Jedi the hippo fails to use the force – and returns to the circus
Germany

Jedi the hippo fails to use the force – and returns to the circus

Police in Germany foiled the plans of Jedi the hippo who tried to flee a circus visiting the northern city of Schwerin this week.

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France

French teacher dies after setting self on fire

A French maths teacher who doused herself in petrol and set herself on fire in front of pupils, died on Friday of her injuries, police and a hospital source said.

Welfare couple fight to keep €83,000 in dole benefits
Germany

Welfare couple fight to keep €83,000 in dole benefits

A German couple on state benefits, who were mistakenly paid €83,000 by the job centre, have spent a large chunk of the cash and are fighting to keep some of the rest.

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Sweden

Barnevik hits back at ex-Investor chair Wallenberg

Percy Barnevik, the former CEO of Swedish-Swiss industrial giant ABB who was disgraced over a pension scandal in 2003, has answered charges from ex-Investor board chair Peter Wallenberg that Barnevik was a terrible business leader.

In-form Wales out to derail France
France

In-form Wales out to derail France

Wales go into their World Cup semi-final against France as favourites having hit a rich vein of form that mixes defensive nous with attacking flair.

Third-placed Socialist to vote for Hollande
France

Third-placed Socialist to vote for Hollande

The third-placed candidate in the first round of the French Socialist primary said on Friday he would vote for frontrunner Francois Hollande in the final vote but was not urging his supporters to follow suit.

Banon ‘pushed back’ so ‘I released my grip’: DSK
France

Banon ‘pushed back’ so ‘I released my grip’: DSK

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn told police he grabbed the young woman who has accused him of attempted rape, but released her when she resisted, according to a transcript seen by AFP.

Probe dropped, Juholt to remain party leader
Sweden

Probe dropped, Juholt to remain party leader

Prosecutors said Friday they were dropping an investigation into improper reimbursements claimed by Håkan Juholt as the Social Democrats' executive committee announced it still had confidence in the embattled party leader.

Sony Ericsson breaks even as European sales dip
Sweden

Sony Ericsson breaks even as European sales dip

Mobile phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson on Friday said it broke even in the third quarter due to a declining sales environment in Europe.

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France

Pupils get help after teacher’s self-immolation

A psychological crisis cell was treating shocked students at a high school in southern France on Friday after a depressed maths teacher dramatically set herself on fire in the playground.

Mum sues daughter over ‘stolen’ lottery jackpot
Sweden

Mum sues daughter over ‘stolen’ lottery jackpot

A woman from Blekinge was thrilled when she learned she won 3 million kronor from a Triss lotto scratch-off, but to date she has only received 10,000.

Fitch downgrades UBS
Switzerland

Fitch downgrades UBS

Fitch ratings agency downgraded Swiss bank UBS on Thursday while putting 12 other major European and US banks on negative ratings watches, amid worries over fragile global growth.

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Switzerland

Thousands sign petition for illegal immigrants

The Swiss government has received a petition calling for it to regularize the status of undocumented foreigners living in the country.

Businessman on hunger strike outside Foreign Ministry
Germany

Businessman on hunger strike outside Foreign Ministry

A businessman is camping out in front of the German Foreign Ministry on a self-styled hunger strike, in fury at the government’s refusal to help him after a deal went sour in the United Arab Emirates.

Ikea to drop famous Swedish food brands
Sweden

Ikea to drop famous Swedish food brands

Swedish furnishing giant Ikea is undergoing a change and will soon rid their food shelves of anything not bearing it’s name.

Suzuki accuses Volkswagen of breaching agreement
Germany

Suzuki accuses Volkswagen of breaching agreement

The Japanese car company Suzuki on Friday upped the stakes in its row with Volkswagen as it served the German automaker a legal notice demanding it "remedy numerous breaches" of their ill-fated alliance.

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Switzerland

Syphilis on the rise in Geneva

The number of people infected with the sexually transmitted disease syphilis doubled in the period 2006 to 2010 in the south-west canton, especially among the gay community, new figures show. 

Montebourg hesitates on backing candidate
France

Montebourg hesitates on backing candidate

Socialist politician Arnaud Montebourg, who caused a surprise when he finished third in the first round of voting to select the party's presidential candidate, has still not offered public support for either François Hollande or Martine Aubry in Sunday's final vote.

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France

Son goes to prison for causing mother’s suicide

A 47-year-old man from Evron in the western Loire region was sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday for causing the suicide of his own mother.

Some bras a headache, chiropractor says
Norway

Some bras a headache, chiropractor says

Tight bras are a pain in the neck, as well as the head and back according to an Oslo chiropractor.

Berliner Philharmonic premiers ‘golden rule’ concert
Germany

Berliner Philharmonic premiers ‘golden rule’ concert

The Berliner Philharmonic unveiled its latest work on Thursday night – a new composition setting out and celebrating the common morality of the six major world religions – which will open Britain’s Olympic cultural programme next year.

Fribourg booming despite Swiss franc woes
Switzerland

Fribourg booming despite Swiss franc woes

Fribourg, a canton in central Switzerland, is continuing to thrive in spite of the ongoing currency troubles that have afflicted much of the Swiss economy.

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Sweden

Swedish mum shoots five elk in four hours

A 37-year-old mother of two from northern Sweden had an unprecedented hunting outing on Thursday when she managed to fell five elk in four hours, propelling her to nationwide fame.

Dortmund look to kickstart title defence bid
Germany

Dortmund look to kickstart title defence bid

Reigning Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund travel to Werder Bremen on Friday, knowing defeat could deal a further blow to their chances of stopping Bayern Munich from steamrolling their way to a 23rd Bundesliga title.

From Sweden to Germany in search of cheap booze
Sweden

From Sweden to Germany in search of cheap booze

Tired of Sweden's high alcohol taxes and the state run liquor monopoly? Come along with contributor Patrick Reilly as he details a recent journey to Germany in search of cheap beer.

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Norway

Dogs make grizzly find as Oslo murder rate soars

Dogs being walked by animal caregivers in a forested area have uncovered what appears to be the fourth murder case in just two weeks for Oslo police.

AWOL pirate’s guilty verdict comes into force
Sweden

AWOL pirate’s guilty verdict comes into force

The guilty verdict against Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has come into force after his failure to request his appeal be heard.

Starbucks withdraws controversial poster
France

Starbucks withdraws controversial poster

Starbucks France has run into trouble with an anti-pickpocketing poster which some customers found racist.

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Sweden

Police arrest 32 in ‘human trafficking’ raid

Swedish police arrested 32 people in a raid on a food factory south of Stockholm on Thursday for violations of the Aliens Act.

BND claims role in Shalit release deal
Germany

BND claims role in Shalit release deal

Germany’s foreign intelligence service is claiming to be involved in negotiations to free the Israel soldier Gilad Shalit as a swap for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Zurich cuts access to international schools
Switzerland

Zurich cuts access to international schools

Education officials in Zurich have issued a new directive restricting access to international schools, effectively removing the alternative for children who live in Switzerland on a permanent basis. 

Police doubt Breivik’s claim of 80 terrorist cells
Norway

Police doubt Breivik’s claim of 80 terrorist cells

Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to twin attacks in July that killed 77 people, says there are "up to 80 cells" in Europe engaged in anti-Islam crusades like his, police said on Thursday.

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France

‘What’s happening?’: final words on stricken flight

A controversial new book has revealed the final words of pilots on the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris which crashed off the coast of Brazil in June 2009.

Sweden to face England at Wembley
Sweden

Sweden to face England at Wembley

Sweden are set to play England next month in a friendly international as coach Erik Hamrén seeks to prepare his side for next year's European Championship finals, the English Football Association announced on Thursday.

Deutsche Bank lined up for credit downgrade
Germany

Deutsche Bank lined up for credit downgrade

Credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded two German banks and is conducting a comprehensive review of other banks, including Deutsche Bank, with a view to reducing their ratings too.

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Sweden

Social Democrats meet to decide Juholt’s fate

The Social Democrats' powerful executive committee will meet at 9am on Friday, for what has been described as 'judgement day' for embattled leader Håkan Juholt.

Dawit Isaak awarded ‘Golden Pen’ honour
Sweden

Dawit Isaak awarded ‘Golden Pen’ honour

Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, jailed in Eritrea for the past decade, was honoured by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) on Thursday.

German cooking leaves more than 200 soldiers sick in Afghanistan
Germany

German cooking leaves more than 200 soldiers sick in Afghanistan

More than 200 soldiers in Afghanistan have fallen ill after eating at a German canteen in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Stolen data to be used to prosecute tax dodgers
Germany

Stolen data to be used to prosecute tax dodgers

Germany will prosecute tax fraudsters using stolen data it bought about its citizens who secretly deposited assets in HSBC bank in Luxembourg, the Financial Times Deutschland will report Friday.