Pippa Middleton slammed for whale meal
Norway

Pippa Middleton slammed for whale meal

The socialite sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, the likely future Queen of England, has been criticised by animal rights groups after dining on “smoked whale carpaccio” while on a freebie press trip to Norway.

Blast of summer set to be short lived: forecast
Switzerland

Blast of summer set to be short lived: forecast

Switzerland got a brief taste of summer on Wednesday with temperatures rising to the mid-20s in many parts of the country but the warm weather isn’t expected to last.

Tax evasion dispute is ‘behind us’: Hollande
Switzerland

Tax evasion dispute is ‘behind us’: Hollande

French President François Hollande said on Wednesday that a drawn-out tax evasion row with Switzerland "is behind us" as he launched a visit aimed at mending fences.

Segways win approval for Swiss bike lanes
Switzerland

Segways win approval for Swiss bike lanes

Electrically powered vehicles such as Segways and bike taxis can be legally used on bicycle lanes in Switzerland, starting in June.

Oil fund pressures BP and Shell on climate
Norway

Oil fund pressures BP and Shell on climate

Norway’s oil fund has thrown its weight behind a shareholder campaign aimed at forcing oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell to detail plans to tackle climate change, in evidence of the fund’s increasingly activist approach to its $880bn in investments.

Gold prospector irks Salzach fishermen
Austria

Gold prospector irks Salzach fishermen

An entrepreneur from Bischofshofen in Salzburg has irked local fishermen by announcing that he plans to search the Salzach river for gold with a special gadget that is similar to a vacuum cleaner.

Bern pays damages for woman’s death in US
Switzerland

Bern pays damages for woman’s death in US

Switzerland says it has paid $1.7 million in compensation after a Swiss embassy driver, who once worked for the Gaddafi family, hit and killed a woman in Washington in 2011.

Austria must control ‘revolving lobbying door’
Austria

Austria must control ‘revolving lobbying door’

Austria was one of just seven countries surveyed by Transparency International to have regulations on lobbyists’ impact in politics, but still fell short in reining in undue influence.

Ministers want phone data stored for ten weeks
Germany

Ministers want phone data stored for ten weeks

Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced in a press conference on Wednesday new proposals allowing for phone data to be saved for up to ten weeks.

Transparency: Germany ‘very poor’ on lobbying
Germany

Transparency: Germany ‘very poor’ on lobbying

Germany was ranked the sixth worst for adequate lobbying regulations in a survey of European countries released by Transparency International on Wednesday.

Swedish politician calls for legal cannabis shops
Sweden

Swedish politician calls for legal cannabis shops

Sweden is famous for its highly regulated state monopoly on alcohol, with only state-owned stores allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. Now one politician wants similar stores for cannabis.

Swiss return Brazil cash seized in crime probe
Switzerland

Swiss return Brazil cash seized in crime probe

Switzerland is returning to Brazil $19.4 million seized after a probe into money laundering, the Attorney General's Office (OAG) said on Wednesday.

What’s on in Sweden: April 16th – 23rd
Sweden

What’s on in Sweden: April 16th – 23rd

Gothenburg is celebrating its breweries with a special beer week, while soulful star Seinabo Sey is holding three gigs across southern Sweden and Stockholm is hosting a French film festival. Read on to discover more about our cultural picks for the next seven days.

Human trafficking in Norway is ‘risk free’
Norway

Human trafficking in Norway is ‘risk free’

Organized crime groups involved in illegally bringing sex workers to Norway are so seldom caught or prosecuted that they view the activity as a risk-free business, according to the sex-worker support charity Rosa.

Major hacker heist hits French state TV
France

Major hacker heist hits French state TV

Hackers bypassed insufficient safeguards to make off with data on 100,000 contacts held on French state TV computers, broadcasters said on Wednesday.

France must do more to curb lobbyists: report
France

France must do more to curb lobbyists: report

France must to more to rein in undue influence from lobbyists despite being among a small group of countries with laws to curb their influence on policy-makers, Transparency International said in a new report.

Doh! Socialist leader presses wrong button
Spain

Doh! Socialist leader presses wrong button

The head of Spain's opposition Socialist party apologised on Wednesday for mistakenly voting in favour of a bid by the ruling conservative party to reopen a debate on the country's progressive abortion legislation.

PSG to host Barca in Champions League clash
France

PSG to host Barca in Champions League clash

Memories of their agonising Champions League exits in the last two seasons will spur Paris Saint-Germain on when they host Barcelona in the first leg of their quarter-final on Wednesday.

Transparency: Spain ranks among worst in EU
Spain

Transparency: Spain ranks among worst in EU

Spain ranks in the bottom four when it comes to regulating the "hidden influence" of lobbyists in government, according to a report on European countries released by Transparency International on Wednesday.

Wawrinka starts Monte Carlo defence with win
Switzerland

Wawrinka starts Monte Carlo defence with win

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka kicked off the defence of his Monte Carlo Masters title on Wednesday with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Argentine Juan Monaco to progress to the third round.

Sweden’s royal wedding invitations posted out
Sweden

Sweden’s royal wedding invitations posted out

Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist are understood to have sent out the invitations to their summer wedding in the Swedish capital, with guests set to include British and Danish royalty.

Germans stay traditional with 2014 baby names
Germany

Germans stay traditional with 2014 baby names

A pair of old favourites, Sophie and Maximilian, once again topped the table of Germany's favourite baby names for 2014, in a list dominated by traditional monikers.

Population snapshot for France’s new regions
France

Population snapshot for France’s new regions

Statistics agency Insee has just released its yearbook for France and its territories, which for the first time takes into account the country’s redrawn regional map. The Local took a look at the numbers.

Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack

Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack

A female protester stormed a press conference at the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB)in Frankfurt on Wednesday. Italian ECB president Mario Draghi is reportedly unhurt after being showered with confetti.

Russian trawler sinks off Canary Islands
Spain

Russian trawler sinks off Canary Islands

A Russian trawler that had been accused of illegal fishing sank near the Canary Islands on Wednesday, without causing casualties, Spanish rescuers said.

World gets stronger taste for Swedish sweet treats
Sweden

World gets stronger taste for Swedish sweet treats

Food and drink account for an increasing share of Swedish exports, with France and the US among the countries gobbling up a growing number of cakes, breads and pastries from the Nordic nation.

Queen Margrethe still beloved by Danes at 75
Denmark

Queen Margrethe still beloved by Danes at 75

A vast majority of Danes said in a poll released the day before the queen's birthday that they don't want her to step down, even though they also express a readiness for Frederik.

Lithuania pushes to buy German artillery
Germany

Lithuania pushes to buy German artillery

Germany said Wednesday it wants to sell howitzer-type mobile artillery vehicles to Lithuania as the Baltic NATO nation boosts its defences amid concerns over neighbouring Russia.

The story of Paris’s most popular picnics
France

The story of Paris’s most popular picnics

In the latest installment of our "Les Entrepreneurs" series, we talk to the Russian/American founder of Paris Picnic, Katya Kroupnik, about how she went from making three picnics a week to 30 a day in the space of a year.

France unveils billions in savings to appease EU
France

France unveils billions in savings to appease EU

France on Wednesday unveiled a nine billion euro savings plan over two years as it battles to reduce its budget deficit to below European Union limits.

France stands by choice of gay Vatican envoy

France stands by choice of gay Vatican envoy

UPDATED: France said on Wednesday it was sticking by its choice to send a gay diplomat to the Vatican despite three months of silence from the Holy See over the appointment.

Hacker attacks Vatican site after ‘genocide’ claim
Italy

Hacker attacks Vatican site after ‘genocide’ claim

A Turkish hacker attacked the Vatican website after Pope Francis described the mass killings of Armenians by the Turks as 'genocide', according to US news reports.

Mamma Mia! Sweden set to open Abba restaurant
Sweden

Mamma Mia! Sweden set to open Abba restaurant

UPDATED: Swedish Abba legend Björn Ulvaeus has told The Local that plans to create a Mamma Mia style entertainment venue in Stockholm, inspired by the Greek taverna in the smash movie and musical, could go global.

King Felipe VI given unusual gift by Podemos
Spain

King Felipe VI given unusual gift by Podemos

The leader of left-wing party, Podemos, on meeting the Spanish king for the first time, has given him a Game of Thrones boxset to "help him understand the political crisis" in Spain.

‘No more survivors’ from Italy migrant shipwreck
Italy

‘No more survivors’ from Italy migrant shipwreck

Rescuers have found no more survivors from the shipwreck of a boat in which 400 migrants are believed to have drowned, the Italian coastguard said on Wednesday.

Drownings fuel calls for full-time lifeguards
Spain

Drownings fuel calls for full-time lifeguards

Lifeguards in Marbella have called on the city council to employ them all year round, after a recent tragedy saw three people drown off one of the cities beaches.

More French women than men lured by Isis
France

More French women than men lured by Isis

More young women from France are being targeted to join radical Islamist group Isis than their male counterparts, new figures show, with experts suggesting that the shift is a result of gender-targeted propaganda.

Klopp confirms departure from Dortmund
Germany

Klopp confirms departure from Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp has confirmed on Wednesday at a press conference that after seven years at the reins he will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Budget marks return to 1990s social democracy
Sweden

Budget marks return to 1990s social democracy

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's centre-left coalition government's spring budget spells a return to the traditional social democratic welfare politics Sweden is known for abroad.

Danish musical festivals reveal final line-ups
Denmark

Danish musical festivals reveal final line-ups

Both Odense’s Tinderbox and Aarhus’s NorthSide have released their final efforts to knock the Roskilde Festival off its throne.

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Sweden

April 23: TedXUmeå (Umeå)

German is world’s fourth most popular language
Germany

German is world’s fourth most popular language

After 15 years of research and a 1,300 page book on the subject, sociolinguistics professor Dr. Ulrich Ammon found that German is surprisingly popular with language learners all over the world.

Wolves go on killing spree in French village
France

Wolves go on killing spree in French village

Residents of a village in the French Alps awoke to carnage this week after wolves killed almost two dozen sheep in an attack that took place just metres from the mayor’s house.

Man ‘hacks to death’ wife then kills daughter, 7
Italy

Man ‘hacks to death’ wife then kills daughter, 7

A man has been arrested in north-east Italy for allegedly hacking to death his wife before slitting his daughter's throat at their family home.

Ex-policeman jailed in Couchsurfing rape case
Italy

Ex-policeman jailed in Couchsurfing rape case

An Italian ex-policeman has been jailed for raping a 16-year-old Australian girl who stayed with him through the Couchsurfing website.

Swiss Air Force to scrap ten faulty fighter planes
Switzerland

Swiss Air Force to scrap ten faulty fighter planes

The Swiss Air Force is scrapping ten of its F-5 Tiger fighter planes after cracks were discovered in the bodies of the aircraft, the federal defence department said on Wednesday.

Podemos sack election candidates for fraud
Spain

Podemos sack election candidates for fraud

Podemos, the far-left party which has consistently campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, has fired its candidates in the northern region of Rioja after they were accused of fraud.

Italian woman, 90, on trial for running a brothel
Italy

Italian woman, 90, on trial for running a brothel

A 90-year-old Italian woman is facing trial for the second time for allegedly running a brothel just a few metres away from the Colosseum.

Turkey angered by Copenhagen sculpture
Denmark

Turkey angered by Copenhagen sculpture

Plans to install a sculpture commemorating the Armenian Genocide in one of Copenhagen's busiest squares have Turkish officials up in arms.

Jihadist rapper threatens German Charlie Hebdo
Germany

Jihadist rapper threatens German Charlie Hebdo

In a newly-released video from the Isis terrorist group, former Berlin rapper Denis Cuspert threatens Germany with an attack by a jihadist sleeper cell to match January's mass shootings in France.

Norway joins China bank despite Nobel spat
Norway

Norway joins China bank despite Nobel spat

A total of 57 countries have been approved as founding members of a new Chinese-backed infrastructure bank, Beijing said on Wednesday, including Norway, despite relations being in a diplomatic deep freeze since a Chinese dissident won a Nobel Prize.

‘If you only do something once, do it 100 percent’
Sweden

‘If you only do something once, do it 100 percent’

The Executive MBA at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) isn’t for everyone – but for those with the courage to take the leap, it’s life-changing. The Local speaks with a recent graduate about his experience.

‘Busy Danish parents’ study recalled
Denmark

‘Busy Danish parents’ study recalled

The Danish Mental Health Fund released a study stating that half of all Danish parents are 'too busy' for their children, but has now pulled the report after concerns emerged about the company behind it.

Nokia to buy France’s Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6b
France

Nokia to buy France’s Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6b

Nokia has struck a €15.6 billion deal to buy its rival, French company Alcatel-Lucent, to create the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone network equipment. The move saw Alcatel-Lucent shares plunge more than 10 percent.

CDU leader: Germany can take more refugees
Germany

CDU leader: Germany can take more refugees

The leader of Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the Bundestag (German parliament) said on Wednesday that Germany can and should take on more refugees.

Is the world wrong to link Sweden with sexiness?
Sweden

Is the world wrong to link Sweden with sexiness?

The world has misunderstood why Sweden is sexy, claims the woman behind one of Sweden’s hottest new brands who now travels the world promoting a new generation of Swedishness.

Entrepreneur Emy Blixt tells The Local about what it means to be Swedish in a globalised world.

Eta killer to be extradited from UK to Spain
Spain

Eta killer to be extradited from UK to Spain

Eta terrorist responsible for 22 murders will be extradited back to Spain from the UK, a judge ruled.

Traffickers opened fire in battle for migrant boats
Italy

Traffickers opened fire in battle for migrant boats

Traffickers determined to recover a boat used to transport migrants across the Mediterranean fired weapons into the air to keep EU patrols at bay, the bloc's border agency said on Tuesday.

Gays are biggest targets in Spain’s hate crimes
Spain

Gays are biggest targets in Spain’s hate crimes

Forty percent of the 1,285 hate crimes reported to police across Spain last year targeted gays and lesbians, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

Sweden reveals star’s Eurovision backing choir
Sweden

Sweden reveals star’s Eurovision backing choir

With just over a month to go until Melodifestivalen winner Måns Zelmerlöw represents Sweden in the Eurovision song contest, the nation’s delegation has announced the five backing singers also set to get a slice of fame in Vienna.

Paris: Icon Edith Piaf celebrated at exhibit
France

Paris: Icon Edith Piaf celebrated at exhibit

Her soaring, emotion-wracked voice remains the defining soundtrack of old, romantic France and her colourful life the stuff of legend.

Top French football clubs boycott TV channel
France

Top French football clubs boycott TV channel

Top French clubs Paris Saint Germain and Marseille are boycotting a leading French broadcaster for showing film of incidents which led to bans for star players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Dimitri Payet.

Afghan pupil stabbed to death in German school
Germany

Afghan pupil stabbed to death in German school

A 17-year-old Afghan youth stabbed to death a fellow student of the same age and nationality in a German high school classroom on Tuesday, police said.

Pope’s iPad fetches $30,500 at auction
Italy

Pope’s iPad fetches $30,500 at auction

An iPad that belonged to Argentina-born Pope Francis went under the hammer for $30,500 on Tuesday, autioneers in Uruguay said.

Vidal strikes as Juve labour past Monaco
Italy

Vidal strikes as Juve labour past Monaco

Chile international Arturo Vidal struck a second-half penalty as Juventus laboured to a 1-0 win over a stubborn Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Turin on Tuesday.

Zlatan outburst leads to French TV boycott
Sweden

Zlatan outburst leads to French TV boycott

UPDATED: Top French clubs Paris Saint Germain and Marseille are boycotting a leading French broadcaster for showing film of incidents which led to bans for star Swedish player Zlatan Ibrahimovic and French international Dimitri Payet.

Missing lynx ‘found in taxidermist’s freezer’
Austria

Missing lynx ‘found in taxidermist’s freezer’

The mystery of a missing lynx from the Kalkalpen national park in Upper Austria may have been solved. According to a report in the Kronen Zeitung newspaper police found the body of a wildcat in the freezer of a local taxidermist in Linz - after being tipped off by a member of the public.

BLOG: Sweden’s spring budget announcement
Sweden

BLOG: Sweden’s spring budget announcement

The Local live-blogged the centre-left government's spring budget announcement on Wednesday morning. Here are the key points from the financial plan, designed to reverse some of the policies Stefan Löfven's coalition pledged to follow in its controversial December Agreement with the nation’s centre-right Alliance parties.