Spanish runner smashes Matterhorn climb record
Switzerland

Spanish runner smashes Matterhorn climb record

Extreme trail runner Kilian Jornet notched another stunning record on Wednesday by sprinting up and down Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn in less than three hours after starting from the Italian village of Cervinia.

Opposition battle plan takes aim at Lööf
Sweden

Opposition battle plan takes aim at Lööf

The opposition Social Democrats plan to take down the minority Centre Party in the ratings in order to weaken the government ahead of next year's elections, Swedish media reported on Wednesday.

‘Italy’s gay politicians should come out’
Italy

‘Italy’s gay politicians should come out’

In September Italian politicians will resume debate over an anti-homophobia law, just weeks after the suicide of a gay teen. The Local speaks to gay rights activists about what more can be done - and why some Italians stand opposed.

Madonna surprises Romans with gym visit
Italy

Madonna surprises Romans with gym visit

Madonna paid a surprise visit to the Rome branch of her gym centre, Hard Candy Fitness, on Wednesday evening - much to the delight of the singer's Italian fans.

Swarm of bugs drives family out of home
Germany

Swarm of bugs drives family out of home

Hundreds of thousands of bugs have driven a Bavarian family out of their home, forcing them to sleep in a tent in their garden.

Homemade Spanish food hits Hollywood
Spain

Homemade Spanish food hits Hollywood

A Los Angeles food stand and catering company offering traditional Spanish cuisine has become a Hollywood star and now counts Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Katherine Bigelow and Lena Headey among its loyal customers.

IN IMAGES: Huge blaze hits Paris mansion
France

IN IMAGES: Huge blaze hits Paris mansion

Fire struck a historical Bahraini-owned urban mansion in the centre of Paris on Wednesday afternoon, sending spectacular billows of smoke dozens of metres into the sky above the French capital.

Bright ideas help expats crack holiday market
France

Bright ideas help expats crack holiday market

Being one of the most popular destinations in the world, the tourism industry in the south of France is not an easy market to crack. But here The Local speaks to two expat entrepreneurs who, thanks to quirky ideas, battled their way through red tape to stand out from the competition.

Rainbow zebra protest at Russian embassy
Norway

Rainbow zebra protest at Russian embassy

Gay rights activists have re-painted a zebra crossing outside Russia's embassy in Oslo in bright rainbow colours in protest against new anti-gay laws introduced in June.

Germany’s ten best gap year jobs
Germany

Germany’s ten best gap year jobs

There can be no better way to learn about Germany than working in the country, so for this week's Local List we have come up with ten top gap year jobs for those with time on their hands come September.

France mulls plan to hit criminals with €10 fines
France

France mulls plan to hit criminals with €10 fines

A socialist MP has proposed hitting criminals in the pocket with compulsory €10 fines that would help pay the costs of victim support. The mastermind of the scheme has labelled it a “civic-minded approach” to crime.

Tax hikes likely for majority of Germans
Germany

Tax hikes likely for majority of Germans

German taxpayers will have to brace themselves for higher rates to plug holes in the budgets of local authorities, according to research released on Wednesday.

Fight over bills sparks deadly shooting
Germany

Fight over bills sparks deadly shooting

UPDATE: A man who killed two people and injured five others in a shooting on Tuesday went on the rampage following an argument about utility bills.

The Local’s guide to back-to-school style
Sweden

The Local’s guide to back-to-school style

Kids back to school this week? Need some new ideas for school essentials? Fret not for The Local's self-proclaimed style boffin Victoria Hussey knows just how to solve your school style problems.

New in German cinemas: ‘The Bling Ring’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘The Bling Ring’

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

‘Sex for grades’ school teacher arrested
Italy

‘Sex for grades’ school teacher arrested

A school teacher in the northern Piedmont region has been arrested, accused of having sex with students under the promise of improving their grades.

Puppy-flinging jogger sparks outrage in Italy
Italy

Puppy-flinging jogger sparks outrage in Italy

A jogger in the town of Lecce in the southern region of Puglia has caused outrage after he was captured on camera flinging three puppies across a street. The man was arrested after the video appeared on YouTube.

French nab Swiss ‘Pink Panther’ prison escapee
Switzerland

French nab Swiss ‘Pink Panther’ prison escapee

French police have arrested a suspected member of the infamous Pink Panther gang of international jewel thieves who had been on the run since escaping from a Swiss prison near Lausanne in May.

Thieves’ Ben & Jerry’s loot melts mid-heist
Sweden

Thieves’ Ben & Jerry’s loot melts mid-heist

Thieves in eastern Sweden have been left red-faced after their loot of Ben & Jerry's ice cream worth 9,000 kronor ($1,380) melted during their failed getaway.

‘Let’s tax the sun’: new law shocks world press
Spain

‘Let’s tax the sun’: new law shocks world press

A new tax on solar power introduced two weeks ago by the Spanish government has been described as "ludicrous" and "stupid" in two leading international publications.

Natural disasters take toll on insurers: Swiss Re
Switzerland

Natural disasters take toll on insurers: Swiss Re

Catastrophes cost global insurers more than $20 billion in just the first six months of 2013, including $17 billion for natural disasters alone, Switzerland-based reinsurance giant Swiss Re said on Wednesday.

Swedish politicians shot in Somalia drive-by
Sweden

Swedish politicians shot in Somalia drive-by

Sweden's Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that a Swedish woman was shot and injured in Mogadishu, with additional reports that a Swedish man was killed in the attack in which a third man also died.

Facebook helps woman find sisters after 44 years
France

Facebook helps woman find sisters after 44 years

Even critics of Facebook will find it hard not to 'Like' this story. A French pensioner, fearing cancer would end her life prematurely, managed to achieve her dream of tracking down her two long-lost sisters, thanks to the social media site.

Social Democrats flounder in latest poll
Germany

Social Democrats flounder in latest poll

As the general election looms, Germany's Social Democrats seem unable to pull themselves out of the mire, hitting a yearly low in a poll released on Wednesday.

Balotelli slams Italy’s ‘stupid’ citizenship law
Italy

Balotelli slams Italy’s ‘stupid’ citizenship law

Football player Mario Balotelli has made it to the cover of US magazine Sports Illustrated, taking the opportunity to criticize Italy's "stupid" citizenship law.

‘Pink Panther’ gang member held in France
France

‘Pink Panther’ gang member held in France

French police have arrested a suspected member of the infamous Pink Panther gang of international jewel thieves who had been on the run since escaping from a Swiss prison in May.

Swiss reverse support for world cycling chief
Switzerland

Swiss reverse support for world cycling chief

International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid received a blow on Wednesday to his bid to win a third term in the role as the Swiss Cycling Federation withdrew its backing for his candidacy.

Swedish-speaking coma man returns to Sweden
Sweden

Swedish-speaking coma man returns to Sweden

A US man who woke from a coma in a California motel room only speaking Swedish returned to Sweden on Tuesday, where he was reunited with a girlfriend he had in 1984.

Germany slams British action against Guardian
Germany

Germany slams British action against Guardian

Germany's top human rights official has sharply criticised the British government for its crackdown on the Guardian newspaper over its publication of US security secrets leaked by Edward Snowden.

Politicians slammed over Facebook fascist salute
Spain

Politicians slammed over Facebook fascist salute

The youth wing of Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) has opened an internal investigation after several of its members were photographed performing Nazi-style salutes and posing with fascist flags.

Italian astronaut tells of drowning horror
Italy

Italian astronaut tells of drowning horror

Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano on Wednesday recounted the terrifying minutes last month when he felt he was drowning in his spacesuit after it sprang a still unexplained leak during a spacewalk.

Majorca forest fire forces 200 to flee
Spain

Majorca forest fire forces 200 to flee

Around 200 people have been forced to flee from yet another forest fire raging on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca, local authorities reported on Wednesday.

Frenchman burned alive in BBQ horror
France

Frenchman burned alive in BBQ horror

A late summer BBQ in the south of France ended in horrific circumstances on Tuesday night, when a man in his 50s was reportedly burned alive in his apartment after an accident with his balcony grill.

Auto-entrepreneur reform goes before cabinet
France

Auto-entrepreneur reform goes before cabinet

A divisive bill that affects France’s legion of self-employed “auto-entrepreneurs” will be presented to government ministers on Wednesday, amid concerns the changes will put many out of business.

Mayor slams ‘prudes’ in Italy sex box campaign
Italy

Mayor slams ‘prudes’ in Italy sex box campaign

A mayor in the northern Italian region of Abruzzo is spearheading a campaign to bring sex boxes to Italy, allowing prostitutes to ply their trade away from the streets.

Madrid buskers to be tested for talent
Spain

Madrid buskers to be tested for talent

Madrid Town Hall has declared the capital's central district an "acoustic protection zone" in a bid to protect city dwellers from mediocre melodies played by amateur street musicians.

Confusion reigns in Basel over electric bikes
Switzerland

Confusion reigns in Basel over electric bikes

Officials in Basel were forced to clarify an announced ban on high-speed electric bikes in the city centre starting next year.

Drug busts soar as inmates allowed phones
Sweden

Drug busts soar as inmates allowed phones

Staff at a correctional services psychiatric facility in Växsjö are grappling with a surge in narcotics after inmates gained the right to use mobile phones.

‘God told me to resign’: ex-Pope Benedict XVI
Italy

‘God told me to resign’: ex-Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign was inspired by God, an anonymous source quoted the pontiff as saying. The revelation was apparently made in a private conversation a few weeks ago.

Spanish MP ‘critical’ after motorcycle crash
Spain

Spanish MP ‘critical’ after motorcycle crash

The MP for the ruling Popular Party government in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, is in critical condition after being knocked off her scooter by a car.

Tributes paid to German intern at London bank
Germany

Tributes paid to German intern at London bank

The parents of a German intern who died after allegedly working a 72-hour shift at a London bank have paid tribute to their son describing him as their "sunshine".

Progress warns right split could cost election
Norway

Progress warns right split could cost election

Norway's Progress Party has warned that the centre-right's refusal to join them in a coalition risks keeping the left-wing in government.

Catalan bank set to axe 2,453 jobs: union
Spain

Catalan bank set to axe 2,453 jobs: union

Nationalized Spanish lender Catalunya Banc plans to lay off 2,453 workers, nearly a third of its workforce, under a eurozone bailout deal for Spain's banks, a union source said on Tuesday.

Breweries ‘fixing beer prices for decades’
Germany

Breweries ‘fixing beer prices for decades’

Germany's breweries have allegedly been conspiring to fix beer prices for the past 20 years in a scandal more widespread than initially thought, a report has revealed. They could now face hundreds of millions of euros in fines.

Four decades of Stockholm Syndrome
Sweden

Four decades of Stockholm Syndrome

Forty years after a Swedish hostage drama gave rise to the term "Stockholm Syndrome", the phenomenon is still being used, and misused, to explain the reactions of kidnap victims.

Ministers mobilise as Marseille violence spirals
France

Ministers mobilise as Marseille violence spirals

Five government ministers headed to the crime plagued city of Marseille on Monday, pledging action and reinforcements to tackle the rampant gun violence that claimed yet another victim this week.

Mini thief takes swipe at €8,000 phone
Italy

Mini thief takes swipe at €8,000 phone

Staff at Milan’s luxury phone shop Vertu stopped a ten-year-old in an Inter Milan football shirt stealing a handset worth €7,900, local media reported.

Ryanair threatens to sue Swedish newspaper
Sweden

Ryanair threatens to sue Swedish newspaper

Ryanair has threatened to sue a Swedish newspaper for publishing allegations about poor working conditions for pilots at the budget airline.

Tuscan bread gets exclusive D.O.P rating
Italy

Tuscan bread gets exclusive D.O.P rating

Tuscan bread will now join Italy’s exclusive band of D.O.P products whose names are protected by EU law – a status which guarantees the authenticity of speciality foods from a specific geographic origin.

Cannes thieves pinch €70,000 diamond ring
France

Cannes thieves pinch €70,000 diamond ring

The crime season in the Mediterranean resort of Cannes continued this week when thieves helped themselves to a €70,000 diamond ring from an upmarket jewellery store.

Catholic Priest admits to abusing 15-year-old
Norway

Catholic Priest admits to abusing 15-year-old

A Catholic priest has admitted to abusing a 15-year-old girl in Bergen in the latest sex scandal to hit the church in Norway.

Where to find the best pub grub in Stockholm
Sweden

Where to find the best pub grub in Stockholm

With summer drawing to a close and temperatures starting to drop, The Local offers up a list of Stockholm pubs where you can sample some of very best British, Irish, and home-grown pub grub to warm your cockles in the Swedish capital.

Chechen man flees court on motorcycle
Norway

Chechen man flees court on motorcycle

A Chechen man held for stealing luxury cars made a dramatic cuffed get-away on Tuesday, breaking loose from police outside the courtroom and then leaping onto a waiting motorcycle.

Controversy mars Merkel’s Dachau visit
Germany

Controversy mars Merkel’s Dachau visit

Angela Merkel became the first German chancellor to visit the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau on Tuesday but critics slammed her decision to include the stop on an election tour - and head to a beer tent afterwards.

Hijab activists demand minister take action
Sweden

Hijab activists demand minister take action

Sweden's justice minister on Tuesday met with activists who convinced thousands of women to wear headscarves this week to protest an alleged attack on a Muslim woman who wore a hijab.

‘I will never get such a good friend again’
Norway

‘I will never get such a good friend again’

Joshua French, the Norwegian who found his jail-mate Tjostolv Moland dead on Sunday, has paid moving tribute to his friend in an interview with Norway's Dagbladet newspaper.