Police chief probed for ‘violent cop video’
Switzerland

Police chief probed for ‘violent cop video’

The canton of Lucerne’s prosecutor’s office has launched criminal proceedings against the cantonal police chief over the release of a video showing a member of the force repeatedly kicking an unarmed burglar in the head.

Bungling cited in Geneva prison therapist’s death
Switzerland

Bungling cited in Geneva prison therapist’s death

An inquiry concluded on Wednesday that a two-time convicted rapist should have never been let out of a Geneva prison in the company of a therapist who was murdered last month.

Fake French cop snared as he ‘lived the dream’
France

Fake French cop snared as he ‘lived the dream’

A young Frenchman lived out his 'lifelong dream' of joining the ranks of the long arm of the law when he donned a policeman's uniform he had bought online and patrolled the streets of his neighbourhood "to do good". Unfortunately for him the fantasy didn't last long.

Top ten unfortunate brand names in Spanish
Spain

Top ten unfortunate brand names in Spanish

For this week's The Local List, we have chosen ten global brand names that are unintentionally hilarious for Spanish speakers. Brace yourself.

Barilla boss denied award over gay remarks
Italy

Barilla boss denied award over gay remarks

Councillors for Italy's People of Freedom (PdL) party have withdrawn their nomination for Guido Barilla, the president of the Barilla pasta firm, to receive Milan’s prestigious Ambrogino d’Oro award after he said he would never allow adverts featuring gay families.

Five reasons to date a Swede (and five not to)
Sweden

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

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

Holiday in Spain and teach the teacher
Spain

Holiday in Spain and teach the teacher

When was the last time you were truly inspired, had an adventure and stepped out of your comfort zone a little? Volunteer with Diverbo – More Than Pueblo Inglés – and use your English know-how among teachers as a way to discover Spain.

Neo-Nazi cell ‘plotted to kill ex-Chancellor’
Germany

Neo-Nazi cell ‘plotted to kill ex-Chancellor’

Germany's NSU Neo-Nazi terror trio may have been plotting the assassination of ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in 2002 when he was in power, it emerged on Wednesday.

Easyjet forgets 29 passengers in Malaga
Spain

Easyjet forgets 29 passengers in Malaga

Twenty-nine passengers watched on in shock on Saturday as an EasyJet flight took off from the southern Spanish city of Malaga without them.

French MP’s clucking sparks sexism spat
France

French MP’s clucking sparks sexism spat

There was uproar in the French parliament this week when an opposition deputy made sexist clucking noises during a speech by a female Green Party MP. France's government spokeswoman blamed a parliamentary culture of "boozy dinners" for the outrageous behaviour.

‘Look beyond Europe to stop migrant deaths’
Italy

‘Look beyond Europe to stop migrant deaths’

After more than 300 migrants drowned off Italy's coast last week, the government and EU promised to boost efforts to prevent further tragedies. The Local looks to East Africa, where the victims came from, and Libya from where the boat departed, to find out what could be done beyond Italy's borders.

Italians are richer than the Germans
Italy

Italians are richer than the Germans

Italian households might be poorer than the French, but they are richer than the Germans when it comes to average wealth, according to a report released on Wednesday by Credit Suisse.

Museum opens risqué animal sex exhibition
Germany

Museum opens risqué animal sex exhibition

A museum in western Germany has turned its attention to sex and evolution, with a series of risqué exhibitions featuring plenty of animals mating.

Bern ready to sign global tax-exchange deal
Switzerland

Bern ready to sign global tax-exchange deal

Switzerland intends to sign an international deal on exchanging tax information, the government said on Wednesday, saying this demonstrated that it was committed to fighting tax evasion.

Gibraltar voted ‘6th crappest town in UK’
Spain

Gibraltar voted ‘6th crappest town in UK’

The Rock has made it on to the top ten list of Britain’s worst towns as featured in the third edition of the controversial UK book Crap Towns Returns.

Catalan bank lays off third of workforce
Spain

Catalan bank lays off third of workforce

Spain's nationalized lender CatalunyaCaixa said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with unions to slash nearly a third of its workforce under a restructuring demanded by the EU as part of a bailout deal for the country's banks.

Chick-lit can heal sick women: Swedish study
Sweden

Chick-lit can heal sick women: Swedish study

Swedish women recuperating from illness credit light-hearted fiction for getting them back on their feet, a finding supported by a Gothenburg University study that likens chick-lit to medicine.

Swedish ‘sadist pimp’ charged with six rapes
Sweden

Swedish ‘sadist pimp’ charged with six rapes

Swedish prosecutors have charged a 49-year-old husband with rape and pimping, describing his predilection for whips, urine and gang rapes as hallmarks of a predatory "sexual sadist".

Thousands from US and UK on German benefits
Germany

Thousands from US and UK on German benefits

Thousands of British and American expats in Germany are living off unemployment benefit as calls to restrict payments to “welfare migrants” grow louder.

Back puts Norway’s Mette-Marit out of action
Norway

Back puts Norway’s Mette-Marit out of action

Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit has taken two weeks sick leave after a back problem sustained on a trip to Ukraine five years ago made an unwelcome return.

Spain’s millionaire club up 13 percent in a year
Spain

Spain’s millionaire club up 13 percent in a year

The number of Spanish millionaires grew by almost 50,000, or 13 percent, in the year up to June 2013, a new study by Credit Suisse shows.

Syria: Two more French journalists held hostage
France

Syria: Two more French journalists held hostage

France confirmed on Wednesday that French journalists Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres have been held hostage in Syria since June. The news came as two other French journalists entered their 127th day of captivity in the conflict-torn country.

Outrage over Lampedusa Facebook page
Italy

Outrage over Lampedusa Facebook page

A "racist" Facebook page directed at the hundreds of migrants who lost their lives off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa last week has sparked outrage in Italy. The page has now been removed.

E-cigs vs tobacco war heads to French court
France

E-cigs vs tobacco war heads to French court

The battle between electronic cigarettes and the conventional tobacco kind is becoming increasingly bitter in France as one tobacconist sets a precedent by becoming the first in the country to take legal action against a nearby e-cigarette store over advertising.

Ten reasons why you should become French
France

Ten reasons why you should become French

Every year thousands of foreigners living in France decide, for a variety of reasons, to become français. While many do it for the obvious work benefits, others have slightly more peculiar reasons for gaining French nationality. Here are ten reasons why you should consider becoming French.

Swedes dissect Nobel flops, faves ‘n’ females
Sweden

Swedes dissect Nobel flops, faves ‘n’ females

The Nobel Prize announcements put Sweden on the global radar each year. But what do Stockholmers themselves think? Do they follow the awards? Can they recall favorite winners or golden moments? The Local hit the streets to find out.

Top ten über-long German words
Germany

Top ten über-long German words

Take a deep breath, now say... Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz. This week's Local List looks at ten tongue-twisting German words.

Police identify baby 25 years after death
Germany

Police identify baby 25 years after death

German authorities have identified a dead baby found in a bin 25 years ago through its mother who killed two of her other children, police said on Wednesday.

Italy to hold state funeral for shipwreck victims
Italy

Italy to hold state funeral for shipwreck victims

Italy will hold a state funeral for the victims of a shipwreck off the southern island of Lampedusa last week, Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Wednesday. So far, 232 asylum-seekers have been confirmed dead. Between 450 and 500 were reported to have been on board when the boat caught fire and sunk.

‘I became French to avoid the airport queues’
France

‘I became French to avoid the airport queues’

Every year thousands of foreigners living in France decide, for a variety of reasons, to become français, but the journey is not always easy. The Local speaks to three Anglos who can now officially call themselves French, to find out why they did it and whether it was all worth it.

Long-lost Orson Welles film screened in Italy
Italy

Long-lost Orson Welles film screened in Italy

A long-lost film by legendary US director Orson Welles is being shown in Italy on Wednesday for the first time in decades after being mysteriously recovered in a removal company warehouse.

French heritage sites ‘at risk’ amid lack of funds
France

French heritage sites ‘at risk’ amid lack of funds

A leading expert has warned that the city of Paris and the French state must do more to protect French heritage, after the World Monuments Fund placed two historically-significant churches in the capital, which have fallen into disrepair, on an "at risk" list.

Karplus, Levitt, Warshel get Nobel chemistry nod
Sweden

Karplus, Levitt, Warshel get Nobel chemistry nod

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded on Wednesday to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel for developing multiscale models for complex chemical systems. Their research means "computers have taken over chemistry," an academy spokesman told The Local.

Spain okays bullfighting during kids TV time
Spain

Spain okays bullfighting during kids TV time

Spain's children will still be able to sit down after school and watch a bullfight on TV after the Spanish Parliament decided on Tuesday it was OK to show such events during children's viewing hours.

VIDEO: Real Madrid snap up Japanese wonderkid
Spain

VIDEO: Real Madrid snap up Japanese wonderkid

Nine-year-old Takuhiro Nakai caught the attention of the wealthiest football club in the world thanks to several YouTube videos in which he displays unbelievable skills for someone his age.

Internal dispute behind Nobel physics delay
Sweden

Internal dispute behind Nobel physics delay

A fight over how to allocate credit for the discovery of the Higgs particle was the cause of an hour-long delay in the announcement of the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday, a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences has confirmed.

Indebted Berlin hikes tax on property sales
Germany

Indebted Berlin hikes tax on property sales

This week brought bad news for anyone thinking of buying a flat in Berlin, as city authorities announced they would raise tax on property sales from early next year.

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Switzerland

Russian rights watchdog cited for Chechnya work

Russia-based watchdog the Joint Mobile Group has won an international human rights award for its efforts to tackle abuses in Chechnya.

German made to clean child’s bridge scribbles
Italy

German made to clean child’s bridge scribbles

A German tourist was told to clean Florence's famous Ponte Vecchio and slapped with a €160 fine after his daughter drew on it with a felt-tip pen.

Cops slammed for death of Stockholm rape victim
Sweden

Cops slammed for death of Stockholm rape victim

A woman who died at a Stockholm hotel late last month after being raped could have been saved if the police had better telephone and radio coverage, a new internal report has revealed.

Family planning group ‘justified paedophilia’
Germany

Family planning group ‘justified paedophilia’

Germany's leading family planning group published articles justifying paedophilia during the 1980s and 90s, researchers said on Wednesday. Article headlines included “the misery of a forbidden love.”

Four die after taking blood-thinning drug
France

Four die after taking blood-thinning drug

The families of four French pensioners who died after taking a blood-thinning drug have launched legal action against the drug’s German manufacturer and France’s national agency for medication safety, it emerged on Wednesday.

Tourism pushes Venice to ‘tipping point’
Italy

Tourism pushes Venice to ‘tipping point’

Venice - suffering from an unsustainable level of tourism - has been added to a list of 67 global sites in need of protection by a foundation.

Barroso and Letta heckled in Lampedusa
Italy

Barroso and Letta heckled in Lampedusa

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta were heckled by activists and local residents with shouts of "Disgrace!" and "Killers!" as they arrived on the refugee island of Lampedusa on Wednesday.

France to invest €410m to boost rail safety
France

France to invest €410m to boost rail safety

France’s rail operators have announced a massive €410 million investment plan aimed at improving safety on the country’s rail network so as to avoid a repeat of the fatal train crash at Bretigny-sur-Orge in July, which left seven dead.

Norway study promises Alzheimer’s cure
Norway

Norway study promises Alzheimer’s cure

Norwegian and British researchers believe they have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's, after a study showed that high doses of B vitamins can reduce brain shrinkage by up to 90 percent.

Topless protesters shake up Spain’s Parliament
Spain

Topless protesters shake up Spain’s Parliament

A group of women belonging to feminist group FEMEN bared their breasts in the Spanish Parliament on Wednesday morning while shouting "abortion is sacred".

Pot group advises how to avoid new cannabis fine
Switzerland

Pot group advises how to avoid new cannabis fine

Authorities in Switzerland decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis earlier this month with the introduction of a 100-franc fine but a pot smokers group is already dispensing advice on how to avoid the penalty.

IMF revises up Spanish growth forecast
Spain

IMF revises up Spanish growth forecast

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised on Tuesday its 2013 Spain growth forecast, but said recovery remained tepid and that the eurozone bloc was only "crawling out of recession".

Spain starves booming film industry of funding
Spain

Spain starves booming film industry of funding

Spain's conservative government defended on Tuesday its sharp cuts to state funding of cinema, saying the financial model for the movie sector needs to be changed.

Italians break underwater kiss ‘world record’
Italy

Italians break underwater kiss ‘world record’

Two Italians claim to have broken the world record for the deepest underwater kiss. The Local spoke to diver Paolo Pedrinazzi to find out how it was done.

Ylvis to register Fox slogan as trade mark
Norway

Ylvis to register Fox slogan as trade mark

The brothers behind YouTube hit 'The Fox' have applied to register both their stage name 'Ylvis' and the phrase 'What does the the fox say?' as trade marks.

‘Cautious’ France turns to crowdfunding in a crisis
France

‘Cautious’ France turns to crowdfunding in a crisis

Crowdfunding or "financement participatif" as it is known in French, is not something you would expect to take off in France, where the business culture is known more for caution than risk-taking. But the culture is changing and the Socialist government is right behind it.

Deutsche Post and ADAC unveil bus network
Germany

Deutsche Post and ADAC unveil bus network

Deutsche Post and motoring association ADAC will launch a new bus service on November 1st in a bid to challenge Deutsche Bahn’s dominance over long distance journeys. They unveiled their plans in Bonn on Wednesday.

Swedes to earn less on Swiss Gripen deal: report
Sweden

Swedes to earn less on Swiss Gripen deal: report

The pending Swiss purchase of Swedish Jas Gripen fighter jets won't add as much to state coffers as previously publicized estimates, according to Swedish media reports.

Struggling Alitalia in last-gasp bid for survival
Italy

Struggling Alitalia in last-gasp bid for survival

Five years after a botched rescue, Italy's troubled carrier Alitalia is gasping for survival buried by a mountain of debt, unpaid gas bills and only the slimmest of options.

Christian Democrat wants Muslims in party
Norway

Christian Democrat wants Muslims in party

The leading candidate to lead the youth wing of Norway's Christian Democrats is pushing for Muslims to join the party.

Greens elect leader and prepare for Merkel talks
Germany

Greens elect leader and prepare for Merkel talks

Germany’s Green Party elected a new leader on Tuesday ahead of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday about forming a possible coalition.

Man fined for drowning caged dog in sea
Norway

Man fined for drowning caged dog in sea

A man from southern Norway has been sentenced to 18 days suspended sentence for locking his dog in a cage and throwing it into the sea.

World’s biggest book fair opens with a warning
Germany

World’s biggest book fair opens with a warning

Organizers of the world's biggest book fair in Germany warned on Tuesday against the domination of internet giants as the publishing world grapples to blend old and new forms of reading.

New Norway gov opens way for begging ban
Norway

New Norway gov opens way for begging ban

Norway's new government plans to to push local municipalities to ban begging, in a move aimed at cutting the number of Roma immigrants in the country's city centres.

Sweden delays EU nurses despite shortage
Sweden

Sweden delays EU nurses despite shortage

Swedish authorities are breaking EU rules when dragging their feet in giving European nurses the required permissions to work in Sweden, where the health care system has been challenged by the nursing shortage.

Olof Palme’s for-sale row house piques curiosity
Sweden

Olof Palme’s for-sale row house piques curiosity

With temperatures rising on the Swedish political scene ahead of next year's elections, Swedes on the hunt for political nostalgia as well as a home have noted that former prime minister Olof Palme's row house is on the market.