Pink Panthers’ female member jailed ten years
Switzerland

Pink Panthers’ female member jailed ten years

A 45-year-old woman linked to the Pink Panthers gang who aided armed holdups of jewellery shops in the Swiss mountain resort of Verbier and three other locations was sentenced by a Lausanne criminal court on Monday to ten years in jail.

EU regulators approve Holcim-Lafarge merger
Switzerland

EU regulators approve Holcim-Lafarge merger

EU anti-trust regulators on Monday cleared the merger of French giant Lafarge with Swiss rival Holcim to form the world's biggest cement group after both sold parts of their business to meet competition concerns.

Swiss chocolate café at centre of hostage drama
Switzerland

Swiss chocolate café at centre of hostage drama

UPDATED: A café owned by Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli was thrust into the centre of international news by a hostage-taking incident on Monday that ended in a hail of gunfire leaving three people dead and four injured in downtown Sydney, Australia.

Muslims rule France in provocative new novel
France

Muslims rule France in provocative new novel

France’s infamous literary rogue, Michel Houellebecq, has again displayed his talent for provocation with the announcement that his next novel, Soumission (Submission), is about a future France where a Muslim party wins the presidency.

Danish custody law is an inescapable trap
Denmark

Danish custody law is an inescapable trap

The author of a new book on Danish custody law argues that Denmark's focus on forced cooperation leaves mothers – and particularly foreign mothers – feeling like they have no way out.

Swiss tally ex-residents fighting as jihadists
Switzerland

Swiss tally ex-residents fighting as jihadists

Twenty-two people have left Switzerland to fight abroad as jihadists since May, including eight in the past fortnight, the Swiss intelligence agency said on Monday.

Anti-Uber protest: Just a ‘taxi drivers’ tantrum’?
France

Anti-Uber protest: Just a ‘taxi drivers’ tantrum’?

Taxi drivers in Paris gathered in the capital on Monday, to protest against the urban car-sharing service UberPOP. The Local took to the streets to see whether Parisians had much sympathy for their notoriously rude taxi drivers.

Norwegian chief cashes in with share sale
Norway

Norwegian chief cashes in with share sale

The founder Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos, is planning to sell shares equivalent to 2 percent of the fast-growing budget airline, it was announced on Monday.

Lifting the lid on Spain’s Christmas lottery
Spain

Lifting the lid on Spain’s Christmas lottery

If you're puzzled by all the long queues on streets around Spain in the lead-up to Christmas, then wonder no more. Welcome to Spain's unique 'El Gordo' (the Fat one) lottery, the richest in the world.

Norway seeks answers over mobile bugging
Norway

Norway seeks answers over mobile bugging

Norway's government is under pressure from MPs after revelations this weekend that suspicious mobile base stations sited around Oslo were used to spy on people’s mobile phone use.

Bayern heads for match in war-torn Ukraine
Germany

Bayern heads for match in war-torn Ukraine

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola admitted Monday he is relishing facing Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League when the clubs meet for the first time in the last 16.

12 ‘French’ things that aren’t actually French
France

12 ‘French’ things that aren’t actually French

Does "French Kissing" really come from France? Here The Local looks at 12 things that sound very French in name but actually have nothing to do with France.

Zlatan teams up with Dressman clothing chain
Sweden

Zlatan teams up with Dressman clothing chain

Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has struck a deal with clothing chain Dressman, with plans announced to launch a new brand in the sporting department.

Divorce rate surges in Spain
Spain

Divorce rate surges in Spain

The number of divorces in Spain rose by 12.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014 with the economic crisis playing a role, according to official statistics released on Monday.

Media exec arrested for cyberattack on rivals
Spain

Media exec arrested for cyberattack on rivals

Spanish police have arrested four people including a former executive of Spain's right-wing Intereconomía news outlet over cyberattacks that crippled a rival site for three weeks.

Semi-nude Salvini pics auctioned on eBay
Italy

Semi-nude Salvini pics auctioned on eBay

Photos showing far-right Northern League leader Matteo Salvini posing half-naked for a gossip magazine have been put up for auction on the online auction website eBay, with the proceeds going to an anti-abortion organization and a cancer charity.

Malick’s ‘Knight of Cups’ to premiere at Berlinale
Germany

Malick’s ‘Knight of Cups’ to premiere at Berlinale

Cult director Terence Malick will give the world premiere of his latest film, Knight of Cups, at the Berlinale Film Festival, organisers announced Monday.

Fascist law used against teacher in crucifix row
Italy

Fascist law used against teacher in crucifix row

An Italian teacher has been disciplined under fascist-era rules for removing a crucifix from the wall of his classroom in a move denounced on Monday as "stupefying" by campaigners for secular education.

Ten held as France smashes jihadist network
France

Ten held as France smashes jihadist network

UPDATED: French police launched raids across the country early on Monday, dismantling a network sending jihadist fighters to Syria, a police source told AFP.

Stockholm set for anti-racism anniversary demo
Sweden

Stockholm set for anti-racism anniversary demo

Monday night's planned anti-racist rally in Stockholm marks one year since a similar gathering sparked violent clashes from neo-Nazi factions. Organizers and police are expecting a much calmer night.

The best Christmas markets in Austria
Austria

The best Christmas markets in Austria

The Local's Francois Badenhorst takes a whirlwind tour of a few of Austria's famous Christmas markets, and shares his views of the ones he likes. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments section below.

‘Benefits rebel’ makes deal with city of Hamburg
Germany

‘Benefits rebel’ makes deal with city of Hamburg

The city of Hamburg agreed to give a woman who refused to sanction long-term unemployed people while working at a Jobcenter a new post.

BER airport chief to step down in 2015
Germany

BER airport chief to step down in 2015

Berlin-Brandenburg Airport CEO Hartmut Mehdorn announced on Monday that he is stepping down from his position as soon as the airport authority finds his replacement.

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Switzerland

US and Iran resume nuclear talks in Geneva

Senior officials from the United States and Iran resumed talks on Monday over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, a diplomatic source said, three weeks after world powers missed a deadline for reaching a deal.

Rome ‘tourists’ caught with 50 cloned cards
Italy

Rome ‘tourists’ caught with 50 cloned cards

Two people posing as tourists were arrested in central Rome on Monday after stealing thousands of euros using cloned credit cards.

Bullies target immigrant kids over Swedes: study
Sweden

Bullies target immigrant kids over Swedes: study

A study from Gothenburg has found that while bullying is on the decrease in Swedish schools, immigrant children suffer at the hands of bullies three times more than Swedish kids do.

Basel and Young Boys draw tough opponents
Switzerland

Basel and Young Boys draw tough opponents

FC Basel will face one of Portugal’s top teams, FC Porto, as the draw for the final 16 in the Champions League football playoffs was unveiled on Monday.

King’s sister pays €587k bond in fraud case
Spain

King’s sister pays €587k bond in fraud case

Princess Cristina, the sister of Spain's King Felipe on Monday paid a civil bond of nearly €600,000 as she attempts to clear her name in a long-running corruption scandal.

‘I killed and ate two lions’, claims Depardieu
France

‘I killed and ate two lions’, claims Depardieu

France’s hell-raising actor Gérard Depardieu, notorious for his gargantuan appetites, has claimed that he once killed and then ate two lions while on a trip to Africa.

Evolving views on Sweden: Changing perspectives, standards of excellence
Sweden

Evolving views on Sweden: Changing perspectives, standards of excellence

IN MY VOICE: NFGL student Iftekhar Ul Karim explains how his perception of Sweden have evolved since arriving in the country, and how the fate of two far-flung mosques contributed to the transformation.

‘Legal’ marijuana e-cigs to be launched in France
France

‘Legal’ marijuana e-cigs to be launched in France

Electronic cigarettes containing cannabis extracts which give you the relaxing and pain-killing effect of the drug but without the high are about to go on sale in France.

Eurovision Final tickets sell out in 20 minutes
Austria

Eurovision Final tickets sell out in 20 minutes

There was huge demand for tickets for the Eurovision Song Contest - to be held in Vienna in 2015 - with the first 25 percent selling out in 20 minutes this morning.

Denmark wants answers on Russian ‘near miss’
Denmark

Denmark wants answers on Russian ‘near miss’

Denmark’s foreign minister has called in the Russian ambassador for talks after a Russian military plane nearly collided with a passenger plane out of Copenhagen on Friday.

Merkel slams ‘mud-slinging’ anti-Islam demo
Germany

Merkel slams ‘mud-slinging’ anti-Islam demo

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel warned people against playing into the hands of xenophobes hours before an 'anti-Islamization' march in Dresden on Monday evening.

Police shut down ‘Facebook party’
Austria

Police shut down ‘Facebook party’

Police were called to the idyllic village of Wattenberg in Tyrol on Saturday night when a teenager’s party got out of control after scores of uninvited guests turned up in response to a Facebook invitation.

Cat returns after 1,200km trek across France
France

Cat returns after 1,200km trek across France

A cat that disappeared one and a half years ago found its way back to its delighted owner after journeying 1,200 km across France from Provence to Normandy.

PSG to play Chelsea in Champions League clash
France

PSG to play Chelsea in Champions League clash

French champions PSG were drawn against premier league club Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League on Monday, giving Laurent's Blanc's team a chance of revenge after being knocked out by Jose Mourinho's side last year. France's other Champions League club Monaco will also play English opposition in the form of Arsenal.

Introducing The Local’s brand new logo

Introducing The Local’s brand new logo

The Local has been providing news in English from around Europe for ten years. To mark this milestone, we are delighted to unveil our fresh new logo. Paul Rapacioli explains.

Malaga to ban ‘cruel’ animal circuses
Spain

Malaga to ban ‘cruel’ animal circuses

The local council in the southern Spanish city of Malaga has announced that animal circuses will be banned in the city as it unveils a new federation for the protection of animal rights.

Rome to bid for 2024 Olympics: Renzi
Italy

Rome to bid for 2024 Olympics: Renzi

UPDATED: Rome will spearhead an Italian bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday vowing a strong campaign to win the event.

Russian ambassador called in over ‘near miss’
Sweden

Russian ambassador called in over ‘near miss’

UPDATED: Sweden's Foreign Department called in the Russian ambassador after a Russian military plane almost collided with a plane near Sweden on Friday.

Amazon workers kick off three-day strike
Germany

Amazon workers kick off three-day strike

Industrial action between labour union Verdi and Amazon has escalated as workers walked off the job on Monday for the first of a three-day strike option in the final rush before Christmas.

Italian police uncover ‘ghost ship’ oil scam
Italy

Italian police uncover ‘ghost ship’ oil scam

Italy's financial police on Monday arrested six people accused of stealing millions of euros from the state with a fake contract to refuel a shipwrecked navy tanker.

Teen kills disabled uncle to ‘teach him a lesson’
Italy

Teen kills disabled uncle to ‘teach him a lesson’

An Italian teenager who along with two friends allegedly murdered his disabled uncle wanted to "teach him a lesson", by hitting him over the head with a metal baseball bat.

Firemen rescue stranded sheep
Austria

Firemen rescue stranded sheep

Firefighters in Lower Austria were called out to an unusual rescue operation on Sunday afternoon - not a cat stuck in a tree, but a sheep stuck on the roof of a house.

Two climbers killed in Italy avalanche
Italy

Two climbers killed in Italy avalanche

Two men were killed on Sunday in an avalanche on the Gran Sasso mountain in Abruzzo, south-central Italy, Italian media has reported.

Fruit forces Paris flight into emergency landing
France

Fruit forces Paris flight into emergency landing

An Air France passenger plane en route to Paris was forced to make an emergency landing in Ireland after a fire alarm went off in the cargo hold. Air France told The Local the alarm was triggered by a shipment of fruit and veg from the Caribbean.

Kidnap mix-up: man abandoned in woods
Spain

Kidnap mix-up: man abandoned in woods

In what appears to be a case of mistaken identity, a local policeman in Spain's Catalonia region was abducted and beaten up before being dumped in a forest.

Saudi School threatened with closure
Austria

Saudi School threatened with closure

Vienna’s School Board has threatened a controversial private Saudi School with closure by the end of the 2014/2015 school year, after it failed to provide the names of its director and teachers.

Spain hit by Russian and Chinese hackers
Spain

Spain hit by Russian and Chinese hackers

Four Spanish government ministries were hit by serious cyberattacks in 2014, with the assaults targeting the mobile phones and personal computers of prominent government figures.

Wetten Dass says tschüss with Ben Stiller
Germany

Wetten Dass says tschüss with Ben Stiller

Germany's biggest TV show bowed out at the weekend after 33 years with a three-and-a half hour extravaganza featuring Hollywood actor Ben Stiller.

Paris taxi drivers block roads in Uber protest
France

Paris taxi drivers block roads in Uber protest

Taxi drivers in Paris held a go slow on the roads around Paris on Monday in protest against the urban ridesharing service UberPOP.

‘Relentlessly networking with cool people’
Germany

‘Relentlessly networking with cool people’

In our weekly feature series, The Local chats with a successful entrepreneur. This week, Sparsh Sharma talks to Simon Schneider, CEO and co-founder of networking tool Zyncd.

Madrid: gay couple ‘attacked by Neo-Nazis’
Spain

Madrid: gay couple ‘attacked by Neo-Nazis’

A young gay couple were attacked by ten Neo-Nazis in Madrid on Friday with one of the pair needing to be admitted to hospital after the assault.

German TV show popular with Swiss bows out
Switzerland

German TV show popular with Swiss bows out

One of German-speaking Switzerland's most popular TV shows, Germany's "Wetten Das", bowed out at the weekend after 33 years with a three-and-a half hour extravaganza featuring Hollywood actor Ben Stiller.

Germans eager to welcome Olympics: poll
Germany

Germans eager to welcome Olympics: poll

The majority of Germans support their country's bid to host the 2024 Olympic games, a survey published on Monday showed.

Denmark makes ‘provocative’ Arctic claim
Denmark

Denmark makes ‘provocative’ Arctic claim

Denmark is making an historic push to lay claim to the North Pole and the Arctic seabed, the Foreign Ministry has announced, but how will that go over with the Russians and Canadians?

EU says road toll plans against the rules
Germany

EU says road toll plans against the rules

The EU has declared the German governement's plans to introduce a road toll targeted at foreigners in violation of EU law, it was reported on Monday.

Conchita ponders future retirement
Austria

Conchita ponders future retirement

After a whirlwind year that saw her win the Eurovision Song Contest and perform at the European parliament and United Nations, "bearded lady" Conchita Wurst is headed for the recording studio but doesn't rule out hanging up her stiletto heels in the coming years.

Kerry in Rome for talks with Russian FM
Italy

Kerry in Rome for talks with Russian FM

Top US diplomat John Kerry met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Sunday, amid anger in Moscow over the prospect of new US sanctions and possible lethal military aid for Ukraine.

Marseille miss chance after PSG’s shock defeat
France

Marseille miss chance after PSG’s shock defeat

The weekend's action in France's Ligue 1 was full of upsets as league leaders Marseille were beaten at Monaco and Paris Saint Germain finally lost their unbeaten record in a shock 1-0 defeat to Guingamp. Catch up on the action here.

Merkel, Hollande make Ukraine ceasefire call
Germany

Merkel, Hollande make Ukraine ceasefire call

The leaders of France and Germany discussed a shaky ceasefire deal and economic reforms for Ukraine in a telephone call with President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday.

Sweden investigates returning Isis fighters
Sweden

Sweden investigates returning Isis fighters

Sweden’s Security Service, Säpo, says it believes around 40 people have returned to Sweden after going to Syria to fight for Islamist terror groups including Isis.

Half of Danes ‘ashamed’ by immigration debate
Denmark

Half of Danes ‘ashamed’ by immigration debate

A lot of Danes are sick and tired of the immigration debate and think that the tone is far too negative, two new surveys showed on Monday.

Nobel winners express ‘Cold War’ fears in Rome
Italy

Nobel winners express ‘Cold War’ fears in Rome

Nobel peace prize winners in Rome on Sunday expressed deep concern about the growing threat of conflict, including nuclear war, and "a new and more dangerous Cold War".

Swedes witness Sydney cafe hostage drama
Sweden

Swedes witness Sydney cafe hostage drama

Young Swedes working and living in Sydney say they were terrified as at least one armed gunman held customers and staff hostage in a cafe in the city’s central business district.

Swedish researchers warn of Russian arms
Sweden

Swedish researchers warn of Russian arms

Sales by Russian arms manufacturers continue to expand thanks to Moscow's investments, despite a downturn in global defence spending, a Stockholm-based think-tank said on Monday.

Swede retains Memory World Cup crown
Sweden

Swede retains Memory World Cup crown

Swedish brainbox Jonas von Essen has retained his title in the annual Memory World Championships and also helped Sweden claim the team gold at the tournament.

Federer and Gisin named top Swiss sport figures
Switzerland

Federer and Gisin named top Swiss sport figures

Tennis star Roger Federer was elected Swiss sportsman of the year for the sixth time on Sunday night at a televised Zurich gala, while Olympic gold medal skier Dominique Gisin was voted the country’s top sportswoman for 2014.