Referendum campaign opposes new combat jets
Switzerland

Referendum campaign opposes new combat jets

Left-wing groups on Tuesday officially launched a referendum against the Swiss government’s plan to buy 22 Swedish Gripen fighter planes at a cost of 3.13 billion francs ($3.46 billion).

European court to rule on denial of aided suicide
Switzerland

European court to rule on denial of aided suicide

The top chamber of the European rights court will rule in a case of denial of assisted suicide, it said on Tuesday after a Swiss woman in her 80s complained she could not obtain permission for a lethal dose of a drug to end her life.

Italian searchers find Swiss boy’s missing dad
Switzerland

Italian searchers find Swiss boy’s missing dad

Italian search and rescue officials in flood-stricken Tuscany retrieved the body of a 45-year-old Swiss man on Tuesday, a day after finding that of his six-year-old son, Yannick.

French traffic tsar quits amid fine-dodging claims
France

French traffic tsar quits amid fine-dodging claims

The chief of the French agency that handles traffic violations, nicknamed 'Mr. Speed Camera,' resigned on Tuesday, amid a police investigation into claims he used public funds to pay his own raft of speeding and parking fines.

‘US should back Gibraltar against Spanish bullies’
Spain

‘US should back Gibraltar against Spanish bullies’

Gibraltar on Tuesday called on the United States to use its diplomatic heft to help end a bitter dispute over its sovereignty, accusing Spain of "bullying" the tiny British territory amid a flare-up of tensions.

Europe-wide strike set to hit rail services in France
France

Europe-wide strike set to hit rail services in France

A strike, set to be begin at 7pm on Tuesday, will hit services across France, with delays expected in various areas of the country. Find out how the industrial action, which will continue until 8am Thursday, could affect you.

Spain ‘thrilled’ for Nobel physics prize winners
Spain

Spain ‘thrilled’ for Nobel physics prize winners

Spain's scientific community has been quick to congratulate Peter Higgs and Francois Engler on their receipt of the Nobel Prize in Physics.

‘The dead keep the economy going’
Italy

‘The dead keep the economy going’

Islanders on Europe's southern edge have become used to tragedy and trauma, they see it every day in the thousands of asylum seekers who land on their shores - and they say they have had enough.

Spanish indie band in Mexico virtual kidnapping
Spain

Spanish indie band in Mexico virtual kidnapping

Members of Spanish Indie group Delorean were on tour in Mexico when they became the victims of what’s known as a virtual kidnapping.

Boost for Italy as deficit falls
Italy

Boost for Italy as deficit falls

Italy, struggling to straighten out its finances, cut overspending to 1.0 percent of output in the second quarter, down from 2.2 percent in the same period last year, official data showed on Tuesday.

Minister calls for ‘poverty migrant’ crackdown
Germany

Minister calls for ‘poverty migrant’ crackdown

Germany's interior minister said on Tuesday that Germany should be tougher on “poverty migrants", just days after hundreds of refugees were killed in an accident off the Italian coast.

World’s oldest cinema to reopen in France
France

World’s oldest cinema to reopen in France

The world's oldest movie theatre, where the first films of the pioneering Lumiere brothers were screened in 1899, reopens in a sleepy southern French town on Wednesday after an extensive facelift.

Teacher jailed over porno WhatsApp messages
Spain

Teacher jailed over porno WhatsApp messages

A teacher of English in Madrid has been remanded in custody without bail for sending students pornographic messages using WhatsApp.

French doctors praise EU protection of e-cigarettes
France

French doctors praise EU protection of e-cigarettes

The European Parliament on Tuesday voted against reclassifying electronic cigarettes as medicinal, which would have restricted their sale to pharmacies. A French doctor who led a group of health professionals in supporting e-cigarettes this week, told The Local it was a "wise decision."

Geneva lab celebrates physicists’ Nobel Prize
Switzerland

Geneva lab celebrates physicists’ Nobel Prize

Scientists at the Geneva-based lab that discovered the "God particle" popped champagne Tuesday, ecstatic over the Nobel Physics Prize award for its theoreticians Peter Higgs and François Englert.

France lags behind the class in maths, reading
France

France lags behind the class in maths, reading

France is proving to be a poor student and is lagging behind the rest of the class when it comes to reading and mathematics, according to the findings of a new global study.

‘Skeleton lover’ keeps her bones after court case
Sweden

‘Skeleton lover’ keeps her bones after court case

A 38-year-old woman, who was previously convicted of disturbing the peace of the dead for using human bones for sexual purposes, was cleared of all skeleton-related charges on Tuesday but was sentenced for weapons crimes.

Every sixth German as literate as a ten-year-old
Germany

Every sixth German as literate as a ten-year-old

One in six German adults has the reading age of a ten-year-old, while 13 percent cannot use a computer mouse, according to an international intelligence test released on Tuesday.

EU snuffs it in Swedish snus aroma battle
Sweden

EU snuffs it in Swedish snus aroma battle

Swedes will keep the right to put whatever they choose into their mouth, after European parliamentarians voted to scrap a proposal that would ban flavoured snus - the peculiar Swedish snuff that has spawned many a battle with the union.

Fotografiska to open Shanghai sister gallery
Sweden

Fotografiska to open Shanghai sister gallery

The trend-setting Fotografiska gallery in Stockholm, which opened its doors just three years ago, will have branches in China and the US by 2016. A new co-owner has joined the team for the international expansion.

Baby blues strikes dads as often as mums
Sweden

Baby blues strikes dads as often as mums

As many as one in seven new dads in Stockholm may suffer depression after they become fathers, but with the system geared to identifying struggling mums, male sufferers slip through the cracks, shows new research.

Snoozing Chinese sully Ikea bed sheets
Sweden

Snoozing Chinese sully Ikea bed sheets

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has such a loyal fan-base in China that customers take naps in the exhibition spaces, forcing its employees to change the sheets on a daily basis to keep things fresh.

Spain mulls €21 a day minimum wage freeze
Spain

Spain mulls €21 a day minimum wage freeze

The Spanish Government is looking at freezing its minimum wage — a sum which comes in at just €21.51 ($30) a day.

Human remains found aboard Costa Concordia
Italy

Human remains found aboard Costa Concordia

Italian rescuers have found human remains on the wreck of Italy's Costa Concordia, which are believed to belong to one of two victims who are still missing, the civil protection agency said on Tuesday.

Ten reasons why Paris is better than London
France

Ten reasons why Paris is better than London

Parisians are very proud of their city, so it would have hurt this week when the French capital lost its title as the "Best City in the World" to none other than London. Many readers of The Local were aghast. Here's their top ten reasons why Paris is simply a better city than London.

Higgs and Englert share Nobel physics prize
Sweden

Higgs and Englert share Nobel physics prize

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert for the theory of how particles acquire mass.

Woman on trial for 12m Justin Bieber fraud
Norway

Woman on trial for 12m Justin Bieber fraud

A woman in Norway is being tried for defrauding Justin Bieber fans of nearly twelve million Norwegian kroner ($1.9m) by taking money for concert tickets which she never delivered.

Irish clinch Giro d’Italia for 2014
Italy

Irish clinch Giro d’Italia for 2014

The Giro d'Italia - Italy's answer to the Tour de France - will take an unlikely detour in 2014 by taking in Belfast and Dublin.

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week

This week's property is a lovely family house located in Bromma, just a short commute from Stockholm city.

Berlin Airlift site touted as tech start-up hub
Germany

Berlin Airlift site touted as tech start-up hub

Berlin's iconic Tempelhof airport could become a hub for internet start-ups. The huge buildings have been largely empty since its closure in 2008, and those in the city's growing tech company scene could be the people to fill it.

Sweden beats Norway in all key adult skills: OECD
Norway

Sweden beats Norway in all key adult skills: OECD

Norwegians fall behind Swedes in reading, arithmetic, and computer skills, according to a new OECD survey of countries' adult skills.

‘Germany plays a larger role than people think’
Germany

‘Germany plays a larger role than people think’

With the spotlight this week on Germany’s foreign policy, The Local asks if Europe’s biggest economy should play a greater role in world affairs? Foreign policy expert Professor Walter Russell Mead explains.

Foreigners in Italy hit by tax changes
Italy

Foreigners in Italy hit by tax changes

Foreigners in Italy will be forced to disclose more information about their overseas assets as part of tax rule changes that will also see authorities monitoring transactions more closely.

Hannover finds ‘Gypsy’ schnitzel tasteless
Germany

Hannover finds ‘Gypsy’ schnitzel tasteless

Authorities in the central German city of Hannover reminded canteen staff this week not to use the term "Gypsy schnitzel" on their menus in support of Roma and Sinti groups who are pushing for the word to be banned on food labels.

Bulgaria’s ‘shepherd scammer’ seized in Spain
Spain

Bulgaria’s ‘shepherd scammer’ seized in Spain

A Bulgarian conman who cheated would-be shepherds into paying for non-existent jobs in Australia has been arrested in Spain.

Homeowners hit by jump in French property taxes
France

Homeowners hit by jump in French property taxes

Property taxes, known as "taxes foncières" have rocketed in France in recent years at a rate way above that of salaries, pensions and rents, according to a new report. A landlord's union is demanding that local authorities take action. How badly have you been affected?

Canaletto work returns to abbey after 270 years
Italy

Canaletto work returns to abbey after 270 years

After 270 years, one of the finest works by Giovanni Antonio Canal - better known as Canaletto - is finally returning to the Venetian abbey where it was originally painted at a rare exhibition this November.

AC Milan forced to play in empty stadium
Italy

AC Milan forced to play in empty stadium

AC Milan will play its next game at its San Siro stadium behind closed doors, the Italian football authority ruled on Monday, as punishment for fans' discriminatory chants at the weekend.

Young Swedes swarm Norway labour market
Sweden

Young Swedes swarm Norway labour market

A fifth of all young people working in Oslo are now Swedish, drawn across the border by the promise of higher salaries, show new figures from Oslo University that testify to a twenty-fold increase in young Swedish labour in two decades.

German trade surplus widened in August
Germany

German trade surplus widened in August

Germany's trade surplus widened in August in seasonally-adjusted terms, data published by the federal statistics office Destatis showed on Tuesday.

Spain ‘bottom of class’ in maths and reading
Spain

Spain ‘bottom of class’ in maths and reading

Spaniards between the ages of 16 and 65 have worse maths skills than adults in 22 other OECD member states and also scored the second worst marks for reading comprehension, a new study shows.

A fifth of young workers in Oslo are now Swedish
Norway

A fifth of young workers in Oslo are now Swedish

Swedes drawn across the border by the promise of higher salaries now make up a fifth of all young people working in Oslo, new figures from the University of Oslo's Frisch Centre have shown.

Overall Swiss jobless rate stays unchanged
Switzerland

Overall Swiss jobless rate stays unchanged

The Swiss unemployment rate remained unchanged in September from the previous month at three percent, although the actual number of registered jobless increased slightly, government figures released on Tuesday show.

Spaniards wary on economic growth: Poll
Spain

Spaniards wary on economic growth: Poll

Nearly a third of all Spaniards think the national economy will be in a worse state than now in 12 months time, the latest survey from Spanish think tank CIS shows.

UEFA’s Platini urges fight against football racism
Switzerland

UEFA’s Platini urges fight against football racism

Football must lead the fight against racism inside and outside the game, Michel Platini, head of the sport's European governing body UEFA told a United Nations meeting in Geneva on Monday.

Target of US Somalia raid lived in Norway
Norway

Target of US Somalia raid lived in Norway

The target of the US Navy Seals raid in Somalia over the weekend has lived in Norway and was probably carrying Norwegian travel documents, TV2 has reported.

Teacher gets jail term for ‘romantic’ fling with pupil
France

Teacher gets jail term for ‘romantic’ fling with pupil

An English teacher, 34, from northern France has been given an 18-month suspended sentence and placed on the sex offenders registry, after admitting she had engaged in "sexual acts" with a 14-year-old girl, one of her pupils, with whom she had "fallen in love."

Bishop racks up €31 million building bill
Germany

Bishop racks up €31 million building bill

A German bishop is spending €31 million on a luxury complex, including €380,000 on furniture for his new home. The project costs ten times more than the original estimate, it was revealed on Monday.

Barcelona honours murdered transsexual
Spain

Barcelona honours murdered transsexual

Barcelona has paid tribute to a transsexual murdered by a group of neo-Nazis in 1991 by naming the bandstand where she lost her life in her honour.

EU roaming ban to up Swedes’ phone bills
Sweden

EU roaming ban to up Swedes’ phone bills

Swedish mobile operators dislike a EU proposal that would make placing calls the same price at home as on the go, citing fears that free roaming in the union would throw a spanner in the works for network upgrades, as well as make Swedes' phone bills balloon.

Santander snaps up El Corte Inglés finance arm
Spain

Santander snaps up El Corte Inglés finance arm

Spain's largest bank, Santander, said on Monday it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in the consumer finance business of heavily indebted Spanish department store El Corte Inglés.

Business booms in Berlin graveyard cafe
Germany

Business booms in Berlin graveyard cafe

A cemetery may not seem like an obvious spot to sip a lunchtime latte, but for owners of a little cafe in Berlin, business is booming among the gravestones. Its owners believe the idea is going to take off across the city.

Path clears for Sarkozy to return to the ring
France

Path clears for Sarkozy to return to the ring

When he walked out of the Élysée Palace after a humiliating election defeat vowing never to return, Nicolas Sarkozy's political career appeared to be over. But after charges were dropped over the Bettencourt funding scandal, the way is almost clear for a return to the ring.

Verdi lives on in Italy after 200 years
Italy

Verdi lives on in Italy after 200 years

Opera maestro Giuseppe Verdi, whose bicentenary is being celebrated on Thursday, is "still alive" in Italy - especially for the inhabitants of his native village of Busseto.

New Norway gov to steer oil fund to new markets
Norway

New Norway gov to steer oil fund to new markets

Norway's incoming government has pledged to draw up a new investment strategy for the country's vast $720bn sovereign wealth fund, increasing its investments in emerging markets, sustainable companies and renewable energy.

Italian bank plans cash boost amid 5,300 job cuts
Italy

Italian bank plans cash boost amid 5,300 job cuts

Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena said Monday it will carry out a €2.5 billion capital increase by the end of 2014 in a new restructuring plan with 5,300 job cuts by 2017.

Paris wins right to host 2018 Gay Games
France

Paris wins right to host 2018 Gay Games

Paris got one over on London on Monday when the French capital won the right to host the 2018 Gay Games. The news came a day after London had dethroned Paris as the "best city in the world", according to a biennial global survey.

Nobel physics favourite ‘in hiding’ as prize looms
Sweden

Nobel physics favourite ‘in hiding’ as prize looms

Peter Higgs, the man widely tipped to win the Nobel Prize in Physics plans to be in hiding at the time of the announcement on Tuesday, according to Swedish media reports.

Eyewitness Auschwitz testimony goes online
Germany

Eyewitness Auschwitz testimony goes online

The voices of Holocaust survivors and Nazi death camp guards can now be heard in an online audio archive. The testimony, from Germany's first Auschwitz trial half a century ago, was made public on Monday.

Men as likely as women to suffer spousal abuse: Swedish study
Sweden

Men as likely as women to suffer spousal abuse: Swedish study

Men in Sweden are at least as, if not more, likely than women to be victims of domestic violence, according to researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, who also found that women nevertheless suffer more adverse health effects.

New Norway gov agrees ‘historic’ coalition deal
Norway

New Norway gov agrees ‘historic’ coalition deal

Norway's two incoming government parties agreed a coalition agreement on Monday promising to cut taxes, strip away unnecessary regulation, tighten immigration rules, and spend more on infrastructure.

Captain ‘too calm’ in Costa Concordia crash
Italy

Captain ‘too calm’ in Costa Concordia crash

An Italian crew member testified on Monday that Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino was "too calm" during the cruise ship tragedy that claimed 32 lives last year.

German scientists: Lake Garda is full of plastic
Germany

German scientists: Lake Garda is full of plastic

German researchers have found an unusually high amount of plastic particles in Italy's Lake Garda, a study has revealed. Fish often mistake the plastic for food meaning it could end up on dinner tables.

Lake Garda’s poisoned fish threaten restaurants
Italy

Lake Garda’s poisoned fish threaten restaurants

Researchers have found an unusually high amount of plastic particles in Italy's Lake Garda, a study has revealed. Fish often mistake the plastic for food meaning it could end up on dinner tables.

Man trapped in car for two days found alive
Sweden

Man trapped in car for two days found alive

A man who had been trapped in his crashed car for more than two days in the woods of central Sweden is lucky to be alive according to police, who finally found the man early Tuesday morning.

Date for Nobel literature prize revealed
Sweden

Date for Nobel literature prize revealed

The winner of the Nobel Prize in literature will be unveiled on Thursday, October 10th, the Swedish Academy announced on Monday.