Moscow hindering OSCE Ukrainian mission size
Austria

Moscow hindering OSCE Ukrainian mission size

The US ambassador to the OSCE said Moscow continued to block the expansion of the checkpoint observation mission on the Russia-Ukraine border, hindering the monitoring that was agreed in a peace plan to end hostilities, according to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Special permits for foreign strippers to end
Switzerland

Special permits for foreign strippers to end

Bern says it plans to stop issuing special work permits for foreign strippers hailing from countries such as Russia, the Dominican Republic and Thailand.

Federer and Nadal win with ease in Basel
Switzerland

Federer and Nadal win with ease in Basel

Top seeds Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal raced through their Swiss Indoors assignments on Wednesday, spending under an hour each on court and dropping just five games between them.

Danish court frees 10 on terror funding charges
Denmark

Danish court frees 10 on terror funding charges

Ten Kurds who raised money for now-shuttered television channel Roj TV were found not guilty on charges of financing the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which despite currently being supported by Western forces in Syria is considered a terror organisation.

Swiss seek Unesco listing for yodelling
Switzerland

Swiss seek Unesco listing for yodelling

Switzerland announced on Wednesday that it would like the Alpine country's deep-seated traditions such as yodelling and precision watchmaking to be inscribed on a United Nations global heritage list.

‘Why were we kept in the dark for years?’
Sweden

‘Why were we kept in the dark for years?’

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years?

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Sweden

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local has decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden.

Pistols looted by Nazis to be sold at Bonhams
Austria

Pistols looted by Nazis to be sold at Bonhams

A pair of rare Brescian flintlock holster pistols that were looted by the Nazis will be auctioned at Bonhams in London on November 26th for an estimated £60,000 to £80,000.

Freak winter wave ‘was Spain’s biggest ever’
Spain

Freak winter wave ‘was Spain’s biggest ever’

A genuine 'freak' wave in January 2014 broke all existing Spanish records, officials said on Wednesday after the release of new data.

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Sweden

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul.

French MPs poised to get powers to sack president
France

French MPs poised to get powers to sack president

As if President François Hollande didn’t have enough to worry about, French lawmakers backed a measure this week that would allow them to legally sack the president in case of a “serious breach of duties”.

US citizens get 1 in 8 Danish residence permits
Denmark

US citizens get 1 in 8 Danish residence permits

Americans accounted for 12 percent of the residence permits issued in 2013 and a full 30 percent of all non-EU citizens who received a residence permit from Denmark came from the United States, India and China.

Top ten: things your Spanish ‘mamá’ says
Spain

Top ten: things your Spanish ‘mamá’ says

Spanish mothers are renowned for their close relationships with their children. But while they may come across as over-protective, they ultimately do it because they care. Here, The Local lists ten things she might say.

Transparency: ‘France lags far behind UK, US’
France

Transparency: ‘France lags far behind UK, US’

A new study out this week slammed France for totally inadequate controls on lobbyists. The president of the group behind the report tells The Local how France is lagging in transparency and is playing catch up with other nations.

Crook sentenced for riding school fraud
Austria

Crook sentenced for riding school fraud

A 33-year-old Austrian man who duped donors out of €1 million after pretending that he was raising money for a riding school that would provide therapy for disabled children has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Sweden

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced.

Dane banned from Ireland for church theft
Denmark

Dane banned from Ireland for church theft

A 61-year-old Danish tourist has been banned from Ireland after his self-admitted "bad idea" – stealing money from a church collection box.

Gay teens pelted with stones outside school
Spain

Gay teens pelted with stones outside school

Gay groups have called for tougher anti-homophobia laws in the wake of an incident which saw a gay teenage girl left unconscious after she was pelted with stones after leaving school in Spain's Murcia region on Monday.

Vienna ranks among top ten places to visit in 2015
Austria

Vienna ranks among top ten places to visit in 2015

Austria's capital city is listed among the world's top ten towns and cities to visit in 2015, according to travel guide Lonely Planet.

Kerry’s challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
Germany

Kerry’s challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse.

Boy (16) sues Austria for school bullying
Austria

Boy (16) sues Austria for school bullying

A 16-year-old is suing the Republic of Austria for €21,000 because he said that the state school he attended in Vorarlberg failed to stop bullies mobbing him. It is the first civil case of this kind in Austria.

ABB’s orders rise but third-quarter profits dip
Switzerland

ABB’s orders rise but third-quarter profits dip

Swiss engineering group ABB on Wednesday reported a surge in orders from the energy industry in the third quarter, but warned of headwinds from the slowing global economy.

Italy issues most permits in EU for family reasons
Italy

Italy issues most permits in EU for family reasons

Italy last year granted more first-time residence permits to non-EU citizens for family reasons than any other EU country, a new report has revealed.

Viennale festival opens with historical drama
Austria

Viennale festival opens with historical drama

The Vienna International Film Festival opens on Thursday, showing new films from around the world, some of them international premieres.

Red faces at Migros over Hitler coffee cream pots
Switzerland

Red faces at Migros over Hitler coffee cream pots

Swiss retailer Migros apologized on Wednesday for what it said was a string of errors which put coffee cream with the faces of Hitler and Mussolini in cafes in the Alpine country.

Italy steps closer to EU budget warning
Italy

Italy steps closer to EU budget warning

Italy and France moved a step closer on Wednesday to having their budgets humiliatingly sanctioned by Brussels, with four other countries also in the EU danger zone, a European source said.

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Germany

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train

Martin Sonneborn can’t believe his luck. The German comedian, leader of the political party “Die Partei”, managed to get elected to the European Parliament in May, and has found himself overwhelmed with fresh material.

Danish firm advances its Ebola vaccine
Denmark

Danish firm advances its Ebola vaccine

The Danish biomedical company Bavarian Nordic has entered into an agreement with Belgian firm Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies to further develop Bavarian’s Ebola vaccine.

French property face-off: The Vendée vs Limousin
France

French property face-off: The Vendée vs Limousin

Would you prefer a converted mill in the Vendée or a renovated barn in the Limousin region of France? Take a look at these two very different revamped properties in France that are on the market and decide what would you rather spend your money on.

‘Sixty French lawmakers file suspect tax returns’
France

‘Sixty French lawmakers file suspect tax returns’

In what could end up a major tax scandal in France some 60 French lawmakers are in trouble with the taxman after their financial disclosures to the public didn’t quite match up with what they’d declared to authorities, according to media reports.

Tour de France 2015: Five crucial stages
France

Tour de France 2015: Five crucial stages

Here's a look at the key stages in the 2015 Tour de France after the route was unveiled in Paris on Wednesday. Look out for the Alpe d'Huez on the penultimate day.

Google Plus and The Local Austria
Austria

Google Plus and The Local Austria

It's clear Facebook is the reigning king of social media - but Google is working hard to change that.

Russia’s Lavrov to visit Norway for war event
Norway

Russia’s Lavrov to visit Norway for war event

Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, will join Norwegians this weekend in commemorating the Russian army's liberation of Norway from Nazi rule.

Norwegian teens caught in fake web sex scam
Norway

Norwegian teens caught in fake web sex scam

Two teenage boys from Norway swindled many thousands of kroner after they posted fake sex ads on an online website, it was revealed on Wednesday.

‘Sweden will see Russia as a threat again’
Sweden

‘Sweden will see Russia as a threat again’

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia.

Sport hero Cannavaro probed over €1m fraud
Italy

Sport hero Cannavaro probed over €1m fraud

UPDATED: Italy's World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro is being investigated on suspicion of running a sham company to avoid paying more than €1 million in tax, Italian authorities announced on Wednesday.

Which high school cliche is your city?
Germany

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd?

The train toilet that smells ‘like space’
Austria

The train toilet that smells ‘like space’

Austria’s national railway ÖBB is giving 250 of its commuter trains a facelift - with new toilets that will be decorated with mountain, ocean, space or lemon tree themes and have an “associated fragrance”.

Spain’s thalidomide victims lose damages bid
Spain

Spain’s thalidomide victims lose damages bid

A Madrid court has overturned a 2013 sentence which would have seen German pharmaceutical company handing Grünenthal paying millions of euros in damages to Spanish victims of the faulty drug.

Discover the route of the 2015 Tour de France
France

Discover the route of the 2015 Tour de France

The route of the 2015 Tour de France was unveiled on Wednesday with one of the major surprises being the penultimate day of racing, which will see the peloton climb the mythical Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps.

World-record €3 million for Verbeeck auction
Austria

World-record €3 million for Verbeeck auction

Flemish artist Frans Verbeeck's painting "The Mocking of Human Follies" sold for a world-record setting €3 million on Tuesday night in Vienna.

Woman suffers racist ‘Ebola’ attack in Rome
Italy

Woman suffers racist ‘Ebola’ attack in Rome

A Guinean woman has been attacked on a Rome bus and accused of having the deadly Ebola disease, which has recently hit West Africa, Italian media reported on Wednesday.

Cold and snow signal end to Indian summer
Switzerland

Cold and snow signal end to Indian summer

After a summery weekend with temperatures as high as 24 degrees, parts of Switzerland experienced an early taste of winter on Wednesday with snow falling at levels as low as 600 metres in some areas.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Sweden

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden.

Clown-robber injured tobacco shop employee
Austria

Clown-robber injured tobacco shop employee

A man wearing a clown mask carried out a botched armed robbery on a tobacco shop in Linz on Wednesday, according to police.

Summer love: Spain sees tourism record
Spain

Summer love: Spain sees tourism record

Spain welcomed a record 31 million international visitors this summer in what looks set to be another record-breaking year, the Spanish government said on Wednesday.

Spain’s legal system only fit for ‘chicken thieves’
Spain

Spain’s legal system only fit for ‘chicken thieves’

Spain's top judge said on Tuesday the penal country's system isn't up to dealing with the complex corruption cases it faces and urged the new justice minister to roll out radical reforms aimed at greater efficiency.

Semi-clad tourists dance in priceless fountain
Italy

Semi-clad tourists dance in priceless fountain

A group of French tourists have been fined after they were caught dancing semi-naked in a priceless fountain in Rome’s Monti district. The whole scene was caught on camera.

French Socialist party rift breaks into war of words
France

French Socialist party rift breaks into war of words

Splits plaguing France's ruling party came to the fore on Wednesday as ousted ministers and allies of embattled President Francois Hollande engaged in a very public war of words.

‘Swedes are funnier than they think’
Sweden

‘Swedes are funnier than they think’

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital.

Norway to save millions in child benefit cuts
Norway

Norway to save millions in child benefit cuts

The Norwegian government is set to save 590 million kroner ($90 million) if it goes ahead with its proposed budget cuts on child support for disability benefit claimants, Norway's finance minister revealed in a letter.

One in eight working Spaniards live in poverty
Spain

One in eight working Spaniards live in poverty

While Spain struggles with a jobless rate of close to 25 percent, many of the country's salaried employees are living below the poverty threshold, a new study shows.

‘German’ hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria
Germany

‘German’ hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria

The German military was on Wednesday investigating reports that Bundeswehr hand grenades have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State (Isis) terrorist group after a video appearing to show captured weapons surfaced on the Internet.

New Danish party faces online death threats
Denmark

New Danish party faces online death threats

News articles about the newly-formed National Party were greeted by hostile and threatening comments on social media and the party has now reported the threats to the police.

North braces for storms and floods
Germany

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany.

Paris Opera lays down rules over Muslim veils
France

Paris Opera lays down rules over Muslim veils

The management at Paris Opera have issued a memo to staff not to allow entry to anyone whose face is covered. It comes after a Muslim woman was asked to leave a performance of La Traviata earlier this month after she was spotted wearing a niqab face veil.

Switzerland regarded as ‘best place for expats’
Switzerland

Switzerland regarded as ‘best place for expats’

Switzerland is the world's favourite destination among expats, followed by Singapore and China, a poll on quality of life for bank HSBC found.

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
Germany

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria.

Swiss Guard launches popes’ recipe book
Switzerland

Swiss Guard launches popes’ recipe book

From an Argentinian dessert that translates as "milk candy" to Polish ravioli, a member of Vatican's famed Swiss Guard on Tuesday unveiled a range of recipes of dishes favoured by popes.

Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets
Norway

Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets

Increased Russian military activity is one of several reasons to why Norway did not send its fighter jet planes to Iraq and the war against Isis, according to Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday.

Zermatt ranks among top places to visit in 2015
Switzerland

Zermatt ranks among top places to visit in 2015

Swiss mountain resort Zermatt is listed among the world's top ten towns and cities to visit in 2015 by Lonely Planet, the travel guide.

China brings business to crisis-hit Italy
Italy

China brings business to crisis-hit Italy

Centuries after Marco Polo showed how it was done, Italy is once again knocking on China's door. But rather than Italians going to China, today's pioneers are Chinese entrepreneurs heading to Italy in search of a holistic remedy for its economic ailments.

Denmark to once again look at circumcision ban
Denmark

Denmark to once again look at circumcision ban

A poll showing 74 percent support for banning male circumcision comes as parliament prepares for a new round of political discussion on male circumcision.

Sweet treat for Pope in Swiss Guard recipe book
Italy

Sweet treat for Pope in Swiss Guard recipe book

From an Argentinian dessert that translates as "milk candy" to Polish ravioli, a member of Vatican's famed Swiss Guard on Tuesday unveiled a range of recipes of dishes favoured by popes.

Two Uber vehicles torched in Barcelona
Spain

Two Uber vehicles torched in Barcelona

Two cars belonging to drivers working for the app-based chauffeur service Uber saw their vehicles torched recently, the latest incidents in the company's difficult arrival on the Spanish market.

Calais: Mass migrant fight leaves dozens hurt
France

Calais: Mass migrant fight leaves dozens hurt

Tensions were high in Calais on Tuesday night after police were forced to seal off a district in the port town after a mass brawl between migrants from Ethiopia and Eritrea, left dozens injured.

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine
Germany

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine

Six people, including a family and two American tourists, were left dangling 40 metres in the air over the Rhine for hours late on Tuesday after Cologne's cable car came to a halt.

Military heads into ‘new phase’ in sub search
Sweden

Military heads into ‘new phase’ in sub search

A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a "new phase" on Wednesday, although it remained unclear what that might involve.

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome
Germany

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome

Bayern Munich were elated on Tuesday night after securing a 7-1 victory against Roma in their group stage Champions League clash.

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Sweden

Oct. 30: Study skills course application deadline (Jönköping)

Verona sanctioned over Muntari racism abuse
Italy

Verona sanctioned over Muntari racism abuse

Verona became the first Serie A club this season to be sanctioned for racism after fans in the south stand of the Bentegodi stadium targeted AC Milan's Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari with abuse.

Cool Italian scientists break world record
Italy

Cool Italian scientists break world record

An Italian lab has cooled a cubic metre of copper to within a tiny fraction of "absolute zero", setting a world record, the National Nuclear Physics Institute said on Tuesday.

Storms cause widespread damage
Austria

Storms cause widespread damage

Storms hit Austria overnight, with gusts of over 100 km/h in some places, and heavy rain. Fire departments were called out to remove fallen trees but so far no injuries have been reported.

Paris: Luxury hotel staff strike for better pay
France

Paris: Luxury hotel staff strike for better pay

A rebellion among hotel workers at some of Paris's luxury hotels continued this week with staff at the deluxe Royal Monceau-Raffles - where the presidential suite costs €25,000 a night - staging a walk-out to protest over their low wages.

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Sweden

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed.

Cavani rescues PSG with later winner in Cyprus
France

Cavani rescues PSG with later winner in Cyprus

Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani rescued Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday as his solo strike with three minutes remaining was enough to defeat Apoel Nicosia 1-0 after the Cypriots dominated for large periods of the match.

Swiss pedestrian safety takes turn for worse
Switzerland

Swiss pedestrian safety takes turn for worse

Although Swiss streets are regarded as among the safest in the world, a pedestrian dies on average every week from motor vehicle accidents, while two are seriously injured every day, the Swiss accident prevention bureau (BFU) says.

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast
Germany

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast

A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, officials said on Tuesday.

Kenya to Denmark: Keep your refugees
Denmark

Kenya to Denmark: Keep your refugees

Kenyan officials slam suggestions from the Danish People’s Party and Liberal Alliance that Denmark should stop accepting refugees and instead get other countries to host them.

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
Sweden

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago.

Indian schools drop German teaching
Germany

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse.

Storm warnings over Austria
Austria

Storm warnings over Austria

Weather forecasters have issued major storm warnings in Austria for the early hours of Wednesday morning, as the former hurricane Gonzalo vents its remaining fury on the central European region.