Ten-year-old enrols in Zurich university course
Switzerland

Ten-year-old enrols in Zurich university course

A ten-year-old boy who passed a Swiss final high school maths exam for fun is taking a special course in the subject at prestigious Zurich University, the institution said on Wednesday.

Switzerland tops new ‘human capital index’
Switzerland

Switzerland tops new ‘human capital index’

The Swiss rank number one on a new list created by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum that measures the talent, skills and capabilities of populations across the globe.

French universities slump in global rankings
France

French universities slump in global rankings

The annual league table of the world’s best universities published on Wednesday does not make positive reading for France with its most prestigious institutions dropping down the rankings. It has been suggested the English language is to blame for the slump.

ETH Zurich remains in top 20 universities list
Switzerland

ETH Zurich remains in top 20 universities list

Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) slipped in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) world university rankings but it remained the only institution in the top 20 from continental Europe.

French recruiters seek expats at Paris job fair
France

French recruiters seek expats at Paris job fair

Anyone within reach of Paris and in need of work could do worse than heading down to Place de la Concorde on Thursday and Friday, where 2,000 top recruiters will be taking CVs as part of the annual Paris Pour Emploi job fair. There are 15,000 jobs up for grabs.

‘Women drive worse than men’: Spanish judge
Spain

‘Women drive worse than men’: Spanish judge

A Spanish judge has got himself into hot water after he said a driving school was within its rights to charge female learners more than their male counterparts.

Is now the end for Berlusconi?
Italy

Is now the end for Berlusconi?

Silvio Berlusconi's future looked bleak on Wednesday after an internal party backlash forced the former prime minister to back away from a bid to bring down the coalition government of prime minister Enrico Letta.

Israeli minister slams Jews moving to Berlin
Germany

Israeli minister slams Jews moving to Berlin

Israel's finance minister came under fire this week for criticizing Israelis who leave their country, particularly for Germany, in search of cheaper living costs.

Hollande pulls ministers into line after Roma row
France

Hollande pulls ministers into line after Roma row

French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday called his squabbling ministers to order but failed to heal a damaging government rift over the treatment of Roma migrants.

IOC receives Armstrong’s tarnished bronze medal
Switzerland

IOC receives Armstrong’s tarnished bronze medal

The International Olympic Committee said Wednesday it had disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's 2000 bronze medal in its possession, 10 months after demanding that he give it back.

Anarchists blamed in Spain cathedral bombing
Spain

Anarchists blamed in Spain cathedral bombing

Police suspect left-wing activists planted a small bomb which exploded in Spain's Zaragoza Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon.

Which famous French sportsman revealed all?
France

Which famous French sportsman revealed all?

It's an annual tradition: A load of French sportsmen strip off and dirty themselves up while a photographer snaps away. The result is the 'Gods of Stade Francais' calendar, whose proceeds go to charity. The 2014 installment includes someone familiar to people in the UK. So, whose bum is this, anyway?

Green Party warms up to Merkel coalition
Germany

Green Party warms up to Merkel coalition

Germany’s Green Party appears to be warming to the idea of joining Angela Merkel in government with its leaders giving off signals that the ecological party would welcome a return to the corridors of power.

Israel tight lipped about Swedish teen’s detention
Sweden

Israel tight lipped about Swedish teen’s detention

A Swedish boy detained on the West Bank last week has still not been allowed to meet with Swedish embassy officials, with Israeli authorities stating only that the 17-year-old is being held over terrorism suspicions.

Coq-walking Paris artist: ‘I’m totally normal’
France

Coq-walking Paris artist: ‘I’m totally normal’

South African artist Steven Cohen caused a stir near the Eiffel Tower when he performed with a rooster tied to his penis by a ribbon. Here he tells The Local about the pain of being an expat in France, the symbolism of the coq, and why he’s actually "totally normal".

Letta sweeps up votes after Berlusconi U-turn
Italy

Letta sweeps up votes after Berlusconi U-turn

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote with a crushing majority after his challenger Silvio Berlusconi abandoned his bid to topple the government in a stunning about-turn.

VIDEO: Baby deer believes it is a sheep
Norway

VIDEO: Baby deer believes it is a sheep

A ewe in Norway's Årdal mountains has adopted a baby deer so that it now behaves as a member of the flock.

TV show mocks Italian MPs’ English
Italy

TV show mocks Italian MPs’ English

An Italian TV comedy show has had that last laugh over the poor level of English of MPs in a lighthearted bid to highlight public spending - reported to be more than €400,000 - on their language lessons.

Ryanair told to pay €9m damages by French court
France

Ryanair told to pay €9m damages by French court

A French court hit Ryanair with a €200,000 fine on Wednesday for breaches of French labour laws, and ordered the Irish airline to pay €9 million in damages, but ruled against confiscating four aircraft, despite the demands of prosecutors.

‘Garlic and raisins prevent premature births’
Sweden

‘Garlic and raisins prevent premature births’

Women who eat a lot of garlic at the start of their pregnancy are less likely to give birth prematurely, a finding that has Swedish researchers scratching their heads and getting ready to find out why.

Flower puts billion kroner road at risk
Norway

Flower puts billion kroner road at risk

The discovery of a protected yellow flower risks delaying or even diverting a new 900 million kroner ($150m) road in the far north of Norway.

Sheikh’s illegally parked car ‘too big to tow’
Spain

Sheikh’s illegally parked car ‘too big to tow’

An Arab sheikh who parked his massive car in a public square in front of the town hall of the Spanish city of Valencia has escaped punishment because the vehicle was too large to be towed away.

Berlusconi abandons bid to topple government
Italy

Berlusconi abandons bid to topple government

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday abandoned his bid to topple Prime Minister Enrico Letta, saying he would vote to support the government in a humiliating climbdown after key allies rebelled.

Germany ‘regrets’ US government shutdown
Germany

Germany ‘regrets’ US government shutdown

Germany said on Wednesday it "regrets" the shutdown of the US government, but said that the economic impact should remain limited if deadlock ended within two weeks.

Nuke plant back online after jellyfish foul-up
Sweden

Nuke plant back online after jellyfish foul-up

A Swedish nuclear reactor was restarted on Wednesday following a three-day closure caused by a build-up of jellyfish in a cooling system, according to the operators.

VIDEO: Norway man’s naked stunt goes viral
Norway

VIDEO: Norway man’s naked stunt goes viral

A 23-year-old Norwegian has received more than a million views on YouTube after posting a video featuring him walking stark naked around Oslo, approaching girls at random, and asking them out on for a date.

‘France is treating wine makers like drug dealers’
France

‘France is treating wine makers like drug dealers’

A French government plan to include reinforced health warnings for wine has gone down the wrong way with the country's wine industry chiefs. The head of the Bordeaux wine association tells The Local why the government's plan is akin to treating them like "drug dealers".

‘Taxes in Italy are on a par with Sweden’
Italy

‘Taxes in Italy are on a par with Sweden’

So you've found your dream job in Italy, only to discover that you'll be paying as much tax as your Swedish counterparts but without the services to match. Gareth Horsfall, a financial planner at Spectrum IFA Group in Rome, talks us through Italy's complex tax system.

Top ten things Germans find odd about Britain
Germany

Top ten things Germans find odd about Britain

In this week's Local List we have tracked down ten things Germans find odd about Britain.

Calabrian mayor resigns after ‘mafia pressure’
Italy

Calabrian mayor resigns after ‘mafia pressure’

A Calabrian mayor has resigned after claiming his car was destroyed by local mafia in a campaign of intimidation against him.

‘Golden handshake’ vote divides Swedish MPs
Sweden

‘Golden handshake’ vote divides Swedish MPs

An unusual cross-bloc alliance emerged in Sweden's Riksdag on Wednesday in a vote on controversial changes to the generous severance pay packages offered to MPs when they leave parliament.

St. Gallen tackles upset winners Swansea
Switzerland

St. Gallen tackles upset winners Swansea

Welsh football team Swansea City will be looking to build on their stunning win at Valencia when they host Swiss side St. Gallen on matchday two of the Europa League group stage at the Liberty Stadium on Thursday.

Italy’s buffaloes treated to ‘jazz and massage’
Italy

Italy’s buffaloes treated to ‘jazz and massage’

A queue forms for rub-downs as jazz piano tinkles out of the speakers: some of the best buffalo mozzarella in the world starts with in-stable VIP treatment.

Eight healthy tips for surviving Swedish winter
Sweden

Eight healthy tips for surviving Swedish winter

Winter in Sweden is around the corner and it's time to start planning accordingly, advises Stockholm nutritionist and New Zealand native Kate Nordin, who offers up her top eight tips for keeping fit and avoiding winter fatigue.

Germany lowers 2013 public deficit forecast
Germany

Germany lowers 2013 public deficit forecast

Germany on Wednesday gave an upbeat forecast for its public deficit this year, with the finance ministry saying it would hit 0.2 percent of gross domestic product.

Greenpeace disrupts Basel football match
Switzerland

Greenpeace disrupts Basel football match

Twenty-three people were injured amid clashes between supporters on the sidelines of a Champions League match in Basel interrupted by a Greenpeace protest, police said on Wednesday.

Catalans mail Obama new bedside reading
Spain

Catalans mail Obama new bedside reading

Ten thousand "influential people", from global celebrities like Lady Gaga and Brad Pitt to world leaders like Barack Obama and Kim-Jong Un, are to receive a copy of a book about why Catalonia should be independent.

France set to catch up on online uni courses
France

France set to catch up on online uni courses

France is set to enter the world of online university courses on Wednesday, when the minister for higher education launches the ‘France Digital University’ project. French colleges are playing catch-up with their US counterparts, 80 percent of whom offer classes online.

Pregnant Brit dies in Spain airport tragedy
Spain

Pregnant Brit dies in Spain airport tragedy

A 21-year-old pregnant British woman died suddenly at Spain's Girona–Costa Brava Airport on Tuesday in an incident that could lead to charges after it emerged the airport's medical centre was shut down in 2012.

Bomb scare prompts Malmö school evacuation
Sweden

Bomb scare prompts Malmö school evacuation

Police evacuated two preschools in Malmö on Wednesday morning as a bomb squad moved in to examine a suspicious package, setting up a no-go zone with a 200 metre radius.

Cyberbully suspect denies child sex crimes
Sweden

Cyberbully suspect denies child sex crimes

The trial started on Wednesday of a 45-year-old man suspected of driving a 13-year-old girl to suicide by threatening to publish sex acts he allegedly made her perform online. He faces multiple child sex charges.

Transport chief: Charge foreigners on autobahns
Germany

Transport chief: Charge foreigners on autobahns

Germany’s transport minister threw his support behind a plan on Tuesday to charge foreigners to use the country's motorways. It would, he said, help fill a €7.2 billion blackhole in the transport budget.

Wolves kill flock of sheep near Berlin
Germany

Wolves kill flock of sheep near Berlin

Wolves killed five sheep at a farm south west of Berlin after sneaking through an electric fence, it was confirmed Wednesday, in a sign that the animals are becoming more active in the countryside around the capital.

Jobless queues grow after summer work boom
Spain

Jobless queues grow after summer work boom

Spain's jobless queues grew in September as a summer jobs boom ended, breaking a six-month run of shrinking unemployment lines, government figures showed on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Submarine stunt baffles Milan
Italy

VIDEO: Submarine stunt baffles Milan

Tourists and residents alike in central Milan got a shock on Tuesday morning when a giant submarine appeared to break through the paving stones just metres away from the iconic Duomo cathedral.

Population of France to pass 70 million by 2050
France

Population of France to pass 70 million by 2050

The population of mainland France will reach 72 million by 2050, according to a French study published on Wednesday. The report (see below) also found that the total global population will shoot up from 7.1 billion today, to 10 or 11 billion by the end of the century.

Honour-killing film wins Norway’s second Emmy
Norway

Honour-killing film wins Norway’s second Emmy

Film-maker Deeyah Khan won Norway's second ever Emmy on Tuesday night for Banaz, her documentary about the honour killing of a Kurdish-British girl.

PSG gear up for Benfica as Marseille humbled
France

PSG gear up for Benfica as Marseille humbled

PSG take on Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic insisting the French club should be considered as potential winers of the competition. The same cannot be said for Marseille, who were well-beaten by Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Barça edge past ten-man Celtic
Spain

Barça edge past ten-man Celtic

Barcelona needed a second-half goal from Cesc Fabregas to claim a narrow 1-0 Champions League win over ten-man Celtic in Glasgow on Tuesday that leaves the Catalans top of Group H.

Surge in weapons seizures down to toy
Norway

Surge in weapons seizures down to toy

A seemingly alarming surge in seizures of illegal weapons in Norway has been attributed to a single delivery of high-end toy catapults.

‘We won’t renounce our struggle’: Eta leaders
Spain

‘We won’t renounce our struggle’: Eta leaders

Hundreds of people protested in Bilbao in northern Spain on Tuesday against the arrest a day earlier of 18 leaders of an association that aids jailed members of the armed Basque separatist group Eta.

New Zealander pays €2.9m for Italian island
Italy

New Zealander pays €2.9m for Italian island

A businessman from New Zealand has paid €2.94 million for Budelli island, considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, following an auction process after the previous owner went bankrupt.

New gov  will increase use of ‘asylum prisons’
Norway

New gov will increase use of ‘asylum prisons’

One of the Norway's leading immigrant-rights campaigners has warned that Norway's incoming two-party coalition could sharply increase the use of "asylum prisons".

US shutdown ‘could hinder French recovery’
France

US shutdown ‘could hinder French recovery’

France's finance minister expressed concern on Wednesday that the US government shutdown could slow down the French economic recovery. Meanwhile US war cemeteries in France have been forced to close to visitors due to the deadlock in Washington DC but the embassy remains open as usual.

German clubs win in Champions League
Germany

German clubs win in Champions League

German clubs flourished in the Champions League on Tuesday night with wins for Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

Explosion kills three miners, four rescued
Germany

Explosion kills three miners, four rescued

UPDATE: Three people are dead after a carbon dioxide explosion at a mine in central Germany trapped seven miners on Tuesday afternoon.

Letta tipped to defeat Berlusconi challenge
Italy

Letta tipped to defeat Berlusconi challenge

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta is tipped to win a nail-biting parliamentary confidence vote Wednesday which would deal a major blow to Silvio Berlusconi but could leave Italy more frail than ever.

Sexual assaults double at Munich’s Oktoberfest
Germany

Sexual assaults double at Munich’s Oktoberfest

Police in Munich have reported 12 cases of sexual assault at this year's Oktoberfest so far – double the amount at the same time last year.

Swedish midwives cut health care costs
Sweden

Swedish midwives cut health care costs

Swedish midwives monitor women's well-being during pregnancy, keeping costs low by keeping 'test-happy' doctors at bay. Tradition and a strong midwives union have kept them in charge, with Sweden the second best place in the world to give birth.

Budget will force units to disband: military
Sweden

Budget will force units to disband: military

Sweden must decide whether to make its military high-tech or enable it to defend an attack on the country, the commander-in-chief has warned as the Armed Forces submitted a new report about the future of the country's defence to the government.

Swedish shares defy US budget turmoil
Sweden

Swedish shares defy US budget turmoil

The American budget mayhem failed to put a damper on Tuesday's stock prices in Stockholm, but did knock a gust or two out of the sails of Swedish Match, for whom the US is a key and growing market.