Berlin hopes Czech woes won’t kill EU deal
Germany

Berlin hopes Czech woes won’t kill EU deal

Germany said on Wednesday that it remained confident the EU reform treaty would be passed despite political turmoil in the Czech Republic, which currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

DFB demands Ballack step up national team leadership
Germany

DFB demands Ballack step up national team leadership

Captain Michael Ballack must lead the German national team by example as the squad looks to bounce back from home defeats in their last two games, German Football Federation (DFB) boss Theo Zwanziger said on Wednesday.

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Sweden

Buyers eyeing Volvo Cars: Ford

US car maker Ford revealed on Wednesday it is in detailed talks with potential buyers for its Volvo Cars subsidiary.

Sun worship curtails blood clot risk: Swedish study
Sweden

Sun worship curtails blood clot risk: Swedish study

While sun exposure has long been linked to skin cancer, a new Swedish study shows it also dramatically reduces the risk of suffering blood clots, one of the authors of the report said on Wednesday.

Pensioner admits to clubbing garden colony neighbours to death
Germany

Pensioner admits to clubbing garden colony neighbours to death

A 66-year old penioner standing trial in a Hildesheim court on Wednesday admitted to clubbing to death a 33-year old man and his two parents – the culmination of a feud between the long-time garden colony neighbours.

Merkel backs extension of car scrapping scheme
Germany

Merkel backs extension of car scrapping scheme

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday they would consider extending Abwrackprämie, or scrapping premium, due to its “great success” in helping the nation’s ailing auto industry.

Germany to block access to child porn websites
Germany

Germany to block access to child porn websites

The German cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan to fight child pornography by requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to work with law enforcement and block questionable content, but some critics say the initiative won’t be enough.

Stockholm Water Prize to Indian sanitation expert
Sweden

Stockholm Water Prize to Indian sanitation expert

Bindeshwar Pathak, a sanitation expert from India, won the Stockholm Water Prize on Wednesday for his work developing inexpensive and environmentally friendly toilets.

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Sweden

Physio back in business after rape conviction

A man convicted for the statutory rape of a minor is free to continue practicing as a physiotherapist in Sweden pending a ruling from the country’s medical responsibility board about whether or not to recall his licence.

What Germany’s new bureaucracy hotline can do for you
Germany

What Germany’s new bureaucracy hotline can do for you

Those struggling to navigate the murky depths of German bureaucracy now have a government-sponsored hotline that promises help for even the most intricate of administrative answers. The Local dialled 115 to check it out.

Woman charged over seduction of pupil
Sweden

Woman charged over seduction of pupil

A teacher in Kungsbacka in western Sweden has been indicted on charges of sexual harassment after allegedly sending nude photos and trying to seduce a 16-year-old pupil.

Police save 4,200 suffocating trout on Bavarian autobahn
Germany

Police save 4,200 suffocating trout on Bavarian autobahn

Officers managed to save some 4,200 trout from certain death on the autobahn after an emergency call from a truck driver, Bavarian police reported on Wednesday.

Young Swedes’ mental health deteriorating: report
Sweden

Young Swedes’ mental health deteriorating: report

Swedish health authorities are growing increasingly concern about the mental health of the country’s young people, according to a new report.

Sweden weighed down by weak exports
Sweden

Sweden weighed down by weak exports

Sweden posted the fourth straight decline in foreign trade in February, with both exports and imports posting steep falls from 2008 and set to weigh on the already-dismal outlook for the country's first quarter GDP.

What’s your most embarrassing linguistic faux pas?
Sweden

What’s your most embarrassing linguistic faux pas?

Every week, we ask a regular panel of readers to discuss a particular aspect of life in Sweden. This week: linguistic faux pas.

Germans oppose troops in Afghanistan
Germany

Germans oppose troops in Afghanistan

A majority of Germans oppose their nation's continuing military engagement in Afghanistan, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.

Ifo business confidence hits rock bottom
Germany

Ifo business confidence hits rock bottom

A key German index released Wednesday found corporate sentiment in Europe's biggest economy plumbing record new depths, but some economists detected signs the low point might be near.

Pressure mounts on union head to quit
Sweden

Pressure mounts on union head to quit

The head of the third largest district of Sweden’s Trade Union Confederation (LO), is calling for the organization’s national leader, Wanja Lundby-Wedin, to step down.

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Sweden

Businessman held in Swedish teen sex ring

A 60-year-old businessman has been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 16-year-old-girl as part of a sex ring probe that has so far led to four criminal indictments.

Experts say child porn block may not work
Germany

Experts say child porn block may not work

The German cabinet meets on Wednesday to discuss a plan to block child pornography websites, but experts warn that the virtual barriers will only stop amatuer web browsers.

Porsche negotiates €10-billion loan to pay VW takeover debts
Germany

Porsche negotiates €10-billion loan to pay VW takeover debts

German luxury sports car manufacturer Porsche has managed to get billions in loans after weeks of negotiating with banks to secure its future, the company announced on Wednesday.

German woman running for Indonesian parliament
Germany

German woman running for Indonesian parliament

A German-born woman is breaking new ground in Indonesia by running for parliament in next month's general election, and is learning some tough lessons about politics along the way.

Counterfeiting ring exposed in Stockholm
Sweden

Counterfeiting ring exposed in Stockholm

Police near Stockholm have broken up a major counterfeiting ring specializing in US dollars and euros.

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Sweden

Volvo forecasts steep drop in European truck demand

The head of Swedish truck maker Volvo said Tuesday that European sales would drop 40 percent in 2009, but that demand elsewhere is expected to pick up before year’s end.