Top ten incredibly bizarre Danish stories from 2015
Denmark

Top ten incredibly bizarre Danish stories from 2015

From dissecting lions in front of children to death by potato, Danes have proved in 2015 that they are still capable of making the bizarre look banal.

Swiss regions limit NYE fireworks over fire risk
Switzerland

Swiss regions limit NYE fireworks over fire risk

The lack of rain and snow in Switzerland is not just affecting winter tourism, it has also meant restrictions and even bans on the use of fireworks across the country because of the risk of forest fires.

Northern lights ‘eruption’ set to dazzle Norway
Norway

Northern lights ‘eruption’ set to dazzle Norway

A solar flare is set to bring an intense Aurora Borealis show on the final two nights of 2015, illuminating the sky in some areas that don't usually witness the region's famous northern lights.

Paris set for quiet night on New Year’s Eve
France

Paris set for quiet night on New Year’s Eve

A huge drop in restaurant bookings, a ban on fireworks, and a low-key affair at the Champs-Elysees - here's how the recent terror attacks have affected New Year's Eve in Paris.

Berlin was Germany’s sunniest state in 2015
Germany

Berlin was Germany’s sunniest state in 2015

2015 was the second hottest year in Germany since record began – and the capital was the hottest and driest place in the country.

Fireworks ban due to fire risk in Tyrol
Austria

Fireworks ban due to fire risk in Tyrol

The lack of rain and snow in the Alpine countries is not just affecting winter tourism, it has also meant restrictions and even bans across Switzerland and Austria on the use of fireworks because of the risk of forest fires.

Italian cities to get €12 million to fight smog
Italy

Italian cities to get €12 million to fight smog

A €12 million fund will be available immediately for city councils to spend on public transport and car-sharing in an effort to combat severely high smog levels, Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said.

New film to be shot in migrant hotspot Calais

New film to be shot in migrant hotspot Calais

An award-winning director will soon start work on Happy End, a film set in Calais which will 'integrate' the migrant crisis affecting the French port into its plot.

Spain’s biggest news stories of 2015
Spain

Spain’s biggest news stories of 2015

From a clamour for Catalan independence and the hottest summer ever to the death of the two-party system and siestas becoming compulsory, it has been a busy year for Spain...

Sweden allows limited New Year wolf culls
Sweden

Sweden allows limited New Year wolf culls

Swedish courts on Wednesday authorised the culling of 14 wolves pending a top court's decision on the legality of hunting an animal protected under European law.

Supermarket to accept Deutschmarks again
Germany

Supermarket to accept Deutschmarks again

It hasn't been legal tender for 14 years, but in January a German supermarket chain will start accepting Deutschmarks again.

Fifa probe: Switzerland hands bank files to US
Switzerland

Fifa probe: Switzerland hands bank files to US

Switzerland on Wednesday handed over an initial package of bank documents to US prosecutors requested by Washington as evidence in the ongoing criminal cases targeting senior Fifa leadership.

Skater survives plunge as rescuer has stroke
Sweden

Skater survives plunge as rescuer has stroke

In one of Sweden's first high-profile ice accidents of the winter, a skater got trapped after a frozen lake cracked, sparking a drama that put his rescuer in hospital.

Italy’s public holidays in 2016
Italy

Italy’s public holidays in 2016

New calendars at the ready! With 2015 drawing to an end, those working in Italy will be eagerly checking next year's dates to see when the public holidays fall.

Leave NYE fireworks to women: Fire service
Norway

Leave NYE fireworks to women: Fire service

Norway's fire service has suggested that one way to avoid firework-related injuries and fines at New Year is to leave the rockets and cartwheels in charge of women.

NYE party at Autogrill prank lures thousands
Italy

NYE party at Autogrill prank lures thousands

It was meant to be a “sort of” joke by four friends, but an invitation to spend New Year’s Eve at the motorway diner, Autogrill, attracted almost 13,000 revellers, forcing the restaurant to disconnect its phone line after a surge in calls from people eager to get on the party list.

Swedish fire alert set off by rare winter sunshine
Sweden

Swedish fire alert set off by rare winter sunshine

Scandinavians are used to living in darkness for much of the winter and when one Swede spotted some bright lights in his neighbourhood, he was so shocked he called the emergency services.

What’s on in Spain: The best New Year events across the country
Spain

What’s on in Spain: The best New Year events across the country

In Spain but don't yet have plans for the 'nochevieja'? The Local has a rundown of the best Spanish celebrations, from the mountains to the beaches and everything in between.

Sweden-Denmark border rail fence completed

Sweden-Denmark border rail fence completed

The fence at Copenhagen’s Kastrup station has been completed as preparations continue for the introduction of ID checks between Denmark and Sweden on January 4th.

171 dead animals found on French farm
France

171 dead animals found on French farm

A farm owner has been charged with animal cruelty after 171 animals were found dead on her farm, including dogs, cats, an iguana and two hawks.

Record low tide dries Venice’s famous canals
Italy

Record low tide dries Venice’s famous canals

Record low water levels in Venice are making life difficult for the city's boatmen and exposing years of neglect of the city's canals.

Switzerland scraps ‘stripper visa’ scheme
Switzerland

Switzerland scraps ‘stripper visa’ scheme

More than 700 foreign strippers received a special Swiss work permit in 2015, the last issued in a controversial programme that expires on January 1st, the immigration office said on Tuesday.

Nine brilliant tips to help you land your dream job in Spain in 2016
Spain

Nine brilliant tips to help you land your dream job in Spain in 2016

Will 2016 be the year you get your career on track and land yourself that dream job?

Norway asylum policies ‘a copy of Denmark’

Norway asylum policies ‘a copy of Denmark’

Norway's proposed new strict asylum laws are following closely in the footsteps of Denmark’s hard-line policies, says a policy specialist from Aarhus University.

Politician sparks outrage over Isis ‘joke’ at Renzi
Italy

Politician sparks outrage over Isis ‘joke’ at Renzi

The leader of the Forza Italia party in the northern Aosta Valley region has sparked controversy after making an Isis-related dig against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on his Facebook page.

Julius Bär bank to pay huge fine in US tax probe
Switzerland

Julius Bär bank to pay huge fine in US tax probe

Swiss private bank Julius Bär said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement to settle a US criminal investigation into claims that it helped rich Americans dodge taxes.

Pegida hymn knocks Adele off top of charts
Germany

Pegida hymn knocks Adele off top of charts

A wordless hymn by the anti-Islamic group Pegida called 'Together we're strong' has knocked pop diva Adele off the top of the Amazon singles chart.

Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
Norway

Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans

Norway's interior minister has come in for sharp criticism after unveiling a whole raft of planned changes aimed at toughening up the country's immigration rules.

Spaniard used Facebook to call on jihadists to kill traffic wardens
Spain

Spaniard used Facebook to call on jihadists to kill traffic wardens

Traffic wardens are not the most popular people in the world, but one Spaniard has taken his hatred for them a little too far...

Famed Paris canal to be emptied for cleaning
France

Famed Paris canal to be emptied for cleaning

The iconic Canal Saint-Martin in north-eastern Paris is set to be emptied in January as part of a massive cleaning and renovation project.

Paris attacks ‘directed by one man in Belgium’
France

Paris attacks ‘directed by one man in Belgium’

UPDATED: The three teams who carried out attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis on November 13th were co-ordinated from Belgium by at least one person, investigations show.

Madrid closes iconic Sol metro station to beef up New Year security
Spain

Madrid closes iconic Sol metro station to beef up New Year security

The metro station at Puerta del Sol, where thousands of people gather every year to welcome in the New Year, will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

‘Wheelchair’ pyramids fraudster ordered home
Sweden

‘Wheelchair’ pyramids fraudster ordered home

Lars Wallin claimed he needed round-the-clock care but was caught on holiday in Cairo. Now, Sweden's most famous benefits fraudster is being extradited back home after going on the run to Brazil.

Refugee train stopped after tuberculosis scare
Germany

Refugee train stopped after tuberculosis scare

Munich police stopped a train taking refugees to Berlin on Tuesday to remove a passenger suffering from a severe case of tuberculosis.

Norway to turn back asylum seekers at border
Norway

Norway to turn back asylum seekers at border

Norway said on Tuesday it would start turning back refugees without visas arriving from elsewhere in the passport-free Schengen zone, particularly Sweden.

Apple to pay €318m in tax owed to Italy
Italy

Apple to pay €318m in tax owed to Italy

UPDATED: US tech giant Apple has agreed to pay €318 million in tax owed to Italy’s inland revenue, wrapping up an investigation that got underway in 2013, according to a report in La Repubblica.

French jihadist Mouadan ‘was close to Paris killer’
France

French jihadist Mouadan ‘was close to Paris killer’

French jihadist Charaffe el Mouadan, who the United States said Tuesday was killed in Syria, was close to at least one of the gunmen who carried out a massacre at a Paris concert hall, according to investigators.

Ten of Italy’s ‘stranger than fiction’ 2015 stories
Italy

Ten of Italy’s ‘stranger than fiction’ 2015 stories

It's been a jam-packed year of news for Italy, with plenty of incredible offbeat stories making headlines at The Local. Here are of the strangest news stories from 2015.

Two thirds of Germans expect Isis attack in 2016
Germany

Two thirds of Germans expect Isis attack in 2016

A majority of Germans expect the terrorist group Isis to attack the country in the coming year.

Fury as Hollande calls to strip terrorist passports
France

Fury as Hollande calls to strip terrorist passports

UPDATED: President Francois Hollande's call for convicted terrorists to lose their French citizenship if they have a second nationality has triggered uproar among those who see him adopting right-wing ideas that recall dark moments in France's history.

Gérard Depardieu set to play Stalin in new film
France

Gérard Depardieu set to play Stalin in new film

Larger-than-life French actor Gérard Depardieu is to play Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a forthcoming movie, his press representative said on Tuesday.

Spanish PM will battle to form government despite lack of support
Spain

Spanish PM will battle to form government despite lack of support

Spain's beleaguered Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Tuesday he would battle on to try and form a government despite categoric refusals by other key parties to back him after inconclusive elections.

Pet dog finds class A drugs on Danish beach
Denmark

Pet dog finds class A drugs on Danish beach

A package likely containing cocaine was found washed up on a beach on the Danish island of Fanø by a pet dog on Monday. Local police have dismissed suggestions of drug smuggling routes through the North Sea island.

Aldi takes flak after ‘Paris’ fireworks gaffe

Aldi takes flak after ‘Paris’ fireworks gaffe

German supermarket chain Aldi Süd weathered criticism Tuesday for offering a New Year's Eve fireworks set called "Paris", six weeks after the deadly jihadist attacks in the French capital.

Swede accused of ‘terrorism’ on trip to Peru
Sweden

Swede accused of ‘terrorism’ on trip to Peru

Peruvian police have arrested a Swedish Green Party politician who they say is suspected of "terrorism" offences

The ten weirdest German stories of 2015
Germany

The ten weirdest German stories of 2015

From Lady Gaga winning a bovine beauty contest to a bra that stopped a bullet, The Local looks back at some of the weirdest stories we covered in 2015.

Migrants to be turned back at Sweden’s border
Sweden

Migrants to be turned back at Sweden’s border

Norway has announced it is going to start turning back refugees without visas arriving from elsewhere in the passport-free Schengen zone, particularly Sweden.

Sweden’s Spotify hit by huge copyright battle
Sweden

Sweden’s Spotify hit by huge copyright battle

Swedish streaming site Spotify is in hot water after a US-based artist filed a $150 million lawsuit alleging that it has knowingly reproduced copyrighted songs.

Thirteen 2015 anthems that come from Sweden
Sweden

Thirteen 2015 anthems that come from Sweden

After what's been an extraordinary year for Swedish artists, The Local's music writer Paul Connolly tried to pick his top 10 tracks. But he just couldn't shorten his list from 13.