Pope pleases Muslims, disappoints Protestants
Germany

Pope pleases Muslims, disappoints Protestants

Pope Benedict XVI met representatives of the German Muslim community on Friday before leaving Berlin to head for the heart of Lutheranism.

Sarkozy camp fumbles corruption row response
France

Sarkozy camp fumbles corruption row response

President Nicolas Sarkozy's allies came out fighting on Friday as a graft scandal threatened to derail his re-election bid, but their panicked response drew more fire from his opponents.

UBS silent on fate of chief executive
Switzerland

UBS silent on fate of chief executive

Swiss banking giant UBS ended a board meeting in Singapore on Friday but there was no word on the fate of chief executive Oswald Gruebel, who is under fire following a rogue-trading scandal.

Explained: the rise and rise of the Swiss franc
Switzerland

Explained: the rise and rise of the Swiss franc

Why did Switzerland’s currency surge into overdrive, and has enough been done to rein in the runaway franc? Contributor Meritxell Mir caught up with economist David Meier to get the lowdown on the risk of a Swiss slowdown.

Tobacco industry opposes greater warnings despite increased sales
Germany

Tobacco industry opposes greater warnings despite increased sales

Tobacco executives are worried about requirements for more warnings on cigarettes as well as higher tax rates and a growing amount of black market tobacco, all things they say will eat into revenue.

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Sweden

Tourists left reeling after tipping scam

Two Danish tourists were left out of pocket after they were fooled into leaving a 20 percent tip at a Stockholm restaurant recently, despite the fact that tipping in Sweden is optional.

Twittering tree nurtures online nature lovers
Germany

Twittering tree nurtures online nature lovers

Gone are the days when magical trees simply guarded the little woodland creatures and made sure all was well in the forest – there is an oak in Germany which is online, twittering to its followers and competing for Facebook friends.

Why bilingual education is good for children
Switzerland

Why bilingual education is good for children

Parents often worry that bringing up their children bilingual will lead them to fall behind in their first language. But Pam Bremer, director of Obersee Bilingual School, explains that biligualism not only makes children better linguists - it sharpens their brains in other ways too.

Australia demands return of aboriginal skulls
Sweden

Australia demands return of aboriginal skulls

The Australian Embassy has requested the repatriation of the skulls and skeletons of seven indigenous Australians currently in the possession of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

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Norway

Police speak out over massacre

A wave of criticism on the way Norwegian police handled the summer's bombing and assault-rifle massacres of innocents has prompted at least one officer to speak out.

Swedes remain hot property in hi-tech boom
Sweden

Swedes remain hot property in hi-tech boom

The $8.5 billion sale of Skype to Microsoft in May not only proved that the age of big money IT acquisitions has a while to run, but also that Scandinavians and more particularly, Swedes, remain hot property in the world of high tech.

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Switzerland

Hospital knew about sex abuse nurse: report

A male nurse suspected of sexually abusing women while they were under anaesthetic first came to his employer's attention in spring this year but was allowed to continue working after a one-week suspension, Blick newspaper reports.

 

Five attacked by preschool wasp swarm
Sweden

Five attacked by preschool wasp swarm

Five people, two adults and three children, were rushed to hospital by ambulance on Friday after having been stung by wasps at a preschool in Norrköping in eastern Sweden.

Germany rejects carbon dioxide storage plans
Germany

Germany rejects carbon dioxide storage plans

Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has knocked down a proposal to start storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide underground in a bid to reduce emissions.

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Switzerland

SVP urges referendum over Zurich sex stalls

The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) is calling for a referendum to be held over the erection on the outskirts of Zurich of controversial new drive-in sex stalls for prostitutes and their clients.

Nobel prize winners join Dawit Isaak demo
Sweden

Nobel prize winners join Dawit Isaak demo

Mario Vargas Llosa and Herta Müller, Nobel prize winners in literature in 2010 and 2009 respectively, are set to take part in Friday's demonstration at the Gothenburg Book Fair in support of jailed Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak.

Most Germans oppose increased euro bail-out
Germany

Most Germans oppose increased euro bail-out

As their politicians prepare for next Thursday’s parliamentary vote on extending the euro rescue fund, a survey has found that a clear majority of Germans do not want them to decide in favour.

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France

Friends at war over ‘Amigo’ lottery jackpot

An argument over who should pocket the €1 million ($1.35 million) winnings from a lottery ticket has ended up pitting two long-term friends against each other. 

‘The MPs who didn’t come have missed out’
Germany

‘The MPs who didn’t come have missed out’

Benedict XVI’s address to the German parliament made waves before he had even set foot in the Reichstag building. The Local’s media roundup assess the impact.

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France

Minister’s uncle held hostage in carjacking

A relative of a high-profile minister has become the latest victim in a car park kidnapping crime spree that has targeted wealthy Parisians.

Reinfeldt rejects resignation rumour
Sweden

Reinfeldt rejects resignation rumour

Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has denied speculation that he intends to resign his post before the general election in 2014, and pave the way for current finance minister Anders Borg to take over.

Platini will have to testify: FC Sion
Switzerland

Platini will have to testify: FC Sion

UEFA president Michel Platini will have to appear in court to explain why he refused to reinstate FC Sion to the Europa League, an FC Sion spokesman said on Thursday.

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France

Veil fines a ‘travesty of justice:’ Amnesty

France's fines on women for wearing the full-face covering niqab veil, imposed for the first time by a court Thursday, are a "travesty of justice," Amnesty International said.

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Switzerland

Switzerland lifts Libya oil firm sanctions

Switzerland said Friday that it has lifted sanctions against two Libyan oil firms -- National Oil Corporation and its affiliated Zueitina Oil Corporation, as well as Afriqiyah Airways.

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Norway

Immigrants leaving Norway in droves

Norway's population growth failed to rise as high as expected this year, and census figures show immigrants are fleeing the country in droves.

Spotify and Facebook in music partnership
Sweden

Spotify and Facebook in music partnership

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday presented a partnership with Swedish firm Spotify, to make its popular music streaming service an integral part of the social media website's platform.

Carla Bruni expected to give birth in 10 days
France

Carla Bruni expected to give birth in 10 days

President Nicolas Sarkozy's father let slip to a German newspaper on Thursday that his daughter-in-law is due to give birth on October 3rd.

Stuttgart 21 rail project costs expected to surge
Germany

Stuttgart 21 rail project costs expected to surge

As key players in the controversial Stuttgart 21 rail project prepare to meet on Friday, two newspapers are reporting the final price tag may be €370 million more than expected.

Lightning bolt kills cow trio
Norway

Lightning bolt kills cow trio

A powerful lightning bolt that knocked pictures of walls and sent warm, supercharged air through a farmhouse in Vindfjord, Norway also killed three dairy cows, Norwegian media have reported.

Strauss-Kahn to meet face-to-face with Banon
France

Strauss-Kahn to meet face-to-face with Banon

French prosecutors will set up a face-to-face confrontation between former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the young French writer who has accused him of attempted rape, they said on Friday.

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Switzerland

Swiss slap fresh sanctions on Syria

Switzerland on Friday announced fresh sanctions on Syria, saying that it would impose an embargo on the import, sales and transport of Syrian oil and oil products.

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France

Israel rejects French compromise plan

Israel on Friday rejected a proposal by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to upgrade the Palestinians' UN status and admit them as a non-member state, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Boffins blown away by faster-than-light particles
Switzerland

Boffins blown away by faster-than-light particles

Physicists reported on Thursday that sub-atomic particles called neutrinos can travel faster than light, a finding that -- if verified -- would blast a hole in Einstein's theory of relativity.

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France

Three policemen kill themselves on same day

Three police officers in the Paris area committed suicide on Thursday, all within a few hours of each other.

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Sweden

Swedish family reports agent after ‘dream’ Egypt holiday turns sour

Dead rats in the restaurant, frogs in the pool, cockroaches in the buffet – a Swedish family has reported their travel agent for false marketing after a dream holiday to post-revolution Egypt turned into a nightmare.

Lööf ‘raring to go’ as Centre Party head
Sweden

Lööf ‘raring to go’ as Centre Party head

On Friday, Annie Lööf, 28, will be elected new party head for Swedens Centre party. This will make her the youngest leader the party has ever had, but she enjoys stronger party support than many of her predecessors, according to experts.

Two charged in Bulgarian berry picking scam
Sweden

Two charged in Bulgarian berry picking scam

Two Bulgarian men were charged with trafficking on Thursday after luring fellow countrymen to Sweden with false promises of berry picking work and comfortable lodgings.

Man jailed for seven years for having sex with daughters
Germany

Man jailed for seven years for having sex with daughters

A 46-year-old Bavarian man was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison after being convicted of having sex with his two daughters over a period of years.

Germany, allies storm out on Ahmadinejad rant
Germany

Germany, allies storm out on Ahmadinejad rant

Germany and its US and European allies stormed out of the United Nations’ General Assembly Thursday when Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched an attack on Western nations and cast doubt on the Holocaust.

Pope urges faith in Church at Berlin mass
Germany

Pope urges faith in Church at Berlin mass

During a sometimes emotional mass at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium Thursday evening, Pope Benedict XVI called on Germans to stand together with the Catholic Church despite recent scandal and controversy.