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Germany

Teen sentenced for faking neo-Nazi assault

A teenage girl in the eastern German state of Saxony was sentenced to 40 hours of community service on Friday for falsely claiming she had been assaulted by neo-Nazis.

Raunchy Ryanair calendar wings its way to Swedish feminists
Sweden

Raunchy Ryanair calendar wings its way to Swedish feminists

Low-cost airline Ryanair has responded to 'anti-fun' opponents of its advertising by sending its raunchy 2009 cabin crew calendar to select Swedish politicians.

Opel asks for state guarantees
Germany

Opel asks for state guarantees

German carmaker Opel, a unit of troubled US giant General Motors, said on Friday it has asked Berlin and regional states for credit guarantees to ensure its financing.

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Sweden

Dagens Nyheter applies for press subsidies

Sweden’s largest morning paper, Dagens Nyheter (DN), formally applied for state-sponsored press subsidies on Friday.

Snow on the way from Greenland
Germany

Snow on the way from Greenland

Germans should make the most of this weekend’s mild temperatures, because an arctic cold front is expected to bring snow early next week, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported on Friday.

Banned Berlin iPhone app to return with improvements
Germany

Banned Berlin iPhone app to return with improvements

An iPhone application for Berlin's public transport network will be back online and revamped in two weeks after being banned last month by Berlin bus and metro company BVG, daily Die Tageszeitung reported on Friday.

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Sweden

Violent video games alter childrens’s heart rates: study

A new Swedish study shows that playing violent video games can alter children’s heart rates, raising concerns about violent games’ long term physiological effects on youngsters.

Career over for tennis veteran Björkman
Sweden

Career over for tennis veteran Björkman

Swedish tennis star Jonas Björkman's glittering career came to an end on Friday as he and partner Kevin Ullyett were eliminated from the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

Borg tops in Sweden power rankings
Sweden

Borg tops in Sweden power rankings

Finance minister Anders Borg has surpassed prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as Sweden’s most influential powerbroker, according to a new ranking.

Cologne brothel offers tattoo discount
Germany

Cologne brothel offers tattoo discount

About 40 men have agreed to a Cologne brothel owner’s offer of lifelong free entry in exchange for getting tattoos of the establishment logo on their arms, daily Express reported on Friday.

Wagner’s granddaughter avoids accident as driver dies at wheel
Germany

Wagner’s granddaughter avoids accident as driver dies at wheel

The new head of Germany’s famed Bayreuth opera festival, Katharina Wagner, narrowly avoided an auto accident early on Friday morning when she took the wheel after the driver of the car suffered a heart attack and died.

Lafontaine demands ‘millionaire tax’ to boost economy
Germany

Lafontaine demands ‘millionaire tax’ to boost economy

Oskar Lafontaine, the head of the hard-line socialist Left party, on Friday demanded Germany implement a “millionaire tax” to help offset the economic impact of the financial crisis.

The Lowdown: Winter clothing
Sweden

The Lowdown: Winter clothing

There's a notable chill in the air and it's only going to get nippier over the coming months. This year's autumn has been pretty mild so far, but with snow due in much of Sweden on Saturday, it's time to start wrapping up, writes Jennifer Heape.

Economic policy continues to divide opposition
Sweden

Economic policy continues to divide opposition

Negotiators from Sweden’s three opposition political parties have called off further talks after they were unable to reach an agreement on a shared economic policy framework.

Prussian Potsdam named among world’s top historic places
Germany

Prussian Potsdam named among world’s top historic places

Brandenburg’s capital Potsdam has been named the world’s 8th best historic place, according to National Geographic Traveler’s fifth annual destination-stewardship survey released this month. The survey named the city “one of Germany’s most important cultural centres.”

From high finance to Hartz IV
Germany

From high finance to Hartz IV

With world financial markets gone mad, Roger Boyes, the Berlin correspondent for British daily The Times, weighs in on Germany's witch hunt for wicked bankers.

Tough times hit Sweden’s billionaires
Sweden

Tough times hit Sweden’s billionaires

Despite their billions, Sweden’s wealthiest individuals have shown that not even they can withstand the effects of the financial crisis coupled with a dismal year on the stock market.

Bayern Munich eyeing US star Donovan
Germany

Bayern Munich eyeing US star Donovan

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan has taken a step closer to a move to German giants Bayern Munich after impressing coach Jürgen Klinsmann on his 10-day trial in the Bavarian capital.

Dairy industry says it’s on the verge of collapse
Germany

Dairy industry says it’s on the verge of collapse

The dairy industry in Germany is on the verge of collapse, President of the German dairy farmer's federation (BDM), Romuald Schaber, told daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Friday.

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Sweden

Lines drawn in battle over file sharing bill

Debate in Sweden is growing ever hotter over a proposed law that will make it easier for law enforcement to track down those suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted material from the internet.

Parliament approves leave benefits for grandparents
Germany

Parliament approves leave benefits for grandparents

German grandparents will now be able to apply for leave from work to care for their newborn grandchildren, according to a new law ratified by parliament late on Thursday evening.

Germany and France united for G20 summit
Germany

Germany and France united for G20 summit

European powerhouses Germany and France were often at odds after the global financial crisis erupted but they have stressed that they will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder at this weekend's G20 summit.

Charges following detainee’s ‘high-pressure’ bath
Sweden

Charges following detainee’s ‘high-pressure’ bath

The commander on duty of a Swedish detention centre has been charged after a 29-year-old inmate was forcefully stripped, handcuffed, and doused with a fire hose.

More Swedish troops and aid to Afghanistan
Sweden

More Swedish troops and aid to Afghanistan

Sweden announced on Thursday it plans to increase aid to Afghanistan as well as send an additional 110 soldiers there, bringing the size of its force to about 500 troops in 2009.