A glimpse into Viennese history: the Ring
Austria

A glimpse into Viennese history: the Ring

Ever wondered what the Ring looked like in the past? This video gives a pretty good idea.

Israel hits back at Swiss over rights conference
Switzerland

Israel hits back at Swiss over rights conference

Israel on Friday condemned Switzerland's plan to host a conference on respect for international human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, charging it was a deviation from the country's traditional neutrality.

Falling Spanish prices spark deflation fears
Spain

Falling Spanish prices spark deflation fears

Consumer prices in Spain declined in November for the fifth month running, official data confirmed on Friday, fuelling growing concerns over slowing inflation in the eurozone.

Swiss customs seize Chinese statue from UK
Switzerland

Swiss customs seize Chinese statue from UK

A terracotta statue dating back to about 200 BC has been returned to the Chinese authorities after being intercepted by customs in Switzerland, the Swiss government said on Friday.

Spain’s gold dust bread ‘world’s most pricey’
Spain

Spain’s gold dust bread ‘world’s most pricey’

Loaves of bread cooked with gold dust are being sold for €117 ($145) each in southern Spain, with Arab, Russian and Chinese buyers the chief buyers of the luxury baked good.

Al-Qaeda fighters freed for French hostage: Mali
France

Al-Qaeda fighters freed for French hostage: Mali

Four Al-Qaeda militants were exchanged for the release of French hostage Serge Lazarevic, a government minister from Mali admitted on Friday.

Terror threat in Denmark has increased: PET
Denmark

Terror threat in Denmark has increased: PET

A new report from the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) says that the number of Danes fighting in Syria and Iraq has increased, as has the risk of a terror attack.

TV crew stashed weed in Jacques Chirac’s ‘head’
France

TV crew stashed weed in Jacques Chirac’s ‘head’

The crew behind the famous French news puppet show "Les Guignols" have admitted how they once managed to take their huge stash of weed to the Cannes Film Festival without being caught by police - they hid it inside the head of the Jacques Chirac puppet.

Sex, snaps, skål: Danish julefrokost traditions
Denmark

Sex, snaps, skål: Danish julefrokost traditions

You may have caught our ten tips for surviving a Danish Christmas party, but what's behind the weird traditions and wild stories? As the party season rolls on, we explain the foods, drinks and behaviours that you'll encounter at a julefrokost.

Row after French mag outs gay far-right boss
France

Row after French mag outs gay far-right boss

Gossip magazine Closer has caused controversy again after it made public the homosexuality of a top member of France's far-right National Front party by publishing photos of him with his alleged partner. Politicians and journalists have reacted angrily.

Custody extended for Islamic hate preacher
Austria

Custody extended for Islamic hate preacher

An alleged Islamic hate preacher who was arrested in Vienna over claims he is the mastermind of a terrorist network recruited 64 fighters for Islamic jihad and did shooting and combat training in Vienna to prepare to fight in Syria, according to the prosecutor in Graz.

Acupuncture helps sick owls return to wild
Spain

Acupuncture helps sick owls return to wild

What do you do when a sick owl isn't ready to be returned to the wild? Give it acupuncture of course.

Government in a twist over ‘pinstriped Nazis’
Germany

Government in a twist over ‘pinstriped Nazis’

With thousands marching regularly in protest over asylum seekers and perceived Islamisation in Germany, ministers are in a quandary how to separate the neo-Nazi hardcore and participants expressing legitimate concerns.

BER boss wants to add another terminal
Germany

BER boss wants to add another terminal

The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) doesn’t even have an opening date but it’s already too small, so CEO Hartmut Mehdorn asked for additional investments to build another terminal on Friday.

Neo-Nazi clashes in Sweden: One year on
Sweden

Neo-Nazi clashes in Sweden: One year on

A year after the violent clashes in Stockholm between neo-Nazis and anti-racist demonstrators, the presence of right-wing extremist groups remains strong. But the angry scenes helped inspire a more united anti-fascist movement with another protest rally planned this weekend.

Abortion rate higher among foreigners in Italy
Italy

Abortion rate higher among foreigners in Italy

Foreigners in Italy are more likely to have an abortion than Italian women, while the overall number of terminations is going down, figures released on Friday show.

‘Our party will stand alone’: Stefan Löfven
Sweden

‘Our party will stand alone’: Stefan Löfven

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has announced that the Social Democrats will not be entering the March elections together with the Green Party - and will be campaigning alone.

German killed in Afghan suicide attack
Germany

German killed in Afghan suicide attack

Germany said Friday one of its nationals was killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan targeting a play at a French-financed school.

Danish surgeon’s boob ads cause Swedish fuss
Denmark

Danish surgeon’s boob ads cause Swedish fuss

A Swedish politician is upset about a "degrading" Malmö breast enlargement advert from a Danish clinic that has been running fully naked ads on Danish city buses for seven years.

Swiss hike scrutiny of international sport orgs
Switzerland

Swiss hike scrutiny of international sport orgs

Swiss lawmakers on Friday approved a bill to increase the financial scrutiny of around 60 international sports bodies based in Switzerland, including football's world governing body Fifa.

Spanish firm wins $1.2 billion US rail contract
Spain

Spanish firm wins $1.2 billion US rail contract

A US subsidiary of Spanish firm ACS has won a contract to build part of the first ever high-speed rail line in the US, a stretch of track which will eventually help connect Los Angeles and San Francisco in under three hours.

Security guard fined for harassing Roma woman
Sweden

Security guard fined for harassing Roma woman

A Stockholm court has found a security guard guilty of misconduct after he kicked a Roma beggar out of a subway station last year.

11 things you (wrongly) presumed about France
France

11 things you (wrongly) presumed about France

Are the French really the world's leading cheese-eating, red wine guzzling, sex obsessed 'surrender monkeys' they are so often made out to be? Here The Local debunks some of the myths surrounding the French by finding ways other countries beat France at their own game, so to speak.

UN Vienna interpreters show they’re ‘Happy’
Austria

UN Vienna interpreters show they’re ‘Happy’

You might think that translating speeches and interpreting between the six official languages of the United Nations would be done by dull and unhappy people -- but you'd be wrong. This video, made by the VIC interpreting team, shows just how happy they are....

Strasbourg is Europe’s ‘best Christmas market’
France

Strasbourg is Europe’s ‘best Christmas market’

So Europe has voted and the results are in. When it comes to best Christmas market on the continent, nowhere beats the eastern French city of Strasbourg. No, not even Vienna.

France mulls legalizing ‘terminal sedation’
France

France mulls legalizing ‘terminal sedation’

A new bill proposes a change to the laws on euthanasia by legalising terminal sedation and allowing people to decide whether they want to be kept alive artificially.

Fiat denies Ferrari’s tax base will leave Italy
Italy

Fiat denies Ferrari’s tax base will leave Italy

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has denied reports that the fiscal base of luxury carmaker Ferrari could be moved outside Italy.

Top 12 things to do in Spain over Christmas
Spain

Top 12 things to do in Spain over Christmas

From the truly sublime to the downright bizarre, the festive season in Spain is an amazing experience. Read on to check out The Local's guide to the very best the country has to offer during the 12 highly hedonistic days of Christmas.

Naples gets anti-theft Christmas trees
Italy

Naples gets anti-theft Christmas trees

Christmas trees in Naples will be adorned with locks and chains this festive season, as locals arm the firs against thieves.

‘Watch my movie and then get a divorce’
Sweden

‘Watch my movie and then get a divorce’

With a Golden Globe nomination under his belt, Director Ruben Östlund talks to The Local about his new movie, why Scandinavia shouldn't follow in Hollywood's footsteps, and why he wants you to get a divorce.

French mayor jailed over floods that left 29 dead
France

French mayor jailed over floods that left 29 dead

The former mayor of a seaside resort in France was jailed for four years on Friday for concealing flood risks that led to the death of 29 people in a brutal storm.

Italian thieves nab 260 tons of Swiss chocolate
Switzerland

Italian thieves nab 260 tons of Swiss chocolate

In what is being described as the biggest robbery of its type, thieves in Italy have stolen a staggering 260 tons of chocolate from Swiss company Lindt & Sprüngli.

Skiers warned to avoid illegal instructors
Austria

Skiers warned to avoid illegal instructors

Some 200 illegal ski instructors are expected to be working in Vorarlberg’s ski resorts this season, the Ski Instructor Association has warned.

Why is drink-driving still ‘acceptable’ in France?
France

Why is drink-driving still ‘acceptable’ in France?

With nearly one in three French people owning up to getting behind the wheel despite knowing they had drunk more than the legal limit, The Local looks at why France is still struggling to deal with the problem of drink-driving, that kills hundreds on the roads each year.

Swedish MP brassed off over boob job advert
Sweden

Swedish MP brassed off over boob job advert

A Swedish politician has told The Local that he plans to oppose a Malmö breast enlargement advert, claiming the concept is "degrading" towards women.

German consumers still hot for nuclear power
Germany

German consumers still hot for nuclear power

The country is due to shut down its nuclear power plants by 2022 in favour of fossil fuels and renewable energy, but customers are flocking to a new provider's offer of "100 percent nuclear power".

Norway scraps subsidies to seal hunters
Norway

Norway scraps subsidies to seal hunters

UPDATED: Norway's parliament has voted to scrap a controversial subsidy for seal hunting, potentially spelling the end of the much-criticized activity, a lawmaker told AFP on Friday.

Italy comes to standstill amid boisterous protests
Italy

Italy comes to standstill amid boisterous protests

UPDATED: Tens of thousands of Italians took to the streets on Friday in boisterous protests against government policies that are struggling to haul the recession-bound country out of the economic mire.

Lichtgrenze tops German words of the year list
Germany

Lichtgrenze tops German words of the year list

The Society for German Language (GfdS) have released their annual top words of the year list reflecting the newsmakers that were Germany in 2014.

Patient dies after ‘botched colonoscopy’
Austria

Patient dies after ‘botched colonoscopy’

A doctor from the Waldviertel in Lower Austria is being investigated after an elderly patient died several days after a routine colonoscopy.

Pilfered Lindt chocolate found near Naples
Italy

Pilfered Lindt chocolate found near Naples

Five thousand boxes of chocolate, stolen from the Swiss luxury chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli and valued at €1.5 million, have been found in a warehouse near Naples.

Malala weeps at sight of bloodied school uniform
Norway

Malala weeps at sight of bloodied school uniform

Pakistan's teen Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai burst into tears Thursday at the sight of the bloodied school uniform she was wearing the day the Taliban shot her.

Escaped Swiss hostage returns from Philippines
Switzerland

Escaped Swiss hostage returns from Philippines

Swiss birdwatcher Lorenzo Vinciguerra, who escaped from Islamic extremist group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines last week after being held hostage for almost three years, arrived in Zurich airport on Friday morning.

Nobel protester sought to decry Mexico ‘killings’
Norway

Nobel protester sought to decry Mexico ‘killings’

A young man who disrupted the Nobel prize ceremony in Oslo by waving a Mexican flag streaked with red said Thursday he did it to denounce the alleged killing of students by Mexican authorities.

Lost Disney short film found in Norway
Norway

Lost Disney short film found in Norway

A copy of a 1927 Walt Disney cartoon which was thought to be lost has been found in northern Norway, the country's National Library said on Thursday.

Missing French students found dead in Pyrenees
Spain

Missing French students found dead in Pyrenees

The dead bodies of two young Zaragoza-based students from France reported missing by their families recently have been found in the car they were driving.

Spain passes tough new ‘anti-protest’ law
Spain

Spain passes tough new ‘anti-protest’ law

Spain on Thursday finally passed its new controversial Citizen Security Law which opponents say will severely limit civil liberties in the country.

‘Give in or else’ top union warns rail chiefs
Germany

‘Give in or else’ top union warns rail chiefs

Another union is throwing its hat into the rail fight, threatening Deutsche Bahn (DB) with one of the "worst strikes of all time" if they don't offer the train drivers union (GDL) and the EVG an offer "without preconditions" in negotiations on Friday.

‘It’s no surprise half of French students fail’
France

‘It’s no surprise half of French students fail’

Hundreds of angry university lecturers, students and researchers took to the streets of Paris this week to protest over a lack of funding and job insecurity in the higher education system that has left institutions "in ruin". The Local joined them to find out how bad things really are.

Russian tourist drowns nine-month-old baby
Italy

Russian tourist drowns nine-month-old baby

A Russian tourist has admitted to drowning her nine-month-old son while on holiday in Liguria, north-west Italy, saying that she feared he had schizophrenia.

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Sweden

Dec. 18: Secret Santa for Stockholm students (Stockholm)

Madrid mosque was jihadi recruitment hub
Spain

Madrid mosque was jihadi recruitment hub

The cafeteria of Madrid's M-30 mosque was the base of a network that recruited jihadists to fight for the terror group Isis in Syria, a Spanish judge said on Thursday.

Hollande to retire on ‘€15k a month’ pension
France

Hollande to retire on ‘€15k a month’ pension

French president François Hollande doesn't have to look towards the end of his political career with dread. The Elysée Palace confirmed this week he will rake in a monthly pension of €15,000 ($18,000). Although that's a lot less than the initial sum quoted in the media.

Warnings, cancelations as storm nears Denmark
Denmark

Warnings, cancelations as storm nears Denmark

Train schedule changes and possible road closures await the nation on Friday as a strong winter storm moves in.

How to make Swedish styled snaps
Sweden

How to make Swedish styled snaps

John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish style snaps recipe with The Local.

Pensioner fined for slow street crossing
Italy

Pensioner fined for slow street crossing

An elderly man in north-west Italy has been fined for crossing the street too slowly, according to Italian media reports.

World-famous Berlin street art blacked out
Germany

World-famous Berlin street art blacked out

Twitter users in the capital's Kreuzberg district reported that men arrived with cranes and spotlights on Thursday night to paint over two of the capital's most famous street art pieces.

Psychiatric patient dies after razor blade attack
Sweden

Psychiatric patient dies after razor blade attack

A young man has died after he went on a rampage at a psychiatric clinic in eastern Sweden. While police were called to the scene, it remains unknown exactly what caused the man's death.

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Switzerland

Swiss back confab on occupied Palestine lands

A conference will be held next week in Geneva to examine respect for international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories, Switzerland announced on Thursday.

Austrian surgeon saves Ukrainian lives
Austria

Austrian surgeon saves Ukrainian lives

Prof. Werner Girsch of the Speising Orthopedic Hospital in Vienna traveled to Kiev to operate on wounded Ukrainian soldiers. Volodymyr Solohub and Artem Bahrov filed this report from Kiev for Ukraine Today.

Spanish king praises unity on visit to Catalonia
Spain

Spanish king praises unity on visit to Catalonia

Spain's King Felipe VI praised the merits of unity on Thursday in his first speech in Catalonia since the wealthy northwest region held a symbolic vote on independence.

Roma trip to Genoa a possible gift for Juve
Italy

Roma trip to Genoa a possible gift for Juve

Roma return reluctantly to domestic duty on Sunday with a tough trip to Genoa that has the potential to see leaders Juventus, at home to Sampdoria, stretch their Serie A lead to six points.

The tradition of Santa Lucia: Lighting up the darkness
Sweden

The tradition of Santa Lucia: Lighting up the darkness

December 13th is Santa Lucia day, one of the most enduring Swedish winter traditions. The tradition of Lucia brings some much needed light into Sweden's winter darkness. What's it all about?

Germany backs calls for trade deal transparency
Germany

Germany backs calls for trade deal transparency

Germany called Thursday for more transparency in negotiations for a sweeping trade pact between the European Union and the United States after complaints that the controversial talks are too secretive.

Suspected neo-Nazi fire attack on asylum home
Germany

Suspected neo-Nazi fire attack on asylum home

Three buildings that were set to house refugees in Bavaria were burned down early Friday morning after the unknown perpetrators painted swastikas on one of the properties.

Denmark votes against recognizing Palestine
Denmark

Denmark votes against recognizing Palestine

Despite parliament shooting down a proposal from the left-wing to recognize Palestine now, the foreign minister has opened the door for Denmark to do it sooner rather than later.

Gotthard base tunnel set to open in two years
Switzerland

Gotthard base tunnel set to open in two years

The Gotthard base tunnel, the longest train tunnel in the world, is on track to open in exactly two years, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) announced on Thursday.

Marble head of French queen sells for €1 million
France

Marble head of French queen sells for €1 million

A 600-year-old marble head, believed to be from a sculpture of French queen Jeanne de Bourbon, wife of Charles V, was auctioned off for €1.15 million ($1.3 million) in Paris this week.

Commerzbank to pay $1bn on Iran sanctions
Germany

Commerzbank to pay $1bn on Iran sanctions

Commerzbank has reached a preliminary agreement with US authorities to pay more than €800 million for violating sanctions on Iran and Sudan, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Prosecutors open new file on Oktoberfest attack
Germany

Prosecutors open new file on Oktoberfest attack

German federal prosecutors are opening an investigation into the Wiesn attack of 1980 that killed 13 people since a witness has stepped forward 34 years later, it was announced on Thursday in Karslruhe.

‘Unusually strong’ animal loose near Copenhagen
Denmark

‘Unusually strong’ animal loose near Copenhagen

After a deer was found with its head "bitten off", nature authorities warn that a very large and dangerous dog – or even a wolf – could be on the prowl.

Sweden’s Telia attack linked to Pirate Bay
Sweden

Sweden’s Telia attack linked to Pirate Bay

The high-profile hacking attack on Swedish internet giant Telia has been linked to a police raid on Pirate Bay, which experts say "provoked feelings" among hackers.

Sweden warned as winter storm approaches
Sweden

Sweden warned as winter storm approaches

Storm Alexander is approaching southern Sweden with the national weather agency issuing a series of warnings. Train traffic in southern Sweden is planned to be cut off on Friday afternoon.

Man confesses to double murder at quarry
Sweden

Man confesses to double murder at quarry

A man has confessed to pushing his wife and their infant child into a southern Sweden quarry, a gruesome crime that was initially believed to be an accident. He has since been remanded into custody.