British expat to head Swiss finance regulator
Switzerland

British expat to head Swiss finance regulator

British expat Mark Branson was named on Wednesday as the first foreigner to head FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, as its chief executive officer.

Stones tickets snapped up for Zurich concert
Switzerland

Stones tickets snapped up for Zurich concert

As the song goes, "you can't always get what you want". This certainly rang true for Rolling Stones' fans who procrastinated about getting a ticket to the group's planned concert in Zurich this summer.

French jobless rate surges to new record
France

French jobless rate surges to new record

The number of jobless in France surged by 0.9 percent in February to a new record of 3.34 million, the labour ministry said on Wednesday.

Court deems driving with high heels an offence
France

Court deems driving with high heels an offence

Women in France may have to ditch their high heels next time they get behind the wheel of a car after the Supreme Court ruled that wearing the footwear was a breach of the country's highway code.

Swiss decide against Russian sanctions
Switzerland

Swiss decide against Russian sanctions

The Swiss federal government on Wednesday decided not to impose sanctions against Russia for its seizure of Crimea, claiming it wanted to find a "balance" between international law and Switzerland's interests.

Rome braces for ‘chaos’ as Obama visits
Italy

Rome braces for ‘chaos’ as Obama visits

‪Security has been heightened across Rome ahead of US President Barack Obama's arrival on Wednesday evening, with parts of the city in lockdown and police out in force.‬

And what if Obama had become a Parisian artist?
France

And what if Obama had become a Parisian artist?

Did US President Barack Obama consider giving it all up to become a painter along the Seine in Paris? As the US head of the state swings through Europe on an overseas trip, a postcard has surfaced suggesting he might have.

Top ten American hotspots in Rome
Italy

Top ten American hotspots in Rome

Ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to Rome on Wednesday evening, The Local picks out the best American places in the capital, ranging from a brunch spot to a cultural institute.

Roma guest gets no apology from hotel
Sweden

Roma guest gets no apology from hotel

The head of Sweden's Roma council, who was denied entry to a Stockholm hotel's breakfast lobby this week, said that she noted no apology after speaking with the head of the Sheraton hotel on Wednesday.

Siemens ‘to invest long-term in Russia’
Germany

Siemens ‘to invest long-term in Russia’

German industrial giant Siemens will be pouring long-term investment into Russia despite outcry over Crimea, the company reportedly told President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Stoltenberg an ‘excellent’ choice for Nato: Cameron
Norway

Stoltenberg an ‘excellent’ choice for Nato: Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday declared that former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was "an excellent" candidate for the Nato leadership, the first time the leader of a leading Nato country has made a public comment.

Learn from poll failure, Hollande tells Socialists
France

Learn from poll failure, Hollande tells Socialists

French President François Hollande told his ministers on Wednesday they needed to "learn a lesson" from the Socialists' poor showing in local elections, the government spokeswoman said.

Italy’s recession claimed 350,000 jobs
Italy

Italy’s recession claimed 350,000 jobs

Figures released from Italy's economy ministry on Wednesday revealed that 350,000 Italians lost their jobs during the country's double-dip recession, while more people became self-employed.

Russia’s Yakov Sinai wins maths ‘Nobel’
Norway

Russia’s Yakov Sinai wins maths ‘Nobel’

Russian mathematician Yakov Sinai won the prestigious Abel mathematics prize for his work in dynamical systems and mathematical physics, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters said on Wednesday.

Norwegian man ‘forgets’ luxury boat for two years
Norway

Norwegian man ‘forgets’ luxury boat for two years

Police learned on Wednesday that a mystery boat floating for years in a Swedish harbour belonged to a Norwegian man who'd didn't even realize he still owned it.

Fifty youths arrested in rowdy uni demo
Spain

Fifty youths arrested in rowdy uni demo

Police arrested 50 people who burned bins and occupied offices at a top Spanish university on Wednesday in a protest against education cuts, authorities said.

French police ‘bust Riviera terror plot’
France

French police ‘bust Riviera terror plot’

French anti-terrorism police believe they have foiled a plot to attack the French Riviera, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Wednesday. The planned attack, described by sources as "imminent", was reportedly being masterminded by a jihadist who had returned from Syria.

Norwegian man ‘forgets’ luxury boat for two years
Sweden

Norwegian man ‘forgets’ luxury boat for two years

Police learned on Wednesday that a mystery boat floating for years in a Swedish harbour belonged to a Norwegian man who'd didn't even realize he still owned it.

Moving to Germany – 10 reasons to think twice
Germany

Moving to Germany – 10 reasons to think twice

Germany's booming economy, ripe job and property markets and stunning holiday spots might make it seem an expat paradise. But moving to Germany isn't right for everyone.

‘Botched’ care lowers Schumacher’s chances
Germany

‘Botched’ care lowers Schumacher’s chances

Formula One's former chief doctor has said "serious lapses" in early treatment may have worsened Michael Schumacher's condition and warned his chances of recovery from a skiing accident are decreasing over time.

Spaniards crowned European road rage kings
Spain

Spaniards crowned European road rage kings

A study has revealed that Spanish motorists are more likely to honk their horns, insult or pass other road users on the wrong side than other European drivers.

Man charged after Malmö man dangled off bridge
Sweden

Man charged after Malmö man dangled off bridge

A man has been charged on the suspicion of aggravated assault after another man was badly beaten and nearly thrown off a bridge in Malmö, while his 18-month-old son looked on.

580,000 Spanish kids glued to TV after bedtime
Spain

580,000 Spanish kids glued to TV after bedtime

Experts say TV networks are deliberately airing children's favourite TV shows until as late as 1.30 in the morning in a bid to increase ratings.

Ex-F1 doc alleges errors in Schumacher case
France

Ex-F1 doc alleges errors in Schumacher case

Formula One star Michael Schumacher's medical condition after a serious head injury in France was made worse by 'lapses in judgement' during initial treatment, the racing circuit's former chief doctor has said.

‘Black people ban’ at Berlin pub ignites tension
Germany

‘Black people ban’ at Berlin pub ignites tension

A landlord has ignited already strained tensions around drug dealing in a Berlin park by telling a newspaper he had banned black people from his pub. But on Tuesday he told The Local he had been misquoted.

‘Holiday campground rapist’ on trial in France
France

‘Holiday campground rapist’ on trial in France

The trial opened on Wednesday for a man charged with carrying out a series of sexual assaults of young girls at campgrounds that terrorized holidaymakers in France in the summer of 2012. The victims' parents were usually sleeping nearby tents or caravans.

What’s the coalition done in its first 100 days?
Germany

What’s the coalition done in its first 100 days?

Germany's coalition government has been in office for 100 days. After taking its time to settle, the cabinet is finally moving towards reform in areas including pension, work, and housing.

Serial texter suffers first case of ‘WhatsAppitis’
Spain

Serial texter suffers first case of ‘WhatsAppitis’

Prestigious medical journal 'The Lancet' has recorded a diagnosis of 'WhatsAppitis" in the case of a pregnant woman in Granada who arrived at hospital with sore wrists after over-using the mobile phone text message service.

Strikes to ground 600 flights on Thursday
Germany

Strikes to ground 600 flights on Thursday

UPDATE: Germany's airports, including its largest, Frankfurt, will be affected by public sector strikes on Thursday. The country's biggest airline, Lufthansa, will see 600 flights cancelled.

‘Secret’ French speed cameras snare 300,000
France

‘Secret’ French speed cameras snare 300,000

James Bond-like mobile French speed cameras have secretly caught 300,000 speeders in the act since last year. And the numbers are likely to go up as France plans to double its fleet of mobile cameras in 2014.

Pope accepts resignation of German ‘bling bishop’
Italy

Pope accepts resignation of German ‘bling bishop’

Pope Francis has formally accepted the resignation of Germany's controversial bishop of Limburg, the Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday.

Frogs’ legs: French police bust poaching ring
France

Frogs’ legs: French police bust poaching ring

A large-scale poaching operation of one of France’s most prized delicacies, frogs' legs, has left a trio of Frenchmen facing jail. The French hunger for frog parts has left certain species in danger.

‘Bling bishop’ Tebartz-van Elst resigns
Germany

‘Bling bishop’ Tebartz-van Elst resigns

Germany’s most controversial clergyman, who earned the nickname the “bling bishop” for spending €31 million on a new headquarters, has resigned from his post.

‘Clear D&G on tax dodge charges’ – prosecutor
Italy

‘Clear D&G on tax dodge charges’ – prosecutor

Milan's prosecutor general has said the prison sentence handed down to fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana last year is "invalid", a promising sign for the pair as their appeal gets underway.

Spanish police rescue 180 smuggled puppies
Spain

Spanish police rescue 180 smuggled puppies

The dogs were brought illegally from Slovakia to be sold as pets and police say that a veterinary surgeon has been charged with falsifying their documents.

Sweden jails Nazis for ‘obvious’ instigation
Sweden

Sweden jails Nazis for ‘obvious’ instigation

A Swedish court on Wednesday jailed the Stockholm head of the Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR) and said that the neo-Nazis present at the Stockholm demo gone awry were "obviously" the ones to attack.

Possible MH370 objects found by French satellite
France

Possible MH370 objects found by French satellite

New images from a French satellite have turned up 122 'potential objects' in the Indian Ocean that could be tied Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which crashed earlier this month.

Swedes catch 40cm ‘rat from hell’ in their kitchen
Sweden

Swedes catch 40cm ‘rat from hell’ in their kitchen

PICTURES: A Stockholm family was horrified to find a monster "viking" rat living in their kitchen. Pest controllers who were called in to catch the beast found it measured 40 centimetres - not including the tail.

Losses from disasters decline in 2013: Swiss Re
Switzerland

Losses from disasters decline in 2013: Swiss Re

Natural and man-made disasters caused $140 billion of damage worldwide last year, according to a study released on Wednesday by Zurich-based reinsurance group Swiss Re.

Brewery boss killed by avalanche in Canada
Germany

Brewery boss killed by avalanche in Canada

The boss of one of Germany's best-known breweries died in an avalanche in the Canadian province of British Columbia on Monday morning while taking part in a heli-ski expedition.

Snøhetta unveils stunning Lofoten hotel
Norway

Snøhetta unveils stunning Lofoten hotel

Another day, another mind-blowing building from Oslo architects Snøhetta. The firm last week unveiled the first images of the Lofoten Opera Hotel, which will snake over a rocky outcrop on the far-west of Norway's Lototen islands.

Will French be the most spoken tongue by 2050?
France

Will French be the most spoken tongue by 2050?

A recent study by a French bank has caused a stir after it concluded that French, not English or Mandarin Chinese, will be the world’s most spoken language by the year 2050. But will it really?

Shakira slammed for singing in Catalan
Spain

Shakira slammed for singing in Catalan

Online criticism of the Colombian singer by opponents of Catalan independence has been reported in media around the world after the Colombian star recorded a song in the language of her newly adopted home.

‘Drunks’ hired to scare off rival flathunters
Sweden

‘Drunks’ hired to scare off rival flathunters

A bunch of men "squealing like stuck pigs" showed up at 6pm on the dot only to meander off when a flat showing in a trendy area of Stockholm concluded 30 minutes later - with their howls prompting the estate agent's suspicion.

Fire tragedy claims four young siblings
Spain

Fire tragedy claims four young siblings

Four children belonging to the same family — aged 3, 5, 8 and 12 — have died in a blaze which occurred on Tuesday night in a block of flats in Tarragona, Catalonia.

VIDEO: Oslo transformed into miniature city
Norway

VIDEO: Oslo transformed into miniature city

Watch this disorientating but rather wonderful video of Oslo 'miniaturized' by Norwegian video photographer Eirik Evjen.

VIDEO: Italian MP makes circumcision gaffe
Italy

VIDEO: Italian MP makes circumcision gaffe

An Italian politician made an embarrassing linguistic gaffe in parliament on Tuesday when he reassured fellow MPs that he would be "brief and circumcised".

Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV report
Switzerland

Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV report

Most honey from Switzerland contains plastic particles that endanger health, according to tests conducted for a Swiss consumer affairs TV programme.

Stoltenberg alone in the race to lead Nato
Norway

Stoltenberg alone in the race to lead Nato

Norwegian former prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is now the only candidate left in the race to be Secretary General of NATO, Norway's DN newspaper has reported, citing "numerous sources with knowledge of the process".

‘We’re very worried by rise of Nazis in Europe’
Italy

‘We’re very worried by rise of Nazis in Europe’

Jews in Italy have seen walls smeared with swastikas and had pig's heads delivered to their doors in recent months, but the head of the Jewish Community, Riccardo Pacifici, insists Italy remains a much better place to be Jewish than many other European countries.

Spanish scientists build Mars on Earth
Spain

Spanish scientists build Mars on Earth

Spanish scientists have built Mars here on Earth — at least within the walls of a simulation chamber that mimics conditions on the Red Planet down to its Martian dust, according to a paper out Tuesday.

Florence’s historic football film wins award
Italy

Florence’s historic football film wins award

Three video journalists have seen their film Calcio Storico, which looks at an early form of football dating back to Florence in the 1500s, awarded third best "short feature" at the prestigious World Press Photo Awards.

Paris bus drivers warned about refusing Roma
France

Paris bus drivers warned about refusing Roma

Authorities in Paris have been forced to remind bus drivers they cannot refuse to allow Roma passengers after a young Romanian was barred from boarding a bus in the capital. The driver reportedly told him that “Romanians go on foot, they don’t take the bus”.

Air pollution killed seven million in 2012: WHO
Switzerland

Air pollution killed seven million in 2012: WHO

Air pollution by sources from cooking fires to auto fumes has become the globe's worst environmental health problem, contributing to seven million deaths worldwide, the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

France and China to get down to business
France

France and China to get down to business

China and France will do business on Wednesday on the first full day of President Xi Jinping's state visit. Scores of deals are set to be signed off between the two nations, many of which have remained closely guarded by both sides.

‘Catalonia independence vote is illegal’: judges
Spain

‘Catalonia independence vote is illegal’: judges

Spanish judges ruled on Tuesday that a planned independence referendum in Catalonia was illegal, dealing a blow to the indebted region's drive for self-rule.

Boy, 16, ‘strangled neighbour to death’
Germany

Boy, 16, ‘strangled neighbour to death’

Police in northern Germany arrested on Tuesday a 16-year-old boy for allegedly strangling his teenage neighbour to death.

French tourist murders: Trial begins in Argentina
France

French tourist murders: Trial begins in Argentina

Three men went on trial in Argentina on Tuesday for the rape and murder of two young French tourists whose bodies were found in a scenic park overlooking the north western city of Salta.

Record-breaking Bayern Munich win league title
Germany

Record-breaking Bayern Munich win league title

Bayern Munich claimed their 24th German league title on Tuesday with a 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin as Pep Guardiola's side secured the title within record time. There are still seven games left to play.

Italians losing centuries-old grip on Vatican
Italy

Italians losing centuries-old grip on Vatican

A quiet revolution is afoot in the Vatican. With many of Pope Francis's new appointments, control over the powerful city state is slipping, slowly but surely, from the centuries-old grip of the Italian hierarchy.

Yemen troops free Italian kidnapped in Sanaa
Italy

Yemen troops free Italian kidnapped in Sanaa

Yemeni troops freed an Italian UN staffer and his driver on Tuesday, hours after they were abducted from a diplomatic district of the capital, the interior ministry said.

‘EU needs to take in more refugees’: Billström
Sweden

‘EU needs to take in more refugees’: Billström

Sweden has said its EU neighbors' failure to help more refugees could prove disastrous, with Migration Minister Tobias Billström on Tuesday urging European nations to take in more people fleeing for their lives, especially from Syria.

‘Alcoholic Pepsi’ recalled after Swedish mishap
Sweden

‘Alcoholic Pepsi’ recalled after Swedish mishap

Carlsberg Sweden was forced to recall thousands of cans of Pepsi Max after realizing the popular soft drink was actually filled with an alcopop party drink instead.

Malmö attempted murder suspect ‘in Ukraine’
Sweden

Malmö attempted murder suspect ‘in Ukraine’

Swedish police have turned to Interpol to help find the alleged neo-Nazi suspected of taking part in a knife attack that left six people injured, one critically, in Malmö earlier this month.