French health service fit and well despite ailments
France

French health service fit and well despite ailments

The French health service is often lauded by expats as one of the great benefits of living in France. An in-depth report published this week revealed it is in good shape, all things considered, although there are a few ailments that need to be remedied. Read on.

Top 10 Paris hangouts for late-night revelry
France

Top 10 Paris hangouts for late-night revelry

Despite recent talk of Paris nightlife being off its game lately, the City of Light is still a top spot for early-hours decadence of every kind. From old-school bistros to chic cocktail clubs, don't make any weekend plans until you check out the Top 10 Paris hangouts for late night revelry.

Copper theft on the rise in crisis-hit Italy
Italy

Copper theft on the rise in crisis-hit Italy

Italy is cracking down on copper thieves, an ever-growing problem amid rising poverty in the crisis-hit country that has cost the railways alone some €31 million over the last three years.

‘Spain’s gypsies are more invisible than ever’
Spain

‘Spain’s gypsies are more invisible than ever’

They are often portrayed as flamenco artists or petty criminals. But what is Spain's Roma population really like? And how has the crisis affected them? The Local spoke to Carolina Fernández at Spain's Gypsy Foundation (the FSG) to find out.

Mr Nutcracker and another Wembley win
Germany

Mr Nutcracker and another Wembley win

Germany’s nutcracker makers have their work cut out as Christmas preparations get under way, but one nut that Germany has cracked is winning at Wembley. The Local takes a look back at the best pictures of the last seven days.

Swedish law to include crimes against humanity
Sweden

Swedish law to include crimes against humanity

Sweden is set to introduce crimes against humanity into its penal code in a move to tackle widespread, systematic, and inhumane crimes abroad in Swedish courts.

Couple, aged 86, commit suicide in Paris hotel
France

Couple, aged 86, commit suicide in Paris hotel

A tragic story emerged in Paris on Friday of a couple aged in their eighties, who booked into a luxury Paris hotel to spend their last night together, before taking their own lives. It comes as new data was released that once again highlights France's worryingly high suicide rate.

‘I dream about returning to England one day’
Italy

‘I dream about returning to England one day’

Make-up artist Nicki Storey had been going on holiday to Positano on the Amalfi Coast since the age of 12, so it was the obvious choice to spend a summer learning Italian. She tells The Local how she ended up staying for 15 years, and the hidden frustrations of her 'dolce vita'.

Swedish woman finds 2,000-year-old gold ring
Sweden

Swedish woman finds 2,000-year-old gold ring

A woman was left gobsmacked when she learned the gold ring she stumbled across in a field was 2,000 years old.

Carlsen: Norway’s chess superstar
Norway

Carlsen: Norway’s chess superstar

As a prodigal genius and fashion model, newly-crowned world chess champion Magnus Carlsen has already lit up the game and has now added the world crown to his list of achievements.

Norway’s Carlsen claims world chess crown
Norway

Norway’s Carlsen claims world chess crown

Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen claimed the crown of world chess champion on Friday after drawing a tense 10th game against holder Viswanathan Anand to take an unassailable lead in the 12-round duel.

‘Legally, just saying no is not enough’
Germany

‘Legally, just saying no is not enough’

As the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women approaches, the last installment of The Local's Sex in Germany series looks at crime. Why does country's definition of rape divide opinion?

Couple get jail term for sex at Rome monument
Italy

Couple get jail term for sex at Rome monument

A young couple who succombed to their passion in the gardens of Rome's Castel Sant'Angelo have been sentenced to three months in prison after being spotted by an elderly woman from the balcony of her home.

Glass recycling bins – Munich’s top attraction
Germany

Glass recycling bins – Munich’s top attraction

It is more famous for its ancient beer halls, world-class football stadium and medieval churches, but glass recycling bins have been named one of Munich’s highest-rated attractions by reviewers on Google.

Money woes drive more Italians to suicide
Italy

Money woes drive more Italians to suicide

There has been a rise in the number of Italians committing suicide as they grapple with money problems amid a recession that is showing little sign of letting up, with 119 taking their lives since the start of 2013, new figures reveal.

Top Sweden Democrat: critics hurt democracy
Sweden

Top Sweden Democrat: critics hurt democracy

Rebels or rogues? The national meeting of Sweden Democrats this weekend certainly has the Swedish political scene abuzz. With ten months until elections, the once Nazi-tainted party may soon find itself playing kingmaker. But will they get a say in their core question - immigration?

Students ‘allergic to school’ in Bergamo
Italy

Students ‘allergic to school’ in Bergamo

Eight schoolchildren at a high school in Bergamo suffer from breathing problems and itching as soon as they enter the classroom, with medics unable to pinpoint the cause, according to a report in the Italian press.

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

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

The Spanish 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 this year.

Carlsen on brink of world chess title
Norway

Carlsen on brink of world chess title

Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen began his 10th match with India's Viswanathan Anand on Friday needing just a draw to take the world champion crown and complete his ascent to the top of the game.

Italian war veteran finds himself on YouTube
Italy

Italian war veteran finds himself on YouTube

Francesco Brambilla, 93, only discovered YouTube last week, when curiosity about his son's new tablet computer led him to the site. He was then surprised to discover himself in a video taken of his regiment ahead of its departure to the Russian front in 1942.

Norway ups gas security after Algeria attack
Norway

Norway ups gas security after Algeria attack

Norway has decided to bolster security at gas plants and pipelines around the country in the wake of January's terrorist attack on a Statoil plant in Algeria, and the 2011 attacks mounted in Norway by far-right extremist Anders Breivik.

Long-living Swiss top tables for psychiatrists
Switzerland

Long-living Swiss top tables for psychiatrists

Residents of Switzerland have a longer life expectancy than anyone else but they also rely on far more psychiatrists, a new report says.

Lost wallet test shows Oslo’s falling honesty
Norway

Lost wallet test shows Oslo’s falling honesty

Oslo's residents are a little less honest than they were back in the 90s, a replay of the famous "lost wallet" experiment mounted this month by Norway's Aftenposten newspaper has suggested.

Mystery cave find wows Spanish scientists
Spain

Mystery cave find wows Spanish scientists

Archaeologists made an exciting discovery near Barcelona recently: the 6,400-year-old remains of four people. Strangest of all, the group may have been bound together with rope and wrapped in a shroud at death.

Swedish officer sexually harassed on EU mission
Sweden

Swedish officer sexually harassed on EU mission

Top brass within Sweden's Armed Forces are furious after a Swedish female officer was sexually harassed while participating in an EU training mission in Africa.

Roma evicted from wood outside Oslo
Norway

Roma evicted from wood outside Oslo

Norwegian police on Thursday evicted the Roma immigrants who have been been camping for the last six months in the woods surrounding Sognsvann lake outside Oslo.

Borg and Batra climb up list of powerful Swedes
Sweden

Borg and Batra climb up list of powerful Swedes

Unlike Samson, Finance Minister Anders Borg seems not to have been deprived of his powers after chopping off that signature ponytail, as he sprinted past the prime minister in an annual ranking of Sweden's most powerful people.

French granny ‘thrown in river after cigarette row’
France

French granny ‘thrown in river after cigarette row’

When a 67-year-old French grandma was approached by two men asking her for a cigarette on a cold night in Toulouse, she declined. But instead of accepting her knock back, the pair of thugs picked her up and threw her into the freezing waters of the Garonne river, reports say.

Swedes often lack the gift of giving at Christmas
Sweden

Swedes often lack the gift of giving at Christmas

Christmas cheer is in the air, and Swedes are spending crates of kronor on presents - many of which they may end keeping for themselves.

Parents forced daughter into sex with 80-year-old
Italy

Parents forced daughter into sex with 80-year-old

A couple from Enna, a town in central Sicily, forced their 15-year-old daughter to have sex with an 80-year-old man in a bid to overcome their money problems.

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week

Ever wondered what a penthouse apartment in Stockholm's upmarket Vasastan looks like? Wonder no more - this week's Property of the Week is exactly that - one of the city's true pearls.

Germany plans to scrap air passenger tax
Germany

Germany plans to scrap air passenger tax

Germany’s next government is set to scrap the country’s air passenger duty which could make flights up to €40 cheaper. The move follows pressure from the airline lobby but has upset environmental groups.

Can PSG extend their unbeaten Ligue 1 run?
France

Can PSG extend their unbeaten Ligue 1 run?

After a week in which the national team's qualification for the World Cup provided a huge boost to French football, Paris Saint-Germain will bid to extend their long unbeaten run as Ligue 1 returns.

‘I’m not obsessed with Ballon d’Or’: Ronaldo
Spain

‘I’m not obsessed with Ballon d’Or’: Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he is not obsessed with winning the Ballon d’Or for a second time in January despite a series of scintillating performances that have made him the strong favourite to win the award.

Norwegian model snogs Britney Spears
Norway

Norwegian model snogs Britney Spears

Norwegian model Alexander Kjellevik makes out with US popstar Britney Spears in a steamy scene from the music video for Perfume, her latest single.

Italians’ ‘green taxes’ are spent elsewhere
Italy

Italians’ ‘green taxes’ are spent elsewhere

This week's flooding in Sardinia, which left 16 people dead, has raised the question of why there aren't more financial resources available to safeguard the environment. But a report on Thursday revealed that money is available, it's just being spent elsewhere.

Elite school should have stayed open: court
Sweden

Elite school should have stayed open: court

The Administrative Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that Sweden's School Inspectorate was wrong to temporarily close the scandal-hit boarding school Lundsberg, after two students were burned with an iron in a hazing ritual.

Football agent jailed over Geneva banker’s ransom
Switzerland

Football agent jailed over Geneva banker’s ransom

A football players’ agent is in jail and three other people have been arrested for extorting 1.2 million francs ($1.3 million) from a UBS bank employee in Geneva in September, a local newspaper says.

Sweden opens first retirement home for gays
Sweden

Sweden opens first retirement home for gays

Sweden's first retirement home for elderly members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities opened in Stockholm on Friday, capping a four-year effort that may spark a new trend.

Police catch murder suspect after toilet run
Germany

Police catch murder suspect after toilet run

UPDATE: A murder suspect who escaped from a court in north west Germany on Thursday morning by complaining of diarrhea has been caught. He squeezed through the window of the court's toilet sparking a police manhunt.

Italians’ bad English ‘deters foreign business’
Italy

Italians’ bad English ‘deters foreign business’

Some foreign business executives are frustrated that their Italian counterparts either can't, or won't, speak English, something they argue deters foreign investment. The Local finds out whether or not an aversion towards English is, in fact, a major drawback for Italy's economy.

Judges attack driving ban for petty crime
Germany

Judges attack driving ban for petty crime

A German government plan to punish minor criminals by banning them from driving was on Friday met with criticism from judges for being unconstitutional.

Cuts to medical spending hurting Spaniards: OECD
Spain

Cuts to medical spending hurting Spaniards: OECD

Spaniards are getting healthier but spending cuts could hurt the country's most vulnerable citizens in the longer term, a new OECD study shows.

Palermo pharmacist killed in robbery attempt
Italy

Palermo pharmacist killed in robbery attempt

Residents in Blufi, a small town in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, are in shock after a local pharmacist was stabbed to death during the attempted robbery of her chemist.

Norwegians among rich world’s slimmest: OECD
Norway

Norwegians among rich world’s slimmest: OECD

Norwegians are amongst the world's slimmest people, with the lowest consumption of alcohol in Europe, and the healthiest pensioners in any country.

Key left in door allowed French hostage to flee
France

Key left in door allowed French hostage to flee

The French hostage held for 11 months by an Islamist group in Nigeria told French television this week he made his audacious run for freedom after his captor left a key in the door by mistake. Read the full story here.

France unveils €66m plan to tackle domestic abuse
France

France unveils €66m plan to tackle domestic abuse

Each year in France 150 women die as a result of domestic violence. On Friday the government will unveil its latest three-year plan on Friday to tackle the scourge. The reported €66-million action plan, was leaked to the press - here's what authorities aim to do.

Weed dealing officials kicked out of ruling party
Spain

Weed dealing officials kicked out of ruling party

Two city councillors from the northern Spanish city of León have been expelled from the country's ruling Popular Party after being arrested for allegedly trafficking a kilo of marijuana.

Bern seeks deal with EU over tax evasion
Switzerland

Bern seeks deal with EU over tax evasion

Switzerland wants "to settle the past" with the EU and begin settling disputes over Swiss bank accounts hidden from European tax authorities, the country's finance minister said Thursday.

Spain’s media feed on grisly child murder
Spain

Spain’s media feed on grisly child murder

Grisly accusations have emerged against a lawyer and a journalist suspected of drugging and suffocating their 12-year-old adopted daughter in a mysterious murder case that has shocked Spain.

Munch works found in seized Nazi art haul
Norway

Munch works found in seized Nazi art haul

Sixteen works by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch have been found among the more than 1,400 works believed to have been seized by the Nazis and then found last year in the apartment of a reclusive collector in Munich.

‘Paris gunman’ silent as London past emerges
France

‘Paris gunman’ silent as London past emerges

Abdelhakim Dekhar, the man suspected of being behind a shooting spree in Paris this week has refused to answer police questions, his lawyer has said as more details of the alleged gunman's life in London emerged on Friday.

‘My routines are sexual, it works in Germany’
Germany

‘My routines are sexual, it works in Germany’

US comedian Margaret Cho is heading for Germany as part of her latest tour. She told The Local why she is looking forward to trying out her rather rude routines on a German audience.

Credit agency warns over weak Spanish banks
Spain

Credit agency warns over weak Spanish banks

International credit rating agency Moody's warned on Thursday that Spain's banks still face significant challenges despite nearly completing a €41-billion ($55 billion) eurozone-financed bailout.

Brits and Americans choose German jails
Germany

Brits and Americans choose German jails

Dozens of British and American prisoners are deciding to serve their time in German jails rather than transferring home, justice ministry figures seen by The Local reveal.

Germany publishes 54 works from Nazi trove
Germany

Germany publishes 54 works from Nazi trove

Germany has put 54 more paintings and drawings of priceless artworks stolen by the Nazis online including works by Edvard Munch, Max Liebermann and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, public prosecutors announced on Thursday.

Police use stun grenades to take woman’s child
Sweden

Police use stun grenades to take woman’s child

Police have been criticized for using stun grenades when taking an infant child away from its mother, after she pulled a knife and refused to cooperate.

Rise in number of Brits arrested for drugs in Italy
Italy

Rise in number of Brits arrested for drugs in Italy

The number of Britons arrested for drug offences in Italy over the past year has risen by 29 percent, according to data from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Winter weather warnings issued for central France
France

Winter weather warnings issued for central France

The icy spell that left three people dead and caused power cuts and traffic chaos across parts of France is set to continue into the weekend with weather warnings in place for eight departments. Click here for all the latest news and updates.

US officials to come to Europe on ‘goodwill’ trip
Germany

US officials to come to Europe on ‘goodwill’ trip

US lawmakers will launch a "goodwill" mission to Europe next week to smooth ties frayed by spying revelations including allegedly on Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Cyberbully’s prison sentence appealed
Sweden

Cyberbully’s prison sentence appealed

A prosecutor is looking for a harsher penalty than two years in prison for a man who drove a 13-year-old girl to suicide by threatening to publish sex acts he allegedly made her perform online.

Elk family attacks Swedish schoolboy
Sweden

Elk family attacks Swedish schoolboy

A nine-year-old boy was left fearing for his life after a family of four elk surrounded him and went on the attack while he was cycling to school in southern Sweden.