Merkel and Sarkozy: Hands off Central Bank
Germany

Merkel and Sarkozy: Hands off Central Bank

The leaders of Germany and France said the European Central Bank would not get a bigger role in alleviating the continent’s debt troubles, following a crisis meeting in Strasbourg.

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Switzerland

Chechen boss appears before Swiss prosecutors

The Chechen boss of Swiss football club Neuchatel Xamax, Bulat Chagaev, appeared before prosecutors in Geneva on Thursday amid forgery and attempted fraud allegations.

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Sweden

Swedish boarding schools put under review

All three of Sweden's national boarding schools -- Lundsberg, Grennaskolan and Sigtuna humanistiska läroverk -- will be investigated by the Schools Inspectorate (Skolverket) after reports of systematic bullying and violence between students at two of them.

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Sweden

Record warmth keeps Sweden’s snow at bay

The unseasonably high temperatures across much of Sweden have left much of the country free of snow and has put autumn 2011 on track to be one of the warmest ever recorded in Sweden.

Lack of rain hurts cargo firms on Rhine
Switzerland

Lack of rain hurts cargo firms on Rhine

Ships plying the Rhine in Switzerland have had to ditch much of their cargo as a a prolonged absence of rain causes water levels to dip way below normal.

Madeleine ditches Nobel gala for New York do
Sweden

Madeleine ditches Nobel gala for New York do

Princess Madeleine is skipping this year's Nobel festivities in Stockholm for another event in New York, the Royal Court confirmed on Thursday.

Apple drops ‘Jew or not Jew’ app worldwide
France

Apple drops ‘Jew or not Jew’ app worldwide

French anti-racism groups have dropped anti-Semitism suits against Apple after it withdrew a "Jew or not Jew" iPhone app from its online stores worldwide, the groups' lawyer said Thursday.

Trotting – Sweden’s ‘third way’ on a racetrack
Sweden

Trotting – Sweden’s ‘third way’ on a racetrack

The popular Swedish equestrian sport of trotting reaches a hoof-thundering climax this weekend with the V75 meet at Jägersro near Malmö, Geoff Mortimore explores the sport where "lagom" really is best.

‘Gang leader’ shot dead in Malmö
Sweden

‘Gang leader’ shot dead in Malmö

A 31-year-old man believed to be the head of a criminal gang was killed in a shooting at an industrial site in Malmö, in southern Sweden, on Thursday morning.

Does ‘Baron Cut and Paste’s’ punishment fit the crime?
Germany

Does ‘Baron Cut and Paste’s’ punishment fit the crime?

Disgraced former Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has escaped criminal prosecution for plagiarizing his doctoral dissertation – by making a $20,000 donation to charity. Is that really fair? Have your say.

Ikea boss sacked for ‘pro-Nazi’ Facebook posts
Sweden

Ikea boss sacked for ‘pro-Nazi’ Facebook posts

The German unit of Swedish furniture giant Ikea said Wednesday it had fired a manager with right-wing extremist "friends" on Facebook for expressing offensive opinions on the social networking site.

‘Superwave’ storm could hit Norway oil facilities
Norway

‘Superwave’ storm could hit Norway oil facilities

A massive Atlantic weather front set to bring storms to half of Norway on Friday could bring a feared 30-metre “100-year wave” crashing into the offshore oil and gas installations lubricating the economy.

Telekom braces for AT&T deal collapse
Germany

Telekom braces for AT&T deal collapse

US and German telecommunications giants AT&T and Deutsche Telekom said on Thursday they are preparing for the potential collapse of their $39-billion (€29-billion) deal for T-Mobile USA.

EU sues Germany over VW protection law
Germany

EU sues Germany over VW protection law

The European Commission decided Thursday to haul Germany before the top EU court for failing to scrap a law that protects auto giant Volkswagen from takeover bids.

Scientists find secret of limb regeneration
Germany

Scientists find secret of limb regeneration

Scientists at the University of Konstanz in southern Germany announced Thursday they have worked out how some animals can re-grow amputated limbs, successfully completing three decades of research.

Sweden’s best Christmas markets
Sweden

Sweden’s best Christmas markets

Christmas markets are a feature of Yuletide in Sweden and The Local has put together a pick of the best, all featuring warm spiced "glögg" for the adults, and plenty of fun activites for the children.

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Norway

Oslo school grouped kids by race

Dividing kids into racial groups has been the practice in at least one Norwegian high school, where ethnicity determined where kids sat.

Swiss nuclear shutdown to cost €16.8 billion
Switzerland

Swiss nuclear shutdown to cost €16.8 billion

Shutting down Switzerland's five nuclear power stations will cost about 20.7 billion Swiss francs ($22.5 billion) and take about 20 years, Swiss authorities said on Thursday.

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Switzerland

Language to play key role in new immigration law

Non-EU workers and their relatives will have to prove knowledge of one of Switzerland's national languages if they want to stay in the country.

Merck accuses US firm of Facebook page larceny
Germany

Merck accuses US firm of Facebook page larceny

German pharmaceutical giant Merck KGaA has charged that US rival Merck and Co. somehow got control of its Facebook page and won’t give it back. To make matters worse, the company says the social network won’t help resolve the situation.

Swedish researcher defines ‘now’
Sweden

Swedish researcher defines ‘now’

A Swedish philosophy researcher recently published a paper on time perception, where a ”now” is described as two seconds long, and made up of a past and a present.

Audrey Tautou lights up Champs-Elysées
France

Audrey Tautou lights up Champs-Elysées

Actress and face of Chanel Audrey Tautou switched on the Christmas lights on Paris' premier shopping avenue, the Champs-Elysées, on Wednesday evening.

Business confidence rises despite euro fears
Germany

Business confidence rises despite euro fears

Signs that the debt crisis is striking at the core of the eurozone eased slightly on Thursday as business confidence in Germany, Europe's top economy, showed a surprise bounce.

Contest to produce new Paris metro design
France

Contest to produce new Paris metro design

After a smartphone application using the Paris metro map was banned by metro operator RATP, its creator decided to launch a competition to design an alternative map.

Dortmund man named world’s most-pierced
Germany

Dortmund man named world’s most-pierced

Weighed down with 453 piercings, a 52-year-old Dortmund man has officially been named the most-pierced person by the book of Guinness World Records.

Giant penis mystery baffles Stockholm suburb
Sweden

Giant penis mystery baffles Stockholm suburb

A wealthy Swedish businessman was surprised to learn on Wednesday that the grounds near his luxurious home appear to feature a giant penis visible only from the sky.

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France

Sarkozy, Merkel and Monti in debt crisis talks

France pressured Germany on Thursday to reconsider its firm refusal to allow the European Central Bank to become the lender of last resort to the eurozone's debt-wracked member states.

Number of fat Swedes expanding: study
Sweden

Number of fat Swedes expanding: study

The number of obese people in Sweden has all but doubled in the last two decades, but is still comparatively low compared to other OECD countries, according to a recent study.

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Norway

Norwegian tourist dies after hotel blast

A 55-year-old Norwegian tourist has died after suffering burns to "100 percent of her body" after a gas explosion at a luxury hotel in the Canary Islands on Wednesday.

What’s on in Germany:  November 24 – 30
Germany

What’s on in Germany: November 24 – 30

This Week's Highlights: Brazilian film in Berlin, Dickens in Frankfurt, and chocolate in Tübingen.

Men stare at breasts, women at wedding rings: study
France

Men stare at breasts, women at wedding rings: study

An eye tracking study by a French laboratory, conducted in seven countries, presented an image of an attractive woman to both men and women to discover where their eyes went.

Marks & Spencer returns to Paris
France

Marks & Spencer returns to Paris

After a ten-year absence, British retailer Marks & Spencer opens its doors again in Paris on Thursday morning.

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France

Writer Houellebecq on ‘Goncourt for pets’ jury

A jury including provocative French writer Michel Houellebecq handed out a book prize on Wednesday dubbed the "Goncourt for pets", in a nod to France's top literary award, to a Paris vet and first-time writer.

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France

France considers ‘humanitarian corridors’ in Syria

France will discuss creating protected humanitarian corridors in Syria with its EU and Arab allies, Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said on Thursday, after meeting the exiled Syrian opposition leader.

Another neo-Nazi terror suspect arrested
Germany

Another neo-Nazi terror suspect arrested

German authorities on Thursday arrested then arraigned another suspected helper of a neo-Nazi terror group, as the authorities admitted files on the members of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) may have been destroyed.

Spotify hits 2.5 million subscriber milestone
Sweden

Spotify hits 2.5 million subscriber milestone

Swedish online music star Spotify said Wednesday ahead of a mystery announcement next week that it has reached 2.5 million paying subscribers.

Sarkozy, Merkel and Monti talk euro crisis
Germany

Sarkozy, Merkel and Monti talk euro crisis

The leaders of the eurozone's three largest economies will meet in Strasbourg on Thursday in a bid to resolve their differences over how to handle Europe's critical debt crisis.

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Sweden

Police probe boarding school ‘nipple burning’

Prestigious Swedish boarding school Lundsberg, alma mater of Prince Carl Philip and many other high society members, has been reported to the police after a bullying scandal which involved the burning of a pupil's nipples.

‘Svennis’ Eriksson in talks over Iran move
Sweden

‘Svennis’ Eriksson in talks over Iran move

Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson has held talks with Persepolis FC over the prospect of becoming the Iranian football team's next coach.

Debt-rattled Greeks seek out the German Dream
Germany

Debt-rattled Greeks seek out the German Dream

Athens-born Elin Georgakila holds a degree in interior design, is full of energy and, seeing the doors close for her in debt-mired Greece, has turned to booming Germany as the land of opportunity. AFP's Celine Le Prioux reports.

Celebrating ‘Dankbarzeit’ in Germany
Germany

Celebrating ‘Dankbarzeit’ in Germany

As millions of people prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, Jiffer Bourguignon cooks up her own German version of the intrinsically American holiday.

Expectations debunked on Champions League night
Germany

Expectations debunked on Champions League night

Expectations were reversed in the Champions League Wednesday night, as struggling Leverkusen earned a knock-out place by beating Chelsea, while in-form champions Dortmund were all but knocked out by Arsenal.