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Sweden

Sick benefit reform puts people back to work

The government’s reforms to sick benefits have resulted in a large number of people moving into work or training programmes.

Language group slams Deutsche Telekom for English terms
Germany

Language group slams Deutsche Telekom for English terms

A group promoting German linguistic purity published an open letter on Wednesday to the head of Deutsche Telekom, lambasting the company for its rampant use of English terms.

Sweden’s latest hotel experience – up a tree
Sweden

Sweden’s latest hotel experience – up a tree

Swedish hoteliers have already given tourists the chance to live in a hotel made of ice and a hotel under a lake, so it was only a matter of time before someone decided to put a hotel in a tree.

Kraft takes power in North Rhine-Westphalia
Germany

Kraft takes power in North Rhine-Westphalia

Social Democrat Hannelore Kraft has been elected premier of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), sealing her minority centre-left government rule in Germany’s most populous state.

IKB bank boss convicted for accounting cover-up
Germany

IKB bank boss convicted for accounting cover-up

A court handed a former head of IKB bank, the first German casualty of the global financial meltdown, a suspended prison sentence on Wednesday for covering up losses from the US subprime crisis.

Sale of old stuffed bird goes to Supreme Court
Sweden

Sale of old stuffed bird goes to Supreme Court

A man who sold a nearly 50-year-old stuffed bird on the internet is being taken to Sweden’s Supreme Court by prosecutors, who claim that he has broken laws designed to protect endangered species.

Tornado warnings issued as heat wave continues
Germany

Tornado warnings issued as heat wave continues

The German Weather Service (DWD) on Wednesday issued a tornado warning for northern and western Germany, as severe storms cling to the tail of the heat wave moving across the country.

Credit Suisse raided in tax fraud probe
Germany

Credit Suisse raided in tax fraud probe

German prosecutors on Wednesday raided 13 branches of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse in connection with an investigation into widespread tax evasion.

Forsberg calls time on shoe firm
Sweden

Forsberg calls time on shoe firm

Swedish ice hockey legend Peter Forsberg has announced the closure of his shoe firm Pforce which became synonymous with the Crocs brand of sandals in Sweden - known as "Foppatofflan" after the star's nickname.

XXX-ray calendar titillates German radiologists
Germany

XXX-ray calendar titillates German radiologists

A German advertising agency is pushing the “beauty is skin deep” adage to the limit with a promotional calendar for radiologists featuring 12 “bone bunnies” – X-ray images of skeletal pin-up girls.

Police break car chase as fuel runs dry
Sweden

Police break car chase as fuel runs dry

A police unit was forced to give up the chase of a getaway vehicle in northern Sweden as it ran out of fuel, with officers unable to fill up as they had only a charge card for a petrol station 20 kilometres away.

Murder suspect moved fiancée’s body: court
Sweden

Murder suspect moved fiancée’s body: court

A man accused of murdering his fiancée has been found guilty of moving and hiding her body after her death.

Passengers trapped on sweltering train
Sweden

Passengers trapped on sweltering train

Passengers were trapped on a train in sweltering heat for nearly seven hours on Tuesday afternoon, for much of the time without food or water. Rail operator SJ said on Wednesday afternoon that it would offer all passengers 800 kronor in compensation and refund the cost of their tickets.

Bavaria offers access to rare books with mobile application
Germany

Bavaria offers access to rare books with mobile application

The Bavarian State Library this week released a free application for Apple’s iPhone and iPad offering users the ability to browse rare books including the Gutenberg Bible and precious medieval manuscripts.

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Sweden

SVT fulfils public service mandate: report

Sveriges Television (SVT) offers a clear alternative to the commercial television channels and offers programming which "the market" does not, a new inspection report has said.

Policeman wins a week’s holiday for time spent donning uniform
Germany

Policeman wins a week’s holiday for time spent donning uniform

A policeman has earned himself seven extra days’ holiday by persuading a court this week that putting on and taking off his uniform should be included in his work shift.

Westerwelle urges quick end to conscription
Germany

Westerwelle urges quick end to conscription

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is pushing for a quick end to military service, which he said Wednesday could be scrapped before the next federal election in 2013.

Merkel blasts new Rhineland coalition
Germany

Merkel blasts new Rhineland coalition

As the new minority government in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) prepares to take power on Wednesday, conservative leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel have launched scathing attacks on the centre-left coalition.

Dairy pays Greek man for Turkish yoghurt pic
Sweden

Dairy pays Greek man for Turkish yoghurt pic

Lindahls dairy in Jönköping in Sweden has paid almost two million kronor ($270,000) in compensation to Minas Karatzoglis, a Greek man whose picture is used on a Turkish yoghurt product.

Intelligence agency to probe own Nazi past
Germany

Intelligence agency to probe own Nazi past

Germany’s top domestic intelligence agency is to delve into its own post-war history to examine the role played by former Nazis and war criminals in the agency’s early days, a Wednesday media report said.

Littorin: I wanted to protect my family
Sweden

Littorin: I wanted to protect my family

Sven Otto Littorin has explained that he resigned as employment minister to save his family and friends from "untrue and very unpleasant information" in response to allegations that he bought sex in 2006.

Health experts warn against obesity drugs
Sweden

Health experts warn against obesity drugs

Experts attending the 11th International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm this week warned that over-the-counter slimming supplements were a waste of money and could in fact be detrimental to health.