British wingsuit flyer dies after jump in Swiss Alps
Switzerland

British wingsuit flyer dies after jump in Swiss Alps

A 42-year-old British skydiver famous for performing a James Bond stunt at the London Olympics died on Wednesday while wingsuit flying in the Trient region of the canton of Valais in the Swiss Alps.

Swiss man shoots brother over inheritance
Switzerland

Swiss man shoots brother over inheritance

A 48-year-old Swiss man admits to shooting and killing his brother during a property dispute on Tuesday at the family’s estate in the canton of Solothurn.

France acquits activists over Israel boycott call
France

France acquits activists over Israel boycott call

A court in Perpignan, south-western France on Wednesday found three pro-Palestinian activists not guilty of discrimination and hate crimes, after they called for a boycott of Israeli products during a protest at a shopping centre.

‘Recession exit could be bad news for France’
France

‘Recession exit could be bad news for France’

While French ministers hailed new figures that showed France's economy had unexpectedly clawed itself out of recession, analysts told The Local that the good news could actually make things worse in the long run and was certainly not cause to celebrate.

Italian priest killed in Syria – reports
Italy

Italian priest killed in Syria – reports

Father Paolo Dall'Oglio has been killed by an Islamic group, more than two weeks after he went missing, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

The lesbian icon turned ‘homophobic’ villain
France

The lesbian icon turned ‘homophobic’ villain

She shot to fame in May for playing a blue-haired lesbian in the award-winning 'Blue is the Warmest Colour,' but this week, Léa Seydoux was at the centre of a 'lesbophobia' storm when she implied that lesbians were not as beautiful as straight women.

Train boss begs staff to return from holiday
Germany

Train boss begs staff to return from holiday

The head of Germany's national train operator has phoned railway signallers in a desperate bid to persuade enough of them to come back from holiday and stop transport chaos caused by understaffing.

Sicilian MP blasts the Danes over ‘mafia’ pizza
Italy

Sicilian MP blasts the Danes over ‘mafia’ pizza

A Sicilian politician and anti-mafia commissioner has lambasted restaurants in Denmark for naming pizzas and sandwiches after the notorious crime gang after stumbling across an Al Capone pizza in Copenhagen.

Swiss Life profits surge ahead of forecasts
Switzerland

Swiss Life profits surge ahead of forecasts

Insurance giant Swiss Life on Wednesday posted a near 30-percent rise in net profits for the first half of 2013 from the same period a year earlier, attributing the boost to a solid performance in all areas and to strict management of margins.

Lawyer sparks row over Berlusconi’s fate
Italy

Lawyer sparks row over Berlusconi’s fate

Silvio Berlusconi's lawyer said on Wednesday he believed the former premier would request and could be granted a presidential pardon following his tax fraud conviction, sparking a heated debate in Italy.

British woman dies after 100m fall in French Alps
France

British woman dies after 100m fall in French Alps

A British woman has died after a fall whilst walking in the French Alps. The death comes just a day after four climbers, two Italians and two French nationals, died in separate Alps accidents.

Minister stands by her dog after attack on child
France

Minister stands by her dog after attack on child

Months after allegedly mauling a policeman a French Minister's German Shepherd, named Dixie, was back in the dog house this week after biting a child playing on a beach. However Michèle Delaunay slammed the media for exaggerating the incident.

Rome zoo animals get ‘fruity’ holiday treat
Italy

Rome zoo animals get ‘fruity’ holiday treat

With August temperatures topping 40C, the president of Rome's zoo has called for animals to be fed refreshing watermelon. View The Local's gallery of feeding time at the zoo.

Rome gangster in Hollywood-style chase
Italy

Rome gangster in Hollywood-style chase

In scenes more akin to a Hollywood film, a 65-year old crime gang member was chased by police on the streets of Rome on Wednesday morning.

Sweden labelled ‘high risk’ before Obama visit
Sweden

Sweden labelled ‘high risk’ before Obama visit

Due to the historic murders of Prime Minister Olof Palme and Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, Sweden has been labelled as a "high risk" country by a US security team in the lead-up to President Obama's official visit in September.

‘Canary oil spill risk is moderate’: Repsol admits
Spain

‘Canary oil spill risk is moderate’: Repsol admits

Lanzarote's town hall is rallying public opposition against Repsol's plans to explore for oil 40 kilometres off the island’s coast after the Spanish multinational admitted there was a “moderate” risk of a spill.

Seven tips to beat German bureaucracy
Germany

Seven tips to beat German bureaucracy

From registering an address to getting health insurance, those new in Germany will quickly discover that it is a country where bureaucracy and paperwork are still king. This week’s Local List offers seven crucial tips to stop it ruining your life.

Must the Swedish show go on?
Sweden

Must the Swedish show go on?

A visit to the ever-popular Swedish sing-along show Allsång på Skansen causes German reporter Steffen Daniel Meyer to note that Swedes, just like Germans, cling to a dated family show, and wonder if trying to please everyone results in pleasing no one?

Last call for Swedish glass maker Orrefors
Sweden

Last call for Swedish glass maker Orrefors

Legendary Swedish glass blowers Orrefors have failed to find a new owner, sealing plans to move production away from the country's "crystal kingdom".

New in German cinemas: ‘Elysium’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘Elysium’

Find movies playing in English in Germany with The Local’s cinema guide.

British man dies in failed murder–suicide
Spain

British man dies in failed murder–suicide

A British man has been found dead after allegedly attacking his ex-partner in the southern Spanish town of Mijas, an assault he believed ended in the woman's death.

Shock as tourist buried without family knowing
Italy

Shock as tourist buried without family knowing

The parents of a 23-year-old holidaymaker, killed in Sicily, were shocked to hear their son was buried in the southern Italian island without their knowledge, and after police assumed he was a "homeless African immigrant".

FIFA seeks Russian answers on ‘gay’ laws
Switzerland

FIFA seeks Russian answers on ‘gay’ laws

Zurich-based FIFA, football's world governing body, wants 2018 World Cup hosts Russia to explain in more detail its controversial new law banning "homosexual propaganda" after criticism from athletes and activists.

Italian mum forces child to beg as a ‘joke’
Italy

Italian mum forces child to beg as a ‘joke’

An Italian mother allegedly sent her three-year-old daughter to beg from tourists in the plush seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure, in Liguria, while she chatted to friends in a bar.

Train delays to hit Paris airport travellers
France

Train delays to hit Paris airport travellers

Authorities warned travellers on Wednesday to expect delays over the coming days between Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport because of works taking place on RER line B.

Swedish state offers mating help to cat in heat
Sweden

Swedish state offers mating help to cat in heat

The Swedish authorities could step in and confiscate a cat called Ove and try to get him to breed with a Stockholm woman's cat, after she reported a contract breach and fears her love-sick pet cat will start misbehaving soon.

Lack of Catholics kills holiday in unlucky areas
Germany

Lack of Catholics kills holiday in unlucky areas

Three areas in Bavaria will see their public holidays trimmed by a day next year - because there are not enough Catholics to justify them. Instead of having a day off, everyone in the affected districts will have to head into work.

Should Berlin protect its Soviet-era buildings?
Germany

Should Berlin protect its Soviet-era buildings?

Berlin is debating whether to protect the giant, Soviet-era, office blocks at Alexanderplatz. Some argue they are an important part of the city's history, despite being old and ugly. Should they be listed or demolished? Have your say.

‘Violence against women is a cultural problem’
Italy

‘Violence against women is a cultural problem’

A new law will tackle head-on the issue of violence against women, according to the Italian government. But as the number of victims continues to rise, is Italy really doing enough? The Local spoke to some Italian campaigners to find out.

Swiss slammed over treatment of refugees
Switzerland

Swiss slammed over treatment of refugees

Switzerland, which prides itself on its humanitarian principles, is facing a barrage of criticism over its treatment of asylum seekers, including charges of segregation and inhumane living conditions.

Neo-Nazis prepare to ‘party’ in Milan
Italy

Neo-Nazis prepare to ‘party’ in Milan

Far-right groups from across Europe are set descend on Milan for a weekend of "debate, concerts and tattoos".

Norway protects ‘sea-sick’ crabs
Norway

Norway protects ‘sea-sick’ crabs

Norway's food standards authority has banned a fisherman from displaying live crabs because they might get "sea-sick".

Labour veteran attacks ‘evasive’ Norway PM
Norway

Labour veteran attacks ‘evasive’ Norway PM

A Labour party veteran has unleashed a political storm in Norway, describing Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as "evasive" and unreliable in a venom-filled autobiography released just weeks before the general election.

Catalan nationalists back Gibraltar against Spain
Spain

Catalan nationalists back Gibraltar against Spain

Catalonia's Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) party has sent a letter of support to Gibraltar's Chief Minister in the wake of the territory's row with Spain.

Buying ‘Made in France’ goods costs French dear
France

Buying ‘Made in France’ goods costs French dear

Patriotic French consumers might be willing to pay a little extra for “Made In France,” products but at what price? A new study suggests that replacing cheaper foreign-made products with Gallic goods would cost households hundreds of euros more each month.

Honey spill creates sticky situation
Germany

Honey spill creates sticky situation

Bees and wasps near Koblenz missed a trick early on Wednesday when a truck carrying honey spilled 2,000 litres of the sweet stuff all over the road. Busy firefighters managed to clear it away before dawn, denying insects a feast.

Spain’s fake James Bond offers jobs for sex
Spain

Spain’s fake James Bond offers jobs for sex

A Valencia man who posed as a secret agent managed to convince his budding recruits they could join the service in return for sexual favours, money and jewellery.

One in ten Swedish boys watches porn daily
Sweden

One in ten Swedish boys watches porn daily

While one-third of 16-year-old boys in Sweden has reported watching more porn than they would like to, one in ten of their peers says they access pornography every day, a new study has found.

Israel envoy: Palestinian prisoners are like Breivik
Sweden

Israel envoy: Palestinian prisoners are like Breivik

Comments by Israel's ambassador to Sweden comparing recently-released Palestinian prisoners to Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik has left relatives of victims of the Utøya massacre seething.

Geneva charges Chinese for illegal prostitution
Switzerland

Geneva charges Chinese for illegal prostitution

A 56-year-old Chinese woman who ran two massage parlours in Geneva remains in custody for alleged encouragement of prostitution, money laundering, violation of the law on foreigners and other charges.

Gaming cuts Norway youth crime by a quarter
Norway

Gaming cuts Norway youth crime by a quarter

Computer games may have cut youth crime in Norway by as much as a quarter over the last decade, social research outfit Nova has argued on the release of Norway's latest crime statistics.

Top ten tips: How to find an apartment in Paris
France

Top ten tips: How to find an apartment in Paris

Almost every expat who comes to Paris tells of the same woeful tale. Ridiculous paperwork, lack of apartments and unscrupulous landlords are just some of the reasons why finding a flat in the capital can be a nightmare. Here's some top tips to help ease the pain.

Israel envoy: Palestinian prisoners are like Breivik
Norway

Israel envoy: Palestinian prisoners are like Breivik

Israel's ambassador to Sweden has been attacked by victims of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik for comparing the release of Palestinian prisoners to setting the far-right terrorist free.

Avellino bus crash: driver was not drunk
Italy

Avellino bus crash: driver was not drunk

The driver of a bus which crashed in southern Italy last month, killing 39 people, had not taken any drugs or alcohol, an autopsy has found.

German economy returns to growth after slump
Germany

German economy returns to growth after slump

Germany has led the troubled eurozone out of recession after recording faster than expected economic growth, figures released on Wednesday suggested.

VIDEO: ‘Magnificent’ liquid tornado rainbow
Sweden

VIDEO: ‘Magnificent’ liquid tornado rainbow

A Swedish man made headlines on Wednesday after he managed to film a tornado framed by a rainbow over the Baltic Sea, but admitted with disappointment that the natural phenomenon was "definitely not" a Sharknado.

Federer on the comeback trail at Cincinnati Masters
Switzerland

Federer on the comeback trail at Cincinnati Masters

Switzerland’s Roger Federer made a comeback at the Cincinnati Masters tennis tournament on Tuesday after dealing with back pain in recent weeks.

Swedish MPs’ email at risk of US spying: report
Sweden

Swedish MPs’ email at risk of US spying: report

Swedish parliamentarians access their email through three US-based servers, allowing American surveillance authorities access to all their correspondance.

‘One fifth of websites lack data protection info’
France

‘One fifth of websites lack data protection info’

A study by a French internet watchdog should spark concern for web users across the world after it revealed that around one fifth of online sites provide users with no information about how their personal data is being protected from online fraudsters.

Robert Harting takes third world discus title
Germany

Robert Harting takes third world discus title

German discus hero Robert Harting defended his title on Tuesday night to take his third world title in a row with a throw of more than 69 metres at the Athletics World Championships in Moscow.

Farmers warn of more egg-smashing rampages
France

Farmers warn of more egg-smashing rampages

Angry French poultry farmers laid down an ultimatum to the government on Tuesday. If the price of eggs does not rise in two weeks, they will resume a rampage that saw them smash 200,000 eggs in a matter of days earlier this month.

‘Party donations were out of control’: ex-officials
Spain

‘Party donations were out of control’: ex-officials

Former high officials of Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) on Tuesday admitted to Spain's High Court they had failed to control party funding but denied any knowledge of an illegal slush fund.

Man convicted for Facebook friend request
Sweden

Man convicted for Facebook friend request

An 18-year-old man from the Baltic island of Gotland has been convicted after sending a friend request on Facebook.

Siv Jensen is Norway rapper’s ‘dream girl’
Norway

Siv Jensen is Norway rapper’s ‘dream girl’

Siv Jensen, the leader of Norway's anti-immigration Progress Party, has received an unlikely endorsement -- from the country's global hip-hop sensation Madcon.

Surprise growth edges France out of recession
France

Surprise growth edges France out of recession

It looks like President François Hollande was right after all. The head of state was ridiculed last month for suggesting the French economy was finally on the move, but figures released on Wednesday confirmed his instincts.

German care industry ‘wide open to corruption’
Germany

German care industry ‘wide open to corruption’

The German care industry is so large, complicated and is growing so fast that it has become a danger zone for corruption, Transparency International warned on Tuesday.

Barça bank on Messi–Neymar pairing
Spain

Barça bank on Messi–Neymar pairing

Barcelona went against type by playing their trump card in the transfer market early this year and securing the services of Brazilian star Neymar for 57 million euros ($75.7 million, £49.5 million) back in May.

Eight zaniest Swedish drinking song lyrics
Sweden

Eight zaniest Swedish drinking song lyrics

It's August, the end of summer is near, and Swedes have only one thing on their minds - crayfish.

Sperm whale freed from Bergen bay
Norway

Sperm whale freed from Bergen bay

A sperm whale trapped for a week in a bay near Bergen has been freed after residents mounted a dramatic rescue mission.

Bisky dies: East German defender in tough times
Germany

Bisky dies: East German defender in tough times

A politician who helped steer East Germany's communist party into democracy after the Berlin Wall fell, Lothar Bisky, died on Tuesday aged 71.

Swedish pastor admits to buying sex
Sweden

Swedish pastor admits to buying sex

A pastor from central Sweden has been convicted of buying sex from a prostitute after being nabbed when police broke up a major pimping operation.