Violent fare-dodger jailed by Zurich court
Switzerland

Violent fare-dodger jailed by Zurich court

An Austrian man who tried to evade police after being caught fare-dodging in Zurich last year was jailed this week for pulling a gun on his pursuers and firing several shots.

Lost passenger sparks Geneva airport scare
Switzerland

Lost passenger sparks Geneva airport scare

A lost passenger sparked a security alert at Geneva airport on Thursday that forced staff to halt boarding and caused disruption to several flights, a spokesman said.

Julius Bär sued over ‘lost’ East German cash
Switzerland

Julius Bär sued over ‘lost’ East German cash

Berlin is suing one of Switzerland's largest banks in its bid to recuperate hundreds of million euros that went missing during the reunification of East and West Germany, the bank said on Thursday.

Denmark to transport weapons to Iraq
Denmark

Denmark to transport weapons to Iraq

After previously only offering to aid the humanitarian effort in northern Iraq, the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday decided to send weapons to Kurdish forces fighting Isis. Some 55 troops will accompany the transport.

Store’s anti-Roma sign slammed as ‘pure racism’
Italy

Store’s anti-Roma sign slammed as ‘pure racism’

A supermarket sign in Sicily urging people not to give money to “gypsies” is “pure racism”, a director from the European Roma Rights Centre told The Local.

Woman fakes kidnapping to boost music career
Spain

Woman fakes kidnapping to boost music career

A Barcelona woman has been arrested after allegedly faking her own kidnapping in the Dominican Republic to raise money to record a CD.

Teachers’ unions meet to reach strike resolve
Norway

Teachers’ unions meet to reach strike resolve

The four main teachers' unions met KS on Thursday at Kommunenes Hus in Oslo in an effort to find resolution to the ongoing strikes taking place across Norway.

Siemens lands €650m Norway wind power deal
Germany

Siemens lands €650m Norway wind power deal

German engineering giant Siemens has won a contract worth €650 million to supply wind turbines to Norwegian power groups Statoil and Statkraft, the company said Thursday.

‘Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections’
Sweden

‘Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections’

With national elections around the corner, political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren says there's a hive of activity behind the scenes, and that the right-wing nationalist party could end up being the key player.

Health plan focuses on cancer, chronic illness
Denmark

Health plan focuses on cancer, chronic illness

The government announced a new five billion kroner plan to improve the nation's healthcare system through better cancer treatment, early detection and the creation of new modern doctors' offices.

Armed fare-dodger jailed for 12 years
Austria

Armed fare-dodger jailed for 12 years

An Austrian man trying to evade police after being caught without a ticket in Zürich in 2013 was jailed this week for pulling a gun on his pursuers and firing several shots.

Swedish artist jailed for ‘race hate’ pictures
Sweden

Swedish artist jailed for ‘race hate’ pictures

A Malmö court has sentenced Swedish street artist Dan Park to six months in jail for incitement to racial agitation and defamation.

No negligence in case of woman killed by cows
Austria

No negligence in case of woman killed by cows

The Innsbruck prosecutor's office has found no evidence of criminal offence or negligent misconduct in the case of a German woman who was killed by a herd of cows in Tyrol in July.

‘Marine Le Pen is the 21st century Joan of Arc’
France

‘Marine Le Pen is the 21st century Joan of Arc’

In a new interview one-time French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot has likened the head of France’s anti-immigration National Front party to the iconic French historical figure of Joan of Arc.

Mob storms hospital in Naples: nabs mafia body
Italy

Mob storms hospital in Naples: nabs mafia body

A 200-strong crowd snatched the body of a member of a mafia clan from a Naples hospital in the middle of the night, it has emerged.

Barcelona locals wage war on drunken tourists
Spain

Barcelona locals wage war on drunken tourists

Locals in a central Barcelona neighbourhood have grown so tired of the unruly behaviour of drunken tourists staying in illegal accommodation on their streets that they staged an improvised protest on Tuesday.

Gang selling drug substitutes busted
Austria

Gang selling drug substitutes busted

A group that specialized in dealing in drug substitutes and medication has been busted by police.

Di María wants out of Real Madrid: Ancelotti
Spain

Di María wants out of Real Madrid: Ancelotti

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that midfielder Ángel di María has asked to leave the European champions before the end of the transfer window.

Spain’s building sector fastest growing in EU
Spain

Spain’s building sector fastest growing in EU

Spain's building sector grew seven percent in the second quarter of 2014 making it the top performer in the European Union, welcome news for the sector that was left battered and bruised by Spain's economic crisis.

BVB seeks cash to match Bayern
Germany

BVB seeks cash to match Bayern

Borussia Dortmund announced its plan to raise €114.4 million on Thursday in an effort to compete with Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich.

30 horses rescued from burning barn
Austria

30 horses rescued from burning barn

Workers on a stud farm in Traiskirchen in Lower Austria were able to rescue 30 horses from a barn complex, while fire fighters battled to contain the blaze on Wednesday.

Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue
Germany

Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue

"If there's somethin' strange in your neighbourhood; Who ya gonna call?" If you're Vladimir Putin, growing ever more isolated among his G8 peers, it's Angela Merkel, say the Kremlin hot-line stats.

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad
Germany

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad

A study revealed today that more people traveled to Switzerland to undergo assisted dying from Germany than from any other country in 2012.

France armed Syrian rebels ‘months ago’
France

France armed Syrian rebels ‘months ago’

France supplied arms to rebels fighting the government in Syria "months ago", French President François Hollande said on Thursday.

Dane behind fertility research breakthrough
Denmark

Dane behind fertility research breakthrough

A reproduction expert at the University of Copenhagen is close to proving that vitamin D deficiency can cause infertility in men. The discovery could soon lead to a first-of-its-kind fertility test.

Austrians pay more for food than Germans
Austria

Austrians pay more for food than Germans

If you live in Vienna the chances are that you are paying more for your groceries than someone who lives in Berlin.

Incest victim (14) gives birth to son
Austria

Incest victim (14) gives birth to son

A 14-year-old girl who gave birth to a son earlier in 2014 is now believed to have been the victim of incest from her 20-year-old cousin.

France’s mussel growers gripped by ongoing crisis
France

France’s mussel growers gripped by ongoing crisis

In future “les moules” you eat in France may longer be homegrown after mussel producers in the west of the country have reported an "unprecedented" crisis due to poor harvests. They are demanding the state hand out emergency aid.

Time limit for street walkers in Floridsdorf
Austria

Time limit for street walkers in Floridsdorf

A row over street prostitution in Vienna’s 21st district, Floridsdorf, looks like being partially resolved after the district council voted in favour of enforcing a time limit on street walkers.

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni
Germany

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni

More young people are choosing university degrees over vocational training, leaving firms scrambling to find qualified new hires.

Construction begins on Vienna’s U5 subway line
Austria

Construction begins on Vienna’s U5 subway line

Test drilling began on Thursday for Vienna's new U5 subway line. This will be the sixth underground train line in Vienna, since the system opened in 1978.

Super Mario on brink of shock Liverpool move
Italy

Super Mario on brink of shock Liverpool move

Mario Balotelli is on the brink of a shock move to Liverpool, media in England and Italy reported on Thursday, two weeks after Reds boss Brendan Rodgers ruled out a bid for the controversial striker.

Fruit and veg prices tumble in France
France

Fruit and veg prices tumble in France

Good weather and weak demand have sent fruit and vegetable prices tumbling in France this summer. However, one of France’s favorite edibles is poised to spike in cost.

Madrid: man dies in horror balcony collapse
Spain

Madrid: man dies in horror balcony collapse

A man died on Thursday after part of a balcony above the terrace of the Madrid bar where he was drinking with a friend collapsed.

Camel bites baby’s head at circus in France
France

Camel bites baby’s head at circus in France

A four-month-old baby boy is in hospital after a circus camel bit his head leaving him with multiple fractures, French police said on Thursday. The incident comes just weeks after a lion wounded a toddler at another French circus.

Swiss travel firm Kuoni suffers weak results
Switzerland

Swiss travel firm Kuoni suffers weak results

Shares in Switzerland-based global travel group Kuoni plunged on Thursday after the company posted weak results for the first half of 2014, blaming unrest in many parts of the world.

Italian women kidnapped by Isis: report
Italy

Italian women kidnapped by Isis: report

Two Italian women are reported to be among four new captives being held by the same militant who beheaded American journalist James Foley.

Photojournalists fined at Spain’s African border
Spain

Photojournalists fined at Spain’s African border

A journalist who was fined €150 ($200) by Spanish police on Monday for taking photos of African migrants trying to scale a fence separating Morocco from Spain's North African enclave of Melilla has told The Local he won't pay.

Cruise in Vienna for Mission Impossible
Austria

Cruise in Vienna for Mission Impossible

Hollywood star Tom Cruise is in Vienna to shoot scenes for his new film Mission Impossible 5.

Swiss mountains claim latest hiker victim
Switzerland

Swiss mountains claim latest hiker victim

A 64-year-old German man died in the Bernese alps on Wednesday morning after slipping on a snowy path and falling several hundred metres to his death, cantonal police confirmed.

Sweden elections: How do they work?
Sweden

Sweden elections: How do they work?

National, regional, and local elections are taking place in Sweden on September 14th. Whether you're a first-time voter or a fresh armchair observer, The Local's beginners' guide will answer the key questions you were too afraid to ask.

Doctor arrested over medical test ‘rape’ photos
Germany

Doctor arrested over medical test ‘rape’ photos

Police in Bavaria have arrested a 48-year-old doctor for allegedly drugging and raping medical test volunteers, media reported Thursday.

Zurich airport staff in baggage fine prize draw
Switzerland

Zurich airport staff in baggage fine prize draw

Airport handlers Swissport and Swiss International Airlines have launched a competition for check-in desk staff at Zurich airport to encourage them to dish out more overweight baggage fines to passengers.

Conchita does ALS ice bucket challenge
Austria

Conchita does ALS ice bucket challenge

Conchita Wurst has done the ALS ice bucket challenge, but managed to do it without ruining her make-up or getting her glossy locks wet.

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Sweden

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination

The Swedish government has asked a new commission to create school materials based on a white paper documenting Swedish discrimination of Roma.

Hotels reimburse visitors for bad weather
Italy

Hotels reimburse visitors for bad weather

Hotels and resorts on Italy’s weather-beaten northern coastline have come up with yet another innovative way to salvage the tourism industry this summer: by compensating tourists for bad weather.

Isis takes Dane hostage in Syria: British media
Denmark

Isis takes Dane hostage in Syria: British media

The Guardian reports that a Dane is among four new captives being held by the same militant who beheaded American journalist James Foley.

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France

VIDEO: New horror movie set in Paris catacombs

The Paris catacombs, known to its fans as the "kingdom of the dead", has provided the setting for a brand new horror flick that hit cinemas in France this week. Check out the trailer, though it may make you hesitate about heading below ground ever again.

Norway economy high growth exceeds forecast
Norway

Norway economy high growth exceeds forecast

Latest figures show Norway's economy is booming for the second quarter with GDP up 1.2 percent overall.

Caritas opens hotel with ‘social value’
Austria

Caritas opens hotel with ‘social value’

The Roman Catholic charity Caritas is going into the hotel business. The Vienna branch will open a budget hotel in January, close to the Prater, and will provide apprenticeships to around 30 young people with a refugee background, the head of Caritas Vienna Klaus Schwertner said.

‘Stop drilling plans or we’ll cut ties with Spain’
Spain

‘Stop drilling plans or we’ll cut ties with Spain’

The President of the Canary Islands is threatening to break off diplomatic ties with Spain's central government while asking islanders to take part in an "illegal" referendum over the islands' controversial oil and gas drilling plans, green-lighted by Prime Minister Rajoy.

Fines for not pulling listeria-infected products
Denmark

Fines for not pulling listeria-infected products

Checks by the food authorities discover 40 companies that didn't pull products as required. Listeria was also traced to a new food company, which was forced to temporarily close down for disinfection.

VIDEO: Man goes ‘Full Monty’ on Spanish tram
Spain

VIDEO: Man goes ‘Full Monty’ on Spanish tram

Passengers on a tram in the Spanish city of Alicante got more than they bargained for recently when one man got on board, stripped to his underwear and began to slow dance.

Austria commences aid flights to Iraq
Austria

Austria commences aid flights to Iraq

Austria has begun a series of humanitarian aid shipments to Iraq.

Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king
Germany

Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king

The world's most-pierced man, Rolf Buchholz, was just deported from Dubai, for fear of 'black magic', he says. But as shocking as many people find his body modifications, it is a genuine passion, our German of the Week explains. And who knows, he may just enchant you yet.

Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval
Switzerland

Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval

Swiss Post’s pilot scheme selling postage stamps by text message is to become a permanent service on September 1st, after 100,000 SMS stamps were sold during the one-year trial.

€500 fine for tourists who steal Sicily rock
Italy

€500 fine for tourists who steal Sicily rock

Authorities in Sicily have started slamming tourists with a €500 fine if they try to steal rocks from the island’s famous Stair of the Turks.

South west France voted ‘best place to work’
France

South west France voted ‘best place to work’

While most expats may dream of living and working in Paris or on the Riviera, the French on the other hand believe the cities of the south west are the ideal place to work, especially Bordeaux.

Day-care rape suspect ‘was mentally ill’
Sweden

Day-care rape suspect ‘was mentally ill’

Social services have ruled that a day-care intern charged with molesting 14 children in southern Sweden was "seriously mentally disturbed".

Italy to arm Iraqi fighters against Isis
Italy

Italy to arm Iraqi fighters against Isis

The Italian government said on Wednesday it was ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds fighting militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi made a flying visit to the conflict-wracked country.

Charles Darwin discovery unearthed in Copenhagen
Denmark

Charles Darwin discovery unearthed in Copenhagen

As a thank you to his Danish colleague, Charles Darwin sent 77 personally identified crustacean species to the Zoological Museum. At the time, they were merely filed away but today – 160 years later – they represent one of the biggest Darwin collections in the world.

Every second black person in Austria ‘harassed’
Austria

Every second black person in Austria ‘harassed’

A new study reveals that around half of Austria’s black population has been abused or racially harassed in the past year - and that many people with dark skin feel discriminated against in Austria.

‘Suicide tourists’ double in three years
Switzerland

‘Suicide tourists’ double in three years

A total of 172 "suicide tourists" travelled to Switzerland in 2012 – double the 2009 number – to die with medical assistance, a practice prohibited in many countries, a study said on Thursday.

‘Insulting’ anti-rape guidelines to be updated
Spain

‘Insulting’ anti-rape guidelines to be updated

Spain's interior ministry has vowed to revise its anti-rape guidelines after current advice which includes telling woman not to get into a lift with a stranger came under heavy fire recently.

Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sweden

Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season

On the third Thursday of each August, Swedes celebrate the start of the fermented herring season. The Local finds out more about the worst-smelling food on earth, and collects some of the best reaction videos.

Swiss goalie retires from international football
Switzerland

Swiss goalie retires from international football

Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio announced his international retirement on Wednesday, saying that he wanted to concentrate on his club career with German side Wolfsburg.

Italy’s pooches play at dog-only beach
Italy

Italy’s pooches play at dog-only beach

The sun brollies are up, the beach loungers full and the water is full of daytrippers splashing about. It is a classic Italian scene but with one crucial difference: the beach bums frolicking in the waves at Maccarese are nearly all dogs, revelling in a rare chance to romp by the seaside.

Amazon ‘should not endanger diversity’
Germany

Amazon ‘should not endanger diversity’

A German minister on Wednesday threw her weight behind the authors battling US online retail giant Amazon over its alleged strong-arm negotiating tactics with publishers.

Opposition calls for arms export debate
Germany

Opposition calls for arms export debate

Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckhardt is calling for a special session of parliament following Wednesday's announcement that Germany will break its rules and deliver weapons to an active conflict zone.

European record for Italy swim champ
Italy

European record for Italy swim champ

Italian teenager Gregorio Paltrinieri smashed the European 1500m freestyle record at the European Championships in Berlin on Wednesday.

Two pilots’ bodies found at fighter jet crash site
Italy

Two pilots’ bodies found at fighter jet crash site

Italian authorities said on Wednesday they had found the bodies of two pilots after a pair of Tornado fighter jets crashed following a mid-air collision, while two other crew members were still missing.

Australian, 70, breaks record for Channel swim
France

Australian, 70, breaks record for Channel swim

A 70-year-old Australian grandfather has become the oldest person to swim the English Channel. Cyril Baldock swam the 34 km from England to France in 12 hours 45 minutes and celebrated his feat with a couple of beers.

French villagers come to aid of British couple
France

French villagers come to aid of British couple

Residents in a French village have united behind an elderly British couple after their dream of a quiet retirement in southern France turned into a nightmare when their neighbours - also from the UK - walled them into their home.

Americans accept Danish offer to help in Iraq
Denmark

Americans accept Danish offer to help in Iraq

Denmark will send a Hercules transport aircraft to assist those in northern Iraq who have fled the "unbelievably brutal" Islamic State.

Families find solace and help with seniors
Germany

Families find solace and help with seniors

When Verena Herz found out she was pregnant with twins, she had no idea what she was in for. Luckily, she was able to borrow a grandmother. The Local learns the advantages of welcoming a new grandparent into the family and why Omas and Opas say: "I tell everybody about it!"

Spotify founders win ‘Expats of the Year’
Sweden

Spotify founders win ‘Expats of the Year’

Spotify founders Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek won the International Swede of the Year award (Årets svensk i världen) on Wednesday for their work in making the world's music accessible to the world.

Lavrans Solli makes Euro final after record swim
Norway

Lavrans Solli makes Euro final after record swim

Norwegian swimmer Lavrans Solli set a new Norwegian and Nordic record to make the final of the 50 meters backstroke at the Europe Championship in Berlin on Wednesday evening.