International drug ring smashed
Austria

International drug ring smashed

Police in several European countries carried out multiple simultaneous raids on Wednesday to shut down an alleged international drug ring, including locations in Austria, as part of Operation Gallus.

Burqa ban rejected by parliament
Austria

Burqa ban rejected by parliament

The Austrian Press Agency reported Friday that the Freedom Party's (FPÖ) proposed bill to ban the wearing of the burqa and other similar religious headgear traditionally worn by Muslim women has been defeated due to lack of support by the Austrian parliament.

Bundt cake brazenly taken from supermarket
Austria

Bundt cake brazenly taken from supermarket

RegioNews reports on a suspected theft in Linz on Wednesday. A local man went into a supermarket, and stole a Bundt cake.

Ending the cycle of life… on a tricycle
Denmark

Ending the cycle of life… on a tricycle

A new mode of transportation to life's final resting place has piqued interest and raised eyebrows in Copenhagen.

Pro-Palestinian protests across Norway
Norway

Pro-Palestinian protests across Norway

Thousands turned out in Oslo and Trondheim to show their support for Palestine on Friday.

Man sets himself on fire outside embassy
Germany

Man sets himself on fire outside embassy

A man set himself on fire outside the Libyan Embassy in Berlin on Friday.

Paris’s must-see 10 weirdest museums
France

Paris’s must-see 10 weirdest museums

The Louvre Museum is great and all, but Paris also has scores of weird museums that are worth a visit. Here The Local has gathered 10 creepy and/or fascinating exhibits that are must-sees while you're in town.

Black fingerprints
Austria

Black fingerprints

In the first of a regular series of commentaries by a media insider, The Local takes a curmudgeonly look at life in Austria - starting with the "boulevard press".

Spain passes watered down ‘anti-protest’ law
Spain

Spain passes watered down ‘anti-protest’ law

Spain on Friday passed the country's new Citizen Security Law, a far tamer document than the original draft which included controversial measures like fines of up to €600,000 ($800,000) for unauthorized protests outside the country's parliament.

Germany vs. Argentina: Who does history favour?
Germany

Germany vs. Argentina: Who does history favour?

Which side will the history books favour when Germany face Argentina in the final of the World Cup in Brazil on Sunday? The Local looks at past clashes between the two great footballing nations to find out.

Prison boss ‘drove murderers to wedding’
Austria

Prison boss ‘drove murderers to wedding’

The head of a juvenile prison at Gerasdorf in Lower Austria has been criticised for allowing two convicted murderers to leave the prison for a wedding, and accompanying them herself.

Calais targets migrants by banning camps
France

Calais targets migrants by banning camps

Authorities in Calais continued to target migrants that amass in the Channel port this week with the mayor of the town passing a decree on Thursday barring people from setting up camps or occupying certain areas, on the grounds of a threat to public health.

Risky business: Man snaps bull run selfie
Spain

Risky business: Man snaps bull run selfie

A participant in Friday's running of the bulls in the Spanish city of Pamplona may be slapped with a €3,000 ($4,100) fine after he dared to take a selfie just inches away from a group of charging San Fermin bulls.

The most expensive German cities for expats
Germany

The most expensive German cities for expats

German cities remain cheaper than their European neighbours for expats, but have shot up international cost of living rankings. Which cities top the list for Germany?

Lena Hoschek: Inspired by 50’s glamour
Austria

Lena Hoschek: Inspired by 50’s glamour

Austrian fashion designer Lena Hoschek, 33, is known for her nostalgic 1950’s inspired dresses and an emphasis on classic cuts and flattering, hourglass silhouettes.

Jewish museum ‘shooter’ drops extradition appeal
France

Jewish museum ‘shooter’ drops extradition appeal

A French-Algerian man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels has dropped an appeal against his extradition to Belgium, his lawyer said on Friday. The suspect is expected to be handed over to Belgian authorities in the coming weeks.

Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
Sweden

Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county

A Swedish nurse who was fired for refusing to perform abortions due to her religious beliefs has enlisted the help of an American Christian legal organization as she takes her dismissal case to court.

US family files lawsuit over Swiss balloon crash
Switzerland

US family files lawsuit over Swiss balloon crash

The family of an American man who died in a hot-air balloon accident in the canton of Fribourg last summer has filed a lawsuit in the US seeking $53.8 million in damages.

VIDEO: ‘Penis’ flower exposed in Copenhagen
Denmark

VIDEO: ‘Penis’ flower exposed in Copenhagen

Amorphophallus Titanum – Titan’s Penis – bloomed on Friday at the Botanical Gardens of Copenhagen. Skip the pungent smell and see the timelapse video here.

Blogger fined €1,500 for harsh restaurant review
France

Blogger fined €1,500 for harsh restaurant review

A French blogger has been ordered by a court to pay €2,500 in damages and costs after a judge ruled that her harsh review of a restaurant crossed the line from criticism into insult. Does the judgement set a dangerous precedent for internet freedom?

Shooting victim reported death threats to police
Denmark

Shooting victim reported death threats to police

The 28-year-old woman who was shot dead in Hvidovre on Tuesday had reported her ex-husband's death threats to police just days before she was publicly gunned down.

Hospital to obese patient: Go to a vet instead
Italy

Hospital to obese patient: Go to a vet instead

A man in north-eastern Italy was reportedly turned away from a hospital after being told he was too fat for an MRI scanner and should go “where they have facilities for large animals”.

Austrian cops can nab suspects in Italy
Austria

Austrian cops can nab suspects in Italy

A new agreement between the governments of Italy and Austria was announced Friday in Vienna, allowing Austrian police in pursuit of criminals to more easily operate across the border in Italy.

Berlin to place 8,000 lit balloons along Wall route
Germany

Berlin to place 8,000 lit balloons along Wall route

Berlin will mark 25 years since the fall of the Wall by placing around 8,000 illuminated balloons along the route of the barrier which divided the city between East and West for 30 years.

Mag suspected of paying police and Royal House
Denmark

Mag suspected of paying police and Royal House

Se og Hør paid a credit card company employee for confidential information and now police suspect that the magazine's stable of sources may include some within their own ranks.

How German lands responded to the Black Death
Germany

How German lands responded to the Black Death

In this week's Expat Dispatches, history teacher Mike Stuchbery gives us a lesson in the Medieval fear and loathing unleashed by the Black Death in the German lands.

Father and son sentenced for arson
Sweden

Father and son sentenced for arson

The two men prosecuted for attempting to extort Swedish celebrity chef Melker Andersson have been convicted in court, with the 37-year-old getting four years behind bars. His son, 17, will serve time in youth welfare.

Queen Sonja to visit Faroe Islands
Norway

Queen Sonja to visit Faroe Islands

Queen Sonja of Norway is set for her first official trip to the Faroe Islands in July.

France set for weekend of traffic chaos on roads
France

France set for weekend of traffic chaos on roads

Think twice about taking to French roads this weekend with warnings that the first big getaway of the summer will see traffic jams and delays across the country, especially around the Paris region. Find out where to avoid here.

Danish beggar ban slammed in Sweden
Denmark

Danish beggar ban slammed in Sweden

A Social Democrat MP's suggestion that Denmark should get tough on the homeless and force them towards friendlier nations has created controversy across the bridge.

Official: Barça sign Luis Suarez for five years
Spain

Official: Barça sign Luis Suarez for five years

Barcelona announced on Friday they had struck a deal to sign Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez from Liverpool, sealing the transfer despite the uproar over him biting a World Cup rival.

EU investigates Valencia over ‘false’ debt figures
Spain

EU investigates Valencia over ‘false’ debt figures

The European Commission said on Friday it would investigate the Spanish region of Valencia, home to a large number of high-profile corruption scandals, over possible falsification of its deficit and debt figures.

Swedes overdose on unidentified drug
Sweden

Swedes overdose on unidentified drug

Two people were found dead at a hotel in northern Sweden, with pills on the scene leading police to believe drugs were involved.

Tour de France stage 7 – Nibali bids to defend lead
France

Tour de France stage 7 – Nibali bids to defend lead

The Tour de France moves on to stage seven on Friday, with Yellow jersey holder Vincenzo Nibali, hoping he can stay out of trouble, with some tough stages to come. Here's a video preview of the 234km race.

Denmark’s top baby names are…
Denmark

Denmark’s top baby names are…

The top five names for both boys and girls remained virtually unchanged from the year before. See which names topped the list.

Jewellery thief caught after four-year con
Switzerland

Jewellery thief caught after four-year con

A man who has been swindling jewellery stores in Switzerland for at least four years has finally been arrested, according to a media report.

Heart operation for young Syrian refugee
Austria

Heart operation for young Syrian refugee

Syrian refugees are flooding into Europe. Austria recently agreed to accept 1500 more asylum seekers. The Local looks at how one family has fared, and what the new life in Austria means to them.

Magaluf cracks down on wild pub crawls
Spain

Magaluf cracks down on wild pub crawls

Island authorities are hoping to clamp down on the drunk and disorderly behaviour of Magaluf holiday revellers by minimizing numbers on the notorious alcohol-fuelled bar crawls.

Civil war bomb stuck in pine tree for 75 years
Spain

Civil war bomb stuck in pine tree for 75 years

A police bomb squad in Spain's Aragon region has defused more than 100 explosive devices from the country's Civil War in recent months, with one of them having hung in a tree for 75 years before being discovered.

Driver walks home from 60-metre fall
Germany

Driver walks home from 60-metre fall

A driver walked home unaided and went to bed largely unharmed after her car plunged 60 metres over a cliff in Bavaria. She was saved by the trees below.

Italy backs controversial Russian gas pipeline
Italy

Italy backs controversial Russian gas pipeline

Italy's undersecretary for European politics on Thursday gave his backing to a controversial gas pipeline from Russia, sparking criticism that the Italian government is overstepping its mandate as EU president.

Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
Sweden

Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban

UPDATED: Malmö Mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh has lashed out at plans by the Danish government to force Copenhagen's homeless population across the bridge to beg for change in Sweden instead, telling The Local it is a "cynical" ploy.

French industry slams US for ‘not playing fair’
France

French industry slams US for ‘not playing fair’

French and German industry leaders took a swipe at the United States on Friday, saying it was trying to erode the power of the European banking industry.

Being an expat in Copenhagen costs dearly
Denmark

Being an expat in Copenhagen costs dearly

Expats looking for a cheap place to live should turn their eyes to Copenhagen's European neighbours. But do the city's high prices keep expats away? The Local spoke with a few to find out.

‘The Americans have humiliated us again’
Germany

‘The Americans have humiliated us again’

UPDATE: Germany's expulsion of the CIA station chief in Berlin in a spy row with the United States has found widespread support in the country. But what happens now?

Summer camp’s ‘polluted water’ leaves boy dead
France

Summer camp’s ‘polluted water’ leaves boy dead

A probe has been launched after a young boy died and up to ten other children were left sick after visiting a French holiday camp, where the tap water was known to be contaminated. Several children and adults also fell ill at a separate summer camp in Brittany.

Zurich world’s fifth most costly city for expats
Switzerland

Zurich world’s fifth most costly city for expats

Zurich is now a more expensive place for expats to live than Geneva, according to an annual survey which ranks Switzerland's largest city as the fifth most costly place to live in the world.

Grasser sues former tax advisor
Austria

Grasser sues former tax advisor

Former finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser is suing his former tax advisor, saying he gave him bad advice. A court hearing next week into his unpaid taxes has been postponed due to illness.

New law lets minority parties start probes
Austria

New law lets minority parties start probes

The coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and conservative People's Party (ÖVP) and the opposition parties, the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), the Greens and the liberal NEOS agreed on a reform allowing opposition parties to set up a parliamentary investigation committee.

Swedes risk infants’ lives by covering up prams
Sweden

Swedes risk infants’ lives by covering up prams

Attempting to protect your child from the heat by using a blanket to drown out the sun in a pram could prove fatal according to a Swedish paediatrician, who has warned parents to abandon the practice.

‘Extinct’ dragonfly alive and well in Skåne
Sweden

‘Extinct’ dragonfly alive and well in Skåne

A six-year inventory of dragonflies in southern Sweden revealed that several species thought to be extinct are still flying high.

Norway honours dead of 2011 Oslo terror attack
Norway

Norway honours dead of 2011 Oslo terror attack

Norwegians will unite on Friday to remember the July 22nd mass murder in Oslo where 77 people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik.

Mafia boss claims links to ‘corrupt’ treasurer
Spain

Mafia boss claims links to ‘corrupt’ treasurer

Just days after 26 suspected members of the Italian Camorra mob were arrested in Madrid, police investigations have revealed that one of the top mafia bosses claimed to have contact and business plans with disgraced Popular Party treasurer Luis Bárcenas.

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Spain

Confirmed: Spain’s inflation hit zero in June

Spain's inflation rate fell to zero in June, official data showed on Friday, as the eurozone battled to fend off the threat of a damaging deflationary spiral.

Fifa dismisses Suarez appeal over ban
Italy

Fifa dismisses Suarez appeal over ban

Fifa has dismissed appeals by Uruguay and Luis Suarez over the striker's four-month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a match on June 24th.

Police arrest Barcelona cannabis club bosses
Spain

Police arrest Barcelona cannabis club bosses

The president of a top cannabis association in Catalonia has been arrested over suspected money laundering, Spanish media outlets reported on Friday.

Brain project directors hit back at research critics
Switzerland

Brain project directors hit back at research critics

Directors of the Human Brain Project (HBP), the Swiss-run €1.2 billion research programme that aims to simulate the human brain, have responded to criticism from participating scientists who have threatened to boycott the project.

Military company wins export bid down-under
Austria

Military company wins export bid down-under

According to a report in the news daily Wiener Zeitung, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) have won a major export contract to provide armored vehicles to the Australian government.

Storms cause death, floods and flight delays
Germany

Storms cause death, floods and flight delays

A storm ripped through North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Saxony on Thursday night causing flight delays, floods and at least one death.

Austria adopts new energy act
Austria

Austria adopts new energy act

Austria’s National Council has voted in favour of a new energy efficiency act which aims to reduce energy consumption by 2020 in line with European Union energy targets.

Expat life cheaper in Stockholm than Rome
Italy

Expat life cheaper in Stockholm than Rome

The cost of living for expats is cheaper in Stockholm than in Rome or Milan, according to a global ranking released on Thursday.

Polish student raped in Milan
Italy

Polish student raped in Milan

A man has been arrested for allegedly raping a 23-year-old Polish student in central Milan, Italian media reported on Friday.

Swede’s salary chopped for Facebook use
Sweden

Swede’s salary chopped for Facebook use

An employee at an insurance agency in central Sweden will lose 15 days of pay as punishment for surfing the web on the job, spending over 40 hours this summer mainly using social media.

Cops close case of ‘victimized’ gay couple
Sweden

Cops close case of ‘victimized’ gay couple

Police in western Sweden have closed an investigation into alleged homophobic abuse of a gay couple who claimed they were being run out of town. The pair have insisted they are telling the truth.

Amazon defies France with 1 centime deliveries
France

Amazon defies France with 1 centime deliveries

Retail giant Amazon has decided to hit back at a new law banning it from offering free deliveries in France by charging customers just one centime (1.4 cents) for books dispatched to their homes. A French minister had accused the online store of "destroying bookshops".

Swedish police nab Mexican spider
Sweden

Swedish police nab Mexican spider

Police in central Sweden received a rather unusual assignment on Thursday evening - to pick up a spider which doesn't belong in the country.

‘Refugees can contribute positively to Italy’
Italy

‘Refugees can contribute positively to Italy’

As Italian politicians push the EU for more help with tackling the country's immigration crisis, The Local goes for breakfast at a refugee centre to see the reality behind the headlines.

Newborn baby found abandoned in bottle bin
France

Newborn baby found abandoned in bottle bin

A newborn born was found abandoned in a bottle bin in a town in northern France, according to reports on Friday. The baby, said to be only a few hours old, was suffering from hypothermia and had cuts to the skin.

Germany calls on US to wipe spy slate clean
Germany

Germany calls on US to wipe spy slate clean

UPDATE: Germany has called on the United States to come clean and stop all spying activities against it, following the expulsion of the US spy chief in Berlin on Thursday.

Spain’s battered socialist party seeks new leader
Spain

Spain’s battered socialist party seeks new leader

After humiliating election defeats, Spain's Socialists are choosing a new leader this weekend in bid to try and win back government in 2015, with many pinning their hopes on a surprise new front runner nicknamed 'Pedro the Handsome'.

EU sues Denmark for failing to ban snus
Denmark

EU sues Denmark for failing to ban snus

The Danish government was repeatedly warned to stop the sale of snus and after its last attempt failed to pass in parliament, the EU Commission has taken legal action.

Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Sweden

Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years

The last few days have seen sizzling temperatures across the country - at least by Swedish standards. On Thursday parts of northern Sweden experienced their warmest temperatures in 90 years.

Klose to turn ‘party animal’ if Germany win
Germany

Klose to turn ‘party animal’ if Germany win

The World Cup's top-scorer Miroslav Klose has threatened to abandon his strict fitness regime and become a "party animal" if Germany win Sunday's final in Brazil against Argentina.

Planning minister: Build 250,000 homes a year
Germany

Planning minister: Build 250,000 homes a year

Planning Minister Barbara Hendricks on Thursday called for Germany to build 250,000 new homes a year to cope with housing shortages in its major cities.

French rickshaw rider given UK police escort
France

French rickshaw rider given UK police escort

Police in the UK were forced to give an escort this week to a Frenchman cycling home to France on a rickshaw, after he took a wrong turn and ended up on a dual-carriageway.

Italy told ‘insider trading can’t be punished twice’
Italy

Italy told ‘insider trading can’t be punished twice’

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a ruling that insider trading crimes punished by a regulator cannot also be tried in criminal courts, a decision that could set a precedent across Europe.

Italy’s Enel to sell assets in Romania and Slovakia
Italy

Italy’s Enel to sell assets in Romania and Slovakia

Italian electric power giant Enel on Thursday said it was planning to sell assets in Romania and Slovakia in a deal that would raise more than €4.4 billion.

‘Alitalia must cut jobs or face bankruptcy’: Renzi
Italy

‘Alitalia must cut jobs or face bankruptcy’: Renzi

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday warned trade unions they must accept job cuts at flag carrier Alitalia as part of a deal with Gulf airline Etihad or face bankruptcy.

Teen arrested for bank hack crime
Norway

Teen arrested for bank hack crime

A 17-year-old youth from Bergen has been charged with Tuesday's cyber-attack on 11 businesses across Norway.