Geneva prof denies guilt in US murder case
Switzerland

Geneva prof denies guilt in US murder case

An assistant professor of psychology from Webster University in Geneva is facing a trial with three others in a sensational 18-year-old murder case in California that is attracting international media attention.

Carlsen set to be crowned chess champion
Norway

Carlsen set to be crowned chess champion

Norwegian sensation Magnus Carlsen was a draw away from becoming the new world chess champion after scoring his third win over reigning champion Viswanathan Anand in the 12-game title duel on Thursday.

Who are France’s ‘Men of the Year’ for 2013?
France

Who are France’s ‘Men of the Year’ for 2013?

The French version of men's magazine GQ announced the winners of its 2013 "Men of the Year" awards as voted for by readers and members of its editorial team? Find out which icons they honoured and who scooped the top prize of France's "Man of the Year"

Geneva nuclear deal ‘not yet in sight’: Tehran
Switzerland

Geneva nuclear deal ‘not yet in sight’: Tehran

Iran and world powers locked horns in intense nuclear talks in Geneva on Thursday, with Tehran saying a deal was not yet in sight in the third round of negotiations since Hassan Rouhani's election.

Why the EU parliament must stay in Strasbourg
France

Why the EU parliament must stay in Strasbourg

A campaign by MEPs to move the European Parliament from Strasbourg - leaving it with only its Brussels base - gained momentum this week. One French MEP tells The Local why it must remain in the symbolic city on the border with Germany - and says his view has nothing to do with him being French.

Berlusconi ‘paid off witnesses’ in sex trial
Italy

Berlusconi ‘paid off witnesses’ in sex trial

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, found guilty in June of paying for sex with an underage prostitute, falsified evidence and corrupted dozens of witnesses in a bid to escape jail, a court report said on Thursday.

Ten new laws that are shocking Spaniards
Spain

Ten new laws that are shocking Spaniards

On Tuesday Spain unveiled a draft Citizen Security Law which could mean huge fines for everything from filming a policeman to drinking on the street. Read on to find out what other activities could soon be a thing of the past if the legislation gets the green light.

Spanish King’s hip surgery ‘a success’
Spain

Spanish King’s hip surgery ‘a success’

Surgeons replaced Spain's King Juan Carlos's left hip for the third time on Thursday, the latest in a string of operations that have raised questions about the future of his reign.

‘Mr Electric Razor’ Artur Braun dies
Germany

‘Mr Electric Razor’ Artur Braun dies

Artur Braun, one of the fathers of the Braun electric razor, died this month aged 88. His firm's innovative designs turned a family business into a global household name. An industrial pioneer, he is The Local's German of the Week.

McDonald’s tests first German home delivery
Germany

McDonald’s tests first German home delivery

The prayers of the hungover have finally come true - at least for the happy heavy drinkers of the west German city of Osnabrück, where one McDonald’s restaurant has road-tested the country's first McDonald's delivery service.

‘Racist slurs hurt my kids’ says black minister
France

‘Racist slurs hurt my kids’ says black minister

France's senior black politician, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has admitted that a recent slew of racist insults - including being compared to a monkey - had caused her children pain.

Rapist jailed after Facebook apology
Sweden

Rapist jailed after Facebook apology

A man who denied raping a woman was sentenced to prison on Thursday after a Swedish court found that he had apologized to his victim on Facebook.

Global disease fund wins South Korean backing
Switzerland

Global disease fund wins South Korean backing

The Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced on Thursday that it had received a major boost from South Korea thanks to a levy on airline tickets.

Barcelona to Paris fast train set for launch
Spain

Barcelona to Paris fast train set for launch

A new high speed train linking Barcelona and Paris in just six and half hours could be up and running as early as mid-December making the French capital more accessible than ever.

OECD still regards Switzerland as tax haven
Switzerland

OECD still regards Switzerland as tax haven

Switzerland has been listed alongside well-known tax havens in a new OECD ranking, showing the country still has work to do on banking secrecy despite recent steps aimed at tackling the issue.

Credit Suisse streamlines to meet tougher rules
Switzerland

Credit Suisse streamlines to meet tougher rules

Swiss giant Credit Suisse is to change its legal structure to meet stricter regulatory requirements for banks deemed too big to fail, it said on Thursday.

Brittany shaken by 4.5 magnitude earthquake
France

Brittany shaken by 4.5 magnitude earthquake

An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale shook parts of Brittany, in western France on Thursday, with one witness describing her fear in the face of “very strong shockwaves.” Others said the earthquake felt like an explosion.

Italy will sell stakes in eight firms including Eni
Italy

Italy will sell stakes in eight firms including Eni

Italy will sell stakes in eight companies including energy giant Eni in a "first packet of privatisations", Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Thursday, in a drive to reduce debt.

Germany tops world ‘soft power’ rankings
Germany

Germany tops world ‘soft power’ rankings

Germany has been ranked the world’s leading "soft power" edging Britain and the USA off top spot for its cultural and sporting prowess, economic might and diplomacy.

‘Asylum-friendly Sweden a soft-power superpower’
Sweden

‘Asylum-friendly Sweden a soft-power superpower’

Sweden is once again in the top ten in a soft-power rating by Monocle magazine, which credits the "boring stuff" like gender equality, but also applauds the Swedish asylum stance that "shames its European neighbours".

Seven things Germany should ask the NSA
Germany

Seven things Germany should ask the NSA

The German interior minister says it is high time that the US government cast some light on the NSA's activities. But what questions still need to be asked by Germany and answered by the US? The Local has some suggestions.

Is Erasmus really worth its budget boost?
Spain

Is Erasmus really worth its budget boost?

Erasmus, the world's biggest student exchange, is to expand after 25 years of funding European students to go abroad. But with the EU budget being slashed, does the grant scheme deserve a 50 percent boost to its budget?

Day of mourning for Sardinia flood victims
Italy

Day of mourning for Sardinia flood victims

Prime Minister Enrico Letta has declared Friday a day of mourning, to mark the death of 16 people in flash floods on the island of Sardinia.

Murder charges in gay dating site killing
Sweden

Murder charges in gay dating site killing

Swedish prosecutors have brought murder charges against two Stockholm men involved in a high-profile robbery of a man they contacted on a gay dating website and then left to bleed to death in suburban woodlands.

New Paris to Barcelona TGV service set to launch
France

New Paris to Barcelona TGV service set to launch

Parisians looking to make a quick trip to Barcelona will soon be able to get there in around six and a half hours - without having to go near an airport. According to Spain’s transport minister, the new high-speed TGV service from to Barcelona will launch on December 15th.

WTO delays Geneva meeting on trade summit
Switzerland

WTO delays Geneva meeting on trade summit

The World Trade Organization on Wednesday postponed a crunch meeting as round the clock efforts continued to finalize a deal ahead of a make or break summit next month.

France welcomes 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau
France

France welcomes 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau

One of the great annual French traditions will kick off at one minute past midnight on Thursday when wine lovers and revellers alike will raise a glass of the 2013 vintage of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine. The Local looks at why the custom has become so big in France.

Spanish PM calls time on austerity policies
Spain

Spanish PM calls time on austerity policies

The Spanish government will ease its austerity reforms over the coming two years as the economy appears to be emerging from recession, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Thursday.

Wawrinka heads to India for ATP Chennai Open
Switzerland

Wawrinka heads to India for ATP Chennai Open

Swiss world number eight Stanislas Wawrinka and defending champion Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia headline a strong field for the season-opening ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament in India from December 30th, organizers said on Thursday.

Berlusconi’s demise ‘boosts Italy’s power’
Italy

Berlusconi’s demise ‘boosts Italy’s power’

Italy has shot up in the global rankings of "soft power" - based on a country's attractiveness to other nations - all thanks to the political demise of Silvio Berlusconi.

Switzerland rates among world’s top ‘soft powers’
Switzerland

Switzerland rates among world’s top ‘soft powers’

Switzerland is a small country that’s big on “soft power”, according to the latest edition of British magazine Monocle.

Where to celebrate Thanksgiving in Sweden
Sweden

Where to celebrate Thanksgiving in Sweden

American Thanksgiving is just around the corner..but where to find the turkey if you live in Sweden? The Local offers up a buffet of options for celebrating Thanksgiving in Sweden.

Italian families slash Christmas spending
Italy

Italian families slash Christmas spending

Italian families will cut spending on Christmas presents this year as they continue to grapple with finances in an economy that's showing little sign of improvement. Reports show that the average Italian family will be spending 11.2 percent less on Christmas presents this year.

Germany to introduce minimum wage
Germany

Germany to introduce minimum wage

Germany is set to introduce a national minimum wage, conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, relenting on a key demand of her likely future centre-left governing partners.

Norway parents least happy with daycare
Norway

Norway parents least happy with daycare

Norwegian parents are less satisfied with their children's daycare than those of any other Nordic country, according to a new study by European research group EPSI.

Couple beat aristocrat in row over 13th century tax
Spain

Couple beat aristocrat in row over 13th century tax

A couple from Majorca have won a case against an aristocrat who tried to hit them with a 13th century feudal tax for owning a property which is on her ancestors’ land.

Pirate Bay Swede to be shipped to Denmark
Sweden

Pirate Bay Swede to be shipped to Denmark

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg is to be extradited to Denmark to face accusations he orchestrated a hacker attack on registries belonging to the Danish police.

Spain gains new Michelin three-star restaurant
Spain

Spain gains new Michelin three-star restaurant

Spain is now the proud home of a new Michelin three-star restaurant: the DiverXO in Madrid restaurant run by chef David Muñoz.

Pope calls bean counters to beat Vatican fraud
Italy

Pope calls bean counters to beat Vatican fraud

Ernst & Young, the global consultancy firm, has begun a review of the Vatican's finances after Pope Francis called for an overhaul to the system following a series of fraud allegations.

Nutcracker makers get ready for Christmas rush
Germany

Nutcracker makers get ready for Christmas rush

As December draws closer, Germany's nutcracker manufacturers are gearing up for the Christmas season. Near the Baltic coast, one man is keeping to traditional techniques to make figurines with a nautical twist.

Snow marks winter’s return to Switzerland
Switzerland

Snow marks winter’s return to Switzerland

Snow hit low-lying areas of Switzerland for the first time this season on Thursday with accumulations of up to five centimetres in the western part of the country and up to 20 centimetres in the mountains.

Norway priest charged with $2m fraud
Norway

Norway priest charged with $2m fraud

A priest from Norway has been charged with embezzling 14.6 million kroner ($2.1m) from a religious foundation run by the country's Methodist church.

Pub guests denied drinks for being ‘too nice’
Sweden

Pub guests denied drinks for being ‘too nice’

Four foreign men have reported a Stockholm pub to the police after they were refused drinks, which they claim was because of their skin colour, but which the bartender claims was because the men were "unusually pleasant".

The dark past of Paris shooting suspect Dekhar
France

The dark past of Paris shooting suspect Dekhar

Police on Wednesday arrested Abdelhakim Dekhar, who they believe was the gunman who brought panic to the streets of Paris this week. Then came the chilling realization that they had seen his name before - as part of a murderous episode that shocked France nearly 20 years ago.

Spain’s Repsol branded world climate villain
Spain

Spain’s Repsol branded world climate villain

Spanish energy giant Repsol is one of only 90 firms responsible for two thirds of all man-made global warming since the beginning of the industrial revolution, new research reveals.

Tax coffers swell again on shopping and jobs
Germany

Tax coffers swell again on shopping and jobs

A booming job market and an increase in consumer spending saw Germany's tax receipts grow again in October, putting €39 billion into government coffers.

Human skull dumped in Rome church
Italy

Human skull dumped in Rome church

A priest in Rome's Testaccio neighbourhood made a grisly discovery this week when he found a bag containing parts of a human skull.

Smelly stash of weed sickens Swedish cops
Sweden

Smelly stash of weed sickens Swedish cops

Police in Uppsala in eastern Sweden are wrestling with an unusual drug problem that has left officers feeling queasy.

Spain still divided over long-dead dictator
Spain

Spain still divided over long-dead dictator

Thirty-eight years after the dictator Francisco Franco died, Spaniards remain divided over the final resting place of his body, which lies in a controversial monument carved into a mountain near Madrid.

Stockholm trains back on track after derailment
Sweden

Stockholm trains back on track after derailment

Stockholm traffic authorities announced on Thursday that the site of a freight train derailment has now been repaired and will reopen. But it won't be business as usual for the capital's commuter traffic.

Statoil named among world’s climate villains
Norway

Statoil named among world’s climate villains

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has been named as one of just 90 companies responsible for nearly two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions since the start of the industrial revolution.

VIDEO: French weather girl strips for Les Bleus
France

VIDEO: French weather girl strips for Les Bleus

Not everyone in France had reason to celebrate their football team's thrilling comeback in their World Cup play off this week. French weather girl Doria Tillier had promised to present the forecast naked if Les Bleus made it to Brazil. She stuck to her word as this video shows.

Jewish council criticizes Gurlitt Nazi art return
Germany

Jewish council criticizes Gurlitt Nazi art return

Germany’s plan to hand hundreds of confiscated paintings back to the son of a Nazi art dealer has raised the wrath of Jewish organizations. The World Jewish Congress, meanwhile, has stated the country's reputation is on the line.

German politicians to get encrypted phones
Germany

German politicians to get encrypted phones

Germany's two main parties have agreed on measures to keep their internal communications safe – including all politicians using encrypted mobile phones, it emerged on Thursday.

‘Gibraltar is not gunboat diplomacy’: UK
Spain

‘Gibraltar is not gunboat diplomacy’: UK

Britain said Wednesday it was reviewing its military presence off Gibraltar following a lengthy stand-off between the Royal Navy and a Spanish ship, but denied it was resorting to "gunboat diplomacy".

‘Lack of jobs dangerous,’ Solberg warns Merkel
Norway

‘Lack of jobs dangerous,’ Solberg warns Merkel

Norway's new prime minister has warned German chancellor Angela Merkel that high unemployment rates in Europe could push young people to join extremist Islamist and far-right groups.

French farmers told to end protest after death
France

French farmers told to end protest after death

UPDATED: A protest by French farmers unions provoked the ire of the government on Thursday after a motorist was killed and six others injured in two separate accidents at road blocks on the outsirts of Paris on Thursday morning. The blocks were lifted at around midday.

First payout for Spanish thalidomide victims
Germany

First payout for Spanish thalidomide victims

A court ordered the German maker of the banned pregnancy drug thalidomide to compensate Spanish victims on Wednesday who suffered birth defects from it in the 1960s.

Is Erasmus worth its 50 percent budget boost?
Italy

Is Erasmus worth its 50 percent budget boost?

Erasmus, the world's biggest student exchange, is to expand after 25 years of funding European students to go abroad. But with the EU budget being slashed, does the grant scheme deserve a 50 percent boost to its budget?

Toxic mafia dumps sow panic near Naples
Italy

Toxic mafia dumps sow panic near Naples

Anger is boiling over near Naples after revelations about toxic mafia dumps blamed for rising cancer rates that have prompted accusations the state is ignoring a vast public health crisis.

Paris shootings: Man held linked to 90s killings
France

Paris shootings: Man held linked to 90s killings

The hunt for a gunman who terrorised Paris appeared over as prosecutors said a DNA samples taken from a man arrested on Wednesday matched those taken from the scene of the attacks. He was named Abdelhakim Dekhar, jailed in 1998 for his role in a notorious series of murders.

Breivik drops out of all three university courses
Norway

Breivik drops out of all three university courses

Anders Breivik, the Norwegian far-right terrorist, has dropped out of the three courses he has been studying at the University of Oslo, opting not to take any of the end of term exams.

Italian police clash with anti-train protesters
Italy

Italian police clash with anti-train protesters

Protesters seeking to block a high-speed rail link between France and Italy that they call a waste of public money clashed with police on Wednesday in Rome, where the two countries' leaders were meeting.

Murder suspect: ‘I don’t know why I shot her’
Sweden

Murder suspect: ‘I don’t know why I shot her’

The 21-year-old man who fatally shot a woman at a train station in northern Sweden last summer had never met the victim and couldn't explain why he pulled the trigger. On Wednesday, he was indicted for murder.

The woman who unleashed a flood of Swedish asylum stories
Sweden

The woman who unleashed a flood of Swedish asylum stories

Kurdish-Swedish reporter Sîlan Diljen's documentary about dodging bullets and mine fields on her journey to Sweden, and the #minflykt ('my escape') hashtag it spawned, have inspired other migrants to finally share their stories of flight, making her our pick for Swede of the Week.