Swiss central bank OKs China currency trading
Switzerland

Swiss central bank OKs China currency trading

Switzerland's central bank said Wednesday it had signed a pact with the People's Bank of China (PBOC) to set up clearing arrangements for renminbi trading in a move hailed by the domestic banking lobby.

Blair joins religion and Charlie Hebdo panel
Switzerland

Blair joins religion and Charlie Hebdo panel

What do a rabbi, an archbishop, a top Islamic academic and former British prime minister Tony Blair have in common? Quite a lot, it turned out, at an unusual panel on religion at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, where they found shared ground on extremism, violence and freedom of expression in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris.

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Switzerland

Poroshenko complains of Russians in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in Davos on Wednesday that more than 9,000 Russian soldiers were currently backing up pro-Moscow fighters in the separatist east of the country.

Swiss necrophiliac jailed for attempted murder
Switzerland

Swiss necrophiliac jailed for attempted murder

A 31-year-old Swiss carpenter who shot a woman with the goal of having sex with her corpse was sentenced on Wednesday to 20 years in jail by a court in Aarau in the canton of Aargau.

Boko Haram hostage freed in Cameroon
Germany

Boko Haram hostage freed in Cameroon

Cameroon said on Wednesday its forces have freed a German hostage kidnapped six months ago in Nigeria by Boko Haram, as African leaders appealed to the United Nations for support in fighting the Islamist militants.

France’s ‘other Kouachis’ sent death threats
France

France’s ‘other Kouachis’ sent death threats

People in France with the same family name as the Paris terrorists have reported being targeted and harassed, with some even ending up on the receiving end of death threats.

What’s on in Sweden: January 23rd – 30th
Sweden

What’s on in Sweden: January 23rd – 30th

Fight or Fashion? It's your pick this week, with the Swedish capital hosting its biggest Ultimate Fighting Championship to date on Saturday night, and Stockholm's Fashion Week getting underway, alongside plenty of other action elsewhere in the country.

Danish green card holders mull next steps
Denmark

Danish green card holders mull next steps

New green card rules have been in effect since the beginning of the month but existing green card holders still feel that the rules' retroactive application is unfair so they've turned to a well-known immigration attorney.

Boris Becker’s lovechild hits the runway
Germany

Boris Becker’s lovechild hits the runway

Berlin Fashion week is underway and a new – and very young – model with a familiar face is making waves with her runway debut on Tuesday.

Spain’s new penal code: key talking points
Spain

Spain’s new penal code: key talking points

Corruption, bestiality, forced marriage: Spain's new penal code looks at a wide range of offences. Here The Local rounds up some of the key points.

‘Forgotten’ victim of Paris attacks laid to rest
France

‘Forgotten’ victim of Paris attacks laid to rest

The first person to be shot dead in the Paris terror attacks, a maintenance man who was working in the same building as the Charlie Hebdo offices, has been laid to rest. His brother has referred to him as the "forgotten victim".

Italy Senate adopts electoral law framework
Italy

Italy Senate adopts electoral law framework

Italy's Senate on Wednesday adopted the framework of a new electoral law aimed at ending the country's chronic political instability thanks to a deal between Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Silvio Berlusconi.

Swedish ‘genital’ video gets remade in English
Sweden

Swedish ‘genital’ video gets remade in English

An English version of a viral Swedish children's cartoon featuring dancing genitals, is set to be released next month, its composer Johan Holmström has told The Local.

Library demo: students fight for longer hours
Spain

Library demo: students fight for longer hours

A left-wing youth collective has occupied a library in Catalonia demanding that the opening hours be lengthened to include Monday mornings and lunchtimes.

Norway ranks second for cost of living
Norway

Norway ranks second for cost of living

A new report shows Switzerland has the highest cost of living in the world, ahead of Norway.

I always felt like a ‘third culture kid’
Austria

I always felt like a ‘third culture kid’

Helen Rudinsky is originally from America but has lived in several countries since she was a 12-year-old, including Russia, Finland, Holland, Switzerland, Kenya, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. She is now based in Vienna where she works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and counsels couples, individuals and children from the expatriate community. She spoke to The Local about the ups and downs of expat life.

Top chef checks out discount groceries
Germany

Top chef checks out discount groceries

Michelin-starred chef Nelson Müller filled up his baskets at Aldi and Lidl on Tuesday night to find out whether the discounters' groceries are up to his high standards - and found there's some things the discounters can't magic away.

Why Sweden is not as expensive as you think
Sweden

Why Sweden is not as expensive as you think

Sweden has a global reputation for being an expensive place to visit, but results from a recent study reveal it is cheaper to live there than in France, Australia, the UK and even Venezuela, at least based on crowdsourced data.

One dead in mass crash in central Sweden
Sweden

One dead in mass crash in central Sweden

Hours after a regional weather warning, a crash between two trucks just outside Örebro in central Sweden left one person dead and forced an ambulance and a fire engine off the road.

Only four countries more expensive than Denmark
Denmark

Only four countries more expensive than Denmark

A new index puts Denmark as number five globally when it comes to the cost of living, but Danish rents are just one third of those found in New York City.

Six naked soldiers catch frostbite in Norway
Norway

Six naked soldiers catch frostbite in Norway

Norwegian military police have launched an investigation after six rookie soldiers were sent out for a run stark naked in -20C temperatures.

France hands out first fines for anti-gay tweets
France

France hands out first fines for anti-gay tweets

Three French Twitter users were fined this week for sending tweets that included homophobic hashtags. It's the first time a French court has handed out convictions for homophobic abuse on Twitter.

Top 15 English words reinvented by Italians
Italy

Top 15 English words reinvented by Italians

English words have been creeping into the Italian language – but not all are used correctly. Here we list 15 particularly confusing – and in some cases amusing – misuses of English words.

Rome prosecutors seek trial for Maradona
Italy

Rome prosecutors seek trial for Maradona

Prosecutors in Rome have asked for the Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona to stand trial on charges of defaming Attilio Beffera, the former president of Equitalia, the Italian tax agency.

In pics: Tenerife’s blessing of the horses
Spain

In pics: Tenerife’s blessing of the horses

Enramada beach on the Canary island of Tenerife played host to dozens of horses on Tuesday as part of the annual festival of Saint Sebastian, said to protect animals against disease.

Frenchman forgets €73m lottery ticket in wallet
France

Frenchman forgets €73m lottery ticket in wallet

It's always nice to find a ten euro note in your wallet that you didn't know you had, but what about a €73 million lottery ticket? One lucky Frenchman found his fortune just in time.

‘Europe missed chance to fix economy’: Weber
Switzerland

‘Europe missed chance to fix economy’: Weber

Europe has squandered three years of opportunity to carry out badly needed economic reforms, former Bundesbank chief Axel Weber said in Davos on Wednesday, warning the ECB against taking too much action to compensate for governments' failure to act.

Shares in Italy coop banks up after reform bill
Italy

Shares in Italy coop banks up after reform bill

Shares in Italy's cooperative banks rose strongly on Wednesday after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government approved a decree that will force the largest among them to become joint stock companies.

Sweden confirms 100 citizens fighting for Isis
Sweden

Sweden confirms 100 citizens fighting for Isis

Sweden's Security Service, Säpo, has confirmed data suggesting that at least one hundred Swedes have fought alongside Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria.

British soldier charged with child abuse in Tyrol
Austria

British soldier charged with child abuse in Tyrol

Austrian prosecutors said Wednesday that they have charged a British soldier for allegedly breaking into a local family's house and sexually abusing their six-year-old daughter.

Gore announces ‘Live Earth’ global concerts
Switzerland

Gore announces ‘Live Earth’ global concerts

More than 100 artists on seven continents will take part in a "Live Earth" global concert on June 18th to galvanize demands for climate action, former US vice president Al Gore said on Wednesday in Davos.

‘Extremism hotline’ swamped with calls
Austria

‘Extremism hotline’ swamped with calls

Austria’s deradicalization hotline - part of a new counselling centre for extremism - has received 115 calls in the first 50 days since it was set up.

What are Sweden’s most popular names?
Sweden

What are Sweden’s most popular names?

If your child is called either Elsa or Lucas, you've given the most popular names in Sweden during 2014.

How much does it cost to live in Italy?
Italy

How much does it cost to live in Italy?

A new cost of living index has found restaurants in Italy are among the most expensive in Europe, while buying groceries and renting property are relatively cheap. We take a look at the figures to find out how much it really costs to live in Italy.

Scandal-hit princess set to sell €6m mansion
Spain

Scandal-hit princess set to sell €6m mansion

Spain's Princess Cristina is said to have come to an agreement over the sale of her luxury villa in Barcelona, although a judge will have still to sign off on the sale.

Isis hacks Spanish town hall websites
Spain

Isis hacks Spanish town hall websites

Town hall websites in the northern Spanish region of Navarre came under attack from terror group Isis on Tuesday evening, with messages including "I love Isis" and "Je suis Muhammad" being posted online.

Terrorism and conflicts shadow global summit
Switzerland

Terrorism and conflicts shadow global summit

The world's political and business elite gathered for their annual meeting in the glitzy Swiss ski resort of Davos on Wednesday, with the shadow of the Paris attacks and ongoing global conflicts looming large.

Chelsea prep bid for Fiorentina’s Cuadrado
Italy

Chelsea prep bid for Fiorentina’s Cuadrado

Chelsea are preparing a bid for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado although La Viola would not sell the Colombian for less than €35 million, reports in Italy said on Wednesday.

Switzerland tops global cost of living study
Switzerland

Switzerland tops global cost of living study

A new report shows Switzerland has the highest cost of living in the world, ahead of Norway.

Google photo catches Danish thieves in action
Denmark

Google photo catches Danish thieves in action

Police in southern Jutland have been helped out by an unlikely source: a Google Street View photo that shows two men carrying out an unsolved theft from 2012.

France’s €425 million plan to combat terrorism
France

France’s €425 million plan to combat terrorism

France announced on Wednesday an arsenal of measures aimed at preventing further terror attacks, including the creation of nearly 2,800 jobs to help monitor 3,000 potentially dangerous individuals in France. Here's a run down of what PM Manuel Valls put forward.

Pegida leader’s Hitler Facebook photo emerges
Germany

Pegida leader’s Hitler Facebook photo emerges

New ire has come from the leader of anti-Islam movement Pegida after newspapers revealed on Wednesday that he once posted a picture of himself dressed as Adolf Hitler captioned: "He's back".

Italy in global search for museum directors
Italy

Italy in global search for museum directors

Ever dreamt of running Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, or how about Rome’s Borghese Gallery? For the first-time ever, Italy is searching internationally for museum directors, with the deadline for applications set for February 15th.

Add free Wi-Fi in trains and S-Bahn: minister
Germany

Add free Wi-Fi in trains and S-Bahn: minister

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt called on Deutsche Bahn (DB) on Wednesday to add free high-speed internet access to all its regional and local train services.

Spain among Europe’s cheapest nations: study
Spain

Spain among Europe’s cheapest nations: study

Spain is one of the cheapest places to live in Western Europe and is 35 percent cheaper than New York according to new figures.

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Sweden

Jan. 26 – 28: Stockholm Fashion Week

Anti-Semitic neo-fascists convicted in Rome
Italy

Anti-Semitic neo-fascists convicted in Rome

Six people were on Tuesday convicted of having fascist sympathies and found guilty of racial and ethnic hatred in Rome, after targeting leading politicians and the head of the Jewish community with offensive graffiti.

Number of Spanish strikes falls 25 percent
Spain

Number of Spanish strikes falls 25 percent

There were a total of 959 strikes in Spain in 2014, down nearly a quarter on the number in 2013, new statistics reveal.

Austrian link mooted for French terror arrests
Austria

Austrian link mooted for French terror arrests

French police have detained five Chechens on suspicion of possessing explosives, and media reports suggest that one of the suspects has Austrian citizenship.

Pressure mounts to allow ‘Stolpersteine’ in Munich
Germany

Pressure mounts to allow ‘Stolpersteine’ in Munich

After banning them in 2004, Munich is poised to allow the small brass Holocaust memorial plaques known as 'Stolpersteine' to be placed on the streets, despite a Jewish community leader's continued opposition.

Denmark tries to quell euro peg rumours
Denmark

Denmark tries to quell euro peg rumours

Currency speculators are closely eyeing Denmark's deposit rate cuts as a sign that it might drop its peg against the euro but the economy minister cautions that "situation should not be overly dramatized".

Four men charged with helping Paris gunman
France

Four men charged with helping Paris gunman

UPDATED: France has formally charged four suspects with assisting one of the Islamist gunmen who carried out the Paris attacks, with a prosecutor adding that further investigations "could take years".

Catalan embassies to boost independence bid
Spain

Catalan embassies to boost independence bid

The Catalonia region plans to open more offices representing its interests abroad in the hope of facilitating secession from Spain if Catalan separatists win a regional election, a source said.

US Congress members wave pencils for Paris
France

US Congress members wave pencils for Paris

During a speech by President Barack Obama, members of the US Congress waved pencils in the air in tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attack two weeks ago.

Pot patient dies after police took his supply
Germany

Pot patient dies after police took his supply

A doctor in Augsburg is alleging that his American patient could still be alive today if police had not taken away his medical marijuana, it was reported on Tuesday.

Police ‘stopped gunman ten days before attack’
France

Police ‘stopped gunman ten days before attack’

Amedy Coulibaly, the man who killed four people at a kosher supermarket in the Paris terror attacks, was reportedly pulled over by police in a routine check ten days before the attack.

‘Siberian temps’ to miss Denmark
Denmark

‘Siberian temps’ to miss Denmark

The deep freeze that was said to be on its way to Denmark last week is looking like it was nothing more than a bunch of hot air.

Federer bounces back for second round win
Switzerland

Federer bounces back for second round win

Roger Federer was at his problem-solving best as he overcame a swollen finger to bounce back after losing the first set and run through Italian Simone Bolelli at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

How one American got Italian citizenship through ancestry
Italy

How one American got Italian citizenship through ancestry

While Europeans can move to Italy with relative ease, staying in the country is for Americans a greater challenge. The Local speaks to Coral Sisk, from the US, about how she turned her Italian heritage into citizenship.

Spotlight on hate crimes in Sweden’s Skåne
Sweden

Spotlight on hate crimes in Sweden’s Skåne

Police in Skåne in southern Sweden have recorded 137 anti-semitic hate crimes in the past two years, according to an investigation by Swedish broadcaster SVT.

Mobility group calls for return of overnight trains
Switzerland

Mobility group calls for return of overnight trains

An environmental mobility association is petitioning Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and the federal Transport Minister Doris Leuthard to restore overnight trains to international destinations.

Radio boss arrested over Italian nuns’ murder
Italy

Radio boss arrested over Italian nuns’ murder

Burundi police on Tuesday arrested the head of a key radio station close to the opposition in connection with the murder of three Italian nuns after broadcasting an alleged confession of the killer.

Le Pen hopes radical left win Greece election
France

Le Pen hopes radical left win Greece election

The leader of France's far-right National Front (FN) said she hopes the radical left-wing Syriza party will win Greece's general election.

Paris to sue Fox News for Muslim ‘no-go zones’
France

Paris to sue Fox News for Muslim ‘no-go zones’

The mayor of Paris is so upset about reports by US chain Fox News that there were "no-go zones" in the French capital for police and non-muslims, that she announced on Tuesday she intends to sue the channel.

Volkswagen bested by Toyota in car sales
Germany

Volkswagen bested by Toyota in car sales

Toyota sold 10.23 million vehicles last year, it said on Wednesday, outpacing General Motors and Volkswagen to remain the world's biggest automaker, but a shaky outlook for 2015 could see it lose the title to its German rival.

‘Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet’
Sweden

‘Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet’

It's no secret that Swedes have a sweet tooth. The Local finds out about a 156-year-old candy favourite, the polkagris, its humble origins, and how it took over the world.

Stockholm hit by fresh winter weather warning
Sweden

Stockholm hit by fresh winter weather warning

Sweden’s capital and several other parts of the country have been told to expect 10 centimetres of snow and dangerous driving conditions in the next few days.

Austria’s €290m plan to fight terror
Austria

Austria’s €290m plan to fight terror

Austria's government has announced a plan to spend nearly €290 million (US$335m) to combat terror over the next four years.