Man held in Turkish killings not Swiss: report
Switzerland

Man held in Turkish killings not Swiss: report

The 23-year-old man implicated in the killing of three people and wounding of five others in Turkey last week is not Swiss, a newspaper in Switzerland reported on Thursday.

US diplomats ask Senate to reject Norway nominee
Norway

US diplomats ask Senate to reject Norway nominee

Senior members of a professional body representing US diplomats have called on the country's Senate to reject George Tsunis, the nominee ambassador for Norway.

Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four
Switzerland

Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four

Four passengers were injured after a Swiss International Air Lines plane had to abandon take-off because of an engine failure at London's City Airport on Thursday, officials said.

UK judge says mafia fugitive free to go home
Italy

UK judge says mafia fugitive free to go home

A judge in Britain told convicted mafia boss Domenico Rancadore on Thursday that he was free to return to his life in the London suburbs, after prosecutors said they would not appeal a ruling that blocked his extradition to Italy.

Elections 2014: Five key questions for the run-off
France

Elections 2014: Five key questions for the run-off

With the crucial second round of voting in France's local elections just days away, The Local looks ahead, with the help of an expert in French politics, to what will happen. How well will the National Front do? How badly will it get for the left, and who will triumph in Paris?

Merkel hopes Russia sanctions are enough
Germany

Merkel hopes Russia sanctions are enough

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that she hoped the threat of further sanctions would be enough to keep Russia in check in the Ukraine crisis. But she added Europe was prepared to act if necessary.

France signs deal with UK for anti-ship missiles
France

France signs deal with UK for anti-ship missiles

Britain and France will develop new anti-ship missiles in a €600-million ($830 million) project that stems from a major defence cooperation agreement, Britain's Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.

Shares tumble in Candy Crush stock launch
Sweden

Shares tumble in Candy Crush stock launch

King Digital, game makers behind the addictive app Candy Crush, was shunned by investors for a second day on Thursday after suffering a 15 percent share price drop in its Wednesday debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ferrari owner crashes €240k car, then flees
Spain

Ferrari owner crashes €240k car, then flees

The driver of a 458 Italia Ferrari supercar, valued at a minimum of €240,000, crashed into a skip in the centre of the Spanish capital on Sunday night then abandoned the scene – and his car – according to witnesses.

VIDEO: American football team goes gay for a day
Italy

VIDEO: American football team goes gay for a day

An American football team in Bergamo, northern Italy, has taken a stand against homophobia in an ironic new video in which all the players pretend to be gay. Watch the video for yourselves.

Welcome to Sweden gets US premiere date
Sweden

Welcome to Sweden gets US premiere date

NBC has announced dates for the US premiere of Welcome to Sweden, a romantic comedy about an American's move to Stockholm. The second episode, meanwhile, will hit Swedish screens on Friday with a cameo from a Hollywood giant.

Panic over: ‘Crashed plane’ was tug boat
Spain

Panic over: ‘Crashed plane’ was tug boat

Emergency services in Spain's Canary Islands have confirmed that the object spotted in the sea was a tug boat and not a downed passenger plane.

Spain’s students strike against education cuts
Spain

Spain’s students strike against education cuts

Protesters burned bins at a top Spanish university campus on Thursday and hundreds marched through the streets in a national strike against education cuts that has seen scores of arrests.

Why I’m butchering teddy bears
Germany

Why I’m butchering teddy bears

A Hamburg artist has set up an unusual "butcher's shop" that swaps pork and poultry for teddy bear sausages. A purveyor of shocks with a serious message, Miroslav Menschenkind is The Local's German of the Week.

Passengers peak but train profits slump
Germany

Passengers peak but train profits slump

Passenger numbers have hit record highs, yet Deutsche Bahn's profits slumped by over 50 percent in 2013. Germany's state-owned rail giant is blaming floods, soaring costs and the economic crisis for its losses.

Baselworld watch reps see uptick in fortunes
Switzerland

Baselworld watch reps see uptick in fortunes

Baselworld, the showcase for watchmakers, opened on a bright note on Thursday, with industry leaders seeing a rise in global demand despite a sharp slowdown for expensive watches in China.

Rome workers lament Obama visit
Italy

Rome workers lament Obama visit

US President Barack Obama has been given a warm welcome by Italy's leaders and Pope Francis, but The Local discovers that not everyone is impressed by the state visit - especially business owners forced to close ahead of his trip to the Colosseum.

Norway’s asylum half as generous as Sweden
Norway

Norway’s asylum half as generous as Sweden

Norway last year received less than half as many refugees per head as its more generous neighbour Sweden, according to the latest figures from the European Union, undermining calls from the anti-immigration Progress Party for a much tougher regime.

H&M heads to Asia and Hawaii as profits rise
Sweden

H&M heads to Asia and Hawaii as profits rise

Swedish fashion giant H&M announced on Thursday it had achieved strong annual growth and good profits amid a push to create more online stores and an increased presence in Asia.

Pope defends doctors who refuse abortions
Italy

Pope defends doctors who refuse abortions

Pope Francis defended the right of doctors who refuse to perform abortions in the United States during talks with US President Barack Obama on Thursday, the Vatican said.

What’s so great about… Munich?
Germany

What’s so great about… Munich?

Bavaria’s capital constantly tops quality of life polls and is rated as the best city to live in Germany, but what in particular is so great about Munich?

‘Silly walk’ sign enrages roads agency
Norway

‘Silly walk’ sign enrages roads agency

The craze for installing doctored comedy signs has reached small-town Norway, with an art collective in Ørje on the Swedish border installing a pair of zebra crossing signs inspired by Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks.

Mother of Wild Baby gets top kids book nod
Sweden

Mother of Wild Baby gets top kids book nod

A stern letter from Astrid Lindgren did not put a stop to Barbo Lindgren (no relation) in 1964. But it would take five decades for this week's Swede of the Week to get a final nod from the grave, as it were, from Astrid.

‘Spain can send the tanks in, Catalans will still vote’
Spain

‘Spain can send the tanks in, Catalans will still vote’

Student Marc Cots believes Catalans want an independence referendum so badly, they would turn out to vote even if Spain sent tanks to the region to stop them.

Vicar defends ban on joiking in Church
Norway

Vicar defends ban on joiking in Church

A church in Northern Norway has defended its ban on 'joiking', the traditional singing of the Sami ethnic minority, arguing that it is a relic of the "old religion" and inappropriate for a Christian place of worship.

Closer told to pay actress Gayet €15k in damages
France

Closer told to pay actress Gayet €15k in damages

Closer magazine has been ordered by a court to pay €15,000 in damages to actress Julie Gayet over its exposé of her affair with the French President François Hollande.

Xi Jinping ‘up yours’ stunt foiled by police
France

Xi Jinping ‘up yours’ stunt foiled by police

French police on Thursday swooped on a caravan of mobile billboards bearing a doctored image of China’s president Xi Jinping, giving the "up yours" salute. The protest stunt was planed to coincide with Xi's state visit to Paris.

Is Stockholm shopping any good, really?
Sweden

Is Stockholm shopping any good, really?

PICTURES: Swedish high-end fashion has a reputation for edgy minimalism, but what about everyday shopping in the capital? The Local's Deepti Vashisht hit the streets of Stockholm to find out where to go.

‘We need emojis with Muslim headscarves’
Sweden

‘We need emojis with Muslim headscarves’

A Swedish art professor has applauded Apple's promise to diversify its emoticon options, including figures wearing religious headgear such as the hijab.

US issues $3m reward for ‘Norwegian’ Somali
Norway

US issues $3m reward for ‘Norwegian’ Somali

The United States has offered a $3 million bounty for information which leads to the capture of Abdelkadir Mohamed Abdilkadir, the 'Norwegian Somali' believed to have played a role in planning the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall.

Girl’s lottery winnings ‘stolen’ by grandmother
Italy

Girl’s lottery winnings ‘stolen’ by grandmother

Money can break even the closest of families. This is what happened in Pavia, when a grandmother got into a scrap with her granddaughter over a €500,000 scratch card win.

Spurned Frenchman, 93, ‘murders’ love interest
France

Spurned Frenchman, 93, ‘murders’ love interest

A vengeful 93-year-old Frenchman who wanted "to teach a lesson" to an 82-year-old love interest for rejecting his advances went on trial this week for brutally stabbing and beating her to death.

British comic Eddie Izzard to take on Madrid
Spain

British comic Eddie Izzard to take on Madrid

Eccentric British comedian Eddie Izzard, famed for his love of languages and cross-dressing, is planning six exclusive stand-up gigs in Spain's capital in April.

US ‘sugar babies’ website causes stir in France
France

US ‘sugar babies’ website causes stir in France

The launch of a controversial US dating site in France that seeks to pair up rich businessmen with hard-up young 'sugar babies' has prompted anger in some quarters with feminist groups calling it “disguised prostitution”. They have asked the government to take action.

600 flights grounded as strikes hit airports
Germany

600 flights grounded as strikes hit airports

UPDATE: The situation at Germany's main airports was returning to normal on Thursday afternoon after strikes by ground staff, baggage handlers and maintenance workers had earlier grounded hundreds of flights.

Norwegian tattoos McDonald’s bill on arm
Norway

Norwegian tattoos McDonald’s bill on arm

An 18-year-old Norwegian has found fame world-wide after deciding to tattoo a McDonald's receipt onto his forearm.

Costa Blanca expats triple pre-crisis home-buying
Spain

Costa Blanca expats triple pre-crisis home-buying

Foreigners, mainly British, have rushed to take advantage of a 30 percent fall in prices since 2010, leading to a 300 percent increase in purchases on the Costa Blanca compared with the start of the economic crisis, according to new figures released last week.

‘Bling bishop’ blew €213,000 on a fish tank
Germany

‘Bling bishop’ blew €213,000 on a fish tank

A disgraced German bishop who resigned on Wednesday after building costs at his new headquarters spiraled to at least €31 million, spent €213,000 on a fish tank. On Thursday he passed some of the blame onto his deputy.

Topless protest group founder denied asylum
Switzerland

Topless protest group founder denied asylum

Swiss authorities have rejected a request for asylum by Anna Hutsol, the founder of Ukrainian women’s protest group Femen, whose members are famous for baring their breasts to make political statements.

Italy’s bright young PM cycles with the stars
Italy

Italy’s bright young PM cycles with the stars

A new blog mocking media-savvy Matteo Renzi is gaining popularity in Italy, with the young prime minister riding a bicycle around the world and through famous Hollywood films.

Doctor walks free in snapped-neck baby trial
Sweden

Doctor walks free in snapped-neck baby trial

A Swedish couple who lost their first baby, born with a snapped neck, lost in court on Thursday against the doctor who refused the mother a Cesarian despite a 55-hour labour.

Pregnant women among saved migrants
Italy

Pregnant women among saved migrants

Italy's navy said Thursday it had rescued 128 migrants from Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Syria from a boat crossing the Mediterranean which got into difficulty off the coast of Sicily.

Madrid Mayor wants city centre ‘no protest’ zone
Spain

Madrid Mayor wants city centre ‘no protest’ zone

Ana Botella, mayor of Spain's capital city, wants to "regulate" the right to hold public demonstrations in the centre of Madrid in the wake of police clashes with protesters after last weekend's "March for Dignity".

Banned ‘Crimea schemer’ took holiday in Sweden
Sweden

Banned ‘Crimea schemer’ took holiday in Sweden

A Tupac-loving top aide to Vladimir Putin was in Sweden at the time an EU travel ban against him was announced, border police have confirmed.

German airport WiFi charges are ‘thievery’
Germany

German airport WiFi charges are ‘thievery’

The EU's digital commissioner has slammed German airports for charging up to €6 per hour for WiFi, calling the practise 'thievery.'

Santander fined €15m for misleading customers
Spain

Santander fined €15m for misleading customers

A British financial watchdog on Wednesday said it had fined Spanish banking giant Santander almost €15 million (£12.4 million) for mis-advising customers.

Spanish children rescued from Bolivian drug lords
Spain

Spanish children rescued from Bolivian drug lords

Bolivian and Spanish police have rescued a three-month-old baby and his 11-year-old brother from a group of drug traffickers who held them in a bid to extort money from their mother.

Sale of Russian trade house in Sweden canned
Sweden

Sale of Russian trade house in Sweden canned

The sale of a contested Russian building in Sweden, forcibly sold to settle a businessman's dispute with Moscow, will not go ahead.

Paris Metro: 13 stations close for Chinese leader
France

Paris Metro: 13 stations close for Chinese leader

Commuters in Paris were left furious on Thursday when authorities closed no less than 13 Metro stations during the morning rush hour for citing security reasons for the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Apple lifts ban on French book with nude cover
France

Apple lifts ban on French book with nude cover

US tech giant Apple has reportedly backed down on its decision to ban a French book because of its cover which featured an image of a nude woman. The embargo had caused ire among the book's French publishers.

UEFA bans Basel fans from Europa game
Switzerland

UEFA bans Basel fans from Europa game

Swiss football club FC Basel must play their Europa League quarterfinal first leg clash against Valencia behind closed doors after being punished for the violent behaviour of their fans.

Federer crashes out of Miami quarterfinals
Switzerland

Federer crashes out of Miami quarterfinals

Switzerland's Roger Federer crashed out of the ATP Tour's Miami Masters tennis tournament in the quarterfinals on Wednesday while Novak Djokovic eliminated defending champ Andy Murray in straight sets.

Swedish local politicians champion whistleblowers
Sweden

Swedish local politicians champion whistleblowers

Town hall staff in Helsingborg will soon have a clear channel to report suspected corruption, and bypass any boss who may be implicated in any potentially underhand activities.

‘Unemployed EU citizens can be expelled’
Germany

‘Unemployed EU citizens can be expelled’

Germany has raised the prospect of expelling EU citizens who fail to find work and have no job prospects in the country.

Speed limits imposed as pollution returns to Paris
France

Speed limits imposed as pollution returns to Paris

Pollution that clogged the air around Paris earlier this month is set to return to the French capital on Thursday, a government agency warned. Town Hall authorities have taken action to try to limit the impact.

Obama in Rome ‘to bask in the glow of new Pope’
Italy

Obama in Rome ‘to bask in the glow of new Pope’

Barack Obama will meet Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday for talks on a shared agenda to fight inequality which the US president hopes will help boost support at home.

Central bank offers brighter outlook for Spain
Spain

Central bank offers brighter outlook for Spain

Spain and Portugal are set to power back to growth this year, their central banks predicted Wednesday, as the eurozone's crisis-hit countries continue their recovery after a crippling recession.

Renzi’s reform boosted by confidence vote
Italy

Renzi’s reform boosted by confidence vote

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won a confidence vote on Wednesday called to force the Senate to push through a cost-cutting bill aimed at wiping out the country's provincial governments.

Mafia earns more than McDonald’s: study
Italy

Mafia earns more than McDonald’s: study

With a turnover of €53 billion in 2013, the 'Ndrangheta mafia from southern Italy made more money last year than Deutsche Bank and McDonald's put together, a new study said on Wednesday.

France and China sign off €18 billion worth of deals
France

France and China sign off €18 billion worth of deals

France and China signed €18 billion worth of deals on Wednesday including an order for 70 Airbus planes from Beijing. French President François Hollande said the deals mean "jobs, growth and prospects" for France on a day when the jobless rate reached a new record high.

Woman fined after slapping cheeky pincher
Sweden

Woman fined after slapping cheeky pincher

A woman in eastern Sweden was convicted of assault and fined for slapping a man in the face after he allegedly pinched her buttocks.

Swedes ready to lick Zlatan as stamps launch
Sweden

Swedes ready to lick Zlatan as stamps launch

Swedish football phenomenon Zlatan Ibrahimovic will see a new set of stamps launched in his honour on Thursday, with the French more eager than any to get a taste of the star striker.

Study: third of German species under threat
Germany

Study: third of German species under threat

The most comprehensive German biodiversity study to date has found that around one third of the nation's species are under threat.

Leverkusen break losing streak with 3-1 win
Germany

Leverkusen break losing streak with 3-1 win

South Korea's Son Heung-Min hit a superb late goal to help Sami Hyypia's Bayer Leverkusen claim their first win in ten games in Wednesday's 3-1 Bundesliga victory at Augsburg.

Merkel vows support for Korean reunification bid
Germany

Merkel vows support for Korean reunification bid

Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged Germany's support on Wednesday during a visit by South Korea's president for efforts to unify the Korean peninsular, saying its own reunification gave it a "duty" to help others.

How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain
Switzerland

How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain

While skiing enthusiasts are set to pack up their gear ahead of the big melt, the resort of Haute Nendaz in the heart of the Swiss Alps is revving up for the summer season. There’s outdoor activities set against an amazing Alpine backdrop, along with the chance to chill out completely thanks to a boutique chalet experience.

Swiss regional train line delayed two years
Switzerland

Swiss regional train line delayed two years

A 1.8-billion-franc regional rail line linking Geneva’s main train station to a suburb in France will not be operational until 2019, two years later than planned, authorities said on Wednesday.