Base jumper makes record leap off Jungfrau
Switzerland

Base jumper makes record leap off Jungfrau

A Swiss base jumper set a world record by plunging from a 4,060-metre high peak on the Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Alps and landing in a valley far below, local media reported this week.

Champion shot putter shines at Zurich station
Switzerland

Champion shot putter shines at Zurich station

New Zealand shot put great Valerie Adams' dominance of the event continued Wednesday as she recorded the best throw of the season in Zurich.

Prehistoric poles pitched in Lake Geneva protest
Switzerland

Prehistoric poles pitched in Lake Geneva protest

After retrieving 2,400 wooden poles from Lake Geneva that served as stilts for wooden buildings from the Bronze Age, archeologists recently pitched all but 150 of them back in the water over a dispute with the cantonal government.

Usain Bolt heads list of track stars in Zurich
Switzerland

Usain Bolt heads list of track stars in Zurich

Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt will headline a sparkling line-up for the Zurich leg of the Diamond League track and field event on Thursday.

‘Ban on neo-Nazi festival restricts democracy’
Italy

‘Ban on neo-Nazi festival restricts democracy’

The mayor of Milan has said he will use "all legal measures" possible to stop European far-right groups meeting in the city next month. The Local spoke to an extremism expert to find out if this is the best - and most democratic - response.

‘I’m proud of my name’ – daughter of mafia killer
Italy

‘I’m proud of my name’ – daughter of mafia killer

The daughter of mafia boss Totò Riina, who ordered the killing of prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in a 1992 bombing, has said she is "proud" to share his surname.

Spain’s Tomatina festival 2013: Top photos
Spain

Spain’s Tomatina festival 2013: Top photos

Some 20,000 revellers pelted each other with 130 tonnes (286 thousand pounds) of squashed tomatoes Wednesday in a rain-drenched annual Spanish food fight known as the Tomatina, but this year they had to pay to join the fun.

France investigates ‘#gays must die’ tweets
France

France investigates ‘#gays must die’ tweets

French prosecutors have opened a formal investigation into a recent flurry of homophobic tweets, after a French group fighting anti-gay hate speech filed a complaint against Twitter, legal sources revealed on Wednesday.

Swiss unveil new plan to end US tax dispute
Switzerland

Swiss unveil new plan to end US tax dispute

The Swiss government agreed on Wednesday to a new plan aimed at halting Washington's legal action against banks in Switzerland suspected of stashing cash for American tax dodgers.

Neo-Nazi Vikernes to face trial over racial hatred
France

Neo-Nazi Vikernes to face trial over racial hatred

The infamous Norwegian neo-Nazi Kristian “Varg” Vikernes, who was initially arrested in July on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, is set to face trial in France on charges of inciting racial hatred and glorifying war crimes.

‘Expats are nervous about losing their assets’
Spain

‘Expats are nervous about losing their assets’

This week, The Local talks to financial adviser and deVere Group Senior Area Manager for Spain and Portugal Andy Oliver about common mistakes expats make with their money, whether investing in Spain is a good idea right now, and the joys of having time for a proper family life.

Shock and rage as elite Swedish school closes
Sweden

Shock and rage as elite Swedish school closes

Students sobbed while others expressed their anger on Wednesday over news that scandal-hit boarding school Lundsbergs would be closed temporarily in the wake of the most recent hazing scandal.

Berlusconi will appeal to Europe over fraud case
Italy

Berlusconi will appeal to Europe over fraud case

Italy's billionaire former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Wednesday he will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg over a tax fraud conviction delivered this month.

France ‘opens probe’ into US spy program PRISM
France

France ‘opens probe’ into US spy program PRISM

A court in Paris has opened a formal investigation into the PRISM program of electronic surveillance run by the US National Security Agency, and revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, it emerged on Wednesday.

Missing victim stalls Spanish paedophile trial
Spain

Missing victim stalls Spanish paedophile trial

A Spanish court on Wednesday postponed a hearing of a paedophile who was controversially pardoned by the King of Morocco, after the suspect's accuser disappeared, an official said.

Swede abuses teddybear in name of style
Sweden

Swede abuses teddybear in name of style

Shocktastic Miley Cyrus is not the only one who can do morally questionable things to teddybears. As Stockholm Fashion Week wrapped up, Swedish designer Bea Szenfeld put her patent paw to outlandish fashion.

Government makes 2,000 Facebook data requests
Germany

Government makes 2,000 Facebook data requests

The German government made almost 2,000 requests to Facebook in the first six months of the year to get information about users of the social network.

Five reasons to date a German (and five not to)
Germany

Five reasons to date a German (and five not to)

The dating game can be a minefield, particularly in a foreign country. In this week's Local List we look at five reasons you should (and shouldn't) date a German.

40,000 lightning bolts strike Italy in a day
Italy

40,000 lightning bolts strike Italy in a day

Summer came to an electric end in Italy on Tuesday as 40,000 lightning strikes rained down on the country, an expert told The Local.

New in German cinemas: ‘We’re the Millers’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘We’re the Millers’

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

Travellers warned about Italy’s bird-brained laws
Italy

Travellers warned about Italy’s bird-brained laws

Foreigners in Italy beware: playing bingo, snacking while sitting on the steps of a monument and feeding pigeons at Venice's St Mark's Square may seem innocent enough, but they carry hefty fines if caught.

French oppose Swiss return of ‘Pink Panther’
Switzerland

French oppose Swiss return of ‘Pink Panther’

France on Wednesday rejected a Swiss extradition request for a suspected member of the infamous Pink Panther gang of international jewel thieves who was arrested earlier this month.

Man convicted after consensual ‘choke sex’
Sweden

Man convicted after consensual ‘choke sex’

A Swedish court has ruled that a man acted unlawfully when he strangled two women during sex until they fainted, even though the act was consensual.

‘Textbooks should be like desks: always free’
Spain

‘Textbooks should be like desks: always free’

The mother of two has already managed to collect 196,000 signatures for a campaign she hopes will make the Spanish government drop textbook prices and introduce book banks.

Five great French women who France forgot
France

Five great French women who France forgot

Of more than 70 French historical figures honoured with burial in the Pantheon in Paris, only two are women. As authorities prepare to pick the next, feminists are waging a campaign to have the remains of five great French women moved to the famous mausoleum.

Dubai court rejects sheikh’s claims on UBS
Switzerland

Dubai court rejects sheikh’s claims on UBS

A Dubai-based court dismissed a Kuwaiti sheikh's complaint that UBS failed to pay him $21.4 million as promised for helping the Swiss bank arrange an asset sale by telecom operator Zain.

The Swedish Terminator woman not a Dominatrix
Sweden

The Swedish Terminator woman not a Dominatrix

On the final day of Stockholm Fashion Week, a designer presentation held in respectable art auctioneers Bukowkis in central Stockholm showcased an army of subtle sartorial elegance.

Merkel: Greece joining euro was a mistake
Germany

Merkel: Greece joining euro was a mistake

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said, a month before elections, that struggling Greece should never have been allowed into the eurozone, blaming her political rivals for letting it happen.

‘Dizzy’ bullfighter fined for refusing to kill
Spain

‘Dizzy’ bullfighter fined for refusing to kill

A Spanish bullfighter has been whacked with a €3,200 fine for refusing to kill two bulls at an event in Andalusia.

Hazing scandal closes elite Swedish school
Sweden

Hazing scandal closes elite Swedish school

Sweden's School Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) has decided to close temporarily the scandal-hit boarding school Lundsbergs, after reports that two students were burned with an iron in a hazing ritual.

British soldier dies after 1,000-metre Mt. Blanc fall
France

British soldier dies after 1,000-metre Mt. Blanc fall

A British soldier died on Wednesday after falling 1,000 metres from close to the top of Mont Blanc, according to local media reports.

French Assembly to hold emergency Syria debate
France

French Assembly to hold emergency Syria debate

A possible French military intervention in Syria will be debated by French deputies next week during an emergency session on the crisis. President Francois Hollande has warned he is "ready to punish" those responsible for the recent chemical weapons attack.

British soldier dies in Mont Blanc fall: report
Italy

British soldier dies in Mont Blanc fall: report

A British climber died on Wednesday after a 1,000-metre fall from near the peak of Mont Blanc, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Blanchett and Travolta lined up for Deauville
France

Blanchett and Travolta lined up for Deauville

John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Cate Blanchett and Michael Douglas are among the stars who will tread the red carpet at France's 39th Deauville film festival, which kicks off on Friday.

Costly therapy for violent offender draws flak
Switzerland

Costly therapy for violent offender draws flak

A treatment programme for a 17-year-old violent offender in Zurich allows him to live in a four-room apartment while receiving lessons from a Thai boxing champion with a 10-person support team at as cost of 29,000 francs a month.

Spain’s PM ‘saved’ from testifying in court
Spain

Spain’s PM ‘saved’ from testifying in court

Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) has vetoed the opposition's attempts to have Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy testify in court in a corruption case involving former party treasurer Luis Bárcenas.

Flesh-eating disease spreads to Stockholm
Sweden

Flesh-eating disease spreads to Stockholm

A life-threatening, flesh-eating bacteria is spreading in northern Stockholm, where hospital staff have recorded an immense spike in the number of cases in recent years.

Syrian refugee gives birth on boat arriving in Sicily
Italy

Syrian refugee gives birth on boat arriving in Sicily

A Syrian refugee gave birth at sea on her way to Italy as the number of arrivals fleeing the war-torn country this year rose to nearly 3,000 people, officials said.

Outcry over arrest of German ‘book thief’
Germany

Outcry over arrest of German ‘book thief’

Staff at a German auction house have reacted with shock over the “preposterous” arrest of their director, accused of stealing hundreds of precious volumes from one of Italy’s most treasured libraries.

Cop claims sauna call-out led to new illness
Germany

Cop claims sauna call-out led to new illness

A senior police officer has attempted to get a court to recognize an illness called “temperature shock” after he fell ill hunting for a peeping tom in a sauna.

Conservatives chalk rainbow outside embassy
Norway

Conservatives chalk rainbow outside embassy

Norway's Conservative Party has jumped on the rainbow protest bandwagon, with party activists filling in the zebra crossing outside Oslo's Russian embassy in gay colours.

Drunken elk gang flees Stockholm cops
Sweden

Drunken elk gang flees Stockholm cops

A gang of angry drunken elk barred a man from entering his home in suburban Stockholm on Tuesday, leaving the frightened homeowner no choice but to call police for help.

Swedish researchers confirm new element
Sweden

Swedish researchers confirm new element

Researchers from Lund University in southern Sweden have confirmed the existence of an element - the 115th on the periodic table - which is "super-heavy" and still nameless.

‘Madrid is ready for Olympics’: NBA’s Gasol
Spain

‘Madrid is ready for Olympics’: NBA’s Gasol

Spain's two-time basketball Olympic silver medalist Pau Gasol will be part of the final presentation team from Madrid's 2020 Olympic Games bid team, it was announced on Tuesday.

Statoil strikes oil offshore Canada
Norway

Statoil strikes oil offshore Canada

Norwegian state oil company Statoil has made a third discovery off Newfoundland, raising hopes that the area could become a major new province for the company.

Asbestos forces firms from Tour Montparnasse
France

Asbestos forces firms from Tour Montparnasse

The Tour Montparnasse, the most famous skyscraper in the French capital, has been hit by new asbestos fears with workers having to be evacuated and companies deserting its office space.

Spanish mayor posts ‘Gibraltar invasion pic’
Spain

Spanish mayor posts ‘Gibraltar invasion pic’

A Spanish mayor has stirred up the Gibraltar affair after posting on his Facebook profile a photoshopped image of Spanish troops and planes invading the diminutive British territory.

Outcry over arrest of German ‘book thief’
Italy

Outcry over arrest of German ‘book thief’

Staff at a German auction house have reacted with shock over the "preposterous" arrest of their director, who is accused of stealing hundreds of precious volumes, some of which date back to the sixth century, from one of Italy's most treasured libraries.

Football fan robs bank
Italy

Football fan robs bank

A Juventus supporter stole thousands of euros from a bank in Puglia after telling his wife he was off to a football match.

World War II bomb injures French beachgoer
France

World War II bomb injures French beachgoer

A holiday-maker in south-western France got an unexpected ‘blast from the past’ this week, after a bomb dating from World War II detonated and left him with burns to his body.

VIDEO: What Norway’s parties can do for you
Norway

VIDEO: What Norway’s parties can do for you

The Local's Richard Orange gets activists from the three main parties to say what they could do for foreigners living and working in the country (although, unless you're a Norwegian citizen, you won't actually be able to vote).

Child and four adults killed in plane crash
Germany

Child and four adults killed in plane crash

A child and four adults died in a light aircraft crash in western Germany on Tuesday afternoon. Three other children survived the accident.

Spain’s 2012 growth figures revised down
Spain

Spain’s 2012 growth figures revised down

Spain's economy performed more poorly in 2012 than previously reported with the country's national statistics institute (the INE) revising down its gross domestic product (GDP) growth figure to –1.6 percent.

Norwegian 14-year-old trapped in Gaza
Norway

Norwegian 14-year-old trapped in Gaza

A 14-year-old Norwegian girl trapped in the Gaza strip has surprised foreign minister Espen Barth Eide on his visit to the region, begging him to lobby Israel to let her return home.

Jobless to shovel snow and chop wood
Norway

Jobless to shovel snow and chop wood

Norway's Conservatives plan to make those receiving welfare payments do menial jobs like shovelling snow, chopping wood, and collecting rubbish, under a new plan to make the jobless work for their money.

Finance minister: ‘Don’t ask us for more money’
Germany

Finance minister: ‘Don’t ask us for more money’

Germany's finance minister said on Tuesday that in a "strong" Europe every country must do its "duty" and not ask its partners to stump up more money.

Unemployment in France continues to rise
France

Unemployment in France continues to rise

The number of jobseekers in France rose for the 27th consecutive month in July to reach a new record, but the Socialist government described the moderate 0.2 percent increase on the previous month as "encouraging".

Half of German women unhappy with inequality
Germany

Half of German women unhappy with inequality

Over half of German women are unhappy with the level of gender equality in their country, a survey released on Tuesday revealed.

‘I auditioned to be Tom Cruise’s wife’
Norway

‘I auditioned to be Tom Cruise’s wife’

A Norwegian former member of the Church of Scientology cult has claimed that she auditioned to become the new wife of Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise.

Pension reform: Firms and workers to pay more
France

Pension reform: Firms and workers to pay more

The French Prime Minister put an end to all the speculation on Tuesday when he unveiled his long-awaited programme to reform the country's debt-ridden pension system. The announcement is unlikely to go down well with many unions.

Court orders France to lift Mercedes ban
Germany

Court orders France to lift Mercedes ban

German car manufacturer Mercedes was celebrating on Tueday after France's top administrative court overruled a contentious government decision to ban the sale of some top-end models on environmental grounds.

Renaissance ‘ideal city’ inspires in Tuscany
Italy

Renaissance ‘ideal city’ inspires in Tuscany

An "ideal city" inspired by Renaissance humanism off the beaten track in the Tuscan hills is finding new fans with 15th century urban planning that still appeals to today's city dwellers.

Stars land in Venice for fiendish film fest
Italy

Stars land in Venice for fiendish film fest

The Venice film festival kicks off Wednesday with the arrival of movie stars on water taxis for a dark line-up flush with fiendish tales of abuse, betrayal and survival.

Top ten: Tips to surviving Swedish day care
Sweden

Top ten: Tips to surviving Swedish day care

Day care, (dagis in Swedish), can be a minefield of tears, tantrums, and transformations - and that's just the parents. The Local's Patrick Reilly draws on his own experience as a father to provide the top ten tips to surviving.

Whyred’s boys battle with an identity crisis
Sweden

Whyred’s boys battle with an identity crisis

Whyred's love of contrasts was evident on Tuesday, not in the differences between men and women – as the collection was, as to be expected, largely androgynous – but in a smart vs. casual approach for the boys with undertones youth discontent.

Swedish man charged for honking at mosque
Sweden

Swedish man charged for honking at mosque

Swedish prosecutors have decided to charge a 22-year-old man for honking his horn outside the Fittja mosque in Stockholm, citing his intention to disturb the Muslim congregation.

Swedes buy US cancer research firm
Sweden

Swedes buy US cancer research firm

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday that it has agreed to buy US-based cancer drugs company Amplimmune, as the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals group seeks to bolster its flagging pipeline of new products.

Czechs and Swiss boost hope for Swedish Gripen
Sweden

Czechs and Swiss boost hope for Swedish Gripen

The interim Czech government said it plans to renew its lease of JAS Gripen fighter jets, while a parliamentary committee in Switzerland said yes to a proposed 23 billion kronor ($3.5 billion) purchase of the Swedish-made warplanes.