VIDEO: Norway’s Down’s Syndrome detective
Norway

VIDEO: Norway’s Down’s Syndrome detective

A Norwegian film about a detective with Down's Syndrome has sparked huge interest abroad, with the lead actor Svein André Hofsø, who himself suffers the condition, interviewed by the BBC on Wednesday.

French court jails Aussie ‘guru’ for teen girls’ rape
France

French court jails Aussie ‘guru’ for teen girls’ rape

An Australian Hare Krishna follower dubbed the “guru of Valbonne” was jailed for 15 years this week for raping two 15-year-old girls in the south of France. In a separate case in France, a cult leader, was jailed for five years for forcing family members to have sex with each other.

French movie star Delon in Miss France bust-up
France

French movie star Delon in Miss France bust-up

French movie star Alain Delon launched a tirade at the Miss France beauty committee on Friday after members had attacked him for supporting the far-right National Front. Delon then announced he was quitting as honory president of the committee.

French school students march for second day
France

French school students march for second day

UPDATED: Pupils blockaded schools in France on Friday as protests against the deportation of foreign students continued for a second day. In Paris, organisers said 12,000 students took to the streets, some clashing with riot police. The Local joined the marchers. See our gallery here.

Italian police gear up for Rome protest
Italy

Italian police gear up for Rome protest

Italian police cracked down on alleged militants and confiscated potential weapons on Friday on the eve of an anti-austerity protest in Rome amid fears that the demonstration could turn violent.

Top ten expat complaints to their Spanish partners
Spain

Top ten expat complaints to their Spanish partners

Cross-cultural relationships are as interesting as they are complex. The Local takes a look at ten of the most common moans expats have about their Spanish partners.

Construction magnate convicted of bribery
Sweden

Construction magnate convicted of bribery

A Gothenburg court on Friday convicted prominent Swedish housing mogul Stefan Allbäck and former footballer on bribery charges stemming from a major construction corruption scandal that came to light back in 2010.

Court convicts Captain Corelli’s war criminal
Germany

Court convicts Captain Corelli’s war criminal

An Italian court on Friday handed a life sentence in absentia to a former German army corporal for the wartime massacre of 117 Italian officers on the Greek island of Cephalonia that inspired novel and Hollywood movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Americans dig for family roots on Swedish TV
Sweden

Americans dig for family roots on Swedish TV

A Texas cowboy, a garbage man from Wisconsin, and a Hollywood matchmaker are just three of the ten unique Americans hoping to unearth their Swedish roots in the third season of Allt för Sverige.

‘Driving in Italy is not for the faint hearted’
Italy

‘Driving in Italy is not for the faint hearted’

It took Brit Peter Grey as much time to pursue his Sicilian wife as it did to obtain a licence to drive in Italy. He has also done a variety of jobs to sustain his newfound life in Piemonte, and all while barely speaking a word of the Italian. The Local finds out if the move from the UK has been worth it.

Maradona slammed with €39m tax bill in Italy
Italy

Maradona slammed with €39m tax bill in Italy

Italian tax agents have served football legend Diego Maradona with papers over a €39 million debt that the feisty Argentinian disputes, ANSA news agency reported on Friday.

Ligue 1 preview: PSG sweat over Ibrahimovic
France

Ligue 1 preview: PSG sweat over Ibrahimovic

France's Ligue 1 resumes this weekend after the international break. Joint league leaders Paris Saint-Germain are facing the possibility of taking on Bastia on Saturday without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has a thigh problem. Rivals Monaco play Sochaux on Sunday.

Bergamo named world’s second-worst airport
Italy

Bergamo named world’s second-worst airport

Bergamo's Orio al Serio International airport, outside of Milan, has been named the second worst airport in the world. Among the complaints were tales of "stupid" staff and the "horror" of visiting the toilets.

Spotify money spat sparks lawsuit threat
Sweden

Spotify money spat sparks lawsuit threat

Several Swedish artists, represented by former Eurovision winner Per Herrey, are threatening to sue two record companies unless they are given a bigger chunk of the royalties for their songs being played on streaming service Spotify.

Merkel calls for Israeli settlement ‘restraint’
Germany

Merkel calls for Israeli settlement ‘restraint’

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Israel to show "restraint" on Friday in the building of Jewish settlements, following talks with the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

From bishops to battles – seven days in pics
Germany

From bishops to battles – seven days in pics

In this week's news review, our round-up of the best pictures ranges from bishops to battles and goals to gummy-bears.

Young Italians invent a bright future
Italy

Young Italians invent a bright future

In an era where jobs are scarce, Italians are becoming entrepreneurs and creating their own businesses. The Local speaks to Tommaso Marzioni and Davide Dattoli, who have come up with ideas to brighten their future.

Munich double charges thousands of taxpayers
Germany

Munich double charges thousands of taxpayers

City chiefs in Munich are red-faced after accidentally double taxing thousands of people. The mistake has been blamed on a computer glitch.

Woman batters sleepy Swede with mackerel
Sweden

Woman batters sleepy Swede with mackerel

Police in Nyköping, eastern Sweden, are investigating a case of assault after a man was woken from his nap after being fish slapped by a woman using a mackerel.

Italy convicts Captain Corelli’s war criminal
Italy

Italy convicts Captain Corelli’s war criminal

An Italian court on Friday handed a life sentence in absentia to a former German army corporal for the wartime massacre of 117 Italian officers on the Greek island of Cephalonia that inspired a well-known novel.

Paris Beauvais in top 10 ‘world’s worst airports’
France

Paris Beauvais in top 10 ‘world’s worst airports’

In what may not come as a surprise to many who have taken a low cost flight to and from Paris, the regional airport at Beauvais, has been ranked among the worst in the world.

Catalans’ Spanish better than national average
Spain

Catalans’ Spanish better than national average

Spain’s Education Minister's claims that Catalonia needs to be "Spanishized" have been dismissed by a newspaper piece that reflects on how Catalan pupils scored higher in Spanish aptitude tests than the national average.

Housing market ‘overheating’ in big cities
Sweden

Housing market ‘overheating’ in big cities

The demand for housing in Sweden's big three cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, has pushed the market to the verge of overheating with prices set to rise by 15 percent in 2013 according to a new report.

Bad loans batters Spain’s weak banking sector
Spain

Bad loans batters Spain’s weak banking sector

Spain's banks reported Friday record high bad loans in August, revealing persistent balance-sheet weakness despite a eurozone-funded bailout. The news contrasts with other recent positive reports about the country's banking sector.

‘I didn’t receive illegal bonuses from Bárcenas’
Spain

‘I didn’t receive illegal bonuses from Bárcenas’

The former treasurer of Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) told a court on Friday that he personally handed the Secretary General of the party two separate under-the-table payments of €7,500 ($10,200).

Woman tries to smuggle €80k stashed in nappies
Italy

Woman tries to smuggle €80k stashed in nappies

A Chinese woman has been caught trying to smuggle €80,000 through Milan's Malpensa airport, by concealing the cash in nappies.

Monti quits party over budget dispute
Italy

Monti quits party over budget dispute

Former Prime Minister Mario Monti has resigned as leader of Civic Choice (SC), the party he formed ahead of the February elections, after a group of members failed to tow the party line on the country's budget.

Did Sweden just sign up to ‘principled’ internet surveillance?
Sweden

Did Sweden just sign up to ‘principled’ internet surveillance?

Recent comments by Foreign Minister Carl Bildt have technologist Stefan Geens wondering if, post-Snowden, Sweden will be the first country to agree to conduct internet surveillance in a responsible, principled manner.

Style-conscious Italians cut back on fashion
Italy

Style-conscious Italians cut back on fashion

Italians are continuing to tighten their belts amid the country's longest recession in over two decades, with two out of three, or 68 percent, cutting back on buying clothing this year.

Customs seize crates of fake anti-anxiety drugs
Switzerland

Customs seize crates of fake anti-anxiety drugs

Swiss customs agents at the Zurich airport seized one million fake tablets of anti-anxiety drug Xanax that were destined for Egypt, authorities said on Friday.

Coach Löw celebrates contract extension
Germany

Coach Löw celebrates contract extension

Germany coach Joachim Löw has agreed a new contract that will take him through until 2016, the German football federation (DFB) announced on Friday.

Judge sends ‘King of Germany’ to jail
Germany

Judge sends ‘King of Germany’ to jail

The self-proclaimed 'King of Germany' - who claims to rule a nine-hectare kingdom with 3,500 subjects - has been sent to prison for using a fake driving licence. He was caught using a licence from his fantasy realm - 'New Germany'.

Artist Cindy Sherman plays dress-up in Sweden
Sweden

Artist Cindy Sherman plays dress-up in Sweden

The inescapable work of US artist Cindy Sherman has perforated Stockholm like a visual scream, both "repelling and riveting", as the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna) shows the darker side to the master of playing dress-up.

placeholder image
France

Far-right candidate likens black minister to monkey

A bid by France’s far-right National Front party to improve its public image was severely undermined this week when one of its candidates for next year’s local elections published an image online comparing a black minister to a monkey. The party has suspended her candidacy.

Norway bishops step back from gay weddings
Norway

Norway bishops step back from gay weddings

Norway's bishops will push for gay couples to have their civil unions blessed in church rather than for full church weddings when they meet for their annual synod next year, the country's Lutheran church has said.

Swiss youngsters look to shine in World Cup
Switzerland

Swiss youngsters look to shine in World Cup

After an unbeaten run in their race to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, Switzerland have high hopes that their generation of new talent will shine next year in Brazil.

Police: ‘Family house fire was suicide’
Germany

Police: ‘Family house fire was suicide’

Police suspect a deliberately-started fire which killed a family-of-three in their foreclosed home in north-west Germany on Wednesday night was suicide.

French bank’s clients go nuts over squirrel image
France

French bank’s clients go nuts over squirrel image

Find out why this image of an unfortunate squirrel, hanging from a feeding stand by his testicles, was creating a bit of a buzz on social media sites in France on Friday and left one French bank red-faced.

Father and son duo Norway’s top earners
Norway

Father and son duo Norway’s top earners

Father and son business duo Trond and Frederik Mohn have taken the top two spots on the list of Norway's largest income tax-payers, paying a combined 213.7 million kroner ($36m) in 2012.

Controversial ‘gay kiss’ gallery vandalized
Italy

Controversial ‘gay kiss’ gallery vandalized

A gallery in Rome has been attacked by vandals, just weeks after The Local reported the Vatican had stepped in to block a controversial gay kiss exhibition it was due to host.

‘The whole world wants to invest in Spain’
Spain

‘The whole world wants to invest in Spain’

The chairman of Spain's Santander bank has told a New York press conference that the Spanish economy is going through a "fantastic" period in time as trust in the country "had grown unimaginably".

Rome prepares for a ‘weekend of fire’
Italy

Rome prepares for a ‘weekend of fire’

Rome will be on high alert this weekend as an estimated 15,000 people take to the streets to protest against austerity. Mayor Ignazio Marino called for "no violence" as he announced that 4,000 police officers will be drated in to patrol the two-day demonstration, which begins on Friday.

Spanish police 17 times more likely to stop blacks
Spain

Spanish police 17 times more likely to stop blacks

Spanish police are under fire after an investigation has shown racial profiling is still a way of life for the country's law enforcement agencies despite recent attempts to stamp out the practice.

Swedish musicians set for YouTube windfall
Sweden

Swedish musicians set for YouTube windfall

Sweden's biggest music copyright management organization has struck a landmark deal with YouTube that will allow Swedish artists to get a cut when their music is played on the video-streaming mammoth.

Roger Moore bonds with socialites at Bern gala
Switzerland

Roger Moore bonds with socialites at Bern gala

British movie star and Swiss resident Roger Moore joined the list of 450 invited guests at the second annual “Gala de Berne” held in the Swiss capital on Thursday night.

Subcontractor hot tar deaths infuriate union
Sweden

Subcontractor hot tar deaths infuriate union

Sweden's Metal Workers Union is foaming at the mouth after two men drowned in hard coal tar spillage at an SSAB coke plant in northern Sweden on Thursday, citing a similar loss of life at the company's lime plant Nordkalk, also in Luleå, two years ago.

3D radar to uncover secret Nazi tunnels
Norway

3D radar to uncover secret Nazi tunnels

A retired history teacher is hoping to uncover a secret network of Nazi tunnels by shooting ground penetrating 3D radar beneath the streets of Oslo next month.

Cable car fault leaves 76 passengers dangling
Germany

Cable car fault leaves 76 passengers dangling

Emergency services rescued 76 passengers from a cable car who were left dangling in the air for hours on Thursday night when Germany’s oldest suspension railway broke down.

France bans mayors from gay marriage opt-out
France

France bans mayors from gay marriage opt-out

French mayors cannot refuse to marry gay couples on the grounds of religious or moral objections, France's constitutional court ruled on Friday.

Elite French wine-makers plant roots in China
France

Elite French wine-makers plant roots in China

Some of France's elite wine-makers are looking beyond the vineyards of Bordeaux and Côtes-du-Rhône to grow the grapes that go on to become their world-famous merlots and cabernet sauvignon, planting roots in China, the "New World" of the wine industry.

Interns ran Swedish aid projects: report
Sweden

Interns ran Swedish aid projects: report

The Foreign Ministry has criticized its handling of its own portion of Sweden's foreign aid budget, with large-scale Swedish NGO umbrella organization Forum Syd condemning the report as "a slap in the face".

Norwegian neo-Nazi’s race hate trial postponed
Norway

Norwegian neo-Nazi’s race hate trial postponed

A French judge has postponed the trial of Norwegian extremist death-metal musician Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes for eight months until summer 2014, in a move hailed by his lawyer as a success.

How rich is the Catholic Church in Germany?
Germany

How rich is the Catholic Church in Germany?

The Bishop of Limburg's lavish new headquarters sparked anger at the Catholic Church's use of money in Germany. Its wealth has been estimated at €430 billion with interests ranging from television stations to mineral water.

Pope sparks boom in the name Francis
Italy

Pope sparks boom in the name Francis

Francis, or Francesco, is now the most popular name among newborn baby boys in Italy thanks to the arrival in March of Pope Francis.

400 African migrants see Spain dream dashed
Spain

400 African migrants see Spain dream dashed

Moroccan police drove back 400 African migrants who tried to rush across the country's border into Spain on Thursday, an official said.

Spain’s record debt to keep climbing until 2015
Spain

Spain’s record debt to keep climbing until 2015

Spain's public debt, rising unchecked for the past five years of economic crisis, will peak at just over 101 percent of output in 2015, the government said on Thursday.

Unhappy Iker Casillas eyes Real Madrid exit
Spain

Unhappy Iker Casillas eyes Real Madrid exit

Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas admitted on Thursday he will consider quitting Real Madrid if he does not regain his place in the side.

French offered English lessons on board trains
France

French offered English lessons on board trains

After a recent poll suggesting the French were pretty depressed about the level of their English, compared to their European neighbours, the country's rail operator SNCF may have found a way to fasttrack them up to speed.

Women in Oslo West live longest in world
Norway

Women in Oslo West live longest in world

Women in parts of western Oslo live longer lives than women anywhere else in the world, according to a new study from Statistics Norway, with their average lifespan of 86 years putting them on a par with the Japanese.

Thousands of students wait for loans
Sweden

Thousands of students wait for loans

Almost 4,000 students have waited for four weeks for payment from Sweden's student grants and loans body CSN, which has been so flooded with calls that the agency simply turned off its telephones.

Italian PM praises Obama over debt deal
Italy

Italian PM praises Obama over debt deal

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta became the first world leader Thursday to meet President Barack Obama after the end of a debt default showdown and declared: "his success is our success."

Germany closes Afghan embassy over threat
Germany

Germany closes Afghan embassy over threat

Germany's foreign ministry said on Thursday that its embassy in Afghanistan was shut but declined to comment on a media report it had been closed in response to a "serious" security threat.

Syrian refugees stranded at Milan rail hub
Italy

Syrian refugees stranded at Milan rail hub

Syrian asylum seekers are living camped out in between commuters and tourists at Milan's busy rail hub, their number growing by the day as charities and city officials try to help.

Yoko Ono wins German peace prize
Germany

Yoko Ono wins German peace prize

Yoko Ono, the Japanese artist and widow of John Lennon, on Thursday won a prestigious German prize "for her lasting artistic and peace-promoting political work.

Probe launched after ‘racist’ Twitter slur
Sweden

Probe launched after ‘racist’ Twitter slur

A prosecutor has launched an investigation after a man in Sweden took to social networking site Twitter to express his happiness that a five-year-old girl from Somalia had been found dead in Sweden.

Dhuhulow named as Norway’s Westgate killer
Norway

Dhuhulow named as Norway’s Westgate killer

The Norwegian citizen under investigation by intelligence agency PST for his role in last month's attack on Kenya's Westgate shopping centre has been named by the BBC's Newsnight programme as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow.

Autumn over as winter snow sweeps Sweden
Sweden

Autumn over as winter snow sweeps Sweden

Snow and sub-zero temperatures hit widespread parts of Sweden on Thursday night and will carry on through Friday and beyond, with meteorologists warning motorists that now is the time to change to winter tyres.