Germany beat Ghana to advance to final 16
Germany

Germany beat Ghana to advance to final 16

Midfielder Mesut Özil's second-half strike fired Germany to a 1-0 win over Ghana on Wednesday and into the World Cup last 16 where archrivals England will be waiting.

The daily World Cup roundup
Germany

The daily World Cup roundup

The Local’s World Cup blog offers an outsider’s perspective on German football as Die Mannschaft goes for glory in South Africa. Don’t miss our daily roundup!

Bildt defends embattled US General McChrystal
Sweden

Bildt defends embattled US General McChrystal

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has defended embattled US General Stanley McChrystal on Wednesday amid the ongoing fallout over inflammatory remarks allegedly made in a Rolling Stone interview.

Svenska Spel CEO fired in major shakeup
Sweden

Svenska Spel CEO fired in major shakeup

The board of state-owned gambling enterprise Svenska Spel has sacked its CEO Meta Persdotter, Chairwoman Margareta Winberg announced on Wednesday.

US Army announces base closures in Baden-Württemberg
Germany

US Army announces base closures in Baden-Württemberg

The US Army on Wednesday announced a three-phase plan for further consolidation of its bases in Germany, reducing troop numbers in Mannheim and Heidelberg by nearly 1,500 over the next five years.

Hitler begged for car discount, letter reveals
Germany

Hitler begged for car discount, letter reveals

An imprisoned and impoverished Adolf Hitler wrote to a car dealer begging for a discount on a Mercedes he had his eye on, according to a letter being auctioned in Germany next month.

Why I’m heading for the island
Sweden

Why I’m heading for the island

Julie Lindahl has learnt to understand why Swedes disappear to their islands for the summer. These are places for rediscovering our humanity, she writes.

BASF snaps up Cognis for €3.1 billion
Germany

BASF snaps up Cognis for €3.1 billion

German chemical giant BASF said Wednesday it would buy the specialist company Cognis for a total of €3.1 billion.

Brewer banishes Bud to crown Hasseröder official World Cup beer
Germany

Brewer banishes Bud to crown Hasseröder official World Cup beer

German football fans nearly rioted during the last World Cup after FIFA and its beverage sponsors tried to force Budweiser on them. Ben Knight reports on how the popular East German brew Hasseröder became this year’s official beer.

Mixa backs down, promises to go quietly
Germany

Mixa backs down, promises to go quietly

In a dramatic capitulation, former Bishop Walter Mixa abandoned any attempt to claw back his old job on Wednesday and issued an abject apology to the people he had “not treated the right way.”

Growing ranks of smokers support ban
Germany

Growing ranks of smokers support ban

An increasing number of smokers support Germany’s smoking ban in bars and restaurants, according to a study released by the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) this week.

German aid workers kidnapped in Darfur
Germany

German aid workers kidnapped in Darfur

Two German humanitarian workers were abducted late on Tuesday when gunmen swooped on the offices of the THW group in south Darfur, a United Nations official said on Wednesday.

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Sweden

Swedish dockers launch Israeli goods blockade

The Swedish Dock Workers Union (Hamnarbetarförbundet) on Wednesday launched a blockade of Israeli cargo in protest against the deadly raid on the Gaza-bound freedom flotilla last month, union representatives have confirmed.

Swedish consumers optimistic about future
Sweden

Swedish consumers optimistic about future

Swedish consumers are increasingly confident of the prospects for the country’s economy, according to a new report, but growth could be hit by austerity measures in Europe.

Duelling coalitions evenly split: poll
Sweden

Duelling coalitions evenly split: poll

Support for the two coalitions in Sweden's parliament, the Riksdag, is currently evenly split, the latest TV4/Novus Opinion poll reveals.

Stockholm museum chief heads for Hong Kong
Sweden

Stockholm museum chief heads for Hong Kong

Lars Nittve, the outgoing head of Stockholm's Moderna Museet and former artistic director of London's Tate Modern, is set to move to Hong Kong to lead a new museum and culture project due to open in 2015.

Holy division and cynicism
Germany

Holy division and cynicism

What is going on in the Catholic Church in Germany? Wracked by sexual abuse scandals, it has now decided to get into an ugly row with disgraced Bishop Walter Mixa. Paul Kreiner of Der Tagesspiegel doubts the pope can usher in a new era of reform.

Professor dead after vintage electric car crash
Germany

Professor dead after vintage electric car crash

An Erlangen professor was killed when he crashed a replica vintage Siemens electric car this week in the Black Forest, but the cause of the accident remains a mystery, a media report said on Wednesday.

Löw predicts fast and physical game in Ghana clash
Germany

Löw predicts fast and physical game in Ghana clash

Coach Joachim Löw has warned the German team will need to strike a careful balance between playing a strong, physical game and avoiding yellow cards in Wednesday night's decisive game against Ghana.

Driver hits elk and runs off with slice of thigh
Sweden

Driver hits elk and runs off with slice of thigh

A car driver involved in a collision with an elk on the E22 motorway in Blekinge in southern Sweden, claimed a slice of meat from the animal's thigh before fleeing the scene in a callous hit and run incident that has left a local hunter seething.

Justice minister rejects driving ban for criminals
Germany

Justice minister rejects driving ban for criminals

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has dismissed a plan by state counterparts to introduce driving bans for convicted criminals, media reported Wednesday.

Windfall raises fresh calls for tax cuts
Germany

Windfall raises fresh calls for tax cuts

Tax cuts swiftly reappeared on the government agenda Wednesday following the unexpected good news this week that the nation’s finances were not as dire as they seemed.

Ex-police chief charged with sex offences
Sweden

Ex-police chief charged with sex offences

Former Uppsala police chief Göran Lindberg has been formerly charged with sex crimes including aggravated rape in connection with a six month investigation involving nine women, one as young as 14-years-old.

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Sweden

Lagerbäck upbeat as Nigeria crash out

Nigeria coach Lars Lagerbäck praised his team's performance in drawing with South Korea on Tuesday but expressed disappointment at crashing out of the World Cup at the group stage.

Sweden in plea to save stinky fermented herring
Sweden

Sweden in plea to save stinky fermented herring

Sweden's agriculture minister Eskil Erlandsson pleaded with the EU's health and consumer policy commissioner on Tuesday to save one of the country's most loved - and loathed - delicacies: stinky fermented herring.

Neo-Nazi leader loses hotel ban court case
Germany

Neo-Nazi leader loses hotel ban court case

Hotels are entitled to refuse rooms to neo-Nazis, a court ruled late Tuesday in overturning a complaint by far-right leader Udo Voigt against a Brandenburg hotel.