https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
Sweden

Ikea used East German prison labour: report

Swedish furniture giant Ikea used East German political prisoners in the 1970s and 1980s to help build sofas at a factory that sat adjacent to a prison, according to German media reports.

Swiss firm wheels out social media e-bike
Switzerland

Swiss firm wheels out social media e-bike

A Swiss company is seeking to get tech-savvy city dwellers to become more e-mobile with the launch of a new bicycle that communicates with its rider using an internet connection and sensors.

Kitten straddles gas tank in 70-km ride of terror
Sweden

Kitten straddles gas tank in 70-km ride of terror

When Kristina Karlsson arrived back from work on Monday afternoon she found her car was occupied by an unusual stowaway.

Germany’s foreign policy zombie
Germany

Germany’s foreign policy zombie

Unloved, ineffective and on his political deathbed, Guido Westerwelle has become a foreign policy liability for Germany, writes The Local's Marc Young.

Deutsche Bank mulling major job cuts
Germany

Deutsche Bank mulling major job cuts

Deutsche Bank is reportedly developing emergency plans for what to do if the economy worsens - including saving up to €2 billion by cutting jobs in investment banking.

Bank staff under threat due to cash shortage
Sweden

Bank staff under threat due to cash shortage

Swedish banking giant Nordea’s decision to stop all cash handling at certain offices is exposing staff to threats and offensive behaviour, according to the Financial Sector Union of Sweden (Finansförbundet).

Warm weekend weather defies start of autumn
Germany

Warm weekend weather defies start of autumn

Despite the official start of autumn on September 1, much of Germany looks set to enjoy a warm and toasty weekend with temperatures going up to 30 degrees.

Palestinian statehood bid is dangerous: France
France

Palestinian statehood bid is dangerous: France

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Friday that a bid by Palestinians to win UN recognition as a state would risk triggering a dangerous diplomatic confrontation.

Merkel campaigns to the last in north-east
Germany

Merkel campaigns to the last in north-east

Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) hopes to turn the page on a string of electoral defeats in a poll in the north-eastern German state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Sunday.

https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
Sweden

Longer sentence for man who killed ‘by mistake’

The 37-year-old man who claimed he accidentally killed a 17-year-old girl during a sex act "that went too far” was given a longer sentence by the Swedish court of appeals on Friday.

Ban on classic video game ‘Doom’ lifted
Germany

Ban on classic video game ‘Doom’ lifted

The classic ultra-violent video game "Doom" can now be sold openly in Germany, 17 years after its release, following a decision by the government agency responsible for protecting young people from violent media.

International schools see demand soar
Switzerland

International schools see demand soar

International schools in Switzerland have seen their pupil numbers explode in recent years, mainly driven by demand from expatriate employees of multinational firms and international organisations.

https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
France

Libya rebels get $15 billion boost

World leaders meeting in Paris unlocked $15 billion in funds on Thursday to help Libya's victorious rebels rebuild the war-torn country as fugitive strongman Muammar Qaddafi issued a new barrage of threats.

https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
France

Libyans to decide where Qaddafi is tried: Sarkozy

Libya's ousted strongman Muammar Qaddafi should be arrested and tried but it is up to the Libyan people to decide whether to try him themsleves, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron said on Thursday.

Swedish cop: gays a ‘cancer on society’
Sweden

Swedish cop: gays a ‘cancer on society’

A police officer in Malmö in southern Sweden is under investigation after having called homosexuals a “cancer on society” in reference to a lesbian colleague who also serves as the department's hate crimes educator.

Post-it wars spread to Swedish offices
Sweden

Post-it wars spread to Swedish offices

Following France’s example, offices in Sweden are now competing to create the most elaborate Post-it characters displayed in their windows.

Bare baby bums and flyswatters
Germany

Bare baby bums and flyswatters

Motherhood in the Fatherland follows mum Sabine Devins as she navigates the cultural quirks of having a baby in Germany. In the latest instalment, she discovers how nudity supposedly helps baby development.

https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
Switzerland

Swiss stocks briefly plunge over 3%

Swiss stocks briefly plunged over three percent in nervous Friday morning trade, tracking losses in other key markets ahead of the release of key US jobs data.

https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
France

Fake sheikh steals million-euro ruby

One of the most beautiful gemstones in the world, a five-carat red ruby worth an estimated €1 million, has been stolen from a Monaco jewellers in a sting operation involving a fake sheikh.

https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
France

Phone mix-up costs woman €200,000

A woman is taking legal action against mobile operator SFR after claiming the company's failure to let her keep her old phone number meant she lost the chance of a job.

Three sacked over Facebook ‘threats’
Sweden

Three sacked over Facebook ‘threats’

Three employees at a company in Piteå, in the north of Sweden, have been fired and one reported to the police after posting “threatening” comments against one of the managers on Facebook.

World’s biggest electronics fair opens in Berlin
Germany

World’s biggest electronics fair opens in Berlin

The IFA consumer electronics fair, which opened to the public in Berlin on Friday, is shaping up as a battleground for tablet computer makers to attack the Apple iPad's dominant market position.

America comes to Deauville for annual film festival
France

America comes to Deauville for annual film festival

Friday sees the start of the 37th American Film Festival in the northern coastal resort of Deauville, with stars including director Francis Ford Coppola and actresses Shirley MacLaine and Naomi Watts expected to attend.

Customers unlikely to see TelDaFax money
Germany

Customers unlikely to see TelDaFax money

The official insolvency procedures of energy firm TelDaFax have begun in a Bonn court, but refunds appear to be a pipe dream for most of the failed utility's 700,000 former customers.

Stockholm graffiti – beating the ban
Sweden

Stockholm graffiti – beating the ban

Behind the Stockholm council's draconian "zero tolerance" policy on graffiti is hidden a rich but underground Swedish graffiti culture, inspired by the scene in New York City, contributor Katherine Dunn discovers.

Marine Le Pen: ‘Obama is more right-wing than me’
France

Marine Le Pen: ‘Obama is more right-wing than me’

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the hard-line nationalist Front National, has compared her political views to a range of other politicians, claiming she is "neither right-wing nor left-wing."

https://www.thelocal.com/wp-content/themes/thelocal/assets/images/1x1-transparent.png
Switzerland

Swiss to unlock $420 million for Libya rebels

Switzerland said on Thursday it wanted to unlock $420 million (€294 million) in frozen Libyan assets to assist the country's new interim government.

Juvenile offenders work off their foul play
Sweden

Juvenile offenders work off their foul play

Sweden’s juvenile offenders are increasingly sentenced to community service rather than juvenile detention or paying fines related to damages, according to an assessment by the National Council (Brottsförebyggande rådet - Brå).

Niebel: Libya doesn’t need more aid
Germany

Niebel: Libya doesn’t need more aid

German Development Minister Dirk Niebel has ruled out handing out any more development aid for Libya, saying there was no need.

Director alters ending in Millennium movie
Sweden

Director alters ending in Millennium movie

David Fincher, the director of the forthcoming Hollywood version of the Stieg Larsson novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor) has changed the ending of the story

Schäuble wants brand new EU treaty
Germany

Schäuble wants brand new EU treaty

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has told the leadership of his Christian Democratic Union party that he wants the European Union to create a new treaty that gives Brussels greater powers in financial policy.

Teenage blast suspect released from custody
Sweden

Teenage blast suspect released from custody

The 15-year-old Swedish boy who has been held in custody on suspicion of being behind the pre-school blast in the Stockholm suburb of Sköndal three weeks ago was released on Thursday.

Yvonne the cow forced to give up fugitive life
Germany

Yvonne the cow forced to give up fugitive life

The Bavaria cow named Yvonne who escaped from a farm in May, went on the run and had a hefty bounty put on her head, has finally been caught.