Swedes cut food budgets as crisis unfolds
Sweden

Swedes cut food budgets as crisis unfolds

Swedish consumers are choosing cheaper options in their weekly shop as the mounting eurozone debt crisis and fears of recession begin to bite.

Blackface Obama billboard sparks outrage
Germany

Blackface Obama billboard sparks outrage

German comedian Martin Sonneborn is well-known for jokes bordering on the tasteless. But a satirical political billboard of him posing in blackface makeup as US President Barack Obama is sparking outrage.

Berlin’s Jewish Museum marks 10th anniversary
Germany

Berlin’s Jewish Museum marks 10th anniversary

Berlin's Jewish Museum is marking its first decade by asking the question “What does it mean to be German?” hosting a string of artistic events and throwing a giant birthday bash.

Converts must die: imam to Swedish radio
Sweden

Converts must die: imam to Swedish radio

Swedish public service broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR) has been reported for hate speech after featuring a programme in which a Somali imam called for all converts from Islam to be killed.

Lost Friedrich der Große sex poem uncovered
Germany

Lost Friedrich der Große sex poem uncovered

A poem about passionate sex written by Prussia's Friedrich der Große (Frederick the Great) has been unearthed after being archived and - perhaps deliberately - lost for hundreds of years.

ECB: Central banks boosting dollar liquidity
Germany

ECB: Central banks boosting dollar liquidity

The world's leading central banks have decided on joint action to provide banks with extra dollar liquidity, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.

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Switzerland

Switzerland still world’s richest country: study

 

Switzerland has maintained its position as the richest country in the world, according to the Allianz Global Wealth Report 2011, which estimates Swiss residents’ personal wealth at almost €207,400 (250,113 francs, $286,215).

 

Ex-minister cleared of racism on appeal
France

Ex-minister cleared of racism on appeal

An appeals court overturned former French interior minister Brice Hortefeux's racism conviction on Thursday, a legal victory for one of President Nicolas Sarkozy's closest political allies.

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France

Hermes family free to fight LVMH takeover

A French appeals court on Thursday ruled that the Hermes family does not have to buy up the outstanding shares in the luxury goods company, freeing them up to fight off rival giant LVMH.

Pfizer cutting hundreds of jobs
Germany

Pfizer cutting hundreds of jobs

The world’s biggest pharmaceutical firm Pfizer is cutting more than 500 jobs in Germany – around one in eight of the work places in the country, according to insiders who have spoken to the Handelsblatt newspaper.

Drive-in sex stalls get Swiss green light
Switzerland

Drive-in sex stalls get Swiss green light

Zurich city parliament on Wednesday rubber-stamped a loan earmarked for the construction of drive-in sex stalls where punters can meet prostitutes at purpose-built venues away from the city centre.

Åkesson slams multi-faith Riksdag service
Sweden

Åkesson slams multi-faith Riksdag service

The Sweden Democrats have reacted in anger to the participation of a rabbi and an imam at the church service which is the traditional start of the customary pomp and ceremony before the opening of the Riksdag.

Navy deployed to probe suspected sub sighting
Sweden

Navy deployed to probe suspected sub sighting

Several Swedish naval ships were deployed in Gothenburg harbour on Thursday in a hunt for a suspected submarine thought to be spying on Sweden.

Palestinians hopeful of Swedish UN vote
Sweden

Palestinians hopeful of Swedish UN vote

The new Palestinian ambassador to Sweden, Hala Husni Fariz, is hoping that Sweden will vote in favour of the Palestinian territories at least getting non-member permanent observer status in the General Assembly, the same as Vatican City, if the matter is brought up before the UN' next week.

‘It has more potential – Berlin can do more’
Germany

‘It has more potential – Berlin can do more’

Renate Künast is hoping to be elected the first Green mayor of Berlin on Sunday. The Local's friends at English-language magazine Exberliner spoke to her about her priorities for the German capital.

‘She passed away after the last injection’
Sweden

‘She passed away after the last injection’

The trial against a Swedish doctor accused of infant euthanasia entered its second day on Thursday with the mother of the baby describing the care received as "beneath contempt".

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Switzerland

Man held in London over UBS rogue trading

Swiss banking giant UBS said on Thursday it had lost $2 billion (€1.46 billion) through unauthorised trading, after London police arrested a man suspected of committing the massive fraud.

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Norway

Two dead after fire on Norway cruise ship

Two people died and around a dozen were injured in a fire that broke out in the engine room of a Norwegian fjord cruise ship on Thursday, forcing hundreds to evacuate, officials said.

Farmer sues for millions lost to hungry elk
Norway

Farmer sues for millions lost to hungry elk

A vegetable grower upset with the eating habits of vagrant elk is filing suit against his township for costs and lost produce.

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Sweden

Gullan, 71, ‘too old’ for treatment: clinic

71-year-old Gullan Holmgren from Piteå, in northern Sweden, is 'too old' for pain rehab, according to the pain rehabilitation unit at the local hospital that turned her away.

Village denies ignoring incest family horrors
Germany

Village denies ignoring incest family horrors

Residents of the Bavarian village where it emerged this week a man raped his daughter over a period of 34 years, fathering three children with her, say they are worried they will be stigmatized by the story – and blamed for not raising the alarm.

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France

Lille let it slip as Russians pinch a point

French champions Lille threw away two points in their Champions League Group B opener at the Stadium Nord on Wednesday, gifting two late goals to Russian visitors CSKA in a 2-2 draw which
threatens to cost the French dear.

‘Jew or not Jew’ app pulled by Apple in France
France

‘Jew or not Jew’ app pulled by Apple in France

Apple said on Wednesday that an iPhone application called "Jew or not Jew" which drew criticism from anti-racism and Jewish groups has been removed from the App Store in France.

What’s on in Germany: September 15 – 21
Germany

What’s on in Germany: September 15 – 21

This Week's Highlights: Renaissance portraits in Berlin, an autumn festival in Frankfurt, and Oktoberfest parades in Munich.

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France

83-year-old woman drove taxi without licence

A random check on an ageing Peugeot 306 led to the discovery that its driver was an 83-year-old woman who had no driving licence and was running her own taxi business.

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France

Muslims agree to stop praying on Paris street

Muslim community leaders reached an agreement with police on Wednesday to open a mosque in the north of Paris, aimed at bringing to an end prayers in the street in the Goutte d'Or quarter of the city.

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Norway

Airline SAS set to lose key Norway direction

The management group of Scandinavian Airlines, or SAS, is on course to lose Norwegian representation on its board when its commercial director steps down in six months' time.

GI Joe and tea sets: toy stories on show in Paris
France

GI Joe and tea sets: toy stories on show in Paris

When anti-war crowds marched to end the Vietnam conflict in the 1970s, the makers of GI Joe decided it was time to pack up his army fatigues and dress the doll for civilian life.

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Switzerland

Central bank determined to enforce euro cap

The Swiss central bank pledged on Thursday to buy unlimited quantities of foreign currency to defend with "utmost determination" its cap on the franc's exchange rate against the euro.

Nathan and Emma: France’s most popular baby names
France

Nathan and Emma: France’s most popular baby names

Emma, Jade, Zoé and Nathan, Lucas, Jules are the most favoured names for new babies in France, according to the latest statistics published in the annual guide to first names, L'Officiel des Prénoms.

Merkel and Sarkozy back Greece as worries mount
Germany

Merkel and Sarkozy back Greece as worries mount

Germany and France believe debt-ridden Greece's future lies in the eurozone, as Athens vows to stick to the harsh austerity measures needed for an EU bailout.

Rogue trader costs Swiss bank UBS $2 billion
Switzerland

Rogue trader costs Swiss bank UBS $2 billion

Swiss banking giant UBS revealed on Thursday that a rogue trader had lost an estimated $2 billion (€1.46 billion) in unauthorised trades, and that it may plunge into the red as a result.

Deutsche Telekom seeks to fight US snooping
Germany

Deutsche Telekom seeks to fight US snooping

German communications giant Deutsche Telekom wants to introduce technology to help companies guard against US government snooping.

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France

Socialists line up for first TV debate

Six Socialist candidates who are aiming to be chosen as the party's candidate for presidential elections in the spring of 2012 will face each other in a first televised debate on Thursday evening.

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Switzerland

Sion take Europa feud to Bern

Swiss club FC Sion took their feud against UEFA to Bern on Wednesday, saying that they had written to ask the Swiss finance minister to withdraw tax breaks to Europe's football governing body.

Norwegian ‘wild man’ faked famed blog while living in a Swedish hotel
Sweden

Norwegian ‘wild man’ faked famed blog while living in a Swedish hotel

A Norwegian man who became a celebrity for documenting “a year” of living in the Norwegian wilds has confessed he spent much of the time living in a hotel in northern Sweden.

Drunken elk hides kids’ swing set in a tree
Sweden

Drunken elk hides kids’ swing set in a tree

An elk drunk from eating fermented apples in southern Sweden ended its binge by making off with a family's swing set and hiding it in the woods.

Swedes pioneer new ‘Spotify for e-books’
Sweden

Swedes pioneer new ‘Spotify for e-books’

Following in the footsteps of Swedish streaming music service Spotify, a group of tech entrepreneurs believe they've found a similar solution that could revolutionise the book market, The Local's Geoff Mortimore discovers.

Sweden’s Stasi spies detailed in new book
Sweden

Sweden’s Stasi spies detailed in new book

The activities of more than 50 Swedes who spied on their fellow citizens for the East German intelligence service during the Cold War have been described in a new book.

Rumours fly that Berlusconi insulted Merkel’s figure on phone
Germany

Rumours fly that Berlusconi insulted Merkel’s figure on phone

Italy's gaffe-prone Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi appears to have insulted German Chancellor Angela Merkel using a vulgar phrase about her figure during a recent phone call.

Small cars aim to challenge foreign rivals
Germany

Small cars aim to challenge foreign rivals

German carmakers will this week unveil a range of new small, fuel-efficient cars at the world's biggest motor show to challenge a market currently dominated by French and Asian rivals.