‘No hawk on security’: Jens Stoltenberg profile
Norway

‘No hawk on security’: Jens Stoltenberg profile

Once a staunch opponent of NATO, its new leader Jens Stoltenberg could be a key voice of calm as the Western military alliance seeks to mend relations with an increasingly pugnacious Russia.

Abruzzo water ‘is no longer toxic’: governor
Italy

Abruzzo water ‘is no longer toxic’: governor

An Italian official was forced on Friday to reassure residents their water is safe to drink, after tests showed that toxic waste had leaked into the supply in the central region of Abruzzo.

Leaked ‘Save Slussen’ film goes viral
Sweden

Leaked ‘Save Slussen’ film goes viral

A film about plans for the remodelling of Stockholm's Slussen road junction went viral in Sweden this week after it was accidentally leaked online. The film's editor chats to The Local about why he thinks the Stockholm icon needs to stay.

Ten new words that could join the French language
France

Ten new words that could join the French language

This week French people were asked to submit and vote for their favourite newly-invented Gallic words, that in the future could find their place in a dictionary. The suggestions were both inventive and hilarious. We've selected ten of the best.

Barcelona gets Europe’s first ‘3D printer café’
Spain

Barcelona gets Europe’s first ‘3D printer café’

The first FabCafe in Spain opened on Thursday, allowing customers to print their own 3D models and watch lasers cut their designs while they sit down with a relaxing cup of café con leche.

Jail for spurned man, 93, who killed love interest
France

Jail for spurned man, 93, who killed love interest

Judges sentenced a 93-year-old Frenchman to a decade behind bars on Friday for brutally slaying a female friend who rejected his romantic advances. He later told police he wanted to teach her a lesson.

Meet the ‘crocodile’: France’s youngest mayor
France

Meet the ‘crocodile’: France’s youngest mayor

At the age of 22 most young Frenchmen are still wondering what to do with their lives, but not the self-titled political 'crocodile', Robin Reda. Hailed as a political genius by some of the Right's top politicians, Reda has just been elected France’s youngest mayor.

‘I killed Sweden’s most famous celebrity’
Sweden

‘I killed Sweden’s most famous celebrity’

After a 40-centimetre dead rat went all kinds of viral, The Local speaks again to the man behind the catch about fame, ruining a career in Hollywood, and getting accused of animal cruelty.

French campsite rapist jailed for 13 years
France

French campsite rapist jailed for 13 years

A Frenchman who terrorized holidaymakers with a series of night time rapes and sexual assaults of young girls at campgrounds was sentenced on Friday to 13 years behind bars. The youngest victim was just six years old.

Do Italians like Sweden’s Italian restaurants?
Sweden

Do Italians like Sweden’s Italian restaurants?

Swedes throng the Italian joints all the time, but what about the natives? There are 1,882 restaurants in Stockholm serving Italian food, but the Italian expats haven't been much satisfied by any.

Stoltenberg named as next Nato boss
Norway

Stoltenberg named as next Nato boss

Former Norwegian premier Jens Stoltenberg was named the next NATO chief on Friday, taking over from current secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance said.

Highs of 23C forecast for this weekend
Germany

Highs of 23C forecast for this weekend

A warmer weekend is set to chase Germany's cooler week away, with sunshine and highs of 23C forecast.

Why France must fight US internet giants
France

Why France must fight US internet giants

After a French consumer watchdog said it was suing Twitter, Facebook and Google over alleged "abusive" privacy practices, The Local talked to the group’s lawyer who, perhaps not surprisingly, said a clash of Anglo and French cultures was at the heart of the rift.

Strikes, an avalanche and Bayern’s victory
Germany

Strikes, an avalanche and Bayern’s victory

A far-left demonstration, a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and an impatient Angela Merkel are all featured in The Local's pictorial review of the last seven days.

Lufthansa pilots to strike for three days
Germany

Lufthansa pilots to strike for three days

Lufthansa pilots will strike for three days from Wednesday next week, disrupting services at the start of the Easter holidays in some German states.

China’s President Xi arrives in Germany
Germany

China’s President Xi arrives in Germany

UPDATE: Chinese President Xi Jinping began a landmark visit to on Germany Friday for the third leg of his European tour, which is expected to cement flourishing trade ties and focus on the Crimea crisis.

‘Italy must teach children in English’: minister
Italy

‘Italy must teach children in English’: minister

Italy needs to revamp its language lessons in school and begin teaching young children subjects in English, the education minister has said.

‘Ban dubbing! Spaniards will have to get used to it’
Spain

‘Ban dubbing! Spaniards will have to get used to it’

Film director Carlos Saura is one of several high-profile figures who think it's a "mistake" for foreign films and series not to be shown in their original language and instead to be dubbed into Spanish.

Unique stucco homes up for grabs down south
Italy

Unique stucco homes up for grabs down south

For this week's property, The Local heads to the southern Italian region of Puglia, where oddly-shaped trulli homes, a traditional feature of the area, can be found for as little as €25,000.

Introducing: Sweden’s latest pop sensation
Sweden

Introducing: Sweden’s latest pop sensation

Swedish pop music is currently so much in the ascendancy that pop stars, the blogosphere and the music press seem to be acclaiming a “new Swedish sensation” every month, argues The Local's music contributor Paul Connolly.

‘Freedom! Spain!’ shout 800 migrants at border
Spain

‘Freedom! Spain!’ shout 800 migrants at border

A mass assault on the border fences of Spain's north-African enclave of Melilla by 800 would-be immigrants chanting "Spain! Spain!" and "Freedom!" was caught on camera by witnesses including celebrity journalist Jordi Évole.

Swedish man buys army tank ‘on impulse’
Sweden

Swedish man buys army tank ‘on impulse’

A young man in central Sweden found himself the owner of a military tank this week after he saw it for sale and decided he couldn't do without it.

Italy’s economy ‘showing signs of a re-awakening’
Italy

Italy’s economy ‘showing signs of a re-awakening’

Italy's borrowing costs fell on Friday in a bond auction that raised €6.75 billion in the latest sign of improved investor confidence as the economy gradually emerges from a painful recession.

Ex-gang head suspect in Stockholm eatery attack
Sweden

Ex-gang head suspect in Stockholm eatery attack

A 36-year-old man with links to an organized criminal network is one of five men suspected in the arson attack against a high profile restaurant in central Stockholm in early March.

Italy sells officials’ luxury cars on eBay
Italy

Italy sells officials’ luxury cars on eBay

Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement has mocked the Italian government for trying to claw back money spent on a fleet of luxury cars through eBay, saying that while 170 cars are being sold, “210 are about to be bought”.

The 18-course banquet dished up to Xi Jinping
France

The 18-course banquet dished up to Xi Jinping

France rolled out the best of its sacred cuisine on Thursday for a lavish 18-course dinner that was served to China’s President Xi Jinping and designed by the country's top chef. Take a look the gourmet courses that Xi feasted on, every eight minutes, no less.

184 Spaniards a day kicked out of their homes
Spain

184 Spaniards a day kicked out of their homes

The full scope of Spain's evictions epidemic has been revealed in figures from the General Council of the Judiciary which show that 67,189 people lost their homes in 2013.

Bern eyes creation of two new national parks
Switzerland

Bern eyes creation of two new national parks

Federal authorities are studying the possible creation of two new national parks to add to the Swiss National Park, the only one in the country, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Malaysians jailed for hitting kids in Sweden
Sweden

Malaysians jailed for hitting kids in Sweden

A Malaysian couple accused of beating their children with sticks and coat hangers have been convicted in a Swedish court and will serve time in prison for "repeated violence".

Orgies and executions: It’s mayhem in Münster
Germany

Orgies and executions: It’s mayhem in Münster

Hate the system? Think you could run things better? Jan van Leiden did. He took over Münster in the 16th century to create a new kingdom for God. But things did not go as planned.

Energy minister: No alternative to Russia gas
Germany

Energy minister: No alternative to Russia gas

Germany has no other sensible source of gas and oil other than Russia, the country's energy minister said on Thursday. His statement came hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she foresaw an energy overhaul.

And yet another Hollande reform goes up in smoke
France

And yet another Hollande reform goes up in smoke

France's historically unpopular President, François Hollande was handed another embarrassment this week when the top constitutional authority partially struck down another one of his laws. That strike-out left Hollande as the holder of a record he won't be proud of.

Fire at family home kills two children
Germany

Fire at family home kills two children

UPDATE: Two girls aged four and eight were killed and four people injured in a house fire in central Germany on Friday morning.

Rolling Stones Paris gig sells out in under an hour
France

Rolling Stones Paris gig sells out in under an hour

They may have been around for over 50 years but the appetite in France for British rock group the Rolling Stones shows no sign of diminishing. All the 75,000 tickets for their Paris gig in June were sold in under an hour on Friday.

Man, 23, jailed for raping 92-year-old woman
Sweden

Man, 23, jailed for raping 92-year-old woman

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to prison for five years and six months for raping a 92-year-old woman on Christmas Eve last year.

‘Radicals want to ruin Spain’s democracy’
Spain

‘Radicals want to ruin Spain’s democracy’

Spain's head of police has warned there is a "growth in violence" aimed at "destabilizing the rule of law" in Spain, but many Spaniards think his words are a trumped-up "conspiracy" to justify harsher police powers.

Mild winter sees ten-year low in electricity prices
Sweden

Mild winter sees ten-year low in electricity prices

Swedish homeowners paid the lowest amount of money for electricity in a decade during the winter according to new figures, with the mild weather believed to be one of the main reasons for the savings.

€2.4 billion bailout for Spain’s ‘ghost’ roads
Spain

€2.4 billion bailout for Spain’s ‘ghost’ roads

Spanish toll-road operators on the brink of going bust have been offered a lifeline in the form of a nationalization package that would see the state take on €2.4 billion ($3.3 billion) of the €4.6 billion that the companies owe to creditors.

Ryanair customers revolt as stranded in Rome
Italy

Ryanair customers revolt as stranded in Rome

Ryanair once boasted that it was Europe’s most punctual airline, but standards seem to be slipping after more than one hundred passengers were kept waiting for more than five hours at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on Thursday night.

Rome mayor seeks Saudi cash injection
Italy

Rome mayor seeks Saudi cash injection

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino will travel to Saudi Arabia this weekend to secure investment in the city, just weeks after the Italian capital won government funds to stave off bankruptcy.

Reactor rooftop intrusion cost 25-30 million kronor
Sweden

Reactor rooftop intrusion cost 25-30 million kronor

A large-scale break and entry by Greenpeace activists at the Oskarshamn nuclear power station in the south of Sweden in early March cost between 25-30 million kronor, according to plant operator OKG.

Plan to allow 15-year-olds to drive in France
France

Plan to allow 15-year-olds to drive in France

In a bid to improve road safety in France, a proposal is set to be put forward to the government that would allow learner drivers as young as 15 to get behind the wheel of a car if they are accompanied by an adult.

Swiss residents scoff more meat in 2013
Switzerland

Swiss residents scoff more meat in 2013

Vegetarianism has yet to make major inroads with the Swiss population who in 2013 ate more meat than in the previous year, apparently brushing off concerns raised by horsemeat scandals, new figures show.

Sex doll protest blows up Spain’s abortion debate
Spain

Sex doll protest blows up Spain’s abortion debate

Opponents of new anti-abortion laws currently pending in Spain have used inflatable sex dolls to draw attention to what they describe as "women's rights being trampled by politicians and legislators".

Man shot seven times in the head in Rome
Italy

Man shot seven times in the head in Rome

Police in Rome are hunting for the killer of a 37-year-old man in Rome who was shot at least seven times in the head, Italian media reported on Friday.

Avicii cancels US show after mystery illness
Sweden

Avicii cancels US show after mystery illness

Swedish DJ Avicii pulled the plug on a show in Miami after being taken to hospital but organizers have yet to reveal why the award winning artist failed to turn up on stage.

Body of man dissolving in acid found in Tuscany
Italy

Body of man dissolving in acid found in Tuscany

An electrician has stumbled upon the partially-dissolved body of a man in a warehouse north-west of Florence, thought to be the remains of a man allegedly killed by his brother.

Minister slams Elysée’s cooking as ‘disgusting’
France

Minister slams Elysée’s cooking as ‘disgusting’

Not all Parisian restaurants live up to their billing, including the presidential palace it seems. A French minister described the grub served up by the Elysée chefs for a state banquet for the Chinese leader this week as “disgusting”.

Generation lost: Spain’s kids 2nd poorest in EU
Spain

Generation lost: Spain’s kids 2nd poorest in EU

Welfare cuts ordered in the wake of Europe's economic crisis are hitting Spain's poor disproportionately hard, with child poverty rising and people's health at risk, a leading Catholic charity warned on Thursday.

Why Sweden should cherish pupils who blocked Sweden Democrat
Sweden

Why Sweden should cherish pupils who blocked Sweden Democrat

A national newspaper has slammed a group of students that prevented a young Sweden Democrat from speaking at their school. But really we should be proud they took a stand, argues contributor Ruben Brunsveld.

Accused MSN child abuser ‘a psychopath’
Norway

Accused MSN child abuser ‘a psychopath’

Court psychiatrists in Norway believe that Ammaz Omer Qureshi, the British man accused of ordering his Norwegian girlfriend to abuse her daughter live online, is a psychopath with narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders.

World’s most costly watch unveiled in Basel
Switzerland

World’s most costly watch unveiled in Basel

British jeweller Graff has unveiled what it described as the "most valuable watch ever created" — a timepiece replete with more than 110 carats of diamonds costing $55 million.

Daring divers bring up bodies from Plura caves
Norway

Daring divers bring up bodies from Plura caves

A team of intrepid Finnish divers have defied a ban on plumbing the depths of Norway's Plura caves and successfully retrieved the bodies of two of their countrymen who died there in February.

Hotel head sends open apology to Roma guest
Sweden

Hotel head sends open apology to Roma guest

The head of the Sheraton Hotel sent an open letter of apology to the Roma expert who staff turned away from breakfast this week, a letter which promised that staff would undergo re-training.

Obama backs Italy PM’s ‘ambition of ideas’
Italy

Obama backs Italy PM’s ‘ambition of ideas’

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday told US President Barack Obama he looked to him as "a source of inspiration and a model" and would apply his "Yes we can" slogan to Italy.

Chinese leader expresses love for French culture
France

Chinese leader expresses love for French culture

Chinese President XI Jinping demonstrated his knowledge of French culture on Thursday as business took a back a seat on the final day of his state visit to France. Elsewhere however Chinese business leaders promised investments in France if the red tape was cut.

Germany agrees to expand dual citizenship
Germany

Germany agrees to expand dual citizenship

The German government reached an agreement on Thursday on loosening citizenship laws, allowing people born in Germany to foreign parents to hold two passports. But the plan was criticized by the Turkish community.

Court: Disabled woman must stop being so loud
Germany

Court: Disabled woman must stop being so loud

The 82-year-old mother of a disabled woman must stop her daughter making too much noise, a court in Bonn ruled on Thursday.

Chief rival backs Stoltenberg as Nato head
Norway

Chief rival backs Stoltenberg as Nato head

Jens Stoltenberg's chief rival for the leadership of Nato has informally conceded defeat, writing on Twitter that the former Norwegian prime minister would "indeed be a good Nato Secretary General" and that "Poland will support him."

Italy’s PM seeks US help over India marines case
Italy

Italy’s PM seeks US help over India marines case

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi asked on Thursday for US help in resolving a long-delayed court case in India against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen.

Woman, 71, jailed for stalking priest
Germany

Woman, 71, jailed for stalking priest

An elderly woman was jailed for 14 months on Thursday for stalking a Catholic priest for more than 13 years. She stripped naked and danced in front of him on more than one occasion, the court heard.

Eurostar services hit after lightning strike
France

Eurostar services hit after lightning strike

Hundreds of Eurostar commuters suffered severe delays on Thursday after a lightning strike sparked a fire on the English side of the cross-channel rail link, forcing one train to turn back.

Norway man runs over and kills 74-yr-old Dad
Norway

Norway man runs over and kills 74-yr-old Dad

A man in northern Norway accidentally ran over and killed his own 74-year-old father on Thursday afternoon as he came to pick him up for a hospital appointment.

Ban petrol cars in Oslo by 2035: Labour
Norway

Ban petrol cars in Oslo by 2035: Labour

All petrol and diesel cars should banned from the city of Oslo by 2035, Norway's Labour Party has declared in its draft environmental policy for the city.