Skull leads Zurich boffins to ‘rewrite’ history of man
Switzerland

Skull leads Zurich boffins to ‘rewrite’ history of man

Scientists from the University of Zurich have put in question the history of man after uncovering a skull 1.85 million years old with colleagues from Georgia, where it was found.

Swiss taste of Indian summer forecast
Switzerland

Swiss taste of Indian summer forecast

After snow closed mountain passes amid subzero temperatures last week, Switzerland is now preparing to return to sun tanning and dining on restaurant terraces as forecasters call for sunshine and temperatures up to 25 degrees this weekend.

How a Roma girl became a ‘symbol’ in France
France

How a Roma girl became a ‘symbol’ in France

She speaks French, has French friends, and considers France her home. But this week, Leonarda Dibrani - taken off a school trip to be deported to Kosovo - became a symbol of the entire Roma community, and could represent a watershed moment for French immigration policy.

FC Basel fined over Greenpeace protest
Switzerland

FC Basel fined over Greenpeace protest

Swiss club FC Basel were fined 30,000 euros on Thursday over crowd trouble and a high-profile protest by Greenpeace against Gazprom, the Russian energy group that sponsors their Champions League rivals Schalke.

Switzerland manager to bow out after World Cup
Switzerland

Switzerland manager to bow out after World Cup

Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld is to retire after next year's World Cup football competition in Brazil, the German veteran announced on Thursday.

‘Girls who get raped are responsible’: Minister
Norway

‘Girls who get raped are responsible’: Minister

Norway's new minister for children and gender equality has caused the government's first political scandal, after it was pointed out that she once argued that girls who get raped "are responsible for the situation they put themselves in".

Man arrested over attack on daughter’s stalker
Spain

Man arrested over attack on daughter’s stalker

A man who used a cane to severely injure a "paedophile" who sent pornographic text messages to his underage daughter has been arrested in Langreo, northern Spain.

Pupils rally in Paris to fight deportations
France

Pupils rally in Paris to fight deportations

UPDATED: Thousands of high school students marched through the streets of Paris and other parts of France on Thursday in anger at the deportation of foreign pupils, after the high-profile eviction of a 15-year-old Roma girl Leonarda Dibrani.

Catalonia’s cava makers flat on independence
Spain

Catalonia’s cava makers flat on independence

The makers of cava, Spain's sparkling wine, are pessimistic about the future of the industry in the face of possible independence of Catalonia, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The lawyer who backed a war criminal
Italy

The lawyer who backed a war criminal

As the debate continues over what should happen to the body of Erich Priebke, a Nazi who died in Rome on Friday, The Local takes a look at the life of the war criminal's lawyer.

Pastor dons antlers for Swedish elk hunt sermon
Sweden

Pastor dons antlers for Swedish elk hunt sermon

Parishioners in central Sweden got a shock earlier this week when the female pastor and newly licenced hunter conducting the town's annual "elk hunt sermon" appeared wearing some unusual headwear.

‘Never hide money from the French taxman’
France

‘Never hide money from the French taxman’

Many expats in France enjoy personal and professional success after they arrive here. But what happens when things don’t go according to plan? More and more companies are going out of business but here's a rough guide for how to both deal with and avoid going bust.

Minute of silence mourns death of Spanish science
Spain

Minute of silence mourns death of Spanish science

Scientists held a minute of silence at universities across Spain on Thursday to protest against drastic cuts to the country's science budget which they say are killing research.

Germany wastes billions on bizarre projects
Germany

Germany wastes billions on bizarre projects

Bridges for bats, a disastrously over-budget philharmonic hall and a cycle path that stops in the middle of nowhere – a list published on Thursday reveals the bizarre ways in which the government has wasted German taxpayers’ money.

Merkel and SPD agree on coalition talks
Germany

Merkel and SPD agree on coalition talks

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her defeated election rivals the Social Democrats agreed on Thursday afternoon to launch formal talks aimed at building a left-right "grand coalition" government, according to media reports.

Italy at a loss over Nazi war criminal body
Germany

Italy at a loss over Nazi war criminal body

Italian authorities appeared at a loss on Thursday over what to do with the body of German Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke who died last week while living under house arrest for massacring 335 civilians.

Man held for smuggling parrot eggs in underwear
Switzerland

Man held for smuggling parrot eggs in underwear

Swiss customs authorities have arrested a bird specialist who smuggled the eggs of protected parrots in his underwear and travelled the globe trading in rare species.

Kicked out of ‘Spanish Rock’: Africans fight back
Spain

Kicked out of ‘Spanish Rock’: Africans fight back

Two of the 73 sub-Saharan immigrants who were expelled from a tiny Spanish island 100 metres off the coast of Morocco are taking Spain to the European Court of Human Rights.

Paris airport gets new €355m shopping complex
France

Paris airport gets new €355m shopping complex

Aeroville, a brand new mega shopping centre at Charles de Gaulle airport opened its doors for the first time on Thursday. It took eight years and €355 million to build - and the good news is it's open on Sundays.

Neo-Nazi Vikernes’ race hate trial postponed
France

Neo-Nazi Vikernes’ race hate trial postponed

UPDATED: Infamous Norwegian neo-Nazi Kristian “Varg” Vikernes, who was initially arrested in July on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, had his trial on charges of inciting racial hatred and glorifying war crimes postponed until June on Thursday.

Half of Sweden’s Jews hide their faith: report
Sweden

Half of Sweden’s Jews hide their faith: report

Jews in Sweden are among the most likely in Europe to hide their religious affiliation, for example by not wearing a kippah, but the survey found that fear of anti-Semitism abounded across the continent.

Chimps catch human yawns: Swedish study
Sweden

Chimps catch human yawns: Swedish study

A new study has revealed that chimpanzees catch yawns from humans, an unusual cross-species contagion that has researchers wondering just how empathetic the chimps are to their human cousins.

Jewish group will adopt boat tragedy survivors
Italy

Jewish group will adopt boat tragedy survivors

The Jewish Community of Rome will adopt a family who survived the recent boat tragedy off the Italian island of Lampedusa, the group's president, Riccardo Pacifici, said.

Milan council dissolved over mafia links
Italy

Milan council dissolved over mafia links

A local authority in the province of Milan has been dissolved for its alleged links to the criminal underworld, the first decision of its kind to be taken in the northern Lombardy region.

Home demolition video sparks expat outrage
Spain

Home demolition video sparks expat outrage

A video of the demolition of a British-owned home in Andalusia on Monday has once again highlighted the plight of the many foreign homeowners in Spain who find their properties under threat because they were built illegally.

Two drowned in freak coal tar spill
Sweden

Two drowned in freak coal tar spill

Two people died at a coke plant in northern Sweden in Thursday after drowning in coal tar that spilled out of a massive tank during routine maintenance.

Uppsala unearths pagan road of old kings
Sweden

Uppsala unearths pagan road of old kings

Archaeologists digging in old Uppsala have discovered what appears to be a remarkable display of power of a fifth century Swedish chieftain. Massive posts marked the ancient road in perfect alignment for more than a kilometre.

France’s EDF ‘signs deal’ for UK nuclear plants
France

France’s EDF ‘signs deal’ for UK nuclear plants

French energy giant EDF and the British government have agreed on a deal to build two latest generation nuclear reactors in the UK, an informed French source told AFP news agency on Thursday. They will be the first nuclear power plants built in Britain since 1995.

Profits up at TeliaSonera following job cuts
Sweden

Profits up at TeliaSonera following job cuts

The magic of learning at Stockholm International School
Sweden

The magic of learning at Stockholm International School

Teachers often need to have a few tricks up their sleeve to keep students entertained while being educated. Indeed, the magic of learning has been brought to life for primary school pupils at the Stockholm International School.

TV show sparks German leads in Maddie search
Germany

TV show sparks German leads in Maddie search

A German broadcaster said on Thursday it received more than 500 tip-offs after airing a programme on Wednesday night on the 2007 disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann.

Experts slash German growth forecast by half
Germany

Experts slash German growth forecast by half

Germany's leading economic think-tanks halved the country’s economic growth forecast for 2013 on Thursday.

Norway police shoot and injure man in Tromsø
Norway

Norway police shoot and injure man in Tromsø

A man has been shot and injured by Norwegian police during a rare armed operation in a residential area in the city of Tromsø, northern Norway.

Former Miss Germany tries luck in Mexico
Germany

Former Miss Germany tries luck in Mexico

Natalie Ackermann was crowned Miss Germany seven years ago. Today she is a host on Mexican television and will shoot a movie with actor Antonio Banderas. A soap star with Hollywood ambitions, she is The Local's German of the Week.

Italy moves to abolish political party funding
Italy

Italy moves to abolish political party funding

Italy's lower house of parliament has voted to abolish state funding of political parties, a move which could also see an increasing role for women in politics.

‘Air Berlin guilty in dead dog saga’: Judge
Spain

‘Air Berlin guilty in dead dog saga’: Judge

German carrier Air Berlin has admitted it is liable for the death of a Spanish passenger's pet British bulldog which died from dehydration and will pay €2,635 ($3,570) in damages.

Spanish horror movie world’s first iPhone film
Spain

Spanish horror movie world’s first iPhone film

A young Spanish director has presented the first ever feature film shot entirely with an iPhone – a horror movie about two young Americans whose sex-fuelled trip to Barcelona takes an unexpected turn.

Bodies found at Missoni plane wreck – report
Italy

Bodies found at Missoni plane wreck – report

The remains of five people who were on board a plane carrying a party of six, including Italian fashion executive Vittorio Missoni, when it crashed off the coast of Venezuela in January have reportedly been found.

‘Not everyone will be happy on asylum’
Norway

‘Not everyone will be happy on asylum’

Norway's new government has warned that the tough asylum and immigration policies it plans to implement are likely to trigger strong opposition, as it appoints one of the Progress Party's rising stars to front the reforms.

Italy at a loss over dead Nazi war criminal
Italy

Italy at a loss over dead Nazi war criminal

Italian authorities appeared at a loss Thursday on what to do with the body of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke who died last week while living under house arrest for massacring 335 civilians.

Aussie to chair IOC group for Tokyo Games
Switzerland

Aussie to chair IOC group for Tokyo Games

Australian John Coates was on Wednesday named as chairman of the coordination commission for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced.

‘Robbery of the century’ solved by Spanish police
Spain

‘Robbery of the century’ solved by Spanish police

Spanish Police have arrested 17 suspects wanted for their role in one of Spain's largest ever jewellery thefts — a crime that authorities dubbed the "robbery of the century".

Viagra gum launches in Italy
Italy

Viagra gum launches in Italy

Italian men now have access to Viagra chewing gum, which costs up to 70 percent less than the traditional version of the impotence drug, after it was launched by a Milan-based company.

Ylvis’s The Fox sticks at number six in US charts
Norway

Ylvis’s The Fox sticks at number six in US charts

"The Fox", the YouTube hit by Norway's Ylvisåker brothers, has kept the number six slot in the US charts for a second week but failed to climb higher, indicating the extraordinary viral phenomenon may be starting to peak.

Berlusconi’s party would be ‘bankrupt’ without him
Italy

Berlusconi’s party would be ‘bankrupt’ without him

Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party is so financially reliant on the former prime minister that it would likely collapse without him, according to reports in the Italian media.

French football clubs in strike threat over 75% tax
France

French football clubs in strike threat over 75% tax

France’s top football clubs are threatening to go on strike in protest at the government’s plans to impose a 75 percent tax on them. Ligue 1 and 2 clubs are considering refusing to play fixtures scheduled for the weekend of October 26/27th, it emerged this week.

Nesbø auctions right to give name to a character
Norway

Nesbø auctions right to give name to a character

Norway's best-known crime writer, Jo Nesbø is auctioning the right to have a character in one of his upcoming novels named in the winner's honour in the annual charity fund-raising event run by NRK.

Secret trap door yields massive cocaine find
Sweden

Secret trap door yields massive cocaine find

Police uncovered 120 kilogrammes of cocaine hidden in a house in southern Sweden, a haul with an estimated street value of at least 100 million kronor ($15.5 million) and one of the biggest ever stash found by police in Sweden.

Dr Oetker chief admits firm’s Nazi past
Germany

Dr Oetker chief admits firm’s Nazi past

The Nazi past of one of the world’s biggest frozen pizza producers, Dr Oetker, will be revealed in a book published on Monday. It comes as a member of the Oetker family speaks for the first time about the company’s support for Hitler.

Sulzer cuts 100 head office jobs in Winterthur
Switzerland

Sulzer cuts 100 head office jobs in Winterthur

Sulzer, the Swiss industrial engineering and manufacturing firm, announced on Thursday that it is axing 300 jobs, including 100 positions at its Winterthur headquarters.

Neo-Nazi Varg Vikernes starts race hate trial
Norway

Neo-Nazi Varg Vikernes starts race hate trial

Infamous Norwegian neo-Nazi Kristian “Varg” Vikernes, who was initially arrested in July on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, is set to go on trial in France on Thursday, on charges of inciting racial hatred and glorifying war crimes.

Message in a bottle washes up in Norway
Norway

Message in a bottle washes up in Norway

A message in a bottle thrown into the sea by a 12-year-old girl in Cornwall, England, has washed up nearly twenty years later on the coast of western Norway.

Tearful tenants win EU home eviction reprieve
Spain

Tearful tenants win EU home eviction reprieve

Doris Perez broke into tears when she heard she could stay a fortnight more in the Spanish apartment she has occupied, amid a mass protest to save her and scores of others from eviction.

5,700 jobs in danger as fridge firm fights closure
Spain

5,700 jobs in danger as fridge firm fights closure

Major Spanish electrical appliance maker Fagor, which employs 5,700 people worldwide, opened talks with its creditors on Wednesday to try to avoid bankruptcy.

After Velib’ and Autolib’ is Paris set for Scootlib’?
France

After Velib’ and Autolib’ is Paris set for Scootlib’?

Visitors to Paris might soon be able to weave through the city traffic like a true Parisian. City authorities are mulling a new scooter-sharing scheme to follow in the footsteps of the successful Velib' and Autolib' bike and car-sharing systems in the French capital.

‘Go pussy’ gum on sale near Berlusconi’s home
Italy

‘Go pussy’ gum on sale near Berlusconi’s home

An elegant cafe near the Rome residence of Silvio Berlusconi is heralding the revival of the former prime minister's Forza Italia by selling a special brand of chewing gum, adorned with the party flag, called "Forza Gnocca", or "Go Pussy".

Nestlé and Roche report on-track sales growth
Switzerland

Nestlé and Roche report on-track sales growth

The world’s biggest food company, Vevey-based Nestlé, reported on Thursday sales of 68.4 billion francs ($75.1 billion) for the first nine months of the year, up four percent from the same period in 2012.

UK woos Germany in EU red tape battle
Germany

UK woos Germany in EU red tape battle

Britain is banking on German support to push through reforms to cut red tape across the European Union, which it believes costs the continent billions of euros and strangles economic growth.

France agrees to take in 500 Syrian refugees
France

France agrees to take in 500 Syrian refugees

France announced on Wednesday that it would take in 500 Syrian refugees after accepting a request from the United Nations. Paris has come under pressure in recent weeks to do more for those displaced by the conflict in the Middle East.

Thousands to re-enact the Battle of Nations
Germany

Thousands to re-enact the Battle of Nations

Thousands of war-gamers will re-enact one of Europe's most important battles outside Leipzig on Sunday, 200 years after French emperor Napoleon suffered a critical defeat there.

Merkel criticizes Russia over Greenpeace arrests
Germany

Merkel criticizes Russia over Greenpeace arrests

Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern on Wednesday to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the detention of 30 Greenpeace members who had protested against Arctic drilling.

Tourist defaces Ponte Vecchio with nail polish
Italy

Tourist defaces Ponte Vecchio with nail polish

Sharp-eyed police in Florence have snared yet another tourist who dared to deface the city's famous Ponte Vecchio - this time with nail polish.

Patient children have brighter futures: study
Sweden

Patient children have brighter futures: study

Children who pick a 1,000-kronor payout in five years' time do better later in life than their peers who chose a tenth of that sum straight away, a new Swedish study into delayed gratification has revealed.

Dog beaten by Swedish motorcycle club
Sweden

Dog beaten by Swedish motorcycle club

A dog was assaulted along with its owner early on Thursday after they got dragged into a punch-up between suspected Hells Angels outside the MC in Norrköping, central Sweden.

Godmother of Swedish etiquette battles dinner-table racists
Sweden

Godmother of Swedish etiquette battles dinner-table racists

How do you tackle racism when it not only threatens your dinner party, but your sense of decency? Our Swede of the Week, the grande dame of etiquette, is Magdalena Ribbing, who says that protesting is both good manners and good for democracy.