Amanda Knox saddened by ‘unjust’ verdict
Italy

Amanda Knox saddened by ‘unjust’ verdict

Amanda Knox lamented on Thursday what she called the "unjust" verdict handed down by an Italian court that reconvicted her for the 2007 murder of her British housemate Meredith Kercher.

Norway oil fund blacklists Israeli firms
Norway

Norway oil fund blacklists Israeli firms

Norway's huge sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, blacklisted two Israeli companies involved in construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, the country's finance ministry said Thursday.

Aargau police show fugitive’s photo on buses
Switzerland

Aargau police show fugitive’s photo on buses

In a bid to catch a 23-year-old man suspected of attempting to stab his wife to death, Aargau cantonal police have beamed a photo of him on information video screens in public transport buses.

Knox and Sollecito guilty of Kercher murder
Italy

Knox and Sollecito guilty of Kercher murder

A court in Florence on Thursday sentenced American student Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months in prison for the murder of her British housemate in 2007 in the latest dramatic twist in the high-profile case.

‘You killed my son!’: Mum confronts Syrian regime
Switzerland

‘You killed my son!’: Mum confronts Syrian regime

Crying with grief and anger, Fatima Khan stormed forward in a hallway at the United Nations in Geneva and shouted: "You killed my son!"

’49 CVs and cover letters, but still no job’
France

’49 CVs and cover letters, but still no job’

As recent French grads hit the labour market they are finding out the hard way that it's tough out there. Some grads have to send out 50 CVs and cover letters before they land their first job, a new study showed.

Thieves ‘threw away’ Pope John Paul’s blood
Italy

Thieves ‘threw away’ Pope John Paul’s blood

Thieves accused of stealing a religious relic stained with Polish Pope John Paul II's blood threw it away thinking it worthless, Italian media said on Thursday, reporting the police had detained three people.

Sweden equals Germany in EU foreign policy sway
Sweden

Sweden equals Germany in EU foreign policy sway

Sweden came out third in Europe in a new ranking of EU member states' foreign policy influence, including foreign aid, human rights, and free trade with the US.

US envoy wants to make ‘second impression’
Norway

US envoy wants to make ‘second impression’

George Tsunis, the would-be US ambassador to Norway who made headlines last week with his catastrophic senate hearing, has told The Local of how impatient he is to set the record straight.

Sochi’s youngest hope – German ski jumper, 15
Germany

Sochi’s youngest hope – German ski jumper, 15

If Gianina Ernst had been born a few hours later she would not be going to the Winter Games. But the fifteen-year-old ski jumper is now on the road to Sochi success, making her The Local’s German of the Week.

Is this the world’s hottest gynaecologist?
Spain

Is this the world’s hottest gynaecologist?

Twenty-four-year-old Spanish medical student Manuel Rico has taken the internet by storm ever since a newspaper in the city where he's interning reported how female patients were queuing up to be 'treated' by him.

We will speed up EU’s slowest internet: PM
Italy

We will speed up EU’s slowest internet: PM

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Thursday promised to provide high-speed Internet access to half the country within three years, after a report showed that Italy has the slowest connections in Europe.

Germany slips in foreign policy rankings
Germany

Germany slips in foreign policy rankings

Germany may have Europe's biggest economy and population, but it is only the third most powerful country in Europe when it comes to foreign policy, according to rankings released on Thursday.

Why anti-EU Sweden Democrats care about European elections
Sweden

Why anti-EU Sweden Democrats care about European elections

As the Sweden Democrats revealed their candidates for European parliamentary elections, commentator and historian David Lindén asks why such a clearly anti-EU party even went to the trouble.

VIDEO: France gets ‘happy’ in Pharrell clips
France

VIDEO: France gets ‘happy’ in Pharrell clips

France may be struggling with a tough economy and 'collective depression', but it hasn't forgotten how to have a little fun. A string of French towns have made their own version of the video American rapper Pharrell Williams put out with his song 'Happy'. Have a look.

‘First ever’ bill proposes legal cannabis in France
France

‘First ever’ bill proposes legal cannabis in France

France is no Amsterdam when it comes to marijuana laws, in fact it has some of the toughest possession statutes in Europe, but a first of its kind bill proposed this week could change that. The lawmaker behind the legislation tells The Local why marijuana should be legalized in France.

Beleaguered TeliaSonera announces profit tumble
Sweden

Beleaguered TeliaSonera announces profit tumble

TeliaSonera announced on Thursday that its profit took a blow in 2013, a year in which the Swedish-Finnish telecom operator faced a corruption probe, bad growth, and changing customer behaviour.

Ericsson annual report boasts doubled net profit
Sweden

Ericsson annual report boasts doubled net profit

Ericsson will keep trimming costs in Sweden, the company said on Thursday after doubling its profits last year, with the net result nonetheless falling below expectation.

The artist who made Pope Francis a superhero
Italy

The artist who made Pope Francis a superhero

Artist Mauro Pallotta's painting of Pope Francis as a superhero on a wall near Rome's St Peter's Square received worldwide coverage this week. Pallotta said he wanted to portray how, like a comic book hero, the Pope uses his power and authority "for good".

Schumacher ‘blinks’ as he is woken from coma
Germany

Schumacher ‘blinks’ as he is woken from coma

Michael Schumacher is blinking and "responding to instructions" as he is slowly brought out of a month-long coma, according to French media reports.

French arms industry enjoys boom in trade
France

French arms industry enjoys boom in trade

Crisis, what crisis? While certain sectors in France continue to suffer in the downturn France's arms industry is doing a roaring trade. A new report, that won't be welcomed by pacifists, revealed this week that sales of arms abroad have rocketed.

‘Improve your English or forget Erasmus grant’
Spain

‘Improve your English or forget Erasmus grant’

Spain's Education Minister José Ignacio Wert is to demand higher academic performance and English-language proficiency equivalent to European level B2 from the 10,000 applicants who wish to benefit from government funding for the Erasmus Plus programme.

Zahia: Charges dropped against Ribéry, Benzema
France

Zahia: Charges dropped against Ribéry, Benzema

A French court has dropped charges against Franck Ribéry and Karim Benzema, who were accused of knowingly having sex with an underage prostitute. The pair had faced lengthy prison sentences if convicted, so the decision is good news for French World Cup hopes.

Lausanne gets ‘Happy’ with new dance video
Switzerland

Lausanne gets ‘Happy’ with new dance video

Happiness is spreading to . . . Lausanne, at least in the form of a new video.

Barça fans to design Real Madrid’s new stadium
Spain

Barça fans to design Real Madrid’s new stadium

Barcelona-based architects Ribas & Ribas are part of the team led by German firm GMP Architekten that has won the tender to design Real Madrid's remodelled €400 million ($544 million) Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Doctors begin waking Schumacher from coma
France

Doctors begin waking Schumacher from coma

Doctors treating Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher have begun waking him from a medically induced coma a month after he suffered a near fatal accident whilst skiing in the French Alps, his manager said on Thursday.

The exodus of French graduates: Key points
France

The exodus of French graduates: Key points

Over a quarter of young French graduates are setting their sights abroad in an attempt to get onto the career ladder. But why do they want to leave, where exactly are they going and will they ever return? A new study has the answers.

H&M shares sink as profits disappoint
Sweden

H&M shares sink as profits disappoint

Swedish fashion retailer H&M on Thursday reported a minor increase in net profits in 2013, but fell short analysts' fourth quarter forecasts, sending its stock tumbling.

MPs in ‘crazy’ move to impeach Italian president
Italy

MPs in ‘crazy’ move to impeach Italian president

Lawmakers from Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement on Thursday put forward a symbolic impeachment motion against President Giorgio Napolitano for what they said was his overly intrusive role in politics.

Three women die in ‘online suicide pact’
Germany

Three women die in ‘online suicide pact’

The bodies of three women were found in a wood cabin at a beauty spot in western Germany on Wednesday afternoon. They are believed to have met on a social networking site before heading to a lake.

Sochi: Special ops units to guard French athletes
France

Sochi: Special ops units to guard French athletes

The French government has decided not to take any chances when it comes to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. With the threat of terrorist attacks hanging over the event France has decided to send its specialist counter-terrorism units to protect athletes.

Norway-bashing Brit was ‘deliberately provocative’
Norway

Norway-bashing Brit was ‘deliberately provocative’

The British writer who this week savaged Norway as "the most insular and xenophobic" of the Scandinavian nations has described his article as "deliberately provocative".

Alleged IT corruption case in Bern probed
Switzerland

Alleged IT corruption case in Bern probed

A scandal is shaking the normally placid State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) in Bern over alleged corruption in the granting of IT contracts.

VIDEO: Elk takes fatal plunge off mall car park
Sweden

VIDEO: Elk takes fatal plunge off mall car park

An elk took a startling, eight-metre leap from the top floor of a shopping mall car park in central Sweden on Wednesday, with a shocked motorist capturing the implausible event on video.

Knox’s innocence is ‘rock solid’: lawyer
Italy

Knox’s innocence is ‘rock solid’: lawyer

American Amanda Knox's defence lawyer said her innocence was "rock-solid" on Thursday, as an Italian court prepared to issue a new verdict over the savage murder of her British housemate Meredith Kercher in 2007.

Watchdog probes Deutsche Bahn tickets
Germany

Watchdog probes Deutsche Bahn tickets

Germany's Cartel Office said on Thursday it would be bring charges against the country's main rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, for dominating the ticket market.

Spanish ‘Banksy’ exposes CCTV hysteria
Spain

Spanish ‘Banksy’ exposes CCTV hysteria

'Cameras', described as '150 fake security cameras on a wall with the intention of not watching over anything' is the latest work by the anonymous artist SpY, dubbed the 'Spanish Banksy' by the international press.

Telenor strikes $1bn Myanmar deal
Norway

Telenor strikes $1bn Myanmar deal

Norwegian mobile phone giant Telenor has struck a pioneering deal to launch a new mobile phone network in Myanmar, the company announced on Thursday.

‘Spain’s record wage cuts not enough’: IMF
Spain

‘Spain’s record wage cuts not enough’: IMF

The International Monetary Fund has asked Spain to further reduce salaries even though it has already slashed average wages by 20 percent over the past two years - the fastest drop in the country's democratic history.

175 freezing migrants found floating in Med
Italy

175 freezing migrants found floating in Med

Italy's coast guard said on Thursday it rescued overnight 176 immigrants freezing on a small boat and arrested 15 crew on a nearby mothership on human smuggling charges.

Spain ‘positive’ over 2013’s faster recovery
Spain

Spain ‘positive’ over 2013’s faster recovery

Spain announced on Thursday a slight pickup in economic growth at the end of 2013, hailing the news as a sign of hope after five years of stop-start recession that destroyed millions of jobs.

Cancer drugs boost Roche profits for 2013
Switzerland

Cancer drugs boost Roche profits for 2013

Basel-based pharmaceuticals giant Roche on Thursday posted an 18-percent hike in net profit for 2013 over the previous year, driven particularly by rising sales of its cancer-fighting drugs.

Israel PM denies son dating Norway ‘gentile’
Norway

Israel PM denies son dating Norway ‘gentile’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly denied that his son is in a relationship with a non-Jewish Norwegian girl, after reports of the couple's relationship scandalized his orthodox supporters.

‘Burglar scoured death notices for victims’
Switzerland

‘Burglar scoured death notices for victims’

A 49-year-old man appeared before a Vaud court on Wednesday, accused of breaking into the homes of the recently deceased and their families while the funerals were taking place. He allegedly used death notices to select his victims.

Girl, 8, dodges bullet in fruit juice
Italy

Girl, 8, dodges bullet in fruit juice

An eight-year-old girl in southern Italy got a shock during her school lunch break on Wednesday, when she found the tip of a bullet in her juice carton.

‘Eiffel Tower’ nose surgery booms in China
France

‘Eiffel Tower’ nose surgery booms in China

In a strange tribute to France's iconic monument, scores of Chinese graduates are paying for plastic surgery to make their noses resemble the Eiffel Tower. The move may sound like a wind-up but is the latest tactic to help jobseekers get their noses in front.

Man attacks wife ‘for having a headache’
Italy

Man attacks wife ‘for having a headache’

An Italian man from the northern Italian city of Reggio Emilia has been arrested for allegedly attacking his wife for having a headache.

Police arrest smash and grab ‘Apple store’ gang
Germany

Police arrest smash and grab ‘Apple store’ gang

Berlin police arrested seven men in Dresden on Tuesday night who they believe are behind a string of smash and grab raids on electronics shops, including the Apple store. They were caught breaking into a shop in Dresden.

Wrong woman sectioned due to cops’ blunder
Sweden

Wrong woman sectioned due to cops’ blunder

A woman was forced to enter a psychiatric hospital in southern Sweden after police officers tasked with picking up a female patient ended up knocking on her door by mistake. She has since received a bill for the unscheduled visit.

Bill-posting pensioner slapped with €155K fine
Spain

Bill-posting pensioner slapped with €155K fine

Barcelona City Hall has slapped fines totalling €155,000 ($211,000) on an unemployed, wiowed father-of-two for putting up 364 advertisements for his furniture-removals service.

Villagers petition over burning street issue
Switzerland

Villagers petition over burning street issue

The residents of a village in the canton of Vaud want to change the name of their street after one of their neighbours was arrested in connection with nine deliberately set fires there.

Pregnant pot smokers can damage kids’ brains
Sweden

Pregnant pot smokers can damage kids’ brains

An expectant mother's use of cannabis during pregnancy can prevent a child from forming certain connections in the brain while growing in the womb, a Sweden-based researcher has revealed.

German beer sales sink to 25-year low
Germany

German beer sales sink to 25-year low

German beer sales have sunk to their lowest level since reunification almost 25 years ago, as drinkers increasingly turn to mixed drinks and non-alcoholic beers.

Banking titan Santander reports 2013 profit leap
Spain

Banking titan Santander reports 2013 profit leap

Spain's Santander bank, the largest in the eurozone by market value, reported Thursday a 90.5-percent leap in net profits for 2013, hailing a "turnaround" after enduring years of economic crisis.

Helicopters battle to control north Norway fire
Norway

Helicopters battle to control north Norway fire

More than 130 police and firemen have been battling through the night to contain the new fire sweeping through the heather on the island of Frøya, northeast of Trondheim, before helicopters try to extinguish the blaze on Thursday.

Knox and Sollecito face Kercher murder verdict
Italy

Knox and Sollecito face Kercher murder verdict

US student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito face a fresh verdict on Thursday in their retrial for the murder and sexual assault of British student Meredith Kercher. The Local brings you live updates.

Lexbase goes offline following hacker attack
Sweden

Lexbase goes offline following hacker attack

Controversial criminal-tracker website Lexbase, on which people see their neighbours' criminal records, was closed after a hacker attack allowed personal information on thousands of Swedes to leak online.

French airports hit by air traffic control strike
France

French airports hit by air traffic control strike

It could be a bumpy ride on Thursday if you're planning to fly in or out of France. Air traffic controllers have called a strike, which is set to result in a 20 percent reduction in traffic around the Paris region. Find out if you might be affected.

Minister blasts rumours of ‘masturbation classes’
France

Minister blasts rumours of ‘masturbation classes’

After rumours swept across France in recent days that kindergartens were to teach "gender theory" and even "masturbation classes" to kids, that sparked a boycott of schools, a furious French minister has been forced to step in and remind parents of their duties.

Lay off our olive oil: MP to ‘junk food’ Americans
Italy

Lay off our olive oil: MP to ‘junk food’ Americans

Italian MP Colomba Mongiello called the US a country of "junk food" where the "importance of quality food is not understood" after a story in the New York Times claimed the majority of olive oil sold in the US is fake.

Kerchers ‘still have faith in Italian justice system’
Italy

Kerchers ‘still have faith in Italian justice system’

Italian judges will decide Thursday whether to uphold or overturn American Amanda Knox's conviction for the savage murder of her British housemate, in the case's fourth verdict in six years.

Barça and Atlético reign in Cup quarters
Spain

Barça and Atlético reign in Cup quarters

Holders Atlético de Madrid set up a mouthwatering Copa del Rey semi-final with city rivals Real Madrid after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on Wednesday to win 3-1 on aggregate.

Merkel lays out priorities for next four years
Germany

Merkel lays out priorities for next four years

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at length in parliament on Wednesday, outlining the government's priorities. She warned Germany must not become complacent about its economy and was forced to defend pension reforms.

Trierweiler may write book about Hollande split
France

Trierweiler may write book about Hollande split

France's former first lady Valérie Trierweiler has revealed she may write a book about her split with the president and said she is "more disappointed than angry" about the scandal.

Italy will slash spending to boost economy
Italy

Italy will slash spending to boost economy

Italy intends to find €32 billion in spending cuts by 2016, with most savings to be used to lower the high tax burden that is eroding competitiveness, an official said Wednesday.

‘Vitamin supplements speed up cancer’: study
Sweden

‘Vitamin supplements speed up cancer’: study

Swedish researchers have warned smokers and lung cancer patients that taking vitamins may help the growth of tumours, a study published Wednesday revealed.

Germany urges Russia for Ukraine dialogue
Germany

Germany urges Russia for Ukraine dialogue

Germany urged President Vladimir Putin to push for a "constructive dialogue" on Wednesday to defuse the crisis in the Ukraine.

Bayern leave it late to keep unbeaten record
Germany

Bayern leave it late to keep unbeaten record

Two late goals preserved champions Bayern Munich's record unbeaten league run on Wednesday night as they came from behind to beat Stuttgart 2-1 and extend the streak to 43 matches.

ADHD meds can prevent accidents: Swedish study
Sweden

ADHD meds can prevent accidents: Swedish study

Men with the diagnosis attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are 45 percent more likely to have a car crash, but taking medication cuts their accident risk considerably, said Swedish researchers.

Wawrinka and Federer join forces for Davis Cup
Switzerland

Wawrinka and Federer join forces for Davis Cup

Stanislas Wawrinka, hot from his Australian Open triumph, turns his mind to affairs of national importance this weekend as he leads Switzerland into battle against last season's beaten finalists Serbia in the Davis Cup World Group first round.

Who represents Sweden’s Muslim voters?
Sweden

Who represents Sweden’s Muslim voters?

Why can a Moderate get away with supporting Muslim polygamy, while the Social Democrats get accused of playing the religion card when promoting a Muslim within the party. A new report about Sweden's Muslim voters prompts more questions than it answers.

Recalcitrant Swiss take Gripen to the vote
Sweden

Recalcitrant Swiss take Gripen to the vote

Switzerland has announced the date of its plebiscite on the purchase of 22 Swedish fighter jets as a majority of voters feel uncomfortable with the deal for a host of different reasons.