Eating sausage standing saves taxes
Germany

Eating sausage standing saves taxes

Eating a sausage or kebab while standing rather than sitting down could end up saving hungry Germans tax on their tasty snack, following a court ruling on Wednesday.

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Switzerland

Swiss HSBC unit loses plea to block database

One of France's highest courts rejected a plea on Wednesday by a Swiss unit of HSBC bank that a French government database of citizens holding bank accounts abroad should be blocked as an excess of power.

Bin laden documents detail terror threat
Germany

Bin laden documents detail terror threat

Data seized from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s compound by US forces in May included plans to destabilize Europe’s economy with specific terrorist attacks on Germany.

Foreign family told they ‘eat too much dough’
Sweden

Foreign family told they ‘eat too much dough’

A representative from the social services in western Sweden has been accused of criticising the eating habits and weight of a family of asylum seekers.

Welcome to The Local in France
France

Welcome to The Local in France

In the last seven years, The Local has gradually grown to become the leading source of English-language news in Sweden and Germany. With Switzerland another recent addition, we now present The Local in France.

Da Vinci portrait looted by Nazi returns to Berlin
Germany

Da Vinci portrait looted by Nazi returns to Berlin

Leonardo da Vinci's treasured painting "Lady with an Ermine," a work belonging to Poland that was stolen by the Nazis, has gone on display in Germany for the first time since World War II.

Kohl slams Germany’s ‘unreliable’ foreign policy
Germany

Kohl slams Germany’s ‘unreliable’ foreign policy

Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl on Wednesday offered a blistering assessment of Germany’s current foreign policy, saying the country had become an erratic and unreliable partner to its closest allies.

15-year-old Swede faces filesharing charges
Sweden

15-year-old Swede faces filesharing charges

A 15-year-old Swedish boy who distributed 24 films, including Rush Hour, The Social Network, and True Grit, on internet filesharing sites, is one of the youngest Swedes ever to be charged with violating Swedish copyright laws.

Crazy cows attack Alpine hikers
Switzerland

Crazy cows attack Alpine hikers

Switzerland's spell of sizzling weather seems to have left Alpine cattle a bit hot under their cowbell collars. For the second time in a couple of weeks, hikers in Canton Graubünden have been attacked by cows nursing newborn calves.

Sweden = United States: Google Translate
Sweden

Sweden = United States: Google Translate

Despite constant improvements to its ability to translate the Swedish language into passable English, Google Translate continues to lose its way – often in laughable ways – when it comes to certain place names.

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France

France seeks to free frozen Libyan assets

France is working with its allies at the United Nations to draw up a resolution to unfreeze Libyan assets blocked by Security Council sanctions, a diplomatic source told AFP on Wednesday.

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Switzerland

Switzerland plans to hand over Libyan assets

Switzerland will release millions of francs worth of frozen Libyan assets as soon as the United Nations lifts sanctions that were imposed on Muammar Qaddafi’s government, a Swiss official said on Tuesday. 

 

 

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Sweden

Swede dines on WWII-era beef: it tasted ‘okay’

Swedish pensioner Eskil Carlsson on Tuesday decided the time was ripe to treat his neighbours to a cut of beef which had been stored in a glass jar by his family for over 70 years, revealing that it had held the test of time.

Business confidence drops to 14-month low
Germany

Business confidence drops to 14-month low

German business confidence fell sharply this month, the Ifo economic research institute said Wednesday as it released the latest in a series of bleak indicators for the top eurozone economy.

Wulff attacks ECB for bond purchases
Germany

Wulff attacks ECB for bond purchases

German President Christian Wulff criticised measures taken by the European Central Bank (ECB) to beat back a debt crisis in the eurozone, saying on Wednesday it was "asking for trouble" by buying government bonds.

Swiss ambassador rejects US tax criticism
Switzerland

Swiss ambassador rejects US tax criticism

Switzerland's ambassador to the United States, Manuel Sager, has penned a letter strongly refuting “claims that Switzerland is fighting against handing over bank information about Americans who have cheated on their taxes.“

Swedish docs under fire for newlywed ‘hymen tip’
Sweden

Swedish docs under fire for newlywed ‘hymen tip’

Swedish doctors have come under fire for advice to women born into so-called honour cultures to pierce their genitals with a needle in order to draw blood on their wedding nights to satisfy tradition and the expectations of their families.

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France

Border cops seize 82,000 litres of contraband booze

French customs officials have seized 82,000 litres of contraband alcohol destined for the UK and Ireland in the last six weeks, authorities said on Tuesday.

Carjackers targeting wealthy Parisians
France

Carjackers targeting wealthy Parisians

Carjackers have been targeting Parisians driving expensive cars in some of the city's chicest neighbourhoods, often holding them hostage for several hours.

Man’s torture chamber awaited captive woman
Germany

Man’s torture chamber awaited captive woman

A man who kidnapped a young woman in Hamburg is suspected of preparing an elaborate torture chamber for her in his apartment, police said.

Make us pay more taxes: France’s super-rich
France

Make us pay more taxes: France’s super-rich

Sixteen of France's richest people have penned a letter to magazine Le Nouvel Observateur calling for an "exceptional contribution" to be made by the country's wealthiest taxpayers.

Swedish 9-year-old launches ‘bun help’ to aid children in Africa
Sweden

Swedish 9-year-old launches ‘bun help’ to aid children in Africa

A 9-year-old Swedish girl whose fundraising efforts for starving children in Africa attracted the attention of government ministers wants more children to join her cause.

Swedish artist to chart Arctic expedition in clay
Sweden

Swedish artist to chart Arctic expedition in clay

A Swedish ice-breaker is heading to the chilly waters off Greenland last week, equipped with maps, charts - and a container full of clay, courtesy of a Stockholm-based ceramics artist, contributor Katherine Dunn reports.

Merkel urges eurozone budgets court enforced
Germany

Merkel urges eurozone budgets court enforced

German Chancellor Angela Merkel would like to see the European Court of Justice (ECJ) play a role in enforcing the rulebook for the eurozone, particularly on limits for public deficits, deputies say.

Man admits placing spy camera in girls’ shower
Sweden

Man admits placing spy camera in girls’ shower

A middle aged man has confessed to being the person who put up a camera in a girls' shower at a sports club in western Sweden.

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France

DSK affair in France ‘just beginning’: Banon lawyer

While criminal charges against him in New York have been dropped, Dominique Strauss-Kahn will still face legal problems at home, according to the lawyer for the woman who has accused him of attempted rape.

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Sweden

Inmate commits suicide at Swedish prison

A man in his forties was found dead at a prison in Gothenburg on Wednesday morning, with the authorities confirming that the recent convict had taken his own life.

French politicians celebrate DSK release
France

French politicians celebrate DSK release

Politicians lined up at TV and radio stations to react to the release on Tuesday of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, with most expressing relief that he is free to return to France and some taking the opportunity to criticize the American justice system.

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France

French mother of alleged Strauss-Kahn victim ‘outraged’

The mother of a French writer who alleges former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her said Tuesday she was "outraged" by the French Socialist party's reaction to his release.

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France

High-flying Strauss-Kahn tainted by accusations

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, before the scandal broke, was one of the world's most prominent public figures, steering the International Monetary Fund through the global financial crisis and a likely
heir to the French presidency.

Strauss-Kahn walks free after sex case dropped
France

Strauss-Kahn walks free after sex case dropped

A New York judge on Tuesday dismissed all sex crime charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ending a sordid saga that derailed the stellar career of one of the world's most powerful men.

‘Ikea founder was an active Nazi’: report
Sweden

‘Ikea founder was an active Nazi’: report

The Swedish security police tracked Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's membership of a Swedish Nazi movement in the 1940s, one of the revelations of the business leader's Nazi past revealed in a new book.

US prosecutors: Deutsche Bank was aware of mortgage fraud
Germany

US prosecutors: Deutsche Bank was aware of mortgage fraud

Germany's Deutsche Bank was aware of fraud being committed by a US subsidiary that issued thousands of bad mortgages before the 2008 financial crisis, US prosecutors have alleged.

Vattenfall sheds Polish operations
Sweden

Vattenfall sheds Polish operations

Swedish state-owned energy giant Vattenfall announce don Tuesday that it had reached a deal to sell two subsidiaries in Poland for €1.8 billion ($2.6 billion), signalling its exit from the country.

Unpopular tuition fees could soon be history
Germany

Unpopular tuition fees could soon be history

German universities have been allowed to charge tuition fees since 2007. But many states have decided to ditch them, soon leaving only Bavaria and Lower Saxony still taking money from their students. Hannah Cleaver reports.

Rhineland cops under investigation for faking attack
Germany

Rhineland cops under investigation for faking attack

Two police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia have been suspended while officals investigate whether they faked a violent attack which put them in the hospital.