UBS exec freed on bail in US tax evasion case
Switzerland

UBS exec freed on bail in US tax evasion case

A US judge Monday freed a former UBS executive on $9 million bail while he awaits trial on charges that he helped Americans avoid millions in US taxes, his attorney said.

Syrian conflict drives UN call for record aid
Switzerland

Syrian conflict drives UN call for record aid

The United Nations appealed in Geneva on Monday for a record $6.5 billion to help ever-growing numbers of victims of Syria's spiralling conflict next year, when refugee numbers are set to nearly double.

UK diplomat’s advice: ‘Go out and meet folks’
Switzerland

UK diplomat’s advice: ‘Go out and meet folks’

Tom Matlock, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Bern, arrived in Switzerland this year following postings in South Korea and Sudan. While sharing typical expat concerns over the high cost of living and restrictive Swiss shopping hours, he tells The Local that new arrivals should make an effort to form friendships.

Napoleon ‘second most important man in history’
France

Napoleon ‘second most important man in history’

France’s former Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is second only to Jesus in terms of importance in history, according to rankings based on a new software programme. Napoleon was deemed more significant than the likes of the Prophet Mohammed and Hitler.

Police fine driver for talking to passenger
Spain

Police fine driver for talking to passenger

Police have fined a driver in Spain's Canary Islands €40 ($55) for taking his eyes off the road to talk to a passenger in his vehicle.

‘Punctual’ young Swedes attract EU employers
Sweden

‘Punctual’ young Swedes attract EU employers

Sweden's youthful labour force has been praised by the European Employment Service for being "loyal" and "punctual" after it emerged young Swedes are among the biggest beneficiaries of a continental job scheme.

Madrid airport makes world punctuality top ten
Spain

Madrid airport makes world punctuality top ten

Madrid's Barajas airport was among the ten most punctual in the world in November with only Munich performing better in Europe.

Choreographing a Swedish career move
Sweden

Choreographing a Swedish career move

VIDEO: Three years after opening her dance school in Stockholm, Bangladeshi dancer Wahida Zennath catches up with The Local. Timing was in her favour, as South Asian "Bollywood-style" dance classes are all the rage in Sweden.

Mafia nabbed in Christmas flowers racket
Italy

Mafia nabbed in Christmas flowers racket

Italian police on Monday arrested four suspected mafia members who were forcing shopkeepers to buy Christmas flowers for up to €100 each to raise money for jailed mobsters.

Italy’s professionals see their salaries fall
Italy

Italy’s professionals see their salaries fall

Self-employed professionals in Italy saw their salaries fall over five years, with notaries and engineers among the hardest hit, national media reported on Monday.

Sicily airport stays shut due to volcano eruption
Italy

Sicily airport stays shut due to volcano eruption

Catania airport in Sicily stayed shut on Monday due to an ongoing eruption of nearby Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, airport officials said.

Burger King returns to Paris a day early
France

Burger King returns to Paris a day early

Lovers of a 'Le Whopper' in Paris had a nice surprise on Monday when Burger King made its long awaited return to the capital earlier than expected. The new restaurant is just the start of Burger King's attempts to take a huge bite out of France's fast food market.

Buses – Germany’s new favourite transport
Germany

Buses – Germany’s new favourite transport

The bus appears to be the Germans new favourite mode of transport with an increase of 230 percent in the number of long distance journeys taken week since the start of the year. The market was deregulated at the beginning of 2013.

Lawyers plan widespread fines for porn viewers
Germany

Lawyers plan widespread fines for porn viewers

Solicitors sending out fines to German users of porn streaming site Redtube said over the weekend that they had set their sights on visitors to other popular erotic sites which would potentially snare tens of thousands of internet users.

Gibraltarians ‘heroes of 2013’: UK poll
Spain

Gibraltarians ‘heroes of 2013’: UK poll

Readers of the UK edition of Microsoft's MSN website have chosen "the entire population of Gibraltar" as one of their heroes of the year.

Christmas gifts stolen from under family’s tree
Italy

Christmas gifts stolen from under family’s tree

Police have arrested a man from Georgia for allegedly stealing gifts from under a family's Christmas tree along with jewellery and computers from their home in the northern Italian city of Livorno .

‘China teaches its kids to sit exams, Sweden its kids to think’
Sweden

‘China teaches its kids to sit exams, Sweden its kids to think’

In an open letter to the Swedish education minister, Lund high schooler Saga Ringmar asks him not to fear China, despite Shanghai beating Sweden by 37 places on the recent Pisa ranking. Her test-loving school in Shanghai left her disillusioned and her kid sister depressed.

Christmas stress ’causes heart attacks’
Germany

Christmas stress ’causes heart attacks’

The chances of suffering a heart attack leap over the Christmas holidays, according to a German study released on Monday. Stress from family and work are behind the sudden jump, with men most at risk.

‘Don’t sell Alitalia to the Sheikhs’: Lufthansa CEO
Italy

‘Don’t sell Alitalia to the Sheikhs’: Lufthansa CEO

Christoph Franz, the CEO of the German airline, Lufthansa, has warned that the troubled Alitalia should "not be sold to the Sheikhs" as it would only become a "shuttle service towards the United Arab Emirates".

Bitcoin not real money says Norway’s taxman
Norway

Bitcoin not real money says Norway’s taxman

Norway's tax authorities have ruled that the virtual currency Bitcoin does not qualify as real money, meaning gains made by Norwegians on their holdings will qualify for capital gains tax.

Car-bomb mum convicted for trying to kill her kids
Sweden

Car-bomb mum convicted for trying to kill her kids

A central Sweden court on Monday found a woman guilty of trying to kill her own children in an attempted car explosion, after she claimed they "should go with her" into death. Her violent past included shooting and killing her parents as a teen.

Hollande urged to make assisted suicide legal
France

Hollande urged to make assisted suicide legal

Is France set to push through another divisive social reform? After gay marriage and prostitution the next thorny topic on François Hollande's agenda could be euthanasia after a panel set up by the president recommended legalizing assisted suicide on Monday.

French cops baffled over Riviera bones mystery
France

French cops baffled over Riviera bones mystery

The sinister discovery of bones found off the French Riviera earlier this year continues to baffle French police. On Monday their investigation took a new twist.

Police deny Messi’s dad linked to drug money
Spain

Police deny Messi’s dad linked to drug money

Spanish police are investigating the Colombian promoters of charity football events starring Barcelona star Lionel Messi for possible laundering of drug money, sources said on Monday.

Bavarian town rejects anti-Hitler vote
Germany

Bavarian town rejects anti-Hitler vote

A Bavarian town failed to distance themselves from Hitler in a vote last week. The Nazi leader was made an honorary citizen of the area in 1933 but half of the council voted against disassociating the town from him.

Sweden fears import of Syrian terrorism
Sweden

Sweden fears import of Syrian terrorism

Sweden's security police said they fear that terrorism could be imported by some 75 people who have left Sweden for Syria over the last two years to train or fight with al Qaeda-inspired groups.

PSG to face Germany’s Leverkusen in last 16
France

PSG to face Germany’s Leverkusen in last 16

Laurent Blanc's PSG side will be confident of making further progress in the Champions League after Monday's draw for the last 16 saw them paired with Germany's Bayer Leverkusen.

Identity thieves in €200k smartphone scam
Italy

Identity thieves in €200k smartphone scam

Seven people in central Italy were arrested on Monday for allegedly stealing people’s identities to set up contracts for smartphones and tablets in a scam totalling €200,000.

Charges filed for topless Russian embassy demo
Sweden

Charges filed for topless Russian embassy demo

Two women from feminist movement Femen have been charged for trespassing after a topless protest in support of gay rights at the Russian embassy in Stockholm. It follows previous charges for an anti-sharia demo outside a Swedish mosque.

Horses used for ‘animal testing’ sold to butchers
Spain

Horses used for ‘animal testing’ sold to butchers

Spain and France were hit by another horsemeat scandal on Monday after it emerged meat from horses used for drugs testing had found its way into the food chain.

Runaway bus kills man in Oslo
Norway

Runaway bus kills man in Oslo

One person was killed and at least three injured on Sunday, after a runaway bus in Oslo collided with a passenger car, smashed down two traffic lights, and careered into a market stall selling Christmas trees.

French widower, 91, finds love through garden sign
France

French widower, 91, finds love through garden sign

A 91-year-old French widower from south-western France, who planted a sign at the bottom of his garden to alert potential companions, has finally ended his quest to find a soulmate after an 86-year-old woman answered his plea.

Top envoy may call foreign minister to Congo
Norway

Top envoy may call foreign minister to Congo

The top diplomat who travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo this week has said Norway's foreign minister Børge Brende may need to travel personally to Kinshasa to secure the release of the Norwegian jailed there.

Quake rattles southern Spanish provinces
Spain

Quake rattles southern Spanish provinces

An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale could be felt in south-western Spain on Monday morning, but no damage or injuries have been reported.

‘Put in the effort to know what your firm wants’
Germany

‘Put in the effort to know what your firm wants’

In this week's My German Career, Tommi Raivisto, the vice president of a Nokia business, describes the advantages of being with one company for years and what he likes about working in Berlin.

Heavy fog to continue cloaking Swiss plateau
Switzerland

Heavy fog to continue cloaking Swiss plateau

Fog that cloaked parts of the Swiss plateau from Geneva to Zurich for the past two days is expected to persist until Thursday, making driving treacherous and boosting pollution levels.

Pupils sued by teacher for Facebook insults
Italy

Pupils sued by teacher for Facebook insults

A former teacher in the northern Italian region of Piedmont is seeking a combined €1,000 from two students who called him an "arsehole" on Facebook.

Neo-fascist leader arrested for anti-EU stunt
Italy

Neo-fascist leader arrested for anti-EU stunt

The vice-president of neo-fascist group Casapound has been arrested after climbing onto the European Commission building in Rome and tearing down the EU flag.

Amazon staff strike as pay battle rages
Germany

Amazon staff strike as pay battle rages

Amazon staff in Germany began fresh strikes on Monday in their ongoing fight for higher pay. More walk-outs are planned in the run up to Christmas in an attempt to hit the company during the busy festive season.

Meet Merkel’s new ‘super cabinet’
Germany

Meet Merkel’s new ‘super cabinet’

Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled her third-term cabinet Sunday, with a long-time rival set to take the toughest job and a party rebel cast as a possible successor to the German leader.

Horses used for research ‘sold off to butchers’
France

Horses used for research ‘sold off to butchers’

France was rocked by another horsemeat scandal on Monday when it emerged that hundreds of horses that had been used for medical research were then illegally sold off to the meat industry, despite them not being fit for human consumption. Police have arrested 21 in a series of raids.

Protesters take to streets over ‘fascist’ fines
Spain

Protesters take to streets over ‘fascist’ fines

Around 2,000 protesters were met by riot police outside the Spanish parliament in Madrid on Saturday in a protest that turned violent against the country's tough new Citizen Security Law.

GALLERY: Goat saved by dare-devil climbers
Norway

GALLERY: Goat saved by dare-devil climbers

A runaway goat stranded for three weeks on a cliff above a Norwegian fjord has been rescued after local climbers mounted a dare-devil operation.

The serial-killer anatomy of a Swedish scandal
Sweden

The serial-killer anatomy of a Swedish scandal

It is probably Sweden's worst miscarriage of justice. On Monday, officials decided that Thomas Quick will continue to receive mental treatment but with less restrictions. The Local contributor David Lindén explains how a self-confessed serial killer went on to be cleared of all eight murders.

VIDEO – Swedish Nazis attack families at demo
Sweden

VIDEO – Swedish Nazis attack families at demo

Three people were taken to hospital on Sunday after they were injured by counter-demonstrators at an anti-Nazi demonstration in the suburbs of Stockholm.

‘Catalonia is Spain’s next crisis’: Financial Times
Spain

‘Catalonia is Spain’s next crisis’: Financial Times

The recent decision by the president of Catalonia to call an independence poll in 2014 was "tilting Spain towards full-blooded constitutional conflict", the UK's Financial Times said on Sunday

French teen kills father in tragic hunting accident
France

French teen kills father in tragic hunting accident

France witnessed yet another tragic hunting accident at the weekend when a 14-year-old boy mistakenly shot his father dead. Realising what he had done, the devastated teenager then committed suicide.

Funeral director hoards 67 urns in room
Germany

Funeral director hoards 67 urns in room

German police have launched an investigation after finding 67 urns in an abandoned house. A former undertaker was reportedly asked by families to bury their loved ones at sea, but hoarded the remains instead.

Cops baffled by Santa in cross-dressing heist
Sweden

Cops baffled by Santa in cross-dressing heist

Swedish police were left scratching their heads on the weekend after a jewellery store in southern Stockholm was robbed by an apparent cross-dresser, while a suspected accomplice distracted other shoppers while dressed as Santa.

Bremen blazes put 33 in hospital
Germany

Bremen blazes put 33 in hospital

Firefighters in the north German city of Bremen were out in force on Sunday as two separate buildings went up in flames. Thirty three people were taken to hospital with injuries. A separate fire at a saw mill near Braunschweig caused millions of euros worth of damage.

Norway ship docks in Cyprus for Syria role
Norway

Norway ship docks in Cyprus for Syria role

The Norwegian frigate tasked with escorting Syria's deadly chemical weapons arsenal is now anchored at the Cypriot port of Limassol, awaiting orders to sail to Syria.

Far-right group targets Princess in fraud case
Spain

Far-right group targets Princess in fraud case

A far-right group launched a fraud lawsuit on Friday against Spanish King Juan Carlos's daughter Cristina, the latest twist in a case that has plunged his family into scandal.

Merkel escapes limo crash unscathed
Germany

Merkel escapes limo crash unscathed

Chancellor Angela Merkel was in a car crash on Sunday when an 82-year-old driver hit her limousine. The chancellor was in the vehicle at the time but avoided injury.

Anti-EU Northern League party gets new leader
Italy

Anti-EU Northern League party gets new leader

Italy's separatist Northern League party on Sunday named as its new leader Matteo Salvini, who said the European single currency was "a crime against humanity" and called for independence for northern Italy.

Former UBS exec faces US tax evasion charges
Switzerland

Former UBS exec faces US tax evasion charges

A former top UBS executive is due in US court for the first time on Monday after his extradition from Italy for helping thousands of Americans hide billions of dollars from the taxman.

Renzi confirmed as Italy’s new centre-left leader
Italy

Renzi confirmed as Italy’s new centre-left leader

Italy's main centre-left Democratic Party on Sunday confirmed the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, as its leader in a major shake-up of the political scene after the sidelining of Silvio Berlusconi.

VIDEO: Christmas shoppers battle winds
Norway

VIDEO: Christmas shoppers battle winds

A video of Christmas shoppers in Ålesund battling Storm Ivar has been picked up by media across the world, including major titles such as Time Magazine and the UK's Daily Mirror.

EasyJet on trial in France over disabled passengers
France

EasyJet on trial in France over disabled passengers

EasyJet goes to court in France this week to fight two separate legal challenges by disabled passengers who it refused to fly, in the latest accusations of discrimination against the budget airline.

Allow hymns at graduation: government
Sweden

Allow hymns at graduation: government

Students should be able to sing hymns at graduation, states a new government review, even though Sweden's school agency scrapped religious affiliation from the event 20 years ago.

Lille win to stay in touch with PSG at top
France

Lille win to stay in touch with PSG at top

The big match in Ligue 1 this weekend saw Lyon and Marseille draw 2-2 in a thrilling game. At the top of the table it was business as usual for PSG. Read about all the action here.

Nordic skier Cologna named sportsman of year
Switzerland

Nordic skier Cologna named sportsman of year

Injured Nordic skiing champion Dario Cologna was named Swiss sportsman of the year at the Credit Suisse Sports Awards in Zurich on Sunday night.

Mount Etna eruption shuts Italian airport
Italy

Mount Etna eruption shuts Italian airport

The eruption of the Mount Etna volcano in Sicily on Sunday forced the closure of nearby Catania airport because of the plumes of ash billowing into the sky, airport officials said.

‘Pizza Connection’ mafia boss to be extradited
Italy

‘Pizza Connection’ mafia boss to be extradited

A businessman convicted of laundering money for the Sicilian mafia will be extradited to Italy from Thailand where he was arrested in 2012 after many years on the run, an Italian prosecutor said on Sunday.