The best European getaways for winter break

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Winter does not have to be a time of hibernation. On the contrary, it may be the ideal time to explore what there is to see in Europe. So pack up your coats and boots and take a journey to one of the following locations for a wonderful winter break getaway. Here are the top winter destinations in Europe.

1. Vienna, Austria

The Austrian capital is a must-see in any season, but the truth is that in winter, its magic increases, making it the ideal destination for colder days. With various markets scattered throughout the city, classical music concerts, and ice rinks for adventures on skates, Vienna is a kind of winter paradise. Lose yourself among the white-washed houses and enjoy some of the city’s historic buildings, such as the Homburg Palace and the Belvedere.

2. Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, with its immense canals and buildings that transcend history, is one of the most popular getaways for winter break in Europe. Venice is beautiful all year round, but in winter, the city is covered with a mystical fog. The streets empty out a bit during the off season, giving you the chance to explore even the most famous sights free of the masses. Take the opportunity to visit St. Mark’s Basilica and the markets that dot the streets at this time.

3. Budapest, Hungary

With buildings that will leave you breathless, Budapest is a charming city that undoubtedly deserves a visit when the winter cold sets in and the snow begin to fall. There are many Christmas markets that pop up in the city, where it will not be difficult to find delicious food and handicrafts to take home with you. Explore the river on a small boat and, if you dare, experience the famous thermal baths.

5. Abisko, Sweden

Have you ever dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights? Abisko is a small village in Sweden, near the border with Norway, and one of the best – if not the best – sites to witness the unparalleled beauty of the Northern Lights. With sparkling lakes and a huge green mantle, it is the perfect place to escape the buzz of big cities and immerse yourself in nature.

4. Lucerne, Switzerland

Nestled on Lake Lucerne in a breathtaking mountainous setting, this Switzerland town is one of Europe’s best winter gateway as it is during this season that it really comes to life. There are many activities to do once in Lucerne, such as skiing or hiking on the paths that surround the medieval city. But there’s more here than just natural landscapes – lose yourself in its streets and you will see that the architecture is also fascinating.

5. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is a city whose canals contain unparalleled magic. The city is small for a capital, and therefore has a unique, picturesque character which makes it a great destination for a winter getaway. Wander the streets, take a stroll through the Christmas markets, and, if you have the time, take a trip over to Lake Bled, which looks like it’s taken straight from a postcard, especially when the surrounding mountains are covered with snow.

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Apple warning shakes European shares as iPhone suppliers, luxury stocks tumble

Apple’s first sales warning in nearly 12 years sent European shares sliding on Thursday, with the tech sector particularly badly bruised as chipmakers that supply the iPhone maker fell sharply.


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Boggi Milano in Midst of European Shop-Opening Offensive

BERLIN — In a time when shop closures have become something of the norm, Boggi Milano has embarked on a shop-opening spree in Europe.
The Italian tailored-clothing specialist is in the process of adding 10 stores to its existing retail network in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Benelux in the fourth quarter of 2018. Moreover, five large-scale Boggi Milano stores are slated to open in the region in the first three months of 2019.
Founded in Italy 80 years ago and headquartered in the Swiss canton of Tessin, Boggi Milano operates more than 165 stores in 35 countries. The first mono-brand store opened on Milan’s Piazza San Babila in 1964. Turin followed in 1987 and Geneva in 1996. Following a change of ownership in 2003, when it was acquired by the Italian family Zaccardi, Boggi’s own-store network has expanded rapidly, and the brand is to be found solely in company-owned or franchised mono-brand stores.
Germany is particularly in Boggi’s focus, and the company has 16 doors in the country in cities including Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Munich, Nuremberg, Leipzig and Munster. Stuttgart opened this week, and 2019 will see two additional doors in Munich. Germany generates 14 percent of the brand’s total

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European stocks may follow their U.S. and Asian peers lower on Wednesday as investors fret about trade tensions and slowing global growth.
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European countries to visit in the fall

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People always like to talk about the best places to go on vacation in the summer and winter, but what about the rest of the year. Fall might be that awkward time between sunning yourself on the beach and getting cozy by the fire, but it’s still a great time to take a break from work. Europe, in particular, has some incredible locations for this time of the year, and they’re ones you won’t want to miss out on.

Germany

This one should be pretty obvious. One of the biggest events to happen in the fall is Oktoberfest, a celebration that has its origins in Munich, Germany. Although many other countries like to celebrate the occasion with their own festivals, nowhere does it better than the home of Oktoberfest. Feel free to let go of your inhibitions as you drink as much as your body can handle, and then some. You might return home feeling worse for wear, but it’ll be a vacation you remember forever… maybe.

Italy

We’re not trying to say that a European vacation should be all about drinking. However, Italy is one of the best countries to visit in the fall, and the drinking opportunities are part of the reason why. The vineyards are thriving, and nothing says a relaxing vacation like watching the sun go down with a bottle of red or white. With temperatures beginning to drop by this time of the year, too, you won’t be stifling in the Italian heat as you enjoy your break. That makes it a great time to check out some of the country’s incredible landmarks. Pompeii, here we come.

Croatia

Croatia has become something of a popular choice for people ever since “Game of Thrones” started filming there. While millions might be rushing there in the summer to make the most of the weather, though, they’re missing out on the great opportunities the fall provides. Although temperatures are lower, they’re still pretty warm for this time of the year. Plus, prices aren’t as high because less people are visiting the country. So, if you’ve always wanted to see Croatia’s incredible views, the fall is the best time to go.

Switzerland

If you’re a hiker, there’s nowhere we’d recommend more than Switzerland. Although the country might be famed for its winter skiing opportunities, the mountains are just as enjoyable in the fall. You’ll be glad you made the effort to trudge all the way to the top once you see the views available. There’s nothing quite like looking down from a mountain peak and realizing how small everything around you is.

What’s more, Switzerland has plenty to offer tourists outside of just somewhere to walk. Fans of rail travel will have a blast seeing the Swiss scenery from the comfort of the trains. Few countries have a rail network that runs quite as efficiently as Switzerland.

Seen somewhere you fancy checking out? Fall might seem like a dreary time of the year, what with the temperature dropping and the trees losing their leaves. However, as these countries prove, it’s just as wonderful a season as all the others.

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The taste of food is not protected by copyright, European Union’s highest court rules

The European Union’s highest court had to whey in on this dairy-based dilemma.

When one Dutch cheesemonger felt another Dutch cheesemonger’s product was too similar to its own, it was ultimately brought to the European Union’s Court of Justice, which ruled Tuesday that taste cannot be copyrighted.

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Amazon Fashion Hosts First European Pop-up, Showcases Range of Product Selection

SWITCHING OFF: Amazon Fashion has gone off-line with a pop-up store on Baker Street in London to engage with its online customers. The company’s first pop-up store in Europe opened Tuesday and will trade until Saturday, offering a range of in-store events ranging from fashion to fitness.
To excite consumers and keep them coming back, the merchandise will rotate every other day to fit in line with a theme. Everything has been chosen by Amazon Fashion’s in-house stylists.
“We’re always looking for ways to surprise and delight our customers and we wanted to create a different shopping experience that’s both memorable and fun,” said Susan Saideman, vice president of Amazon Fashion Europe.
“On Day Three, we have a curated selection of fitness and ath-leisure brands and products to complement the in-store yoga sessions for that day,” Saideman said. Other events include denim customization by Pepe Jeans, a beauty trend panel on Wednesday night and personal stylists who will be available throughout the week.
The pop-up will house a range of brands including Love Moschino, Calvin Klein, Puma, Levi’s and Vans alongside Amazon’s own labels such as Iris & Lilly, Truth & Fable and Find. They are meant to showcase the site’s “top-to-toe offering.”
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European Soccer Is Set Up to Protect Superstar Players. So What’s Next for Cristiano Ronaldo?

Nine years ago, Kathryn Mayorga signed a non-disclosure agreement presented to her by lawyers for the international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Last week, in an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel and in court filings in Las Vegas challenging that NDA, Mayorga broke her silence and spoke out publicly. She says Ronaldo raped her in 2009 in a Las Vegas hotel room.

The allegations are now reverberating through the sporting world. The Portuguese superstar has been world player of the year five times and lifted the Champions League trophy with his club team three seasons in a row. His most recent contract with Nike is reportedly worth one billion dollars. But now Nike has released a statement that the company is “deeply concerned” about Mayorga’s allegations. Ronaldo denied the allegations himself on Instagram on Sept. 30, calling them “fake news.” The Italian club Juventus, which spent $ 117 million to acquire Ronaldo from Real Madrid over the summer, took to social media on Thursday to defend its new star. With controversy swirling, Portugal chose not to include Ronaldo in its squad for the next round of international fixtures, although both sides say the decision is temporary.

What comes next is still uncertain. The Ronaldo case is the the highest-profile story of sexual assault in soccer since the explosion of the #MeToo movement in 2017. Indeed, Mayorga has said she was inspired by reading the testimony of other women who chose to reveal publicly stories they had felt unable to speak about for years.

But as Mayorga tells her story, will Ronaldo face any consequences? One problem here is that the structure of European sports makes it hard for punishments to be leveled in similar situations. Such punishments in North American sports are hardly a given—hockey star Patrick Kane was not sanctioned by the National Hockey League after being accused of sexual assault in 2015, for example. But when they do happen, as with Major League Baseball suspending Addison Russell for 40 games due to an allegation of domestic abuse, the punishments are typically brought by the leagues. In Europe, however, there is no single European soccer league comparable to the NHL or MLB. When he signed for Juventus, Ronaldo left Spain’s La Liga for a different league in Italy, Serie A.

These various national leagues tend to be loose confederations in which the top teams hold outsized power. Serie A is unlikely to act in a way that punishes its top team. It would also be possible for the Italian Football Federation, which oversees both club and international soccer in the country, to level a punishment. But that power is not widely used in cases like this either. In 2016 in England, when the player Ched Evans was released from prison after serving time for rape, neither the league nor the English Football Association stepped in to suspend or otherwise sanction Evans. Ronaldo then has two lines of defense. His club, which invested heavily to retain his services, has spoken in his defense. The league and the national federation have little history of fighting disciplinary battles in similar situations and limited power to effectively challenge Juventus. So long as the club defends the player, the institutions of European soccer are structured to protect players like Ronaldo.

These institutional protections echo Ronaldo’s own protections, as reported by Der Spiegel. His lawyers went so far as to hire private investigators to trail Mayorga as they sought to discredit her accusations. In so many #MeToo cases, powerful men use the legal system to protect themselves from consequences and to silence those who speak up against them.

This has been standard in Ronaldo’s defense, with his lawyers threatening a lawsuit against Der Spiegel. Here, they are using another key institutional protection—defamation laws. Libel law in the United Kingdom places the burden of proof on the defense, meaning that a newspaper sued by Ronaldo for publishing details of the rape accusation would need to demonstrate to the court it had not defamed the soccer star. Much of the initial English-language coverage of the Ronaldo case came from American media, where publishers have less to fear from the legal threats of Ronaldo’s team.

But coverage is now intensifying, despite the legal hurdles. An outcry from women and feminist media critics challenged reporters to investigate the story. Events such as the re-opening of the criminal case by Las Vegas police, the public statement of concern from Nike, and Ronaldo’s and Juventus’ public statements have provided local media with clear facts to report.

And Mayorga’s allegations are not simply a matter of her word against Ronaldo’s. In her legal filing, Mayorga claims that medical examinations from the night of the incident confirm her account. She also brings forward a questionnaire in which it appears Ronaldo admits that Mayorga repeatedly said “no” and “stop” during the event. While these documents are not yet fully public or confirmed, they have been reported by Der Spiegel and would offer more material for investigation were they to become public.

The Ronaldo case, then, is developing slowly. While in the past an allegation like Mayorga’s might have been dismissed, and a denial like Ronaldo’s simply accepted, here the story continues. But it faces even more obstacles than a similar allegation would in American sports. The loose structure of the league system and more restrictive defamation laws both offer added protections to sports figures. Mayorga is speaking out and the platform of the #MeToo movement has enabled her voice to be heard.

Still, the European sporting context offers a variety of institutional supports to a powerful man seeking to avoid punishment after an allegation of assault. The weakness of sporting leagues and defamation law, combined with the vocal support of his club, continue to make it unlikely that Mayorga’s accusations will lead to serious consequences.

Sports – TIME

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