Swiss software caught Blatter-Platini payment
Switzerland

Swiss software caught Blatter-Platini payment

Fifa investigators used special software for financial watchdogs to catch the $2-million transfer that led to the ban on Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, a source close to football's Zurich-based world governing body said.

EU and Bern still seeking immigration agreement
Switzerland

EU and Bern still seeking immigration agreement

The European Union and close partner Switzerland said on Monday that they had made progress but reached no agreement over planned Swiss curbs on EU migrants, which violate the bloc's free movement rules.

Islamic group defends member against probe
Switzerland

Islamic group defends member against probe

Switzerland's largest Islamic organization on Monday defended a board member against allegations from the country's prosecutors over his alleged production of jihadist propaganda.

Charlemagne badge found in Zurich dig
Switzerland

Charlemagne badge found in Zurich dig

Experts have identified a figurine found in excavations at Zurich’s Fraumünster church as a representation of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, dating from the early 15th century, the city announced on Monday.

Warning: this video may put you off foie gras forever
France

Warning: this video may put you off foie gras forever

At least that's what a French animal rights organization is hoping once viewers see how young ducklings are killed in a masher after failing to make the grade for the delicacy. The images may shock some viewers.

Podemos insists ‘Spain will never again be subordinate to Germany’
Spain

Podemos insists ‘Spain will never again be subordinate to Germany’

The head of far-left party Podemos, which came third in a general election, said Monday his priority is to defend Spain's sovereignty, saying the country will never again be subordinate to Germany.

Refugees will struggle to find jobs, bank warns
Germany

Refugees will struggle to find jobs, bank warns

Many of the refugees arriving in Germany could initially find it difficult to get a job because of their young age and lack of qualifications, the German central bank or Bundesbank said on Monday.

Could Le Pens be facing a ten-year politics ban?
France

Could Le Pens be facing a ten-year politics ban?

A French financial body said on Monday it had alerted prosecutors to the "undervalued" assets declaration of far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie.

The weird and wonderful Christmas traditions celebrated across Spain
Spain

The weird and wonderful Christmas traditions celebrated across Spain

From Catalonia's 'crapping log' to the Basque Country's very own version of Santa Claus, The Local guides you through the weird and wonderful world of Spanish Christmas.

‘Refugee flow’ named Danish Word of the Year
Denmark

‘Refugee flow’ named Danish Word of the Year

The Danish Language Board has announced its Word of the Year for 2015. The winner will come as little surprise to those acquainted with the country’s politics.

Italy town fights smog by ‘banning’ pizza making
Italy

Italy town fights smog by ‘banning’ pizza making

A town in the southern Italian region of Campania has issued an edict that could stop its pizzerias from operating in a bid to put paid to a mysterious smog hanging over the town.

Woman sends thieves packing with one punch
Germany

Woman sends thieves packing with one punch

When two robbers in Duisburg attacked a young woman late at night they probably thought they’d found an easy victim. But things turned out very differently to how they planned.

Is this ad for diverse Swedish mall too white?
Sweden

Is this ad for diverse Swedish mall too white?

A shopping centre in one of Sweden’s most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods has come under fire after it published a Christmas advert featuring almost exclusively blonde, blue-eyed Swedes.

Renzi: ‘Spain election a vote against EU austerity’
Italy

Renzi: ‘Spain election a vote against EU austerity’

After Spain's elections on Sunday left the ruling Popular Party well short of an absolute majority, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi argued this showed Europe does not want austerity.

Danish communities feel sting of refugee costs
Denmark

Danish communities feel sting of refugee costs

Local officials across Denmark say the state is not providing them with sufficient means to cope with the costs of housing refugees while politicians are split on how to deal with the issue.

Reaction to Fifa bans: Too much or too little?
Switzerland

Reaction to Fifa bans: Too much or too little?

The eight-year bans handed down to disgraced football chiefs Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini received mixed reactions on Monday.

Varoufakis: I’d consider voting for Merkel
Germany

Varoufakis: I’d consider voting for Merkel

For the first half of 2015 he was the arch nemesis of the German government. But Greece’s left-wing former Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, revealed on Monday his admiration for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Sweden drops down innovation rankings
Sweden

Sweden drops down innovation rankings

Swedish small and medium sized companies are lagging behind their competitors in Europe and further afield when it comes to innovation, according to a fresh report.

Seven reasons why forming a new government is mission impossible
Spain

Seven reasons why forming a new government is mission impossible

Spain woke up on Monday to a new political era, one that promises uncertainty, possible parliamentary deadlock and even new elections.

Grieving French widow slams ‘killer’ hunters
France

Grieving French widow slams ‘killer’ hunters

An emotional Facebook message from the widow of a man killed when he was accidentally shot by a hunter while running in the French Alps has given renewed weight to those calling for a crackdown on the sport.

Bremerhaven zoo greets baby polar bear
Germany

Bremerhaven zoo greets baby polar bear

Bremerhaven's Zoo by the Sea (Zoo am Meer) was celebrating this week after the latest happy event for mother polar bear Valeska.

Italy councillor quits over ‘penis’ Christmas tree
Italy

Italy councillor quits over ‘penis’ Christmas tree

A celebrity councillor from the town of Urbino in central Italy has resigned after an "immoral" avant-garde Christmas tree was erected in the historic centre without his knowledge.

Uefa ‘disappointed’ over Fifa’s Platini ban
Switzerland

Uefa ‘disappointed’ over Fifa’s Platini ban

The Swiss-based European football federation (Uefa) said it was "disappointed" over Fifa's decision on Monday to ban Michel Platini for eight years over an ethics violation, expressing support for the Frenchman's right to an appeal.

Low-key Paris New Year party gets the go-ahead
France

Low-key Paris New Year party gets the go-ahead

A New Year's Eve party will now go ahead on Paris's iconic Champs-Elysées boulevard despite fears it might be scrapped after the Paris terror attacks. But it won't be an extravagant affair.

Paris attacks: Brothers among five arrested
France

Paris attacks: Brothers among five arrested

UPDATED: Two brothers were among five people arrested in Belgium on Sunday as part of the ongoing probe into the Paris terror attacks of November 13th. The pair were held after a five hour search of a home in the capital.

Northern lights wow locals in Norway’s south
Norway

Northern lights wow locals in Norway’s south

With Christmas just around the corner, residents in Norway's deep south have been blessed with an incredible light show in the heavens above.

Swedish ‘Isis’ teen girl ‘celebrated Paris attacks’
Sweden

Swedish ‘Isis’ teen girl ‘celebrated Paris attacks’

UPDATED: A 17-year-old Swedish girl who was arrested in Vienna on suspicion of planning to join Isis militants has been appointed an Austrian criminal lawyer known for defending alleged jihadists.

And the real winners of the Spanish general election are…women
Spain

And the real winners of the Spanish general election are…women

Spain's parliament now has the most women in its history, after a record number of female candidates won seats on Sunday.

VIDEO: Star Wars space ship crash lands on Normandy beach
France

VIDEO: Star Wars space ship crash lands on Normandy beach

With France, like the rest of the world, in the grip of Star Wars fever, an intergalactic spaceship and its two storm troopers, crash landed onto a Normandy beach at the weekend. Well, kind of.

Mystic Northern Lights dazzle Swedish skies
Sweden

Mystic Northern Lights dazzle Swedish skies

Swedes were out snapping pictures of the Northern Lights over the weekend. But one stunning image captured by an amateur photographer has gone viral after it was shared on social media.

Germany must lead in innovation: experts
Germany

Germany must lead in innovation: experts

German small and medium sized companies are lagging behind their competitors in Europe and further afield when it comes to innovation, a survey for the Federation of German Industry (BDI) has found.

Swedish ‘Isis’ teen ‘celebrated Paris attacks’
Austria

Swedish ‘Isis’ teen ‘celebrated Paris attacks’

An Austrian criminal lawyer known for defending alleged jihadists has taken on the case of a 17-year-old Swedish girl who was arrested in Vienna on suspicion of planning to join Islamic State (Isis) militants.

This city is the ‘best place to live in Italy’
Italy

This city is the ‘best place to live in Italy’

A new survey reveals the very best place to live in Italy. Yes, it is in the north, and no, it's not Milan or Turin. Welcome to Bolzano.

Isolated Blatter devastated by Fifa ban
Switzerland

Isolated Blatter devastated by Fifa ban

Facing criminal investigation and banned from VIP tribunes, Sepp Blatter cuts an increasingly lonely figure far from the football president who mixed with political heavyweights and tycoons.

‘Disloyal payment’ undid world football’s leaders
Switzerland

‘Disloyal payment’ undid world football’s leaders

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini met their downfall with a mysterious two million Swiss francs ($2 million) transfer in 2011 from the Fifa president to his deputy.

A holiday wish: only faith can defeat fanatics
Sweden

A holiday wish: only faith can defeat fanatics

With much of the world set to celebrate Christmas, it’s important for Christians, Muslims, and Jews not to let what unites them be hijacked by a small group of godless killers, argues an Abu Dhabi-based scholar and author.

Insects to be served at Ball of Sciences
Austria

Insects to be served at Ball of Sciences

The Vienna Ball of Sciences - a relatively new fixture on Vienna’s ball scene in January - will be serving up plates of protein-rich mealworms and grasshoppers to its guests, alongside the usual fare of sausages and canapés.

Fifa bans Blatter and Platini from football
Switzerland

Fifa bans Blatter and Platini from football

A Fifa court on Monday banned Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for eight years after finding them guilty of abusing their positions over a two-million- franc payment that was made to the suspended head of European football.

Swedish Ericsson and Apple settle patent row
Sweden

Swedish Ericsson and Apple settle patent row

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has reached a global licensing agreement with Apple that settles several earlier patent disputes between the two companies, the Swedish firm announced on Monday.

Retired cop held over Air France fake toilet bomb
France

Retired cop held over Air France fake toilet bomb

Two passengers, including a retired policeman, were reportedly arrested on Monday over the fake bomb that was left in a toilet of an Air France flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya on Sunday.

‘Sexist, corny…’ but the French love Miss France
France

‘Sexist, corny…’ but the French love Miss France

Despite being labelled sexist and corny around eight million French TV viewers tuned in to watch the annual Miss France beauty pageant at the weekend, with the winner once again heralding from the north.

Spanish beauty queen claims crown at Miss World pageant in China
Spain

Spanish beauty queen claims crown at Miss World pageant in China

Spanish model Mireia Lalaguna was crowned Miss World 2015 after beating out 113 contestants from across the globe on Saturday night at a coastal resort city in south China's Hainan Province.

Italy’s €320m ghost tram can’t carry passengers
Italy

Italy’s €320m ghost tram can’t carry passengers

The southern Italian city of Palermo has just spent millions of euros on a tram that can't actually pick up any passengers. Here's why.

Italy’s Bocelli busks Big Apple to help homeless
Italy

Italy’s Bocelli busks Big Apple to help homeless

Blind Tuscan tenor Andrea Bocelli wowed crowds in New York last week when he went busking in the city in order to raise money for its homeless people.

Geneva cops under fire after city vandalism
Switzerland

Geneva cops under fire after city vandalism

Geneva police came under fire for failing to do more to prevent a demonstration against government budget cuts at the weekend from leading to vandalism that left store-front windows smashed and buildings defaced with paint, including the city’s opera house.

Danish war film Krigen remains in Oscar hunt
Denmark

Danish war film Krigen remains in Oscar hunt

The Danish film 'Krigen' (A War), which tells the story of a Danish military company captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, remains in the running for the Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language after the field was narrowed from 80 films to nine.

5 ways Germans think Christmas has got worse
Germany

5 ways Germans think Christmas has got worse

A new survey confirms that the vast majority of Germans think that Christmas just isn't what it used to be in the good old days.

Surf’s up: Dozens of Santas take to the waves in Barcelona
Spain

Surf’s up: Dozens of Santas take to the waves in Barcelona

A fundraiser this weekend saw dozens of Father Christmas's take to the waves with their boards in Barcelona - all in aid of a good cause.

Frenchman Platini lands eight-year football ban
France

Frenchman Platini lands eight-year football ban

European football chief Michel Platini's fall from grace appeared complete on Monday after he was suspended from all football activities for eight years along with Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Platini immediately announced he would appeal.

Amazon strikes threaten Christmas deliveries
Germany

Amazon strikes threaten Christmas deliveries

For those planning to do last minute Christmas shopping online via Amazon this year, it might already be too late. Employees are striking all the way up to Christmas Eve.

Children of Spain’s ‘Red Duchess’ win claim over disputed inheritance
Spain

Children of Spain’s ‘Red Duchess’ win claim over disputed inheritance

The multi-million-euro fortune of Spain's "Red Duchess", which includes an Andalusian palace, has been divided between her three children and her widow after a legal wrangle.

‘You must know the right people in the right place’
Italy

‘You must know the right people in the right place’

Expats don't just move to Italy to grow olives or make wine. Some, like 46-year-old Matthew Peirce from the English town of Reading, have come to study the blood-feeding insects that blight our summers: mosquitoes.

Italian priest used Grindr to find teen boys for sex
Italy

Italian priest used Grindr to find teen boys for sex

An Italian bishop aided and abetted a paedophile priest, telling him to avoid the police and shrugging off warnings the prelate was meeting teenage boys on Grindr, Italian media reported on Sunday.

Norway’s hunters target ‘tiny’ wolf population
Norway

Norway’s hunters target ‘tiny’ wolf population

Over 11,000 applications to hunt wolves in Norway were received in 2015 despite the animal's dwindling numbers in the wild, official figures show.

Austria accused of ‘stupidity’ in crisis
Austria

Austria accused of ‘stupidity’ in crisis

Hungary has accused Austria of confusing "solidarity and stupidity" after Vienna said that nations which do not accept their share of refugees under European Union quotas should face sanctions.

Rajoy will first try to form govt but deadlock could see new elections
Spain

Rajoy will first try to form govt but deadlock could see new elections

Outgoing Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will try to form a new government after his conservative Popular Party won the most seats in a general election on Sunday but lost its absolute majority.

Jealous ex behind Bayreuth triple killing
Germany

Jealous ex behind Bayreuth triple killing

Police have said that a 41-year-old man was behind three deaths in Bayreuth, northern Bavaria late on Sunday evening, shooting his ex-girlfriend, her father, and himself.

How international school prepped me for Columbia
Switzerland

How international school prepped me for Columbia

International schools have a reputation for putting students in a "bubble" but Alex Kuznetsov explains how attending such schools in Zurich prepared him well for New York's prestigious Columbia University.

Asylum deportations set to double in 2015
Germany

Asylum deportations set to double in 2015

Almost twice as many people have been deported from Germany in 2015 so far after having their asylum applications rejected compared with the previous year.

Eurotunnel trains resume after serious delays
France

Eurotunnel trains resume after serious delays

Eurotunnel services were returning to normal on Monday after passengers had been advised to avoid travelling on Sunday due to severe delays.

Sweden abuzz with Hugh Grant baby rumours
Sweden

Sweden abuzz with Hugh Grant baby rumours

Baby gossip quickly spread across Sweden on Monday after a regional newspaper reported that Hugh Grant's Swedish partner Anna Eberstein had given birth to the couple's second child.

Swedes bask in record winter temperatures
Sweden

Swedes bask in record winter temperatures

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Chances are you're not going to get it in Sweden, which has been enjoying an unusually balmy run-up to the holiday season.

Stunning memory park for moved Swedish town
Sweden

Stunning memory park for moved Swedish town

What happens when an entire town is knocked down and relocated? In Kiruna, Sweden's most northerly town, a 'memory park' has been created from the rubble as a monument to residents' feelings of loss.

‘Moving to Sweden was my quarter-life crisis’
Sweden

‘Moving to Sweden was my quarter-life crisis’

He hates the cold and loves making money. So what exactly is 28-year-old American Greg Clayman doing in freezing, high-tax Stockholm? The Local's Maddy Savage finds out for this week's My Swedish Career profile.

Spanish voters give old guard a kicking as leftists ride high
Spain

Spanish voters give old guard a kicking as leftists ride high

Spain dealt a blow to two party politics on Sunday in historic elections that saw the incumbent conservatives score an uneasy win tailed by the long-established Socialists and upstart, far-left Syriza ally Podemos.