Federer eases into US Open third round
Switzerland

Federer eases into US Open third round

Switzerland's Roger Federer breezed past Argentina's Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday, taking another step closer to a first-ever US Open tennis showdown with long-time rival Rafael Nadal.

Bolt surges to victory at Zurich track meet
Switzerland

Bolt surges to victory at Zurich track meet

Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt eased to yet another comfortable 100-metre victory at the Diamond League meet in Zurich on Thursday.

Yahoo to close its Lake Geneva offices in 2014
Switzerland

Yahoo to close its Lake Geneva offices in 2014

Less than five years after moving its European headquarters to Switzerland from the UK, Yahoo is relocating the operations back to London and Ireland, the American internet company confirmed on Thursday.

Sweden scrapes into global health top ten
Sweden

Sweden scrapes into global health top ten

Sweden has the world's tenth most efficient health care, according to a new study. While trailing several European neighbours, the average Swede can still expect to outlive an American by three years.

Swiss police clock rally driver at 195km/h
Switzerland

Swiss police clock rally driver at 195km/h

Geneva police nabbed a 42-year-old motorist driving a Ferrari in the Cannonball 2000 sports car rally for speeding at 195 kilometres an hour on the A-1 Motorway, the cantonal force said on Thursday.

Majority of French oppose Syria intervention
France

Majority of French oppose Syria intervention

France has already dispatched a warship and President Francois Hollande is talking tough about "punishing" Bashar al-Assad over a chemical weapons attack, but a poll on Thursday revealed the majority of French oppose military action by its armed forces.

Swiss uncover why ex-smokers gain weight
Switzerland

Swiss uncover why ex-smokers gain weight

Nervous nibbles alone do not explain the weight that people tend to gain when they give up smoking, Swiss researchers said Thursday, turning the spotlight instead on a bacterial shift in the intestines.

George Clooney: the treasure of Laglio
Italy

George Clooney: the treasure of Laglio

Actor George Clooney fell for Italy and the locals fell for him when he bought a villa in Laglio, on Lake Como, so much so he was made an honorary citizen. As he attends the Venice film festival this week, The Local takes a closer look at his love affair with Italy.

Obesity could be caused by bacteria: French study
France

Obesity could be caused by bacteria: French study

Is obesity caused by something other than the common explanations of a bad diet and lack of excercise? According to a new study carried out in France the probelem could be linked to levels of bacteria in the gut.

Father kills son during family row
Italy

Father kills son during family row

A domestic argument ended in tragedy when a father killed in son, leaving his daughter to find the body.

‘Spain’s brain drain is no empty cliché’
Spain

‘Spain’s brain drain is no empty cliché’

She's the outspoken astrophysicist who became the voice of Spain's 'brain drain' when she wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy recently. Meet Amaya Moro Martín, our Spanish Face of the Week.

Socialist golden girl takes US timeout
Spain

Socialist golden girl takes US timeout

Spain's struggling opposition socialist PSOE has been dealt a further blow with key MP Carme Chacón giving up her seat in Parliament to go and teach in the United States for a year.

‘Berlusconi was no victim’: judges
Italy

‘Berlusconi was no victim’: judges

Judges from Italy's supreme court who upheld a tax fraud sentence against Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday that the billionaire former prime minister was no innocent victim as his defence had claimed.

French court rejects Mont-St-Michel wind farm
France

French court rejects Mont-St-Michel wind farm

A French court has ruled against a decision to set up a wind farm off the picturesque northern abbey island of Mont Saint Michel which could threaten the site's UNESCO World Heritage status, a lawyer said on Thursday.

Seal escapes, hangs out with swans
Germany

Seal escapes, hangs out with swans

A young seal has become a special attraction at a German zoo - she's escaped from her enclosure and is hanging out in the swan lake. She's been there for three weeks, happily eating fish left out for her, but refusing to be caught.

Timeline of the Swedish mafia murders
Sweden

Timeline of the Swedish mafia murders

A turf war over gambling in Södertälje fomented gang rivalry, a drive-by shooting, one murder, plus a double homicide of two brothers - one a local football star. As Bernard Khouri is jailed for life, The Local draws up a timeline of the Swedish mafia war that terrorized the town of Södertälje.

Spain’s medical system in rude health: Study
Spain

Spain’s medical system in rude health: Study

Spain crisis-hit health care system has been named number one in Europe for spending efficiency by financial news giant Bloomberg.

Priest must pay €700,000 over alleged child abuse
Italy

Priest must pay €700,000 over alleged child abuse

An Italian court has ordered a priest and his parish to pay €700,000 compensation after he allegedly spent years sexually abusing a girl. The ruling has been hailed as a first of its kind in Italy by the family’s lawyer.

Top Ten: Troubles expats have with French lovers
France

Top Ten: Troubles expats have with French lovers

The French are known for being romantic, seductive and sexy, so it’s no wonder so many expats seek “l'amour” in France. But having a French lover is not always plain sailing, as our expat readers will tell you in this list of Top Ten complaints about having a French partner.

The comedian who will quiz Merkel and her rival
Germany

The comedian who will quiz Merkel and her rival

Comedian, TV mogul and political interviewer, Stefan Raab will be one of four hosts of Sunday's debate between Angela Merkel and her challenger Peer Steinbrück. The country's most famous former butcher is our German of the week.

MAXXI museum goes global with new boss
Italy

MAXXI museum goes global with new boss

Rome's MAXXI art museum said on Thursday it wanted a bigger role on the world stage with the appointment of its new Chinese-born artistic director Hou Hanru.

Paris bans anti-gay marriage ‘pilgrims’ demo
France

Paris bans anti-gay marriage ‘pilgrims’ demo

A group of anti-gay marriage ‘pilgrims’ have been barred from gathering in Paris this weekend. Police claim they were forced to resort to social networks to discover the group's plans. ‘The Watchmen’ have vowed to assemble anyway.

US tax deal hits results at Liechtenstein bank
Switzerland

US tax deal hits results at Liechtenstein bank

Liechtenstein's oldest bank revealed on Thursday the damage to profits from a deal to pay millions of dollars to settle a dispute over its alleged role in helping clients dodge US taxes.

Topless Berlin feminists protest Ukraine raids
Germany

Topless Berlin feminists protest Ukraine raids

Half-naked feminists took to the streets of Berlin on Thursday morning to protest outside the Ukrainian embassy.

Life in prison for Swedish mafia kingpin
Sweden

Life in prison for Swedish mafia kingpin

The head of Södertälje's organized crime "Network" was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, concluding the high-profile retrial that puts an end to one of Sweden's largest ever police investigations.

Spanish police arrest British sex offender
Spain

Spanish police arrest British sex offender

Spanish police said on Thursday they had arrested an 82-year-old man who fled Britain after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault and three of sexual activity with a child.

A young Swedish Muslim inspired by Wallenberg
Sweden

A young Swedish Muslim inspired by Wallenberg

Siavosh Derakhti, a young Muslim from Malmö who has emerged as a leading figure in the fight against anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Sweden, picked up the first-ever Raoul Wallenberg Prize on Tuesday, making him our choice for Swede of the Week.

Spanish town: ‘We need Gibraltarians’ money’
Spain

Spanish town: ‘We need Gibraltarians’ money’

The town hall of La Línea, the Spanish municipality closest to Gibraltar, has set up a citizens' advice office for businessmen and shop owners who are losing money as a result of the ongoing dispute.

Wary Spain waits on Syria stance
Spain

Wary Spain waits on Syria stance

The Spanish Government is playing a game of wait and see on Syria but a top official hinted on Thursday that the country was likely to line up with its allies in the event of a military intervention in the war-torn country.

‘Putin in nightie’ artist seeks asylum in France
France

‘Putin in nightie’ artist seeks asylum in France

An artist who painted Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev in women's underwear has fled to Paris where he is applying for politican asylum from France, he claimed on Thursday.

‘Södertälje mafia was a clan system’
Sweden

‘Södertälje mafia was a clan system’

As Södertälje's alleged mafia kingpin was jailed for life on Thursday, local authorities say police and social services have the recipe to fend off organized crime's re-establishment in the town.

Merkel warms to Syria action, Germans say no
Germany

Merkel warms to Syria action, Germans say no

UPDATE: A poll on Thursday showed Germans were against military intervention in Syria - as the government sought to tread a fine line between punishing the country's leadership for last week's gas attack and seeking a peaceful resolution.

Ex-Berlusconi MP arrested in Dubai
Italy

Ex-Berlusconi MP arrested in Dubai

Dubai police have arrested a former member of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italy party.

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France

Physio sues Nintendo for €20m over Wii Fit

Back in 1985, physiotherapist Nicole Walthert invented an exercise platform. So when Nintendo released its Wii Fit console, 23 years later, complete with a balance board, she was given "a shock". Now aged 75, she is suing the company for €20 million in damages for an alleged breach of patent.

Foreigners often escape German speeding fines
Germany

Foreigners often escape German speeding fines

Some of the best ways to escape speeding fines in Germany include driving a foreign car, living abroad and having an odd address. Figures from Hamburg show foreigners often get away scot free.

Photo of the day: Eiffel Tower hit by flashmob
France

Photo of the day: Eiffel Tower hit by flashmob

Hundreds of people descended on the Champs-de-Mars by the Eiffel Tower on Wednesday night as part of a huge flash mob. Find out what it was all in aid of.

Ryanair CEO blasts ‘nonsense’ labour claims
Sweden

Ryanair CEO blasts ‘nonsense’ labour claims

In Stockholm, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary on Thursday dismissed complaints from pilots about poor working conditions at the budget airline, as a new report emerged listing Ryanair as the worst in Sweden at repaying disgruntled customers.

Critics slam foreigner fee at Barcelona’s Park Güell
Spain

Critics slam foreigner fee at Barcelona’s Park Güell

Tourists at Barcelona's emblematic Parc Güell will have to pay an €8 ticket fee to gain access to the monumental area where most of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí's work is found.

Caring car thief strikes in Tromsø
Norway

Caring car thief strikes in Tromsø

A thief in Harstad, near Tromsø, stripped a set of brand new tyres from a car, only to replace them with worn, but still functional tyres, presumably to make sure the owner could still drive home.

Gallery: Volvo’s new model gets ’emotional’
Sweden

Gallery: Volvo’s new model gets ’emotional’

Volvo has revealed its latest model, boasting a touch-screen music streaming service and a sleek new look the company claims offers a "contemporary design with a Swedish twist".

Second brother dies after Indonesia booze night
Germany

Second brother dies after Indonesia booze night

A second German tourist has died following a drinking session in Indonesia – more than a week after his brother also died. But despite suggestions their booze could have been toxic bootleg, local police say they will not investigate.

‘Sweden’s defence crisis isn’t Russia’s fault’
Sweden

‘Sweden’s defence crisis isn’t Russia’s fault’

Swedish defence policy suffers from a deep credibility crisis that has nothing to do with Russia, argues Uppsala University professor Stefan Hedlund, in response to reactions to a previous op-ed about Russia and the Swedish military.

Zurich Insurance chair resigns after CFO’s death
Switzerland

Zurich Insurance chair resigns after CFO’s death

Zurich Insurance Group said on Thursday its chairman had resigned with immediate effect following the suspected suicide death of the company's financial chief this week.

Government slams door on ‘Facebook fascists’
Spain

Government slams door on ‘Facebook fascists’

Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) will kick out members who display fascist symbols or perform nazi-style salutes, the party announced on Wednesday.

Wawrinka rebounds to advance at US Open
Switzerland

Wawrinka rebounds to advance at US Open

Swiss tennis star Stanislas Wawrinka got off to a nervous start in the US Open on Wednesday but succeeded in fending off a challenge from Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in three sets.

Deutsche Telekom ‘weak link’ for UK spies
Germany

Deutsche Telekom ‘weak link’ for UK spies

British secret services have been tapping into German telecommunication cables, giving them wider access to internet connections across Germany than previously thought, a newspaper reported on Wednesday night.

Coming soon: an H&M store in South Africa
Sweden

Coming soon: an H&M store in South Africa

Swedish cheap'n'chic fashion giant H&M will open its first store in South Africa in 2015, its first foray into sub-Saharan Africa, the company announced on Thursday.

Fake underage sex ad draws in 100 responses
Sweden

Fake underage sex ad draws in 100 responses

Over one hundred people responded when a Swedish radio station published a fake ad from a 14-year-old Swedish girl called Emma offering sexual services in exchange for money.

Bergen police hunt arsonist behind 14 fires
Norway

Bergen police hunt arsonist behind 14 fires

Bergen police are hunting the mystery arsonist behind 14 separate fires which were lit in the city on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

France makes it easier to become French
France

France makes it easier to become French

Vive la France! Despite the talk about the French wanting to quit France it appears to be a popular country after all. After announcing a 14 percent rise in people gaining French nationality, the government wants to make it even easier.

Bishop furious over scantily-clad women
Italy

Bishop furious over scantily-clad women

A Bishop is up in arms after a group of women in skimpy outfits paraded behind a Cathedral in Abruzzo.

Norwegian inmate took own life: Congo
Norway

Norwegian inmate took own life: Congo

Tjostolv Moland, the Norwegian found dead in his cell in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most likely committed suicide, an investigation by Congolese authorities has concluded.

Madrid hails export-led recession ease-up
Spain

Madrid hails export-led recession ease-up

Spain's two-year, job-wrecking recession eased in the second quarter of 2013, official data showed on Thursday, as Madrid anticipated an imminent, export-powered end to the downturn.

German firms ditch umlauts for global trade
Germany

German firms ditch umlauts for global trade

German companies may punch above their weight in the world economy, but their names are often impossible to export globally - and they are ditching their umlauts to fit in.

Government makes 1,700 Facebook data requests
Italy

Government makes 1,700 Facebook data requests

The Italian government made more than 1,700 requests to Facebook in the first six months of the year to get information about users of the social network.

Barça clinch Super Cup on away goals
Spain

Barça clinch Super Cup on away goals

Barcelona lifted the first silverware of the Spanish season on away goals after a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in the second-leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday night.

‘Vote Labour,’ says jailed Islamist Mullah Krekar
Norway

‘Vote Labour,’ says jailed Islamist Mullah Krekar

Norway's most notorious Islamic militant has told supporters to back Norway's Labour Party in the coming election, in what must rank as one of the most unwelcome endorsements in the country's political history.

French Navy ‘sends warship towards Syria’
France

French Navy ‘sends warship towards Syria’

An anti-aircraft frigate from the French Navy was dispatched in the direction of Syria on Thursday morning according to reports as the West appears to be preparing for a military strike against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Tiger wants Swedish men to wear skirts
Sweden

Tiger wants Swedish men to wear skirts

The crowds inside and out were a tell-tale sign this was a biggie. The line-up's last and streamed live, Tiger served up a bit of Scottish punk. Feeling that autumn chill? One of Sweden’s most established of brands ensured a packed-out, hot and sweaty tent.

Italy clinches tax deal to halt cabinet collapse
Italy

Italy clinches tax deal to halt cabinet collapse

Italy's bickering coalition clinched a deal on Wednesday to scrap an unpopular property tax, staving off the prospect of a government collapse under pressure from Silvio Berlusconi.

Norway will not back Syria strikes without UN
Norway

Norway will not back Syria strikes without UN

Nato-member Norway has ruled out taking part in any attack on Syria unless it is backed by a mandate from the United Nations.

Teen love-bites no big deal says top court
Germany

Teen love-bites no big deal says top court

A teenager has successfully persuaded Germany's highest court to slap down a judge who said he should be put on the national sex offenders register - because he groped his teenage girlfriend and left a love-bite on her neck.

Italy takes back seat on Syria
Italy

Italy takes back seat on Syria

The launch pad for the bombing of Libya, Italy is now marking itself out from key allies with a stand against participation in military action in Syria.

France set for another poor wine harvest
France

France set for another poor wine harvest

For most people in France the miserable cold and wet spring is a just a distant memory thanks to the return of the sun in July and August. But it is still a source of frustration for the country's wine growers who are facing one of the worst harvests in decades.

Principal sacked at elite Swedish boarding school
Sweden

Principal sacked at elite Swedish boarding school

The principal of the elite Swedish boarding school Lundsbergs was sacked on Wednesday night and school's entire board resigned in the latest fallout following a hazing scandal in which two students were burned with irons at the weekend.

Norwegian Neo-Nazi faces expulsion
Norway

Norwegian Neo-Nazi faces expulsion

The Norwegian neo-Nazi who was arrested in July on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, could face expulsion from France on charges of inciting racial hatred and glorifying war crimes, French magistrates said on Wednesday.

Pilots: Five German airports not safe enough
Germany

Pilots: Five German airports not safe enough

Five of Germany's 29 main airports have "serious safety defects", the country's pilot union said on Wednesday. Among the worst offenders were Weeze, near the Dutch border, and Memmingen near Munich.

Skype marks a decade of shrinking the world
Sweden

Skype marks a decade of shrinking the world

Skype, the internet messaging service co-founded by Swedish IT entrepreneur Niklas Zennström, has shrunk the world in ways few people anticipated, evolving into an essential part of life for those who live far away from family and friends.

Skanska dragged into builder blacklist case
Sweden

Skanska dragged into builder blacklist case

Swedish construction firm Skanska has been named in the builder blacklist scandal currently making its way through the British courts, with disgruntled builders demanding compensation after being denied jobs due to union affiliations.