Merkel and Putin discuss gas ‘test phase’
Germany

Merkel and Putin discuss gas ‘test phase’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday after talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin there was a "test phase" being discussed with gas companies to resume Russian gas imports to Europe.

Grassroots effort boosts religion classes in Berlin
Germany

Grassroots effort boosts religion classes in Berlin

Berlin isn’t known as a very religious place, but as Mark Worth reports, a grassroots effort could soon bring God back into the city’s classrooms.

Germany to implement obligatory block on child porn sites
Germany

Germany to implement obligatory block on child porn sites

Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced this week that Germany will soon require internet service providers (ISPs) to block child pornography sites using a system already in place in other EU countries, but some critics fear it could be used to censor the web in the future.

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Sweden

Sweden seen as land of bribes in EU sculpture

A controversial art installation in Brussels has made a less-than-subtle jab at Sweden’s alleged involvement in attempts to bribe Czech politicians into approving a massive order for the Gripen fighter jet by the Czech military earlier in the decade.

Furious minister storms out of parliament
Sweden

Furious minister storms out of parliament

Sweden's labour market minister Sven Otto Littorin left parliament in a rage on Friday following a heated verbal exchange with Social Democrat politician Luciano Astudillo.

Police confirm identity of girl murdered near Paderborn
Germany

Police confirm identity of girl murdered near Paderborn

Autopsy results on Friday confirmed the identity of an 8-year-old girl murdered near the Möhnesee Lake outside of Paderborn.

Politicians squabble over Gitmo prisoners
Germany

Politicians squabble over Gitmo prisoners

German politicians are bickering over whether Berlin should accept Guantánamo Bay inmates in order to help America close the terrorist detention centre.

German sex industry calls for state aid
Germany

German sex industry calls for state aid

German sex shop owners and erotic film makers, badly hit by the economic crisis, are pushing for state aid that has also been requested by their US peers, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Friday.

‘Reinfeldt could score voter coup with chest-piece tattoo’
Sweden

‘Reinfeldt could score voter coup with chest-piece tattoo’

An out of work artist from Gävle in eastern Sweden has a novel suggestion for Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to help him overcome any perceived lack of support among the country’s young people.

Nina Persson: conjugal bliss bears sexy single
Sweden

Nina Persson: conjugal bliss bears sexy single

On the eve of the release of her new single, Swedish pop darling Nina Persson talks to Jennifer Heape about New York, David Bowie and making music with her husband.

Gourmet jungle cat scat coffee on sale in Hamburg shop
Germany

Gourmet jungle cat scat coffee on sale in Hamburg shop

Perk up gourmet coffee lovers, a Hamburg coffee shop is selling beans harvested from the faeces of an Asian civet that eats ripe coffee berries and partially digests them, daily Hamburger Morgenpost reported on Friday.

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Sweden

Volvo Cars to cut production in Sweden

A drop in demand has moved Volvo Cars to reduce production at its main plant in Sweden in January and February, the company said on Friday.

Putin returns to old KGB stomping ground
Germany

Putin returns to old KGB stomping ground

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Germany Friday to a mixed bag: frosty talks in Berlin over the gas crisis and a medal in Dresden where he served as a KGB officer in the 1980s.

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Sweden

Dismissal notices reach historic levels

Redundancy notices reached near record levels in Sweden during the last quarter of 2008, as 57,000 people were given notice by their employers.

Temperatures plunge to new winter low
Sweden

Temperatures plunge to new winter low

Temperatures of -37.7 degrees Celsius were recorded on Thursday night in a small town in northern Sweden, making it the coldest night of the winter so far.

Court says driving on drugs not always punishable
Germany

Court says driving on drugs not always punishable

Dudes, driving under the influence of drugs is not always legally punishable in Germany, according to a ruling by a court in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate on Friday.

Profits slump at Sony Ericsson
Sweden

Profits slump at Sony Ericsson

Swedish-Japanese phone maker Sony Ericsson announced on Friday fourth quarter net losses of €187 million ($247 million), as sales dropped 22 percent.

Economy Ministry to drastically reduce growth forecast
Germany

Economy Ministry to drastically reduce growth forecast

The Economy Ministry will revise its economic forecast for 2009 significantly lower next week to show Germany is likely to suffer the worst recession since World War II, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported on Friday.

New Saab model may be built in Sweden: report
Sweden

New Saab model may be built in Sweden: report

Saab’s new 9-5 may end up being built in Trollhättan in western Sweden, rather than in Germany as originally planned.

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Sweden

Teen’s brazen spree of crimes frustrates Linköping police

A 14-year-old in Linköping in central Sweden suspected in dozens of crimes continues to evade authorities in part because he is too young to be investigated by police.

Jewish Council slams police for Israel flag flap
Germany

Jewish Council slams police for Israel flag flap

The German Jewish Council on Friday harshly criticised police who confiscated two Israeli flags during an anti-Israel protest in Duisburg last week.

‘Jobseekers’ lying to employment agency
Sweden

‘Jobseekers’ lying to employment agency

Many among Sweden’s growing ranks of unemployed are lying to the national employment agency about their efforts to look for new jobs in order to retain their unemployment benefits.

Polish mass grave likely German civilians killed in WWII
Germany

Polish mass grave likely German civilians killed in WWII

Investigators believe that remains exumed from of a mass grave found in Malbork, Poland are those of German civilians killed during World War II.