Luxury watch brand to invest heavily in Geneva
Switzerland

Luxury watch brand to invest heavily in Geneva

After issuing a veiled threat last year to leave Geneva because of high taxes, ultra-luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe has announced plans to invest 450 million francs ($442 million) on an expansion project in the canton.

Catalan president calls early regional election
Spain

Catalan president calls early regional election

The President of Catalonia Artur Mas announced on Wednesday that voters in the region will go to the polls in 2015. Pro-independence parties will not however, join forces to win the election.

Zurich airport passenger count hits new record
Switzerland

Zurich airport passenger count hits new record

A record 25.5 million passengers used the Zurich airport in 2014, up 2.5 percent from the previous year, according to figures released on Wednesday.

New Charlie Hebdo cover criticized in Norway
Norway

New Charlie Hebdo cover criticized in Norway

Leading Norwegian Muslims have criticized the new cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which features the Muslim Prophet Muhammad crying and holding a ‘Je Suis Charlie’ sign. The decision by some Norwegian media to reproduce it has also come under fire.

Muslims in Italy react to new Charlie Hebdo
Italy

Muslims in Italy react to new Charlie Hebdo

With three million copies of Charlie Hebdo's latest issue sold out by Wednesday afternoon and two million more scheduled to be printed, The Local asked Muslims in Italy what they thought about the magazine's contentious cartoons.

Up to 20 would-be jihadists probed in Italy
Italy

Up to 20 would-be jihadists probed in Italy

Up to 20 people in Italy are being investigated for their alleged links to extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, according to Italian media reports.

World must help Gaza rebuild: Spain
Spain

World must help Gaza rebuild: Spain

Spain's foreign minister called for more international help for Gaza as he met on Tuesday with families who lost their homes in last summer's war with Israel.

What now for France post-terror attacks?
France

What now for France post-terror attacks?

As shell-shocked France looks for answers in the wake of its worst terror attack in decades, The Local casts an eye into the not-so-distant future to look at what may change politically and socially in the still traumatized nation.

Danish Pegida organizer: No racists allowed
Denmark

Danish Pegida organizer: No racists allowed

The Pegida movement in Germany has been branded as xenophobic and racist by many, but the organizer of the first Pegida event in Denmark tells The Local that the Danish version will be a cozy affair free of "racists, Nazis and militants".

Islamists target Swedish Jews after Paris attacks
Sweden

Islamists target Swedish Jews after Paris attacks

Jews in Sweden have received numerous threats from Islamic groups in the days since the terror attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead, the head of the Jewish council told The Local.

Madrid: taxi thief steals baby by mistake
Spain

Madrid: taxi thief steals baby by mistake

A serial taxi thief in Madrid has been arrested by police after he stole a vehicle with a two-month old baby on the back seat.

Italian astronaut safe after space alert: Nasa
Italy

Italian astronaut safe after space alert: Nasa

Italian austronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is "safe and doing well" at the International Space Station after an alert sounded on Wednesday that could indicate a dangerous ammonia leak, but may have been a false alarm, the US space agency said.

Expat pens seismic novel about Haitian homeland
Switzerland

Expat pens seismic novel about Haitian homeland

Geneva seems an unlikely place for author Dimitry Elias Léger to be writing about his native country of Haiti — but then again maybe not.

Hollande and Merkel to join Davos forum leaders
Switzerland

Hollande and Merkel to join Davos forum leaders

World leaders including France's Francois Hollande, Germany's Angela Merkel and China's Li Keqiang will gather at the annual Davos forum next week, seeking to chart a path away from fundamentalism towards solidarity.

Young Pirate hacker gets top security secrets
Sweden

Young Pirate hacker gets top security secrets

UPDATED: The president of the Swedish Pirate Party's youth wing has told The Local that Sweden's leading security and military experts searched for 'holidays' and 'forest hikes' during working hours, after he tricked them into logging onto an unsecure server at a conference.

Palestinians admit attack on Wuppertal synagogue
Germany

Palestinians admit attack on Wuppertal synagogue

Three Palestianian men admitted on Wednesday that they carried out an arson attack on a synagogue in North Rhine-Westphalia in June 2014.

Court to study paternity suit against ex-king
Spain

Court to study paternity suit against ex-king

Spain's Supreme Court said on Wednesday it would examine a paternity a suit against former King Juan Carlos who abdicated in 2014.

Spain’s ten most popular reads in 2014
Spain

Spain’s ten most popular reads in 2014

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green's tale of teenage heartbreak, topped Spain's bestseller charts in 2014, according to a new study, which shows Spaniards opened their wallets for a mixture of home-grown talent and international authors last year.

France to beef up its surveillance powers
France

France to beef up its surveillance powers

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that France is now engaged in a "war on terrorism", announcing plans to ramp up intelligence capabilities, aimed at amending the faults that lead to the country's "clear failings" over the Paris terror attacks.

Sweden’s Ericsson in showdown with Apple
Sweden

Sweden’s Ericsson in showdown with Apple

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson has filed a complaint against Apple in a US court over the iconic American brand's use of its technology in iPhones and other wireless devices.

Munich mechanics free cat from car’s engine
Germany

Munich mechanics free cat from car’s engine

Engines usually purr, but in this case, it meowed loudly and started to smoke while the car was being inspected, it was reported on Wednesday.

Futuristic vision of Paris revealed…and more news
France

Futuristic vision of Paris revealed…and more news

As French media remains focused on the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, The Local has put together a list of what else is going on across the country - including job cuts at Air France and a possible makeover for Paris.

Nationalists in new bid to topple Prime Minister
Sweden

Nationalists in new bid to topple Prime Minister

Sweden's anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party called a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on Wednesday in yet another attempt to rattle his minority government.

Paris attacks: Knock-on effects across Europe

Paris attacks: Knock-on effects across Europe

The Paris shootings may have been on French soil and carried out by home-grown terrorists but the tremors were felt across Europe. The Local’s teams across the continent have been reporting on some of the knock-on effects of the bloodshed in France.

Work hard, be ambitious and learn the business
Denmark

Work hard, be ambitious and learn the business

In our weekly feature series, The Local looks into a successful entrepreneur's life. This week, Sparsh Sharma talks to David Helgason, co-founder of Unity Technologies, makers of one of the most popular licensed 3D game engines.

More women work in east than west: Study
Germany

More women work in east than west: Study

A higher proportion of women work in the former eastern states than in the western states, a new survey showed on Wednesday, and experts say it has everything to do with Germany's divided history.

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Switzerland

Iran minister urges ‘respect for values’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva on Wednesday urged "respect for each other's values" amid Muslim anger over the new Charlie Hebdo magazine cover showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

Rome’s Trevi pays tribute to late La Dolce Vita star
Italy

Rome’s Trevi pays tribute to late La Dolce Vita star

A photo tribute to Anita Ekberg has been draped over the Trevi Fountain in tribute to the Swedish actress, who passed away on Sunday more than 50 years after taking a dip in the famous monument.

New police protocol targets ‘Arab people’
Spain

New police protocol targets ‘Arab people’

Spanish people have been told to pay special attention to people of Arab origin carrying large amounts of cash or video cameras outside of tourist areas as part of new anti-terror measures.

Boys get three months for baby boar torture
Austria

Boys get three months for baby boar torture

Two boys who tortured and killed wild boar piglets in Vienna’s Lainzer Tiergarten last August have been sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to undergo psychotherapy.

Charlie Hebdo survivors mock jihadist killers
France

Charlie Hebdo survivors mock jihadist killers

The latest issue of Charlie Hebdo sees the surviving members of staff mock the gunmen who slaughtered their colleagues. The Local France takes a look inside.

Copenhagen has second train tragedy in a week
Denmark

Copenhagen has second train tragedy in a week

Two Chilean men were struck by a train, one fatally, in the western suburbs of Copenhagen on Tuesday night. The accident came just six days after a 13-year-old Afghan boy was killed on the tracks.

Supreme Court rules on legal highs
Germany

Supreme Court rules on legal highs

The Supreme Court ruled today on the dangers of some so-called "legal highs", setting new sentencing thresholds for possession of the drugs.

Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo
Sweden

Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo

With three million copies of Charlie Hebdo's latest issue sold out by Wednesday afternoon and two million more scheduled to be printed, The Local's Norhan Elhakeem asked Swedish Muslims what they thought about the magazine's contentious cartoons.

Revealed: Spain’s Eurovision entry for 2015
Spain

Revealed: Spain’s Eurovision entry for 2015

Spainsh pop singer Edurne will represent Spain the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, it was announced on Wednesday, in a press conference that had to be brought forward because the news was leaked online — by none other than the singer herself.

Austria declares ban on gay adoption illegal
Austria

Austria declares ban on gay adoption illegal

Austria’s highest court has lifted a ban on same sex couples adopting children, the court’s president Gerhart Holzinger announced on Wednesday.

Kuoni to sell off tour operating sector
Switzerland

Kuoni to sell off tour operating sector

Swiss travel group Kuoni said Wednesday it was exiting the tour operating sector to focus on core activities.

Napolitano: from WW2 resistance to president
Italy

Napolitano: from WW2 resistance to president

Italy's Giorgio Napolitano, who announced on Wednesday that he is cutting short his second term as president, is an former communist with formidable political skills and a reputation for neutrality.

Denmark looks to charge jihadists with treason
Denmark

Denmark looks to charge jihadists with treason

In a move cheered by opposition groups, the justice minister says she wants to pave a legal path for prosecuting foreign fighters as traitors, but a leading attorney has his doubts that the legislation will work.

Government to issue jihadi ID cards
Germany

Government to issue jihadi ID cards

The cabinet agreed on Wednesday to push for a new law aimed at stopping people from leaving Germany to fight for Islamist movements in the Middle East.

Police search for missing boy in Upper Austria
Austria

Police search for missing boy in Upper Austria

Police are looking for a ten-year-old boy who disappeared on Tuesday morning on his way to school in Linz, Upper Austria.

Doctor accused of abusing 13 women
Germany

Doctor accused of abusing 13 women

Charges have been laid on behalf of 13 women against a former high-ranking doctor after it was discovered he was abusing unconscious women who volunteered for his medical study, it was reported on Wednesday.

Swedish church sends ‘love’ to shaken Paris
Sweden

Swedish church sends ‘love’ to shaken Paris

The Swedish Church in Paris has announced it is broadcasting a live online service to remember the victims of the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week.

Swiss mortgage rates hit new historic lows
Switzerland

Swiss mortgage rates hit new historic lows

Mortgage rates have fallen to a new historic low in Switzerland, according to latest figures issued this week.

ECB’s Draghi denies Italy presidential bid
Italy

ECB’s Draghi denies Italy presidential bid

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi rejected speculation on Wednesday that he had his eye on the Italian presidency.

Killer’s ex-mentor slams ‘un-Islamic’ attacks
France

Killer’s ex-mentor slams ‘un-Islamic’ attacks

The ex-mentor of one of the gunmen who killed 12 in Paris has condemned the massacre, pleading with people not to connect it with the Islamic community.

’21st century weapons, medieval brains. Help!’
Spain

’21st century weapons, medieval brains. Help!’

The 'blood-stained' front cover of Wednesday's edition of Spanish satirical magazine, El Jueves, pays tribute those killed in the recent attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Italian President Napolitano resigns
Italy

Italian President Napolitano resigns

UPDATED: Italy's veteran President Giorgio Napolitano resigned on Wednesday, setting the stage for the election of a new head of state, a thorny process which could prove a political headache for Matteo Renzi's government.

Pegida movement comes to Denmark
Denmark

Pegida movement comes to Denmark

An unofficial off-shoot of the movement that has brought tens of thousands of people into the streets of Germany will hold its first march in Copenhagen on Monday.

World’s longest railway stalled in Madrid
Spain

World’s longest railway stalled in Madrid

A freezing Russian winter and high transport costs have postponed the return voyage of a new train which operators hope will regularly travel the 13,000-kilometre (8,000-mile) route between Madrid and the Chinese city of Yiwu.

Al Qaeda claims Charlie Hebdo attacks
France

Al Qaeda claims Charlie Hebdo attacks

UPDATED: Al Qaeda in Yemen released a new video on Wednesday claiming responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The video was released the same day the first edition of the newspaper produced since the attacks sold out across France.

Former death camp slated for new housing
Austria

Former death camp slated for new housing

Fierce opposition is mounting in St. Georgen an der Gusen (in the district of Perg in Upper Austria) to plans by the local municipality to build a housing estate on the site of a former concentration camp.

Police shoot dead suicidal armed man
Germany

Police shoot dead suicidal armed man

Armed response officers in North Rhine-Westphalia shot a 45-year-old man dead on Tuesday after being called out to a potential suicide.

Swiss have to wait for latest Charlie Hebdo
Switzerland

Swiss have to wait for latest Charlie Hebdo

Punters in French-speaking Switzerland hoping to get a look on Wednesday at this week’s special edition of Charlie Hebdo magazine were in for a disappointment because no copies were available.

FPÖ wants to ‘intern’ suspected jihadists
Austria

FPÖ wants to ‘intern’ suspected jihadists

Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) has said that anybody who returns to Austria after suspected involvement with the Islamic State (Isis) terrorist militia should be “interned” and have their citizenship revoked.

Italian cannabis growers ‘inspired’ by British film
Italy

Italian cannabis growers ‘inspired’ by British film

A 75-year-old ex-truck driver and his fortune teller wife, 48, told police they were inspired by the British comedy film, Saving Grace, after they were caught growing cannabis in a rented warehouse.

Dieudonné held after ‘Charlie’ Facebook post
France

Dieudonné held after ‘Charlie’ Facebook post

UPDATED: French comedian Dieudonné has been arrested for being an "apologist for terrorism" after he left a post on Facebook apparently sympathizing with one of the gunmen from the Paris terror attacks last week.

Gay man forced to ‘go to prostitute or lose job’
Italy

Gay man forced to ‘go to prostitute or lose job’

A gay man in central Italy was allegedly forced to go to a female prostitute to "prove" to his boss he was straight.

Bomb threat at Austrian radio station a hoax
Austria

Bomb threat at Austrian radio station a hoax

A bomb threat at Austria’s largest radio station Ö3 saw 30 police officers searching the broadcaster’s offices in Vienna before giving the all clear on Tuesday afternoon.

Twin earthquakes wake up Düsseldorf
Germany

Twin earthquakes wake up Düsseldorf

People in Düsseldorf were rudely awakened as two minor earthquakes rocked the area early Wednesday morning, the local geological authority confirmed.

Shocking new video emerges of Paris attack
France

Shocking new video emerges of Paris attack

A shocking new video has surfaced showing the Charlie Hebdo gunmen in the moments after the massacre at the newspaper. The pair are seen raising clenched fists in the street as they claim "revenge for the prophet" before opening fire on police.

Spain to draw up new antiterrorism measures
Spain

Spain to draw up new antiterrorism measures

Spain's conservative government and the main opposition Socialists are to meet on Tuesday to agree on tighter security measures to fight Islamic extremism in the wake of France's terror attacks.

Spanish rivals take sides over Greek election
Spain

Spanish rivals take sides over Greek election

The battle between Spain's ruling conservatives and the surging left-wing party Podemos shifted on Tuesday to Greece, with the Spanish rivals demonstrating support for their counterparts in the Greek snap election.

Lung cancer link to smoking confirmed
Austria

Lung cancer link to smoking confirmed

A new study carried out by Florian Kocher of the Innsbruck Medical University together with the Tyrol Cancer Registry shows that smoking is one of the most important reasons for lung cancer, it was revealed on Tuesday.

BND double agent stole list of spies’ aliases
Germany

BND double agent stole list of spies’ aliases

Investigators found a list of 3,500 German intelligence agents' names and their aliases on a hard drive belonging to a US double agent caught in July.

‘Nerd Girl’ seeks perfect date for Noma dinner
Denmark

‘Nerd Girl’ seeks perfect date for Noma dinner

Copenhagen restaurant Noma's limited residency in Tokyo has hundreds of men vying to be the chosen birthday date of a self-professed San Francisco 'nerd'.

Charlie Hebdo sells out within hours in France
France

Charlie Hebdo sells out within hours in France

Copies of the first issue of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to be published since a jihadist attack decimated its editorial staff last week were sold out within minutes at kiosks across France on Wednesday.

Snow set to cover entire country on Thursday
Sweden

Snow set to cover entire country on Thursday

Heavy snowfall is expected across most of Sweden on Thursday, although it will be followed by milder temperatures in the south at the weekend.

Gauck tells Muslims ‘we are all Germany’
Germany

Gauck tells Muslims ‘we are all Germany’

German President Joachim Gauck told the country's Muslim community Tuesday that "we are all Germany" at a rally to condemn the Paris jihadist attacks and take a stand against rising Islamophobia.

EU offers debt-hit Italy budget flexibility
Italy

EU offers debt-hit Italy budget flexibility

The EU signalled on Tuesday it would show leniency to overspending member states including Italy and France that are nearing an already extended deadline to get their budgets in line with Brussels rules.

India agrees to extend Italian marine’s leave
Italy

India agrees to extend Italian marine’s leave

India's top court on Wednesday allowed an Italian marine detained for the 2012 killing of two fishermen another three months at home to recover from heart surgery amid a diplomatic row over the case.

No confidence motion against Prime Minister
Sweden

No confidence motion against Prime Minister

UPDATED: The nationalist Sweden Democrat party has sought a no confidence motion in parliament against Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

‘I can’t wait to catch the vibe in Stockholm’
Sweden

‘I can’t wait to catch the vibe in Stockholm’

Stockholm will host one of the world's leading electronic music festivals, Sonar, next month. Co-director Enric Palau chats to The Local about why an event born in the Spanish sunshine is now warming up cities across Scandinavia.

The five strangest habits of the Swedes
Sweden

The five strangest habits of the Swedes

The Local's Oliver Gee has just left Sweden after four years, and reflects on what he found to be the five oddest habits of Swedish people.