Oprah sticks to her version on ‘Täschligate’
Switzerland

Oprah sticks to her version on ‘Täschligate’

American chat show superstar Oprah Winfrey says she’s sorry for causing a controversy but she is not backing down on her belief that she was a victim of racism in an upscale Zurich boutique last month.

Three mystery train stations set for free Wi-Fi
Switzerland

Three mystery train stations set for free Wi-Fi

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is introducing free Wi-Fi internet access at three train stations in Switzerland starting in September — but their identities remain a a secret.

‘They didn’t let me finish’: ‘Monkey Jesus’ artist
Spain

‘They didn’t let me finish’: ‘Monkey Jesus’ artist

A year ago she became a global laughing stock after she destroyed a prized fresco of Christ. Twelve months on she’s launched her very own art exhibition. Meet the world's most infamous art restorer – Cecilia Gimenez - our Spanish Face of the Week.

French teen ‘attacked for wearing Muslim veil’
France

French teen ‘attacked for wearing Muslim veil’

France witnessed another apparent incident of violent Islamophobia on Tuesday, after it was reported that a 16-year-old girl in the suburbs of Paris was attacked and had her Islamic veil torn off her face.

Italy-Argentina game: pope split on who to back
Italy

Italy-Argentina game: pope split on who to back

Pope Francis joked with Italy and Argentina players on the eve of a friendly football match in Rome on Tuesday, saying he was torn over who to support.

Substitute teacher Merkel leads history class
Germany

Substitute teacher Merkel leads history class

Chancellor Angela Merkel filled in as a school history teacher Tuesday as part of her election campaign. The one-off marked the 52nd anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall.

Fatal bus crash suspect had ‘paranoid delusions’
France

Fatal bus crash suspect had ‘paranoid delusions’

A Ukrainian man who caused a fatal bus crash in southern France by grabbing the wheel from the driver, was suffering from delusional paranoia, and feared he was being transported to his death in Spain, officials said on Tuesday.

‘Police executed my husband’: Husby widow
Sweden

‘Police executed my husband’: Husby widow

The woman whose husband was shot and killed by the police in the Stockholm neighbourhood of Husby earlier this year, an incident cited as the spark for ensuing riots and vandalism, has spoken out about the night of his death.

Glencore Xstrata lays off workers at stalled mine
Switzerland

Glencore Xstrata lays off workers at stalled mine

Swiss mining giant Glencore Xstrata is laying off more than 900 workers at its $5.9-billion copper project in the Philippines after regulators stalled the mine development.

Olympic chief plays down German doping
Germany

Olympic chief plays down German doping

The president of the German Olympic Committee has attempted to quash a scandal around government-backed doping in former West Germany. He insisted on Tuesday that a recent study had not exposed another drug scandal in sport.

‘It was racist to stop refugee luggage porters’
Germany

‘It was racist to stop refugee luggage porters’

In southern Germany asylum seekers were volunteering as luggage porters. It was dubbed racist - and the town bowed to the criticism. But it is those who protested who are more xenophobic, argues Barbara John in the Tagesspiegel.

Ryanair fights post-train crash price hike claims
Spain

Ryanair fights post-train crash price hike claims

Irish airline Ryanair and Spanish travel company Rumbo are locked in a bitter dispute over an alleged increase in flight prices to Santiago de Compostela after July's fatal train crash near the city.

Peppers lead eye- watering food price rises
Germany

Peppers lead eye- watering food price rises

Peppers are almost 50 percent more expensive in Germany than they were a year ago – an indicator of the country's steep food inflation rate. Economists are blaming this year's unusually bad weather.

Hollande hails Mali presidential election
France

Hollande hails Mali presidential election

French President François Hollande on Tuesday called Mali's election of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita "a success for peace and democracy." Seven months after sending troops to oppose Islamist rebels, Hollande vowed France would "stand by" Mali.

William and Kate ‘are not’ buying an Italian home
Italy

William and Kate ‘are not’ buying an Italian home

A spokesman for the British royals, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, told The Local that the couple is not buying a property in Tuscany following reports in the Italian press.

PM’s Al Qaeda tweet links to sexy lingerie site
France

PM’s Al Qaeda tweet links to sexy lingerie site

Officials in the French Prime Minister's office have been left red-faced after a tweet intended to enlighten Twitter followers about a new policy dealing with the financing of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, directed them to, of all things, a steamy lingerie online catalogue.

Sweden demands mate for man’s lonely pig
Sweden

Sweden demands mate for man’s lonely pig

A farmer in western Sweden is under pressure to find female companionship for his lone male pig, with authorities threatening to take the hog away if he fails to comply.

Unions red-faced over typo-strewn Obama letter
Sweden

Unions red-faced over typo-strewn Obama letter

Officials at Sweden's most powerful labour union organizations have been left red-faced after penning a letter written in English and riddled with typos inviting US President Barack Obama to meet with them during his upcoming visit to Stockholm.

Bar owner cops heat over ‘sexy waitress’ raffle
Spain

Bar owner cops heat over ‘sexy waitress’ raffle

The owner of a pub in Andalusia is facing widespread condemnation from locals after he offered clients the chance to win a one-night stand with a prostitute as part of a party raffle.

France ‘drops limits’ on auto-entrepreneurs
France

France ‘drops limits’ on auto-entrepreneurs

Self-employed professionals in France can breathe a sigh of relief it seems, after the government appeared to backtrack on plans to lower revenue limits on "auto-entrepreneurs". For this week's JobTalk, The Local looks at the divisive issue.

Merkel’s man: pledge will prevent future spying
Germany

Merkel’s man: pledge will prevent future spying

The NSA spying affair did not involve millions of breaches of the law, Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff said this week - and told investigating MPs that work was starting soon on a mutual promise to stop spying.

Italians work hardest at beach bodies
Italy

Italians work hardest at beach bodies

Italians are far more likely than other Europeans to shape up before hitting the beach, a new survey has shown.

Swedes’ anger mounts over Beowulf mine plans
Sweden

Swedes’ anger mounts over Beowulf mine plans

Protests at the Kallak iron mining site in northern Sweden took a new turn this week as police had to dig protesters out of the ground, the latest in a standoff with the Beowulf mining company that critics say will give nothing back to the local community.

Cops find violent fugitive despite close shave
Sweden

Cops find violent fugitive despite close shave

A violent man who escaped from a psychiatric hospital last week was found by police on Monday, despite dramatically changing his appearance from the picture police had published.

Indian officials under fire over Finmeccanica deal
Italy

Indian officials under fire over Finmeccanica deal

Auditors have criticized the Indian government over a €562-million helicopter deal with AgustaWestland, a company currently under investigation for bribery and owned by Italian firm Finmeccanica.

Telia leaks customers’ private phone logs
Sweden

Telia leaks customers’ private phone logs

Swedish telecom firm Telia has come under fire after the company published customers' private information, leaked their bills online, and revealed lists of SMS and phone call recipients.

Bruni stalker breaks into Sarkozy holiday home
France

Bruni stalker breaks into Sarkozy holiday home

A stalker sparked a security alert at the holiday home of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy after he managed to break into the house of the former French first lady. The incident was revealed just a day after Nicolas Sarkozy was criticised for the cost of his summer security detail.

Cops arrest teenagers after father shot dead
Germany

Cops arrest teenagers after father shot dead

Police arrested two teenage boys on Monday afternoon after their lawyer father was shot dead in his Berlin office. Neighbours told The Local how they heard shots ring out on the upmarket street.

Depardieu football film seeks 500 Swiss extras
Switzerland

Depardieu football film seeks 500 Swiss extras

French movie director Frédéric Auburtin is looking for 500 extras in Switzerland for a film starring Gérard Dépardieu that he is shooting later this month and in September.

‘Spain is dropping pants to UK’: Retired general
Spain

‘Spain is dropping pants to UK’: Retired general

A retired Spanish lieutenant general has accused Spain's defence forces of "dropping their pants" over Gibraltar after news of the arrival of British warships in the Mediterranean during a row between Spain and the United Kingdom.

Washington Post lays bare Spain’s woes
Spain

Washington Post lays bare Spain’s woes

A week after the Wall Street Journal ran a piece on how Spain's austerity project is working, The Washington Post has published a front page human interest piece on how Spanish families are still struggling to get by.

Runners ready for Berlin Wall ultra-marathon
Germany

Runners ready for Berlin Wall ultra-marathon

A marathon? Just a warm-up. This weekend a group of hardy runners will take on the whole 160-km Berlin Wall, tracing remains of the Iron Curtain where it surrounded West Berlin.

Four climbers die in French Alps accidents
France

Four climbers die in French Alps accidents

Two Italian women were killed when an avalanche hit the Massif de Mont Blanc in the early hours of Tuesday. A guide was pulled out alive. Separately, two French climbers were found dead on a glacier in the Ecrins massif, further south in the French Alps.

Halloween killer told police: ‘I want to die’
Norway

Halloween killer told police: ‘I want to die’

A 23-year-old Norwegian on trial for stabbing two childhood friends at a Halloween party scrawled 'God' in blood on the wall and asked police to leave him to die of his wounds.

Italian climbers killed in Mont Blanc avalanche
Italy

Italian climbers killed in Mont Blanc avalanche

Two Italian women died in an avalanche and the bodies of a French couple were found in a crevasse on Tuesday, all victims of climbing accidents in the French Alps, local officials said.

‘Spain is a hotbed of creativity and design’
Spain

‘Spain is a hotbed of creativity and design’

In The Local's latest JobTalk feature we talk with Simon Gifford, a business consultant and lecturer at Madrid's prestigious IE Business School, about the current state of play for entrepreneurs in Spain and how a new online coaching platform can help start-ups.

Gay couple ‘insulted’ while on Sicilian holiday
Italy

Gay couple ‘insulted’ while on Sicilian holiday

A couple on holiday in Trapani, Sicily, were abused by fellow holidaymakers because of their sexuality.

Nudists under tight security at Cap d’Agde
France

Nudists under tight security at Cap d’Agde

During the traditional French summer holidays, many families head off to beach resorts to enjoy some sun, sand and sea. The Cap d’Agde nudist resort, however, has been forced to beef up security to keep families safe from voyeurs and camera crews.

Lausanne police subdue gunman after standoff
Switzerland

Lausanne police subdue gunman after standoff

A standoff of more than 11 hours with an armed man who reportedly threatened to shoot passersby in a Lausanne neighbourhood ended peacefully on Monday when city police used a Taser gun to subdue him shortly before midnight.

Two women held captive in Bergen flat
Norway

Two women held captive in Bergen flat

Norwegian police have freed two women who were held captive in an apartment in Bergen by a man armed with a knife and axe.

Badger digs up medieval warrior graves
Germany

Badger digs up medieval warrior graves

A badger has led German archaeologists to a stunning find of medieval warrior graves, complete with one skeleton still clutching a sword and a wearing snake-shaped buckle on his belt.

Norwegian stabbed father ‘to stop abuse’
Norway

Norwegian stabbed father ‘to stop abuse’

A Norwegian woman who stabbed her stepfather to death has claimed that she was forced to do it to prevent him from abusing more children.

Two dead after Swedish bus crash in Norway
Sweden

Two dead after Swedish bus crash in Norway

Two people were killed and several seriously injured on Monday when two buses, one Norwegian and one Swedish with foreign tourists aboard, collided in western Norway, local authorities said.

Two killed in Norway bus crash
Norway

Two killed in Norway bus crash

Two people were killed and several seriously injured on Monday when two buses, one Norwegian and one Swedish, collided in western Norway.

Energy giant E.ON: profit dip due to politics
Germany

Energy giant E.ON: profit dip due to politics

German power giant E.ON reported on Tuesday a fall in profits of almost 25 percent in the second quarter of the year and blamed low prices on political intervention.

Italian council closed: call only in case of death
Italy

Italian council closed: call only in case of death

As a town council in the northern region of Padova closes its doors for the holiday period, a message on its website advises residents to only call if someone has died.

Teen boozing habits linked to dementia
Sweden

Teen boozing habits linked to dementia

Teenagers who drink heavily are at greater risk of developing dementia later in life, a new Swedish study has revealed.

France opposes games boycott over anti-gay law
France

France opposes games boycott over anti-gay law

France's sports minister has said it would be wrong to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia over Moscow's adoption of a contentious law that bans gay "propaganda" for minors.

Booming Gibraltar fights ‘blue-collar tax haven’ tag
Spain

Booming Gibraltar fights ‘blue-collar tax haven’ tag

With robust growth and nearly no unemployment, the tiny British outpost of Gibraltar on Spain's southern tip is a bubble of prosperity that contrasts with the economic malaise engulfing its neighbour.

Limbless swimmer finds stolen wheelchair
France

Limbless swimmer finds stolen wheelchair

The €24,000 custom-made wheelchair, stolen from quadruple amputee French swimmer Philippe Croizon last week, has been recovered in one piece, the record-breaking athlete confirmed late on Monday.

Aspiring shoemakers flock to Italian masters
Italy

Aspiring shoemakers flock to Italian masters

A stone's throw from the Duomo in Florence, students from around the world are learning the art of shoemaking from an Italian master and bringing fresh hope to an artisan trade in crisis.

Norway PM’s taxi passengers were paid
Norway

Norway PM’s taxi passengers were paid

An audacious election stunt where Norway's Prime Minister worked undercover as a cab driver has back-fired after it emerged that five of his passengers had been vetted and paid.

‘Calm’ Real Madrid suffer squad headaches
Spain

‘Calm’ Real Madrid suffer squad headaches

After three years of Jose Mourinho provoking a reaction from anyone he could during his time at Real Madrid, a relative calm has descended over the club in recent months since Carlo Ancelotti took charge.

‘Sweden needs to invest in science education’
Sweden

‘Sweden needs to invest in science education’

Tax cuts and simple market-oriented reforms are not enough to help Sweden remain a competitive and innovative country, argues liberal commentator Nima Sanandaji.

Germans happiest to show bellies on holiday
Germany

Germans happiest to show bellies on holiday

Germans are less embarrassed to unveil a beer belly on the beach than most other Europeans, a new survey shows, and are the least likely to go on a diet to lose weight.

Swedish sniper wanted to ignite ‘gang warfare’
Sweden

Swedish sniper wanted to ignite ‘gang warfare’

Convicted Swedish sniper Peter Mangs came close to confessing to another two murders on Tuesday, commenting on the string of attacks he had denied in court but now says were meant to create tensions in Sweden's multicultural city.

VIDEO: Boy swims with sperm whale off Norway
Norway

VIDEO: Boy swims with sperm whale off Norway

A 15-year-old Norwegian boy took his life in his hands when he dived into the water and began swimming alongside a sperm whale just outside Bergen.