Partner suspected in woman’s stabbing death
Switzerland

Partner suspected in woman’s stabbing death

A woman murdered at a bus stop in Bern this week was stabbed to death, say cantonal police, while local media report that the victim's partner is the prime suspect.

Wegelin chief takes blame for bank’s collapse
Switzerland

Wegelin chief takes blame for bank’s collapse

The last president of a 270-year-old Swiss bank that collapsed after helping rich Americans dodge taxes blames himself for the firm's demise but hints the Holocaust contributed to Switzerland's banking secrecy.

Crayfish plague leads to Swiss fishing ban
Switzerland

Crayfish plague leads to Swiss fishing ban

Officials have banned fishing in the Lucelle River in Switzerland and parts of France because of a water mold that has wiped out the the most significant Swiss population of white-clawed crayfish.

France adopts watered down banking reform
France

France adopts watered down banking reform

A pre-election pledge by the French president François Hollande to get tough on the world of finance rang hollow on Thursday after France adopted a watered down banking reform aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Thirty-three to stand trial over Italian rail disaster
Italy

Thirty-three to stand trial over Italian rail disaster

Thirty-three people have been sent to trial over a gas train explosion in Viareggio, Tuscany, in which 32 people died.

Hold onto your sunhats: summer’s staying
Germany

Hold onto your sunhats: summer’s staying

Sun, sand, sea and … sun. Classic high summer weather is here to stay with temperatures forecast to hit 30C at the weekend in places, with the sun lasting across Germany into early next week.

Tour de France stage 18: France’s Riblon triumphs
France

Tour de France stage 18: France’s Riblon triumphs

Christophe Riblon won stage 18 of the Tour de France on Thursday meaning a Frenchman will top the podium for the first time in this year's race. Riblon was first home after an epic ride which saw the peloton climb the mythical Alpe d'Huez twice.

Singing priest becomes YouTube hit
Italy

Singing priest becomes YouTube hit

Father Bruno Maggioni, from Limbiate near Milan, has become a star on YouTube after a video of him singing and dancing at a wedding was posted on the video website.

‘Frozen Franco’ artist found not guilty
Spain

‘Frozen Franco’ artist found not guilty

An artist who created a wax model of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco “frozen” in a fridge has been cleared from a lawsuit against him presented by the leader’s foundation.

Italy to tackle online racism
Italy

Italy to tackle online racism

Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said on Thursday the government is looking into new ways of tackling racism, with a focus on the online sphere.

Gangster rapper with an appetite for scandal
Germany

Gangster rapper with an appetite for scandal

This Friday, his latest song will be banned to minors - a move made faster than normal in an attempt to stop sales benefiting from the controversy. For good or bad, this makes rapper Bushido our German of the Week.

‘I’m a misunderstood animal lover’
Italy

‘I’m a misunderstood animal lover’

Roberto Calderoli caused a media storm in Italy and abroad this week after likening the country's first black minister to an ape. But Cecile Kyenge is not the first person he has insulted, The Local discovers.

Norwegian art theft gang charged as mafia
Norway

Norwegian art theft gang charged as mafia

Bergen prosecutors have brought mafia charges against six art thieves, suspected of torching cars to distract the police during their destructive heist in which they stole a score of invaluable historical artifacts from a local museum's China collection.

French hostage killed by ‘single shot to head’
France

French hostage killed by ‘single shot to head’

Paris prosecutors said on Thursday that French hostage Philippe Verdon, whose body was flown back to France from Mali this week, was executd by a single shot to the head. Verdon had been kidnapped by Islamist extremists from Al-Qaeda in 2011.

Crisis closes top Spanish restaurant Can Fabes
Spain

Crisis closes top Spanish restaurant Can Fabes

Can Fabes, a restaurant near Barcelona famed for elevating Catalan cuisine to the pinnacle of gastronomy, will close next month, two years after losing its founding chef and coveted third Michelin star.

Last rites for Sweden’s divine hotline
Sweden

Last rites for Sweden’s divine hotline

The Swedish government is proposing to call time on a service that allows people to talk to a pastor by ringing the national emergency number 112, a move that counters action to cut suicide rates, the service's national coordinator has said.

Norway slams Dubai jailing of rape victim
Norway

Norway slams Dubai jailing of rape victim

A Norwegian woman who reported being raped to the police in Dubai has been imprisoned for having extra-marital sex. On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry said the verdict was "highly problematic" from a human rights perspective.

Disabled passenger beats man on Florence bus
Italy

Disabled passenger beats man on Florence bus

A Nigerian man faces paralysis after being beaten by a disabled passenger on a bus in Florence following a row over a seat.

DFB tells gay players: come out, but quietly
Germany

DFB tells gay players: come out, but quietly

Will footie fans ever welcome openly gay players on the pitch? A leaflet from the German Football Association (DFB) tells closeted German football players to come out at the end of the season - so people forget all about it.

Top Republican: Sweden should take in Snowden
Sweden

Top Republican: Sweden should take in Snowden

Former two-term Republican US senator Gordon Humphrey has called Sweden the "ideal country" to provide refuge to whistleblower Edward Snowden, saying that it "has a reputation for high-mindedness" and is only a short flight from Moscow.

Norway ‘trails EU’ in US trade talks: opposition
Norway

Norway ‘trails EU’ in US trade talks: opposition

The opposition parties Høyre and Fremskrittspartiet (FRP) want Norway to start free-trade talks with the US, to get ahead of the EU. The statement was dubbed ignorant and premature by the trade minister.

President sympathizes with lost reporter’s family
Italy

President sympathizes with lost reporter’s family

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Wednesday expressed sympathy to the family of journalist Domenico Quirico, who has been missing in Syria since April.

Skanska profits boosted by US operations
Sweden

Skanska profits boosted by US operations

Swedish construction and engineering firm Skanska reported higher than expected second quarter profits on Thursday, helped by growth in its US construction operations, but added that competition remains "intense".

SNCF warned of safety fears before train crash
France

SNCF warned of safety fears before train crash

France’s national rail provider SNCF faced accusations on Thursday that it had in 2010 dismissed concerns from a retired engineer about the poor state of the tracks at Brétigny-sur-Orge, where six people were killed last Friday when a packed intercity train derailed.

Brits in Spain suffer rise in sexual assaults
Spain

Brits in Spain suffer rise in sexual assaults

The number of British expats and tourists needing consular assistance in Spain fell sharply last year but there was a worrying increase in the number of rapes and sexual assaults.

Riot cops to shoot ‘thugs’ with helmet cameras
Spain

Riot cops to shoot ‘thugs’ with helmet cameras

Troublemakers at Spanish football grounds will find it harder to hide now that Spanish anti-riot cops are set to wear high-tech cameras in their helmets.

French ‘wine militants’ blamed for bomb blast
France

French ‘wine militants’ blamed for bomb blast

An office belonging to France’s ruling Socialist Party was targeted in a bomb attack this week. Graffiti left at the scene suggests militant wine growers with a grudge against the government were behind the attack.

Tax evaders copy Bayern boss and confess
Germany

Tax evaders copy Bayern boss and confess

Thousands of German tax-evaders have contacted the authorities to clear their books and pay up what they owe. They are possibly inspired by the example of Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß - or the increased chances of getting caught.

Germany: Greece must take rocky austerity road
Germany

Germany: Greece must take rocky austerity road

Visiting German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble praised Greece Thursday for its progress on economic reforms, a day after parliament narrowly passed a sweeping austerity bill putting thousands of jobs on the line.

Neo-Nazi Vikernes is a ‘survivalist’, says lawyer
France

Neo-Nazi Vikernes is a ‘survivalist’, says lawyer

Norwegian neo-Nazi Kristian "Varg" Vikernes, who was arrested in France earlier this week by French anti-terror police had no intention of carrying out a major attack, his lawyer has claimed, describing the musician as a "survivalist" who was preparing for an emergency, rather than a "terrorist".

German women get lost twice in 48 hours
Norway

German women get lost twice in 48 hours

Norwegian rescue services have gone out looking for two German tourists, aged 22 and 25, after the two women got lost a second time in less than two days in the southern Setesdal region.

Eight hurt as Gothenburg trams collide
Sweden

Eight hurt as Gothenburg trams collide

Eight people sustained injuries after two trams collided in central Gothenburg on Thursday morning causing severe traffic problems.

‘I burned stolen Picasso’: Thief’s mum
Spain

‘I burned stolen Picasso’: Thief’s mum

A painting by Pablo Picasso that was stolen from a Dutch art gallery in October of last year has allegedly been burned to a crisp by the mother of one of the thieves.

Spanish police hunt murder suspect Swede
Sweden

Spanish police hunt murder suspect Swede

Police on Gran Cranaria are searching for a Swedish man in his thirties in connection with the murder of a 32-year-old women in Las Palmas, with media reports indicating that the man has fled to Turkey.

Swedish zoo celebrates geriatric gibbon birth
Sweden

Swedish zoo celebrates geriatric gibbon birth

The recent birth of a healthy baby gibbon at a zoo in central Sweden has surprised keepers, given that its infamously fertile parents are well into their 40s, a rarity for the species.

Germany: Putin foe jailed after ‘show trial’
Germany

Germany: Putin foe jailed after ‘show trial’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday called a jail term for one of Vladimir Putin's fiercest critics "disproportionate" while the government coordinator on Russia blasted a "show trial."

King’s barber holds court over royal woes
Spain

King’s barber holds court over royal woes

Part-time philosopher and full-time magician with the scissors, Barcelona-based coiffeur Pascual Iranzo has been cutting the hair of Spain's King Juan Carlos for over 30 years.

Jail for 15-hour rape and torture of wife’s lover
Norway

Jail for 15-hour rape and torture of wife’s lover

A father-of-four in Oslo has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for torturing, raping and blackmailing his wife's lover in a 15-hour ordeal after he found them naked in bed.

Six injured in mystery Drammen coach crash
Norway

Six injured in mystery Drammen coach crash

Five bus passengers and the driver were injured near Drammen on Thursday after the bus veered off the road, ending up on an outcrop on the Svelvikveien road southwest of Oslo.

Eataly bans MP over ‘orangutan’ slur
Italy

Eataly bans MP over ‘orangutan’ slur

The founder of Eataly, the food chain and organisation that promotes Italian produce, has banned Northern League MP Roberto Calderoli from its outlets after he called the country's first black minister an "orangutan".

Roma group to sue Le Pen for ‘smelly’ remarks
France

Roma group to sue Le Pen for ‘smelly’ remarks

Three rights groups have launched legal proceedings against Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France's far-right National Front party, after he labelled members of the Roma community “smelly” and “rash-inducing,”.

Tentacle fetishist to bring back ‘Swedish sin’
Sweden

Tentacle fetishist to bring back ‘Swedish sin’

Swedish fetish pin-up Calamity Amelie is on a mission to ensure adult entertainment actors are properly paid, to put Sweden back on the industry map with the help of rubber tentacles, and wants women to be valued for more than their looks.

Security sector contracts surge post-Breivik
Norway

Security sector contracts surge post-Breivik

Security contractors in Norway have seen a near ten-percent annual increase in business since the 2011 terror attacks, five times the average growth of previous years.

Swiss butcher killed on holiday by Serbian cop
Switzerland

Swiss butcher killed on holiday by Serbian cop

A 28-year-old Swiss butcher from Ecublens in the canton of Vaud was murdered along with a friend by a policeman while holidaying in Serbia, his country of origin, Swiss media reported on Thursday.

Mercury rising: Heatwave set to hit France
France

Mercury rising: Heatwave set to hit France

After all the gloomy predictions of a summer wash out France is basking under the sun, and the mercury is set to rise even further with a heat wave set to hit the country next week.

‘Government must act on alcohol tax’: minister
Sweden

‘Government must act on alcohol tax’: minister

The government must fulfil its pre-election promise to raise taxes on alcohol by 2014, said Health Minister Maria Larsson on Thursday, adding that time is ticking on the matter to be resolved before its second terms draws to a close.

First Euro defeat for female footie team
Germany

First Euro defeat for female footie team

Germany's women footballers reached the end of a remarkable run of victories on Wednesday night - their defeat at the hands of Norway was their first loss in 20 years of European Championship games.

Inquiry over French cops’ ‘apéritifs on the job’
France

Inquiry over French cops’ ‘apéritifs on the job’

Police in the town of Cogolin in south-eastern France are being investigated over claims they regularly enjoy sinking a few apéritifs whilst working. The cops' drinking habits only emerged after their chief was caught drunk-driving in his patrol car without a license earlier this summer.

Italian man takes life after €460,000 gamble
Italy

Italian man takes life after €460,000 gamble

An Italian poker player has committed suicide in Peru after losing around €460,000 in gambling.

Letta has ‘no fear’ of British exit from EU
Italy

Letta has ‘no fear’ of British exit from EU

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said Wednesday that the European Union would be harmed if Britain withdrew as a result of a referendum on its membership.

Man City signs Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo
Spain

Man City signs Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo

Manchester City's new Spanish signing Álvaro Negredo said he was happy to be moving to "a great team" as he bid a tearful farewell to Sevilla on Wednesday.

Police prosecution rates trail national average
Sweden

Police prosecution rates trail national average

Half of police officers prosecuted for excessive violence are freed by the courts, showed a new review on Thursday that followed a highly publicized video of a Stockholm policewoman hitting a man repeatedly with her baton.

‘Spanish PM should testify in slush fund case’
Spain

‘Spanish PM should testify in slush fund case’

Plaintiffs in a Spanish corruption investigation demanded on Wednesday that a judge call Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to testify over allegations that he received illegal payments.

Ericsson shares fall despite profits hike
Sweden

Ericsson shares fall despite profits hike

Swedish telecom firm Ericsson has reported a net profit of 2.16 billion kronor for the second quarter 2013, news which sent the firm's stock tumbling by almost 5 percent in early trading on Thursday.

Neo-Nazi extremist’s wife freed after buying rifles
France

Neo-Nazi extremist’s wife freed after buying rifles

Marie Cachet, 25-year-old French wife of notorious neo-Nazi extremist Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes, has been released from custody according to reports on Thursday. The couple were held on Tuesday over fears Vikernes was planning a massacre.

FC Basel loses another player to German league
Switzerland

FC Basel loses another player to German league

South Korean defender Park Joo-Ho is leaving Swiss football champions FC Basel after signing a two-year contract with German team Mainz 05.

‘Life is Beautiful’ screenwriter dies aged 72
Italy

‘Life is Beautiful’ screenwriter dies aged 72

Italian screenwriter Vincenzo Cerami - author of the screenplay for Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella) by Roberto Benigni - died on Wednesday at the age of 72.

Tour de France stage 18: Alpe d’Huez awaits
France

Tour de France stage 18: Alpe d’Huez awaits

With the peloton facing the mighty and mythical climb up to Alpe d'Huez, not just once but twice on Thursday, stage 18 looks set to be the most dramatic day of racing in the Tour de France so far. See the video preview.

Porsche tractor fans see 50 years of nostalgia
Germany

Porsche tractor fans see 50 years of nostalgia

Porsche drivers do not generally have mud under their fingernails or ruddy complexions - but this month a special breed of the aficionados mark a 50th anniversary. It was half a century ago that the last Porsche tractor was made.

New in German cinemas: ‘The East’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘The East’

Director Zal Batmanglij and leading lady Brit Marling spent two months practicing freeganism before co-writing The East, a thriller film based loosely on their experience of hopping trains, sleeping on rooftops and eating out of dumpsters in a rejection of the money-based economy.

Rhine valley – home to ‘river of destiny’
Germany

Rhine valley – home to ‘river of destiny’

As part of our summer tour of Germany's UNESCO World Heritage sites, we take a look at the majestic castles and palaces along the wine-making Rhine River valley region.