Norway minister claimed by cold bathing craze
Norway

Norway minister claimed by cold bathing craze

Norway's oil minister has become the first member of the government to be pulled into the chain cold-water bathing craze sweeping Norway.

John Lewis at 150: Now shipping to Germany
Germany

John Lewis at 150: Now shipping to Germany

As John Lewis celebrates its 150th anniversary the brand is going international by making its vast range of products now available to customers living in Germany. Find out more about the brand's rich history and what German based shoppers can avail of online.

John Lewis at 150: Now shipping to Spain
Spain

John Lewis at 150: Now shipping to Spain

As John Lewis celebrates its 150th anniversary the brand is going international by making its vast range of products now available to customers living in Spain. Find out more about the brand's rich history and what Spanish based shoppers can avail of online.

John Lewis at 150: Now shipping to France
France

John Lewis at 150: Now shipping to France

As John Lewis celebrates its 150th anniversary the brand is going international by making its vast range of products now available to customers living in France. Find out more about the brand's rich history and what French based shoppers can avail of online.

‘Mafia is behind stolen anti-cancer drugs’
Italy

‘Mafia is behind stolen anti-cancer drugs’

A highly organized crime ring is behind the distribution of stolen and fake anti-cancer drugs throughout Europe, an Italian official told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Top 10: Spanish romantic nicknames for lovers
Spain

Top 10: Spanish romantic nicknames for lovers

Are you a fatty, a half-orange or just somebody's darling? When it comes to romantic nicknames for boyfriends and girlfriends, Spaniards are every bit as inventive and outrageous as you would expect.

Progress boss asks activists for patience
Norway

Progress boss asks activists for patience

Progress Party leader Siv Jensen has trumpeted the achievements of her party in her first conference speech since taking power last October, calling on activists to be patient at the pace of reform.

‘Europe needs a human approach to immigration’
Italy

‘Europe needs a human approach to immigration’

Alessandro Penso, from Rome, was on the path to a career in clinical psychology when a scholarship gave him the chance to pick up a camera and change direction. As the World Press Photo exhibition opens in Rome, featuring one of Penso’s award-winning images, he speaks to The Local about his work shooting social issues in Europe.

Russia threatens beloved Swedish kids book
Sweden

Russia threatens beloved Swedish kids book

The Swedish children's book character Karlsson on the Roof could meet an untimely death in Russia, despite his popularity there, if an education ministry proposal to ban "family-hostile literature" comes into effect.

Fifteen things that can happen ‘Only in France’
France

Fifteen things that can happen ‘Only in France’

Whether it's the drinking culture, the food, or the dentists, tweeters have united under the #OnlyinFrance hashtag to express what they find weird, wonderful and even perhaps wrong about this unique country. See what they've had to say here.

Father of student shot in US attacks gun culture
Germany

Father of student shot in US attacks gun culture

The father of German exchange student Diren Dede, who was shot on Sunday in a garage in Montana, has attacked America's gun culture and described what he believes happened on the night of his son's death.

Spanish region to tax owners of empty homes
Spain

Spanish region to tax owners of empty homes

Spain's Catalonia region is looking at taxing the owners of properties that have stood empty for more than two years in a bid to increase stocks of social housing.

German IT expert hacks NSA homepage
Germany

German IT expert hacks NSA homepage

A computer expert from eastern Germany claims to have hacked the homepage of the US National Security Agency (NSA), leaving a message on the site for American security experts.

Style, scuffles and surf – seven days in pics
Germany

Style, scuffles and surf – seven days in pics

Violent demonstrations, crazy hair and the Chancellor's trip to Washington are all featured in The Local's pictorial review of the last seven days.

‘All 3,000 beers were for me’: nabbed smuggler
Sweden

‘All 3,000 beers were for me’: nabbed smuggler

A suspected smuggler who managed to hoodwink Swedish customs but later ran into two officers on the highway has claimed in his defence that he was going to drink the several thousand litres of beer all by himself.

Spring on ice
Sweden

Spring on ice

The calendar says it's May, but the month began with snow in Stockholm and freezing nights across the country. One Swedish town even had its coldest May temperature in 115 years. And the cold isn't going anywhere quickly.

Karaoke cab driver strikes a chord in Rome
Italy

Karaoke cab driver strikes a chord in Rome

A Rome taxi driver has come up with a novel way of melting away the stresses of the capital’s traffic, while striking a chord with passengers as they tour the Eternal City: karaoke.

Minister fears Pfizer cull of Swedish jobs
Sweden

Minister fears Pfizer cull of Swedish jobs

As Anglo-Swedish drug giant AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer's renewed bid on Friday, Sweden's enterprise minister said she feared any future take-over could result in a loss of jobs in Sweden.

UK-French version of The Bridge to hit Swedish TV
Sweden

UK-French version of The Bridge to hit Swedish TV

The Anglo-French take on Scandi drama The Bridge will hit Swedish television next week, with a touch of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones set to delight entertainment nerds.

Germany fumes over McCain’s Merkel attack
Germany

Germany fumes over McCain’s Merkel attack

German lawmakers fumed on Friday over "vicious" criticism by senior US senators of Chancellor Angela Merkel's stance on Ukraine ahead of talks she will hold with US President Barack Obama.

Stung! 25,000 stolen bees tracked down in Brittany
France

Stung! 25,000 stolen bees tracked down in Brittany

A thief who stole 25,000 bees from a remote part of the Loire region has finally been stung by police, thanks to an anonymous tip-off. The stolen hives, worth €60,000, were found hundreds of kilometers away in Brittany.

Condom ad causes Mother’s Day scandal
Spain

Condom ad causes Mother’s Day scandal

A TV commercial by Spanish clothing company Desigual has caused a stir by showing a young woman sticking a pin into condoms as a means of falling pregnant more easily.

Russian killed over ‘drug dealing grudge’
Italy

Russian killed over ‘drug dealing grudge’

A 24-year-old Italian man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing to death a 26-year-old Russian in Rome on Thursday night, in what is thought to have been a feud related to drug dealing.

Spain’s recovery claims are ‘propaganda’: Unions
Spain

Spain’s recovery claims are ‘propaganda’: Unions

Spain's largest unions described talk of Spain's recovery as 'propaganda' designed to win votes as thousands of members took to the streets nationwide during traditional Labour Day celebrations on Thursday.

Ukraine observers’ rescue at ‘critical’ stage
Switzerland

Ukraine observers’ rescue at ‘critical’ stage

Efforts involving Switzerland to free a group of international observers held by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have reached a critical phase, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday.

Landmark ruling bars lesbians from adopting
France

Landmark ruling bars lesbians from adopting

In a landmark decision a lesbian couple were barred from adopting a child, who was conceived through artificial insemination outside France. One gay-rights group slammed the decision saying "Children of LGBT families are the new bastards of the Republic".

Avalanche kills alpine skier in Italy
Italy

Avalanche kills alpine skier in Italy

An avalanche on Thursday hit Italy's north-west Piedmont region, leaving one alpine skier dead and three others injured.

Fermented herring cans explode in hut fire
Sweden

Fermented herring cans explode in hut fire

Firefighters set to tackle exploding propane bottles realized that they were actually facing cans of fermented herring reacting to a blaze at a fishing hut in northern Sweden. The 1,000 tins of surströmming contained one of the most putrid-smelling delicacies in the world.

Is Germany shying away from global role?
Germany

Is Germany shying away from global role?

Does Germany pull its weight in international affairs? The Local spoke with a military analyst to discuss what German soldiers are doing abroad and why the government is so reluctant to engage its troops in active combat.

Alliance lambasts opposition’s lack of unity
Sweden

Alliance lambasts opposition’s lack of unity

The government coalition has lashed out at the opposition parties for not being clear about what legislation Swedes can expect if there is a change in government in September.

Fury after Naples called a ‘mafia stronghold’
Italy

Fury after Naples called a ‘mafia stronghold’

An article published by the UK's Guardian newspaper has sparked outrage in Italy after it made a reference to the southern Italian city of Naples’ mafia history.

Berlin’s new airport is already too small
Germany

Berlin’s new airport is already too small

The man in charge of Berlin’s disastrous attempt to build a new airport has admitted it was not big enough to begin with.

Three injured as tornado strikes Italy
Italy

Three injured as tornado strikes Italy

A tornado has swept through the Modena area in central Italy, leaving three people injured and ripping roofs off homes.

Germans find stress is contagious
Germany

Germans find stress is contagious

German scientists have found stress is contagious and can rub off on both strangers and your partner. It can even been transmitted through television shows.

French airline pilots call off month-long strike
France

French airline pilots call off month-long strike

There was relief for travellers in France on Friday when airline pilots called-off their threatened month-long strike that was due to begin on Saturday and end on May 30. The French government stepped in at the eleventh hour to help avoid a walk-out what would have caused major disruption.

VIDEO: How bodypaint caused a buzz in France
France

VIDEO: How bodypaint caused a buzz in France

Tasked with creating a buzz for their assignment, two French students did just that this week with a video featuring a semi-naked woman, some expert body-painting and plenty of fooled citizens (and some shocked ones) in the northern French city of Lille.

‘I never fought with Kercher’: Knox
Italy

‘I never fought with Kercher’: Knox

American Amanda Knox said on Thursday that she was innocent of murdering her British housemate Meredith Kercher, claiming that the pair had "never fought" and were "becoming friends" in the weeks leading up to the student's murder.

Snub sends ‘chilling signal’: Dalai Lama rep
Norway

Snub sends ‘chilling signal’: Dalai Lama rep

The Dalai Lama's chief representative in Europe has attacked Norway's government for "sending a chilling signal to Tibetans in Tibet" by refusing to meet the country's spiritual leader during his visit to Norway this week.

Spanish city to fine shirtless tourists €600
Spain

Spanish city to fine shirtless tourists €600

The capital of the Spanish holiday island of Majorca is likely to pass a new bylaw which will see tourists slapped with a €600 ($800) fine for walking around shirtless when they've left the beach.

Student suspended for insulting prof on Twitter
Sweden

Student suspended for insulting prof on Twitter

A Swedish college has suspended a 21-year-old female student who took to Twitter to insult her teacher's appearance while he was giving a lecture.

Norwegian Islamist killed in Syria hailed as martyr
Norway

Norwegian Islamist killed in Syria hailed as martyr

A Norwegian man killed fighting alongside rebels in Syria has been hailed as a martyr by one of the country's leading Islamist groups, raising fears his death will encourage others to join the country's civil war.

These German grandmas want to raise my baby
Germany

These German grandmas want to raise my baby

Concerned that not enough strangers are talking to you in Germany? Writer Jacinta Nandi has the answer - have a baby and you will be inundated with advice from grandmothers on the street.

Tutankhamun’s ‘new’ tomb: Made in Spain
Spain

Tutankhamun’s ‘new’ tomb: Made in Spain

An amazing new replica tomb of the famous final resting place of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun which opened to the public on Thursday was painstakingly assembled in Madrid by a Spanish foundation.

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Switzerland

North Korea denies humanity crime claims

North Korea must act immediately to halt a litany of abuses and crimes against humanity, diplomats said on Thursday during a UN review in Geneva of the isolated Asian nation's rights record.

Neo-Nazis spark first church alarm since WWII
Sweden

Neo-Nazis spark first church alarm since WWII

UPDATED WITH AUDIO: The churches in Jönköping rang their bells in warning for two hours on May Day as neo-Nazis took to the streets. The alarm marked the first of its kind for the central Sweden town since World War II broke out.

Global rankings offer boost to French unis
France

Global rankings offer boost to French unis

Recent global university rankings have not made pleasant reading for French higher education chiefs, but the latest league table released this week suggests France has some of the best “new” universities in the world.

German politician defends party with Putin
Germany

German politician defends party with Putin

A politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has defended attending a party in St Petersburg with President Vladimir Putin in the middle of the stand-off over Ukraine.

Snakes slither over May Day celebrations
Italy

Snakes slither over May Day celebrations

Dozens of snakes were paraded during a traditional May Day religious celebration in the Italian village of Cocullo in the Apennine Mountains on Thursday.

Meat producers warn of higher sausage prices
Switzerland

Meat producers warn of higher sausage prices

Barbecue season is beckoning in Switzerland with the promise of warmer weather but meat producers put a damper on prospects on Thursday by announcing higher prices for the national sausage, the cervelat.

140 migrants storm Spanish border in Melilla
Spain

140 migrants storm Spanish border in Melilla

More than a hundred people stormed the fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Thursday, officials said, in the latest attempt by migrants to breach the border.

US drug giant Pfizer raises AstraZeneca bid
Sweden

US drug giant Pfizer raises AstraZeneca bid

Pfizer announced on Friday that it had revised its takeover offer for Anglo-Swedish drug giant AstraZeneca.

Thieves buy penis rings with Oslo lobbyist’s card
Norway

Thieves buy penis rings with Oslo lobbyist’s card

A senior Norwegian lobbyist had his credit card stolen by an ATM card catcher, then used to buy penis rings and penis pumps at a nearby sex shop.

Swedish fast-food chain ‘denies Roma men coffee’
Sweden

Swedish fast-food chain ‘denies Roma men coffee’

Staff at fast-food restaurant Max told four Roma men that they couldn't buy coffee, because they were Roma.

Far-right and left march in rival May Day rallies
France

Far-right and left march in rival May Day rallies

Thousands took to the streets of France in traditional May Day protests on Thursday with rival rallies held by the National Front, whose leader Marine Le Pen lambasted the European Union and the country’s trade unions, who demanded an end to austerity.

Thousands protest against unemployment
Italy

Thousands protest against unemployment

Scuffles broke out between police and hundreds of protesters in Turin at one of several rallies against unemployment and austerity in Italy for May Day.

‘Trondheim island could be poker paradise’
Norway

‘Trondheim island could be poker paradise’

A Progress Party politician has called for Monkholmen, the island fortress in the waters outside Trondheim, to be turned into a casino.

Police and protesters clash in May 1st demos
Germany

Police and protesters clash in May 1st demos

UPDATE: Police and far-left demonstrators clashed in Berlin and Hamburg on Thursday in the annual May 1st marches. In the capital 68 people were arrested and 61 police officers injured.

Merkel meets Obama in Washington
Germany

Merkel meets Obama in Washington

UPDATE: President Barack Obama welcomed Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday for discussions on the escalating crisis in Ukraine, her first visit to Washington since revelations that the US may have tapped her mobile phone.

Blaze on cross-Channel ferry leaves ten injured
France

Blaze on cross-Channel ferry leaves ten injured

Ten people were injured in a fire on a cross-channel ferry in the British port of Dover on Thursday, but all passengers were evacuated safely, officials said.