Merkel nominates Wulff for president
Germany

Merkel nominates Wulff for president

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition on Thursday nominated Lower Saxony’s premier Christian Wulff to be Germany’s next president.

Aigner unfriends Facebook
Germany

Aigner unfriends Facebook

German Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner said Thursday she was deleting her Facebook account in protest because the social networking site's new privacy settings announced last week do not go far enough.

Schäuble moots hiking ‘solidarity’ tax to help rescue budget
Germany

Schäuble moots hiking ‘solidarity’ tax to help rescue budget

As the German government scrambles to rein in the ballooning deficit, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has reportedly proposed a hike in so-called 'solidarity' surcharge - the unpopular reunification tax.

Organizer: ship deaths ‘premeditated murder’
Sweden

Organizer: ship deaths ‘premeditated murder’

The Swedish organizer of the Ship to Gaza has accused Israel of using disproportionate military force against a peaceful aid operation. Mattias Gardell said the Israelis had committed “premeditated murder” and were guilty of piracy.

Zorn painting sold at record price
Sweden

Zorn painting sold at record price

An Anders Zorn painting fetched a record price for a Swedish work when it was sold at auction in Stockholm on Thursday. Anders Zorn's "Sommarnöje" ("Summer Delight") sold for 26 million kronor ($3.35 million).

States aim to block cuts to solar energy subsidies
Germany

States aim to block cuts to solar energy subsidies

A majority of Germany’s 16 states are set to block the federal government’s planned cuts to solar energy subsidies in the upper house of parliament on Friday.

What do the Swedish Gaza activists hope to achieve?
Sweden

What do the Swedish Gaza activists hope to achieve?

The Ship to Gaza incident was, to say the least, badly handled by Israel. The blockade of Gaza is wrong. But Swedish activists need to ask themselves tough questions about the consequences of their actions, says Stockholm-based Israeli journalist David Stavrou.

Opposition mounts to euro adoption in Sweden
Sweden

Opposition mounts to euro adoption in Sweden

Opposition to joining the euro adoption is growing in Sweden, with an increasing number of people fearing that businesses would lose out if the country scrapped the krona and joined the single currency, a poll showed on Thursday.

Nuclear plant heads propose armed security
Sweden

Nuclear plant heads propose armed security

The heads of Sweden's nuclear power plants have called for the installation of armed rapid reaction forces to be put in place in order to increase security.

Talk turns to Christian Wulff for president
Germany

Talk turns to Christian Wulff for president

Lower Saxony premier Christian Wulff has replaced Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen as the favourite to become Germany's new president after an abrupt shift in the feverish speculation about the post, media outlets reported Thursday.

Thousands of WWII bombs found on sunken German ship
Germany

Thousands of WWII bombs found on sunken German ship

Russian authorities have found a sunken German ship in the Baltic Sea with more than 10,000 World War II-era munitions aboard, an emergency official said on Thursday.

Swedes prefer text to telephone calls
Sweden

Swedes prefer text to telephone calls

Swedes sent a total of 16.3 billion text messages in 2009, an increase of 65 percent on 2008 and more than the number of calls made on the country's mobile telecom networks, a new report from the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (Post- och telestyrelsen - PTS).

Paraffin spill pollutes Baltic beaches
Germany

Paraffin spill pollutes Baltic beaches

Clean-up crews are taking to beaches in the state of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania to remove clumps of paraffin that leaked into the Baltic Sea from an unknown source, German maritime authorities said on Thursday.

Persecuted by the Nazis, former Berliners visit their hometown
Germany

Persecuted by the Nazis, former Berliners visit their hometown

A programme offering people persecuted by the Nazis a chance to visit their former hometown Berlin is slowly winding down. Julia Lipkins speaks with some of the last survivors.

Christian Democrats propose jury duty
Sweden

Christian Democrats propose jury duty

The Christian Democrats have proposed kicking out politically appointed lay judges in the court system and introducing jury duty for all citizens, emulating the model used in many common law countries like the US, England and the Commonwealth nations.

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Sweden

21-year-old confesses to Halmstad killing

Police have confirmed that a 21-year-old man has confessed to the killing of a 73-year-old woman found dead in a woodland area outside Halmstad on Saturday, according to the officer in charge of the murder investigation, Lars Hamrén.

Heavy rains threaten Bavaria with flooding
Germany

Heavy rains threaten Bavaria with flooding

As floodwaters recede in northeast Germany, heavy rains in the south have raised flood alarms to their highest level in Bavaria on Thursday, the state environmental authority said.

What’s on in Germany: June 3 – 9
Germany

What’s on in Germany: June 3 – 9

This Week's Highlights: Art studios open to the public in Cologne, it's culture night in Hamburg, and there's opera for all in Berlin.

Summer temperatures finally on the way
Germany

Summer temperatures finally on the way

After the grey and chilly weather of recent weeks, summertime temperatures will slowly arrive in Germany over the weekend, the German Weather Service (DWD) said on Thursday.

Bildt on hand to welcome deported Swedes
Sweden

Bildt on hand to welcome deported Swedes

Sweden's foreign minister was at Istanbul airport in the early hours of Thursday morning to assist Swedes deported following their participation in the Gaza aid convoy.

‘Grand coalition’ talks break down in Rhineland
Germany

‘Grand coalition’ talks break down in Rhineland

Talks between the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) to form a so-called “grand coalition” in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ended without an agreement late on Wednesday night, leaving the future of the state government unclear.

Lagerbäck: Nigeria can beat anyone
Sweden

Lagerbäck: Nigeria can beat anyone

Lars Lagerbäck, the Swedish coach leading Nigeria at the World Cup, has said that his adopted nation can beat anyone as the team arrived in South Africa on Wednesday.

Ballack urged to retire from national team
Germany

Ballack urged to retire from national team

Injured Germany captain Michael Ballack has been urged to retire from international football by Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß and forget about leading the national team at Euro 2012.

Royal Court: Princess Lilian has Alzheimer’s
Sweden

Royal Court: Princess Lilian has Alzheimer’s

Princess Lilian, the 95-year-old widow of Prince Bertil, an uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf, has Alzheimer's and will thus not be able to attend the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling in June, the Royal Court has confirmed.

What’s On in Sweden: June 4th – June 10th
Sweden

What’s On in Sweden: June 4th – June 10th

What’s on in Sweden: Ambassadorial football in Stockholm, picnic for unity in Gothenburg and Canadian poetry in Malmö.