Saint Gallen win over Swansea bittersweet
Switzerland

Saint Gallen win over Swansea bittersweet

FC Saint Gallen bowed out of the Europa Cup football competition qualifying stage in style on Thursday night, defeating Swansea City 1-0 before a home crowd.

Pedophile Geneva money manager handed jail term
Switzerland

Pedophile Geneva money manager handed jail term

A criminal court in Nyon in the canton of Vaud on Thursday sentenced a 64-year-old financial manager to nine years in jail for raping a 11-year-old girl and sexually abusing another girl.

‘Messi is not going anywhere’: Barcelona
Spain

‘Messi is not going anywhere’: Barcelona

Rumours that the injured Lionel Messi may be eyeing an exit from Barcelona were slammed by the clubs president on Thursday.

Milan’s ‘dildo’ Christmas tree sparks uproar
Italy

Milan’s ‘dildo’ Christmas tree sparks uproar

A Christmas tree decorated with 100 pink vibrators and other sex toys sparked such an uproar among residents in Milan that the local authorities took it down within 24 hours of it going on display.

Expat tribes in France: Which do you belong to?
France

Expat tribes in France: Which do you belong to?

People move to France for all sorts of reasons – whether it’s for love, a university course, a job, or even a ski slope. Give it a few months and you’ll start to display symptoms of having joined one expat tribe or another. But which one do you belong to?

Protesters block Italy-France border
Italy

Protesters block Italy-France border

Protesters from Italy's "Pitchforks" movement shut down the main roads between Italy and France on Thursday as part of a wave of anti-austerity protests that have sometimes erupted into violence.

US studios seek €2.5 m from French pirate site
France

US studios seek €2.5 m from French pirate site

Some of Hollywood's biggest film studios, and French entertainment industry syndicates, are set to demand nearly €3 million in damages on Friday from two French youths convicted of running an illegal downloading website.

‘Spain stopped Al-Qaeda drone attack’: US
Spain

‘Spain stopped Al-Qaeda drone attack’: US

The FBI has praised Spain's police force for helping the US to prevent potential terrorist attacks on European cities, including an Al-Qaeda plan to deliver explosives by using drones.

VIDEO: Cancer patients’ makeover goes viral
France

VIDEO: Cancer patients’ makeover goes viral

A French cancer charity has provoked tears of joy all over the world, after a video of their extraordinary project to give cancer patients “a carefee second” went viral. See for yourself what all the fuss is about.

Italian protester’s kiss was ‘sexual violence’
Italy

Italian protester’s kiss was ‘sexual violence’

The woman who kissed a riot policeman during protests near the northern Italian city of Turin in November has been detained for "sexual violence" and "offence to a public official".

‘One-man prison’ cost €4.3 million
Germany

‘One-man prison’ cost €4.3 million

A German state spent €4.3 million on a prison which only had one inmate and then closed, according to a report on Thursday. The single inmate was accompanied by 26 members of staff for a year.

The Great Beauty vies for Golden Globe
Italy

The Great Beauty vies for Golden Globe

La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), a film by Italy's Paolo Sorrentino, has been nominated for a Golden Globe.

Thousands of school kids strike for refugee rights
Germany

Thousands of school kids strike for refugee rights

Thousands of youngsters in Hamburg skipped class on Thursday morning to protest against a decision by the city authorities to refuse to give a group of asylum seekers permission to stay.

Swedish flat-rate mobile roaming first in the EU
Sweden

Swedish flat-rate mobile roaming first in the EU

A Swedish company leapt first from the starting blocks with a new flat-rate EU roaming mobile subscription on Thursday, making the operator the first to offer such a product. The European commission hopes soon to impose legal limits on roaming fees.

Police: ‘Please don’t make us wear blue’
Germany

Police: ‘Please don’t make us wear blue’

Police in Bavaria have voted against a uniform upgrade opting to keep the same forest-green outfits they have worn since the 70s. The state is the last in Germany where police do not perform their duties in EU regulation blue.

‘President’s school’ shut over fear of collapse
Italy

‘President’s school’ shut over fear of collapse

An Italian high school famous for educating the country's presidents has closed due to fears that part of the building could collapse, Italian media has reported.

Norway’s ten weirdest Christmas traditions
Norway

Norway’s ten weirdest Christmas traditions

Look at any British newspaper over the past few weeks and you'll see that having a Norwegian Christmas is this year's craze. But it's not all gingerbread, gløgg and tasteful decor. Here are some of the country's weirder traditions.

Baby shock: Gran lifts lid on hospital mix-up
Spain

Baby shock: Gran lifts lid on hospital mix-up

A Spanish woman who had just given birth to a girl got the shock of her life when the baby's grandmother decided to have a peek inside the new-born's nappy.

Defiant Catalonia plans 2014 independence vote
Spain

Defiant Catalonia plans 2014 independence vote

Political parties in Catalonia forged and in-principle agreement to call a referendum next year on independence from Spain, the regional president said on Thursday, defying fierce opposition by Madrid.

Swedes uncover Disqus user security breach
Sweden

Swedes uncover Disqus user security breach

A group of Swedish journalists are sitting on a goldmine of 29 million online comments, with information about users' identities, from news sites around the world thanks to a security flaw in debate moderation service Disqus.

Airlines forecast to reap record profits in 2014
Switzerland

Airlines forecast to reap record profits in 2014

Airlines are expected to post record profits in 2014, the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association said Thursday, citing sliding oil prices and mergers for the sector's improving outlook.

Tourism chiefs warn of holiday price rises
Germany

Tourism chiefs warn of holiday price rises

Politicians and the tourism industry warned on Thursday that without an extension to the time frame in which schools can take summer holidays, family breaks in Germany would get a lot pricier.

Swedish police fear social media vigilantes
Sweden

Swedish police fear social media vigilantes

A Malmö neighbourhood page that descended into threats of killing 'local paedophiles' has Swedish police worried that hysteria on social media sites could spill into vigilante justice. Some comments already breach the law.

Kindergarten cancels Lucia citing child rights
Norway

Kindergarten cancels Lucia citing child rights

A kindergarten in Norway has been criticized for deciding not to celebrate the Lucia festival on Thursday, arguing that it violates the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child and excludes children from non-Christian backgrounds.

The Swedish group that blew the lid on hateful online comments
Sweden

The Swedish group that blew the lid on hateful online comments

A small group of Swedish investigative journalists helped expose thousands of anonymous commenters espousing online hate, prompting resignations and renewed debate, making the Research Group our pick for Swede(s) of the Week.

‘Protests could become dangerously rebellious’
Italy

‘Protests could become dangerously rebellious’

Anti-austerity protests, which have gathered momentum across Italy over the past week, risk becoming “dangerously rebellious against national and European institutions", Italy’s depurt prime minister Angelino Alfano said on Thursday.

Worker ‘fatally poisoned six’ at Alps care home
France

Worker ‘fatally poisoned six’ at Alps care home

A worker at a retirement home near the French Alps was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of killing six pensioners by poisoning, a source close to the inquiry said.

French teen bids for a seat at Académie Française
France

French teen bids for a seat at Académie Française

In what has been described as a “very rare” event, a 15-year-old boy is in the running for a seat at the prestigious Académie Française. On Thursday the institution is set to decide on who will fill the coveted place among France's fabled "Immortals."

Man stopped for drink-driving on wheelchair
Norway

Man stopped for drink-driving on wheelchair

A disabled man in Norway has been stopped for drunk driving after he has was stopped by police returning from a party on Saturday in his electric wheelchair.

Dead dictator set to lose honorary law job
Spain

Dead dictator set to lose honorary law job

Madrid's Bar Association said on Wednesday it will decide in a vote next week whether to remove Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco as its honorary dean, 38 years after his death.

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week

Ever wanted a big house by the water in western Sweden? Now's your chance. Take a look inside The Local's Property of the Week.

‘Nude Carla Bruni’ pics dupe Euro diplomats
France

‘Nude Carla Bruni’ pics dupe Euro diplomats

Chinese hackers broke into the computers of several European diplomats during a G20 meeting in Paris, using the promise of naked pictures of then French First Lady Carla Bruni, an internet security firm reported this week. The X-rated bait reportedly worked on “almost everybody.”

VIDEO: Morrissey’s Nobel trouser controversy
Norway

VIDEO: Morrissey’s Nobel trouser controversy

In the end what was most controversial about British singer Morrissey's three-song set at the Nobel Peace Prize concert on Wednesday were the baggy trousers he flouted on stage.

‘I was a lazy student, that’s how this started’
Germany

‘I was a lazy student, that’s how this started’

Nobody puts a name to a face better than he can. Boris Nikolai Konrad helped Germany to victory in the World Memory Championships by recalling 106 names in 15 minutes. The 29-year-old "Superbrain" is The Local's German of the Week.

Ajax fans stabbed before Milan clash
Italy

Ajax fans stabbed before Milan clash

Three fans of Ajax are in hospital, one in a serious condition, after being stabbed prior to the Dutch side's Champions League clash with AC Milan on Wednesday, according to reports.

Time magazine mocks Madrid mayor’s gaffe
Spain

Time magazine mocks Madrid mayor’s gaffe

Madrid mayor Ana Botella has made Time magazine's 2013 honours list — for making one of the worst political gaffes of the year.

Sex exiles: Fears French prostitutes will emigrate
France

Sex exiles: Fears French prostitutes will emigrate

After the French parliament adopted a new bill to penalize clients of prostitutes with hefty fines, sex workers in France and their customers are expected to head across the border in droves to Germany and Switzerland, seeking better working conditions.

Topless protesters storm talkshow over Qatar 2022
Germany

Topless protesters storm talkshow over Qatar 2022

Two topless women stormed the stage of a German talkshow on Wednesday night in protest at the treatment of workers building football facilities for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Baker’s daughter moves to save Karstadt
Germany

Baker’s daughter moves to save Karstadt

Ikea boss Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt will be the new head of struggling German department store chain Karstadt. She reportedly has a shake-up of all 83 branches up her sleeve, in a last ditch attempt to save the business.

Muslim gardener reports ‘George Michael’ warning
Sweden

Muslim gardener reports ‘George Michael’ warning

A gardener in Gothenburg who said he suffered months of racist and sexual abuse at work has taken his case to Sweden's equality watchdog, stating he was told to cut his Islamic beard to resemble George Michael in order not to upset "racist Swedes".

Lover ‘regrets’ Geneva murder of French banker
Switzerland

Lover ‘regrets’ Geneva murder of French banker

The woman who shot a top French banker in his Geneva apartment during a sado-masochistic sex session in 2005, expressed deep regret for the murder during a Swiss investigative news TV programme that aired on Wednesday.

Ten ways to speak Italian with your hands
Italy

Ten ways to speak Italian with your hands

Know the Italian language better than Dante but rendered mute when your Italian friends start speaking with their hands? The Local has uncovered the meaning behind the 10 most popular gestures.

Plane skids off runway in wild Tenerife storm
Spain

Plane skids off runway in wild Tenerife storm

A plane landing at Spain's infamous Los Rodeos airport in Tenerife skidded off the runway on Wednesday night as its wheels struggled to brake due to the amount of rainfall on the landing strip.

US ‘totally dictates’ Swedish surveillance
Sweden

US ‘totally dictates’ Swedish surveillance

The US dominates Sweden during joint surveillance cooperation, as the Swedes give information but ask for nothing in return, claimed journalist Glenn Greenwald on Wednesday.

Brittany shakes again as another earthquakes hits
France

Brittany shakes again as another earthquakes hits

An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale shook parts of Brittany on Wednesday night with a second tremor recorded early on Thursday morning. It’s the second quake to hit the north-western French region in the past month.

Vote set to end three months of political limbo
Germany

Vote set to end three months of political limbo

Germany's top parties hope to end three months of political limbo at the weekend by giving final approval to a coalition deal. But thousands of votes cast by party members to ratify the agreement are invalid, reports on Thursday said.

Princess Mette-Marit shows off neck scar
Norway

Princess Mette-Marit shows off neck scar

Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit returned to work on Wednesday, making no attempt to conceal the long, thin scar on her neck from last month's operation.

‘Jailing me will lead to revolution’: Berlusconi
Italy

‘Jailing me will lead to revolution’: Berlusconi

Scandal-tainted Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, sentenced to a year in prison for tax fraud, claimed on Thursday there would be a "revolution" in Italy if he was jailed.

Basel transport director quits over sex scandal
Switzerland

Basel transport director quits over sex scandal

The director of Basel’s public transport company has been forced to step down in a scandal over sexual harassment allegations.

Norway asked to pay up for slave-owning past
Norway

Norway asked to pay up for slave-owning past

A commission set up by countries in the Caribbean announced on Tuesday that it planned to sue Norway for its involvement in plantation slavery from the 17th to the 19th century.

Facebook page targets innocent ‘paedophiles’
Sweden

Facebook page targets innocent ‘paedophiles’

Police in Malmö are trying to put a stop to paedophile rumours about a local man with no convictions or suspicions of child abuse, after Facebook users were egged on to beat him to death in the woods.

‘Italy-Russia deal is equal to one with drug cartels’
Italy

‘Italy-Russia deal is equal to one with drug cartels’

When Russia signed a €1 billion investment deal with Italy in November, it was seen in some quarters as a welcome boost to the Italian economy, while others raised fears over the Kremlin's growing influence in Europe and possible corruption. The Local takes a look at the pros and cons.

Nine horses killed in crash with two trucks
Germany

Nine horses killed in crash with two trucks

Nine horses were killed, three vehicles were damaged and two people badly injured in a crash in eastern Germany on Tuesday night.

Police crack down on Majorca’s Russian mafia
Spain

Police crack down on Majorca’s Russian mafia

Spanish police said on Wednesday they had arrested eight people on the holiday island of Majorca as part of an operation coordinated by Interpol against a Russian organised crime group.

Neymar nets hat-trick as Barça hit Celtic for six
Spain

Neymar nets hat-trick as Barça hit Celtic for six

Neymar scored his first Barcelona hat-trick as the Catalans secured top spot in Group H of the Champions League with a 6-1 thrashing of Celtic at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

‘Pompeii needs an archaeologist at the top’
Italy

‘Pompeii needs an archaeologist at the top’

Following the appointment of a former police chief to lead the restoration of Pompeii, one archaeologist tells The Local the decision could leave "a worrying lack of archaeological expertise at the top".

Government loses fight over divisive tax cut
Sweden

Government loses fight over divisive tax cut

Sweden's minority government coalition on Wednesday lost a fight to lower taxes for high-earners in a vote that may have long-term "ugly free-for-all" consequences for how budget decisions are made.

Germany helps British army aide rejected by UK
Germany

Germany helps British army aide rejected by UK

An interpreter who worked for British troops in Afghanistan for five years has won asylum in Germany after the UK government said it could not give him refuge. He told The Local he felt abandoned by the British.

Birkin’s daughter found dead outside Paris flat
France

Birkin’s daughter found dead outside Paris flat

British photographer Kate Barry, daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin, died on Wednesday after falling from the fourth floor of her Paris apartment building, informed sources said, confirming a media report.

Sex law change sparks brothel border town fears
Germany

Sex law change sparks brothel border town fears

France's decision last week to penalize the clients of prostitutes has led to fears of an "avalanche" of kerb crawlers crossing the border to the German town of Saarbrücken. A mega brothel is already being planned in the town.

Daughter killed, mother injured in crane crash
Germany

Daughter killed, mother injured in crane crash

UPDATE: A 46-year-old woman was killed and her mother was among seven people injured when a crane fell onto a discount supermarket, causing parts of the building to collapse near Frankfurt on Wednesday.

Sweden grapples with rise in Syrian refugees
Sweden

Sweden grapples with rise in Syrian refugees

As Syrians fleeing civil war stream into Sweden by the thousands, the country faces both practical and political challenges in dealing with the influx, AFP's Tom Sullivan discovers.

Spotify adds Zeppelin and free mobile service
Sweden

Spotify adds Zeppelin and free mobile service

Spotify extended its free music streaming service to smartphones and tablets on Wednesday, while at the same time announcing that the music of rock legends Led Zeppelin was coming to the Swedish digital music service.