Berlin urges Russia to improve ties to US
Germany

Berlin urges Russia to improve ties to US

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on a visit to Moscow Wednesday urged the Kremlin not to miss an opportunity for improved ties with Washington and a new deal on nuclear disarmament.

East Germany weathers crisis better than west
Germany

East Germany weathers crisis better than west

Eastern Germany has been less affected by the global economic crisis than western part of the country but the region still has far to go before divisions between the two halves disappear, according to a new government report released Wednesday.

Salinger ‘sequel’ writer reveals identity
Sweden

Salinger ‘sequel’ writer reveals identity

A Swedish publisher has revealed that he is John David California, the pseudonymous writer being sued by reclusive American author JD Salinger for an unauthorized sequel to The Catcher in the Rye.

Hamburg and Frankfurt dubbed Germany’s most liveable cities
Germany

Hamburg and Frankfurt dubbed Germany’s most liveable cities

Hamburg and Frankfurt have been anointed Germany's most liveable cities by a recent survey. Berlin just missed making it into the top 20.

Confession in killing of teenage girl
Sweden

Confession in killing of teenage girl

The 16-year-old boy suspected in the weekend murder of a 15-year-old girl in Stureby south of Stockholm confessed to manslaughter on Wednesday and has been remanded in custody.

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Sweden

Gangsters forced boy to replace ‘trademark’ tattoo

Two members of a criminal gang were indicted on criminal charges on Wednesday after forcing an 18-year-old boy to replace a tattoo they claimed had infringed their "trademark".

Pensioner fined for tear gas assault over dog poo
Germany

Pensioner fined for tear gas assault over dog poo

A 69-year-old Düsseldorf man was fined €1,500 for attacking a neighbour with tear gas after a dispute over dog poop escalated, a court ruled on Wednesday.

Guilty verdicts in ICA meat cheat scandal
Sweden

Guilty verdicts in ICA meat cheat scandal

Two employees from an ICA Maxi grocery store in Nacka outside of Stockholm have been convicted for repackaging out-of-date meat and putting it back on store shelves.

‘God probably doesn’t exist’: Swedish humanists
Sweden

‘God probably doesn’t exist’: Swedish humanists

The role of religion in public life in Sweden has been brought into sharp relief by a provocative ad campaign questioning the existence of God.

Swine flu continues to spread
Germany

Swine flu continues to spread

Ten new cases of swine flu have been diagnosed in Germany, the government’s infectious disease centre reported on Wednesday.

Berlin approves public ‘bad bank’ bill
Germany

Berlin approves public ‘bad bank’ bill

The German cabinet approved draft legislation Wednesday that would take risky assets from state-owned regional banks and group them in a "bad bank" in exchange for a serious slimming down of the Landesbanken.

Prison for abusive foster parents
Sweden

Prison for abusive foster parents

Two foster parents charged with abusing three orphaned brothers in their care were sentenced to prison on Wednesday by the Falu District Court in central Sweden.

Twisters rip through Schleswig-Holstein
Germany

Twisters rip through Schleswig-Holstein

Two tornadoes touched down in northern Germany, damaging houses and uprooting trees, authorities reported Wednesday.

Court upholds health care reform
Germany

Court upholds health care reform

Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that private health insusrers must accept all applicants, regardless of age or health status, and imposed limits on what the firms could charge for insurance.

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Sweden

Activists arrested during NATO exercise

Five people were arrested on Wednesday morning after entering a bombing range in northern Sweden being used as a part of a major NATO training exercise.

Metro aims to take over bankrupt Arcandor
Germany

Metro aims to take over bankrupt Arcandor

Germany top retailer Metro wants to snap up distressed rival Arcandor and possibly list a new group on the stock exchange, Metro boss Eckhard Cordes said on Wednesday.

Best-selling Polish crime writer brings pre-war Breslau to life
Germany

Best-selling Polish crime writer brings pre-war Breslau to life

The pre-World War II German city of Breslau – now Wroclaw in Poland – is the real hero of best-selling Polish author Marek Krajewski's murder mysteries, devoured by readers and translated so far into 11 languages, writes AFP's Bernard Osser.

Uighur Gitmo inmates appeal to Germany
Germany

Uighur Gitmo inmates appeal to Germany

Several Uighur inmates at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay have made a direct appeal to the government be allowed to resettle in Germany.

Archaeologists unearth 800-year-old shoe
Germany

Archaeologists unearth 800-year-old shoe

Archaeologists have unearthed a well-preserved leather shoe from 13th century at a dig in Magdeburg that could provide insights into mediaeval life.

Billing scandal rocks Swedish Red Cross
Sweden

Billing scandal rocks Swedish Red Cross

The Swedish Red Cross (Röda Korset) has been shaken by a fraud scandal involving the organization’s former head of communications.

Reinfeldt pushes for carbon tax in Europe
Sweden

Reinfeldt pushes for carbon tax in Europe

Speaking in Brussels in Tuesday, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt urged other countries in Europe to implement a tax on carbon dioxide to help reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

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Sweden

Volvo Group cancels some layoffs as other jobs are cut

Sweden's Volvo Group announced plans on Tuesday to cut 160 white collar jobs at its aeronautics arm while at the same time more than 300 other workers were told their jobs had been spared.