S&P’s downgrades three Austrian banks
Austria

S&P’s downgrades three Austrian banks

In a follow-up move to its recent downgrading of the creditworthiness of several Austrian provinces, rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded its ratings for three Austrian banks on Wednesday.

Switzerland to tighten measures against Russia
Switzerland

Switzerland to tighten measures against Russia

The government will extend the ban on exporting war materials to Russia but is continuing to resist imposing sanctions over Moscow’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

Spain mourns death of priest with Ebola
Spain

Spain mourns death of priest with Ebola

Several hundred mourners joined a funeral service on Wednesday for a Spanish priest who died from Ebola after being infected in Liberia, becoming the first European victim of the worst-ever outbreak of the virus.

Franck Ribéry quits French national team
France

Franck Ribéry quits French national team

France forward Franck Ribéry, aged 31, announced his shock retirement from international football on Wednesday. The Bayern Munich player, who missed the World Cup with injury, said "the moment has come".

New interactive map plots Paris film locations
France

New interactive map plots Paris film locations

Visitors to Paris often say that walking through the capital’s historic streets is like being on a film set. Now a new interactive map gives you the chance to find out if you really are standing on spot where a famous film has been shot.

Wax goalie Neuer joins Madame Tussaud’s
Germany

Wax goalie Neuer joins Madame Tussaud’s

Germany's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is set to be immortalised in the form of a waxwork model at Madame Tussauds in Berlin, the museum announced on Wednesday.

‘I saw them build the Wall step by step’
Germany

‘I saw them build the Wall step by step’

Germans visited the Berlin Wall memorial at Bernauerstrasse on Wednesday, the 53rd anniversary of the day the barrier between east and west was first raised. Those who lived through it shared their memories of that dark time, while youth recalled the importance of the Wall's history.

Mont Blanc: Sixth French climber found dead
France

Mont Blanc: Sixth French climber found dead

Rescuers found the body of a sixth French climber in a crevasse on Mont Blanc on Wednesday. The bodies of five other French climbers, who had gone missing on Tuesday night were found earlier in the day.

Abandoned baby hedgehogs rescued
Austria

Abandoned baby hedgehogs rescued

A dog who was being walked by his owner in Hohenau, Lower Austria found two abandoned baby hedgehogs who had been left in a Styrofoam box in an alley.

Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
Sweden

Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat

An Islamic extremist who threatened Sweden on Arabic TV has police on alert. One terror expert says the threat should be taken seriously, and that Sweden is in desperate need of a counter-extremism programme.

Killer poacher’s gun came from army
Austria

Killer poacher’s gun came from army

A gun which was discovered in Lassingbach in May and was used by poacher Alois Huber to shoot dead three policemen and a paramedic last year, turns out to have originally belonged to the Austrian army.

Teacher fined for ‘Hitler salute’ in German class
Sweden

Teacher fined for ‘Hitler salute’ in German class

A teacher in southern Sweden was fined on Wednesday after performing the Hitler salute in front of his students during a German language lesson.

French hamlet ‘Death to Jews’ mulls name change
France

French hamlet ‘Death to Jews’ mulls name change

French authorities will next month consider changing the name of a tiny hamlet near Paris which is officially known as La-Mort-aux-Juifs ("Death to Jews") after a top Jewish group protested.

Landslide derails Swiss passenger train
Switzerland

Landslide derails Swiss passenger train

Five passengers were seriously injured when a landslide derailed a train in a mountainous area of the canton of Graubünden in eastern Switzerland on Wednesday, following heavy rain in the region.

‘Rare’ penguin twins born in Genoa Aquarium
Italy

‘Rare’ penguin twins born in Genoa Aquarium

Four baby Magellanic penguins – two of them twins – have been born at an Aquarium in Genoa, a phenomenon described by staff as “very rare”.

Twelve things tourists do that annoy Spaniards
Spain

Twelve things tourists do that annoy Spaniards

Spaniards are generally a pretty easygoing bunch, but even the most tolerant of locals can get frustrated with tourists in their country. Here The Local takes a look at 12 things tourists do that get on the Spaniards' nerves.

‘France’s image is bad but the reality is different’
France

‘France’s image is bad but the reality is different’

Enticing foreign investors to France appears a thankless task right now given all the economic doom and gloom, but the woman whose job is to do just that, insists the image presented by the Anglo media is far from the reality.

Catalan boss ‘firm’ on independence vote date
Spain

Catalan boss ‘firm’ on independence vote date

Catalonia's political chief Artur Mas on Wednesday renewed his vow to call a vote on independence from Spain in November after his own deputy raised the possibility of a delay.

Where playing and learning go hand in hand
Austria

Where playing and learning go hand in hand

If you’re a parent in Vienna and are struggling to entertain your children over the summer, or dread rainy weather when the kids are stuck indoors all day - do not fear, you’re not alone.

German artists admit New York flag stunt
Germany

German artists admit New York flag stunt

Two Berlin artists have owned up to a daring stunt in which they replaced two giant US flags on New York's Brooklyn Bridge with replicas sewn in white, US media reported Wednesday.

Home market drives up Swiss Life net profits
Switzerland

Home market drives up Swiss Life net profits

Insurance giant Swiss Life on Wednesday posted better than expected first-half net profit, driven by strong growth in the Swiss market.

Austrian scientist wins top maths prize
Austria

Austrian scientist wins top maths prize

Austrian mathematician Martin Hairer, of the University of Warwick in the UK, has been awarded the Fields Medal, mathematics' equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Sanctioned Russian bank in talks to buy Cavalli
Italy

Sanctioned Russian bank in talks to buy Cavalli

VTB Bank, a Russian lender facing Western sanctions, is in talks for a majority stake in the Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli, a VTB Group source said on Wednesday.

Panic as Vueling plane catches fire in Florence
Italy

Panic as Vueling plane catches fire in Florence

There was panic aboard a Spanish low-cost airplane on Wednesday after a fire broke just after the plane, carrying 121 people, landed in Florence

Vueling jet catches fire after landing in Italy
Spain

Vueling jet catches fire after landing in Italy

An Airbus 319 belonging to Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling caught fire while landing at Florence's Vespucci airport on Wednesday, sending passengers into a panic.

Swedish kids to get 100 more sport hours a year
Sweden

Swedish kids to get 100 more sport hours a year

Sweden's government proposed on Wednesday an additional 20 percent of sports for the country's primary school children, meaning a massive hop, skip, and a jump from 500 hours a year to 600.

Denmark has second most break-ins in Europe
Denmark

Denmark has second most break-ins in Europe

The number of burglaries has decreased since last year, but Denmark still trails only Greece for the highest number of break-ins. The Danish Crime Prevention Council tells The Local that Danes need to get better at securing their homes and helping their neighbours.

The grassroots group uniting Muslims and Jews
Austria

The grassroots group uniting Muslims and Jews

The organiser of the Muslim Jewish Conference, held in Vienna this year, says that he believes the gathering of young people from around the world has helped break down stereotypes and that every participant has been changed by their experience.

Spain ignores protests over Canaries oil deal
Spain

Spain ignores protests over Canaries oil deal

Spain's energy ministry on Wednesday released details of a controversial deal allowing oil giant Repsol to begin exploring for oil and gas off the Canary Islands, despite fierce opposition from environmental groups and the regional government.

Berlin pensioners take on Swedish property giant
Sweden

Berlin pensioners take on Swedish property giant

Residents at a former Berlin retirement home are furious with Swedish property developer Akelius over increased rents and poor living conditions. And the pensioners aren't ready to budge.

Tourists caught carving names into Colosseum
Italy

Tourists caught carving names into Colosseum

Two tourists are in hot water with Rome police after they were caught carving their names into a pillar of the Colosseum with a coin.

Spanish climber found dead in French Alps
Spain

Spanish climber found dead in French Alps

A Spanish climber who went missing on Sunday in the southeast of France was found dead on Wednesday, rescue workers have said.

Top ten reasons to learn German
Germany

Top ten reasons to learn German

Live in Germany and never learned a word? No more excuses, here are ten good reasons why now is the perfect time to buckle up and knuckle down with the lingo of Marx and Goethe.

Double tragedy ends the life of two brothers
Austria

Double tragedy ends the life of two brothers

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the bodies of two brothers were discovered in the small town of Raxenberg in Lower Austria.

France to supply arms to Iraqi Kurds ‘within hours’
France

France to supply arms to Iraqi Kurds ‘within hours’

France has taken a decision to deliver weapons to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic extremists in Iraq, President Francois Hollande announced on Wednesday. The arms will be delivered "in the coming hours".

Italian journalist killed in Gaza
Italy

Italian journalist killed in Gaza

UPDATED: Israeli ordnance exploded in Gaza on Wednesday, killing five people including an Italian journalist, as bomb experts tried to disable a missile on the last day of a 72-hour truce.

France’s speed cameras see earnings plummet
France

France’s speed cameras see earnings plummet

France’s army of roadside speed cameras may be more numerous than ever but the revenue they pulled in through fines was almost 70 million less than the government expected last year.

‘Blind’ benefits fraudster caught driving moped
Italy

‘Blind’ benefits fraudster caught driving moped

An Italian man who claimed thousands of euros in disability benefits for over 15 years for “total blindness” has been reported to police after he was caught partaking in normal activities such as crossing a busy road unaided and driving a moped.

Swedish passengers sue Norwegian airline
Sweden

Swedish passengers sue Norwegian airline

About 35,000 people have been hit by delays when flying with Norwegian - and now Swedish passengers have demanded millions of kronor in damages from the airline.

Stockholm braces for zombie invasion
Sweden

Stockholm braces for zombie invasion

Stockholm is preparing itself for a zombie invasion this weekend, as the walking dead hit the streets in droves for the annual Zombie Walk.

Falling prices fuel fears of deflation for Spain
Spain

Falling prices fuel fears of deflation for Spain

Spain reported on Tuesday the steepest slide in consumer prices in nearly five years, a potentially worrying development as the eurozone combats the threat of a deflationary spiral which could kill of Spain's recovery.

Food industry argues over July price rises
Norway

Food industry argues over July price rises

Norwegian meat producers and supermarket chains are locked in debate over who is responsible for the sudden increase of food prices across the country in July.

Copenhagen Airport sets another passenger record
Denmark

Copenhagen Airport sets another passenger record

Nearly three million people used the airport in July, breaking a traffic record set just last month. Year to date numbers are also well over last year's mark.

Forest still not safe after Swedish fire
Sweden

Forest still not safe after Swedish fire

While Sweden's massive forest fire is finally under control and residents have returned home, firefighters have warned that the forest itself may not be safe for months.

Listeria update: What was sold and where
Denmark

Listeria update: What was sold and where

Thirty different products have been recalled due to the current listeria outbreak. Check the list of products and where they were sold here.

Found: 1,000-year-old Islamic burial ground
Spain

Found: 1,000-year-old Islamic burial ground

Researchers in Spain's Ciudad Real province have found the buried remains of Spain's Islamic civilization in a site so full of riches they believe it could provide up to two centuries worth of discoveries.

Father on trial for murdering step-daughter

Father on trial for murdering step-daughter

An Austrian man is on trial in Germany, accused of murdering his 23-year-old step-daughter in Essen, after years of imprisoning and sexually abusing her.

Federer battles ‘fear factor’ in Cincinnati
Switzerland

Federer battles ‘fear factor’ in Cincinnati

Roger Federer is set to battle the fear factor as last weekend's Toronto Masters finalist prepares to make his start at the ATP Tour's Cincinnati Masters tournament.

Merkel: we must keep talking to Putin
Germany

Merkel: we must keep talking to Putin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Wednesday against severing ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis but said he must also do his part. Meanwhile a huge convoy of Russian aid approached the Ukraine border.

Health minister slammed over ‘Ebola holiday’
Spain

Health minister slammed over ‘Ebola holiday’

A spokesperson for Spain's leading consumer rights organization has branded the decision of Spain's health minister to remain on holiday during the repatriation and subsequent death of Ebola-infected priest Miguel Pajares as "unacceptable" and "insulting".

Berlin Wall anniversary forgotten by many
Germany

Berlin Wall anniversary forgotten by many

Wednesday marked the 53rd anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. Yet fewer than a third of Germans under 30 can name the exact date when Germany and the capital were divided in two, a survey showed.

Tourists flock to Italy’s erupting volcano
Italy

Tourists flock to Italy’s erupting volcano

Tourists have flocked to Stromboli, located off the coast of Sicily, to catch a glimpse of what is the “most significant eruption” of the island’s volcano, one of Europe’s most active, in recent years, a tour operator told The Local.

Test-drive buyer nabbed by cops at 230 km/h
Austria

Test-drive buyer nabbed by cops at 230 km/h

A 35-year-old man took a car for a test drive in Lower Austria on Sunday, and was stopped by police for exceeding 230 km/h on the Southern Motorway (A2).

Raiffeisen coop bank group ‘too big to fail’
Switzerland

Raiffeisen coop bank group ‘too big to fail’

Raiffeisen, the Swiss cooperative banking group, poses a systemic risk to Switzerland’s economy, the country’s central bank said on Wednesday.

Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
Sweden

Swedish politician proposes ban on begging

A Moderate Party MP sparked a debate on Wednesday when she said that she wanted to ban begging from the streets of Sweden.

Death threats against Vienna’s Yazidis
Austria

Death threats against Vienna’s Yazidis

Austria’s Federal Office against Terrorism and for Protection of the Constitution (BVT) is alarmed due to death threats against the Yazidi community in Vienna, according to a report in the Kurier newspaper.

Pro-Israel MP receives death threats
Norway

Pro-Israel MP receives death threats

A top Norwegian politician from the FrP (Progressive Party) and his family, have received death threats and messages of hate because of his support for Israel, it was announced on Wednesday.

Arla cuts 79 jobs due to Russian import ban
Denmark

Arla cuts 79 jobs due to Russian import ban

The dairy company said "it can definitely be felt when a market like Russia is suddenly shut completely down".

French deflation fears rise as prices fall
France

French deflation fears rise as prices fall

French fears over deflation were heightened on Wednesday when new data was released showing prices had fallen steeply.

British runner Pavey makes history in Zurich
Switzerland

British runner Pavey makes history in Zurich

Just a month short of her 41st birthday, Britain's Jo Pavey ran her way into the record books on the opening night of the European Athletics Championships in Zurich by becoming the oldest ever female gold winner in the history of the continental event.

Baby born in Alps at 2,250 metres
Austria

Baby born in Alps at 2,250 metres

A mountain rescue team climbed to the aid of a pregnant woman who went into early labour in the Austrian Alps in Tyrol.

Ronaldo reigns supreme as Madrid win Super Cup
Spain

Ronaldo reigns supreme as Madrid win Super Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo upstaged new team-mates Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez and homecoming hero Gareth Bale as Real Madrid beat Sevilla 2-0 in Cardiff on Tuesday to win the UEFA Super Cup.

Standard & Poor’s downgrades Austrian provinces
Austria

Standard & Poor’s downgrades Austrian provinces

The US rating agency Standard & Poor's, in a new move causing consternation, said on Tuesday it has downgraded the creditworthiness of the Austrian provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria, Styria and Burgenland.

German tourist dies in mountain accident
Italy

German tourist dies in mountain accident

A 23-year-old German tourist died on Tuesday afternoon in a mountain accident in Val Badia in south Tyrol, northern Italy.

Woman survives 36-hour ordeal on paddle board
France

Woman survives 36-hour ordeal on paddle board

A young woman from Paris was found alive after spending more than 36 hours at sea off the coast of northern France clinging to her paddle board for dear life. Rescue services said it was a "miracle" she had survived.

Conservative leader: ‘I’m gay, so what?’
Denmark

Conservative leader: ‘I’m gay, so what?’

Søren Pape Poulsen came out as homosexual and said he was surprised that it should be an issue in modern day Denmark. His announcement came as he faced criticism for illegally supporting a football club as mayor of Viborg.

Swiss remain world champs for train travel
Switzerland

Swiss remain world champs for train travel

Switzerland remains the world champion for passenger train travel, according to figures issued by the information service for public transport (LITRA).

Auto-mad Germans stuck in electric car slow lane
Germany

Auto-mad Germans stuck in electric car slow lane

Germans are mad about cars and Germany is ranked the most fuel-efficient country on the planet, but when it comes to electric vehicles, Europe's top economy is in the slow lane.

Spain set for ‘avalanche’ of African immigrants
Spain

Spain set for ‘avalanche’ of African immigrants

Spain picked up more than 700 African migrants trying to enter the country by boat on Tuesday, while hundreds more tried to scramble over a border fence into the Spanish territory of Melilla.

Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
Sweden

Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant

A woman giving birth at a clinic in Malmö was given an injection of a strong neurotoxic disinfectant instead of an epidural - directly into her nervous system.

Saab’s new owner faces bankruptcy petition
Sweden

Saab’s new owner faces bankruptcy petition

Chinese-owned automaker NEVS, the owner of the Swedish brand Saab, is in default, a Swedish court said on Tuesday after receiving a notice from an unpaid supplier.

Chinese entrepreneurs buck Italy’s recession
Italy

Chinese entrepreneurs buck Italy’s recession

Chinese businesses are flourishing amid Italy’s recession, with the number of new businesses rising by 6.1 percent between 2012 and 2013, compared to a 1.6 drop in the number of new Italian-owned businesses.

French firm signals ‘new era’ in malaria fight
France

French firm signals ‘new era’ in malaria fight

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has signalled the start of a "new era" in the fight against malaria by announcing the development of a new form of anti-malaria drug, which will be shipped to Africa in the coming months.

Global turmoil hits German economy
Germany

Global turmoil hits German economy

German investment sentiment is taking a hit from the crisis over Russia and Ukraine, new data showed Tuesday, in a further setback for the eurozone which is already worried about France.

Bizarre rumour of Robin William’s death in Austria
Austria

Bizarre rumour of Robin William’s death in Austria

The tragic loss of Robin Williams to an apparent suicide overshadowed a bizarre coincidence. Shortly before his death was officially announced, a rumour that Williams had died while climbing in Austria went viral on the Internet.

Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Norway

Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist

Helene Meldahl is a Norwegian artist who became famous after her unique style of selfie mirror art made her an internet phenomena. The Local asked the multi-media maverick to reflect a little and 'selfie' analyse her work.

Norwegians at risk from Danish listeria outbreak
Norway

Norwegians at risk from Danish listeria outbreak

Norwegian citizens who have bought or have meat from Denmark are being asked to search their fridges, looking for the listeria bacteria which has taken 12 lives in Denmark this week.