WTO sides with EU over seal products ban
Switzerland

WTO sides with EU over seal products ban

The Geneva-based World Trade Organization on Monday ruled in favour of the European Union in a bitter battle with Canada and Norway over its ban on the import and sale of seal products.

Ticino MPs back tax amnesty programme
Switzerland

Ticino MPs back tax amnesty programme

The Italian-speaking canton of Ticino is planning to finance a fund to stimulate the job market with revenues from a cantonal tax amnesty programme.

Pharma firm Shire confirms move to Zug
Switzerland

Pharma firm Shire confirms move to Zug

The Irish-based pharma company Shire confirmed on Monday that it is moving its Swiss operations to Zug from Eysins, a village in the canton of Vaud close to Geneva.

Norway loses battle to export seal goods to EU
Norway

Norway loses battle to export seal goods to EU

The WTO on Monday ruled in favour of the European Union in a bitter battle with Norway over its ban on the import and sale of seal products.

Second round of Syria talks set for Geneva
Switzerland

Second round of Syria talks set for Geneva

Syria's government and opposition will on January 22nd sit down at the negotiating table for the first time since the country's civil war erupted in 2011, the UN announced on Monday.

Arabic more important than French for the UK
France

Arabic more important than French for the UK

France may be its nearest neighbour, but for the UK the most important language for the future is not French, according to a new report by the British Council this week, that highlighted the ongoing inability of most Britons to master a foreign language.

Top ally of Spain’s PM convicted of tax evasion
Spain

Top ally of Spain’s PM convicted of tax evasion

A court on Monday sentenced a top ally of Spain's prime minister to four years' jail for tax fraud, in one of the country's most notorious recent corruption scandals.

Two Swedish journalists abducted in Syria
Sweden

Two Swedish journalists abducted in Syria

Two Swedish men have been abducted in Syria while on their way out of the country, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday.

French charity set to feed one million this winter
France

French charity set to feed one million this winter

With Christmas exactly one month away, thoughts are turning towards the homeless and needy in France. On Monday a leading French food charity announced they expected to have to feed a record one million people this winter.

Madrid Metro breakdown traps hundreds
Spain

Madrid Metro breakdown traps hundreds

Several hundred commuters on Madrid's underground found themselves locked inside one of the network’s trains for over an hour and a half on Monday morning.

Drunk officers held as cargo ship runs aground
Sweden

Drunk officers held as cargo ship runs aground

Both the captain and first officer of a cargo vessel which ran aground off Sweden's south-west coast on Monday morning were found to be drunk in charge, the second incident in Swedish waters in as many days.

‘Italy has no money for its heritage’
Italy

‘Italy has no money for its heritage’

Sophie Hay, from the UK, landed a dream job in the 1990s when she was posted to Pompeii to work in the competitive world of archaeology. She speaks to The Local about life in the field and Italy's struggles to finance and maintain its ancient sites.

Berlusconi requests review of fraud trial
Italy

Berlusconi requests review of fraud trial

Silvio Berlusconi on Monday requested a review of his tax fraud trial head of a vote this week that will likely force him from parliament for the first time in 20 years and make him vulnerable to arrest.

Zoo gives apes choice of action or romance films
Germany

Zoo gives apes choice of action or romance films

A group of apes in a German zoo have been given a television in their enclosure and can choose between films - while a researcher watches them to see if they prefer action, romance, food or family topics.

Maid fired for helping sister in Sardinia floods
Italy

Maid fired for helping sister in Sardinia floods

A 38-year-old woman from Sardinia, who cleaned the home of the chief of an Olbia building firm, was sacked by text message after taking time off to help her sister when her home was flooded by a cyclone that hit the island last week, killing 16 people.

Swedes ‘best’ at using the internet: report
Sweden

Swedes ‘best’ at using the internet: report

Sweden remains the most effective country at using the internet to improve lives, according to a ranking by a foundation headed by Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the World Wide Web.

Man crushed to death in elevator accident
Sweden

Man crushed to death in elevator accident

A man trying to fix an elevator on a ferry in Stockholm was crushed to death on Monday after the lift started moving again unexpectedly while the man was standing on its roof.

UK, China and Russia ‘tapped Merkel’s phone’
Germany

UK, China and Russia ‘tapped Merkel’s phone’

It was not just the US - Britain, Russia, China and North Korea were also tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, German security services believe, according to magazine reports.

Nine helpful hints to adjust to life in Sweden
Sweden

Nine helpful hints to adjust to life in Sweden

Failing to care for the families of foreign staff assigned to Sweden can cost globally-minded companies money, warns a Stockholm-based HR specialist who has launched employment and other services to help accompanying families find their way in Sweden.

Spain’s Neanderthal cannibals ate 12 raw
Spain

Spain’s Neanderthal cannibals ate 12 raw

Research presented at London's Royal Society has given a detailed insight into how a group of Neanderthals in Asturias (northern Spain) were butchered and eaten by a rival gang more than 51,000 years ago.

Mountain train collides with van in Valais
Switzerland

Mountain train collides with van in Valais

A Matterhorn Gotthardbahn tourist train collided with a delivery van near the Mörel station in the canton of Valais on Monday, seriously injuring one person and lightly injuring 11 more, police said.

France gripped by cancer vaccine scare
France

France gripped by cancer vaccine scare

One of France's top medical experts appealed for calm on Monday as a scare over a widely-administered vaccine to prevent cervical cancer gathered momentum.

French couple, 86, slam ‘cruel’ law in suicide note
France

French couple, 86, slam ‘cruel’ law in suicide note

The plight of an 86-year-old couple, who committed suicide together at a luxury Paris hotel last week has provoked much emotion in France. On Monday it emerged they had penned a scathing suicide note, reigniting a row in France over assisted suicide. Read what they had to say.

‘Spanish is UK’s most needed foreign language’
Spain

‘Spanish is UK’s most needed foreign language’

Spanish is the most important foreign language for the future of the UK, a new study by the British Council argues.

Spanish King heads home after hip surgery
Spain

Spanish King heads home after hip surgery

Spain's King Juan Carlos left hospital on Monday, four days after surgeons replaced his left hip in the latest of a series of operations that have left him looking frail.

Norway world’s best for internet after Sweden
Norway

Norway world’s best for internet after Sweden

Norway comes second only to web-savvy Sweden in the way it uses the internet to improve lives, according to a ranking by a foundation headed by Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web.

Police ‘letting down beaten women’: report
Sweden

Police ‘letting down beaten women’: report

Of the 80,000 reported cases of domestic violence in relationships from 2008 to 2012 only 17,000 were cleared up, according to a new report, which details significant variations among police forces across Sweden.

Dental care becoming a ‘luxury’ in France
France

Dental care becoming a ‘luxury’ in France

Have you been left with a huge dent in your wallet after a trip to the dentist in France? According to a collective of French consumer rights associations, access to good quality dental care is becoming a “luxury” in France. They blame those holding the drills.

Police in Norway arrest racist tweeter
Norway

Police in Norway arrest racist tweeter

Police in Norway have arrested a man for making racist comments on the micro-blogging service Twitter under the account name "@Negerjeger", or "Nigger hunter".

Italian government set to buy back paradise island
Italy

Italian government set to buy back paradise island

The Italian government might exercise its right to keep Budelli, considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, in public hands after it was sold to a businessman from New Zealand amid protests.

Sweden ‘worst in EU’ for jobless foreigners
Sweden

Sweden ‘worst in EU’ for jobless foreigners

Sweden is the worst country in the EU when it comes to closing the long-term unemployment gap between foreign-born workers and people born in the country, according to statistics published on Monday.

Turkish word wins German slang award
Germany

Turkish word wins German slang award

Germany's 'Youth Word of the Year' comes from a Turkish word meaning boss or chief. 'Babo' is the best teenage slang word of 2013, according to a vote organised by dictionary publisher Langenscheidt.

US embassy employees face jail for tax evasion
Norway

US embassy employees face jail for tax evasion

Up to twenty employees at the US embassy in Oslo face jail for tax evasion as a result of the embassy's continuing refusal to report salary information to Norwegian tax authorities.

German journalist ‘kidnapped’ in Egypt
Germany

German journalist ‘kidnapped’ in Egypt

The German government has called on Egypt to help find a German journalist who has disappeared - feared kidnapped - in Cairo after receiving death threats from Islamic extremists.

Italian architect in bid to restore ‘ghost village’
Italy

Italian architect in bid to restore ‘ghost village’

The village of Barmaz in northern Italy has been lying abandoned for 50 years, but a young architect has presented a plan for its restoration as part of his university thesis.

Bayern Munich coach vows to smoke out mole
Germany

Bayern Munich coach vows to smoke out mole

Bayern Munich’s head coach Pep Guardiola has warned "heads will roll" after one of his players apparently leaked details of the team's strategy to the Bild newspaper before the biggest game of the season against their title rivals.

Most medicines sold online are fake
Italy

Most medicines sold online are fake

Seven in 10 medicines sold online are fake and potentially a health risk, the president of Italian pharmaceuticals union FederFarma has said.

Italy’s trade boosted by exports to China and US
Italy

Italy’s trade boosted by exports to China and US

Italy's trade surplus has doubled in 12 months thanks to a rise in exports, particularly to China and the United States, new data showed on Monday as the economy prepares to end its longest post-war recession.

German universities use Pentagon research cash
Germany

German universities use Pentagon research cash

German universities are breaking ethics rules by taking millions of euros from the US military for research projects into munitions, environmentally-friendly explosives and drone software, critics claim.

Ten ethnic Norwegian converts in Syria: NRK
Norway

Ten ethnic Norwegian converts in Syria: NRK

At least ten ethnic Norwegian converts to Islam are fighting as volunteers in the civil war in Syria, state broadcaster NRK has reported, building on information from Norway's PST intelligence agency.

Pensioner’s mummified body found in wall
Italy

Pensioner’s mummified body found in wall

A man in the central Lazio region is facing charges for concealing his father's body for two years so that he could continue to collect the dead man's pension.

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France

Hollande ex-partner angry over adultery ad

Ségolène Royal, the former partner of French President François Hollande, has reacted angrily to the use of her likeness in a controversial billboard campaign advertising a particularly naughty website.

Gothenburg teens in new ‘slut shaming’ attack
Sweden

Gothenburg teens in new ‘slut shaming’ attack

Several teenage girls from Gothenburg who were exposed on Instagram in a viral "slut shaming" account have been attacked anew, with the victims described as "whores" in the new anonymous postings.

‘No’ to road tax hike leaves funding hole
Switzerland

‘No’ to road tax hike leaves funding hole

The federal government is now scrambling to find alternative forms of financing for road works after Swiss voters rejected a proposed hike in the motorway tax.

Swedish media targeted in neo-Nazi protest
Sweden

Swedish media targeted in neo-Nazi protest

A slew of Swedish newspaper offices were targeted in a coordinated action by neo-Nazis on Monday morning who left a calling card warning of "anti-Swedish propaganda".

39 goals in 9 games: La Liga goalfest dazzles
Spain

39 goals in 9 games: La Liga goalfest dazzles

The battle at the top of Spain's football league seems more contested than ever after Barcelona, Atlético and Real Madrid thrashed their opponents 4-0, 7-0 and 5-0 respectively.

News of lawyer’s death ‘greatly exaggerated’
Germany

News of lawyer’s death ‘greatly exaggerated’

A Berlin lawyer was inundated with phone calls from worried friends and colleagues after a local paper published his death notice. He was still very much alive, kicking - and furious.

Spain’s right wing honours dictator Franco
Spain

Spain’s right wing honours dictator Franco

The 38th anniversary of the death of Spain's fascist dictator Francisco Franco was marked by both right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrations in Spain on Saturday and Sunday. The legacy of the former leader continues to divide Spain.

Lausanne restaurant fire injures 17 people
Switzerland

Lausanne restaurant fire injures 17 people

Seventeen people were slightly injured and around 50 evacuated on Sunday when a fire swept through a restaurant in Lausanne, police said.

Austerity strikes cause Spain air travel chaos
Spain

Austerity strikes cause Spain air travel chaos

Air passengers travelling to and from Portugal will see their travel disrupted for a second day running on Monday with an anti-austerity strike by border police resulting in long queues and delayed international flights, a union spokesman said.

Suspected Paris gunman goes on hunger strike
France

Suspected Paris gunman goes on hunger strike

The alleged gunman who brought panic to the streets of Paris during a shooting spree last week has gone on hunger strike, reports in France said on Sunday. Abdelhakim Dekhar, was formally charged by police on Saturday.

Photo of the day: Horses say ‘neigh’ to Hollande
France

Photo of the day: Horses say ‘neigh’ to Hollande

Protests and strikes have swept France in recent weeks and on Sunday it was the turn of a new breed of demonstrator to show their opposition to the French government - the horse. Find out why they had the bit between their teeth.

Racism group reports pro-Breivik anti-Jew blog
Norway

Racism group reports pro-Breivik anti-Jew blog

Norway's Centre Against Racism has reported a right-wing blog to the police for the first time in five years, citing its fantasies that the Jews, described as "Satan's Children" would be "eradicated from the face of the earth".

Germany aims for 10,000 more women soldiers
Germany

Germany aims for 10,000 more women soldiers

Germany wants to recruit 10,000 more women soldiers in a bid to significantly increase the number of females in its ranks, Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière said on Sunday.

French government vows action against hooligans
France

French government vows action against hooligans

VIDEO: The problem hooliganism in French football reared its head again at the weekend with league chiefs and the government vowing to take action to stamp out the problem. On Monday authorities launched an official investigation.

‘Landing a start-up job is about contacts’
Germany

‘Landing a start-up job is about contacts’

In this week's My German Career, founder of Berlin's Startupbootcamp Alex Farcet explains why he moved to the German capital from Denmark and how to succeed in the city's start-up scene.

Policing Oslo Olympics would cost 1.8bn kroner
Norway

Policing Oslo Olympics would cost 1.8bn kroner

Policing the Winter Olympics in 2022 would cost Oslo 1.8bn kroner ($296m), the city's police have estimated, nearly four times as much as it cost to host the event in Lillehammer back in 1994.

Man with knife boards plane undetected – twice
Sweden

Man with knife boards plane undetected – twice

A man with a large knife in his backpack was surprised to learn the weapon had passed through airport security checks at two Swedish airports without being detected.

Prosecutors probe Sardinia flood deaths
Italy

Prosecutors probe Sardinia flood deaths

Prosecutors in Sardinia have opened five investigations into the deaths of 16 people killed during flash floods which swept away bridges and flooded homes, Italian media has reported.

Vote on Berlusconi’s expulsion looms
Italy

Vote on Berlusconi’s expulsion looms

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is in for a tumultuous week that will likely see him booted out of parliament and shift into opposition to a government where he is still formally a coalition partner.

Crumbling rail bridges threaten train network
Germany

Crumbling rail bridges threaten train network

Train passengers can expect more delays across Germany as the head of Deutsche Bahn admitted he could not afford to repair the more than 1,000 bridges which urgently need attention.

Most new jobs in Sweden go to immigrants
Sweden

Most new jobs in Sweden go to immigrants

Roughly 70 percent of the more than 200,000 jobs created in Sweden since 2006 have gone to residents born abroad, new statistics show.

Malmö ‘unsafe’ for Danish schoolchildren
Sweden

Malmö ‘unsafe’ for Danish schoolchildren

Plans for a student group from Denmark to make a three-day visit to Malmö in southern Sweden have been scrapped at the last minute over safety concerns voiced by Danish parents.