Christmas candle fire leaves family homeless
Switzerland

Christmas candle fire leaves family homeless

Christmas may be long over but in some Swiss homes the decorations have been slow coming down, including one in the canton of Bern, where extending the holiday season had disastrous consequences.

German murder-suicide link to lake bodies
Austria

German murder-suicide link to lake bodies

A German pensioner strangled his wife, dismembered her body and encased her head in concrete before dumping the remains in suitcases in an Austrian lake and drowning himself, Austrian authorities said on Tuesday.

The forgotten victim of the French terror attacks
France

The forgotten victim of the French terror attacks

As memorials continue for the victims of the January terror attacks, one victim of last year's bloodshed in France has all but been forgotten, a fact made painfully obvious to her family this week.

Qatar’s ex-ruler back home after Swiss care
Switzerland

Qatar’s ex-ruler back home after Swiss care

Qatar's former emir has returned to Doha and is "successfully recovering" following an emergency operation in Zurich after breaking a leg while on holiday, the Qatari government said on Tuesday.

Italy squatters plea for stop to evictions
Italy

Italy squatters plea for stop to evictions

Italian police clashed with squatters in central Rome on Tuesday during a housing rights demonstration, with protesters saying evictions should be put on hold during Pope Francis's "Year of Mercy".

Swedes shiver as -34.8C freezes new record
Sweden

Swedes shiver as -34.8C freezes new record

The coldest temperature so far this winter has been recorded in Nikkaluokta in Lapland in northern Sweden, amid ongoing ice and snow warnings across the country.

Nine-year ban sought against top Fifa official
Switzerland

Nine-year ban sought against top Fifa official

Fifa investigators on Tuesday requested a nine-year ban against the body's suspended secretary general Jérôme Valcke, who was provisionally suspended from football in October for 90 days over corruption allegations.

French school boots out ‘intolerable’ toddler
France

French school boots out ‘intolerable’ toddler

A three-year-old has been expelled from a pre-school in southern France after his teachers said his disruptive behaviour made him "intolerable".

Russian embargo can’t stop record fish exports
Norway

Russian embargo can’t stop record fish exports

Norway registered record fish exports in 2015 thanks to a weaker currency which compensated for a Russian food embargo, an industry body said on Tuesday.

Norway to renew political contact with Sri Lanka
Norway

Norway to renew political contact with Sri Lanka

Norway's foreign minister will visit Sri Lanka this week in a bid to re-establish political contact, his office said Tuesday, almost ten years after Oslo failed in a bid to mediate in the island's civil war.

Millions in gold dug up in Bavarian garden
Germany

Millions in gold dug up in Bavarian garden

Police got involved after a stash of gold worth millions was dug up in the back garden of a house in eastern Bavaria – just after the owner of the house had died.

Wave of accidents hits drivers in north Germany
Germany

Wave of accidents hits drivers in north Germany

Icy conditions have sent vehicles spinning off the road across north and east Germany, with 85 car accidents in the city of Osnabrück alone.

Sweden sees sharp drop in new refugee arrivals
Sweden

Sweden sees sharp drop in new refugee arrivals

The number of asylum seekers arriving in southern Sweden from Denmark dropped sharply on the first day that Sweden imposed systematic ID checks on travellers, police said on Tuesday.

Spain busts Anglo-Dutch drug gang seizing three tonnes of cocaine
Spain

Spain busts Anglo-Dutch drug gang seizing three tonnes of cocaine

Spanish police have seized three tonnes of cocaine and arrested twelve suspected drug smugglers from Spain, Britain and The Netherlands in the biggest drugs bust so far this century.

Brussels talks set to tackle Nordic borders
Germany

Brussels talks set to tackle Nordic borders

German, Danish and Swedish migration ministers have been summoned to an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday after both Scandinavian countries toughened border checks.

How a missed train led to fame for an Italian pianist
Italy

How a missed train led to fame for an Italian pianist

A young Italian pianist has been catapulted to stardom, with work opportunities flooding in, including playing at a concert in London, after he was filmed playing the piano at Milan's Centrale station.

Catalonia’s separatist leader admits he is ‘ready’ to call fresh elections
Spain

Catalonia’s separatist leader admits he is ‘ready’ to call fresh elections

Artur Mas said he was reluctantly "ready" to call fresh parliamentary elections as a deadline for the Spanish region's secessionist faction to form a government approached dangerously close.

How to make the most of France’s 2016 holidays
France

How to make the most of France’s 2016 holidays

Bad luck, holiday lovers. Out of eleven national public holidays in France this year, three fall on a Sunday. Here's a closer look.

Nordic border checks spark special EU meeting

Nordic border checks spark special EU meeting

UPDATED: Swedish, Danish and German migration officials have been summoned to an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday after both Scandinavian countries toughened border checks.

French winter sales: All you need to know
France

French winter sales: All you need to know

Get ready: French shops will open their doors on Wednesday for their six-week winter sales. Here's everything you need to know.

Italy opens bidding for polluting steel giant Ilva
Italy

Italy opens bidding for polluting steel giant Ilva

Italy has launched a tender to find a buyer for the Ilva steel works, one of the most polluting industrial sites in Europe, giving national and international shoppers a month to make their offers.

Denmark’s first day of border checks ‘calm’
Denmark

Denmark’s first day of border checks ‘calm’

In the first 24 hours of temporary controls at the German border, 18 people were denied entry into Denmark and three people were arrested for human smuggling.

Spain: Archbishop blames domestic violence on ‘disobedient wives’
Spain

Spain: Archbishop blames domestic violence on ‘disobedient wives’

The Archbishop of Toledo has sparked a furore after telling his congregation that domestic violence often happened because "a woman rejects a man demands".

500 pledge to join Vienna No Pants Subway Ride
Austria

500 pledge to join Vienna No Pants Subway Ride

Watch out for underdressed passengers on Vienna’s metro trains on Sunday 10th January - despite temperatures forecast to be barely above freezing, fans of the No Pants Subway Ride movement plan to ride the trains minus their trousers.

France honours victims of January terror attacks
France

France honours victims of January terror attacks

The French President led a series of tributes on Tuesday to the victims of the January terror attacks, who were gunned down by terrorists almost exactly one year ago.

Italy’s ‘orange battle’ becomes computer game
Italy

Italy’s ‘orange battle’ becomes computer game

It may not be 'Call of Duty', but the annual Battle of the Oranges in the Italian city of Ivrea has become the subject matter for a new computer game set to be released next week.

Danes buying cars like never before
Denmark

Danes buying cars like never before

The country known internationally as a cycling mecca set an all-time vehicle purchase record in 2015, helped by a rush to purchase electric cars before their tax breaks expired.

Swedish racer defends eating own dead horse
Sweden

Swedish racer defends eating own dead horse

After amateur horse racer Helena Ståhl, 24, decided to eat the animal she used to compete with, the Swedish professional stirred up a meaty debate across the Nordic nation.

Silence on sex crimes will make racism worse
Germany

Silence on sex crimes will make racism worse

Germany's authorities and media have been tiptoeing around the issue of sexual violence committed by immigrants and refugees for too long - giving the far right ammunition in their battle against the mainstream, argues Jörg Luyken.

Spain’s unemployment sees largest annual decline ever during 2015
Spain

Spain’s unemployment sees largest annual decline ever during 2015

Spanish unemployment fell by nearly eight percent in 2015 from the previous year, the labour ministry said on Tuesday.

Inquiry: ‘Give Swedish 16-year-olds the vote’
Sweden

Inquiry: ‘Give Swedish 16-year-olds the vote’

Sweden's 16-year-olds could be allowed to vote in local elections if the government and parliament heed the call of a key national inquiry, set to be presented later this month.

Three more arrested in Italy anti-terror sweep
Italy

Three more arrested in Italy anti-terror sweep

Three Libyan citizens were arrested upon arrival at the port of Genoa on suspicion of laundering money for international terrorism.

Outrage over Nazi runes on gravestone
Austria

Outrage over Nazi runes on gravestone

A man who visited Hernals cemetery in Vienna has complained after discovering a grave which is clearly marked with Nazi insignia.

Cologne police have ‘no leads’ on sex attacks
Germany

Cologne police have ‘no leads’ on sex attacks

UPDATED: Police in Cologne have "no leads" on the perpetrators behind dozens of sex attacks committed against women in the western cathedral city on New Year's Eve, officials said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Chinese cycle tops spark Italy illness scare
Italy

Chinese cycle tops spark Italy illness scare

Two friends were sent into a panic after returning from a cycling trip to discover that their chests had turned almost completely blue.

North Koreans to make first Davos forum visit
Switzerland

North Koreans to make first Davos forum visit

North Korea will send a delegation to the World Economic Forum for the first time in 18 years, with Foreign Minister Ri Su-Yong scheduled to attend this month's meet in Davos, an official said on Tuesday.

Norway has another year with few murders
Norway

Norway has another year with few murders

2015 is among the years with the the lowest number murders in recent decades. Murder and deadly violence against a partner continue to account for a significant proportion of all cases.

International language firm to take over bourse
Switzerland

International language firm to take over bourse

Education First (EF), an international language training company founded in Sweden, has confirmed that it is acquiring the building housing the Swiss stock exchange in Zurich.

British comic rips apart the French greeting kiss
France

British comic rips apart the French greeting kiss

A British comedian has produced what is probably the most cutting critique of the French greeting kiss and it's gone viral in France. Warning: Video contains strong language and may offend fans of 'la bise'.

Spain’s new leftist MPs renounce traditional parliamentary perks
Spain

Spain’s new leftist MPs renounce traditional parliamentary perks

The newly elected Podemos MPs have insisted on giving up privileges associated with the job, including housing benefit, taxi money and excessive expenses.

Video captures one homeless man setting another on fire as he sleeps
Spain

Video captures one homeless man setting another on fire as he sleeps

Shocking CCTV shows the moment one homeless man set another on fire as he slept in the doorway of a bank on New Year's Eve.

German jobless count falls below 2 million
Germany

German jobless count falls below 2 million

The number of people out of work in Germany in 2015 fell below two million for the first time since reunification in 1990, figures released on Monday showed.

Uber users complain of new year price surge
Austria

Uber users complain of new year price surge

Some users of the ride-sharing app Uber have taken to social media to complain about the high fares they were quoted and charged in the hours around the start of the new year in Vienna.

Why stripping jihadists’ French nationality is mad
France

Why stripping jihadists’ French nationality is mad

While 90 percent of the French population support the move to strip convicted terrorists of their nationality, a leading human rights chief tells The Local the reform is doomed to fail and is just what the jihadists would have wanted.

‘Sweden needs more free speech, not less’
Sweden

‘Sweden needs more free speech, not less’

In turbulent times, it is more important than ever to protect freedom of speech, writes Jonathan Lundqvist, president of Reporters Without Borders in Sweden.

Italy to step up border controls with Slovenia
Italy

Italy to step up border controls with Slovenia

Italy is ready to step up controls along its border with Slovenia after a surge in the number of asylum seekers arriving over land across the northeast.

How to make the most of Sweden’s 2016 holidays
Sweden

How to make the most of Sweden’s 2016 holidays

The Local looks ahead to the nation's 'red days', to help you make the most of your vacation in 2016.

Italy’s crumbling historic ruins get big cash boost
Italy

Italy’s crumbling historic ruins get big cash boost

Italy will pump hundreds of millions of euros into saving the country's ancient buildings, with the Emperor Nero's party palace at the top of the priority list.

Real Madrid sack Benitez as coach and hire footballing legend Zidane
Spain

Real Madrid sack Benitez as coach and hire footballing legend Zidane

Zinedine Zidane promised to put his "heart and soul" into managing the Spanish giants after he was sensationally named as coach following Rafael Benitez's unceremonious sacking.

Geneva lawyer arrested for attempted murder
Switzerland

Geneva lawyer arrested for attempted murder

A high-profile Geneva lawyer has been arrested for attempted murder and placed in provisional detention at the cantonal hospital (HUG), according to an online report.

Trump ad actually shows migrants storming Spain border NOT Mexico
Spain

Trump ad actually shows migrants storming Spain border NOT Mexico

Donald Trump's first campaign ad shows migrants swarming over the 'southern border' between US and Mexico but it is actually footage from Spain's Melilla.

Charlie Hebdo one year on: ‘We can’t give up’
France

Charlie Hebdo one year on: ‘We can’t give up’

One year after eight of its staff were killed in hail of bullets, Charlie Hebdo staff say they feel abandoned, but vow to continue poking fun at France, religion, the far right and indeed anything that merits satire.

New border checks: traveller experiences
Denmark

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.

Murder victim’s head found in concrete block
Austria

Murder victim’s head found in concrete block

Police have told a press conference in Linz that a woman whose dismembered body was found hidden in two suitcases in a lake in Upper Austria was likely strangled. Her head, which was missing, was later found encased in concrete.

Taliban suicide attack hits German convoy
Germany

Taliban suicide attack hits German convoy

A convoy carrying a German general was hit in a suicide car-bomb attack near Kabul airport on Monday, the news site Spiegel Online reported, adding that two soldiers were slightly hurt.

Breivik trial against state to take place in prison
Norway

Breivik trial against state to take place in prison

Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik's court case against the Norwegian state over his prison conditions, which he likens to "torture", will take place in the jail where he is being held, a court ruled on Monday.

US sues VW for $20b. over emissions cheating
Germany

US sues VW for $20b. over emissions cheating

The US government sued Volkswagen Monday for installing equipment on nearly 600,000 diesel cars that intentionally subverted clean-air regulations, resulting in excess harmful emissions.

Paris pupil dies in plunge from school building
France

Paris pupil dies in plunge from school building

A high school in Paris had a tragic return from the winter break on Monday when a 16-year-old pupil died after falling from the fourth floor of the building just after the school had reopened.

Travellers stopped at border over ID confusion

Travellers stopped at border over ID confusion

UPDATED: Fewer than 100 commuters and travellers were refused entry to Sweden on the first day of the Nordic nation's controversial border checks, following disagreements over the validity of some ID cards.

Swedish airport scare was not caused by bomb
Sweden

Swedish airport scare was not caused by bomb

UPDATED: A police bomb squad has said a suspicious object found at Arlanda airport near Stockholm was not dangerous.