Fathers jailed for sexually abusing sons
Switzerland

Fathers jailed for sexually abusing sons

Two fathers were sentenced in the canton of Thurgau on Wednesday to 13 years and nine and a half years in jail respectively for sexually abusing their sons and spreading images of their acts on the internet, among other offences.

Man hit by two trains near Stockhom
Sweden

Man hit by two trains near Stockhom

A man has died after he was run over by two trains on two separate tracks in the southern Stockholm suburb of Huddinge on Wednesday night, after witnesses say he fell on the tracks.

Morrissey Nobel concert choice irks Norway
Norway

Morrissey Nobel concert choice irks Norway

Former Smiths frontman Morrissey caused a stir in Norway on Wednesday after the British singer -- reviled in the country for his provocative comments in the wake of its 2011 Utøya island massacre -- was confirmed for a Nobel concert line-up in Oslo next month.

Swiss Christmas markets vie to drum up business
Switzerland

Swiss Christmas markets vie to drum up business

Germany may have invented the Christmas market, but Switzerland presents stiff competition. The chance to browse handicrafts while sipping vin chaud under sparkling lights on a cold, dark night is an experience available all over the mountain country — and it's big business.

‘Berlusconi will always be our leader’
Italy

‘Berlusconi will always be our leader’

Supporters of Silvio Berlusconi mourned his expulsion from parliament on Wednesday, with one declaring: "This is not finished!"

Burger King set to open 400 outlets in France
France

Burger King set to open 400 outlets in France

US fast food giant Burger King looks set to take a big bite out of the French market, after they announced this week they would be opening up to 400 new restaurants throughout the country.

Madrid flogs off remains of failed Olympics bid
Spain

Madrid flogs off remains of failed Olympics bid

The organizing committee for Madrid's failed Olympics 2020 bid is hoping to recoup some cash by selling off furniture and electronics items including phones and laptops.

Berlusconi expelled from parliament
Italy

Berlusconi expelled from parliament

Italy's parliament on Wednesday expelled Silvio Berlusconi over a tax fraud conviction in a humiliating vote that will not be the last act of the billionaire tycoon's tumultuous career as he vowed to "fight on".

Woman beats up four tourists who helped her
Spain

Woman beats up four tourists who helped her

The good deeds of four Austrian tourists on holiday in Majorca backfired when a woman they were trying to help during a fight ended up attacking them.

Christmas markets set to resist crisis in France
France

Christmas markets set to resist crisis in France

Despite the economic crisis in France, the country's traditional Christmas markets should see their biggest profits yet on yuletide spending in 2013, according to a report this week. See below for a gallery of the 10 Best Christmas Markets to visit in France this year.

FIFA rejects Ukraine stadium ban appeal
Switzerland

FIFA rejects Ukraine stadium ban appeal

Zurich-based FIFA on Wednesday said it had thrown out an appeal by Ukraine against a football stadium ban imposed in the wake of racist incidents during their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Spain ‘like Mugabe’ in bag row: UK MP
Spain

Spain ‘like Mugabe’ in bag row: UK MP

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that Spain has promised there will be no repeat of an "extremely serious" incident in which its officials searched British diplomatic bags at the Gibraltar border.

French raid Paris UBS offices in tax fraud probe
Switzerland

French raid Paris UBS offices in tax fraud probe

French investigators Wednesday raided the Paris headquarters of the local arm of Swiss bank UBS, which has been placed under investigation for allegedly helping rich clients hide money in undeclared accounts.

‘At first Thanksgiving in France wasn’t a big deal’
France

‘At first Thanksgiving in France wasn’t a big deal’

Although they won't get the public holiday thousands of Americans in France will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday far from their families back home. Jeff Steiner, who runs the website Americans in France tells The Local about why Thanksgiving is still important even in the Alps.

Italy’s crisis leaves middle class struggling
Italy

Italy’s crisis leaves middle class struggling

With unemployment at record levels and some of the highest poverty levels anywhere in the EU, Italy's economic crisis has left many formerly well-off Italians barely able to put food on the table.

Greek journo acquitted again in Swiss data case
Switzerland

Greek journo acquitted again in Swiss data case

A Greek appeals court has confirmed the acquittal of a journalist over the publication of leaked Swiss bank account data in a case that has deeply embarrassed the government.

Spain’s Virgin ‘crapper’ statue shocks bishops
Spain

Spain’s Virgin ‘crapper’ statue shocks bishops

They are part of many Spanish nativity scene: the celebrity caganers, or 'crappers'. But a figurine showing an image of a highly venerated Spanish Virgin preparing to defecate has caused a stir among the country's bishops.

Ex-president trial hears of fake appointments
Germany

Ex-president trial hears of fake appointments

Former President Christian Wulff had a diary crammed with 800 meetings a year - but some were fake ones written in by his secretary to get him some free time, his corruption trial heard on Wednesday.

Pie-hurlers get two years for ‘attack on authority’
Spain

Pie-hurlers get two years for ‘attack on authority’

A Spanish court has handed two-year jail sentences to three men convicted of splattering cream pies over a top regional politician in protest at plans to build a railway.

Police raid Paris UBS offices in tax fraud probe
France

Police raid Paris UBS offices in tax fraud probe

An ongoing probe into tax fraud saw French police raid the Paris headquarters of the UBS bank on Wednesday. The Swiss bank is under investigation in France for allegedly helping its wealthy customers hide money in undeclared accounts.

Candy Crush addiction: five signs and five cures
Sweden

Candy Crush addiction: five signs and five cures

Swedish mega-hit game Candy Crush has taken over the distracted minds of the entire world, with over 150 billion plays in the last year alone. The Local shares five signs you (or someone close to you) is addicted, and five potential cures.

Berlusconi ‘will continue to make life difficult’
Italy

Berlusconi ‘will continue to make life difficult’

Senators may well boot Silvio Berlusconi out of parliament today, but one expert tells The Local the former prime minister is showing no signs of leaving politics.

Swedish opposition to scrap migrant-worker law
Sweden

Swedish opposition to scrap migrant-worker law

The left-wing opposition stands ready to tear up the controversial Laval Law, which differentiates between domestic and foreign workers, if the Social Democrat party wrests power from the government in next year's elections.

Mafia boss was ‘fed alive to pigs’
Italy

Mafia boss was ‘fed alive to pigs’

A mafia boss was "fed alive to pigs" as a result of a feud with a rival clan, police in Calabria have revealed.

Watchdog probes gold and silver price-fixing
Germany

Watchdog probes gold and silver price-fixing

The German financial watchdog, BaFin, said on Wednesday it was looking into allegations of possible manipulation by banks in gold and silver price-fixing.

Merkel and SPD hail ‘grand coalition’ deal
Germany

Merkel and SPD hail ‘grand coalition’ deal

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed on Wednesday a hard-fought accord for a government with her main rivals the Social Democrats, which includes the creation of a minimum wage in Europe's top economy.

Mafia boss arrested in London ‘had heart attack’
Italy

Mafia boss arrested in London ‘had heart attack’

An Italian mafia boss who was arrested in Britain after two decades on the run is understood to have suffered a heart attack, the High Court in London heard on Wednesday.

Fascists fail to claim ‘We are the people’ slogan
Germany

Fascists fail to claim ‘We are the people’ slogan

Fascists have failed in their attempt to claim the phrase 'Wir sind das Volk', famously used during the 1989 East German demonstrations which led to the collapse of the communist government.

Sandy Hook pic used in ‘offensive’ Swedish ad
Sweden

Sandy Hook pic used in ‘offensive’ Swedish ad

Sweden's advertising watchdog has slammed as "distasteful and offensive" an ad campaign featuring a picture from the Sandy Hook school massacre, an image the company official claimed she thought "looked Swedish".

Pig’s head dumped at politician’s home
Italy

Pig’s head dumped at politician’s home

A severed pig's head has been dumped at the Salerno home of an Italian politician, Italian media reported.

French tattoo artists fight coloured ink ban
France

French tattoo artists fight coloured ink ban

French tattoo artists are set to address parliament on Wednesday, in opposition to a plan to outlaw coloured inks – the latest in a series of controversial health-driven crackdowns by the French government.

Racism watchdog reports antisemitic blog
Norway

Racism watchdog reports antisemitic blog

Norway's Center Against Racism has reported a second anti-semitic blog, subtitled 'Jewish Hands are Drenched in Aryan Blood" to the Norwegian police for violating racism laws.

VIDEO: Ylvis headline US talent show finale
Norway

VIDEO: Ylvis headline US talent show finale

Norwegian YouTube sensation Ylvis have yet again taken the US by storm, performing their hit song "What does the fox say?" on Tuesday night at the finale of the US talent show "Dancing with the Stars".

Spain’s ex-PM reveals he blocked three bailouts
Spain

Spain’s ex-PM reveals he blocked three bailouts

Spain's ex-prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero three times turned down offers of a bailout for his country at the height of the euro zone debt crisis, he says in a new book unveiled on Tuesday.

McDonald’s Tuscan burger ad sparks row
Italy

McDonald’s Tuscan burger ad sparks row

The mayor of a town in Tuscany is up in arms after McDonald's "misused" images of its rolling hills to promote a new burger.

Embattled Hollande flies to Spain in search of ally
France

Embattled Hollande flies to Spain in search of ally

Deeply unpopular at home as he struggles with a stumbling economy, French President Francois Hollande headed to Spain on Wednesday seeking an ally to help avert new debt crises and to put jobs growth at the top of Europe's agenda.

Top ten reasons you should move to Germany
Germany

Top ten reasons you should move to Germany

As if the sausages and the beer were not enough, this week's Local List has come up with ten (other) good reasons to move to and live in Germany.

Cannibal case inquiry: ‘something went wrong’
Sweden

Cannibal case inquiry: ‘something went wrong’

Sweden's justice minister has appointed the head of the Thomas Quick inquiry to find out how the country's justice system convicted a man for eight murders before overturning each and every guilty verdict. The once self-professed cannibal is now fighting for his release.

Spain set to clone extinct mountain goat
Spain

Spain set to clone extinct mountain goat

Scientists have begun work on bringing the Spanish bucardo back to life – a mountain goat endemic to Spain which became extinct in 2000.

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Germany

Dozens of horses die from tree seed disease

A rash of suspected horse poisonings in western Germany, which has reportedly killed more than 50 animals, has turned out to be a deadly illness which comes from the creatures eating certain tree seeds.

Paris ‘invites’ the Queen, Obama for D-Day service
France

Paris ‘invites’ the Queen, Obama for D-Day service

French President François Hollande is set to invite 16 world leaders to next summer’s 70th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings, including US President Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, according to reports on Wednesday.

Microsoft enlists Swedes in spy-safe cloud rollout
Sweden

Microsoft enlists Swedes in spy-safe cloud rollout

US tech giant Microsoft has tapped a family-owned firm in central Sweden to help launch a new "battle-tested" cloud service to ease the fear of companies worried about internet espionage. The key? To store data locally.

Danes apologize for Berlusconi jibe
Italy

Danes apologize for Berlusconi jibe

A Danish smoothie company has issued a public apology after its new juice promising "more immunity than Berlusconi" hit a nerve in Italy.

Should France fine those caught buying sex?
France

Should France fine those caught buying sex?

With France's National Assembly set to debate a controversial bill that would hit clients of sex workers with hefty fines, The Local spoke to a French prostitute vehemently against the proposal and two organizations backing the plan, to hear their views.

Why do Spaniards love cocaine so much?
Spain

Why do Spaniards love cocaine so much?

How did Spaniards come to be among the biggest consumers of cocaine in Europe? Is there something about the drug that makes it a perfect fit for Spain? The Local talked to movers and shakers in the field to get the inside story.

Scary German landing spooks Man United
Germany

Scary German landing spooks Man United

One of Manchester United's most important players admitted he had a nasty moment on Tuesday when the team's landing in Germany was aborted at the last minute and the pilot had to pull the plane up to swoop round and try again.

Swedes’ mortgage debt continues to swell
Sweden

Swedes’ mortgage debt continues to swell

Swedes are borrowing money more than ever, data from Statistics Sweden revealed on Wednesday, as household indebtedness reached new heights.

Deposed city councillor wins court backing
Switzerland

Deposed city councillor wins court backing

The executive city council of La Chaux-de-Fonds is considering its legal options after a court ruled that it was wrong to strip the head of the municipal government of his responsibilities despite allegations against him of harassment.

Why the coalition deal matters to non-Germans
Germany

Why the coalition deal matters to non-Germans

From dual citizenship to autobahn charges, agreements made between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Social Democrats on Wednesday morning will affect everyone in Germany. Here are five of interest to non-Germans.

Italian radio show auctioned on eBay
Italy

Italian radio show auctioned on eBay

Radio listeners in northern Italy are being given the chance to work with a team of DJs from Radio Number One for the day, with all proceeds from the eBay auction going towards building a new hospital for children suffering from leukaemia.

Will France finally alter its income tax system?
France

Will France finally alter its income tax system?

Ever wished your income tax in France was paid automatically, like in almost every other country? As talks began in earnest this week between the government and unions on this very issue The Local looks at the merits of a reform that many, expats at least, would welcome with open arms.

Swedish prince hit by Stockholm bus
Sweden

Swedish prince hit by Stockholm bus

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip was hit by a bus in Stockholm on Wednesday, but the prince's Porsche Cayenne suffered more damage than the royal himself.

US fines Swiss oil patch firm for corruption
Switzerland

US fines Swiss oil patch firm for corruption

Swiss oil services firm Weatherford International will pay more than $252 million to settle charges of corruption and violations of US sanctions against Iran, Cuba and other countries, American officials said on Tuesday.

Ryanair raided for ‘illegally’ filming staff
Norway

Ryanair raided for ‘illegally’ filming staff

Low-cost airline Ryanair has been accused of illegally setting up surveillance cameras to spy on its employees at Rygge Airport in Moss, south of Oslo.

Ajax hand Barcelona shock 2-1 defeat
Spain

Ajax hand Barcelona shock 2-1 defeat

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino admitted his side may have taken their eye off the ball having already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League as they lost for the first time this season 2-1 away to Ajax on Tuesday.

French court upholds sacking of veiled worker
France

French court upholds sacking of veiled worker

An appeal court in France upheld on Wednesday the decision by a Paris nursery school to sack an assistant who refused to take off her veil at work. The decision comes as France's ban on wearing the full face veil in public goes before the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Dangerous’ pianist let off in noise pollution case
Spain

‘Dangerous’ pianist let off in noise pollution case

A court in Spain on Tuesday acquitted a pianist who prosecutors wanted jailed for disturbing a neighbour with her playing, media reported.

‘Berlusconi has a personality disorder’
Italy

‘Berlusconi has a personality disorder’

As Silvio Berlusconi prepares to face a vote on his explusion from parliament on Wednesday evening, one of Italy's leading psychologists has said the former prime minister shows signs of "madness" and has a "personality disorder".

Spain and France meet for key growth summit
Spain

Spain and France meet for key growth summit

French President Francois Hollande visits Spain on Wednesday for a bilateral summit seeking a common stance on banking supervision to avoid a repeat of the eurozone debt crisis.

Fire badly damages Renaissance palace
Germany

Fire badly damages Renaissance palace

A huge fire has caused millions of euros worth of damage to a Renaissance palace in central Germany, parts of which date back more than 1,000 years.

China blocks semen of hardy Norwegian Red
Norway

China blocks semen of hardy Norwegian Red

China has cancelled a project to import semen from the hardy Norwegian Red diary cow, in a move put down to continuing poor diplomatic relations between the two countries.

France set for new law to fine clients of prostitutes
France

France set for new law to fine clients of prostitutes

France, with its long history of liberal attitudes towards sex, looks set to introduce €1,500 fines for clients of prostitutes. As the divisive bill goes before lawmakers on Wednesday, sex workers argue it will make their lives more dangerous. Equality groups, however, back the plan.

German writer safe after Egyptian disappearance
Germany

German writer safe after Egyptian disappearance

A German-Egyptian writer who was feared kidnapped in Cairo after receiving death threats from Islamic extremists has been found safe and well.

Ryanair steps up flights in Italy as Alitalia suffers
Italy

Ryanair steps up flights in Italy as Alitalia suffers

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair announced on Tuesday a major increase in the domestic flights it offers in Italy including launching a hub at Rome's Fiumicino Airport.

Swedish teen sleepwalks into freefall tumble
Sweden

Swedish teen sleepwalks into freefall tumble

Swedish emergency services were called out in the early hours of Wednesday when a sleepwalking teenage boy fell off a house in suburban Gothenburg and injured himself.

Pact with Russia will ‘stimulate mutual growth’
Italy

Pact with Russia will ‘stimulate mutual growth’

Italy and Russia unveiled a €1 billion joint investment fund on Tuesday as President Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Italy to discuss boosting business ties.

Statoil to build floating wind farm off Scotland
Norway

Statoil to build floating wind farm off Scotland

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has struck a deal to build Europe's largest floating wind farm off the north east coast of Scotland.

Facebook leaves up ‘nasty feminists’ page
Sweden

Facebook leaves up ‘nasty feminists’ page

Despite protests from a school in northern Sweden, as well as from pupils and relatives, Facebook has refused to take down a page that targets "disgusting feminists".

Janitor gifts fortune to ‘coloured kids in need’
Sweden

Janitor gifts fortune to ‘coloured kids in need’

Despite their meagre salaries, a janitor and his wife, who worked in a Swedish school kitchen, left 2.5 million kronor ($380,000) in their will, which will now be sent to the Philippines to help victims of the recent typhoon.

Basel keeps Champions League hopes alive
Switzerland

Basel keeps Champions League hopes alive

Chelsea reached the last 16 of the Champions League football tournament despite going down to a 1-0 defeat to Basel in Switzerland on Tuesday, Mohamed Salah scoring the only goal with three minutes remaining.

Tycoon seeks bail in Israeli football scandal
Switzerland

Tycoon seeks bail in Israeli football scandal

French-Israeli tycoon Arkady Gaydamak has requested bail in Switzerland after being arrested for alleged non-payment of fees to a football boss, as France sought his extradition over the "Angolagate" scandal.