Switzerland fans dream after World Cup draw
Switzerland

Switzerland fans dream after World Cup draw

Swiss football fans are already visualizing their team in the final 16 of next years’s World Cup after landing in a favourable group in Friday’s draw for the competition next summer in Brazil.

‘Gay’ Christmas lights in Rome spark unholy row
Italy

‘Gay’ Christmas lights in Rome spark unholy row

The gay rainbow-flag theme for the Christmas lights on Rome's main shopping street that were switched on Friday have sparked an unholy row in the Eternal City.

Miss France: the ageless queen of kitsch
France

Miss France: the ageless queen of kitsch

The annual Miss France competition takes place in the eastern city of Dijon on Saturday night. In postmodern France, where women hold cabinet positions and beauty pageants are mercilessly mocked, you might think nobody will be watching. You'd be very wrong.

France avoid World Cup ‘Group of Death’
France

France avoid World Cup ‘Group of Death’

France avoided some of world football's biggest nations in Friday evening's World Cup draw. Instead, Les Bleus will face Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras in Group E.

Accused Auschwitz guard, 94, unfit for trial
Germany

Accused Auschwitz guard, 94, unfit for trial

A German court on Friday found a 94-year-old alleged former guard at Nazi death camp Auschwitz unfit to stand trial and released him from his pre-trial detention.

French troops killed armed men in CAR: army
France

French troops killed armed men in CAR: army

French troops killed several armed men on Thursday in a clash near the airport in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui, the army said.

‘Italian life prioritizes quality over quantity’
Italy

‘Italian life prioritizes quality over quantity’

When Ashley and Jason Bartner left New York to set up an organic farm and cooking school in rural Le Marche, they didn't speak Italian or know how to grow their own food. Ashley explains how they embraced the change and settled into the local community.

From Xaver to Nikolaus – seven days in pictures
Germany

From Xaver to Nikolaus – seven days in pictures

This week Germany's news has been dominated by the weather. But before hurricane Xaver hit there were strange visits by mythical beasts and a showdown in the Ukraine with Germany's foreign minister.

From the stands: Sixty years of Nobel Prizes
Sweden

From the stands: Sixty years of Nobel Prizes

With the Nobel Lecture in Physics in Stockholm on Sunday, The Local chats to former nuclear physicist Hans-Olov Zetterström about the last 60 years of lectures he has attended, and what the audience can expect when Higgs and Englert take the stage this weekend.

Woman reports doctor after religious row
Sweden

Woman reports doctor after religious row

A Muslim woman in southern Sweden has filed a complaint with the Equality Ombudsman because a doctor refused to treat her after she wouldn't shake his hand for religious reasons.

French punter wins €15m lottery – on his birthday
France

French punter wins €15m lottery – on his birthday

What’s the best birthday you’ve ever had? However special it was, it couldn’t possibly compete with that of a Frenchman who woke up on his birthday recently, only to find he had won €15 million on a Euromillions lottery ticket.

Over 100,000 people fled Italy in 2012
Italy

Over 100,000 people fled Italy in 2012

106,000 people left Italy in 2012 in search of work elsewhere, according to the latest figures from the Censis Institute.

GALLERY: A fox and dog’s amazing friendship
Norway

GALLERY: A fox and dog’s amazing friendship

Norwegian photographer Torgeir Berge was out in the woods with his dog Tinni one morning last summer when they stumbled upon a young fox. The dog and the fox gradually became the best of friends in a process Berge documented in an incredible series of photographs, which he plans to turn into a book next year.

Swede acquitted after eating ‘space cake’
Sweden

Swede acquitted after eating ‘space cake’

A 27-year-old man in central Sweden has been cleared of all drugs charges after claiming that the cannabis found in his blood stream was caused by eating a spiked dessert.

Swedish teens’ drinking habits at forty-year low
Sweden

Swedish teens’ drinking habits at forty-year low

Underage drinking in Sweden is at its lowest level in over four decades, according to a new report, which also found that Swedish kids from the south are the most likely to consume alcohol.

Italians reduce scooter rides in bid to save cash
Italy

Italians reduce scooter rides in bid to save cash

Italy's economic crisis has cut the spending power of 69 percent of households and forced a growing number of young people to leave the country, a study by the Censis institute released on Friday found.

The Local’s guide to Nobel Week in Stockholm
Sweden

The Local’s guide to Nobel Week in Stockholm

One of the most sumptuous and secretive events of the year is just days away: the Nobel Banquet, an exclusive luxury dinner and party celebrating this year's Laureates. But that's not all – it's a whole week of Nobel niceties, and The Local has your guide to it all.

In the eye of storm Sven in southern Sweden
Sweden

In the eye of storm Sven in southern Sweden

The Local's Patrick Reilly takes refuge from storm Sven in Malmö to reveal what impact the winter weather mayhem is having on locals.

Germany, Mandela and the Cold War
Germany

Germany, Mandela and the Cold War

As world leaders pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, many ignore how little their countries supported his struggle. Germany, as ever, has a particularly complex history as Gottfried Wellmer, an activist and researcher told The Local.

Mandela was ‘one of the greatest’: Nobel heads
Norway

Mandela was ‘one of the greatest’: Nobel heads

The Norwegian Nobel committee paid tribute on Friday to Nelson Mandela, calling him "one of the greatest names in the long history of the Nobel Peace Prize".

GALLERY: Gingerbread house competition
Norway

GALLERY: Gingerbread house competition

Saturday will see the opening of one of Norway's more eccentric Christmas traditions -- the annual gingerbread house competition organised by the country's National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. This year's theme is "Basic Forms of 20th Century Architecture".

Pope Francis pays tribute to Nelson Mandela
Italy

Pope Francis pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

Pope Francis on Friday expressed his "sadness" at learning of the death of Nelson Mandela and praised the anti-Apartheid leader for "forging a new South Africa".

Hurricane Xaver – floods give way to heavy snow
Germany

Hurricane Xaver – floods give way to heavy snow

UPDATE: Germany was still reeling on Friday from hurricane Xaver as blizzards and winds hit the country. But the floods are making way for snow and eventually warmer temperatures, forecasters said.

Italians are ‘giving more than ever’
Italy

Italians are ‘giving more than ever’

Over five million Italians, particularly young people, are dedicating their free time to voluntary work, according to the World Giving Index for 2013.

Vatican sets up child sex abuse committee
Italy

Vatican sets up child sex abuse committee

Pope Francis is setting up a special commission to advise the Catholic Church on how it can better protect children and help those who have suffered sexual abuse by priests, the Vatican announced on Thursday.

State bills crash victim for €25,000 road damage
France

State bills crash victim for €25,000 road damage

A French motorist got a nasty shock recently, after receiving a €25,000 bill from the state for road damage caused by a serious car crash in April 2012, in which he was rear-ended by a speeding, hit-and-run driver.

Soldier ‘infected two men with HIV’
Germany

Soldier ‘infected two men with HIV’

A German soldier serving jail time for deliberately infecting a sexual partner with HIV was in court again on Thursday. He is accused of giving the virus to a second soldier after having sex with him in a Bavarian barracks.

France fear World Cup ‘Group of Death’
France

France fear World Cup ‘Group of Death’

France, like the other 31 nations who qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, are eagerly awaiting the draw for the group stages on Friday. Les Bleus, however, having qualified by the skin of their teeth, could end up in the inevitable "group of death".

Germany tells citizens to get out of Yemen
Germany

Germany tells citizens to get out of Yemen

Germany's Foreign Ministry told its citizens to leave Yemen on Friday after a suicide bomb attack and gun battle killed at least 52 people, including two German doctors.

Italy sentences Egyptian ex-cleric for terror
Italy

Italy sentences Egyptian ex-cleric for terror

An Italian court on Friday convicted on terror charges an Egyptian cleric who was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan in 2003 and said he was tortured in captivity.

Italy reacts to death of Mandela
Italy

Italy reacts to death of Mandela

Since news broke on Thursday night of the death of Nelson Mandela, Italians have been expressing their admiration for South Africa's first black president.

Sweden and Mandela’s anti-apartheid struggle
Sweden

Sweden and Mandela’s anti-apartheid struggle

As the world mourns Nelson Mandela, The Local looks back at the ties between Sweden and his African National Congress (ANC) party, and how Sweden helped bring the fight for justice in South Africa to a global audience.

Man jailed for biting off chunk of bus driver’s arm
Norway

Man jailed for biting off chunk of bus driver’s arm

A man in Norway has been jailed for ten months for attacking a bus driver and biting off a chunk from his arm.

VIDEO: Lyon opens world’s first green tunnel
France

VIDEO: Lyon opens world’s first green tunnel

Lyon has unveiled what it calls the world’s first eco-friendly tunnel – a two-kilometre underground passageway for cyclists, buses and pedestrians, with sound effects and projected animations to boot. Check out this video of one cyclist’s debut journey.

Messi may not be fit for January: Barça coach
Spain

Messi may not be fit for January: Barça coach

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has said he can't guarantee that World Player of the Year Lionel Messi will be fit to feature when his side return to action after the Spanish winter break in January.

Snowden ‘should be protected’: web inventor
Switzerland

Snowden ‘should be protected’: web inventor

Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and others like him play an essential role in exposing abuses and should be protected, not punished, the founder of the World Wide Web said in Geneva on Thursday.

Mandela’s 1999 speech in Sweden’s Riksdag
Sweden

Mandela’s 1999 speech in Sweden’s Riksdag

Read what Nelson Mandela said in his speech to Sweden's parliament, the Riksdag, when he visited Sweden in the final days of his tenure as president of South Africa in March 1999.

Swedish cop fined for filming sex tape on duty
Sweden

Swedish cop fined for filming sex tape on duty

A policeman in eastern Sweden has been hit with a pay deduction after recording a sex tape on the job while dressed in his official uniform.

Swiss join in paying tribute to Mandela
Switzerland

Swiss join in paying tribute to Mandela

The Swiss government joined those from dozens around the world in playing tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, credited with ending racial apartheid in his country.

Madrid zoo names rare baby panda Xing Bao
Spain

Madrid zoo names rare baby panda Xing Bao

Madrid's new, three-month-old baby panda will be named Xing Bao, which means Treasure Star or Father's Treasure in Mandarin, the city's Zoo Aquarium announced on Thursday.

Football fans use Anne Frank in anti-Jew attack
Italy

Football fans use Anne Frank in anti-Jew attack

In the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts linked to football rivalries in Rome, offensive stickers showing Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp, wearing an AS Roma shirt, have been emblazoned across the city.

Paris releases new rule book on Metro manners
France

Paris releases new rule book on Metro manners

Do you regularly complain about how impolite Parisians are on the Metro? Well authorities have heard your gripes and responded by publishing 12 commandments on Metro etiquette including one rule that sweaty commuters should keep their armpits to themselves.

Lyon holds its breath for annual Festival of Lights
France

Lyon holds its breath for annual Festival of Lights

Dozens of spectacular light shows and installations are set to illuminate the skies over Lyon this weekend, for the highlight of the city’s calendar – the annual Festival of Lights. For a flavour of what to expect, check out these breathtaking images and video.

Spain seizes 550 kilos of cocaine on sailboat
Spain

Spain seizes 550 kilos of cocaine on sailboat

Spanish police seized over 550 kilos (1,200 pounds) of cocaine from a sailboat in the Atlantic and arrested three people, including two French crew members, the interior ministry said on Thursday.

Three injured as storm blows over buses
Norway

Three injured as storm blows over buses

Three people were injured near Ålesund on Friday morning when two buses were blown off the road by the hurricane-force winds that have battered Norway's south and west coats since Thursday morning.

Mayhem as Sven’s winds howl across Sweden
Sweden

Mayhem as Sven’s winds howl across Sweden

Winter storm Sven hit southern Sweden on Thursday night, claiming one life, littering roads with uprooted trees, stalling trains, and leaving tens of thousands without power. The storm is expected to reach Stockholm on Friday.

Italy feels ‘pain’ of Mandela death: PM
Italy

Italy feels ‘pain’ of Mandela death: PM

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Friday expressed the "pain that we all feel in our hearts" at the death of 95-year-old Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid leader.

The Italian ‘injecting hope’ in Afghanistan
Italy

The Italian ‘injecting hope’ in Afghanistan

Physiotherapist Alberto Cairo has spent more than two decades working with the Red Cross in Afghanistan. He talks to The Local about regime change, rehabilitation and the man who changed his life.

Bankruptcy epidemic slays Spain’s businesses
Spain

Bankruptcy epidemic slays Spain’s businesses

Washing machines, fish fingers and football teams: not even household names are safe from a Spanish bankruptcy epidemic ravaging big and small businesses alike.

Mandela’s complex ties with Germany
Germany

Mandela’s complex ties with Germany

Nelson Mandela died on Thursday night aged 95. The Local looks back at the anti-apartheid leader's complex relationship with Germany.

IN PICTURES: Nelson Mandela and Sweden
Sweden

IN PICTURES: Nelson Mandela and Sweden

News that Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died on Thursday at the age of 95 has sparked an outpouring of remembrance in Sweden and around the world. In a collection of historic images, The Local looks back at Mandela's ties to Sweden.

France pays homage to ‘conquerer’ Mandela
France

France pays homage to ‘conquerer’ Mandela

Updated: French leaders on Friday paid tribute to South Africa's anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday. Anti-racism groups also have called for impromptu congregation and all flags in France will fly at half-mast in tribute, the PM announced.

Pope Francis statue joins Rome wax museum
Italy

Pope Francis statue joins Rome wax museum

Pope Francis has become the latest figure in Rome's wax museum with a statue depicting the pontiff smiling in the iconic moment when he appeared on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica after his election.

Deutsche Post tests delivery drones
Germany

Deutsche Post tests delivery drones

Just like Amazon, Germany's Deutsche Post-DHL is also testing mini-drones as a way to deliver packages across the skies to your doorstep, the group said on Thursday.

Germany to take 5,000 more Syrian refugees
Germany

Germany to take 5,000 more Syrian refugees

Germany is ready to accept 5,000 more refugees from war-ravaged Syria, the interior ministers of the country's states and regions decided at a meeting, it was reported on Thursday.

Sweden hails Mandela: ‘He changed the world’
Sweden

Sweden hails Mandela: ‘He changed the world’

Leaders in Sweden called Nelson Mandela a "role model", adding their voices to a global chorus of praise and remembrance for South Africa's first black president, who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

Man convicted for teen sex when he was 16
Sweden

Man convicted for teen sex when he was 16

A young man in western Sweden has been convicted of sexual exploitation and told to go undergo treatment after having sex with a 14-year-old girl when he himself was 16.

‘My trips to Spain were joyous’: Nelson Mandela
Spain

‘My trips to Spain were joyous’: Nelson Mandela

Former South African president Nelson Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95, the country's current president Jacob Zuma has said in a live press conference. Mandela had a unique connection with Spain, one forged during two major sporting events.

IN PICTURES: Nelson Mandela and France
France

IN PICTURES: Nelson Mandela and France

The announcement that South Africa's anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela died on Thursday, aged 95, has sparked mourning across the globe. In this gallery of iconic images The Local takes a look back at Madiba's long connection with France and the French people.