Norway jumps Sweden in ‘global competitiveness’
Norway

Norway jumps Sweden in ‘global competitiveness’

Norway has been crowned the best place to do business in Scandinavia by Switzerland’s IMD business school, leaping three places since last year’s ranking to overtake its rival Sweden.

Switzerland drops in ‘global competitiveness’
Switzerland

Switzerland drops in ‘global competitiveness’

Switzerland slipped in IMD’s 2015 World Competitiveness Ranking to fourth place from second a year earlier, the Lausanne-based business school said on Wednesday.

Norway to pull $900bn oil fund out of coal
Norway

Norway to pull $900bn oil fund out of coal

Norway’s parliament has unanimously agreed that the country’s $900bn oil fund should radically reduce its investments in coal producers and coal-burning utilities to help limit climate change.

Driver in Purgstall train crash ‘had no license’
Austria

Driver in Purgstall train crash ‘had no license’

The 26-year-old driver of a car that was hit by a train at a level crossing on Friday evening in Purgstall an der Erlauf (Lower Austria) did not have a driving license, it has emerged.

Blatter says Fifa will expel guilty officials
Switzerland

Blatter says Fifa will expel guilty officials

Fifa's Swiss president Sepp Blatter admitted Wednesday football's world body faces a "difficult time" because of a major corruption storm but vowed any officials found guilty would be expelled from the sport.

Dump truck driver dies after plunge into water
Switzerland

Dump truck driver dies after plunge into water

Help came too late for a 62-year-old dump truck operator who died on Wednesday after the vehicle plunged several metres into a retention basin in Wohlen in the canton of Aargau, police said.

Two monkeys stolen from Oslo Reptile Park
Norway

Two monkeys stolen from Oslo Reptile Park

Two marmoset monkeys have been stolen in a break-in at a reptile centre in Oslo, with their keeper fearing that they may already have died from the trauma.

Six indicted Fifa officials oppose extradition
Switzerland

Six indicted Fifa officials oppose extradition

Six of the seven top Fifa officials arrested on Wednesday in Zurich as part of a twin corruption probe are opposing their extradition to the United States, the Swiss justice department said.

placeholder image
Switzerland

Who’s who in US Fifa corruption probe

The US Justice Department announced charges against nine present or former Fifa officials on Wednesday as part of a major probe into corruption at the core of football's world governing body. Seven were arrested in Zurich. Here are brief bios of the nine, five others also indicted, and four who have already pleaded guilty:

France: 43 percent say no to daily shower
France

France: 43 percent say no to daily shower

Over forty percent of French people don't take a shower every day, according to a new poll that took a closer look at French people's habits with all things water.

Royal princess couple to quit Stockholm for UK
Sweden

Royal princess couple to quit Stockholm for UK

Princess Madeleine of Sweden is set to leave her native country and move to London with her British-American banker husband Chris O'Neill, the Royal Court confirmed on Wednesday.

Boy survives after 42 minutes under water
Italy

Boy survives after 42 minutes under water

A 14-year-old boy has survived after 42 minutes under water in the northern province of Milan, an "exceptional event" according to the child's doctor, Italian media has reported.

Cologne’s giant bomb successfully defused
Germany

Cologne’s giant bomb successfully defused

Bomb disposal teams have successfully made a 1,000-kilo explosive dropped during the Second World War safe, allowing 20,000 evacuated people to return to their homes.

Swedish mum makes kids’ dolls with genitals
Sweden

Swedish mum makes kids’ dolls with genitals

A Swedish mum-of-three has started making her own hyper-realistic dolls, designed to challenge gender stereotypes. The Local spoke to Julia Taube as she prepared to put the toys on sale, despite a backlash in one of the world's most equal nations.

Air traffic controllers call June strike across Spain
Spain

Air traffic controllers call June strike across Spain

Spanish air traffic controllers have announced four days of strikes in June, threatening travel chaos during peak season for tourists visiting Spain.

Cabinet revives plan to grab internet records
Germany

Cabinet revives plan to grab internet records

Germany's coalition government agreed on a draft law on Wednesday requiring telecoms companies to keep customers' data for up to ten weeks in case they are needed by security services, riling digital rights activists.

Are top polluters funding Paris climate summit?
France

Are top polluters funding Paris climate summit?

France on Wednesday unveiled a list of companies which will sponsor the year-end UN climate talks in Paris, sparking accusations of corporate "greenwashing" from campaigners.

NFGL Reflections: My Year in Lund
Sweden

NFGL Reflections: My Year in Lund

Nabila Zaman is doing her one-year Master Program in Economics Program at Lund University. As the year draws to a close and summer approaches, she reflects upon life at Lund as a member of the NFGL.

Ten French manors for the price of a London flat
France

Ten French manors for the price of a London flat

The average property in London is now topping €700,000 (£500,000) - but can you imagine what you can get in rural France for that kind of money? Take a look at these ten rustic paradises in France and try to pretend you're not tempted.

Federer and Wawrinka advance in French Open
Switzerland

Federer and Wawrinka advance in French Open

Switzerland's Roger Federer continued his seamless progress at the French Open tennis tournament on Wednesday by ousting Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-2, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 to reach the third round.

Are Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Swedish memoirs fake?
Sweden

Are Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Swedish memoirs fake?

Football fans all over Europe were sent into a mad social media frenzy on Wednesday after the ghost writer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography let slip that none of the quotes in the book came from the Swedish footballer himself.

Girl, 11, sold by parents into marriage in Spain
Spain

Girl, 11, sold by parents into marriage in Spain

Police have rescued an 11-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped and beaten after being sold for marriage by her parents for €17,000 euros.

Germany’s top 10 most beautiful summer swimming spots
Germany

Germany’s top 10 most beautiful summer swimming spots

A European ranking released in 2015 showed that Germany had one of the highest numbers of 'excellent' lakes and rivers for swimming, so The Local picked out some of the best places to take a dip in Germany this summer.

Italian Heysel survivor: ‘I almost lost my life there’
Italy

Italian Heysel survivor: ‘I almost lost my life there’

Luciano Barelli was 35 years old and an AC Milan fan when he escaped with his life from the Heysel football stadium disaster that claimed the lives of 39 fans on May 29th, 1985.

Germany to take most in refugee quota project
Germany

Germany to take most in refugee quota project

Germany found out on Wednesday it will have to take in the largest number of refugees under the European Commission's new quota system which aims to rehouse 60,000 people over the next two years.

Cameron cancels visit to Denmark due to election
Denmark

Cameron cancels visit to Denmark due to election

Danish domestic politics have put a kink in the start of David Cameron's European tour, as the British PM cancels his planned visit to Copenhagen in deference to the newly-called election.

EU tells Spain to take in more asylum seekers
Spain

EU tells Spain to take in more asylum seekers

Spain will have to accept more asylum seekers under controversial quotas issued by the European Commission after its complaints over the plan were ignored.

Austria learns of new EU migrant quota details
Austria

Austria learns of new EU migrant quota details

The European Commission has announced details of its controversial plan to relocate tens of thousands of migrants who have reached southern Europe. Austria was asked to open its doors to over 1,600 refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

Girona chosen as ‘Game of Thrones’ new location
Spain

Girona chosen as ‘Game of Thrones’ new location

The worldwide hit television series is set to decamp to Spain yet again, with shooting for series six to take place in the Catalan city of Girona.

Swiss arrest seventh football official in Zurich
Switzerland

Swiss arrest seventh football official in Zurich

Swiss authorities on Wednesday said a seventh top football official was arrested following a US request in a corruption probe that has thrown Fifa into turmoil.

Relocate 24,000 refugees from Italy: EU
Italy

Relocate 24,000 refugees from Italy: EU

The EU on Wednesday announced plans to relocate 24,000 refugees from Italy to other European countries, part of wider plans to ease the migration burden currently weighing heavily on Mediterranean countries.

Denmark’s injection rooms save 300 lives
Denmark

Denmark’s injection rooms save 300 lives

Denmark’s legal drug injection rooms have saved upwards of 301 lives according to figures from the Health Ministry.

EU tells France to open border to 9,000 migrants
France

EU tells France to open border to 9,000 migrants

The European Commission laid out on Wednesday its controversial emergency measure to relocate tens of thousands of migrants around Europe. France was asked to open its doors over 9,000 refugees over the next two years.

Ryanair files complaint over Copenhagen mayor
Denmark

Ryanair files complaint over Copenhagen mayor

Ryanair’s battle with Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen has gone from Twitter to the EU court system after the company filed a formal complaint with the EU Commission over "unlawful travel bans".

Switzerland signs tax evasion accord with EU
Switzerland

Switzerland signs tax evasion accord with EU

The European Union and Switzerland signed a major accord on Wednesday designed to prevent EU residents from hiding undeclared income in Swiss banks, the European Commission said.

‘We are lucky to have Stoltenberg’: Obama
Norway

‘We are lucky to have Stoltenberg’: Obama

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saluted US President Barack Obama for helping to push through “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War” as the two met in Washington on Tuesday.

Tide turning in Italy over gay marriage
Italy

Tide turning in Italy over gay marriage

Italian public opinion has moved decisively in favour of legally recognizing same sex couples after Ireland's "Yes" to gay marriage, the first poll issued since the landmark referendum revealed Wednesday.

7 ways Italian culture will change your life
Italy

7 ways Italian culture will change your life

Everyone loves a brief taste of Italian culture, but for those of you looking to stay longer, and possibly even set down new roots, you may find your life starting to change in unexpected ways.

‘Culture debates are meant to stop questions’
Sweden

‘Culture debates are meant to stop questions’

After Norwegian literary legend Karl Ove Knausgård accused Swedes of being narrow-minded 'cyclops' (one-eyed giants from Greek mythology), Stockholm University business lecturer Carl Cederstöm argues that his fellow countrymen and women should learn to offer more sophisticated cultural debates.

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe’s best
Germany

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe’s best

Germany is behind only China and the USA as a destination for foreign investment, a study has shown.

Madrid’s Aguirre pleads for anti-Podemos pact
Spain

Madrid’s Aguirre pleads for anti-Podemos pact

Esperanza Aguirre, the PP candidate who failed to win a majority in Madrid, is desperately courting the socialist opposition to form a pact against the anti-austerity candidate.

Fifa rocked by US racketeering charges
Switzerland

Fifa rocked by US racketeering charges

Fifa, the Zurich-based governing body for world football, was rocked on Wednesday by US allegations of racketeering involving millions of dollars of bribes and corruption charges levelled against nine of its top officials, including two vice-presidents.

France sees record foreign investment but…
France

France sees record foreign investment but…

Despite the doom and gloom France has seen a healthy jump in foreign investment, a new report by Ernst and Young has revealed. But the country's notoriously complicated tax and administrative systems plus high labour costs are holding it back.

Sweden learns of new EU migrant quota details
Sweden

Sweden learns of new EU migrant quota details

Sweden has been told to help relocate 821 migrants who have arrived in Italy and 548 who have travelled to Greece as part of the European Commission's controversial plans to ensure refugees are spread more evenly across member states.

Italian ‘paedophile’ priest posed as US manager
Italy

Italian ‘paedophile’ priest posed as US manager

An Italian priest who allegedly posed as an American manager online has been arrested as part of an investigation into a global paedophile ring.

Cinemas pull ‘France’s American History X’
France

Cinemas pull ‘France’s American History X’

France's answer to American History X has been mysteriously cancelled in fifty cinemas ahead of its release next month, with the director hinting that links between France's skinheads and the far-right National Front are too disturbing a cocktail for film distributors.

Ana Botín: Only Spaniard in global top 100 women
Spain

Ana Botín: Only Spaniard in global top 100 women

She speaks an impressive five languages, studied at Harvard Business School, became CEO of a major UK bank by age 50, she's a mum and she managed to outrank Queen Elizabeth II. Meet Ana Patricia Botín: the Spaniard who made it into the top 20 of Forbes magazine's most powerful women list.

Russia: French Mistral deal dead in water
France

Russia: French Mistral deal dead in water

Russia has decided that it is no longer interested in two helicopter carrier that it had previously ordered from France, deciding to build its own instead.

EU expands Triton mission to help Italy
Italy

EU expands Triton mission to help Italy

The EU on Tuesday said it will expand its sea rescue mission, Triton, in a direct move to help Italian authorities cope with the number of boat migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

‘Rotten’ business claims at Nordic TeliaSonera
Sweden

‘Rotten’ business claims at Nordic TeliaSonera

Swedish-Finnish telecom operator TeliaSonera has been accused of “rotten” business dealings in Azerbaijan, following a separate bribery scandal in Uzbekistan.

Al Pacino pulls out of ‘Nazi’ play in Denmark
Denmark

Al Pacino pulls out of ‘Nazi’ play in Denmark

American acting legend Al Pacino has pulled out of a Danish stage adaptation of ’Hunger’ because of the Norwegian author’s enthusiasm for Nazi Germany.

What you need to know about Denmark’s election
Denmark

What you need to know about Denmark’s election

With Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt reportedly calling for an election on Wednesday following months of speculation, now is a good time to discuss what Danes will be voting on when they go to the polls, who can vote and how they’ll do it.

Spanish court deals blow in fight against evictions
Spain

Spanish court deals blow in fight against evictions

Spain's Constitutional Court on Tuesday struck down a regional law which blocked banks from repossessing homes from the most needy families for up to three years, arguing the law was an attack on private property rights.

The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
Sweden

The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love

Barbara Bergström, founder of Internationella Engelska Skolan, talks about what’s wrong with Swedish schools, international teacher recruitment, and why she's not above cleaning toilets.

Sarkozy free to rename party ‘Les Républicains’
France

Sarkozy free to rename party ‘Les Républicains’

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to win back the presidency gained a boost this week when a court threw out objections to his move to rename his UMP party "Les Republicains" as he attempts to give it a makeover.

Semmering railway tunnel gets green light
Austria

Semmering railway tunnel gets green light

A court in Austria has given the green light for the construction of a controversial railway tunnel through the Semmering mountain range, on the border between Lower Austria and Styria.

Merkel ‘deceived’ public on No-Spy treaty
Germany

Merkel ‘deceived’ public on No-Spy treaty

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government tricked the public into believing the USA was prepared to sign a so-called 'no-spy agreement' with Germany ahead of elections in 2013, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung claimed on Wednesday.

Police arrest Fifa officials in Zurich over ‘bribes’
Switzerland

Police arrest Fifa officials in Zurich over ‘bribes’

UPDATED: Six football officials suspected of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars were arrested in Zurich early Wednesday at the request of the US government, Swiss authorities said.

Debt is poisoned chalice of Spain’s regional vote
Spain

Debt is poisoned chalice of Spain’s regional vote

Newly elected regional leaders will find their victories tainted as they take over administrations swamped in debt.

Brazil arrests mafioso on the run since 1980s
Italy

Brazil arrests mafioso on the run since 1980s

A crime boss convicted of more than 20 murders and sentenced to life in prison in his native Italy was arrested in Brazil on Tuesday after nearly 30 years on the run, police said.

Rail timetable changes biggest in decade
Switzerland

Rail timetable changes biggest in decade

The new timetable for Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to be introduced in December represents the biggest change in the network’s schedule in more than a decade, the state-owned rail operator said on Tuesday.

France to honour four French Resistance heros
France

France to honour four French Resistance heros

Four heros of the French Resistance will be honoured with a burial at the Pantheon mausoleum in Paris on Wednesday. Although two of the coffins will remain empty after objections from family members.

Danish PM calls for election on June 18
Denmark

Danish PM calls for election on June 18

UPDATED: Helle Thorning-Schmidt officially started Denmark's election cycle on Wednesday by making her opening arguments to Danes for four more years in power.

Forbes: Merkel still world’s mightiest woman
Germany

Forbes: Merkel still world’s mightiest woman

Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women for the fifth straight year but Hillary Clinton is snapping at her heels, the magazine said on Tuesday.

German public shop with renewed confidence
Germany

German public shop with renewed confidence

Consumer confidence in Germany is at its highest in 13.5 years, as the positive economic outlook and low inflation persuade consumers to open their purses, a poll found on Wednesday.

Sweden puffs up outdoor smoking ban proposals
Sweden

Sweden puffs up outdoor smoking ban proposals

Plans for an outdoor smoking plan in Sweden are hotting up with reports that a majority of politicians in the Swedish parliament will back plans to stop people lighting up on terraces and in beer gardens.

Vaud MP confirmed dead in small plane crash
Switzerland

Vaud MP confirmed dead in small plane crash

UPDATE: An MP from the canton of Vaud was one of two people who died in a small plane that crashed on Tuesday afternoon in France after taking off from Lausanne.

Truffle wars: French farmer on trial for murder
France

Truffle wars: French farmer on trial for murder

A French farmer went on trial this week for shooting dead a man he thought was stealing his truffles. The shooting a occurred during a so-called "truffle war" that saw French farmers regularly threatened by armed thieves.

Air France flight has near miss with mountain
France

Air France flight has near miss with mountain

French accident investigators have opened an inquiry into a near accident involving an Air France Boeing 777 which narrowly missed central Africa's highest mountain with 37 people on board.

Your ultimate guide to the best shopping spots in Stockholm
Sweden

Your ultimate guide to the best shopping spots in Stockholm

Sweden has a reputation for style and the nation's capital is a haven for shopaholics – once you know where to go.

Bones of missing Swede confirmed in US town
Sweden

Bones of missing Swede confirmed in US town

US coroners have officially identified the skeletal remains of a 21-year-old Swedish student who went missing in California over three decades ago and have relaunched a murder investigation.