War and dictators prompt surge in migrants to Italy
Italy

War and dictators prompt surge in migrants to Italy

Some 45,000 migrants braved the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to seek refuge in Europe in 2013, with the overwhelming majority arriving in Italy, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

Swedes slam Amnesty’s ‘legalize prostitution’ bid
Sweden

Swedes slam Amnesty’s ‘legalize prostitution’ bid

Amnesty International's proposal to lobby for the legalization of buying and selling sex has caused an angry reaction among Swedish women's rights organizations.

Tourist attraction rises from river bed
Germany

Tourist attraction rises from river bed

UPDATE: A maritime landmark of Bremen, a reconstruction of a 24-metre-long Hanseatic cog ship, which disappeared on Monday night into Tuesday morning has risen from the depths.

Cabaye to PSG: ‘€16.9m deal amost done’
France

Cabaye to PSG: ‘€16.9m deal amost done’

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi said on Tuesday that the French champions are close to completing a deal for Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye.

Vettel still shocked by Schumacher accident
Spain

Vettel still shocked by Schumacher accident

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has said he is still coming to terms with the serious injuries suffered by compatriot Michael Schumacher in a skiing accident last month.

‘Masturbation classes’ rumour sparks boycott
France

‘Masturbation classes’ rumour sparks boycott

Pupils from nursery and infant schools across France were kept home this week after their parents were sent hoax text messages warning them that teachers were to give lessons in masturbation and sex education and telling them to boycott classes.

Spy agency warns Swedes over ‘leaky’ apps
Sweden

Spy agency warns Swedes over ‘leaky’ apps

Revelations that using apps like Angry Birds on smartphones may make it easier for the NSA to gather data on unsuspecting Swedes has prompted a warning from Swedish spy agency FRA.

placeholder image
Switzerland

Syria regime accuses US of arming terrorists

Talks among Syria's warring sides broke up in Geneva on Tuesday, the United Nations said, after the regime in a morning session accused Washington of "arming terrorists".

Belly fat putting Spanish children at risk
Spain

Belly fat putting Spanish children at risk

Childhood abdominal obesity is a serious problem in Spain and one that is going largely undetected, a new study shows.

French woman stabs her husband 318 times
France

French woman stabs her husband 318 times

A woman is behind bars in France after admitting stabbing her husband with a knife over 300 times, reports said on Tuesday. The accused woman has refused to tell police why she committed the crazed attack.

Dolphin meat served at Lazio restaurant
Italy

Dolphin meat served at Lazio restaurant

A restaurant in Lazio served 'elite' customers dolphin meat, an investigation has revealed, prompting animal rights groups to call for better controls.

Health ministry told to pay dead soldier’s family
Italy

Health ministry told to pay dead soldier’s family

The Italian Ministry of Health has been ordered to pay compensation to the family of soldier Francesco Finessi in a landmark ruling, after he died following vaccinations he received during military service.

Wawrinka draws hero’s welcome in Geneva
Switzerland

Wawrinka draws hero’s welcome in Geneva

Australian Open tennis champion Stanislas Wawrinka received a hero’s welcome at Geneva airport on Tuesday afternoon where a throng of cheering fans and journalists met him.

Swiss still throw out too much food: study
Switzerland

Swiss still throw out too much food: study

Despite improved recycling habits, food that could be composted still accounts for almost a third of Swiss household garbage, says the federal environment office, which is urging a change in habits.

Defector accuses Sweden Dems of funding fraud
Sweden

Defector accuses Sweden Dems of funding fraud

A former top Sweden Democrat has accused the party of fraudulently obtaining state-funding by cobbling together a women's wing that at the time only existed on paper.

Lexbase official quits as controversy rages
Sweden

Lexbase official quits as controversy rages

Lexbase, a site allowing Swedes to look up neighbour's criminal records, was embroiled in further controversy on Tuesday as its owner was revealed to have criminal connections and its spokesperson quit after reportedly receiving death threats.

Bomb explodes outside court in Trento
Italy

Bomb explodes outside court in Trento

A bomb exploded outside a court in the northern Italian city of Trento on Tuesday morning.

France’s growing poor: Where do they live?
France

France’s growing poor: Where do they live?

France is facing its highest rates of poverty since 1997 as unemployment climbs to record levels. However, hard times are clearly not spread evenly across the country with some towns avoiding the worst and others clearly hit hard. Find out where is worst affected.

French rail firm SNCF ‘charged in youths’ death’
France

French rail firm SNCF ‘charged in youths’ death’

Two young football fans were killed and nearly a dozen injured in 2009 when they were struck by state-owned train after a football match. Rail operator SNCF will now faces criminal charges over the accident, sources have claimed.

Outrage as tabloid names king as murder suspect
Sweden

Outrage as tabloid names king as murder suspect

A Danish gossip rag wrongly reported that Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf was a suspect in the murder inquiry into the high-profile hit on Stockholm underworld kingpin Mille Markovic, who once claimed the king had visited a sex club.

Top Ten: Spain’s best Valentine’s Day getaways
Spain

Top Ten: Spain’s best Valentine’s Day getaways

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, The Local has put together a list of the top places to get up close and personal with the one you love in Spain.

Germany slams Swedish Somali bandy team
Sweden

Germany slams Swedish Somali bandy team

The Swedish project to get Somali refugees to excel at bandy came to a 22-1 halt at the World Cup in Russia, but the captain said their global debut on the ice wasn't half bad.

Spike in fake goods seized by Italian police
Italy

Spike in fake goods seized by Italian police

Italian police last year seized 130 million fake goods, ranging from car parts to cosmetics, up by 25 percent compared to 2012.

Record number of Swiss athletes set for Sochi
Switzerland

Record number of Swiss athletes set for Sochi

Switzerland is sending a record number of athletes to next month's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, officials announced on Tuesday.

Oslo no longer world’s most expensive city
Norway

Oslo no longer world’s most expensive city

Oslo has been overtaken by London as the world's most expensive city to live in, due to the spiralling property and travel costs in the British capital.

How should Germany mark the Holocaust?
Germany

How should Germany mark the Holocaust?

The day of remembrance on Monday for victims of National Socialism has sparked a debate in Germany about how to best remember those killed by the Nazis.

Italian wages rise at lowest rate since 1982
Italy

Italian wages rise at lowest rate since 1982

Hourly salaries in Italy rose just 1.4 percent on average in 2013 – the lowest rate since 1982 – the national statistics agency, Istat, said on Tuesday.

‘Swedes shouldn’t accept being called racist’
Sweden

‘Swedes shouldn’t accept being called racist’

Former Afghan public servant Zulmay Afzali feared the ”racist Sweden” other asylum seekers warned him about, but instead found kindness that confused migrants and refugees who blamed everything on racism.

Thieves steal 100 antique string instruments
Germany

Thieves steal 100 antique string instruments

Thieves have stolen around 100 antique instruments worth €150,000 from a collector's house in Bremen. The owner has offered €20,000 for their return in an online appeal.

Milan’s La Scala emptied for conductor tribute
Italy

Milan’s La Scala emptied for conductor tribute

Milan's La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra on Monday night performed to an empty theatre, instead broadcasting to thousands standing silently outside, as a tribute to conductor Claudio Abbado who died last week.

Is Germany’s ‘father of reform’ advising Paris?
France

Is Germany’s ‘father of reform’ advising Paris?

The Elysée Palace denied claims on Tuesday that Germany's notorious "father of reform" Peter Hartz, has been drafted in by President François Hollande to advise him on how to put through some painful economic restructuring, after the pair have met for an "informal chat".

Ikea profits stall amid ambitious plans
Sweden

Ikea profits stall amid ambitious plans

Swedish furniture giant Ikea on Tuesday didn't explain why profit growth slowed sharply for the 2012-2013 fiscal year compared to previous years, but said the company still has grand plans for the future.

Ex-UK rugby star gets 17 years for Spain murder
Spain

Ex-UK rugby star gets 17 years for Spain murder

A Spanish court has sentenced a former UK rugby player to 17 years in prison for murdering his tenant in a row over unpaid rent.

Man faces prison for stealing pistachios
Italy

Man faces prison for stealing pistachios

A man who allegedly stole a €2.99 packet of pistachios from a supermarket in Genoa is due to stand trial and, if found guilty, could go to prison for up to six months.

Fire razes historic villages on Norway coast
Norway

Fire razes historic villages on Norway coast

A fire has swept across the Sørnesset peninsular in northern Norway, threatening to raze 139 buildings in two villages completely to the ground.

Lausanne cracks top ten list of expensive cities
Switzerland

Lausanne cracks top ten list of expensive cities

Residents and visitors to Lausanne are often heard complaining of the city’s unaffordable prices — and they wouldn’t be wrong. According to a new survey, the city joins Geneva and Zurich among the ten most expensive in the world.

‘Cocaine smuggler used her private parts’: police
Spain

‘Cocaine smuggler used her private parts’: police

Spanish National Police have arrested a 48-year-old woman who attempted to smuggle a kilo of cocaine under her chest and inside her genitals through Madrid's Barajas airport.

Norway and Canada appeal EU seal fur ban
Switzerland

Norway and Canada appeal EU seal fur ban

Norway and Canada have appealed a ruling by the Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) that backs a European Union ban on the import and sale of seal products.

France blocks return of Roma schoolgirl’s family
France

France blocks return of Roma schoolgirl’s family

A French court Tuesday rejected an appeal for residency for the family of a Roma schoolgirl whose deportation sparked outrage and student protests in the country.

Flatulent cows start fire with massage machine
Germany

Flatulent cows start fire with massage machine

Cows at a dairy farm in central Germany created enough methane gas to set their stalls ablaze and damage a barn roof, police said on Monday.

Future of Berlin Airlift site hangs in balance
Germany

Future of Berlin Airlift site hangs in balance

UPDATE: The fate of one of Europe’s oldest city airports will be decided by a referendum in Berlin this spring, city authorities announced on Tuesday morning.

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week

This week's property is a stunner. Located in Knivsta, just a short trip from both Stockholm and Uppsala, this spacious family home will make you wonder why you ever chose city life in the first place.

Animal activists slam Pope’s dove stunt
Italy

Animal activists slam Pope’s dove stunt

Pope Francis should stop releasing doves from his Vatican window, an "outdated tradition" which condemns the birds "to certain death", an Italian animal rights group has said.

Spain to grow ‘nearly one percent’ in 2014: minister
Spain

Spain to grow ‘nearly one percent’ in 2014: minister

Spain's economy is set to grow by "nearly 1.0 percent" in 2014, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Tuesday as the euro nation's struggling recovery gains traction.

Hospital surgeon quits after suspect deaths
Switzerland

Hospital surgeon quits after suspect deaths

Vincent Bettschart, the head of surgery at the Valais cantonal hospital, has quit following accusations he is responsible for the death of four patients on the operating table.

Norway sued for $6.5bn over gas tariff cut
Norway

Norway sued for $6.5bn over gas tariff cut

A group of international investors is suing Norway's government for slashing tariffs on the Gassled pipeline network by up to 90 percent, which they say could cost them 40bn kroner ($6.5bn) in lost earnings.

‘Europe needs to wake up to the mafia’
Italy

‘Europe needs to wake up to the mafia’

From The Godfather to The Sopranos, Hollywood has styled the mafia as a distinctly Italian phenomenon. But the author of a new graphic novel on the mafia argues that it is in fact a global issue that other countries should face up to.

‘Crime record site shows Sweden’s constitution needs to be rewritten’
Sweden

‘Crime record site shows Sweden’s constitution needs to be rewritten’

Sweden's constitution needs to be rewritten, the head of the country's main privacy watchdog has argued following the launch of a new website that lets Swedes download their neighbours' criminal records.

Madrid backtracks on private hospital plans
Spain

Madrid backtracks on private hospital plans

Madrid's regional government has scrapped highly controversial plans to privatize six public hospitals after a Spanish court ruled against the project.

Top US money launderer fights extradition
Spain

Top US money launderer fights extradition

The suspected founder of one of the world's biggest money-laundering operations, 40-year-old Arthur Budovsky, refused Monday to accept his extradition from Spain to the United States, his lawyer said.

Van Damme clip adds ‘epic’ value to Volvo
Sweden

Van Damme clip adds ‘epic’ value to Volvo

An ad series by Volvo, which included Jean Claude Van Damme performing a set of "epic splits" while balanced on two reversing trucks, has proved a whirlwind commercial success for the Swedish company.

Swedes flock for a peek into blonde blogger’s flat
Sweden

Swedes flock for a peek into blonde blogger’s flat

Curious Swedes are clicking by the thousands for a look inside the home of one of Sweden's original lifestyle bloggers, the über-blonde Blondinbella, who recently put her Stockholm apartment up for sale.

‘Gate’ named Germany’s English word of the year
Germany

‘Gate’ named Germany’s English word of the year

The English suffix "gate" has been named Germany's Anglicism of the Year. The quirky, linguistic award honours the positive contributions English had made to the German lexicon.

VIDEO: Trierweiler called ‘Rottweiler’ in TV gaffe
France

VIDEO: Trierweiler called ‘Rottweiler’ in TV gaffe

One is a dog known for its fierce reputation the other is the former partner of the French president, but one TV newsreader managed to mix them up this week, much to the delight of social media in France. See for youself.

Brit slams Norway’s ‘disturbing Islamophobia’
Norway

Brit slams Norway’s ‘disturbing Islamophobia’

A British journalist writing in the Guardian newspaper has torn into the Norwegians, accusing them of being "fearful of outsiders", harbouring a "disturbing Islamophobic subculture", and polluting the world with their oil exports.

Man offers burglar coffee after botched break-in
Sweden

Man offers burglar coffee after botched break-in

A would-be thief got a warm surprise after attempting to break into a couple's flat in northern Sweden.

French artworks stolen by Nazis up for auction
France

French artworks stolen by Nazis up for auction

Four Old Masters stolen by the Nazis, including Hitler's deputy Hermann Goering, go under the hammer in New York this week where they are expected to fetch up to $1 million, Sotheby's announced on Monday.

Captain ‘refused chance’ to return to sinking ship
Italy

Captain ‘refused chance’ to return to sinking ship

An official coordinating the rescue from Italy's stricken cruise ship told a court Monday that the captain, accused of abandoning ship, refused twice to be taken back on board after making it safely to dry land.

Hollande to face Anglo hacks on trip to London
France

Hollande to face Anglo hacks on trip to London

Anglo journalists will get a chance to grill French President François Hollande on Friday when he visits London for talks with British PM David Cameron. Although Hollande is in London to discuss defence and energy he can expect questions to surround his love life.

Solar energy jobs halve in two years
Germany

Solar energy jobs halve in two years

The number of jobs in the German solar energy industry has more than halved in two years, figures released by the government on Tuesday revealed.

Gardener, 63, fined for accidental cannabis bush
Germany

Gardener, 63, fined for accidental cannabis bush

A pensioner was fined by a court on Monday when a seedling given to her by a neighbour grew into a huge cannabis bush. It was over two metres high before police came knocking on her door in eastern Germany.

Doctors: Schumi’s coma ‘unusually’ long
Germany

Doctors: Schumi’s coma ‘unusually’ long

Formula One ace Michael Schumacher remains in intensive care nearly a month after a ski accident that left him plunged into a medically induced coma. The outcome remains unclear.

Putin snubs Wallenberg family’s plea: ‘too busy’
Sweden

Putin snubs Wallenberg family’s plea: ‘too busy’

Russian President Vladimir Putin won't have time to meet a descendant of Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg who is seeking clues about the Swedish diplomat's mysterious death in Soviet custody.