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Switzerland

Swiss court convicts six over Czech mining scam

Five Czech businessmen and a Belgian former International Monetary Fund staffer have been convicted by a Swiss court over a massive corruption scam tied to the privatization of a Czech mining firm.

Swiss qualify for World Cup with Albania victory
Switzerland

Swiss qualify for World Cup with Albania victory

Switzerland qualified on Friday for the World Cup football championships next year thanks to a 2-1 win over Albania in Tirana.

Ikea or Death? Swedish names spark online craze
Sweden

Ikea or Death? Swedish names spark online craze

The Local learns how a self-professed metal head's first trip to Ikea spawned an addictive online game that has gone viral, leaving officials at the Swedish furniture giant scratching their heads.

Spanish PM escapes corruption case call-up
Spain

Spanish PM escapes corruption case call-up

A Spanish judge investigating a ruling party corruption scandal on Friday ruled out calling up Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as a witness.

‘Free fan who hugged me’: Ronaldo to US judge
Spain

‘Free fan who hugged me’: Ronaldo to US judge

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has written a letter to a Florida attorney asking him to drop the charges against a fan who ran on to the pitch to hug him during a pre-season friendly in the US.

VIDEO: Hollywood’s 360 degree running of bulls
Spain

VIDEO: Hollywood’s 360 degree running of bulls

An Oscar nominated film director, 28 high definition cameras, a world class stunt driver, and a herd of charging bulls: these are the ingredients in the amazing new interactive 360 degree film The Chase.

Spain’s female F1 driver died of natural causes
Spain

Spain’s female F1 driver died of natural causes

Former Formula 1 test driver Maria de Villota died from natural causes, a source close to the case has confirmed after an autopsy was carried out on her body on Friday afternoon.

‘Sardinia feels like an ancient forgotten land’
Italy

‘Sardinia feels like an ancient forgotten land’

Love brought Jennifer Avventura to Sardinia, home to the most centenarians in the world, in 2008. Idyllic though it sounds, she's faced challenges along the way. She talks to The Local about island life and how to live to 100 and beyond.

The return of the sexist French politician
France

The return of the sexist French politician

He comes from every part of the political spectrum (though mainly the Right). Sometimes apologetic, sometimes defiant, it was hoped he’d become an extinct species, but this week the Sexist French Politician made a spectacular comeback.

Former SS captain and Nazi war criminal dies
Germany

Former SS captain and Nazi war criminal dies

Former SS captain Erich Priebke, a Nazi war criminal who never showed remorse for a World War II massacre in Italy, died on Friday in Rome aged 100, Italian media reported.

Stockholm Open set to serve up a storm
Sweden

Stockholm Open set to serve up a storm

The ATP Stockholm Open hits the Swedish capital on Saturday with international players vying for a piece of the €530,000 ($718,000) pie. Will it be a local Swede who takes out this year's title? The Local chats to the tournament organizer to find out more.

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil
Sweden

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil

An erroneous press release published on Friday indicating that Swedish firm Fingerprint Cards had been acquired by Samsung led to a sharp rise in the firm's stock and a criminal investigation once the mistake had been discovered.

Husband forgets wife on honeymoon
Germany

Husband forgets wife on honeymoon

A couple's marriage got off to a rocky start when a man left his new wife at a petrol station on their honeymoon in central Germany for five hours. He drove off and only realized she was not with him two hours and 200 kilometres later.

Vatican hunts for culprit who can’t spell Jesus
Italy

Vatican hunts for culprit who can’t spell Jesus

The Vatican is on the hunt for the culprit who misspelt the name Jesus on 6,000 medals commemorating the first year of Pope Francis' reign.

Refugees go on hunger strike in Berlin
Germany

Refugees go on hunger strike in Berlin

Refugees began a hunger strike at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday evening. Watched by police officers and tourists, they told The Local why they had given up food to fight for their rights.

Take the test Italians ‘flunked’
Italy

Take the test Italians ‘flunked’

Italians have the lowest literacy rate of 23 countries, according to an OECD report. The Local invites you to see if you can do any better by taking the test.

Sweden: A land of hairdressers and writers
Sweden

Sweden: A land of hairdressers and writers

Sweden's capital Stockholm is full of hairdressers and writers, and sometimes even writers in hairdressers. And it can be a disturbing city when you're a bald Frenchman who happens to be a writer, observes Luis de Miranda.

Mugged pensioner in ‘miracle’ canal escape
France

Mugged pensioner in ‘miracle’ canal escape

An 89-year-old French woman has told of her ordeal after she was reportedly assaulted, tied up, and stuffed into the boot of her car before the vehicle was dumped into a canal. The pensioner owes her life to a passing jogger who spotted her trying to escape.

Winter’s arrival to Berlin light festival – in pics
Germany

Winter’s arrival to Berlin light festival – in pics

The Local’s weekly pictorial review of the news travels from Afghanistan to Bavaria to look at the last seven days in pictures.

Nazi war criminal dies in Italy
Italy

Nazi war criminal dies in Italy

Former SS captain Erich Priebke, a Nazi war criminal who never showed remorse for a World War II massacre in Italy, died on Friday in Rome aged 100, Italian media reported.

French cop stabbed to death by naked attacker
France

French cop stabbed to death by naked attacker

A French police officer has been left in a state of clinical death after a naked psychiatric outpatient stabbed him through the eye, a prosecutor said on Friday. The officer was responding to calls about screams coming from the suspect's house.

Bildt: all nations must sign chem weapons ban
Sweden

Bildt: all nations must sign chem weapons ban

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt welcomed the Nobel Peace Prize award to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Friday by calling for all nations to sign up to the convention to eliminate chemical weapons.

‘Save tower Breivik bombed’: heritage report
Norway

‘Save tower Breivik bombed’: heritage report

The concrete government tower bombed by far-right terrorist Anders Breivik is of "great national value" and should be repaired and preserved for posterity, Norway's cultural heritage directorate has ruled.

‘Spain is broke but brags about full bars’
Spain

‘Spain is broke but brags about full bars’

In The Local's first edition of The View from Spain, we talk to EU citizen activist Daniel Correa about last week's national and international headlines, what the rest of the world thinks of Spain and why the Pope is the only major world figure making sense at the moment.

Ryanair ‘ready’ to take on Alitalia’s routes
Italy

Ryanair ‘ready’ to take on Alitalia’s routes

Endangered Italian airline Alitalia will search for a new partner if its main shareholder Air France-KLM does not participate on Friday in a capital increase, Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said.

Spanish shoeshiner fails in Rome Twitter quest
Spain

Spanish shoeshiner fails in Rome Twitter quest

An entrepreneurial Spaniard has seen his plans to sell off the Twitter account handle @Roma thwarted: nobody in the eternal city of Rome appears to want it.

Preview: Aussies defiant ahead of French clash
France

Preview: Aussies defiant ahead of French clash

Australia's football coach Holger Osieck and team captain Lucas Neill were in defiant mood this week ahead of their friendly clash with France in Paris on Friday evening. Despite being thrashed by Brazil last month, the Socceroos have already qualified for next year's World Cup.

‘People who don’t believe in ghosts are scared’
Germany

‘People who don’t believe in ghosts are scared’

For the past four years, two Berliners have been combing castles and cellars touched by the paranormal. The Local joined the city’s ghost hunters on a night time expedition.

Company solves macabre grave problem
Norway

Company solves macabre grave problem

A former Norwegian graveyard administrator has launched a Europe-wide business after stumbling on the solution for one of Norway's most macabre municipal problems: plastic graves.

Merkel hopes for coalition within a week
Germany

Merkel hopes for coalition within a week

Chancellor Angela Merkel met the opposition Social Democrats' leader on Friday, ahead of a decision expected next week on her preferred governing partner for Europe's biggest economy.

Berlusconi to do community service
Italy

Berlusconi to do community service

Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has asked to serve his 12-month sentence for tax fraud in the form of community service, his lawyers said on Friday.

China slams Spain over Tibet torture case
Spain

China slams Spain over Tibet torture case

China on Friday criticized a lawsuit in Spain against former Chinese president Hu Jintao over allegations of human rights abuses in Tibet.

Swedish terrorist electrifies theatre stage
Sweden

Swedish terrorist electrifies theatre stage

Swedish author Jonas Hassen Khemiri's play I Call My Brothers has taken the Stockholm theatre scene by storm - the tale of a young man's struggle to figure out how an Arab-Swedish terrorist trying to bomb Stockholm in 2010 affects him - because superficially, they look alike.

Winter is coming: First snowfalls hit France
France

Winter is coming: First snowfalls hit France

Friday has been heralded as the start of winter in parts of France, as mountainous regions like the French Alps got their first healthy dusting of snow. Have you been hit by snow? Send us your photos and we'll publish them.

More Italian women drink beer than the Irish
Italy

More Italian women drink beer than the Irish

More women in Italy drink beer than those in Ireland, Britain and Germany, according to a study by AssoBirra, an Italian beer association.

‘Roma’ Twitter account goes unwanted
Italy

‘Roma’ Twitter account goes unwanted

The world's most influential leader on Twitter may live in the neighbourhood, but Rome is reportedly failing to take advantage of the social media site.

Two girls sentenced for naked ‘facerape’ pic
Sweden

Two girls sentenced for naked ‘facerape’ pic

Two young women have been sentenced by a Varbergs district court in western Sweden for having hijacked a 17-year-old's Facebook account and posting naked pictures of her.

Spanish wages set for fall: Business leaders
Spain

Spanish wages set for fall: Business leaders

Spain's business leaders have dismissed recent claims by the country's budget minister that the country's salaries are not falling.

Car bomb blasts Swedish consulate in Libya
Sweden

Car bomb blasts Swedish consulate in Libya

A car bomb exploded outside the Swedish consulate in the restive Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday, seriously damaging the building but causing no casualties, a security official said.

WHO campaigns against mercury thermometers
Switzerland

WHO campaigns against mercury thermometers

The Geneva-based World Health Organization and campaigners launched a drive on Friday to try to wipe out mercury in medical thermometers, a day after nations signed a UN treaty to control the toxic liquid metal.

Banned sex shop bids to reopen near Paris school
France

Banned sex shop bids to reopen near Paris school

The manager of a sex toy shop in Paris that was forced to close down for violating child sex laws because it was too close to a primary school is hoping judges at France's highest appeal court will decide that dildos are not pornographic and allow him to reopen his store.

First heavy snow falls in southern Germany
Germany

First heavy snow falls in southern Germany

Winter has arrived in southern Germany with the first heavy snowfall hitting Bavaria on Thursday night and Friday morning.

Nobel Peace Prize to anti- chemical weapons group
Norway

Nobel Peace Prize to anti- chemical weapons group

The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced in Olso on Friday.

Passes close as snow strikes Swiss mountains
Switzerland

Passes close as snow strikes Swiss mountains

Winter made an early return to the Swiss Alps where residents awoke on Friday to find up to 80 centimetres of fresh snow at higher elevations after a cold front swept across the country.

Juliet’s breast disfigured ‘from too much touching’
Italy

Juliet’s breast disfigured ‘from too much touching’

It’s meant to bring luck in love, but tourists flocking to the fair city of Verona to touch the right breast of a statue of Juliet, the protagonist of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, have instead disfigured the sculpture.

France upholds ban on shale gas fracking
France

France upholds ban on shale gas fracking

France’s highest court on Friday upheld a ban on fracking – drilling in the country’s plentiful shale gas reserves. It rejected Texas company Schuepbach Energy's argument that France’s moratorium was “discriminatory.”

Madrid laws ‘biggest crackdown since Franco’
Spain

Madrid laws ‘biggest crackdown since Franco’

The UK's Independent newspaper has labelled Madrid's proposed tough new laws against everything from urinating in the street to busking during Spain's siesta hours the city's "biggest crackdown since Franco".

‘Stop playing well, they’ll know you’re not disabled’
Spain

‘Stop playing well, they’ll know you’re not disabled’

They’ve been labelled the biggest cheats in sporting history. Only days after Spain's fake Paralympics basketball team got off scot-free with all the fraud charges held against them, The Local analyses the shocking details of a case which has left Spain’s sporting reputation in tatters.

Mushroom pickers die from falls in Ticino
Switzerland

Mushroom pickers die from falls in Ticino

The activity of mushroom picking has claimed two victims in the canton of Ticino in less than two weeks.

Jobless EU citizens can claim benefits – court
Germany

Jobless EU citizens can claim benefits – court

EU citizens who have never worked in Germany but have been living in the country for a long time can claim unemployment benefits, a court ruled on Thursday, in a decision which could affect 130,000 foreigners in Germany.

Angry parents spark halal school lunch spat
Sweden

Angry parents spark halal school lunch spat

Parents in Svedala in southern Sweden have reported a school to the Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) for serving halal chicken arguing that the practice breaches the non-denominational praxis of the Swedish education system.

Mountain peak collapses in northern Norway
Norway

Mountain peak collapses in northern Norway

A mountain peak in the far north of Norway has disintegrated and tumbled down to the valley below, leaving a terrified local farmer happy she escaped with her life.

Car plunges into path of speeding French train
France

Car plunges into path of speeding French train

A motorist in France was killed on Thursday when the car she was driving in plunged off a bridge and in to the path of a high speed TGV train in the centre of the country.

Explosion rocks stadium in Spain match lead-up
Spain

Explosion rocks stadium in Spain match lead-up

The World Cup qualifier between Spain and Belarus will go ahead on Friday at the San Moix stadium in Majorca despite an electric circuit explosion which injured three people on Thursday.

Catholic bishop spends €350,000 on wardrobes
Germany

Catholic bishop spends €350,000 on wardrobes

The lavish lifestyle of a bishop who is spending €31 million on building a new headquarters in west Germany was exposed on Friday, when it emerged he has spent €783,000 on a garden, €25,000 on a table and €15,000 on a bath tub.

US-French tax fraud pact derailed by shutdown
France

US-French tax fraud pact derailed by shutdown

The US government shutdown claimed another victim on Thursday, as the signing of a US-French agreement that battles tax evasion was delayed at the request of the Americans.

World Cup qualifiers – a tale of two teams
Germany

World Cup qualifiers – a tale of two teams

The football World Cup qualifiers are reaching their climax and once again England is leaving it until the last minute, while Germany has breezed through its group. The Local looks at why the countries have such different records.

Live Blog: 2013 Nobel Prize announcements
Norway

Live Blog: 2013 Nobel Prize announcements

The winners of the 2013 Nobel Prizes are being announced this week in Stockholm and Oslo. The Local brings you all the latest news, reactions, and details surrounding the winners and why they won.

Robert Mugabe: ‘I do not want French girls’
France

Robert Mugabe: ‘I do not want French girls’

In making a plea to France on Thursday Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe insisted that he "did not want your girls" and that he "did not want to visit France for romantic reasons".

Berlusconi squanders cash on beans and fish
Italy

Berlusconi squanders cash on beans and fish

With his girlfriend keeping a lid on costs at home, Italy's star convict Silvio Berlusconi is preparing to apply to do community service for a tax fraud conviction that is shaking up politics.

Leading Norway union to oppose Sunday opening
Norway

Leading Norway union to oppose Sunday opening

Norway's main labour union LO has warned the incoming Conservative government to "think long and hard" before allowing Sunday opening in shops across the country.

Clinic slammed for ‘non- Nordic’ baby register
Sweden

Clinic slammed for ‘non- Nordic’ baby register

A children's health clinic in western Sweden has come under fire after it came to light that it routinely registered babies as having a "non-Nordic origins".

‘Italy struggles to accept its multi-cultural identity’
Italy

‘Italy struggles to accept its multi-cultural identity’

In the wake of last week's shipwreck tragedy in Italy, refugee and immigrant rights advocates are hoping for a change of heart in a country that is struggling to accept a new multi-cultural identity.

Fifth of Italians against having black minister
Italy

Fifth of Italians against having black minister

More than a fifth of Italians think that having a black minister is wrong, according to a poll released this week.

Alitalia in crunch talks to fend off bankruptcy
Italy

Alitalia in crunch talks to fend off bankruptcy

Italian airline Alitalia holds a crunch meeting on Friday to vote on a recapitalisation plan that would save it from imminent default and avoid its planes being grounded by the weekend.

Bus driver kicks off 19 pre-school kids
Sweden

Bus driver kicks off 19 pre-school kids

Three adults and 19 children under the age of five were told to leave a bus in southern Sweden and were forced to walk 4 kilometres when the driver complained that the school's collective ticket was 30 kronor ($4.60) short.

Malala will NOT win Nobel Prize: NRK
Norway

Malala will NOT win Nobel Prize: NRK

Norwegian news channel NRK has reported that Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl activist, will not receive the Nobel Peace Prize when it is announced at 11am today, citing its own privileged information.

Sweden’s ‘Pompeii’ massacre baffles experts
Sweden

Sweden’s ‘Pompeii’ massacre baffles experts

Archaeologists who unearthed five ancient and brutally-murdered bodies last week on a Swedish island say they've discovered an inexplicable massacre, with one expert expecting to find hundreds more bodies in a scene she compared to Italy's Pompeii.

Spaniards stranded in fake German job scandal
Germany

Spaniards stranded in fake German job scandal

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