Free night in a designer cabin anyone?
Norway

Free night in a designer cabin anyone?

Anyone with children can get a night in the architecturally inspired Tubakuba cabin, with its stunning location on a mountainside overlooking Bergen, absolutely free.

Norway’s top Catholic accused in fraud case
Norway

Norway’s top Catholic accused in fraud case

Norwegian police raided the premises of the Catholic Church Thursday on suspicion it had inflated membership figures for years to fraudulently claim six million euros in illegitimate state funding.

Russia rehearses air battle over Barents Sea
Norway

Russia rehearses air battle over Barents Sea

Russia's airforce started exercises that will involve jets striking back against a "supposed enemy" over the Barents Sea that borders Norway, the country's military said on Thursday.

Germans probe Coutts bank’s Swiss branch
Switzerland

Germans probe Coutts bank’s Swiss branch

German prosecutors are investigating the Switzerland-based private banking arm of Coutts for allegedly helping clients avoid tax, British parent company the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said on Thursday.

Federer eases through to Dubai Open semifinals
Switzerland

Federer eases through to Dubai Open semifinals

Roger Federer's bid to extend his record of Dubai Open titles to seven carried him into the semifinals with record-breaking speed and to a meeting with the new wunderkind of tennis.

Geneva man held for ‘bilking’ Russian oligarch
Switzerland

Geneva man held for ‘bilking’ Russian oligarch

A prominent Swiss businessman and two other people have been detained in Monaco on suspicion of defrauding Russian oligarch and football club owner Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Three injured as rescue helicopter crash lands
Switzerland

Three injured as rescue helicopter crash lands

Three air rescue workers were critically injured when a Rega helicopter crash landed on Thursday in the canton of Uri.

Gunman’s alleged aiders get custody extended
Denmark

Gunman’s alleged aiders get custody extended

Two men charged with helping the gunman behind the deadly twin attacks in Copenhagen have been detained for another month, police said on Thursday.

No charges over Dane’s ‘Je suis Omar’ comment
Denmark

No charges over Dane’s ‘Je suis Omar’ comment

Prosecutors decline to press charges against a 27-year-old who made comments on Facebook that seemed to be in support of Omar El-Hussein, the gunman behind the twin attacks that rocked Denmark two weeks ago.

Consumer rights office slams Facebook
Germany

Consumer rights office slams Facebook

The Federation of Consumer Protection Offices (vzbv) has warned Facebook over legal breaches in its terms and conditions, saying that its claim on the homepage that “Facebook is free and always will be” is misleading.

EU seeks WTO aid over Russian fridge duties
Switzerland

EU seeks WTO aid over Russian fridge duties

The European Union is asking the Geneva-based World Trade Organization to help settle a dispute with Russia over "excessive import duties" on refrigerators and other products.

France or Germany: The best country to work in?

France or Germany: The best country to work in?

With a group of employees in northern France having been left outraged after being given an ultimatum to either relocate to Germany or lose their job, The Local looks at which country is the best place to work - France or Germany?

Spoof hails Varoufakis: puts ‘hell’ in ‘Hellenica’
Germany

Spoof hails Varoufakis: puts ‘hell’ in ‘Hellenica’

An offering that rehabilitates the much-maligned German sense of humour is rocking the internet with a searing spoof metal tribute to Greece's formidable new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, filled with painful moments of self-mockery.

Father of French hostage appeals for ‘humanity’
France

Father of French hostage appeals for ‘humanity’

The father of a French woman taken hostage in Yemen on Tuesday called on her kidnappers "to show their humanity" and set her free along with the Yemeni woman taken at the same time.

Paris: Iron Lady goes green with power of wind
France

Paris: Iron Lady goes green with power of wind

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is making an effort to conserve its energy with two new state of the art wind turbines installed on the second floor, 127 metres off the ground.

The rain in Spain falls mainly…everywhere
Spain

The rain in Spain falls mainly…everywhere

Much of Spain was on high alert on Thursday as parts of the country were battered by high winds, heavy rains and rising rivers.

Dead Ski World Cup man was on geocaching trip
Sweden

Dead Ski World Cup man was on geocaching trip

A man who was found dead in the town currently hosting the Ski World Cup on Tuesday had been geocaching, a kind of scavenger hunt done using GPS, police believe.

‘Paris needs a home for English-language theatre’
France

‘Paris needs a home for English-language theatre’

As a UK troupe prepares to put on a festival of British theatre in Paris, there have been renewed calls for English-language productions to be given a permanent home amid the French capital's Gallic-dominated arts scene.

Dylan guitarist to take Ice Music stage in Sweden
Sweden

Dylan guitarist to take Ice Music stage in Sweden

Bob Dylan guitarist Charlie Sexton and other Texas musicians are in a race against the clock to get acquainted with "magical" ice instruments just days before performing on the Ice Music stage in Luleå in northern Sweden.

Nurse jailed for life for serial patient murders
Germany

Nurse jailed for life for serial patient murders

A male nurse who injected patients with overdoses of heart medication for the thrill of resuscitating them was on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment on five counts of murder.

Bomb scare at Dortmund football stadium
Germany

Bomb scare at Dortmund football stadium

Bomb disposal teams have disarmed an unexploded Second World War bomb found directly in front of the main stand at Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna stadium.

International Brigades honoured at Jarama
Spain

International Brigades honoured at Jarama

Around 300 relatives of the volunteers who made up the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War have been marching to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Jarama.

Denmark looks to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir
Denmark

Denmark looks to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir

Danish politicians are once again making a push to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic group that openly supports the establishment of a caliphate and that has been at the centre of numerous controversies in Denmark.

Nato chief warns Russia after Italy meet
Italy

Nato chief warns Russia after Italy meet

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday warned that any attempt to expand territory held by separatists in Ukraine would be "unacceptable" and told Russia to withdraw 1,000 items of military equipment from Ukraine's territory, speaking after meeting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Italy raises €2.2bn in sale of Enel stake
Italy

Italy raises €2.2bn in sale of Enel stake

Italy raised €2.2 billion in a sale of 5.7 percent of electricity company Enel, the economy and finance ministry said on Thursday, as part of a €10 billion privatization effort.

Al-Jazeera journalist in court over drone flight
France

Al-Jazeera journalist in court over drone flight

UPDATED: One of three Al-Jazeera journalists arrested for flying a drone in Paris will appear in court next week where he is expected to plead guilty, a judicial source said on Thursday.

Could diary hold clue to Aliyev death?
Austria

Could diary hold clue to Aliyev death?

Prosecutors in Austria have confirmed that the diary of former Kazakh ambassador Rakhat Aliyev has been found in his prison cell, where he was found dead on Tuesday.

Corruption bigger worry than terrorism in Spain
Spain

Corruption bigger worry than terrorism in Spain

A new poll has found that Spaniards are much more concerned with unemployment and corruption than the threat of terrorism.

Should Swedish second hand shops pay VAT?
Sweden

Should Swedish second hand shops pay VAT?

Sweden's second hand store scene is booming but a long-running row over whether charity shops should pay tax on sales (VAT) is yet to be sewn up. On Thursday the EU said it wouldn't take action against Sweden if it decided all not-for-profit firms could be exempt, but the Swedish government and tax agency weren't yet in agreement.

Sixty-year-old Austrian gives birth to twins
Austria

Sixty-year-old Austrian gives birth to twins

In a first for Austria, a 60-year-old woman has given birth to twins in a clinic in Wels-Grieskirchen in Upper Austria, following IVF treatment.

Italy-US medical merger to create €2.4bn firm
Italy

Italy-US medical merger to create €2.4bn firm

The Italian manufacturer of pacemakers Sorin on Thursday announced it plans to merge with US medical device firm Cyberonics, creating a new company valued at around €2.4 billion.

Denmark’s summer festival race heats up
Denmark

Denmark’s summer festival race heats up

A total of 30 new musical acts were rolled out in duelling announcements from Roskilde Festival and Tinderbox on Thursday, with the NorthSide Festival making additions of its own earlier this week.

‘With Swedish childcare everyone’s a winner’
Sweden

‘With Swedish childcare everyone’s a winner’

Our northern Sweden correspondent, Paul Connolly, loves the Swedish "dagis" system - luckily so do his twin daughters, who have just started daycare in the Nordic nation.

Breivik loses lawyer over ‘unrealistic’ demands
Norway

Breivik loses lawyer over ‘unrealistic’ demands

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has broken with his long-standing defence lawyer Geir Lippestad as the law firm was preparing to launch a new law suit aimed at freeing their client from solitary confinement.

Swedish language class teacher in Holocaust row
Sweden

Swedish language class teacher in Holocaust row

A substitute teacher has been told off for challenging a Holocaust denier during a Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) class in southern Sweden.

Hollande slams MPs over talks with Syria’s Assad
France

Hollande slams MPs over talks with Syria’s Assad

UPDATED: France's President and Prime Minister have accused a group of French MPs of a "moral failing" after they travelled to Syria to meet the President Bashar al-Assad, whom PM Manuel Valls described as a "butcher".

007 is latest victim of Rome’s famous potholes
Italy

007 is latest victim of Rome’s famous potholes

Daniel Craig became a victim of Rome's notorious potholes this week while shooting the latest James Bond film, hitting his head on the roof of his sports car, Italian media reported on Thursday.

It’s official: Spanish economy is growing
Spain

It’s official: Spanish economy is growing

Spain's economy expanded by 1.4 percent in 2014, after five years of recession or no growth, the country's national statistics agency Ine said on Thursday, confirming a provisional figure published in late January.

Russia revives ‘KGB methods’ in Europe
Germany

Russia revives ‘KGB methods’ in Europe

Russia is busily enlarging its spying network in Europe along the former Soviet KGB model because of the Ukraine crisis, Germany's domestic intelligence chief warns.

Six months for Isis Facebook postings
Austria

Six months for Isis Facebook postings

A court in Vienna has handed a young Kurdish man a six month conditional sentence for posting Islamic State (Isis) images and propaganda on Facebook.

Purrfect catch: Italian twins land giant catfish
Italy

Purrfect catch: Italian twins land giant catfish

Twin Italian brothers came within a whisker of a European record when they reeled in a catfish weighing 127kg in northern Italy’s River Po – with just a fishing rod.

German Jews warned off kippahs in Muslim areas
Germany

German Jews warned off kippahs in Muslim areas

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews, said on Thursday that Jewish people should avoid making themselves too visible in “problem neighbourhoods”.

Swiss military weapons exports soar in 2014
Switzerland

Swiss military weapons exports soar in 2014

The export of Swiss military weapons, munitions and equipment jumped 22 percent last year, according to government figures released on Thursday.

Pensioner jailed for mosque grenade attack
France

Pensioner jailed for mosque grenade attack

A French pensioner, who says he feels "threatened by Islam" has been handed a three-year prison sentence after he threw grenades at a mosque in western France hours after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.

How to avoid saying things you’ll later regret
Austria

How to avoid saying things you’ll later regret

Vienna-based Marriage and Family Therapist Helen Rudinsky looks at how to avoid saying things you'll later regret which can harm your relationships.

Five years in Swedish jail for Syrian ‘torture’ man
Sweden

Five years in Swedish jail for Syrian ‘torture’ man

UPDATED: A 28-year-old Syrian man living in Sweden has been sentenced to five years in jail for violence in Syria in 2012. The former Free Syrian Army fighter is one of just three people convicted in the Nordic nation over the past decade for crimes carried out abroad.

Charlize Theron adds glamour to Life Ball
Austria

Charlize Theron adds glamour to Life Ball

Vienna’s annual Life Ball, which is dedicated to raising awareness about AIDS and HIV, will have a touch of Hollywood glamour this year with Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron attending as a special guest.

Kafka’s Metamorphosis: 100 years of perplexity
Germany

Kafka’s Metamorphosis: 100 years of perplexity

100 years ago, Franz Kafka published The Metamorphosis, now seen as one of the most significant works of 20th century German literature. The Local speaks to the academic who has reinterpreted it for a modern audience.

First Swedish woman wins Michelin star
Sweden

First Swedish woman wins Michelin star

Three restaurants in Malmö in southern Sweden have become the first in the city to be awarded a Michelin star, with one head chef the first woman in the country to score the top culinary honour.

Luxury Swiss pen uses tsunami ‘miracle’ wood
Switzerland

Luxury Swiss pen uses tsunami ‘miracle’ wood

Swiss-owned luxury brand Montblanc is to sell fountain pens made from a "miracle pine" tree that survived the 2011 tsunami, for a hefty $4,400, an official said, with 20 percent of takings donated to local people.

McDonald’s accused of huge French tax dodge
France

McDonald’s accused of huge French tax dodge

Several labour unions and a charity have formally accused McDonald's of cheating the French tax man to the tune of up to €700 million.

Aarhus gets its long-awaited Michelin stars
Denmark

Aarhus gets its long-awaited Michelin stars

Aarhus often lives in the shadows of Copenhagen, but Denmark’s second-largest city no longer has to take a back seat when it comes to its food scene.

Opposition comes out top in debate poll
Spain

Opposition comes out top in debate poll

The head of the opposition Socialist party (PSOE) outshone Spanish Popular party Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, during the state of the nation debate, according to a poll published on Thursday.

Italians more worried about jobs than terrorists
Italy

Italians more worried about jobs than terrorists

Italians are more worried about unemployment, political corruption and tax than terrorism, a new poll has found.

BILD says ‘NEIN’ to Greece bailout extension
Germany

BILD says ‘NEIN’ to Greece bailout extension

BILD, Europe's biggest-selling daily newspaper, on Thursday targeted plans for an extension to Greece's bailout by asking readers to email in selfies with the paper's "NEIN" headline.

Cannavaro gets jail term for taking a swim
Italy

Cannavaro gets jail term for taking a swim

The former captain of Italy’s national football team, Fabio Cannavaro, has been handed a ten month sentence for entering his own villa and taking a swim in the pool.

Paediatrician still works despite child porn rap
Switzerland

Paediatrician still works despite child porn rap

A hospital children’s doctor in the canton of Aargau convicted for possessing child pornography after taking more than 12,000 pictures and 700 videos of young boys is being allowed to continue working in medicine.

Hollande takes stars to Manila for climate talks
France

Hollande takes stars to Manila for climate talks

French president François Hollande arrived in the Philippines on Thursday, accompanied by two of France's leading actresses - Marion Cotillard and Melanie Laurent, to promote the fight against climate change ahead of a crucial summit of world leaders.

Boost for France as jobless figures fall
France

Boost for France as jobless figures fall

There was finally some good news on the jobless figures for France on Wednesday with new stats showing a drop in the number of people out of work, for the first time in months.

Kazakh dissent security chief wins Spain asylum
Spain

Kazakh dissent security chief wins Spain asylum

Spain's Supreme Court has ruled that a Kazakh dissident who rights groups warn would face torture if he returned to Kazakhstan has the right to asylum in Spain, according to a decision published Wednesday

Danish central bank has speculators on retreat
Denmark

Danish central bank has speculators on retreat

Denmark’s central bank, Nationalbanken, appears to have beaten back international speculators – for now, at least – in its efforts to defend the Danish krone's peg to the euro.

Consumer confidence highest since 2001
Germany

Consumer confidence highest since 2001

Consumer confidence in Germany is at its highest since late 2001, as rising optimism about the economy and income expectations persuade German shoppers to open their wallets, a poll found on Thursday.

Podemos challenges Rajoy to TV debate
Spain

Podemos challenges Rajoy to TV debate

The leader new anti-establishment party Podemos which is leading Spanish polls on Wednesday challenged conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to a television debate ahead of a series of elections.

Federer rebounds to make Dubai quarterfinals
Switzerland

Federer rebounds to make Dubai quarterfinals

Switzerland's Roger Federer escaped from trouble with a remarkable 20-point winning sequence on Wednesday, which helped him into the quarterfinals of the Dubai Open tennis tournament in search of his seventh title.

Army considers plan to field more tanks
Germany

Army considers plan to field more tanks

The crisis in Ukraine is prompting a rethink of equipment plans at the Defence Ministry, with officials considering outfitting troops with more battle tanks.

Elks rack up billion kronor bill for Sweden
Sweden

Elks rack up billion kronor bill for Sweden

Train accidents involving elks cost Sweden billions of kronor every year. The Swedish Transportation Authority (Trafikverket) is now set to investigate how to solve this expensive problem.

Monaco humble Arsenal in Champions League
France

Monaco humble Arsenal in Champions League

French side Monaco pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history on Wednesday, when they beat Arsenal 3-1 in the first leg of their last-16 tie in London. Monaco's striker Dimitar Berbatov warned the tie was not over though.

Danish police arrest 95 in human trafficking bust
Denmark

Danish police arrest 95 in human trafficking bust

After five months of "intensive investigation", police break up a human trafficking and fraud ring that may have earned its masterminds over 50 million kroner.

Schumacher’s Norway retreat sold for $3m
Norway

Schumacher’s Norway retreat sold for $3m

The Norwegian mountain holiday home owned by Michael Schumacher has been sold for close to 22 million Norwegian kroner ($2.9m), as the former Formula One star continues his slow recovery in Switzerland.

‘Put Libya at top of global agenda’: Gentiloni
Italy

‘Put Libya at top of global agenda’: Gentiloni

Libya's neighbour Tunisia and its former colonial power Italy issued a joint call on Wednesday for reconciliation among militias leading to a political settlement in the conflict-riven country.

Brunel rings changes ahead of Scotland game
Italy

Brunel rings changes ahead of Scotland game

Italy coach Jacques Brunel labelled Scotland one of the Azzurri's "most difficult opponents" after making six changes to his starting XV ahead of this weekend's Six Nations clash at Murrayfield.

Swedish cops face rise in sex trade at world cup
Sweden

Swedish cops face rise in sex trade at world cup

The Ski World Cup in Sweden has been a worldwide party of smiles, gold medals and impressive ski sprints. But behind the scenes police have been battling a rise in prostitution during the championships.

What’s on: February 26th – March 5th
Sweden

What’s on: February 26th – March 5th

An exclusive pop-up concert is heading to Stockholm this week – and one lucky The Local reader could snag two tickets. But if that's not your cup of tea, how about Sweden's biggest documentary festival, a series of heavy metal gigs in the far north or one of the world's most popular horse shows?