Sweden’s Thomas Johansson hangs up his racket
Sweden

Sweden’s Thomas Johansson hangs up his racket

Swedish tennis star Thomas Johansson, the 2002 champion of the Australian Open, announced his retirement on Friday at the age of 34.

Troops in Afghanistan want more firepower
Germany

Troops in Afghanistan want more firepower

Army officers warn that the Taliban is stepping up its offensive against troops in northern Afghanistan and say German soldiers need to be more heavily armed.

Germans squeezed by rising levels of debt
Germany

Germans squeezed by rising levels of debt

Though German consumers aren’t as leveraged as their American counterparts, a study released Friday shows that many are sinking deeper into debt.

Pranksters allegedly hack Berlin stadium’s billboard
Germany

Pranksters allegedly hack Berlin stadium’s billboard

Is it hacker coup or grand fraud? A video on the internet shows three people apparently hacking into the massive electronic billboard outside Berlin’s new O2 World stadium to advertise for a party.

Swedish metal heads get ready to rock for Jesus
Sweden

Swedish metal heads get ready to rock for Jesus

God-fearing heavy metal fans in Sweden now have a place to go to bang their heads and worship Jesus at the same time.

Chilliest start to a summer in decades
Sweden

Chilliest start to a summer in decades

Sweden has witnessed one of the coldest starts to a summer in fifty years, said meteorological agency SMHI on Friday, confirming a nation's strong suspicions.

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Sweden

Tax agency in 2 billion kronor tax haven haul

Swedish tax authorities have managed to recoup more than 2 billion kronor ($258 million) from foreign tax havens in the last five years.

Ex-Arcandor chief Middelhoff probed
Germany

Ex-Arcandor chief Middelhoff probed

Prosectors in Essen said Friday they are investigating former Arcandor CEO Thomas Middelhoff for criminal breach of trust for real estate dealings he had with the now-bankrupt retail giant.

Swedish debt soars to 200 billion kronor
Sweden

Swedish debt soars to 200 billion kronor

The Swedish debt office increased sharply its forecast for the budget deficit this year, in a revision on Friday, owing to the economic crisis.

Teen murder suspect taken to mental clinic
Sweden

Teen murder suspect taken to mental clinic

A 16-year-old girl suspected of plotting the murder of a 15-year-old girl last weekend in Stureby south of Stockholm has been moved to a psychiatric clinic, much to the dismay of her attorney.

Amount of naturalised citizens plunges dramatically
Germany

Amount of naturalised citizens plunges dramatically

The number of immigrants who took the plunge and became naturalised German citizens in 2008 fell dramatically, according to government statistics released Friday.

Celebrating Japan Day in Düsseldorf
Germany

Celebrating Japan Day in Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf celebrates its sizeable Japanese community on Saturday. Rhea Wessel explores the Rhineland’s hotbed for manga and miso.

Steinmeier plummets in polls
Germany

Steinmeier plummets in polls

Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s uphill battle to become Germany’s next chancellor just got steeper: the popularity of Angela Merkel's Social Democratic (SPD) challenger plunged to a new low in a poll released Friday.

Swine flu infections spreading rapidly
Germany

Swine flu infections spreading rapidly

The number of children at a Japanese school in Germany who have tested positive for swine flu has risen to 46, in addition to three of their parents, local officials said Friday.

Koenigsegg ‘no wet dream’ for Saab: expert
Sweden

Koenigsegg ‘no wet dream’ for Saab: expert

Despite the excitement generated by Thursday’s news that Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg was set to buy Saab, a number of automotive journalists in Sweden remain sceptical.

Astrid Lindgren books fund political extremists
Sweden

Astrid Lindgren books fund political extremists

Sweden's extreme right wing National Democrat party has outraged the family of Astrid Lindgren by selling books penned by the popular children's writer on its website.

EU gives failing grade to eight Swedish beaches
Sweden

EU gives failing grade to eight Swedish beaches

The water at eight Swedish bathing areas failed to meet European water quality standards last year, according to the European Commission’s annual report.

Designer puts the Berlin Wall on the catwalk
Germany

Designer puts the Berlin Wall on the catwalk

A Berlin fashion designer is bringing pieces of the Berlin Wall to the catwalk with his collection of Wall-inspired dresses, or Mauerkleider.

Exploding paraffin sparks huge fire in Kiel
Germany

Exploding paraffin sparks huge fire in Kiel

A massive fire broke out in the early hours of Friday at a refuelling facility in Kiel, causing tanks of paraffin to explode and leading to a large-scale evacuation.

Becker’s ‘boom-boom’ heart goes from love to match
Germany

Becker’s ‘boom-boom’ heart goes from love to match

It's love, set and match for Boris Becker on Friday when he marries his Dutch model girlfriend in a posh Swiss resort and harvests a lucrative TV deal to air his second nuptials.

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Sweden

Stockholm suburb ranked best place to live in Sweden

For the second year in a row, the municipality of Danderyd outside of Stockholm has been voted the best place in Sweden to live, according to a magazine’s annual ranking.