‘Drastic’ cap on asylum numbers mooted
Austria

‘Drastic’ cap on asylum numbers mooted

The ranks of EU countries closing their doors to migrants swelled further on Wednesday, with hotspot Austria announcing it would "drastically" cap the number of asylum-seekers this year.

Syria peace talks set to start: Russian minister
Switzerland

Syria peace talks set to start: Russian minister

Syria peace talks are expected to begin within a few days, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Zurich on Wednesday, adding that Moscow was ready to cooperate closer with the United States on Syria aid supplies.

Geneva cops hold banker over VIP client losses
Switzerland

Geneva cops hold banker over VIP client losses

A banker who reportedly lost tens of millions for a VIP client has been arrested, Swiss investigators said Wednesday.

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France

VIDEO: Journalist mugged at knife point in Calais camp

Footage has emerged of an apparent attempted knife point mugging of a journalist in the Calais refugee camp. The attackers were then chased away by other refugees.

Refugee limits ‘moral necessity’: German prez
Switzerland

Refugee limits ‘moral necessity’: German prez

Limiting Europe's refugee influx is "morally and politically necessary", Germany's president told the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, warning that failing to do so meant ceding ground to populists and extremists.

Lionel Messi to go on trial with father over €4 million tax fraud
Spain

Lionel Messi to go on trial with father over €4 million tax fraud

He may be recognised as the best footballer in the world, but Messi doesn't appear to be such a hot shot when it comes to paying his taxes.

Vatican gives homeless mum free housing after street birth
Italy

Vatican gives homeless mum free housing after street birth

A homeless woman gave birth on a street near the Vatican in the early hours of Wednesday morning – and has now been given a year’s free accommodation.

This is the historic moment when Abba reunited on stage
Sweden

This is the historic moment when Abba reunited on stage

UPDATED: All four Abba members were back on stage together for the first time in three decades at the opening of Björn Ulvaeus' latest business venture in Stockholm, a Greek taverna modelled on the Mamma Mia! universe.

New rent map shows cost of life in Munich
Germany

New rent map shows cost of life in Munich

After a map of Berlin’s underground guiding you around the city’s rent prices went viral, the same company has now brought out a map for Munich.

Heartbroken parents publish suicide note from bullied son
Spain

Heartbroken parents publish suicide note from bullied son

"Daddy, Mummy... I can't stand going to school and there is no other way to avoid it."

France ranked world’s top cultural trendsetter
France

France ranked world’s top cultural trendsetter

There’s no country in the world with more cultural influence than France, according to a new study released at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday. But what is it exactly?

Is France facing the quick death of its sacred bistros?
France

Is France facing the quick death of its sacred bistros?

The number of bistros in France has nosedived compared with the 1960s, with many rural parts of the country becoming "no-bistro zones".

Gothenburg pays for ‘worst snow in ten years’
Sweden

Gothenburg pays for ‘worst snow in ten years’

Western Sweden's largest city is still struggling to deal with one of the biggest dumps of snow in a decade, while a penis drawn on a frozen river in Gothenburg has disappeared amid a fierce debate.

EU’s Juncker sees ‘no risk’ of major Italian bank crisis
Italy

EU’s Juncker sees ‘no risk’ of major Italian bank crisis

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday he sees no risk of a major Italian banking crisis, amid fears the lenders are saddled with a mountain of bad debt and need bailing out.

World names Germany ‘best country ever’
Germany

World names Germany ‘best country ever’

Germany may not be "fun" or "sexy", but it's still considered the best country in the world, according to a worldwide public opinion poll.

Schwarzenegger grants dying man his last wish
Austria

Schwarzenegger grants dying man his last wish

A terminally ill Austrian pensioner has been granted his dying wish after Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to send him some cigars from his personal collection and even call him for a chat.

Farm workers squashed 72 piglets to death in sick video
Spain

Farm workers squashed 72 piglets to death in sick video

Police are investigating two farm workers in southern Spain for killing dozens of piglets by jumping on them and filming the sick act.

‘Limit refugee numbers or lose public support’: President
Germany

‘Limit refugee numbers or lose public support’: President

Germany's president said Wednesday it is "morally and politically necessary" to limit Europe's refugee influx, warning that failing to do so meant ceding ground to populists and extremists.

EU tells Denmark to explain plans to take refugees’ cash
Denmark

EU tells Denmark to explain plans to take refugees’ cash

The European Parliament will require the Danish government to explain its controversial plans to confiscate cash and valuables from arriving migrants.

Carinthia makes bid to slash debt and avoid bankruptcy
Austria

Carinthia makes bid to slash debt and avoid bankruptcy

Austria's cash-strapped state of Carinthia has asked creditors to write off some of the debts owed by its stricken state lender, in a bid to avoid possible bankruptcy.

UK storms rip into Zurich’s bottom line
Switzerland

UK storms rip into Zurich’s bottom line

Zurich Insurance said on Wednesday that it expected to post a $275-million loss for 2015 largely due to three massive storms that slammed into Britain in December.

Norway wants to confiscate foreign fighters’ passports
Norway

Norway wants to confiscate foreign fighters’ passports

Justice Minister Anders Anundsen has proposed allowing authorities to confiscate or refuse to issue passports to people who are seen as potential foreign fighters.

Why are tourists turning away from Rome?
Italy

Why are tourists turning away from Rome?

The number of people visiting Rome was down in December compared to the same month the year before. But is this because of lingering fears over terrorism, or the Eternal City's well-documented woes?

Denmark is world’s best country for women
Denmark

Denmark is world’s best country for women

A new global ranking is full of praise for Denmark, calling it the world’s best country for women, the most transparent nation and toward the very top for raising children.

What makes Sweden ‘the world’s fifth best country’?
Sweden

What makes Sweden ‘the world’s fifth best country’?

Sweden is viewed as the fifth best country in the world according to a new global survey. But if you're on the hunt for adventure, sexiness or great food – look elsewhere.

Will Abba show up for Mamma Mia! reunion?
Sweden

Will Abba show up for Mamma Mia! reunion?

Abba star Björn Ulvaeus' latest money, money, money-making venture opens in Stockholm on Wednesday night. The other three band members are on the guest list. But will they appear in public together for the first time since 2008?

Even police can be idiots and incendiaries
Germany

Even police can be idiots and incendiaries

Police unions are doing more harm than good with repeated panic-laden interventions in the refugee debate, argues the head of the Federation of German Detectives.

Spain ranks top for solo travellers and thrill-seekers
Spain

Spain ranks top for solo travellers and thrill-seekers

Spain ranks highly for being 'fun' and 'friendly' and is the perfect place for those who love to travel on their own.

Italy faces EU probe for trying to save steel jobs
Italy

Italy faces EU probe for trying to save steel jobs

The EU opened an inquiry on Wednesday into Italian state aid for the struggling Ilva steel works, the largest in the bloc and one of its most polluting, the European Commission said.

German petrol prices tumble along with global oil costs
Germany

German petrol prices tumble along with global oil costs

Good news for German petrolheads, less so for tree huggers: the price of filling up your tank is now one of the cheapest in western Europe.

Frustrated refugees sue Berlin over asylum backlog chaos
Germany

Frustrated refugees sue Berlin over asylum backlog chaos

More than 200 people are suing the German government in North Rhine-Westphalia for taking too long to process their asylum applications, a survey by a newspaper showed on Wednesday.

Norway hopes for first global TV hit with ‘Eyewitness’
Norway

Norway hopes for first global TV hit with ‘Eyewitness’

National broadcaster NRK’s thriller series ‘Øyevitne’ (Eyewitness) has been bought by NBC Universal, marking the first time that a Norwegian drama series will have an American remake.

Italian man dies while shaking crumbs off tablecloth
Italy

Italian man dies while shaking crumbs off tablecloth

A small town in Italy’s Aosta region is in shock after a man fell to his death while shaking crumbs off a tablecloth.

What annoys you the most about the French keyboard
France

What annoys you the most about the French keyboard

Ever typed on a French keyboard? You'll know the pain. Foreigners in France are quick to complain about the AZERTY keyboard, but there's often an explanation, although not always, writes Oliver Gee.

Refugees put hopes in €500 pot-luck smuggling service
France

Refugees put hopes in €500 pot-luck smuggling service

Refugees in northern France are shelling out €500 for a pot-luck smuggling service that could see them arrive safely in the UK or end up in Germany, or even a French military base.

King Felipe steps up to try and end political deadlock in Spain
Spain

King Felipe steps up to try and end political deadlock in Spain

Can Spain's King bring an end to the impasse the country has faced since an inconclusive general election?

Iron Lady loses allure after Paris terror attacks
France

Iron Lady loses allure after Paris terror attacks

The Eiffel Tower, one of the world's top tourist draws, saw visitor numbers drop after the devastating terror attack on the French capital in November, new figures have showed.

Credit Suisse adviser ‘bilked client of millions’
Switzerland

Credit Suisse adviser ‘bilked client of millions’

A customer service representative for Credit Suisse defrauded a wealthy client of more than 50 million francs ($50 million), the Tages Anzeiger newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing “well-informed sources”.

Car2go drives out of Copenhagen after flop
Denmark

Car2go drives out of Copenhagen after flop

Car sharing concept Car2go has announced it will pull out of Copenhagen after just 17 months due to a lack of interest from users.

Watch: Drunk taxi driver risks death on Madrid motorway
Spain

Watch: Drunk taxi driver risks death on Madrid motorway

This footage may make you think twice about getting in the back of a Madrid taxi.

Swede’s ‘confession’ in China scares EU chiefs
Sweden

Swede’s ‘confession’ in China scares EU chiefs

There are "grave concerns" over China's detentions of Europeans, an EU spokesperson said, after a Swede appeared live on TV to confess to violating Chinese law.

Passengers grab man who ‘shoved woman under train’
Germany

Passengers grab man who ‘shoved woman under train’

A 20-year-old woman died from her injuries after being pushed in front of a train on the Berlin underground on Tuesday night, with passengers helping police catch the alleged killer.

‘No means no’: Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
Norway

‘No means no’: Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses

A look inside Norway's courses teaching refugees about sexual customs in their new country.

Terrorism and economic woes overshadow Davos
Switzerland

Terrorism and economic woes overshadow Davos

A string of jihadist attacks and rising risks to the global economy overshadow the official opening Wednesday of the annual gathering of the world's rich and powerful in a snow-blanketed Davos.

HBO to challenge Netflix in battle for Spanish viewers
Spain

HBO to challenge Netflix in battle for Spanish viewers

Just months after Netflix became available in Spain, HBO has announced the launch of its own streaming service to rival it.

Asylum deportations doubled in 2015
Germany

Asylum deportations doubled in 2015

Almost twice as many people were deported after having their asylum application rejected in 2015 as the previous year, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Italy sees huge rise in number of African migrants
Italy

Italy sees huge rise in number of African migrants

Syrians are heading for Greece instead of Italy, new figures show. But many are still drowning in the Med.

Federer cruises to win against practice partner
Switzerland

Federer cruises to win against practice partner

Switzerland's Roger Federer cruised into the third round of the Australian Open tennis tournament with a smooth, straight-sets win over practice partner Aleksandr Dolgopolov on Wednesday.

Mother and daughter on trial for revenge killing of politican
Spain

Mother and daughter on trial for revenge killing of politican

The pair are accused of shooting a politican in broad daylight in revenge for the daughter losing her job with the council.

Attacks in France on Muslims, Jews and churches soar
France

Attacks in France on Muslims, Jews and churches soar

New figures reveal how the number of hate crimes in France against Muslims, Jews and also on Christian sites are at an historic high.

German Jewish groups fear rising anti-Semitism
Germany

German Jewish groups fear rising anti-Semitism

Jewish groups pushed back against government insistence that anti-Semitism is not growing in Germany at a gathering on Tuesday, saying that newly-arrived Muslim migrants and the traditional far-right both posed a threat to their safety.

Pamela Anderson’s foie gras fight ruffles French feathers
France

Pamela Anderson’s foie gras fight ruffles French feathers

Former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson was slammed as a "turkey stuffed with silicon" after ruffling French feathers on Tuesday when she turned up at the country's parliament to back a ban on force-feeding to make foie gras.

‘Grand master’ of Italian film Ettore Scola dies at 84
Italy

‘Grand master’ of Italian film Ettore Scola dies at 84

Film director Ettore Scola, one of the last grand masters of Italian comedy, died on Tuesday at the age of 84, press reports said.

Danish nightclub accused of ‘pure racism’
Denmark

Danish nightclub accused of ‘pure racism’

A Danish nightclub has been accused of discrimination over its language requirements for entry by asylum seekers, prompting fears more establishments could follow suit amid a spate of reports of sexual harassment.

Iraqis were among jihadists who attacked Paris, Isis says
France

Iraqis were among jihadists who attacked Paris, Isis says

The Islamic State group on Tuesday claimed that two of the jihadists behind the Paris attacks on November 13th were Iraqi, according to the latest issue of its magazine Dabiq.

Italian group to build five hospitals in Iran
Italy

Italian group to build five hospitals in Iran

An Italian construction group said on Tuesday it had signed a preliminary agreement with Iran to build five hospitals, just after the lifting of economic sanctions against Tehran in a deal over its nuclear programme.

Mancini blasts ‘racist’ rival who called him a ‘poof’
Italy

Mancini blasts ‘racist’ rival who called him a ‘poof’

Furious Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini blasted Napoli counterpart Maurizio Sarri a "racist" and claimed his rival called him a "poof" following a fiery finish to Inter's 2-0 Italian Cup victory on Tuesday.

Thieves steal four tonnes of Swedish coffee
Sweden

Thieves steal four tonnes of Swedish coffee

Two caffeine loving thieves will be able to organize the biggest office 'fika' (coffee and cake) after they used a truck to take more than four tonnes of coffee from a factory in western Sweden.

French girl, 3, chokes to death on toy in chocolate Kinder egg
France

French girl, 3, chokes to death on toy in chocolate Kinder egg

A three-year-old French girl died after choking to death on a small toy concealed inside a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg, according to reports on Wednesday.

Six totally Swedish things that actually aren’t
Sweden

Six totally Swedish things that actually aren’t

Ikea, Volvo and meatballs. What could be more Swedish than that? Quite a lot, it turns out. The Local investigates six super 'Swedish' things that actually came from abroad.

Austria to more than halve refugee numbers in 2016
Austria

Austria to more than halve refugee numbers in 2016

Austria has said it will seek to cap the number of asylum seekers at 37,500 in 2016, less than half of the 90,000 claims accepted last year.

Two hurt after ‘knife fight’ at asylum centre
Sweden

Two hurt after ‘knife fight’ at asylum centre

One person was being held on suspicion of attempted manslaughter on Wednesday morning and two were left injured after a row at an arrival centre for asylum seekers in southern Sweden.

Three men awarded damages after club’s racist door policy
Austria

Three men awarded damages after club’s racist door policy

Three young men with a migration background who were turned away from a club in Vienna because of their appearance have been awarded €600 each in compensation.