Swiss use cars to make half their annual trips
Switzerland

Swiss use cars to make half their annual trips

Swiss residents each travel an average of 20,500 kilometres a year inside Switzerland and abroad with half this distance covered in a car, a government report says.

Three dead in sports club shooting
Germany

Three dead in sports club shooting

At least three people were killed and five others wounded on Tuesday evening when a man opened fire at a sports club in a village in southern Germany, police said.

Migros backs off ‘bull’s penis’ dog chew labels
Switzerland

Migros backs off ‘bull’s penis’ dog chew labels

Swiss supermarket chain Migros has backtracked on a decision to stick a no-nonsense "bull's penis" label on a brand of dog chews, it said on Tuesday.

Man dies after shooting wife in Zurich toy store
Switzerland

Man dies after shooting wife in Zurich toy store

A domestic dispute in a Toys’R’Us store in the canton of Zurich turned deadly on Tuesday when a 28-year-old man used a handgun to shoot his 24-year-old wife before pulling the trigger on himself.

Scores held as Paris police fight tourist crime
France

Scores held as Paris police fight tourist crime

Paris police made 136 arrests over the French bank holiday weekend for crimes targeting tourists, it emerged on Tuesday. Police in the capital have reported a recent rise in illegal street-selling, pick-pocketing and other scams targeting visitors to the city.

Marines refuse to go to India murder trial – report
Italy

Marines refuse to go to India murder trial – report

Four Italian marines summoned to give evidence in the trial of two fellow marines over the shooting deaths of two Indian fishermen have refused to travel to the country, a report said on Tuesday.

Red Cross chief heads to North and South Korea
Switzerland

Red Cross chief heads to North and South Korea

The head of the Swiss-based Red Cross has begun a rare official visit to both North and South Korea, pledging to strengthen the organization's humanitarian assistance and cooperation with the countries.

‘We’ve never had liberté, egalité or fraternité’
France

‘We’ve never had liberté, egalité or fraternité’

When limbless French swimming hero Philippe Croizon's wheelchair was stolen, he received a flood of public sympathy. But now he is demanding for the disabled the "liberté, egalité, fraternité" the French Revolution promised over 200 years ago.

Hopes for a new Knut as Berlin polar bear arrives
Germany

Hopes for a new Knut as Berlin polar bear arrives

Two years after the death of Berlin's beloved polar bear, Knut, hopes are growing that a new cub will be born. A young Russian polar bear has arrived in the city to mate with the zoo's lonely female.

Cops nab elderly Spanish ‘tomb raider’
Spain

Cops nab elderly Spanish ‘tomb raider’

A man has been arrested in the Aragonese city of Zaragoza for plundering archaeological sites of over 2,000 ancient artefacts including swords, spears and a rare helmet.

Delayed passengers given night at Disneyland
France

Delayed passengers given night at Disneyland

Train delays will cause most passengers to tear their hair out unless of course it means a free night in “The Happiest Place on Earth” which was the case for 169 passengers on a cancelled Paris to Marseille train this week.

French school system ‘encourages sexism’
France

French school system ‘encourages sexism’

A report by French education inspectors has highlighted a lack of egalité in French schools by claiming teachers are helping to entrench sexism. Inspectors have recommended staff undergo specialist training to help break down stereotypes.

‘Star computer’ from 1590 to return to Sweden
Sweden

‘Star computer’ from 1590 to return to Sweden

A rare and ancient instrument used to measure time and space has been found in Italy after it was reported stolen from a Swedish museum over ten years ago.

Finance minister: Greece needs more money
Germany

Finance minister: Greece needs more money

Germany's Finance Minister said on Tuesday that Greece will need another rescue package after the current one expires next year, media reports said.

Tests show no doping in 2013 Tour de France
Switzerland

Tests show no doping in 2013 Tour de France

Testing during July's Tour de France found no positive doping, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation said on Tuesday.

High-season for Swedish divorces draws near
Sweden

High-season for Swedish divorces draws near

Swedish couples are most likely to file for divorce in the autumn, which means couples therapists are currently dealing with lovebirds whose feathers have been ruffled during the summer holidays.

Photographer captures Rome street life
Italy

Photographer captures Rome street life

This week The Local met Marco Massa, the man behind the Humans of Rome photography project, to talk about the people he meets on the streets of the capital and how photography can change the way we view strangers.

Shark attack victim fights for life
Germany

Shark attack victim fights for life

A German woman who had her arm bitten off by a shark while swimming off Hawaii is fighting for her life in hospital, local media reported on Tuesday.

Holidaying Hugh Grant mobbed by Italian fans
Italy

Holidaying Hugh Grant mobbed by Italian fans

It would appear that British actor Hugh Grant is no less immune to throngs of screaming fans in Italy. An attempt by the actor to buy ice-cream while on holiday in Perugia was reportedly cut short when he was mobbed by dozens of admirers.

Tasty Spain: top regional food and drink (Part 2)
Spain

Tasty Spain: top regional food and drink (Part 2)

In this week's The Local List, we take readers on our second epic mouth-watering tour of some of Spain's most amazing regional specialities. From lamprey eels to candied fruits and all points in between, there's something here for all taste buds.

Trafficking fears sour berry picking season
Sweden

Trafficking fears sour berry picking season

Observers in Sweden have warned that Bulgarians and Ukrainians who are trying to eke out a living by picking berries in the Swedish forests may have fallen afoul of human trafficking.

Spanish farmers tool up to tackle thieves
Spain

Spanish farmers tool up to tackle thieves

A wave of rural robberies in Murcia has led farmers to look for ways to legally arm themselves in order to defend their livelihoods.

Sweden clips rainbow nails for Russia Olympics
Sweden

Sweden clips rainbow nails for Russia Olympics

After Swedish athletes painted their nails in support of gay rights at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, the Swedish Olympic Committee has ruled similar acts will not be permitted at the winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

Italian police crack down on fake handbag sellers
Italy

Italian police crack down on fake handbag sellers

Italian police said on Tuesday they had seized 320,000 counterfeit handbags and accessories with fake labels from Gucci and Prada hidden in a secret cellar and shut down 15 websites selling illegal luxury items.

Spain’s defence minister: ‘Drones are the future’
Spain

Spain’s defence minister: ‘Drones are the future’

Spanish Defence minister Pedro Morenés has laid out plans for new arms programmes that will include unmanned drone aircraft despite the Armed Forces' €29.5 billion ($32.5 billion) debt .

Wolf pair alive and well in Oslo’s forests
Norway

Wolf pair alive and well in Oslo’s forests

The two wolves discovered in the forests outside of Oslo in January are still alive and well, but there is still no evidence that they have had puppies, Norway's wildlife monitoring service Rovdata said on Monday.

Twins die together on same day after 83 years
Germany

Twins die together on same day after 83 years

After 83 years at each other’s side, twin sisters from Bavaria have died on exactly the same day in the same nursing home.

Mayoral hopeful reveals 150 ideas for Paris
France

Mayoral hopeful reveals 150 ideas for Paris

Reduced speed limits, lanes for electric cars, tunnels under the city where Parisians can keep warm, and toboggan runs are among the 150 proposals announced on Tuesday by Socialist Paris mayoral candidate Anne Hidalgo. Will you vote for her?

Al Qaeda threat to France played down by minister
France

Al Qaeda threat to France played down by minister

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has talked down Al Qaeda’s threat to attack France's rail network, after revelations in a German newspaper this week. Valls reiterated however that “a terrorist threat is present” in France.

Italian tax evaders rack up €17.5 billion bill
Italy

Italian tax evaders rack up €17.5 billion bill

Italy’s financial police on Tuesday announced that it has uncovered nearly 5,000 tax evaders so far in 2013, who have collectively avoided a €17.5 billion bill.

‘Why this is Germany’s most boring election’
Germany

‘Why this is Germany’s most boring election’

Fairytales? Cake? Veggie Days? This is the most boring German election since 1949, argues Michael Wohlgemuth, a professor of economics, long-time election watcher, and director of thinktank Open Europe Berlin.

Grounded ships close the river Rhine
Germany

Grounded ships close the river Rhine

Dozens of ships were stuck upstream on the Rhine on Tuesday morning, after a busy stretch of the river near Cologne was shut off. A number of ships ran aground on Monday, causing the closure and disarray.

‘Reindeer were murdered to scare my children’
Norway

‘Reindeer were murdered to scare my children’

A Sami herder whose herd of 24 reindeer were found dead has claimed they were murdered to warn his children from following in his footsteps.

Village elects transsexual as beauty queen
Spain

Village elects transsexual as beauty queen

The 19-year-old winner gave a tearful acceptance speech at a fete in the Extremadura village of Almendral, in which she defended her right to participate "the same as anyone else".

Madrid air crash families hunt down ‘real culprits’
Spain

Madrid air crash families hunt down ‘real culprits’

Tuesday 20th of August 2013 marks the fifth anniversary of Spain’s deadliest air crash in 25 years, a Spanair flight which crashed as it was trying to take off from Barajas airport in Madrid, killing 154 people.

Hundreds more migrants arrive on Italian shores
Italy

Hundreds more migrants arrive on Italian shores

More than 600 migrants from Eritrea, Pakistan, Syria and other countries landed on Italian shores on three boats between Monday night and Tuesday, coast guards said.

Swisscom chief exec left suicide note: report
Switzerland

Swisscom chief exec left suicide note: report

Swisscom CEO Carsten Schloter left a suicide note explaining why he took his life last month, according to a report published online by the Tages Anzeiger newspaper on Tuesday.

Progress Party pledges to halve immigration
Norway

Progress Party pledges to halve immigration

Norway's populist Progress Party has promised to halve immigration levels if it wins a place in government after next month's election.

Swedes urged to rally against lower taxes
Sweden

Swedes urged to rally against lower taxes

As Sweden's political leaders wrap up their summer speeches and the prime minister's popularity is in flux, the left-leaning tabloid Aftonbladet has asked Swedes to revolt against the government's plans for further tax breaks.

VIDEO: Italians dazzled by star explosion
Italy

VIDEO: Italians dazzled by star explosion

Stargazers in Italy were treated to an unusual spectacle on Monday night when a newly discovered star explosion shone at maximum brightness, enough to be visible to the naked eye.

More women sign up for Sweden’s military
Sweden

More women sign up for Sweden’s military

An increasing number of women are joining Sweden's military, with aspiring female soldiers now accounting for 20 percent of new basic training recruits.

Fingers crossed as wine harvest begins in France
France

Fingers crossed as wine harvest begins in France

The annual wine harvest season got underway in France this week, two weeks later than usual thanks in the main to adverse weather conditions. Violent summer storms have meant 2013 may not be a vintage year for some French wines.

Norway’s Prince Haakon bakes wife birthday cake
Norway

Norway’s Prince Haakon bakes wife birthday cake

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon personally bakes his wife Mette-Marit a cake on her birthday every year, she revealed to Norwegian radio on Monday.

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week

This week's Property of the Week is a 10-room apartment in Stockholm's flashy Vasastan area. Why not take a look inside?

Three survive car bomb in southern Italy
Italy

Three survive car bomb in southern Italy

Three men in southern Italy have survived a bomb attack on their car while travelling to their farm, Italian media has reported.

Glencore Xstrata to pay dividend despite loss
Switzerland

Glencore Xstrata to pay dividend despite loss

Newly merged Swiss mining giant Glencore Xstrata on Tuesday reported a massive net loss of $8.9 billion for the first six months of 2013 owing to merger write-downs, but signalled it would pay an interim dividend.

VIDEO: French police violence sparks outrage
France

VIDEO: French police violence sparks outrage

Prosecutors in central France have launched a probe after a video (below) was posted online showing a police officer beating a woman with a baton, and spraying tear gas directly into her face during an arrest. The video has sparked outrage among viewers.

Police called out by Munch tribute screaming
Norway

Police called out by Munch tribute screaming

Oslo Police were called out several nights in a row last week, following reports of female screams emanating from the city's Ekeberg Park.

Spain’s Foreign Minister slams UK in US press
Spain

Spain’s Foreign Minister slams UK in US press

The Wall Street Journal has published a letter from Spain's minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, demanding the immediate removal of concrete blocks from the Bay of Gibraltar before the start of bilateral negotiations with Britain over the colony's future.

‘Barça’s ex Villa key for Super Cup win’: Atletico
Spain

‘Barça’s ex Villa key for Super Cup win’: Atletico

Atlético Madrid began life without Radamel Falcao with a 3-1 win away to Sevilla on Sunday, but they face a far more daunting task against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday.

Tornado rips up church campsite, injures 27
Germany

Tornado rips up church campsite, injures 27

A tornado tore through a campsite belonging to a church in southern German on Monday afternoon, injuring 27 people, including 16 children aged between 10 and 13 years old.

Norway hopes Congo death will free survivor
Norway

Norway hopes Congo death will free survivor

Norwegian officials hope that the tragic death of one of the two Norwegians jailed in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday will make it easier to secure the release of the other.

Italian bishop baffled by fake Facebook profile
Italy

Italian bishop baffled by fake Facebook profile

The Diocese of Cagliari, Sardinia, has been forced to publish a notice of explanation after a fake Facebook profile was created for the town’s archbishop, much to the delight of his congregation.

British PM makes failed Twitter attempt at Italian
Italy

British PM makes failed Twitter attempt at Italian

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday made a linguistically challenged attempt to reach out to Italians, prompting one newspaper to ask whether he was using Google Translate.

Dortmund set for record sales and profits
Germany

Dortmund set for record sales and profits

Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund are set to announce record sales of more than €250 million on Thursday.

Hunt for bogus ‘missing’ tourists costs €65,000
France

Hunt for bogus ‘missing’ tourists costs €65,000

The cost of a needless two day search for four holidaymakers, who were feared dead but actually alive and well at home, was revealed by authorities this week, in the hope of sending a message to tourists to be more responsible.

Activist’s family sues Cuban secret service
Spain

Activist’s family sues Cuban secret service

The family of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya launched a lawsuit in Spain on Monday accusing Cuban secret service agents of involvement in his death, his human rights group said.

Hostage-taker ‘shot twice by police’
Germany

Hostage-taker ‘shot twice by police’

An armed man who took four people hostage on Monday was shot twice by police in the leg and shoulder as officers stormed a town hall to end the stand-off.

Home ad touts ‘Swedish origin’ neighbours
Sweden

Home ad touts ‘Swedish origin’ neighbours

A Swedish estate agency was left scrambling on Monday after one of its agents published a listing for a home with neighbours of "Swedish origin".

Ten year old defeats chess no.1 Carlsen
Norway

Ten year old defeats chess no.1 Carlsen

It's not every ten-year old who can claim to have forced the world's number one chess grandmaster into submission.

French animators a box office hit in Hollywood
France

French animators a box office hit in Hollywood

The "Made in France" campaign has come under fire in recent weeks but one French product that is proving to be a global success is its animation industry, which is the envy of Hollywood as it helps pull in millions of dollars for US studios.

Can Germany’s green man conquer Europe?
Germany

Can Germany’s green man conquer Europe?

Hopes of introducing Germany’s famous green man to pedestrian crossings across Europe could be scuppered after the copyright holder said no-one had asked him to use the Ampelmännchen design.

‘Swedes should be wary of Russian militarization’
Sweden

‘Swedes should be wary of Russian militarization’

Political science PhD candidate Annelie Gregor responds to a Swedish professor's claims that Russia is no threat to Sweden, arguing he is off target when it comes to assessing Russian militarization and the country's political system.

Hospital ships organs to wrong countries
Sweden

Hospital ships organs to wrong countries

A donor organ mix up at Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska University Hospital resulted in a liver and a kidney being shipped abroad to the wrong recipients.

Swiss luxury home market turns downward
Switzerland

Swiss luxury home market turns downward

The Swiss luxury home of rock star Phil Collins and his former wife Orianne remains on the market after going unsold for a year with no takers ready to cough up the 60-million-franc ($65 million) asking price.