Norway politician poses in wolf fur coat
Norway

Norway politician poses in wolf fur coat

A Norwegian politician has posted a picture of herself in a wolf fur coat, just as campaigners fear that hunters may be about to eradicate the animal from the country.

Switzerland’s Siberia readies for ‘cold festival’
Switzerland

Switzerland’s Siberia readies for ‘cold festival’

A valley known as the Siberia of Switzerland for its bone-chilling winters is celebrating the fact with its third annual "festival of the cold".

Hollande puts off family law to avoid new fight
France

Hollande puts off family law to avoid new fight

A day after massive protests over President François Hollande's "family phobia", his government on Monday abruptly postponed plans to pass a controversial new family bill, that would likely have picked another fight with France's traditional conservatives.

Bus passenger found with €1m in suitcase
France

Bus passenger found with €1m in suitcase

Not many people would take the risk of travelling across Europe by bus with €1 million in two suitcases. One Polish man took the chance, but his journey did not end as he probably planned.

Ten Catalan expressions you need to know
Spain

Ten Catalan expressions you need to know

In this week's The Local List we look at Catalonia's most colourful colloquialisms to stop you getting lost in translation next time you roam beyond the Ramblas in Barcelona.

Swiss ban proposed on sex education for kids
Switzerland

Swiss ban proposed on sex education for kids

Swiss voters will decide whether to ban compulsory sex education for children under nine after conservative groups mustered enough signatures to force a plebiscite, the authorities said on Monday.

EU: France must root out corruption at local level
France

EU: France must root out corruption at local level

France remains a country where the worlds of international business and public procurement are blighted by shady dealings and corruption, according to a new EU report. But just how bad is corruption in France and how does it compare to other countries in Europe?

21 phrases to help you get on in a German office
Germany

21 phrases to help you get on in a German office

Working in a German office can be a tricky business, especially if you haven't quite mastered the language. The Local is here to help with some useful phrases to impress your colleagues.

Stormare mourns death of Seymour Hoffman
Sweden

Stormare mourns death of Seymour Hoffman

Swedish actor Peter Stormare said his Big Lebowski co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman was "like a sibling" as he and other Swedes in Hollywood mourned the Oscar-winning actor's unexpected death from an apparent drug overdose.

Germany lukewarm over UK-EU treaty change
Germany

Germany lukewarm over UK-EU treaty change

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave a lukewarm reception on Monday to Britain's hopes of EU treaty change, days after France poured cold water on any renegotiation of London's membership.

Prosecutor pressed to speed up Assange case
Sweden

Prosecutor pressed to speed up Assange case

The Swedish prosecutor handling the Julian Assange case lashed out on Monday to calls urging him to push on with efforts to interrogate the whistle blower over sex crimes allegations stemming from a 2010 visit to Sweden.

‘You never know what you’ll encounter’
Italy

‘You never know what you’ll encounter’

For US Consul General Richard Beer, there is no average day in the office. He talks to The Local about the daily challenges faced at the consulate in Rome, particularly ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to Italy in March.

French Kitten chucker jailed for animal cruelty
France

French Kitten chucker jailed for animal cruelty

UPDATED: An alleged cruel cat torturer who caused outrage in France after videos were posted online showing him throwing a kitten high into the air was sentenced to a year in prison on Monday. The defendant told the court he was an "idiot" before sentencing.

‘Crazy’ French drivers: The ‘real’ rules of la route
France

‘Crazy’ French drivers: The ‘real’ rules of la route

Moaning about reckless French drivers is a pastime enjoyed by expats across France. This week's guest blogger, based in south-west France, has compiled his own alternative version of "Le Highway Code" based on his own frightening experiences with French drivers. Do they strike a chord with you?

Cops seize 900kg of cocaine in floating bags
Spain

Cops seize 900kg of cocaine in floating bags

Spanish police seized 900 kilograms (nearly 2,000 pounds) of cocaine in rucksacks found floating in the sea and fitted with tracking devices, officials said Monday.

Dying man’s appeal to find his kids goes viral
Germany

Dying man’s appeal to find his kids goes viral

An advert placed in a regional newspaper in western Germany by a man desperate to find his children before he dies has gone viral, being shared online 50,000 times.

Industry boss: ‘Too many students harm economy’
Germany

Industry boss: ‘Too many students harm economy’

One of Germany's top commerce experts warned on Monday that there were so many young people at university, and so few in traineeships, that the country's economy would suffer.

Norway Olympic hope injured in training
Norway

Norway Olympic hope injured in training

Norwegian slopestyle snowboarder Torstein Horgmo, one of the Olympic Games gold medal favourites, was hospitalised Monday after a spectacular crash in training on a course widely condemned as too dangerous.

Dieudonné barred from Britain by Home Office
France

Dieudonné barred from Britain by Home Office

Controversial French comic Dieudonné is now not just an enemy of the state in France. On Monday the UK also made him a persona non-grata when the government confirmed it had banned him from entering the country.

EU: Sweden should ban secret party donations
Sweden

EU: Sweden should ban secret party donations

While Sweden was acknowledged as one of the least corrupt countries in the EU, a new report from the European Commission urges Sweden to ban anonymous political party donations.

Five Star bloggers ‘potential rapists’: MP
Italy

Five Star bloggers ‘potential rapists’: MP

Italy's lower house speaker has accused the anti-establishment Five Star Movement of instigating violence and slammed bloggers on the party website as "potential rapists" following a flurry of sexist abuse online.

King freezes wages of Queen and Princess
Spain

King freezes wages of Queen and Princess

King Don Juan Carlos has gone against the trend of royal secrecy in Spain and publicized the new fixed salaries of his wife Queen Sofía and daughter-in-law Princess Letizia.

Moderates slammed for sending voting ‘advice’
Sweden

Moderates slammed for sending voting ‘advice’

Moderate Party representatives in Stockholm have been slammed after warning public sector healthcare workers they could risk losing their jobs if the opposition Social Democrats win the next election.

Almost all Italians think corruption is rife
Italy

Almost all Italians think corruption is rife

Almost all Italians believe that corruption is widespread in their country, according to the European Commission's anti-corruption report released on Monday. While some progress has been made, the EU's executive body highlighted a number of areas in need of urgent action.

Secret tape: UK’s Francis Bacon had Spanish muse
Spain

Secret tape: UK’s Francis Bacon had Spanish muse

Taped conversations have revealed that Francis Bacon gave $4 million (€3 million) as a gift to Madrid-based banker Jose Capelo, 40 years his junior, who appeared in two of the artist's paintings, after falling in love with him.

Bank Julius Bär profit dips after acquisition
Switzerland

Bank Julius Bär profit dips after acquisition

Swiss private bank Julius Bär on Monday said net profit fell by 30 percent in 2013 owing to costs related to its takeover of Merrill Lynch's global wealth management business.

Swiss customs head off German pizza invasion
Switzerland

Swiss customs head off German pizza invasion

Swiss customs officials have moved to discourage a flourishing cross-border trade from neighbouring Germany — in pizzas.

Italy slams global failure in helping Syrians
Italy

Italy slams global failure in helping Syrians

Italy's foreign minister Emma Bonino said on Monday that the international community had "largely failed" in getting humanitarian aid to Syria, despite having the necessary medicines, food and transport ready.

Queen Elizabeth to visit France for D-Day service
France

Queen Elizabeth to visit France for D-Day service

The Elysée Palace confirmed on Monday that Queen Elizabeth II plans to join world leaders in France in June to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Zero tolerance to Coke plant closures
Spain

Zero tolerance to Coke plant closures

Thousands of workers from Coca-Cola bottling factories in Spain marched on Sunday in protest at plant closures they say will cost 750 jobs.

Hackers file complaint against government
Germany

Hackers file complaint against government

Hacking group, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), has filed a criminal complaint against the entire German government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, over the spying scandal.

Lufthansa hits out at Etihad’s Alitalia plans
Italy

Lufthansa hits out at Etihad’s Alitalia plans

German airline Lufthansa hit out on Monday at plans by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways to buy debt-laden Alitalia, saying it amounted to covert state aid.

Spain vows not to thwart Scotland’s independence
Spain

Spain vows not to thwart Scotland’s independence

Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Margallo has said Spain will not interfere in Scotland's quest for independence and potential entry to the EU, arguing that the cases of the British territory and that of Catalonia are "fundamentally different".

German ministries hit in 16 million email theft
Germany

German ministries hit in 16 million email theft

Each German government ministry and 17 of its members of parliament were targeted by the huge data theft in which 16 million online identities were stolen.

Vietnamese diplomat seeks asylum in Geneva
Switzerland

Vietnamese diplomat seeks asylum in Geneva

A Vietnamese diplomat who was posted at the country's consulate in Geneva said he has sought political asylum in Switzerland.

Malmö court evacuated in new bomb scare
Sweden

Malmö court evacuated in new bomb scare

The court of appeal in Malmö was evacuated on Monday morning due to the discovery of a suspicious package. Earlier on Monday, the city's district court was hit by an explosion.

Court jails fake prince for rape and fraud
Germany

Court jails fake prince for rape and fraud

A German con artist was jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of fraud and rape. He posed as both the factitious Prince von Hohenlohe, owner of a goldmine and friend of President Barack Obama.

Fake foetus pic inflames Norway abortion debate
Norway

Fake foetus pic inflames Norway abortion debate

A Christian Democrat mayor has inflamed the abortion debate in Norway by posting a picture purporting to resemble a 12-week-old foetus on Facebook.

Spain’s press freedom under fire in US media
Spain

Spain’s press freedom under fire in US media

Influential US newspaper The New York Times has reported the sacking of El Mundo editor Pedro J. Ramírez as "engineered retribution" by the Spanish government and compared press freedoms in Spain with those in China and Egypt.

Royal Navy saves lives of six French fishermen
France

Royal Navy saves lives of six French fishermen

French and British seamen have shown little love for each other over the years but at the weekend the British Royal Navy showed differences can be put aside when it saved the lives of six Breton sailors, who were trapped in a sinking trawler in stormy seas.

Beer price index makes sober reading for France
France

Beer price index makes sober reading for France

A new European beer index makes sober reading for lager-loving expats in France. The study which compares how many beers you can buy with a monthly minimum wage leaves France lagging well behind the rest of Western Europe.

Italian marines death penalty ruling postponed
Italy

Italian marines death penalty ruling postponed

A ruling on whether to impose the death penalty on two Italians marines for alleged murder has been postponed by an Indian court until February 10th.

Swiss want to reopen pot legalization debate
Switzerland

Swiss want to reopen pot legalization debate

A Swiss parliamentary committee looking into drug issues wants to reopen the debate on the legalization of marijuana in the wake of developments in the US, Uruguay and New Zealand.

Crisis-hit Italians survive on out of date food
Italy

Crisis-hit Italians survive on out of date food

Italians may be well-known for their healthy diet, but more are eating food well past its use-by date as the effects of the financial crisis continue to bite, according to new figures from Coldiretti, the Italian farmers' association.

Orange: Hackers nab data from 800,000 clients
France

Orange: Hackers nab data from 800,000 clients

Telecom giant Orange revealed on Monday that the names, addresses and phone numbers of hundreds of thousands of French customers have been pilfered in a mammoth data breach. Find out how the hackers could cause headaches for those affected.

Norway favourite to win most golds at Sochi
Norway

Norway favourite to win most golds at Sochi

Norway is the clear favourite to scoop the most gold medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, with leading bookmakers Ladbrokes, Coral, and William Hill all giving the country's team even odds to come out tops.

Teenager missing as fierce storms lash Spain
Spain

Teenager missing as fierce storms lash Spain

A teenager was swept out to sea as fierce storm surges hit northern Spain on Sunday, authorities said, with waves reportedly as high as 10 metres (more than 30 feet) washing through the streets of the Basque city of San Sebastian.

Arsenal ‘knew Källström was injured’: Wenger
Sweden

Arsenal ‘knew Källström was injured’: Wenger

Swedish footballer Kim Källström's surprise move to Premier League contenders Arsenal came despite team officials knowing the midfielder was injured, coach Arsene Wenger explained on Sunday.

The WWI photo album of a German soldier
Germany

The WWI photo album of a German soldier

The photos of a German soldier who took his camera to the front in World War One have been published for the first time, giving the rarest of glimpses into military life 100 years ago.

Afrophobic hate crimes on the rise in Sweden
Sweden

Afrophobic hate crimes on the rise in Sweden

Hate crimes directed against Sweden's black population have increased in recent years, according to a report published on Monday, prompting grave concern from Sweden's integration minister.

Atleti go top as Ronaldo’s red holds Real back
Spain

Atleti go top as Ronaldo’s red holds Real back

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent-off as Real Madrid lost ground in the La Liga title race with a 1-1 draw away to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Tower block demolished, clean-up begins
Germany

Tower block demolished, clean-up begins

UPDATE: A great clean-up operation began in Frankfurt on Monday after a tower block was reduced to rubble in a controlled explosion – the tallest building in Europe to be demolished in such a way.

Iranian woman’s body dumped in Venice canal
Italy

Iranian woman’s body dumped in Venice canal

The body of an Iranian woman has been found in a Venice canal after it was allegedly taken to the city in a suitcase following her murder in Milan, Italian media reported on Monday.

America’s Ligety wins St. Moritz giant slalom
Switzerland

America’s Ligety wins St. Moritz giant slalom

America's two-time giant slalom world champion Ted Ligety won the final World Cup race in the discipline before the Winter Olympics on Sunday at Saint Moritz in the canton of Graubünden.

Bare-breasted feminists besiege pro-life bishop
Spain

Bare-breasted feminists besiege pro-life bishop

Bare-breasted feminists belonging to the exhibitionist protest group FEMEN hurled knickers at the archbishop of Madrid as he arrived at church on Sunday in protest against his support for Spain's stringent new abortion law.

Patients grit teeth as French dentists strike
France

Patients grit teeth as French dentists strike

Monday might not be the best day to suffer from a painful toothache in France. Dentists across the country have been called to close their practices in a protest aimed at pressuring the government into increasing their pay.

Swedish gangs in Oslo to burgle houses: police
Norway

Swedish gangs in Oslo to burgle houses: police

Gangs of criminal youths from disadvantaged suburbs of Stockholm and Gothenburg have started travelling to Norway to commit burglaries, police in Oslo have reported.

Mystery blast rocks Malmö courthouse
Sweden

Mystery blast rocks Malmö courthouse

An explosion rocked a courthouse in Malmö in southern Sweden in the early hours of Monday morning, damaging the facade and blowing out several windows.

Melodifestivalen review: Glamrock and hairy armpits in Malmö
Sweden

Melodifestivalen review: Glamrock and hairy armpits in Malmö

Melodifestivalen 2014 kicked off on Saturday night with a the usual schlager, one victorious cross-dresser, and a hostess with hairy armpits. Yawn, says contributor David Jørgensen, who's hoping for more next week.

Three people die in Sicily floods
Italy

Three people die in Sicily floods

A seven-year-old child died along with two women when the car in which they were travelling was swept away by a flooded river near the Sicilian city of Syracuse.

PSG extend lead at top but lose Cavani to injury
France

PSG extend lead at top but lose Cavani to injury

PSG extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 at the weekend but face being without their Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani for a number of weeks after he picked up an injury in their victory against Bordeaux. Monaco slipped further behind after a 2-2 draw with Lorient.

‘Things are changing’: Europe’s defence chiefs
Norway

‘Things are changing’: Europe’s defence chiefs

It took a photo to drive it home. The ministers controlling the armed forces of four of Europe's countries are now women.

Porsche board faces €1.8 billion lawsuit
Germany

Porsche board faces €1.8 billion lawsuit

A group of hedge funds who were already suing Porsche have launched civil action against the chairman and a board member. The German car giant said on Sunday the claims were "without merit".

‘Plagiarism’ minister to take Vatican post
Germany

‘Plagiarism’ minister to take Vatican post

UPDATE: Germany's former education minister is set to become the country's ambassador to the Vatican, it was confirmed on Monday. She stepped down a year ago amid claims she plagiarized her PhD thesis.

Bayern beat Frankfurt in 5-0 home win
Germany

Bayern beat Frankfurt in 5-0 home win

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich maintained their 13-point lead with a 5-0 home romp against Eintracht Frankfurt to extend their record 44-match unbeaten run on Sunday.

Etihad in ‘final stage’ of Alitalia stake talks
Italy

Etihad in ‘final stage’ of Alitalia stake talks

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said on Sunday it has entered the final stage of an assessment whether to purchase a stake in Italy's debt-laden airline Alitalia.