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Germany

Bochum man demands mercy killing over false cancer diagnosis

A Bochum man who thought he was terminally ill with cancer convinced a friend to stab him to death but authorities later tragically confirmed he was not sick at all, according to daily Bild.

Should I junk my old car for the Abwrackprämie?
Germany

Should I junk my old car for the Abwrackprämie?

Got a question about life in Germany? This installment of Ask The Local explores the government’s Abwrackprämie – a €2,500-premium for junking your old jalopy and buying a new car this year.

Munich welcomes Guantanamo Uighurs
Germany

Munich welcomes Guantanamo Uighurs

The Bavarian capital Munich, home to the biggest community of ethnic Uighurs outside China, has offered to host the 17 members of the ethinic minority group held at the US terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Sweden braces for Melodifestivalen 2009
Sweden

Sweden braces for Melodifestivalen 2009

As Swedes struggle to make it through the final throes of a dark and dreary winter, millions are hoping to forget their troubles at the weekend with the start of this year’s installment of the Melodifestivalen, that shining spectacle of musical magic which inexplicably lifts the country’s forlorn spirits.

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Sweden

Swedish schoolboy threatened by Irish gravel thieves

One Irish road paver has been arrested while another is wanted by police in southern Sweden after the pair ordered a schoolboy to fill their truck with stolen gravel.

Child murder suspect still likely on the run in Turkey
Germany

Child murder suspect still likely on the run in Turkey

Contrary to media reports earlier on Friday, the main suspect in the murder of eight-year-old Paderborn girl Kardelen has not been arrested in eastern Turkey.

BMW shares buoyant despite plunging 2008 sales
Germany

BMW shares buoyant despite plunging 2008 sales

German luxury automaker BMW, which is reliant on the slumping North American market, said on Friday its 2008 vehicle sales fell five percent to €53 billion ($71.6 billion).

Reforms proposed for Sweden’s immigrant language classes
Sweden

Reforms proposed for Sweden’s immigrant language classes

Sweden’s subsidized language courses for immigrants have been given a failing grade by a state quality control agency, despite recent attempts to improve the programme’s curriculum.

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Sweden

Man planned to poison ex-girlfriend

A 32-year-old man has been remanded in custody in Luleå in northern Sweden on charges of plotting to poison and murder his former partner.

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Sweden

‘Internet rapist’ enrolled in computer security class

One of Sweden’s most notorious rapists who made contact with his victims over the internet, successfully enrolled in a distance learning course on computer security offered by a Swedish university.

Catholic groups urge Germans to back pope
Germany

Catholic groups urge Germans to back pope

Two German catholic groups on Friday appealed to fellow members of the faith to back the pope in the row over a Holocaust denying bishop, condemning what they see as a "manipulative media campaign."

Russia’s Putin pays thousands for secret ‘Abba’ show
Sweden

Russia’s Putin pays thousands for secret ‘Abba’ show

Former Russian president and apparent avid Abba-fan Vladimir Putin paid £20,000 ($29,000) to fly an Abba cover band from the UK to Russia to perform a private concert for him at a remote resort.

Sale of Volvo Cars advancing: report
Sweden

Sale of Volvo Cars advancing: report

Representatives from Ford will be meeting with investment banks in London next week to discuss the potential sale of its Volvo Cars subsidiary, Sweden’s leading business daily reported on Friday.

Munich conference hoping for ‘new chapter’ in transatlantic ties
Germany

Munich conference hoping for ‘new chapter’ in transatlantic ties

The head of a high-profile annual security conference in Munich, Wolfgang Ischinger, said on Friday he hoped this year’s meeting would provide the foundation for a “new chapter” in transatlantic relations.

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Germany

Man stabs family and jumps off balcony

A man in North Rhine-Westphalia is dead after stabbing his family and then jumping off his third-floor apartment balcony, police said on Friday.

Newspaper rich lists: public service or invasion of privacy?
Sweden

Newspaper rich lists: public service or invasion of privacy?

Income details are public property in Sweden - so much so that neighbourhood rich lists are regularly published in the press. Paul O’Mahony peers behind the figures to examine attitudes to a practice that is coming under increasing fire.

Infineon posts sharp loss and forecasts dire 2009
Germany

Infineon posts sharp loss and forecasts dire 2009

The German chip maker Infineon on Friday reported a sharp first quarter loss and gave a gloomy outlook for its 2008-2009 fiscal year as demand slumped in the auto and telecommunications sectors.

Colombian cocaine by mail earns Münster man 7 years prison
Germany

Colombian cocaine by mail earns Münster man 7 years prison

A 53-year-old German man who had seven kilogrammes (15.4 pounds) of Colombian cocaine shipped to him in Münster, just got his receipt, a court in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said late on Thursday.

Schäuble says Obama’s inauguration won’t ease terrorism
Germany

Schäuble says Obama’s inauguration won’t ease terrorism

The inauguration of a new, more internationally accepted US president won’t help ease tensions with terrorists, German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told the Financial Times Deutschland on Friday.

Volvo Group finishes 2008 with huge loss
Sweden

Volvo Group finishes 2008 with huge loss

Volvo AB reported a pre-tax loss of 2.5 billion kronor ($300 million) in the fourth quarter, compared to a profit of 5.6 billion the same period a year before.

German convicted for Tunisian attack
Germany

German convicted for Tunisian attack

A French court on Thursday sentenced a German Al-Qaeda militant to 18 years after finding him guilty of plotting the 2002 suicide bombing of a Tunisian synagogue that left 21 dead.

Q-Med’s beauty blogger offer ‘illegal’: agency
Sweden

Q-Med’s beauty blogger offer ‘illegal’: agency

Q-Med, the company that offered free beauty enhancement treatments to Swedish female bloggers, has broken the country’s marketing laws, according to the consumer ombudsman.

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Sweden

Malmö police chief ‘knew of racist remarks’

Malmö police chief Ulf Sempert has reported himself following admissions that he has previous knowledge about racist comments made on board a police bus but chose not to react.