Statoil sells off oil rig ‘with panoramic sea view’
Norway

Statoil sells off oil rig ‘with panoramic sea view’

Norwegian oil firm Statoil have put a disused North Sea oil rig on the market offering "20 rooms, panoramic sea view, plenty of space for a helicopter".

Saab restructuring process in danger
Sweden

Saab restructuring process in danger

The restructuring of Saab could be called off after the company's administrator Guy Lofalk on Thursday applied for the process to be halted, according to a statement from Swedish Automobile (SWAN), Saab's parent company.

’40 years of dictatorship over’: Reinfeldt
Sweden

’40 years of dictatorship over’: Reinfeldt

Following the news of Muammar Qaddafi's capture by Libyan rebel forces on Thursday, several Swedish politicians have welcomed the demise of the Qaddafi regime.

Coalition agrees to tax cuts in 2013
Germany

Coalition agrees to tax cuts in 2013

Germany’s governing coalition on Thursday agreed to modest tax relief starting in 2013 after Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Economics Minister Philipp Rösler announced plans to adjust tax brackets for inflation.

UK pair seeks clues about mysterious Swedish photos
Sweden

UK pair seeks clues about mysterious Swedish photos

A UK couple are appealing to Swedes for help in gleaning clues about several decades-old photographs which turned up on film hidden in a vintage camera purchased at an auction in south central Sweden last August.

More cool sunshine ahead for weekend
Germany

More cool sunshine ahead for weekend

Up to 20 centimetres of snow covered the Black Forest as well as Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, on Wednesday – but a high pressure system across the country will bring more golden autumn sunshine over the weekend.

Most young criminals re-offend after jail
Germany

Most young criminals re-offend after jail

More than two-thirds of young criminals in Germany re-offend after being released from custody – largely due to insufficient preparation made for their release, according to new research.

Bruni-Sarkozy daughter to be called Giulia
France

Bruni-Sarkozy daughter to be called Giulia

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have named their baby daughter Guilia, the Italian spelling of the popular European name.

Greenpeace’s new Rainbow Warrior premiers in Hamburg
Germany

Greenpeace’s new Rainbow Warrior premiers in Hamburg

The Rainbow Warrior III, Greenpeace’s brand new ship, docked in Hamburg on Thursday, where it will be opened to visitors over the weekend to celebrate its launch and maiden voyage.

Berlin and Paris make new euro rescue bid
Germany

Berlin and Paris make new euro rescue bid

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Saturday to prepare a "global and ambitious answer" to the eurozone crisis ahead two key EU summits, they said in a statement issued in Paris.

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Sweden

Imam’s on-air death threat ‘not hate speech’

It was not hate speech when Swedish public service broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR) featured a programme in which a Somali imam called for all converts from Islam to be killed, the Swedish Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern, JK) has ruled.

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France

Kidnappers demand cash for Frenchwoman’s body

The Somali kidnappers of disabled Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu, who died after being snatched from her home in Kenya, are demanding a ransom for the return of her body, France's defence minister said on Thursday.

Second-hand shop sells customer’s bike
Sweden

Second-hand shop sells customer’s bike

A Swedish woman's recent visit to a second-hand charity shop didn't turn out as planned when she learned upon leaving the store that staff had sold her bicyle while she was inside shopping.

Eurozone crisis to hit 2012 growth hard
Germany

Eurozone crisis to hit 2012 growth hard

The eurozone crisis will hit Germany hard next year with growth expected to be dramatically lower than previously thought, the government said on Thursday.

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Sweden

Ericsson shares surge on strong earnings report

Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson on Thursday reported a six-percent jump in third quarter net profit to 3.8 billion kronor ($570 million) in line with analyst expectations.

Shoddy spyware spurs web security reform call
Germany

Shoddy spyware spurs web security reform call

Outrage over shoddy government computer spyware created by a private contractor is spurring calls for a federal minister to deal with internet security issues and pledges by the authorities they will develop such software internally in the future.

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Switzerland

Testicles develop faster than brains: study

Scientists at Lausanne University have concluded that the human brain develops slower than human testicles, and that human brain activity is strikingly comparable to the duck-billed platypus.

Quality wins over Stockholm’s foreign students
Sweden

Quality wins over Stockholm’s foreign students

Since Sweden introduced university tuition fees for people from non-EU countries, students' expectations have increased. But those studying at Stockholm University say they are getting good value for money.

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Switzerland

SVP goat found alive but a little off-colour

Swiss far-right party SVP has confirmed that its mascot, "Zottel" the goat, which was reported missing in a feared kidnapping over the weekend, has been found tied to a tree and smeared with black paint.

Swedes plead ‘not guilty’ to terror crimes
Sweden

Swedes plead ‘not guilty’ to terror crimes

The two Swedish reporters facing terrorism charges in Ethiopia pleaded not guilty when the trial resumed on Thursday, but apologised for having entered the country illegally.

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Switzerland

Swiss pass Norway to become world’s richest

The average Swiss sits on a fortune amounting to 450,000 francs ($497,000), making the country the wealthiest in the world, according to a new report published on Thursday.

Haga: Sweden’s ‘royal nursery’ preps for a new arrival
Sweden

Haga: Sweden’s ‘royal nursery’ preps for a new arrival

With a garden measuring nearly eight hectares complete with play areas, woods and other assorted parkland, Haga Palace isn’t a bad playground for the upcoming addition to the Swedish royal family, The Local's Geoff Mortimore explains.

Arrests made in Media Markt corruption probe
Germany

Arrests made in Media Markt corruption probe

Prosecutors investigating corruption in Europe’s biggest consumer electronics chain have arrested five people, including a top manager and his wife – over allegations of massive bribery.

Google snaps suspected illegal booze deal
Sweden

Google snaps suspected illegal booze deal

A string of pictures taken by Google Maps outside of a Systembolaget liquor store in Timrå in northern Sweden appear to capture a case of illegal alcohol peddling to a minor, according to local police.

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Norway

Police in nationwide child-porn raids

Norwegian police have raided 19 locations and made an unknown number of arrests as part of a Europe-wide operation to stem the spread of child porn.

What’s on in Germany: October 20 – 26
Germany

What’s on in Germany: October 20 – 26

This Week's Highlights: A French DJ in Cologne, Tori Amos in Frankfurt, and Hungarian chamber music in a Munich museum.

Bruni-Sarkozy gives birth to baby girl
France

Bruni-Sarkozy gives birth to baby girl

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, 43, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday evening, their first child as a couple.

Hard up students turning to prostitution
France

Hard up students turning to prostitution

Unions and feminist groups have pointed to an alarming number of students who finance their studies through prostitution.

French minister invites 13,000 Twitter fans to bed
France

French minister invites 13,000 Twitter fans to bed

France's industry minister, Eric Besson, caused much mirth on Wednesday when a flirtatious private message meant for his wife was sent as a public tweet, to his 13,000 followers.

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France

Watchdog slams media for Socialist bias

France's TV and radio watchdog, the CSA, has warned five channels for giving too much coverage to the Socialist party over the last quarter.

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France

Sarkozy ‘unlikely’ to take paternity leave

While his wife, Carla Bruni, recovers after giving birth to their first child in a private Paris clinic, President Sarkozy is unlikely to take his statutory paternity lpleeave or slow down his working life.

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Sweden

Säpo wants more power to spy on the internet

Swedish security service Säpo and national police investigators want to see new legislation that will make it easier for them to carry out surveillance on the internet.

Children questioned over 4-year-old’s death
Sweden

Children questioned over 4-year-old’s death

Police suspect another child may be the culprit in the killing of a 4-year-old boy in south central Sweden as national criminal investigators and profiling experts have been called in to assist the investigation.

Leaders meet ahead of euro summit
Germany

Leaders meet ahead of euro summit

Chancellor Angela Merkel met French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other key European figures in Frankfurt ahead of this weekend’s Brussels summit on the Greek debt crisis.

Couple found ‘executed’ on Swedish farm
Sweden

Couple found ‘executed’ on Swedish farm

A man and a woman were found brutally murdered on a farm in western Sweden on Wednesday afternoon after the couple failed to turn up for choir practice.

Big Champions League win for Bayer Leverkusen
Germany

Big Champions League win for Bayer Leverkusen

Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack inspired Bayer Leverkusen to come from behind to beat Valencia 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday to stay in touch with leaders Chelsea in Group E.

Prosecutors investigate elite sports school sex assault claims
Germany

Prosecutors investigate elite sports school sex assault claims

Prosecutors are investigating claims that two 16-year-olds sexually attacked classmates at an elite sports school in northern Germany which trains the country's top young athletes.