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Germany

How to spend your German holiday – season by season

With its ancient castles and palaces, the gorgeous landscapes around the Danube or the Rhine, the artistic heritage of Goethe and Beethoven and the traditions surrounding Christmas and Oktoberfest, Germany has tourist attractions to keep you busy all year round.

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France

Tuberculosis sweeps Paris housing estate

Medical authorities are scrambling to deal with an outbreak of tuberculosis that has affected both adults and children on a deprived housing estate in the Paris suburbs.

Pope says Europe risking its cultural identity
Germany

Pope says Europe risking its cultural identity

Pope Benedict XVI warned on Thursday Europe risked losing its cultural identity at a time when it was being challenged by foreign extremism, in a landmark yet controversial speech to the German parliament.

Maud Olofsson bids tearful farewell
Sweden

Maud Olofsson bids tearful farewell

Maud Olofsson today held an emotional speech to the Centre Party congress in Åre in northern Sweden on Thursday, as she stepped down as leader.

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Switzerland

Bride who shot husband ‘thought it was a blank’

A newlywed Swiss woman from Basel who killed her husband in a tragic gun accident in March has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter but will not serve a prison sentence.

The four best things to do on your Swedish holiday
Sweden

The four best things to do on your Swedish holiday

From lakeside castles to elk safaris in the north, a holiday in Sweden has lots to offer. Here are some ideas of what to do.

Protesters rally as pope speaks to parliament
Germany

Protesters rally as pope speaks to parliament

As Pope Benedict XVI addressed the German parliament, Erin Huggins took to the sealed-off streets of central Berlin to see who was demonstrating against him.

Burnout forces Rangnick to quit as Schalke coach
Germany

Burnout forces Rangnick to quit as Schalke coach

Schalke 04 coach Ralf Rangnick said he was resigning his post at the Bundesliga side due on Thursday to extreme burnout syndrome.

Mother admits to killing sons, 4 and 8
Sweden

Mother admits to killing sons, 4 and 8

The 30-year-old mother who is suspected of having murdered her two young sons, whose bodies were recovered from a lake in Sigtuna north of Stockholm on Monday, confessed to their killing on Thursday afternoon.

EU tells Sweden to repay farm subsidy
Sweden

EU tells Sweden to repay farm subsidy

Sweden has been told by the European Union to repay 870 million kronor (€94 million, $127 million) in agricultural subsidies, a third of which will be paid by farmers, an industry body said Thursday.

Police release paedophile suspect pictures in desperate appeal
Germany

Police release paedophile suspect pictures in desperate appeal

German police have released photos of a man they suspect of sexually molesting a baby girl in an appeal for help in identifying him – as they fear he may still be abusing her years later.

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Switzerland

Army could help quell Zurich riots: politician

If the youth riots in Zurich continue, the Swiss army should be called on to come to the aid of the city’s police, according to a Zurich politician.

Starbucks aims to treble its cafes in Germany
Germany

Starbucks aims to treble its cafes in Germany

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he wants to treble the number of cafes in Germany, and introduce a number of more locally-relevant products.

UBS trader ‘sorry’ for massive losses
Switzerland

UBS trader ‘sorry’ for massive losses

Kweku Adoboli, the equities trader accused in a $2.3 billion fraud at Swiss bank UBS, is "sorry" and "appalled" at the losses, his lawyer said on Thursday, as he was remanded in custody for another month.

Indian summer sweetens warm weekend
Germany

Indian summer sweetens warm weekend

As the autumnal equinox approaches at the end of this week, the change of season with its colourful leaves and shorter days is being sweetened by what Germans call Altweibersommer - or Indian Summer.

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Norway

Anti-Muslim sentiment dips after July attacks

The increasingly bold anti-immigrant muttering of politicians and monthly hate mail that peaked in early summer has evaporated since the July massacre of the Labour Party's youth wing, Norwegian Muslims have said.

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Sweden

‘Not wrong’ to move aide after Islam slur: ruling

Sweden's top legal official has given backing to the decision to reassign the integration ministry civil servant who compared Islam to totalitarian ideologies.

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Switzerland

Record number to run in Swiss October elections

A record number of candidates will stand for the Swiss legislative elections in October, authorities said on Thursday.

Volvo Trucks to refine performance indicators
Sweden

Volvo Trucks to refine performance indicators

Sweden's Volvo Group, the world's second-largest truck maker, announced on Thursday plans to begin using new financial targets measuring not only growth but also how it fares against key competitors.

Surf’s up! Where to make your own office in Stockholm
Sweden

Surf’s up! Where to make your own office in Stockholm

In the first of a new series to help The Local's readers discover more of what Stockholm has to offer, contributor Gwen Ramsey offers some tips on where people who lack a traditional office can open up their laptops and get something done.

Penis enlargement operations on the rise
Germany

Penis enlargement operations on the rise

Doctors say increasing numbers of German men are paying for surgery to their genitals, surprising even plastic surgeons with their demand for enlargement operations.

Cancer vaccine for girls suffers new delay
Sweden

Cancer vaccine for girls suffers new delay

A vaccination programme to combat cervical cancer has suffered further delays after GlaxoSmithKline appealed a deal agreed between Swedish health authorities and a rival firm.

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France

Mediator drug boss held for questioning

The 88-year-old boss of the pharmaceutical company that manufactured a drug accused of killing up to 2,000 people in France was placed under investigation by police on Wednesday.

French court issues first Muslim veil fines
France

French court issues first Muslim veil fines

A French police court on Thursday issued its first fines against two women charged in May with wearing the full-face covering Islamic niqab.

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France

Opus Dei members in court for ‘brainwashing’

Two members of the secretive Roman Catholic society Opus Dei were to appear in a Paris court on Thursday after a woman claimed they brainwashed her and kept her illegally as a domestic servant.

Anger as deaf people banned from taking flight
France

Anger as deaf people banned from taking flight

A group of 22 holiday makers with hearing difficulties who were prevented from boarding an Air Méditerranée flight for "security reasons" will have their case reviewed by the state authority for defending human rights.

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France

Rape claim writer wants to face Strauss-Kahn

The French writer who alleges Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her said Thursday she wants to be brought face to face with the fallen IMF chief to dare him to tell her she's making it up.

Beer inspectors allege Oktoberfest ‘Maß’ fraud
Germany

Beer inspectors allege Oktoberfest ‘Maß’ fraud

A organization fighting stingy beer pouring has declared widespread fraud is occurring at Munich’s Oktoberfest, as visitors aren’t getting as much amber nectar as they’ve paid for in the festival's huge 1-litre mugs.

Chinese snub Norway’s oil minister
Norway

Chinese snub Norway’s oil minister

Chinese politicians have given Norway's newly installed oil minister the cold shoulder at a conference in Beijing on the capture and storage of carbon dioxide.

Sarkozy to UN: admit Palestine as non-member
France

Sarkozy to UN: admit Palestine as non-member

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Wednesday on the United Nations to admit Palestine as a non-member state, upgrading its status as a simple observer but opposing a Palestinian bid for full membership.

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Switzerland

Logitech cuts 2012 goals on economic uncertainty

Swiss computer peripherals maker Logitech on Thursday cut its 2012 full-year targets amid economic uncertainty in industrialised states.

France deplores US execution
France

France deplores US execution

France on Thursday said it deplored the execution of Troy Davis in the southeastern US state of Georgia and reiterated its opposition to capital punishment.

‘I may be a chauvinist pig but I am no rapist’
Sweden

‘I may be a chauvinist pig but I am no rapist’

The controversial autobiography of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange hits the shops on Thursday, in which he repudiates the claims that he is guilty of raping two Swedish women.

Joy, protests and apathy await pope in Germany
Germany

Joy, protests and apathy await pope in Germany

Pope Benedict XVI's first state visit to his German homeland begins in Berlin Thursday with the threat of angry protests and the lingering taint of Church sexual abuse scandals set to cloud his welcome.

Swiss in tax talks with Athens: minister
Switzerland

Swiss in tax talks with Athens: minister

Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Wednesday her country was in talks with Greece on a double-taxation deal to avoid Greeks cheating the taxman by parking assets secretly in Switzerland.

Government to boost foreign student scholarship funding
Sweden

Government to boost foreign student scholarship funding

The government has allotted an additional 20 million kronor ($2.9 million) in scholarship funding to help offset tuition fees charged to students from developing countries who want to study at Swedish universities.

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France

Picard, Amazon, Ikea: France’s favourite brands

For the second year running, frozen food chain Picard is the favoured brand of the French, according to a survey by consulting firm OC&C.

What’s on in Germany: September 22 – 28
Germany

What’s on in Germany: September 22 – 28

This Week's Highlights: A music festival in Munich, a birthday party for an airport in Hamburg, and the Oktoberfest reaches Berlin.

Dawit Isaak case a ‘huge failure for Swedish diplomacy’
Sweden

Dawit Isaak case a ‘huge failure for Swedish diplomacy’

As the 10th anniversary of Dawit Isaak's arrest in Asmara approaches, the Swedish-Eritrean journalist remains jailed without charge or trial, despite countless efforts to secure his release, the AFP's Rita Devlin Marier explains.

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Sweden

Swede sentenced to death in Thailand

A 30-year-old Swedish man has been sentenced to death in Thailand for manufacturing methamphetamine, in what the man called a “political” ruling.

Hundreds of Berlin votes found in a bin
Germany

Hundreds of Berlin votes found in a bin

Hundreds of postal votes for last Sunday’s Berlin state election have been found in a bin – and are now being opened and counted, while criminal police start an investigation.

Killings prompt review of school’s actions
Sweden

Killings prompt review of school’s actions

Officials in Sigtuna are looking into why it took 13 days without contact from the mother before schools contacted social services about the absence of two boys, aged 4 and 8, who were found dead in a lake on Monday.

Lufthansa to fly less and with smaller planes
Germany

Lufthansa to fly less and with smaller planes

Fearing an economic downturn, Germany’s flagship airline Lufthansa is cutting flights and capacity, the company announced on Thursday.

‘I liked the Polish pope better’
Germany

‘I liked the Polish pope better’

As Pope Benedict XVI arrives for an official four-day visit to Germany on Thursday, The Local asked the opinion of average people on the street for the first instalment of our new Zeitgeist series.