City bike bidders asked to scrap 1,300 bikes
Norway

City bike bidders asked to scrap 1,300 bikes

Oslo's new city bike tender will require the winning bidder to scrap the city's existing 1,300 bikes and replace the 300 shelters where they're kept, leaving the leading bidders puzzled.

Vote set for ban on food trading ‘speculation’
Switzerland

Vote set for ban on food trading ‘speculation’

The Swiss will vote on a proposal to ban speculation on agricultural commodities and food, the government said on Wednesday, announcing that organizers had gathered enough signatures to put the issue to a referendum.

Kjos fills nine out of ten Dreamliner seats
Norway

Kjos fills nine out of ten Dreamliner seats

Norwegian Air Shuttle last year filled nine out of ten seats on its new long-haul routes to the US And Thailand, despite the highly publicised delays faced by its new Dreamliner aircraft.

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs
Switzerland

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs

Six members of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) wanted to discreetly visit Iran without publicity last week but one of them inadvertently made the trip public in a tweet. 


Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK
Norway

Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK

China has begun secret negotiations with Norway over ending the diplomatic freeze triggered by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to a leading Chinese dissident four years ago, NRK has reported.

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border
Switzerland

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border

A Frenchman living in Switzerland was caught entering the country from France with unusual contraband in his suitcase: 16 kilograms of meat from exotic species native to the African jungle.

Syrian refugees set up home in Paris park
France

Syrian refugees set up home in Paris park

Around 150 Syria refugees are living a desperate existence in a small park to the north of Paris. NGOs and France's Green party are urging authorities to do more to help the families while they wait for their asylum requests to be processed.

Foot fetishist jailed for attack on elderly woman
France

Foot fetishist jailed for attack on elderly woman

A French fetishist was so smitten with an elderly lady’s feet he burst into the terrified woman's home and proceeded to sniff, lick and rub them as she lay helpless. The lewd act cost him 18 months behind bars.

Nazis and anti-racists threaten ‘Congo village’
Norway

Nazis and anti-racists threaten ‘Congo village’

With both neo-Nazis and anti-racists apparently threatening to burn down his planned recreation of a 1914 Oslo 'human zoo', the Norwegian-Sudanese artist Mohamed Ali Fadlabi is now more convinced than ever of his idea.

Barcelona book day hit by author strike
Spain

Barcelona book day hit by author strike

People in the Spanish region of Catalonia traditionally celebrate La Diada de Sant Jordi (St. George's Day) by giving each other books, but this year's celebrations have been marred by an author-backed strike at a major city centre book retailer.

Wolves continue their advance on Paris
France

Wolves continue their advance on Paris

The contentious issue of wolves in France was once again in the spotlight this week after one of the predators was captured on camera for the first time within 250 km of Paris. An expert says they will come even closer but thankfully "they won't be biting Parisians".

April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Germany

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday.

Top Ten: Spain’s most expensive streets
Spain

Top Ten: Spain’s most expensive streets

Spanish property website Idealista has just released a list of the ten most expensive streets in Spain — so what is the most exclusive address in the country? Read on to find out.

Rome braces itself for thousands of pilgrims
Italy

Rome braces itself for thousands of pilgrims

Rome is getting ready for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and dozens of foreign delegations visiting the Vatican on Sunday for an historic event - the double canonisation of popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

Florida ‘mystery knight’ dies in Sweden
Sweden

Florida ‘mystery knight’ dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday.

Jew-saving priest ‘blessed’ for WW2 efforts
Italy

Jew-saving priest ‘blessed’ for WW2 efforts

An Italian priest who died in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War, after being condemned for helping Jews, is set to be beatified by the Vatican and could become a saint.

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Germany

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

Germany arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country.

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
Sweden

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around.

Escaped serial killer sent back to Italy
Italy

Escaped serial killer sent back to Italy

Serial killer Bartolomeo Gagliano, who escaped from prison in the northern Italian city of Genoa in December after being granted leave to visit his mother, has been sent back to Italy from France.

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes
Switzerland

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) hit back on Wednesday against vaccine deniers who claim that immunization is pointless, risky and that the body is better off fighting disease unaided.

‘Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism’
Sweden

‘Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism’

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism".

Only Greece tops Italy for debt: EU
Italy

Only Greece tops Italy for debt: EU

The Italian government's debt-to-GDP ratio hit 132.6 percent in 2013, the second-highest in the EU after Greece, figures released on Wednesday showed.

France unveils raft of reforms to boost jobs
France

France unveils raft of reforms to boost jobs

France laid out a new package of reforms on Wednesday to respect EU rules, cut spending, boost jobs and put its economy in shape to compete on world markets.

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Sweden

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions.

Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub
Norway

Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub

A proposal from Oslo's mayor to stop sending an annual Christmas tree to Reykjavik has sparked a furious reaction from Icelanders, many of whom have interpreted the move as a calculated snub.

Police chief sacked over Madrid demo turned ugly
Spain

Police chief sacked over Madrid demo turned ugly

The head of the anti-riot squad involved a March demonstration in Madrid which turned violent will be removed from his post because of the "intolerable" number of police injured during the event, Spanish authorities said on Wednesday.

Hamster-sized deer born at Spanish zoo
Spain

Hamster-sized deer born at Spanish zoo

A baby Java mouse-deer, the smallest hoofed animal in the world, was recently born at a zoo in in the south of Spain, to the delight of staff.

Munich to get ‘Tetris cube’ hotel
Germany

Munich to get ‘Tetris cube’ hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'.

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Sweden

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead.

Italian doctor sued for ‘refusing Easter visit’
Italy

Italian doctor sued for ‘refusing Easter visit’

A doctor in Locorotondo, a town in the southern Italian province of Bari, who took a call from the son of a bedridden patient urgently requiring a tracheostomy tube change at home, is being sued for allegedly failing to assist the woman.

North Koreans snubbed by French cheese college
France

North Koreans snubbed by French cheese college

A bid by North Korea to send experts to a prestigious French cheese-making training school, seemingly at the behest of its fromage-loving leader King Jong-un, has been rejected. It did not fit with the institution's "priorities or strategy", it seems.

Judge sells suppers and shirts for campaign cash
Spain

Judge sells suppers and shirts for campaign cash

A controversial Spanish anti-corruption judge who is standing as a candidate in May's European elections is selling everything from autographs to coffee-side chats in a bid to raise cash for his campaign.

German beer culture in 11 gulps
Germany

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Germany's celebrated beer purity law has been around for over half a millennium, so in its honour the Local tells some beer truths you may not know.

Vienna terrified by mystery bludgeoner
Austria

Vienna terrified by mystery bludgeoner

Viennese Police released an artist's impression of a man suspected of four attacks in the past weeks. A 5,000 Euro reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

One in five French workers is a civil servant
France

One in five French workers is a civil servant

New data out this week shows France’s civil service has continued its nearly unbroken chain of growth since 1980. The figures, however, leave out a whole swath of people who are also on the government payroll.

Italy to declassify Bologna bomb files
Italy

Italy to declassify Bologna bomb files

The Italian government will declassify secret documents relating to terrorist attacks in the country during the 1970s and 1980s, including the deadly Bologna train station bombing.

12-year-old girl saves dad from suicide
Italy

12-year-old girl saves dad from suicide

A 12-year-old girl from Lecce in the southern Italian region of Puglia saved her father from suicide after reading a "desperate" text message from him.

Top five beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
Sweden

Top five beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet.

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Sweden

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday

Spain revises up growth forecast for 2014–15
Spain

Spain revises up growth forecast for 2014–15

Spain's government forecast Wednesday faster economic growth in the next two years as the nation emerges from a long downturn with unemployment still topping 26 percent.

Arsonist destroys building to avenge eviction – Oxford student dies
Austria

Arsonist destroys building to avenge eviction – Oxford student dies

A disgruntled squatter being evicted from a luxury apartment doused it in petrol and set it on fire. The resulting explosion killed a neighbour (23) and destroyed much of the building.

VIDEO: Virgin falls from float in Easter fail
Spain

VIDEO: Virgin falls from float in Easter fail

One of the 28 Easter parades held in Spain's Alicante province last week took an unexpected turn when a statue of the Virgen de los Dolores toppled from her float and almost landed on the heads of her bearers.

Feminist’s apartment advert goes viral
Germany

Feminist’s apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral.

Paris launches new battle against French jihadists
France

Paris launches new battle against French jihadists

France’s so-called top cop unveiled a dozen proposals on Wednesday aimed at stemming the flow of its residents toward the jihadist cause in Syria. Though some experts see the plan as a cynical political move ahead of European elections.

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards
Switzerland

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards

Voters in the canton of Vaud are set to go to the polls for a third time next month to decide on the future of Lavaux, the celebrated vineyard region east of Lausanne.

Lost Spanish temple reveals scientific secrets
Spain

Lost Spanish temple reveals scientific secrets

A mysterious cave-temple built by the original inhabitants of the Spanish Island of Gran Canaria contains evidence of their advanced knowledge of astronomy, a Spanish archaeologist believes.

Italian hospital botched paternity test
Italy

Italian hospital botched paternity test

An appeal court in Milan has ordered a hospital in Como to pay €50,000 for the “psychological damage” inflicted on a 14-year-old boy after his ‘father’ abandoned him over a botched paternity test.

Swedish heroes save German mauled by shark

Swedish heroes save German mauled by shark

Three Swedish men have been hailed as heroes after they dragged a shark attack victim from bloodied waters in Florida.

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
Germany

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services.

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Sweden

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits.

Hanged man found in school with wrists tied
Italy

Hanged man found in school with wrists tied

The body of a man has been found in a school in Naples, hanging from a stairwell with his wrists tied behind his back, in what police believe to be a suicide.

‘Day-care rapist’ admits molesting eight kids
Sweden

‘Day-care rapist’ admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern.

Moody’s backs Spain’s ‘improving’ economy
Spain

Moody’s backs Spain’s ‘improving’ economy

Credit rating agency Moody's said on Tuesday that Spain is "now firmly on an improving trend" with exports boosting the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy as it crawls out of recession.

Want citizenship? Take the Spanish culture test
Spain

Want citizenship? Take the Spanish culture test

Immigrants to Spain will have to sit standardized online language and culture tests before being granted citizenship, Spain's justice minister announced in the country national parliament on Tuesday.

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Germany

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy.

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
Sweden

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions.

France vows to punish death of Mali hostage
France

France vows to punish death of Mali hostage

French President François Hollande has vowed to find out the truth behind the death of a French hostage in Mali and promised "it will not go unpunished". It comes after a jihadist group announced on Wednesday the death of Frenchman Gilberto Rodrigues Leal.

Swedish girls report more eating problems
Sweden

Swedish girls report more eating problems

A youth wellbeing report from Save the Children found that more teenage girls than in previous surveys reported having an eating disorder.

Germany’s oldest woman dies aged 112
Germany

Germany’s oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married.

‘Dalai Lama meet would make China clash eternal’
Norway

‘Dalai Lama meet would make China clash eternal’

The president of the Norwegian parliament has defended his decision not to meet the Dalai Lama when he comes to Oslo next month, arguing that to do so would destroy years of painstaking work to mend relations with China.

British duke takes €20m hit on Paris markets
France

British duke takes €20m hit on Paris markets

Britain's Duke of Westminster has bailed out of an investment in two famous Paris antiques markets nursing a reported loss of over €20 million, it emerged on Tuesday.

French writer’s inequality book tops Amazon list
France

French writer’s inequality book tops Amazon list

A book by a French economist praised by some as being one of the most important works in recent times and derided by others as a neo-marxist 'bizarre ideological creed' has shot to the top of Amazon's best sellers list.

Exchange student ‘murderer’ stays silent
Germany

Exchange student ‘murderer’ stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial.

‘Zlatan will be back for finals’: PSG coach
Sweden

‘Zlatan will be back for finals’: PSG coach

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc said on Tuesday that he believed Swedish goal machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic will play again before the end of the season.