two penalties in an eventful second half.