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April Fool! The Local's day in gags

The Local · 1 Apr 2015, 12:00

Published: 01 Apr 2015 12:00 GMT+02:00

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In Austria, garden gnome enthusiasts got hot under collar after reading about a proposed hike in sales tax for the ornamental dwarves.

Bearded Eurovision star Conchita Wurst even got a mention.

Over at The Local Sweden, we had most of you fooled with our story about a documentary centring on an isolated Swedish town that says “no” in a surprisingly Scottish way – a legacy of the Viking invasion of Scotland many centuries ago. We even got a real live linguistics professor (complete with beard) to tell us about the history of this strange-sounding "no".

Of course, there isn’t a shred of truth in any of this.

Story continues below…

But if you’ve been watching The Local closely this year, you probably saw our viral video about the strange sound northern Swedes make to mean “yes”. And that story was actually true.

Elsewhere in Scandinavia, The Local Norway broke the news that farmed reindeer have become “Norway’s new salmon”, to the delight of the country’s hard-pressed farmers - and no doubt the fury of animal rights activists.

And in Denmark, home to the world’s best non-native English speakers, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt apparently announced that the Nordic country would be designating English as an official second language.

Or perhaps you were left with egg on your face after reading The Local Spain’s story about how Benidorm is clamping down on a culinary favourite of many tourists: the full English breakfast.

In a move likely to stir up Italian wrath (if only it were true), American pizza makers claimed that the US is the true homeland of pizza - and the UN chose Neapolitan pizza as its candidate for protection under Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

We even managed to get a quote from America pizza maker Joe Sfincione (Sfincione, by the way, is a type of pizza).

In France, we had expats choking on their morning croissants with a story about a provocative campaign by French restaurant owners to get tourists to shut up when dining out in the capital.

Our story included exclusive footage of a loud-mouthed foreign tourist being thrown out of a bar and snaps of campaign posters taken by shocked readers. 

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel made the extraordinary announcement that the country had taken inspiration from the British and would re-establish the monarchy.

Understandably, the current head of the House of Hohenzollern - the ‘favourite’ to become king - wasn’t too thrilled with the idea, noting that it “didn't work out too well for great-great-grandpa”.

And, finally, neighbouring Switzerland decided to resurrect its bicycle infantry for the Swiss Army. Cycling up and down Alpine passes, it was felt, would improve levels of fitness in recruits.  

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Today's headlines
Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

Baumgartner 'failed to mention Red Bull' before jumping to Earth
Felix Baumgartner. Photo: Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner has been accused of cheating his Red Bull sponsors after he failed to mention the energy drink just before he jumped to Earth.

Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

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