Mafia rituals revealed in southern Italy
Italy

Mafia rituals revealed in southern Italy

A mafia raid in southern Italy has uncovered a code detailing the rituals a person must go through before they can join the notorious 'Ndrangheta. The Local found out what joining the mafia involves and how the evidence can help convict some of Italy's most-wanted criminals.

Spanish children say no to a career in politics
Spain

Spanish children say no to a career in politics

Spanish children are more interested in helping animals and kicking footballs than winning votes when they grow up, a new study shows.

‘Illegality and wealth’ attract Berlusconi voters
Italy

‘Illegality and wealth’ attract Berlusconi voters

Italy's highest court last week found Silvio Berlusconi guilty of tax fraud, a decision which brought his supporters onto the streets of Rome in protest. The Local finds out why the convicted criminal is still adored by millions of Italians, nearly 20 years after he walked onto the political stage.

A French opinion: Love, jobs and everything else
France

A French opinion: Love, jobs and everything else

Who is France's favourite celebrity? Which politician would the French rather go on holiday with? Whatever the question, the French seem to produce an opinion poll for it, and summer, it seems, is survey season. Here's an insight into the mood of the French with a look at the best of recent polls.

Un oeuf is enough! Mad farmers smash eggs
France

Un oeuf is enough! Mad farmers smash eggs

A group of protesting French farmers have finally cracked, it seems. After becoming fed-up at low prices the farmers have taken matters into their own hands by smashing thousands of eggs of French roads, and say more will bite the dust.

Balloon crash family are ‘out of danger’
Switzerland

Balloon crash family are ‘out of danger’

Three members of an American family who survived the crash of a hot-air balloon in Montbovon with serious injuries are out of danger.

‘US needs European friends right now’: expert
Sweden

‘US needs European friends right now’: expert

Sweden's support of the EU-US free-trade agreement could be one reason for President Barack Obama's decision to visit Sweden, rather than to stop off in neighbouring Nato members Norway or Denmark.

Police suspect murder after dead child found
Sweden

Police suspect murder after dead child found

Police have launched an investigation after what is suspected to be a murdered child was found buried just a metre below the surface in a northern Stockholm cemetery on Wednesday.

Wing problem forces Paris-US flight to divert
France

Wing problem forces Paris-US flight to divert

A plane that left Paris Charles de Gaulle airport bound for the US had to be diverted on Wednesday after it was hit by a technical problem. THe Delta Airlines Airbus 380 was forced to land at Amsterdam.

Top ten tips for flathunters in Germany
Germany

Top ten tips for flathunters in Germany

Moving to a new country is daunting, and finding somewhere to live is just a small part of the relocation process. But in this week's Local List, we hope to make at least flat hunting in Germany a little easier.

Migration boss defends Aargau public pool ban
Switzerland

Migration boss defends Aargau public pool ban

Switzerland’s top migration official has defended rules preventing residents of the new federal asylum centre in Bremgarten from moving freely around the town.

Rome traffic warden attacked by pickpockets
Italy

Rome traffic warden attacked by pickpockets

Four teenage pickpockets attacked a traffic warden at an underground station by the Spanish Steps in Rome after they were asked to stop smoking.

Holocaust-denier David Irving defies hotel ban
Germany

Holocaust-denier David Irving defies hotel ban

Holocaust-denier David Irving said on Wednesday he would push ahead with his controversial trip to Germany, despite calls to ban him from every hotel in Berlin. He told The Local he had been “inundated with offers” of accommodation in the city since the German Hotel Association said its members would not allow him to stay.

Two killed in light aircraft crash in north Germany
Germany

Two killed in light aircraft crash in north Germany

Two people were killed on Wednesday when a light aircraft came down in a forest in northern Germany.

Auction clips wings of Spain’s ‘ghost airport’
Spain

Auction clips wings of Spain’s ‘ghost airport’

If you have a spare €100 million ($133 million) lying around, you might just fancy snapping up the 'ghost airport' of the central Spanish city of Ciudad Real.

French embassy to stay closed over attack fears
France

French embassy to stay closed over attack fears

France's embassy in Yemen will remain closed for at least four more days over fears of an imminent Al-Qaeda attack, the foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.

President Obama to visit Sweden in September
Sweden

President Obama to visit Sweden in September

US President Barack Obama will visit Sweden in September after ditching plans to head to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Man charged with killing Italian in LA hit-and-run
Italy

Man charged with killing Italian in LA hit-and-run

Nathan Campbell, 38, has been charged with murder after ploughing his car into a crowd on Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles and killing an Italian woman from Bologna.

VIDEO: Zidane junior follows dad’s lead at Real
Spain

VIDEO: Zidane junior follows dad’s lead at Real

His dad was one of the greatest footballers ever, and now Enzo Zidane appears to be following in Zinedine's footsteps, and in more ways than one (see video). Real Madrid have promoted him out of his age group, it was reported this week.

Five facts about the new Citybanan train line
Sweden

Five facts about the new Citybanan train line

With the new Stockholm City Line already well under way, we've collected five facts about the project so you know what to expect.

‘France is having an identity crisis over Islam’
France

‘France is having an identity crisis over Islam’

A contentious new report has urged France to ban the wearing of Muslim headscarves in universities. Here two experts tell The Local why the report is an example of France's current "identity crisis" with Islam but why the laws need updating to defuse tensions in the country.

Huge berry picker brawl sends six to hospital
Sweden

Huge berry picker brawl sends six to hospital

Two rival gangs of migrant berry pickers came to blows on a scrappy car park near Gävle in eastern Sweden on Wednesday, with Swedish police arresting three of the men after the violent dust-up.

Naked in the train: artist shocks Europe
Germany

Naked in the train: artist shocks Europe

A Berlin-based performance artist is raising eyebrows in European capitals with a risque drive to expose the role of advertising in every day life - by pulling his trousers down in public.

Tax clampdown targets ‘doctors with fast cars’
Italy

Tax clampdown targets ‘doctors with fast cars’

Italy is asking people to confess when they pay cash-in-hand for services such as plumbing or dentistry to try to curb rampant tax evasion.

Elfsborg set for Celtic Champions League clash
Sweden

Elfsborg set for Celtic Champions League clash

Reigning Swedish football champions Elfsborg are confident they can eke past Scottish side Celtic in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying round clash on Wednesday in Borås, western Sweden.

Top ten: Stockholm’s best city swim spots
Sweden

Top ten: Stockholm’s best city swim spots

Where else in the world can you find a capital city which is not only surrounded by water, but is surrounded by water that you can safely swim in? We take a look at the ten best places in Stockholm to take a dip.

UK PM warns Spain over Gibraltar row
Spain

UK PM warns Spain over Gibraltar row

British Prime Minister David Cameron got on the phone on Wednesday to warn his Spanish counterpart that the Gibraltar border tensions risked damaging relations between London and Madrid.

German manufacturing soars in June
Germany

German manufacturing soars in June

German industrial production strongly rebounded in June driven by all sectors after people took advantage of the May bank holidays to extend their time off, official data showed on Wednesday.

Sea of Spaniards floods Moses movie casting
Spain

Sea of Spaniards floods Moses movie casting

Organizers of a casting on Wednesday for extras for the new Ridley Scott movie to be filmed in Spain were overwhelmed when more than 1,000 people turned up.

Brit family goes native in Germany for TV
Germany

Brit family goes native in Germany for TV

Expats in Germany would have faced familiar scenes if they had have been watching Britain's BBC2 on Tuesday night – Make Me a German followed a family as they gave going native a whirl.

Merkel gets flak for record Gulf arms sales
Germany

Merkel gets flak for record Gulf arms sales

German arms exports to Gulf states are set to hit a new record in 2013, it was reported on Wednesday. In the first six months alone, the country sent over €800 million worth of combat weapons to the troubled region.

€5 billion boost for struggling Italian firms
Italy

€5 billion boost for struggling Italian firms

The Italian government has paid €5 billion of its debt to businesses, out of a total of €20 billion to be paid this year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said in a statement.

Priest found dead in northern Italy
Italy

Priest found dead in northern Italy

The body of Father Giuseppe Peterlini was found with stab wounds at a rectory in the town of Marano d’Isera, near Rovereto, on Wednesday morning.

Swisscom results show big drop in profit
Switzerland

Swisscom results show big drop in profit

Two weeks after the shock suicide of CEO Carsten Schloter, telecoms giant Swisscom has presented its results for the first six months of the year.

Road rage: Youth shot in head in right-of-way row
France

Road rage: Youth shot in head in right-of-way row

A young man has been left brain-dead after being shot in the head after a banal roadside right-of-way dispute turned violent in the north-eastern department of Marne. The attack is the latest in a series of violent road rage incidents in France.

School rebels ‘most successful’ in later life
Germany

School rebels ‘most successful’ in later life

The school rebel is more likely to be a successful entrepreneur in later life, according to a German-Swedish study.

Steve Jobs’ ‘Apple-style’ yacht sails into Genoa
Italy

Steve Jobs’ ‘Apple-style’ yacht sails into Genoa

A specially-designed yacht ordered by the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, has arrived at the old port of Genoa in Liguria, north-western Italy.

EU backs 10 percent wage cut for Spain
Spain

EU backs 10 percent wage cut for Spain

The European Commission's Vice President has come out in favour of an International Monetary Fund plan to slash Spanish salaries in a bid to spur jobs growth in the crisis-hit country.

‘Spain trains us but others reap the rewards’
Spain

‘Spain trains us but others reap the rewards’

A Spanish researcher who went without pay for over a year and a half at Jaén University in Andalusia has landed a job at Harvard's prestigious medical school.

Ligue 1 preview: Can Monaco topple PSG?
France

Ligue 1 preview: Can Monaco topple PSG?

French champions PSG remain strong favourites to retain the championship, which kicks off on Friday, but they have a new big spending chalenger who could shake things up. Monaco, who have splashed the cash this summer, will hope to push the Paris club hard.

Prosecutor drops Husby police shooting probe
Sweden

Prosecutor drops Husby police shooting probe

The Swedish prosecutor has decided to close the preliminary manslaughter investigation into the fatal shooting of a 69-year-old man in Husby, the incident widely credited for setting off riots and unrest in Stockholm in the spring.

Pictures: Stockholm train line heads under water
Sweden

Pictures: Stockholm train line heads under water

Swedish engineers lowered the last segment of the 16.8 billion kronor ($2.56 billion) Citybanan train tunnel into the Stockholm bay of Riddarfjärden on Tuesday. Join us as we take a picture gallery view of the process.

Man killed by falling tree amid Swiss storm havoc
Switzerland

Man killed by falling tree amid Swiss storm havoc

A storm front that passed across Switzerland on Tuesday evening wreaked havoc in many areas and caused the death of a man in the canton of Zurich.

Stoltenberg attacks right’s paternity quota plans
Norway

Stoltenberg attacks right’s paternity quota plans

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has attacked the centre-right coalition's plans to end use-it-or-lose-it paternity leave during a head-to-head television debate with Progress Party leader Siv Jensen.

French mayor threatens suicide over travellers
France

French mayor threatens suicide over travellers

The mayor of a village in central France has made the extraordinary public threat to take his own life if a group of travellers return to the local area, it emerged this week.

Oslo armed robbers strike again
Norway

Oslo armed robbers strike again

An armed robber attempted to hold up a 7-Eleven convenience store at Carl Berners Plass in Oslo on Tuesday night, the sixth such robbery in just nine days.

How to travel like a local and avoid the tourist traps
Norway

How to travel like a local and avoid the tourist traps

So you are keen to take a break and really want to make it count? There are a thousand things you have to get right to make sure your holiday is jam-packed with all the right stuff and make the most of your time.

Italy accepts migrants refused by Malta
Italy

Italy accepts migrants refused by Malta

Italy has agreed to take in 102 migrants rescued from a leaking dinghy after Malta refused to admit them despite EU pressure, the Maltese government said on Wednesday.

Police hunt Tønsberg arsonist
Norway

Police hunt Tønsberg arsonist

Police in Tønsberg are hunting a suspected arsonist after fires broke out last night in an apartment building, a mobile home and a boat, injuring more than 14 people.

Violent storms hit France with more on the way
France

Violent storms hit France with more on the way

A swathe of France was hit by violent storms overnight on Tuesday, with hail storms, strong winds and heavy rain causing widespread damage (see video). More extreme weather are on their way with 15 departments still on ‘Orange alert’ for storms.

Thai masseuse threatens to snip Swedish men
Sweden

Thai masseuse threatens to snip Swedish men

Many Thai massage workers in Sweden tired of requests for "happy endings" have put up signs in their parlour windows promising "no intimate massages," with some responding with threats of violence.

Wary EU to watch Spain–Gibraltar border
Spain

Wary EU to watch Spain–Gibraltar border

The European Commission said on Tuesday it would send a team of monitors to the Spain-Gibraltar border in the face of the ongoing row between the two neighbours.

Spain detains paedophile pardoned by Morocco
Spain

Spain detains paedophile pardoned by Morocco

A judge remanded in custody on Tuesday a convicted child rapist who was arrested in Spain after a controversial pardon by Morocco's king was revoked in the face of angry protests.

DiCaprio to headline ‘Viking Braveheart’
Norway

DiCaprio to headline ‘Viking Braveheart’

Leonardo DiCaprio has been lined up to play Harald Hardrada, Norway's warrior king, in a Warner Brothers production pitched as the "Viking Braveheart".

DSK was ‘king of the party’ at Lille sex soirées
France

DSK was ‘king of the party’ at Lille sex soirées

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was a “central pivot” at organised sex parties with prostitutes that were described as "carnage" by witnesss, according to a French newspaper on Wednesday. DSK is currently awaiting trial on charges of “aggravated pimping”.

Swedish police mobilize after left-wing attacks
Sweden

Swedish police mobilize after left-wing attacks

A string of violent attacks by extreme left-wingers in Västerås has local police ready to mobilize with the help of the national intelligence agency against the activists' self-professed political campaign of terror.

Pigs burn in huge lightning storm
Germany

Pigs burn in huge lightning storm

Massive storms hit east and southern Germany on Tuesday night causing widespread damage. The lightning also hit a farm killing 250 piglets.

Zurich team booted from Champions League
Switzerland

Zurich team booted from Champions League

Swiss football club Grasshoppers Zurich failed to qualify for the Champions League play-offs on Tuesday after seven-time French champions Lyon notched up a 2-0 aggregate victory following a 1-0 second-leg win in Zurich.

Italians at heightened risk of kidnap in Yemen
Italy

Italians at heightened risk of kidnap in Yemen

Italian citizens face a heightened risk of being kidnapped in Yemen, Rome warned on Tuesday, amid global fears of an imminent Al-Qaeda attack.

Fire hits Gothenburg flats: ‘It was like a bomb’
Sweden

Fire hits Gothenburg flats: ‘It was like a bomb’

More than 40 people were evacuated and several taken to hospital after a fire ravaged an apartment building in Gothenburg early Wednesday morning in what is being treated as a case of arson.

Polls bring mixed news for Labour
Norway

Polls bring mixed news for Labour

Norway's ruling left-wing coalition has received mixed messages from the first polls to emerge since the summer break, with one showing they are narrowing the opposition's lead, and another showing they are falling further behind.

UBS pays $50 million to settle mortgage claims
Switzerland

UBS pays $50 million to settle mortgage claims

Swiss bank UBS has agreed to pay nearly $50 million to settle charges over its disclosures related to a money-losing 2007 investment vehicle linked to sub-prime loans, a US agency announced on Tuesday.

Swedish bride murder suspect in new appeal
Sweden

Swedish bride murder suspect in new appeal

British honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani has launched a new bid to avoid extradition to South Africa, where he is wanted in connection with the murder of his Swedish bride.

Oslo university turns down Breivik application
Norway

Oslo university turns down Breivik application

Far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik has had his application to study political science at the University of Oslo rejected, the institution said on Tuesday.

Jail for police officer who punched woman in face
Germany

Jail for police officer who punched woman in face

A Munich court has sentenced a police officer to 10 months in prison for punching a young woman in the face while in custody, breaking her nose and eye socket.

Stockholm’s AIK holds Man U to 1-1 draw
Sweden

Stockholm’s AIK holds Man U to 1-1 draw

Stockholm football club AIK managed a 1-1 draw with defending Premier League champions Manchester United in a friendly match at Solna's Friends Arena on Tuesday.

Norwegian polar bear found starved to death
Norway

Norwegian polar bear found starved to death

A polar bear found dead on Norway's arctic island of Svalbard probably starved because shrinking sea ice had left it with nowhere to hunt seals for food, the photographer who found the animal has told The Local.

A quarter of Germany is obese: experts
Germany

A quarter of Germany is obese: experts

Two thirds of German men and half of German women are overweight, a new health institute study revealed on Wednesday.