Chain pulls horsemeat after new cruelty charges
Switzerland

Chain pulls horsemeat after new cruelty charges

Denner, the Swiss discount supermarket chain, is pulling the sale of horsemeat from its shelves again in the wake of concerns repeatedly raised by a Zurich-based animal rights group about the provenance of such meat.

Ex-Swiss banker admits guilt in US tax case
Switzerland

Ex-Swiss banker admits guilt in US tax case

A former banker of Credit Suisse on Wednesday pleaded guilty to assisting US customers avoid taxes by hiding assets in secret Swiss bank accounts.

Swathes of France on alert over air pollution
France

Swathes of France on alert over air pollution

Nearly a third of the 22 regions in mainland France on Wednesday were on a maximum pollution alert including a swathe of the country's north, centre-east and around Paris. In the capital authorities announced that Velib' bikes and Autolib' cars will be free from Thursday.

Renzi rings changes for Italy with €10bn tax cuts
Italy

Renzi rings changes for Italy with €10bn tax cuts

New Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Wednesday laid out his plan to transform Italy with a package of reforms headlined by a ten-billion-euro tax cut.

Spanish mums too underfed to breastfeed
Spain

Spanish mums too underfed to breastfeed

Nurses in Catalonia have warned that Spain’s economic crisis is having a profound effect on the health of mothers and their new-borns.

Czech renew lease on Jas Gripen jets
Sweden

Czech renew lease on Jas Gripen jets

The Czech government announced on Wednesday that it was extending its lease on over a dozen Swedish fighter jets until 2027.

Man’s body found off the coast near Rome
Italy

Man’s body found off the coast near Rome

The body of a 45-year-old man, thought to be a canoeist who disappeared in January, has been found off the coast close to Rome, Italian media reported on Wednesday.

Surgeon finds 600g of cocaine in man’s belly
France

Surgeon finds 600g of cocaine in man’s belly

A French surgeon found more than he had bargained on this week when he opened up a patient to try and discover the cause of his chronic stomach pains. Inside the unconscious man's intestines was hidden 600 grams of cocaine in little balls.

Italy’s Campari buys Canadian whisky firm
Italy

Italy’s Campari buys Canadian whisky firm

Italian drinks group Campari, one of the world’s biggest firms in the market of premium spirits, has said it will buy Canada’s Forty Creek Distillery (FCD) in a deal worth €125.5 million.

Formula One was ‘a mistake’: oil fund head
Norway

Formula One was ‘a mistake’: oil fund head

The head of Norway's oil fund has said that he wishes Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone had been "formally suspended" pending his trial for bribery in Germany.

Cow injures two in escape from abattoir
Germany

Cow injures two in escape from abattoir

A cow injured two men in central Germany on Wednesday while making a break for freedom from an abattoir. One of the victims was so badly hurt he had to go to hospital.

Speeding truck driver: My club foot was at fault
Sweden

Speeding truck driver: My club foot was at fault

A truck driver in southern Sweden tried to get out of a speeding fine by blaming his right leg, and claimed he simply could not be held responsible for smashing the speed limit.

Reindeer herd closes Norway highway
Norway

Reindeer herd closes Norway highway

A giant herd of 2,000 reindeer has forced Norway's National Road Authority to shut off a major road between Oslo and Bergen to prevent them being killed by passing cars.

‘I’ll make Catholic Church heard in Germany again’
Germany

‘I’ll make Catholic Church heard in Germany again’

Germany’s Catholic Church has a new leader after Munich's Archbishop was chosen to head the national Bishop Conference.

France to Russia: Seizing Crimea is ‘unacceptable’
France

France to Russia: Seizing Crimea is ‘unacceptable’

The French president François Hollande made it clear to Vladimir Putin that annexing Crimea would be "unacceptable", as the West steps up the pressure on Russia over its actions towards Ukraine.

Mum fed baby chilli ‘because it was funny’
Norway

Mum fed baby chilli ‘because it was funny’

A British 35-year-old accused of instructing a Norwegian mother to drown her one year old daughter in a bucket live over MSN messaging has denied the charges, claiming instead that he tried to stop the abuse.

Naples residents ‘hurl fireworks’ at Roma camp
Italy

Naples residents ‘hurl fireworks’ at Roma camp

Roma people fled their camp on the outskirts of Naples on Wednesday morning after clashing with local residents over an alleged attempted attack on a teenage girl.

Window lurker calls cops over bedroom intimacy
Sweden

Window lurker calls cops over bedroom intimacy

A man in southern Sweden contacted police after he witnessed a couple making love in their own home. Swedish police were less than impressed.

Pic of the day: Spain from 400km above Earth
Spain

Pic of the day: Spain from 400km above Earth

A new Nasa photo gallery inspired by the Oscar-winning movie Gravity features a stunning image of the Iberian Peninsula at night.

Otter mounts bloody rampage in burger bar
Norway

Otter mounts bloody rampage in burger bar

A wounded otter ran amok in a fast food restaurant in western Norway on Tuesday, terrorising the restaurant's owners and giving the wildlife officer sent to subdue it a nasty nip on the finger.

Left-wing leader calls for Crimea poll acceptance
Germany

Left-wing leader calls for Crimea poll acceptance

The deputy leader of Germany's left-wing Die Linke party has called on Western powers to accept the results of an "illegal" referendum due to take place in Crimea on Sunday.

Swedish nerd fights to save dying sounds
Sweden

Swedish nerd fights to save dying sounds

Do you still remember the high-frequency chug of the rotary dial telephone? Or the click and the clack of your old computer keyboard? A Swedish museum has set out to record a huge array of near-extinct sounds before we lose them forever.

Client attacks Milan lawyer with hammer
Italy

Client attacks Milan lawyer with hammer

A lawyer in Milan has been attacked with a hammer and a letter knife, reportedly for refusing to see a client without an appointment, Italian media reported.

Ten more untranslatable German words
Germany

Ten more untranslatable German words

German is the language that just keeps giving. Two years ago The Local ran through 12 German words which you won't find in English. But 12 is not enough.

Two new Oslo eateries win Michelin stars
Norway

Two new Oslo eateries win Michelin stars

Two restaurants in Norway have won their first Michelin stars as the capital finally begins to punch its weight against its Scandinavian rivals.

Government wants to push pension age to 69
Sweden

Government wants to push pension age to 69

Swedes should be able to keep working until they reach 69, a pensions review committee led by the social insurance minister proposed on Wednesday.

Sarkozy bugging scandal engulfs French ministers
France

Sarkozy bugging scandal engulfs French ministers

The French government has been forced to deny accusations of "political espionage" over the decision to tap the mobile phone of former President Nicolas Sarkozy as the scandal appears to have engulfed top ministers.

Dead mother clocks up speeding fines
Spain

Dead mother clocks up speeding fines

A married couple from Barcelona has been charged for claiming that the husband’s deceased mother was behind the wheel of their cars when they committed numerous speeding offenses.

Riviera: Women thieves nab €1m in haute couture
France

Riviera: Women thieves nab €1m in haute couture

A highly organized ring of women shoplifters helped themselves to an estimated €1 million in upmarket brands of perfume, handbags and clothes from chic boutiques on the French Riviera, police said on Wednesday.

Adecco profit jumps as Euro market rebounds
Switzerland

Adecco profit jumps as Euro market rebounds

Swiss-based Adecco, the world's biggest temporary staffing group, on Wednesday posted a 48-percent jump in its 2013 net profit as the long-depressed European market began bouncing back.

French chef wows US with latest invention
France

French chef wows US with latest invention

A renowned French pastry chef, who has made a name for himself across the Atlantic, has wowed Americans again with his new creation that combines cookies and milk.

Sorry, your 100 million lire is worthless: bank
Italy

Sorry, your 100 million lire is worthless: bank

An Italian woman who found a safe filled with 100 million lire in cash has been told that her fortune has no value, because Italy has had the euro for over a decade, local media reported on Wednesday.

Gut wins Lenzerheide World Cup downhill
Switzerland

Gut wins Lenzerheide World Cup downhill

Swiss skier Lara Gut came first in the World Cup women’s alpine skiing downhill race on Wednesday before a home crowd at Lenzerheide in the canton of Graubünden.

Italian politicians back electoral law overhaul
Italy

Italian politicians back electoral law overhaul

Italian lawmakers on Wednesday backed the country's new electoral law, a welcome boost for new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his reform agenda.

Riding-school murder case crumbles: lawyer
Sweden

Riding-school murder case crumbles: lawyer

A voice recording pinning a 40-year-old to a 1996 fatal stabbing cannot conclusively be tied to the suspect, whose lawyer said the case was now likely to be dismissed.

Mayor tries to ban sex party ship from lake
Germany

Mayor tries to ban sex party ship from lake

A mayor in southern Germany has fallen out with angry swingers after he said that a state-run ship company could no longer host their parties on tourist boats. He stressed this was not a moral decision, but a business one.

Kidnapped Barcelona girl found in Amazon forest
Spain

Kidnapped Barcelona girl found in Amazon forest

A nine-year-old Barcelona girl who went missing seven months ago has been rescued from captivity deep in Bolivia's Amazon rainforest.

Man stripped in church ‘to show God natural self’
Italy

Man stripped in church ‘to show God natural self’

A man from Italy’s fair city of Verona was so intent on showing God more of his natural self that he stripped in a church.

Uzbek leader’s daughter faces criminal probe
Switzerland

Uzbek leader’s daughter faces criminal probe

Swiss prosecutors have been investigating Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov's eldest daughter on suspicion of money laundering since late last year, a statement issued in Bern on Wednesday says.

Italy’s oldest bank surprises with huge loss
Italy

Italy’s oldest bank surprises with huge loss

Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), one of the oldest and most prestigious lenders in Europe, on Wednesday reported an unexpectedly big loss for 2013.

Michelin stars awarded to three Swedish eateries
Sweden

Michelin stars awarded to three Swedish eateries

Two Stockholm restaurants and one in Gothenburg were given Michelin stars on Wednesday, taking Sweden's total of Michelin-starred restaurants to 13.

Language police slam ‘English’ Eurovision song
Spain

Language police slam ‘English’ Eurovision song

Spain's national language academy isn't happy that the country's song for the 2014 Eurovision contest contains English lyrics.

Berners-Lee calls for internet ‘bill of rights’
Switzerland

Berners-Lee calls for internet ‘bill of rights’

The man who invented the worldwide web in Geneva 25 years ago is calling for a bill of rights to protect its users.

Dead wolf sparks fear in Turin
Italy

Dead wolf sparks fear in Turin

A wolf killed on the edge of Turin has sparked fears that the animals could be adapting to urban life, Italian media reported on Tuesday.

Children, 11, taking crystal meth
Germany

Children, 11, taking crystal meth

UPDATE: School pupils as young as 11 are taking crystal meth, according to a study commissioned by Germany's health ministry published this week.

Schumacher shows ‘encouraging signs’
France

Schumacher shows ‘encouraging signs’

As he remains hospitalized with major brain injuries, Formula One legend Michael Schumacher has shown "small, encouraging signs" according to the statement released on Wednesday by his entourage.

Spain’s economic expats want to go home: Study
Spain

Spain’s economic expats want to go home: Study

Thousands of Spaniards have left Spain to find work during the country's economic crisis but most are eyeing a speedy return, a new survey shows.

Schumacher’s family ‘confident’ he will wake
Germany

Schumacher’s family ‘confident’ he will wake

Michael Schumacher's family is "confident" the Formula One legend will pull through and wake up from his coma, his manager said on Wednesday.

Poor immigrants targeted in illegal organ sale
Spain

Poor immigrants targeted in illegal organ sale

Police have arrested five people in Spain after a wealthy Lebanese man in need of a liver offered up to €40,000 ($55,000) to whoever was willing to undergo an illegal organ transplant.

‘Sweden must protect Jewish sites’: world body
Sweden

‘Sweden must protect Jewish sites’: world body

The head of the World Jewish Congress urged Swedish authorities to redouble security around Jewish sites in Stockholm after a high school was the target of a Nazi graffiti attack on Sunday.

Da Vinci painting could be lent to Abu Dhabi
Italy

Da Vinci painting could be lent to Abu Dhabi

Speculation is mounting that Leonardo Da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière, also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman, will be lent to Louvre Abu Dhabi when it opens its doors next year.

Ex-French PM ‘picks up €100,000 for a day’s work’
France

Ex-French PM ‘picks up €100,000 for a day’s work’

France's flamboyant former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was allowed by the government to return to work for one day in the country's diplomatic service after 20 years away, so he would qualify for a €100,000 retirement package, a media report claimed on Wednesday.

Hundreds of fake IDs among asylum seekers
Germany

Hundreds of fake IDs among asylum seekers

Hundreds of asylum seekers attempt to get into Germany each year using fake or stolen passports – a practice highlighted by two Iranians on missing Malaysian flight 370 who were reportedly heading to Europe.

‘Free world’ countries among worst for spying
France

‘Free world’ countries among worst for spying

Governments in the "free world" are some of the worst offenders when it comes to spying, France-based media watchdog "Reporters Sans Frontières" declared on Wednesday. America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ are among the worst offenders, the group said.

Spain mourns victims of 2004 Madrid terror attack
Spain

Spain mourns victims of 2004 Madrid terror attack

Dressed in mourning black, Spaniards on Tuesday commemorated the country's deadliest peacetime attack, a decade to the day since Al-Qaeda-inspired bombers blew up four packed commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people.

Swede slain in Kabul ‘a British spy’: Islamists
Sweden

Swede slain in Kabul ‘a British spy’: Islamists

An Islamist group has taken responsibility for the murder of a Swedish radio reporter, stating on its website that dual national Nils Horner was a spy for the British intelligence service MI6.

French army hit by nude shower film scandal
France

French army hit by nude shower film scandal

The French army was embroiled in another scandal this week after a female trainee accused her sergeant of filming her in the showers without her knowledge. It comes just after the French government had ordered a probe into sexual harassment in the armed forces.

Sweden ‘worst in Nordics’ for start-ups
Sweden

Sweden ‘worst in Nordics’ for start-ups

Sweden was the worst among its Nordic neighbors at helping entrepreneurs set up new companies, the World Bank has warned.

Gender pay gap hits working women
Germany

Gender pay gap hits working women

Germany has the worst gender pay gap in western Europe, according to a report from movehub, a website that provides information for people moving abroad.

Bayern Munich head up, Arsenal head out
Germany

Bayern Munich head up, Arsenal head out

Holders Bayern Munich booked their place in the Champions League's quarter-finals on Tuesday, despite Arsenal earning a 1-1 draw in Bavaria in Tuesday's second-leg clash.