Rain or shine? Swedes debate shaky weather
Sweden

Rain or shine? Swedes debate shaky weather

Swedes are obsessed with the weather, especially at this time of year when they're holed up in their countryside houses for the holidays. But 2015's unpredictable weather has taken the craze to new heights.

Should two expats in France ‘faire la bise’?
France

Should two expats in France ‘faire la bise’?

The Local's Ben McPartland and Oliver Gee disagree about what appears to be a touchy subject - performing a French greeting kiss or "la bise" with a fellow expat. Who do you agree with?

Swedish police drop alleged bus sex probe
Sweden

Swedish police drop alleged bus sex probe

UPDATED: A police investigation into claims a bus driver in southern Sweden had sex with a passenger while on his regular route in the town of Lund has been dropped.

Denmark to take Nazi case ‘very seriously’
Denmark

Denmark to take Nazi case ‘very seriously’

After a 90-year-old former member of Free Corps Denmark was formally turned in to police for crimes committed over 70 years ago, public prosecutors will initiate an investigation.

‘Pizza Hut murder’ trial begins in Cologne
Germany

‘Pizza Hut murder’ trial begins in Cologne

A trial began on Tuesday against a man who allegedly stabbed to death a Pizza Hut worker in Cologne in a dispute about his pizza.

World must reach climate deal, says Hollande
France

World must reach climate deal, says Hollande

French President Francois Hollande sought Tuesday to raise the stakes for a UN climate conference his country will host at the end of the year, saying the world faced a global warming crisis.

Drone nearly crashes into plane on landing
Germany

Drone nearly crashes into plane on landing

Update: Police arrested the pilot of a drone that nearly collided with a Lufthansa plane in Poland and forced air traffic controllers to redirect dozens of planes.

Swiss army airlifts water to thirsty cows
Switzerland

Swiss army airlifts water to thirsty cows

Low rainfall and searing temperatures this July have seen the Swiss Army using high-tech helicopters to deliver much needed water to the country's parched cows.

Livelihoods at risk as River Po runs dry
Italy

Livelihoods at risk as River Po runs dry

Italy's longest river is drying up fast, putting the livelihoods of many along its banks at risk.

500 refugees relocated to Slovakia
Austria

500 refugees relocated to Slovakia

Around 500 asylum-seekers will be temporarily relocated from Austria to Slovakia following an agreement signed by the two nations on Tuesday to help ease the pressure on Vienna.

Sweden gears up for Stockholm Pride festival
Sweden

Sweden gears up for Stockholm Pride festival

Preparations are in full swing in the Swedish capital for Stockholm's annual gay pride festival. The Local spoke to one of the organizers behind the party.

F1 pays final respects to French driver Bianchi
France

F1 pays final respects to French driver Bianchi

Formula One turned out in force on Tuesday to pay its last respects to Jules Bianchi at the 25-year-old French driver's funeral in his hometown of Nice.

Zurich pulls plug on Islamic kindergarten
Switzerland

Zurich pulls plug on Islamic kindergarten

Authorities in Zurich have refused to give the go-ahead to a Islamic kindergarten over fears it will be "too religious".

Spanish town gives pets equal rights as citizens
Spain

Spanish town gives pets equal rights as citizens

A town in Spain has become the first to recognise dogs and cats as "non-human residents" awarding them equal rights to co-exist alongside their human counterparts.

Norwegian woman jailed for rape revenge
Norway

Norwegian woman jailed for rape revenge

A woman has been sentenced in Follo District Court to five months in prison for asking two male friends to attack her boyfriend in retaliation for raping her in 2013, according to the Norwegian NTB news service.

New French Scrabble champ speaks no French
France

New French Scrabble champ speaks no French

A New Zealander - dubbed "the Chris Froome of Scrabble" - has stunned French players of the classic game after somehow winning the world title for the Gallic language version - despite not being able to actually speak a word of French.

Vienna bans public BBQs during heatwave
Austria

Vienna bans public BBQs during heatwave

As the heatwave continues Vienna's forestry department has banned public barbecues and fires from Wednesday - saying the ban can only be lifted after heavy rainfall.

Student found with throat slit in Marche woods
Italy

Student found with throat slit in Marche woods

Two young Albanians are being questioned by police after the body of a 17-year-old student was found in woods in the Marche region.

GIS verdict sends ORF looking for new revenue
Austria

GIS verdict sends ORF looking for new revenue

A recent decision by an Austrian court that ruled that a man with an internet connection but no television or radio does not have to pay a broadcasting license has left state broadcaster ORF wondering how to fill the gap in its coffers.

Rich and poor divide of Spanish regions revealed
Spain

Rich and poor divide of Spanish regions revealed

Madrid has the nation's highest cost of living while those in the Basque country earn the most per capita, a new study shows. Spain's poorest and cheapest region is Extremadura.

French strikers provoke more Calais travel chaos
France

French strikers provoke more Calais travel chaos

Striking workers from MyFerryLink blocked off the Channel Tunnel once again on Tuesday in part of their long-running battle to save their jobs.

Strong dollar takes bite out of Novartis sales
Switzerland

Strong dollar takes bite out of Novartis sales

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis reported $4.1 billion (€3.8 billion) in income for the first half of the year, down 20 percent, due largely to a stronger dollar.

Malakoff festival ‘rape’ trio deny charges
Norway

Malakoff festival ‘rape’ trio deny charges

The three males accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in Nordfjordeid have all admitted to having sexual intercourse with the girl but have denied the charge of rape.

March for Kurdish terror victims turns violent
Germany

March for Kurdish terror victims turns violent

Police arrested six people in Berlin on Monday evening, as protests in solidarity with victims of a terrorist attack in Turkey turned violent.

Vienna’s most inspiring spots for budding writers
Austria

Vienna’s most inspiring spots for budding writers

Grillparzer, Nestroy and Schnitzler… Vienna is haunted by the ghosts of illustrious writers and the city attracts artists of all kinds, drawn by its history, its beautifully preserved architecture and its peace and quiet.

Spain to accept just third of its EU migrant quota
Spain

Spain to accept just third of its EU migrant quota

Spain rejected the proposed quota for migrants and will accept just a third as EU ministers failed to agree on how to redistribute 40,000 refugees across member states.

Italy told to recognize same-sex couple rights
Italy

Italy told to recognize same-sex couple rights

The European Court of Human Rights said on Tuesday that Italy must recognize the rights of same-sex couples.

Dog charged 30 cents for drink at Treviso bar
Italy

Dog charged 30 cents for drink at Treviso bar

A cup of tap water for your thirsty pooch while you visit the bar? That will be 30 cents please.

Sweden remembers popular folk legend
Sweden

Sweden remembers popular folk legend

Swedes are paying tribute to one of the Nordic country's most beloved artists and comedians, Robert Broberg, who passed away in the early hours of Tuesday.

Nationalist linked to huge Swedish dynamite haul
Sweden

Nationalist linked to huge Swedish dynamite haul

UPDATED: A local politician for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats is quitting the party after being linked to a 550-kilogram dynamite find in Halland, Swedish media reported on Wednesday.

Police bust kinky couple over painful love-making
Germany

Police bust kinky couple over painful love-making

Concerned neighbours in Bavaria called the police on Sunday after hearing a woman screaming for 40 minutes – but officers got a bit of a surprise when they arrived at the flat.

Santa Claus is coming to town… in July
Denmark

Santa Claus is coming to town… in July

Santas from all over the world are once again gathered in Copenhagen for the World Santa Claus Congress.

Germany honours anti-Nazi resistance fighters
Germany

Germany honours anti-Nazi resistance fighters

Seventy-one years after a failed military assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler, Berlin Mayor Michael Müller led a memorial service on Monday at Plötzensee Prison commemorating the German resistance against the Nazi regime.

High court overturns disputed child care cash
Germany

High court overturns disputed child care cash

The German Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled against controversial child care laws that provide cash to parents who don’t place their one- to three-year-olds in daycare.

Paris commuters face summer of travel trouble
France

Paris commuters face summer of travel trouble

As many Parisians leave the capital for the summer holidays, rail authorities are taking the chance to renovate the tracks. Here are the areas affected and how to avoid them.

France’s Depardieu ruled ‘a danger to Ukraine’
France

France’s Depardieu ruled ‘a danger to Ukraine’

France’s larger than life actor Gérard Depardieu has been added to a black list in Ukraine, which features names of people judged "a threat to national security", according to reports on Tuesday.

Italy says operation not needed for sex change
Italy

Italy says operation not needed for sex change

It is no longer necessary to undergo a sex change operation in order to change your gender at the civil registry office, Italy's Court of Cassation ruled on Monday.

Denmark ‘simply not good enough’ for tourists
Denmark

Denmark ‘simply not good enough’ for tourists

While tourism in Copenhagen is booming, the rest of Denmark simply doesn’t have enough to offer tourists, the Confederation of Danish Industries says.

Swedish energy firm racks up giant losses
Sweden

Swedish energy firm racks up giant losses

UPDATED: Swedish energy giant Vattenfall recorded losses amounting to nearly 29 billion kronor ($3.4 billion) on Tuesday as the company continued its battle against increasingly tough market conditions.

‘World’s worst hotel’ set for demolition
Switzerland

‘World’s worst hotel’ set for demolition

Geneva's far-from-iconic Hotel Nash Ville is to be reduced to rubble, a move that is unlikely to be mourned by the establishment's many detractors.

EU leaders fail to agree on refugee relocation
Germany

EU leaders fail to agree on refugee relocation

EU ministers failed to agree on Monday on how to redistribute a total of 40,000 migrants from overstretched Italy and Greece as several countries refused to fully participate in the immigration sharing programme.

Diver killed in windsurfer collision on Gran Canaria

Diver killed in windsurfer collision on Gran Canaria

UPDATED: A Russian woman died on Monday after being hit in the neck by the board of a professional Swiss windsurfer on the popular tourist island.

EU fails to agree on migrant targets
Italy

EU fails to agree on migrant targets

EU ministers failed to agree on Monday on how to redistribute a total of 40,000 mostly Syrian and Eritrean migrants from overstretched Italy and Greece.

Victim sues priest ‘for making him a paedophile’
France

Victim sues priest ‘for making him a paedophile’

A 64-year-old man in eastern France wants to see his former school chaplain convicted for "turning him into a paedophile", over 50 years after the cleric abused him.

Mystery of ‘kidnapped’ Norwegian sheep
Norway

Mystery of ‘kidnapped’ Norwegian sheep

Police were scratching their heads on Monday, after four sheep went missing from a field in Vinstra, 240kms north of Oslo, only to turn up more than 80 kms away in a shopping centre car park in Lillehammer.

Fewer Danish women go topless at the beach
Denmark

Fewer Danish women go topless at the beach

Topless Danish women have become a much rarer sight on the beach in recent years due to changing cultural norms, unrealistic body ideals and the proliferation of social media.

Could sleazy Salamanca be the next Magaluf?
Spain

Could sleazy Salamanca be the next Magaluf?

Police are investigating "grope parties", "wet T-shirt" competitions and "twerking contests" in Salamanca amid fears that Spain's oldest university city is on its way to becoming the next Magaluf.

Selfie-loving drivers cause spike in accidents
Italy

Selfie-loving drivers cause spike in accidents

Italy has seen a rise in the number of car accidents since selfie mania took hold, the country’s state police chief said on Monday.

Catalan separatists ready to declare independence
Spain

Catalan separatists ready to declare independence

Catalan separatists said Monday they were ready to declare unilateral independence if Madrid attempted to block a separation process they hope to launch if successful in September's regional elections.

French farmers’ protest cuts off Mont-St-Michel
France

French farmers’ protest cuts off Mont-St-Michel

Tractors once again blocked the road to Mont-Saint-Michel France’s second visited tourists attraction on Tuesday, as French farmers continued their protests against low prices.

Royal husband tells of ‘breadwinner’ role
Sweden

Royal husband tells of ‘breadwinner’ role

Princess Madeleine's husband Chris O'Neill has given a rare media interview, telling Sweden's Expressen tabloid that the couple are moving to London in the autumn so he can focus on his career.

Ex-IMF chief summoned in latest fraud case
Spain

Ex-IMF chief summoned in latest fraud case

Rodrigo Rato, the ex-head of the International Monetary Fund has been summoned by a judge for questioning over alleged money-laundering, the latest in a string of court cases targeting him.

Treviso prefect ousted over migrant protest
Italy

Treviso prefect ousted over migrant protest

The prefect of Treviso, Maria Augusta Marrosu, is set to be replaced following a violent protest last week against migrants in the northern Italian city.

Migrants dies from burns in Channel Tunnel
France

Migrants dies from burns in Channel Tunnel

Another migrant has died attempting to cross to the UK through the Channel Tunnel. Despite the migrants being told of the dangers, the victim attempted to enter the Channel Tunnel and was severely burned.

Berlin electronic music innovator Moebius dies

Berlin electronic music innovator Moebius dies

The Swiss-German founder of Berlin experimental band Cluster and Krautrock supergroup Harmonia died on Monday, leaving behind a long legacy of musical innovation.

French teen born with HIV stuns scientists
France

French teen born with HIV stuns scientists

A French teenager born with HIV has been in remission for 12 years after stopping her medication, a world first that renews hope for the prospect of early treatment, researchers said Monday.

‘Auschwitz bookkeeper’ appeals verdict
Germany

‘Auschwitz bookkeeper’ appeals verdict

A former Nazi SS officer known as the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz" has appealed a four-year jail sentence handed down to him last week, his legal team said on Monday.

‘Meat tax could secure future of Swedish farms’
Sweden

‘Meat tax could secure future of Swedish farms’

Sweden should introduce a meat tax designed to hit the sales of animal products that are worst for the environment, argues Per-Anders Jande from campaign group Swedish Food and Environment Information (Svensk mat och miljöinformation).

Man hurt in blast at Malmö community hall
Sweden

Man hurt in blast at Malmö community hall

Police are investigating an explosion outside a community centre in Malmö in southern Sweden that destroyed two cars and injured one man.