Oslo family seeks sender of message in a bottle
Norway

Oslo family seeks sender of message in a bottle

An Oslo family is trying to track down a British woman who threw a message in a bottle into the sea back in 1996, after reading about how thrilled another British woman had been when her bottle was found this month.

Zurich officials judge ‘sex boxes’ an initial success
Switzerland

Zurich officials judge ‘sex boxes’ an initial success

Switzerland's first sex drive-in, which opened two months ago in a bid to take prostitution off Zurich's streets, has been a success, the city said Tuesday following an initial evaluation.

Wawrinka exits Swiss Indoors after first round
Switzerland

Wawrinka exits Swiss Indoors after first round

Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka seriously dented his hopes of reaching the ATP season final when crashing out of the Swiss Indoors with a 6-4, 6-3 first round loss to Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Tuesday.

Serious electric bike accidents spike upwards
Switzerland

Serious electric bike accidents spike upwards

The increasing popularity of electric bicycles in Switzerland is leading to a corresponding rise in serious injuries and even deaths among users, new figures show.

Poles OK extradition of rapist murder suspect
Switzerland

Poles OK extradition of rapist murder suspect

A Polish court on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to extradite to Switzerland a Swiss-French rapist who is suspected of killing his female therapist before fleeing to Poland.

Novartis shares jump on improved outlook
Switzerland

Novartis shares jump on improved outlook

Shares in Swiss drug-maker Novartis rose sharply on Tuesday after the company posted increased sales for the third quarter and an improved end-of-year outlook.

Mother charged over death of ‘missing’ Fiona
France

Mother charged over death of ‘missing’ Fiona

French police on Tuesday charged Cécile Bourgeon with delivering the "fatal blows" to her five-year-old daughter Fiona. Bourgeon had elicited nationwide sympathy in May by reporting the girl missing, only to admit last month that Fiona had been dead for months.

Survey: Tourists come to Sweden to shop
Sweden

Survey: Tourists come to Sweden to shop

Foreign tourists are flocking to Sweden in their droves to go shopping and lap up a country deemed 'modern' and 'child friendly' by potential visitors according to a new report.

Air France slammed for transporting lab monkeys
France

Air France slammed for transporting lab monkeys

Air France was forced on Tuesday to defend its practice of flying live animals for lab testing, after US-based animal rights group PETA vowed to continue its campaign to stop the French airline from transporting primates.

Norway store withdraws bloody severed hands
Norway

Norway store withdraws bloody severed hands

Norwegian bargain store Europris has been forced to withdraw a range of fake shrink-wrapped body parts after the Halloween gifts sparked a public outcry.

Ten things that annoy Italians about the Brits
Italy

Ten things that annoy Italians about the Brits

In this week's The Local List, we put ourselves in the shoes of Italians left irked by British habits and traditions.

Speeding foreign drivers go unpunished in France
France

Speeding foreign drivers go unpunished in France

Have you been flashed by a speed camera in France but never received a fine or the usual three point penalty on your license? Well you're not alone. It appears plenty of speeding drivers are getting away with it in France, particularly foreign ones.

Serial women’s lingerie thief caught red-handed
France

Serial women’s lingerie thief caught red-handed

A prolific panty thief has been targeting women in several towns across south west France, stealing dozens of pairs of knickers from their washing lines as they slept. The culprit's year-long thieving spree came to a dramatic end this week.

‘Our film has nothing to do with Knox’
Italy

‘Our film has nothing to do with Knox’

Earlier this week, Italian media reported that British model Cara Delevingne will play Amanda Knox in a film about the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. But The Local spoke to the filmmaker, who said the film is based on a book, is "fictional" and nobody will play Knox.

Foreigners in Germany reach record levels
Germany

Foreigners in Germany reach record levels

The number of foreigners living in Germany has grown at its fastest rate for 20 years and now stands at a record level of 7.2 million, government figures showed on Tuesday.

Troops show growing discontent amid reforms
Germany

Troops show growing discontent amid reforms

Complaints among Germany’s armed forces are up 20 percent in a year, despite the number of soldiers shrinking from 200,000 to 185,000. A delay in paying medical bills and worries over forces reform were the main causes of unrest in the ranks.

Job coaches in fear after Facebook stabbing threat
Sweden

Job coaches in fear after Facebook stabbing threat

A 27-year old job seeker from northern Sweden is being prosecuted for threatening to stab his job coaches with a series of violent threats on Facebook.

Warm autumn weather set to continue
Germany

Warm autumn weather set to continue

Germany’s Indian Summer is set to continue until later this week with temperatures staying unseasonably mild.

Four in ten Italians ‘have never used the internet’
Italy

Four in ten Italians ‘have never used the internet’

Italy is lagging behind in its use of the internet, according to a dossier presented at a conference on Monday which revealed that four out of ten Italians have never used the web at all.

The paradox Sweden’s ‘lower’ taxes – explained
Sweden

The paradox Sweden’s ‘lower’ taxes – explained

Tax cuts have long been the hallmark of Sweden's Moderate Party. Why then, is the party no longer campaigning on a promise to reduce taxes further? Liberal commentator Nima Sanandaji explains.

Uni bans masturbating student from library
Sweden

Uni bans masturbating student from library

A student at Jönköping University in southern Sweden has been banned from the campus library after being caught masturbating by a female student.

‘Criminal’ feminist forced to strip for parliament
Spain

‘Criminal’ feminist forced to strip for parliament

A university lecturer and renowned feminist is suing the Spanish Parliament's Speaker of the House after security staff forced her to strip down to her underwear because she had the wrong surname.

‘€30 million fines for solar producers a joke’
Spain

‘€30 million fines for solar producers a joke’

The Wall Street Journal has lambasted the Spanish Government for plans to fine people who don't pay a fee for generating their own solar energy up to €30 million ($41 million), or the same amount a nuclear power plant would have to pay if it caused a radioactive leak.

Parliament opens with record number of women
Germany

Parliament opens with record number of women

A former wrestler, an ex-TV detective and a record number of women entered parliament on Tuesday, one month after Chancellor Angela Merkel won elections.

Four held over death of mutilated French reporter
France

Four held over death of mutilated French reporter

French police on Tuesday held four people for questioning over the death of troubled 33-year-old journalist Caroline Corvalan, whose dismembered body was found at a building site in Paris last month, a source close to the case said.

Alps murders: Police ‘to issue portrait of suspect’
France

Alps murders: Police ‘to issue portrait of suspect’

French police investigating the murders of a British Iraqi family in the French Alps last year are set to release a portrait image of a motorcyclist seen by several witnesses near the scene of the crime. The move comes after a BBC investigation concluded the killer had an accomplice.

‘Fame-seeking’ cat-throwers spark outrage
Italy

‘Fame-seeking’ cat-throwers spark outrage

A group of teenagers in the city of Brindisi, Puglia, have caused an uproar after a video of them throwing a cat around was posted on a social networking site in what an animal rights campaigner described as "fame-seeking".

‘Multiple failures’ led to Hercules plane crash
Sweden

‘Multiple failures’ led to Hercules plane crash

Swedish accident investigators on Tuesday released their final report on the crash of a Norwegian Hercules airplane, citing many causes that led the aircraft to slam into a mountainside in northern Sweden last year, killing five people.

Dutch politician’s death in Spain ‘a mystery’
Spain

Dutch politician’s death in Spain ‘a mystery’

The mysterious suicide of a successful Dutch politician in Spain on Monday has left and family and colleagues searching for answers.

‘Norwegians are complicated’: Van Zandt
Norway

‘Norwegians are complicated’: Van Zandt

Steve Van Zandt, the Sopranos star, has described Norwegians as "complicated" and "interesting" in an interview with NRK's Østnytt programme to mark a new series of the television drama Lilyhammer.

Top Ten must-see hidden attractions in France
France

Top Ten must-see hidden attractions in France

Believe it or not, there is more to France than the Eiffel Tower, Mont St-Michel and Versailles Palace. Much more, in fact, and a lot of it remains well off the beaten track. So The Local has teamed up with Lonely Planet to bring you ten must-see hidden attractions in France. Can you tell us any more?

Union halts underground Zurich train station work
Switzerland

Union halts underground Zurich train station work

The Swiss union Unia brought construction of a new underground train station in Zurich to a halt on Tuesday over the hiring of Polish workers at substandard pay rates.

Crew not to blame for Hercules crash: report
Norway

Crew not to blame for Hercules crash: report

A new report into the crash last year of a Norwegian military plane into Sweden's highest mountain has blamed poor systems and procedures at the air authorities of both countries rather than the crew or equipment.

Spanish court orders release of Eta prisoner
Spain

Spanish court orders release of Eta prisoner

Spanish judges on Tuesday ordered a 55-year-old ETA prisoner freed after Europe's rights court ruled against her prolonged detention, opening the way to the release of dozens of other violent Basque separatists.

Man sets wife’s face alight in murder attempt
Italy

Man sets wife’s face alight in murder attempt

Police are searching for a man close to Venice who threw industrial glue over his wife's face, before setting it ablaze, Italian media reported.

Italy urges EU summit on immigrant action plan
Italy

Italy urges EU summit on immigrant action plan

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Tuesday urged an EU summit this week to adopt an action plan to deal with the "immigration emergency" after two shipwrecks that killed over 400 people.

Germany helped US with ‘illegal’ drone attacks
Germany

Germany helped US with ‘illegal’ drone attacks

Germany helped the CIA carry out drone attacks in Pakistan according to a report by Amnesty International published on Tuesday. The human rights organization has called on the German government to come clean about its involvement and slammed some of the attacks as “war crimes”.

Bill Gates deal boosts Spain’s building sector
Spain

Bill Gates deal boosts Spain’s building sector

US software billionaire Bill Gates has given Spain’s ailing construction industry a boost by investing a small share of his €50 billion ($67 billion) fortune in Barcelona-based company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC).

Italians behind fake French wine scam
Italy

Italians behind fake French wine scam

An Italian man and his son were at the helm of a Europe-wide French counterfeit wine operation, which had produced at least 400 fake bottles of a prestigious Burgundy Pinot Noir.

‘Priceless’ Viking jewels nabbed in museum raid
Sweden

‘Priceless’ Viking jewels nabbed in museum raid

Precious artifacts from the Viking era were stolen from the Lund University Historical Museum after the thieves smashed a window and made off with several items, including ancient jewellery.

App creates virtual Holocaust memorials
Germany

App creates virtual Holocaust memorials

Stolpersteine - inscribed stones set in the ground in memory of Nazi victims - have caused controversy in Munich. Nine years ago an artist was banned from putting new ones up. But now a phone app will create virtual memorials.

Princess Mette-Marit on sick leave till Christmas
Norway

Princess Mette-Marit on sick leave till Christmas

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has suspended all official duties until at least Christmas after a back problem sustained on a trip to Ukraine five years ago made an unwelcome return.

Dad jailed for slapping son who refused to read
Italy

Dad jailed for slapping son who refused to read

A father has been jailed for one month for slapping his six-year old son after the youngster refused to read.

Narrow support found for Swiss motorway tax hike
Switzerland

Narrow support found for Swiss motorway tax hike

A month before the issue goes to a referendum, a slight majority of the Swiss voting population favours boosting the price of the motorway tax for vehicles to 100 francs ($110) from 40 francs, according to the latest survey.

Water boss held hostage after tap turned off
Italy

Water boss held hostage after tap turned off

A hostage situation erupted in northern Italy when an angry customer held a water company director at knifepoint after the man had his taps turned off.

Fraudsters bottled €2m of fake French fine wine
France

Fraudsters bottled €2m of fake French fine wine

Splashed out on a bottle of fine Burgundy wine recently? Well you might want to check the label very carefully after it emerged this week a Europe-wide probe has broken up a wine counterfeiting operation, which sold €2 million worth of the €8,000 a bottle Burgundy red Romanée-Conti.

Does Germany have the education edge?
Germany

Does Germany have the education edge?

Germany has one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Europe but the standard of its education system is full of contradictions.

Ylvis to release ‘The Fox’ children’s book
Norway

Ylvis to release ‘The Fox’ children’s book

Norwegian brother act Ylvis will next month release a children's picture book based on their hit YouTube video The Fox, in a sign they plan to milk the song's global success for everything it's worth.

French roads hit by farmers ‘ecotax’ protest
France

French roads hit by farmers ‘ecotax’ protest

Drivers in France might be advised to leave their cars at home on Tuesday as farmers and truck drivers hold a day of action in protest against a new “ecotax” on heavy goods vehicles.

Damages slashed for Swedish teen sex video
Sweden

Damages slashed for Swedish teen sex video

A Swedish court has sharply reduced damages to be paid to a teenage girl who had a private sex video shared on porn sites by her ex-boyfriend without her consent, arguing sexual openness is "increasingly socially acceptable".

Spain suspects NSA spying after Snowden France leak
Spain

Spain suspects NSA spying after Snowden France leak

Spain's security services believe the US systematically spied on the country as in France or Germany, Spanish media reported on Tuesday. Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden is expected to leak secret information on Spain shortly.

‘Only perfect Milan will beat Barcelona’
Spain

‘Only perfect Milan will beat Barcelona’

Barcelona visit the San Siro on Tuesday and are widely expected to capitalise on the Rossoneri's domestic woes to secure their third successive win in the group having already beaten Ajax (4-0) and Celtic (1-0).

Syria arms inspectors trained in Bavaria
Germany

Syria arms inspectors trained in Bavaria

An explosion rips through a chemical weapons depot. Bleeding victims stumble out of the building and scream for help. Six arms inspectors have just arrived at the scene and hit the ground.

Protests mar ceremony for shipwreck dead
Italy

Protests mar ceremony for shipwreck dead

Italy held a ceremony in honour of the victims of an asylum shipwreck on Monday, amid protests from survivors and relatives who slammed the government for keeping them away.

‘Pensioners have saved Spain during the crisis’
Spain

‘Pensioners have saved Spain during the crisis’

After a career spent repairing trains, Francisco Marcos Gallego once thought he and his wife would end their days in comfort. Instead they are struggling to support their unemployed son and his children.

Man shot dead near neighbourhood bike path
Sweden

Man shot dead near neighbourhood bike path

A 27-year-old man was shot and killed in a residential area in Falkenberg, about 100 kilometres south of Gothenburg in southwestern Sweden, late Monday night.

State bans teacher-pupil contact on Facebook
Germany

State bans teacher-pupil contact on Facebook

A German state has banned its teachers and pupils from being friends on Facebook, stating it was not possible for them to keep a professional relationship if they could see each others photos and postings on the social network site.

Hollande tells Obama spying is ‘unacceptable’
France

Hollande tells Obama spying is ‘unacceptable’

US President Barack Obama had some explaining to do on Monday night when he phoned his French counterpart François Hollande over claims that a US spy agency had recorded millions of French calls. Hollande told Obama he "deeply disapproved" of spying on allies.

Fury as glassmaker destroys Swedish crystal
Sweden

Fury as glassmaker destroys Swedish crystal

Designer Swedish crystal worth hundreds of thousands of kronor is being destroyed at recently-shuttered Orrefors Kosta Boda glass factories in southern Sweden, much to the dismay of those who created it.

Europe tells Yemen to act over German death
Germany

Europe tells Yemen to act over German death

European Union ministers urged Yemen on Monday to deliver in a probe into the killing of a security official working at Germany's embassy in the country.

Sweden to get tough on immigrant benefits
Sweden

Sweden to get tough on immigrant benefits

New arrivals in Sweden won't be able turn down a job offer without suffering financial penalties, Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag explained on Monday as he unveiled changes to a programme that aims to get more immigrants into the job market.