Norway lifeboat saves 82-yr-old yachtsman
Norway

Norway lifeboat saves 82-yr-old yachtsman

Norway’s Coast Guard service has rescued an 82-year-old British solo yachtsman who on Tuesday refused to be airlifted to safety, despite his boat coming perilously close to an oil platform in the middle of a raging storm.

Humpback whales play under the Aurora
Norway

Humpback whales play under the Aurora

A Norwegian photographer has captured amazing footage of humpback whales playing at night under the Aurora Borealis.

Blatter ally dismisses suspension claims
Switzerland

Blatter ally dismisses suspension claims

The ethics watchdog of scandal-tainted Fifa was locked in talks in Zurich on Wednesday to decide the fate of world football president Sepp Blatter as attacks on the veteran Swiss sports baron mounted.

From refugees to nukes: The Nobel bets are on
Norway

From refugees to nukes: The Nobel bets are on

From the migrant crisis to the anti-nuclear camp, speculation is rife about who will win the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, with Angela Merkel and John Kerry among the names mentioned.

Norway to tap oil fund as revenues plummet
Norway

Norway to tap oil fund as revenues plummet

Falling oil revenues will see Norway delve into its massive sovereign wealth fund -- the world's largest -- to balance its books next year, according to budget plans unveiled on Wednesday.

Wawrinka exacts revenge on way to Japan quarters
Switzerland

Wawrinka exacts revenge on way to Japan quarters

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday banished the demons of his early exit at last year's Japan Open tennis tournament, but not before lightning had threatened to strike twice.

Spanish Steps closed for Bulgari-funded makeover
Italy

Spanish Steps closed for Bulgari-funded makeover

Rome's famous Spanish Steps closed to the public on Wednesday for a restoration project funded by luxury jeweller Bulgari that is expected to last several months.

EU refugee rules are ‘obsolete’: Merkel
Germany

EU refugee rules are ‘obsolete’: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the European Union's asylum rules were "obsolete" as they put the burden on EU states where migrants first arrive to process claims for refugee status.

Swedish cyclist refuses to get out of truck’s way
Sweden

Swedish cyclist refuses to get out of truck’s way

A video of a truck and a cyclist who caused gridlock in a southern Swedish town when they got stuck in stand-off with neither willing to budge has sparked a huge debate after going viral.

PM covers nude statue to spare Sheikh’s blushes
Italy

PM covers nude statue to spare Sheikh’s blushes

A naked statue in Florence was covered by the Italian premier Matteo Renzi's team so as not to offend the visiting crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Europe will end if it’s not united, Hollande warns
France

Europe will end if it’s not united, Hollande warns

In an historic speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday French President Francois Hollande warned of the "end of Europe" if EU member states failed to remain united to tackle a number of crises.

PM Rajoy is ‘the greatest dancer’ insists his ‘dancing queen’ deputy
Spain

PM Rajoy is ‘the greatest dancer’ insists his ‘dancing queen’ deputy

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is a "fun guy" who loves nothing more than busting some moves on the dance floor to "naff eighties music", claims his right hand woman.

Cannes beach invaded by scores of rats
France

Cannes beach invaded by scores of rats

The beach in the chic resort of Cannes has been invaded by rats, who were pushed out of the sewers by last weekend's deadly floods.

Trio wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for DNA work
Sweden

Trio wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for DNA work

Sweden's Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich of the United States and Aziz Sancar, a Turkish-American, won the 2015 Nobel Chemistry Prize on Wednesday for work on how cells repair damaged DNA.

Forestry boss’ mishap sparks forest fire
Germany

Forestry boss’ mishap sparks forest fire

Bavarian Forestry Minister Helmut Brunner accidentally started a forest fire over the weekend, after dumping ashes in a thicket near his house.

Politician fired for claiming costs of council meeting commute from US
Spain

Politician fired for claiming costs of council meeting commute from US

Carmen López was expelled from the Ciudadanos party after claiming expenses for the 4,000 miles commute from Chicago to attend council meetings.

Charlie Hebdo blasted for Down’s Syndrome gag
France

Charlie Hebdo blasted for Down’s Syndrome gag

France’s famous satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is once again drawing ire for its latest cover, which referred to a controversial gaffe-prone politician as the "secret Down's syndrome child of Charles de Gaulle".

Danish amusement park Europe’s second best
Denmark

Danish amusement park Europe’s second best

Denmark is home to Europe’s second best amusement park, but it’s probably not the one you think.

‘Sweden needs a stake in the global news game’
Sweden

‘Sweden needs a stake in the global news game’

The US and Germany have taken the lead in the battle for the future of news. Sweden has what it takes to seize the initiative but the country's media giants need to think more globally, argues The Local's founder Paul Rapacioli.

Spain’s King Felipe VI pleads with Europe to be ‘generous’ to refugees
Spain

Spain’s King Felipe VI pleads with Europe to be ‘generous’ to refugees

Spain's King Felipe VI on Wednesday pleaded with Europe not to let down the waves of refugees seeking peace and prosperity in the EU.

Turkish PM’s son denies fleeing to Italy
Italy

Turkish PM’s son denies fleeing to Italy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son Bilal on Wednesday said he had temporarily moved to Italy to complete his doctoral studies but denied fleeing Turkey after being implicated in a corruption scandal.

Nine tasty German food and drink idioms
Germany

Nine tasty German food and drink idioms

Because apparently, even when Germans aren't talking about food... they still like to talk about food.

Danish economy growing steadily, ‘wise men’ say
Denmark

Danish economy growing steadily, ‘wise men’ say

The Danish Economic Council presented an economic prognosis on Wednesday that is rosier than the government’s own view.

Seven fun facts about Sweden’s Nobel laureate
Sweden

Seven fun facts about Sweden’s Nobel laureate

Swedish cancer researcher Tomas Lindahl will share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Aziz Sancar and Paul Modrich. Here's what you need to know about Sweden's homegrown Nobel laureate.

Saudi in Italy snub over planned execution
Italy

Saudi in Italy snub over planned execution

The International Book Fair in Turin has rescinded its offer to Saudi Arabia to be the guest of honour at next year's event due to human rights concerns as the country prepares to publicly execute a 21-year-old Ali Mohammed al-Nimr.

Syrian refugees clean up dirty French streets
France

Syrian refugees clean up dirty French streets

A group of Syrian refugees cleaned the streets of their neighbourhood in a southern French town to avoid being blamed for the rubbish, but the far-right mayor of the town slammed the move as propaganda by "squatters".

Julio Iglesias dumps Trump: ‘He’s a clown! And my apologies to clowns’
Spain

Julio Iglesias dumps Trump: ‘He’s a clown! And my apologies to clowns’

Spanish singing legend Julio Iglesias has said he will no longer perform in casinos belonging to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump because of his anti-immigrant comments.

Germany counts gold to calm conspiracists
Germany

Germany counts gold to calm conspiracists

The Bundesbank (Federal Bank) has released a detailed list of all the gold Germany owns, hoping to settle fears it has been exaggerating its wealth.

French TV’s pro-women ad ends in sexism storm
France

French TV’s pro-women ad ends in sexism storm

A TV advert aimed at promoting the role of women at a French TV channel has been pulled after feminist groups and government ministers blasted it as sexist.

How living in Austria will change your lifestyle
Austria

How living in Austria will change your lifestyle

Whether for better or worse, many foreigners find that their habits alter after living in Austria for some time. Here, a few veteran expats share their experiences of how Austrian culture has changed their lifestyles.

Italy senators suspended for miming oral sex
Italy

Italy senators suspended for miming oral sex

Two Italian senators have been suspended after allegedly miming an act of oral sex to a female senator during a debate in parliament.

Down syndrome man attacked on Genoa bus
Italy

Down syndrome man attacked on Genoa bus

A young man with Down syndrome was insulted and violently punched in the face on a bus in Genoa. But none of his fellow passengers stepped in to help.

Catalan patient goes on hunger strike in bid for free hospital Wi-Fi
Spain

Catalan patient goes on hunger strike in bid for free hospital Wi-Fi

Carles Colomer Cotta is refusing to eat until hospital authorities agree to give him free internet access. He tells The Local about his unusual protest.

French parents tell of losing their kids to jihad
France

French parents tell of losing their kids to jihad

A group of French parents, whose sons and daughters left home to fight jihad after converting to Islam, have spoken out about their suffering and constant anguish as part of a moving new government TV campaign.

Amazing new study reveals unborn babies ‘sing and dance’ to music
Spain

Amazing new study reveals unborn babies ‘sing and dance’ to music

New research in Spain proves that unborn babies can hear and respond to music at just 16 weeks, ten weeks earlier than previously thought, but only if played through a 'musical tampon'.

Ravens work together and punish cheats
Austria

Ravens work together and punish cheats

New research from the University of Vienna shows that ravens can solve a task that requires both coordination and cooperation – an ability that so far only a handful of species like chimpanzees and elephants have been proven to master.

Swisscom faces fine for ‘uncompetitive’ activity
Switzerland

Swisscom faces fine for ‘uncompetitive’ activity

The federal administrative court has slapped a 186-million-franc ($192-million) fine against Swisscom for abusing its dominant position in Switzerland’s telecom market.

Greens win ‘Pass Egal’ vote in Vienna
Austria

Greens win ‘Pass Egal’ vote in Vienna

The Green party has won a symbolic election held in Vienna on Tuesday, in which non-Austrians resident in Vienna cast their vote ahead of the real election on Sunday.

Could Merkel win the Nobel Peace Prize?
Germany

Could Merkel win the Nobel Peace Prize?

Angela Merkel is emerging as a favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize given her work to open Germany up to nearly one million refugees this year alone, according to some peace activists. But does the German Chancellor have what it takes to make the cut?

BLOG: Sweden’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015
Sweden

BLOG: Sweden’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015

The three winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in Stockholm have been revealed - and one of them is a Swede. The Local live blogged Wednesday's announcement.

‘I get paedophilia, not gays’: Italian priest
Italy

‘I get paedophilia, not gays’: Italian priest

An Italian priest was immediately suspended from his church in the northern city of Trento on Tuesday after defending paedophilia during a live television interview, arguing that “children often seek affection”.

Tougher demands on learning Danish unfair
Denmark

Tougher demands on learning Danish unfair

A proposal for higher language demands for family reunification indicates that politicians do not understand how Danish language education works, the head of Refugees Welcome argues.

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Switzerland

UAE activist wins human rights ‘Nobel prize’

An Emirati human rights activist barred from leaving his home country was on Tuesday named in Geneva the 2015 winner of an award often dubbed the Nobel prize for human rights.

‘The glass ceiling is still there in Sweden’
Sweden

‘The glass ceiling is still there in Sweden’

Sweden has a global reputation for gender equality, but there are calls for a new authority to help the country reduce the pay gap and push for new policies to give women more access to powerful roles.

MP hopeful aims to shock with ‘nude’ band
Switzerland

MP hopeful aims to shock with ‘nude’ band

There is no contradiction between playing rock music on stage in nothing but a Borat-style thong, and being a candidate for Switzerland’s conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP), an aspiring politician tells The Local.

Pragmatic Podemos vows to fight on to end political corruption
Spain

Pragmatic Podemos vows to fight on to end political corruption

The head of Spain's radical left party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, vowed on Tuesday to implement a pragmatic programme if he wins a year-end general election.

Greece to ready refugee centres by November
Austria

Greece to ready refugee centres by November

After touring migrant facilities on the island of Lesbos with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, the Greek premier Alexis Tsipras said Athens would upgrade its refugee facilities by November to tackle the growing influx from Syria.

Air France identifies 20 ‘thugs’ behind mauling
France

Air France identifies 20 ‘thugs’ behind mauling

Air France has identified 20 "thugs" they believe were behind the attack on two executives on Monday as the company is forced to deny it has plans to cut a further 5,000 jobs.

Messi tax fraud charges dropped but father faces 18 month sentence
Spain

Messi tax fraud charges dropped but father faces 18 month sentence

The father of Argentina star Lionel Messi could face 18 months in prison for fiscal fraud following a request by the Barcelona public prosecutor on Tuesday.

Hollande and Merkel to show unity to MEPs

Hollande and Merkel to show unity to MEPs

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will make an historic joint address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, the first such event by leaders of the two countries since 1989.

Denmark eyes series of immigration law changes
Denmark

Denmark eyes series of immigration law changes

The government has released an overview of 182 law proposals it hopes to pass this session and a large number of them focus on foreigners in Denmark.

VW chief: recall of cars could start by January
Germany

VW chief: recall of cars could start by January

The new chief of embattled carmaker Volkswagen said the recall of diesel cars affected by the pollution cheating scandal could start by January and end by the end of 2016.

EU starts action against migrant smugglers
Italy

EU starts action against migrant smugglers

A military operation to catch migrant traffickers begins on Wednesday, with an Italian aircraft carrier among the European warships patrolling international waters in the Mediterranean to arrest smugglers dubbed the "mafia of the sea".

Football legend Gerd Müller has Alzheimers
Germany

Football legend Gerd Müller has Alzheimers

Former Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the Bundesliga club said on Tuesday.

Five hurt in brawl at Hamburg refugee centre
Germany

Five hurt in brawl at Hamburg refugee centre

Five people were injured in a punch-up between scores of Afghans and Albanians at an asylum seekers' centre in Hamburg on Tuesday, local police told AFP.

French mags pay over Gayet-Hollande photos
France

French mags pay over Gayet-Hollande photos

Two French magazines have fallen foul of France's strict privacy laws after publishing photos of the President François Hollande and his actress girlfriend Julie Gayet during a short holiday together.

Sweden to take Italy’s Eritrean refugees
Italy

Sweden to take Italy’s Eritrean refugees

The EU said a controversial programme to relocate 40,000 refugees within the bloc from overstretched frontline states would formally start on Friday when a group of Eritreans will travel to Sweden from Italy.

UK exit from EU would be ‘disaster’: Schäuble
Germany

UK exit from EU would be ‘disaster’: Schäuble

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Tuesday that he wanted to do everything possible to keep Britain from leaving the European Union, adding that it would be a disaster for both the British and Europeans.

New Swedish Wallander ‘out of the question’
Sweden

New Swedish Wallander ‘out of the question’

Swedish writer Henning Mankell, who died on Monday, was adamant that his characters, including detective Kurt Wallander, should never be resurrected by a another writer, his publisher has said.

Sweden to welcome first ‘relocated’ refugees
Sweden

Sweden to welcome first ‘relocated’ refugees

A controversial programme to relocate 40,000 refugees within the EU from overstretched frontline states is set to formally start on Friday when a group of Eritreans will travel to Sweden from Italy.

Five cosy hotel bars in Sweden’s cool capital
Sweden

Five cosy hotel bars in Sweden’s cool capital

Hotels aren't just the preserve of tourists in Stockholm. They are also home to some of the hippest drinking spots loved by locals. Here's our pick of places to stay snuggly during autumn and winter.