Wawrinka struggles to make Rotterdam quarters
Switzerland

Wawrinka struggles to make Rotterdam quarters

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka joined Andy Murray as the pair of seeds each posted difficult wins on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the ATP Rotterdam World Tennis event.

Abba star sings about first Matterhorn ascent
Switzerland

Abba star sings about first Matterhorn ascent

Former Abba star Frida is singing again — and these days about her Swiss home high in the mountains.

Austrian teen jihadist ‘likely killed’ in Syria
Austria

Austrian teen jihadist ‘likely killed’ in Syria

The 19-year-old Austrian jihadist with Tunisian roots Firas Houidi, who was believed to be fighting with fellow jihadists in Syria may have been killed, according to a report in the Friday edition of the daily newspaper Kurier.

Kosovo asks for its refugees back
Austria

Kosovo asks for its refugees back

Kovoso's Interior Minister Skender Hyseni on Thursday urged the European Union to expel thousands of Kosovan nationals, who have quit their homeland in search of a better life in EU countries.

Terror arrest of Chechen jihadist in Vienna
Austria

Terror arrest of Chechen jihadist in Vienna

A 36-year-old Chechen man who allegedly was involved in plans for attacks on Nato facilities in Belgium, as well as collecting and contributing funding for a known terrorist organization, was arrested in Vienna on Monday, according to a report from the Austrian Press Association (APA).

placeholder image
France

Fifty Shades of Grey OK for French 12-year-olds

The erotic blockbuster film Fifty Shades of Grey has been given the second lowest classification rating in France, meaning children as young as 12 can enjoy the show.

One-way ticket to Mars is student’s dream
Germany

One-way ticket to Mars is student’s dream

It may not seem a great offer, but for 200,000 applicants, a planned 2024 space flight with no return to the Red Planet is the final-frontier jackpot. Potsdam student Denis Newiak has made it to the last 660.

Sweden hosts project to stop homemade bombs
Sweden

Sweden hosts project to stop homemade bombs

Swedish researchers have been sharing details of a woodland project designed to help European countries outwit future terrorists plotting attacks with homemade bombs.

French remain unequal when it comes to health
France

French remain unequal when it comes to health

French women outlive French men and the wealthy play more sport than everyone else. A new report has revealed the biggest discrepancies when it comes to health in France.

Ryanair threatens to drop Copenhagen base
Denmark

Ryanair threatens to drop Copenhagen base

A blockade against Ryanair could cause the low-cost airline to abandon its plans to set up a base in Copenhagen, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Russian business sale hits Zurich’s bottom line
Switzerland

Russian business sale hits Zurich’s bottom line

Swiss group Zurich Insurance says its net profit dropped three percent last year due to the sale of a Russian business and a tough economic environment.

CDU angers Muslims with opposition to Koran
Germany

CDU angers Muslims with opposition to Koran

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Essen will distribute the German Constitution in response to Salafists' plans to give out free copies of the Koran in the city on Saturday. But Muslim residents say they're creating a false opposition.

Burger King woos couch potatoes with delivery
Germany

Burger King woos couch potatoes with delivery

After a spate of bad publicity over hygiene and staff conditions at some of its franchises, Burger King is hoping to win consumers back with a new home delivery service in Germany.

New Muslim party aims for French election wins
France

New Muslim party aims for French election wins

A relatively new Muslim political party, that wants to overturn the veil ban, is eyeing up a stronger presence on the French political landscape, announcing on Thursday that it will field candidates in eight areas at next month's regional elections.

Huge hunt for boy ‘beaten’ at Malmö station
Sweden

Huge hunt for boy ‘beaten’ at Malmö station

Police across southern Sweden are now searching for a 9-year-old who has been missing since he was allegedly beaten by guards at Malmö train station on Monday.

Mozart and reading keep ex-pope sharp: aide

Mozart and reading keep ex-pope sharp: aide

Former pope Benedict XVI can still play Mozart from memory on the piano and retains a formidable mind, an aide to the 87-year-old former pontiff has revealed.

Who is in the Swedish Music Hall of Fame?
Sweden

Who is in the Swedish Music Hall of Fame?

Everyone knows about Abba and Avicii. But there's more to Swedish music - and each year ten Swedish artists are welcomed into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. So who are the new artists, just barely added?

Swiss tourist dies of swine flu in India
Switzerland

Swiss tourist dies of swine flu in India

A Swiss tourist died of swine flu on Thursday while visiting India, a local health official said, as the country grapples with an outbreak that has killed more than 400 people since the start of 2015.

Behind-the-scenes on the set of James Bond
Austria

Behind-the-scenes on the set of James Bond

The first behind-the-scenes footage is available from the Austrian shoot of the latest James Bond installment, Spectre.

Danish photojournalist wins World Press Photo
Denmark

Danish photojournalist wins World Press Photo

Mads Nissen's photo of a Russian gay couple's intimate moment took home the top World Press Photo prize and also topped the Contemporary Issues category.

placeholder image
Switzerland

EU maritime patrols ‘woefully inadequate’

The Geneva-based UN refugee agency on Thursday urged the European Union to do far more to save migrant lives in the Mediterranean, saying its existing maritime border patrol is "woefully inadequate."

Hollande: ‘Coming hours’ crucial for Ukraine deal
France

Hollande: ‘Coming hours’ crucial for Ukraine deal

French president François Hollande said the coming hours will be decisive for any Ukraine peace deal after leaders reached an agreement on a ceasefire following 15 hours of tense negotiations in Minsk.

Norway under threat from neo-Nazi groups
Norway

Norway under threat from neo-Nazi groups

Norwegian extremists are building stronger ties with Scandinavian neo-Nazi groups, and their activity is increasing, the head of the Norway's domestic intelligence agency Benedicte Bjørnland has warned.

Chess to be taught in Spanish schools
Spain

Chess to be taught in Spanish schools

Spain’s government is set to add chess to the school curriculum after politicians of all stripes unanimously agreed on the proposal.

Inside the virtual hospital calming Swedish kids
Sweden

Inside the virtual hospital calming Swedish kids

Sweden's largest children's hospital uses animated characters to help relax kids before they have operations. Camille Bas-Wohlert took a closer look at the project amid fears it needs to adapt to the tablet generation.

MPs plan to decaffeinate teens with drink ban
Germany

MPs plan to decaffeinate teens with drink ban

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) is urging the Bundestag, the German Parliament, to outlaw the sale of energy drinks to under-18s because of acute health risks, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Schwarzenegger to get lifetime film award
Austria

Schwarzenegger to get lifetime film award

Austrian film star Arnold Schwarzenegger will receive the coveted Golden Camera award for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony in Hamburg on February 27th.

Hairdresser boom amid foreign workers jump
Sweden

Hairdresser boom amid foreign workers jump

Hairdressing is the most common job for foreigners living in Sweden, while new figures reveal a rise in the number of immigrants and foreign-born Swedes gaining work in the Nordic nation.

New Norwegians take top roles in Isis jihadi group
Norway

New Norwegians take top roles in Isis jihadi group

Several Norwegian citizens have risen to leadership positions in Isis, the militant group battling to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, according to the latest information gathered by Norwegian military intelligence.

Fake name renter grows 1,100 cannabis plants
Austria

Fake name renter grows 1,100 cannabis plants

For the past four years, a 60 square metre apartment in Vienna's Reichsapfelgasse has burned through around €100,000 of electricity. When police raided it in January, they found 1,100 cannabis plants under cultivation.

Is DSK trial bad news for French prostitutes?
France

Is DSK trial bad news for French prostitutes?

Prostitutes in France fear the DSK trial will only encourage lawmakers to crack down on their trade. But the spokeswoman for a sex workers' union tells The Local that not all clients of prostitutes are as bad as DSK. 'Sextremists' Femen, however, disagree.

Defiant Schettino vows to clear his name
Italy

Defiant Schettino vows to clear his name

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino has vowed that he will never accept his conviction for abandoning ship on the night of the 2012 cruise ship disaster.

Paris to decide on 2024 Olympics bid in April
France

Paris to decide on 2024 Olympics bid in April

The Paris Town Hall will make an official decision in April as to whether the French capital should bid to host the Olympics in 2024, a move that most of the French public backs.

EU sea patrol ‘woefully inadequate’: UN
Italy

EU sea patrol ‘woefully inadequate’: UN

The UN refugee agency on Thursday urged the European Union to do far more to save migrant lives in the Mediterranean, saying its existing maritime border patrol is "woefully inadequate."

French property face-off: Rustic cottage vs manor
France

French property face-off: Rustic cottage vs manor

Would you like relax in a rustic cottage in southwestern France or rather head up north and spend your time in a historic manor? Take a look at these two properties that are currently on the market.

Credit Suisse cuts costs to counter high franc
Switzerland

Credit Suisse cuts costs to counter high franc

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse on Thursday reported a better-than-expected profit for 2014 but also announced cost-savings measures to compensate for the higher value of the Swiss franc.

Norwegian posts first loss in seven years
Norway

Norwegian posts first loss in seven years

Norwegian Air Shuttle on Wednesday posted a loss over a billion Norwegian kroner ($137m) for 2014, the first time it has failed to make a profit in seven years.

Pilots’ strike grounds 340 Germanwings flights
Germany

Pilots’ strike grounds 340 Germanwings flights

Germanwings, the low-cost subsidiary of German airline Lufthansa, said it has cancelled close to 340 outbound flights from Germany on Thursday and Friday owing to a strike by pilots.

UK threatens retaliation over nuclear spat
Austria

UK threatens retaliation over nuclear spat

According to a report in the Financial Times, Britain's prime minister David Cameron is threatening to retaliate economically against Austria due to the country's opposition to EU funding for an expansion of Britain's nuclear program.

Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?

Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?

The adventurous (or lost) souls who choose to start up life in another country come in all shapes and sizes, and relate to their home and adopted countries in different ways. See where on the spectrum you fit in.

Ex-IMF chief DSK called prostitutes ‘equipment’
France

Ex-IMF chief DSK called prostitutes ‘equipment’

Disgraced former political heavyweight Dominique Strauss-Kahn took the stand for the third day in a row in his pimping trial, where he was probed about his Paris bachelor pad.

Denmark sends Ukraine aid as ceasefire reached
Denmark

Denmark sends Ukraine aid as ceasefire reached

The Danish Foreign Ministry announced that the government will send 10 million kroner in aid to Ukraine, while expressing cautious optimism about the ceasefire agreement reached on Thursday.

Opera ball brings colour and cultural highlights
Austria

Opera ball brings colour and cultural highlights

On an unusually sunny day in Vienna in mid-February, the world famous Opera Ball is set to take place on Thursday, with an expected 5,150 attendees.

Swiss press freedoms drop in global index
Switzerland

Swiss press freedoms drop in global index

Switzerland’s press freedoms deteriorated last year, reflecting a global worsening of conditions for journalists and degraded environment for news media, according to an annual report from Reporters Without Borders.

All clear given over Catalan toxic cloud
Spain

All clear given over Catalan toxic cloud

Officials have given the "all clear" over a toxic cloud, hours after warning the residents of the town of Igualada in Catalonia to stay inside.

Cervantes Institute to close on Gibraltar
Spain

Cervantes Institute to close on Gibraltar

Spain is to close its Cervantes Institute on Gibraltar where "everyone speaks Spanish except the apes".

Swiss skier dies in Italian avalanche
Italy

Swiss skier dies in Italian avalanche

A 50-year-old Swiss man has become the latest victim of an avalanche in Italy.

Swedes are Europe’s ‘least reckless’ drivers
Sweden

Swedes are Europe’s ‘least reckless’ drivers

Sweden's drivers have been dubbed the most responsible and least reckless in Europe, despite figures suggesting they're the most likely nationality to use mobile phones without a hands-free kit while behind the wheel.

Mafia blamed for Italy’s press freedom decline
Italy

Mafia blamed for Italy’s press freedom decline

Italy tumbled 24 places in the latest press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders, owing to mafia threats and "unjustified" legal action against journalists.

Germans tail(gate) Swedes as best drivers
Germany

Germans tail(gate) Swedes as best drivers

European perceptions of Germans as safe and considerate drivers were partially borne out by a new survey released on Thursday. But beware of offended ones behind you…

Mayors reported for Francoist symbols
Spain

Mayors reported for Francoist symbols

A lawyer has reported 38 Spanish mayors, among them the mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, for failing to remove Franco-era symbols from their towns.

Eurozone fails to reach Greece agreement
Germany

Eurozone fails to reach Greece agreement

Finance ministers from Eurozone countries failed to agree on changes to Greece's bailout programme in Brussels overnight, Eurogroup leader Jeroen Dijsselbloem said early on Thursday morning.

Sweden gets record low negative interest rate
Sweden

Sweden gets record low negative interest rate

Sweden's central bank (the Riksbank) has cut its key interest rate, the repo, from zero to -0.1 percent, the lowest figure in history.

Why flirty Italians still don’t do online dating
Italy

Why flirty Italians still don’t do online dating

Online dating has taken off around the world but in Italy it still hasn't quite caught on. As Valentines Day looms, The Local's Angela Giuffrida finds out why.

Green pioneers in children’s clothing
Denmark

Green pioneers in children’s clothing

In our ongoing feature series, The Local looks into a successful entrepreneur's life - the story behind her successes, major challenges and how being an entrepreneur changed them forever. This week, we talk to Vigga Svensson, the founder of Vigga, an exclusive and sustainable fashion brand for small children.

Merkel greets ‘glimmer of hope’ for Ukraine
Germany

Merkel greets ‘glimmer of hope’ for Ukraine

UPDATE: Chancellor Merkel, along with the Presidents of France, Russia and Ukraine, issued a statement confirming that a ceasefire agreement for eastern Ukraine had been reached in Minsk.

Swiss anti-immigration bill may hit Italians
Italy

Swiss anti-immigration bill may hit Italians

The Swiss government has presented a bill for new quotas on immigration from the European Union, a move which if made law would hit thousands of Italians who cross the border for work.

HSBC leaks: Le Monde’s owner attacks newspaper
France

HSBC leaks: Le Monde’s owner attacks newspaper

Journalists at French newspaper Le Monde have reacted angrily after they were were accused of "informing" on businessmen by the paper's own owners. Le Monde had published names of wealthy HSBC clients who dodged tax by opening Swiss accounts.

Paris starts lawsuit over Fox News’s no-go zones
France

Paris starts lawsuit over Fox News’s no-go zones

Paris Town Hall on Wednesday decided to launch a lawsuit over reports by US news channel Fox News that there were "no-go zones" in the French capital that police and non-Muslims don't enter.

Suspected Jas Gripen bribe in HSBC account
Sweden

Suspected Jas Gripen bribe in HSBC account

A man allegedly involved in bribery over the sale of Swedish fighter jets to South Africa is the latest name to emerge from the HSBC Swiss secret bank accounts scandal that has gripped the global financial world.

placeholder image
Sweden

Feb. 27: Start Your Career conference (Linnaeus)

placeholder image
Sweden

Feb. 26: Write it in your own words (Umeå)

Police summoned over drowned Africans
Spain

Police summoned over drowned Africans

A Spanish court has summoned 16 police for questioning over the deaths of 15 Africans who drowned swimming towards Spain as officers fired rubber bullets, authorities said on Wednesday.

Norway PM snubs Russia on WW2 bomber
Norway

Norway PM snubs Russia on WW2 bomber

Norway’s Prime Minister has flatly refused a Russian request for help recover the wreck of a World War II fighter plane sunk beneath the sea near Norway’s Russian border, pointing out that Russia "hadn't chosen the best time" to ask.

The seamen battling a tide of human misery
Italy

The seamen battling a tide of human misery

Nearly 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) from home, the Icelandic coastguard's Tyr lurches wildly as it chases a suspect cargo ship off the coast of Italy in gale force winds.

MRSA cases in Denmark doubled in just one year
Denmark

MRSA cases in Denmark doubled in just one year

The variant of MRSA that can be transmitted from livestock to humans used to account for just two percent of all MRSA cases but in 2014 the pig-borne bacteria accounted for 43 percent - "an epidemic that is out control", an expert warned.

Italians are Europe’s most reckless drivers
Italy

Italians are Europe’s most reckless drivers

Italy, the country that gave the world the Ferrari, has produced Europe's most reckless drivers, a survey released on Thursday found, while Greeks were judged the rudest on the continent by fellow Europeans.

placeholder image
Sweden

Feb. 26: What has research for sustainability got to do with me? (Lund)

Italian Spalletti eyed for Japan job: report
Italy

Italian Spalletti eyed for Japan job: report

Japanese football officials maintained a stony silence over their search for a new national team coach on Thursday, as former Roma boss Luciano Spalletti was strongly linked to the job.

’32 Swedes dead fighting for Isis in Syria and Iraq’
Sweden

’32 Swedes dead fighting for Isis in Syria and Iraq’

Sweden's Security Service, Säpo, has confirmed that 32 Swedes have been killed fighting for the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria and Iraq.

placeholder image
Sweden

Feb. 25: Seminar – Trust in Northern Iraq (Linköping)

Court frees mayor from fear of Nazi handshake
Germany

Court frees mayor from fear of Nazi handshake

A court has told a town mayor that he doesn't have to shake a Nazi's hand if he doesn't want to, after a councillor from the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany accused him of discrimination.

What’s on in Sweden: February 13th – 19th
Sweden

What’s on in Sweden: February 13th – 19th

One of the world's leading electronic music festivals, Sonar, is warming up Stockholm this weekend, while Malmö is celebrating childhood and Umeå's Symphony Orchestra puts on its winter concert.