Uber rideshare app gets Nordic knockback
Norway

Uber rideshare app gets Nordic knockback

Uber, the app that allows random people to taxi-share, has launched in Norway, but faces a legal challenge from the government, it was announced on Wednesday.

Voter support for new immigration curbs slides
Switzerland

Voter support for new immigration curbs slides

Swiss voters are ready to reject a proposal to restrain population growth by severely limiting immigration, according to the results of surveys released on Wednesday.

Norway passport gets global stamp of approval
Norway

Norway passport gets global stamp of approval

Norway's innovative new passport design has created a 'buzz' in the global media and from design lovers worldwide after it was unveiled this month.

Swiss Davis Cup hopes rise as Federer practices
Switzerland

Swiss Davis Cup hopes rise as Federer practices

Roger Federer, whose back injury cast serious doubts over his Davis Cup final spot for Switzerland, practiced for the first time on Wednesday in a timely boost for the Swiss team ahead of their showdown against France.

Body of missing teenage Polish hiker found
Switzerland

Body of missing teenage Polish hiker found

Searchers in the canton of Vaud discovered on Wednesday the body of a Polish teenager who went missing earlier this month.

Spain snubs plans for longer paternity leave
Spain

Spain snubs plans for longer paternity leave

Spain's health minister, Ana Mato, on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of extending paid paternity leave from two to four weeks as planned, citing a lack of funds.

A portrait of modern France in ten stats
France

A portrait of modern France in ten stats

From an explosion in the number of homeless people to the number of French people descended from migrants - here's ten stats that give a portrait of the modern France.

Bologna bombers must pay €2 billion damages
Italy

Bologna bombers must pay €2 billion damages

A couple convicted for involvement in the 1980 bombing of Bologna railway station, which left 85 people dead, were on Wednesday ordered to pay damages of just over €2 billion to the state.

Court overturns firing for sleepy train chef
Germany

Court overturns firing for sleepy train chef

A Cologne court has told rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) that it was wrong to fire a restaurant car worker who slept through an entire long-distance journey.

Denmark pressures EU on everyday chemicals
Denmark

Denmark pressures EU on everyday chemicals

Saying that "the phasing-out of harmful chemicals is progressing far too slow in the EU," Denmark's environment minister has recruited colleagues for a coordinated campaign targeting the EU Commission.

Skiing ‘too expensive’ for average families
Austria

Skiing ‘too expensive’ for average families

Austria’s consumer watchdog, the VKI, has said that daily ski passes for adults are now almost €50 at some resorts in Austria, and skiing is no longer an affordable activity for families.

Four sentenced for killing anti-mafia judge
Italy

Four sentenced for killing anti-mafia judge

Four members of the Sicilian mafia were sentenced to between 12 years and life in prison on Wednesday for their role in the notorious 1992 assassination of anti-mob judge Giovanni Falcone.

France gets new power to sack the president
France

France gets new power to sack the president

François Hollande would be forgiven for not sleeping well in his bed tonight after French MPs were, for the first time, handed the power to sack the president in the case of "a breach of duties".

State prosecutor to sue Catalan president
Spain

State prosecutor to sue Catalan president

Spain's state prosecutor-general has been given the green-light to investigate top Catalan politicians including president Artur Mas over possible crimes committed during the region's recent symbolic vote on independence.

Ten things to steer clear of on the Autobahn
Germany

Ten things to steer clear of on the Autobahn

We've gathered some of the strangest things that have happened on Germany's famously speedy motorways - but keep your eyes on the road!

Town gets help to save Europe’s wonkiest tower
Germany

Town gets help to save Europe’s wonkiest tower

Federal funding will save the famous leaning tower of Bad Frankenhausen in Thuringia, which is both taller and wonkier than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Ten of the best Austrian desserts
Austria

Ten of the best Austrian desserts

Austria has a long history and tradition of making some of the finest desserts in the world. So where do you start? The Local has had its fair share of Austrian puddings and has helpfully selected ten favourites you shouldn't miss out on.

Indefinite detention for ‘the man in the red car’
Denmark

Indefinite detention for ‘the man in the red car’

A 41-year-old man from the island of Funen has been found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls and sentenced to an undetermined time behind bars.

Solberg in Ukraine: ‘No to corrupt deals’
Norway

Solberg in Ukraine: ‘No to corrupt deals’

Erna Solberg encouraged Norwegian firms to invest in Ukraine, but made it clear the Nordic nation will not tolerate corruption in business between the countries, the Prime Minister said on Wednesday.

Sweden’s new PM in New York for first US visit
Sweden

Sweden’s new PM in New York for first US visit

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is in New York as part of his first official visit to the United States since his election in September.

‘Almost 50’ French jihadists killed in Syria
France

‘Almost 50’ French jihadists killed in Syria

Around 50 French nationals have been killed in Syria fighting alongside jihadists, the Prime Minister said on Wednesday. France also announced it will deploy six Mirage fighter jets against Isis fighters in Iraq.

2013 ‘black year’ for female murders in Italy
Italy

2013 ‘black year’ for female murders in Italy

A total of 179 women were murdered in Italy in 2013 – the highest rate recorded in Italy over the past seven years, according to figures published on Wednesday.

Italian arrested in UK for compatriot’s murder
Italy

Italian arrested in UK for compatriot’s murder

A 21-year-old Italian man was found dead on Tuesday in the English city of Birmingham. Another Italian man, thought to be victim’s flatmate, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Rape claims at elite Swedish boarding school
Sweden

Rape claims at elite Swedish boarding school

Police in Värmland in central Sweden are investigating allegations of a rape at one of the country's most prestigious schools, Lundsberg, which has also been rocked by bullying cases.

Danish racing legend calls it quits
Denmark

Danish racing legend calls it quits

Tom Kristensen said "the time is right" to end his historic racing career, announcing that his last race will be later this month.

The French just don’t do cute cats, says Buzzfeed
France

The French just don’t do cute cats, says Buzzfeed

The French are immune to the charms of cute cats and prefer politicians, at least when it comes to sharing stories online. That's according to the all-conquering viral news and entertainment website BuzzFeed anyway.

Swedish women vote on stimulating word
Sweden

Swedish women vote on stimulating word

Women 'flying solo' remains a taboo topic in many countries and there is no commonly accepted word for it in Swedish. A sex education group is trying to change that and has already received more than a thousand suggestions after launching a competition earlier this month.

Israel slams Spain’s ‘unhelpful’ Palestine vote
Spain

Israel slams Spain’s ‘unhelpful’ Palestine vote

Israel says a vote by the Spanish parliament on Tuesday calling on Madrid to recognize a Palestinian state is counterproductive because it will encourage Palestinians to take on more extreme positions in negotiations.

Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Germany

Top five quirky Christmas jumpers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Ice skating, turkey dinner… and of course: Christmas jumpers. Don’t miss your chance to win a fantastically cheeky jumper – and the rest of your wish list – with this special offer from Marks & Spencer for The Local’s readers.

Win your Christmas list: €250 at Marks &Spencer
Spain

Win your Christmas list: €250 at Marks &Spencer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Ice skating, turkey dinner… and of course: Christmas jumpers. Don’t miss your chance to win a fantastically cheeky jumper – and the rest of your wish list – with this special offer from Marks & Spencer for The Local’s readers.

‘World’s longest railway’ links Madrid and China
Spain

‘World’s longest railway’ links Madrid and China

China launched an 82-wagon cargo train on Tuesday which will take 21 days to travel 10,000km (6,200 miles) and pass through six other countries as it moves goods from the industrial city of Yiwu to the Spanish capital, Madrid.

Win a voucher for €250 at Marks & Spencer
France

Win a voucher for €250 at Marks & Spencer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Ice skating, turkey dinner… and of course: Christmas jumpers. Don’t miss your chance to win a fantastically cheeky jumper – and the rest of your wish list – with this special offer from Marks & Spencer for The Local’s readers.

Police arrest jihadist bound for Syria
Spain

Police arrest jihadist bound for Syria

Spanish police on Thursday arrested a jihadist who had set up a number of online profiles where he offered to go and fight in Syria, according to the interior ministry.

Spain win boosts Löw’s spirits for 2015
Germany

Spain win boosts Löw’s spirits for 2015

Mannschaft coach Joachim Löw is relishing a fresh start for Germany in 2015 after their 1-0 friendly win over Spain capped their World Cup-winning year in style following several below-par performances.

Football thug victims must pay court costs
Germany

Football thug victims must pay court costs

Two men who were savagely beaten by a group of football fans in Bielefeld have been ordered to cover court costs because their jailed attacker has no money, it was reported on Wednesday.

Bewigged robbers hit Aachen bank
Germany

Bewigged robbers hit Aachen bank

Police said on Wednesday they were searching for six men who robbed a bank in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Students’ Union protests against fraternities
Austria

Students’ Union protests against fraternities

Vienna University Students' Union has announced that it will start holding a regular protest rally against the weekly ‘Burschibummel’ - a ritual in which right-wing student fraternity members meet up in front of the university dressed in their traditional outfits.

French surgeons operate on foetus in womb
France

French surgeons operate on foetus in womb

In what’s been hailed as a first in France, surgeons have successfully operated on a foetus in the mother’s womb to correct the birth defect, spina bifida.

Italy’s feared footballer ‘dying out’: Conte
Italy

Italy’s feared footballer ‘dying out’: Conte

Angry Azzurri coach Antonio Conte responded to Italy's critics following a 1-0 friendly win over Albania by claiming the once-feared Italian footballer is now "dying out".

Italy labour strike set for December 12th
Italy

Italy labour strike set for December 12th

Two of Italy’s biggest trade union confederations have agreed to hold a general strike against the economic and social policies of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on December 12th.

Army prepared to act on Catalonia: chief of staff
Spain

Army prepared to act on Catalonia: chief of staff

Spain's top soldier was accused of inflaming tensions over Catalonia on Tuesday when he appeared to compare the current independence push in Catalonia with the collapse of the Spanish empire in the nineteenth century.

Spain seriously short of young people: UN
Spain

Spain seriously short of young people: UN

A new report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has revealed that Spain has a much lower percentage of young people as part of its total population than most other countries in the world but that it excels in access to education.

Financial markets brace for Swiss ‘gold’ vote
Switzerland

Financial markets brace for Swiss ‘gold’ vote

As Switzerland prepares to vote this month on whether to force the country's central bank to increase its gold reserves, economists warn a 'Yes' vote could wreak havoc in financial markets.

Legal challenge greets Uber’s debut in Denmark
Denmark

Legal challenge greets Uber’s debut in Denmark

In the midst of a PR crisis in the United States, the alternative taxi concept Uber takes to the streets of Copenhagen – and is immediately greeted with a police complaint.

Vienna’s Muslims ‘to double in 30 years’
Austria

Vienna’s Muslims ‘to double in 30 years’

Vienna’s religious landscape is changing - with a decline in the number of Catholics and Christians and an increase in the number of Muslims due to immigration and secularization.

Zombies, romping parents join climate drive
Germany

Zombies, romping parents join climate drive

The Environment Ministry raises issues and eyebrows with its racy new climate protection Internet ad campaign.

Q&A: Changes to SI Study Scholarship programme
Sweden

Q&A: Changes to SI Study Scholarship programme

The Swedish Institute recently announced that some changes will be made to the scholarship programme- the SI Study Scholarships. But when, why, and how will the changes affect current students? SI News Service finds out.

Deported US metal star says ‘sorry’ to Norway
Norway

Deported US metal star says ‘sorry’ to Norway

One of the world's most famous heavy metal musicians who was deported from Norway following a bust by border staff, has issued a public apology to the Nordic nation, on Wednesday.

French government to reopen spanking row
France

French government to reopen spanking row

The French government intends to reopen the debate this month about whether the country should ban the spanking of children with the minister calling for "education without violence". Brussels wants France to outlaw the use of corporal punishment.

Top ten: Italy’s weirdest place names
Italy

Top ten: Italy’s weirdest place names

How does a long weekend in the village of Capracotta (cooked goat) sound? Or how about a trip to Purgatory? Welcome to the wonderful world of strange Italian place names!

Two Isis fighters from Norway killed in Syria
Norway

Two Isis fighters from Norway killed in Syria

Two Norwegian citizens, known militants for the Isis terrorist group, have been killed in recent battles in Syria, NTB reported on Tuesday.

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Sweden

Nov. 26: Graduate student seminar – Strategies for action power relations in academia (Linköping)

Sweden ‘appalled’ by synagogue murders
Sweden

Sweden ‘appalled’ by synagogue murders

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has said the killing of four Israelis at a Jerusalem synagogue is deeply concerning and called on Palestinian leaders to condemn the violence.

African Swedes slam ‘racist’ Santa helper
Sweden

African Swedes slam ‘racist’ Santa helper

A Dutch club in Stockholm is encouraging ideas of white "superiority" by planning a Christmas party featuring Santa alongside a 'black' slave servant, Sweden's Afro-Swedish National Association has complained to The Local.

France urges talks after Jerusalem attack
France

France urges talks after Jerusalem attack

French President François Hollande on Wednesday condemned the "terrifying" attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem, urging Israel and the Palestinians to resume talks seeking peace.

Military ‘ghost’ planes risking air disaster
Norway

Military ‘ghost’ planes risking air disaster

There has been a call for the Norwegian military to cooperate more with civilian airspace after unidentified military aircraft have 'spooked' pilots, causing them to fear a collision is imminent, it was revealed on Wednesday.

World’s best lumberjacks cut it in Austria
Austria

World’s best lumberjacks cut it in Austria

3,500 spectators filled the Innsbruck Olympic hall over the weekend to watch New Zealander Jason Wynyard win the title of world's best lumberjack for the sixth time, fending off a strong challenge from second placed Martin Komárek from the Czech Republic.

Majority of Danes want to end EU justice opt-out
Denmark

Majority of Danes want to end EU justice opt-out

As the prime minister and opposition leader hammer out the details, a clear majority of Danes are in favour of ending Denmark’s opt-out to the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs cooperation.

Strike grinds Geneva public transit to halt
Switzerland

Strike grinds Geneva public transit to halt

Public transport in Geneva ground to a virtual halt on Wednesday as streetcar and bus drivers walked off the job to protest budget cuts and planned job reductions.

Barcelona hotel ‘murder’: French lover arrested
Spain

Barcelona hotel ‘murder’: French lover arrested

The boyfriend of a 19-year-old French tourist found dead in a Barcelona hotel room has been arrested on suspicion of homicide.

Spain seizes Greenpeace oil protest ship
Spain

Spain seizes Greenpeace oil protest ship

UPDATED: Spain said on Wednesday it impounded a Greenpeace ship because the crew defied orders to leave a restricted zone where they were protesting against oil exploration off the Canary Islands.

Introducing… Family life in Stockholm
Sweden

Introducing… Family life in Stockholm

Moving your entire life abroad can be complicated. It can be even more complicated when you’ve got your family in tow. Luckily, in Swede it’s pretty easy.

Dark day for large Danish production firms
Denmark

Dark day for large Danish production firms

Pump manufacturer Grundfos and engineering company Danfoss announced job cuts totalling just under 200 employees in Denmark.

Rome hosts UN meeting on malnutrition
Italy

Rome hosts UN meeting on malnutrition

Political leaders from around the world gathered in Rome on Wednesday for a three-day UN conference on malnutrition aimed at tackling a global scourge which afflicts poor and rich alike.

Skeleton shows Swedes among ‘first’ Europeans
Sweden

Skeleton shows Swedes among ‘first’ Europeans

Swedes are more closely related to to the first Europeans than either the French or the Germans, according to DNA taken from a 37,000 year-old skeleton.

Second French suspect in Isis beheading video
France

Second French suspect in Isis beheading video

France confirmed on Wednesday that a second Frenchman had been identified in the shocking Isis video showing the beheading of Syrian prisoners. A source claimed the man was a 22-year-old from an eastern suburb of Paris.

Unions can’t agree in rail pay battle
Germany

Unions can’t agree in rail pay battle

Train drivers' union GDL, rail staff union EVG and Deutsche Bahn (DB) failed to reach an agreement in three-way talks on Tuesday.

Parma face points loss over unpaid wages
Italy

Parma face points loss over unpaid wages

Italian top-flight club Parma said on Tuesday they expect to be deducted points as punishment for having been late in paying salaries.

Mafia ‘cashes in’ on Sicily’s migrant influx
Italy

Mafia ‘cashes in’ on Sicily’s migrant influx

Asylum seekers washing up by the thousands in recession-hit Sicily are boosting the local economy as hotels transform into immigrant centres, with help from state subsidies said to have caught the mafia's eye.

World awaits the ‘rude’ 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau
France

World awaits the ‘rude’ 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau

Wednesday marks one of the key dates in the French cultural calendar when France and the rest of the world welcomes the 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau. But will the taste live up to the excitement?

‘Street Pong’ peps up traffic light wait
Germany

‘Street Pong’ peps up traffic light wait

Gamification has literally hit the streets in Hildesheim, where pedestrians at a busy crossing on Tuesday passed the time playing a classic arcade game with opponents across the road.

Taxis to save Sweden’s Christmas goat
Sweden

Taxis to save Sweden’s Christmas goat

The quest to save Gävle's giant Christmas goat from its annual torching has begun in earnest with organizers set to move the local taxi rank in order to ward off potential arsonists.

Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
Sweden

Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm

From prisons and boats to renovated jumbo jets, Stockholm has some unusual backpacker joints. The Local's Oliver Gee - himself a seasoned traveller - spent a night at five of the top rated locations on review sites, to see if the hostels in his adopted home city lived up to the hype.

Steinmeier presses Putin in surprise meeting
Germany

Steinmeier presses Putin in surprise meeting

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was no closer to an answer to escalating violence in Ukraine on Tuesday night despite a surprise meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Spice overdoses on the rise in Sweden
Sweden

Spice overdoses on the rise in Sweden

The Swedish Poisons Information Centre has reported more than 300 overdoses caused by the synthetic marijuana known as Spice in 2014.

Sweden sink to French defeat without Zlatan
Sweden

Sweden sink to French defeat without Zlatan

The national side were without their talisman for the friendly against France and came up short against the Euro 2016 hosts.