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Switzerland

Switzerland denies visa to Mugabe wife

Switzerland has denied visas to President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace and five top Zimbabwean officials who had planned to attend a technology conference in Geneva, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

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France

Peugeot Citroen to slash thousands of jobs

French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen on Wednesday said it planned to slash thousands of jobs in Europe as part of an €800-million cost-cutting plan amid a stagnating European car market.

Soldier gets probation for deadly gun accident
Germany

Soldier gets probation for deadly gun accident

A former Bundeswehr soldier who accidentally shot and killed a comrade has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and disobeying orders and sentenced to two years probation.

H&M launches ‘Dragon Tattoo’ fashion line
Sweden

H&M launches ‘Dragon Tattoo’ fashion line

Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium thrillers have inspired films, an upcoming comic book, sightseeing tours and now a special H&M line dedicated to his tattooed hacker heroine, the Swedish fashion giant said Wednesday.

Ban mums’ bare boobs: young Swedes
Sweden

Ban mums’ bare boobs: young Swedes

Three out of four young Swedes think that breastfeeding mothers ought to keep their tops on in restaurants, bars and on public transport, according to a new survey.

Serbian police recover stolen Picasso paintings
Switzerland

Serbian police recover stolen Picasso paintings

Serbian police have recovered two works by Pablo Picasso stolen from a Swiss cultural centre in 2008, a police statement said.

DAX boards took major pay increases last year
Germany

DAX boards took major pay increases last year

Germany’s top companies paid their supervisory boards better last year than the previous year, with the most generous rises approaching 40 percent – despite an average worker’s wage increasing by 1.6 percent over the same period.

A dual citizenship double standard in Germany
Germany

A dual citizenship double standard in Germany

As Germany this week marks a half century of mass Turkish immigration, The Local’s Marc Young explains why it’s time to end the country’s hypocritical stance towards dual citizenship.

Sweden mistreats illegal berry pickers: report
Sweden

Sweden mistreats illegal berry pickers: report

Berry pickers working in Sweden without a permit are being badly mistreated, according to a new report from the labour rights watchdog Swedwatch.

Smuggling scandal rocks Swedish Air Force
Sweden

Smuggling scandal rocks Swedish Air Force

The Swedish military has been hit by a smuggling scandal stemming from the Air Force's just completed mission in Libya.

Putin tried to stop Neuer’s move to Bayern
Germany

Putin tried to stop Neuer’s move to Bayern

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tried to block Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's switch from Schalke 04 to Bavarian giants Bayern Munich, according to Royal Blues chairman Clemens Tönnies.

British skiers warned off Switzerland
Switzerland

British skiers warned off Switzerland

Swiss tourist authorities have reacted with anger to a British report highlighting the increasingly pricey nature of winter holidays in the Swiss Alps.  

Big cuts in store for Bundeswehr
Germany

Big cuts in store for Bundeswehr

The German government announced the biggest cuts in its military since the end of World War Two on Wednesday, closing or significantly scaling down more than 100 of its 400 bases and cutting 15,000 soldiering jobs.

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Switzerland

Debt-hit Spanish teen caught smuggling cocaine

Driven to desperation by the financial crisis, a mother and her son agreed to transport 600 grams of cocaine to pay their bills in Madrid, but were caught in Geneva before finishing the job.

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Norway

New York Times spotlights Norway rape

“One in ten Norwegian women over the age of 15 has been raped,” The New York Times has reported in an article seized upon by Norway’s media on Wednesday.

Germany marks first phone call anniversary – 15 years before Bell
Germany

Germany marks first phone call anniversary – 15 years before Bell

Move over, Alexander Graham Bell, Germany is marking the anniversary of the first phone call today – a century and a half after Johann Philipp Reis first transmitted a spoken sentence over a cable.

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France

Tattoo artist squats on presidential website

 

If, as expected, President Sarkozy announces he plans to run for re-election in 2012, he will find that the obvious domain name, nicolassarkozy2012.fr, will not be available.


 

Swedes get down and groovy during lunch hour
Sweden

Swedes get down and groovy during lunch hour

Hundreds of restless Stockholmers gathered at Kulturhuset at midday on Tuesday for an hour's worth of grooving to work off those dull workday blues at Lunch Beat - the disco while you eat.

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Switzerland

Swiss trade union calls for more immigration

Swiss trade union Travail Suisse has called on the government to loosen immigration laws and allow more workers into the country in order to fill future labour market gaps in sectors such as education, healthcare and engineering.

Bonn café stands up to Apple over trademark
Germany

Bonn café stands up to Apple over trademark

A café in Bonn called Apfelkind has become entangled in a legal fight with Apple over its logo, with the computing giant trying to block the café owner’s trademark application. The Local spoke with its owner Christin Römer.

Swedish password hacking scandal widens
Sweden

Swedish password hacking scandal widens

A password hacking scandal which on Tuesday exposed login details of 90,000 Swedes, including several journalists and celebrities, has widened to include 180,000 users on nearly 60 websites.

PSG: Beckham T-shirts ‘on order’
France

PSG: Beckham T-shirts ‘on order’

Rumours that England international David Beckham is set to move to France to play for Paris Saint-Germain have been boosted by claims that T-shirts bearing his name have been ordered.

Investor darling REC laying off 700
Norway

Investor darling REC laying off 700

The pride of Norway's industrial green energy effort, Renewable Energy Corp., has decided to shut down three Norwegian factories, or nearly half its local production, as a world glut in solar cell production forces the company's hand.

Widow leaves life savings to her village
France

Widow leaves life savings to her village

The tiny village of Calamane in the south west Midi-Pyrénées region was the unexpected beneficiary when a 79-year-old widow showed her appreciation of her former neighbours by leaving €327,000 ($455,000) in her will.

Stieg Larsson among top earning dead celebs
Sweden

Stieg Larsson among top earning dead celebs

Swedish writer Stieg Larsson, author of the world acclaimed Millennium trilogy, came in at shared ninth when Forbes recently ranked stars who are still earning big in the afterlife.

France fined for haka breach
France

France fined for haka breach

The French rugby team has been slapped with a £2,500 ($4,000) fine for its show of defiance during the haka performed by the New Zealand team before the kick-off in Sunday's World Cup final.

Strike keeps impressionist museum shut in Paris
France

Strike keeps impressionist museum shut in Paris

A strike at the newly-revamped Musée d'Orsay kept it closed to the public for a sixth day on Tuesday by a strike launched to demand extra manpower to staff the larger, renovated space, the museum said.

Top stately spots for a Swedish wedding party
Sweden

Top stately spots for a Swedish wedding party

For those planning a grand wedding in Sweden and searching for a suitable location to host a reception, The Local has put together a list of top spots, from fairytale castles to 19th century homes, as well as some more modest options.

Bundestag backs Merkel ahead of euro summit
Germany

Bundestag backs Merkel ahead of euro summit

The Bundestag has thrown its support behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel's plan to strengthen the eurozone's €440-billion fund as she heads to Brussels for a crunch EU summit on Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

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Switzerland

Video emerges of Swiss hostages in Pakistan

A video has emerged showing a Swiss couple kidnapped by the Taliban in Pakistan nearly four months ago, flanked by four masked gunmen pointing rifles at their heads.

Nestle probes Chinese farmers’ cheating claims
Switzerland

Nestle probes Chinese farmers’ cheating claims

Swiss food giant Nestle said on Wednesday it is investigating allegations that a Chinese subsidiary has been short-changing dairy farmers for at least 10 years.

French banks need €10 billion boost: PM
France

French banks need €10 billion boost: PM

Prime Minister François Fillon said on Tuesday that French banks need to increase their capital by about €10 billion ($14 billion) to deal with the debt crisis but will not require public money to do so.

Doctor charged with raping patients
Sweden

Doctor charged with raping patients

A doctor in Eskilstuna in eastern Sweden was on Tuesday charged with raping and sexually assaulting several female patients.

Police arrest 13 in strike against international phishing gang
Germany

Police arrest 13 in strike against international phishing gang

Berlin police smashed an international computer “phishing” gang accused of stealing at least €1.3 million from at least 1,000 computers having taken details of people’s bank accounts and using them to transfer money.

Facebook named as Luleå server hall backer
Sweden

Facebook named as Luleå server hall backer

US social media giant Facebook has been named as the backer of a server hall project in Sweden's far north, which is set to begin operations in 2012.

Washington DC kids get a taste of Swedish food
Sweden

Washington DC kids get a taste of Swedish food

Some 45,000 school children in the Washington DC area will get the chance to savour some wholesome Swedish food on Wednesday in an initiative by the Nordic embassies in the US capital.

Greens call for plastic bag levy to reduce use
Germany

Greens call for plastic bag levy to reduce use

The Greens are calling for a compulsory levy to be imposed on plastic shopping bags, in an attempt to copy Ireland where such a rule has reduced the number of such bags in use by 90 percent.

Germany looks back at 50 years of Turkish immigration
Germany

Germany looks back at 50 years of Turkish immigration

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the treaty bringing hundreds of thousands of Turkish "guest workers" to Germany, a move which dramatically altered the fabric of German society.

‘There’s no real mood for celebration’
Germany

‘There’s no real mood for celebration’

Nalan Arkat, general secretary of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD), tells The Local why the 50th anniversary of the labour agreement between Germany and Turkey is a time for reflection, not celebration.