Bundestag passes law paving way for EU reform treaty
Germany

Bundestag passes law paving way for EU reform treaty

The EU's Lisbon reform treaty took a significant step closer to coming into force on Tuesday as Germany's parliament passed a revised law paving the way to its ratification.

Germany rehabilitates Third Reich wartime ‘traitors’
Germany

Germany rehabilitates Third Reich wartime ‘traitors’

The German parliament voted Tuesday to lift Nazi-era convictions of wartime "traitors" whose names, 70 years after the fighting started, had still not been cleared.

Teen from Winnenden school massacre had killing fantasies
Germany

Teen from Winnenden school massacre had killing fantasies

The teenage boy responsible for the Winnenden school massacre in southwestern Germany last March was apparently haunted by killing fantasies long before his rampage left 15 people dead.

German education spending ranks low in international study
Germany

German education spending ranks low in international study

Germany invests less money in education than almost all other industrialised nations, according to a new study presented on Tuesday in Berlin by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

German trade surplus surges as output drops
Germany

German trade surplus surges as output drops

Germany's trade surplus soared in July as its export engine revved up, official data showed on Tuesday, but a drop in industrial output signalled that economic recovery is fragile.

Merkel defends German mission in Afghanistan
Germany

Merkel defends German mission in Afghanistan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday defended Berlin’s military deployment in Afghanistan and rejected “prejudgement” of a controversial NATO air strike called by the Bundeswehr last week.

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Sweden

Söderling hoping to lead Swedish revival

Borg, Wilander and Edberg are long gone and it's dark days for Swedish tennis, but in Robin Söderling there are at least some rays of hope.

Knut’s Italian girlfriend Gianna arrives in Berlin
Germany

Knut’s Italian girlfriend Gianna arrives in Berlin

A new Italian girlfriend for Berlin’s famous polar bear Knut arrived on Tuesday along with two other bears from Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo.

Geely confirms Volvo interest
Sweden

Geely confirms Volvo interest

Chinese car giant Geely confirmed on Tuesday that it is considering a bid for Ford's Swedish subsidiary Volvo Cars, Bloomberg reports.

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Sweden

Four billion extra pledged in fight against crime

The Swedish government has allocated an additional 4 billion kronor ($570 million) to the fight against crime in a bid to achieve the governing parties' pledge to have 20,000 police officers on Sweden's streets by 2010, according to a statement.

Playboy poser strikes again
Sweden

Playboy poser strikes again

A looming jail sentence didn't stop a 31-year-old Swedish woman found guilty of defrauding several men she met online from luring other unsuspecting victims out of their money with sob stories and images of Playboy models.

Germany set to face England in historic women’s Euro 2009 final
Germany

Germany set to face England in historic women’s Euro 2009 final

After beating Norway 3-1 in the semi-final in Helsinki, the German women’s football team faces England in the final of the Euro 2009 tournament in Finland on Thursday night.

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Sweden

Swedish politician mulls Thai bows to counter swine flu

While several local parishes of the Church of Sweden are advocating the use of fortified wine to prevent the spread of swine flu during communion, a Swedish politician is proposing a different measure to prevent the virus from spreading - the introduction of traditional Thai greetings in an effort to reduce direct contact.

Border town plans to fight prostitutes with stinky acid
Germany

Border town plans to fight prostitutes with stinky acid

A small community in Brandenburg said on Tuesday that it wants to protect its image by discouraging streetwalking by prostitutes by using “all available means” – including fatty acid smelling like vomit and secret cameras.

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Sweden

Saab loses out in Brazil fighter plane bid

Brazil has announced it will order 36 Rafale combat planes from France, beating out Sweden's bid to sell Saab's Gripen to the South American nation. The announcement was made on Monday during French president Nicolas Sarkozy's state visit to Brasília.

Söderling slips into US Open quarter finals
Sweden

Söderling slips into US Open quarter finals

Swedish number one Robin Söderling booked a place in the quarter finals of the US open on Monday after his opponent, Russia's Nikolay Davydenko, was forced to abandon due to injury.

Bavarian woman claims to own world’s oldest dog
Germany

Bavarian woman claims to own world’s oldest dog

News has spread quickly that the world’s oldest dog, a dachshund-mix named "Chanel," recently died at the age of 21. Now a Bavarian woman claims that her dog Penny is actually even older.

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Sweden

Pernod Ricard to sell Vin & Sprit

French alcohol group Pernod Ricard, which last year purchased the Vin & Sprit (V&S) group from the Swedish state for 55 billion Swedish kronor ($8.88 billion), has announced it intends to keep Absolut Vodka but will sell off the rest of the Swedish drinks group.

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Sweden

Swedes reported arrested in Pakistan

The Swedish embassy in Pakistan is investigating media reports that three Swedes have been arrested by the Pakistani military.

Shanghai car maker to join Saab deal: report
Sweden

Shanghai car maker to join Saab deal: report

Koenigsegg Group has informed the Swedish government that it has finally put together the financial package necessary to purchase Saab Automobile from General Motors.

German and French telecoms joining to dominate UK market
Germany

German and French telecoms joining to dominate UK market

Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom have launched exclusive talks to merge their British units to become Britain's top mobile operator, the German telecommunications group said Tuesday in a statement.

Swedes drinking more smuggled liquor
Sweden

Swedes drinking more smuggled liquor

Swedes are buying less beer abroad, but are consuming twice as much smuggled liquor compared to the first half of 2008, according to a new report from the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (Centrum för socialvetenskaplig alkohol- och drogforskning – SoRAD) at Stockholm University.

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Sweden

Paintings removed for EU foreign minister meeting

Two paintings by Swedish artist Dick Bengtsson (1936-1989) were removed at the weekend when EU foreign ministers attended a meeting at the Moderna Museet contemporary art museum in Stockholm.

S-Bahn repairs create Berlin commuter chaos
Germany

S-Bahn repairs create Berlin commuter chaos

Tens of thousands of Berlin commuters faced heavy delays on Tuesday morning as the city’s S-Bahn train service announced last-minute technical problems that left only one-quarter of its fleet on the rails.

German wages stagnate at bottom of EU study
Germany

German wages stagnate at bottom of EU study

Wages are rising more slowly in Germany than all other European Union countries, according to a new study published by daily Die Welt on Tuesday.