Scientists hope to rebuild Bamiyan Buddha
Germany

Scientists hope to rebuild Bamiyan Buddha

German scientists said Friday they believed it possible to reconstruct one of the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas dynamited by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, prompting worldwide condemnation.

VW posts record and targets even better 2011
Germany

VW posts record and targets even better 2011

Europe's biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, unveiled record 2010 results Friday and said it would do even better this year, sending its shares soaring.

Bundesrat passes Hartz IV welfare reforms
Germany

Bundesrat passes Hartz IV welfare reforms

After months of political wrangling, Germany’s upper house of parliament on Friday finally approved an increase of €5 to Hartz IV welfare benefits. But a separate court decision said those on the dole should expect payment for TVs.

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Sweden

Apple Sweden rides iPhone popularity wave

US technology giant Apple has reported a boom in Swedish sales for the 2010 financial year, with the popularity of iPhone behind the buoyant figures.

Dutch skaters saved from Swedish ice floe
Sweden

Dutch skaters saved from Swedish ice floe

Six skaters from the Netherlands were saved from an ice floe on Lake Vättern in central Sweden on Friday after having been adrift for several hours.

Welcome to The Local in Switzerland
Switzerland

Welcome to The Local in Switzerland

In the last seven years The Local has become the leading source of English-language news from Sweden and Germany. Now we are launching a new edition in Switzerland.

Wild boars destroy UK soldiers’ cemetery
Germany

Wild boars destroy UK soldiers’ cemetery

A sounder of hungry wild boars destroyed a Berlin cemetery for British soldiers this week, rooting up graves and headstones and causing some €10,000 in damages.

Merkel slams Netanyahu for stalled peace talks
Germany

Merkel slams Netanyahu for stalled peace talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly berated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to advance peace talks during a "tense" phone call.

Libyan evacuation a ‘priority’ for Sweden
Sweden

Libyan evacuation a ‘priority’ for Sweden

Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt has underlined that the country's first priority is to help nationals flee war-torn Libya, while migration minister Tobias Billström accused Italy of exaggerating any impending refugee wave.

Assange case difficult to prove: Swedish press
Sweden

Assange case difficult to prove: Swedish press

Proving the rape claims against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will present a challenge for Swedish prosecutors amid a climate of mistrust against them, Sweden's Dagens Nyheter daily wrote on Friday.

Economists demand EU sovereign default plan
Germany

Economists demand EU sovereign default plan

Almost 200 German economics professors have signed a declaration rejecting current proposals to resolve the eurozone debt crisis, instead calling for a way for distressed countries to declare bankruptcy.

US Army targeted interior minister with ‘psy-ops’
Germany

US Army targeted interior minister with ‘psy-ops’

The US Army has reportedly ordered “psychological operations” against foreign officials, including German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, in order to influence policy in Afghanistan.

Weekend weather to divide nation
Germany

Weekend weather to divide nation

Two contrasting weather systems will split Germany into two halves this weekend, with a cold and sunny east facing a warmer but wet west, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

Swiss woman killed in elephant brawl
Switzerland

Swiss woman killed in elephant brawl

An elderly Swiss woman has been trampled to death in Thailand, after elephants that she and other tourists were riding began fighting with each other.

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Switzerland

Switzerland freezes Qaddafi assets

Switzerland has ordered an immediate freeze on any assets that may belong to defiant Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi and his entourage, the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.

Deep freeze puts Baltic on track for record ice
Sweden

Deep freeze puts Baltic on track for record ice

Following another extended stretch of sub-zero temperatures, ice coverage on the Baltic Sea is greater than it's been in nearly a quarter century, Sweden's meteorological agency reports.

‘Lazy’ Malmö commuters given lesson on how to ride
Sweden

‘Lazy’ Malmö commuters given lesson on how to ride

A flood of complaints from disgruntled commuters have forced the operators of Malmö's new City Tunnel to educate local residents about the the dos and don'ts of travelling on a big-city transit system.

Brandenburg Green party treasurer vanishes with €40,000
Germany

Brandenburg Green party treasurer vanishes with €40,000

The treasurer of the Green party in the eastern German state of Brandenburg has disappeared – along with €40,000 in party funds. Police are now looking for the man, who resigned suddenly just before he and the money went missing.

Minister takes aim at free school ‘profits’
Sweden

Minister takes aim at free school ‘profits’

Sweden's education minister Jan Björklund has sharpened his tone against privately-run, publicly-funded "free schools", conceding that there are several indications that profit takes precedence over quality.

On skis in Sweden’s wild, wild north
Sweden

On skis in Sweden’s wild, wild north

For a winter adventure of epic proportions, The Local’s Karen Holst steps off the ski slopes and into Sweden’s lone Arctic wilderness – Sarek National Park.

Westerwelle calls for Qaddafi clan sanctions
Germany

Westerwelle calls for Qaddafi clan sanctions

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle renewed his call for sanctions against Libya on Friday as US President Barack Obama tried to organise a coordinated effort from world leaders to quickly respond to the crisis in the North African country.

Volvo unveils China investment plans
Sweden

Volvo unveils China investment plans

Swedish carmaker Volvo hopes to become a global luxury brand and turn China into a major manufacturing base by investing $10-$11 billion over the next five years, a report said Friday.

Rail traffic hit hard by second strike this week
Germany

Rail traffic hit hard by second strike this week

Germans woke up to the second train drivers’ strike of the week on Friday, with heavy delays and cancellations reported across the country. But the already struggling S-Bahn commuter train services in Berlin were spared.

Bayern Munich downplays Inter Milan win before Dortmund match
Germany

Bayern Munich downplays Inter Milan win before Dortmund match

Bayern Munich have brushed aside the merit of a valuable Champions League victory at Inter Milan in midweek as they turn their attention to what is arguably their most important match of the season Saturday.

Zlatan: I would have killed for former coach
Sweden

Zlatan: I would have killed for former coach

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted that he would have been prepared to kill for former boss Jose Mourinho, with whom he spent a season at Inter Milan.

Hellner captures world Nordic gold for Sweden
Sweden

Hellner captures world Nordic gold for Sweden

Marcus Hellner handed Sweden their first gold medal of the world Nordic ski championships Thursday when he won the men's sprint.