Door-welding trafficker gets two years
Austria

Door-welding trafficker gets two years

A Romanian people smuggler who welded the doors shut on 26 refugees he was illegally transporting across Austria in August was sentenced to two years in jail on Friday.

10,000s grounded as Lufthansa crews strike
Germany

10,000s grounded as Lufthansa crews strike

German airline Lufthansa cancelled 290 flights Friday, grounding 37,500 passengers, as cabin staff began a week-long blitz of walkouts in a long-running battle over savings aimed at fending off competition from low-cost rivals.

New assisted suicide law could criminalize doctors
Germany

New assisted suicide law could criminalize doctors

Germany on Friday passed a law banning professional assisted suicide services - even if practitioners say they do so purely in the interest of suffering people.

Berlin still pays Spanish Nazi volunteers pensions
Germany

Berlin still pays Spanish Nazi volunteers pensions

Berlin is still honouring an agreement struck with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco to pay pensions to fascist volunteers who signed up to fight for Hitler, it has emerged.

Ex-mayors probed over La Scala asbestos deaths
Italy

Ex-mayors probed over La Scala asbestos deaths

Four ex-mayors of Milan are been probed over seven asbestos-related deaths connected to the prestigious Teatro alla Scala opera house.

Four fatherly facts about Sweden’s ‘equal’ dads
Sweden

Four fatherly facts about Sweden’s ‘equal’ dads

Swedes celebrated Father's Day this Sunday. Here are four facts and statistics about being a dad in the famously most gender equal country in the world.

Madrid will go to court if Catalonia launches secession bid, govt warns
Spain

Madrid will go to court if Catalonia launches secession bid, govt warns

Spain's government said it would go straight to court if Catalonia's regional parliament votes to launch a secession process next week, in what has become a major headache for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

France to take in just 200 refugees in November
France

France to take in just 200 refugees in November

France will officially welcome 200 refugees in total this month, a figure that pales in comparison to the 180,000 who arrived in Germany in October.

Shutting Norway border ‘not off table’: minister
Norway

Shutting Norway border ‘not off table’: minister

Norway’s government has not ruled out shutting the country’s northern border with Russia, after an extraordinary meeting held on Friday to discuss record refugee numbers.

Media groups urge Spain’s future government to repeal ‘gag law’
Spain

Media groups urge Spain’s future government to repeal ‘gag law’

Spain's next government after elections in December should repeal a highly contentious "gag law" that a raft of critics say is muzzling the media, a group of press freedom groups said.

Trollhättan teen: ‘I am so happy to be alive’
Sweden

Trollhättan teen: ‘I am so happy to be alive’

A 15-year-old boy has spoken of the moment a masked swordman stabbed him in the stomach, after killing one of his fellow pupils and a teaching assistant in an attack on a Trollhättan school.

Norway singer ‘ruins Christmas’ for Oasis fans
Norway

Norway singer ‘ruins Christmas’ for Oasis fans

Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes has been accused of “ruining Christmas” by fans of Brit Pop legends Oasis, after recording a slowed-down version of the song Half the World Away for the UK's highest profile Christmas advert.

Police detain female suspected Isis member at Spanish airport
Spain

Police detain female suspected Isis member at Spanish airport

The Spanish National Police reported on Friday that they had arrested a woman at Málaga airport upon her arrival back in Spain after allegedly trying to join Isis.

Renzi revives divisive Sicily bridge plans
Italy

Renzi revives divisive Sicily bridge plans

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has vowed to revive the oft-mooted ambitious plans to connect Sicily to mainland Italy via a bridge over the Strait of Messina.

Italy manhunt after murderer flees jail
Italy

Italy manhunt after murderer flees jail

A massive manhunt is underway after a 42-year-old man, who was serving a life sentence for murder at a prison in Lecce, escaped during a hospital visit on Friday.

Berlin street traders ‘sold hats made of dog fur’
Germany

Berlin street traders ‘sold hats made of dog fur’

Berliners were outraged this week after it emerged that some tourist souvenir stands are selling hats made of dog fur. The Local headed to sightseeing hotspots to investigate.

Weak euro boosts Richemont profit figures
Switzerland

Weak euro boosts Richemont profit figures

Richemont, the world's second-biggest luxury goods company, on Friday reported strong profits but acknowledged that a currency windfall caused most of the rise.

Police probe mystery blast in Swedish capital
Sweden

Police probe mystery blast in Swedish capital

UPDATED: A loud 'explosion' which sparked frantic police activity and global media attention in Stockholm on Friday turned out to be nothing more than a man hanging curtains, a Swedish tabloid has reported.

Russia fury over Charlie Hedbo crash cartoons
France

Russia fury over Charlie Hedbo crash cartoons

The Kremlin on Friday angrily condemned France's Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine for publishing political cartoons on the subject of the Egypt plane crash in which 224 people died, most of them Russian tourists.

Flamenco flashmob: how the dance became a form of protest in Spain
Spain

Flamenco flashmob: how the dance became a form of protest in Spain

Political protest and social activism might not come to mind when you think of flamenco, but for some performers it has been a powerful tool for voicing political protest.

Spain has one of the highest rates of store thefts in Europe: report
Spain

Spain has one of the highest rates of store thefts in Europe: report

Spain has the third-highest rate of store thefts in Europe and the sixth-highest worldwide according to a new report.

‘Majority’ fear effects of refugee crisis
Austria

‘Majority’ fear effects of refugee crisis

Concern about the impact of the refugee crisis on Austria is growing, with 60 percent of people saying that the arrival of thousands of refugees and migrants is a cause for fear and worry, according to a new survey.

German town thwarts plans for far-right demo
Germany

German town thwarts plans for far-right demo

Residents of the town of Regensburg in central Bavaria have found a rather clever way of blocking demonstrations by the far-right Pegida movement – by block-booking all the town's squares for their own rallies.

Cyclists slam Düsseldorf 2017 Tour de France bid
Germany

Cyclists slam Düsseldorf 2017 Tour de France bid

Düsseldorf city councillors narrowly approved on Thursday the mayor's bid to host the opening stage of the world's most famous cycling race, the Tour de France, in 2017 - in the face of widespread criticism.

Sweden and Denmark in refugee war of words
Sweden

Sweden and Denmark in refugee war of words

UPDATED: Sweden’s declaration that it can no longer guarantee refugees a roof over their heads has sparked a back-and-forth debate between Danish and Swedish ministers.

French thieves steal Portuguese team’s boots
France

French thieves steal Portuguese team’s boots

Thieves stole all the boots of Sporting Braga players from their changing room as they prepared for their Europa League match at Olympique Marseille, police said.

The Spanish couple who have lived in an abandoned village for 45 years
Spain

The Spanish couple who have lived in an abandoned village for 45 years

La Estrella was once a bustling village, but for nearly half a century it has been home to just one couple.

Islamist radical held for plot to attack French MP
France

Islamist radical held for plot to attack French MP

A self-proclaimed Islamic radical has been arrested in France after it emerged he was planning to attack a French Socialist Party MP. The shocked MP had been due to meet him in the coming days.

Italy cracks down on strikes at monuments
Italy

Italy cracks down on strikes at monuments

Italy has passed a law limiting workers' strikes at some of its prized monuments following embarrassing debacles at both the Colosseum and Pompeii.

Is Lisbeth Salander set to return to big screen?
Sweden

Is Lisbeth Salander set to return to big screen?

Swedish Nordic Noir heroine Lisbeth Salander could be returning to Hollywood. It's been reported that a controversial sequel to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy is set to be turned into a movie.

Maersk profits down due to freight and oil slumps
Denmark

Maersk profits down due to freight and oil slumps

Danish shipping and oil conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk on Friday reported a near halving of profits as it was hit by weaker container freight rates and lower oil prices.

Denmark and Sweden in refugee war of words
Denmark

Denmark and Sweden in refugee war of words

Sweden’s declaration that it can no longer guarantee refugees a roof over their heads has sparked a back and forth between Danish and Swedish ministers.

Plane from US forced to abort Geneva landing
Switzerland

Plane from US forced to abort Geneva landing

A Swiss International Air Lines plane flying from New York to Geneva was forced on Thursday to abandon a landing at the Swiss city's airport at the last minute because of a problem with its autopilot landing system, the carrier said.

The social media startup creating communities
Austria

The social media startup creating communities

Stefan Theissbacher, 33, is one of the founders of a free social media network called Frag Nebenan (Ask Next Door) which proved an instant hit after its launch and connects Viennese residents living in the same neighbourhood.

S. African police: Dane ordered wife’s murder
Denmark

S. African police: Dane ordered wife’s murder

Danish citizen Peter Frederiksen will face charges of conspiracy to murder his wife in addition to the assault charges tied to the gruesome discovery of female genitalia in his South African home.

France to deploy biggest aircraft carrier to Gulf
France

France to deploy biggest aircraft carrier to Gulf

France is to deploy its biggest aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf as the country's armed forces step up their campaign against Isis in the Middle East.

Serious e-bike and other cycling accidents rise
Switzerland

Serious e-bike and other cycling accidents rise

The number of serious bicycle accidents in Switzerland last year rose 14 percent from 2013, while the total of deadly or injury-causing mishaps involving e-bikes set a new record, the accident prevention bureau (BFU) said in its annual report.

Why are so many Italian children overweight?
Italy

Why are so many Italian children overweight?

Italy may be famed for its healthy lifestyle and Mediterranean diet – but the country is facing severe future health problems because of its overweight children.

Earthquake shakes the south east of France
France

Earthquake shakes the south east of France

An earthquake measuring a magnitude of 4.4 made the earth move in the south east of France on Friday morning. Although it was minor, experts say a big one is due to hit the region.

China artist comes out… as a Frenchman
France

China artist comes out… as a Frenchman

A man who has made a name for himself over the past ten years as a Chinese artist has revealed that he made the entire character up and that he's actually French.

France to restore border checks for climate meet
France

France to restore border checks for climate meet

In a bid to boost security, France will bring back its border checks during the COP 21 climate summit which will take place in Paris later this month, the country's interior minister said on Friday.

Ministers in Paris to seek climate convergence
France

Ministers in Paris to seek climate convergence

Five weeks before they hope to sign off on a pact to curb global warming, more than 60 environment and energy ministers gather in Paris from Sunday to narrow political rifts.

Refugees and Roma ask to testify in mafia trial
Italy

Refugees and Roma ask to testify in mafia trial

Refugees and Roma people are among a 150-strong group of people and organizations who have asked to be civil witnesses at the maxi Mafia trial which began in the capital on Thursday.

Lower Austria goes 100 percent renewable
Austria

Lower Austria goes 100 percent renewable

One hundred percent of the electricity used in Austria's largest state is now generated using renewable sources of energy.

Man stabs and kills his mother in Denmark
Denmark

Man stabs and kills his mother in Denmark

A 21-year-old man with mental problems has admitted to repeatedly stabbing and killing his own mother, police said on Thursday night.

Lufthansa cancels 290 flights amid strike action
Germany

Lufthansa cancels 290 flights amid strike action

Updated: German airline Lufthansa said it will cancel 290 flights later Friday, the first day of a planned week of walkouts by cabin staff in a long-running dispute over cost-saving measures.

Ten amazing Swedish songs for November
Sweden

Ten amazing Swedish songs for November

The Local's music guru, Paul Connolly, offers up his top selection of Swedish tracks for you to stream or download to cheer up your November.

Two dead as train hits US military transport truck
Germany

Two dead as train hits US military transport truck

A passenger train hit a US military truck that had got stuck on a crossing in Freihung, Bavaria on Thursday night, killing two people.

The latest must-have item for rich Europeans? Olive trees from Spain
Spain

The latest must-have item for rich Europeans? Olive trees from Spain

A growing number of wealthy Germans are paying tens of thousands of euros to move olive trees from their sunny habitats in southern Spain to cold northern climes.

Danish teen stabbed to death at school
Denmark

Danish teen stabbed to death at school

Three teens have been arrested in connection with the Thursday stabbing death of a 17-year-old in the Copenhagen suburb of Hillerød.

Heart patient Lichsteiner keeps banking job at bay
Italy

Heart patient Lichsteiner keeps banking job at bay

Qualified banker Stephan Lichsteiner said he feared his playing career was over prior to undergoing heart surgery that sidelined him from the Juventus team for over a month.

Top Spanish court rejects blocking motion on Catalan independence
Spain

Top Spanish court rejects blocking motion on Catalan independence

Spain’s Constitutional Court has unanimously rejected blocking the debate and vote on the motion declaring the start of the Catalan independence process.

Teens sentenced for rape in central Stockholm
Sweden

Teens sentenced for rape in central Stockholm

A group of teenagers from north Africa who were living in Stockholm have been found guilty of gang raping a 23-year-old woman on the island of Södermalm.

Germany to speed up asylum deportations
Germany

Germany to speed up asylum deportations

Germany plans to speed up repatriations of rejected asylum-seekers from new central hubs, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her coalition allies agreed Thursday, vowing to bring order to a record migrant influx.

Bern backs closing Ticino borders at night
Switzerland

Bern backs closing Ticino borders at night

Six out of 16 secondary border crossings on the Swiss-Italian border could be closed at night to allow border guards to spend more time chasing criminals, under a proposal made by the federal government.

How to make popular Swedish sloe snaps
Sweden

How to make popular Swedish sloe snaps

If you have Swedish friends you have almost certainly been made to taste snaps. But have you ever made your own? Food writer John Duxbury shares one of his favourite recipes with The Local.

Swedish charities reject foreign aid reduction
Sweden

Swedish charities reject foreign aid reduction

Swedish charities have denounced the government's reported proposal to slash overseas development aid by 60 percent to pay for a record influx of migrants.

Geneva deal near on satellite flight tracking
Switzerland

Geneva deal near on satellite flight tracking

Countries are nearing agreement in Geneva on using satellites to track flights, as they strive to prevent a repeat of the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 in March 2014, a high-level US official says.