Norway ends forced sex change sterilisation
Norway

Norway ends forced sex change sterilisation

Norway will introduce a new law governing sex changes, the government said on Friday after an expert group recommended an end to what critics call "medieval" treatment of transgender people.

Spain gets first memorial stones to Nazi victims
Spain

Spain gets first memorial stones to Nazi victims

The Catalonian town of Navás has installed Spain’s first stolpersteine - stones commemorating victims of the Holocaust.

Spain’s newest export to France: Vultures

Spain’s newest export to France: Vultures

It is well known that France imports Spain’s wine, its jamon and its olive oil, but now Spain is sending a rather different cargo over the Pyrenees to its northern neighbour.

France ‘gifted’ but needs to stop ‘loafing around’
France

France ‘gifted’ but needs to stop ‘loafing around’

The French economy is like “an exceptionally gifted student" whose talents are being stifled by excessive bureaucracy, says the influential head of France's Medef employers' union.

Brazil prosecutors probe Sweden’s fighter jet deal
Sweden

Brazil prosecutors probe Sweden’s fighter jet deal

A 39.3 billion kronor ($5.5 billion) deal signed by Swedish defence company Saab to build and sell 36 Jas Gripen fighter jets to Brazil is being investigated by Brazilian prosecutors.

Germany has ‘room to improve’ on tolerance
Germany

Germany has ‘room to improve’ on tolerance

The economic and political powerhouse of Europe ranked 14th place worldwide for overall social progress in ratings released on Thursday, but lagged behind other European leaders in areas like religious tolerance and violence towards minorities.

France denies defence docs leaked by hackers
France

France denies defence docs leaked by hackers

France's defence ministry on Friday dismissed claims by self-proclaimed Islamic State cyberjihadists that they had posted classified army documents online when they hacked into a major television channel.

PSG blast treatment of banned Ibrahimovic
France

PSG blast treatment of banned Ibrahimovic

French club PSG reacted angrily on Friday to the four match ban handed down to star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his angry rant at a referee in which he was heard saying 'France is a shit country'.

Italian teams up with MSF to rescue migrants
Italy

Italian teams up with MSF to rescue migrants

Moas, a humanitarian venture that was co-founded by an Italian woman, has teamed up with the aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, to rescue boat migrants in the Mediterranean.

Five unusual cafes not to miss in Vienna
Austria

Five unusual cafes not to miss in Vienna

Vienna’s traditional coffeehouse culture, steeped in history, dominates the local café scene but a few rebel places have managed to mix up old world tranquillity with some exciting twists.

Denmark in top ten for ‘social progress’
Denmark

Denmark in top ten for ‘social progress’

Denmark ranks eighth in the world in an index released on Thursday measuring what makes a country a good place to live, falling behind fellow Scandinavian countries Norway, in first place, and Sweden in second.

Bank deposits no longer protected by state
Austria

Bank deposits no longer protected by state

Bank deposits in Austria will no longer be protected by the state in the event that a bank fails, according to new legislation which will come into force in July.

Angela Merkel’s 15 years at the top
Germany

Angela Merkel’s 15 years at the top

15 years ago today, on April 10th 2000, German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the first female leader of the CDU.

Danish report: No need for whistleblower law
Denmark

Danish report: No need for whistleblower law

Denmark does not need a special whistleblower law for public authorities, an expert committee has concluded.

Swedish teens build on Breivik massacre spot
Sweden

Swedish teens build on Breivik massacre spot

Eighteen construction and civil engineering students from Sweden are taking part in a restoration project on the Norwegian island Utøya, where a youth politics conference is taking place this summer for the first time since dozens of young people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik in 2011.

Italy lags behind on social progress: report
Italy

Italy lags behind on social progress: report

Italy ranks 31st in the world in an index measuring social progress for 2015, falling behind Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.

Boxer knocks back hired killer allegations
Germany

Boxer knocks back hired killer allegations

State prosecutors in Cologne are investigating star boxer Felix Sturm, who is alleged to have hired a hitman to kill his former promoter.

Italy soul-searches after deadly court shooting
Italy

Italy soul-searches after deadly court shooting

Italy debated on Friday whether a deadly court shooting in which a man on trial for bankruptcy pulled out a gun and shot a judge and two others dead was a symptom of deeper social ills.

Norway farming song is surprise YouTube hit
Norway

Norway farming song is surprise YouTube hit

A protest song about farming in Norway has become a surprise hit on YouTube, although its success may hang more on the spectacle of young women prancing about in green overalls than from its political message.

Police warn of online ‘romance scams’
Denmark

Police warn of online ‘romance scams’

Police are warning Danes visiting internet dating sites of ‘romance scams’ after love-seeking Danes have reported being robbed of thousands of Danish kroner by online suitors.

Swedish military posts meal after ‘hunger’ row
Sweden

Swedish military posts meal after ‘hunger’ row

The Swedish Armed Forces have posted a photo online of the latest evening meal eaten by Swedish soldiers in Mali as part of its efforts to disprove claims its staff are going hungry during their UN-led mission.

Disgraced treasurer finds popularity – as a cartoon
Spain

Disgraced treasurer finds popularity – as a cartoon

A Spanish satirical comic is enjoying record breaking sales this week, thanks to its latest cover star - a cartoon version of Luis Bárcenas, the man at the centre of a corruption scandal.

Stranded kids rescued after French air strike
France

Stranded kids rescued after French air strike

EasyJet has laid on flights across Europe to retrieve groups of school children and passengers left stranded by the two-day French air traffic controller strike this week. More walk-outs are planned for later this month.

Italian mobster lived as fugitive on Costa del Sol

Italian mobster lived as fugitive on Costa del Sol

Police have arrested a member of an Italian criminal gang who spent years living along Spain's Costa del Sol, frequenting luxury restaurants and keeping tabs on transnational drug trafficking.

Exciting race expected for Vienna marathon
Austria

Exciting race expected for Vienna marathon

The annual Vienna City Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 12th, with thousands of participants flocking to the capital.

Pope ‘rejects’ France’s gay envoy to Vatican

Pope ‘rejects’ France’s gay envoy to Vatican

Pope Francis’ liberal credentials have taken a blow after the Vatican reportedly refused to accept the nomination of the new French ambassador, a close aide of President François Hollande, because he is gay.

Child adoptions in Switzerland plummet
Switzerland

Child adoptions in Switzerland plummet

The number of child adoptions in Switzerland has plummeted over the past two decades, reflecting similar declines in other European countries, figures released this week show.

Swedish Match hoping to snuff out snus warnings
Sweden

Swedish Match hoping to snuff out snus warnings

A legal battle between a Swedish tobacco company and American regulators over warning labels on snus cans – the peculiar Swedish snuff used by almost a quarter of the Nordic country's male population – is set to reach a resolution on Friday.

General smoking ban comes into force in 2018
Austria

General smoking ban comes into force in 2018

Austria’s governing parties have agreed that a general ban on smoking in cafes and restaurants will not be imposed until May 2018.

Oops: Man ‘creates’ first drive-thru supermarket
Spain

Oops: Man ‘creates’ first drive-thru supermarket

A man in the Basque Country crashed his car into a supermarket after accidentally hitting the accelerator in stead of the brake.

Body of slain British expat found in well
France

Body of slain British expat found in well

A Frenchman has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his British neighbour whose body was found at the bottom of a well in a Normandy village.

German police happy to wear body cameras
Germany

German police happy to wear body cameras

Following multiple high-profile shootings of unarmed black men by police officers in the US, debate is heating up about the use of body cameras. Germany is already a few steps ahead – but unions have a few reservations.

Excavator hid Roman sarcophagi in home
Italy

Excavator hid Roman sarcophagi in home

An excavator has been given a sixth-month jail sentence for hiding sarcophagi and other Roman artefacts in his home, Italian media reported on Friday.

The Le Pen feud: Jean-Marie goes on the attack
France

The Le Pen feud: Jean-Marie goes on the attack

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen moved a step closer to pushing her father out of the National Front when she announced on Thursday that he would face a party disciplinary hearing after a series of inflammatory interviews. Her father has vowed to "go on the attack".

Norway tops global Social Progress Index
Norway

Norway tops global Social Progress Index

Norway has knocked Sweden off the pedestal as the world’s most socially progressive country, beating its Nordic neighbour in the Social Progress Index 2015 largely because of Norwegians’ superior “access to information and communications”.

Minimum wage after 100 days: the verdict
Germany

Minimum wage after 100 days: the verdict

Friday marks 100 days since the introduction of the national minimum wage in Germany, but politicians, economists and trade unions continue to debate the scheme.

Foreign unemployment fall cuts jobless rate
Switzerland

Foreign unemployment fall cuts jobless rate

Switzerland’s official jobless rate fell in March to 3.4 percent from 3.5 percent in the previous month, driven by a drop in foreign unemployment, according to government figures released on Friday.

‘King of Germany’ loses right to drive
Germany

‘King of Germany’ loses right to drive

A court upheld a decision not to allow the self-proclaimed 'king of Germany' to drive on German roads on Thursday.

Pilot strike cost Norwegian 350m kroner
Norway

Pilot strike cost Norwegian 350m kroner

Last month’s 11-day pilot strike cost Norwegian Air Shuttle a massive 350 million kroner ($43m) as it cancelled almost 2,000 flights and cared for stranded passengers, the budget airline has revealed.

The Local’s top Swedish songs of  the month: April
Sweden

The Local’s top Swedish songs of the month: April

The Local's music guru, Paul Connolly, chooses six songs to take you through the first bright days of spring as part of our monthly series of top Swedish tracks.

My Italian habits that foreigners just don’t get
Italy

My Italian habits that foreigners just don’t get

Do Italians have certain habits you just can't work out? Here, Anna Pujol-Mazzini lists a number of typical traits or customs that leave her Anglo friends bemused.

Morocco genocide in W Sahara case upheld
Spain

Morocco genocide in W Sahara case upheld

A Spanish judge has upheld genocide charges against 11 Moroccan ex-officials accused of killings and torture in Western Sahara -- a penultimate step towards calling them to trial.

Police seize passport from ‘foreign fighter’
Denmark

Police seize passport from ‘foreign fighter’

Danish police have used a new law to seize a passport and issue a travel ban on a man suspected of planning to travel to an armed conflict to fight.

Bonucci plays down Juve treble talk
Italy

Bonucci plays down Juve treble talk

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci insists the champions' feet are firmly on the ground despite a growing belief among fans the Turin giants can realistically aim for a treble of trophies this season.

Spanish spring weather arriving in Sweden
Sweden

Spanish spring weather arriving in Sweden

Sweden could see temperatures soar to 20C this Friday as mild winds from Spain sweep in across the country. But enjoy it while it lasts. The mercury is set to climb back down again on Sunday, warn meteorologists.

Swiss clock ticks off Quebec time-keepers
Switzerland

Swiss clock ticks off Quebec time-keepers

When it comes to telling the time, the Swiss are world renowned for their precision instruments but this reputation has been tarnished by a costly clock in Quebec City, Canada that has fallen short of expectations.

PKK apologises to Germany for violence
Germany

PKK apologises to Germany for violence

A senior commander of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Cemil Bayek, has apologised to Germany for violent actions which the banned organisation carried out in the 1990s, it was reported on Thursday evening.

British man set for ten marathon Italy challenge
Italy

British man set for ten marathon Italy challenge

A British man has taken on the challenge of running the equivalent of ten marathons in seven days through the Italian hills, in tribute to his grandparents.

Malta ends power cuts with link to Italy
Italy

Malta ends power cuts with link to Italy

Malta prepared on Thursday to say goodbye to power cuts thanks to an underwater cable linking it to mainland Europe, which will serve as back up if the country's power stations overload.

India’s Modi heads to France to talk jets
France

India’s Modi heads to France to talk jets

Once persona non grata in Europe, India's prime minister Narendra Modi will be welcomed with open arms in Paris on Friday as he kicks off his maiden visit to the continent to woo investors to his fast-growing economy.

US human rights lawyer new Norway ambassador
Norway

US human rights lawyer new Norway ambassador

The US White House is considering Minnesota lawyer Samuel Heins as its new ambassador to Norway, after the first choice, hotelier George Tsunis, was dropped after showing embarrassing ignorance about the country.

How to make eggs on toast Swedish-style
Sweden

How to make eggs on toast Swedish-style

One of Sweden's most famous dishes, 'Gubbröra' (literally 'Old Man's Mix') is a great recipe if you've still got any leftover eggs in the fridge after Easter. It's tasty on a slice of bread as a starter or a light spring lunch. John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Nordic ministers respond to Russian ‘aggression’

Nordic ministers respond to Russian ‘aggression’

Sweden and four of its Nordic neighbours announced far-reaching plans on Friday to extend their military cooperation. But one defence analyst has warned that Russia will perceive the message as aggressive.