Blackface in Berlin play just ‘tradition’
Germany

Blackface in Berlin play just ‘tradition’

A popular Berlin theatre troupe has denied accusations that its adaptation of a Tony Award-winning play featuring a white man in blackface is racist, saying it's "tradition" for whites to play blacks in German theatre.

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Norway

Norway ‘received phone threat before attacks’

The Norwegian government received a phone threat just months before the July 22nd twin attacks that killed 77 people, but police were not alerted to the call, public radio station NRK reported on Friday.

Hildebrand says he ‘acted correctly’ on deals
Switzerland

Hildebrand says he ‘acted correctly’ on deals

Swiss central bank chief Philipp Hildebrand on Thursday defended himself against criticism of foreign currency transactions made by his family last year and suggested "political motives" were at work.

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Switzerland

Swiss inflation falls to 0.2% in 2011

Consumer prices in Switzerland increased by an average of 0.2 percent last year, down from an increase of 0.7 percent in 2010, data from the official statistics agency said on Friday.

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Switzerland

FIFA draw line under FC Sion row

Manchester United's distant hopes of being thrown a Champions League lifeline were shattered on Friday with the news that FIFA had decided not to take disciplinary action against the Swiss Football
Federation (ASF).

FDP in tatters as state government falls
Germany

FDP in tatters as state government falls

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner the Free Democratic Party (FDP) was dealt another devastating blow on Friday as the government in the small western state of Saarland collapsed.

Merkel backs embattled President Wulff
Germany

Merkel backs embattled President Wulff

After several weeks of silence during her annual winter break, Chancellor Angela Merkel has come out in support of embattled German President Christian Wulff.

France heads for Tobin tax without Germany
Germany

France heads for Tobin tax without Germany

France will decide on a financial transaction tax by the end of the month to set an example for Europe, even if Germany does not follow suit, an aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday.

Sjöstedt chosen as new Left Party leader
Sweden

Sjöstedt chosen as new Left Party leader

Jonas Sjöstedt was chosen to replace Lars Ohly as the new leader of Sweden's Left Party when the congress voted on Friday.

Bobsleigher nearly dies from wood in buttock
Germany

Bobsleigher nearly dies from wood in buttock

Three Canadian bobsleighers are recovering in hospital after a brutal World Cup training crash in Altenberg in the German state of Saxony that briefly left one of them fighting for his life.

Cheap Swedish beer gives Norway a headache
Sweden

Cheap Swedish beer gives Norway a headache

Cheaper Swedish alcohol, as well as an increase in beer brought illegally across the border, is giving Norwegian vendors a headache, as manufacturers continue to see a drop in sales.

Tuition fees change Sweden’s student population
Sweden

Tuition fees change Sweden’s student population

With tuition fees for non-EEA students in effect, the makeup of Sweden’s non-European student population is shifting. The pressure is now on universities to deliver services worth selling, according to contributor Sven Hultberg Carlsson.

Town gets rid of ‘mademoiselle’
France

Town gets rid of ‘mademoiselle’

A town in the north-west Brittany region has struck a blow for feminist campaigners by banishing the use of the title "mademoiselle", or "miss", from all official forms.

Tattletale keeps records on parking violators
Germany

Tattletale keeps records on parking violators

A retiree in the Lower Saxony region of northern Germany with an obsession for parking regulations has drawn new public ire after it was revealed that he’s kept private records on all 30,000 parking violators he’s issued “tickets” to.

Twice as many people living alone
France

Twice as many people living alone

A study has found that the number of people living alone in France has more than doubled over 45 years.

Road accident turns into bizarre murder
Germany

Road accident turns into bizarre murder

Police investigating the death of a woman in a car accident were surprised when a man appeared later and confessed to killing his wife. He reportedly chased her down in his car and stabbed her.

Ek the ‘most important man in music’: Forbes
Sweden

Ek the ‘most important man in music’: Forbes

Swedish music streaming service Spotify’s ground breaking inventor Daniel Ek has been hailed the most important person in the world of music by American journal Forbes.

Ratings agency: France ‘treated like BBB’ country
France

Ratings agency: France ‘treated like BBB’ country

The chief economist at ratings agency Standard & Poor's has told Le Parisien newspaper that investors are already treating France as if it had a BBB rating.

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Sweden

Judge falls asleep twice during trial

When one of Stockholm's top civil servants was recently acquitted of invoice fraud, one of the lay judges fell asleep twice during the legal proceedings, causing the prosecutor to question the verdict.

Swedish juniors claim hockey gold
Sweden

Swedish juniors claim hockey gold

After a 31-year wait and a gut wrenching game, the Swedish Junior National Hockey team are finally world champions, beating Russia 1-0.

Wolfsburg’s spending spree continues
Germany

Wolfsburg’s spending spree continues

Wolfsburg's busy transfer window continued on Thursday as they announced the signings of Brazilian centre-back Felipe Lopes and Ivorian attacking midfielder Ibrahim Sissoko on contracts running until June 2015.

Cops shoot cat
Germany

Cops shoot cat

Police officers shot dead a cat in the western German city of Wuppertal on Thursday, after it was brought to their police station apparently in pain.

Neo-Nazi radio presenters sentenced
Germany

Neo-Nazi radio presenters sentenced

Eleven employees of a Neo-Nazi internet radio station were handed suspended sentences in the western German town of Koblenz Thursday. A twelfth worker was imprisoned for two years because he carried previous offences.

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France

Parisian boy tortured to death for being a ‘witch’

A 15-year-old boy from Paris was tortured and drowned on Christmas Day by his relatives after they accused him of practising witchcraft, a British court heard on Thursday.

Marine Le Pen: ‘I may not be able to run’
France

Marine Le Pen: ‘I may not be able to run’

The leader of the far right Front National party, Marine Le Pen, has said she may not get enough backers to run in upcoming presidential elections scheduled for April and May.

Sarkozy in tug-of-love over Joan of Arc
France

Sarkozy in tug-of-love over Joan of Arc

President Nicolas Sarkozy and far-right leader Marine Le Pen this week embark on a tug-of-love over the French patron saint Joan of Arc, a surprise player in the upcoming presidential election.