Eight-year-old boy stung by scorpion on ferry
Denmark

Eight-year-old boy stung by scorpion on ferry

The Tuesday ferry journey between Hirsthals and Langesund, Norway was anything but ordinary due to an apparent scorpion sting that forced the vessel to turn around.

Denmark: EU sanctions will ‘cost Putin dearly’
Denmark

Denmark: EU sanctions will ‘cost Putin dearly’

The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee calls the new sanctions against Russia 'a very hard attack' meant to send a clear message to the Russian president.

Russian sanctions may hit Austrian economy
Austria

Russian sanctions may hit Austrian economy

The head of Austria's Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday that proposed sanctions against Russia in the wake of its ongoing support for separatists in Ukraine's civil war would likely be counterproductive, but would be backed by Austrian businesses.

Why topless French women are covering up
France

Why topless French women are covering up

Topless sunbathers were once synonymous with French beaches, but with the trend apparently no longer de rigeur, The Local looks at why French women no longer feel the need, or feel comfortable taking their tops off on the beaches.

Austrian ISPs ordered to block The Pirate Bay
Austria

Austrian ISPs ordered to block The Pirate Bay

Four major Austrian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been ordered to start blocking three file sharing web sites, including The Pirate Bay.

Spanish police arrest 84 ‘Nigerian’ scammers
Spain

Spanish police arrest 84 ‘Nigerian’ scammers

Spanish police have arrested more than 80 people who laundered money obtained by cheating at least 4,500 people out of money, mostly via so-called Nigerian or '419' scams.

TV journalist threatened on Facebook
Austria

TV journalist threatened on Facebook

An Austrian TV presenter has received death threats and been verbally abused on the social networking site Facebook after hosting a discussion on the ORF programme ZiB 24 about terrorism and anti-Semitism.

Spanish town  fights ‘Fifty Shades’ bondage hotel
Spain

Spanish town fights ‘Fifty Shades’ bondage hotel

Spain's first bondage-themed hotel - equipped with a massive dungeon and all the latest gear – has been stopped from opening its doors by the local village authorities. The Local talks to the businessman behind the project.

Uproar over sale of ‘jihadist book’ in France
France

Uproar over sale of ‘jihadist book’ in France

An apparent nondescript book called 'The Way of the Muslim', which is on sale in 1,000 stores across France, contains incitement to holy war and encourages killing “heretics” leading to uproar and calls for the text to be pulled.

Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Germany

Should Germany legalize cannabis?

A New York Times editorial on Sunday called for the US to drop its ban on marijuana, calling the strongly-worded law a "laughing stock". Should Germany follow the US states of Colorado and Washington and legalize recreational use of the drug?

EU prepares to hit Russia with tough sanctions
Italy

EU prepares to hit Russia with tough sanctions

The EU prepared on Tuesday to hit Russia where it hurts with tough economic sanctions as Moscow insisted the West can do it little harm and showed no sign of reversing course in Ukraine.

Beach cleaners find polar bear stuck in net
Norway

Beach cleaners find polar bear stuck in net

A polar bear trapped in a net was one of the stranger discoveries found by volunteers in Northern Norway, working on a beach cleaning project this year.

Topless metro rider rides ‘green’
Austria

Topless metro rider rides ‘green’

A man was spotted on Vienna's U3 metro underground line traveling with a shopping trolley that contains what looks suspiciously like a small cannabis plant on the weekend.

Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
Sweden

Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats

While a record number of ministers and party leaders will participate in the Stockholm Pride Parade this year, there are notable exceptions - including SD leader Jimmie Åkesson, who is not only 'uninterested' but banned.

Conditions for street walkers ‘hardly improved’
Austria

Conditions for street walkers ‘hardly improved’

Conditions for prostitutes working on Vienna’s streets have shown little improvement, despite the introduction of the Prostitution Act in November 2011.

Gender neutral ‘hen’ enters dictionary
Sweden

Gender neutral ‘hen’ enters dictionary

The ever-controversial pronoun 'hen' has won its battle and is set to officially become part of the Swedish language.

Bullish Spain bumps up growth forecasts
Spain

Bullish Spain bumps up growth forecasts

Spain's government on Tuesday raised its growth forecasts for this year and next as the country pulls away from economic crisis, and said it hopes this will soon cut into high unemployment.

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria
Germany

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria

A 45-year-old German woman died when she was attacked by a herd of 20 cows and calves on Monday afternoon on an Alpine pasture in Tyrol's Stubaital valley.

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival
Sweden

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival

The Urkult music festival in northern Sweden may be less sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and more family fun, chai and polska dancing - but Danny Chapman says it’s one of the most magical Swedish experiences he has had.

€5,000 bounty offered for Tuscan wolf killer
Italy

€5,000 bounty offered for Tuscan wolf killer

Activists offered a €5,000 reward to catch the killer of a wolf in central Italy as tensions between farmers and animal rights groups mounted, with the latter saying a "conspiracy of silence" among villagers is protecting those responsible.

France hands over ‘Jewish museum shooter’
France

France hands over ‘Jewish museum shooter’

French police handed over Mehdi Nemmouche to their counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday. Nemmouche is suspected of shooting dead four people at a Jewish museum in the Belgian capital in May.

Strache calls to expel folk who won’t integrate
Austria

Strache calls to expel folk who won’t integrate

Heinz-Christian Strache, chief of the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), again called for separate school classes for foreigners to learn the German language.

Introducing… ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sweden

Introducing… ID cards and permits in Stockholm

When it comes to data-driven life, from daycare to healthcare, Sweden is in a league of its own. Above all, your personal number is the key that unlocks life in Stockholm.

Freeze on new asylum seekers in Traiskirchen
Austria

Freeze on new asylum seekers in Traiskirchen

From Wednesday on there will be a freeze on the admission of asylum seekers in the main reception center of Traiskirchen in Lower Austria.

UBS turns in strong profits despite disputes
Switzerland

UBS turns in strong profits despite disputes

Leading Swiss bank UBS turned in a strong profit performance in the second quarter, but highlighted on Tuesday the stark risks financial institutions face from campaigns by tax and regulatory bodies.

Italian fire-fighting jets to combat Libya oil inferno
Italy

Italian fire-fighting jets to combat Libya oil inferno

The Italian government and national energy giant ENI will send seven fire-fighting planes to help combat an inferno raging at an oil depot on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libyan authorities said on Tuesday.

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum
Germany

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum

Germany’s favourite polar bear Knut is set to pull in the crowds again - but this time from a display case. More than three years after his death, his real fur has been used to create a new Knut for a museum exhibition.

Embryo mix-up couple to launch custody battle
Italy

Embryo mix-up couple to launch custody battle

The genetic parents of embryos mistakenly implanted in another woman plan to take legal action in a bid to gain custody over the twins. The unprecedented case will likely be a “long, drawn-out” battle, one of the lawyers involved told The Local.

Camel goes walkabout on Norway roundabout
Norway

Camel goes walkabout on Norway roundabout

A circus camel had to be rescued after it escaped its owners and went for a walk around a Norwegian town on Tuesday.

Spanish house prices to climb in 2016: S&P
Spain

Spanish house prices to climb in 2016: S&P

House prices in Spain will climb 2 percent in 2016 after hitting rock bottom in 2015, the ratings agency Standard & Poors predicts in a new report released on Tuesday.

Spaniards score high in beach topless ratings
Spain

Spaniards score high in beach topless ratings

Spanish women are the world's second most likely nationality to bare their breasts on the beach, a global survey looking at people's holiday habits has found.

Danes benefit the most from EU: think-tank
Denmark

Danes benefit the most from EU: think-tank

Integrating economically with its neighbours helped incomes in Denmark grow more than in any other country.

Italians among the most surgically enhanced
Italy

Italians among the most surgically enhanced

Italy has one of the world's highest uptakes of plastic surgery, with eyelid and breast surgery being particularly popular, according to a new survey.

Husband admits to killing Glostrup woman
Denmark

Husband admits to killing Glostrup woman

UPDATE: The 40-year-old husband of Hafida Bourouih confessed on court on Tuesday to killing his wife.

Nibbling rats blamed for French rail crash
France

Nibbling rats blamed for French rail crash

Rats nibbling at signalling cables led to a crash between two passenger trains that injured 40 people in south-west France earlier this month, a new report has announced. And signal failure is not the only problem being blamed on rats this week.

And the winner of the EU single market is…
Germany

And the winner of the EU single market is…

Germany and Denmark came out as the winners of the European Union's single market in a study released on Monday. Integrating economically with its neighbours has helped the German economy grow an average of €37 billion a year since 1992.

Government vows to cover costs of terror alert
Norway

Government vows to cover costs of terror alert

The government will cover the additional costs incurred by the police and other organizations linked to the terror threat, said Norway's minister of finance.

Cows kill German dog-walker in Tyrol
Austria

Cows kill German dog-walker in Tyrol

A 45-year-old German woman from Rheinland-Pfalz was attacked by a herd of 20 cows and calves on Monday afternoon on an alpine pasture in Tyrol's Stubaital valley and was fatally injured.

Eurostar to start London-Marseille direct train
France

Eurostar to start London-Marseille direct train

Getting from London to France's sunny Mediterranean coast is about to get a lot easier because Eurostar has announced it'll start direct service to Marseille next year.

No new criminal probe against Sarkozy
France

No new criminal probe against Sarkozy

Media reports on Tuesday claimed yet another criminal investigation had been launched against ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, surrounding funding for 2007 presidential campaign, but the newspaper that first published the story has since admitted it's not true.

Swiss-EU relations on discussion table in Rome
Switzerland

Swiss-EU relations on discussion table in Rome

Switzerland’s relationship with the EU is on the agenda today as Swiss President Didier Burkhalter meets Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on an official visit to Rome.

Pavement explodes in central Vienna
Austria

Pavement explodes in central Vienna

A deafening bang and a burst of flame in front of the Dolce & Gabbana boutique in Vienna’s 1st district caused alarm on Monday afternoon - it is believed the explosion was caused by a faulty power line.

Interview: Jan Berglund, Chess Olympiad ambassador
Norway

Interview: Jan Berglund, Chess Olympiad ambassador

In August the Chess Olympiad comes to Tromsø. 181 countries take part, crowning it the third biggest sporting event in the world. The Local makes its move to meet Jan Sigmund Berglund, head event coordinator of the event and a key ambassador of the sport in the Arctic Circle.

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

In Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week

All aboard! We're off to the island of Gotland for our Property of the Week - a home right in the heart of Medieval Visby. Whether you're looking to buy or dying to look - this is the place for you.

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats
Germany

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats

A wave of anti-Semitism in Germany, unleashed by the Gaza crisis, shows no sign of abating. A synagogue was attacked on Tuesday morning, a rabbi received death threats and anti-Jewish comments online have increased. Attacks on mosques have also risen.

Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year
Sweden

Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year

The largest pride festival in Scandinavia is back for the 17th year in a row. The week promises to be packed with activities - and a glamorous opening gala with Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

‘Jews aren’t made to coexist’: Spanish writer
Spain

‘Jews aren’t made to coexist’: Spanish writer

A controversial writer is facing legal action from Madrid's Jewish community after writing an opinion piece in a leading Spanish daily in which he justified the expulsion of Jews throughout history on the basis that they aren't made to "coexist".

Dane dies in Norwegian diving accident
Denmark

Dane dies in Norwegian diving accident

51-year-old died from decompression sickness while diving with three other Danes near Haakonsvern.

Swiss customers react to 1kg meat import limit
Switzerland

Swiss customers react to 1kg meat import limit

Butchers in Italian border towns have seen a 25 to 30 percent reduction in trade after a Swiss law limiting the importation of meat to one kilogramme came into force on July 1st.

Ex-minister jailed on corruption charges
Spain

Ex-minister jailed on corruption charges

A former environment minister with Spain's ruling Popular Party has been sentenced to nine months' prison on corruption charges, the highest profile political figure to be jailed since Spain's economic crisis began.

EU to impose new sanctions on Russia
France

EU to impose new sanctions on Russia

France and its fellow EU powers along with the US agreed on the need to impose new sanctions on Russia over its presumed role in Ukraine's insurgency, the French presidency said on Monday. The sanctions should be finalised on Tuesday and will come into force shortly.

VIDEO: Inmates get ‘Happy’ in Italian prison
Italy

VIDEO: Inmates get ‘Happy’ in Italian prison

It's lifted spirits and sparked a global movement for happiness. Now prisoners in Sicily have been filmed singing along to Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' song in a bid to show that, even behind bars, they too experience moments that make them smile.

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape
Sweden

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape

A man has been arrested on the suspicion of raping a child at the preschool where he is employed.

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight
Germany

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight

Top Swiss bank UBS settled a long-running legal dispute with Germany on Tuesday by agreeing to pay a fine of €300 million. Germany suspects UBS of having helped account holders hide millions from the taxman.

Bures: EU-commission rejects German toll
Austria

Bures: EU-commission rejects German toll

Minister of Infrastructure Doris Bures (SPÖ) says the EU commission will support her in fighting against the introduction of a highway toll for foreigners in Germany.

Muslim leaders must curb extremism: Labour
Norway

Muslim leaders must curb extremism: Labour

Muslim leaders must take more responsibility for stopping hardline extremism, said Norway's Labour Party chairman on Tuesday, in the wake of the terror alerts in Norway.

Police arrest 19 people from Vienna squat
Austria

Police arrest 19 people from Vienna squat

A huge police operation to evict squatters from a house in Vienna’s 2nd district lasted for more than ten hours on Monday.

Inside Borgen: Danish politics for dummies
Denmark

Inside Borgen: Danish politics for dummies

Before politicians return from their long summer holiday, perhaps a primer on who's who is in order. Columnist Michael Booth attempts to make sense of it all.

New investor confidence boosts Italian economy
Italy

New investor confidence boosts Italian economy

Interest on Italian and Spanish debt fell to record low on Monday, while Portugal's continued to drop, as investor concerns about the eurozone's former laggards eased.

Basel dogs embark on National Day trip abroad
Switzerland

Basel dogs embark on National Day trip abroad

An animal protection group in Basel is organizing a holiday for dogs over the Swiss National Day long weekend in order to protect them from the trauma of fireworks.

France wages ‘peach war’ on Spanish imports
Spain

France wages ‘peach war’ on Spanish imports

France is stepping up cargo checks on trucks carrying fruit over the border from Spain in what is increasingly looking like a "peach war" between the European Union neighbours.

Renzi calls for ceasefire as Italians flee Libya
Italy

Renzi calls for ceasefire as Italians flee Libya

Top US and European leaders, including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, on Monday called for a ceasefire in Libya and for the United Nations to take on a major role in helping to stop the spiralling violence and lawlessness.

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman’s car
Sweden

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman’s car

A 35-year-old woman faces charges for aggravated narcotic crimes after police found 15 kilogrammes of unusually high-concentrated cocaine in her car.

Judge refuses to drop Messi tax fraud case
Spain

Judge refuses to drop Messi tax fraud case

A Spanish court on Monday rejected public prosecutors' request to drop charges of tax fraud against four-time world footballer of the year Lionel Messi and ordered the probe to go ahead.

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west
Germany

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west

UPDATE: A man drowned in his cellar on Monday night as heavy rain battered parts of north-western Germany. A second man died when he tried to drive through a flooded street. The emergency services were in places overwhelmed by hundreds of calls. There are further weather warnings in place for Tuesday.

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions
Germany

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions

The EU is set to agree a raft of new wide-ranging sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, after Germany changed its stance on upping the economic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis.

The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
Sweden

The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

Back home in the US and with a solid Swedish stint under his belt, contributor Steven Schier has listed what he thinks are the six biggest differences between Sweden and the states.

New opposition leader calls for federal Spain
Spain

New opposition leader calls for federal Spain

The new head of Spain's main opposition party, the socialist PSOE, believes turning the country into a federal state with more powerful regions is the best way to quell an independence drive in Catalonia.

Peach wars: French fury over Spanish dumping
France

Peach wars: French fury over Spanish dumping

France has gone on the offensive in what is starting to look like an increasngly bitter "peach war" against Spain after authorities stepped up the number of checks on trucks carrying fruit across the border.

Italian cycling champ boosts Kazakhstan
Italy

Italian cycling champ boosts Kazakhstan

Hollywood unleashed Borat on Kazakhstan's image, so the oil-rich Central Asian nation hit back with Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali and it believes his Tour de France victory helps put the record straight.

Thorning refuses to sign Nordic letter on Gaza
Denmark

Thorning refuses to sign Nordic letter on Gaza

The social democratic leaders of Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland all attached their names to a letter that criticises Israel's actions in Gaza, but Denmark's prime minister would not sign on to the strongly-worded message.

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting
Sweden

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting

Seventeen people were arrested during the early hours of Tuesday after a man was shot dead in central Sweden. Several of the suspects were already known to the police for gang crimes.

French envoy’s New York home search scuppered
France

French envoy’s New York home search scuppered

France's ambassador to the United Nations is struggling to find a new home in New York after his attempts to buy a palatial 14-room apartment ran into trouble with prospective neighbours, who were concerned about the number of parties he would have.

German starts solo Rhine swim in Switzerland
Switzerland

German starts solo Rhine swim in Switzerland

A German chemistry professor started a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river on Monday for the benefit of science and the environment. Andreas Fath is the second swimmer to embark on the challenge in recent weeks after 46-year-old Swiss man Ernst Bromeis set off three weeks ago.

‘Mad professor’ to swim length of Rhine
Germany

‘Mad professor’ to swim length of Rhine

German chemistry professor Andreas Fath started on Monday a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river for the benefit of science and the environment.

Mayor files complaint against ‘reckless’ US dad
France

Mayor files complaint against ‘reckless’ US dad

A French mayor has logded a formal complaint against an American father whose "vain" attempt to break a world record by taking his kids to the summit of Mont Blanc almost ended in disaster.

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?
Germany

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?

Paralympics gold medallist Markus Rehm triumphed over his non-disabled rivals on Saturday, winning the German long jump championship. But athletics officials are now reviewing whether his prosthetic leg gave him an unfair advantage.

Pope apologizes for Fascist era persecution
Italy

Pope apologizes for Fascist era persecution

Pope Francis has asked forgiveness from Protestant Pentecostalists persecuted by Catholics under Italian fascism in the 1930s, religious news agency i.media said on Monday.