Thousand-strong crowd for Vienna ‘kiss demo’
Austria

Thousand-strong crowd for Vienna ‘kiss demo’

As many as 2,000 people gathered opposite Vienna’s Cafe Prückel on a Friday evening, to peacefully protest against homophobia and intolerance after a young lesbian couple were thrown out of the traditional cafe last week for kissing each other in greeting.

French cultural centre set ablaze in Niger
France

French cultural centre set ablaze in Niger

Protesters angered by Charlie Hebdo's latest Prophet Muhammad cartoon set fire Friday to the French cultural centre in Zinder, Niger's second biggest city, the head of the centre said.

Janka returns to form in Wengen combined races
Switzerland

Janka returns to form in Wengen combined races

Switzerland's Carlo Janka looked like his old self going fastest in the downhill and then holding on in the slalom to win the first World Cup super-combined event of the season on Friday.

Russia: Publishing prophet cartoons illegal
France

Russia: Publishing prophet cartoons illegal

Russia's media watchdog on Friday warned newspapers that printing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad is against the country’s laws. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris last week, many newspapers around the world published the magazine’s post-attack cover which depicted the prophet.

Stockholm to get ‘gender equal’ snow ploughs
Sweden

Stockholm to get ‘gender equal’ snow ploughs

Pavements and cycle lanes are set to be cleared before roads in Sweden's capital, as part of plans to make the city just as safe for men - who are more likely to be drivers - and women - who are less likely to get behind the wheel in Stockholm.

France sends wannabe jihadists to prison
France

France sends wannabe jihadists to prison

A Paris court has sentenced three French youths to prison for having attempted to make their way to Yemen and Somalia in 2012 to fight alongside Islamist extremists. It was the first trial of its kind since France last week was hit by a string of deadly terrorist attacks.

Blades fly off runaway wind turbine
Denmark

Blades fly off runaway wind turbine

The blades and gearbox have been spun off a wind turbine in western Jutland after a malfunction allowed it to reach to dangerous speeds in high winds.

Skier dies in Tyrol avalanche
Austria

Skier dies in Tyrol avalanche

A skier has died after being caught in an avalanche in Nauders, in Tyrol's Landeck district, on Friday afternoon. A second skier is reported to be in a critical condition and is being treated in hospital.

Missing bomb plot teen arrested in Vienna
Austria

Missing bomb plot teen arrested in Vienna

A 14-year-old boy who plotted to bomb a crowded rail station and had been missing since Tuesday was arrested in Vienna on Friday morning, a spokeswoman for the St. Pölten prosecutor has confirmed.

Majority of Italians never read a book
Italy

Majority of Italians never read a book

Nearly 60 percent of Italians don’t read a book from one year to the next, with almost a tenth of families owning no books at all, according to new figures from the national statistics agency, Istat.

Israel ‘crossed line’ says Swedish Foreign Minister
Sweden

Israel ‘crossed line’ says Swedish Foreign Minister

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who last week postponed a scheduled trip to Israel, has said that the middle eastern country is using "a rhetoric that crosses all lines."

‘Spain’s new migrant law sets very bad precedent’
Spain

‘Spain’s new migrant law sets very bad precedent’

A top European rights official warned Spain on Friday that it risked destroying its asylum system if it passed a law authorizing police to immediately deport migrants from its north African territories.

Jihadists hack Spanish home appliance website
Spain

Jihadists hack Spanish home appliance website

The website of the Catalan household appliance manufacturer Taurus was taken down by jihadist hackers from the Middle East on Wednesday who may have confused it with the Brazilian-US gunmaker of the same name.

People queue abroad for new Charlie Hebdo mag
France

People queue abroad for new Charlie Hebdo mag

Throngs of people have been lining up abroad for the "survivor's issue" of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, though many have been leaving empty handed.

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Switzerland

Libyans agree at UN on unity government plan

Libya's warring factions have agreed on a roadmap to form a unity government after two days of UN-brokered talks in Geneva, touted as the last chance to avert total anarchy.

Bavaria police nab serial kindergarten thief
Germany

Bavaria police nab serial kindergarten thief

Police in northern Bavaria said on Friday that a man arrested at the start of the year had robbed 27 different kindergartens throughout the region.

Balcony smoking times can be limited: court
Germany

Balcony smoking times can be limited: court

Smokers take note! The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) on Friday have declared that the smell of smoke can be limited to certain times of the day after a couple sued their cigarette-smoking neighbours for stinking up their afternoon coffee time.

Bocconi student ‘planned to castrate ex-boyfriend’
Italy

Bocconi student ‘planned to castrate ex-boyfriend’

A student at Milan’s prestigious Bocconi University, who is on trial for an alleged acid attack against her former boyfriend, also planned to castrate another ex, prosecutors said on Friday.

Doubt hangs over Italy hostage ransom claims
Italy

Doubt hangs over Italy hostage ransom claims

The Italian government said on Friday it was opposed to paying ransoms to hostage takers but stopped short of explicitly denying money changed hands before the release of two women abducted in Syria.

Suspect bomb parcel contained ‘leafy greens’
Sweden

Suspect bomb parcel contained ‘leafy greens’

A suspect package discovered on Friday morning at the entrance of Norra Halland newspaper in Kungsbacka, just south of Gothenburg, simply contained plants, it has emerged.

Spain bans bestiality but not animal fights
Spain

Spain bans bestiality but not animal fights

The Spanish government has approved measures to imprison people who have sex with animals but ruled out punishing organizers of illegal shows in which animals are mistreated.

Gunman arrested after Paris post office drama
France

Gunman arrested after Paris post office drama

BREAKING: An armed man has been arrested after he took two hostages in a post office in the suburbs of Paris. The hostages escaped unharmed, and police say attack was not terror-related.

Spanish jobseekers fail exam with answers
Spain

Spanish jobseekers fail exam with answers

A job test in northern Spain went horribly wrong after examiners handed the budding employees a sheet with all answers to the exam questions on it. Their scores made the mess-up all the more embarrassing.

World says ‘yes’ to bonkers Swedish sound
Sweden

World says ‘yes’ to bonkers Swedish sound

The Local's video about the strange way northern Swedes say 'yes' is our most successful yet, clocking up 1.3 million hits by Saturday morning. Our Editor Maddy Savage looks at why the language quirk has gone viral and speaks to people in the region about their new global fame.

‘It feels like I’m in a warzone’: Paris tourist
France

‘It feels like I’m in a warzone’: Paris tourist

French officials have ramped up security in Paris after last week's terror attack, including around major tourist sites. The Local talks to tourists around the city, one of whom compares the French capital to a war zone.

Defender Wawrinka in same draw as Djokovic
Switzerland

Defender Wawrinka in same draw as Djokovic

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka was on Friday pitted in the top half of the draw at the Australian Open tennis tournament with Novak Djokovic and faces a potential semifinal encounter with the world number one.

Italy’s mafia reaps profit from ‘charity’ clothing
Italy

Italy’s mafia reaps profit from ‘charity’ clothing

Rome police have arrested 13 people accused of profiting from clothes donated to charity, which were allegedly shipped to African and eastern European countries to be resold.

Man held for firing air gun at busy street
France

Man held for firing air gun at busy street

French police arrested a man in northern France on Friday after he fired an air gun into a busy street from the fifth-floor window of his home.

Danish rates risk record lows after Swiss shock
Denmark

Danish rates risk record lows after Swiss shock

Denmark’s central bank could be forced to cut its deposit rate to record lows later this year after Switzerland’s central bank scrapped the franc's cap against the euro, according to Danish analysts.

Spain deletes video of border police ‘crimes’
Spain

Spain deletes video of border police ‘crimes’

Spain's government has admitted it deleted a video of a police chief in the country’s African enclave of Melilla allowing the illegal and instant deportation of migrants to Morocco, even though the footage was key to an ongoing investigation.

500 Spain visas stolen from briefcase in Nigeria
Spain

500 Spain visas stolen from briefcase in Nigeria

Police are investigating after a Spanish diplomatic briefcase containing 500 blank visas went missing at Lagos airport last week before it could be delivered to the local consulate.

Swede keeps Olympic medal after drug scare
Sweden

Swede keeps Olympic medal after drug scare

Swedish ice hockey star and Washington Captials centre Nicklas Backström, who helped Sweden to secure a silver medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics, has withdrawn his appeal against a doping ban, but learned he will keep his prize.

Camels’ bid for freedom causes traffic chaos
Germany

Camels’ bid for freedom causes traffic chaos

Eight camels escaped from a travelling circus and had an adventure in northern Bavaria on Thursday evening, causing a minor accident and several traffic jams.

Italian skier wins World Cup downhill race
Italy

Italian skier wins World Cup downhill race

Italy's Elena Fanchini scored an upset win in the women's World Cup downhill at Cortina d'Ampezzo on Friday.

Major French news sites go briefly offline
France

Major French news sites go briefly offline

Several of France's biggest online news sites on Friday temporarily went offline, hot on the heels of a spate of Islamist cyber attacks on almost 20,000 other French websites.

‘Anti-fascist’ mob rampages in Leipzig
Germany

‘Anti-fascist’ mob rampages in Leipzig

A mass of 600 people stormed through central Leipzig on Thursday evening, attacking local government buildings, smashing shop windows, destroying police vehicles and spray painting anti-fasacist slogans along the way.

How to make classic Swedish gravad lax
Sweden

How to make classic Swedish gravad lax

Gravad lax with mustard and dill sauce is one of Sweden’s most famous dishes. It has gradually grown in popularity in the UK, with nearly all supermarkets stocking up on it of late. John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Danes mull exit permits for travel to ‘terror zones’
Denmark

Danes mull exit permits for travel to ‘terror zones’

Denmark’s opposition will today push for anyone travelling to the ‘terror zones’ in Syria or northern Iraq to be required to first obtain an official exit permit, introducing a document to Denmark rarely seen outside totalitarian regimes.

The rise and spread of Pegida
Germany

The rise and spread of Pegida

They've grown from a small Facebook community to a worldwide phenomenon. Sabine Devins looks at Pegida's rise to prominence and what it is they really stand for as the movement spreads across Europe.

Paris gunman went to Spain with whole family
Spain

Paris gunman went to Spain with whole family

French Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibaly, who killed five people during a siege on a Jewish supermarket in Paris, drove his family to Spain on January 1st so that they could fly to Istanbul without raising suspicions before entering Syria.

Rome’s tourists could be hit with new tax hike
Italy

Rome’s tourists could be hit with new tax hike

Rome's plans to increase the city's tourist tax once again have been met with anger by hotel owners, with one telling The Local such a moves shows a government "out of touch" with the reality of the tourism trade.

Swiss economy to avoid recession: economists
Switzerland

Swiss economy to avoid recession: economists

Economists say the Swiss economy will slow down significantly but fall short of a recession this year following Thursday’s decision by the central bank to scrap its franc-euro exchange rate peg.

‘School’ bus flips over on icy road in Sweden
Sweden

‘School’ bus flips over on icy road in Sweden

An intercity bus taking children to school spun off a road in Malmby, west of Stockholm on Friday morning, with witnesses shocked that no one was seriously injured.

Kerry apologizes for ‘no-show’ at Paris unity rally
France

Kerry apologizes for ‘no-show’ at Paris unity rally

US Secretary of state John Kerry has apologized to France for not attending a massive rally in Paris after a spate of Islamist militant attacks, alongside other world leaders, France's foreign minister said Friday.

EU wades into row over Italian marines in India
Italy

EU wades into row over Italian marines in India

The European Parliament has called for two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen in India to be allowed to return to Italy.

Spain’s Repsol ends Canary oil exploration
Spain

Spain’s Repsol ends Canary oil exploration

Spanish energy giant Repsol on Friday abandoned a controversial oil and gas exploration off the Canary Islands saying it only found small deposits that were not worth drilling.

‘Leave nothing undone’ in Iran talks: Steinmeier
Germany

‘Leave nothing undone’ in Iran talks: Steinmeier

Germany's foreign minister said Thursday no more deadlines must be missed in the Iran nuclear negotiations which had entered "a decisive phase".

‘Lake effect’ to dump freak snow on Denmark
Denmark

‘Lake effect’ to dump freak snow on Denmark

A rare weather phenomenon could dump metre-deep snow over much of Denmark next week, with national meteorology institute DMI drawing parallels to the super-snowy ‘Winter War’ of 1978-1979.

Twelve arrested in Paris terror probe
France

Twelve arrested in Paris terror probe

UPDATED: French authorities arrested 12 people on Thursday night in connection to last week's terror attack that killed 17.

Qatar ‘buys’ noisy Spanish handball fans
Spain

Qatar ‘buys’ noisy Spanish handball fans

For a special boost at the world handball championship starting Thursday, hosts Qatar have flown in the noisiest fans they can find to cheer them -- all the way from Spain.

Suspected Isis terrorists arrested in Berlin
Germany

Suspected Isis terrorists arrested in Berlin

Overnight raids in Berlin ended in the arrest a pair of Turkish men for planning a terrorist attack on Friday, though the German capital was not their intended target.

Journalist shot at anti-Charlie rally in Pakistan
France

Journalist shot at anti-Charlie rally in Pakistan

A photographer working for the international news agency AFP was shot on Friday while covering an anti-Charlie Hebdo protest in Pakistan. His life did not appear to be in immediate danger.

Islamist hackers attack 20,000 French websites
France

Islamist hackers attack 20,000 French websites

Almost 20,000 French websites have been hit by "well known Islamist hackers" since the terror attacks last week, the defence ministry has confirmed.

Merkel wants Greece to stay in eurozone
Germany

Merkel wants Greece to stay in eurozone

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday she wants Greece to stay in the eurozone, 10 days before a snap Greek election likely to be won by an anti-austerity party.

Police investigate bomb at Swedish gym
Sweden

Police investigate bomb at Swedish gym

UPDATED: A gym in Helsingsborg in southern Sweden was bombed in the early hours of Friday morning. No one was injured in what was the latest of a string of blasts in the region in recent months.

Danes rescue forgotten WW1 fortification line
Denmark

Danes rescue forgotten WW1 fortification line

Danish archaeologists have begun moves to conserve a long-forgotten line of trenches, bunkers and artillery batteries built to withstand a force of 100,000 invading Englishmen during World War One.

MP files complaint after Eritrean refugee killed
Germany

MP files complaint after Eritrean refugee killed

A German lawmaker said Thursday he had lodged a legal complaint over a probe into the killing of an Eritrean refugee in a city that has seen large anti-foreigner protests.

Shock move to untether franc sparks debate
Switzerland

Shock move to untether franc sparks debate

For some it was a “bold step”, for others a foolhardy move that risks harm to the economy and job losses. 

The Swiss National Bank’s decision to stop capping the level of the franc against the euro after more than three years has sparked a national debate and created worries in many quarters about threats to Switzerland’s robust business climate.

Soaring franc causes queues at FX counters
Switzerland

Soaring franc causes queues at FX counters

"It's like Christmas all over again!" enthused Vanessa, as she joined a swelling queue outside a currency exchange office in downtown Geneva on Thursday.

Young man’s ‘ninja day’ sows havoc in Munich
Germany

Young man’s ‘ninja day’ sows havoc in Munich

Police scrambled to Munich station on Thursday after an 18-year-old appeared in the main train station dressed as a ninja, terrifying passengers.

Freed Italian aid workers arrive in Rome
Italy

Freed Italian aid workers arrive in Rome

Two Italian aid workers abducted in northern Syria last summer arrived on Friday in Rome, where they were welcomed with "relief" a day after their release.

At least 27 likely to have died in ferry fire
Italy

At least 27 likely to have died in ferry fire

The Italian prosecutor investigating a deadly fire on the Norman Atlantic ferry on Thursday indicated that at least 27 people had likely perished in the disaster.

Cake but no kissing at iconic Viennese cafe
Austria

Cake but no kissing at iconic Viennese cafe

Vienna's iconic cafes are famous the world over, offering customers top-notch coffee, creamy cakes and sanctuary from the modern world in an atmosphere that harks back to a golden bygone era.

Sweden defeats star studded Ivory Coast side
Sweden

Sweden defeats star studded Ivory Coast side

Sweden defeated Africa Cup of Nations contenders Ivory Coast 2-0 on Thursday in a warm-up for the upcoming continental showpiece beginning in Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

Swedish court allows controversial wolf hunt
Sweden

Swedish court allows controversial wolf hunt

Swedish hunters have been given the go-ahead to shoot 36 wolves this winter as animal activists suffer a setback on one of the country's most divisive environmental issues.