New Oslo council may abolish homework
Norway

New Oslo council may abolish homework

Oslo's new left-wing city council plans to trial abolishing homework for tens of thousands of students on the grounds that the practice "reinforces social inequalities".

EU mini-summit called for latest crisis
Austria

EU mini-summit called for latest crisis

The EU has called a mini-summit with Balkan countries on the migrant crisis, as Slovenia became the latest state to buckle under a surge of refugees desperate to reach northern Europe before winter.

Syngenta’s American CEO suddenly steps down
Switzerland

Syngenta’s American CEO suddenly steps down

In a surprise announcement, Swiss agrochemicals giant Syngenta said on Wednesday that its chief executive, American expat Mike Mack, was stepping down, just two months after the company rejected a massive takeover bid by Monsanto.

ABB earnings report better than expected
Switzerland

ABB earnings report better than expected

Swiss-based engineering giant ABB on Wednesday posted better-than-expected earnings, even as its net profit fell amid "challenging" conditions, including slumping demand in China and the United States and lower oil prices.

Drones could be used to patrol traffic hotspots on Spanish roads
Spain

Drones could be used to patrol traffic hotspots on Spanish roads

Spain's highways agency is developing unmanned aircraft that could be ready to patrol traffic from as early as next year.

France remains stingy at handing out visas
France

France remains stingy at handing out visas

France finishes significantly below the European average when it comes to total residence permit granted per capita, according to fresh figures from the EU.

Berlin and Munich in top ten EU cities for startups
Germany

Berlin and Munich in top ten EU cities for startups

Germany's political and tech capital of Berlin ranked highly in a new rating of European startups cities, but Munich is also emerging as a top tech hub thanks to its established industries and wealth.

Fifa probe Beckenbauer over Russia, Qatar bids
Germany

Fifa probe Beckenbauer over Russia, Qatar bids

World football's governing body Fifa announced on Wednesday it is investigating German football legend Franz Beckenbauer over corruption allegations.

Rome mayor threatens to cling to power
Italy

Rome mayor threatens to cling to power

Ignazio Marino has hinted that he might rescind his resignation as mayor of Rome after convincing prosecutors of his innocence in an expenses scandal that forced him to quit earlier this month.

‘Sweden is approaching the limit of its capacity’
Sweden

‘Sweden is approaching the limit of its capacity’

Sweden is reaching maximum capacity for accepting refugees, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said as he visited a centre for asylum seekers in Trelleborg.

When Max and Moritz’s ‘gruesome’ story began
Germany

When Max and Moritz’s ‘gruesome’ story began

Killing chickens, stealing pretzels and filling the teacher's pipe with gunpowder. It's probably not the behaviour most parents try to encourage – but it's been a part of German youngsters' bedtime routines for 150 years this week.

Can Domino’s takeout the Italian pizza market?
Italy

Can Domino’s takeout the Italian pizza market?

The man importing Domino’s pizza to the land that invented it talks to The Local about his bold move.

Military may fly failed asylum seekers back
Germany

Military may fly failed asylum seekers back

Germany is open to using military aircraft to repatriate migrants whose requests for asylum have been rejected, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

Swede turns one krona church into dream home
Sweden

Swede turns one krona church into dream home

Property prices in Sweden may have doubled over the last 10 years, but there are still opportunities to get a real bargain in the countryside. Dennis Toth tells The Local how he renovated an old church he bought for just one Swedish krona.

Madrid and Barcelona rank among top 15 startup cities across Europe
Spain

Madrid and Barcelona rank among top 15 startup cities across Europe

Rival Spanish startup hubs Madrid and Barcelona have crept into the top 15 cities of a new European startup ranking.

French YouTuber burns fans in face cream gaffe
France

French YouTuber burns fans in face cream gaffe

A French YouTube star has been left red-faced after her home-made cinnamon face cream recipe ended up burning the skin of her fans.

Lego Christmas shortage looms as sales soar
Denmark

Lego Christmas shortage looms as sales soar

A holiday season without Lego? It could happen as the Danish toy giant struggles to keep up with demand.

French therapist urged sex orgies and torture
France

French therapist urged sex orgies and torture

A 70-year-old self-titled "psychotherapist" in France went on trial on Wednesday after being accused by dozens of patients of urging them to take part in sexual orgies or commit sadomasochistic acts to help them recover.

Stockholm third best in Europe for startups
Sweden

Stockholm third best in Europe for startups

Stockholm was ranked among the top three best European cities for startups in a survey on Wednesday which praised the Nordic country for its English skills and digital infrastructure.

Copenhagen gets its very own font
Denmark

Copenhagen gets its very own font

This article was written in plain ol’ Arial, but we could have opted for the new font Copenhagen, which designers hope will help market the Danish capital.

Norway hunter admits to shooting elk in zoo
Norway

Norway hunter admits to shooting elk in zoo

The hunter in Norway who shot two elk in a zoo a fortnight ago has admitted to police that he killed the animals, but claims he was unaware he was shooting through a fence.

New Credit Suisse CEO announces 5,000 job cuts
Switzerland

New Credit Suisse CEO announces 5,000 job cuts

UPDATED: After four months at the helm of Credit Suisse, chief executive Tidjane Thiam on Wednesday announced a sweeping Asia-focused overhaul of the bank that will axe thousands of jobs and raise billions in fresh capital.

Job cuts fuel security fears at nuclear plants
France

Job cuts fuel security fears at nuclear plants

Questions have been raised about future security and safety at France's nuclear plants with the country's nuclear energy Areva set to cut thousands of jobs in the industry.

Adidas feels heat of World Cup graft claims
Germany

Adidas feels heat of World Cup graft claims

Allegations that Germany bribed its way to secure the right to host the 2006 World Cup not only shook the football world, but also shone a spotlight on cosy ties between sportswear giant Adidas and FIFA.

Police arrest treasurer of Catalonia separatist party in corruption probe
Spain

Police arrest treasurer of Catalonia separatist party in corruption probe

Spanish police on Wednesday arrested the treasurer of Catalonia's ruling separatist party on suspicion of taking bribes in exchange for public works contracts.

Denmark’s Vestager tells Fiat and Starbucks to pay
Denmark

Denmark’s Vestager tells Fiat and Starbucks to pay

The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said on Wednesday that the financial units of Italian car maker Fiat and US coffee chain Starbucks must each repay 20 to 30 million euros in back taxes.

USA boosts its military presence at Spain base to avoid Benghazi repeat
Spain

USA boosts its military presence at Spain base to avoid Benghazi repeat

A cooperation agreement between Washington and Madrid will fulfil the US need for a crisis-response force in reach of north African hotspots.

Austrian lawsuit against Facebook ‘admissible’
Austria

Austrian lawsuit against Facebook ‘admissible’

Austrian student Max Schrems will be able to bring a lawsuit over alleged privacy breaches against US social media giant Facebook in Vienna, an appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

Swedish star speaks out on Hollywood pay gap
Sweden

Swedish star speaks out on Hollywood pay gap

Sweden's newest Hollywood actress Alicia Vikander has jumped into the high-profile global debate on equal wages for male and female actors, calling it a chance for women to "step up".

Breivik lawyer becomes Oslo city councillor
Norway

Breivik lawyer becomes Oslo city councillor

The lawyer who defended Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has entered politics, becoming one of the most senior members of Oslo’s new city government.

Most supermarket apples ‘contain pesticides’
Austria

Most supermarket apples ‘contain pesticides’

The majority of apples sold in Austrian supermarkets contain pesticides, according to a study commissioned by environmental organisation Greenpeace.

Paris trumps Berlin in Europe startups ranking
France

Paris trumps Berlin in Europe startups ranking

The French capital got one over its German rival on Wednesday when it was ranked above Berlin for the best European cities for start-ups. Paris was praised for its world class research institutions and notable successes.

Copenhagen serial rapist faces expulsion
Denmark

Copenhagen serial rapist faces expulsion

UPDATED: A 25-year-old former refugee was found guilty on Wednesday of three kidnappings and rapes and two additional attempted rapes and will face indefinite imprisonment followed by deportation.

Bernie Sanders won’t like this report on Denmark
Denmark

Bernie Sanders won’t like this report on Denmark

Denmark has recently found itself as the shining example to the world amongst American democratic presidential candidates, but a new report shows that income inequality is a growing problem in the Nordic country.

Judge questions ‘good Catholic girl’ who converted into a ‘bride of Isis’
Spain

Judge questions ‘good Catholic girl’ who converted into a ‘bride of Isis’

Neighbours expressed shock at the transformation of a "good, quiet girl" from a Catholic family in a famous pilgrimage town into a radicalized "Isis bride" determined to travel to Syria.

Fiat told to pay millions in EU tax probe
Italy

Fiat told to pay millions in EU tax probe

The financial unit of Fiat and the US coffee chain, Starbucks, have been told to each repay €20-€30 million in back taxes after the two companies were granted selective tax advantages in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

German news goes ‘Back to the Future’ for a day
Germany

German news goes ‘Back to the Future’ for a day

Even Germans are marking the day when Marty McFly rode his DeLorean into the future in the beloved movie series, with one German news broadcaster recreating the noteworthy - and unbelievable - events predicted in the film.

Vienna academy teaches men to walk in heels
Austria

Vienna academy teaches men to walk in heels

It seems Austria’s Eurovision winner, bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, has started a trend - with a Vienna academy that teaches women how to walk in high heels now opening its doors to men who were eager to join the workshops.

Tighter border controls ‘discussed’ in Sweden
Sweden

Tighter border controls ‘discussed’ in Sweden

Sweden could follow Germany and Austria in introducing temporary border controls, according to reports in the Nordic nation's biggest tabloid. But other sources have rubbished the claim.

Schools closed and roads flooded as fierce storms batter southern Spain
Spain

Schools closed and roads flooded as fierce storms batter southern Spain

The south of Spain is most commonly associated with sun, sea and sangria, but this week much of it is under water as torrential rain pummeled Andalusia.

800 French celebs unite to save Calais refugees
France

800 French celebs unite to save Calais refugees

Hundreds of French personalities have added their names to a campaign to draw attention to the crisis in Calais where 6,000 refugees are living in a squalid camp. France's interior minister is due to visit the "New Jungle" in Calais on Wednesday.

Italian mayor offers ‘gun bonus’ to citizens
Italy

Italian mayor offers ‘gun bonus’ to citizens

A mayor in northern Italy has announced plans to set up a fund to help his town's citizens buy guns.

Five frosty facts about our next ‘extreme winter’
Sweden

Five frosty facts about our next ‘extreme winter’

Start knitting that woollen scarf, go out and buy thick sweaters and stock up on canned goods – international weather forecasts are predicting an "abnormally cold" winter in Sweden.

Urban cable car system pitched for Fribourg
Switzerland

Urban cable car system pitched for Fribourg

Politicians in the city of Fribourg have proposed the installation of cable cars at an estimated cost of 25 million francs to help reduce traffic congestion in the downtown area.

Bayern won’t be cowed by Arsenal defeat
Germany

Bayern won’t be cowed by Arsenal defeat

German champions Bayern Munich suffered their first loss of the season against Arsenal on Tuesday. But the team and the German media are not overly concerned.

Chechen on trial for funding jihadist group
Austria

Chechen on trial for funding jihadist group

The trial of a suspected Islamist has begun in Vienna - under heightened security. The 37-year-old man from Russia's Chechnya region is accused of working with and funding the al-Qaeda linked Caucasus Emirate jihadist group in south-western Russia, to the tune of €530,000.

Danish running champ meets bear in Canada
Denmark

Danish running champ meets bear in Canada

As an elite orienteering competitor, Søren Bobach is used to navigating tricky terrain and unforeseen obstacles but a recent run in Canada had quite the surprise in store.

Bank of Italy boss in corruption probe
Italy

Bank of Italy boss in corruption probe

Ignazio Visco, the governor of Italy’s central bank, is being investigated over allegations of corruption, fraud and abuse of office related to the sale last year of Banca Popolare di Spoleto (BPS).

Madrid metro workers call strikes during rush hours on Thursday
Spain

Madrid metro workers call strikes during rush hours on Thursday

Madrid’s metro could grind to a halt on Thursday as workers have called several hours of strikes during the busiest hours of the day.

Can Zlatan’s PSG conquer Ronaldo’s Real?
France

Can Zlatan’s PSG conquer Ronaldo’s Real?

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid will test their Champions League credentials when they meet at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday with more than just supremacy in their group at stake.

‘Danes are not easily offended’
Denmark

‘Danes are not easily offended’

Japanese illustrator Koko Kimura traded Seattle for Aarhus when she met her husband, and now runs the website Scandiasia, where she uses cartoons to document her experiences living in Denmark.

Vatican denies claims Pope has brain tumour
Italy

Vatican denies claims Pope has brain tumour

Claims made by an Italian newspaper suggesting that Pope Francis is suffering from a brain tumour have been brushed aside by officials at the Vatican.

Fifa official casts doubt on Platini’s leader bid
Switzerland

Fifa official casts doubt on Platini’s leader bid

A senior Fifa official has called into question Michel Platini's bid for football's top job in Zurich, saying the failure to disclose a multi-million dollar payment could be seen as a "falsification of accounts".

Tech-savvy Spaniards rank fifth in world for mobile commerce use
Spain

Tech-savvy Spaniards rank fifth in world for mobile commerce use

Spaniards are some of the world's top smartphone users and love buying through mobile apps, according to a new study by a Madrid startup.

Spain eases spending constraints as ‘reward’ following years of austerity
Spain

Spain eases spending constraints as ‘reward’ following years of austerity

Spain's lower house has approved a 2016 budget designed to ease some spending restrictions after years of austerity, ahead of legislative elections due on December 20th.

Proust’s Madeleine cakes started life as toast
France

Proust’s Madeleine cakes started life as toast

Uncovered manuscripts suggest the famous little French sponge cakes known as "Madeleines", that were made famous by writer Marcel Proust, actually began life as toasted bread.

Online banking hack nets over €1 million for crooks
Germany

Online banking hack nets over €1 million for crooks

Criminals have successfully stolen tens of thousands of euros from dozens of people across Germany after finding a way around systems that text a code to confirm transactions to online banking users.

Stockholm housing list could get world record
Sweden

Stockholm housing list could get world record

UPDATED: The queue for a first hand rental contract in Stockholm is now so long that a Swedish politician is trying to get the city into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2016.

French travellers go on the rampage in Alps
France

French travellers go on the rampage in Alps

UPDATED: Tensions remained high in a southeastern French town on Wednesday the day members of the local travelling community went on the rampage. The violence was kicked off when a member of the community was refused permission to leave prison for a funeral.

‘Breakthrough’ in Dane’s gruesome genitalia case
Denmark

‘Breakthrough’ in Dane’s gruesome genitalia case

South African police say there has has been a breakthrough in the case of the Danish man accused of cutting off women’s sexual organs and storing them in his freezer.

German jihadists ‘helping torture for Isis in Syria’
Germany

German jihadists ‘helping torture for Isis in Syria’

Jihadists from Germany who have joined terror group Isis are involved in torturing the group's enemies, including members who try to desert, media reports said on Wednesday.

Ferrari wins €8.8 billion valuation in Wall St IPO
Italy

Ferrari wins €8.8 billion valuation in Wall St IPO

Ferrari, the inimitable Italian luxury sports car maker, garnered a rich €8.8 billion valuation on Wall Street Tuesday as its initial public offering went out at €46 a share.

Trial over Italy’s toxic steel plant on hold
Italy

Trial over Italy’s toxic steel plant on hold

A mega-trial opened on Tuesday of industrialists, politicians and officials blamed for toxic emissions from the Ilva steel plant in southern Italy that caused at least 400 premature deaths - only to be immediately adjourned because of a procedural mix-up.

Moratti hints at selling Inter Milan stake
Italy

Moratti hints at selling Inter Milan stake

Former Inter Milan owner Massimo Moratti could be poised to sell his minority stake in the Serie A giants after indicating he no longer feels wanted at the club.

Lone refugee kids in Sweden to top 30,000
Sweden

Lone refugee kids in Sweden to top 30,000

UPDATED: Sweden’s Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has almost trebled its forecast for the number of unaccompanied minors arriving in the country this year.

Hiker finds 1,200-yr-old Viking sword in Norway
Norway

Hiker finds 1,200-yr-old Viking sword in Norway

UPDATED: A hiker travelling the ancient route between western and eastern Norway found a 1,200-year-old Viking sword after sitting down to rest after a short fishing trip. Further studies of the area will take place next spring.

Why would a walrus want to eat rocks?
Norway

Why would a walrus want to eat rocks?

A Norwegian photographer has been trying to understand why a walrus would want to eat rocks, after shooting some perplexing footage of one of the large-flippered mammals chewing on a pebble.