Ruling ‘based on nothing at all’ – Berlusconi
Italy

Ruling ‘based on nothing at all’ – Berlusconi

An embittered and visibly shaken Berlusconi delivered a video message on Italian television late on Thursday in which he dismissed the sentence as baseless and vowed to continue his political career.

Jail term for Berlusconi as PM calls for calm
Italy

Jail term for Berlusconi as PM calls for calm

Italy's top court on Thursday confirmed a prison sentence for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in his first ever definitive conviction, which could upset the country's fragile coalition government.

Minister boycotts meeting over racism
Italy

Minister boycotts meeting over racism

Italy's first black minister on Thursday said she would not attend a conference organised by the Northern League party after a torrent of racist abuse from members of the anti-immigration group.

Senator slammed for ‘locking out’ foreign kids
France

Senator slammed for ‘locking out’ foreign kids

An asylum seekers rights group has blasted a French senator for "discrimination" after he passed a decree banning foreign children found abandoned in his region from being taken into care by local social services.

CERN upgrades to break new barriers
Switzerland

CERN upgrades to break new barriers

The CERN particle collider near Geneva made scientific history last year when it identified what is believed to be the Higgs Boson - the long-sought maker of mass. Now the research centre is gearing up for new challenges, writes Jonathan Fowler.

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France

VIDEO: Circus celebrates birth of sextuplet tigers

In what has understandably been described as a “rare” birth, six baby tigers have been welcomed into the world at a French circus in the north of the country. Spare a thought for the dad however - all six baby tigers were females.

Civil servant charged for criticizing Town Hall
France

Civil servant charged for criticizing Town Hall

A civil servant in central France is under police investigation after publishing a controversial account of working in a town hall.

‘I want to be an honest politician’
Spain

‘I want to be an honest politician’

In a week dominated by corruption scandals, transport tragedies and forest fires, one story out of Spain has put a more positive spin on the country. Meet Spain's first ever town councillor with Down Sydrome, Ángela Covadonga Bachiller.

Italians trail behind in the loving stakes
Italy

Italians trail behind in the loving stakes

Italians and Spaniards have lived up to their reputation of being among the continent's biggest heartthrobs, although a surprise candidate from northern Europe tops the table for summer loving.

Smoking ban hits small pubs where it hurts
Germany

Smoking ban hits small pubs where it hurts

Small pubs, bars and restaurant say they have lost up to a third of their income just three months after the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) introduced a complete public smoking ban.

Sweden’s old-timers are back in style
Sweden

Sweden’s old-timers are back in style

This week, The Local's fashion-curious Victoria Hussey considers the sartorial style of Sweden’s seniors and welcomes a new age of fashionable old-timers.

Whipped Moderate quits after cross-party flirt
Sweden

Whipped Moderate quits after cross-party flirt

A regional Moderate politician who went public with his desire to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats on migration policy has taken a time-out from politics after being whipped for not toeing the party line, he claimed on Thursday.

Oil under Brandenburg ‘could deliver billions’
Germany

Oil under Brandenburg ‘could deliver billions’

Currently best known for not very much, the north German state of Brandenburg could soon be catapulted into an economic boom - a drilling firm reckons there are 92 million tonnes of oil there and plans to start drilling in four years.

Probe launched into banana attack
Italy

Probe launched into banana attack

An investigation is underway after a banana was hurled at Italy's first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, during a political rally.

Moving to France: ‘It can take a decade to make French friends’
France

Moving to France: ‘It can take a decade to make French friends’

So how do you go about making friends in France?

French court lifts ban on Monsanto GM corn
France

French court lifts ban on Monsanto GM corn

France's top administrative court on Thursday threw out a government ban on US agro-chemicals giant Monsanto from growing a type of genetically modified corn.

Naked ‘skeleton lover’ mistreated by police
Sweden

Naked ‘skeleton lover’ mistreated by police

Swedish police have been criticized for forcing two women to strip in detention, including the 'skeleton lover' suspect who was later convicted of using bones as sex toys in a case that shocked Sweden.

Scorching summer weekend on its way
Germany

Scorching summer weekend on its way

After a week of somewhat wild weather, the weekend will be really hot again, prompting warnings to be careful when out in the sun or when cooling down in water.

French photographer tells of Syria kidnap
France

French photographer tells of Syria kidnap

A French photographer who spent 81 days in captivity in war-torn Syria at the hands of an armed Islamist group, has told of his kidnap ordeal a week after his release, recalling mock executions and scenes of torture.

Football fan Pope to meet national squad
Italy

Football fan Pope to meet national squad

Pope Francis will meet Italy and Argentina players on the eve of their friendly in Rome but will not attend the August 14th game, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Spain’s self-employed suffer skills shortage
Spain

Spain’s self-employed suffer skills shortage

Spain's 2.9 million-strong army of self-employed people is among the least skilled in Europe, a new study by employment human resources agency Adecco shows.

Berlin drag queen sews mouth in Russia protest
Germany

Berlin drag queen sews mouth in Russia protest

A shocking video is currently making the virtual rounds. In it, a man dressed as a beautiful woman sews up her mouth in protest at the persecution of homosexuals in Russia. Berlin drag queen Barbie Breakout is our German of the week.

Madrid kid shot by sleep-deprived sniper
Spain

Madrid kid shot by sleep-deprived sniper

An eleven-year-old boy is in critical condition after a neighbour in the Madrid district of San Blas shot him for "not letting him sleep".

Appeal as French beauty contestant goes missing
France

Appeal as French beauty contestant goes missing

Police in southern France have launched an investigation into the “worrying disappearance” of a teenage beauty contestant and her mother after the pair went missing over two weeks ago from their hometown of Perpignan.

Italian priest fighting for peace in Syria
Italy

Italian priest fighting for peace in Syria

Loathed by the Syrian president and loved by Pope Francis. But who is Father Paolo Dall'Oglio and why is he hitting the headlines this week?

Fire remnants near home of Trollhättan suspect
Sweden

Fire remnants near home of Trollhättan suspect

Swedish police have found remnants of a fire near the house of a suspect in the case of a missing mother of two in Trollhättan, western Sweden.

Summer sun soon set to scorch Sweden
Sweden

Summer sun soon set to scorch Sweden

Swedish summer is back on track following this week's storms, with the national weather agency predicting a handful of warm and sunny days running into the weekend.

‘It’s you who’s damaging Spain’: Socialists
Spain

‘It’s you who’s damaging Spain’: Socialists

Spain's opposition leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba repeated his calls for the Spanish Prime Minister to resign after Rajoy admitted on Thursday that he made a mistake by trusting slush fund treasurer Luis Bárcenas.

Cocaine stashed in sweets seized in Rome
Italy

Cocaine stashed in sweets seized in Rome

Police at Rome's Fiumicino airport on Thursday found 65kg of cocaine hidden in boxes of sweets, cooking pots and blankets.

Health warning issued over café mist sprayers
Spain

Health warning issued over café mist sprayers

Think twice before cooling down at restaurant terraces in Spain equipped with mist sprayers. There could be a hidden health cost, experts warn.

Antibiotics can make you fat: Spanish scientists
Spain

Antibiotics can make you fat: Spanish scientists

The long-term use of antibiotics can lead to weight gain because of changes in gut flora, a group of Spanish researchers has found.

Wind and waves conquer Hitler’s Atlantic Wall
Germany

Wind and waves conquer Hitler’s Atlantic Wall

Decades of weather and waves have done what World War Two and post-war demolition attempts failed to do - bring the enormous concrete bunkers which formed Hitler's Atlantic Wall to the brink of collapse.

Germans: money worries the best contraceptive
Germany

Germans: money worries the best contraceptive

Germans reckon the baby drought is because it's simply just too expensive to start a family - and people worry about disrupting their careers or losing their independence, a poll released on Thursday suggested.

Russia needs a total gay rights U-turn: minister
Sweden

Russia needs a total gay rights U-turn: minister

With Stockholm Pride week in full swing, Sweden's EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson talks to The Local about Russia's "repulsive" gay laws, getting pelted with eggs by gay haters in Lithuania, and how Sweden must lead the way in supporting the LGBT community.

Lost wallet returned after ten years
Norway

Lost wallet returned after ten years

A woman from Larvik has had her wallet returned to her in the post nearly ten years after she lost it during a boozy night out on the town.

Verdict looms in Berlusconi tax fraud trial
Italy

Verdict looms in Berlusconi tax fraud trial

A verdict loomed on Thursday for former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in a tax fraud case that could upset a fragile ruling coalition in the eurozone's third largest economy.

‘Envious’ sex shop bomber arrested
Italy

‘Envious’ sex shop bomber arrested

A 26-year-old man who allegedly bombed a sex shop in Calabria because he was "envious" of the owner's success has been arrested.

Designer under fire for €285 ‘jobless’ sweaters
France

Designer under fire for €285 ‘jobless’ sweaters

With record jobless rates in France an entrepreneur has come under fire for being "tasteless" in creating a new line of sweatshirts bearing the word “unemployed”. To make matters worse the cashmere sweaters will set someone back a budget-breaking €285.

London’s Luton airport stays in Spanish hands
Spain

London’s Luton airport stays in Spanish hands

Spanish infrastructure group Abertis said on Thursday it had agreed to sell London-Luton airport for €502 million (£433 million, $665 million) to a consortium led by Spain's airport operator.

Two die as tourist plane crashes in central France
France

Two die as tourist plane crashes in central France

Two men were killed instantly after a tourist plane crashed in the Loire region of central France on Wednesday afternoon, emergency services said. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

Bus firm owner probed after crash that killed 38
Italy

Bus firm owner probed after crash that killed 38

Gennaro Lametta, the owner of Mondo Travel in Naples, is being questioned in connection with a bus crash that killed 38 people near the city of Avellino in Campania on Sunday.

Topless activists target Russian embassy
Sweden

Topless activists target Russian embassy

The Swedish police has detained two topless activists from the feminist network Femen for trying to break and enter the Russian embassy in Stockholm on Thursday morning to protest the country's record on LGBT rights.

Nobel chair warns of giving voice to Fjordman
Norway

Nobel chair warns of giving voice to Fjordman

The chairman of Norway's Nobel Prize committee has attacked the Norwegian press for allowing the extremist blogger Peder "Fjordman" Jensen to air his anti-Islamic views.

‘I was wrong to trust Bárcenas’: Spanish PM
Spain

‘I was wrong to trust Bárcenas’: Spanish PM

A confident-looking Spanish Prime Minister began his appearance in Parliament on Thursday by saying he hadn't spoken about the slush fund scandal surrounding his party in the last few months because he didn't want to damage Spain's image abroad.

Long lunches are ‘bad for afternoon concentration’
Germany

Long lunches are ‘bad for afternoon concentration’

It sounds like the study bully bosses have been waiting for - German scientists say a long, relaxed lunch with friends is bad for workers' concentration and attention to detail. A quick, boring meal eaten alone at a desk is better, they say.

Escaped monkey risks family jewels if caught
Germany

Escaped monkey risks family jewels if caught

A monkey is at large in central Germany after running away from an aggressive alpha-male. Two others who fled with him have been caught and immediately castrated, and it is thought that Paul is hiding in a nearby town to avoid the chop.

Surrogate death husband may sue Norway
Norway

Surrogate death husband may sue Norway

An Indian man whose wife died after giving birth to a Norwegian couple's surrogate child may sue the Norwegian state for damages within days, Dagsavisen has reported.

‘Finished’ DSK to face pimping trial ‘in 2014’
France

‘Finished’ DSK to face pimping trial ‘in 2014’

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief accused of "aggravated pimping", will go on trial in France in 2014, sources close to the investigation have said. DSK also confirmed this week that his political career was 'over'.

Breivik will be allowed to study, says prison
Norway

Breivik will be allowed to study, says prison

Anti-Islamic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik will be allowed to study at Oslo University if his application is accepted, his prison governor has told Norway's TV 2 channel.

France set for the hottest day of the year
France

France set for the hottest day of the year

Whether you’re on the French Riviera, the high Alps or even traditionally rainy Brittany, you’ll need your sun cream today as Thursday is set to be France's hottest day of the year so far with temperatures hitting 40°C in some regions.

Italian gay clubs boycott Russian vodka
Italy

Italian gay clubs boycott Russian vodka

Gay nightclubs in Rome and Bologna are boycotting Russian vodka in solidarity with Russia's LGBT community following a controversial anti-gay bill signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Knife-wielding bandits strike again
Norway

Knife-wielding bandits strike again

The bandits behind the robberies in Oslo on Sunday night have struck once again, police suspect, after two men aged between 16 and 20, held up a clothes shop in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon.

Germany’s ‘industrial Oskar Schindler’ dies
Germany

Germany’s ‘industrial Oskar Schindler’ dies

Berthold Beitz, Germany's industrial Oskar Schindler who saved hundreds of Jews from Nazi persecution before managing the heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp, has died aged 99, the company said on Wednesday.

Patent expirations hit AstraZeneca profits
Sweden

Patent expirations hit AstraZeneca profits

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca announced a 4-percent revenue decrease in the second quarter, citing the loss of exclusivity of several key brands.

Bayreuth’s ‘Ring’ director pokes fun at audience
Germany

Bayreuth’s ‘Ring’ director pokes fun at audience

Frank Castorf, the controversial German theatre director who staged Richard Wagner's "Twilight of the Gods" at this year's Bayreuth Festival, poked fun at audience for booing the premiere on Wednesday.

Norwegian men come top for summer loving
Norway

Norwegian men come top for summer loving

You might expect the silken tongued lotharios of Italy and France to come out top in Europe's seduction stakes, but it seems Norwegian men lead the field for summer loving.

Sweden ‘warned’ of Vattenfall’s Nuon buy
Sweden

Sweden ‘warned’ of Vattenfall’s Nuon buy

The Swedish government was told that allowing part state-owned energy giant Vattenfall to buy Dutch company Nuon would add little profit and instead risk costing Swedish citizens, a new report has revealed.

Embattled Spanish PM set for corruption grilling
Spain

Embattled Spanish PM set for corruption grilling

Lawmakers will grill Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Thursday morning demanding he explain himself over a corruption scandal that has opposition sparked calls for him to quit.

Stockholm Pride artist slams ‘barbaric’ Russia
Sweden

Stockholm Pride artist slams ‘barbaric’ Russia

Swedish artist Alexander Bard officially opened Scandinavia's biggest pride festival on Wednesday night, lambasting Russian president Vladimir Putin's reign of persecution against the gay, lesbian and trans community.