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Germany

BND reportedly spied on NGOs in Afghanistan

The German foreign intelligence agency, the BND, spied for years on at least two charitable groups operating in Afghanistan to obtain information on the security situation in the country, according to the weekly Der Spiegel.

Disgusting beer coasters to discourage teen binging
Germany

Disgusting beer coasters to discourage teen binging

A new campaign to combat an epidemic of teenage drunkenness in Germany will distribute 1.5 million beer coasters with pictures of teens passed out in puddles of vomit.

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Sweden

Protests build against neo-Nazi demo

Police have stopped a group of militant activist on their way to Salem, south of Stockholm to disrupt a neo-Nazi demo scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Elsewhere protests grow against the annual demonstration.

Springer cancels galas due to recession
Germany

Springer cancels galas due to recession

Due to the worsening economy, the Axel Springer Verlag, one of Europe’s biggest and wealthiest publishing houses, is canceling major gala events in 2009, possibly including the awarding of its annual Golden Camera television awards, a company spokesperson said Saturday.

Shoppers urged to ‘buy Swedish’
Sweden

Shoppers urged to ‘buy Swedish’

The Swedish government has called on the nation's sense of patriotism and is advising consumers to "buy Swedish" this Christmas to protect jobs.

Germany’s ‘dumbest bankers’ to receive bonus
Germany

Germany’s ‘dumbest bankers’ to receive bonus

The state-owned development bank has had a terrible year thanks to to the finance crisis and management missteps. Now, the bank’s CEO is set to receive a bonus of at least €160,000, the daily Bild reported Saturday.

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Sweden

Armless man forced to beg on Stockholm metro

A disabled Ukrainian man, 28, was forced to beg for money on Stockholm's metro and in other countries by five people now charged for abduction and human trafficking.

Cracks appear in Brandenburg Gate
Germany

Cracks appear in Brandenburg Gate

To the consternation of tourists and preservationists, large cracks have appeared in part of Berlin’s famed Brandenburg Gate due to faulty repair work, the daily Tagesspiegel reported on Saturday.

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Sweden

Widespread benefit fraud among career criminals

Thirteen career criminals have been reported to the police for serious benefit fraud as the social insurance agency continues its hunt to tackle widespread abuse of the system among criminal gangs.

Three men detained for Gothenburg murder
Sweden

Three men detained for Gothenburg murder

Three young men have been remanded into custody in connection with the murder of a 17-year-old male found dead last Sunday in the Gothenburg suburb of Änggården.

Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim in close match
Germany

Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim in close match

Italian striker Luca Toni scored an injury-time winner to give Bayern Munich a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Hoffenheim on Friday to pull level with their opponents at the top of the Bundesliga.