Utøya survivor leads Eurovision race
Norway

Utøya survivor leads Eurovision race

A survivor of the 2011 Utøya massacre is favourite to represent Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest in May, after winning the most audience votes in the semi-finals of the country's Melodi Grand Prix.

Gold-plated car shines at Geneva motor show
Switzerland

Gold-plated car shines at Geneva motor show

For lovers of luxury and bling-bling, German tuning specialist Carlsson is offering an eyeful at the Geneva International Motor Show this week, displaying the world's first gold-covered car.

Champagne goes flat against Italian rival
France

Champagne goes flat against Italian rival

Italy's famous sparkling wine, prosecco, is outselling its French rival, champagne, in global sales.

Nine amazing women who have shaped Spain
Spain

Nine amazing women who have shaped Spain

From scientists to saints, the history of Spain is full of influential women. To mark International Women's Day, The Local has put together a list of women who have helped shaped the country. How many do you know?

France urged to cut 120 of its most ‘absurd’ taxes
France

France urged to cut 120 of its most ‘absurd’ taxes

France may do something that seems stereotypically un-Gallic and cut a raft of 'absurd' taxes. A new government report urges eliminating up to 120 of the "smaller levies", some of which cost more than they bring in, like a charge on pinball machines, for example.

President tells Greece sorry for Nazi crimes
Germany

President tells Greece sorry for Nazi crimes

President Joachim Gauck begged forgiveness for Nazi war crimes at the end of his visit to Greece on Friday, in one of the clearest appeals to victims' families ever uttered by a German head of state.

Prosecco knocks the fizz out of French rival
Italy

Prosecco knocks the fizz out of French rival

Italy's famous sparkling wine, prosecco, is outselling its French rival, champagne, in global sales.

Male pupil, 19, fined after striptease to classmate
Sweden

Male pupil, 19, fined after striptease to classmate

A Swedish court has slapped fines on two teenagers for performing a striptease in front of a female classmate tied to a chair, while a third filmed the incident and posted the clip online.

Sweden braces for year’s first real sunshine
Sweden

Sweden braces for year’s first real sunshine

After a mild winter across the country, Sweden can expect the first real spring weather to take hold over the weekend, with temperatures in Stockholm set for double figures.

‘Doctors should give us cannabis, not morphine’
Italy

‘Doctors should give us cannabis, not morphine’

Last month, Italy relaxed penalties for the sale and possession of cannabis. Italy’s first Cannabis Social Club tells The Local why more should be done to liberalize access to cannabis.

‘UK exit from EU would be disaster for Gibraltar’
Spain

‘UK exit from EU would be disaster for Gibraltar’

The chief minister of Gibraltar has told top UK officials a possible UK exit from the European Union could see the diminutive territory disappear "economically from the map".

‘Spy for us or we won’t let you become French’
France

‘Spy for us or we won’t let you become French’

A young Russian-born student named Anna, desperate to gain French citizenship has become the centre of a scandal in France, after alleging police tried to blackmail her into spying on members of France’s anti-gay marriage movement or face the prospect of being deported.

Rome taxi driver returns €14k to Russian tourist
Italy

Rome taxi driver returns €14k to Russian tourist

A Russian tourist was overjoyed on Friday after being reunited with her handbag, containing €14,000 worth of cash, after leaving it in a Rome taxi.

Cocaine cop: 1.5kg of drugs was for ‘teaching’
Germany

Cocaine cop: 1.5kg of drugs was for ‘teaching’

A Bavarian police chief who was caught with 1.5 kilograms of cocaine in his work locker told investigators he had the drugs “for educational purposes,” according to reports on Friday.

Strindberg library book returned 44 years late
Sweden

Strindberg library book returned 44 years late

Staff at Stockholm City Library were left amused when a collection of August Strindberg's love letters was dropped off this week. The slim volume should have been returned to them in 1970.

Man puts stuffed elk family on ‘Norway’s eBay’
Norway

Man puts stuffed elk family on ‘Norway’s eBay’

A Norwegian man has put eight unwanted stuffed elk up for sale on Finn.no, the country's version of eBay -- under the category 'art'.

Germany tops Europe innovation list
Germany

Germany tops Europe innovation list

Germany continues to lead Europe in innovation, filing more patents to protect new products than any other European country in 2013.

Nordic noir dominance is over: Larsson publisher
Norway

Nordic noir dominance is over: Larsson publisher

The publisher who made Stieg Larsson an international success reckons Scandinavia's crime fiction wave has passed its peak, saying too much been published over the last five years, and it is no longer as "original and interesting".

Stockholm balcony collapse injures two
Sweden

Stockholm balcony collapse injures two

Two people were left injured on Friday after a balcony in north-western Stockholm collapsed. Four people were on the balcony at the time of the incident.

Hash fans slam Norway’s half-baked hypocrisy
Norway

Hash fans slam Norway’s half-baked hypocrisy

Torkel Bjørnson-Langen, the manager of NORMAL, Norway's pro-cannabis group, says the forced resignation of one of the Conservative Party's most promising young MPs over cannabis smoking last month was sadly no surprise.

Jewish chief defies Italy’s anti-Semites
Italy

Jewish chief defies Italy’s anti-Semites

Riccardo Pacifici, who lost his grandparents at the Auschwitz concentration camp, presides over Rome’s Jewish Community. The Local finds out why he was in the news this week.

Pro-choicers stage daring Barcelona church protest
Spain

Pro-choicers stage daring Barcelona church protest

Two daredevil protesters chained themselves to the facade of a Barcelona church on Friday morning to demonstrate against Spain's proposed new abortion law.

Italy acquits international banks of fraud
Italy

Italy acquits international banks of fraud

An Italian appeals court acquitted international banks JP Morgan, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Depfa Bank on Friday of fraud in the sale of derivative instruments, Italian media reported.

Rising seas to sink Norway’s Unesco islands
Norway

Rising seas to sink Norway’s Unesco islands

One of Norway's most treasured Unesco World Heritage sites stands to be swallowed up by rising sea levels as global warming accelerates in the coming years.

Water bottles hold secret to courthouse heist
Italy

Water bottles hold secret to courthouse heist

Two thieves who robbed a courthouse ATM of €20,000, without being spotted by security, have been traced thanks to a clue found on water bottles left at the crime scene.

Headless and limbless: Germany’s best saints
Germany

Headless and limbless: Germany’s best saints

Germany is a land infested with saints. Travel more than a few miles in any direction and you're liable to trip over a shrine to some ascetic or hermit with the reputation for performing miracles.

Norway’s inventors lag far behind neighbours
Norway

Norway’s inventors lag far behind neighbours

Norway's scientists and inventors are being blown out of the water by their more ingenious Nordic neighbours, according a new report from the European Patent Office which ranks Sweden, Finland, and Denmark all in the top five.

Sarkozy’s phones ‘tapped over Libya cash’ scandal
France

Sarkozy’s phones ‘tapped over Libya cash’ scandal

Judges in France ordered the phones of former president Nicolas Sarkozy to be tapped as part of a probe into allegations his 2007 presidential campaign was partly funded by ex-Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi, French daily Le Monde claimed on Friday.

‘Job interview left me with crushed vertebra’
Spain

‘Job interview left me with crushed vertebra’

This budding saleswoman was trampled on by a mob of job candidates while trying to grab a €50 (worth $70) note from the floor during a gruelling recruitment process. Meet our latest Spanish Face of the Week: Clio Almansa.

Italian farmer fined €62k for feeding ramblers
Italy

Italian farmer fined €62k for feeding ramblers

The owner of a farmhouse in Italy's north-east Veneto region is facing a €62,000 fine for dishing out prosecco and salami to ramblers, leaving simply a piggy bank for their donations.

Schumacher still in ‘wake up phase’ from coma
Germany

Schumacher still in ‘wake up phase’ from coma

Michael Schumacher remains in a "wake-up phase" from the coma he was placed in following a life-threatening skiing accident nearly ten weeks ago, his spokeswoman said on Friday.

Scientists discover why some of us ‘hate’ music
Spain

Scientists discover why some of us ‘hate’ music

If music leaves you cold, don't worry: it's perfectly normal and you're completely healthy. That's the finding of a new study headed up by Spanish scientists.

Dad jailed for life after killing kids in cabin fire
Sweden

Dad jailed for life after killing kids in cabin fire

A man was sentenced on Friday to life in prison after he killed two of his children by setting fire to a holiday home in the Stockholm archipelago last year.

‘Swedish firms less equal than Saudis’: biz daily
Sweden

‘Swedish firms less equal than Saudis’: biz daily

Sweden's premier business daily on Friday noted that many Swedish companies were less gender equal than the Saudi Arabian parliament, and said introducing quotas could mark a generational shift.

Schumacher still in ‘wake up phase’ from coma
France

Schumacher still in ‘wake up phase’ from coma

In the first official statement from his entourage in weeks, Michael Schumacher's spokeswoman said on Friday the racing legend is still fighting his way out of a medically-induced coma.

Fishermen find oldest message in a bottle
Germany

Fishermen find oldest message in a bottle

German fishermen made a surprising catch this week when they pulled the oldest recorded message in a bottle out of the sea. A man from Berlin scribbled the note 101 years ago.

Italy slips out of innovation top ten: report
Italy

Italy slips out of innovation top ten: report

Italian businesses are becoming less innovative, with a decline in the number of patents registered, figures released on Friday show.

Swiss top European list for 2013 patent filings
Switzerland

Swiss top European list for 2013 patent filings

Switzerland topped the list of European countries for patent filings in 2013 relative to its population, the European Patent Office (EPO) says.

Rising seas could drown Italy’s prized heritage
Italy

Rising seas could drown Italy’s prized heritage

Several major Unesco World Heritage-listed sites in Italy including the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum could eventually be swallowed up by rising sea levels, a new study claims.

Global warming to drown Swedish Unesco sites
Sweden

Global warming to drown Swedish Unesco sites

A pair of Unesco World Heritage-listed sites in Sweden could eventually be swallowed up by rising sea levels, a new study claimed.

Three skiers die in one day on French slopes
France

Three skiers die in one day on French slopes

Thursday was a tragic day on ski slopes in the French Alps, with three people killed within hours of each other in separate incidents, including a seven-year-old boy struck at high speed by a teenage skier, who was taken in for questioning by police.

Mercury rises as France welcomes in spring
France

Mercury rises as France welcomes in spring

After one of the wettest, warmest and windiest winters on record France welcomes in the spring this weekend with the mercury already having hit 21°C in parts of the country and the warm weather looks set to remain for at least a week.

Hanseatic Unesco sites threatened by sea levels
Germany

Hanseatic Unesco sites threatened by sea levels

Three German Unesco World Heritage sites could eventually be swallowed up by rising sea levels, according to a new study which warned the country’s historic Hanseatic hubs on the Baltic coast are under threat.

Car-buying men outrun women on wheels
Sweden

Car-buying men outrun women on wheels

Twice as many Swedish men as women buy a car, they use them more, and they drive further due to "traditions", a new study claimed on Friday.

Headless body washed up on Italian beach
Italy

Headless body washed up on Italian beach

The headless body of a woman, believed to be a migrant who drowned at sea, has been found on a beach in Sardinia.

Jobless rate of foreigners declines in February
Switzerland

Jobless rate of foreigners declines in February

Swiss unemployment dropped in February for the first time in seven months led by a reduction in the percentage of expats out of work, government figures released on Friday show.

Smugglers stuff skis with 14kg of cocaine
Spain

Smugglers stuff skis with 14kg of cocaine

Buenos Aires police discovered an original scheme for smuggling drugs out of Argentina when they found skis stuffed with cocaine on Thursday.

Seach for oil threatens marine wonderlands
Spain

Seach for oil threatens marine wonderlands

Campaigners warned on Thursday of environmental threats from new oil-prospecting projects off Spain's Balearic and Canary Islands, two major tourist destinations.

France backs warship deal but not Paralympics
France

France backs warship deal but not Paralympics

Despite France's anger over Russia's stance towards the Crimea the country's president François Hollande said a controversial sale of two state-of-the art warships by France to Russia was still on course. But the French government will boycott the Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

Why well-paid people need homes too – and Sweden needs to get real
Sweden

Why well-paid people need homes too – and Sweden needs to get real

Is Sweden serious about competing in an international economy? Then it has to attract international talent, and those people need somewhere to live. Yet the non-existent rental market forces them to buy, says The Local's David Landes.

World’s biggest IT fair ready to boot up
Germany

World’s biggest IT fair ready to boot up

Around 230,000 IT professionals from all over the world will descend on Hannover on Monday for CeBIT, the world's biggest IT expo. Exhibitors from academics to start-ups will be showcasing their new tech.

Spotify acquires music ‘suggestion service’
Sweden

Spotify acquires music ‘suggestion service’

Swedish music giant Spotify announced on Thursday that it had acquired The Echo Nest, a US company that provides song suggestions for music listeners.

Lost German hiker lives off flies for two weeks
Germany

Lost German hiker lives off flies for two weeks

Stranded by floods and lost, a German backpacker survived for about two weeks in Australia's inhospitable Outback on a diet of insects, police said on Friday.

Bouygues bids for SFR to make telecoms giant
France

Bouygues bids for SFR to make telecoms giant

Bouygues Telecom made a €14.5 billion ($19.9 billion) offer for rival provider SFR on Thursday, provoking a bidding war that could see the emergence of a new French telecoms powerhouse.

Highs of 20C forecast for weekend
Germany

Highs of 20C forecast for weekend

Spring weather is on its way to Germany this weekend with top temperatures of 20C forecast in the west of the country. It will be mild throughout.