Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie gets McDonald’s
Germany

Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie gets McDonald’s

US fast food chain McDonald's said Tuesday it planned to open a new outlet at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie, completing the landmark's 20-year transformation from Cold War front line to money-making tourist hotspot.

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Sweden

Sweden moves ahead with uni application fees

In a bid to reduce high administration costs, Sweden's government is calling for non-European Union applicants to be slapped with a registration fee when seeking admission to the country's colleges and universities.

Swedish home prices buck financial crisis
Sweden

Swedish home prices buck financial crisis

Swedish home values increased substantially in 2009, despite persistent fears the country would suffer from a major drop in housing prices.

New book digs up Stasi files on Günter Grass
Germany

New book digs up Stasi files on Günter Grass

A new book showing the huge lengths the East German secret police, the Stasi, went to in order to spy on Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass will go on sale in March, its publisher said Tuesday.

Inflation hits record low in 2009
Germany

Inflation hits record low in 2009

German inflation averaged 0.4 percent in 2009, its lowest level in 10 years, provisional figures released on Tuesday by the national statistics office showed.

Father and brother jailed for ‘honour killing’
Germany

Father and brother jailed for ‘honour killing’

A 50-year-old Turkish man was jailed for life in Germany on Tuesday over the brutal "honour killing" of his 20-year-old daughter, a murder carried out together with the victim's twin brother.

Clunker bonus gives Opel great year
Germany

Clunker bonus gives Opel great year

German carmaker Opel, which was rocked this year by industrial uncertainty, said Tuesday that its German sales gained 31 percent in 2009 owing to a government cash-for-clunkers scrapping bonus.

Iran puts ten Swedes on Interpol wanted list
Sweden

Iran puts ten Swedes on Interpol wanted list

Ten Swedes of Iranian descent are named on Interpol’s list of criminals wanted for terrorism and international organized crime.

Donald scores landslide victory in Christmas ‘duck’ battle
Sweden

Donald scores landslide victory in Christmas ‘duck’ battle

It was billed as the Christmas Eve battle of the ducks, as perennial TV ratings champion 'Kalle Anka och vänner' ('Donald Duck and Friends) was pitted against new duck in town Anna Anka. But the outspoken wife of crooner Paul Anka proved to be way out of her league.

Icy roads cause series of accidents
Germany

Icy roads cause series of accidents

Icy roads in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia caused a death and several injuries early Tuesday morning. Hamburg was also severely affected by surface ice during Monday night.

Disaster damage down in 2009
Germany

Disaster damage down in 2009

Munich Re, a leading global re-insurance group based in Germany, said Tuesday that natural catastrophes took many fewer lives and caused much less damage on average in 2009 than in the previous decade's average.

Businesses warned of second wave for financial crisis
Germany

Businesses warned of second wave for financial crisis

German businesses should expect a second wave of the financial crisis soon despite signs of a fragile recovery in the economy, according to an industry association.

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Sweden

Repairman’s vacation keeps Swedish town off the internet

An internet technician’s holiday travels have left a remote mountain village in northern Sweden cut off from the internet, causing a dent in the town’s winter tourism bookings.

Samuelsson outraged by Olympic hockey snub
Sweden

Samuelsson outraged by Olympic hockey snub

A day after forward Mikael Samuelsson slammed the Swedish national ice hockey team leadership for leaving him off the provisional Olympic roster, coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson said he had no plans to reach out to the disgruntled right winger.

Spyker chief ‘very optimistic’ over Saab bid
Sweden

Spyker chief ‘very optimistic’ over Saab bid

Saab suitor Spyker remains hopeful that it can snap up the iconic brand from General Motors despite previous reports of a rebuttal from the Swedish car maker's US owner.

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Sweden

Swedes reach new peak in mountains of debt

Swedes are further in the red with the national debt collection agency (Kronofogden) than ever before, with accumulated debts currently totalling 64 billion kronor ($9 billion).

Aid organisations blast German government
Germany

Aid organisations blast German government

German aid organisations have severely criticised Development Minister Dirk Niebel's plan to tie their state financial support to their cooperation with the German army.

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Sweden

Afghan teens left in the cold by train operator

The five Afghan teens found wandering in the cold near Sävsjö in southern Sweden on Christmas Eve had not been left in the forest by smugglers, it emerged on Monday, but had instead been kicked off a Swedish passenger train because they lacked proper tickets.

Private channels to go to EU over licence fees
Germany

Private channels to go to EU over licence fees

The chairman of Germany's association of private broadcasters (VPRT) has threatened to make a formal complaint to the European Commission over state broadcasting licence fees.

New Saab 9-5 to be a Buick or Opel: report
Sweden

New Saab 9-5 to be a Buick or Opel: report

Hopes are fading in Trollhättan regarding Saab Automobile's survival amid rumours that General Motors (GM) plans to release the latest Saab model as a Buick or Opel.

Policeman commits mysterious suicide
Germany

Policeman commits mysterious suicide

A German police officer committed suicide on the German-Swiss border at the weekend, shooting himself in the head in front of a checkpoint guard, a Swiss news agency said on Monday.