Schröder to join board of British-Russian oil firm TNK-BP
Germany

Schröder to join board of British-Russian oil firm TNK-BP

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will join the board of British-Russian oil firm TNK-BP, British energy giant BP said on Thursday, following a peace deal between its feuding shareholders.

Hoffenheim marksman Ibisevic suffers season-ending injury
Germany

Hoffenheim marksman Ibisevic suffers season-ending injury

The title ambitions of Bundesliga upstart Hoffenheim suffered a potentially fatal blow on Thursday when 18-goal striker Vedad Ibisevic was ruled out for the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

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Sweden

‘Banana’ unlikely in inaugural address: Swedish bookmaker

Barack Obama is exceedingly unlikely to mention the word "banana" in his inaugural speech next week, according to a Swedish bookmaker.

Merkel praises work of Stasi archive
Germany

Merkel praises work of Stasi archive

On the 19th anniversary of the day East Germans stormed the headquarters of their country’s feared secret police, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday praised the work of the archive responsible for sifting through the Stasi’s files.

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Sweden

Ikea creates Oval Office replica

Swedish flatpack furniture giant Ikea has erected a replica Oval Office at Union Station in Washington DC this week in a bid to cash in on the inauguration of president elect Barack Obama.

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Sweden

Swedish schools to offer ‘elite’ courses

Sweden’s National Agency for Education (Skolverket) on Thursday named 10 high schools to participate in a new initiative designed to give top performing students a chance to take university-level courses.

Search party finds girl’s corpse near lake
Germany

Search party finds girl’s corpse near lake

German police have discovered a girl’s corpse that could be the body of a girl reported missing in the city of Paderborn since Monday.

Cold kills five penguins at Nuremberg zoo
Germany

Cold kills five penguins at Nuremberg zoo

Five penguins – normally thought to love chilly temperatures – have died due to exposure to extreme cold at the Nuremberg zoo.

Children find freezing newborn in barn stall
Germany

Children find freezing newborn in barn stall

Children playing in a Nordhackstedt barn on Wednesday afternoon found a hypothermic baby girl in one of the stalls, daily Flensburger Tageblatt reported on Thursday.

Gala concert in Stockholm to mark Obama inaguration
Sweden

Gala concert in Stockholm to mark Obama inaguration

Inspired by Barack Obama’s ascendency to the White House, Cyndee Peters, a legendary Stockholm-based gospel singer from North Carolina, has rented out the city’s famed Konserthuset for a musical gala to honour the United States’ 44th president.

Merkel says gas dispute risks Russian credibility
Germany

Merkel says gas dispute risks Russian credibility

Just one day ahead of a summit with Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said Moscow was in danger of losing its credibility due to its gas dispute with Ukraine.

An Iron Curtain air mattress
Germany

An Iron Curtain air mattress

What divided people 20 years ago is now an excuse for a slumber party. A team of Berlin-based designers has created mattresses and guest beds based on the former Berlin Wall, complete with graffiti and famous slogans.

Police tend bar for hammered waitress
Germany

Police tend bar for hammered waitress

Police officers in Mannheim had to roll up their sleeves and tend bar during a pub inspection on Wednesday evening when they discovered the waitress was too drunk to bill her customers, police said Thursday.

Damage at nuclear facility Asse could cause radioactive leaks
Germany

Damage at nuclear facility Asse could cause radioactive leaks

A storage chamber at the controversial nuclear waste facility Asse in Lower Saxony is damaged and could pose the risk of radioactive leaks, Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) announced on Thursday.

Drinking coffee reduces Alzheimer’s risk: study
Sweden

Drinking coffee reduces Alzheimer’s risk: study

Middle-aged people who consume modest amounts of coffee can significantly lower their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study by Finnish and Swedish researchers released on Thursday.

ECB slashes interest rates again
Germany

ECB slashes interest rates again

The European Central Bank on Thursday slashed its main interest rate by 50 basis points to 2.0 percent amid ongoing concern about the global economic slowdown.

Is German pacifism ignorant or anti-Israeli?
Germany

Is German pacifism ignorant or anti-Israeli?

German pacifists criticising Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip are missing the point, argues Israeli journalist Ze'ev Avrahmi.

Stockholm to get 4G mobile network in 2010
Sweden

Stockholm to get 4G mobile network in 2010

Mobile broadband users in Stockholm will soon be able to surf the internet on a new high speed 4G network, following the signing of a deal between Ericsson and TeliaSonera.

High speed taxi birth for back seat baby
Sweden

High speed taxi birth for back seat baby

Cab driver Ali Hossinian's last pick-up of the night resulted in a high speed dash for the hospital and the successful birth of the Johansson-Domeij family's second child.

New krona design to mark Sweden’s loss of Finland
Sweden

New krona design to mark Sweden’s loss of Finland

The Riksbank has announced plans to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Finland’s separation from Sweden through the issuing of a new design for the 1 krona coin.

What’s on in Sweden: January 16 – 22
Sweden

What’s on in Sweden: January 16 – 22

What's on in Sweden: New York theatre company and world class jazz in Stockholm; Emergenza festival in Gothenburg; Josh Rouse in Malmö.

What’s on in Germany: January 15 – 21
Germany

What’s on in Germany: January 15 – 21

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Sweden

Sweden faces rising budget deficit

Swedish government borrowing is expected to increase over the next two years as the National Debt Office (Riksgälden) raises its budget deficit forecast for 2009 and 2010.

Three dead in single engine plane crash
Germany

Three dead in single engine plane crash

Three people died on Wednesday evening in the German state of Lower Saxony when the single-engine airplane they were in crashed in a wooded area near a Klausheide airfield.

Deutsche Bahn fixes failed ticketing system
Germany

Deutsche Bahn fixes failed ticketing system

National railway operator Deutsche Bahn has restored its ticket vending machines and website into working order after their entire network failed on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Inflation soars in Germany
Germany

Inflation soars in Germany

German inflation set a 14-year record last year of 2.6 percent, final figures released on Thursday by the national statistics office showed, a result of higher costs for petrol and food.

Steinmeier arrives in Israel for truce talks
Germany

Steinmeier arrives in Israel for truce talks

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Israel on Thursday for the first stage of a Middle East tour to seek a truce in the Gaza conflict.

Swedish girls start smoking earlier: study
Sweden

Swedish girls start smoking earlier: study

Swedish girls are starting to smoke at younger ages than their counterparts in other countries, according to a new study.

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Sweden

New police taskforces to tackle organized crime

In an effort to combat the spread of organized crime in Sweden, police plan to create nine nationally-led taskforces to fight criminal gangs, drug smugglers, and other gang-related criminals.

Prototypes stolen from Sony Ericsson lab
Sweden

Prototypes stolen from Sony Ericsson lab

A worker at Sony Ericsson’s facilities in Lund in southern Sweden is suspected of having stolen several mobile phone prototypes each valued at around 50,000 kronor ($6,000).