Norway men wrestle naked in freezing water
Norway

Norway men wrestle naked in freezing water

Are they wrestling? Dancing? Cuddling? A new Norwegian music video by the pop duo Robaat features three naked men in a freezing river with stunning views.

Prisoner breaks free with surfboard and toy spade
Norway

Prisoner breaks free with surfboard and toy spade

A prisoner has escaped from an island prison in Norway by sneaking out of a window, stealing an old surfboard and paddling the three kilometres to shore with a toy spade.

Record increase in Swedish hate crimes
Sweden

Record increase in Swedish hate crimes

Hate crimes are on the rise in Sweden. More incidents than ever before were reported last year, according to fresh figures from a Swedish crime statistics agency.

Kissing art exhibition vandalized in France
France

Kissing art exhibition vandalized in France

A series of blown-up portraits of straight and gay couples kissing has been vandalized in western France, with the artist himself questioning whether romance in France was only a "heterosexual concept".

Swedish actor behind viral blog beats cancer
Sweden

Swedish actor behind viral blog beats cancer

Swedish actor Fabian Bolin, 28, who has appeared in several UK television shows and US movies, has announced to the world that he is cancer-free, just over a month after he was diagnosed.

Nuremberg produces record 460m pencil
Germany

Nuremberg produces record 460m pencil

Stationery manufacturer STAEDTLER officially produced the world's longest colouring pencil in Nuremberg this week – beating the previous record by 136 metres.

All aboard: Campaign for dogs on trains in Spain
Spain

All aboard: Campaign for dogs on trains in Spain

Animal-lovers who want to take a holiday with their favourite furry pals are protesting against Spain's railway limits on pet size, petitioning to bring all kinds of dogs on board, big or small.

Iraqi Airways banned by Swedish authorities
Sweden

Iraqi Airways banned by Swedish authorities

Swedish authorities have banned Baghdad-based carrier Iraqi Airways from flying to and from Sweden with immediate effect, said the Transport Agency on Wednesday.

French probe of possible MH370 plane part begins
France

French probe of possible MH370 plane part begins

UPDATED: Experts in France began examining a washed-up plane part Wednesday which likely belonged to the MH370 plane that vanished mysteriously last year, hoping to find clues to one of aviation's greatest enigmas.

Jihadists threaten Germany in killing video
Germany

Jihadists threaten Germany in killing video

Two German-speaking jihadists claiming to belong to the Isis militant group threatened Germany with attacks in an execution video broadcast online Wednesday.

Over 200 migrants feared drowned off Libya
Italy

Over 200 migrants feared drowned off Libya

UPDATED: Over 200 migrants attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean were feared to have drowned on Wednesday after their overcrowded fishing boat capsized off Libya.

UniCredit scores higher second quarter profit
Italy

UniCredit scores higher second quarter profit

Italy's top bank UniCredit said on Wednesday it scored a 29.5 percent jump in second quarter net profits despite an unfavourable climate for lenders, but its earnings still trailed in the first half of 2015.

Poll gives PP strong lead but far short of a majority
Spain

Poll gives PP strong lead but far short of a majority

The ruling conservative party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has taken a clear lead over rivals in the latest opinion poll which shows waning support for Spain’s radical left Podemos.

Man caught smuggling migrants at Italy border
Italy

Man caught smuggling migrants at Italy border

A Frenchman faces up to five years in prison after he was caught trying to smuggle a carload of migrants from Italy into France.

German kids mock Merkel with fave word
Germany

German kids mock Merkel with fave word

As competition heats up in the selection process for the “Youth Word of the Year”, a massive lead has opened up for 'merkeln' – a new coinage meaning 'to do nothing' or 'to decide nothing' that plays on Chancellor Angela Merkel's political style.

Jihadist who fled Spain is arrested in Germany

Jihadist who fled Spain is arrested in Germany

German police have detained a suspected Islamic State jihadist who fled Spain last month, the Spanish interior ministry said on Wednesday.

Hot waiting room costs Sicilian hospital €2m gift
Italy

Hot waiting room costs Sicilian hospital €2m gift

An Italian-American philanthropist wanted to donate €2 million to a hospital in Ragusa, Sicily, but left before writing a cheque after being forced to wait too long in a sweaty waiting room.

Costa resort to banish the drunk and disorderly
Spain

Costa resort to banish the drunk and disorderly

Sick and tired of tourists behaving badly on their holidays, the popular resort of Lloret de Mar on Spain's northeastern coast will now banish troublemakers from their hotels.

Foreign press blasts Danish queen’s smoking
Denmark

Foreign press blasts Danish queen’s smoking

Denmark’s monarch is under fire in the foreign press for lighting up around her grandchildren.

‘Hooligan’ jailed for Cologne mass rampage
Germany

‘Hooligan’ jailed for Cologne mass rampage

A Cologne judge sentenced a 24-year-old man to three years in prison after convicting him of violent acts during a “Hooligans against Salafists” (HoGeSa) demonstration in October 2014.

Video exposes Swedish ‘anti-gay discrimination’
Sweden

Video exposes Swedish ‘anti-gay discrimination’

A member of a Swedish duo who went undercover to expose how employers treat gay job seekers has spoken to The Local about the video, which casts a dark shadow over Sweden's tolerant image.

10,000 users a week for Vienna Wi-Fi hotspots
Austria

10,000 users a week for Vienna Wi-Fi hotspots

Ten thousand people per week are now using 150 free Wi-Fi hotspots in Vienna to access the internet with their mobile devices - and by the end of the year there will be 400 access points.

Dog buried alive sparks French social media fury
France

Dog buried alive sparks French social media fury

Photos of a dog buried alive up to its head in France sparked an outpouring of anger on social media Wednesday and police said the owner was taken into custody.

Swedish ‘cannabis fika’ lands guests in hospital
Sweden

Swedish ‘cannabis fika’ lands guests in hospital

What was supposed to be a friendly Swedish-style 'fika' turned into drama when a man poisoned his two guests with a chocolate mud cake laced with cannabis.

Denmark to review Goldman Sachs deal
Denmark

Denmark to review Goldman Sachs deal

The US investment bank Goldman Sachs has announced that it is prepared to share details of its partial purchase of state-owned Dong Energy, thereby finally allowing the Danish parliament insight into the circumstances behind the criticized deal.

Spy chief: neo-Nazi party inciting refugee attacks
Germany

Spy chief: neo-Nazi party inciting refugee attacks

Germany's domestic intelligence chief has claimed that a recently formed neo-Nazi party is inciting violence against refugee homes and says he fears that human casualties will soon follow.

Baby crushed and killed by tractor
Austria

Baby crushed and killed by tractor

A one-year-old boy has been killed after being accidentally run over by a tractor. The tragic incident happened late on Tuesday afternoon on a farm in Lunz am See, in the Scheibbs district of Lower Austria.

Bomb scare and shooting at Oslo Uni
Norway

Bomb scare and shooting at Oslo Uni

Police have evacuated parts of the University of Oslo after "bomb-like object" was found on the grounds, following shots fired at a security guard last night.

Frenchman caught with nine migrants in his car
France

Frenchman caught with nine migrants in his car

A Frenchman faces up to five years in prison after he was caught trying to smuggle a carload of migrants from Italy into France. The incident comes amid reports of hard-up French people turning to part-time people smuggling.

Dad who leapt from bridge with kids named
Germany

Dad who leapt from bridge with kids named

The identity of a man who last weekend jumped off a railway bridge with his children's bodies after stabbing them to death emerged in media reports on Wednesday.

Driver flees after killing 5-year-old Roma in Paris
France

Driver flees after killing 5-year-old Roma in Paris

A five-year-old Roma child was knocked over and killed in Paris on Tuesday when he was hit by a van as he crossed the road to meet his mother. The driver abandoned his van and fled on foot.

Tourist among three dead in Veneto landslide
Italy

Tourist among three dead in Veneto landslide

An intense period of rainfall triggered a landslide on Tuesday afternoon that has left three people dead near the town of San Vito di Cadore, in the Veneto region.

Copenhagen’s ‘Kissing Bridge’ completed
Denmark

Copenhagen’s ‘Kissing Bridge’ completed

Construction of the bridge Inderhavnsbro for cyclists and pedestrians was completed this week after suffering delays for over two years.

Greasy mayonnaise halts traffic in western France
France

Greasy mayonnaise halts traffic in western France

A section of motorway in France has been closed because it has been judged too dangerous. The reason: 20 tonnes of slippery mayonnaise that officials say is a recipe for disaster.

No trace of free-diver missing off Formentera
Spain

No trace of free-diver missing off Formentera

Natalia Molchanova one of the greatest free-divers of all time has been missing since Sunday when she failed to surface after diving with her son and a group of friends two miles off Formentera.

Italy invites Iran’s Rouhani for Rome visit
Italy

Italy invites Iran’s Rouhani for Rome visit

Italy on Wednesday invited Iran's President Hassan Rouhani to Rome for an official visit, as its foreign minister held talks in Tehran following last month's historic nuclear accord.

Fritzi the wolf still on the loose in Styria
Austria

Fritzi the wolf still on the loose in Styria

Fritzi, a young grey wolf who escaped from the Wilder Berg zoo in Mautern, Styria, is still on the run a week after breaking loose from his enclosure.

Tentative promise of summer’s Sweden return
Sweden

Tentative promise of summer’s Sweden return

As thunderstorms were moving in over parts of Sweden on Wednesday, meteorologists promised that the summer sun was set to make a comeback.

Efforts to improve ‘inhumane’ camp
Austria

Efforts to improve ‘inhumane’ camp

Austria’s main refugee processing centre has stopped taking in any new asylum seekers from Wednesday as conditions at the severely overcrowded camp currently pose a health risk and the government is worried about an epidemic breaking out.

Monaco end Young Boys’ Champion League hopes
Switzerland

Monaco end Young Boys’ Champion League hopes

Bern's Young Boys football team saw their Champions League hopes crushed by Monaco on Tuesday night with a 4-0 thumping in Monte Carlo at the third qualifying round stage.

Rome mulls hiking fines for fountain dips
Italy

Rome mulls hiking fines for fountain dips

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino is considering increasing fines for those caught jumping into the city’s fountains as part of a plan that will also see €50,000 injected into sprucing the treasured monuments up.

Plan to cut speed limits on French motorways
France

Plan to cut speed limits on French motorways

France looks set to continue its drive to cut costly air pollution in certain towns with the government ready to back reducing speed limits on urban motorway sections to 90km/h.

Italian tourist hit by train in Copenhagen
Denmark

Italian tourist hit by train in Copenhagen

UPDATED: A young Italian tourist escaped life-threatening injuries after falling on the tracks and being struck by a train at Nørreport Station.

Danes may vote on ending defence opt-out
Denmark

Danes may vote on ending defence opt-out

Danes will go the polls before year’s end to vote on ending their opt-out on EU Justice and Home Affairs and according to a report on Wednesday, a referendum on Denmark’s opt-out on Defence Affairs may not be far behind.

PM calls for huge turnout in Catalonia elections
Spain

PM calls for huge turnout in Catalonia elections

Mariano Rajoy has urged a big turnout in a regional election in Catalonia next month to counter separatists who want to turn the election into a vote on independence.

Court jails couple over son’s ‘new age’ treatment
Germany

Court jails couple over son’s ‘new age’ treatment

A couple have been jailed for three years by Germany's highest court after they broke off medical treatment of the woman's 12-year-old child's cystic fibrosis in favour of 'new age' treatments.

Swedish anti-begging posters taken down
Sweden

Swedish anti-begging posters taken down

Stockholm's public transport operator has stopped parts of an anti-begging campaign in the underground after protesters climbed on to escalators and tore down the controversial advertisements.

Bears stalk former Soviet Svalbard mining outpost
Norway

Bears stalk former Soviet Svalbard mining outpost

A man in a chapka hat and black coat, rifle slung over a shoulder, idles on the pontoon as a group of tourists sail in to visit Arctic oddity, Pyramiden, a Soviet-era ghost town.

Man held over brother’s death inside suitcase
Spain

Man held over brother’s death inside suitcase

A Spanish judge on Tuesday remanded in custody a French man of Moroccan origin whose brother died entering Spain illegally hidden inside a suitcase, in the trunk of his car.

Svalbard veterans report alarming changes
Norway

Svalbard veterans report alarming changes

Not so long ago, skeleton staff overwintering at the Ny-Alesund research centre could walk on the Arctic town's frozen bay and race their snow mobiles across its surface. Now there is liquid water even in the coldest months.

UK suicide tourist: ‘Ideal shelf life for people is 70’
Switzerland

UK suicide tourist: ‘Ideal shelf life for people is 70’

The death of a healthy British former nurse at a suicide clinic in Basel is igniting controversy in the UK at a time when the number of foreigners coming to end their lives in Switzerland is rising sharply.

Italy earmarks €18m to rebuild Colosseum floor
Italy

Italy earmarks €18m to rebuild Colosseum floor

Italy has earmarked over €18 million to rebuild the arena floor in the Colosseum where gladiators once fought wild beasts, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said on Tuesday.

Migrant crisis: EU sends millions to aid France
France

Migrant crisis: EU sends millions to aid France

The European Commission offered on Tuesday to help France and Britain deal with the migrant crisis at the Channel Tunnel, as police on both sides braced for new attempts at the crossing.

Fugitive mafia Godfather protected ‘at high level’
Italy

Fugitive mafia Godfather protected ‘at high level’

An Italian prosecutor who has been hunting the fugitive head of the Sicilian mafia for the past 10 years says he has eluded capture because he is "protected at a very high level".

Chief prosecutor sacked in media treason row
Germany

Chief prosecutor sacked in media treason row

Germany's justice minister on Tuesday fired the chief prosecutor in an escalating row sparked by a controversial treason case against a blog accused of revealing state secrets.

Four years on, Utøya comes back to life
Norway

Four years on, Utøya comes back to life

Four years after Anders Behring Breivik's bloody rampage, the Norwegian island of Utøya will return to life this weekend as it hosts its first Labour youth camp since the carnage.

Three stabbings within hours in Malmö
Sweden

Three stabbings within hours in Malmö

Three men were stabbed within hours of each other in separate incidents in the southern Swedish city of Malmö overnight. It’s just the latest spate of violence to hit the city this summer.

Swedes: six top tips on how to date a foreigner
Sweden

Swedes: six top tips on how to date a foreigner

From fika to forward planning, the Swedish dating scene can be tricky to navigate for people from other countries. The Local has put together a list of ways Swedes can make the experience a bit easier for their foreign dates.