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Germany

German women’s football team draws against Brazil

Germany and Brazil battled to a scoreless draw as they launched the 2008 Olympic Games with the opening Group F women's football match at Shenyang Stadium here Wednesday.

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Sweden

China defeat Sweden in Olympic opener

Sweden have a mountain to climb if they are to advance beyond the group stages in Beijing after a 2-1 defeat to hosts China on day one of the Olympic women's football tournament, two days before the Games are officially opened.

Germany sharpens penalties for methamphetamines
Germany

Germany sharpens penalties for methamphetamines

A German court sharpened penalties for methamphetamine posession on Wednesday in a preliminary ruling that called the drug particularly dangerous to users.

Three German troops hurt in suicide attack
Germany

Three German troops hurt in suicide attack

A suicide bombing in Afghanistan on Wednesday left three German soldiers wounded, two of them seriously, the German command in Potsdam said.

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Sweden

Fewer used car sales in Sweden

The Swedish market for used cars appears to be weakening, according to new statistics

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Sweden

West Ham release Freddie Ljungberg

Sweden midfielder Freddie Ljungberg was released from his contract with West Ham on Wednesday, a statement on the club's website confirmed.

German football clubs set to call Brazilians home from Olympics
Germany

German football clubs set to call Brazilians home from Olympics

Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 look set to bring their Brazilian stars home from the Beijing Olympics before a ball is kicked after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Wednesday in favour of the Bundesliga clubs' battle with FIFA.

Child murder suspect ‘lied to police’
Sweden

Child murder suspect ‘lied to police’

Christine Schürrer, on trial for the murder of two toddlers, admitted in court today that she lied or withheld the truth during questioning in an effort to keep details from police.

State premier Ringstorff to step down
Germany

State premier Ringstorff to step down

Harald Ringstorff, the longstanding state premier of the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, ended months of speculation on Wednesday by announcing he will step down on October 3.

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Sweden

‘Storm victim’ was in Spain

A man originally feared to have drowned in the Stockholm archipelago in this week's storm has arrived home alive and well after spending a few days in sunny Spain, unbeknownst to his deeply concerned girlfriend.

Taking the Neukölln out of Eliza Doolittle
Germany

Taking the Neukölln out of Eliza Doolittle

A new production of "My Fair Lady" just opened in Berlin, but Ben Knight reports the musical has a unique history in the once-divided German capital.

Germany to compensate Budapest Holocaust survivors
Germany

Germany to compensate Budapest Holocaust survivors

Germany will pay the first reparations to some 6,500 Holocaust survivors in Budapest, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany announced on Wednesday. The restitution comes more than 60 years after Jews in the Hungarian city were crammed into a ghetto and shot on the banks of the Danube River.

The Local’s guide to Sweden’s Olympic favourites
Sweden

The Local’s guide to Sweden’s Olympic favourites

With the official opening of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games just days away, The Local offers readers a quick guide to some of Sweden’s medal hopefuls.

German believed abducted in Afghanistan
Germany

German believed abducted in Afghanistan

A German citizen missing since late July in Afghanistan is presumed to be the victim of a criminal kidnapping, the German Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday.

Germany tells firms to show ‘sensitivity’ on Iran deals
Germany

Germany tells firms to show ‘sensitivity’ on Iran deals

Germany on Wednesday called on companies to show "sensitivity" if they choose to do business in Iran after a German-Iranian gas deal drew sharp criticism from Israel.

Hitman ‘lied’ about gambling baron’s role
Sweden

Hitman ‘lied’ about gambling baron’s role

Prosecutors’ hopes of convicting gambling baron Rade Kotur suffered a setback on Tuesday after one of their star witnesses, convicted killer Nenad Misovic, recanted testimony about being hired to take out one of Kotur’s rivals.

Is Sweden obsessed with booze?
Sweden

Is Sweden obsessed with booze?

As champagne showers come bucketing down over Stockholm, David Bartal wonders if excessive drinking is the key to successful living in Sweden.

Frankfurt customs agents seize piano with 16 kilos of cocaine
Germany

Frankfurt customs agents seize piano with 16 kilos of cocaine

Customs agents at the Frankfurt am Main airport announced on Wednesday they had seized a seemingly worthless piano containing 16 kilogrammes of cocaine.

Lindberg becomes first woman to chair IOC session
Sweden

Lindberg becomes first woman to chair IOC session

Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg became the first woman to preside over an International Olympic Committee (IOC) session on Wednesday as incumbent president Jacques Rogge had to leave prematurely for Belgium's Olympic flag raising ceremony.

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Germany

Commerzbank profits rise despite financial crisis

Commerzbank, the second-biggest German bank, posted on Wednesday a gain in second-quarter net profit, owing to a favourable tax effect, along with a plunge in operating earnings.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s German grandmother dies
Germany

Leonardo DiCaprio’s German grandmother dies

The German grandmother of Leonardo DiCaprio has passed away at the age of 93, according to the US film star’s family.

Björkman looking to bow out with gold
Sweden

Björkman looking to bow out with gold

Swedish veteran Jonas Björkman may be entering the final straight of his tennis career but he is still dreaming of claiming Olympic gold in Beijing.

Wuppertal suspension railway resumes service after accident
Germany

Wuppertal suspension railway resumes service after accident

Wuppertal’s suspension monorail was expected to resume normal service on Wednesday following a dramatic accident involving a parked crane.

SPD mulling measures against Liechtenstein and Swiss banks
Germany

SPD mulling measures against Liechtenstein and Swiss banks

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) are considering pushing for sanctions against banks from Liechtenstein and Switzerland to make them more cooperative in the fight against tax evasion.

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Sweden

Swedish singer loses fight for his right to party

A 21-year-old singer tried to weasel his way out of Sweden’s hefty tax on imported alcohol by claiming that partying and free-flowing booze were occupational requirements for rock 'n roll stars.

Basketball star Nowitzki to carry German flag at Olympics
Germany

Basketball star Nowitzki to carry German flag at Olympics

Dirk Nowitzki, one of the stars of American professional basketball, will be Germany's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, the German Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday.

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Sweden

Man in hospital after escalator collapse

A worker was seriously injured when an escalator fell on top of him at Stockholm’s central train station on Tuesday night.

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Sweden

Saab Automobile losses continue to shrink

Saab Automobile lost nearly 2.2 billion kronor ($360 million) in 2007, reports the Dagens Industry newspaper.