Thalidomide victims protest 50 years on
Germany

Thalidomide victims protest 50 years on

Saturday marks 50 years since the deformity-causing drug thalidomide was banned in Germany. Thousands of victims will protest in Berlin this weekend to call for greater compensation and recognition of their suffering. Jessica Ware reports.

First clashes as atomic waste train rolls onward
Germany

First clashes as atomic waste train rolls onward

Two police cars have been set on fire with Molotov cocktails as protesters attempt to block a train carrying nuclear waste from France to a depot in central Germany.

‘Electro-oversensitive’ man in mobile phone blackout threat
Sweden

‘Electro-oversensitive’ man in mobile phone blackout threat

A Swedish man who sometimes wears a silver-coloured suit to protect himself from mobile phone mast radiation has demanded that local officials in Dalarna in central Sweden create a “radiation-free zone” to protect his health that may leave half the county without mobile phone coverage.

Marking the death of Sweden’s ‘TV oak’
Sweden

Marking the death of Sweden’s ‘TV oak’

The old oak tree outside the Sveriges Television (SVT) building in Stockholm quickly became Sweden’s most famous piece of vegetation, as tree huggers in vain tried to save it from its maker.

Germans want neo-Nazi NPD party banned
Germany

Germans want neo-Nazi NPD party banned

Three-quarters of Germans want the neo-Nazi NPD party banned, a poll showed on Friday, after the discovery of an extreme far-right cell believed to have murdered 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers.

Winter storm ‘Berit’ barrels toward Sweden
Sweden

Winter storm ‘Berit’ barrels toward Sweden

Meteorologists in Sweden are warning people to stay inside this weekend as winter storm dubbed Berit by colleagues in Norway gets set to pummel much of the country with gusty winds and possible snow showers.

Atlantic storm bringing gusty winds
Germany

Atlantic storm bringing gusty winds

The calm November weather will be changing tack this weekend, as strong winds will whip up and down the country, according to the German Weather Service (DWD). Rainfall will, however, remain minimal and localised.

Giant green worm stalks city park in augmented reality experiment
Switzerland

Giant green worm stalks city park in augmented reality experiment

Strange fantasy animals invade Basel’s Sankt Johanns Park while the sky above becomes a multi-coloured canvas. Reporter Meritxell Mir is neither dreaming nor on drugs; she's just participating in a pioneering new project.

Gigantic baby ‘Jihad’ born in Berlin
Germany

Gigantic baby ‘Jihad’ born in Berlin

Doctors were left astounded after a gigantic baby set a new record for Germany’s heaviest-ever naturally born newborn Friday. The boy was named Jihad.

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Norway

Police stop man sawing off wife’s foot

A 41-year-old man from the southern town of Skien has been charged with attempted murder after apparently trying to saw off his wife’s arms and legs.

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Norway

Storm crashes into coastal Norwegian towns

The storm Berit — named just before hitting coastal central and northern Norway — has broken through town flood defences in Ålesund, Kristiansund and Namsos.

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Norway

Church official supports school segregation

A former Christian Democratic Party member of Oslo’s education committee has said he supports the segregation of “non-whites” from Norwegians in the capital’s schools.

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Switzerland

Life expectancy on the rise in Switzerland

People in Switzerland are living longer, according to new statistics showing that cardiovascular diseases, cancer and dementia are the country's three most common causes of death.

Poor-quality pot keeps grower out of prison
Sweden

Poor-quality pot keeps grower out of prison

Despite being caught with enough home-grown cannabis to warrant a prison sentence, a man in western Sweden escaped with probation and a 500 kronor ($75) fine because the drugs were of such poor quality.

No foreigners among Sweden’s most powerful
Sweden

No foreigners among Sweden’s most powerful

Sweden's top 100 most powerful people for 2011 are mainly politicians, men -- and Swedish -- according to Fokus Magazine's annual rankings.

Ten soul-satisfying Swedish comfort foods
Sweden

Ten soul-satisfying Swedish comfort foods

As the darkness and chill of Sweden's winter gathers pace, food blogger Maia Brindley Nilsson offers up a list of ten Swedish comfort foods to keep your belly full and nourish your sun-starved soul.

Top cantonal politician found dead
Switzerland

Top cantonal politician found dead

The vice-president of the Zug cantonal parliament, Martin B. Lehmann, died on Thursday after he shot himself at his holiday home in Ticino.

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Sweden

Tougher demands for Sweden’s biggest banks

Sweden on Friday announced plans to beef up the capital adequacy requirements for the country's four largest banks to levels higher than required by international regulations in an effort to help protect the Swedish banking system amid the ongoing eurozone debt crisis.

The ins and outs of pensions
Germany

The ins and outs of pensions

Plan on growing old and grey in Germany? Joe Morgan explains why you shouldn’t rely solely on a state pension for your golden years.

Air France plane flew with 30 screws missing
France

Air France plane flew with 30 screws missing

An Airbus A340 belonging to Air France was grounded in Boston after a mechanic noticed that 30 screws were missing.

Footballing robber wimped out in toilet
Germany

Footballing robber wimped out in toilet

German footballer Guido Kocer admitted Thursday that his criminal career got off to a bad start when he got scared during an April Berlin casino robbery and sought refuge in the toilet because his fellow gang-members were too violent.

Air Berlin seeks Chinese and Mideast cash
Germany

Air Berlin seeks Chinese and Mideast cash

Struggling airline Air Berlin, Germany's second-biggest carrier, is on the hunt for investors and has already begun talks with potential partners from China or the Gulf, a German daily reported Friday.

Fake bombs undetected in Arlanda security test
Sweden

Fake bombs undetected in Arlanda security test

Security at Stockholm's Arlanda airport has been slammed after a number of fake bombs planted to test security checkpoints went undetected by staff.

Immigrant women put Tensta Christmas market on the map
Sweden

Immigrant women put Tensta Christmas market on the map

Immigrant women in the Stockholm suburb of Tensta are using language lessons and handicrafts to stitch together an alternative Christmas market experience for the entire Swedish capital, The Local's Clara Guibourg discovers.

Crappy correspondence confounds Munich
Germany

Crappy correspondence confounds Munich

Accusations that Deutsche Post's service is crap have been taken to the next level. Police say someone in the Munich area has been shoving poop into postboxes for months, clogging up the letter sorting system.

Star skier Cuche still going strong at 37
Switzerland

Star skier Cuche still going strong at 37

Just like an old Swiss watch that never stops ticking, Didier Cuche continues to defy his age on the World Cup circuit.

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Switzerland

Xamax boss faces fraud charge

The Chechen boss of Swiss football club Neuchatel Xamax, Bulat Chagaev, was charged with forgery on Thursday following four hours of questioning in Geneva, prosecutors said.

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France

French hotels to get Chinese twist

A chain of French hotels is going all out to welcome Chinese visitors by adapting its menus and TV channels and giving its employees the necessary language skills.

President’s office red-faced over bad French grammar
France

President’s office red-faced over bad French grammar

An official statement by the French president's office to mark the death of Danielle Mitterrand has been criticized for a series of grammatical errors.

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France

Elevator drop kills one man, injures three

An elevator fell in a Paris apartment block on Thursday afternoon, killing one man and injuring three others, two of them seriously.

Journalists sexually assaulted covering Egypt unrest
France

Journalists sexually assaulted covering Egypt unrest

Two female foreign journalists, including one working for French TV channel France 3, described harrowing sexual assaults carried out by crowds or police as they tried to cover demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

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France

Two French nationals kidnapped in Mali

A gang kidnapped two French nationals at gunpoint from their hotel in the Malian desert on Thursday, local security sources said, the latest in a string of abductions of foreigners in the troubled region.

Sweden-bound booty found in Polish river
Sweden

Sweden-bound booty found in Polish river

Polish scientists have discovered what appears to be a 17th century ship loaded with looted treasure bound for Sweden dating from the Swedish-Polish war of 1655-60, at the bottom of the Vistula river, according to local media.

Germany is Europe’s biggest polluter
Germany

Germany is Europe’s biggest polluter

German industry causes more environmental and health damage than any other country in the European Union, amounting to billions of euros each year, according to a new EU report.

Saab backer Antonov held in London: report
Sweden

Saab backer Antonov held in London: report

Russian financier and once prospective buyer of cash-strapped Swedish carmaker Saab, Vladimir Antonov, as well as his Lithunainan business partner Raimondas Baranuskas, have been detained by regulators in London, according to news agency Reuters.

Berlin football scene hits fever pitch in expat fanzine
Germany

Berlin football scene hits fever pitch in expat fanzine

A new expat-run fanzine offers a loving portrayal of the burgeoning Berlin football scene in English.

Dynamo Dresden booted from Cup
Germany

Dynamo Dresden booted from Cup

Second division outfit Dynamo Dresden have been kicked out of next season's German Cup following violence by fans in last month's exit to Dortmund.