Costliest auctioned car ‘in Swiss hands’
Switzerland

Costliest auctioned car ‘in Swiss hands’

The most valuable road car ever sold at auction, a candy red Ferrari convertible that fetched $27.5 million at a sale in the US last weekend, was acquired by a Swiss buyer, a report says.

Swiss probe launched against former SNB chair
Switzerland

Swiss probe launched against former SNB chair

The federal prosecutor’s office has launched a criminal investigation into Philipp Hildebrand, the former chairman of the Swiss National Bank who resigned in January 2012, a Swiss magazine says.

Breivik’s flat sells for knock-down price
Norway

Breivik’s flat sells for knock-down price

An unnamed man has snapped up the Oslo apartment where far-right terrorist Anders Breivik planned his twin attacks at a bargain price.

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Switzerland

Swiss cycling head quits over veto of UCI chief

The president of the Swiss Cycling Federation Richard Chassot resigned on Thursday, a day after the organization withdrew its support for International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid.

German jailed for Julius Bär bank data theft
Switzerland

German jailed for Julius Bär bank data theft

A former contractor with Swiss private bank Julius Bär was sentenced to three years prison for data theft after handing client information to German tax authorities, a Swiss court said on Thursday.

Are the French really a ‘better educated race’?
France

Are the French really a ‘better educated race’?

British comedian Stephen Fry stirred up an old row this week, when he stated French schoolchildren were "better educated" than their British counterparts. But not everyone agrees, including the head of France’s biggest teaching union.

Drug addiction on the rise among workers
Germany

Drug addiction on the rise among workers

German workers are increasingly turning to drugs to help them cope, with young employees particularly affected, a study released on Thursday revealed.

Lifelong friendship ruined by broken toilet
Germany

Lifelong friendship ruined by broken toilet

Two women in central Germany ended a lifelong friendship over a broken toilet. One tried to sue the other when she ripped the toilet from a wall by sitting on it and refused to pay half of the repair costs.

A national hero with a bad boy reputation
Italy

A national hero with a bad boy reputation

While first denied Italian nationality, Mario Balotelli has gone on to be cheered by fans at stadiums nationwide. This week he was named "most interesting man in the world" by Sports Illustrated, making him our Italian face of the week.

Russia pledges Winter Olympics ‘open to all’
Switzerland

Russia pledges Winter Olympics ‘open to all’

Russia has pledged that the 2014 Winter Games will be open to all, despite its controversial anti-gay law, the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

French town plans Game of Thrones convention
France

French town plans Game of Thrones convention

The fortified town of Carcassonne in southwestern France could welcome thousands of fans of the hit TV series Game of Thrones for the first European fans convention next year. As long as the French based event organisers can raise €75,000 that is.

Vandals break finger off Concordia memorial
Italy

Vandals break finger off Concordia memorial

Police have launched an investigation after vandals broke off the left index finger of the Stella Maris, a marble Madonna statue commemorating the victims of the Costa Concordia tragedy on the Tuscan island of Giglio.

‘Go private!’: Protesters to injured politician
Spain

‘Go private!’: Protesters to injured politician

Around 100 workers at Madrid's La Paz hospital have gathered to protest against the privatization of healthcare in Madrid, Spain, and to demand that Cristina Cifuentes, the Popular Party politician currently undergoing treatment there after a traffic accident, be moved to a private hospital.

French Riviera villa key to China’s Xilai trial
France

French Riviera villa key to China’s Xilai trial

A luxurious, bougainvillea-clad mansion in one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the French Riviera resort of Cannes emerged as a key exhibit in Chinese prosecutors' corruption case against fallen political heavyweight Bo Xilai on Thursday.

The woman who wants Sweden’s bureaucracy to clean up its language
Sweden

The woman who wants Sweden’s bureaucracy to clean up its language

The Local catches up with Helena Englund Hjalmarsson, a language consultant and champion of the "plain language" movement, who shamed a government agency over its "incomprehensible" Swedish, making her our pick for Swede of the Week.

Berlusconi: Don’t blame me if cabinet collapses
Italy

Berlusconi: Don’t blame me if cabinet collapses

Italy's billionaire former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday it was not his fault if ministers from his party wanted to pull out of the cabinet over his tax fraud conviction.

Endangered lion cub born at French zoo
France

Endangered lion cub born at French zoo

An endangered Asiatic lion cub, has been born at a zoo in France, it was announced on Thursday. The lion, of which there are only 350 left in the wild is set to be the star attraction at the zoo in Besançon.

VIDEO: 4.4-magnitude quake hits central Italy
Italy

VIDEO: 4.4-magnitude quake hits central Italy

An earthquake measuring 4.4 hit the central Italian region of Marche on Thursday morning, causing panic among tourists and residents. The quake had the same epicentre as a 4.9-magnitude quake which occurred last month.

Somali-Swede ‘died for his beliefs’ – brother
Sweden

Somali-Swede ‘died for his beliefs’ – brother

The brother of Abdirahim Hassan, who was murdered on Wednesday in Somalia, told Swedish press that the young politician had died for his "belief in a peaceful world" in the shooting that also wounded his Swedish colleague.

Manning ruling ‘A victory for democracy’
Germany

Manning ruling ‘A victory for democracy’

A US military court sentenced Bradley Manning, who has expressed a wish to live as a woman and be known as Chelsea, to 35 years in prison on Wednesday. In our media round-up, The Local looks at how the German press reacted.

Report: Police bias held up neo-Nazi case
Germany

Report: Police bias held up neo-Nazi case

A far-right murder spree which targeted immigrants in Germany went undetected for years because of widespread institutional bias among security services, the head of a parliamentary committee said on Thursday.

Export boom set to erase Spain’s trade deficit
Spain

Export boom set to erase Spain’s trade deficit

Recession-struck Spain enjoyed an export boom in June that nearly wiped out its trade deficit.

Swedish royals in ‘Breivik group’ bomb threat
Sweden

Swedish royals in ‘Breivik group’ bomb threat

Police in Sweden are on high alert after a letter in English was sent to a regional Swedish paper warning about "four big bombs" that would be detonated on Thursday night at the royal family's residence in central Sweden.

Pilgrim priest treks to Rome to plead with Pope
France

Pilgrim priest treks to Rome to plead with Pope

Three months after being unceremoniously kicked out of the priesthood, a former Catholic priest from France arrived in the Vatican this week after a 40-day pilgrimage over the Alps. He now has to persuade the Pope to reinstate him.

Sweden gives thumbs-up to disputed nickel mine
Sweden

Sweden gives thumbs-up to disputed nickel mine

The Swedish government has given the go-ahead to a controversial nickel mine on the Umeå river in northern Sweden, despite resistance from local Sami and concern from environmentalists.

Cannabis-laced ‘Nugtella’ hits the market
Italy

Cannabis-laced ‘Nugtella’ hits the market

Known around the world as "The original hazelnut spread", Italian brand Nutella has a new competitor on the market which offers an extra high.

The man who gate-crashed Merkel’s plane
Germany

The man who gate-crashed Merkel’s plane

He is known only as Volkan T. But the mystery bodybuilder is the man behind one of Germany’s more bizarre news stories this summer, making him our German of the week.

Rome’s new mayor ‘wants a pay rise’
Italy

Rome’s new mayor ‘wants a pay rise’

It's a job that many Italians can only dream of doing. But for Ignazio Marino, a former surgeon, the post of mayor of Rome leaves a little to be desired.

Unusual suspect arrested in Naples bank robbery
Italy

Unusual suspect arrested in Naples bank robbery

After €500 went missing in a Naples bank, police turned to CCTV and uncovered an unlikely thief.

Tampon ad slammed for ‘high sexual content’
Spain

Tampon ad slammed for ‘high sexual content’

A television ad which features a famous Spanish actress showing men how to use a tampon has been criticized by some viewers who find it “degrading to women”.

How to solve a problem like Marseille?
France

How to solve a problem like Marseille?

As Marseille witnessed yet another brutal drugs related murder this week longstanding questions rose once again over how to end with the violence in the Mediterranean city. One expert tells The Local old-fashioned ‘bobbies on the beat’ would be a good start.

Three-quarters of Spain ‘at extreme risk’ of fires
Spain

Three-quarters of Spain ‘at extreme risk’ of fires

Seventeen Spanish provinces have been put on a state of high alert by the government's weather agency as a heatwave spreads across the country.

Most Spaniards under 30 ‘too poor’ to flee the nest
Spain

Most Spaniards under 30 ‘too poor’ to flee the nest

Only two in every ten Spanish adults under the age of 30 are financially independent, a new study shows.

Blood donor barred as ‘German too poor’
Germany

Blood donor barred as ‘German too poor’

A woman was barred from giving blood at a clinic in Munich as her German was deemed to be to poor. Unlike the rest of the country, the city's blood service refuses donors who speak English, and not German.

Pope Francis calls Italian teen for a chat
Italy

Pope Francis calls Italian teen for a chat

A 19-year-old got a surprise phone call when he picked up to Pope Francis, local media reported on Thursday.

UK broke Human Rights pact, says Nobel chair
Norway

UK broke Human Rights pact, says Nobel chair

The head of the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee has warned Britain that the detention in Heathrow last week of the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald may have broken Europe's Human Rights Convention.

Ex-serial killer to stay behind bars: council
Sweden

Ex-serial killer to stay behind bars: council

Sture Bergwall, known as self-confessed serial killer Thomas Quick who retracted all his confessions, will not be let out of psychiatric care. Bergwall dubbed the decision "Soviet" in its "disregard for justice".

Structural racism ‘still a problem’ in Sweden
Sweden

Structural racism ‘still a problem’ in Sweden

Sweden has failed to address the problems of structural racism, discrimination, and hate crimes despite ten years of criticism, the head of the country's United Nations Association has warned ahead of meeting with a UN anti-racism body in Geneva.

Thieves ram car into Geneva watch boutique
Switzerland

Thieves ram car into Geneva watch boutique

Thieves rammed a car into the door of high-end watch company Zenith's store in the heart of Geneva Thursday and cleared out its display cases, the Swiss firm said.

Man blows up house inflating air mattress
Germany

Man blows up house inflating air mattress

A German man caused €150,000 of damage to his rented house after trying to repair an inflatable mattress. Being new in town, he had no furniture – and now he has no windows or doors.

‘Roma overdose’: Mag’s cover story sparks uproar
France

‘Roma overdose’: Mag’s cover story sparks uproar

The cover story of a French magazine headlined “Roma overdose” about the problems caused by the Roma community caused outrage on Thursday and once again placed France’s fractured relationship with the minority under the spotlight.

Tourist numbers in Spain ‘highest since 1995’
Spain

Tourist numbers in Spain ‘highest since 1995’

Latest figures show that a record 7.9 million foreign tourists visited Spain in July, the highest number in almost two decades.

Video catches policeman kicking burglar’s head
Switzerland

Video catches policeman kicking burglar’s head

Lucerne cantonal police are facing criticism for excessive violence after a shocking video aired on Swiss German-language TV showing an officer kicking an alleged thief five times in the head.

Probe opens into ‘kill Kyenge’ Facebook post
Italy

Probe opens into ‘kill Kyenge’ Facebook post

A man in northern Italy is being formally investigated after he posted a message on Facebook threatening to kill Italy’s integration minister, Cécile Kyenge.

LSD is good for you, say Norway researchers
Norway

LSD is good for you, say Norway researchers

Tales of debilitating acid flash-backs and permanently frazzled synapses are exaggerated, according to a new scientific report which concludes LSD use may even be beneficial.

Teen charged for nude ‘selfie’ Facebook post
Sweden

Teen charged for nude ‘selfie’ Facebook post

A 16-year-old girl in southern Sweden has been charged for aggravated defamation after uploading a naked picture a classmate took of herself to Facebook.

France calls for ‘force’ over Syria chemical arms
France

France calls for ‘force’ over Syria chemical arms

France appeared to take the lead over the Syria crisis on Thursday when Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for the use of "force" if it is confirmed that Bashar al-Assad's forces had used chemical weapons to massacre citizens.

Spanish climber sets new Matterhorn record
Spain

Spanish climber sets new Matterhorn record

A Catalan climber set a new record on Wednesday for the fastest ascent and descent of the Matterhorn, with a back-to-back time of just two hours 52 minutes.

Neo-Nazi protests met with backlash
Germany

Neo-Nazi protests met with backlash

Politicians have condemned neo-Nazi protests against a new political refugee centre in Berlin in which extremists bombarded asylum seekers with abuse. By Thursday, scenes were calm but the threat of more protests elsewhere remained.

Neymar rescues Barca as injured Messi limps off
Spain

Neymar rescues Barca as injured Messi limps off

Neymar scored his first goal for Barcelona as the Catalans were held 1-1 by Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup, but there was another injury worry for Lionel Messi as he was forced off at half-time.

Woman dies as wave of mud hits car
Italy

Woman dies as wave of mud hits car

A woman in southern Italy was swept to her death in a flash flood on Wednesday, as heavy rain swept across Italy.

Oslo set to reject Winter Olympics
Norway

Oslo set to reject Winter Olympics

Oslo's voters will reject the chance of hosting the Winter Olympics in 2022 when they vote on the proposal on 9 September, according to a new poll for NRK.

‘He bit me!’: New video emerges of violent arrest
France

‘He bit me!’: New video emerges of violent arrest

New footage has emerged of the minutes that led up to the moment a police officer struck a woman around the head with his baton and sprayed tear gas in her face. The video appears to place doubt on the officer’s claims that he was bitten by the woman. (VIDEO)

African ‘boat people’ planned to sail to Canada
Norway

African ‘boat people’ planned to sail to Canada

Three North African men caught with a stolen yacht in Trondheim, planned to sail all the way to Canada, where they wanted to emigrate, police have said.

Norway city will not be renamed ‘Ahkkunjarga’
Norway

Norway city will not be renamed ‘Ahkkunjarga’

The mayor of Narvik, one of Norway's most northerly cities, has rejected plans from ethnic Sami politicians to rename it 'Ahkkunjarga'.

New Berlin museum for 20th century art
Germany

New Berlin museum for 20th century art

Berlin has agreed to build a new museum for 20th century masterpieces by artists including Rothko, Magritte and Dali donated by a wealthy couple, potentially resolving a lengthy dispute.

Swedish hospital slaps parents with octopus ban
Sweden

Swedish hospital slaps parents with octopus ban

Swedish neo-natal doctors have asked parents to stop bringing crochet octopi to the wards, after a birthing trend from neighbouring Denmark said to calm the premature infants spread to Sweden.

Swimmer who lost arm in Hawaii shark attack dies
Germany

Swimmer who lost arm in Hawaii shark attack dies

A young German woman who was attacked by a shark and had her right arm bitten off died on Wednesday at a hospital in Hawaii, medics said.

Moland fought French before he died – minister
Norway

Moland fought French before he died – minister

Norwegians Tjostolv Moland and Joshua French fought in their cell before Moland was found dead on Sunday, the information minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed.

Somalia shooting a possible kidnap attempt
Sweden

Somalia shooting a possible kidnap attempt

The Swedish politician Ann-Margarethe Livh, who was shot in the chest on Wednesday in Mogadishu in an attack that claimed two colleagues' lives, said the gunmen tried to abduct her.

Linguist slams agency for gibberish letter
Sweden

Linguist slams agency for gibberish letter

A Swedish language expert was so angered by a letter she received from the Swedish patent office that she filed a complaint against the agency for correspondence that was simply "too confusing".