Uefa’s Platini abandons bid for Fifa presidency
Switzerland

Uefa’s Platini abandons bid for Fifa presidency

Suspended Uefa chief Michel Platini on Thursday withdrew from the race to become president of Zurich-based Fifa, telling French sports daily L'Equipe that he will concentrate on clearing his name instead.

Zurich women assaults ‘similar’ to Cologne’s
Switzerland

Zurich women assaults ‘similar’ to Cologne’s

Several women were allegedly robbed and sexually assaulted in Zurich on New Year's Eve, Swiss police said on Thursday, noting the attack method appeared "a little bit similar" to that used in a spate of assaults in Germany.

Swiss piano dealers fined for price fixing
Switzerland

Swiss piano dealers fined for price fixing

Two piano dealers in Switzerland have been fined more than half a million francs for fixing prices on famous brands, the Swiss competition commission (Comco) said on Thursday.

Czech MEP arrested in Swiss account probe
Switzerland

Czech MEP arrested in Swiss account probe

Switzerland has opened an investigation against a Czech member of the European parliament who allegedly presented fake documents in connection with a 350-million-euro ($380-million) bank account, an official said on Thursday.

UN summit on settling Syrians set for Geneva
Switzerland

UN summit on settling Syrians set for Geneva

The United Nations will hold a conference in Switzerland where countries will be asked to pledge resettlement places for people fleeing the Syrian conflict, the UN's new refugee chief announced on Thursday.

Passport-sized royal portrait lands cheeky Catalan councillors in court
Spain

Passport-sized royal portrait lands cheeky Catalan councillors in court

One republican-minded town in Catalonia came up with a nifty way around a law that requires the portrait of the monarch to be displayed in every council chamber.

More Swedes than ever are moving abroad
Sweden

More Swedes than ever are moving abroad

Record numbers of Swedes are quitting their homeland, according to figures from the country's number crunching agency Statistics Sweden.

What we know of attack on Paris police station
France

What we know of attack on Paris police station

On Thursday French police shot dead a knife-wielding man as he attacked a police station in Paris, a year to the day since jihadist gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo newspaper. Here's what we know so far.

Opponents want public vote on Rome 2024 bid
Italy

Opponents want public vote on Rome 2024 bid

Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympics was challenged on Thursday when the Radicali Italiani political party launched calls for a referendum, describing the Games as a "very risky bet".

Baby of French woman linked to Isis dies on plane
France

Baby of French woman linked to Isis dies on plane

The 5-month old, who had been born premature, died on a plane while his mother was being deported to France over suspected links to Isis.

Five convicted in Rome corruption trial
Italy

Five convicted in Rome corruption trial

Five people, including ex-Rome councillor Daniele Ozzimo, were on Thursday convicted of corruption for their role in the so-called Mafia Capitale scandal that involved millions of euros being fleeced from the city’s coffers.

Berlin zoo elephants snack on Christmas trees
Germany

Berlin zoo elephants snack on Christmas trees

There was a special delivery to the Tierpark zoo in the former East of the capital this week – left-over Christmas trees for the elephant herd to chow down on.

Threatened Swede talks on Paris anniversary
Sweden

Threatened Swede talks on Paris anniversary

Security was stepped up at an art school in central Sweden ahead of a high profile lecture by Swedish cartoonist and freedom of speech campaigner, Lars Vilks, a year after the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Man facing terror trial threatened Danish PM
Denmark

Man facing terror trial threatened Danish PM

A 32-year-old man who sent threatening messages to Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Integration Minister Inger Støjberg will face a trial on terror charges on Monday.

Cologne still tense in wake of sexual assaults
Germany

Cologne still tense in wake of sexual assaults

In Cologne, people passing through the main train station still feel unsafe - despite the increased police presence since a wave of sexual assaults on New Year's Eve.

Federer breezes past Kamke in Brisbane
Switzerland

Federer breezes past Kamke in Brisbane

Switzerland's Roger Federer barely broke a sweat as he crushed German qualifier Tobias Kamke 6-2, 6-1 in the second round of the Brisbane International tennis tournament on Thursday.

French Isis recruiter sentenced to 15 years
France

French Isis recruiter sentenced to 15 years

A French national, who is known as an Isis executioner and has trained French citizens to become killers, has been sentenced for 15 years, albeit in absentia.

What’s on in Spain: January 2016
Spain

What’s on in Spain: January 2016

The holidays have come and gone, but there's still plenty to do in Spain during the first month of the year.

Sweden-Denmark border checks to be extended
Denmark

Sweden-Denmark border checks to be extended

Border controls will continue in Sweden until at least February 8th, the nation's government announced on Thursday.

British TV sets sent to Calais to house refugees
France

British TV sets sent to Calais to house refugees

Sets built for British television show Jekyll and Hyde have been shipped to the Calais "Jungle" as shelters for migrants and refugees after the series was cancelled, its creator has announced.

Sweden-Denmark border checks to be extended
Sweden

Sweden-Denmark border checks to be extended

Border controls will continue in Sweden until at least February 8th, the government has announced.

Spain’s Socialist leader heads to Portugal for tips on govt forming
Spain

Spain’s Socialist leader heads to Portugal for tips on govt forming

Pedro Sanchez is meeting the Portuguese leader in a sign he may be considering forming the same sort of left-wing alliance that brought down the ruling conservatives in Lisbon.

2015 was Denmark’s second-wettest year ever
Denmark

2015 was Denmark’s second-wettest year ever

Last year was just one millimetre shy of the all-time precipitation record and serves as proof that climate change will bring wetter and warmer weather in the future.

Norway fund blacklists China’s ‘corrupt’ ZTE
Norway

Norway fund blacklists China’s ‘corrupt’ ZTE

The world's biggest sovereign wealth fund, Norway's public pension fund, has divested from Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE because of corruption fears, the Norwegian central bank which manages the fund said on Thursday.

Vienna New Year alert ‘part of EU-wide Isis plot’
Austria

Vienna New Year alert ‘part of EU-wide Isis plot’

A security alert in Vienna on New Year’s Eve was part of a plot for simultaneous attacks across Europe by terror group Isis, Turkish media reported on Thursday.

El Salvador to arrest 17 soldiers for murder of Spanish missionaries
Spain

El Salvador to arrest 17 soldiers for murder of Spanish missionaries

El Salvador has vowed to follow Spain's request to arrest 17 retired soldiers accused of killing six Jesuit priests and two women in 1989.

Norway: Up to 60,000 asylum seekers in 2016
Norway

Norway: Up to 60,000 asylum seekers in 2016

Immigration officials anticipate 2016 to end with up to twice as many asylum applications as 2015, which was already a record year by far.

Blatter’s ex-wife defends ousted Fifa leader
Switzerland

Blatter’s ex-wife defends ousted Fifa leader

Switzerland should be "grateful" to Sepp Blatter, the outgoing Fifa president and Swiss national who has been suspended from world football over ethics violations, his ex-wife was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Free Willy: Spanish swimmer saves whale caught in illegal fishing net
Spain

Free Willy: Spanish swimmer saves whale caught in illegal fishing net

A young Spaniard risked his life to free a whale that had become caught in an illegal fishing net off the island of Fuerteventura.

‘Surrogacy is like a sex crime’: Italy minister
Italy

‘Surrogacy is like a sex crime’: Italy minister

Italy's acrimonious debate over gay civil unions intensified on Thursday after the interior minister suggested the use of paid surrogate mothers should be treated like a sex crime.

Parents plan to sue after baby born without legs
Italy

Parents plan to sue after baby born without legs

A couple living in Parma are planning to take legal action against healthcare providers in the northern Italian city after their baby was born without lower legs.

RECAP: Man with Isis flag attacks Paris police
France

RECAP: Man with Isis flag attacks Paris police

A man armed with meat cleaver and wearing a fake suicide bomb vest was shot dead on Thursday after attempting to get into a police station in Paris. The incident occurred a year to the day since the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Munich New Year alert ‘part of EU-wide Isis plot’
Germany

Munich New Year alert ‘part of EU-wide Isis plot’

A terror alert in Munich on New Year's Eve was part of a plot for simultaneous attacks across Europe by terror group Isis, Turkish media reported on Thursday.

France marks one year anniversary of Charlie Hebdo attack
France

France marks one year anniversary of Charlie Hebdo attack

Exactly one year on from the bloody attack on Charlie Hebdo's offices, France will pay tribute to the victims on Thursday as the president is due to lay out new plans to toughen laws on terrorism.

Chilly Sweden brrr-eaks another winter record
Sweden

Chilly Sweden brrr-eaks another winter record

Just when you thought Sweden could not get any colder it broke its second record in two days with mercury levels dropping to a freezing -42.8C in the far north and chilly temperatures across the country.

Salzburg women report NYE sexual assaults
Austria

Salzburg women report NYE sexual assaults

Several women in the Austrian city of Salzburg have said they were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve - this comes after German police were accused of a cover-up after dozens of women in Cologne were assaulted on the same evening.

Police hunting 16 over Cologne sexual assaults
Germany

Police hunting 16 over Cologne sexual assaults

Cologne police said on Thursday that they have identified 16 suspects in the wave of sexual assaults around the city's main train station on New Year's Eve.

Italian unemployment hits three-year low
Italy

Italian unemployment hits three-year low

Italy's unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in three years in November, the national statistics office said on Thursday.

Foreign ‘super students’ told to leave Denmark
Denmark

Foreign ‘super students’ told to leave Denmark

One high-performing foreign student left Denmark on Thursday and another is facing the same fate soon. Their crime? Working too much.

Spain’s Three Kings celebrations bring gifts, sweets…and controversy
Spain

Spain’s Three Kings celebrations bring gifts, sweets…and controversy

The Three Kings, or Magi, visited Spain to bring children their presents. But this year they brought a whole heap of controversy too.

‘Excellent’ Swiss wine touted for 2015 vintages
Switzerland

‘Excellent’ Swiss wine touted for 2015 vintages

Swiss wines from the 2015 harvest promise exceptional quality after the particularly hot and sunny summer, although production was lower than the previous year, federal experts say.

Ten adrenaline-fuelled adventures for thrill-seekers in Spain in 2016
Spain

Ten adrenaline-fuelled adventures for thrill-seekers in Spain in 2016

Looking for some excitement in 2016? The Local gives you a list of the best adventures for daredevils in Spain.

Swedish traders fear China economy jitters
Sweden

Swedish traders fear China economy jitters

Financial experts in Sweden say they are concerned that Stockholm's stock market has dipped, following a major slump in China which has affected markets across the globe.

Police report shows their side of Cologne assaults
Germany

Police report shows their side of Cologne assaults

A New Year's Eve police report from Cologne showing the full extent of the sexual assaults against women in and around the city's main train station appeared in German media on Thursday, causing fresh waves of consternation.

Stockholm surprised by mysterious light pillars
Sweden

Stockholm surprised by mysterious light pillars

Photos of rare blue and yellow light pillars snapped by Stockholmer Raitis Freimanis have gone viral in Sweden.

Rare light phenomenon spotted in Oslo skies
Norway

Rare light phenomenon spotted in Oslo skies

Several places in Oslo witnessed rare and beautiful light pillars in the sky on Wednesday night.

Woman flees attempted gang rape on Paris train
France

Woman flees attempted gang rape on Paris train

A woman has made a lucky escape after a group of men sexually assaulted and tried to rape her on a Paris train, according to reports.

‘Cranky’ Bieber tries to explain Norway storm-off
Norway

‘Cranky’ Bieber tries to explain Norway storm-off

Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber finally has an explanation for cancelling his Oslo concert in October after just one song, but is it one that will satisfy his fans?

Spain cites Gibraltar in backing sovereignty talks over Falklands
Spain

Spain cites Gibraltar in backing sovereignty talks over Falklands

Spain stirred up long-running diplomatic tensions on Wednesday with a statement saying it too sought "bilateral dialogue with the UK" over Gibraltar.

Hunt for cause of fire that gutted Berlin train
Germany

Hunt for cause of fire that gutted Berlin train

A regional train burst into flames in Berlin on Wednesday evening, leading to a mass evacuation of passengers.

Italy’s refugee rugby team tries for success
Italy

Italy’s refugee rugby team tries for success

The first Italian rugby team made almost exclusively of refugees has belatedly begun life at in the country's lowest league, after receiving special permission from the Italian Rugby Federation.

Montreux murder-suicide probed after deaths
Switzerland

Montreux murder-suicide probed after deaths

Police in the canton of Vaud are investigating the deaths of a 26-year-old woman and her 25-year-old boyfriend in a Montreux apartment, where they lived, following an apparent domestic dispute.

Italian town must remove ‘Christian values’ sign
Italy

Italian town must remove ‘Christian values’ sign

The mayor of the northern town of Pontoglio has been told to remove road signs advising those entering to respect Christian values.

Sexism row hits France’s international comic fest
France

Sexism row hits France’s international comic fest

Organisers of a well-known comics festival in France promised on Wednesday to add women to their list of nominees for a lifetime achievement award after facing a barrage of criticism over their earlier all-male selection.

Danish policies ‘fuel fear and xenophobia’: UN
Denmark

Danish policies ‘fuel fear and xenophobia’: UN

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called Denmark’s planned tightening of immigration rules “deeply concerning” and warn that they “could fuel fear [and] xenophobia”.

‘Modern slavery’ firm must pay intern €50k
Germany

‘Modern slavery’ firm must pay intern €50k

A Munich court has ordered an insurance company to pay a woman €50,000 after they kept her on as an intern for five and a half years.

The Charlie Hebdo attack as it happened
France

The Charlie Hebdo attack as it happened

Here's what happened on the morning on January 7th 2015 when two jihadist gunmen burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo and change France forever.

Newborn found abandoned in rubbish bin
Austria

Newborn found abandoned in rubbish bin

A newborn boy who was found in a dustbin on Tuesday evening in Klagenfurt is now in a stable condition in hospital after almost dying of hypothermia.

Israeli and Palestinian to share Swedish award
Sweden

Israeli and Palestinian to share Swedish award

An Israeli journalist and a Palestinian pastor are set to share Sweden's prestigious Olof Palme Prize for their work against violence in the region – in a move that may put further strain on Sweden-Israel relations.

Cameron woos Germans with EU reform plan
Germany

Cameron woos Germans with EU reform plan

British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday drove home his call for EU reforms to protect European welfare systems, saying what is good for Britain is also good for Europe.

Firefighters battle flames and ice in Borås blaze
Sweden

Firefighters battle flames and ice in Borås blaze

UPDATED: Sweden's cold snap hampered efforts to put out a blaze threatening to destroy family homes on Thursday morning – with the water freezing in the pumps.

Five frosty ways to have a n-ice time in Sweden
Sweden

Five frosty ways to have a n-ice time in Sweden

After a record-warm winter, Sweden is back to sub-freezing temperatures. The Local guides you through five ways to enjoy the snow.