Israel to post top envoy to Norway
Norway

Israel to post top envoy to Norway

Israel is sending one of its top diplomats to Norway, hoping that he will be able to repair the country's image after Druze poet Naim Araidi was removed from the post, accused of sexual harassment.

Kiev warns of Russian landmines in Ukraine
Switzerland

Kiev warns of Russian landmines in Ukraine

A Ukrainian delegation in Geneva on Thursday charged that Russian troops were laying anti-personnel mines in Ukraine and had grabbed a Ukrainian stockpile of landmines used for training.

Mystery deepens over Swiss boy’s knife death
Switzerland

Mystery deepens over Swiss boy’s knife death

The mystery has deepened into the death this week of a 16-year-old Swiss boy who succumbed to a knife wound during a school trip to Rome.

Nestlé chair warns of immigrant vote impact
Switzerland

Nestlé chair warns of immigrant vote impact

Food giant Nestlé warned on Thursday that a vote to rein in immigration by EU citizens had cast a shadow over Switzerland's economy.

Spanish ex-cop denies Franco-era torture claim
Spain

Spanish ex-cop denies Franco-era torture claim

A retired Spanish policeman denied Thursday torturing people during the country's Franco dictatorship and repeated his refusal to be extradited to Argentina for trial on alleged crimes against humanity.

Berlusconi set for curfew and community service
Italy

Berlusconi set for curfew and community service

Italian prosecutors on Thursday approved a request by Silvio Berlusconi's lawyers for the three-time prime minister to do community service rather than face house arrest following a tax fraud conviction.

Top expat moans about Spain on Twitter
Spain

Top expat moans about Spain on Twitter

Expats in Spain are taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations about life in the country. Here The Local has selected some of the funniest and truest tweets.

France wants $48 million for lavish New York flat
France

France wants $48 million for lavish New York flat

The latest casualty of France’s mammoth belt-tightening drive is its luxurious ambassador’s residence in the heart of New York City which has just been put on the market. It’ll only cost you a cool $48 million for the 18-room two story duplex. Take a look inside here.

French billionaire ‘hit with vote buying charges’
France

French billionaire ‘hit with vote buying charges’

The billionaire French businessman Serge Dassault was charged on Thursday with vote buying and campaign finance violations in connection with a scheme to influence elections in the Parisian suburb where he was once mayor, sources said.

Refugees should be taught Sami: mayor
Norway

Refugees should be taught Sami: mayor

Refugees sent to far northern areas of Norway populated by the country's Sami ethnic minority should be taught to speak the Sami language rather than Norwegian, a local mayor has declared.

H&M ploughs reclaimed cotton into new styles
Sweden

H&M ploughs reclaimed cotton into new styles

Swedish clothing retailers H&M said on Thursday it had collected five tonnes of used clothing, with a new collection of jeans made from 20 percent recycled fibres. But the company also admitted ethical dilemmas ahead.

Norway’s ‘pocket man’ paedophile may be freed
Norway

Norway’s ‘pocket man’ paedophile may be freed

Erik Andersen, the notorious paedophile known in Norway as 'the pocket man', has applied to be released on parole after just six years in prison.

Spanish tax office sells bras for extra cash
Spain

Spanish tax office sells bras for extra cash

Fancy getting your hands on an oil painting, several tennis club memberships, or even a box of 50 bras? All of these items and many more are being auctioned off by Spain's cash-strapped tax office.

Amnesiac refuses to return to Czech Republic
Norway

Amnesiac refuses to return to Czech Republic

A man claiming amnesia after being found semi-conscious in Norway four months ago refused to return to Czech Republic on Thursday despite a couple from the country claiming he is their son.

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France

VIDEO: Danes urged to visit Paris to make babies

A trip to the sexy city of Paris is just the thing Danes needs to boost their falling birthrate, according to a travel agency in the country. In the agency's tongue-in-cheek "Do it for Denmark" video they show how the City of Light can help.

Mailman keeps tallest flats in Germany posted
Germany

Mailman keeps tallest flats in Germany posted

In the era of tweets and Facebook messages, the contribution of postal workers is often overlooked. But one postman in Cologne faces a particular challenge - delivering the mail to Germany's tallest residential building.

Italian bishop lambasts gay marriage ruling
Italy

Italian bishop lambasts gay marriage ruling

The President of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) has condemned a ruling made by a Tuscan court which, for the first time in Italy, recognized the marriage of a gay couple.

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Spain

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Police hunt Manchester United fans over attack
Germany

Police hunt Manchester United fans over attack

Police in Bavaria are looking for a group of English football fans who beat up two men before the Champions League clash between Manchester United and Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Seventeen arrests were made during the evening.

‘Good Pope John’ saved thousands of Jews
Italy

‘Good Pope John’ saved thousands of Jews

Pope John XXIII, who will be made a saint with John Paul II on April 27th, surprised many by leading the Catholic Church to more open relations with the world.

PM responds to 11-year-old’s accusatory letter
Sweden

PM responds to 11-year-old’s accusatory letter

An 11-year-old girl's adorable letter to the Prime Minister asked why, "if you're the one in charge", he chops down Swedish forests. The reply, penned in officialese, was exhaustive, but left several questions unanswered.

Fake priest wanted to ‘save Spain’: Lawyer
Spain

Fake priest wanted to ‘save Spain’: Lawyer

A man who disguised himself as a priest to break into the home of the Spanish government's disgraced former treasurer was suffering from delusions and saw himself as 'Spain's saviour', a Madrid court heard on Thursday.

French priest ‘raped teachers at exorcisms’
France

French priest ‘raped teachers at exorcisms’

A French fundamentalist priest repeatedly raped three teachers at the school he ran in the suburbs of Paris during so-called exorcisms, according to French media reports. But for years the victims didn't come forward to police.

Italians in Genoa ‘can’t afford to pay for funerals’
Italy

Italians in Genoa ‘can’t afford to pay for funerals’

Italians hit by the economic crisis in the north-eastern city of Genoa are unable to pay for burials, leaving one local funeral home with a €500,000 bill last year alone.

Email reveals how Spain exploits young workers
Spain

Email reveals how Spain exploits young workers

An email sent by mistake to two young job candidates by the employers who had just interviewed them has exposed the 'work for free' philosophy of corporate Spain and taken Twitter by storm.

France set to create 1.7m new posts in 2014
France

France set to create 1.7m new posts in 2014

Finally there was some good news on the employment front for France this week, with the national job agency predicting businesses will create 1.7 million jobs in 2014, that's a 5.4 percent rise on 2013. Find out which sectors will be recruiting.

Found: Proof Spain was home to giant hippos
Spain

Found: Proof Spain was home to giant hippos

Ancient elephant and hippopotamus remains have been discovered on the banks of the Guadalquivir River near the Spanish city of Seville.

Beggar for a day: ‘Only children looked at me’
Sweden

Beggar for a day: ‘Only children looked at me’

A Swedish local politician who pretended to be a beggar for five hours tells The Local about the shame, the physical pain, and being seen only by passing children and the few people who photographed her "like an object".

Why did head of NSA probe quit?
Germany

Why did head of NSA probe quit?

Speculation is rising about why the head of the parliamentary committee investigating NSA spying in Germany quit on Wednesday. The opposition claims he was pushed in an attempt to avoid souring relations with the US.

Swedish pupils’ maths skills don’t add up
Sweden

Swedish pupils’ maths skills don’t add up

The majority of Swedish high-school students can't work out simple sums, researchers have warned after grading a math skill test taken by 1,500 pupils in Sweden. They were stumped that teachers had not raised the alarm.

France seizes record haul of fake Chinese pills
France

France seizes record haul of fake Chinese pills

French customs officers revealed on Thursday they had seized millions of fake drugs from China, disguised as Chinese Tea at a port on the English Channel. The 2.4 million counterfeit medications marked a record haul for the European Union, officials say.

Geneva parlours ‘require’ condoms for oral sex
Switzerland

Geneva parlours ‘require’ condoms for oral sex

A Geneva massage parlour is appealing to Switzerland’s highest court over a 1,000-franc ($1,138) fine it received for advertising oral sex services without the use of a condom.

Gay marriage recognized for first time in Italy
Italy

Gay marriage recognized for first time in Italy

An Italian court on Wednesday recognized a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy, which does not have any form of official acknowledgement of same-sex unions.

Broke Rome risks crisis over popes’ sainthoods
Italy

Broke Rome risks crisis over popes’ sainthoods

Rome could be unable to cope with the millions of people due to attend the Vatican's double canonization later this month unless it receives a vital government cash injection, according to Italian media reports.

Carer took photos of the dead for WhatsApp chat
Germany

Carer took photos of the dead for WhatsApp chat

A Bavarian care home worker allegedly took photos of her dead patients and shared them with her colleagues on messaging service WhatsApp, along with sarcastic comments.

Becoming a saint in five not-so-easy steps
Italy

Becoming a saint in five not-so-easy steps

Being made a saint of the Catholic Church is no easy feat and the conclusion of a drawn-out process following a candidate's death, usually involving having two Vatican-recognised "miracles" attributed to you.

Mystery illness strikes scores of French pupils
France

Mystery illness strikes scores of French pupils

Hundreds of French school children have fallen victim to a mystery sickness that has spread like wildfire through their school. All classes have been suspended and baffled health authorities have advised the school to close, while they try to determine the cause of the outbreak.

Concordia helmsman found in Indonesia
Italy

Concordia helmsman found in Indonesia

The helmsman who was steering the Costa Concordia cruise ship when it crashed in 2012, leaving 32 people dead, has been picked up in Indonesia by international police agency Interpol.

Germany to charge foreign drivers from 2016
Germany

Germany to charge foreign drivers from 2016

Foreign motorists can expect to start paying to drive on German motorways from 2016, the country’s transport minister said on Thursday.

Spain’s international aid spending at rock bottom
Spain

Spain’s international aid spending at rock bottom

The Spanish government is seriously failing in its official international aid commitments, experts have warned, after the OECD on Wednesday released figures showing the country is near the back of the development spending line.

Gang forces disabled Romanians to beg
Spain

Gang forces disabled Romanians to beg

Spanish police have broken up a human trafficking ring that exploited disabled Romanian migrants by promising them jobs in Spain and then forcing them to beg and work as prostitutes on the streets of Alicante and Benidorm.

WTO worker ‘defrauds’ health insurer of $3.4m
Switzerland

WTO worker ‘defrauds’ health insurer of $3.4m

An employee of the Geneva-based World Trade Organization from Uruguay is accused of defrauding his health insurer of three million francs ($3.4 million) over nine years with false medical bills, including treatment for an imaginary cancer.

Milan ‘clinic of horrors’ doctor jailed for life
Italy

Milan ‘clinic of horrors’ doctor jailed for life

An Italian surgeon has been sentenced to life in prison, including three years in solitary confinement, for performing operations that led to the death of four people and injured 40 others.

Swedes pay $27 for ‘bargain strawberries’
Sweden

Swedes pay $27 for ‘bargain strawberries’

The year's first batch of Swedish strawberries went under the hammer in Stockholm on Wednesday, with growers fetching 175 kronor ($27) per punnet. But the price was nothing compared to last year.

Record number of people leave Sweden
Sweden

Record number of people leave Sweden

The number of people who left Sweden behind last year hit the historic levels seen when Swedes headed to America in droves, Statistics Sweden noted on Thursday.

US and Germany clash on trade pact standards
Germany

US and Germany clash on trade pact standards

Americans and Germans are broadly supportive of a US-EU free-trade pact, but differ over details, especially forging similar goods and services standards, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Lab results back caffeine benefit on Alzheimer’s
France

Lab results back caffeine benefit on Alzheimer’s

French and German researchers on Wednesday said they had found evidence in the lab to back theories that drinking caffeine has a preventive effect on Alzheimer's disease.

‘Satanists’ on trial for taxi driver murder
Germany

‘Satanists’ on trial for taxi driver murder

Two Satanists went on trial in Tübingen, southern Germany, on Thursday for allegedly murdering a taxi driver by a cemetery out of satanic “bloodlust”. One reportedly believed he was a character from the Harry Potter books.

Israeli lawyer in Sweden to talk settlements
Sweden

Israeli lawyer in Sweden to talk settlements

Swedish MPs have invited Israeli lawyer Calev Myers to hold a seminar at the Riksdag on Thursday, but some observers question whether he represents the Israeli public opinion.

US wants swift deal with SNCF over Nazi trains
France

US wants swift deal with SNCF over Nazi trains

The US State Department on Wednesday said it hoped to be able to reach a deal quickly with France to compensate victims of French rail firm SNCF for the deportation of Jews in World War II.

Armstrong doping probe results due next year
Switzerland

Armstrong doping probe results due next year

An inquiry team probing the role of cycling's leaders in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal will deliver its report by next year, the head of the sport's Swiss-based global governing body UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) said on Wednesday.

Convict Silvio Berlusconi braces for key court date
Italy

Convict Silvio Berlusconi braces for key court date

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi braced for a crucial court date on Thursday that will result in the three-time former prime minister losing freedom of movement for a few months although avoiding actual prison time.

Trierweiler tweet spices up Hollande’s Mexico trip
France

Trierweiler tweet spices up Hollande’s Mexico trip

French President Francois Hollande arrived in Mexico City late on Wednesday for a trip aimed at renewing relations between the two countries, but his former partner Valerie Trierweiler fired off a tweet timed perfectly to put pressure on her ex.

Spanish bank feels heat over homes evictions
Spain

Spanish bank feels heat over homes evictions

Anti-eviction activists blocked Wednesday the entrance to 12 branches of Spain's Banco Popular bank, which they accuse of not doing enough to prevent struggling mortgage holders from losing their homes.

Sweden’s tough drug laws leave addicts behind
Sweden

Sweden’s tough drug laws leave addicts behind

Even though's Sweden has one of Europe's lowest consumption rates of recreational drugs, its zero tolerance policy may be pushing up the number of drug-related deaths.

Jailed mafia godfather hospitalized in Milan
Italy

Jailed mafia godfather hospitalized in Milan

Jailed former Sicilian mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano has been taken to hospital in Milan from a maximum security prison suffering from "neurological pathologies", Italian media reported on Wednesday.

Nobel Foundation reveals designs for new centre
Sweden

Nobel Foundation reveals designs for new centre

Sweden's Nobel Foundation has announced the winning design for a building that will house the world's most prestigious prize for the first time in its 100-plus-year-history.

Asylum seekers up 80 percent in a year
Germany

Asylum seekers up 80 percent in a year

The number of people applying for asylum in Germany has rocketed by 80 percent in one year due to global crises, according to a government office.

Bayern Munich crush Man United’s hopes
Germany

Bayern Munich crush Man United’s hopes

Manager David Moyes admitted Manchester United made a "school-boy error" by throwing away a second-half lead at Bayern Munich as his side crashed out of the Champions League's quarter-finals.