Zurich Zoo opens new home for elephants
Switzerland

Zurich Zoo opens new home for elephants

The Zurich Zoo is boasting more space for its largest occupants.

Swiss Red Cross worker killed in ‘lawless’ Libya
Switzerland

Swiss Red Cross worker killed in ‘lawless’ Libya

Gunmen killed a senior Swiss staffer of the Red Cross in Libya on Wednesday, hours after a rogue ex-general who has taken on the country's jihadists was lightly wounded in a suicide bombing.

Ex-UBS banker loses appeal of UK jail term
Switzerland

Ex-UBS banker loses appeal of UK jail term

Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, jailed for seven years for gambling away $2.3 billion in Britain's biggest ever fraud, lost a bid on Wednesday to appeal against his conviction.

Bern details Ukrainian regime asset seizures
Switzerland

Bern details Ukrainian regime asset seizures

Nearly $190 million in assets linked to ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych and his inner circle have been frozen in Switzerland, Swiss authorities said on Wednesday.

‘Spain’s new king hasn’t earned Catalan respect’
Spain

‘Spain’s new king hasn’t earned Catalan respect’

With relations between Catalonia and Spain's central government at rock bottom, The Local spoke to Catalan historian Àngel Casals to find out if the imminent arrival of a new king could help calm the troubled waters.

D-Day Anniversary: ‘I didn’t have a gun’
France

D-Day Anniversary: ‘I didn’t have a gun’

Edwin Kendrick was a combat medic who waded ashore in Normandy three days after D-Day with nothing but a medical kit and red cross armband. His memories are the first installment in The Local's series marking the 70th anniversary of the allied invasion of France.

London Heathrow’s new ‘Spanish’ terminal lifts off
Spain

London Heathrow’s new ‘Spanish’ terminal lifts off

The brand new Spanish-designed and built Terminal 2 building of London's Heathrow aiport welcomed its first flight on Wednesday morning, another symbol of Spain's place as an infrastructure superpower.

Future queen’s aunt calls for end to monarchy
Spain

Future queen’s aunt calls for end to monarchy

The aunt of Letizia Ortiz, Princess of Asturias and future Queen of Spain, has surprised Spaniards by speaking out in favour of a referendum to decide the future of the country’s monarchy.

Squatters kicked off Oslo site after 14-year standoff
Norway

Squatters kicked off Oslo site after 14-year standoff

Squatters living illegally on a large site in central Oslo have been evicted by police, bringing to an end a dispute that has run for more than a decade.

Firemen cycle 500km for cancer recognition
Norway

Firemen cycle 500km for cancer recognition

Dozens of firemen have cycled nearly 500 kilometres from Bergen to Oslo and handed over a petition to parliament to have cancer recognized as a workplace injury.

Ferry crashes into dock injuring 27 people
Germany

Ferry crashes into dock injuring 27 people

At least 27 people were injured on Wednesday morning in a ferry accident in northern Germany. Six of the crash victims suffered serious injuries, including two who are in a life-threatening condition.

Halal sex shop hooks up with German erotic giant
Germany

Halal sex shop hooks up with German erotic giant

A Dutch online shop selling halal sex products announced on Wednesday an alliance with Germany's largest erotic retailer to tap into the lucrative Muslim market, potentially worth billions of euros.

Union: No end in sight for Swedish train strike
Sweden

Union: No end in sight for Swedish train strike

IN PICTURES: As the third day of train strikes in southern Sweden comes to an end, a union spokesman says there's no end in sight. Meanwhile, we chat to some of the 75,000 people who've been left to find other transport options.

Kurz calls for EU status for Albania
Austria

Kurz calls for EU status for Albania

Austria is trying to convince other EU member nations that Albania should be given EU accession candidate status within the month.

Swiss Red Cross aid worker killed in Libya
Switzerland

Swiss Red Cross aid worker killed in Libya

Gunmen killed a Swiss man working in Libya for the International Committee for the Red Cross when they intercepted his car in the coastal city of Sirte on Wednesday, the Libyan Red Crescent said.

French love of electric cars could get new spark
France

French love of electric cars could get new spark

New legislation that won a key vote this week aims to double the number of car charging stations in France, which is already the largest buyer of electric vehicles in Europe.

Rome marks 70 years since Nazi liberation
Italy

Rome marks 70 years since Nazi liberation

Rome this week is celebrating the 70th anniversary since the city was liberated from the Nazis, on June 4th 1944, a moment described by Mayor Ignazio Marino as one of "uncontrollable joy" in the Italian capital.

Largest vegan ‘egg’ to be fried in Vienna
Austria

Largest vegan ‘egg’ to be fried in Vienna

Vienna will become the ‘vegan capital of Europe’ this weekend as it hosts the Veganmania street festival.

Top ten weird German laws and rules
Germany

Top ten weird German laws and rules

Every country has its fair share of weird regulations, but some of the ones in Germany border on the bizarre and irrational. The Local List takes a look at Germany's most quirky and obscure laws.

Merkel blasts critics of UK as ‘unacceptable’
Germany

Merkel blasts critics of UK as ‘unacceptable’

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday slammed as "unacceptable" arguments that Britain should leave the European Union if it refuses to back down in a dispute over a top job.

Spaniards must unite: Spain’s future king
Spain

Spaniards must unite: Spain’s future king

Spain's new king-in-waiting, Prince Felipe, urged Spaniards to unite for a better future on Wednesday in his first public remarks since King Juan Carlos announced an end to his 39-year reign.

Artist plasters Panthéon with 4,000 selfies
France

Artist plasters Panthéon with 4,000 selfies

In a mammoth art project, a French artist has decorated one of Paris’s most famous monuments with a collage of thousands of life-size selfies. Take a look inside.

OSCE website ‘hacked’
Austria

OSCE website ‘hacked’

The Vienna-based Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Wednesday its website had been hacked, according to an AFP report.

US channel Fox to launch in Sweden
Sweden

US channel Fox to launch in Sweden

American broadcasting company Fox has announced plans to launch a channel in Sweden. If Norway's launch is anything to go by, Swedes can expect shows like The Walking Dead just minutes after they're shown in the US.

Berlin airport director fired in bribery probe
Germany

Berlin airport director fired in bribery probe

The technical director of Berlin’s hopelessly delayed new international airport was fired on Wednesday amid a probe into corruption allegations against him.

‘Venice is being dragged through the mud’
Italy

‘Venice is being dragged through the mud’

Claudio Scarpa, head of the Venice hoteliers' association, said on Wednesday that Italy’s famous lagoon city is “being dragged through the mud” after its mayor was arrested as part of a corruption probe surrounding a project to protect the city from flooding.

‘I used to like change. But I’ve changed.’
Austria

‘I used to like change. But I’ve changed.’

Juliana Rocha, 31-years-old, is a Brazilian freelance journalist now living in and working from Vienna. The Local talked to her about what she does, and why she came to Austria.

Veterans arrive in France for D-Day anniversary
France

Veterans arrive in France for D-Day anniversary

The flags are up and the veterans have begun to arrive: Normandy is just about ready to deliver an emotional salute to the heroes of D-Day.

First ad aimed at dogs smells of treats
Austria

First ad aimed at dogs smells of treats

Dogs are now being targeted by advertisers in Vienna with posters which exude the whiff of doggy treats and are placed at eye level for the four-legged consumers.

Luxury living outside of Vienna: Part II
Austria

Luxury living outside of Vienna: Part II

Last week The Local looked at exclusive properties in Bregenz, Klagenfurt, Eisenstadt, Sankt Pölten and Klosterneuburg. This week we took a look at the remaining Austrian capitals outside of Vienna.

Sperm donor services to start in Italy
Italy

Sperm donor services to start in Italy

Public and private clinics in Italy will soon be able to provide egg and sperm donation services after a ban was lifted in April.

Max Martin: Sweden’s biggest pop export since Abba
Sweden

Max Martin: Sweden’s biggest pop export since Abba

Music contributor Paul Connolly lifts the lid on Swedish songwriter Max Martin, the mystery Swede responsible for more number one hits than Michael Jackson.

Swede plots end of cash with palm payments
Sweden

Swede plots end of cash with palm payments

Fed up with waiting in line to pay for groceries, an entrepreneurial young Swede has invented a palm payment method which is catching on. He tells The Local why his creation may spell the end for cash and even debit cards.

Poverty trap: Crisis takes toll on Spain’s kids
Spain

Poverty trap: Crisis takes toll on Spain’s kids

Spain's children are bearing the brunt of the country's crisis with 2.5 million kids at risk of poverty. Many can't even afford the cheap lunches being put on their school canteens.

Armed men break French drug kingpin out of jail
France

Armed men break French drug kingpin out of jail

In a brazen daylight escape, armed men busted a French drug kingpin out of police custody on Tuesday at a hospital. The trafficker is considered one of the "godfathers" of the drug world in the Paris area.

Top 10 memes: King of Spain’s abdication
Spain

Top 10 memes: King of Spain’s abdication

News of King Juan Carlos's abdication flooded Spain's social media sites within minutes on Monday. The Local has put together some of the funniest 'royal' memes, with everything from dancing elephants to Game of Thrones parodies.

Python found in rubbish bin
Austria

Python found in rubbish bin

A woman from Styria had a nasty shock when she went to empty her rubbish on Tuesday - after lifting the lid on a communal waste bin she saw a large python sitting on top of the rubbish.

Planned walkout at Rai is ‘illegitimate’
Italy

Planned walkout at Rai is ‘illegitimate’

A walkout scheduled at Rai over planned cuts to the state broadcaster's budget has been deemed "illegitimate" by the Italian strike authority.

Police catch armoured van robbers
Austria

Police catch armoured van robbers

Two criminals who attacked an armoured van and stole €200,000 outside a bank in Upper Austria have been arrested as they attempted to flee Austria.

Six years jail for Swedish child porn kingpin
Sweden

Six years jail for Swedish child porn kingpin

A 62-year-old man in Gothenburg has been sentenced to six years in prison for sharing millions of child abuse pictures online in what has been described as Sweden's biggest ever child porn ring bust.

GPS navigation for the blind
Austria

GPS navigation for the blind

An Austrian inventor has developed a braille-based GPS navigation system that is designed to help blind people get around more easily.

Italian climber found dead in Peruvian Andes
Italy

Italian climber found dead in Peruvian Andes

Searchers in Peru on Tuesday found the body of one of two Italian climbers who disappeared on Friday trying to reach one of the Andes' highest peaks.

Germany’s safest and most dangerous cities
Germany

Germany’s safest and most dangerous cities

Crime statistics published on Wednesday revealed Germany's most dangerous and safest cities. They also showed a sharp rise in child pornography and burglary offences.

Baby in pram falls on Stockholm train tracks
Sweden

Baby in pram falls on Stockholm train tracks

A pram with an infant inside fell on the train tracks on Stockholm on Wednesday, with the train driver managing to hit the brakes before anyone was hurt.

Italy’s Senate revamp faces uphill struggle
Italy

Italy’s Senate revamp faces uphill struggle

Reform of the Senate put forward by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is facing an upward struggle, with 3,806 amendments to the new law put forward, Italian media reported on Tuesday.

Sixty pesticides in Austrian rivers
Austria

Sixty pesticides in Austrian rivers

Austria's famously beautiful rivers - including the blue Danube - may not be as clean as they appear.

French rail workers call ‘extendable’ strike
France

French rail workers call ‘extendable’ strike

Travelers and commuters in France could be in for travel chaos next week as workers at the SNCF, the state-owned railway company, have threatened an 'extendable' strike over proposed reforms.

Berlin plans one home for three religions
Germany

Berlin plans one home for three religions

A €43.5 million project to construct a building where Jews, Muslims and Christians can pray together under one roof in the centre of Berlin moved a step closer on Tuesday.

Slow pace of boardroom equality ‘deplorable’
Sweden

Slow pace of boardroom equality ‘deplorable’

Almost 25 percent of company management boards in Sweden are made up of women, with a new report showing that the numbers are on the rise for the first time in years. Critics say the stats are still not good enough.

Scientists invent inflatable concrete dome
Austria

Scientists invent inflatable concrete dome

A team from Vienna’s Technical University (TU) has developed an inflatable concrete dome - which could be used to construct roofs or bridges.

Brit dies after falling from wall in Menorca
Spain

Brit dies after falling from wall in Menorca

A 30-year-old British woman died on Saturday after falling 9 metres (30 feet) from a wall on the Spanish island of Menorca.

Police warn fans over World Cup festivities
Switzerland

Police warn fans over World Cup festivities

Police have warned Swiss football fans that they can celebrate team victories in the upcoming World Cup competition — but not for too long.

Spain’s 10 best and worst World Cup moments
Spain

Spain’s 10 best and worst World Cup moments

Spain's victory at the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa came after decades of pain, with blood, tears and dubious refereeing causing heartbreak for fans of La Roja. The Local takes a look at ten key moments in Spain's football history.

Migrants better qualified than Germans
Germany

Migrants better qualified than Germans

More than 15.3 million people in Germany have a migrant background, according to figures released on Tuesday. A separate study also found that new immigrants were better qualified than Germans and warned the country must do more to hold on to them.

Confirmed: Human error caused horror train crash
Spain

Confirmed: Human error caused horror train crash

Investigators have confirmed that driver error was fully responsible for a tragic train crash near the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela in July 2013 in which 79 people died.

Doctor sees red when faced with police
Austria

Doctor sees red when faced with police

A doctor from Carinthia has been sentenced to eight months in prison after attacking police officers on several different occasions.

Neo-Nazi Vikernes denies posting racist blogs
Norway

Neo-Nazi Vikernes denies posting racist blogs

A Norwegian heavy metal musician accused of inciting racial hatred denied posting racist blogs as he went on trial Tuesday in France, claiming they were penned by someone posing to be him.

Swedish students ‘too tired’ for Pisa tests
Sweden

Swedish students ‘too tired’ for Pisa tests

After Sweden's students tumbled in the latest Pisa rankings, a new review suggests that due to a rigorous schedule of testing elsewhere, the students were too tired to care.

Venice mayor arrested in corruption probe
Italy

Venice mayor arrested in corruption probe

UPDATED: Giorgio Orsoni, the mayor of Venice, has been placed under house arrest as part of an investigation into bribery, extortion and money laundering relating to the Venice protection project, Moses.

Neo-Nazi Vikernes denies posting racist blogs
France

Neo-Nazi Vikernes denies posting racist blogs

A Norwegian heavy metal musician accused of inciting racial hatred denied posting racist blogs as he went on trial Tuesday in France, claiming they were penned by someone posing to be him.

Train strike in southern Sweden hits day three
Sweden

Train strike in southern Sweden hits day three

UPDATED: Trains in the south of the country remained at a standstill on Wednesday with planned maintenance set to affect the service further over the weekend.

EU hands Spain €10m to fight illegal immigration
Spain

EU hands Spain €10m to fight illegal immigration

Spain will receive €10 million ($13.6 million) from the European Union to fight illegal immigration in its two north African territories of Ceuta and Melilla, the government said on Tuesday.

Hollande to chow down with Russia, US leaders
France

Hollande to chow down with Russia, US leaders

France's food-loving President François Hollande will get a double dose of dinner on Thursday as he'll break bread in back-to-back meals with the US president and then Russia's top leader.

Government green-lights draft abdication law
Spain

Government green-lights draft abdication law

Spain's government on Tuesday approved legislation to bring into force King Juan Carlos's abdication, a day after the 76-year-old announced he would hand the crown to his son Prince Felipe, but the exact level of support for the bill is yet to be determined.

British ban on Cantona Kronenbourg ad reversed
France

British ban on Cantona Kronenbourg ad reversed

An advert for Kronenbourg 1664 starring former footballer Eric Cantona can be shown in Britain after reviewers on Wednesday ruled it was not "misleading" consumers into believing the lager was brewed and sourced in France.

Ten key players in Italy’s World Cup team
Italy

Ten key players in Italy’s World Cup team

Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has picked his team of 23 footballers to play in the World Cup in Brazil, which gets underway on June 12th.

Alps murder: one-time suspect kills himself
France

Alps murder: one-time suspect kills himself

In the latest unsettling twist in the unsolved murder of a British-Iraqi in Annecy, a former cop once looked at as a possible suspect has killed himself because he felt 'accused'.

Top prosecutor probes US spying on Merkel
Germany

Top prosecutor probes US spying on Merkel

UPDATE: Germany’s top prosecutor said on Wednesday he had opened an investigation over alleged snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

Suitcase victims died from stab wounds
Germany

Suitcase victims died from stab wounds

A man and woman whose bodies were found in two suitcases in a Stuttgart park over the weekend died from stab wounds and a beating, police said on Tuesday. Officers have released a picture of one of the suitcases and want its owner to come forward.

Chinese woman ‘adopted’ by doctors for six years
Italy

Chinese woman ‘adopted’ by doctors for six years

Italian authorities are searching for a home for a Chinese woman who has been cared for by doctors for the past six years, after she was abandoned following a stroke, according to a local media report.

‘Italy needs all-out structural reforms’
Italy

‘Italy needs all-out structural reforms’

An overhaul to slim down and speed up Italy's overweight bureaucracy will help boost "all-out structural reforms", Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Tuesday.

US soldier Bergdahl recovering in Germany
Germany

US soldier Bergdahl recovering in Germany

US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, recently released after five years as a Taliban prisoner, is in a "stable condition" and is making progress in his recovery in Germany, his doctors said on Tuesday.

Top ten things Sweden leads the world in
Sweden

Top ten things Sweden leads the world in

Despite its relatively small population, Sweden is a world leader - and might just be the best country on the entire planet. We've listed ten cool things where Sweden has topped the charts.