Walton Ford’s lusty menagerie debuts in Berlin
Germany

Walton Ford’s lusty menagerie debuts in Berlin

For the first time ever in Europe, US artist Walton Ford’s vivid, sometimes pornographically violent animal paintings are on display in Berlin at an exhibition.

Court rules excessive toilet time no grounds for docked pay
Germany

Court rules excessive toilet time no grounds for docked pay

Frequent toilet visits are not grounds for an employer to dock a worker’s pay, according to a Cologne court ruling published on Friday.

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Sweden

Cartwheels in underwear leave schoolgirl with frostbite

A schoolgirl in northern Sweden is recovering from frostbite injuries to her fingers and toes after turning cartwheels in the snow in her underwear as part of a day of events organized by her high school's student union.

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Sweden

Painkillers fly off Swedish store shelves

In the first two months of trading after the government overhaul of pharmacies in Sweden, supermarkets and petrol stations reaped around 10 percent of the non-prescription drug market.

Is Germany dying out?
Germany

Is Germany dying out?

“Birth rates at an all-time low!” “The Germans are dying out!” “Catastrophic birth rates!” The headlines couldn’t be more alarming, but the statistics behind them lead to more complex conclusions. Jacinta Nandi and Ben Knight pick apart Germany’s demographic anxieties for Exberliner Magazine.

‘Partner may have written Millennium books’
Sweden

‘Partner may have written Millennium books’

Stieg Larsson was practically incapable of putting a sentence together and could not feasibly have written the best-selling Millennium crime trilogy without major assistance, claims a former colleague of the deceased author.

Speed skater Pechstein makes provisional Olympic squad
Germany

Speed skater Pechstein makes provisional Olympic squad

The German Speed Skating Federation (DESG) on Friday included Claudia Pechstein in a provisional squad list for the German 2010 Winter Olympics team, despite her two-year suspension for doping.

Burger King trades blows with regulator over headbutt advert
Sweden

Burger King trades blows with regulator over headbutt advert

The Swedish advertising ombudsman has upheld a number of complaints about a Burger King TV commercial showing one chef headbutting another in a cooking contest feud.

Talks stall over future of troubled Airbus military plane
Germany

Talks stall over future of troubled Airbus military plane

Talks in Berlin on the troubled Airbus A400M military transport plane ended without a breakthrough on Friday but the parties still aim to reach an agreement by January 31, Germany said.

‘Mailbox bomber’ gets life in jail after nearly killing 12-year-old
Germany

‘Mailbox bomber’ gets life in jail after nearly killing 12-year-old

A Berlin man known as the “mailbox bomber” was sentenced to life in prison for attempted murder on Friday for building a bomb that severely injured his 12-year-old niece in November 2008.

German TV is murder
Germany

German TV is murder

In the latest installment of Portnoy’s Stammtisch, The Local’s column about life in Germany, Portnoy examines the country’s beloved TV treasure Tatort.

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Sweden

Guilty verdict for child rape teacher

A male high school teacher in Skövde, south west Sweden, has been found guilty of a string of sex crimes with a pupil and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Win Amy Macdonald concert tickets
Sweden

Win Amy Macdonald concert tickets

Singer-songwriting sensation Amy Macdonald comes to Stockholm on Monday, January 25th. The Local has two pairs of tickets to give away for a chance to see the 22-year-old who taught herself guitar and took the music world by storm with her heady mix of youthful exuberance and vocal maturity.

Munich Airport admits to serious security mistakes
Germany

Munich Airport admits to serious security mistakes

Munich Airport has acknowledged two serious mistakes that led to Wednesday’s security breach, which allowed a person to slip away after his laptop set off an alarm for explosives.

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Sweden

Sony Ericsson losses lower than expected

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson reported a quarterly loss on Friday that surpassed market expectations but, amid plunging sales for the company, it continues to face fierce competition in the smartphone market.

Swedish customs crack cocaine gang plan
Sweden

Swedish customs crack cocaine gang plan

Customs officers in Gothenburg have unravelled a scheme that saw cocaine being smuggled into the country from Costa Rica. The gang used stolen identification from pensioners and the disabled to receive drug parcels.

English film buffs bring Mönchengladbach to the big screen
Germany

English film buffs bring Mönchengladbach to the big screen

Mönchengladbach doesn’t exactly conjure up the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but as Gwen Moores reports, that hasn’t stopped some enterprising English filmmakers from making movies in the western German city.

Man hospitalised after nuclear plant leak
Germany

Man hospitalised after nuclear plant leak

A leak in a uranium enrichment plant in Gronau, Germany exposed an employee to a high level of radiation but posed no danger to people outside the facility, the firm operating the plant said on Friday.

Merkel calls minister meeting on Afghanistan ahead of summit
Germany

Merkel calls minister meeting on Afghanistan ahead of summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a meeting of top ministers to discuss the country’s plans for Afghanistan ahead of the international summit on the strife-torn country in London on January 28.

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Sweden

Sharp interest rate rises in late 2010: report

Homeowners will have less spending power by the end of the year according to a new report from state-owned mortgage lender SBAB, which predicts the Riksbank will begin a sharp interest rate increase in the autumn.

Berlin ensures future of Stasi file archive
Germany

Berlin ensures future of Stasi file archive

Work at the Stasi file archive in Berlin will continue in the future due to the “unbroken need” of people for the information collected by feared East German secret police, Chancellery Chief of Staff Ronald Pofalla ensured on Friday.

Children’s hospital faces probe over baby death
Sweden

Children’s hospital faces probe over baby death

Parents of an 18-month-old girl who died after being admitted to the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital with pneumonia say a shortfall in the quality of care led to their child's death.

German embassy distributes anti-Mafia tourist maps for Sicily
Germany

German embassy distributes anti-Mafia tourist maps for Sicily

German tourists can now obtain a map of Sicily's capital Palermo flagging the shops that refuse to pay extortion money to the Mafia, the German embassy in Rome has announced.

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Sweden

French workers free hostages at Swedish firm

Four managers who were being held captive at a Swedish-owned metals plant in France were released on Thursday after workers took radical action in a bid to press demands for better severance pay.