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France

France to lower threshold for top earners’ tax

The French government has ceded to pressure from is parliamentary supporters and agreed to lower the revenue threshold for its wealth tax to €250,000 ($340,000) per year, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Swiss and French men top European smelly sock league
Switzerland

Swiss and French men top European smelly sock league

When it comes to socks, one is more likely to find a French or Swiss man wearing a smelly pair than a German or a Brit.

Swiss and French men top European smelly sock league
France

Swiss and French men top European smelly sock league

When it comes to socks, one is more likely to find a French or Swiss man wearing a smelly pair than a German or a Brit.

Swiss watch industry running like clockwork
Switzerland

Swiss watch industry running like clockwork

Swiss watchmakers are expecting record sales for 2011, the industry federation's chief Jean-Daniel Pasche said in an interview published Tuesday.

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Norway

Norway seeks to end China Nobel freeze

Norway's foreign minister on Tuesday lamented the icy relations between his country and China since last year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a jailed Chinese dissident, and called on Beijing to turn the page.

Norway set to decide on bombed government HQ
Norway

Norway set to decide on bombed government HQ

Norway will decide this year whether to tear down or repair its government offices damaged in the July 22nd bombing, with the cost seen at at least half a billion dollars, the government said on Tuesday.

Juholt defiant in face of calls to step down
Sweden

Juholt defiant in face of calls to step down

Embattled Social Democrat leader Håkan Juholt remained defiant on Tuesday amid calls for him to step down, and conflicting reports over when he was made aware that he had spent years pocketing reimbursements he wasn't entitled to.

Nazi-looted painting found in Swiss museum
Switzerland

Nazi-looted painting found in Swiss museum

A painting looted from a Berlin Jewish family by Nazis has been found by US authorities at the Kunsthaus museum in Zurich, museum officials said on Tuesday.

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Sweden

Swedish MPs tout assisted suicide

A network of Swedish MPs has been formed to push for a legalisation of assisted suicide with the group's founder comparing the issue to the abortion debate in the 1970s.

Brain scans used to detect paedophilia
Germany

Brain scans used to detect paedophilia

A study by German scientists shows that it may be possible to identify paedophiles by scanning their brains as they look at pictures of adults and children.

Parents force school to ditch ‘costly’ fruit break
Sweden

Parents force school to ditch ‘costly’ fruit break

Disgruntled parents have prompted a school in eastern Sweden to abandon in-class fruit breaks after complaining over the costs of having kids bring fruit from home.

Swedish surfers defy cold to catch winter waves
Sweden

Swedish surfers defy cold to catch winter waves

While the season's first winter storm sends most Swedes scrambling for warmth, a group of dedicated Swedish surfers instead rejoice at the chance to ride out the blustery weather from their boards, The Local's Joel Linde discovers.

10-year-old severely beaten by teenagers
Germany

10-year-old severely beaten by teenagers

A 10-year-old boy was taken to hospital with serious internal injuries after being beaten up by two 14-year-old twins and an 11-year-old accomplice, police said Tuesday.

New incendiary device found on train tracks
Germany

New incendiary device found on train tracks

Another incendiary device was found on train tracks in Berlin on Tuesday, in what may be the latest round in a series of arson attacks on German railways by suspected leftists extremists.

Lund’s foreign student recruitment efforts flop
Sweden

Lund’s foreign student recruitment efforts flop

Despite major investments in foreign student recruitment, Lund University has attracted barely half of the tuition-paying students it hoped would enroll.

Economy seen heading for slowdown
Germany

Economy seen heading for slowdown

The government said on Tuesday that Germany's economy will likely slow later this year due to the impact of the eurozone debt drama, in a stark warning that the crisis is hitting even Europe's strongest economy.

Sliding towards terrorism
Germany

Sliding towards terrorism

The leftist extremists claiming responsibility for arson attacks on Germany's rail system this week said they do not want to hurt anyone, but it’s only a matter of time until they do, comments Gerd Nowakowski from Der Tagesspiegel.

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Norway

Oslo mulls winter ban on diesel cars

Oslo bureaucrats have commissioned an expert group to provide shock therapy for the city’s thickly polluted winter air, a remedy expected to produce a ban on modern diesel-driven cars in the capital.

Systembolaget goes local
Sweden

Systembolaget goes local

Sweden's state-run alcohol retail monopoly Systembolaget has responded to demand for more locally-produced items by extending its range to promote small-scale producers from the turn of the year.

Chocoholics run lower risk of stroke: study
Sweden

Chocoholics run lower risk of stroke: study

A fondness for chocolate doesn't have to be all bad, according to new Swedish research which has shown that the more chocolate consumed, the lower the risk of suffering a stroke.

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Switzerland

Liberals skewer SVP criminal deportation plan

A legal study commissioned by Switzerland's liberal FDP has found that the country risks a destabilizing confrontation with the EU if it approves a Swiss People’s Party (SVP) proposal to deport foreign criminals.

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France

France Soir set to abandon print version

One of France's best-known newspapers failed to appear in news kiosks on Tuesday after journalists and employees stopped working to protest against plans to switch to an online-only version of the 67-year-old title.

Norway’s bars brace for outdoor smoking ban
Norway

Norway’s bars brace for outdoor smoking ban

Norwegian lawmakers are ready to ban smoking in outdoor cafes and restaurants and put cigarettes out of reach for teachers and government workers.

Air Berlin under fire for lawmaker perks
Germany

Air Berlin under fire for lawmaker perks

Air Berlin has been offering special perks to members of the German parliament, something which an anti-corruption group charges could cross the line into unethical lobbying.

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Switzerland

Switzerland hit by major flooding

Intense rainfall has disrupted road and rail traffic in Valais, Bernese Oberland and central Switzerland, and some mountain villages have been evacuated.

German bank group rejects higher Greek debt write-down
Germany

German bank group rejects higher Greek debt write-down

The head of Germany's banking federation has announced that banks should accept the 21-percent loss on Greek debt repayment before further measures are discussed to ease the eurozone crisis.

France forces TV ads to pipe down
France

France forces TV ads to pipe down

New rules have been introduced as a response to complaints from viewers that TV ads are much louder than the programmes they are interrupting.

Juholt travel expenses under scrutiny
Sweden

Juholt travel expenses under scrutiny

Under-fire Social Democrat leader Håkan Juholt has come under further scrutiny over his expenses after revelations that he declined to repay some of a Riksdag travel grant despite having cut short an overseas trip in 2006.

Making a castle your home
Germany

Making a castle your home

Rich in castles and stately manors, Germany has plenty for sale to both commoners and bluebloods alike. Sally McGrane reports on buying your own fairytale home.

Rich Brits plot escape to France
France

Rich Brits plot escape to France

More wealthy Britons are planning to flee what they believe to be an over-taxed and crime-ridden UK, with France the most favoured destination, according to a survey published by British bank Lloyds TSB.

France won’t play for a draw: Blanc
France

France won’t play for a draw: Blanc

France coach Laurent Blanc said in his eve-of-game press conference there is no chance his side will play for a draw against Bosnia-Herzegovina despite needing only a point to qualify for the Euro 2012 finals.

Over 200 strikes to hit transport and schools
France

Over 200 strikes to hit transport and schools

Commuters, train passengers and school pupils can expect problems on Tuesday as five unions call strikes across the country to protest against government cuts.

Stieg Larsson journo school rejection letter to be auctioned off
Sweden

Stieg Larsson journo school rejection letter to be auctioned off

A letter to late Swedish author Stieg Larsson rejecting his application to journalism school due to doubts about his writing skills is set to go on the auction block.

Coalition squabbles over government spyware
Germany

Coalition squabbles over government spyware

Germany’s ruling coalition of the Christian Democratic Union and the Free Democratic Party have found a fresh source of conflict in the new controversy over the government’s Trojan spyware.

Pregnancy apps slammed for bad advice
Sweden

Pregnancy apps slammed for bad advice

Two free mobile phone apps offering pregnancy advice have been criticised by a Swedish infant health group for offering information that could put unborn children at risk.

Berlin considers banning Hells Angels
Germany

Berlin considers banning Hells Angels

Representatives across all major parties in the newly-elected state parliament of Berlin have spoken out in favour of banning the Hells Angels, a motorcycle gang linked with organized crime, in the German capital.

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Sweden

Syrians in Sweden: ‘observers, not intervention’

Syrian opposition leaders meeting in Stockholm on Monday called for the deployment of international observers in their country but were largely opposed to foreign military intervention.

Court slows EU prostitute deportation efforts
Sweden

Court slows EU prostitute deportation efforts

A Swedish court has ruled that prostitutes from other European Union countries should not be deported for at least their first three months in Sweden, much to the dismay of the police.

Germany aim to set records against Belgium
Germany

Germany aim to set records against Belgium

Belgium have not qualified for a major finals since the 2002 World Cup and to keep alive their hopes of reaching Euro 2012 they will need to do something no-one else has managed in the qualifiers and beat Germany on Tuesday.