American skier latest Valais avalanche victim
Switzerland

American skier latest Valais avalanche victim

A 44-year-old American skier died on Tuesday after being hit by an avalanche in the Valais Alps in the second such fatal accident in two days.

SI swimsuit models vie with Swiss scenery
Switzerland

SI swimsuit models vie with Swiss scenery

The scenery couldn’t be better: the medieval chateau of Chillon, the waters of Lake Geneva and, lolling on a rock in the foreground, bikini-clad model Kate Bock.

Moody’s: Swiss migrant vote ‘credit negative’
Switzerland

Moody’s: Swiss migrant vote ‘credit negative’

Curbs on immigration from the European Union will hurt Switzerland’s economy and its banking sector, ratings agency Moody’s said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

UN’s Syria mediator should keep open mind
Switzerland

UN’s Syria mediator should keep open mind

The conflict in Syria is a poster child for the United Nations’ failure to live up to its proper dispute prevention and resolution role.

France accepts role in ‘stolen children’ scandal
France

France accepts role in ‘stolen children’ scandal

France finally accepted responsibility on Tuesday for its role in a dark chapter of the country's recent history that saw some 1,600 children taken from their homes and parents on the island of Reunion, and sent to live in the French countryside.

Alps murders: ‘Ex-cop’ linked to crime scene
France

Alps murders: ‘Ex-cop’ linked to crime scene

UPDATED: A suspect, reportedly a former policeman, was arrested on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the brutal murder of a British Iraqi family in the French Alps in 2012. Mobile phone records place him in the area at the time of the killings.

Identity of mystery beach woman revealed
Spain

Identity of mystery beach woman revealed

Five days after a young woman was found dazed and confused on a beach in northern Spain with a mysterious message written on her arm, her identity has been revealed.

Desperate business owners march on Rome
Italy

Desperate business owners march on Rome

An estimated 60,000 Italians protested in central Rome on Tuesday, calling for greater action to save the millions of small- and medium-sized businesses which employ almost half the country's workforce.

Cyber activists target Spain’s ‘Google tax’
Spain

Cyber activists target Spain’s ‘Google tax’

Cyber activists hacked the website of a major Spanish media industry body on Monday after the group came out in favour of a new draft law which would see websites like Google having to pay media outlets to post their content.

French cows reared on a diet of Normandy cider
France

French cows reared on a diet of Normandy cider

It’s perhaps the birth of a French super food. By feeding one renowned French product, Normandy apple cider, to another, Normandy cows, a cattle farmer is hoping to create a top grade cut of meat.

Sugar giants fined €280m for price fixing
Germany

Sugar giants fined €280m for price fixing

German consumers have been paying over the odds for sugar for years, it emerged on Tuesday, when authorities fined Germany's three biggest sugar firms €280 million for illegally fixing prices.

Swedish expert ‘disarms’ 25-year-old herring tin
Sweden

Swedish expert ‘disarms’ 25-year-old herring tin

An expert on fermented fish donned protective gear on Tuesday to open a surströmming tin that had been forgotten in a Norwegian cottage. But the tin's contents were more than a little fishy to the eyes (and noses) of the gathered crowd.

Merkel comes to Swiss defence over poll
Germany

Merkel comes to Swiss defence over poll

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday against haste in the EU's response to a recent Swiss referendum curbing immigration from member states of the bloc.

Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week

It's that time of the week again... The Local's Property of this week is a quaint country house in southern Sweden, situated beside a lazy river Ronneby. Check it out.

Hijacking: ‘Passengers feared for their lives’
Italy

Hijacking: ‘Passengers feared for their lives’

The Italian passengers on board a Rome-bound plane that was forced to land in Geneva after it was hijacked have spoken of their terror when the co-pilot took control of the plane.

Germany’s Merkel comes to Switzerland’s defence
Switzerland

Germany’s Merkel comes to Switzerland’s defence

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday warned against haste in the EU's response to a recent Swiss referendum curbing immigration from member states of the bloc.

Sweden mulls sending ‘up to 200’ troops to Mali
Sweden

Sweden mulls sending ‘up to 200’ troops to Mali

Sweden plans to send "several hundred" soldiers to aid UN peace-keeping operations in Mali, a move Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said is a "positive way" to answer a UN request.

French cops left doped up from seized cannabis
France

French cops left doped up from seized cannabis

So much seized cannabis is being stored in one French police station that the smell has left cops complaing about nausea and headaches. Indeed there's so much pot in the air that some officers have even tested positive for traces of the drug.

Expert ‘disarms’ stinky 25-yr-old herring tin
Norway

Expert ‘disarms’ stinky 25-yr-old herring tin

Wearing a protective helmet and visor, fermented herring expert Ruben Madsen successfully 'disarmed' a 25-year-old can of Swedish surströmming in Trysil, Norway, on Tuesday. When the can was opened, all that was left was gas, briny water, and an overpowering stench.

Germany’s super train arrives – two years late
Germany

Germany’s super train arrives – two years late

German rail giant Deutsche Bahn unveiled its new high-speed train in Frankfurt on Tuesday – more than two years late.

Candy Crush King confirms New York IPO
Sweden

Candy Crush King confirms New York IPO

King, the Swedish game makers behind app giant Candy Crush, confirmed on Tuesday that it plans to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

‘Expelled Muslims should get citizenship too’
Spain

‘Expelled Muslims should get citizenship too’

Descendants of the Muslims who were kicked out of Spain in the 17th century have criticized the Spanish government for only granting citizenship to the country's former Jewish population, saying the move could be "racist".

Neknominate: Frenchman starts ‘smarter’ challenge
France

Neknominate: Frenchman starts ‘smarter’ challenge

A Frenchman has been lauded for trying to break the deadly social media drinking phenomenon Neknominate, by filming himself, not downing vodka or gin, but handing out food to homeless people. His smart idea has helped create a growing new craze.

‘Go home, you have enough medals’: Putin
Norway

‘Go home, you have enough medals’: Putin

Russian president Vladmir Putin has told the head of Norway's sports federation that with sixteen medals, the country already has enough and should go home.

Restaurant blaze smokes out central Stockholm
Sweden

Restaurant blaze smokes out central Stockholm

A massive fire broke out in a central Stockholm shopping area on Tuesday afternoon, leaving billowing smoke across the capital.

Cop stabs himself trying to kill injured deer
Sweden

Cop stabs himself trying to kill injured deer

A police officer in eastern Sweden ended up in hospital after his plan to put an injured deer out of its misery went horribly awry.

Svendsen’s biathlon gold breaks losing streak
Norway

Svendsen’s biathlon gold breaks losing streak

Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen on Tuesday held off a desperate late charge from the fast-finishing Martin Fourcade of France to take gold in the men's 15km biathlon mass start after a photo finish.

Brother’s death too much for cross-country star
Norway

Brother’s death too much for cross-country star

Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, the Norwegian cross country skier whose brother died on the eve of the Winter Olympics, has returned home to Norway, a team official said on Tuesday.

‘Morning-after-pill law is a barrier for women’
Germany

‘Morning-after-pill law is a barrier for women’

Germany is one of the few countries in Europe where the morning after pill is not available over the counter. Family planning experts told The Local why they are fighting for this to change.

Bad loans soar to record high in December
Spain

Bad loans soar to record high in December

Spanish banks on Tuesday reported record-high bad loans in December as lenders continued to pay for the country's real estate bust even as the financial sector prepared to exit a €41-billion ($56 billion) bailout.

African website reveals details of plane hijacker
Switzerland

African website reveals details of plane hijacker

A North African news website has released a photo of the co-pilot who hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines plane and forced it to land at Geneva airport on Monday, while providing background on the man who sought political asylum in Switzerland.

Airport police found guilty in bribes scandal
Spain

Airport police found guilty in bribes scandal

Fourteen Civil Guard officers at Spain's busy Malaga airport have been found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for not confiscating 'contraband' materials.

Prosecutors probe ex-minster in Edathy affair
Germany

Prosecutors probe ex-minster in Edathy affair

UPDATE: State prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation on Tuesday into whether a former minister broke the law when he disclosed details of an ongoing child porn investigations into a politician.

Fiat-Chrysler vows to pay Italian tax bill
Italy

Fiat-Chrysler vows to pay Italian tax bill

Newly-merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed that it will continue to pay taxes in Italy, following an announcement last month it would be resident in the UK for tax purposes.

France wants European ‘Robin Hood tax’ agreed
France

France wants European ‘Robin Hood tax’ agreed

France pressed its European Union partners on Tuesday to agree a controversial Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) dubbed the Robin Hood tax before European elections in May.

Malaysians face court over child abuse claims
Sweden

Malaysians face court over child abuse claims

A Malaysian couple accused of hitting their children in Sweden stood trial in Stockholm on Tuesday, facing up to ten years in prison if found guilty. One of their children said the frequency of the beatings meant they no longer hurt.

Belgian prince to marry Italian journalist
Italy

Belgian prince to marry Italian journalist

Prince Amedeo, sixth in line to the Belgian throne, is to marry his long-term girlfriend, Rome-born journalist Elisabetta Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein, it has been announced.

Teacher salaries too low in Sweden: OECD
Sweden

Teacher salaries too low in Sweden: OECD

Teacher salaries in Sweden are lower than in countries with higher–performing schools, according to an extra OECD evaluation requested by the government on the heels of Sweden's dismal performance in the latest Pisa rankings.

Court jails ex-mayor for Rwandan massacre
Germany

Court jails ex-mayor for Rwandan massacre

A German court on Tuesday sentenced to 14 years in jail a former Rwandan town mayor for ordering a massacre of hundreds of people in a church during the 1994 genocide.

Italy’s PM nominee Renzi races to form coalition
Italy

Italy’s PM nominee Renzi races to form coalition

Italy's new prime minister designate Matteo Renzi began talks on Tuesday to try to form a coalition, a day after promising quick reforms to get the eurozone's third biggest economy moving again.

Top ten things Americans find weird about Italians
Italy

Top ten things Americans find weird about Italians

We've already taken a look at what Italians find off about the Americans, so this week The Local turns the tables to find out what's baffling Americans in Italy.

‘Breast-boosting’ healer freed by police
Spain

‘Breast-boosting’ healer freed by police

A part-time painter who believed he had God-given powers to 'cure' small breasts and numerous bodily malformations has been released on bail by Barcelona police despite being accused of sexual abuse.

Renzi’s wife shuns Rome for Tuscan home
Italy

Renzi’s wife shuns Rome for Tuscan home

The wife of nominated premier Matteo Renzi has decided to stay put in their hometown of Florence, shunning the chaotic life of the capital for the rolling hills of Tuscany.

Viral map reveals Spain’s jobless hotspots
Spain

Viral map reveals Spain’s jobless hotspots

A new map puts Spain's chronic unemployment under the microscope, showing which parts of the country have been hardest hit by the jobs crisis.

Avalanche claims life of Swedish off-piste skier
Sweden

Avalanche claims life of Swedish off-piste skier

An avalanche claimed the life of a 21-year-old Swedish man on Monday in the latest of series of skiing fatalities in the Swiss Alps. The man was part of a party of three other Swedish skiers.

‘Sochi police right to expel gay rights activist’
Italy

‘Sochi police right to expel gay rights activist’

The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday defended the ejection of an Italian transgender gay rights activist from the Sochi Games, saying the Olympic Park and venues were not the place for demonstrations.

Mother tries to dump baby girl in sewer
Italy

Mother tries to dump baby girl in sewer

A mother in the city of Mazzarino, western Sicily, has been arrested after she was caught by police allegedly trying to kill her ten-month-old daughter by dumping her in a sewer.

Avalanche claims life of Swedish off-piste skier
Switzerland

Avalanche claims life of Swedish off-piste skier

An avalanche claimed the life of a 21-year-old Swedish man on Monday in the latest of a series of skiing fatalities in the Swiss Alps.

Stars Wars exhibition in Paris pulls in thousands
France

Stars Wars exhibition in Paris pulls in thousands

The film may be 37 years old but the force continues to be with Star Wars as a new Paris exhibition looks set to break records for visitor numbers after a storming opening weekend.

Sweden hockey star calls Northug ‘bloody loser’
Norway

Sweden hockey star calls Northug ‘bloody loser’

The Swedish hockey star Patrik Berglund has been filmed ridiculing Norwegian ski star Petter Northug as "a bloody mess", after his poor performance in the Olympic Games in Sochi.

Norway’s child minister backs ‘insane’ care threat
Norway

Norway’s child minister backs ‘insane’ care threat

Norway's children's minister has backed a proposal to withhold benefits from immigrant parents who fail to teach their children Norwegian, and in extreme cases even deprive them of custody.

Forecasters: Winter is over, 14C highs this week
Germany

Forecasters: Winter is over, 14C highs this week

UPDATE: Winter is unlikely to come back to Germany with the spring-like temperatures set to continue, meterologists said on Tuesday. Snow and ice will not return making this winter one of the warmest since 1881.

Spotify may be preparing for IPO: report
Sweden

Spotify may be preparing for IPO: report

Speculation that Spotify is planning an initial public offering has intensified following news that the Swedish music streaming service wants to hire an expert in US financial reporting.

On-form Barça ready for star-studded Man City
Spain

On-form Barça ready for star-studded Man City

Barcelona appear to have hit form with ominous timing for Champions League knockout-phase debutants Manchester City ahead of Tuesday's last 16 first leg between the sides at the Etihad Stadium.

Eta terror suspects deported to Spain
Spain

Eta terror suspects deported to Spain

Mexican authorities have deported to Spain two suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group Eta who are accused of being part of a unit that killed 18 people in the lead-up to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Italy recalls ambassador from India over marines
Italy

Italy recalls ambassador from India over marines

UPDATED: Italy on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to India and summoned the Indian ambassador to express its concern over a delay in court proceedings against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen.

Naked child photos ‘difficult to ban’
Germany

Naked child photos ‘difficult to ban’

UPDATE: Buying and selling photos of naked children in Germany should be banned the Association for the Protection of Children demanded on Tuesday, in the wake of a child porn scandal. But a leading politician said it would be tricky to do.

France asked to keep troops in CAR until 2015
France

France asked to keep troops in CAR until 2015

France's chances of making an swift exit from Central African Republic (CAR) appear slim with the leader of the strife-torn country pleading with Paris to keep its troops there until 2015.

Hijacking: French cover for ‘off duty’ Swiss jets
France

Hijacking: French cover for ‘off duty’ Swiss jets

French fighter jets were forced to accompany the hijacked Ethiopian Airlines plane to Switzerland’s Geneva airport on Monday, because the Swiss airforce only operates during regular office hours, it has emerged.

Merkel meets Klitschko, welcomes amnesty
Germany

Merkel meets Klitschko, welcomes amnesty

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed on Monday a political amnesty in Ukraine as a "positive step" but urged progress towards a new government, after talks with pro-EU opposition leaders.

Air pollution ‘kills 47,000 a year’
Germany

Air pollution ‘kills 47,000 a year’

Fumes, chemicals and air pollution are resulting in tens of thousands of deaths in Germany a year, according to figures released on Sunday.

Are Sweden’s politicians capable of intellectual honesty?
Sweden

Are Sweden’s politicians capable of intellectual honesty?

Amid debates marked by cheap shots and misdirection, liberal commentator Nima Sanandaji wonders whether Swedish politicians are capable of honest, reasoned debate in an election year.