Former Austrian justice minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner, herself a judge, is also deputy director of a Saudi-funded centre in Vienna for fostering inter-religious dialogue.
Nowhere seems to blend sex and art quite like France does. And when the two worlds meet it often provokes a fair amount of controversy as well as hilarity. We've put together ten of the best examples in this gallery of images.
A Sicilian woman died on Thursday when a palm tree fell on her in the city of Catania, an accident blamed on high winds and the possibility the tree could have been infected.
A cricketer in Barcelona was recently slapped with a €1,125 ($1,400) fine for wielding bat and ball in a public square in what is not an isolated case, the member of one cricket club in the city has told The Local.
French train conductors donned Google Glass on Thursday to check passengers tickets as part of an experiment in using the fancy bit of technology and it may be popping up again somewhere else soon.
Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once.
A Northern League politician has sparked controversy after saying migrants could just be “fed bread and water” in a video mocking a proposal to pay Italians €900 a month to host a migrant in their home.
Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists have reported.
French riot police clashed with fans of English club Everton in Lille, northern France, on Thursday with baton-waving cops firing tear gas and charging at supporters, some of whom responded by hurling beer bottles. There have been reports police have fired rubber bullets at fans.
Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help.
A powerful poster campaign - featuring peoples’ heads being shattered by imaginary bullets - was launched on Thursday in a bid to tackle a multitude of prejudices in Italy.
Two Danish F-16s were sent to investigate a Russian military jet that was approaching Denmark on Tuesday, the Royal Danish Air Force has confirmed.
Hungary said on Wednesday it will press criminal charges against a non-government organisation distributing grant aid from Norway, escalating a row with Oslo that has also drawn fire from the US.
Two Italian men who engaged in a "long and passionate" kiss during a demonstration have been charged with breach of the peace following a police report which claimed their act had "disgusted" passersby.
A 19-year-old Polish man has been arrested for attempting to carry out a 'nephew scam' in Linz, after the 74-year-old he was trying to con acted as a decoy for the police.
Five patients who were isolated in Madrid's Carlos III hospital after having contact with Teresa Romero, the Spanish nursing assistant who contracted and beat the Ebola virus, left the facility on Thursday after being given the all-clear by doctors.
Top Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar has apologized after he suggested people in Spain's Galicia region were backward during an angry attack on Spain's banks.
An additional 115 million kroner, health personnel and a military supply ship are among the new commitments Denmark has made to help contain the Ebola epidemic.
Ever been to a wedding in France? This week's guest blogger Georgette Jupe tells us why, if you ever get invited to one, you'd be mad not to go, because French weddings are simply the best.
UPDATE: One person has died and 26 others are injured after a huge explosion in Ludwigshafen, western Germany on Thursday.
A new 'low-cost' telescope on the Spanish island of Tenerife on Wednesday kicked off what will be an international search for nearby planets which could support life.
From January 2015 people in Vienna will no longer be allowed to keep giant snakes, spiders, scorpions and the like as pets.
A startling photograph taken on Wednesday shows the reality at the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa. The Local spoke to the man behind the image.
Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June.
Italy comes under scrutiny in this week's edition of the British political magazine, The Spectator, with a front front cover saying "Arrivederci, Italy" and an article that speaks about a "very European tragedy".
After more violence at camps filled with UK-bound migrants around the French Port of Calais, France's top cop is sending more police to try to quell the desperate and tense situation there.
A group of Romanian human traffickers have been arrested for forcing three young woman into prostitution against their will.
Research released on Thursday by environmental group Greenpeace showed that more than half of clothing sold by German discount brands contain chemicals known to be dangerous to health and the environment, with items from Aldi being the worst offenders.
Human Rights campaigners and immigrants' support groups have sounded the alarm about the small print in France’s new anti-terrorism bill, which they say will allow Paris to stop the freedom of movement of EU nationals, specifically members of the Roma community.
The Danish Free Press Society has found a new location to display the controversial artwork of Dan Park after a Copenhagen gallery owner backs out over death threats.
A grief-stricken French widow missed her dead husband so much she brought his ashes home from the family crypt, but she found out the hard way that in doing do she was actually breaking a law in France.
The body of a Czech hiker who disappeared 40 years ago after an avalanche in Switzerland has been found on a glacier in the Bernese alps, Bern cantonal police reported on Thursday.
National and international secret services have upped their reports and warnings on foreigners living in or transiting through Italy, over fears of possible terrorist attacks, according to a media report on Thursday.
A French doctor treating stricken former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher said on Thursday that the German ace was making progress, but will need years to recover.
A group of students has constructed a model city for 102,574 inhabitants in one of Vienna’s main squares – as a form of protest against the taxpayer-funded bailout of the Hypo Alpe Adria bank for the sum of €19 billion.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt told a sustainability conference on Wednesday that it's time for action on climate change but she later added that it was doubtful that European leaders would agree on ambitious climate targets.
There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back.
The Norwegian government is set to develop a new controversial robot-controlled missile for its fighter jets, but faces opposition from MPs and peace organizations claiming the technology may break international law.
A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement.
Spanish authorities are taking a tougher line against dirty dealing by the country's long untouchable political elite as a lengthy economic downturn fuels public outrage.
According to a Eurostats report issued on Wednesday, Austria has granted the most residence permits to citizens from Serbia, followed by Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse.
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche is to invest three billion francs ($3.14 billion) in its Basel headquarters over the course of the next ten years in a massive redevelopment project which includes the construction of the tallest building in Switzerland.
Could these be the ugliest babies to be born at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo? The four baby naked mole-rats, also known as sand puppies, are "certainly not the most beautiful, but are one of the most exciting animals," according to zoo director Dagmar Schratter.
A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week.
Fans of the "Game of Thrones" fantasy TV series are flocking to the historic Spanish town of Osuna, where one canny restaurant owner has even starting naming the tapas after characters in the show.
As work began on the "world's largest" tech incubator in Paris, French billionaire and telecom mogul Xavier Niel says despite the moribund French economy and the reputation of its bureaucracy, it's actually easier to start a business in France than Silicon Valley.
A German satellite TV channel has announced that it will be broadcasting Star Wars films continuously, 24 hours a day, for two weeks starting on December 1st.
Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space.
A teenager who was born and raised in Denmark is being held by Lebanese authorities on the suspicion that he is an active member of Isis.
Winter has come early to western Austria, leaving hundreds of homes without electricity on Wednesday night. Snow and rainfall also caused numerous problems on roads, and is expected to continue until Thursday evening.
After a record number of people were reported to the police for urinating in public, Wega, the annual family fair in Weinfelden, in the canton of Thurgau, is considering distributing portable urinal bags next year in an effort to tackle the problem.
Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy.
A three-year-old girl has been banned from a school in Rome after a holiday to Uganda, over fears that she may have contracted the deadly Ebola disease present in other African countries.
Nathan Cirillo, the soldier killed when a gunman stormed Parliament Hill in the Canadian capital of Ottawa on Wednesday, was of Italian origin, according to Italian news reports.
Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden.
Klagenfurt police reported an incident in the early hours of Thursday morning in which they noticed a vehicle travelling without lights.
French police officers made a macabre discovery this week when they found samples of human organs had been stored alongside yoghurts and mustard in the kitchen fridge at their police station in western France.
An English footballer who played for a Norwegian second division side was found dead on Tuesday.
Updated: Over 150,000 Spaniards found work from July to September, Spain's best summer since the country's economic crisis began, official figures released on Thursday show, but youth unemployment remains chronically high.
In our new feature series, The Local looks into a successful entrepreneur's life - the story behind their successes, their major challenges and how being an entrepreneur changed them forever. This week, Sparsh Sharma talks to Johan Bülow, the founder and namesake of the successful Lakrids by Johan Bülow brand.
A woman from Kristiansund won 127 million kroner on the Norwegian Lottery on Wednesday, the second biggest win in the the history of the Norwegian Lottery.
Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening.
Spain said on Wednesday it would order police guarding its borders with Morocco to take care to prevent injuries when tackling migrants who scramble over the fences into Spanish territory, after evidence of abuse by officers sparked outrage.
Four members of staff at Moscow airport, including air traffic controllers have been held in connection with a plane crash that killed the French CEO of oil giant Total Christophe de Margerie.
In a bid to heal divisions on the left, France's prime minister Manuel Valls made a bold move this week by calling for the creation of a new "progressive" party or alliance of parties.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi rebutted a report on Wednesday that Italy’s budget is set to be “humiliatingly sanctioned” by Brussels.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said.
UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor.
A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning.
Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas.
Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's appeal against the arrest warrant hanging over him is being considered by a court in Stockholm, with the chief prosecutor expected to report back before midnight.