Pope Francis to meet Bolivian president
Italy

Pope Francis to meet Bolivian president

Evo Morales, Bolivia's president, is to visit Pope Francis in September, the Argentinian pontiff announced on Friday, according to Italian media reports.

Five tips to avoid a marriage train-wreck
Sweden

Five tips to avoid a marriage train-wreck

A new Swedish study has found that a long commute can increase the chance of divorce by 40 percent. The Local talked to the researcher behind the study to learn more about the findings, and got five tips for how to keep the stress from ruining your marriage.

Grillo slams ‘silent West’ over Egypt massacres
Italy

Grillo slams ‘silent West’ over Egypt massacres

Beppe Grillo, leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S), has criticized Western leaders for their reaction to recent violence in Egypt and called for an international court to be set up to try those responsible.

Baby seals to socialist offices – in pictures
Germany

Baby seals to socialist offices – in pictures

From baby seals to socialist-era offices, we've picked eleven of the best photos from the week's news stories.

‘Ramos’s hair matters more than my records’
Spain

‘Ramos’s hair matters more than my records’

The most decorated Spanish swimmer of all time Mireia Belmonte Garcia has launched a stinging attack on the coverage of the sport in her homeland after breaking two world records at the World Cup meet in Berlin last weekend.

Catalans gear up for 400km human chain
Spain

Catalans gear up for 400km human chain

Supporters of Catalan independence will hold over 100 trial runs before an attempt to span the region by holding hands in a human chain on September 11th, the national day of Catalonia.

Germany cuts holidays after Egypt violence
Germany

Germany cuts holidays after Egypt violence

Germany will review its relations with violence-torn Egypt, the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, following talks with French President Francois Hollande. German tour companies have meanwhile cancelled all holidays to the troubled country.

France in 2025: Minister predicts full employment
France

France in 2025: Minister predicts full employment

It can be tricky to predict what might happen next week in France, let alone in a decade. Nonetheless, French President François Hollande asked his cabinet to describe France in the year 2025. Their intriguing predictions were leaked to the media.

Spike in Swedish reports of child porn crimes
Sweden

Spike in Swedish reports of child porn crimes

There has been a 41-percent increase in reported cases of child pornography in Sweden this year compared with the same period of time last year, with the hike mostly due to more police officers being assigned to fighting the crime.

Social Democrats trail in polls despite anniversary
Germany

Social Democrats trail in polls despite anniversary

Central Berlin will be turned into a huge celebration of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) this weekend, with the famous Strasse des 17. Juni closed to traffic and crammed with beer and sausage stands and live music to mark the party's 150th anniversary.

Costa Concordia wreck to be raised in September
Italy

Costa Concordia wreck to be raised in September

The wreck of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship which crashed into the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012 killing 32, will finally be raised up next month, the salvage coordinator said on Friday.

New drink ‘clears breath for post-kebab kisses’
Germany

New drink ‘clears breath for post-kebab kisses’

The doner kebab is one of Germany’s most popular foods, but can leave a lingering stinky breath problem. Three student entrepreneurs claim their special post-kebab drink could change all that, making doner eaters kissable again.

Three Swedish unis in world’s top 100: ranking
Sweden

Three Swedish unis in world’s top 100: ranking

A ranking of the best 500 universities around the world saw three institutions from Sweden inside the top hundred, with Stockholm's Karolinska Institute finishing the highest of the three at 44th place.

‘Russia doesn’t pose any threat to Sweden’
Sweden

‘Russia doesn’t pose any threat to Sweden’

Swedish politicians worried about Russian militarization forget that Russia has neither the technical know-how, the political stability, nor necessarily the funds to pose any real threat, argues Uppsala University professor Stefan Hedlund.

Paris to get new 1,000-bed mega youth hostel
France

Paris to get new 1,000-bed mega youth hostel

The cost of accomodation in Paris has always meant the French capital has never been the most affordable city for young people. But that could soon change with plans announced to open Paris's biggest youth hostel that will sleep almost 1000 people.

Marina Berlusconi had ‘offshore accounts’
Italy

Marina Berlusconi had ‘offshore accounts’

Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter Marina, widely tipped to lead her father’s political party, has allegedly inherited his penchant for offshore accounts.

‘You’re too ugly to visit Spain anyway’
Spain

‘You’re too ugly to visit Spain anyway’

A member of the European Parliament has received a barrage of online abuse by Twitter trolls after she publicly encouraged British families not to go on holiday to Spain following the latest Gibraltar dispute.

The Economist: ‘ETA is still a danger in Spain’
Spain

The Economist: ‘ETA is still a danger in Spain’

An editorial in international publication The Economist has noted that the Basque Homeland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist group is still around and still armed.

Swiss banker lied over French accounts: report
Switzerland

Swiss banker lied over French accounts: report

A former banker who threatened to blow the lid on a list of French politicians and "big names" with Swiss bank accounts fabricated the entire story, a Swiss business newspaper reported on Friday.

Italian travellers warned over Egypt violence
Italy

Italian travellers warned over Egypt violence

Italy has advised its citizens visiting Egypt to remain in hotels and holiday resorts following clashes in which hundreds of people have been killed.

Berlusconi takes to skies to send holiday message
Italy

Berlusconi takes to skies to send holiday message

Thursday may have been a public holiday for most Italians but not for Silvio Berlusconi’s campaign team, who took advantage of the country’s crowded beaches to transmit a message to the Italian population.

List of French with Swiss accounts was ‘made up’
France

List of French with Swiss accounts was ‘made up’

A former banker who threatened to blow the lid on a list of French politicians and "big names" with Swiss bank accounts fabricated the entire story, it was revealed on Friday. "This list never existed," his lawyer said.

Catalan residents see red over traffic commissions
Spain

Catalan residents see red over traffic commissions

Commissions of 30 percent of fines from radars and cameras at red lights in the Catalan town of Montgat have been revealed to be going to a private company, enraging local residents who claim that the cameras are unnecessary.

‘It’s not in our character to sit and wait’
Italy

‘It’s not in our character to sit and wait’

As his town crumbles around him due to a lack of restoration funds, an intrepid young mayor in the town of San Lorenzo Bellizzi, Calabria, tells Anna Lebedeva about his mission to salvage his ancestral home and attract private buyers.

Hollande, Cameron and Merkel set for Egypt talks
France

Hollande, Cameron and Merkel set for Egypt talks

French President François Hollande will discuss the crisis in Egypt with British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday afternoon, after warning on Thursday that "everything must be done to avoid civil war."

Norway growers see red at Kenyan roses
Norway

Norway growers see red at Kenyan roses

Norwegian flower farmers are up in arms at the Labour party's decision to turn to Kenyan growers to source more than a million red roses for the ongoing election campaign.

Swedes’ trips to Egypt cancelled until October
Sweden

Swedes’ trips to Egypt cancelled until October

Swedish travel agents have halted all trips to Egypt until mid-October due to the violence in the country, with an estimated 1,600 Swedes affected.

Top ten: funniest Spanish relationship sayings
Spain

Top ten: funniest Spanish relationship sayings

If you're worried that your Spanish might let you down when things get complicated with the opposite sex, let the Local guide you through its top ten useful love and relationship sayings.

Beachgoers make human chain to save migrants
Italy

Beachgoers make human chain to save migrants

Holidaymakers in Sicily rallied together on Thursday to save 160 boat migrants, by creating a human chain into the sea.

German law change to ‘recognize third sex’
Germany

German law change to ‘recognize third sex’

Germans will soon be legally divided into three genders - those born as hermaphrodites have the right to not identify as male or female. It has been described as a revolution, effectively creating legal recognition of a third sex.

Central bank says UBS rescue loan repaid
Switzerland

Central bank says UBS rescue loan repaid

The Swiss National Bank says that a massive loan to rescue UBS bank during the financial crisis has been paid off and Switzerland's largest bank can now repurchase its once toxic assets.

Pot smoker turns to police to break addiction
France

Pot smoker turns to police to break addiction

There are many different ways to try to give up a bad habit, but one French pot smoker was so desperate to give up his cannabis addiction he risked ending up behind bars by taking the drastic step of calling in the long arm of the law.

Suspected murderer to be pall-bearer at funeral
Norway

Suspected murderer to be pall-bearer at funeral

A policeman now suspected of murdering a 33-year-old Norwegian woman was so close to the family that he was asked to carry her coffin at the funeral, TV 2 has reported.

‘Klondike laws’ spur Swedish fury at miners
Sweden

‘Klondike laws’ spur Swedish fury at miners

Lax prospecting laws and among the world's lowest mining taxes has 'unserious companies' frothing at the mouth over Sweden's untapped mineral and metal resources, angering residents across the north, explains author Po Tidholm.

Repentant thieves return stolen golf ball haul
Spain

Repentant thieves return stolen golf ball haul

Conscience-stricken golf bandits in Benidorm, Spain, have handed back many of the 12,000 practice balls they stole in June, together with an anonymous note saying, "we're sorry."

Asylum seeker protests anger many Swiss
Switzerland

Asylum seeker protests anger many Swiss

The mayor of the tiny Swiss village of Kestenholz glances sadly around the empty asylum centre, his gaze resting on two massive metal bunks crammed with 12 bare mattresses.

France trails US and UK in university rankings
France

France trails US and UK in university rankings

A French minister has defended the quality of its universities after France found itself with just four institutions among the world’s top 100, according to annual rankings released this week. Genevieve Fioraso claimed the rankings favoured anglo-saxon universities.

Group guinea pig sex ‘too loud’ say neighbours
Germany

Group guinea pig sex ‘too loud’ say neighbours

Frantically mating guinea pigs living in a free-love rodent commune at a German university are making so much noise that neighbours have complained to the city's administrative court.

Germany: ‘We can beat US in export rankings’
Germany

Germany: ‘We can beat US in export rankings’

German business chiefs believe their country could overtake the USA this year to become the world’s second biggest exporter.

City council president deposed for ‘harassment’
Switzerland

City council president deposed for ‘harassment’

The head of the municipal government in the watch-making city of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel was stripped of his responsibilities on Friday over allegations of harassing and “mobbing” employees, according to a media report.

New Paris map reveals cheapest coffees in town
France

New Paris map reveals cheapest coffees in town

Fed up with paying through the nose for a coffee in Paris? Well authorities in the French capital have woken up to the problem and come up with an interactive map of where to find those cheap espressos.

Spain’s wealthiest woman dies at 69
Spain

Spain’s wealthiest woman dies at 69

Rosalia Mera, a Spanish billionaire who co-founded fashion label Zara with her then-husband Amancio Ortega, has died after suffering a brain haemorrhage while on holiday in Menorca.

Oslo vies with Munich for Winter Olympics
Norway

Oslo vies with Munich for Winter Olympics

Munich is Olso's only rival in the battle to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the head of Norway's Olympic Committee has declared.

Sweden’s answer to Rihanna: A pop nutter
Sweden

Sweden’s answer to Rihanna: A pop nutter

With a proven record of predicting the next big music hit out of Sweden, The Local's Paul Connolly has a chat with Elliphant and dissects her new single in all its "propulsive, hip-twitching glory".

Manhunters star salutes North Sea divers
Norway

Manhunters star salutes North Sea divers

The lead actor in Norway's oil-rig blockbuster Pionér heaped praise on the country's North Sea divers on Thursday as the film was shown to the Norwegian press for the first time.

Spanish universities fail to make the grade
Spain

Spanish universities fail to make the grade

No Spanish institution has made the top 200 of the 2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities, and only four have been included in the top 300.

‘Venice is like a school of life’
Italy

‘Venice is like a school of life’

Cat Bauer left Los Angeles for a three-month writing trip to Venice. She speaks to The Local - 15 years later - about why she never left.

French minister to grill Ryanair on safety claims
France

French minister to grill Ryanair on safety claims

France's transport minister said this week, he will be seeking "clarification" from low-cost Irish airline Ryanair over "concerning" safety allegations made in a documentary this week by a pilot, who has since been fired by the company.

Fake Rockefeller jailed for killing US landlord
Germany

Fake Rockefeller jailed for killing US landlord

A German man who impersonated a member of the Rockefeller family and an English aristocrat was sentenced on Thursday to 27 years in prison for murdering his Californian landlord in 1985.

Krekar aimed to build new terror network say German police
Norway

Krekar aimed to build new terror network say German police

Norway-based extremist Mullah Krekar has been trying to build up a new terror network which would be a successor to Ansar al-Islam, the group he founded in 2001, German police believe.

Ligue 1 preview: PSG looking for first win
France

Ligue 1 preview: PSG looking for first win

After being held in their opening game at Montpellier, PSG will hope to get their first win in Ligue 1 this season when they take on Ajaccio in Paris. The Corsican side however have become a bit of a bogey team for the big spenders from the capital.

No visitors in ten years for Swedish tourist spot
Sweden

No visitors in ten years for Swedish tourist spot

When a Chinese billionaire commissioned the Dragon Gate hotel "to unite China and Sweden", he probably never imagined that it would still be without a single paying customer ten years on. The Local finds out more as the motorway oddity nears its tenth anniversary.

New US ambassador introduces self on video
Germany

New US ambassador introduces self on video

The new US ambassador to Germany arrived in Berlin on Thursday, introducing himself to Germans with a Youtube video showing him scuba diving, playing golf and advising Bill Clinton.

Norwegian boss to tell ‘the true story’ of airline
Norway

Norwegian boss to tell ‘the true story’ of airline

Bjørn Kjos, the man who built Norwegian into one of Europe's biggest low-cost airlines, has written an autobiography telling the story of the carrier's meteoric ascent.

‘Devil’s advocate’ lawyer Jacques Vergés dies
France

‘Devil’s advocate’ lawyer Jacques Vergés dies

Famous French lawyer, Jacques Verges, dubbed the "Devil's advocate" for defending an array of high-profile hardened criminals including Nazi war criminals, died in Paris on Thursday. The notorious law man once said he "would have defended Hitler" if given the chance.

‘I taught Norway PM to drive’ – father Thorvald
Norway

‘I taught Norway PM to drive’ – father Thorvald

The father of Norway's Prime Minister has defended his son's taxi driving stunt, saying that he knows his son is good behind the wheel as it was he who taught him to drive.

Shark bites off German swimmer’s arm
Germany

Shark bites off German swimmer’s arm

A German woman had her right arm bitten off in a shark attack while swimming in Hawaii, authorities said on Thursday.

Storm over rainbow nails clouds Sweden gold
Sweden

Storm over rainbow nails clouds Sweden gold

A rare gold medal win by Sweden at the World Athletics Championships on Thursday in Moscow was overshadowed by the controversy that erupted after some Swedish athletes painted their fingernails rainbow colours to protest Russia's anti-gay laws.

Electrolux shuts Egypt plants after violence
Sweden

Electrolux shuts Egypt plants after violence

Swedish home appliance maker Electrolux said on Thursday it was temporarily closing its factories in Egypt due to the violence in the country, while other firms with Swedish ties like Ericsson and Ikea have also been affected by the situation.