Steinmeier works for Middle East ceasefire
Germany

Steinmeier works for Middle East ceasefire

A further escalation of violence in the Middle East could prompt Arab nations to turn their backs on the peace process and delay a lasting solution for years, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank boss admits mistakes in financial crisis
Germany

Deutsche Bank boss admits mistakes in financial crisis

The CEO of Deutsche Bank, Josef Ackermann, has admitted that he made judgment errors regarding the global financial crisis. He told German public television that he and his management team were forgoing end-of-year bonuses.

Germany’s longest-serving inmate dies
Germany

Germany’s longest-serving inmate dies

Germany’s longest serving inmate has died in jail after almost half a century behind bars, the news agency DPA reported on Tuesday. The notorious serial killer was once nicknamed "monster of the Black Forest".

Outlook chilly for New Year period
Sweden

Outlook chilly for New Year period

Clear skies and chilly temperatures are forecast by Sweden's meteorological agency, SMHI, over the New Year period in most areas.

Auction of late Knut zookeeper’s effects sparks ugly family fight
Germany

Auction of late Knut zookeeper’s effects sparks ugly family fight

The children of late zookeeper Thomas Dörflein have put some of their father’s personal effects for sale on eBay. But his former fiancée has called the auctions "tasteless" and accused them of trading on Dörflein’s celebrity.

Merkel doesn’t speak Icelandic
Germany

Merkel doesn’t speak Icelandic

With Chancellor Angela Merkel telling the nation 2009 is likely to be a hard year for Germany, Roger Boyes, Berlin correspondent for British daily The Times, tries to put the tough times in perspective.

Inflation hits 14-year high in 2008
Germany

Inflation hits 14-year high in 2008

German inflation slowed in December but Europe's biggest economy still registered its highest annual inflation rate in 14 years, provisional official figures released on Tuesday showed.

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Sweden

Borg best in popularity stakes

Swedish finance minister Anders Borg is ranked highly by his party colleagues while defence minister Sten Tolgfors and trade minister Ewa Björling scored low in the popularity stakes among their peers.

Berlin ready for Germany’s biggest New Year’s party
Germany

Berlin ready for Germany’s biggest New Year’s party

Despite the freezing weather forecast for New Year's Eve, Berlin is expecting hundreds of thousand people to come to Germany’s biggest Silvester party at the Brandenburg Gate.

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Germany

Dead woman found after days in hospital toilet

A young woman undergoing psychiatric treatment was found dead in a hospital toilet in Weimar early Tuesday morning. Missing since Dec. 22, she had been dead for days before a security guard found her.

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Sweden

Lush scents incur allergy group wrath

The Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association has argued that the scents emanating from the Luleå branch of the international chain Lush are a health hazard and the store should be ordered to close its doors.

Three films dominate award nominations
Sweden

Three films dominate award nominations

The Swedish Film Institute has announced the nominations for the 2008 Guldbagge Awards, Sweden's national film awards. A trio of films dominates the list.

Burkini and finance crunch add to Swedish vocabulary
Sweden

Burkini and finance crunch add to Swedish vocabulary

The global finance collapse in the autumn and swimwear for Muslim women are among the phenomena of 2008 that have thrown up a slew of new words proposed for inclusion in the vocabulary of the Swedish language.

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Sweden

Police hire container to detain drunk skiers

Police in Värmland in western Sweden have announced plans to hire a custom-made freight container to house drunk skiers and rowdy youths while they sober up.

Union warns of strikes in public sector
Germany

Union warns of strikes in public sector

Public sector strikes could hit Germany in 2009 if wage talks next month on behalf of 800,000 workers fail to produce a satisfactory outcome, the head one of the main trade unions warned on Tuesday.

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Sweden

Late spurt saves Christmas retail

A late spurt on the cusp of Christmas saved the festive season for hard-hit retailers. The Swedish Retail Institute (HUI) has forecast that sales will top last year's record.

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Sweden

More unrest in Malmö suburb

A number of disturbances broke out in a suburb of Malmö on Monday night. Four youths were arrested as police battled to impose order.

Merkel calls for more flexibility in education
Germany

Merkel calls for more flexibility in education

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said the German educational system must become “more porous” so as to allow greater mobility for students.

Mayor goes underground after neo-Nazi death threat
Germany

Mayor goes underground after neo-Nazi death threat

The mayor of a small town in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has gone into hiding after a death threat was posted on a far-right extremist internet site.

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Sweden

Auditors lash out at student loans body

State auditors have launched a stinging critique of student loans body CSN and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) for their failure to chase up debts owed by people living abroad.

Germany to ban trendy herb drug ‘Spice’
Germany

Germany to ban trendy herb drug ‘Spice’

Germany plans to ban a popular new drug called “Spice” sold as a harmless mix of herbs that has raised concerns about its safety in recent months.

Demo in Stockholm over Gaza bombings
Sweden

Demo in Stockholm over Gaza bombings

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the Swedish capital on Monday to protest against Israeli air attacks on the Gaza Strip, setting an Israeli flag alight and chanting "Israel, murderer."