Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison
Switzerland

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison

Swiss model and French reality TV star Nabilla Benattia left a women’s prison in Versailles, France on Thursday on conditional release while facing charges of attempted murder after stabbing her boyfriend.

Swiss school grad ‘hero’ among café siege victims
Switzerland

Swiss school grad ‘hero’ among café siege victims

César Ritz Colleges, a Swiss hotel management school group, issued a tribute on its Facebook page to a former graduate who died while trying to end this week’s café hostage-taking incident in Sydney, Australia that left three people dead and five people injured.

Austrian prosecutors fear jihadist reprisals
Austria

Austrian prosecutors fear jihadist reprisals

After the arrests in November of more than a dozen suspected jihadists in Austria, prosecutors are worried about their safety from reprisal attacks.

French far-right boss sues mag that outed him
France

French far-right boss sues mag that outed him

Florian Philippot, one of the top members of France’s far-right party the National Front, is suing gossip magazine Closer for outing him as gay, demanding €50,000 in damages for the front-page splash of him and his alleged partner.

Grillo’s anti-euro campaign gathers pace
Italy

Grillo’s anti-euro campaign gathers pace

The campaign by Italy’s Five Star Movement to exit the euro currency gathered pace on Thursday, with leader Beppe Grillo announcing the party has so far gathered 50,000 signatures calling for a referendum.

‘Wrong but legal’ claims child porn case ex-MP
Germany

‘Wrong but legal’ claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal."

80 percent of under 30s still living at home
Spain

80 percent of under 30s still living at home

A new report reveals that the idea of flying the nest remains little more than a pipe dream for many young Spaniards.

Spain to get world’s only Smurf theme park
Spain

Spain to get world’s only Smurf theme park

The Spanish city of Lleida is set to become home to a Smurf theme park, a project that will create 200 jobs in the region.

Suspicious package triggers U1 evacuation
Austria

Suspicious package triggers U1 evacuation

After the discovery of a suspicious package on Thursday morning at the Vienna subway U1-line station Reumannplatz, police ordered an evacuation of the station, and called in the bomb squad.

Sweden to hire 1,000 to ease asylum flow
Sweden

Sweden to hire 1,000 to ease asylum flow

Sweden's Migration Board is set to hire 1,000 extra workers to deal with the influx of asylum seekers, an increased workload which has seen staff members working late nights and weekends.

‘Unprecedented’ Russian activity: Armed Forces
Sweden

‘Unprecedented’ Russian activity: Armed Forces

The Armed Forces have described the recent Russian military activity close to Sweden as "unprecedented", adding that the likes of which haven't been seen since the Cold War.

Sweden joins ‘The World’ in Dubai project
Sweden

Sweden joins ‘The World’ in Dubai project

Sweden is set to become an island in Dubai, complete with Viking longship-roofed villas, a floating restaurant and the chance to celebrate Midsummer with little risk of the customary rain spoiling the party.

Warrant out for Danish ‘severed head’ jihadist
Denmark

Warrant out for Danish ‘severed head’ jihadist

For the first time, Denmark has taken legal action against citizen who has fought in Syria, while another Dane was arrested in a Copenhagen suburb for posting extremist material online.

A Brandt name to relaunch a country
Germany

A Brandt name to relaunch a country

We know him as Willy Brandt - but that was just a pseudonym the former chancellor took to avoid the Nazis.

Russian Mistral warship sailors leave France
France

Russian Mistral warship sailors leave France

Some 400 Russian sailors training to operate the controversial Mistral-class warship built by France for Russia on Thursday left the country as Paris faces increasing international pressure to abandon the disputed sale. France has already delayed the delivery of the vessel, citing the crisis in Ukraine.

SAS to slash costs as profits nosedive

SAS to slash costs as profits nosedive

Troubled Scandinavian airline SAS reported a sharp fall in net profits for the fourth quarter on Thursday and announced further cost-cutting measures to meet increasing competition from budget airlines.

Spain’s embattled chief prosecutor steps down
Spain

Spain’s embattled chief prosecutor steps down

Updated: Spain's opposition Socialists say Spain's state prosecutor-general resigned "out of fear" on Thursday after the government pressured him to act against the government of Catalonia over its recent staging of a symbolic independence vote.

Truck drivers to block Paris roads over pay
France

Truck drivers to block Paris roads over pay

Enraged French truck drivers were on Thursday set to start blocking some roads and warehouses near Paris as part of a two-day labour action to demand a higher minimum salary. The blockage is likely to disrupt some last-minute Christmas deliveries.

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find
Germany

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find

Local authorities evacuated some 10,000 people from central Potsdam after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found on a building site.

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Denmark

SAS to slash costs as profits nose dive

Troubled Scandinavian airline SAS reported a sharp fall in net profits for the fourth quarter on Thursday and announced further cost-cutting measures to meet increasing competition from budget airlines.

Baby Jesus stolen from Christmas crib again
Spain

Baby Jesus stolen from Christmas crib again

The nativity scene in the heart of Santiago de Compostela is missing one of its most important components after a statue of the baby Jesus was stolen for the second time in three years.

Pope gives sleeping bags to Rome homeless
Italy

Pope gives sleeping bags to Rome homeless

Pope Francis marked his 78th birthday by ordering the distribution of hundreds of sleeping bags to homeless people in Rome, Vatican officials said on Thursday.

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth
Switzerland

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth

The Swiss federal government's experts' group says Switzerland's economic prospects remain favourable in a "risky environment" although it cut its growth forecast for 2015.

Italy probes Isis arrivals among boat migrants
Italy

Italy probes Isis arrivals among boat migrants

Prosecutors in Palermo have opened an investigation into the possible infiltration of members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) jihadist group among boat migrants arriving in Sicily.

Spain’s Acciona inks €1.4bn Sydney rail deal
Spain

Spain’s Acciona inks €1.4bn Sydney rail deal

Spanish builder Acciona said Wednesday that a consortium it is part of has signed a contract worth €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) to build and operate a light-rail line through Sydney.

Italian Hollywood star Virna Lisi dies at 78
Italy

Italian Hollywood star Virna Lisi dies at 78

Italian actress Virna Lisi, who played opposite Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra in the 1960s and later established herself an acclaimed character actress, has died at the age of 78.

Families urge Pope to intervene in cult case
Spain

Families urge Pope to intervene in cult case

The parents of 'nuns' with a Spanish sect hit whose leader has been hit with sexual abuse charges have called on the Pope to help convince the young women to leave the order.

iPad returned a month after lost on train
Italy

iPad returned a month after lost on train

An Italian woman got an early Christmas present this week when she recovered her lost iPad, a month after leaving it on a train close to Rome.

The fungi farm that turns plastic into food
Austria

The fungi farm that turns plastic into food

An Austrian design duo have come up with a way to break down waste plastic and turn it into a nutritious food that humans can eat.

Sunny outlook for business this winter
Germany

Sunny outlook for business this winter

German business confidence rose in December on the back of falling oil prices and a weak euro, the Ifo economic institute said Thursday, as the prospects for Europe's biggest economy grew sunnier.

French businessman plans takeover of Orange
Switzerland

French businessman plans takeover of Orange

Apax Funds has announced it is selling Orange Switzerland, the country’s third largest mobile operator, to NJJ Capital, a holding company owned by French businessman Xavier Niel for 2.8 billion francs.

Christian Democrats: Cut refugee benefits
Sweden

Christian Democrats: Cut refugee benefits

The Christian Democrats have announced proposals to reduce the cost of the asylum process in Sweden, arguing that cuts are necessary to maintain "the legitimacy" of the system.

What’s On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th
Sweden

What’s On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th

With a week left until Christmas, the next few days are sure to be a balancing act with last minute shopping, visiting Sweden’s Christmas markets before some close for the year - and, time permitting, checking out some circus performers.

Five French terror plots ‘foiled since last summer’
France

Five French terror plots ‘foiled since last summer’

In the last 18 months, French intelligence services have prevented as many as five terrorism plots from taking place on French soil, according the country’s interior minister, who warned that jihadists returning from Syria continue to pose the biggest threat.

Merkel says Russia sanctions ‘unavoidable’
Germany

Merkel says Russia sanctions ‘unavoidable’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Thursday that sanctions against Russia remain "unavoidable" until Ukraine regains its sovereignty and independence.

Pop culture dominated by Austrian candy
Austria

Pop culture dominated by Austrian candy

While most Americans know the candy from its acid taste and cool pop-culture dispensers, almost nobody knows that the candy which has dominated its sector for fifty years was invented in Austria as a smoking-cessation aid.

Plan to build 30,000 new homes in five years
Austria

Plan to build 30,000 new homes in five years

30,000 new apartments could be constructed in Austria over the next five years at a cost of €6.5 billion ($8 billion), the heads of the construction association, construction unions, non-profit developers and building societies told media on Wednesday.

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence
Germany

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence

Germany and Dortmund football star Marco Reus was hit by a €540,000 fine Thursday, after state prosecutors in Dortmund confirmed he has been driving for years without a licence.

Israel rejects Sweden meet: report
Sweden

Israel rejects Sweden meet: report

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lierberman has refused the opportunity to meet with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström in January, according to Israeli media reports.

Weak rouble to hit Russian tourism to Spain
Spain

Weak rouble to hit Russian tourism to Spain

Tourism operators in Spain are worried a weak rouble could take a serious bite out of luxury Russian tourism to the country, a booming business in recent years.

Fugitive killer mocks judges from Caribbean
Spain

Fugitive killer mocks judges from Caribbean

In a story that could come straight from Hollywood, a man facing 20 years in prison in Spain for murder has been sending postcards to his trial judge from the Caribbean, despite there being an international warrant for his arrest.

Denmark passes dual citizenship bill
Denmark

Denmark passes dual citizenship bill

Thursday marked "a great day for expats" as the Danish parliament agreed to implement dual citizenship. The Local spoke to supporters and detractors of dual citizenship about the change.

French adman accuses Koons of stealing idea
France

French adman accuses Koons of stealing idea

A French adman has accused US mega-artist Jeff Koons of stealing an idea from his 1985 Naf Naf advert to make a multi-million-euro artwork, a source close to the case said on Wednesday.

Italian women get festive with nude storytelling
Italy

Italian women get festive with nude storytelling

A group of Italian women will this weekend get into the festive spirit with a nude reading of Charles Dickens’ famous novella, A Christmas Carol.

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Sweden

Dec 20-Jan 6: Happy Holidays from SI News!

Drowned Russian baby ‘found in St Tropez’

Drowned Russian baby ‘found in St Tropez’

The body of a baby found in St Tropez, on the southern French coast, is believed to be that of a Russian boy of nine months, who was drowned by his mother during a holiday in Bordighera, northern Italy.

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business
Switzerland

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business

Switzerland ranks among the top ten best countries in the world to do business, according to Forbes magazine’s list for 2014.

British and German troops relive Xmas truce
Germany

British and German troops relive Xmas truce

Teams from the British and German armies played a friendly football game in Aldershot on Wednesday in memory of the Christmas truce of 1914.

Germany hails Obama’s ‘courage’ over Cuba
Germany

Germany hails Obama’s ‘courage’ over Cuba

Berlin has welcomed the thaw in US-Cuban relations partly brokered in secret by Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Copenhagen might get its own start-up island
Denmark

Copenhagen might get its own start-up island

A group of entrepreneurs want to turn a former sea fort into a bastion for start-ups. The Local spoke to the woman spearheading the effort to create "a European refuge for entrepreneurs" at sea.

The godparents helping refugees feel at home
Austria

The godparents helping refugees feel at home

More and more refugees are arriving in Austria, including unaccompanied children from Afghanistan. While their basic needs are being met, they often struggle to become integrated into Austrian society. The Local's François Badenhorst met with Connecting People, a non-profit working to help these children and young adults.

Wealth falls for families in Italy
Italy

Wealth falls for families in Italy

Italian families' wealth fell by 1.4 percent in 2013, although they are relatively better off than those in the US and Germany, the Bank of Italy has said.

The French language’s fixation with ‘les Anglais’
France

The French language’s fixation with ‘les Anglais’

The French are known to for their stubborn attempts to keep English out of their language, but it appears they haven't done a very good job of it. The Gallic language is full of expressions containing the word “anglais” and most aren't complimentary.

Central bank imposes negative interest rates
Switzerland

Central bank imposes negative interest rates

With fresh turmoil in foreign exchange markets putting upward pressure on the franc, the Swiss National Bank announced on Thursday the introduction of negative interest rates.

France votes to redraw map of its regions
France

France votes to redraw map of its regions

French lawmakers on Wednesday voted to redraw the map of France, reducing the country’s regions from 22 to 13, in a move aimed at trimming costs and reduce cumbersome bureaucracy.

Trove of forgotten cars to go under hammer
France

Trove of forgotten cars to go under hammer

Earlier this month, a treasure trove of some 60 extremely rare cars was discovered in a small village in western France after lying forgotten for almost 50 years. In February the cars will change hands at an auction - and they're expected to fetch millions.

Soldier and cop held over Spain football brawl
Spain

Soldier and cop held over Spain football brawl

A soldier and a policeman are among 41 people arrested in Spain over a football riot last month in which a Deportivo La Coruña fan died after being thrown into a river, officials said on Wednesday.

American guilty of killing Hamburg student
Germany

American guilty of killing Hamburg student

A US court has found a man who shot and killed 17-year old German exchange student Diren Dede guilty of deliberate homicide.

Spain hails news stage in US–Cuba relations
Spain

Spain hails news stage in US–Cuba relations

Spain's foreign minister on Wednesday hailed the restoration of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, saying it opened "a new stage" in ties between the two nations.

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016
Germany

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016

After months of bickering among the coalition parties, the cabinet finally agreed to put a road toll for foreigners before parliament, but open questions about its financial viability and legality remain.

Uber fights France’s January ban at EU
France

Uber fights France’s January ban at EU

Uber, the taxi app company under fire around the world, has filed an EU complaint against a French ban on amateur drivers doubling as chauffeurs, the European Union said on Wednesday.

Sweden ranked fifth best country for business
Sweden

Sweden ranked fifth best country for business

Forbes magazine has ranked Sweden as the fifth best country in the world for business.

Explosion rocks outer Stockholm suburb
Sweden

Explosion rocks outer Stockholm suburb

A blast shook the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby during the night, causing significant damage to a local shopping centre. Police are still without any official suspects.

Debt-ridden Parma in new hands
Italy

Debt-ridden Parma in new hands

Parma owner and president Tommaso Ghirardi has confirmed the sale of the Serie A club after reported new owner Pietro Doca played down reports he would soon take charge.

Denmark world’s best country for business
Denmark

Denmark world’s best country for business

Denmark may not be known for its weather, but its business climate sure is getting a lot of recognition as of late.

Over half of Christmas trees carry pesticides
Germany

Over half of Christmas trees carry pesticides

Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) said that it found poisonous chemicals in more than half of German Christmas trees it had tested.