Wulff apologises for personal finance faux pas
Germany

Wulff apologises for personal finance faux pas

Hoping to stem questions of impropriety, German President Christian Wulff on Thursday fired his long-time spokesman and apologised for not being open about his personal finances.

Escaped prisoner on the loose in Stockholm
Sweden

Escaped prisoner on the loose in Stockholm

A 24-year-old prisoner from Hall, one of Sweden's maximum-security prisons, fled whilst on temporary leave in Stockholm on Thursday morning and remains at large.

‘Lundin may have led Bildt to the heart of darkness’
Sweden

‘Lundin may have led Bildt to the heart of darkness’

After two Swedish journalists claiming they were investigating the presence of the Lundin Group in Ethiopia were found guilty of terror crimes on Wednesday, Swedish investigative journalist Leo Lagercrantz takes a closer look at the Swedish company and foreign minister Carl Bildt's involvement with it.

RWE abandons Gazprom joint venture talks
Germany

RWE abandons Gazprom joint venture talks

German energy giant RWE said on Thursday it had failed to agree with Russia's Gazprom on a project to jointly build and operate power plants in Germany, Britain and the Netherlands.

Change banks without changing account numbers: minister
Sweden

Change banks without changing account numbers: minister

Letting Swedes hold on to their account numbers when switching banks is one way to put pressure on banks thought to be gouging customers with high margins on variable rate mortgages, financial markets minister Peter Norman said Thursday.

Europeans flee crisis by heading to Germany
Germany

Europeans flee crisis by heading to Germany

Germany saw a sharp rise in immigration in the first half of the year, due mainly to newcomers from crisis-racked European states, according to official statistics released Thursday.

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Switzerland

Art prize scrapped after Lacoste vetoes Palestinian winner

The organisers of a €25,000 ($32,000) art prize said on Wednesday they have cancelled this year's competition after sponsors Lacoste objected to an entry by a Palestinian photographer.

German Patriot missiles impounded in Finland
Germany

German Patriot missiles impounded in Finland

Finnish customs authorities have impounded 69 Patriot missiles and 150 tons of explosives from a ship loaded in Germany and bound for China. German officials say the shipment was a legal sale to South Korea, but the ship was not licensed for the cargo.

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Norway

Breivik was insane – experts

A panel of experts confirmed Thursday that the Norway gunman who killed 77 people in twin attacks in July was criminally insane, meaning he will likely be sent to a closed psychiatric ward.

Spanish sue Hamburg for E.coli cucumber warning
Germany

Spanish sue Hamburg for E.coli cucumber warning

A Spanish company is suing the city of Hamburg for more than €2 million after its cucumbers were wrongly blamed for a deadly E.coli outbreak last spring, officials said Thursday.

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France

France probes Nazi-themed party attended by British MP

French prosecutors said on Thursday they had opened an investigation into a Nazi-themed party attended by British MP Aidan Burley that led to him losing his post as a parliamentary aide.

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Norway

‘MMS Doc’ jailed for teen girl sex attacks

A 39-year-old Norwegian doctor has been jailed for ten years for a series of rapes and sex attacks on underage female patients - attacks which he filmed on his mobile phone.

Chinese wines beat French at own game
France

Chinese wines beat French at own game

French wine growers had their finely trained noses put out of joint when they were trounced by a group of Chinese wines in a blind tasting.

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Switzerland

Swiss banker ‘kills wife and buries her in garden’

A 49-year-old Swiss banker has been arrested for allegedly murdering his wife and burying her corpse in the garden, days after he reported her missing.

Ashton Kutcher in ‘secret’ Stockholm visit
Sweden

Ashton Kutcher in ‘secret’ Stockholm visit

Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher swept into Stockholm on Wednesday, spending time at the headquarters of Swedish music streaming service Spotify before heading out for a night on the town.

Austrian ski resorts trump Swiss in new rankings
Switzerland

Austrian ski resorts trump Swiss in new rankings

Austrian ski resorts have stolen a march on their Swiss competitors, dominating an annual ranking of Alpine destinations.

Top attractions struggle with success
France

Top attractions struggle with success

2011 was a record year for visitors to some of Paris’ top tourist spots, but increasing tourist numbers are putting strains on some of the city’s finest attractions.

What’s on in Germany:  December 22 – January 4
Germany

What’s on in Germany: December 22 – January 4

The highlights over the holidays: Shadow puppets in Hamburg, Bonnie and Clyde in Berlin, and Belarus ballerinas fluff their feathers in Munich.

The Swedish ‘julbord’: a beginner’s guide
Sweden

The Swedish ‘julbord’: a beginner’s guide

No Swedish-style Christmas is complete without a julbord buffet. Food blogger Maia Brindley Nilsson takes a look at what goes into making the perfect Swedish Christmas meal.

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France

Speeding prince loses licence

The son of princess Caroline of Monaco, Andrea Casiraghi, had his driving licence confiscated after police reportedly spotted him driving at 200 kilometres per hour on a French motorway.

Online speed camera warnings to be banned
Switzerland

Online speed camera warnings to be banned

People who reveal the location of Swiss speed cameras on the internet face fines of up to 10,000 francs ($10,700), under new laws.

Kevin, 11, plays Santa to sick Swedish kids
Sweden

Kevin, 11, plays Santa to sick Swedish kids

Kevin Hansson, an 11-year-old Swedish boy who once suffered from a rare stomach condition, spent all autumn saving up his pocket money to buy toys for sick children at a hospital in northern Sweden.

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France

Police sent in to ease holiday airport strike

France on Thursday deployed police to Paris's main Charles de Gaulle airport to ensure a strike by security workers does not hamper holiday travel, the interior ministry said.

Beckham prospect divides politicians
France

Beckham prospect divides politicians

Before a deal has even been signed, reports that English football star David Beckham is set to join football giants Paris Saint Germain has unleashed a wave of comment.

Guards ‘checking out Breivik van when bomb exploded’
Norway

Guards ‘checking out Breivik van when bomb exploded’

Government security guards in Oslo were investigating the van that Anders Behring Breivik parked in the government quarter at the moment it exploded on 22nd July, it has emerged.

Oniony pig farts legal, court rules
Germany

Oniony pig farts legal, court rules

A court in the northern German town of Osnabrück has ruled that a farmer is allowed to feed his pigs vast quantities of raw onions, despite complaints from neighbours about their eye-watering gaseous emissions.

Sweden to map threats against politicians
Sweden

Sweden to map threats against politicians

The full extent of threats and violence directed against Swedish politicians is to be mapped for the first time in what is thought to be the world's largest investigation of its kind.

Teacher fined for ‘naked shower’ texts to student
Sweden

Teacher fined for ‘naked shower’ texts to student

A newly licenced teacher who sent sexually suggestive text messages to a 15-year-old Swedish girl during his traineeship has been barred from teaching after being convicted of sexual molestation.

German Santa writes to thousands of good kids
Germany

German Santa writes to thousands of good kids

Germany’s version of Santa Claus has responded to more than 275,000 letters sent to him in at an address in the eastern state of Brandenburg from eager children around the world, according to Deutsche Post.

Gladbach kick Schalke out of German Cup
Germany

Gladbach kick Schalke out of German Cup

A double by Marco Reus inspired Borussia Mönchengladbach to a 3-1 victory over holders Schalke 04 on Wednesday in their German Cup last-16 clash.

Islamic studies gain foothold in state schools
Germany

Islamic studies gain foothold in state schools

German Education officials are making moves to establish Islamic studies as a regular subject in North Rhine-Westphalia's public schools, in line with other religious courses about Catholic or Protestant Christianity.

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Sweden

Saab’s US unit hopes to avoid bankruptcy

The North American unit of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab will try to avoid going into bankruptcy itself to keep up warranties for recent car buyers and support dealers left with inventory, a company official said Wednesday.

Woman finds maggot in McDonald’s hamburger
Sweden

Woman finds maggot in McDonald’s hamburger

A customer at a McDonald's restaurant in Gothenburg in western Sweden was shocked to discover a maggot crawling among the lettuce leaves in her newly purchased hamburger.

Care home turned cost cutting ‘into a game’
Sweden

Care home turned cost cutting ‘into a game’

Swedish nursing home operator Carema Care urged staff to engage in games to see how much they could save on elderly residents' food, diapers, and protective gloves, according to employees.

A very German shopping list
Germany

A very German shopping list

Motherhood in the Fatherland follows mum Sabine Devins as she navigates the cultural quirks of having a baby in Germany. In the latest instalment, she discovers that the love for engineering starts early.

Six jailed in €300 million tax evasion scheme
Germany

Six jailed in €300 million tax evasion scheme

A German court has jailed six men on for tax evasion in the trading of carbon emission permits through the country's biggest bank, Deutsche Bank.