Gas explosion destroys Vienna rooftop apartment
Austria

Gas explosion destroys Vienna rooftop apartment

Around 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, a gas explosion ripped through the top floor of a residential building in Vienna's Margareten district.

Geneva group seeks ways to govern internet
Switzerland

Geneva group seeks ways to govern internet

The Geneva-based World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the internet.

PSG drawn in same group as Barcelona
France

PSG drawn in same group as Barcelona

PSG were paired with Barcelona in Group F of the Champions League when the draw for the group stages was made on Thursday. France's other representative Monaco were handed a much easier draw, at least on paper.

La France profonde: Is it a rural idyll or a backwater hell?
France

La France profonde: Is it a rural idyll or a backwater hell?

Does life in rural France offer the peace and quiet that you've always dreamed about or is it a quick route to loneliness and isolation? Amaryllis Barton takes a closer look.

Renzi slams Putin for ‘escalation’ in Ukraine
Italy

Renzi slams Putin for ‘escalation’ in Ukraine

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday called Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of "very serious consequences" after reports that Moscow has sent troops into Ukraine.

Firemen charge mum €90 to free trapped boy
Spain

Firemen charge mum €90 to free trapped boy

Residents in the historic Spanish city of Toledo are up in arms after their local fire-fighting squad charged a mother €90 ($118) for freeing her two-year-old son from some metal bars he had his head stuck in.

Sweden’s highest peak to lose title next year
Sweden

Sweden’s highest peak to lose title next year

Mount Kebnekaise's southern peak will no longer be the highest point in Sweden by 2015, researchers predicted on Thursday, adding that the change will spell a major blow for tourism in the region.

Australia to welcome young Spanish workers
Spain

Australia to welcome young Spanish workers

UPDATED: 500 young Spaniards a year will soon be able to take advantage of Australia's Work and Holiday visa scheme to work in the Asia–Pacific nation, under a new agreement signed by Spain's foreign minister in the Australian capitial of Canberra.

Vienna court threw secret files in rubbish
Austria

Vienna court threw secret files in rubbish

Vienna’s Regional Court has had to redefine its “waste management” policy after a blogger found confidential documents relating to ongoing cases in a paper recycling container outside the court building.

Gothenburg preschools end school photography
Sweden

Gothenburg preschools end school photography

Preschool managers in Gothenburg have decided to ban class photos at preschools in their municipality, citing the different financial situations of families as one reason for the change.

France to demand UK help ease Calais crisis
France

France to demand UK help ease Calais crisis

France's Interior Minister has dismissed the prospect of a new mass shelter in Calais to house homeless migrants trying to smuggle themselves into the UK. But the so-called top cop plans to ask British authorities to "accept their responsibilities" for the ongoing crisis.

Tent cities considered for Austria’s refugees
Austria

Tent cities considered for Austria’s refugees

Austria’s interior ministry says that it is no longer ruling out tent cities for refugees. On Thursday, the ministry told the Austrian Press Agency that the number of refugees has "massively" increased in the past few weeks.

Hunky models dump ice bucket on Donatella
Italy

Hunky models dump ice bucket on Donatella

When fashion queen Donatello Versace embraced the Ice Bucket Challenge, she probably didn't expect the male models tasked with dousing her to actually have minds of their own.

Has Merkel’s Russia policy failed?
Germany

Has Merkel’s Russia policy failed?

A foreign policy expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party said on Thursday Russia was fighting a "war" in Ukraine. Despite dozens of phone calls to President Vladimir Putin, Merkel's policy of restraint seems to have completely failed.

Norwegian brewery pulls ‘fart-smelling’ beer
Norway

Norwegian brewery pulls ‘fart-smelling’ beer

A Norwegian brewery has removed all stock of one of its beers on Thursday after drinkers complained of its foul-smelling aroma.

Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sweden

Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm

Many consider Sweden a pretty safe place to live, but what if an icicle pierces your little toe or a ray of midnight sun sets fire to your kettle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered when it comes to sorting out insurance in Sweden.

Topless activists fling eggs in anti-rape demo
Spain

Topless activists fling eggs in anti-rape demo

Four bare-breasted Femen activists threw eggs at the Spanish Interior Ministry headquarters on Thursday to protest against the recent shelving of a gang rape case in Malaga.

Grocery chain makes it cheaper to eat healthy
Denmark

Grocery chain makes it cheaper to eat healthy

The food minister may have just notched his first victory in his proposed 'food revolution' as discount chain moves to drop prices on all fruits and vegetables.

Disabled Romanian forced to beg in Vienna
Austria

Disabled Romanian forced to beg in Vienna

A Romanian couple who forced a disabled Romanian man to beg in Vienna are on trial for human trafficking.

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos
Germany

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos

Travellers in southeast Berlin can expect disruption on the S-Bahn until Sunday morning after an arson attack damaged a cable duct on Thursday morning, affecting services on six lines.

Brit’s life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Sweden

Brit’s life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show

The Local chats to UK funnyman Danny Robins about his new radio show The Cold Swedish Winter, which is making waves on BBC radio. He talks elk, moose, and what it means to be a Swedophile.

Pitt and Jolie tie the knot secretly in France
France

Pitt and Jolie tie the knot secretly in France

Celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married in secret in France at the weekend in a low key ceremony at their château. It was in stark contrast to Kanye West's and Kim Kardashian's pre-nuptial celebrations in Paris earlier this year.

Nervous student causes manhunt in Copenhagen
Denmark

Nervous student causes manhunt in Copenhagen

Armed police officers searched throughout the city for a man reported as behaving suspiciously on the train. After finding him it turns out he was "completely clean".

Italians squirrel most cash into London homes
Italy

Italians squirrel most cash into London homes

Italians have overtaken Russians and Emiratis as the top buyers of luxury property in central London, with one expert telling The Local the UK capital is a “safe haven” for those facing economic uncertainty at home.

Cavalli fashion empire sued for ‘copying graffiti’
Italy

Cavalli fashion empire sued for ‘copying graffiti’

Italian designer Roberto Cavalli's fashion house is being sued by a group of graffiti artists in the US for allegedly copying their work.

New U5 colour chosen for Vienna’s underground
Austria

New U5 colour chosen for Vienna’s underground

Vienna's public transportation network Wiener Linien has commenced work on initial construction for the U5 subway extension, and has made one of the most important choices - the colour scheme for the new line.

Record tourist numbers for Austria despite rain
Austria

Record tourist numbers for Austria despite rain

Despite a disappointing summer, the coolest since 2005, Austria had record tourist numbers from May to July, with 31.9 million overnight stays.

Catalonia set to legalize medical marijuana
Spain

Catalonia set to legalize medical marijuana

The Spanish region of Catalonia is finalizing plans to legalize medical marijuana, a move authorities say will not only aid patients but also help the region to crack down on its booming cannabis club scene.

Fears for priceless fresco after lightning strike
Italy

Fears for priceless fresco after lightning strike

A lightning bolt has hit a chapel frescoed more than 700 years ago by Italian painter Giotto, raising fears that the priceless work may have been damaged.

Spain’s Tour so hot cyclists lose 4.5kg a day
Spain

Spain’s Tour so hot cyclists lose 4.5kg a day

Cyclists taking part in Spain's La Vuelta tour are having to endure such high temperatures in the summer heat they’re averaging 4.5kg (10 pounds) a day in weight loss through all the sweating.

Ex-French cop blasts Diana’s ‘DIY’ security
France

Ex-French cop blasts Diana’s ‘DIY’ security

In his new book the ex-Paris cop who guarded Princess Diana’s corpse the night she was killed, says the “icon” had an inadequate “DIY” security detail which contributed to the tragic outcome.

Germany posts weaker job figures
Germany

Germany posts weaker job figures

Unemployment in Germany remained steady in August, official data showed on Thursday, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy and the eurozone as a whole.

Consumer prices slide again in August
Spain

Consumer prices slide again in August

Spanish consumer prices fell again in August, dropping by 0.5 percent on an annual basis, preliminary figures from the national statistics institute showed Thursday, heightening concerns about deflation risk in the eurozone.

Norway teachers to step up strike action
Norway

Norway teachers to step up strike action

The teachers' union will ask 850 more teachers to strike, bring the total of teachers striking in Norway to 9,000, it was announced on Wednesday.

Hypo bank makes further shocking losses
Austria

Hypo bank makes further shocking losses

The nationalised Hypo Alpe Adria bank made overall concern losses of €1.67 billion (US$2.2 billion) as of the end of June 2014, according to its half-year balance published on Wednesday. The losses are far higher than any predictions or expectations.

Media executive jailed in latest ‘sexting’ case
Switzerland

Media executive jailed in latest ‘sexting’ case

A 57-year-old man who passed himself off as a 12-year-old girl in online chatrooms in order to obtain naked photos of children was sentenced to four and a half years in prison by a Zurich district court on Wednesday.

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa
Germany

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa

After two failed attempts, Berlin is trying again to sell the sprawling estate and villa once known as Joseph Goebbels' illicit love nest, but so far, nobody's buying.

‘Angry rampage’ on Tom Cruise film set
Austria

‘Angry rampage’ on Tom Cruise film set

A 34-year-old man has been arrested during the shoot for Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 5 in Vienna after storming onto the filming location on Wednesday night and lashing out at people.

Dead man mocks tax minister on gravestone
Spain

Dead man mocks tax minister on gravestone

A Spanish musician has mocked the country's finance minister Cristobal Montoro with a message he told his relatives to inscribe on his headstone.

Jobless Spaniards face expulsion from Germany
Spain

Jobless Spaniards face expulsion from Germany

Germany on Wednesday announced new measures to stop EU citizens from abusing its social welfare system, a move which could have serious consequences for thousands of Spaniards looking for work in the country.

The French words you can’t translate literally
France

The French words you can’t translate literally

The French language has a plethora of words that if you translated literally into English could cause a fair bit of confusion and hilarity for language learners. From "throat support" to "mouth fun", we've picked out some of the best. Let us know of any more.

BREAKING: CPH Police look for ‘suspicious’ man
Denmark

BREAKING: CPH Police look for ‘suspicious’ man

Armed police officers are currently looking for a man who displayed "suspicious behaviour" at Nørreport Station. "No indications of a concrete threat," police inspector says.

Swiss bank Lombard Odier reveals profits
Switzerland

Swiss bank Lombard Odier reveals profits

Swiss private bank Lombard Odier has published its first results since its foundation over two centuries ago, as the ultra-discreet sector puts its books in the spotlight.

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis
Germany

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis

What looked like just another ALS ice bucket challenge video has become a political statement after the leader of Germany's Green Party Cem Özdemir confirmed he filmed his clip next to a cannabis plant.

Allergic Swedes demand separate metro carriages
Sweden

Allergic Swedes demand separate metro carriages

A Swedish allergies association has asked Stockholm public transport officials to set aside certain carriages on the metro for those with allergies - banning nuts, animals, and strong fragrances in transit.

‘You’re just trying to get a sentence out’
Austria

‘You’re just trying to get a sentence out’

Kate Gaines is a 35-year-old clarinettist and music teacher from Kentucky, USA, who has been teaching at the Danube International School in Vienna for three years. She spoke to The Local about the challenges and joys of working abroad.

More affordable housing for Copenhagen students
Denmark

More affordable housing for Copenhagen students

With a record number of students accepted to university this year, the need for affordable student housing is as pressing as ever.

What’s next for East Berlin?
Germany

What’s next for East Berlin?

In the second of a two-part series on Berlin’s future, The Local looks at the major developments in former East Berlin. From palaces to bridges, what’s next for the East?

Police car kills man lying on Fribourg motorway
Switzerland

Police car kills man lying on Fribourg motorway

A police car hit and killed a 22-year-old man who was lying in the middle of the A1 motorway near Bussy in the canton of Fribourg in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Happiness ‘about making right choices’
Austria

Happiness ‘about making right choices’

Can happiness be learned? And can you measure how happy certain people are? An international conference in Innsbruck is looking at these questions.

OSCE holds urgent meeting over Ukraine
Austria

OSCE holds urgent meeting over Ukraine

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the European security body OSCE will hold a special meeting in Vienna on Thursday to discuss developments in conflict-torn Ukraine, following reports of Russian troops on the ground there, the US mission to the organisation said.

Air France pilots set for week-long strike
France

Air France pilots set for week-long strike

More travel chaos could be on the way now that Air France pilots have said they will strike for at least a week in September over their concerns about a reorganization of the international carrier.

Netflix to film French ‘House of Cards’
France

Netflix to film French ‘House of Cards’

France’s gritty port city of Marseille will be the setting for a Netflix original series that will bear a strong resemblance to the streaming service’s massive hit "House of Cards". The news comes on the eve of Netflix’s arrival in France.

Ape jibe senator ‘cursed by African spirits’
Italy

Ape jibe senator ‘cursed by African spirits’

An Italian senator is seeking an exorcist after being "cursed" by evil African spirits in revenge for calling Italy’s first black minister an orangutan.

Chicken trailer catches fire on motorway
Austria

Chicken trailer catches fire on motorway

A trailer loaded with more than 2,000 chickens caught fire on Wednesday evening on Austria's A9 motorway in Traboch, Upper Styria. Hundreds of the birds are reported to have died.

Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door
Sweden

Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door

Who said there were hard feelings between the oft-confused Swiss and Swedes? A new survey shows that Swiss people would rather have the land of Abba as their neighbour over anyone else in the EU.

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire
Germany

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire

UPDATE: Investigators now believe a fire which damaged a mosque in Berlin earlier in August was started deliberately.

Venetians fight to rid city of ‘disgusting’ love locks
Italy

Venetians fight to rid city of ‘disgusting’ love locks

A campaign is underway in Venice to rid the city of tourists’ love locks, with one Italian telling The Local they are “absolutely disgusting” and have nothing to do with Venetian culture.

Hollande: Assad is no anti-jihadist ally of West
France

Hollande: Assad is no anti-jihadist ally of West

President François Hollande declared on Thursday that Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad is not a partner of the West in the battle against Islamist extremists in Syria and Iraq, but an ally of the jihadists.

Swiss pick Swedes as ideal neighbours
Switzerland

Swiss pick Swedes as ideal neighbours

Despite a campaign launched by the Swedish to help Chinese people tell the difference between them and the Swiss, it turns out Switzerland and Sweden feel akin after all. Swiss people would rather have the nation of Ikea and ABBA as their neighbour than any other EU country, according to a new survey.

Confirmed: Spain grew 0.6 percent in 2nd quarter
Spain

Confirmed: Spain grew 0.6 percent in 2nd quarter

Spain's economy grew by 0.6 percent in the second quarter compared with output in the previous three months, the fastest rate since 2007, the national statistics office said on Thursday in a further sign of recovery from recession.

Isis gang of four sparked Norway’s terror alert
Norway

Isis gang of four sparked Norway’s terror alert

Four terrorists connected to Isis were responsible for the recent terror alert in Norway, claimed a media report on Thursday.

Food safety takes a hit in budget proposal
Denmark

Food safety takes a hit in budget proposal

A listeria outbreak and salmonella fears have led to numerous product recalls and up to 12,000 people are suspected to be carrying the MRSA bacteria, but the government's budget calls for a 140 million kroner cut in food safety controls and research.

Austria ‘not prepared’ for Ebola
Austria

Austria ‘not prepared’ for Ebola

The Freedom Party's (FPÖ) spokesman for science is warning that Austria is unprepared in the event of the deadly Ebola virus appearing in the country.

Wawrinka first seed into US Open third round
Switzerland

Wawrinka first seed into US Open third round

Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka bulled his way into the third round of the US Open on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/1) victory over Thomaz Bellucci to become the first men's seed into the third round.

Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls
Sweden

Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls

While the gap between the red-greens and the Alliance is decreasing, the opposition is still far ahead, scoring 48.8 percent of support in a fresh poll. The Alliance came in at 37.7 percent.

French minister wants easing of 35-hour week
France

French minister wants easing of 35-hour week

Could France soon ditch its sacred, but oft-ridiculed 35-hour work week? New Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron says he is in favour of at least making the rules more flexible.

Barcelona: Man cleared in latest Ebola scare
Spain

Barcelona: Man cleared in latest Ebola scare

UPDATED: A 38-year-old from Guinea quarantined in Barcelona on Wednesday over fears he may test positive for the Ebola virus has been cleared of the disease.

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq
Germany

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq

Germany has sent six soldiers to northern Iraq to coordinate deliveries of aid and military equipment to Kurds fighting Islamist terror group Isis.

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait
Sweden

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait

Malmö overpowered Salzburg on Wednesday night to become the first Swedish team to reach the Champions League since 2000.

Holiday over: PM’s critics demand results
Italy

Holiday over: PM’s critics demand results

Matteo Renzi's Twitter hashtag summed it up: #ciaovacanze (#byebyeholidays).

Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo
Norway

Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo

For the first time in the capital city's history, Mohammed is the most common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday.

Denmark’s sunniest summer in 55 years
Denmark

Denmark’s sunniest summer in 55 years

If the last days of the month come through as predicted, summer 2014 will be the fourth sunniest summer on record.

Pilots’ strike over, but disruption continues
Germany

Pilots’ strike over, but disruption continues

UPDATE: Germanwings pilots have ended their six-hour strike which grounded 116 flights and up to 15,000 passengers of Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings on Friday.

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry’s ceremony
Sweden

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry’s ceremony

Members of Sweden's royal family have revealed that they boycotted the Polar Music Prize ceremony on Tuesday, due to Chuck Berry's past conviction for human trafficking.

Migrant plan unveiled as Italy struggles with surge
Italy

Migrant plan unveiled as Italy struggles with surge

The European Commission on Wednesday pledged to launch a new migrant rescue operation in the Mediterranean, as Italy struggles with a surge of migrants trying to reach the continent by boat.

Berlin’s most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million
Germany

Berlin’s most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million

A Berlin property firm has set a city-wide record for the most expensive apartment sold, closing a deal for €5.7 million on a centrally-located penthouse.

Mogherini poised to get EU foreign policy job
Italy

Mogherini poised to get EU foreign policy job

Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini is poised to become the next EU foreign policy chief, several European sources said on Wednesday.