Norway teen has lived in cave for a year
Norway

Norway teen has lived in cave for a year

A 19-year-old girl from the most fjord-filled region of Western Norway has been living a cave for almost a year with little but a high-grade sleeping bag to get her through the gruelling Norwegian winter.

Four reasons you should move to Vienna
Austria

Four reasons you should move to Vienna

Urbanists obsess over the Austrian capital and for good reason: It's beautiful, has affordable housing, great public transit, and gender-inclusive housing.

Plumber stabbed workmate after gay jibe
Norway

Plumber stabbed workmate after gay jibe

A plumber in Norway has been sentenced to compulsory mental care after he drew a knife on his colleague and stabbed him ten times in the head and torso after the man called him a "grumpy little gay".

‘France needs to change its response to crime’
France

‘France needs to change its response to crime’

This month France had more prisoners behind bars than ever before in its history, according to statistics unveiled on Thursday. An expert on the country's penal system told The Local that Sarkozy-era sentencing laws are largely to blame.

Hikers to wear green hats if ‘open to romance’
Norway

Hikers to wear green hats if ‘open to romance’

An April Fools' joke in which the Norwegian Trekking Association declared that all single people hiking over the Easter break should wear a green hat if they're open to romance triggered such a huge reaction that the association has decided to institute it for real.

Burgundy ‘will be ruined by wind farms’
France

Burgundy ‘will be ruined by wind farms’

The famous Burgundy region of France is synonymous with its vineyards but its image will soon be ruined, campaigners say, by the planned construction of new wind turbines. They say their chances of gaining UNESCO world heritage status are threatened.

Mussolini to compete in European elections
Italy

Mussolini to compete in European elections

Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, is set to compete in the European elections on behalf of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.

Singing nun strikes again with 80s classic
Italy

Singing nun strikes again with 80s classic

Sister Cristina, the Sicilian nun who last month wowed the world with her rendition of Alicia Keys’ No One has done it again with Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Watch her performance for yourself.

Activist jailed for six years in Vasella case
Switzerland

Activist jailed for six years in Vasella case

A British animal rights activist was jailed for six years on Thursday for her part in a Europe-wide campaign of intimidation targeting Huntington Life Sciences, an animal testing company linked to Swiss pharma giant Novartis.

Sweden scraps ‘new start zones’ after EU input
Sweden

Sweden scraps ‘new start zones’ after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality.

Zoo faces cruelty charges over cub deaths
Switzerland

Zoo faces cruelty charges over cub deaths

A Swiss animal lover has filed a legal complaint against Bern zoo, accusing it of cruelty over the deaths of two bear cubs. Dählhölzli zoo could be fined under Switzerland’s tough animal protection laws.

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Germany

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients.

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Germany

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters.

Germans smuggle cash out of Switzerland
Switzerland

Germans smuggle cash out of Switzerland

The number of Germans smuggling money out of Switzerland rose dramatically last year. Customs officers on the German-Swiss border said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked.

‘Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs’
Sweden

‘Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs’

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked.

Italy embryo mix-up: real parents identified
Italy

Italy embryo mix-up: real parents identified

DNA tests have confirmed that the embryos implanted in a woman in Rome who then became pregnant with twins are not in fact hers. The genetic parents of the twins have now been identified and informed.

Five of the best expat blogs in Austria
Austria

Five of the best expat blogs in Austria

The Austrian blog scene is brimming with eager writers offering their stories via the World Wide Web. The Local has gathered a nosegay of engaging English-language blogs about Austria.

VIDEO: Inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
France

VIDEO: Inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats

It was only a matter of time before the world’s most visited city extended its luxury lodging options to pets as well. Here's a look inside Paris’s first ever hotel just for cats, which naturally comes complete with a "gourmet" food menu and a games room.

Berlin man must call himself a mother
Germany

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father.

French government’s austerity denial ‘a joke’
France

French government’s austerity denial ‘a joke’

After announcing a raft of spending cuts and benefits freezes this week the French government was at pains to stress that the country was not undergoing “austerity” as it faces a rebellion among its ranks. Analysts dismissed ministers' efforts as "a joke".

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Sweden

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling.

Experts challenge e-cigarettes study
Switzerland

Experts challenge e-cigarettes study

Two Swiss medical organisations have rejected calls to overturn the ban on sales of electronic cigarettes in Switzerland.

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Sweden

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter.

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Germany

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday.

Man dies in suspected ‘knockout game’
Italy

Man dies in suspected ‘knockout game’

A man has died in Pisa after being punched in the head while walking in the city centre in an attack characteristic of the so-called ‘knockout game’, a vicious street-game craze that originated in the US, whereby passers-by are punched for the fun of it.

UK, US directors make cut for Cannes festival
France

UK, US directors make cut for Cannes festival

Cannes film festival organizers unveiled on Thursday the A-listers and art house "auteurs" chosen to take part in this year's movie extravaganza on the French Riviera and it includes several well known Brits and Americans.

‘Tarantula trafficker’ snared in huge bug bust
France

‘Tarantula trafficker’ snared in huge bug bust

In one of France’s biggest bug busts ever, a man was caught with thousands of living and dead tarantulas as well as other exotic insects he sold on the black market, media reports said on Thursday.

‘You don’t have to name to defame on Facebook’
Italy

‘You don’t have to name to defame on Facebook’

Facebook users in Italy may want to think twice next time they post something on the social networking site after the country’s highest court ruled that insults on the site – even ones with an unnamed target – could be regarded as defamatory.

Spain ejects seven illegal migrants from tiny island
Spain

Spain ejects seven illegal migrants from tiny island

Spain on Wednesday sent back to Morocco seven sub-Saharan African migrants who arrived at an uninhabited Spanish island near the Moroccan coast on an inflatable boat, officials said.

Turkey may win bid to dismantle Italy shipwreck
Italy

Turkey may win bid to dismantle Italy shipwreck

Turkey may clinch a bid to dismantle the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, Italy's civil protection agency said on Thursday, adding that the decision on which port will be used will be taken in May.

Euro wide hunt for teen girl and ‘suicidal’ prof
France

Euro wide hunt for teen girl and ‘suicidal’ prof

Police across Europe are trying to track down a 15-year-old French girl who disappeared a week ago with her guitar teacher, a much older family friend thought to be in a suicidal state.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Sweden

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied.

Excavator operator gets $2,000 after outcry
Norway

Excavator operator gets $2,000 after outcry

The businessman who mistakenly dumped an old safe containing 117,000 kroner ($19,200) at a recycling centre has given a 12,000 kroner reward to the excavator operator who cracked it open and found the money.

‘They loved nature: that’s why they were there’
Norway

‘They loved nature: that’s why they were there’

Henning Nilsen, 37, from Trondheim, has told Adressa.no of his grief at losing two of his best friends in the avalanche in the Sunndalsfjella mountains on Monday.

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
Germany

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes.

Spain hails Gareth Bale’s wonder goal
Spain

Spain hails Gareth Bale’s wonder goal

Spain on Thursday hailed Gareth Bale's wonder goal that downed arch rivals Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey final, with national sports daily Marca dubbing him 'Gareth Bolt'.

Real Madrid fans jam streets after Cup win
Spain

Real Madrid fans jam streets after Cup win

Thousands of cheering Real Madrid fans welcomed their team back to the Spanish capital early on Thursday after winning the Copa del Rey with a 2-1 victory over arch rivals Barcelona.

‘Secret’ Ostia is bigger than Pompeii
Italy

‘Secret’ Ostia is bigger than Pompeii

Archaeologists have discovered a ‘secret’ part of Ostia, the ancient seaport close to Rome, which they say is ‘bigger than Pompeii’.

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Germany

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border into Germany rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked.

Three boys arrested for taping girl to  railing
Norway

Three boys arrested for taping girl to railing

Police have arrested three out-of-contol Norwegian high-school students after they taped a 17-year-old girl to a railing in a park in Sandnes, south of Bergen, and pelted her with eggs and flour.

Bern approves solution for Erasmus students
Switzerland

Bern approves solution for Erasmus students

Following the suspension of Switzerland's participation in the Erasmus student exchange programme, on Wednesday the federal government approved plans for a 23-million-franc ($26 million) interim solution.

Crystal meth use hits record level
Germany

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday.

Pupils ‘taught abortion is murder’ at French school
France

Pupils ‘taught abortion is murder’ at French school

A private religious school in Paris is under investigation from national education officials after students alleged they’d been told in class that 'abortion is in akin to murder'. The private school has ties to the controversial fundamentalist group Opus Dei.

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall’s Nuon bid
Sweden

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall’s Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal.

Bruised baby treated for ‘cocaine overdose’
Italy

Bruised baby treated for ‘cocaine overdose’

A mother of three in Sicily has been jailed after her toddler son was admitted to hospital with bruises, scratches, burns and a suspected cocaine overdose.

Australian ‘graffiti tourists’ arrested in Paris
France

Australian ‘graffiti tourists’ arrested in Paris

Two Australian tourists who had left their mark on the City of Light with a few cans of spray paint, were picked up by French police this week. It appears the pair of graffiti vandals were on an InterRail trip and planned to “tag the whole of Europe”

‘Kockums submarine raid may be illegal’: lawyer
Sweden

‘Kockums submarine raid may be illegal’: lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp.

Child’s near death sparks row over refugee homes
Germany

Child’s near death sparks row over refugee homes

A political row has broken out in Bavaria after an asylum seekers' home failed to help a toddler who almost died of meningitis. The case has raised concerns about the treatment of refugees in the state.

Good weather could blight Easter traffic
Sweden

Good weather could blight Easter traffic

Traffic experts have cautioned Swedes heading to the countryside for what should be a sunny Easter, warning that the most serious accidents often take place when the weather is clement.

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia
Sweden

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to rent out fighter jets to Malaysia.

French cup final will be all-Breton affair
France

French cup final will be all-Breton affair

The French cup final will be an all-Breton affair after underdogs Guingamp produced a major upset by knocking out big spenders Monaco in their semi final tie on Wednesday night. Guingamp will now play fellow Brittany side Rennes in May's final.

Telecom Italia elects new chairman
Italy

Telecom Italia elects new chairman

Telecom Italia investors elected a new chairman on Wednesday and overhauled the company's board in a bid to bring greater transparency and efficiency to Italy's largest phone group.

Detained Berlusconi ally in Beirut hospital
Italy

Detained Berlusconi ally in Beirut hospital

An Italian ex-senator and ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi who was arrested in Lebanon at the weekend was hospitalised in Beirut on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

Bayern and Dortmund to face off for German Cup
Germany

Bayern and Dortmund to face off for German Cup

Holders Bayern Munich will face Borussia Dortmund in next month's German Cup final after cruising to a 5-1 win over second-division Kaiserslautern in Wednesday's semi-final.

Zalando hits back after undercover report
Germany

Zalando hits back after undercover report

Online fashion retailer Zalando has prompted an investigation by state prosecutors in Erfurt against an undercover journalist who revealed alleged "trade secrets" in a TV report on Monday night.