Italy boat rescues ‘were not migrant pull-factor’
Italy

Italy boat rescues ‘were not migrant pull-factor’

The International Organization for Migration rejected on Friday allegations that an Italian operation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean had inspired a surge in the numbers attempting the perilous journey to Europe.

QUIZ: Find out how French you’ve become
France

QUIZ: Find out how French you’ve become

It's impossible to be an expat in France without turning a little bit French. Take our quiz and find out where you land on the Frenchiness scale.

Armed youths attack Tyrol refugee centre
Austria

Armed youths attack Tyrol refugee centre

Police in Tyrol are investigating an attack on the Bürglkopf refugee centre near the market town of Fieberbrunn on Wednesday evening.

Airport authority AENA sell-off hits delay
Spain

Airport authority AENA sell-off hits delay

A last-minute objection by the Economy Ministry means that the agency which manages Spain’s airports will remain entirely in public hands at least until 2015.

Swiss confirm European terror plot by three Iraqis
Switzerland

Swiss confirm European terror plot by three Iraqis

Swiss authorities confirmed on Friday that three Iraqis arrested in March are suspected of having planned a terrorist attack in Europe on behalf of the Islamic State group.

Sweden’s star striker Zlatan ‘recovering well’
Sweden

Sweden’s star striker Zlatan ‘recovering well’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Cops patrol bus to ‘shield’ locals from Roma
Italy

Cops patrol bus to ‘shield’ locals from Roma

Police in Borgaro, north-west Italy, are to bolster security on one of the town's bus routes as an alternative to a controversial plan put forward by the town’s mayor to create a bus line only for Roma people.

Italian fined as Ebola joke triggers plane alert
Italy

Italian fined as Ebola joke triggers plane alert

An Irish court on Friday ordered an Italian man to pay a €2,500 fine for charity after "a sick joke" about Ebola during a flight.

Hurtigruten taken over by British company
Norway

Hurtigruten taken over by British company

The Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten has been bought out by Silk Bidco in a deal worth nearly 3,000 million kroner on Friday.

Finger slicer’s insurance scam fails
Germany

Finger slicer’s insurance scam fails

An insurance salesman who sawed off his own finger and thumb to claim insurance was given a suspended sentence by a court in northern Germany on Friday.

Spain’s ‘mini-summer’ set for snowy finale
Spain

Spain’s ‘mini-summer’ set for snowy finale

After a period of unusually warm weather across much of the country, Spain is now set for cooler temperatures with a cold front bringing rain by the bucketful and even the first snows of the autumn.

Halloween tragedy jail terms an ‘insult’: mum
Spain

Halloween tragedy jail terms an ‘insult’: mum

Two years after five young women were killed in Madrid Halloween party disaster, the mother of one victim makes a passionate plea for justice as the case judge also slams Spain’s court system.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
Sweden

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria.

Germany’s estate agents plan strike action
Germany

Germany’s estate agents plan strike action

First it was the pilots, then train drivers - now Germany's real estate agents are threatening to go on strike. But their call to arms has been met with sneers rather than sympathy.

Spanish cemetery launches online funerals
Spain

Spanish cemetery launches online funerals

A groundbreaking new service in the Spanish city of Valencia will let people watch the funerals of their loved ones online wherever they are in the world.

Cabinet moves to block new Catalan ballot
Spain

Cabinet moves to block new Catalan ballot

Catalonia’s breakaway president called for a popular consultation on November 9 with same questions on region’s status as had been planned for court-suspended referendum.

Aznar admits to multi-million Gaddafi deal
Spain

Aznar admits to multi-million Gaddafi deal

Former Spanish prime minister signed a contract with an energy company to clinch the Libyan’s approval for desalination plants, but war against the dictator frustrated the eventual sale.

Austrian MPs visit Syrian refugees
Austria

Austrian MPs visit Syrian refugees

Several Austrian parliamentarians paid a flying visit to the overflowing refugee camps at the border between Turkey and Syria this week.

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
Sweden

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes.

UN fears for migrants as Italy ends rescue mission
Italy

UN fears for migrants as Italy ends rescue mission

UPDATED: Italy on Friday confirmed the end of its search and rescue operation "Mare Nostrum", which has saved the lives of tens of thousands of boat migrants in the Mediterranean.

Can you pass the Danish citizenship test?
Denmark

Can you pass the Danish citizenship test?

Think you've got what it takes to be a Dane? Prove it by taking The Local's citizenship test.

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq
Germany

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq

Germany finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At home, police must investigate anyone who flies the flag, but in the Middle East they are the best hope of beating back the Islamic State.

Protesters dump Hypo city in front of parliament
Austria

Protesters dump Hypo city in front of parliament

The organisers of the Hypotopia model-city project staged a protest march on Thursday from a central square in Vienna to the national parliament building - carrying the weighty concrete blocks of their project with them.

French try to make surly shopkeepers kinder
France

French try to make surly shopkeepers kinder

Many Anglos have a dim view of customer service in France, but the French aren't happy either with how some shopkeepers treat them. Now a growing programme is labeling shopkeepers who you can expect to be friendly.

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Sweden

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter.

Paolo Gentiloni named Italian foreign minister
Italy

Paolo Gentiloni named Italian foreign minister

Italy's former communications minister Paolo Gentiloni has been nominated foreign minister, his new deputy said on Friday.

Majority of Austrian women support abortion
Austria

Majority of Austrian women support abortion

A new survey of 1,000 Austrians shows that nearly three quarters agree that public hospitals in all Austrian provinces should be permitted to perform abortions.

Austrian restitution case ‘flawed’
Austria

Austrian restitution case ‘flawed’

The lawyer for a Viennese Jewish author found guilty of defrauding the government over property confiscated by the Nazis has requested that the case be reheard.

Black Keys to headline NorthSide Festival
Denmark

Black Keys to headline NorthSide Festival

The Aarhus festival said that it has booked the one band that has been requested more than any other over the past three years: American rock duo The Black Keys.

Broadcasts cut as fire ravages French radio HQ
France

Broadcasts cut as fire ravages French radio HQ

A massive fire ripped through the Paris building that houses studios for some of France's public radio stations, prompted broadcasts to be abruptly cut off. It's unclear what sparked the blaze.

Pirate Bay founder gets 3.5 years in hacking case
Denmark

Pirate Bay founder gets 3.5 years in hacking case

Both defendants in an historic hacking case received prison sentences on Friday. Swedish 'hactivist' Gottfrid Svartholm Warg will appeal against his sentence while his Danish co-defendant is already a free man.

‘Forget the baby bonus, we need investment’
Italy

‘Forget the baby bonus, we need investment’

With births in southern Italy at their lowest rate in over 150 years, The Local spoke to the head of a development organization about what needs to be done to help Italians have a family.

Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?
Germany

Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?

Germany is home to a plethora of haunted castles and has a huge stock of gruesome stories. How well do you know the spooky side of the Germans?

Renzi fights for female FM as Mogherini resigns
Italy

Renzi fights for female FM as Mogherini resigns

Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini stepped down on Friday, a day before she is set to take on the role of European foreign policy chief in Brussels.

Renzi under pressure as Italy’s jobless rate rises
Italy

Renzi under pressure as Italy’s jobless rate rises

Italy's unemployment rate rose against analysts' expectations in September, increasing the pressure on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who is battling trade unions over measures to overhaul the job market.

Violent teen rearrested after therapy fails
Switzerland

Violent teen rearrested after therapy fails

Following a fight in Zurich city centre, police have rearrested a teenager with a history of violent behaviour whose costly therapy programme provoked public outrage earlier this year.

Metro and Train strike set for Tuesday in France
France

Metro and Train strike set for Tuesday in France

Commuters should brace themselves for travel chaos next week, with a train and Metro strike set for Tuesday, according to AFP. But it's not clear yet how big of an industrial action it's going to be.

Gold reserves boost Swiss national profits
Switzerland

Gold reserves boost Swiss national profits

The Swiss central bank reported a profit equivalent to 23.6 billion euros for the first nine months of the year on gains from currency trading and a rise in the value of its gold reserves.

France tries to collect €10k from fatherless girl
France

France tries to collect €10k from fatherless girl

A 13-year-old girl in western France has been told she must pay back the €10,000 that was given to her by the state after her sailor father was killed in an accident.

Medics fight to save baby in dead mother’s womb
Italy

Medics fight to save baby in dead mother’s womb

Doctors in Milan are battling to save the life of an unborn baby by keeping his mother's heart beating for another month, despite her being brain dead. An expert told The Local the case is "incredibly rare".

Soccer boss gets ‘video nasty’ with Norway team
Norway

Soccer boss gets ‘video nasty’ with Norway team

Norway's national team coach is set to use an advanced video surveillance system to snoop on everything his players do during training and matches as a means to improve performance.

Russia simulated an attack on Denmark
Denmark

Russia simulated an attack on Denmark

The Danish Defence Intelligence Service has released its new long-term risk assessment which reveals that Russia carried out an "offensive" military exercise aimed at a heavily-populated target.

Kosovan sex slave flees Switzerland for Austria
Switzerland

Kosovan sex slave flees Switzerland for Austria

A 19-year-old woman from Kosovo who claims she was forced into prostitution and kept as a sex slave in a cellar in Switzerland for almost three years has sought asylum in Austria.

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Sweden

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden.

Swiss shun religion for the supernatural
Switzerland

Swiss shun religion for the supernatural

While the number of religious people in Switzerland is on the decline, nearly two thirds of Swiss believe in the supernatural, according to a new survey.

Switzerland sex slave seeks asylum in Austria
Austria

Switzerland sex slave seeks asylum in Austria

A 19-year-old woman from Kosovo who was forced into prostitution and kept as a sex slave in a cellar in Switzerland for almost three years has sought asylum in Austria.

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years
Germany

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years

German shoppers cut back on their spending in September at the fastest rate for seven years, official data showed on Friday.

Norway and Sweden may co-host 2026 Olympics
Norway

Norway and Sweden may co-host 2026 Olympics

Top Norwegian sports officials want to make a joint bid for Norway and Sweden to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

‘I’m leaving for the West, who’s coming?’
Germany

‘I’m leaving for the West, who’s coming?’

There are many of tales of ingenious and well-thought out escape plans from people desperate to flee from East to West Berlin. Wolfgang Engels’ wasn’t one of them. It was, however, one of the most daring.

‘Store up your sunlight hours before winter’
Sweden

‘Store up your sunlight hours before winter’

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local.

National Front pulls in ‘record membership’
France

National Front pulls in ‘record membership’

After a year of unprecedented electoral success, Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigrant, anti-EU National Front party is attracting more members than ever before in the 42-year-old party’s history, French media has reported.

Swiss politicians against pedestrians on phone
Switzerland

Swiss politicians against pedestrians on phone

The days of whatsapping while walking could be over in Switzerland if some politicians get their way. Members of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) are calling for people who walk about the streets with their eyes on their smartphones to be punished, saying they are a danger to themselves and others.

Disabled woman ‘sold drugs from bed’
Austria

Disabled woman ‘sold drugs from bed’

After years of investigation Vienna state police and Europe’s crime fighting agency Europol say they have succeeded in smashing an international drug trafficking ring.

UK-style ‘pound shops’ launch in crisis-hit Spain
Spain

UK-style ‘pound shops’ launch in crisis-hit Spain

The UK chain Poundland has entered the Spanish market with its formula of top-brand products at rock-bottom prices now available in Alicante, Torremolinos and, as of Friday, Madrid.

Italy’s poverty rate fell slightly in 2013
Italy

Italy’s poverty rate fell slightly in 2013

Over a quarter of residents in Italy faced poverty or social exclusion last year, but the number of people at risk of poverty is falling across the country, new statistics show.

Ex-bullfighter threatens lawyer with hoe
Spain

Ex-bullfighter threatens lawyer with hoe

A former bullfighter was arrested by police on Thursday after he appeared at the offices of his lawyer bearing a hoe and spraying insults.

Denmark funds medicinal cannabis research
Denmark

Denmark funds medicinal cannabis research

In what could be a small but important change in the nation’s drug policies, a political agreement to distribute nearly one billion kroner in research funds sets aside money to study the medicinal effects of cannabis.

Kazakh banker to face ‘double murder charge’
Austria

Kazakh banker to face ‘double murder charge’

Kazakhstan's former ambassador to Austria is about to face charges of double murder, according to a report on national broadcaster ORF on Friday, which quoted a leaked 14-page opinion by prosecutor Bettina Wallner.

Merah-inspired jihadists ‘plot attacks in France’
France

Merah-inspired jihadists ‘plot attacks in France’

Morocco said on Thursday it has arrested two jihadists inspired by French terrorist Mohamed Merah who were planning to attack banks and multinational companies in France and in the North African country.

Mummified body found in Modena hospital
Italy

Mummified body found in Modena hospital

A mummified body, believed to belong to a patient who went missing in 2011, has been found at Baggiovara hospital in Modena, northern Italy.

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school
Germany

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school

An ultimatum for the remaining refugees and their supporters to leave an occupied school in Berlin, which has been the scene of protests for months, will expire at midnight on Friday.

Paris Catacombs still draw thousands
France

Paris Catacombs still draw thousands

A place of fear, legend, inspiration and exploration, Paris's skull and bone-lined Catacombs still draw thousands of visitors each year, many of whom queue for hours to explore the ghoulish burial site.

Anti-Israel graffiti ‘not a race crime’: Court
Sweden

Anti-Israel graffiti ‘not a race crime’: Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges.

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes
Germany

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes

Police are investigating pupils at a school in Saxony-Anhalt for incitement of the people and use of banned symbols after teenagers allegedly made the Hitler salute.

French to try out high-speed Ebola test
France

French to try out high-speed Ebola test

French researchers will conduct trials with prototype Ebola diagnostic tests in Guinea in November, with results expected within weeks for speedy deployment, the head of France's Ebola task force said on Thursday.

Danes are wild about free online porn
Denmark

Danes are wild about free online porn

With porn becoming "more acceptable", a new large survey reveals that half of the adult population watches porn, with most preferring the free stuff.

Terror at Eataly as two employees stabbed
Italy

Terror at Eataly as two employees stabbed

A cook and security guard were stabbed at Rome’s gourmet Italian food store, Eataly, on Thursday afternoon, allegedly by a colleague who reportedly “went wild” following a row with the cook.

‘We knew that Israel would be critical’
Sweden

‘We knew that Israel would be critical’

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart.

Police smash major heroin ring in Catalonia
Spain

Police smash major heroin ring in Catalonia

Police in Spain's Catalonia region said on Thursday they have crushed a major heroin smuggling ring with the arrest of 36 people and the seizure of 2 million ($2.5 million) worth of heroin.

Spanish judge accuses 26 in graft scandal
Spain

Spanish judge accuses 26 in graft scandal

A judge in Spain has launched judicial investigations into 26 suspects including governing party politicians and businessmen in a bribery probe that has seriously embarrassed the government, according to written rulings released on Thursday.

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal
Germany

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal

The European Union will "fully play its role" to implement the gas deal signed by Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement.

Body scanners to come to more airports
Germany

Body scanners to come to more airports

Passengers at German airports can expect a controversial full body scan in the future.

A closer look at Sweden’s rising stars
Sweden

A closer look at Sweden’s rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week.

Alaba scores Sportsman of the Year award again
Austria

Alaba scores Sportsman of the Year award again

FC Bayern Munich star David Alaba was voted Austria's Sportsman of the Year for the second year running on Thursday evening.

Solberg to visit flood devastation in Norway
Norway

Solberg to visit flood devastation in Norway

Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, will visit Aurland in West Norway - weather permitting - to see the extent of this week's flood damage for herself, it was announced on Thursday.

Rise of the Norwegian wolverine
Norway

Rise of the Norwegian wolverine

The number of wolverines across Norway has risen 15 percent this year, highlighting a boom in the endangered species, says a top animal protection group.