Lynxes clawing back a bit of German wilderness
Germany

Lynxes clawing back a bit of German wilderness

Go for a walk in the wooded Harz region and you could end up face-to-face with a wild lynx. Hannah Cleaver reports on the efforts to reintroduce the tuft-eared cats to German forests.

Merkel: Greece expulsion from euro not an option
Germany

Merkel: Greece expulsion from euro not an option

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought Monday to calm fears that Berlin would block aid to debt-wracked Greece but stressed that Athens must produce a credible plan to reduce its deficits.

CDU chastens new Muslim minister for mooting school crucifix ban
Germany

CDU chastens new Muslim minister for mooting school crucifix ban

Just one day before taking her post, Lower Saxony’s new Social Minister Aygül Özkan has apologised to her fellow Christian Democrats for starting a heated political debate by suggesting that crucifixes don’t belong in German public schools.

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Sweden

Sweden sees first quarter trade surplus shrivel

Sweden's trade surplus for the first three months of 2010 was 25.3 percent lower than the same period last year, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden.

East German message in a bottle sender meets boy finder
Germany

East German message in a bottle sender meets boy finder

An eastern German man who sent message in a bottle past the Iron Curtain decades ago has met with the young boy who recently found the missive floating in a canal near Göttingen.

Swedish lifers are living as monks
Sweden

Swedish lifers are living as monks

At Skänninge prison close to the picturesque village of Vadstena, twelve lifers and long-termers are being given the chance to live in a monastic community, enjoying greater freedom than their fellow prisoners. They are the result of a unique Jesuit experiment that began in the high security jail at Kumla. Lysanne Sizoo spent a day with the Brothers at Skänninge.

GM to compensate Russia’s Sberbank for failed Opel deal
Germany

GM to compensate Russia’s Sberbank for failed Opel deal

Russian bank Sberbank reached a deal with GM on compensation it had claimed for losses incurred after the US auto giant dropped plans to sell its Opel unit, the companies said on Monday.

Film industry demands fines from Pirate Bay pair
Sweden

Film industry demands fines from Pirate Bay pair

13 major film companies have filed writ against two of the men behind The Pirate Bay demanding payment of 500,000 kronor fines for continuing to operate the file sharing website despite a court order from October 2009.

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Sweden

Swedish paper mills mull strike extension

A strike by Swedish paper mill workers that has already cost the industry 510 million kronor ($70 million) could spread to six more plants on Monday evening.

Opposition announces high-speed rail plans
Sweden

Opposition announces high-speed rail plans

The left-green opposition parties have agreed to invest heavily in rail and public transport if they win the election in September, including the construction of high-speed railway lines.

VW to invest €1.6 billion in China plants
Germany

VW to invest €1.6 billion in China plants

Volkswagen said Monday it would increase its investment in China by €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) over the next two years, building two new production sites.

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Sweden

Youth gang forces Malmö pre-school closure

A pre-school in Malmö's Rosengård district was shut down on Monday morning in the interests of staff safety following an extended period of threats and harassment from a gang of local youths.

Paralysed woman has right to die: health board
Sweden

Paralysed woman has right to die: health board

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has advised that a 32-year-old woman who is completely paralysed and has been on a respirator since she was six has the right to decide to terminate her treatment.

Sick days increase as economy improves
Germany

Sick days increase as economy improves

The number of Germans who call in sick to work has risen significantly since last year, new figures showed on Monday.

SAS seeks volcanic ash compensation
Sweden

SAS seeks volcanic ash compensation

Scandinavian airline SAS is hoping to emerge financial unscathed from the recent air traffic disruption, with the airline planning to apply for 640 million kronor ($89 million) in EU aid.

Integration official rejects call for school crucifix ban
Germany

Integration official rejects call for school crucifix ban

Germany’s Integration Commissioner Maria Böhmer on Monday rejected calls by Lower Saxony’s new social minister for a ban on crucifixes in schools, saying they were part of the country’s national identity.

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Sweden

Man jailed for repeated rape of teen stepdaughter

A 37-year-old man has been jailed for eight years for raping his teenage stepdaughter more than 200 times over a six year period.

Politicians bicker over police attacker penalties
Germany

Politicians bicker over police attacker penalties

With riots expected at the annual May Day festivities in Berlin and elsewhere, Germany's centre-right coalition government bickered on Monday over whether harsher punishments should be enacted against those who attack police officers.

Rain to follow sunny weekend
Germany

Rain to follow sunny weekend

A brief rainy period will end the weekend’s glorious springtime weather, but sunshine will soon follow later in the week, the German Weather Service (DWD) said on Monday.

Former Nazi death camps celebrate liberation anniversary
Germany

Former Nazi death camps celebrate liberation anniversary

As former Nazi concentration camps across Germany celebrate the 65th anniversary of their liberation, the number of survivors who remain to tell their story dwindles and camp museums are seeing a surge in visitors.

Bishop ‘ready to resign’ over sex abuse silence
Sweden

Bishop ‘ready to resign’ over sex abuse silence

Bishop Anders Arborelius has said that he is "prepared to take the consequences" over the failure to investigate the alleged abuse of two sisters by a paedophile priest, first brought to the Catholic Church's attention in 1990.

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Sweden

Söderling defeated in Barcelona final

Swedish second seed Robin Söderling was defeated by Spain's fifth seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 on Sunday to keep the Barcelona claycourt title at home for the eighth straight year.