Gaydamak set free after resolving pay dispute
Switzerland

Gaydamak set free after resolving pay dispute

French-Israeli tycoon Arcady Gaydamak was released from jail in Geneva after signing a financial agreement to resolve a dispute with former French football player Luis Fernandez, a newspaper reported online on Wednesday night.

Norway wants Brazil kid in care ‘for eating wrong’
Norway

Norway wants Brazil kid in care ‘for eating wrong’

A Brazilian woman and her three-year-old daughter have taken refuge in their country's embassy in Oslo after Norway's child welfare authority attempted to forcibly take the child into care.

Schwyz millionaires thick on the ground: report
Switzerland

Schwyz millionaires thick on the ground: report

One in every 20 residents of the canton of Schwyz in central Switzerland is a millionaire, according to recently published cantonal statistics.

Swedes warned: ‘Expect up to 30 cm of snow’
Sweden

Swedes warned: ‘Expect up to 30 cm of snow’

Sven, a winter storm expected to hit Sweden on Thursday night, has prompted warnings for heavy snow and fierce winds as Swedes brace for what's being billed as the seasons' first major snowstorm.

French MPs back plan to fine sex-workers’ clients
France

French MPs back plan to fine sex-workers’ clients

Lawmakers in France's National Assembly approved a controversial bill on prostitution on Wednesday that will see anyone caught paying prostitutes for sex fined up to €1,500. The bill has provoked anger among sex-workers themselves, who say their lives will be more dangerous.

Berlusconi ‘could run as a Bulgarian MEP’
Italy

Berlusconi ‘could run as a Bulgarian MEP’

This time last week, the prospects for Silvio Berlusconi’s political future were looking decidedly dim as senators prepared to oust him from parliament. But now speculation is mounting that he could bid to become a member of the European Parliament - for Bulgaria.

Court blesses woman’s marriage to father-in-law
France

Court blesses woman’s marriage to father-in-law

France's highest appeals court made legal history on Wednesday, giving its blessing to the marriage of a woman from the south of France to her ex-father-in-law, according to reports.

Sweden to parents: don’t share beds with infants
Sweden

Sweden to parents: don’t share beds with infants

Swedish health officials on Wednesday warned parents not share their beds with their new-born babies due to an increased risk of cot death, also known as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Giant 25kg tumour cut from woman’s ovary
Spain

Giant 25kg tumour cut from woman’s ovary

Surgeons in Spain successfully removed a giant benign tumour weighing 25 kilograms (55 pounds) from the womb of a 47-year-old woman, the hospital treating her said on Wednesday.

Italy to criminalize toxic waste burning
Italy

Italy to criminalize toxic waste burning

The Italian government is set to ban the burning of abandoned toxic waste. The news comes as anger is boiling over after revelations about toxic mafia dumps in Campania that have been blamed for rising cancer rates.

Deutsche Bank gets €725 million Libor fine
Germany

Deutsche Bank gets €725 million Libor fine

Germany's biggest bank has been fined a record €725 million for rigging interest rates. It was one of several banks fined a total of €1.7 billion by the European Union Commission on Wednesday.

French whizzkid wins top US economics award
France

French whizzkid wins top US economics award

French economist Christophe Barraud has shown it's possible to make it in America without ever setting foot there. The financial mastermind was named the world’s top forecaster of the US economy for 2013, by the American magazine Bloomberg Markets. But just how did he do it?

Five things to love about snow in Sweden (and five things to hate)
Sweden

Five things to love about snow in Sweden (and five things to hate)

With southern Sweden bracing for the season's first big snow storm, The Local offers up some of the best (and worst) things about life with the white stuff.

Police probe far-right motive for 750 deaths
Germany

Police probe far-right motive for 750 deaths

Germany will review almost 750 unsolved murders, manslaughters and attempted killings dating back more than two decades to assess whether they were motivated by far-right extremism, officials said on Wednesday.

What’s the point of learning Italian?
Italy

What’s the point of learning Italian?

A British Council study last week placed Italian in the top 10 most useful languages for Britons to learn. The Local spoke to Vilma de Gasperin, a senior language instructor at the University of Oxford, to find out why, despite competition from the Asian economies, Italian is still a useful language to know.

Migrants prefer schools with fewer foreigners
Germany

Migrants prefer schools with fewer foreigners

Migrants in Germany would rather send their children to schools with fewer other migrants, a study published on Wednesday revealed. Parents fear that attending a school with too many other foreigners could hinder their children’s education.

Bank vault for sale — with cash — for a cause
Switzerland

Bank vault for sale — with cash — for a cause

Fancy taking a dip in a sea of Swiss francs, or scooping up fistfuls of coins? Your wildest dreams could come true thanks to a sale with a political edge.

Notorious French general who backed torture dies
France

Notorious French general who backed torture dies

Paul Aussaresses, a retired French general who led a "death squadron" that tortured people during Algeria's war of independence, has died aged 95, an association of former paratroopers said on Wednesday.

Swedish ‘poop terrorist’ no show at trial
Sweden

Swedish ‘poop terrorist’ no show at trial

A Swedish man who laced his racist, threatening letters to journalists with his own faeces failed to show up in court on Wednesday.

Job-hungry Spaniards crash IKEA servers
Spain

Job-hungry Spaniards crash IKEA servers

Ikea's computer servers crashed in Spain after 20,000 people applied for jobs at a new store in the country, the Swedish furniture giant said on Tuesday.

Five dos and don’ts on Germany’s Autobahns
Germany

Five dos and don’ts on Germany’s Autobahns

Driving on the German Autobahn can be one of the greatest motoring experiences in the world. The Local’s List this week looks at the top five dos and don’ts on the country’s 13,000 kilometres of motorway.

Salvation Army in Norway bars gay man
Norway

Salvation Army in Norway bars gay man

A member of the Salvation Army in Norway has been barred from becoming a secretary in the organisation because he is gay.

‘We don’t want Nazi fans in stadium’: Real Madrid
Spain

‘We don’t want Nazi fans in stadium’: Real Madrid

Real Madrid's president plans to kick out extreme-right 'Ultra Sur' fans from its stadium and replace them with younger, better-behaved supporters.

Spanish jobseekers flood and crash Ikea server
Sweden

Spanish jobseekers flood and crash Ikea server

A new Ikea store in Spain prompted so many job applications that the company's internet server crashed, forcing the Swedish furniture behemoth to suspend the hiring process.

‘Sweden is letting its school boys down’
Sweden

‘Sweden is letting its school boys down’

Scientists in Sweden have reacted to the country's slide in global education ranking Pisa, pointing out that Swedish boys are now under-performing not only their female peers, but are less apt than male teens in other OECD countries.

No pledges from Sweden on email snooping
Norway

No pledges from Sweden on email snooping

Norway has received no assurances from Sweden that it will not monitor and record the country's phone and internet traffic, despite a high-level meeting on Tuesday.

Man fined €90 for looking at painting
Spain

Man fined €90 for looking at painting

A man in Spain has been fined €90 ($122) for looking at a painting that had been left on the street.

Frenchman, 81, jailed over bloody gnome feud
France

Frenchman, 81, jailed over bloody gnome feud

An 81-year-old Frenchman from southwestern France was handed a spell behind bars this week after a violent attack on his neighbour, whom he accused of stealing his wife’s garden gnomes.

Italy’s Finmeccanica builds UN’s first drone
Italy

Italy’s Finmeccanica builds UN’s first drone

A UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has launched the organization's first drone, an unmanned aircraft, made by a subsidiary of Italian aerospace and defence firm Finmeccanica.

Daytime driving without lights to be outlawed
Switzerland

Daytime driving without lights to be outlawed

Motorists in Switzerland will be required to switch on their headlights or daytime running lights while driving during the day starting next year or risk a 40 franc fine.

French snapper’s ‘wet dogs’ prove global hit
France

French snapper’s ‘wet dogs’ prove global hit

The smell of wet dog would have most of us backing away. Not Sophie Gamand, though – for her, a dripping pooch represents an irresistible artistic opportunity. Entitled simply 'Wet Dog', her unique photography project has since gone viral around the world.

Priest sentenced for sex with 13-year-old girl
Italy

Priest sentenced for sex with 13-year-old girl

An Italian priest has been given a two-and-a-half year sentence by a court in the north-eastern city of Pesaro for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

‘Spain won’t recover from crisis until 2033’
Spain

‘Spain won’t recover from crisis until 2033’

It will take Spain two decades, or until 2033, to see pre-crisis unemployment and growth levels, consultants PWC argue in a new report.

Police bust paedophile network across Italy
Italy

Police bust paedophile network across Italy

Italian police have cracked a criminal network of 56 paedophiles and confiscated 11,500 images and 3,500 videos, all involving children under the age of ten.

Streets awash with ‘cash’ in Stockholm house hunt
Sweden

Streets awash with ‘cash’ in Stockholm house hunt

An American student who failed to find a rental apartment in the Swedish capital carried out a "cash drop" in central Stockholm in an effort to get people to notice her house-hunting announcement.

Sweden’s health system ‘worst in the Nordics’
Sweden

Sweden’s health system ‘worst in the Nordics’

Long queues to see a doctor and get treatment in Sweden have dragged the country far down a European ranking of healthcare providers, with Sweden now the worst among its Nordic neighbours despite efforts to cut waiting times.

Gabriel charms party to approve coalition deal
Germany

Gabriel charms party to approve coalition deal

Social Democrat chief Sigmar Gabriel is on a major charm offensive, racing across the country to win over sceptics to the plan for a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Spain’s barnacle-pickers risk lives for Xmas treat
Spain

Spain’s barnacle-pickers risk lives for Xmas treat

Perched on a slippery rock off Spain's rough northwest coast, Nando keeps one eye on the breaking waves and one on his prey: goose barnacles, a prized Christmas delicacy.

Hunter kills woman’s pet wild boar
Germany

Hunter kills woman’s pet wild boar

A woman who kept a huge wild boar as a pet was forced to say goodbye after it was shot and killed on Monday by a hunter in western Germany. She had raised three-year-old Lexa by hand since it was piglet.

Foreign criminals who return face two years’ jail
Norway

Foreign criminals who return face two years’ jail

Norway is set next week to vote in a ten-fold increase in the penalty for deported foreign criminals who illegally return to the country, VG newspaper has reported.

Pope ‘leaves Vatican at night in disguise’
Italy

Pope ‘leaves Vatican at night in disguise’

Days after Pope Francis slammed society's response to homelessness, the pontiff has reportedly been sneaking out of the Vatican at night to go and help poor people on the streets of Rome.

Sweden Democrats gain most in key voter survey
Sweden

Sweden Democrats gain most in key voter survey

Sweden's two largest political parties suffered drops in voter support, the country's most-watched opinion poll revealed on Wednesday, while the far-fight Sweden Democrats solidified their position as Sweden's third-largest party.

Arafat’s widow ‘shattered’ over French findings
Switzerland

Arafat’s widow ‘shattered’ over French findings

Yasser Arafat's widow said on Tuesday that she was "shattered" by contradictory findings by French and Swiss experts over the cause of the former Palestinian leader's death.

Hollande had secret surgery after health scare
France

Hollande had secret surgery after health scare

The state of French President François Hollande's health was the subject of scrutiny in France on Wednesday after he was forced to confirm he underwent surgery after being given a health scare before he was elected head of state.

UK soldier arrested in Germany in terror probe
Germany

UK soldier arrested in Germany in terror probe

A British soldier has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of terrorism offences after a nail bomb was found in a house on Thursday.

Burkhalter gains solid backing as Swiss prez
Switzerland

Burkhalter gains solid backing as Swiss prez

Foreigna Affairs Minister Didier Burkhalter was handily elected Swiss president for the coming year on Wednesday by the federal assembly, a joint meeting of the upper and lower houses of parliament in Bern.

Norway slams Israel for jailing Palestinian kids
Norway

Norway slams Israel for jailing Palestinian kids

Norway's new foreign minister has condemned Israel's detention of Palestinian children as young as twelve as "completely unacceptable" and "a clear violation of international conventions".

‘Oil-drilling could destroy Canary tourism’
Spain

‘Oil-drilling could destroy Canary tourism’

A campaign against plans to drill for oil off Spain's Canary Islands has united politicians, environmentalists and personalities including the mother of Hollywood star Javier Bardem, a native of the archipelago.

Family appeal after Brit goes missing in Paris
France

Family appeal after Brit goes missing in Paris

The family of a British man, who was last seen in Paris, has appealed for help in France to help track him down so they can get him home for Christmas.

Santiago crash: Spain bans drivers’ mobile use
Spain

Santiago crash: Spain bans drivers’ mobile use

Spain will ban mobile phone use by train drivers except in cases of emergencies after a train flew off the rails and killed 79 people in July, the government said on Tuesday.

Germany: ‘We’re going to win the World Cup’
Germany

Germany: ‘We’re going to win the World Cup’

Germans are confident their highly-rated national team will win the football World Cup in Brazil next year, a poll released on Wednesday suggested.

Britain to put its stake in Eurostar up for sale
France

Britain to put its stake in Eurostar up for sale

The British government announced on Wednesday that it is to sell its lucrative 40 percent stake in cross-channel rail service Eurostar. With Eurostar's revenues on the up the sell-off is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of pounds for government coffers.

Spotify reveals payscale amid artists row
Sweden

Spotify reveals payscale amid artists row

Spotify revealed how much it pays its web-streamed musicians this week, trying to fend off critics concerned that the company shortchanges artists on the world's most popular music-streaming company.

Sweden tests rape law amid surge of attacks
Sweden

Sweden tests rape law amid surge of attacks

Sweden is set to test its new rape law on a high-profile teen gang rape case, as police and prosecutors warn that young Swedes' attitude toward sex has taken a turn for the worse.

UK defends Italian woman’s caesarean
Italy

UK defends Italian woman’s caesarean

British authorities have defended the decision to force a mentally-ill Italian woman to give birth by caesarean section, saying they acted in the interests of the mother and child.

Activists arrested over Geneva Gazprom protest
Switzerland

Activists arrested over Geneva Gazprom protest

Eight Greenpeace activists were taken into custody on Tuesday after an elaborate protest at a Geneva energy conference, including polar bears wading in oil-soaked snow and oil-spill cocktails served to conference participants.

Sweden jails couple for selling Romanian woman
Sweden

Sweden jails couple for selling Romanian woman

A Romanian couple was jailed on Tuesday after forcing a young woman into prostitution in Stockholm and living the high life off the profits.

Germans want greater state control of internet
Germany

Germans want greater state control of internet

More than half of Germans want greater state control over websites, but about the same share are worried about surveillance of their own online activity, a survey on Tuesday revealed.

Man drugged and molested his half-sister
Norway

Man drugged and molested his half-sister

A man in northern Norway has been jailed for one and a half years for drugging and sexually abusing his half-sister.

‘Scream’ tree brings angst to US Christmas
Norway

‘Scream’ tree brings angst to US Christmas

Norway has brought a smattering of existential angst to America's Christmas, decking out the Christmas tree it puts up every year in Washington' DCs Union Station in a tribute to The Scream.