Lausanne swimmers’ illness identified as virus
Switzerland

Lausanne swimmers’ illness identified as virus

Medical authorities have identified a stomach flu virus as the cause of an illness that hit 40 swimmers at a Lausanne swimming complex.

Germans transfer Swiss bank details to Athens
Switzerland

Germans transfer Swiss bank details to Athens

A German federal state says it transferred details of secret Swiss bank accounts with assets worth four billion francs to Athens as part of efforts to clamp down on Greek tax cheats.

How did this Swedish cat turn up in south France?

How did this Swedish cat turn up in south France?

A Swedish cat owner was left scratching his head after his adventurous feline, who went missing eight weeks ago, turned up in southern France – some 1,700 kilometres from home.

Hollande to make Isis fight plea to Merkel
France

Hollande to make Isis fight plea to Merkel

French President Francois Hollande, just off the plane from Washington, is to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, seeking support for his faltering effort to forge a coalition to fight Islamic State jihadists.

5 ways German schools trump the US and UK
Germany

5 ways German schools trump the US and UK

A new report reveals how Germany's education system stacks up against the United States and the UK - with good news for kids in the Federal Republic.

Weather for 2015 to be ‘hottest on record’
Switzerland

Weather for 2015 to be ‘hottest on record’

The year 2015 is shaping up to be the hottest on record, the UN's Geneva-based weather agency said on Wednesday, a week ahead of a crucial climate change summit in Paris.

48 women killed in 2015: The truth about domestic violence in Spain
Spain

48 women killed in 2015: The truth about domestic violence in Spain

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women The Local takes a look at the extent of the problem in Spain.

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months
Germany

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months

A woman in western Germany was horrified on Sunday after finding a scorpion in her bed that had stowed away during her sunshine holiday this summer.

Incredible projects nominated for Stockholm Innovation Scholarship
Sweden

Incredible projects nominated for Stockholm Innovation Scholarship

It's no secret that Stockholm is one of the world's most innovative regions - and this week 21 nominees were chosen for the annual Stockholm Innovation Scholarship, in areas such as cleantech, life sciences, hospitality, and more.

Brit spared jail after killing expat for taking photos of his young child
Spain

Brit spared jail after killing expat for taking photos of his young child

British expat Devinder Kainth has been handed a six-month suspended sentence for punching to death an alleged German paedophile after catching him taking photos of his young daughter.

Norway to clamp down on asylum ‘misuse’
Norway

Norway to clamp down on asylum ‘misuse’

Refugees and migrants who cross into Norway from Russia to seek asylum will be turned away without due process, the government said on Wednesday.

Ten out-of-this-world pictures of Germany
Germany

Ten out-of-this-world pictures of Germany

Nasa has opened an online archive of shots taken from the International Space Station. Here are some of Germany looking her best.

The Italian who spent a penny and made a splash
Italy

The Italian who spent a penny and made a splash

When a 26-year-old from the Puglia city of Bari couldn't find the toilet in a shopping centre, little did he know the episode would inspire him to create one of Europe's hottest startups.

Facebook reveals Spain cannot stop talking about Prime Minister Rajoy
Spain

Facebook reveals Spain cannot stop talking about Prime Minister Rajoy

Spain's Facebook users seemingly mention Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy more than any other leader, but whether they like him or not is another matter…

Calls for stricter asylum rules after Sweden move
Sweden

Calls for stricter asylum rules after Sweden move

Sweden's decision to tighten asylum rules and border checks sent shockwaves through the rest of Scandinavia on Wednesday. But some predicted the measures will have little effect.

Victim’s family to boycott Hollande’s Paris homage
France

Victim’s family to boycott Hollande’s Paris homage

President Francois Hollande called on Wednesday for French citizens to adorn their homes with flags during the day of mourning for victims of the Paris attacks, but the family of one victim has called for people to boycott this homage.

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds
Germany

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds

Want to find your happy place in Germany? You might want to move to Schleswig-Holstein, according to the latest "Happiness Atlas" produced by Deutsche Post.

Europol: What’s in it for the Danes?
Denmark

Europol: What’s in it for the Danes?

On December 3rd, Denmark goes to the polls to vote on its continued exemption from supranational EU law. The Local takes you through the arguments of the “yes” and “no” sides and the significance of the outcome for Danish security and sovereignty.

Court drops Renzi dinner expenses case
Italy

Court drops Renzi dinner expenses case

An inquiry into expenses claims submitted by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi when he was mayor of Florence has been dropped by a Tuscan court.

‘Not all of France is on the terraces of bistros’
France

‘Not all of France is on the terraces of bistros’

The international coverage of the Paris terror attacks may have given a rose tinted view of life in France, where many in the country can't afford to flock to the bar and cafe terraces, argues Bérengère Parmentier.

‘Swedes can still hold their heads high’
Sweden

‘Swedes can still hold their heads high’

Sweden's decision to cut the number of refugees it accepts doesn't mean the country has shed its humanitarian superpower identity – merely that it could no longer do it all on its own, writes The Local's correspondent Paul Connolly.

Man with Norway terror ties gets 40 years in US
Norway

Man with Norway terror ties gets 40 years in US

A Pakistani suspected of being involved in a plot hatched in Norway to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in New York.

Go west: Spanish teachers wanted for schools in America and Canada
Spain

Go west: Spanish teachers wanted for schools in America and Canada

Spain’s Education Ministry is looking for 735 Spanish teachers to be posted to state schools in North America for the next academic year.

Austria falls behind on education mobility
Austria

Austria falls behind on education mobility

Austria’s vocational educational system has been rated highly in a new report comparing education in OECD countries but falls behind when it comes to education mobility, with only 21 percent of Austrians achieving a higher level of education than their parents.

Swedes bite into bizarre Christmas holiday pizza
Sweden

Swedes bite into bizarre Christmas holiday pizza

A fast food restaurant in Karlstad is cooking up a storm with a unique Christmas twist combining Swedish favourites such as meatballs and pickled herring with Italian pizza.

Anyone for calamari? Fishermen net giant squid off northern Spain
Spain

Anyone for calamari? Fishermen net giant squid off northern Spain

A giant squid measuring 10 meters long and weighing in at a whooping 150 kgs has been caught off the coast of Asturias.

‘Our story is some kind of Disney fairytale’
Sweden

‘Our story is some kind of Disney fairytale’

Josefin Karlsson was so disgusted by the abuse hurled at the young beggar sitting outside her local supermarket in Gothenburg that she resolved to talk to him. The chats went rather better than expected, because in December they get married.

Barça play ‘perfect game’ to thrash Roma in Champions League clash
Spain

Barça play ‘perfect game’ to thrash Roma in Champions League clash

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez hailed his team's 6-1 rout of Roma in the Champions League as a "perfect game", which also saw Lionel Messi start for the first time since returning from injury.

France reports case of bird flu in Dordogne
France

France reports case of bird flu in Dordogne

A case of bird flu has been detected in France for the fist time since 2006 after a outbreak was reported in the Dordogne area. An emergency response plan has been launched.

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight
Germany

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight

Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against Isis jihadists.

Call to force imams to give sermons in French
France

Call to force imams to give sermons in French

Imams in France's mosques should deliver all their sermons in French to help stop the spread of extremism, politicians on both sides of the French political spectrum argue.

Five of Austria’s best ski resorts
Austria

Five of Austria’s best ski resorts

They may not be as famous as some of those in the French and Swiss Alps but many of Austria's ski resorts offer better value for money - alongside a friendly service and welcome. Here’s our pick of five you should consider visiting.

Norway among biggest spenders on education
Norway

Norway among biggest spenders on education

A new report comparing education in OECD nations shows that Norway is a leading spender on education but warns that the Nordic nation may face a teacher shortage.

Italian police find spine-chilling jihadist manual
Italy

Italian police find spine-chilling jihadist manual

Italian police have found a manual full of frightening details for would-be jihadists on the computer of one of the four Moroccans expelled from Italy for spreading extremist views.

Calls for stricter asylum rules after Sweden move
Denmark

Calls for stricter asylum rules after Sweden move

Sweden's announcement on Tuesday that it will tighten its asylum policies has some sections of the Danish parliament worried that the knock-on effect may be more people seeking asylum west of the Øresund.

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas
Germany

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas

A teacher from central Germany has been ordered to pay a €1,000 fine after he painted over swastikas which had been sprayed on public property.

Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees
Germany

Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees

Angela Merkel continued her balancing act between her party and her principles in a speech to MPs on Wednesday as she attempted to reassure parliament that she had the refugee crisis under control.

LafargeHolcim profits shrink after merger
Switzerland

LafargeHolcim profits shrink after merger

Swiss-based LafargeHolcim said on Wednesday that its profits collapsed as the cost of building the world's biggest cement company took its toll.

Danish students have most education hours
Denmark

Danish students have most education hours

Danish students have the most compulsory education hours amongst all OECD countries, according to a newly-released annual education report.

Italy’s cultural hotspots enjoy visitor surge
Italy

Italy’s cultural hotspots enjoy visitor surge

Last year was the most successful ever for Italy's museums and cultural sites, according to new figures from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.

Swiss Life announces spending cut plans
Switzerland

Swiss Life announces spending cut plans

Insurance and financial services company Swiss Life said on Wednesday that it plans to cut spending by 100 million francs a year by 2018 as it set new targets for the next three years.

France to deploy 8,000 police along borders
France

France to deploy 8,000 police along borders

Thousands of police on the borders and no cars in Paris - these were the main initiatives announced by France to ensure security at the COP 21 climate summit next week.

Catholics furious after artist writes ‘paedo’ in stolen communion wafers
Spain

Catholics furious after artist writes ‘paedo’ in stolen communion wafers

Religious groups are suing a Spanish artist over his latest exhibit: consecrated wafers spelling out the word "paedophilia".

Denmark terror plotter gets 40-year sentence
Denmark

Denmark terror plotter gets 40-year sentence

A Pakistani man who plotted a terror attack on the offices of Jyllands-Posten was sentenced to 40 years in prison in New York.

Security tight at France’s nuclear power plants
France

Security tight at France’s nuclear power plants

France's nuclear power stations remain at maximum alert after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th over fears the installations could be a future target of jihadists.

The chilling plot to bomb Paris business district
France

The chilling plot to bomb Paris business district

More details have emerged of how the Paris terror ringleader and an unnamed accomplice planned to launch a suicide bomb attack on Paris's La Defense business district.

Imam at Swiss mosque denies Isis links
Switzerland

Imam at Swiss mosque denies Isis links

The spiritual leader of a mosque in the canton of Zurich linked by media reports to jihadists is strongly denying any involvement in encouraging young Muslims to fight for the Islamic State (Isis).

Lufthansa air crews call off strike
Germany

Lufthansa air crews call off strike

Air crew union UFO announced on Wednesday that it has decided to call off a planned strike against Lufthansa, after the airline made significant concessions.

Runaway Rudolph still at large in Italy
Italy

Runaway Rudolph still at large in Italy

A reindeer escaped from a Christmas market in northern Italy following a fire on Sunday night and has not been seen since, with owners now fearing for its safety.

After Paris: ‘The war is not only against Isis’

After Paris: ‘The war is not only against Isis’

As extremist attacks continue, world leaders risk repeating mistakes from the war on terrorism, argues Abu Dhabi-based scholar Dr. Jamal Sanad al-Suwaidi, who says a new approach is needed.

Norway tightens borders after Sweden move
Norway

Norway tightens borders after Sweden move

Following Sweden’s announcement that it can no longer handle its refugee situation and will implement stricter asylum rules, Norway will increase its border controls beginning on Thursday.

Madrid to stage protest for peace in response to Paris terrorist attacks
Spain

Madrid to stage protest for peace in response to Paris terrorist attacks

Leading Spanish actors, journalists and politicians have called for a weekend peace protest in Madrid as opposition mounts against the use of force in response to recent attacks.

Beauty contestant barred over ‘Taiwan’ sash
Austria

Beauty contestant barred over ‘Taiwan’ sash

A beauty contestant from Taiwan has been suspended from an international pageant in Austria after Beijing objected to the sash she was wearing, the woman and the government in Taipei said.

Hollande: Holding Paris summit is best response
France

Hollande: Holding Paris summit is best response

Going ahead with the UN climate talks in Paris is the "best response" to the terror attacks that killed 130 people in the French capital, President Francois Hollande insists.

German asylum law is ‘magnet for refugees’
Germany

German asylum law is ‘magnet for refugees’

Germany's asylum law is responsible for luring so many refugees to Europe and needs changing, said the country’s EU commissioner Günther Oettinger on Wednesday.

‘Danish Girl’ caps year of transgender issues
Denmark

‘Danish Girl’ caps year of transgender issues

"The Danish Girl," a film about transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, hits US theaters this week, riding on a wave of growing cultural awareness and media attention on LGBT issues.

Doctors and surgeons relive Paris attacks
France

Doctors and surgeons relive Paris attacks

Medics who treated the hundreds of victims of the Paris terror attacks have spoken of their harrowing experience and how many of them initially thought the emergency was part of a drill.

Uber’s ‘U-line’ to test Rome’s transport woes
Italy

Uber’s ‘U-line’ to test Rome’s transport woes

The controversial app-based taxi service, Uber, is to create a so-called 'U-line' of taxi ranks in Rome at the start of the Jubilee of Mercy.

River turbines turn Austria’s Danube green
Austria

River turbines turn Austria’s Danube green

The Wachau, a picture-postcard river valley in Austria, makes a lot of wine. Soon it could be producing its own electricity too, and in a way that will not spoil the stunning views.

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant
Germany

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant

A Peruvian farmer has filed a landmark lawsuit against German energy giant RWE, saying that the company's fossil fuel emissions endanger his family, livelihood and hometown, a German NGO said Tuesday.

Italy to spend €1 billion more on security
Italy

Italy to spend €1 billion more on security

Italy is to spend an additional one billion euros ($1.06 billion) on security, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Tuesday.

Zlatan eyes hero’s welcome to Malmö
Sweden

Zlatan eyes hero’s welcome to Malmö

Sweden's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is planning a glorious night when he returns to his native city to tackle his first club Malmö FF in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Seven seriously silly Swedish sayings
Sweden

Seven seriously silly Swedish sayings

Swedish is a tough language to learn, and strange proverbs about cows, dead dogs, and suspicious owls don't help. The Local has listed some of the seven silliest sayings to help you on the way.

Refugee teen: ‘I saw the fire and ran outside’
Sweden

Refugee teen: ‘I saw the fire and ran outside’

Refugees in Sweden describe how they are living in fear following a string of arson attacks on asylum accommodation as the far-right movement appears to grow.