Norway poker star wins big sum, loses big sum
Norway

Norway poker star wins big sum, loses big sum

Norway's unluckiest gambler Felix Stephensen is to lose half his 35 million kroner prize money, won at the Poker World Championship held this week in Las Vegas. The Norwegian government will take just over half in tax deduction, it was revealed Friday.

Wawrinka and Federer in all-Swiss semifinal
Switzerland

Wawrinka and Federer in all-Swiss semifinal

Stan Wawrinka secured an all-Swiss semifinal showdown with Roger Federer at the ATP Tour Finals before his last group match against Marin Cilic had even reached the end of the first set on Friday.

Film duo shows maker culture in all its glory
Denmark

Film duo shows maker culture in all its glory

The formidable double feature of ‘Home Made’ and ‘Maker’ totals about 95 minutes. They are very good minutes. They are well-made minutes.

Driving (expats) home for Christmas?
Sweden

Driving (expats) home for Christmas?

A Stockholm taxi company is offering two people living in Sweden the chance to win a road trip in December, claiming it wants to help those who are afraid of flying to experience more of Europe.

France scales down hunt for mystery cat
France

France scales down hunt for mystery cat

French officials on Friday scaled down a frantic hunt for a mysterious big cat prowling on the outskirts of Paris after scotching earlier fears it was a tiger.

Eccentric maths genius dies in France
France

Eccentric maths genius dies in France

Alexander Grothendieck, one of the great eccentric geniuses of 20th century mathematics, has died in France at the age of 86.

Top ten: France’s most notorious celebrities
France

Top ten: France’s most notorious celebrities

In light of the recent arrest of France's self-dubbed Kim Kardashian, Nabilla Benattia, The Local has put together a list of France's most notorious celebrities.

How a Swedish party inspired a masterpiece
Sweden

How a Swedish party inspired a masterpiece

British fashion photographer David Titlow won the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize this week for a shot taken at a midsummer party in Sweden, a country he tells The Local is "crazy" but close to his heart.

Life in Austria gives you ‘different outlook’
Austria

Life in Austria gives you ‘different outlook’

The Local talks to Bevin Clement, a native of New Zealand and a builder by trade who moved to Austria for love in 1999 and now runs his own building and renovation business.

Mads Gilbert wants to return to Israel
Norway

Mads Gilbert wants to return to Israel

Norwegian Doctor Mads Gilbert has vowed to overturn his Israel ban and return to Gaza to help victims of the troubles, it was reported on Friday.

Spanish soldiers served rotten rations: report
Spain

Spanish soldiers served rotten rations: report

Underpaid and demoralized Spanish soldiers are being supplied with rotten and insect-infested rations, a dissident lieutenant claimed in a newspaper piece on Friday.

‘Germany is a country of migration’: Stats
Germany

‘Germany is a country of migration’: Stats

New data released from the 2013 Microcensus showed that one in five Germans are from a migration background, Destatis announced on Friday.

World Chess Champs: Third tie for the titans
Norway

World Chess Champs: Third tie for the titans

The world's two best chess players shared the spoils again in game five of the Chess World Championships in Sochi on Friday, keeping the series level at 2.5 points each.

Arrest ends Leverkusen explosion threats
Germany

Arrest ends Leverkusen explosion threats

A school in Leverkusen was evacuated when a man threatened to blow up a neighbouring building after a domestic dispute triggered an hours-long standoff on Friday.

Saudi school ‘teaching anti-Semitism’
Austria

Saudi school ‘teaching anti-Semitism’

Vienna’s Saudi School - a private school for Islamic immigrants from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East - is under review by the city council after allegations that it is teaching conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism.

Topless feminists target ‘political’ Pope
Italy

Topless feminists target ‘political’ Pope

Femen, the women's rights group known for topless protests, took their act to a new level of provocation on Friday with an explicitly sexually suggestive demonstration in front of the Vatican.

SAP to pay Oracle €288 million in settlement
Germany

SAP to pay Oracle €288 million in settlement

German software giant SAP has agreed to pay US rival Oracle more than €288 million to settle a long-running copyright battle, it said on Friday.

Denmark not among the world’s top ten countries
Denmark

Denmark not among the world’s top ten countries

Lately it seems like nary a day goes by without Denmark topping one international list or another, but you can’t win them all.

City of Love? Seven Paris myths debunked
France

City of Love? Seven Paris myths debunked

Ah, Paris: a city of lovers, American-haters, Vogue models and well-groomed men. Or is it? Here, recent arrival Lindsey Johnstone debunks (and confirms) a few much-peddled myths about the city.

‘We think this is totally unacceptable’
Sweden

‘We think this is totally unacceptable’

After an investigation by the Swedish military confirmed there was a foreign vessel in Swedish waters last month, The Local met Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and got five minutes to ask him how Sweden was planning to react to the intrusion.

Do you know your German ‘promi’ trivia?
Germany

Do you know your German ‘promi’ trivia?

With all this talk of the BAMBI awards in Berlin, we realised that German celebrity culture is a world unknown to some, and so we thought we'd offer our savvy readers a chance to gloat with this week's Local Quiz

I paid for ‘love flights’ to Canaries: Politician
Spain

I paid for ‘love flights’ to Canaries: Politician

The president of Spain's Extremadura region on Friday said he was the victim of a "political lynching" after critics accused him of spending public money for flights to the Canary Islands to visit his attractive Colombian lover.

5,000-year-old footprints found in Denmark
Denmark

5,000-year-old footprints found in Denmark

The discovery of footprints of Stone Age fisherman gives insight into their everyday life and their relation to the water.

Artificial ‘snow cloud’ creates powder snow
Austria

Artificial ‘snow cloud’ creates powder snow

Science boffins from the University of Agricultural Sciences and Vienna’s Technical University have developed an artificial snow cloud which makes the finest powder snow for ski slopes.

Australia rugby captain expects fired-up France
France

Australia rugby captain expects fired-up France

Australian rugby captain Michael Hooper expects France to be fired-up for Saturday's one-off test match in Paris after a series of defeats at Aussie hands this summer, he said on Friday.

Italy’s ‘rigid’ education system stifles job market
Italy

Italy’s ‘rigid’ education system stifles job market

Italy's high youth unemployment rate is partly due to its rigid school system, an education expert told The Local on Friday, after a European Commission report said the country's schools lagged far behind other EU states.

Mancini waits in wings as Inter Milan sacks coach
Italy

Mancini waits in wings as Inter Milan sacks coach

Roberto Mancini was expected to be confirmed as Inter Milan's new coach after the struggling Serie A giants confirmed the sacking of Walter Mazzarri on Friday.

Refugees moved as violence mounts in Rome
Italy

Refugees moved as violence mounts in Rome

Italian authorities have accelerated the transfer of refugees from a centre in the outskirts of Rome, amid escalating violence as residents called for foreigners to be driven out of the area.

Guarding Breivik: Is this Norway’s worst job?
Norway

Guarding Breivik: Is this Norway’s worst job?

Convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik stands accused of another crime, that of exhausting his prison guards with his 'celebrity' status and relentlessy manipulative behaviour, it was revealed on Friday.

Big cat on the loose is ‘not a tiger’: authorities
France

Big cat on the loose is ‘not a tiger’: authorities

UPDATED: French authorities searching for a mysterious big cat spotted prowling around a town on the outskirts of Paris revealed on Friday it was unlikely to be a tiger as initially suspected.

Spain’s first-time mums oldest in Europe
Spain

Spain’s first-time mums oldest in Europe

Spanish women are putting off having their first baby until an average age of 32 with extremely low levels of state aid for parents playing a role, a new study reveals.

Weather warning: flood alert in south-east France
France

Weather warning: flood alert in south-east France

Météo France has placed the south-eastern French departments of Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Vaucluse on amber alert, the second-highest alert, for rain and floods, just one week after violent storms lashed the area.

Telefonica: Nine-month profits dip 10 percent
Spain

Telefonica: Nine-month profits dip 10 percent

The sale of subsidiaries in Ireland and the Czech Republic sapped Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica's profits in the first nine months of 2014, the company said on Wednesday.

Spain’s school dropout rate highest in EU
Spain

Spain’s school dropout rate highest in EU

Spain's must do more to lower its school dropout rate while improvements in training prospects for young people are being undermined by budget cuts to the education sector, the EU says in a new report.

Putin and Merkel will go toe-to-toe at G20
Germany

Putin and Merkel will go toe-to-toe at G20

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he would meet Chancellor Angela Merkel one-on-one at the G20 meeting in Australia this weekend.

X Factor star bids for Swiss Eurovision place
Switzerland

X Factor star bids for Swiss Eurovision place

Professional singer Kitty Brucknell, a former semifinalist on British television talent show The X Factor, is bidding to become Switzerland’s representative in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Stars celebrate with BAMBI in Berlin
Germany

Stars celebrate with BAMBI in Berlin

The German Promis (celebrities) were out for their biggest party of the year as the nation's equivalent to the Oscar awards were presented at the annual gala in Berlin on Thursday evening.

Irish woman thunders into Swedish rock band
Sweden

Irish woman thunders into Swedish rock band

A singer from Ireland has been sharing how she got headhunted by Swedish girl rock band Thundermother and is now aiming for European success with the group.

Find your fabulous gift at Debenhams
Germany

Find your fabulous gift at Debenhams

Christmas stockings, fluffy cushions, or ornaments for the tree…whatever you’re looking for, you can find the fabulous gift at Debenhams. Bring the classic holiday shopping experience to you.

Middelhoff gets three years’ jail for fraud
Germany

Middelhoff gets three years’ jail for fraud

Thomas Middelhoff, former chief executive of German media giant Bertelsmann and distribution giant Arcandor, was jailed for three years by a court Friday for tax evasion and fraud.

Gysi: keeping up the family business
Germany

Gysi: keeping up the family business

He's known for his eloquence and rhetoric, although this week he was just a guy being chased into a bathroom. We're naming Die Linke (Left) party leader Gregor Gysi our German of the Week.

Spain moves towards recognizing Palestine
Spain

Spain moves towards recognizing Palestine

A vote in the Spanish parliament next week could see Spain follow the lead of UK and France in moving towards a recognition of Palestine as the Spanish government joins a European Union drive to back a two-state peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

Clashes erupt at Italy’s anti-reform protests
Italy

Clashes erupt at Italy’s anti-reform protests

UPDATED: Clashes erupted between protesters and police in Milan and elsewhere in Italy on Friday, as demonstrators marched against government reforms and a nationwide strike shut down public transport.

Ten fun tips for taming the Swedish language
Sweden

Ten fun tips for taming the Swedish language

Losing interest in your language lessons? Need to add some spice to your Swedish skills? Want to talk to the blonde that lives next door but you don’t have the courage? Here are ten tips to help you along.

Find your Christmas gift at Debenhams
Spain

Find your Christmas gift at Debenhams

Christmas stockings, fluffy cushions, or ornaments for the tree…whatever you’re looking for, you can find the fabulous gift at Debenhams. Bring the classic holiday shopping experience to you.

New mobile tech makes music to suit moods
Norway

New mobile tech makes music to suit moods

Scientists at a Norwegian university have come up with a novel way to use your body language and mobile phone to create special musical playlists based on your emotional state.

Prison service sells gifts made by convicts
Austria

Prison service sells gifts made by convicts

A new online shop on the Austrian Justice Ministry’s website is offering gift items made by prisoners - including handmade metal figurines, board games, and Christmas wreaths and decorations.

The best Anglo clubs for expats in France
France

The best Anglo clubs for expats in France

Fortunately for Anglos searching for a little bit of home, there are tons of clubs in France that are organised for and by English speakers. Here are some of our favourites.

Top Danish MP drops Facebook after threats
Denmark

Top Danish MP drops Facebook after threats

The harsh tone on Facebook has led one of Denmark’s top politicians to say goodbye to the social media giant.

Controversial disability benefits plan scrapped
Norway

Controversial disability benefits plan scrapped

The Norwegian government has shelved its proposal to cut child financial support to people on disability benefits, it was announced on Thursday.

Tear-jerker Christmas lottery ad goes viral
Spain

Tear-jerker Christmas lottery ad goes viral

Christmas may still be six weeks off but Spain is already gearing up for its massive El Gordo ('Fat One') lottery with a cinematic advertisement that is a serious change of tack from last year's hugely unpopular effort. It hasn't been free of controversy though.

Vienna’s Waltz tipped as next Bond villain
Austria

Vienna’s Waltz tipped as next Bond villain

Christoph Waltz, the Austrian-German actor who came to prominence with his Oscar-winning roles in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, has been signed as the next Bond villain, according to an unconfirmed report from the Daily Mail.

‘Conclusive proof’ of foreign vessel in Sweden
Sweden

‘Conclusive proof’ of foreign vessel in Sweden

Sweden's military says it has 'conclusive evidence' there was a foreign vessel in Swedish waters last month.

Search resumes for escaped ‘tiger’ near Paris
France

Search resumes for escaped ‘tiger’ near Paris

UPDATED: A tiger remained on the loose near Paris on Friday morning as emergency services armed with tranquilizer guns resumed the search following a fruitless all-day hunt on Thursday, with worried residents ordered to stay indoors.

Stockholm hunt for missing Irishman
Sweden

Stockholm hunt for missing Irishman

Police in Stockholm are on alert after a 32-year-old expat from Ireland was reported missing.

Glencore to close Aussie mines for Christmas
Switzerland

Glencore to close Aussie mines for Christmas

Swiss mining and commodities giant Glencore Xstrata says it will close its Australian coal mines for three weeks during Christmas owing to weak prices and oversupply.

Germany agrees in-the-black budget for 2015
Germany

Germany agrees in-the-black budget for 2015

After 14 hours of discussion lasting into the early morning, the German parliament has settled on a budget for 2015 that will put the country in the black for the first time since 1969 - at least on paper.

Isis: ‘You won’t stop our advance on Rome’
Italy

Isis: ‘You won’t stop our advance on Rome’

An audio message purporting to be from Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he says the militant group’s “advance on Rome” will not be stopped, was released on Thursday.

Sweden’s Ace of Base revived with teen band
Sweden

Sweden’s Ace of Base revived with teen band

The spirit of legendary Swedish group Ace of Base is being to brought to a new audience with a teenage tribute act dubbed A*Base, which has just released its first single.

Find your fabulous gift at Debenhams
France

Find your fabulous gift at Debenhams

Christmas stockings, fluffy cushions, or ornaments for the tree…whatever you’re looking for, you can find the fabulous gift at Debenhams. Bring the classic holiday shopping experience to you.

The ski school churning out champions
Austria

The ski school churning out champions

Many of the world's top skiers have walked its halls and at this year's Olympics, its alumni swept 12 medals - for nearly half a century the ski school in Stams, Austria has been producing champions like a factory.

France narrowly escapes new recession
France

France narrowly escapes new recession

The clouds over Europe appeared to lift slightly in the third quarter as its two biggest economies both narrowly escaped a new recession, official data showed on Friday.

US indicts senior Swiss banker in tax fraud case
Switzerland

US indicts senior Swiss banker in tax fraud case

The US Justice Department has indicted a 66-year-old Swiss banker for helping US taxpayers hide millions of dollars in assets in offshore accounts over nearly two decades to avoid paying taxes.

Danish MRSA pork found in Sweden
Denmark

Danish MRSA pork found in Sweden

A random sampling of Danish pork sold in Stockholm supermarkets found the resistant MRSA bacteria in one in every five packages.

Moscow gives France warship delivery deadline
France

Moscow gives France warship delivery deadline

UPDATED: Russia on Friday warned France of "serious" consequences unless Paris delivers a Mistral-class assault warship, whose handover has been delayed by concerns over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, by the end of this month, a report said.

Norway floods set to cost over 200m kroner
Norway

Norway floods set to cost over 200m kroner

It is estimated it will cost around 211 million kroner to repair the damage after the floods in Western Norway, according to experts.

Italy’s Serie A can’t keep up with foreign rivals
Italy

Italy’s Serie A can’t keep up with foreign rivals

Italy host Croatia on Sunday in a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier but behind the veneer of Antonio Conte's seemingly rejuvenated Azzurri squad lies a murky backwater that is Italy's Serie A.

Pine, tar, and tinder: flavours from the north
Sweden

Pine, tar, and tinder: flavours from the north

Before there was chewing gum, there was pine resin. Before there were lighters, there were tinderboxes. And all along, Swedes in the far north have been living as one with nature, taking only what is offered. The Local speaks with one such Swede.

Man sues Munich for towing golden Ferrari
Germany

Man sues Munich for towing golden Ferrari

All that glitters is not gold, but in this case it is. Now the city of Munich might find itself with a hefty bill after towing an illegally parked gilded Ferrari which its owner uses as his work car.

Sex abuse case dropped against Dane in NYC
Denmark

Sex abuse case dropped against Dane in NYC

After a five month investigation brought on by a single co-worker's claims, all sexual abuse charges against a Danish intern at a Manhattan preschool were dropped.

Britain’s Major warns of 50-50 chance of EU exit
Germany

Britain’s Major warns of 50-50 chance of EU exit

Former British prime minister John Major warned there was a "real possibility" that Britain will vote to leave the European Union and called for more immigration controls at a speech in Berlin on Thursday.

Heavy rains force Italy rugby game switch
Italy

Heavy rains force Italy rugby game switch

Heavy rains in recent days in the flood-hit city of Genoa have forced the rescheduling of Saturday's rugby Test between Italy and Argentina, the Italian rugby federation (Fir) confirmed on Thursday.

Sweden considers new tactic to enlist soldiers
Sweden

Sweden considers new tactic to enlist soldiers

Having defence as a subject in school could help increase the number of pupils who want to enlist in the armed forces, according to a new Swedish study.

Religious abortion debate worries Sweden
Sweden

Religious abortion debate worries Sweden

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is concerned that a county council in southern Sweden is investigating the possibility of allowing nursing staff the right to refuse to perform abortions on grounds of religious faith.

Israel shuts Dr Gilbert out from Gaza for life
Norway

Israel shuts Dr Gilbert out from Gaza for life

A Norwegian doctor, Mads Gilbert, has been hit with a lifetime ban from entering Gaza by the Israeli government.