New Gstaad palace named hotel of the year
Switzerland

New Gstaad palace named hotel of the year

Less than nine months after opening, The Hotel Alpina in Gstaad was named Swiss luxury hotel of the year by Gault Millau, the guidebook company.

Zurich Insurance CFO found dead at home
Switzerland

Zurich Insurance CFO found dead at home

The financial chief of Zurich Insurance Group, Pierre Wauthier, was found dead at his home Monday, the company said.

Vikernes mulls Norway nationalist party
Norway

Vikernes mulls Norway nationalist party

Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes, the Norwegian neo-Nazi arrested in France in July, is considering returning to Norway to start "a proper nationalist party".

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Switzerland

Expat British cyclist ‘beaten’ by Basel police

CH, a British expat architect working in Basel, knew he was in the wrong when he fled from police on a bicycle that is banned by city bylaws but he did not expect to get pepper sprayed and beaten up.

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Sweden

J. Lindeberg turns relaxing into a job

The women took a subdued back seat in J. Lindeberg's latest offering, as the boys paraded in plums, khaki and midnight blue ensembles that evoked more adventurous climes than Stockholm's.

‘Bullfighting is a French ritual – leave us in peace’
France

‘Bullfighting is a French ritual – leave us in peace’

After a protest against bullfighting in south-western France left a man in a coma over the weekend, The Local asks two key figures from either side of the argument whether the tradition should be protected or eradicated from French life.

Princess’s Swiss move to cost €480k a year
Spain

Princess’s Swiss move to cost €480k a year

Infanta Cristina's imminent move to Geneva will cost the Spanish State and Catalan bank La Caixa almost half a million euros a year to cover the cost of her salary, her four children's education and renting the family home.

Mystery ‘meteor’ flashes over Canary Islands
Spain

Mystery ‘meteor’ flashes over Canary Islands

Social media was set ablaze after witnesses reported a light as bright "as if it was daytime" at 10.35pm local time on Sunday over the north of the Canary Islands.

Gelateria pays the price for tax scoop
Italy

Gelateria pays the price for tax scoop

A gelateria in Sardinia was forced to close for three days after tax authorities uncovered a €1.50 unpaid tax bill.

Elderly couple drive into Paris canal in suicide bid
France

Elderly couple drive into Paris canal in suicide bid

An 84-year-old woman died on Monday when she and her husband plunged their car into a canal in Paris in what was believed to be a suicide attempt. Her husband was pulled out of the canal alive.

Swedish banks hit with new set of tougher rules
Sweden

Swedish banks hit with new set of tougher rules

Sweden's financial markets minister unveiled stricter capital rules for Swedish banks on Monday, citing the unprecedented ripple effect of the Lehman Brothers' collapse as a cautionary tale.

Double murderer ‘lured third victim with texts’
Germany

Double murderer ‘lured third victim with texts’

A double murderer appeared in court on Monday, accused of killing a woman he met online.

‘Italy is more than mafia, pasta and mamma’
Italy

‘Italy is more than mafia, pasta and mamma’

In a bid to challenge Italian stereotypes, two young Italians set up a dedicated Twitter account, which is run each week by a different person. The Local spoke to the founders of 'I am Italy' to find out how they are revamping Italy's image.

Festival-goers: ‘We’ve been permanently dyed’
Germany

Festival-goers: ‘We’ve been permanently dyed’

Partygoers who attended a festival of colours over the weekend have complained they are permanently dyed and have had to go back to work with their hair and skin still brightly coloured.

Italian-French film stars separate
Italy

Italian-French film stars separate

Actors Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, one of the film industry's most famous couples, announced Monday they had separated after 14 years of marriage.

Wi-Fi-seeking man dies in balcony plunge
Spain

Wi-Fi-seeking man dies in balcony plunge

A 23-year-old man has fallen to his death from a second-storey balcony in Spain while trying to find WiFi coverage on his mobile phone.

Celeb couple Bellucci and Cassel confirm split
France

Celeb couple Bellucci and Cassel confirm split

One of cinema's most famous couples Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel officially announced on Monday that they are to split following reports of their break-up in a celebrity gossip magazine.

Conflict of interest probe tars jobs agency chair
Sweden

Conflict of interest probe tars jobs agency chair

The chairwoman of the Swedish Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) board, which last week publicly mutinied against the CEO, runs a company that has taken contracts from the agency and received more public money than it was entitled to.

Telefonica bid wins billionaire Slim’s backing
Spain

Telefonica bid wins billionaire Slim’s backing

Spanish giant Telefónica said on Monday it had secured critical support in a sweetened takeover bid worth €8.55 billion or $11.4 billion for German mobile operator E-Plus.

‘Rosary’ kept lost grandmother safe in Alps
Italy

‘Rosary’ kept lost grandmother safe in Alps

A 76-year-old grandmother spent the night under a hail storm and in freezing temperatures on a mountain in Alta Valtellina, Lombardy, after getting lost while chasing a cow.

Beauty queen’s blood ‘found in dad’s freezer’
France

Beauty queen’s blood ‘found in dad’s freezer’

Investigators in France have found traces of the blood of missing beauty queen Allison Benitez in a freezer and washing machine which belonged to Francisco Benitez, her father, according to media reports on Monday.

Tax rises in France have reached a ‘critical level’
France

Tax rises in France have reached a ‘critical level’

A top European finance chief has sent a message of warning to France that its tax rises have reached a “critical threshold” and called on the president to press ahead with vital structural reforms. However French economists have described the claim as 'ridiculous'.

Mystery ‘Obama sighting’ ahead of Stockholm visit
Sweden

Mystery ‘Obama sighting’ ahead of Stockholm visit

Images of Barack Obama in front of the Abba museum and other Stockholm landmarks began appearing at the weekend as the US president's visit to Sweden draws closer.

Catholics rise up against bishop’s leadership
Germany

Catholics rise up against bishop’s leadership

German Catholics have rebelled against a bishop, attacking his leadership style and reading out a letter in a cathedral calling for change.

200 boat migrants arrive on Lampedusa
Italy

200 boat migrants arrive on Lampedusa

Two large dinghies carrying 204 asylum-seekers landed in Italy on Monday after being intercepted by coast guards south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Citigroup warns Norway against tapping oil fund
Norway

Citigroup warns Norway against tapping oil fund

Global banking giant Citigroup has warned that Progress Party proposals to spend money from Norway's oil fund on infrastructure could seriously damage the country's international competitiveness.

Gorilla stones Swedish woman in zoo ambush
Sweden

Gorilla stones Swedish woman in zoo ambush

A gorilla opened a gash in a Swedish woman's forehead after throwing rocks at her at a Swedish zoo on Saturday.

Federer launches US Open bid as underdog
Switzerland

Federer launches US Open bid as underdog

Switzerland’s Roger Federer is under pressure to convince naysayers his career as a Grand Slam champion is not yet over as he begins play in the US Open tennis on Monday as a clear underdog.

Olive oil may avert memory loss – study
Italy

Olive oil may avert memory loss – study

Extra-virgin olive oil has long been known for its potential health benefits, but now researchers in Italy say it could also fend off Alzheimers and other neurological disorders.

Swedish student burned by iron in hazing attack
Sweden

Swedish student burned by iron in hazing attack

A student at the prestigious Swedish boarding school Lundsberg in central Sweden was attacked and burned with an iron by nine other students during a "hazing" ritual on Saturday, the latest in a long line of bullying incidents at the elite school.

Aussie footballer leaves Adelaide for FC Sion
Switzerland

Aussie footballer leaves Adelaide for FC Sion

Croatian Australian footballer Dario Vidosic will join Swiss team FC Sion from Adelaide United, the A-League club said on Monday.

Spanish cops smash ‘cross-country’ coke lab
Spain

Spanish cops smash ‘cross-country’ coke lab

National Police in Madrid have dismantled a cocaine laboratory that supplied a drugs network stretching across the whole country and into France.

‘Robin Hoods’ rescue homes with 700kg stash
Spain

‘Robin Hoods’ rescue homes with 700kg stash

A campaign called "Cents for a miracle" has seen participants travel the length and breadth of the Canary Island of Tenerife in search of as much loot as possible to prevent two families from being evicted from their homes.

Top tips: how to become a barista
Italy

Top tips: how to become a barista

You might have mastered the art of Italian coffee culture, but becoming a barista takes much more than knowing your cappuccino from your caffè macchiato. The Local finds out what it takes to work behind the bar.

Norway in one last push for ‘two state’ deal
Norway

Norway in one last push for ‘two state’ deal

Norwegian foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide was in Jerusalem on Monday to begin what he said may be the last effort his country will make to institute the 'two-state solution' agreed in Oslo 20 years ago.

Germany will back Syria ‘consequences’
Germany

Germany will back Syria ‘consequences’

The German government said on Monday it would support "consequences" against the Syrian regime if its suspected deadly use of chemical weapons is confirmed.

Father kidnaps and burns two daughters in car
Switzerland

Father kidnaps and burns two daughters in car

A 44-year-old Swiss man killed his two daughters, aged two and five, after kidnapping them on Sunday in the Simmenbödeli area of the canton of Saint Gallen, police said.

Seven out of ten Norwegians say no to EU
Norway

Seven out of ten Norwegians say no to EU

Seven out of ten Norwegians would say no in a referendum on joining the EU, according to a new poll by Sentio market research, which finds the opposition is consistent across all age-groups, regions and education levels.

Harvard University to teach Breton language
France

Harvard University to teach Breton language

The fight to keep alive the French regional language of Breton has been given a boost by America's oldest university after an historic agreement was struck between a French university and Harvard.

Norwegian strangled friend in cell: Congo
Norway

Norwegian strangled friend in cell: Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo's deputy foreign minister has speculated that Norwegian prisoner Joshua French strangled his friend Tjostolv Moland to death in their shared cell, as efforts to bring the 31-year-old ex-soldier back home take a turn for the worse.

Cops catch naked ‘sleazy rider’ after 25km chase
Spain

Cops catch naked ‘sleazy rider’ after 25km chase

Seville police were involved in a "high-speed" chase after a stark-naked, drunk moped rider ignored the officers' order to stop.

Germans turn away from domestic flights
Germany

Germans turn away from domestic flights

Domestic German flights saw an unusually large drop in passengers in the first half of 2013 with strikes at the country's airports being blamed for the fall.

Tourist outrage over pricey fruit juice
Italy

Tourist outrage over pricey fruit juice

It's a haven for the rich and famous, so it might not come as a surprise that a fruit juice costs the same as a glass of wine in the luxury Sardinian resort of Porto Cervo.

Tourist killed in motorboat accident
Germany

Tourist killed in motorboat accident

A German woman was killed when a small motorboat capsized in the Gulf of Morbihan off the western coast of France, officials said on Sunday.

Swiss consider dropping legal driving age to 16
Switzerland

Swiss consider dropping legal driving age to 16

Swiss federal authorities are considering allowing young people to drive from the age of 16, provided they are accompanied by adults 30 years or older.

Record waiting periods hit Spanish patients
Spain

Record waiting periods hit Spanish patients

Spanish hospitals are making patients wait longer than ever for operations, new government stats show.

VIDEO: Police accused over bullfight protest
France

VIDEO: Police accused over bullfight protest

Local police and bullfight organizers have been accused of "brutality and savagery" in forcibly ejecting anti-bullfighting protestors from an arena in south-western France over the weekend (see video below.) One man was left with serious head injuries.

Three freed in migrant axe attack drama
Sweden

Three freed in migrant axe attack drama

A group of axe-wielding men staged a brazen attack a Migration Board (Migrationsverket) housing facility in Gävle in eastern Sweden at the weekend, freeing three people before fleeing the scene.

‘Time for the credit to flow’ to Spanish SMEs
Spain

‘Time for the credit to flow’ to Spanish SMEs

The Spanish government has announced the introduction of a new law that will widen the definition of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to incorporate more businesses and improve access to credit.

Berlin’s city bear dies in compound
Germany

Berlin’s city bear dies in compound

One of Berlin’s two famous bears living in a controversial compound in the centre of the city has died. Maxi was 27 years old and had become a symbol of Berlin.

West to decide Syria action this week: France
France

West to decide Syria action this week: France

French President François Hollande said on Monday he would stand by his American counterpart Barack Obama if the US opted for military intervention in Syria. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the West would make such a decision "in the coming days."

Sacked farm worker holds hawk ransom
Italy

Sacked farm worker holds hawk ransom

A disgruntled farm worker kidnapped a hawk and held it to ransom after being fired from his job at a farm near Marino in central Lazio.

Report: e-cigarettes are ‘potentially carcinogenic’
France

Report: e-cigarettes are ‘potentially carcinogenic’

Electronic cigarettes are "not as safe" as their manufacturers make them out to be and they are “potentially carcinogenic”, according to a report by a French consumer association which may worry France's one million e-cigarette users.

Retirement home fire claims fourth victim
France

Retirement home fire claims fourth victim

A fourth person has died after a fire in a retirement home in southern France over the weekend. A 76-year-old man succumbed to his injuries from the blaze which had already claimed the lives of two women and one man, aged between 90 and 100.

Extremists attack Eurosceptic party leader
Germany

Extremists attack Eurosceptic party leader

The head of Germany’s eurosceptic party has called for a crackdown on left-wing extremists after he was attacked at a political rally on Saturday.

Messi-less Barça still too much for Malaga
Spain

Messi-less Barça still too much for Malaga

Adriano scored the only goal as a Barcelona side without the injured Lionel Messi laboured to a 1-0 victory over Malaga.

Police bust Bandidos biker meet-up
Norway

Police bust Bandidos biker meet-up

Oslo police seized a dozen members of the notorious Bandidos biker gang as they were gathering in the city for international meeting.

Bridge ‘too ugly’ for Unesco opens
Germany

Bridge ‘too ugly’ for Unesco opens

A bridge that torpedoed Dresden's World Heritage status because Unesco deemed it to be too ugly opened to traffic on Monday.

Ligue 1: Marseille top as PSG grab first win
France

Ligue 1: Marseille top as PSG grab first win

There was relief for PSG coach Laurent Blanc on Sunday as he saw his team notch up their first league win of the season, beating Nantes 2-1 away from home. Marseille lead the way in Ligue 1 after a late win over Valenciennes on Saturday.

Stockholm set for north Europe’s tallest flats
Sweden

Stockholm set for north Europe’s tallest flats

Sweden's capital is set to house the highest-reaching apartment block in northern Europe, with a 75-storey behemoth planned to be constructed in southern Stockholm.

Big names struggle in flurry of red cards
Germany

Big names struggle in flurry of red cards

There was a record number of red cards in the Bundesliga this weekend with eight sending offs in a weekend in which tensions ran high.

Progress Party pledges to legalize moonshine
Norway

Progress Party pledges to legalize moonshine

Norway's Progress Party has said it would end bans to poker, professional boxing, and home-distilled moonshine in a nakedly populist plan to remove 30 different prohibitions.

Gothenburg man bitten by venomous cobra
Sweden

Gothenburg man bitten by venomous cobra

A man in western Sweden was bitten by a cobra in his apartment on Saturday night, just managing to alert authorities before he passed out.

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Sweden

Swedish girl dies after running into glass door

An 11-year-old girl bled to death on Sunday after she ran into a glass door during a birthday party in southern Sweden.

Knox will not attend Italy murder retrial: lawyer
Italy

Knox will not attend Italy murder retrial: lawyer

American Amanda Knox will not return to Italy for a retrial - due to begin next month - for the 2007 death of her British roommate, her lawyer said on Sunday.