Athlete stripped of gold medal for peeling shirt

Athlete stripped of gold medal for peeling shirt

France's Mahiedine Mekhissi was stripped of his gold medal and disqualified from the European Athletics Championships in Zurich on Thursday after peeling off his shirt before he crossed the line in first place in the 3,000-metre steeplechase.

Safety check before train crash found ‘no risks’
Switzerland

Safety check before train crash found ‘no risks’

Despite heavy rain, safety checks found no evidence of risks on the section of a rail line in the canton of Graubünden where a landslide this week derailed a train carrying 200 passengers, Rhaetian Railway officials maintained on Thursday.

Bjørn shares lead at Made in Denmark
Denmark

Bjørn shares lead at Made in Denmark

Dane rides five birdies to a first round tie in Aalborg. Fellow countryman Thorbjørn Olesen ended the day three shots off the pace.

Man jailed for Lausanne hit-and-run scooter crash
Switzerland

Man jailed for Lausanne hit-and-run scooter crash

A Lausanne criminal court on Thursday jailed a 23-year-old man for one year for a hit-and-run accident that left a four-year-girl and her mother in hospital after his speeding scooter struck them in a pedestrian crossing.

‘Suspect killer’s body found in Lake Constance’
Switzerland

‘Suspect killer’s body found in Lake Constance’

Liechtenstein police said Thursday that their German counterparts had found what was believed to be the body of a self-styled "Robin Hood" suspected of killing a banker in the Alpine statelet.

Federer and Wawrinka advance in Cincinnati
Switzerland

Federer and Wawrinka advance in Cincinnati

Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka both made the Cincinnati Masters tennis tournament quarterfinals on Thursday while world number one Novak Djokovic got knocked out.

Denmark to do away with forced retirement
Denmark

Denmark to do away with forced retirement

People still have a lot to offer beyond age 70 says the employment minister, who plans to change current legislation to remove the possibility of forcing employees out on their 70th birthday.

Largest German lake spills its deepest secrets
Germany

Largest German lake spills its deepest secrets

From giant glacial sink holes and caverns to hidden wrecks, Germany's largest lake is gradually revealing its secrets under an unprecedented underwater cartography project.

Luis Suárez begins training with Barcelona
Spain

Luis Suárez begins training with Barcelona

Luis Suarez will start training with his new Barcelona team-mates on Friday after getting the green light from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Spanish giants confirmed.

Russian import ban has cost Austria millions
Austria

Russian import ban has cost Austria millions

According to initial estimates, so far the Russian import ban on foods from the EU has cost the Austrian agri-food sector €4.5 million.

Margot Wallström in Sweden election return
Sweden

Margot Wallström in Sweden election return

Former EU commissioner Margot Wallström confirmed her long anticipated return to Swedish politics at a Social Democrat press conference on Thursday.

Berlin bans Uber app, taxis rejoice
Germany

Berlin bans Uber app, taxis rejoice

Berlin has ordered the alternative taxi service Uber to halt its taxi app in the city or face steep fines.

What France means to you in just one tweet
France

What France means to you in just one tweet

The Local France has been asking readers this week to squeeze their view of France into just 140 characters or less, in other words just one tweet. Here's what you came up with up for #FranceinaTweet.

‘I wasn’t racist to African pedlars’: Italian minister
Italy

‘I wasn’t racist to African pedlars’: Italian minister

Italy’s Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, has denied that the expression he used to describe African beach pedlars was racist, dismissing the backlash as a “storm in a hypocritical teacup”.

Ronny Deila’s Celtic back in Champions League
Norway

Ronny Deila’s Celtic back in Champions League

Celtic, under Norwegian manager Ronny Deila, were given a boost after the club was officially reinstated to the Champions League on Thursday.

Record wind power growth before curbs start
Germany

Record wind power growth before curbs start

Wind generation of electricity rose by 66 percent in the first six months of the year before producer incentives were scaled back, energy officials said Thursday.

Interpol hunts Bulgarian banker in Vienna
Austria

Interpol hunts Bulgarian banker in Vienna

An international arrest warrant has been issued by Bulgaria through Interpol for fugitive Bulgarian banker Zvetan Vassilev, who is believed to be residing in Vienna.

Tobacco smuggling in Gibraltar ‘cost EU €700M’
Spain

Tobacco smuggling in Gibraltar ‘cost EU €700M’

The European Union's anti-fraud office estimates the EU lost €700 million ($940 million) in tax revenues from 2009 to 2013 as a result of tobacco smuggling through Gibraltar.

Explorer injured in Salzburg mountains
Austria

Explorer injured in Salzburg mountains

A Polish caver has been seriously injured and is trapped in Salzburg’s Tennen Mountains. A rescue team is on the scene but may not be able to free the man until the weekend.

12 reasons to invest in Paris and 7 to think twice
France

12 reasons to invest in Paris and 7 to think twice

Chiara Corazza, whose job it is to attract foreign investors to Paris, lists the reasons why international companies should back ventures in the French capital despite the country's economic woes. She also tells us about the things they complain about.

Ten stupid things tourists have done in Italy
Italy

Ten stupid things tourists have done in Italy

Tourists have a habit of misbehaving in Italy, judging from recent headlines. From the Australian caught jumping into the Trevi Fountain to the Frenchman having an orgy in the Pompeii brothel, we’ve singled out ten of the most stupid things tourists have done.

Spanish public debt tops €1 trillion-mark
Spain

Spanish public debt tops €1 trillion-mark

Spain's public debt has topped €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) for the first time, the central bank announced on Thursday, despite years of government-imposed austerity.

Vienna zoo’s baby panda celebrates first birthday
Austria

Vienna zoo’s baby panda celebrates first birthday

Schönbrunn Zoo’s baby panda Fu Bao has celebrated his first birthday - by gobbling up his presents of sweet potatoes and carrots, and even clambering into one of the packages.

Actor’s suicide coverage under fire in Norway
Norway

Actor’s suicide coverage under fire in Norway

The handling of actor Robin Williams's death by the international press has provoked harsh criticism from top media players and health professionals in Norway on Thursday.

A new Little Mermaid may be coming (to Seoul)
Denmark

A new Little Mermaid may be coming (to Seoul)

The mayor of the South Korean capital wants to have an even smaller version of Copenhagen's iconic sculpture for his city and he is offering to trade monuments.

Leftover festival food feeds thousands
Denmark

Leftover festival food feeds thousands

Over 27 tonnes of food otherwise destined for the rubbish bin was collected at this year's Roskilde Festival and converted into meals for the needy.

Bono praises Renzi’s leadership in letter
Italy

Bono praises Renzi’s leadership in letter

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi might be under fire from EU leaders over the country’s “lack of strategy” but he has found an admirer in the Irish band U2’s frontman.

‘Terror training should be illegal’: Liberal Party
Sweden

‘Terror training should be illegal’: Liberal Party

As the Swedish Security Service warns that the number of Swedes fighting in Syria is on the rise, the Liberal Party has called for legislative changes making it a crime for Swedes to participate in terrorist training abroad.

Swedish rail operator moots price slash plan
Sweden

Swedish rail operator moots price slash plan

Swedish national rail operator SJ announced on Thursday that it was planning to slash prices and review its ticketing system in a bid to boost stagnant revenues.

Police thought stroke victim was drunk
Austria

Police thought stroke victim was drunk

Police in Salzburg are being investigated after they charged a female driver for driving under the influence and damaging property - not realising that she had suffered a stroke.

‘Dangerous’ (blow-up) crocs seized in France
France

‘Dangerous’ (blow-up) crocs seized in France

French customs officials on Thursday announced the seizure of 14,000 “dangerous” crocodiles at the Charles de Gaulle international airport in Paris. The bright-green inflatable beach toys had to be put down.

Steward ‘sexually abused’ scared passenger
France

Steward ‘sexually abused’ scared passenger

A Malaysia Airlines cabin crew member has been detained in France over allegations that he sexually assaulted a passenger who was scared of flying with the disaster-prone airline.

US prisoner in North Korea given Sweden visit
Sweden

US prisoner in North Korea given Sweden visit

A Swedish diplomat visited imprisoned US citizen Kenneth Bae at a North Korean labour camp on Monday, soon after the alleged evangelist complained of feeling 'abandoned'.

Italian businessman leads race for Club Med
Italy

Italian businessman leads race for Club Med

A long-running battle over the future of French holiday-resort group Club Med took a twist on Thursday after an Italian businessman made a higher offer, forcing a French and Chinese bidding group to withdraw.

Clear-up operation follows train derailment
Switzerland

Clear-up operation follows train derailment

Efforts remained underway on Thursday to retrieve one of the carriages of a passenger train that derailed in eastern Switzerland following a landslide injuring 11 people, five seriously.

Flock flees Church over tax and opulence shock
Germany

Flock flees Church over tax and opulence shock

New awareness of Germany's Church tax and outrage at lavish clergy spending have triggered a rapid exodus from the Church – much to the upset of institutions that could lose millions in revenue.

‘Miracle baby’ found in boat off Spanish coast
Spain

‘Miracle baby’ found in boat off Spanish coast

Spanish coastguards were shocked on Tuesday to discover a baby girl, just months old, alone without her parents aboard a 'toy boat' in the waters off Spain's south coast.

Spain helps Morocco break up ISIS terror cell
Spain

Spain helps Morocco break up ISIS terror cell

Nine jihadists belonging to a recruitment cell for the terrorist group ISIS were arrested on Thursday in the north of Morocco with the help of Spanish security forces.

Treasure hunter facing jail time over golden find
Germany

Treasure hunter facing jail time over golden find

A 23-year-old man who unearthed treasure worth up to €575,000 with a metal detector is facing embezzlement charges after trying to claim his windfall as his own.

‘Jealousy’ drove 84-year-old to attempt murder
Austria

‘Jealousy’ drove 84-year-old to attempt murder

An 84-year-old man flew into a jealous rage when his 52-year-old wife arrived home very late one night. After a furious argument that culminated in her hiding in her bedroom, he grabbed his shotgun and fired two shots at her through the door, seriously injuring her in the thigh.

Fermented fish bomb thrown at festival
Sweden

Fermented fish bomb thrown at festival

Festival-goers in western Sweden got a surprise when razor-sharp remnants of a fermented herring can exploded around them. Swedish police are now investigating the fishy incident.

Denmark gets its first ‘free’ supermarket
Denmark

Denmark gets its first ‘free’ supermarket

Copenhagen area shoppers can trade reviews for food at the Freemarket. The concept's founder tells The Local that it's about making the shopping experience "more fun and alive".

Swedish docs to use phones in cancer fight
Sweden

Swedish docs to use phones in cancer fight

Skin cancer treatment times could be cut dramatically if doctors adopt a new method developed by Swedish researchers to identify cancerous growths with the help of their smartphones.

Introducing: Sweden’s five minority languages
Sweden

Introducing: Sweden’s five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have.

Versailles pickpocket steals €10k from tourist
France

Versailles pickpocket steals €10k from tourist

Chinese tourists have once again proved rich pickings for thieves in Paris when one visitor tothe Chateau de Versailles lost a staggering €10,500 when thieves rifled through his pockets. Chinese tourists have been warned not to carry wads of cash.

Construction platform fished from river Rhine
Switzerland

Construction platform fished from river Rhine

A 40-tonne construction platform that broke free of its moorings and drifted down the river Rhine on Wednesday is back on dry land.

Meteor shower blazes across Spanish sky
Spain

Meteor shower blazes across Spanish sky

This year's Perseid meteor shower was almost obscured by the 'supermoon' but one photographer still managed to capture a stunning image of the event.

Miroslav Klose: 71 goals wins us over
Germany

Miroslav Klose: 71 goals wins us over

At the height of his popularity, footballer Miroslav Klose has announced his retirement from the national game. With a staggering internationally scored 71 goals under his belt, he is The Local's German of the Week.

‘Italian bureaucracy is like Purgatory’
Italy

‘Italian bureaucracy is like Purgatory’

When Kiersten Pilar Miller moved to Rome to work on a TV series, she never thought she would end up staying - let alone opening a store selling products for new mums. The New Yorker speaks to The Local about life at The Milk Bar.

Hero dog dies after saving drowning boy
Italy

Hero dog dies after saving drowning boy

A dog has been hailed a hero after saving a five-year-old boy from drowning in the sea along Italy’s Adriatic coast, but minutes later died himself.

‘The whole eurozone is sick, not just France’
France

‘The whole eurozone is sick, not just France’

François Hollande and co came under fire on Thursday after new figures showed the French economy has ground to a halt. But an economist tells The Local that the stagnation is not just France’s problem.

Police warn of ‘nephew’ scam
Austria

Police warn of ‘nephew’ scam

Austrian police are warning elderly people to beware of a ‘nephew’ scam in which criminals call up victims and typically pretend to be a nephew or grandson who needs money for an emergency.

Judge demands study on ‘Spain’s worst semen’
Spain

Judge demands study on ‘Spain’s worst semen’

A judge in the Catalan city of Tarragona has ordered an investigation into the possible health impact of the area's chemical industry after discovering that only six per cent of local men have fully mobile sperm.

Steinmeier considers weapons exports to Iraq
Germany

Steinmeier considers weapons exports to Iraq

The conflict against religious minorities in Iraq has more officials speaking out in support of exporting arms to the marginalised groups.

Sweden plans nuclear reactor ‘for research’
Sweden

Sweden plans nuclear reactor ‘for research’

The Swedish government is mulling the construction of a fourth-generation nuclear reactor along the south coast - though the final decision won't be made until after elections.

Swiss jobless rate rises in second quarter
Switzerland

Swiss jobless rate rises in second quarter

New figures show the unemployment rate in Switzerland rose to 4.4 percent in the second quarter of this year — a slight increase over the same period last year.

‘Take down Facebook honeymoon snaps’: court
Italy

‘Take down Facebook honeymoon snaps’: court

A court in Naples has ordered a woman to take down photos posted on Facebook from her honeymoon after her husband complained that he did not give his permission for her to post them. She may even have to pay damages.

Cyclists set for Arctic Race of Norway
Norway

Cyclists set for Arctic Race of Norway

The Arctic Race of Norway, and one of professional cycling's most gruelling challenges, returns for its second edition on Thursday.

FPÖ demands answers on illegal dual citizenship
Austria

FPÖ demands answers on illegal dual citizenship

The far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) has tabled a question in parliament about the alleged situation with possibly tens of thousands of Turkish residents who illegally retain their Turkish citizenship after becoming Austrian citizens.

Austrian solidarity mission to Israel
Austria

Austrian solidarity mission to Israel

The president of the Austrian Jewish Community, Oskar Deutsch, this week led a delegation of ten Austrians on a mission to the south of Israel to show their support.

Denmark to go on the offensive against cancer
Denmark

Denmark to go on the offensive against cancer

The government is preparing to invest one billion kroner into quicker diagnoses of cancer, but there are already concerns that the plan is not enough to combat Denmark's record-setting cancer rates.

French taxpayers warned over fake rebate promise
France

French taxpayers warned over fake rebate promise

French police have urged the country’s taxpayers to be on guard after fraudsters sent out thousands of emails asking recipients for their credit card details in return for a fake “tax refund”.

Austrian wins name fight with Lady Gaga
Austria

Austrian wins name fight with Lady Gaga

Pop diva Lady Gaga has lost her battle to stop an Austrian man from calling his energy drink GaGa.

Athletics: Farah bounces back to take Zurich gold
Switzerland

Athletics: Farah bounces back to take Zurich gold

Mo Farah resumed normal service as the world and Olympic 5,000-metre and 10,000-metre champion emerged from months of illness and disappointing form to win the 10,000-metre title at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

Spain now growing faster than Germany
Spain

Spain now growing faster than Germany

The German economy tripped up in the second quarter, registering negative growth of 0.2 percent, some way behind the 0.6 per cent growth clocked up by Spain in the same period.

Sweden and Norway celebrate peace treaty
Sweden

Sweden and Norway celebrate peace treaty

Thursday marked the 200 year anniversary of the Convention of Moss, a historic peace treaty between Norway and Sweden. The Convention put a bookend on the last war between Sweden and Norway - and Sweden's last war.

Old is the new black as Swedes shun fashion
Sweden

Old is the new black as Swedes shun fashion

Consumption of new clothes has declined in Sweden as the interest in retro and second-hand fashion continues to boom, according to a new report.

Barcelona shuts down 49 cannabis clubs
Spain

Barcelona shuts down 49 cannabis clubs

City authorities ordered the closure of 49 cannabis clubs in Barcelona on Wednesday, the latest move to tighten a legal loophole that has given the city a global reputation as a 'pothead's paradise'.

PM shrugs off criticism over ‘lack of strategy’
Italy

PM shrugs off criticism over ‘lack of strategy’

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi admitted on Wednesday that EU funding to Italy has been misspent but shrugged off criticism from the economic bloc that Italy is “a country without strategy”.

Deadly Danish meat sold to Germany
Germany

Deadly Danish meat sold to Germany

The Agriculture Ministry in Schleswig-Holstein has found that meat tainted with Listeria was imported to the north German state.

Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Norway

Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace

The Norwegian coastal town of Moss celebrates a historic chapter in Norway's and Sweden's past on Thursday.

Ribery: The winger who failed to get France to fly
France

Ribery: The winger who failed to get France to fly

Franck Ribery, who retired from international football this week, was supposed to be the natural heir to Zinedine Zidane for Les Bleus, but despite a promising start he failed to live up to expectations.

Ex-Catalan leader hit with corruption lawsuit
Spain

Ex-Catalan leader hit with corruption lawsuit

A right-wing Spanish public sector union filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a revered ex-president of the autonomous region of Catalonia, accusing him of graft involving up to €18 million ($24 million).

Human trafficking feared behind asylum boom
Denmark

Human trafficking feared behind asylum boom

The number of asylum seekers from Eritrea went from a monthly average of ten to over 500 in July, leading the justice minister to put a halt to granting asylum to Eritreans until human trafficking concerns can be addressed.

‘Broken down’ French economy grinds to a halt
France

‘Broken down’ French economy grinds to a halt

The French government recognised on Thursday that it's economy had "broken down" after new data showed there had been zero growth so far this year. In more bad news for the eurozone new figures also revealed the German economy has contracted.

Man has lucky escape from sex accident
Germany

Man has lucky escape from sex accident

A German man had a lucky escape after getting himself stuck while tying himself up in his kitchen. Police are treating it as an "auto-erotic accident."

German economy puts on the squeeze
Germany

German economy puts on the squeeze

UPDATE: The German economy, Europe's biggest, stalled in the second quarter, data showed on Thursday, casting a cloud over recovery in the crisis-battered region.

Crisis-hit shops scrap traditional August break
Italy

Crisis-hit shops scrap traditional August break

The August exodus from Rome can certainly be felt in parts of the city, with many shops, restaurants and bars having closed for their annual holiday. But some are breaking from tradition and staying open, The Local has discovered.

Gothenburg sends beggars home in droves
Sweden

Gothenburg sends beggars home in droves

Gothenburg is struggling to maintain its image as a welcoming city after sending home more beggars than ever before in 2013. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has meanwhile rejected calls to ban begging.

Federer wins milestone 300th Masters match
Switzerland

Federer wins milestone 300th Masters match

Switzerland’s Roger Federer became the first man to win 300 matches at the ATP Masters 1000 level, beating Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-2 on Wednesday in Cincinnati.