Hublot watch executive tempted by Le Temps
Switzerland

Hublot watch executive tempted by Le Temps

Le Temps, the only national French-language daily newspaper in Switzerland, is up for sale, and already potential buyers are kicking the tyres.

Iraq reveals oil refinery deal with Swiss firm
Switzerland

Iraq reveals oil refinery deal with Swiss firm

Iraq says it has reached a $6-billion deal with a Swiss company for the construction and operation of an oil refinery with a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day.

Kenya terror planned in Norway, police suspect
Norway

Kenya terror planned in Norway, police suspect

Norway's intelligence agency has launched an investigation into whether a Norwegian citizen was involved in last month's terror attack on Kenya's Westgate Mall.

France drops case over ‘racist’ police violence
France

France drops case over ‘racist’ police violence

Black community organisations in France slammed the decision by prosecutors on Thursday to drop charges against a police officer caught on video beating a black woman with a baton, and spraying tear gas in her face during an arrest in central France.

French government steps in to end taxi wars
France

French government steps in to end taxi wars

France moved on Thursday to end the “unfair” rise of private hire cabs in French cities, and end a simmering war with taxi-drivers. New rules will mean members of the public are forced to wait at least 15 minutes before their private hire cab is allowed to pick them up.

French farming hit by a suicide every two days
France

French farming hit by a suicide every two days

In France, a farmer commits suicide every two days. That’s the shocking statistic quoted in a new report released on Thursday, which will set alarm bells ringing in France’s Ministry of Agriculture, which is struggling to revitalize the flagging sector.

Moderates’ new ‘workers’ party’ logo sparks fury
Sweden

Moderates’ new ‘workers’ party’ logo sparks fury

The Moderate Party's new logo and "workers' party" slogan has courted controversy from union groups and opponents who argue that it is "a slap in the face" for the unemployed.

Vatican calls rebel diocese to order
Italy

Vatican calls rebel diocese to order

The Vatican on Thursday said it was calling to order a German diocese that announced it would give out Holy Communion to Catholic divorcees who have re-married, in defiance of official policy.

Spain slams Gibraltar over shooting claims
Spain

Spain slams Gibraltar over shooting claims

Spain demanded on Thursday that Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo prove accusations he made at the United Nations that Spanish police had fired shots at a Gibraltarian man in the contested waters surrounding the British territory.

TEDxStockholm dives into ‘uncharted waters’
Sweden

TEDxStockholm dives into ‘uncharted waters’

TEDx Stockholm, an offshoot of the popular US non-profit organization TED, is soon hosting its biggest ever show at a theatre in Stockholm. The Local talked to the organizer to find out more.

Again? Third of Germans want fresh elections
Germany

Again? Third of Germans want fresh elections

Germans are growing so tired of politicians dithering over forming a coalition government that a third would rather vote again in fresh elections, an opinion poll suggested on Thursday.

Take the test one in three Spaniards ‘flunked’
Spain

Take the test one in three Spaniards ‘flunked’

In the wake of Spain's dismal results for reading and maths in the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills, The Local challenges you, the reader, to try out some of the questions for yourself. Are you game?

Swedish pensioner in fight to save Gävle goat
Sweden

Swedish pensioner in fight to save Gävle goat

A Swedish pensioner has pledged to lead the defence of the Gävle goat, a feature of Christmas in the Swedish town and which traditionally ends up in flames, making her this week's pick for Swede of the Week.

Vatican calls rebel German diocese to order
Germany

Vatican calls rebel German diocese to order

The Vatican pledged on Thursday to take action against a German diocese which gives out Holy Communion to Catholic divorcees who have re-married.

Oil rig ship planned to remove Concordia
Italy

Oil rig ship planned to remove Concordia

Cruise company Costa Crociere said on Thursday it had signed a contract for a special ship used to lift oil platforms as a possible way of raising the wrecked Costa Concordia liner next year.

‘Humans have pushed the Earth into a new era’
Sweden

‘Humans have pushed the Earth into a new era’

With Nobel week in full swing and the sciences in the spotlight, The Local caught up with Irishman and Stockholm-based science writer Owen Gaffney whose work explains why humans' treatment of the planet has pushed us into a new era.

Migrant mother gave birth as she drowned
Italy

Migrant mother gave birth as she drowned

One of the more than 300 asylum-seekers who drowned off the coast of Italy last week had given birth moments before dying. She was found by divers with her newborn son still attached by the umbilical cord.

‘France is failing in its duty to Syrian refugees’
France

‘France is failing in its duty to Syrian refugees’

With Europe braced for a "massive influx" of Syrian refugees, a leading expert tells The Local there is a “moral crisis” in France over asylum-seekers, and that the government "hasn't done enough" to meet its obligations and help Syrians fleeing conflict in their home country.

‘Going topless doesn’t disturb peace’: Judge
Spain

‘Going topless doesn’t disturb peace’: Judge

The topless protesters who caused a stir in Spain's Parliament on Wednesday with their pro-abortion message have been released from detention after the judge overseeing the case said a display of breasts did not threaten public order.

Planned ‘safe’ centre for Paris drug addicts binned
France

Planned ‘safe’ centre for Paris drug addicts binned

The much-vaunted opening of France's first drug "safe" centre in Paris, where addicts would be able to inject illegal substances under observation, has been binned after a state body ruled it would be illegal.

The Italians fighting illness from toxic waste
Italy

The Italians fighting illness from toxic waste

Two Italian teenagers with first-hand experience of the dangers of illegal toxic waste dumping have started a Facebook page to draw attention to the health risks – a campaign that went viral this week. The Local catches up with them to find out more.

Berlin Festival of Lights – in pictures
Germany

Berlin Festival of Lights – in pictures

The Berlin Festival of Lights began on Wednesday and is lighting up the German capital. With over 70 projections being beamed onto buildings and monuments across the city, it is the biggest illumination festival in the world.

Alice Munro wins 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature
Sweden

Alice Munro wins 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature

Canadian author Alice Munro was named the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, the head of the Swedish Academy announced in Stockholm on Thursday.

The end of the discount supermarket?
Germany

The end of the discount supermarket?

Prices at discount German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have risen quicker than those at their more expensive competitors, a consumer watchdog study revealed on Thursday.

Italians bin €8.7 billion of food each year
Italy

Italians bin €8.7 billion of food each year

Despite Italians being in the midst of the worst recession since the Second World War, a new study has found they are still throwing away €8.7 billion of food each year.

Swedish banks in nuclear weapons ‘hall of shame’
Sweden

Swedish banks in nuclear weapons ‘hall of shame’

By lending money to multinational defence firms, Swedish banks are supporting the existence of nuclear weapons, the only weapon of mass destruction which is yet to be banned, according to a new report published on Thursday.

Federer crashes out of Shanghai Masters
Switzerland

Federer crashes out of Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer was bundled out of the Shanghai Masters by world number 42 Gael Monfils on Thursday in another demoralising early tournament exit but the defiant Swiss is still eyeing a strong finish to the season.

Linus the dead elk sparks legal spat in Sweden
Sweden

Linus the dead elk sparks legal spat in Sweden

A tame elk that was accidentally shot after escaping from a sanctuary in northern Sweden has sparked a "ridiculous" legal dispute over who owns the slain beast's antlers.

Tax fraud probe for Italy’s ex-Masonic schemer
Italy

Tax fraud probe for Italy’s ex-Masonic schemer

Italy's police said on Thursday it was investigating Licio Gelli, a 94-year-old former Masonic leader implicated in some of the darkest chapters in the country's post-war history, for tax fraud.

Letter declares living football legend ‘dead’
Germany

Letter declares living football legend ‘dead’

Germany’s most-capped footballer has been wrongly declared dead by a stamp on a letter sent by a court amid a financial dispute with his model ex-wife.

Spaniards stranded in fake German job scandal
Spain

Spaniards stranded in fake German job scandal

A group of young Spanish jobseekers have been left to fend for themselves in a town in central Germany after an intermediary company that promised them training, language courses and accommodation failed to deliver.

Nobel Prize winner Südhof yearns for home
Germany

Nobel Prize winner Südhof yearns for home

German scientist Thomas Südhof won the Nobel Prize for Medicine this week. Thirty years after he left for the US, the Stanford professor who says he would love to return to Germany is our German of the week.

Spain’s ‘starving’ school kids shock Europe
Spain

Spain’s ‘starving’ school kids shock Europe

Spain's austerity program is having a dramatic effect on the country's children, a new report released on Wednesday by Europe's top human rights agency shows.

Paris transport fare hikes to pay for ‘supermetro’
France

Paris transport fare hikes to pay for ‘supermetro’

Will this spell the end of affordable public transport in Paris? With authorities struggling to pay for the planned Grand Paris ‘supermetro,’ commuters in the capital could be facing a decade of regular price hikes, starting in January.

Italy kicks off festivities for Verdi’s 200th birthday
Italy

Italy kicks off festivities for Verdi’s 200th birthday

Celebrations for opera maestro Giuseppe Verdi's 200th birthday began in his home village in Italy on Thursday and were due to continue throughout the day across the globe.

Moroccan vendor praised by anti-immigrant party
Italy

Moroccan vendor praised by anti-immigrant party

A Moroccan engineering student graduated this week in Turin, funding his education by selling tissues and lighters on the streets. His efforts have been praised by the usually anti-immigrant Northern League party, which has called for the town hall to give him an award.

Cops fire shots at fleeing arson suspect
Sweden

Cops fire shots at fleeing arson suspect

Police in central Sweden opened fire on a suspected arsonist on Thursday morning as he fled from a house engulfed in flames.

Stanislas Wawrinka steps out of an icon’s shadow
Switzerland

Stanislas Wawrinka steps out of an icon’s shadow

Switzerland’s other tennis star 'Stan the Man' Wawrinka is proving himself a force to be reckoned with, but in an interview with The Local he insists he should not be compared to Roger Federer.

France tops Europe’s table of millionaires
France

France tops Europe’s table of millionaires

France has more members of the millionaires club than other country in Europe, a study of global wealth revealed this week. Perhaps it's no wonder then that French President François Hollande wants to target them with his 75 percent super tax to boost the country's coffers.

Thieves attempt €200,000 Nutella heist
Italy

Thieves attempt €200,000 Nutella heist

Perhaps they’d run out of the famed chocolate and hazelnut spread, but three thieves were so determined to get their hands on a jar by morning they broke into a lorry stocked with €200,000 worth of Nutella as it was parked at a service station outside Rome.

Spaniard dies in horror Norway fjord fall
Spain

Spaniard dies in horror Norway fjord fall

A Spanish tourist has died after falling from Pulpit Rock, the fjord-side precipice that is one of Norway's most-visited tourist attractions.

Norway writer sees Nobel hopes fail
Norway

Norway writer sees Nobel hopes fail

Norwegian novelist and playwright Jon Fosse leapt up the rankings to become one of the favourites to win this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, but ended up losing out to Canada's Alice Munro.

Vote set for bid ‘against mass immigration’
Switzerland

Vote set for bid ‘against mass immigration’

Swiss voters will decide early next year on a proposal by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) to reintroduce quotas for the number of foreigners allowed to work in Switzerland.

Germany bans Marlboro ‘Maybe’ cigarette ads
Germany

Germany bans Marlboro ‘Maybe’ cigarette ads

Authorities banned a controversial advertising campaign by American tobacco giant Marlboro in Germany on Wednesday, claiming it was too focused on getting young people to start smoking.

Malala world’s favourite for Nobel Peace Prize
Norway

Malala world’s favourite for Nobel Peace Prize

Teenage Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and a Congolese doctor dedicated to helping rape victims are the two most-hyped figures among pundits ahead of Friday's Nobel Peace Prize announcement.

‘Filthy’ Madrid plans €750 fines for public urination
Spain

‘Filthy’ Madrid plans €750 fines for public urination

Madrid city hall has drawn up proposals that would introduce fines for anti-social behaviour including urinating outdoors, littering and soliciting a prostitute on the street, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Nine Spanish clubs in match-fixing probe
Spain

Nine Spanish clubs in match-fixing probe

The former head of security at FIFA is to work with Spanish football chiefs as they try to rid the sport of match-fixing, it was announced in London on Wednesday.

French far right in pole position for EU elections
France

French far right in pole position for EU elections

A "landmark" poll of voter intentions in France has put the far-right anti-immigration National Front party ahead of both the Socialist Party and conservative UMP party for the first time. The party is tipped to get 24 percent of the vote in next May's European elections.

Tourist killed in fall from Norway’s Pulpit Rock
Norway

Tourist killed in fall from Norway’s Pulpit Rock

A Spanish tourist has died after falling from Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen, the fjord-side precipice that is one of Norway's most-visited tourist attractions.

Paris to remember Edith Piaf 50 years on
France

Paris to remember Edith Piaf 50 years on

Fifty years after her death, Edith Piaf will on Thursday be remembered in the working-class Paris neighbourhood that produced one of the world's greatest, and most tragic, performers

Police launch mass speeding crackdown
Germany

Police launch mass speeding crackdown

Thousands of German police officers will hit the country's roads on Thursday for a mass speed-check. Before setting off, their biggest union called for higher fines for speeders – to bring them in line with the EU.

‘I will publish Snowden leaks on Spain’: Reporter
Spain

‘I will publish Snowden leaks on Spain’: Reporter

Brazil-based US reporter Glenn Greenwald said on Wednesday he would publish documents from intelligence leaker Edward Snowden focused on France and Spain.

Storting head slammed for ‘tablecloth’ suit
Norway

Storting head slammed for ‘tablecloth’ suit

The new president of Norway's parliament, the Storting, has been ridiculed for choosing to wear a green and red checked "tablecloth" rather than the customary dark suit for the house's ceremonial opening.

Dirty school toilets make Swedish kids sick: docs
Sweden

Dirty school toilets make Swedish kids sick: docs

Poorly cleaned toilets are to blame for increasing numbers of Swedish schoolchildren seeking medical treatment, paediatricians have warned, amid a rising number of complaints about the cleanliness of schools in Sweden.

Alitalia eyes deal to avoid default ‘within days’
Italy

Alitalia eyes deal to avoid default ‘within days’

Italy's Alitalia is mulling a capital increase of €300 million and a loan of €200 million to avert the prospect of imminent bankruptcy, trade union officials have said.

EasyJet and Ryanair hit by French strikes
France

EasyJet and Ryanair hit by French strikes

Just as a rail strike in France came to an end on Thursday it was the turn of air traffic to be disruption by industrial action that forced Ryanair and Easyjet to cut almost a third of their flights to and from France. Find out if you might be affected.

‘Germany must prepare for rise in OAP crime’
Germany

‘Germany must prepare for rise in OAP crime’

Germany should prepare for the rise of the criminal pensioners, experts warned on Wednesday, with an ageing population leading to a greater number of elderly people both committing crimes and becoming victims.

Germans are poorer than Italians and French
Germany

Germans are poorer than Italians and French

Germans are poorer than Italians and the French, despite living in Europe’s biggest economy and bailing out struggling southern European countries.

Sweden set for tougher laws against spying
Sweden

Sweden set for tougher laws against spying

The Swedish government wants to make it easier for police and prosecutors to combat spying against refugees in Sweden and against the country as a whole.

‘Eritreans have no choice but to leave their country’
Italy

‘Eritreans have no choice but to leave their country’

When tragedy struck off Italy's coast last week, it was a Paris-based radio station that broke the news to Eritrea, home to a majority of the 300-plus men, women and children feared dead in the shipwreck.

VIDEO: Ylvis on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Norway

VIDEO: Ylvis on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Norway's Ylvisåker brothers performed their YouTube hit The Fox twice on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the US's most popular evening chat show.

Bildt promises action after Russia adoption ban
Sweden

Bildt promises action after Russia adoption ban

Russia's decision to ban adoptions to Swedish parents over concerns about gay marriage was "not thought through" Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has said, adding he hopes to find a diplomatic solution for parents affected by the move.