Federer joins Wawrinka in Paris quarterfinals
Switzerland

Federer joins Wawrinka in Paris quarterfinals

Switzerland’s Roger Federer outclassed Philipp Kohlschreiber on Thursday to join compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in the Paris Masters tennis quarterfinals, along with Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and defending champ David Ferrer.

Vatican to poll Catholics on gay marriage – report
Italy

Vatican to poll Catholics on gay marriage – report

The Vatican has asked national bishops' conferences around the world to quiz Catholics on a wide range of subjects including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce, according to a report in National Catholic Reporter.

TV producer seeks Swiss waterpark cast members
Switzerland

TV producer seeks Swiss waterpark cast members

Now’s your chance to become a TV star if you live around Zurich or are visiting the region— and you can get your fill of thrills to boot.

Breivik hugged his mother before she died
Norway

Breivik hugged his mother before she died

Norwegian killer Anders Breivik hugged his mother and apologised for ruining her life a few days before she died of cancer this March, according to a new book published on Thursday.

Syrian man sets himself on fire in Rome – reports
Italy

Syrian man sets himself on fire in Rome – reports

A 24-year-old Syrian man set himself on fire near the Colosseum in Rome on Thursday in front of hundreds of horrified tourists, Italian media reported

Top French expressions you won’t learn at school
France

Top French expressions you won’t learn at school

Learning French in school can be all about the grammar and pronunciation. But the French language is positively packed with some bizarre, hilarious and poetic turns of phrase, that you can use every day to impress the locals, and express exactly what's on your mind. Here's 12 of the best.

The artist who took away an Italian town’s church
Italy

The artist who took away an Italian town’s church

Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli ruffled a few feathers in a small Calabrian village this week after dismantling its church. Why? Because he wants to rebuild it and put it on display at a top museum in New York.

Top ten spooky Spanish Halloween costumes
Spain

Top ten spooky Spanish Halloween costumes

Still madly trying to come up with an idea for a Halloween costume? Why not try one of The Local's Spanish-themed outfits? Each one is scarier than the last and all are destined to send a shiver down even the bravest of spines.

Alitalia chairman to resign after capital boost
Italy

Alitalia chairman to resign after capital boost

The chairman of Italy's troubled airline Alitalia, Roberto Colaninno, will resign from the company once its recapitalisation is completed, Alitalia said in a statement on Thursday.

Man dies after pitbull bites off his testicles
Italy

Man dies after pitbull bites off his testicles

A man who had his testicles bitten off by his pet dog on Monday has since died of his injuries, Italian media reported.

Aide to Swedish terror attack appeals sentence
Sweden

Aide to Swedish terror attack appeals sentence

The jailed financier of Swedish-Iraqi suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab appeared in Edinburgh High Court on Thursday to appeal his seven-year sentence. His legal team appeared intent on highlighting the widow's role in the attack.

Man attempts to rape six women in Frankfurt
Germany

Man attempts to rape six women in Frankfurt

Police in Frankfurt have appealed for information to help catch a man who attempted to rape six women in the city. Police have received around 200 potential leads.

Clashes erupt at Rome housing rights protest
Italy

Clashes erupt at Rome housing rights protest

Italian police clashed with hundreds of campaigners for housing rights in the streets of the capital on Thursday, with officers firing tear gas as protesters tried to tip over a riot van.

France closes symbolic German based regiment
France

France closes symbolic German based regiment

France announced on Thursday it was closing down a 1,000-strong infantry regiment based in Germany that is part of a highly symbolic Franco-German brigade, a move Berlin reacted to with "regret"

Norwegian boss denies child trafficking ring
Norway

Norwegian boss denies child trafficking ring

The director of a Norwegian company accused of running a child-trafficking network passing through Italy has denied the claims, telling The Local that his company was merely trying to help a mother and her child.

Norway boss denies child trafficking ring
Italy

Norway boss denies child trafficking ring

The director of a Norwegian company allegedly part of a child trafficking network passing through Italy, has denied the claims and told The Local his company was merely trying to help a mother and her child.

‘Eritrea is spying on shipwreck survivors’
Italy

‘Eritrea is spying on shipwreck survivors’

A priest at the head of an association helping survivors of immigrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean on Thursday claimed mediators working with Italian police were in fact spies of the Eritrean regime.

Young Swede nets win in Davis Cup thriller
Sweden

Young Swede nets win in Davis Cup thriller

Our Swede of the Week is a tennis wunderkind who not only kept Sweden in the Davis Cups finals, but did so by bashing a Dane and despite being the youngest Swedish tournament player in 32 years. Meet 17-year-old Elias Ymer.

Spain shares phone data with US: Report
Spain

Spain shares phone data with US: Report

Spanish secret services regularly share large amounts of intercepted data with their US counterparts, including details of telephone calls, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

‘Bling bishop’ takes refuge in abbey
Germany

‘Bling bishop’ takes refuge in abbey

A controversial bishop has found sanctuary in a Bavarian monastery after being suspended indefinitely by Pope Francis last week.

Chef to six French presidents spills secrets
France

Chef to six French presidents spills secrets

The chef who has catered for the culinary needs of six French presidents over the last 40 years has finally hung up his apron. Bernard Vaussion, who retires on Thursday, has revealed a secrets or two about the tastes of the men he cooked for, including one president who had a penchant for calf's head.

Spain for expats: Great people, terrible money
Spain

Spain for expats: Great people, terrible money

Is Spain the best place in the world for expats? To judge by the results of HSBC’s sixth annual Expat Explorer survey, probably not.

Faulty crane killed Swedish man at work
Sweden

Faulty crane killed Swedish man at work

A work-accident report has concluded that a damaged loading hook caused the death of 63-year-old crane operator last week, when two other fatalities and a third accident were also reported in Sweden.

Germany hits back at US criticism over economy
Germany

Germany hits back at US criticism over economy

Germany on Thursday rejected as"incomprehensible" criticism levelled by the US Treasury that Berlin should do more to increase its domestic demand and rely less on exports in order to help boost the global economy.

Italy busts Nordic child custody kidnappers
Sweden

Italy busts Nordic child custody kidnappers

A Swedish citizen is a suspect in a complex child-smuggling ring, including ex military men using a Norwegian front company and making money off parents locked in bitter custody battles. A female Olympic sailor was also arrested.

Higher business travel boosts air traffic: IATA
Switzerland

Higher business travel boosts air traffic: IATA

Businesses are spending more on travel and this has helped global air-passenger traffic rise by 5.5 percent in September from the equivalent figure last year, the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

Lavazza calendar showcases top chefs
Italy

Lavazza calendar showcases top chefs

Lavazza, the Italian coffee company, has unveiled its 2014 calendar featuring its ‘Magnificent Seven’ chefs.

Gold price tumble hits Swiss National Bank
Switzerland

Gold price tumble hits Swiss National Bank

Switzerland's central bank said on Thursday that it lost billions during the first nine months of the year amid a sharp drop in gold prices.

Hostages: Le Pen hints at Homeland scenario
France

Hostages: Le Pen hints at Homeland scenario

The leader of France's National Front party Marine Le Pen has been accused of “paranoid delusion”, after expressing her “unease” on Thursday at the beards and attire of the four Frenchman who were held in captivity by Al Qaeda-linked rebels until their release this week.

Housing crunch worries city-loving Stockholmers
Sweden

Housing crunch worries city-loving Stockholmers

Stockholm residents are overwhelmingly satisfied with life in the Swedish capital, but more than half of respondents in a new survey said the housing crunch was the most pressing policy issue for their beloved city to tackle.

Police expel officer who raped prostitute
Spain

Police expel officer who raped prostitute

An officer with Spain's National Police squad has been booted off the force for raping a prostitute. Other colleagues are facing lesser penalties for crimes including theft and losing their police issue weapons.

Swap Islam for Jesus: Hoax story riles Muslims
Spain

Swap Islam for Jesus: Hoax story riles Muslims

A satirical news piece claiming Spanish citizenship would be granted to Moroccan citizens who gave up Islam and converted to Christianity has been taken seriously by the North African country’s media. The 'news' has not gone down well in Morocco.

From Berlin to the world – the doner kebab
Germany

From Berlin to the world – the doner kebab

The man credited with inventing the doner kebab, Kadir Nurman, passed away last Thursday aged 80. The Local pays homage to him and his famous creation in our German of the Week.

Italy busts ex-army staff child smuggling ring
Italy

Italy busts ex-army staff child smuggling ring

Italian police have dismantled an international ring of ex-special forces accused of plotting to kidnap children caught up in custody battles, using high-speed boats and a base in Sicily to smuggle their charges across Europe.

School closure incites beating of politician
Sweden

School closure incites beating of politician

An assailant citing the recent closures of rural schools has violently assaulted a local politician in her home in northern Sweden.

France is ‘least friendly’ place to work for expats
France

France is ‘least friendly’ place to work for expats

The results of a new global study this week revealed both the positives and the negatives of living as an expat in France. Check out the findings, some of which may raise a few eyebrows, to see how life for expats in France fares when compared to other countries.

Police find missing woman set in concrete
Germany

Police find missing woman set in concrete

Police found the body of a woman near Bonn on Wednesday set in concrete and hidden behind a wall, five years after she went missing.

Woman dies after falling into husband’s grave
Italy

Woman dies after falling into husband’s grave

A pensioner has died after plunging into her husband's tomb in Pompeii, southern Italy.

Italy’s jobless rate hits record high
Italy

Italy’s jobless rate hits record high

Italy's unemployment rate hit a record of 12.5 percent in September, up 0.1 percent from the August level, initial data from the national statistics agency showed on Thursday.

Chinese classes take off as Spaniards eye future
Spain

Chinese classes take off as Spaniards eye future

A newcomer is muscling its way onto Spain's booming foreign language market: alongside stalwarts like English and German, Mandarin Chinese is gaining popularity as an option for Spanish children.

Landlord finds 20 dead black cats in freezer
Italy

Landlord finds 20 dead black cats in freezer

The owner of an apartment in Viterbo, Lazio, had a nasty surprise when he called in on his flat and found 20 dead black cats crammed into a freezer. He made the grim discovery just days before Halloween, so police are not ruling out the theory that the animals might have been part of a ritual to honour the dead.

Drinkers get thirstier as beer sales increase
Germany

Drinkers get thirstier as beer sales increase

Germany’s love of beer shows no sign of abating with the country’s breweries celebrating booming sales over the summer months, figures released on Wednesday showed.

US and Germany agree to continue spy talks
Germany

US and Germany agree to continue spy talks

US and German officials will continue talks over spying between the two countries. The meeting was sparked by revelations the NSA was tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Norwegian pilots may strike on Monday
Norway

Norwegian pilots may strike on Monday

More than 600 Norwegian Airline pilots are set to strike on Monday if the company fails to reach a Sunday deadline with unions on its new corporate structure, grounding flights across Scandinavia.

Disneyland: ‘Safety a priority’ say park chiefs
France

Disneyland: ‘Safety a priority’ say park chiefs

UPDATED: Management at Disneyland in Paris moved to reassure visitors to the park that safety was paramount, a day after a five-year-old boy was left in a critical condition after he fell from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. His health has since improved.

Murder trial begins for dismemberment suspect
Sweden

Murder trial begins for dismemberment suspect

The murder trial against a 22-year-old suspected of dismembering his ex-girlfriend began on Thursday in Piteå, northern Sweden. The man took part in the massive search and rescue operation launched after her disappearance.

Gestapo chief buried in Jewish cemetery
Germany

Gestapo chief buried in Jewish cemetery

The head of Nazi Germany's secret police, Heinrich Müller, was buried in a Jewish cemetery, it emerged on Thursday. He was buried in a mass grave in central Berlin.

AstraZeneca profits drop after patent losses
Sweden

AstraZeneca profits drop after patent losses

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said net profit suffered in the third quarter after it lost patent exclusivity on some of its bestsellers against schizophrenia and cholesterol.

Italian MPs twice as pricey as German MPs
Italy

Italian MPs twice as pricey as German MPs

Italian MPs are raking in the cash compared to their European counterparts. Taking home €10,400 a month, they also earn thousands more than the average Italian. But are they worth it? The Local asks Luca Verzichelli, a politics professor at the University of Siena.

Experts cynical over French ransom denials
France

Experts cynical over French ransom denials

France's denials it handed over a huge ransom for the release of four hostages are being met with widespread scepticism, with experts saying such payments are common and may be fuelling kidnappings.

ECB continues swaps with Swiss central bank
Switzerland

ECB continues swaps with Swiss central bank

The European Central Bank say that its current temporary bilateral liquidity swap arrangements with the Swiss National Bank and four other central banks will remain in place until further notice.

Ten reasons you might not see Spain’s crisis
Spain

Ten reasons you might not see Spain’s crisis

You're in Spain, the sun is shining, the streets are buzzing and people are better dressed than nearly anywhere on earth. So where is this crisis you've been hearing all about? Here, The Local gives ten reasons why "la crisis" might be harder to spot than you think.

Fridge firm faces closure after sales freeze
Spain

Fridge firm faces closure after sales freeze

Major Spanish electrical appliance maker Fagor, which employs 5,700 people worldwide, moved closer to bankruptcy on Wednesday after its parent company, Basque cooperative Mondragon, said it would not rescue the firm.

Bale and Ronaldo star as Real hammer Sevilla
Spain

Bale and Ronaldo star as Real hammer Sevilla

Gareth Bale scored twice and Cristiano Ronaldo notched up a hat-trick as Real Madrid thrashed Sevilla 7-3 on Wednesday in their league clash.

Cask of Pitt-Jolie French wine goes for €10,000
France

Cask of Pitt-Jolie French wine goes for €10,000

Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie appear to making a success of their dip into the wine trade. On Wednesday a single cask of organic white wine from their Chateau Miraval French vineyard went for more than €10,000 at auction.

Stockholm man poisoned by cleaning fluid coffee
Sweden

Stockholm man poisoned by cleaning fluid coffee

A Stockholm-area man was taken to hospital after gulping down coffee from a machine that laced the drink with cleaning fluid.

Foreigner motorway fee ‘fine under EU law’
Germany

Foreigner motorway fee ‘fine under EU law’

Europe’s traffic chief has said plans to charge foreigners to use German motorways would be in line with EU law, contradicting opponents of the charge who claim it is illegal.

Hollande meets football chiefs for tax talks
France

Hollande meets football chiefs for tax talks

The French President François Hollande will meet with bosses from France’s leading football clubs for crisis talks on Thursday, after they announced they would go on strike in protest over the implementation of a new 75 percent tax.

Norway’s teenage jihadis held against their will
Norway

Norway’s teenage jihadis held against their will

The two Norwegian-Somali teenaged sisters who travelled to Syria to aid the civil war effort are now being held against their will and are desperate to return home, the girls' father has told state broadcaster NRK.

Zurich named among top ten cities to visit in 2014
Switzerland

Zurich named among top ten cities to visit in 2014

Zurich is one of the top 10 cities in the world for tourists to visit next year, according to the Lonely Planet travel guide for 2014, which lauds the Swiss metropolis for its “Bacchanalian edge”.

Federer and Wawrinka win first rounds in Paris
Switzerland

Federer and Wawrinka win first rounds in Paris

Swiss star Roger Federer and World number one Rafael Nadal led a host of leading fancies into the third round of the Paris Masters tennis tournament on Wednesday.

Senior convicted for boat crash manslaughter
Switzerland

Senior convicted for boat crash manslaughter

A 77-year-old Swiss man was convicted on Wednesday of homicide through negligence when he operated a motor boat on Lake Biel that crashed into an inflatable canoe, killing a 24-year-old woman more than three years ago.

Homeland star Claire Danes to host Nobel
Norway

Homeland star Claire Danes to host Nobel

The Hollywood actress Claire Danes is to host the Nobel Peace Prize awards this December, taking over from Sarah Jessica Parker and Gerard Butler, who hosted the event last year.

Living in Germany gets more stressful
Germany

Living in Germany gets more stressful

Living in Germany is more stressful than it was a year ago for most people, a report released on Wednesday revealed.

Swedish imam smuggles weapons to Syria: report
Sweden

Swedish imam smuggles weapons to Syria: report

A Swedish imam has smuggled large quantities of weapons to rebels in Syria, a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.

‘The one who caused this tragedy also struck me’
Norway

‘The one who caused this tragedy also struck me’

The mother of Norwegian killer Anders Breivik wanted to make a speech on the first anniversary of her son's massacre, but was too frightened that she would be shot, an unauthorised biography released on Thursday claims.

Outcry over plans for Venice theme park
Italy

Outcry over plans for Venice theme park

A top maker of amusement park rides has unveiled a controversial project to transform a "rubbish island" in Venice into a cultural attraction, insisting the floating city would not be blemished by a fun park.

Suicide prompts candle-lit vigil for gay rights
Italy

Suicide prompts candle-lit vigil for gay rights

Hundreds of gay rights activists held a candle-lit vigil at Rome's Colosseum Wednesday to call for a law against homophobia after a youth threw himself off the 11th story of a building in the Italian capital.

‘Offer vouchers to improve SFI courses’
Sweden

‘Offer vouchers to improve SFI courses’

Allowing newcomers to shop around for state-financed Swedish lessons, similar to the free-school voucher system, would allow more flexibility around work and internships, a government rapporteur argued on Thursday.