Foreign spies tried to infiltrate Norway’s ‘MI5’
Norway

Foreign spies tried to infiltrate Norway’s ‘MI5’

Foreign spies have been caught trying to secure posts working for Norway’s Police Security Service (PST), the country’s equivalent of MI5, the agency’s head reported on Thursday.

Airline passenger count soars to new record
Switzerland

Airline passenger count soars to new record

A record 3.3 billion passengers boarded planes last year, marking a jump of 170 million passengers from 2013, the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.

Phil Collins’ paralyzed ex-wife files legal suit
Switzerland

Phil Collins’ paralyzed ex-wife files legal suit

The Swiss former wife of British rock star Phil Collins has filed a criminal complaint after a cervical hernia operation performed by a hospital in Switzerland left her paralyzed.

Norway oil fund sells ‘unsustainable’ miners
Norway

Norway oil fund sells ‘unsustainable’ miners

Norway’s giant $860bn oil fund sold stakes in 49 companies last year, most of them in coal and gold mining, because their businesses were not sustainable, it has revealed its first ever responsible investment report.

French artist’s call for peace ends in beating
France

French artist’s call for peace ends in beating

A French street artist was severely beaten up in Paris after refusing to remove a work of art calling for coexistence between Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

Wawrinka and Federer mulling Davis Cup play
Switzerland

Wawrinka and Federer mulling Davis Cup play

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka says he and Roger Federer will decide next week whether to compete in the upcoming Davis Cup first round tie in Belgium.

Denmark cuts deposit rate further below zero
Denmark

Denmark cuts deposit rate further below zero

Denmark's central bank cut its deposit interest rate further Thursday and said there was "no upper limit" to its foreign currency interventions aimed at defending the krone's link to the euro.

Spain has most cyber-attacks after USA and UK
Spain

Spain has most cyber-attacks after USA and UK

Spain was the victim of over 70,000 cyber-attacks in the past year alone, according to the country’s foreign ministry.

Italian stabs neighbour in noisy sex row
Italy

Italian stabs neighbour in noisy sex row

An Italian man is facing attempted murder charges for allegedly stabbing his neighbour who complained about his attacker’s noisy sex life.

Danish imam: It’s fine to draw Muhammad
Denmark

Danish imam: It’s fine to draw Muhammad

The head of a Danish Muslim organization says that the Koran does not forbid depicting the prophet Muhammad and even if it did the ban should only apply to Muslims themselves.

The German who built planes out of metal
Germany

The German who built planes out of metal

His name is most associated outside Germany with the Nazi air force that laid waste to European cities. But Hugo Junkers, scion of a wealthy landed family turned socialist pacifist, was one of the great engineers of his day who lost everything to Hitler's dictatorship.

Mega hostel opens its doors in Paris
France

Mega hostel opens its doors in Paris

A youth hostel with room for over 900 guests has opened in central Paris. The Local pays a visit to find out how it differs from other hostels in the French capital and whether you'd actually want to spend a night with 900 people.

Free entry at Louvre due to angry archaeologists
France

Free entry at Louvre due to angry archaeologists

Bemused art lovers and tourists visited the world's most popular art gallery for free on Thursday afternoon thanks to around 100 protesting archaeologists who blocked the ticket desks.

Rising exports to spur Italy’s economy
Italy

Rising exports to spur Italy’s economy

Italy’s economy is set for a gradual recovery this year as exports grow and households have more money to spend due to lower energy bills, according to the latest forecast from the European Commission (EC).

Denmark to go after pirates in west Africa
Denmark

Denmark to go after pirates in west Africa

The Danish Foreign Ministry has announced a new three-year strategy for combatting piracy that will see its efforts move to the coast of Nigeria for the first time.

Stockholm set to become US clearance airport
Sweden

Stockholm set to become US clearance airport

The Swedish government is looking into the possibility of making Stockholm's Arlanda a 'US preclearance' airport, simplifying travel between the two countries.

Ban on aiding beggars stopped after global fury
Sweden

Ban on aiding beggars stopped after global fury

UPDATED: After Swedish and global criticism of Norway's plans for law designed to punish people who give money to homeless people, the country's opposition Centre Party decided not to back the proposal, meaning it will unlikely get passed over the border.

Princess to sell mansion to pay court bond
Spain

Princess to sell mansion to pay court bond

A Spanish court on Thursday authorised Princess Cristina, the sister of Spain's King Felipe VI, and her husband to sell their seven-bedroom Barcelona mansion for just under €7 million ($8 million) to pay a court bond.

Genitals video set for Valentine’s relaunch
Sweden

Genitals video set for Valentine’s relaunch

The English version of a Swedish children’s cartoon featuring dancing genitals that went viral last month, is on track for a Valentine’s Day release, its composer has told The Local.

Shepherds issued emergency wolf kit
Germany

Shepherds issued emergency wolf kit

Sheep farmers in a panic in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) over the wolf population can now get themselves a "herd protection set" from the the local government.

‘All municipalities should take in refugees’
Sweden

‘All municipalities should take in refugees’

UPDATED: Sweden’s integration minister Ylva Johansson is preparing a new law that would force all regions to take in asylum seekers. Meanwhile, opposition leader Anna Kinberg Batra has announced plans to strengthen income requirements for immigrants.

Weak euro is a ‘damn good thing’ for expats
France

Weak euro is a ‘damn good thing’ for expats

While a weak euro might not suit everyone, not least those moving home with savings, it's certainly been a boost to many retired expats in France as well as those who have always dreamed of moving here.

The best of Copenhagen Fashion Week AW15
Denmark

The best of Copenhagen Fashion Week AW15

With the Copenhagen Fashion Week AW15 recently concluded, our friends at Scandinavia Standard pick their top five highlights of the week.

Vattenfall curbs losses despite tough market
Sweden

Vattenfall curbs losses despite tough market

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall said on Thursday it has been able to cut its losses compared to last year. But its CEO predicts gloomy years ahead amidst tough market conditions.

Strong dollar drags down ABB’s 2014 earnings
Switzerland

Strong dollar drags down ABB’s 2014 earnings

Swiss engineering giant ABB's net profit in 2014 dropped by seven percent from the previous year, dragged down by a stronger dollar and restructuring costs, the company said on Thursday.

Mayor’s wife sings cringeworthy tribute
Spain

Mayor’s wife sings cringeworthy tribute

It might not be something likely to catch on with Michelle Obama or Samantha Cameron anytime soon, but one politician’s wife in Spain decided to show support, during a local council meeting, through the medium of song.

Fancy an affair? Matador is cheaters’ choice
Spain

Fancy an affair? Matador is cheaters’ choice

A bullfighter has been voted the man unfaithful wives in Spain would most like to have an affair with, beating Hollywood actors George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

German, Greek finance ministers butt heads
Germany

German, Greek finance ministers butt heads

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble expressed scepticism Thursday about some of the policy measures put forward by Greece's new government.

The complete guide to Berlinale’s main line up
Germany

The complete guide to Berlinale’s main line up

The 65th Berlinale, Europe's first major film festival of the year, starts Thursday with 23 international productions screening in the main showcase.

Hollande boosts civic service to heal division
France

Hollande boosts civic service to heal division

In a bid to heal France's fractured society and instill the values of the French Republic in young people, President François Hollande announced on Thursday plans to boost France's civic service, but stopped short of making it obligatory.

Roll out the red carpet: Berlinale begins tonight
Germany

Roll out the red carpet: Berlinale begins tonight

The 65th Berlin film festival opens Thursday with Oscar winner Juliette Binoche starring as an early 20th-century Arctic explorer in Spanish director Isabel Coixet's period drama "Nobody Wants the Night" to kick off a bevy of women-led films playing in Berlin.

Cold snap brings heavy snow to Italy
Italy

Cold snap brings heavy snow to Italy

Heavy snow fell across northern and central Italy on Thursday, causing travel problems and some schools to close, while the south was hit by floods and landslides.

Norway care home hired psychic for exorcism
Norway

Norway care home hired psychic for exorcism

A municipal care home in Norway has been slammed for “poor judgement” after managers hired a clairvoyant to drive out evil spirits because staff were spooked by random flickering lights.

Valentine experiment gets Danes to show love
Denmark

Valentine experiment gets Danes to show love

The vast majority of Danish men have written off Valentine's Day as a silly and meaningless holiday, but a Danish chocolate company and an American neuroscientist set out to change that. See the results here.

Sweden’s Volvo announces 1000 job cuts
Sweden

Sweden’s Volvo announces 1000 job cuts

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, reported a sharp fall in annual profits on Thursday and announced 1,000 redundancies in its construction equipment business which was hit by falling demand from China.

Italian pushes ahead with Islamic university plan
Italy

Italian pushes ahead with Islamic university plan

The Italian businessman behind plans to create Italy's first Islamic university told The Local he is pushing ahead with the project despite authorities in Lecce rejecting a request for a building permit, a decision that was partly due to the current negative focus on Islam and opposition from residents.

Melodifestivalen fever set to sweep across Sweden
Sweden

Melodifestivalen fever set to sweep across Sweden

Get the popcorn ready and sound proof your homes – it’s that time of the year again. Melodifestivalen, Sweden’s six-week long road to Eurovision fame, kicks off on Saturday.

Shiver me timbers! Bardem in Pirates 5
Spain

Shiver me timbers! Bardem in Pirates 5

Javier Bardem has been confirmed as the latest addition to the fifth outing of Pirates of the Caribbean. The Local takes a look at five essential films to reacquaint you with one of the most acclaimed Spanish actors of all time.

Cheeky opera guest in scuffle with cops
Austria

Cheeky opera guest in scuffle with cops

Police in Vienna arrested a 63-year-old man at the State Opera on Wednesday after he failed to buy a ticket and lashed out at two officers when they asked for his ID.

Spain well on road to recovery, says EU
Spain

Spain well on road to recovery, says EU

Spain´s economy is set to improve this year, with a better than expected growth predicted by the European Commission.

Austria’s growth prospects downgraded
Austria

Austria’s growth prospects downgraded

The European Economic Forecast for Austria has significantly scaled down its prediction for growth - forecasting that it will have slowed to 0.8 percent this year.

Germany to grow 1.5 percent in 2015: Brussels
Germany

Germany to grow 1.5 percent in 2015: Brussels

Germany's economy is expected to continue growing in 2015, new forecasts from the European Commission (EC) showed on Thursday, although progress is set to remain sluggish.

Berlin counts 254 new cases of measles in 2015
Germany

Berlin counts 254 new cases of measles in 2015

Measles have taken hold in Berlin in an outbreak that could have been entirely preventable with vaccines, the federal authority for disease control said in an interview published on Thursday.

Swatch profit plunges despite higher sales
Switzerland

Swatch profit plunges despite higher sales

The world's biggest watch group Swatch recorded a drop in profit of more than 26 percent in 2014 from the previous year following massive investments, and said it was bracing for the impact of an overvalued Swiss franc.

Merkel and Hollande to visit Kiev and Moscow
Germany

Merkel and Hollande to visit Kiev and Moscow

French President Francois Hollande said he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would visit Kiev later Thursday, before heading to Moscow, in a fresh push to find a solution to the raging conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Italian mafia looted WWII ship for bombs
Italy

Italian mafia looted WWII ship for bombs

Italian police on Thursday arrested eight people accused of being part of a mafia clan which looted a sunken Second World War ship for its bombs and weapons arsenal.

Cancelled lake boats leave commuters fuming
Switzerland

Cancelled lake boats leave commuters fuming

Hundreds of commuters struggled to make new travel arrangements after high winds scrapped passenger boat crossings of Lake Geneva on Thursday for a second day.

Napoleon skewered in new British exhibition
France

Napoleon skewered in new British exhibition

A colourful new exhibition about French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is opening in London on Thursday, showing how artists and cartoonists shaped the way the British perceived "The Little Corporal".

Hollande and Merkel to visit Kiev and Moscow
France

Hollande and Merkel to visit Kiev and Moscow

French President François Hollande will visit Kiev on Thursday along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to present a new initiative to end the Ukraine crisis. The leaders will then head to Moscow on Friday to meet Vladimir Putin.

Men abandon boy after fall from ski lift
Austria

Men abandon boy after fall from ski lift

An eight-year-old boy from Vienna was seriously injured after falling from a ski lift in Flachau, Salzburg, after two men who were sitting beside him opened the safety bar just before the exit.

Hundreds stranded as snow cripples Spain
Spain

Hundreds stranded as snow cripples Spain

Various rescue operations have taken place in northern Spain to free people trapped in their vehicles in the snowy weather while 28 provinces remain on alert for freezing temperatures.

US tops table of foreign job creators in France
France

US tops table of foreign job creators in France

While Chinese investment in France is growing and the influx of Qatari money continues to turn heads it’s the Americans who remain top of foreign investors rankings in France and who create the most jobs.

Electric car owners in France to get €10k bonus
France

Electric car owners in France to get €10k bonus

France's Environment Minister Ségolène Royal has announced a €10,000 bonus for owners of electric cars, plus millions of new charging ports across the country, in a bid to get more people to make the switch from diesel to electricity.

Chemist causes flap with ‘therapeutic’ sex toys
Italy

Chemist causes flap with ‘therapeutic’ sex toys

A chemist in the northern Italian city of Padua has caused a stir for displaying sex toys in its window, although the owner told The Local the products are being sold for “therapeutic” purposes.

Number of Europeans in Denmark way up in 2014
Denmark

Number of Europeans in Denmark way up in 2014

The number of EU citizens taking jobs in Denmark increased by 15 percent from 2013 to 2014, the financial news site Finans reported on Thursday.

Swedish royal criticized for ‘just waving’
Sweden

Swedish royal criticized for ‘just waving’

A Swedish media boss has hit out at Princess Madeleine of Sweden for not answering journalists' questions after she and her husband visited the town of Gävle this week.

Austrian appeals to Pope to stop noisy night bell
Austria

Austrian appeals to Pope to stop noisy night bell

A sleep-deprived architect from Linz, Upper Austria, is appealing to the Pope in an effort to stop the cathedral bell near his home ringing during the night and disturbing his rest.

British spies tell German MPs to back off
Germany

British spies tell German MPs to back off

British spies have warned the government they may cut off ties with their German counterparts over a parliamentary inquiry into spying by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Pay pensioners to move out, says union head
Germany

Pay pensioners to move out, says union head

The parliamentary representative of trade union IG Bau hopes that a new strategy will make more room for families in German cities: Pay pensioners to downsize, he says.

Pompeii wall collapses amid heavy rain
Italy

Pompeii wall collapses amid heavy rain

Heavy rain in Italy caused a wall in the ancient city of Pompeii to fall down, the latest in a series of weather-related collapses at the country’s most celebrated archaeological site.

Danish app Endomondo purchased by US giant
Denmark

Danish app Endomondo purchased by US giant

In a bid to create “the world's largest digital health and fitness community”, Under Armour purchased Endomondo and MyFitnessPal for a combined $560 million.

French mayor’s ‘anti-burglar wall’ divides town
France

French mayor’s ‘anti-burglar wall’ divides town

With violent burglaries on the rise, the mayor of a town in northern France took drastic action to keep the unwanted aggressors away. But his "anti-burglar wall" has left some of the townsfolk scratching their heads.

‘No military solution to Ukraine’ says Biden
Germany

‘No military solution to Ukraine’ says Biden

In an interview with Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung published on Thursday, American Vice President Joe Biden discussed possible solutions to the Ukraine-Russia conflict ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's U.S. visit.

Scandinavian couple pick up Sundance gong
Denmark

Scandinavian couple pick up Sundance gong

It was another golden day for Scandinavian cinema on Wednesday as a Swedish-Danish couple picked up an award at one of the biggest film festivals in the US.

Refugee centres ‘too overcrowded’: Amnesty
Spain

Refugee centres ‘too overcrowded’: Amnesty

Amnesty International slammed Spain on Wednesday over conditions in overcrowded refugee centres where it says hundreds of Syrians fleeing war are awaiting asylum.

What’s on in Sweden: February 5th – 12th
Sweden

What’s on in Sweden: February 5th – 12th

First Aid Kit are on the road in Sweden while Linköping is getting a heavy dose of 1980s British-style stadium rock. Here's our pick of events happening around the country over the next seven days.

Six Somali pirates jailed in Spain
Spain

Six Somali pirates jailed in Spain

A Spanish court on Wednesday convicted six Somalis for piracy and sentenced them each to 16 and a half years in jail for attacking a Spanish tuna trawler off the coast of Somalia in 2012.

France should lead way on EU reform: Greek PM
France

France should lead way on EU reform: Greek PM

Greece's new PM Alexis Tsipras said he wants France to lead the way in bringing about political change in Europe after meeting the French President François Hollande in Paris on Wednesday.

Norway anti-begging law stopped after global fury
Norway

Norway anti-begging law stopped after global fury

Norway's government announced on Thursday that it was scrapping plans to penalize begging after the opposition Centre Party decided not to back the proposal following strong international criticism of the plans.

French still hunting for answers one month on
France

French still hunting for answers one month on

Almost one month on from the deadly terror attacks that shook the country, the French are still asking questions and searching for answers as to how and why the terrorists could have turned on their own people and what lies in store.

Italy faces ‘wake-up call’ against ‘strong’ Ireland
Italy

Italy faces ‘wake-up call’ against ‘strong’ Ireland

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has called on the wounded Azzurri to regain their belief and efficiency in time for a Six Nations campaign which could define their chances of success in this year's World Cup.

The secret of Italy’s best city: speaking German?
Italy

The secret of Italy’s best city: speaking German?

Bolzano in the far north of Italy consistently earns top marks for quality of life, scoring well on everything from jobs to civic engagement. The Local finds out what makes the German-speaking city so special.

Football says goodbye to legendary coach
Germany

Football says goodbye to legendary coach

Legendary German coach Udo Lattek, who won the European Cup, Uefa Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup with three different clubs, died on Wednesday aged 80.

Munich prosecutors charge female jihadist
Germany

Munich prosecutors charge female jihadist

State prosecutors in Munich said on Wednesday that a 30-year-old female jihadist had been charged with preparing a violent act against the state.

UBS faces new US tax fraud probe: report
Switzerland

UBS faces new US tax fraud probe: report

Swiss bank UBS is facing a new investigation by US authorities over whether it helped Americans avoid taxes by investing in bearer bonds, The Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

Bulgarian media fines worry OSCE
Austria

Bulgarian media fines worry OSCE

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) expressed alarm Wednesday over fines levied on newspapers in Bulgaria for reporting on companies' financial activities and on the banking sector.