Unclaimed employment pensions hit $3 billion
Switzerland

Unclaimed employment pensions hit $3 billion

Retirement assets totalling close to three billion francs ($3 billion) are lying dormant in Swiss occupational pension funds because their beneficiaries cannot be traced, according to a report.

Cover-up claim over NYE mass sexual assaults
Germany

Cover-up claim over NYE mass sexual assaults

Men of ‘Arab background’ were likely responsible for mass sexual assaults in Cologne over the New Year, police said on Monday - as a social media storm accused police and media of a cover-up.

French religious heads angry over Charlie Hebdo
France

French religious heads angry over Charlie Hebdo

French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has riled religious leaders in France after its special anniversary edition blamed religion for terror attacks.

What truth behind French regional stereotypes?
France

What truth behind French regional stereotypes?

As of January 2016 France officially has just 13 regions, but what really separates a Breton from a Parisian or an Alsatian from someone from the Basque country?

Cold snap to stay with north cooling to -30C
Sweden

Cold snap to stay with north cooling to -30C

Sub-zero temperatures look set to continue across large parts of Sweden this week. But those longing for deep snow may have to wait until the weekend.

How France will honour victims of January terror
France

How France will honour victims of January terror

France is preparing to pay homage to the victims of last January's terror attacks in Paris which left 17 dead, including many of the staff at Charlie Hebdo magazine. Several ceremonies and homages are planned

Germany ‘may review’ arms exports to Saudis
Germany

Germany ‘may review’ arms exports to Saudis

Germany warned Saudi Arabia on Monday it could review military exports in light of Riyadh's mass executions of prisoners two days earlier.

Wife hints at Totti retirement
Italy

Wife hints at Totti retirement

Long-serving Roma captain Francesco Totti could retire at the end of the current season and is already considering his options elsewhere within football, his wife said on Monday.

Man ‘blown up’ by New Year cleaning spree
Sweden

Man ‘blown up’ by New Year cleaning spree

A Swedish man in his sixties is in hospital with serious injuries after a chemical reaction took place while he was helping a contact to deep clean their apartment.

Man who walked to UK from France gets asylum
France

Man who walked to UK from France gets asylum

A refugee who walked the length of the Channel Tunnel from France has been granted asylum in the UK.

Joiner’s testicle switch could revolutionize sex
Germany

Joiner’s testicle switch could revolutionize sex

A joiner from Berlin has invented a switch which can turn off the flow of sperm from a man’s testicles. The device could change contraception forever.

Cold weather hobbles 1/3 of Berlin police cars
Germany

Cold weather hobbles 1/3 of Berlin police cars

Berlin police had to do without 90 patrol cars on Monday as the sudden cold snap hitting north-eastern Germany left them stuck in their parking lots.

At least three migrants reported dead during clashes at Ceuta border
Spain

At least three migrants reported dead during clashes at Ceuta border

At least three people have reportedly drowned as a group of 200 people attempted to cross into Spain’s enclave of Ceuta from Morocco.

No gracias: Madrid’s leftist mayor turns down €25 corporate gift
Spain

No gracias: Madrid’s leftist mayor turns down €25 corporate gift

Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena has lived up to her scrupulous standards by refusing to accept a Christmas gift from a businessman.

Norway mum charged for teen’s starving death
Norway

Norway mum charged for teen’s starving death

A woman is being charged with gross negligence causing death after her 13-year-old daughter was found dead on New Year's Eve.

‘We wrote our vows in blood’: Italian nun
Italy

‘We wrote our vows in blood’: Italian nun

An Italian nun has alleged that she and her fellow sisters were encouraged to write their vows using their own blood, engage in self flagellation and eat expired food while cloistered at a convent in Italy.

UN monitor of Palestine land quits in protest
Switzerland

UN monitor of Palestine land quits in protest

The UN expert on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories resigned on Monday, complaining that Israel had never granted him access to the areas he is meant to monitor.

Europe’s first carnival of 2016 kicks off with crazy costumes in Spain
Spain

Europe’s first carnival of 2016 kicks off with crazy costumes in Spain

La Vijanera carnival took place in Spain on the first Sunday of January as thousands of people gathered in the Cantabrian town of Silió to bid farewell to winter.

Bomb hoaxer given away by bumpkin accent
Germany

Bomb hoaxer given away by bumpkin accent

The much-maligned Saxon dialect was the clue that led police to a bomb hoaxer in Munich over the weekend.

Swiss commodities billionaire to have twins
Switzerland

Swiss commodities billionaire to have twins

Swiss multi-billionaire businesswoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, whose partner is the former head of the Swiss National Bank, is pregnant with twins, due in the spring.

New border checks: traveller experiences
Sweden

New border checks: traveller experiences

Expensive taxi journeys, fear of profit loss and guilt about complaining as the refugee crisis continues. The Local spoke to travellers affected by the new checks on trains going over the Öresund bridge.

Rome boosts anti-terror security ahead of sales
Italy

Rome boosts anti-terror security ahead of sales

Extra security forces will be deployed to patrol shops and malls in Rome ahead of the winter sales, which usually get underway on the national holiday of January 6th.

Rainy Reyes: Provinces across Spain on alert for stormy weather
Spain

Rainy Reyes: Provinces across Spain on alert for stormy weather

2016 is getting off to a wet start in Spain, where 38 provinces are on alert for severe winds and rain.

Why do refugees prefer Sweden to Denmark?

Why do refugees prefer Sweden to Denmark?

Border controls have been reinstated between Denmark and Sweden. But The Local looks into why so many new arrivals would still rather seek asylum east of the famous Öresund bridge.

Norway to send up to 5,000 refugees to EU
Norway

Norway to send up to 5,000 refugees to EU

Norway plans to send between 4,000 and 5,000 refugees back to other EU countries, including some 860 to Hungary.

Austria cracks down on cyber abuse
Austria

Austria cracks down on cyber abuse

Austria has introduced a new law to clamp down on cyberbullying - which is designed to protect children and teenagers in particular from being insulted and abused on social media sites.

Sweden checks push tougher Danish rules
Sweden

Sweden checks push tougher Danish rules

UPDATED: Sweden's decision to introduce controls on its frontier with Denmark has pushed its Nordic neighbour to announce tougher checks on its border with Germany.

So what’s beneath the surface of a Paris canal?
France

So what’s beneath the surface of a Paris canal?

A mammoth operation begins on Monday to drain and clean out the picturesque Canal Saint-Martin in Paris. But what will happen to the fish and what will the cleaners find?

Denmark begins German border passport checks
Germany

Denmark begins German border passport checks

Denmark will begin "temporary' passport checks on the German-Danish border, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said on Monday.

Why Spain loves the Three Kings
Spain

Why Spain loves the Three Kings

The Feast of Epiphany is traditionally Spain's main festive holiday, when children receive their presents brought not by Santa Claus, but by the Three Kings.

Italian takes UNHCR helm amid migrant crisis
Italy

Italian takes UNHCR helm amid migrant crisis

Italian diplomat Filippo Grandi began work on Monday as the new head of the UN refugee agency, facing the mammoth task of leading efforts to deal with record levels of displacement worldwide.

Denmark announces temporary border control
Denmark

Denmark announces temporary border control

UPDATED: Denmark began random ID checks at the Germany border on Monday in direct response to Sweden's new border controls.

Denmark’s bitterly cold week to end with snow
Denmark

Denmark’s bitterly cold week to end with snow

For anyone who received a new sledge under the Christmas tree, there may finally be a chance to put it to use.

‘I wanted to change the narrative of what it’s like to be black in Spain’
Spain

‘I wanted to change the narrative of what it’s like to be black in Spain’

In the latest instalment of My Spanish Career The Local talks to Sienna Brown, founder of Las Morenas de España, a community that is redefining the black experience in Spain.

He’s got rhythm: Mariano Rajoy puts on his dancing shoes for 2016
Spain

He’s got rhythm: Mariano Rajoy puts on his dancing shoes for 2016

He may be struggling to form a government but Mariano Rajoy proved he could still get into the groove as he celebrated New Year’s Eve at a party in Galicia.

Man wounded in gun attack on refugee home
Germany

Man wounded in gun attack on refugee home

A man living in a refugee home near Frankfurt was wounded by a bullet early on Monday morning after unknown attackers fired on the building several times .

Engines roar as Ferrari shares make Milan debut
Italy

Engines roar as Ferrari shares make Milan debut

Legendary carmaker Ferrari completed its spinoff from Fiat Chrysler Autombiles with a debut on the Milan stock exchange on Monday, its shares opening at €43 before slipping in early trading.

Mafia toxic waste causes high cancer rates: report
Italy

Mafia toxic waste causes high cancer rates: report

The burning of toxic waste by the local mafia is behind the above-average number of deaths and cancer cases among residents in and around Naples, a health survey has confirmed.

Snow ends drought for Swiss ski resorts
Switzerland

Snow ends drought for Swiss ski resorts

Snow has finally arrived in the Swiss Alps after a month of warmer than usual weather, although the white stuff came too late for many Christmas season holidaymakers packing their bags on Sunday.

Civil unions to kick off difficult year for Renzi
Italy

Civil unions to kick off difficult year for Renzi

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi faces a tough 2016, with a number of unfinished or pending reforms needed to work their way through parliament.

Spain plans super  ‘whale highway’ to help safe migration through Med
Spain

Spain plans super ‘whale highway’ to help safe migration through Med

Spain’s Environment Ministry is planning a special route through the Mediterranean that will protect whales and dolphins from the dangers of oil drilling.

Berlin zoo elephant baby is actually a boy
Germany

Berlin zoo elephant baby is actually a boy

Zoo workers in Berlin admitted on Monday that they had made a mistake about the sex of the newest member of their elephant herd.

Probe in France after rape shown on Snapchat
France

Probe in France after rape shown on Snapchat

The broadcast of an alleged rape by two men on a “groggy” woman on the social media site Snapchat has caused outrage in France and led to police opening an investigation.

What changes in France from January 2016
France

What changes in France from January 2016

January 2016 sees the introduction of numerous new rules and law changes in France. Here's everything you need to know.

Three years in jail for 40 unpaid traffic fines
Austria

Three years in jail for 40 unpaid traffic fines

A man from Tyrol who continued to drive without a license despite being caught and fined by police an astounding 40 times now faces three years in jail.

Facebook reverses Little Mermaid censorship
Denmark

Facebook reverses Little Mermaid censorship

Facebook reversed course on its decision to block a politician’s photo of the Little Mermaid for violating its terms on nudity and sexual suggestiveness but the MP found that posting a picture of one of Denmark’s most famous icons is still problematic.

Outrage over ‘festive charge’ on coffee in Turin
Italy

Outrage over ‘festive charge’ on coffee in Turin

A €1 New Year's Eve price hike at an ice cream parlour and café in Turin has provoked a backlash on social media.

Woman’s body found in washed-up suitcases
Austria

Woman’s body found in washed-up suitcases

A walker who fished a suitcase out of Traunsee lake in Upper Austria made a gruesome discovery on Sunday when he opened it to find a woman’s dismembered body.

French-US art dynasty in multi-billion squabble
France

French-US art dynasty in multi-billion squabble

A multi-generational inheritance squabble in one of the world's foremost art-dealing dynasties with a penchant for thoroughbred racehorses will be played out in a Paris court from Monday.

Norway doctors want ban on tobacco sales
Norway

Norway doctors want ban on tobacco sales

The Norwegian Medical Association (Legeforeningen - NMA) wants a smoke-free society by 2035 and has proposed a ban on the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after 2000 as a first step.

Wawrinka aims for third straight Chennai win
Switzerland

Wawrinka aims for third straight Chennai win

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka is looking to give himself the best possible preparation for the first Grand Slam of 2016 in Melbourne later this month by winning the ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament, which starts on Monday.

Man charged over car attack on French soldiers
France

Man charged over car attack on French soldiers

A Frenchman of Tunisian origin was charged on Sunday with attempted homicide after he tried to run down troops guarding a mosque in the southeastern town of Valence, a prosecutor said.

Germany shivers through sub-zero cold snap
Germany

Germany shivers through sub-zero cold snap

Most of Germany is experiencing sub-zero temperatures on Monday, with temperatures in the north-east of the country diving as low as -15C in some areas.

Swiss tycoon’s crew gives up yacht title bid
Switzerland

Swiss tycoon’s crew gives up yacht title bid

Bad weather has forced a sailboat crew headed by Swiss billionaire Dona Bertarelli and her partner to abandon a bid to claim the Jules Verne trophy for the fastest yacht voyage around the world.

Swedish chips thieves tracked in snowfall
Sweden

Swedish chips thieves tracked in snowfall

A cold trail led to a hot chase for Swedish police who nabbed a peckish trio after the bungling burglars left behind footprints in the fresh snow.

Bavaria knocked back on 200,000 refugee cap
Germany

Bavaria knocked back on 200,000 refugee cap

Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer's call for Germany to take a maximum of 200,000 refugees per year stirred anger on Sunday, with other leaders clear they would never back the move.

Charlie Hebdo scolds God in special edition
France

Charlie Hebdo scolds God in special edition

Charlie Hebdo will mark one year since the bloody attack on its offices with a special edition of the satirical magazine featuring a gun-wielding God on its front cover.

Never rains but it pours for guano-hit Rome
Italy

Never rains but it pours for guano-hit Rome

Weekend rain washed away the dangerous pollution that has afflicted Rome in recent weeks but left city authorities with a new headache: roads and pavements made treacherous by bird droppings.

Majority of Swedes back return to military service
Sweden

Majority of Swedes back return to military service

More than 70 percent of Swedes want to reintroduce conscription for men and women alike, according to a fresh survey.

Sweden begins checks on all Denmark arrivals
Denmark

Sweden begins checks on all Denmark arrivals

Delays were expected on Monday as controversial ID checks to stem the refugee flow into Sweden came into effect just before midnight on the Danish side of the Øresund Bridge.

Border controls start on Sweden-Denmark bridge
Sweden

Border controls start on Sweden-Denmark bridge

UPDATED: Travellers experienced short delays on Monday as controversial ID checks to stem the refugee flow into Sweden came into effect on the Danish side of the Öresund bridge.

‘Getting work in Sweden is about contacts’
Sweden

‘Getting work in Sweden is about contacts’

Briton Deri Thomas makes his living from the running industry in Sweden and is pushing for more free events designed to unite amateur athletes in the Nordic nation.