Labour councillor faces sack for gay church view
Norway

Labour councillor faces sack for gay church view

A councillor from Norway's Labour Party risks being expelled after he argued on Saturday night that gay people who want to get married in church should start their own splinter sect.

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks
Switzerland

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks

Organizations must dramatically improve their response to cyber risks to avoid a new global shock on the scale of the financial crisis that rocked the world in 2008, a study from a Swiss-based insurer concludes.

Zurich inaugurates city’s giant quartzite plaza
Switzerland

Zurich inaugurates city’s giant quartzite plaza

The city of Zurich inaugurated the largest plaza in Switzerland on Tuesday night after a 17.2-million-franc ($19.5-million) facelift.

Geneva minister revives cable car project
Switzerland

Geneva minister revives cable car project

Cable cars — just like those used to carry skiers up mountain slopes — have re-emerged as a public transportation option in Geneva, where authorities are struggling to deal with road congestion.

India flexes its food, film, and finance muscles
Sweden

India flexes its food, film, and finance muscles

India Unlimited, the ambitious programme to showcase the potential for further ties between India and Sweden, on Thursday enters a week for foodies and film buffs, while Scania leads the charge for business seminars during "India+Sweden Week" from April 22nd-28th.

French text message lingo: 15 essential terms
France

French text message lingo: 15 essential terms

Deciphering the curious shorthand of text messages can be tough even in your native tongue, but in French all manners of communication catastrophes are possible. Fortunately The Local has gathered up and deciphered some essential abbreviations used in French ‘textos’.

Top ten English words adopted by Italians
Italy

Top ten English words adopted by Italians

English-speakers have for years adopted Italian words, including everything from "diva" to "mafia", but now the linguistic tables have turned. The Local takes a look at some of the most common - and most unexpected - English words creeping into the Italian language.

Le Pen and UKIP in spat over Euro elections snub
France

Le Pen and UKIP in spat over Euro elections snub

After a potential alliance went sour, the leader of France's far-right National Front party has become embroiled in a war of words with Nigel Farage the eurosceptic head of Britain's right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Spain loses asylum seeker deportation battle
Spain

Spain loses asylum seeker deportation battle

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Spain could not go ahead with plans to deport 30 Sahrawi asylum seekers from the Western Sahara because Spanish authorities had failed to properly hear their claims.

‘If Britain goes, Europe is lost’
Germany

‘If Britain goes, Europe is lost’

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage.

We did not rule baptism a crime: court
Italy

We did not rule baptism a crime: court

A European court has dismissed as untrue a story that claimed baptizing newborn children without permission from both parents "violates their freedom".

Venice holiday snaps snare iPad thief
Italy

Venice holiday snaps snare iPad thief

A man has been arrested in Milan for stealing an iPad after the owner of the tablet discovered holiday snaps of the alleged thief in Venice. The owner managed to access the photos thanks to the device’s iCloud serivce.

Swede fined for flashing birdwatcher from tower
Sweden

Swede fined for flashing birdwatcher from tower

A Swedish man was fined on Tuesday after subjecting a birdwatching woman to an explicit sight she had not expected.

Syria genebank sends seeds to Svalbard
Norway

Syria genebank sends seeds to Svalbard

More than 80 percent of the valuable crop seeds kept in a gene bank in the Syrian city of Aleppo have been shipped to the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard for safekeeping, the bank's director general revealed on Tuesday.

Independence website pushes Catalonia cause
Spain

Independence website pushes Catalonia cause

Supporters of an independent Catalonia have stepped up their bid for international backing by launching a new website promoting the cause. The Local spoke to the organization behind the site to find out more.

Police nab Spain’s ‘Willy Wonka’ drug chef
Spain

Police nab Spain’s ‘Willy Wonka’ drug chef

Spanish police have arrested a master 'turrón' (nougat) maker accused of concocting chocolates, formed in the shape of FC Barcelona's club crest, which contained the secret ingredients of magic mushrooms and marijuana.

French minister backs sunday shop openings
France

French minister backs sunday shop openings

Visitors to France should be allowed to shop till they drop seven days a week, the country's Foreign Minister said on Tuesday, weighing into a fierce debate over restrictions on Sunday trading. A new poll suggests many French are willing to work on Sundays to earn more money.

Norway MPs slammed for Dalai Lama ‘cowardice’
Norway

Norway MPs slammed for Dalai Lama ‘cowardice’

Norway's parliament has been accused of cowardice after it declined to offer an official meeting to the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, when he visits Norway next month.

Police chief casts doubt on Swiss cup final future
Switzerland

Police chief casts doubt on Swiss cup final future

The final of the Swiss football cup may no longer be held in Bern after a police chief expressed his exasperation at clashes in the streets surrounding Monday’s final at the Stade de Suisse.

Two-year average wait for rental homes in Sweden
Sweden

Two-year average wait for rental homes in Sweden

Anyone hoping for a one-room apartment in Sweden will have to wait an average of 2.5 years, but the wait is far worse in Stockholm, new statistics showed on Tuesday.

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Germany

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster.

Why ‘sacked’ French ministers deserve no pity
France

Why ‘sacked’ French ministers deserve no pity

In the latest of our Reader Rants series writer Dan MacGuill takes a swipe at the French ministers who, after losing out in the recent cabinet reshuffle, have wallowed in a bit of self-pity, despite having other well-paid, taxpayer-funded jobs to fall back on.

Dad kills son ‘over online gaming addiction’
France

Dad kills son ‘over online gaming addiction’

A Frenchman got so angry over his son’s constant playing of online games that he snapped and strangled the young man during an argument at the family’s holiday home in southern France, it was reported on Tuesday.

Hopes for Italian priest’s release in Syria
Italy

Hopes for Italian priest’s release in Syria

An Italian priest captured by Islamic fighters in Syria last year is alive, with negotiations currently underway for his release, according to Italian media.

Spanish art scammer fights US extradition
Spain

Spanish art scammer fights US extradition

A Spaniard suspected of perpetrating one of the world's biggest art frauds has been freed ahead of a legal fight over his extradition to the United States.

DSK’s ex-wife: I ‘had no idea’ about his sex life
France

DSK’s ex-wife: I ‘had no idea’ about his sex life

In her most in-depth interview ever on the subject, Anne Sinclair the ex-wife of disgraced former French IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and one-time favourite to become president, says she knew nothing of his infamously sordid extra-marital romps.

Swiss drink more homegrown wine
Switzerland

Swiss drink more homegrown wine

After several years of decline, the Swiss are finally drinking more of their own wine. Consumption of Swiss wines within Switzerland rose by ten percent in 2013 to 107 million litres, according to figures released by the Federal Office of Agriculture (OFAG) on Tuesday.

Swedish underwear shop puts staff in bras
Sweden

Swedish underwear shop puts staff in bras

Swedish lingerie mongers Lindex have taken the top crop of its staff off the floor and put them before the camera instead for its latest campaign.

Prison nurse has two children by two prisoners
Austria

Prison nurse has two children by two prisoners

Prison nurse Eva K. (40) had two children by two different prisoners. She now faces administrative sanctions and a 500 Euro fine.

‘Fracking won’t save Germany from Putin’
Germany

‘Fracking won’t save Germany from Putin’

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high.

German rapper-turned-jihadist ‘killed in Syria’
Germany

German rapper-turned-jihadist ‘killed in Syria’

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive.

British expats flee from crisis-hit Spain
Spain

British expats flee from crisis-hit Spain

The number of Brits living in Spain fell by over a fifth in 2013 as the exodus of Spain's foreign residents brought the country's total population down for the second year in a row, data released on Tuesday shows.

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France

Femen’s ‘sextremists’ crash far-right event

Femen's topless 'sextremists', with swastikas painted on their breasts, once again targeted the National Front on Tuesday, turning up outside a far-right party press conference in Paris on Tuesday to protest a “fascism epidemic” in Europe.

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Germany

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget?

Italy’s biggest banks sign loan deal with US firm
Italy

Italy’s biggest banks sign loan deal with US firm

Italy's two biggest banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit, have signed a deal with US private equity firm KKR and restructuring adviser Alvarez & Marsal to create a vehicle for restructured loans, a statement said on Tuesday.

Spain rated world’s most gay-friendly country
Spain

Spain rated world’s most gay-friendly country

A new international 'morality poll' looking at 40 nations has revealed that Spanish people earn top marks in terms of acceptance of homosexuality.

‘Italy must stop saving migrants’: ex-minister
Italy

‘Italy must stop saving migrants’: ex-minister

Italy has rescued over 1,000 migrants over the past 48 hours, the navy said on Tuesday, amid rising criticism from the political right over the high cost of the operation.

Tax income hits March record
Germany

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday.

Swedish military ‘won’t help ex-translators’
Sweden

Swedish military ‘won’t help ex-translators’

The Swedish armed forces will not be held responsible for Afghan interpreters who are no longer in the employ of its Isaf troops, it was reported on Tuesday.

‘Let Swedish soldiers cull boars with AK 4s’
Sweden

‘Let Swedish soldiers cull boars with AK 4s’

Swedish soldiers with automatic weapons should be let loose on the wild boars in southern Sweden, a member of the national home guard has suggested. One local landowner explains to The Local how it could save the south's golf courses.

10 million guests: Spain’s tourism boom continues
Spain

10 million guests: Spain’s tourism boom continues

Spain welcomed over 10 million tourists in the first three months of 2014, building on a record 2013 for the sector, and helping the country's struggling economy, official figures released on Tuesday show.

Earthquake rocks north-east Italy
Italy

Earthquake rocks north-east Italy

An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale was felt across north-east Italy on Tuesday morning, from the epicentre in neighbouring Slovenia.

In Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

In Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week

A five-bedroom home with herringbone wood flooring and beautiful cornicing will make you the envy of the neighbourhood in Täby, northern Stockholm. Take a look inside our Property of the Week.

Crime proves a cash cow for Swiss authorities
Switzerland

Crime proves a cash cow for Swiss authorities

Seized cash from the proceeds of crime in Switzerland benefited the federal and cantonal authorities to the tune of 31.5 million francs ($35.6m) in 2013.

How to avoid any French wedding nightmares
France

How to avoid any French wedding nightmares

France is a popular choice for foreign couples tying the knot including a fair few celebrities – but beware the pitfalls. Here, The Local speaks to a France-based wedding planner and a bride-to-be about how to have a hassle-free French wedding.

Italian toddler dies from methadone overdose
Italy

Italian toddler dies from methadone overdose

A two-year-old boy who died last year in north-west Italy was killed by the heroin-replacement drug methadone, according to a new toxicology report.

Drunk mum leaves child in nightclub’s storeroom
France

Drunk mum leaves child in nightclub’s storeroom

A French mother left her asthmatic toddler in an unheated nightclub storeroom so she could party until the early hours of the morning. It's just the latest example of mums behaving badly that has shocked France.

Spain calls in experts as corruption crisis grows
Spain

Spain calls in experts as corruption crisis grows

Spanish politicians and legal experts are set to thrash out ways to fight corruption in Parliament on Wednesday, just days after 15 new people were called in for questioning over their involvement in a massive fraud case in the country's south.

Thousands of reptiles killed in warehouse blaze
France

Thousands of reptiles killed in warehouse blaze

As many as 30,000 snakes, iguanas, lizards and turtles perished as a blaze ripped through a warehouse in a town in the south of France. It is not clear how the fire started.

Pharma giants strike $16bn health-care deal
Switzerland

Pharma giants strike $16bn health-care deal

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis and British firm GlaxoSmithKline have announced a major restructuring of their health-care divisions in a multi-billion-dollar deal.

Politician quits after cocaine pic goes viral
Spain

Politician quits after cocaine pic goes viral

A town councillor with Spain's ruling Popular Party has handed in his resignation after a photo appearing to show him preparing lines of cocaine on a table spread like wildfire through the country's social media networks on Monday.

VIDEO: Norway’s incredible rolling robot
Norway

VIDEO: Norway’s incredible rolling robot

This rolling spider-like robot is the stuff of sci-fi nightmares, so there's something strangely cute about watching the three-year-old son of its creator chase it around a basketball court.

Nice seafront to bid for World Heritage status
France

Nice seafront to bid for World Heritage status

Could the famous Promenade des Anglais along the Nice seafront become the latest French landmark to join Unesco’s World Heritage list? That’s the wish of local authorities, who are said to be preparing a bid.

Adolf Hitler’s birthday celebrated in Milan
Italy

Adolf Hitler’s birthday celebrated in Milan

Supporters of Adolf Hitler in Milan emblazoned the city with posters of the German dictator over the weekend in honour of his 125th birthday.

High pollen levels mar Swedish spring
Sweden

High pollen levels mar Swedish spring

After a sunny long weekend, birch pollen is set to blight allergy sufferers' return to work on Tuesday, as pollen levels reached above 1,000 particles per cubic metre.

Smash hit comedy plays with Spanish stereotypes
Spain

Smash hit comedy plays with Spanish stereotypes

A romantic comedy film set in Spain's politically sensitive Basque region has become the country's biggest ever home-grown box office hit, its distributor said on Monday.

Police damage own water cannon with eggs

Police damage own water cannon with eggs

Police chiefs in central Germany are red-faced after splashing out €900,000 on a water cannon which was damaged by eggs and tennis balls.

French actress Deneuve to sell €4m château
France

French actress Deneuve to sell €4m château

Famed French actress Catherine Deneuve has reportedly put her holiday home up for sale. The Château de Primard, located 75 km from Paris, will go on the market for a cool €4 million.

Gladiators and horsemen fete Rome’s birthday
Italy

Gladiators and horsemen fete Rome’s birthday

Gladiators, horsemen and women with flowers in their hair brought history alive Monday at Rome's Circus Maximus where thousands gathered to celebrate the Eternal City's 2,767th birthday.

Putin praises new Nato chief Stoltenberg
Norway

Putin praises new Nato chief Stoltenberg

Russian president Vladimir Putin has praised Jens Stoltenberg, the incoming head of Nato, as "a very serious, responsible person", claiming the two have "very good relations, including personal relations".

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Germany

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference.

Freed reporters tell of mock execution ordeal
France

Freed reporters tell of mock execution ordeal

Mock executions, hunger, thirst, cold, beatings, a makeshift chess game to pass the time... and a "surreal" snowball fight with their jailers. The French journalists taken hostage in Syria have been talking about their ordeal after being released at the weekend.

Parents’ house burnt as son went clubbing
Germany

Parents’ house burnt as son went clubbing

A man who had thrown a party at his parents' empty mansion over Easter in central Germany returned after clubbing to find the entire building on fire.

South Sudan massacre ‘must be investigated’
Norway

South Sudan massacre ‘must be investigated’

Norway has called for an investigation into the massacre of some 200 civilians in the disputed South Sudanese town of Bentiu, declaring that "the guilty must be punished".

Sweden to beef up air force to counter Russia
Sweden

Sweden to beef up air force to counter Russia

Sweden's centre-right government coalition announced plans on Tuesday to pump more funds into the military if the four parties win the September elections, with an emphasis on more fighter jets and submarines.

Swedish basketballer wins NBA defensive nod
Sweden

Swedish basketballer wins NBA defensive nod

Chicago Bulls centre Joakim Noah was awarded the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, the first Bull to claim the award since Michael Jordan in the eighties.

Cologne secure return to Bundesliga
Germany

Cologne secure return to Bundesliga

Cologne will be back in the top tier of the Bundesliga next season after wrapping up the second division title on Monday evening.

Two brothers shot dead in family brawl: police
Sweden

Two brothers shot dead in family brawl: police

UPDATED: Two brothers were killed on Monday night in a brawl that police have described as a "family dispute". Up to 40 people were involved in the fight, and police have arrested five people so far.