Neo-Nazi killings spark intelligence revamp plan
Germany

Neo-Nazi killings spark intelligence revamp plan

The chairman of Germany's parliamentary committee on interior affairs defended the authorities' approach towards far-right extremism on Monday, but said state domestic intelligence agencies needed reform in the wake of a neo-Nazi murder spree.

‘Systembolaget behind wine club police report’
Sweden

‘Systembolaget behind wine club police report’

Sweden’s state-run alcohol monopoly Systembolaget has been accused of having had a hand in a police report filed by a temperance society against a group of wine clubs.

Current crisis positive for Europe: Norway oil fund
Norway

Current crisis positive for Europe: Norway oil fund

The current debt crisis should in the end be good for Europe since it will force the continent to adopt long-awaited reforms, the head of Norway's state pension fund said on Monday.

Dutch crooner named Santa of the Year
Sweden

Dutch crooner named Santa of the Year

A velvet-voiced Dutchman who could also hold his own on a mechanical bull didn't let a lack of snow diminish his joy at being crowned winner of the 2011 Santa Games in Gällivare in northern Sweden on Sunday.

Living the German-American dream
Germany

Living the German-American dream

For the latest instalment of Portnoy’s Stammtisch, Portnoy hits the road to attend the induction of entertainers Siegfried and Roy into the German-American Hall of Fame in New York City.

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Switzerland

Attackers torch prayer books in Swiss church

Arsonists entered a church in western Switzerland, piled prayer books on an altar and set them on fire, local police said on Sunday.

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Switzerland

Swiss clamp down on asylum seekers holidaying in home nation

Bern will reintroduce restrictions on asylum seekers returning to their home country during their application, after reports the system had been abused, Swiss radio DRS reported on Friday.

Iranian airline buys Merkel’s old plane
Germany

Iranian airline buys Merkel’s old plane

The German government was embarrassed this weekend following revelations that an Iranian airline bypassed trade sanctions to acquire an aeroplane formerly used by Chancellors Helmut Kohl, Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel.

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France

British security agent raped and murdered in Reunion

A British man working as a security agent on a merchant ship was raped and murdered on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, a judicial source said on Friday.

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Switzerland

US-Swiss tax deal on the way: Julius Bär chief

Bern and Washington could arrive within the next three or six months at a deal to regularise assets hidden by American taxpayers in Swiss banks, Julius Bär boss Boris Collardi said on Saturday.

Honecker’s hunting lodge sold for €2.5 million
Germany

Honecker’s hunting lodge sold for €2.5 million

An old hunting lodge belonging to former communist East German leader Erich Honecker has been sold at auction to a hotel group for €2.5 million, although there are still legal claims to resolve.

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France

France’s top credit rating at risk: Moody’s

An increase in French government borrowing costs, slowing growth and the eurozone debt crisis threatens the country's top credit rating, Moody's ratings agency warned on Monday, adding to market jitters.

Mistreated foster kids receive official apology
Sweden

Mistreated foster kids receive official apology

The thousands of Swedes mistreated in foster care during the 1900s on Monday received an official apology from the state for having failed to provide them with a safe upbringing.

‘Sexy’ Swiss soldiers in Britney Spears video remake
Switzerland

‘Sexy’ Swiss soldiers in Britney Spears video remake

Versatile Swiss soldiers have displayed a whole new set of talents with a mimed reworking of Britney Spears' Hold it against me video at a military training camp in Ticino.

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Switzerland

Switzerland seeing driest year in decades

Summer rainstorms are already a forgotten memory in swathes of western Switzerland that are experiencing the driest weather conditions since 1921.

Statoil to help meet Britain’s gas needs
Norway

Statoil to help meet Britain’s gas needs

British energy company Centrica on Monday announced a North Sea agreement with Norway's Statoil to help protect Britain's gas security over a 10-year period starting in 2015.

Sarkozy narrows gap with main rival
France

Sarkozy narrows gap with main rival

Voters may be rewarding President Sarkozy for his very public efforts to save the euro over recent weeks, if a new poll is to be believed.

Nadal hits back at ‘stupid’ Noah accusations
France

Nadal hits back at ‘stupid’ Noah accusations

Claims by former French tennis champ Yannick Noah that Spanish sporting success is down to doping have been furiously attacked by Spain's Rafael Nadal.

Germany says eurobonds no ‘cure’ for debt crisis
Germany

Germany says eurobonds no ‘cure’ for debt crisis

The idea of introducing so-called "eurobonds" across the 17-nation eurozone should not be considered a miracle remedy for its debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Monday.

Saab – what is a Swedish car anyway?
Sweden

Saab – what is a Swedish car anyway?

The news that Chinese firms Pang Da and Youngman intend to acquire Saab Automobile, has been greeted by relief, resignation and objection, The Local's Geoff Mortimore explores the twisted fate of an iconic Swedish brand.

Swedes and English: when things go wrong
Sweden

Swedes and English: when things go wrong

Swedes are generally thought of as speaking English fairly well, but for some, the pressure to perform can be too much, proving that not everyone can defend the flattering reputation Swedes have of being bilingual masters.

Voyeur gynaecologist sued for intimate photos
Germany

Voyeur gynaecologist sued for intimate photos

Hundreds of former patients have pressed charges against a German gynaecologist for allegedly taking secret photos of their private parts. Investigators believe the doctor may have violated the trust of 3,000 women.

Berlin won’t collect tax from WWII victims
Germany

Berlin won’t collect tax from WWII victims

Germany moved Monday to reassure Belgium that people who suffered forced labour at the hands of the Nazis would not have to pay tax on their compensation, after a row between Berlin and Brussels.

Half of Swiss are overweight: study
Switzerland

Half of Swiss are overweight: study

A national study commissioned by the Federal Office of Public Health indicates that more than half of Switzerland's population is overweight. 

Hospitals ‘clueless’ about drug side effects
Sweden

Hospitals ‘clueless’ about drug side effects

Despite tens of thousands of patients coming down with diseases caused by medications they're taking, awareness of the problem remains low at Sweden's emergency hospitals, according to a recent report.

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Sweden

Young Swedish girls in home invasion horror

Two young girls were left locked in a toilet while burglars raided their home in Gothenburg on Monday morning.

Boar causes panic in French record store
France

Boar causes panic in French record store

Saturday morning shoppers in the southern city of Toulouse were sent flying when a wild boar charged through busy streets.

Mercedes exec arrested under Alabama immigration law
Germany

Mercedes exec arrested under Alabama immigration law

Police in Alabama last week arrested and briefly held a visiting Mercedes-Benz executive from Germany for not having a drivers license, drawing attention to the US state's controversial new immigration law.

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France

US ‘modernist’ chef takes on Gallic gastronomes

A US mathematician who used to work for Microsoft is hoping to win over Gallic gastronomes, as he takes his "modernist" cooking methods to the home of traditional gourmet cuisine.

French blogger needles rich and powerful with knitted news
France

French blogger needles rich and powerful with knitted news

From a randy Dominique Strauss-Kahn to a diminutive Nicolas Sarkozy, a French blogger has become an internet hit by needling the rich and powerful with knitted dolls in sly recreations of the news.

Thieves make off with two trains in Switzerland
Switzerland

Thieves make off with two trains in Switzerland

Two trains, including one weighing almost a tonne, have been stolen from a miniature train park in western Switzerland, the park said on Saturday.

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Norway

Beware the ‘pirate’ cabby: Oslo police

Get into a “pirate taxi” and you’re taking your life into your own hands, Oslo police are warning those looking for a fast trip home from a night on the town.

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France

Exclusive school stunned by girl’s vicious murder

A 17-year-old boy at one of France’s most prestigious international private schools who confessed to the shocking killing of a 13-year-old fellow pupil is reported to have committed a similar attack just over a year ago.

Man catches fire in Gothenburg train station
Sweden

Man catches fire in Gothenburg train station

An unidentified man sustained serious injuries after suddenly catching fire in Gothenburg on Sunday evening, leaving police flummoxed as to who he is and what really happened.

Norway to return young Afghan asylum seekers
Norway

Norway to return young Afghan asylum seekers

Norway and other Northern European countries have begun negotiations aimed at returning teenage Afghan asylum seekers to their home country.

UBS set to lose billions amid tax deals
Switzerland

UBS set to lose billions amid tax deals

The boss of Swiss banking giant UBS said on Sunday that clients could withdraw up to 30 billion francs in assets due to deals between Bern and EU states to regularise untaxed funds hidden in Swiss banks.

VW workers set for record success bonus
Germany

VW workers set for record success bonus

Europe’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen is set to offer employees its biggest ever success bonus this year, CEO Martin Winterkorn said in an interview published Monday.

Swedish actor Lars Brandeby dies
Sweden

Swedish actor Lars Brandeby dies

Swedish comic actor Lars Brandeby died on Sunday evening at a hospital in Gothenburg following a period of illness.

Vuvuzela court case begins in Bavaria
Germany

Vuvuzela court case begins in Bavaria

A Bavarian doctor who blasted a vuvuzela trumpet in front of his practice during last year’s World Cup is being sued by one of his patients for trauma.

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Sweden

Pastor fired after drunken antics on Sicily

A Church of Sweden pastor has been sacked after having been returned from a military base on Sicily following a drunken binge.

Russian migrant freed by armed men
Sweden

Russian migrant freed by armed men

A Russian man was freed from the Migration Board's (Migrationsverket) detention centre in Gävle in northern Sweden on Sunday by a group of armed men.

Westerwelle condemns Middle East violence
Germany

Westerwelle condemns Middle East violence

Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata called for an end to violence in Syria and Egypt after talks on key European issues in Rome Sunday.