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France

French TV reporter killed in Syria

Paris demanded an investigation on Wednesday after French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in the Syrian city of Homs, a centre of opposition to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

‘Bondage Fairies’ launch global USB treasure hunt
Germany

‘Bondage Fairies’ launch global USB treasure hunt

An enterprising band launched a technological treasure hunt this week, challenging fans to find their new song, pieces of which are on computer memory sticks hidden in public places around the world.

Sweden’s teachers free to ban Islamic veils
Sweden

Sweden’s teachers free to ban Islamic veils

Teachers in Swedish schools can, in certain situations, prohibit students from wearing Islamic veils that reveal only their eyes, the country's school's agency has ruled.

Failed asylum seeker stabs woman to death
Norway

Failed asylum seeker stabs woman to death

A 30-year-old man has been charged with the fatal stabbing on Wednesday morning of a 38-year-old Eritrean woman in Kristiansand, southern Norway.

At least 25 Germans have burst boob implants
Germany

At least 25 Germans have burst boob implants

At least 25 German women have suffered ruptures of breast implants made by the discredited French company PIP, according to the regulatory Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).

Rogue rodent keeps US SAS flight grounded
Sweden

Rogue rodent keeps US SAS flight grounded

Once again a small mouse, discovered aboard a flight between New York and Stockholm, has grounded a US-bound Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) flight, forcing 200 passengers to re-book to later departures.

Merkel praises Italian economic reforms
Germany

Merkel praises Italian economic reforms

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said she had "great respect" for the economic reforms implemented by Italy, as the crisis-wracked country battles to bring down its debt.

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Switzerland

13-year-old set to give birth in Swiss village

A 13-year-old girl in a village in Bern canton is expecting to give birth this April to a child fathered by her 14-year-old schoolmate.

Errant drill penetrates Stockholm tunnel
Sweden

Errant drill penetrates Stockholm tunnel

A coach driver travelling through a tunnel in central Stockholm on Wednesday was shocked when a giant iron bar suddenly penetrated his windscreen from the ceiling above.

Lufthansa positive on biofuel but delays use
Germany

Lufthansa positive on biofuel but delays use

German airline Lufthansa said on Wednesday it would not start using biofuel despite positive results from a six-month testing period on flights between two German cities.

Pressure on Wulff now from own party
Germany

Pressure on Wulff now from own party

Embattled President Christian Wulff’s woes are continuing, with party colleagues piling on the pressure about his lack of transparency and open discussions being held about who could replace him.

Swiss may say no to European workers
Switzerland

Swiss may say no to European workers

The Swiss government is considering limiting the number of work permits available for nationals in EU member states if the economic crisis persists.

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Sweden

Iraqis in look-alike Swedish passport scam

Two men, aged 38 and 30, have been arrested in Malmö on suspicions of smuggling Iraqi citizens into Sweden using other people's Swedish passports.

Hundreds gather for slain Malmö teen’s funeral
Sweden

Hundreds gather for slain Malmö teen’s funeral

Hundreds of Malmö residents turned out on Wednesday to follow the casket of 15-year-old Ardiwan Samir, who died after being shot on New Year's Eve, in a march arranged by the boy's family as a protest against violence.

Teacher in probe for ‘making bombs with kids’
Germany

Teacher in probe for ‘making bombs with kids’

A German teacher built pipe-bombs with his pupils, setting them off in front of the children who were not given ear or eye protection, according to allegations being investigated by public prosecutors.

Ex-Miss Denmark sues Norwegian town over fall
Norway

Ex-Miss Denmark sues Norwegian town over fall

Former Miss Denmark Line Kruuse Nielsen has sued the south-eastern town of Sandefjord after a fall on the ice ended her modelling career and left her with lasting injuries.

Police consult psychic to find missing 82-year-old
Sweden

Police consult psychic to find missing 82-year-old

When the search for a missing 82-year-old in central Sweden proved unsuccessful, police resorted to desperate measures and consulted a clairvoyant.

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Sweden

Gang charged for beating teen rape suspect

A gang of teenage boys have been charged for ambushing and assaulting a 17-year-old boy in a playground north of Stockholm at the behest of a 16-year-old girl who had accused the boy of raping her.

US prof warns of Norway housing bubble
Norway

US prof warns of Norway housing bubble

Norway’s housing market looks increasing like a bubble waiting to burst, according to a highly respected Yale professor.

Museum anger at lingerie display
France

Museum anger at lingerie display

A publicity stunt by a French lingerie company in which three models stripped off and paraded around one of Paris' premier art galleries has not been welcomed by officials.

New entrant promises to shake up mobile market
France

New entrant promises to shake up mobile market

Broadband and telephone provider Free has announced plans to shake up the French mobile market by halving prices with its new service.

Smokers face fines for discarded butts
France

Smokers face fines for discarded butts

Smokers who toss their cigarette butts onto the street could face a fine of €35 ($45) under new plans unveiled by city authorities in Paris.

Swiss Army Knife can save digital lives
Switzerland

Swiss Army Knife can save digital lives

Victorinox has pulled from its technology pocket a version of its vaunted Swiss Army knife equipped with a solid state drive capable of holding all of the digital data in a person's life.

Swedish ad agency behind sex school hoax
Sweden

Swedish ad agency behind sex school hoax

The news about the opening of the Austrian International School of Sex (AISOS), which spread like wild-fire through the international media, was staged by Swedish advertising agency Studio Total.

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France

Fitch reassures France on AAA rating

Ratings agency Fitch provided some relief to the French government on Tuesday when it said the country looked unlikely to be downgraded from its prized triple-A rating in 2012.

Swedish nurses up in arms over doc’s extra pay
Sweden

Swedish nurses up in arms over doc’s extra pay

Nurses at the University Hospital in Linköping, in central Sweden, made to work over the Christmas weekend, were disgruntled to find out that they were given 440 kronor ($64) extra for the trouble, while the doctor on call received an extra 30,000.

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Sweden

Cargo ship runs aground off Swedish coast

A cargo ship ran aground in the Kalmar strait, between the Baltic island of Öland and the mainland, and police suspect the captain and the chief officer of being drunk on duty.

Spielberg shares storytelling secrets
France

Spielberg shares storytelling secrets

Steven Spielberg caught the filmmaking bug as a 12-year-old boy, and half a century on still goes "crazy" when he doesn't have a story to tell, he admitted to fans packing a masterclass in Paris on Monday night.

Football hooligans ‘getting more violent’
Germany

Football hooligans ‘getting more violent’

Violence at football matches in Germany’s top leagues has reached record highs, leaving police struggling to control it, the Interior Ministry said this week.

Record number of illegal immigrants expelled
France

Record number of illegal immigrants expelled

French Interior Minister Claude Guéant boasted on Tuesday that the country expelled a record number of illegal immigrants last year and vowed to significantly reduce legal immigration.

Rays of light as Merkel seeks eurozone fixes
Germany

Rays of light as Merkel seeks eurozone fixes

Ratings agency Fitch offered a ray of light for the eurozone Tuesday as German Chancellor Angela Merkel met IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Greece's struggle to cut its debt, amid tentative signs of progress.

Cologne is country’s stalker capital
Germany

Cologne is country’s stalker capital

Those who could not sleep after watching "Fatal Attraction" might want to avoid Cologne, where there are more reports of stalking than any other major German city, according to an analysis of police crime data.