Early ancestor’s hands were ‘human’
Austria

Early ancestor’s hands were ‘human’

The hand structure of early human ancestors who lived 3.2 million years ago suggests they had the ability to grasp and use tools, even if they hadn't invented them yet, anthropologists said Thursday.

Andrew makes public denial of sex claims
Switzerland

Andrew makes public denial of sex claims

Britain's Prince Andrew spoke at the Davos annual meeting on Thursday to "reaffirm" official denials of claims he had sex with an underaged girl employed by an American billionaire and convicted sex offender.

Jealous husband jailed for strangling wife
Switzerland

Jealous husband jailed for strangling wife

A jealous husband who killed his wife by strangling her with a belt before dumping the body in the Rhone River was sentenced by a Geneva court on Thursday to 15 years in jail for premeditated murder.

British doctor dies in skiing accident
Austria

British doctor dies in skiing accident

A doctor and respected psychiatrist from Northern Ireland died in a crash while skiing in Austria on Tuesday morning.

Man caught smuggling 38 tons of food and drink
Switzerland

Man caught smuggling 38 tons of food and drink

An owner of restaurants in the Rheintal region of the canton of Saint Gallen is facing criminal charges for illegally importing 38 tons of food and drink into Switzerland from Austria, customs officials said on Thursday.

Killers or home helpers: experts see robots ahead
Switzerland

Killers or home helpers: experts see robots ahead

From the robot that washes your clothes to the robot that marks homework: the future world of artificial intelligence wowed the Davos elite Thursday, but the rosy picture came with a warning.

Denmark lowers interest rate after ECB move
Denmark

Denmark lowers interest rate after ECB move

The announcement that the European Central Bank (ECB) will buy €60 billion of European debt every month from March 2015 until September 2016 has led the Danish central bank to once again drop its deposit interest rate.

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder
Germany

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder

Police in Dresden have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his flatmate, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, on Monday January 12th.

New EU tax plot despite Sweden criticism
Sweden

New EU tax plot despite Sweden criticism

A new plan for a revamped financial transactions tax (FTT) across 11 members of the Eurozone has been mooted by Austria and France - despite opposition to the concept from Sweden and the UK.

Muslims in France – ‘They say we’re not French’
France

Muslims in France – ‘They say we’re not French’

After the Paris terror attacks, the spotlight is once again focused on how France has apparently failed to integrate its Muslim immigrants. Despite calls for national unity many Muslims who The Local spoke to in Paris said they simply don't feel French.

Reforms ‘still needed’ after ECB action: Merkel
Switzerland

Reforms ‘still needed’ after ECB action: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday that any action by the European Central Bank to boost the eurozone's struggling economy should not ease the pressure on governments to enact reforms.

Austria and France moot new FTT tax proposal
Austria

Austria and France moot new FTT tax proposal

In a move strongly opposed by the UK and Sweden, a new plan for a retooled financial transactions tax across the 11 members of the Eurozone has just been unveiled by Austria and France.

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism
Germany

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism

After a false dawn for campaigners against daily topless models in Britain's Sun newspaper, The Local talks to the women campaigning against sexism in Germany's biggest-selling tabloid.

One in eight Danes wants a party to the right of DF
Denmark

One in eight Danes wants a party to the right of DF

Thirteen percent of voters in a recent poll said that Denmark needs a party even more critical of immigration than the Danish People's Party.

ECB announces major bond buying program
Switzerland

ECB announces major bond buying program

The Swiss franc edged higher against the euro on Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi announced the bank will buy €60 billion of European debt every month from March 2015 until September 2016.

Spain bond yields hit record low
Spain

Spain bond yields hit record low

The yield on 10-year Spanish government bonds fell to record lows on Thursday after the European Central Bank announced it was setting out on a massive bond buying programme.

52 years of French-German friendship
Germany

52 years of French-German friendship

This week 52 years ago, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle signed the Élysée treaty on a cold day in Paris, ushering in decades of friendship after centuries of bitter rivalry and one-upmanship.

Immigrants swell to third of Swiss population
Switzerland

Immigrants swell to third of Swiss population

First and second generation immigrants now make up more than a third of Switzerland's inhabitants over the age of 15, a significant increase in the past decade, statistics released on Thursday show.

ECB announces economy boost
Austria

ECB announces economy boost

The European Central Bank (ECB) will buy €60 billion of European debt every month from March 2015 until September 2016, ECB president Mario Draghi announced on Thursday.

French flags burned in Charlie Hebdo protests
France

French flags burned in Charlie Hebdo protests

Protesters torched French flags in Iraq and Afghanistan on Thursday as thousands marched in Pakistan, all in protest against the image of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover of the latest issue of French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Italy and Spain bond yields hit record lows
Italy

Italy and Spain bond yields hit record lows

The yield on ten-year Italian and Spanish government bonds fell to record lows on Thursday after the European Central Bank announced a massive bond buying programme.

Italian doctor reported missing in Libya
Italy

Italian doctor reported missing in Libya

An Italian doctor in his seventies who worked in a hospital in Tripoli has gone missing in Libya, Italian media reported on Thursday.

ECB announces €1.1tn bond buying programme
Germany

ECB announces €1.1tn bond buying programme

The European Central Bank (ECB) will buy €60 billion of European debt every month from March 2015 until September 2016, ECB president Mario Draghi announced on Thursday.

Davos: Spain wins praise over reforms
Spain

Davos: Spain wins praise over reforms

The head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde was one of several high-profile figures to laud Spain's economic recovery at a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.

Spain greets record 64.9 million tourists in 2014
Spain

Spain greets record 64.9 million tourists in 2014

Spain has broken yet another tourism record, welcoming close to 65 million foreign tourists to the country in 2014, making tourism "one of the key sectors in Spain's economic recovery" according to the country's tourism minister.

Third aid worker from Sweden in Ebola scare
Sweden

Third aid worker from Sweden in Ebola scare

A Swedish aid worker is being prepped to return home after a potential Ebola contamination in West Africa, the third to be recalled from the region where the deadly virus is still spreading.

Afghan student ‘escaped’ on secret Swedish plane
Sweden

Afghan student ‘escaped’ on secret Swedish plane

Sweden's former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has admitted that he helped an Afghan student escape from Kabul in 2009 by sneaking him on to a Swedish government plane.

France vows to restore French values in schools
France

France vows to restore French values in schools

France unveiled a wide-ranging plan on Wednesday aimed at restoring authority to teachers as well as reinforcing secular and Republican values in schools. It comes after scores of reports of pupils refusing to respect a minute's silence for the victims of the terror attacks.

What did you think of the Pope’s rabbit rant?
Italy

What did you think of the Pope’s rabbit rant?

Earlier this week, Pope Francis said that being a good Catholic does not mean you have to "breed like rabbits" and appealed to the world’s Catholics to be more responsible when it comes to parenting. The Local asked people in Italy, where the birth rate continues to dwindle, what they thought.

Historic Danish orchestra rises from the ashes
Denmark

Historic Danish orchestra rises from the ashes

Private contributions have given the Danish National Chamber Orchestra a second life after broadcaster DR axed it from its budget after three quarters of a century.

EU considers energy drink ban for under-18s
Austria

EU considers energy drink ban for under-18s

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, has said he is considering a ban on the sale of caffeinated energy drinks to under-18s - which could mean bad news for Austrian energy drink company Red Bull GmbH.

Frenchman’s ‘Hitler’ dog falls foul of the law
France

Frenchman’s ‘Hitler’ dog falls foul of the law

A dog owner in eastern France has given in to the town mayor's demand to change the names of his dogs because they obviously "make people think of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun".

Paris wants New York-inspired ‘citizen cards’
France

Paris wants New York-inspired ‘citizen cards’

Paris Mayor Anne Hildago has announced plans to roll out a citizen card specifically for Parisians, an idea she took from the New York mayor, which she hopes will bring a sense of unity to Parisians two weeks after the terror attack trauma.

Crucifix on police badges ‘a fossil’: politician
Spain

Crucifix on police badges ‘a fossil’: politician

An local politician from the Spanish north-African enclave of Ceuta has requested police badges without a crucifix should be available for police officers who want them, calling the symbol of the cross "a fossil".

Princess Madeleine linked to US tax scandal
Sweden

Princess Madeleine linked to US tax scandal

Chris O'Neill, the British-American financier husband of Sweden's Princess Madeleine, is reportedly being chased for unpaid taxes and debts of almost 350,000 kronor ($43,030) in New York.

Austria prepares lawsuit over UK nuclear plant
Austria

Austria prepares lawsuit over UK nuclear plant

Austria is preparing legal action against the European Commission’s decision to allow billions of euros of subsidies for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in the UK.

Italian hotel named best in world for families
Italy

Italian hotel named best in world for families

A hotel in Italy was on Wednesday named the best in the world for families, based on reviews by travel site TripAdvisor. The Local explores how Cavallino Bianco won the excellence award.

School teacher ‘hit kids and stole their snacks’
Italy

School teacher ‘hit kids and stole their snacks’

A primary school teacher in Naples, southern Italy, has been arrested after she was filmed abusing students by investigators.

Real Madrid sign Norway prodigy Ødegaard

Real Madrid sign Norway prodigy Ødegaard

A complete unknown only a year ago, Norwegian prodigy Martin Ødegaard's has signed for Real Madrid, sending his fledgling career soaring towards the summits.

How to shine at your Swedish job interview
Sweden

How to shine at your Swedish job interview

Even getting a job interview can be an achievement, particularly if you're a foreigner in Sweden. So when you get that interview, what do you do to really stand out?

Judge: Landlords can’t stop men standing to pee
Germany

Judge: Landlords can’t stop men standing to pee

Splashy urinators may now micturate in peace, after a man won a court battle against his landlord for the right to tinkle as nature intended.

Norway finds ‘probable’ case of mad cow disease
Norway

Norway finds ‘probable’ case of mad cow disease

Norway said on Wednesday it had detected a "probable" case of mad cow disease but urged consumers not to panic as it may not be the same variant as the British 1990s epidemic.

Taking the world of conferences online
Denmark

Taking the world of conferences online

In the latest instalment of our weekly feature series, we speak to Jon Schäffer, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Conferize, an online platform that opens up professional events to the world.

Wrong way driver crashes with police car
Austria

Wrong way driver crashes with police car

A driver who was on the wrong side of the road crashed head on with a police car in Lower Austria in the early hours of Thursday morning.

SNB official defends ‘best option’ for franc
Switzerland

SNB official defends ‘best option’ for franc

Switzerland would have had to spend more than $100 billion this month alone if it had continued efforts to hold down the value of its currency, a senior central bank official said on Thursday.

Court throws out Yasmin claim against Beyer
Switzerland

Court throws out Yasmin claim against Beyer

Switzerland’s highest court has thrown out a suit against Bayer by a young Swiss woman who claimed to have suffered side effects from using the German drug maker’s contraceptive pill Yasmin.

‘Proof’ of secret Nazi weapons facility
Austria

‘Proof’ of secret Nazi weapons facility

New information about a secret Nazi underground weapons facility has been published in St. Georgen in Upper Austria, the site of a former concentration camp.

Legida marchers attack police and journalists
Germany

Legida marchers attack police and journalists

Police found themselves at the receiving end of firecrackers, thrown bottles and laser pointers as scuffles broke out at the protest march by Legida in Leipzig on Wednesday.

Ministers agree Ukraine weapons reductions
Germany

Ministers agree Ukraine weapons reductions

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine, Sergei Lavrov and Pavel Klimkin, agreed at a meeting in Berlin on Wednesday evening that heavy weapons would be withdrawn from front lines in eastern Ukraine .

Bárcenas set to leave prison on Thursday
Spain

Bárcenas set to leave prison on Thursday

The former treasurer of Spain’s ruling Popular Party, Luis Bárcenas, currently under investigation on corruption charges, is set to leave prison on Thursday after his family raised €200,000 ($230,000) in bail money.

Force-feeding for foie gras on trial in France
France

Force-feeding for foie gras on trial in France

A company producing the controversial delicacy foie gras will appear in court on Thursday after a hidden video revealed what animal activists called a mistreatment of the geese. The company claims the video is a fake.

Mali refuses to accept body of French terrorist
France

Mali refuses to accept body of French terrorist

Authorities in Mali have reportedly made a last minute U-turn and refused to accept the body of terrorist Amedy Coulibaly for burial.

Italy joins anti-Isis coalition meet in London
Italy

Italy joins anti-Isis coalition meet in London

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni will on Thursday attend an anti-Isis coalition meeting in London, where around 20 countries will come together to decide how to best combat the terrorist group.

477,900 leave jobless queues in 2014
Spain

477,900 leave jobless queues in 2014

Updated: Spain's unemployment rate fell for the second straight year in 2014 to 23.7 percent as an economic recovery gained pace, but remains at one of the highest levels in the European Union, official data showed on Thursday.

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Sweden

Jan. 29: Seminar on innovation from imitation (Linköping)

New penal code a step back for Spain: Amnesty
Spain

New penal code a step back for Spain: Amnesty

Amnesty International on Wednesday blasted a planned reform of Spain's criminal code, which stiffens prison terms for troubling the public order and opens the door to life sentences, as a "serious setback".

Pegida leader steps down over Hitler photo
Germany

Pegida leader steps down over Hitler photo

Lutz Bachmann, the founder of Pegida, has resigned his leadership of the anti-Islam group following widespread outrage over Facebook photos of him in an Adolf Hitler costume.

Mentally-ill man locked up for Facebook threats
Denmark

Mentally-ill man locked up for Facebook threats

A 31-year-old Danish man was sentenced to psychiatric care for comments like "war against Denmark is the obligation of every Muslim" written on an open Facebook page.

Wawrinka faces down big-serving Copil
Switzerland

Wawrinka faces down big-serving Copil

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka gave the thumbs up for his Australian Open title defence as he defused the big serving Marius Copil to progress to the third round on Thursday.

Spanish police break up teen prostitution ring
Spain

Spanish police break up teen prostitution ring

Police have broken up a prostitution ring offering the services of over 400 women, some of them minors, and have arrested 29 people, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.

Italians recover looted artefacts from Basel
Switzerland

Italians recover looted artefacts from Basel

The Italian government on Wednesday said police had seized more than 5,000 ancient artefacts in a record €45-million haul after dismantling a Swiss-Italian trafficking ring.

Russian ‘jihadist’ on trial in Krems
Austria

Russian ‘jihadist’ on trial in Krems

A Russian citizen is appearing in court in Krems on Thursday on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, after allegedly participating in battles and combat training with Isis in Syria until December 2013.

Liberty or security: Or can France have both?
France

Liberty or security: Or can France have both?

On the day the French prime minister announced a raft of counter terrorism measures including “cyber patrols” of social networking sites, concerns were raised about the use of mass surveillance in France.

Italy seizes more than 5,000 looted artefacts
Italy

Italy seizes more than 5,000 looted artefacts

The Italian government on Wednesday said police had seized more than 5,000 ancient artefacts in a record €45 million haul after dismantling a Swiss-Italian trafficking ring.

Denmark’s high rate of break-ins takes a fall
Denmark

Denmark’s high rate of break-ins takes a fall

2014 was a tough year for burglars in Denmark. The number of home break-ins last year were at their lowest in seven years.

Fiorentina deny Chelsea to snap up Cuadrado
Italy

Fiorentina deny Chelsea to snap up Cuadrado

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella has played down reports that winger Juan Cuadrado could soon leave the club for Chelsea amid reports the Premier League side are preparing a bid for the Colombian international.

Dozens of Roma beggars ‘helped’ to move home
Sweden

Dozens of Roma beggars ‘helped’ to move home

Around 60 Roma migrants living in southern Sweden are going home, after Romania promised financial help on their return.

Berlusconi denies AC Milan sale rumours
Italy

Berlusconi denies AC Milan sale rumours

Owner and club president Silvio Berlusconi has brushed off rumours that a deepening crisis has prompted him to consider putting AC Milan up for sale.

Immigrants bring population to over 81m
Germany

Immigrants bring population to over 81m

Germany's population grew for the fourth year in a row in 2014 largely due to immigration, the federal statistics office said Wednesday, as the country grapples with a low birth rate and ageing population.

Former French soldiers join ranks of jihadists
France

Former French soldiers join ranks of jihadists

Former French soldiers have joined the ranks of jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria, it was claimed this week, raising concerns over the possible existence of radical elements within the country's military.

Catcam busts Swedish burglars in Norrköping
Sweden

Catcam busts Swedish burglars in Norrköping

A Swedish woman keeping an eye on her cats via a webcam in her apartment caught burglars in the act on Wednesday and tipped off the police, who arrested them.

‘The most energetic night Stockholm’s ever seen’
Sweden

‘The most energetic night Stockholm’s ever seen’

On Saturday, Stockholm hosts what is being called Europe's largest fight night event in history. The Local spoke to David Allen from the Ultimate Fighting Championship's management team about the upcoming epic night.

Grenade and ‘Russian flares’ on Swedish island
Sweden

Grenade and ‘Russian flares’ on Swedish island

Police have blown up what they’ve called a 'military object' on a beach on Öland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, where suspected 'Russian flares' have also been spotted.

Train strikes cost rail operator €150m – so far
Germany

Train strikes cost rail operator €150m – so far

The string of walkouts by German train drivers in the autumn cost national rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) more than €150 million, DB's boss said on Wednesday.

State of Ikea founder’s home raises eyebrows
Switzerland

State of Ikea founder’s home raises eyebrows

The former Swiss home of Ikea founder and multi-billionaire Ingvar Kamprad is for sale but the house itself is apparently worthless, according to media reports.

State of Ikea founder’s home raises eyebrows
Sweden

State of Ikea founder’s home raises eyebrows

The former Swiss home of Swedish Ikea founder and multi-billionaire Ingvar Kamprad is for sale but the house itself is apparently worthless, according to media reports.