Swiss winner of Euro Millions remains mystery
Switzerland

Swiss winner of Euro Millions remains mystery

The winner of a 27.2-million-franc ($28.9-million) Euro Millions lottery jackpot who bought the lucky ticket in Switzerland has yet to step forward to claim the prize. (UPDATE BELOW)

Bern police probe woman’s bus stop death
Switzerland

Bern police probe woman’s bus stop death

Police in the Swiss capital remain tight-lipped as they continue to investigate the murder of a woman found dead at a bus stop early Wednesday.

Nude pic of 83-year-old bullfighter shocks Spain
Spain

Nude pic of 83-year-old bullfighter shocks Spain

Fifty years ago bullfighter Jaime Ostos was the victim of a horrific goring in the ring. On Wednesday, he shocked readers of Spain's La Gaceta newspaper by removing his trousers to show the damage to his groin half a century on.

Stamping out racism in Italy
Italy

Stamping out racism in Italy

Remarks by a right-wing MP comparing Italy's first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, to an 'orangutan' have sparked a storm in Italy. Prime Minister Enrico Letta called it a "shameful chapter" for Italy. The Local speaks to several experts about how Italy can stop racism.

‘I don’t understand tax’: Leo Messi
Spain

‘I don’t understand tax’: Leo Messi

Barcelona star Lionel Messi on Tuesday said he was unconcerned about accusations of tax avoidance on income generated from the sale of his image rights and was confident his lawyers will solve the case.

Five online postings not meant for German eyes
Germany

Five online postings not meant for German eyes

News that internet 'intelligence' collected by US spies was shared with the Germans gives foreigners here food for thought. This week's Local List suggests five ex-pat online postings you may not want Germans to see - and one you may.

French film festival sparks Sri Lanka protests
France

French film festival sparks Sri Lanka protests

A film shown by France's embassy in Sri Lanka on Bastille Day, and set during the country's civil war has sparked protests, with crowds accusing France of supporting Tamil rebels. The embassy said authorities cleared the screening.

Tour de France stage 17: Froome stretches lead
France

Tour de France stage 17: Froome stretches lead

British Tour de France leader Chris Froome strengthened his hold on the race on Wednesday, taking the 17th stage in an individual time trial between Embrun and Chorges.

Nestlé launches new pet-food drive in Poland
Switzerland

Nestlé launches new pet-food drive in Poland

Nestlé has chosen key market Poland to lead a drive to expand its pet-food operations in central and eastern Europe, where rising incomes have had a major lifestyle impact.

Merkel denies US spying ‘old news’ to army
Germany

Merkel denies US spying ‘old news’ to army

The German government Wednesday denied a report claiming that the nation's military knew for years about the US surveillance programme PRISM revealed by fugitive former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

‘Orangutan’ MP faces defamation probe
Italy

‘Orangutan’ MP faces defamation probe

Roberto Calderoli is to be formally investigated for defamation after comparing Italy's first black minister, Cécile Kyenge, to an orangutun.

‘Slush fund critics are hypocrites’: Ex-official
Spain

‘Slush fund critics are hypocrites’: Ex-official

A former top official for Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) has justified handouts made by ex-party treasurer Luis Bárcenas in a TV interview by stating "it’s impossible" to work without bonuses.

Mystery highway dough spill massacres birds
Norway

Mystery highway dough spill massacres birds

Norwegian traffic authorities were called to the E6 motorway on Wednesday to clean up the bodies of dead birds, after a mile-long trail of dough by the roadside attracted flocks of hungry peckers to the curb.

Bulgarian demo builds Berlin Wall in thanks
Germany

Bulgarian demo builds Berlin Wall in thanks

Bulgarian anti-government protesters said thanks to the German ambassador for supporting their movement on Tuesday evening by building and tearing down a “Berlin Wall” outside his office, Der Spiegel reported.

Norwegians in Sweden car collision
Norway

Norwegians in Sweden car collision

A family of six from Tromso have been taken to hospital in Uppsala, following a collision near the central Swedish town that has left three of the four children with serious injuries.

Cocaine cat caught up in drug raid
Italy

Cocaine cat caught up in drug raid

A cat high on cocaine was found by police as they raided an apartment in the north-eastern town of Villorba, near Treviso, for drugs.

‘France must lift ban on gay men giving blood’
France

‘France must lift ban on gay men giving blood’

A new report advises France’s health minister to follow other European countries and lift a lifetime ban on homosexual men giving blood. Gay rights group 'SOS Homophobie' tells The Local why it's time to end the discrimination.

Nordic banking giant Nordea posts profits drop
Sweden

Nordic banking giant Nordea posts profits drop

Sweden's biggest bank Nordea reported a 6.0-percent fall in net profits in the second quarter on Wednesday, blaming the drop on uncertain and volatile markets.

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Sweden

Teen Swedes convicted in sex game robbery

Two teenage girls were convicted for robbery by Lund District Court on Tuesday after stealing valuables at the home of a 30-year-old man who they gagged and bound naked to a chair.

Family arrested over €600 million insurance loss
Italy

Family arrested over €600 million insurance loss

A prominent Italian businessman and his two daughters were arrested on Wednesday and police are searching for his son in an investigation into insurance company Fondiaria-SAI, Italian media reported.

Swedish politician charged with fraud
Sweden

Swedish politician charged with fraud

A former local politician suspected of having stolen millions of kronor of taxpayers' money in central Sweden has been charged with aggravated fraud following her arrest in Thailand in March.

Germans charge F1 boss with bribery
Germany

Germans charge F1 boss with bribery

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was on Wednesday indicted on bribery charges by German prosecutors and faces a trial in Munich which could end the motor racing magnate's 40-year-reign.

UK man beats Spain’s banks on home ground
Spain

UK man beats Spain’s banks on home ground

Thanks to an all but forgotten 45-year-old property law he found with the help of Google Translate, Englishman Keith Rule has provided hope to thousands of expats who lost money in failed Spanish property ventures during the credit crunch.

Swiss participate in raids against neo-Nazis
Switzerland

Swiss participate in raids against neo-Nazis

Police launched raids in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland on Wednesday against six suspected members of a far-right "Werewolf" cell modelled on late-Second World War plans for a Nazi guerrilla resistance.

Utøya veterans prepare island for ceremony
Norway

Utøya veterans prepare island for ceremony

PICTURES - Volunteers have rallied since May to prepare Utøya island for this weekend's two-year anniversary of the terror attack, which left 69 people dead on the island where Labour Party youth have spent their summers for generations.

Concordia captain requests plea bargain
Italy

Concordia captain requests plea bargain

The captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship requested a plea bargain deal at his trial in Italy on Wednesday over a shipwreck that claimed 32 lives.

German police raid Nazi ‘Werewolf’ lairs
Germany

German police raid Nazi ‘Werewolf’ lairs

Police launched raids in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland Wednesday against six suspected members of a far-right "Werewolf" cell modelled on late-World War II plans for a Nazi guerrilla resistance.

Former Novartis chief stays on company payroll
Switzerland

Former Novartis chief stays on company payroll

A bonanza payout to the former chairman of Novartis has been cut back radically, the pharmaceutical group said on Wednesday, reporting also a fall in second quarter profit.

Bogus branding leads to wine kit seizure
Italy

Bogus branding leads to wine kit seizure

Police have stopped the sale of fake 'Made in Italy' wine kits in the UK, as part of an operation involving Interpol, Italy's interior ministry and the country's food police.

EU subsidy decision shatters shipbuilders
Spain

EU subsidy decision shatters shipbuilders

Billions of euros in state subsidies received by Spanish shipyards must be repaid, the European Commission decided on Wednesday in a move industry players fear could sink the massive sector.

Body of French hostage flown home from Mali
France

Body of French hostage flown home from Mali

The body of French hostage Philippe Verdon, who was kidnapped in Mali in 2011 and found dead several weeks ago, was flown back to Paris on Wednesday, an airport source told AFP.

Sex workers cry foul over activist’s death
Sweden

Sex workers cry foul over activist’s death

The murder of a Swedish sex workers' rights activist, who was stabbed by her ex when she went to see her children after losing custody because she "romanticized prostitution", has sex activists worldwide up in arms.

Norway unions slam Ryanair report
Norway

Norway unions slam Ryanair report

The Norwegian Trade Union Confederation (LO) has asked Ryanair employees to tell them if their employer sat in on interviews with the Air Traffic Agency, which on Tuesday cleared the Irish carrier of some allegations of poor treatment of staff.

Murdered boy’s image used for kindergarten ad
France

Murdered boy’s image used for kindergarten ad

The parents of murdered four-year-old French boy Grégory Villemin are considering suing the organisers of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland after its promotional publication used an image of the toddler to promote its kindergarten.

‘Half-room’ sublet in Geneva sparks protest
Switzerland

‘Half-room’ sublet in Geneva sparks protest

A room with just five square metres (54 square feet) of floor space is being sublet in Geneva for 550 francs ($585) a month, raising concerns from both tenants' advocates and property owners.

Neo-Nazi arrest leaves France asking questions
France

Neo-Nazi arrest leaves France asking questions

The arrest of the notorious Norwegian neo-Nazi Kristian Vikernes in rural France on Tuesday has taken the country somewhat by surprise, with most people asking "who is he?" and "was he really a terror threat?"

Sibling spat causes red faces and anger in CDU
Germany

Sibling spat causes red faces and anger in CDU

A spat between two middle-aged brothers within Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party is causing red faces all round, with her party chairman calling for his younger sibling to be kicked out for running as an independent.

Top ten: Spain’s sexiest sportsmen
Spain

Top ten: Spain’s sexiest sportsmen

To honour the naming of Real Madrid football star Cristiano Ronaldo as Spain's sexiest sports star, The Local has put together a delicious gallery of the country's top ten hottest male athletes.

Italian lives in car for two years
Italy

Italian lives in car for two years

Eustachio Tarasco, an unemployed father of three, has been living in his car in Matera, southern Italy, for the past two years.

Norway ponders sperm-donor registry
Norway

Norway ponders sperm-donor registry

Norwegian medical ethics experts think it is time to open a registry to help children conceived with the help of a sperm donor to find their biological father and any half-siblings.

Police assist roadside birth in Sweden’s north
Sweden

Police assist roadside birth in Sweden’s north

Police officers assisted in the roadside birth of a baby on Tuesday evening after the expectant couple were forced to stop on the motorway between Kiruna and Gällivare in northern Sweden.

Drunk students burn down Rome school
Italy

Drunk students burn down Rome school

Four disgruntled students have confessed to burning down a school in Rome after an afternoon drinking session at the beach.

More than 20 hurt as train hits car and derails
Germany

More than 20 hurt as train hits car and derails

Around 20 people were hurt on Wednesday morning, at least one very seriously, when a regional commuter train hit a car on a rail crossing, came off the rails and then turned over, landing in a garden in southern Germany.

Sweden Democrat in Almedalen rape case
Sweden

Sweden Democrat in Almedalen rape case

A senior male member of the Sweden Democrats is facing accusations of rape after being reported to police by a female party colleague during Sweden's Almedalen political week on the island of Gotland.

Top Spanish writer fined €200K for plagiarism
Spain

Top Spanish writer fined €200K for plagiarism

Highly-acclaimed Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte has coughed up more than €200,000 in damages after he was found guilty of copying a movie script.

Top ten tips for planning a Swedish wedding
Sweden

Top ten tips for planning a Swedish wedding

Bouquets, rings, the bride taking the groom's name...? Sweden is the country where the church has publicly said it disapproves of fathers walking brides down the aisle. The Local's soon-to-be-wed-to-a-Swede Patrick Reilly gives us his top ten tips for planning a wedding in Sweden without going insane.

Swiss top the tables for household savings
Switzerland

Swiss top the tables for household savings

Swiss residents are European champions when it comes to putting aside savings, according to a new survey.

Liquor monopoly wants tax-free licence
Norway

Liquor monopoly wants tax-free licence

The Norwegian state liquor monopoly wants to take over the sale of wine and spirits in tax-free, saying that airport sales threaten the alcohol vendor's legitimacy and financing.

Internet start-up group Rocket takes long aim
Germany

Internet start-up group Rocket takes long aim

Berlin's internet start-up incubator Rocket Internet has pulled together more than half a billion euros this year in new investment and is going shopping in regions such as Latin America and Asia.

Turin man wins €471,000 on a slot machine
Italy

Turin man wins €471,000 on a slot machine

A 57-year-old office worker hit the jackpot after slotting just one coin into the Pharoah Golden Treasure machine at a Turin betting shop.

‘We need to bring down taxes’: Spanish PM
Spain

‘We need to bring down taxes’: Spanish PM

Embattled Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday told a group of Spanish business leaders it was necessary to bring down taxes in Spain but did not set a timetable for doing so.

Vikernes ‘irrelevant’ and a ‘national treasure’
Norway

Vikernes ‘irrelevant’ and a ‘national treasure’

A Norwegian black metal expert has said that Varg Vikernes, the Norwegian neo-nazi arrested by French anti-terror police on Tuesday, has built up a cult status among fans around the world.

TeliaSonera posts bumper interim profit
Sweden

TeliaSonera posts bumper interim profit

Swedish-Finnish telecom firm TeliaSonera has posted a pre-tax profit of 5.5 billion kronor ($830 million) for the second quarter of 2013, indicating that business-wise the firm has emerged relatively unscathed from the Uzbekistan bribes scandal.

Life to get simpler as France cuts red tape
France

Life to get simpler as France cuts red tape

France is to launch a series of "modernisation" measures on Wednesday aimed at simplifying its dreaded bureaucracy and make life easier for the public. From driving penalty points to restaurant tickets, here’s a breakdown of the main changes.

Froome slams Alberto Contador’s Tour tactics
Spain

Froome slams Alberto Contador’s Tour tactics

Tour de France leader Chris Froome has slammed Spanish rival Alberto Contador after claiming the Spaniard used "dangerous" tactics in a bid to loosen his grip on the yellow jersey.

‘Italy’s most hated man’ on trial over ship wreck
Italy

‘Italy’s most hated man’ on trial over ship wreck

The trial of Italy's Costa Concordia cruise ship captain Francesco Schettino is set to get under way on Wednesday, with survivors of the 2012 nighttime disaster and relatives of the 32 victims expected to attend.

VIDEO: Tour de France Stage 17 preview
France

VIDEO: Tour de France Stage 17 preview

British race-leader Chris Froome is favourite to come out on top in Wednesday's stage 17 time-trial, but could well be caught out by a strong challenger or a rainy afternoon. See this video preview of the sprint from Embrun to Chorges

Daimler continues French battle on coolant
Germany

Daimler continues French battle on coolant

EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani gave France some succour and Germany's Daimler cause for concern Tuesday in a row over new cars that Brussels fears were produced in breach of EU rules.

Sweden finds arsenic in Chinese herbal remedy
Sweden

Sweden finds arsenic in Chinese herbal remedy

A daily dose of a medicinal product claiming to cure toothache and fever in infants, on sale in Sweden, has been found to contain extremely high levels of arsenic by Sweden's National Food Agency.

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Sweden

Swede ‘beaten in Ogaden’ housed at embassy

A Swedish-Ethiopian politician from Gothenburg, assaulted on a trip to Ogaden, has been safely housed at the Swedish embassy in Addis Ababa were immediate arrangements are being made for him and his family return home.

Maulbronn’s magnificent monastery complex
Germany

Maulbronn’s magnificent monastery complex

As part of our summer tour of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites, we take a look at the gorgeous Maulbronn monastery complex, between Karlsruhe and Heilbronn.

Swedish women cruise into Euro quarter-finals
Sweden

Swedish women cruise into Euro quarter-finals

A second-half goal explosion secured hosts Sweden a place in the quarter-finals as they beat Italy 3-1 on Tuesday to maintain their unbeaten record in the women's Euro 2013 tournament.