INTERVIEW: From Utøya to Eurovision
Norway

INTERVIEW: From Utøya to Eurovision

The Local talks to Mohamed 'Mo' Farah Abdi, the Utøya survivor and X Factor star, about the song he hopes to take to the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen.

Support for immigrant quotas rises before vote
Switzerland

Support for immigrant quotas rises before vote

A plan by Swiss right-wing populists to reimpose immigration quotas for citizens from the European Union has won increased support ahead of a referendum, raising the prospect of a clash with Brussels, a new poll shows.

Foreign investors desert France in 2013: report
France

Foreign investors desert France in 2013: report

As if high unemployment, heavy public debt and an unhappy populace weren't enough, France also saw a double digit drop in foreign investment in 2013, according to a new United Nations report on Wednesday.

EU acts to defend voting rights of expats in Spain
Spain

EU acts to defend voting rights of expats in Spain

British and Irish expats in Spain who are fighting to hold on to the right to vote in their home countries were finally handed a boost by the European Commission on Wednesday. But will it change anything?

Norway has world’s priciest Big Macs again
Norway

Norway has world’s priciest Big Macs again

Norway once again boasts the world's most expensive Big Mac, the UK's Economist magazine has reported, with the ubiquitous double-decker burger now costing 48 kroner, or $7.80.

Spain’s ‘black’ economy worth 25 percent of GDP
Spain

Spain’s ‘black’ economy worth 25 percent of GDP

Spain's underground or 'black' economy ballooned to almost 25 percent of the country's gross domestic product in 2012 as a result of the crisis, a new report shows.

European strike to hit Spanish air travel
Spain

European strike to hit Spanish air travel

Spanish air traffic controllers have warned passengers travelling to and from Spain that their flights may be affected by a pan-European strike they have chosen not to take part in.

Pope Francis makes the cover of Rolling Stone
Italy

Pope Francis makes the cover of Rolling Stone

Pope Francis is taking his place alongside the icons of American popular culture by appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, which hits newsstands on Friday.

Swede-bashing Brit tells why Sweden is like China
Sweden

Swede-bashing Brit tells why Sweden is like China

His thesis that Sweden is the China of the north gave English author Michael Booth some considerable Swedish headline space this week. He talks to The Local about myth-busting and the Swedish love of weapons.

Syria foes note progress in Geneva peace talks
Switzerland

Syria foes note progress in Geneva peace talks

Syria's opposition said peace talks with President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Geneva took a step forward on Wednesday with discussions on a transitional government after four days of deadlock.

President of Storting forgets who’s PM
Norway

President of Storting forgets who’s PM

Labour leader Jens Stoltenberg certainly made an impression on Norway during his eight consecutive years leading Norway, so much so in fact that the president of Norway's parliament appears to think he's still the Prime Minister.

Cardinal offends with Muslim birth rate remark
Germany

Cardinal offends with Muslim birth rate remark

Cologne's Archbishop has sparked anger after praising the high birth rate among Catholics for making up for large Muslim families. He later admitted his choice of words was “unfortunate”.

Bildt set for Iran trip in bid to beef up nuke deal
Sweden

Bildt set for Iran trip in bid to beef up nuke deal

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt will visit Iran next week in hopes of helping to make a temporary deal on the country's nuclear programme more permanent.

‘Give disenfranchised expats the vote’ – EU
Germany

‘Give disenfranchised expats the vote’ – EU

EU expats living in other European countries should keep the right to vote in general elections in their home countries – even if they’ve been abroad for years – the European Commission said on Wednesday.

EU acts to defend voting rights of expats in Italy
Italy

EU acts to defend voting rights of expats in Italy

British and Irish expats in Italy who want to hold on to the right to vote in their home countries were finally handed a boost by the European Commission on Wednesday. But will it change anything?

EU acts to defend voting rights of expats in France
France

EU acts to defend voting rights of expats in France

British and Irish expats in France who are fighting to hold on to the right to vote in their home countries were finally handed a boost by the European Commission on Wednesday. But will it change anything?

One third of Spanish kids at risk of poverty
Spain

One third of Spanish kids at risk of poverty

More than a third of children in Spain live at risk of poverty, the aid charity Save the Children said on Wednesday, blaming austerity measures for worsening the situation.

Dieudonné: Cops ‘find €660,000’ stash at home
France

Dieudonné: Cops ‘find €660,000’ stash at home

The scandal swirling around provocative French comic Dieudonné kicked off again on Wednesday, a day after a police raid on his property reportedly turned up €660,000 in cash. His lawyer said it was part of an organized "hunt" of his client.

Norway MPs nominate Snowden for Nobel Prize
Norway

Norway MPs nominate Snowden for Nobel Prize

Two Norwegian MPs have nominated the fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

Fiat shares down as new name announced
Italy

Fiat shares down as new name announced

Italian car giant Fiat announced on Wednesday it was changing its name after completing the purchase of US automaker Chrysler to "Fiat Chrysler Automobiles" and would list its shares in New York and Milan.

Merkel rebukes US and UK over spying
Germany

Merkel rebukes US and UK over spying

Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a strong rebuke to the United States and Britain on Wednesday over sweeping surveillance and spying activities reported by fugitive IT contractor Edward Snowden.

Nordea posts profit despite low interest rate
Sweden

Nordea posts profit despite low interest rate

Cost-cutting has paid off for Swedish bank Nordea, which posted a stable 2013 profit on Wednesday despite falling interest rates.

Ten things Google says about Switzerland
Switzerland

Ten things Google says about Switzerland

What does the world wonder about Switzerland? You would need extensive polling to find out. But Google’s autocomplete search function gives us a rough idea. Here, we list ten things that the search engine has to say about Switzerland.

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Italy
Italy

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Italy

Google searches don't just give you a world of information - they also use your search to help predict what others want to know. Here we list some of the things that people are trying to find out about Italy.

Ten things Google tells us about the French
France

Ten things Google tells us about the French

The French are always eager to know what the world thinks of them and their country, especially Anglos. So rather than spending weeks sending out thousands of questionaires, who better to tell us than Google's autocomplete function. Here's our top ten.

France no longer world’s top red wine guzzler
France

France no longer world’s top red wine guzzler

If you figured the French have to be the biggest consumers of red wine in the world, then guess again. A new study put the French in second place, behind a new leading vin rouge guzzler that might surprise you.

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Spain
Spain

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Spain

Google's search engines have a habit of trying to finish your sentences, but what do their predictive algorithms have to say about Spain and the Spanish? We've chosen some of our favourites.

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Sweden
Sweden

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Sweden

Google's search engines have a habit of trying to finish your sentences, but what do their predictive algorithms have to say about Sweden and the Swedes? We've collected some of our favourites.

Ten things Google tells you about Germany
Germany

Ten things Google tells you about Germany

Google increasingly controls our lives by predicting our search results based on what people have typed in, but how accurate are its stereotypes about Germany?

Germany doubles funding to return Nazi art
Germany

Germany doubles funding to return Nazi art

Germany will double funding for efforts to return Nazi-looted art to their rightful owners and may invite Jewish representatives to join a mediation body, the government said on Wednesday.

French ‘bossnappers’ hold media execs
France

French ‘bossnappers’ hold media execs

Workers facing lay off and hoping to win themselves a better severance package, became the latest French employees to kidnap their bosses as a bargaining tactic. Workers at a printing factory nabbed the bosses on Tuesday evening, and are holding them 'without violence.'

UK clubs outspend on football transfers: FIFA
Switzerland

UK clubs outspend on football transfers: FIFA

The value of the international player transfer market jumped by 41 percent to $3.7 billion (2.7bn euros) last year, with British clubs driving a quarter of business, Zurich-based FIFA said on Wednesday.

Fascist-era ‘black face’ song not criminal: court
Italy

Fascist-era ‘black face’ song not criminal: court

Publicly singing the Little Black Face (Faccetta Nera), a song which romanticizes the invasion of Ethiopia by Benito Mussolini, does not amount to promoting fascism, an Italian court has ruled.

Police seize speeding bishop’s driving licence
Switzerland

Police seize speeding bishop’s driving licence

Swiss police suspended the driver’s licence of the catholic bishop of Lugano after he was caught speeding at 160 kilometres an hour, the Italian-language state TV broadcaster RSI reported.

‘Saint Teresa is helping Spain in crisis’: Minister
Spain

‘Saint Teresa is helping Spain in crisis’: Minister

Events in the Spanish Parliament took a turn for the surreal on Tuesday when one political party presented a letter to the Prime Minister asking about the role of various Christian saints in the country's economic crisis.

Schumacher ‘being brought out of coma’
France

Schumacher ‘being brought out of coma’

Michael Schumacher, is slowly being brought out of an artificial coma by doctors a month after his near fatal skiing accident in the French Alps, French newspaper L'Equipe has claimed. Schumacher's spokeswoman called the report "speculation" but did not eny it.

France (finally) takes step to save regional tongues
France

France (finally) takes step to save regional tongues

France's sacred notion of protecting its own language has meant it has little room for its other regional tongues. But on Tuesday MPs in the National Assembly finally took a big step towards promoting a key part of the country's cultural diversity, that has long been resisted.

Berlin tourist sexually assaulted in India
Germany

Berlin tourist sexually assaulted in India

A German tourist was sexually assaulted at a train station in Mumbai after falling asleep while waiting for her train.

Exchange rates cut Novartis profits for 2013
Switzerland

Exchange rates cut Novartis profits for 2013

Basel-based pharmaceuticals giant Novartis on Wednesday announced that its net profit fell one percent in 2013 to $9.2 billion from the previous year, blaming the impact of unfavourable exchange rates.

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Norway
Norway

Ten things Google wants to tell you about Norway

Google's search engines have a habit of trying to finish your sentences, but what do their predictive algorithms have to say about Norway and the Norwegians? We've collected some of our favourites.

27 percent of Italians want to be more German
Italy

27 percent of Italians want to be more German

Over a quarter of Italians would like their country to be more like Germany, while some would prefer Italy to resemble Cuba or China, a poll this week has found.

‘Corrupt politicians should be outed’
Italy

‘Corrupt politicians should be outed’

An Italian film director who was nominated for an Oscar said “it’s the corrupt politicians who should be outed” after coming out as gay.

Record set as mercury plunges to minus 31
Switzerland

Record set as mercury plunges to minus 31

If you felt chillier than usual in Switzerland last night you weren’t imagining it — Tuesday night was in fact the coldest night so far this year with temperatures sinking as low as minus 31 degrees in parts of the country.

Neuchâtel reinstates plagiarizing expat prof
Switzerland

Neuchâtel reinstates plagiarizing expat prof

The Neuchâtel government after lengthy deliberations said on Wednesday it has lifted the suspension of an expat Canadian university professor accused of plagiarism while issuing a reprimand against him.

ADAC pledges reform, flight scandal widens
Germany

ADAC pledges reform, flight scandal widens

Germany's largest automobile club, ADAC, pledged a serious shake up on Wednesday, the day it emerged one of its managers let her son take a rescue plane on holiday to Egypt.

Surplus ships could be floating fish farms
Norway

Surplus ships could be floating fish farms

The billionaire founder of Marine Harvest, the Norwegian salmon farming giant, has revealed plans to convert his surplus cargo vessels into floating fish farms.

Spain’s super-architect slips up again
Spain

Spain’s super-architect slips up again

Residents in the Spanish city of Murcia are continuously slipping over on the glass floor of a bridge designed by controversial architect Santiago Calatrava. The problem has not ceased even since Murcia town hall put a €60,000 ($82,000) carpet down to prevent any more injuries.

‘I have cancer’: Wallander author Henning Mankell
Sweden

‘I have cancer’: Wallander author Henning Mankell

Best-selling Swedish author Henning Mankell, best known for his wildly popular Kurt Wallander crime novels, has revealed he has cancer.

Spanish pilot blamed for deadly Cork crash
Spain

Spanish pilot blamed for deadly Cork crash

A plane crash in Ireland involving a Spanish airline in which six people died was caused by pilot error and a lack of oversight by Spain's aviation regular, Irish authorities said on Tuesday.

Norway airport launches first dog-sled taxis
Norway

Norway airport launches first dog-sled taxis

One of Norway's most northerly airports has agreed to accept 'dog taxis', in a drive to lure more tourists to the area.

Sweden hankers for chefs, miners, mechanics
Sweden

Sweden hankers for chefs, miners, mechanics

Anyone looking for jobs in Sweden's mines and kitchens will have an easy time finding employment in the coming years, the Swedish employment agency has said as it revealed the country's most sought after professions.

Manufacturer to thieves – stolen condoms unsafe
Germany

Manufacturer to thieves – stolen condoms unsafe

A German manufacturer has warned thieves that condoms they stole by blowing up a vending machine are likely to be unsafe.

Jesé strike sends Real Madrid into Cup semis
Spain

Jesé strike sends Real Madrid into Cup semis

Real Madrid eased into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 1-0 win over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday to progress 2-0 on aggregate.

Bundesliga scores record profit
Germany

Bundesliga scores record profit

Germany’s football league broke economic records last season with profits increasing to €383.5 million on the back of Champions League success.

Heavy metal fan dies after leap from stage
Switzerland

Heavy metal fan dies after leap from stage

A man who dived off the stage at a heavy metal concert in Solothurn died after the crowd failed to catch him, media reported on Tuesday.

Foreign investment floods into Germany
Germany

Foreign investment floods into Germany

UPDATE: Foreign investment into Germany increased by almost 400 percent last year, rising to €23.4 billion, a UN report revealed on Tuesday. It comes amid rising consumer and investor confidence.

Dawit Isaak ‘alive despite rumours’: ambassador
Sweden

Dawit Isaak ‘alive despite rumours’: ambassador

Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak is still alive in Eritrean jail, the country's ambassador to Israel has claimed in a conversation with a Swedish newspaper.

Vatican tweets graffiti of hero Pope Francis
Italy

Vatican tweets graffiti of hero Pope Francis

Pope Francis as superman, flying through the air with his white cape billowing out behind him: the image graffitied by an anonymous artist onto a wall in Rome was tweeted by the Vatican on Tuesday.

Costa captains now ‘take psychological tests’
Italy

Costa captains now ‘take psychological tests’

Costa Crociere, Europe's biggest cruise operator, introduced obligatory psychological tests for its captains following the shipwreck of the Concordia off the coast of Italy, one of its directors told a court on Tuesday.

Verdict looms in Amanda Knox murder retrial
Italy

Verdict looms in Amanda Knox murder retrial

American Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend face their fourth verdict in six years for the murder and sexual assault of a British student Meredith Kercher, who was brutally killed in Italy's city of Perugia in 2007.

Four hundred evacuated as new fire hits Norway
Norway

Four hundred evacuated as new fire hits Norway

A new fire has broken out on the coast near Trondheim, after tinder-dry heather was again lit by sparks from power lines.

Western drift as security chiefs head to Munich
Germany

Western drift as security chiefs head to Munich

Global leaders from politics, defence and diplomacy meet in Germany from Friday to discuss conflict hotspots and looming threats, from Syria and Afghanistan to East Asia and Africa.

Farmers target meat-free school with free burgers
Sweden

Farmers target meat-free school with free burgers

The trend for a meat-free day a week has a Swedish farmers association so annoyed it plans to hand out free hamburgers to school children in Nyköping in protest.

Ball bearing giant SKF posts giant profit loss
Sweden

Ball bearing giant SKF posts giant profit loss

Swedish ball bearing makers SKF cited the threat of fines for its bigger-than-expected profit loss in 2013, despite cost-cutting measures that included letting go off nearly six in ten of its employees.

‘Jihadist’ schoolboys return home to families
France

‘Jihadist’ schoolboys return home to families

Two French school students who ran away to fight in Syria were back home this week with some explaining to do to their bewildered parents, teachers and the police.

Tuberculosis fears at Swedish pre-school
Sweden

Tuberculosis fears at Swedish pre-school

Staff and children at a pre-school in Torsby will be tested regularly for tuberculosis, after fear spread that a person may have passed on the infectious disease nearly extinct in Sweden.

Bible-belt Buddhist convert ‘no superhero’
Sweden

Bible-belt Buddhist convert ‘no superhero’

Raised with evening prayers, Martin became a vegetarian atheist before finding Buddhism. The most common misconception? That he's a monk, or that he has "tricks to not feeling bad".

CDU politician ‘shot dead in garage’
Germany

CDU politician ‘shot dead in garage’

UPDATE: A long-serving politician was shot dead on Monday night in his garage in central Germany, police said. The main suspect is a former colleague, who killed himself in front of officers hours later.