Pillay backs Tiananmen Square protesters
Switzerland

Pillay backs Tiananmen Square protesters

Geneva-based UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Tuesday called on China to release dozens of activists detained ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on democracy protests.

Police arrest Dutch-Swiss hashish ‘traffickers’
Switzerland

Police arrest Dutch-Swiss hashish ‘traffickers’

Law enforcement authorities in the canton of Neuchâtel say they have cracked a major Swiss-Dutch drug smuggling ring that has been dealing hundreds of kilograms of hashish and marijuana since the 1990s.

‘Danish is probably harder than Chinese’
Denmark

‘Danish is probably harder than Chinese’

30-year-old Hong Kong native Sau Wai Ng shares her experiences as a Chinese teacher and says that language is key to settling into a good career in Denmark.

Criminal probe launched into Vaud chalet project
Switzerland

Criminal probe launched into Vaud chalet project

Vaud’s cantonal government has filed a criminal complaint over illegal construction work allegedly done on a sprawling chalet complex — known locally as “Villa Putin” because of its Russian owners — in the mountain resort town of Villars-sur-Ollon.

Seven years’ prison for rape of daughter
Austria

Seven years’ prison for rape of daughter

An Austrian resident was today sentenced to seven years in prison, for allegedly raping his daughter a total of 1370 times.

Spain’s royal future: Six key questions
Spain

Spain’s royal future: Six key questions

Why did Spain's King Juan Carlos choose Monday to announce his abdication? And could the country really see a referendum on the monarchy? These are just two of six key questions surrounding the king's decision to step down.

National Front calls Madonna ‘Granny Gaga’
France

National Front calls Madonna ‘Granny Gaga’

American pop star Madonna lamented the massive European Parliament victory of the far-right National Front and got called 'Granny Gaga' by the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party in return.

Austrian ‘angel’ donates €2.2m to English hospice
Austria

Austrian ‘angel’ donates €2.2m to English hospice

A secret donation of €2.2 million was provided by a mysterious benefactor hailing from Austria to a hospice in High Wycombe.

Afghan interpreter gets all-clear to return
Norway

Afghan interpreter gets all-clear to return

Norwegian authorities have agreed to allow the recently deported Afghan interpreter Faizullah Muradi to return to the country to have his asylum case heard.

EU commissioner seeks Balkans reforms
Austria

EU commissioner seeks Balkans reforms

EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle has urged candidate countries to step up reforms so their efforts to join the European Union have an immediate impact on people and the economy.

Sweden’s Feminists win social media battle
Sweden

Sweden’s Feminists win social media battle

Fresh from their success in the EU elections Sweden's Feminist Initiative has also earned plaudits for its social media approach by claiming far more fans and followers than their political rivals.

‘France must give refuge to Edward Snowden’
France

‘France must give refuge to Edward Snowden’

A petition calling for France to grant asylum to American NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has garnered over 33,000 signatures in less than 12 hours.

Beer contaminated with plastic particles
Germany

Beer contaminated with plastic particles

German beer is famous for containing just four ingredients under the beer purity law, but it appears some brands have picked up an unwelcome fifth ingredient - plastic particles.

‘The EU and Italy must take growth seriously’
Italy

‘The EU and Italy must take growth seriously’

The EU and Italy must take growth seriously in order to speed up economic recovery in Europe, Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Tuesday, ahead of Italy taking over the EU presidency next month.

Right-wing fraternities marching in Vienna
Austria

Right-wing fraternities marching in Vienna

A group of Austrian right-wing student fraternities known as the Burschenschaften will be marching in Vienna today. Several counter demonstrations are planned, and police are urging restraint.

Austria has cheaper fuel than its neighbours
Austria

Austria has cheaper fuel than its neighbours

Austria has some of the cheapest fuel prices in Europe, according to a comparison by Austria’s car and bike association (ARBÖ).

Phone a friend – how about Merkel?
Germany

Phone a friend – how about Merkel?

Faced with an obscure question about East German washing machines on Monday night, a politician on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” thought he knew who had the answer – he phoned Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Crazed cow injures eight during city parade
Spain

Crazed cow injures eight during city parade

Eight people, including a child, were injured when a cow took fright and bolted during an animal parade in the northern Spanish city of Santander recently.

Artist exposes genitals in Paris museum stunt
France

Artist exposes genitals in Paris museum stunt

An artist caused a stir in Paris recently when she recreated a classic, but controversial painting of a woman's genitals at a famous museum by exposing herself to visitors. It's the City of Light's latest nude art moment.

School bus crash injures 15 children
Germany

School bus crash injures 15 children

Fifteen schoolchildren were injured on Tuesday when their school bus was hit by a car driven by an 82-year-old man in western Germany. The driver was seriously injured.

Swedish Jews welcome Auschwitz school trip
Sweden

Swedish Jews welcome Auschwitz school trip

A prominent spokesperson for Sweden's Jewish community has told The Local that she was "very happy" with the government's decision to sponsor school trips to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

FPÖ in secret meeting with right-wing populists
Austria

FPÖ in secret meeting with right-wing populists

The Freedom Party (FPÖ) has taken part in a secret meeting with other western European right-wing populists, as well as the leader of the Russian Eurasian movement, according to a Swiss newspaper.

Finally: someone resigns in crisis-hit Spain
Spain

Finally: someone resigns in crisis-hit Spain

It was famously said that in Spain, "nobody resigns", despite years of crisis and scandal. Now all that has changed, thanks to a man who was once adored as the saviour of democracy - and who was supposed to have a job for life. Alex Dunham asks what happened.

Italy’s jobless rate hits 13.6 percent in Q1
Italy

Italy’s jobless rate hits 13.6 percent in Q1

Italy’s unemployment rate hit 13.6 percent in the first three months of this year - 0.8 percent higher than in the same period in 2013 - while youth unemployment reached 46 percent, the national statistics agency Istat said on Tuesday.

Police arrest four who created ‘terror shrine’
Spain

Police arrest four who created ‘terror shrine’

Police on Tuesday arrested four men in Spain's northern Basque country after they planted an oak 'forest' designed to honour deceased members of the region's Eta terrorist group.

‘Homegrown jihadists are France’s gravest threat’
France

‘Homegrown jihadists are France’s gravest threat’

After saying some 800 French people have or plan to fight in Syria, France's outspoken prime minister noted these jihadists pose an unprecedented threat to France.

When did Germans forget how to build?
Germany

When did Germans forget how to build?

Two years ago today Europe’s biggest infrastructure project was supposed to open. This weekend I could be flying home through it - a still shiny terminal costing €4 billion hailed as a symbol of reunified Germany.

Probe opened into baby’s death in Calabria
Italy

Probe opened into baby’s death in Calabria

A public prosecutor on Tuesday opened a manslaughter inquiry over the death of a newborn baby, following a cesarean at a hospital in southern Italy.

US army veteran killed by his model helicopter
Germany

US army veteran killed by his model helicopter

A retired US serviceman died in eastern Germany on Sunday afternoon after the rotor blades of his remote control helicopter hit him in the head.

Monarchy referendum is illegal: Spanish PM
Spain

Monarchy referendum is illegal: Spanish PM

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Tuesday that a referendum on the future of the monarchy, demanded by anti-royalists after King Juan Carlos announced his abdication, would require a change to the constitution.

Facebook appeals in murder case ‘unhelpful’
Austria

Facebook appeals in murder case ‘unhelpful’

The trial of the man accused of murdering Larissa Bieber, a young woman whose body was found in the River Inn in the Tyrol region last year, begins on June 13th.

Courier leaves four kg of gold on doorstep
Austria

Courier leaves four kg of gold on doorstep

A courier company responsible for the safe delivery of a package sent from Graz to Pforzheim in Germany was left red-faced when their driver left the package on the doorstep.

How to leave the family home: A Spanish guide
Spain

How to leave the family home: A Spanish guide

A humorous new book is helping Spaniards make the massive leap from the family nest. The Local spoke to one of its authors to find out why the big move is so difficult.

Italy side looks to slay ghost of World Cup 2010
Italy

Italy side looks to slay ghost of World Cup 2010

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli might not admit it, but in Brazil the pressure is on to finally end the pain of a disastrous 2010 World Cup that plunged Italy into despair and sent the Azzurri into redemption mode.

Vicar fired for marrying Muslim finally ordained
Germany

Vicar fired for marrying Muslim finally ordained

A vicar who was dismissed from her training in southern Germany for marrying a Muslim man was finally ordained last Sunday.

How Prince Felipe will become Spain’s new king
Spain

How Prince Felipe will become Spain’s new king

Spain will have a new king in three to six weeks, Spanish media are reporting. Here The Local outlines the process that will turn Crown Prince Felipe into King Felipe VI.

Woman faces deportation for having two jobs
Sweden

Woman faces deportation for having two jobs

An immigrant woman who has lived and worked in Sweden for 13 years is set to be deported for having worked two separate jobs just before applying for her residency permit.

Row erupts over gay marriage in Naples
Italy

Row erupts over gay marriage in Naples

Naples will begin registering the marriages of gay couples who wed abroad, the city’s mayor has said, prompting a backlash from the archbishop of Naples who has argued that there are "more urgent" issues at hand.

Consul general to host Viennese ball
Austria

Consul general to host Viennese ball

Silvia Neureiter, the current Austrian consul general in Shanghai who took up her post in February, was very excited when she heard she would be transferred to China.

Man beaten by police after brothel visit
Austria

Man beaten by police after brothel visit

A 34-year-old man was seriously injured after a police interrogation following a visit to a Vienna brothel in March. In court on Monday, his lawyer alleged police brutality.

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

In Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week

Located in the heart of the hipster heaven that is Södermalm this trendy apartment in the Swedish capital has got superb views of the local area plus ample space to lounge and fika whenever you feel like it.

‘Modern slaves’ wash Norwegians’ cars: police
Norway

‘Modern slaves’ wash Norwegians’ cars: police

Police and labour inspectors have uncovered widespread ”modern slavery” at car washes across Norway.

Gothenburg man shot dead by police
Sweden

Gothenburg man shot dead by police

A man was killed after an altercation with police on Monday night. Officers initially said he was only injured, but they revealed on Tuesday that he died at the scene.

‘No risk’ from Biel’s radioactive waste dump
Switzerland

‘No risk’ from Biel’s radioactive waste dump

Officials from the federal government, the canton of Bern and the city of Biel are minimizing the health risk from a radioactive waste dump kept secret for 18 months.

Two die in apartment block explosion
Italy

Two die in apartment block explosion

A three-year-old boy has survived an explosion which killed his parents at their home in Foggia, south-east Italy, which a neighbour has claimed was caused by a gas leak ignored by technicians.

Etihad moves closer to Alitalia deal
Italy

Etihad moves closer to Alitalia deal

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airlines has set conditions for an investment in Alitalia that could see it take a 49 percent stake in Italy's struggling airline.

Illegal file sharing on the wane in Sweden
Sweden

Illegal file sharing on the wane in Sweden

Swedes aren't downloading movies and music as much as before with more people preferring to pay upfront for legal services such as Netflix.

Elite French students on trial for ‘blood’ hazing
France

Elite French students on trial for ‘blood’ hazing

After a horribly detailed hearing on Monday, a judge must now decide the fate of four former elite French university students accused of a grisly hazing ritual that left a first-year student with bloody letters carved into his back.

Hang glider pilots die after collision
Austria

Hang glider pilots die after collision

A 30-year-old Russian woman and a 57-year-old German, both living in Austria, have been killed in a hang gliding accident in Carinthia.

What will France’s new regions look like?
France

What will France’s new regions look like?

In a long-awaited proposal to trim France’s notorious bureaucracy, President Francois Hollande unveiled on Tuesday a plan to cut the number of French regions by a third. But will the reform actually help a struggling France?

Austrian migrants ‘better educated’
Austria

Austrian migrants ‘better educated’

Austria has more skilled migrants than other EU countries, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

‘Risky’ projects attract Wallenberg investment
Sweden

‘Risky’ projects attract Wallenberg investment

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation is set to allocate billions of kronor for new research programmes with an estimated 1.7 billion ($260m) set aside for pursuing "riskier" projects.

111,916 people leave Spain’s jobless queues
Spain

111,916 people leave Spain’s jobless queues

Spain saw its jobless numbers drop by over 111,000 in May, the largest fall for the month on record, official figures released on Tuesday show.

ILO decries ‘premature’ austerity measures
Switzerland

ILO decries ‘premature’ austerity measures

The United Nation's Geneva-based labour agency on Tuesday denounced "premature" austerity measures brought in by governments around the world during the financial crisis, saying they have hurt the world's most vulnerable people.

Swedes’ top travel destination revealed
Sweden

Swedes’ top travel destination revealed

Fresh statistics from Sweden's biggest travel magazine have revealed Swedish people's favourite holiday destination - and it's not Thailand.

Police struggle as cybercrime hits record
Germany

Police struggle as cybercrime hits record

Cybercrime in Germany rose to a record level in 2013 to 64,500 cases, but only one in four crimes are solved and police unions believe as many as 90 percent of internet crimes go unreported.

Thousands call for end to Spain’s monarchy
Spain

Thousands call for end to Spain’s monarchy

Thousands of people took to the streets of Spain on Monday evening calling for a referendum on the future of the country's monarchy in the wake of the abdication of King Juan Carlos.

Hungary raids aid groups in row with Norway
Norway

Hungary raids aid groups in row with Norway

Hungarian government inspectors on Monday raided several non-governmental organizations it calls politically-biased in an escalation of a row between Hungary and Norway over development aid.

Ex-US army officer can’t drive his €88k Ferrari
Germany

Ex-US army officer can’t drive his €88k Ferrari

A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army claims he has been the victim of a scam after a dealership in Munich sold him a Ferrari which was seized by custom officials as soon as it arrived in America.

France says BNP Paribas fine ‘unreasonable’
France

France says BNP Paribas fine ‘unreasonable’

Top French officials, including President François Hollande, are pressuring the United States to sweeten a plea deal being offered to BNP Paribas bank over its dealings with blacklisted countries like Sudan and Cuba. On Tuesday France called a proposed multi-billion euro fine 'unreasonable'

Kidnapped Italian priests freed in Cameroon
Italy

Kidnapped Italian priests freed in Cameroon

Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun, kidnapped by gunmen in northern Cameroon in early April, have been released.

Inflation in Germany sinks to four-year low
Germany

Inflation in Germany sinks to four-year low

Inflation in Germany reached its lowest level for four years in May, with prices hardly rising in a year. Heating bills fell while food costs edged up slightly.

Princess Leonore touches down in Sweden
Sweden

Princess Leonore touches down in Sweden

Sweden's youngest princess arrived in Sweden for the first time in her life on Tuesday morning, as part of a chaotic visit with her family set to include her baptism.

Seven arrested in Italy after migrant boat surge
Italy

Seven arrested in Italy after migrant boat surge

Seven alleged people smugglers have been arrested in Italy after thousands of migrants were intercepted at the weekend trying to make the dangerous crossing to Europe by boat, local media reported on Monday evening.

Renzi vows to ‘unblock Italy’ with new reforms
Italy

Renzi vows to ‘unblock Italy’ with new reforms

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised to "unblock Italy" with a new series of reforms designed to boost productivity and investments in the eurozone's third largest economy.

Argentinian gets 30 years for French murders
France

Argentinian gets 30 years for French murders

A man convicted of brutally raping and murdering two young French women in Argentina in 2011 was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Monday. He continues to claim his innocence.

‘Mafia-smuggled’ puppy dies after two days
Germany

‘Mafia-smuggled’ puppy dies after two days

An expat in Munich is warning about the dangers of buying dogs after her new puppy died within 48 hours. Vets believe the pet was smuggled illegally into Germany from eastern Europe by a gang.