Tour de France: Kristoff wins stage 12
Norway

Tour de France: Kristoff wins stage 12

Norway's only Tour de France entry, Alexander Kristoff, won the latest leg of the Tour de France after a sprint finish on Thursday.

Alitalia avoids Ukraine after jet shot down
Italy

Alitalia avoids Ukraine after jet shot down

Alitalia has rerouted its aircraft to avoid flying over eastern Ukraine after a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet crashed near the town of Shaktarsk on Thursday, killing all 295 people on board.

Road workers smash 1,000-year-old monument
Norway

Road workers smash 1,000-year-old monument

A northern county on Thursday began proceedings to sue a Norwegian government sub-contractor for destroying a 1,000-year-old ancient stone during a roadside project in Nordland.

Sweden gets tough on e-cig sales
Sweden

Sweden gets tough on e-cig sales

A Swedish court has ruled that e-cigs should be treated as a pharmaceutical product subject to approval and thus illegal for sale in grocery and convenience stores.

French FM to visit Israel for Gaza peace talks
France

French FM to visit Israel for Gaza peace talks

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will travel on Friday to Egypt and Israel for talks aimed at bringing the deadly conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians to an end, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday.

USA spy station chief leaves Germany
Germany

USA spy station chief leaves Germany

UPDATE: The CIA station chief in Germany left the country on Thursday after Berlin's shock decision last week to demand his expulsion, the US and German governments said.

Spanish war ship stirs up Gibraltar tensions
Spain

Spanish war ship stirs up Gibraltar tensions

The British government summoned the Spanish ambassador to the Foreign Office in London on Thursday over the actions of a Spanish naval vessel near Gibraltar.

French ban on gay men giving blood could end
France

French ban on gay men giving blood could end

France’s lifetime ban on gay men donating blood is facing a serious legal challenge after an influential judge in Europe’s top court found the prohibition amounts to discrimination.

Tour de France: Norway’s Kristoff wins stage 12
France

Tour de France: Norway’s Kristoff wins stage 12

Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff won stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday after an exciting finish to the 185.5km ride from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint Etienne (see video).

This man has the biggest tax bill in Spain
Spain

This man has the biggest tax bill in Spain

Lionel Messi may have just been named the most valuable player at the World Cup in Brazil but that is unlikely to soften the blow of having to pay Spain's largest tax bill — a whopping €53 million ($71 million).

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Sweden

Swedish broadcasters mull TV nudity boost

With US reality show stars shedding their clothes in droves, Swedish broadcasters have indicated that they are open to trying the same thing in Sweden.

Tomatina festival tainted by corruption rumours
Spain

Tomatina festival tainted by corruption rumours

The company organizing Spain's world famous Tomatina festival has been pelted with claims of corruption by the town's opposition party, accusing them of reaping massive ticket profits illegally.

Mont Blanc deaths spark calls to end ‘free-for-all’
France

Mont Blanc deaths spark calls to end ‘free-for-all’

A deadly start to the climbing season on Europe’s tallest peak, Mont Blanc, has prompted renewed calls to impose restrictions on scaling the mountain that attracts up to 30,000 climbing parties each year and has the reputation of being one of the world's deadliest summits.

The Ukrainians protesting in Vienna
Austria

The Ukrainians protesting in Vienna

Every Thursday lunchtime for the past several months, a small but determined group of Ukrainians has been gathering outside the head office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) at Vienna's Hofburg.

Swedes react to Assange court ruling
Sweden

Swedes react to Assange court ruling

A Swedish court on Wednesday upheld an arrest warrant for Julian Assange, a decision which has generated debate worldwide. The Local has asked local Swedes for their reaction to the legal impasse.

Jogi Löw – from Black Forest to Brazil victory
Germany

Jogi Löw – from Black Forest to Brazil victory

There could scarcely be another contender for The Local’s German of the Week after national coach Joachim Löw hit the footballing jackpot in Brazil on Sunday, guiding Germany to its fourth World Cup title. But the 54-year-old's career has seen its share of bumps too.

Blues legend Winter dies in Swiss hotel room
Switzerland

Blues legend Winter dies in Swiss hotel room

Grammy award-winning American blues legend Johnny Winter has died aged 70 in a hotel room near Zurich, Swiss police said on Thursday, confirming a statement on his official Facebook page.

Swedish banking giants report mixed fortunes
Sweden

Swedish banking giants report mixed fortunes

Swedish bank Nordea on Thursday posted falling profits in the second quarter while competitor Handelsbanken announced growing figures for the same period.

Austrian computer pioneer Zemanek dies
Austria

Austrian computer pioneer Zemanek dies

The Austrian computer pioneer Heinz Zemanek, known for designing Europe's first computer, has died aged 94 in Vienna.

Songs and advice for Merkel on 60th birthday
Germany

Songs and advice for Merkel on 60th birthday

Quirky tributes poured in for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she celebrated her 60th birthday on Thursday, along with some advice from her former mentor, elder statesman Helmut Kohl.

LVMH and eBay end knockoff goods battle
France

LVMH and eBay end knockoff goods battle

American auction site eBay and French luxury goods maker LVMH have struck an agreement that ends a years-long court battle over the online sales of knockoff products. However, the details of the deal are sparse for the moment.

National stadium gets new Swedish name
Denmark

National stadium gets new Swedish name

The home of Denmark's national team and FC Copenhagen will now bear the name of the Swedish telecommunications company Telia.

‘Mannerschnitten domino’ record attempt
Austria

‘Mannerschnitten domino’ record attempt

A group of domino enthusiasts has attempted to set a new world record by creating a chain of more than 8,500 packs of Mannerschnitten wafers in Vienna’s City Hall.

Italy in disbelief over ‘pro-Russia’ criticism
Italy

Italy in disbelief over ‘pro-Russia’ criticism

Italy reacted with disbelief on Thursday to charges that Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini would be too pro-Russian as the European Union's next foreign policy chief because of Italy's economic ties with Moscow.

Berlin: Give foreigners a referendum vote
Germany

Berlin: Give foreigners a referendum vote

An overwhelming majority of Berliners believe the law should be changed to allow foreigners to vote in city referendums.

Fiat shares climb on takeover rumour
Italy

Fiat shares climb on takeover rumour

Shares in Italian auto giant Fiat jumped by 1.91 percent to €7.745 in Milan on Thursday on a German magazine report of a possible takeover by Volkswagen that Fiat denied.

UK tourists torch Magaluf building in failed prank
Spain

UK tourists torch Magaluf building in failed prank

British tourists in the infamous party resort of Magaluf in Majorca have destroyed the apartment block where they were staying when a prank involving an aerosol and a lighter went horribly wrong.

Breivik in isolation is an ‘inhumane experiment’
Norway

Breivik in isolation is an ‘inhumane experiment’

The defence lawyer for mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik blasted his prison sentence as an "inhumane experiment" on Thursday.

Verdict against Tyrol ex-FPÖ candidate revoked
Austria

Verdict against Tyrol ex-FPÖ candidate revoked

The Higher Regional Court in Innsbruck has lifted the sentence against a former top candidate for the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) in Tyrol.

Protesters arrested over Rome violence
Italy

Protesters arrested over Rome violence

Rome prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for four protesters, believed to have taken part in a violent march in April in which dozens of people were injured.

Dispute over child support for gay couples
Austria

Dispute over child support for gay couples

Austria’s High Court is set to decide whether two parents in a same-sex relationship should both receive child support payments.

Botox increasingly popular among Danes
Denmark

Botox increasingly popular among Danes

The number of Danes undergoing cosmetic procedures to improve their appearance increased by 30 percent in just one year and the numbers are likely to keep growing.

Telia Sonera faces new dictator probe
Sweden

Telia Sonera faces new dictator probe

New allegations have emerged linking Swedish-Finnish telecom firm Telia Sonera with the family of Azeri dictator Ilham Aliyev, a claim to which the company's CEO has admitted knowing nothing.

And the burglary capital of France is…?
France

And the burglary capital of France is…?

Rankings have just been released that show where in France, residents are most likely to be burgled. And it's bad news for anyone living in the south of the country. Find out if you stand more of chance of being broken into where you live.

Barcelona dog walkers: get licence or face fines
Spain

Barcelona dog walkers: get licence or face fines

Dog owners in the Catalan capital will soon need a licence to let their pets off the leash if they don't want to cough up €600 ($800) in fines.

Criticism of part-closure of Mauthausen
Austria

Criticism of part-closure of Mauthausen

A group representing Nazi concentration camp victims has criticized a decision to close Austria’s Mauthausen memorial site on Mondays for most of the year.

Is this expat cat the world’s oldest?
Germany

Is this expat cat the world’s oldest?

Two British expats in Germany hope to claim the title of having the world’s oldest cat following the death of the previous holder, 24-year-old Poppy. They believe their pet has one important advantage over other contenders.

Madrid police arrest UK gangland murder suspect
Spain

Madrid police arrest UK gangland murder suspect

Police in Madrid have arrested William Thomas Robert Paterson, wanted over the murder of a gangland enforcer in a car park in Scotland.

Grillo wins party meeting over electoral law
Italy

Grillo wins party meeting over electoral law

Beppe Grillo has clinched a meeting today for his Five Star Movement (M5S) with the prime minister's Democratic Party (PD), to negotiate a new electoral law.

Germany’s vicious cycle of bike thefts
Germany

Germany’s vicious cycle of bike thefts

Stealing bicycles is big business in Germany, with more than 300,000 vanishing last year. But police are still plodding way behind the thieves with dismally low detection rates, and one top officer has blamed cyclists.

‘Mafia trio’ extorted TV series on mob
Italy

‘Mafia trio’ extorted TV series on mob

Italian police on Thursday arrested three men suspected of extorting a production company shooting scenes for a television drama about the mafia in a mobster's villa.

Wildlife roundup: Dead seals and new otters
Denmark

Wildlife roundup: Dead seals and new otters

While autopsies relieved fears of a new outbreak of a deadly seal plague, otters are reportedly making a comeback on Zealand.

‘I used cocaine to combat depression’: priest
Italy

‘I used cocaine to combat depression’: priest

A priest in northern Italy has been arrested for allegedly dealing cocaine, after police raided a drug-fuelled party in Milan, Italian media reported on Wednesday.

New York mayor to be honoured in Italy
Italy

New York mayor to be honoured in Italy

New York mayor Bill de Blasio will next week become an honorary citizen of Grassano, a town in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.

Locarno film festival unveils 2014 programme
Switzerland

Locarno film festival unveils 2014 programme

Organizers of the 67th annual Locarno Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled the programme for this year’s event, set to roll in the canton of Ticino city next month.

Ikea urban concept heads for Sweden
Sweden

Ikea urban concept heads for Sweden

After successfully opening an Ikea store in the centre of Hamburg, the furniture giant has decided to consider its new urban concept for its home market of Sweden.

Paris declares war on biodegradable toilet roll
France

Paris declares war on biodegradable toilet roll

Biodegradable toilet roll tubes that can be thrown down the bowl once finished seemed like revolutionary invention that would cut down on waste as well as domestic disputes, but authorities in Paris have become suspicious.

Tycoon turned drug lord sells €30m mansion
Spain

Tycoon turned drug lord sells €30m mansion

Named 'businessman of the year', José Mestre headed Barcelona's biggest port container operator before being charged with smuggling 186 kilos (410lb) of cocaine. The Local looks at his fall from grace and takes a sneak peek at his impressive mansion, Barcelona's most expensive.

Anti-Semitic posts: Kurz appeals to prosecutor
Austria

Anti-Semitic posts: Kurz appeals to prosecutor

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) has appealed to the state prosecutor after receiving dozens of anti-Semitic comments on his Facebook page last Wednesday following a post where he called for peace in the Middle East.

Politician charged over child porn images
Germany

Politician charged over child porn images

UPDATE: A former rising star of German politics was charged on Thursday for allegedly possessing indecent images of children.

Silent disco ‘too loud’ for Salzburg
Austria

Silent disco ‘too loud’ for Salzburg

The city of Salzburg has refused to renew a licence for a silent disco clubbing event in the Volksgarten after complaints that it was “too loud and wild”.

German World Cup hero Kroos joins Real Madrid
Spain

German World Cup hero Kroos joins Real Madrid

Germany World Cup winner Toni Kroos on Thursday agreed a deal to join Real Madrid from Bayern Munich on a six-year deal, the Spanish giants announced.

Neo-nazi ‘not sorry’ over ‘blood bath’ speech
Spain

Neo-nazi ‘not sorry’ over ‘blood bath’ speech

The head of a Spanish far-right group appeared in court on Wednesday over statements he made justifying a blood bath in Catalonia if the Spanish national government failed to quash an independence movement in the region.

French MPs train sights on ‘secretive’ Airbnb
France

French MPs train sights on ‘secretive’ Airbnb

A new report into tourist accommodation in France has raised doubts about the legality of the popular accommodation rental site Airbnb. It comes after one Frenchman was fined €2,000 for illegally subletting his apartment on the site.

Toni Kroos leaves Bayern Munich for Real Madrid
Germany

Toni Kroos leaves Bayern Munich for Real Madrid

UPDATE: German World Cup star Toni Kroos has signed for Real Madrid from Bayern Munich for a reported fee of €30 million, the clubs announced on Thursday morning. Germany, meanwhile, have returned to the top of Fifa's World rankings for the first time in almost 20 years.

Stockholm Gaza demo targets Israeli embassy
Sweden

Stockholm Gaza demo targets Israeli embassy

A demonstration in central Stockholm on Wednesday evening calling for peace in Gaza ended with angry scenes outside the Israeli embassy.

Copenhageners show their support for Gaza
Denmark

Copenhageners show their support for Gaza

Mogens Lykketoft and other prominent Danish politicians joined hundreds of demonstrators in calling for an end to Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Burgenland’s ‘Stonehenge’ discovery
Austria

Burgenland’s ‘Stonehenge’ discovery

In a sensational find for Austrian archaeologists, aerial photographs taken two years ago on the southern outskirts of the Burgenland town of Rechnitz have revealed the existence of circular trenches dating back to the Neolithic Period.

Novartis reports sharply higher half-year profits
Switzerland

Novartis reports sharply higher half-year profits

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis says its net profits for the first half of 2013 shot up by 13 percent from the same period a year earlier as it stuck by its forecast of continued sales growth across the year.

Nordea to cut 100 jobs in Denmark
Denmark

Nordea to cut 100 jobs in Denmark

The bank released strong quarterly results on Thursday but its overall savings plan is likely to eliminate Danish jobs.

Economy minister left hanging over top EU post
Spain

Economy minister left hanging over top EU post

Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos will have to wait to find out if he is to become head of the Eurogroup of EU finance ministers after the European Council was unable to reach a decision on key roles on Wednesday.

Wages rise at fastest rate for 15 years
Germany

Wages rise at fastest rate for 15 years

Millions of workers in Germany saw a real increase in pay in the first half of the year, with wages negotiated through collective bargaining agreements recording their highest rise for 15 years.

Mercury rises as France set to be baked in sun
France

Mercury rises as France set to be baked in sun

After weeks of grey skies, downpours and even hail storms, France will be bathed in sun on Thursday, with the mercury set to rise towards the 40°C mark in parts of the south west.

Introducing… Federica Mogherini
Italy

Introducing… Federica Mogherini

It's been a tough week for Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini. As she visited the Middle East in a bid to broker peace between Israel and Palestine, critics in Europe tried to derail her from becoming EU foreign policy chief. The Local finds out a little more about the 41-year-old.

Gunmen kidnap German in northern Nigeria
Germany

Gunmen kidnap German in northern Nigeria

Gunmen on motorcycles kidnapped a German national on Wednesday in north-east Nigeria, police said, in the latest assault in the region repeatedly assailed by Boko Haram.

China spied on Swedish foreign office PC: report
Sweden

China spied on Swedish foreign office PC: report

In the mid-00s Trojan horse virus programmes were found on two computers belonging to the Swedish foreign office with links to a company in Beijing, according to a report on Thursday.

Heatwave to bring highs of 36C to Germany
Germany

Heatwave to bring highs of 36C to Germany

Forecasters are anticipating a heatwave in Germany with temperatures of up to 36C coming to some parts of the country by the end of this week.

Australia: Assange, ‘man up’ and go to Sweden
Sweden

Australia: Assange, ‘man up’ and go to Sweden

Australia's attorney-general prompted an angry response from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday after he said he should be "man enough" to face Swedish sexual assault allegations.

Carer buried elderly man to claim pension
Italy

Carer buried elderly man to claim pension

A carer in Sicily is believed to have buried an elderly man in her care, after he died at home, in order to continue claiming his pension.

Foreign minister shelters from missiles in Israel
Norway

Foreign minister shelters from missiles in Israel

Norway's foreign minister Borg Brende had to take cover in an underground shelter after missiles struck nearby during his visit to Israel on Wednesday.

Norwegian fruit industry in a jam
Norway

Norwegian fruit industry in a jam

Fruit lovers are in for a shock after it was revealed over 80 percent of Norwegian berries contain pesticides, says a report.