Frenchwomen ditch G-string for comfy pants
France

Frenchwomen ditch G-string for comfy pants

Men may find it the ultimate turn-on, but the G-string is on its way out in France, a study showed on Thursday. But unlike Bridget Jones, Frenchwomen are insisting on sexy replacements.

Stoltenberg surges as stablemates stumble
Norway

Stoltenberg surges as stablemates stumble

Norway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, remains far more popular than his main rivals, but underperforming coalition partners could cost him his post, a new poll has shown.

Frederick the Great’s 300th birthday nears
Germany

Frederick the Great’s 300th birthday nears

Warrior, patron of the arts and all-powerful King of Prussia, Frederick the Great captured Germany’s imagination after ascending to the throne in 1740. As his 300th birthday on January 24 approaches, the country is preparing to celebrate.

Wulff silent as calls to resign multiply
Germany

Wulff silent as calls to resign multiply

President Christian Wulff hosted what was reportedly a tense New Year’s reception on Thursday, as the first open calls for his resignation came from members of parliament in his own political party.

‘Fake’ hotel in Swedish resort advertised online
Sweden

‘Fake’ hotel in Swedish resort advertised online

A hotel in the popular Swedish ski resort Åre advertised through a website, on travel blogs as well as being featured on a tourist website of the area, turned out to be fake when a local paper revealed that there has never been a hotel in that location.

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France

Aga Khan appeals wife’s bumper divorce payout

Racehorse billionaire and Islamic spiritual leader the Aga Khan is contesting a divorce settlement that awarded his ex-wife a record €60 million ($77 million), a French judicial source said on Thursday.

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France

Parents ‘can name baby after TV vampire’: court

 

A court in France on Thursday rejected a prosecutors' request for a couple to be barred from naming their son Daemon after a character in television series "The Vampire Diaries".

 

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Sweden

Swedes arrested in major European drug bust

Policing agency Europol said Thursday it has busted a major synthetic drugs-making network and arrested nine suspects in four countries, while recovering drugs, equipment, guns and explosives.

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Switzerland

Swiss bankers call for better market access

Switzerland's private bankers, concerned about a rise in protectionism and tighter regulations, called on Thursday for better access to the international financial markets.

Malmö takes a stand against growing violence
Sweden

Malmö takes a stand against growing violence

The arresting image of the grieving father of 15-year-old Ardiwan Diaa Samir, attempting to climb down into his dead son's grave at the funeral on Wednesday, was a sombre reminder of the consequences of the escalating violence in southern Sweden.

Swedish hip-hop star slams Norwegian artist over ‘racist’ pic
Norway

Swedish hip-hop star slams Norwegian artist over ‘racist’ pic

Swedish hip-hop star Timbuktu labelled as "ignorant" and "offensive" a cartoon by Norwegian artist Frode Øverli that prompted a barrage of complaints from newspaper readers who perceived the cartoon to be racist.

Swedish Bondage Fairies launch high-tech global treasure hunt
Sweden

Swedish Bondage Fairies launch high-tech global treasure hunt

An underground Swedish band with a suggestive name has launched a technological treasure hunt through which fans can discover their new song by finding computer memory sticks hidden in public places around the world.

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Sweden

Sweden keeps sex-change sterilization law

A move to scrap Swedish laws requiring compulsory sterilization for people undergoing gender reassignment surgery has been put on ice following opposition from the Christian Democrats.

‘We need a real leader – like Willy Brandt’
Germany

‘We need a real leader – like Willy Brandt’

As politicians pile pressure on embattled President Wulff, The Local hit the streets to see what normal Berliners have to say about their head of state, for the latest edition in the Zeitgeist series.

Swiss president wants ‘clean’ finances
Switzerland

Swiss president wants ‘clean’ finances

Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Thursday she wanted to restore credibility to the country's financial system after a scandal involving the central bank head rocked the country.

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Switzerland

Swiss Migration Office ‘broke asylum law’

An independent report has established that the Federal Migration Office (FMO) violated Swiss law when it ignored the applications of up to 10,000 Iraqis who sought asylum at the Swiss embassies in Syria and Egypt.

Union: Allianz forced protest cancellation
Germany

Union: Allianz forced protest cancellation

Germany’s biggest trade union has accused insurance giant Allianz of making a multi-million euro payment to help laid-off workers conditional on the union calling off a protest rally.

Court acquits teacher who seduced teen
Germany

Court acquits teacher who seduced teen

A teacher who seduced a 14-year-old schoolgirl and had sex with her at least 22 times has escaped punishment after a German court ruled that as he did not teach her class, he had not abused his position.

Ex Swiss bank chief ‘to get 12 months pay’
Switzerland

Ex Swiss bank chief ‘to get 12 months pay’

Former Swiss central bank chief Philipp Hildebrand will receive a full 12 months salary after quitting in a scandal over foreign exchange trades by his wife, media reported on Thursday.

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France

More child cancer close to nuclear plants – study

An "excess number of cases" of childhood leukaemia around 19 French nuclear plants occurred between 2003 and 2007, a researcher said Wednesday.

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France

Court rejects Renault heirs’ claim on company

A court on Wednesday rejected a bid by heirs of the founder of French auto giant Renault for the return of the firm seized and nationalized in 1945 when their grandfather was branded a Nazi collaborator.

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France

Man dies of heart attack during police check

A man suffering from a heart defect has died during a police check in a council estate of Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris. Tensions are high in the Paris suburb where four youths were arrested after setting bins on fire.

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France

French watchdog ‘targeted left-wing police’

The French police watchdog is being investigated for rigging an investigation into an alleged trafficking ring within the police to discredit policemen close to the Socialist Party.

Rival implant makers offer boob job discounts
France

Rival implant makers offer boob job discounts

Two French manufacturers of breast implants are offering discounts to women who have received faulty implants from scandal-hit rival PIP.

Swedish hip-hop star slams ‘racist’ cartoon
Sweden

Swedish hip-hop star slams ‘racist’ cartoon

When Swedish newspaper Metro on Tuesday published a comic strip by Norwegian artist Frode Øverli, the paper received a barrage of complaints from readers who perceived the cartoon as racist.

Hildebrand’s wife says sorry to Swiss people
Switzerland

Hildebrand’s wife says sorry to Swiss people

Kashya Hildebrand, the wife of Switzerland's former central back chief, has apologised to her husband and the Swiss people for the massive currency transaction that led to her husband's resignation amid accusations of insider trading.

Stowaway mouse flies to Oslo solo
Norway

Stowaway mouse flies to Oslo solo

An elusive little rodent was the only passenger on board a flight from Stockholm to Oslo on Wednesday evening as Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) sought Norwegian mousetrap expertise to snare the ticketless traveller.

Festivalgoers’ pee pollutes Swedish river
Sweden

Festivalgoers’ pee pollutes Swedish river

The annual reggae festival in Uppsala, north of Stockholm, may have more serious consequences for the local community than a handful of stoned teens and a bad case of littering.

One woman tackles neo-Nazi graffiti
Germany

One woman tackles neo-Nazi graffiti

While the recently-discovered Neo-Nazi murders dominated the German media for weeks, the drip, drip, drip of xenophobic graffiti rarely gets much attention. AFP’s Deborah Cole meets a woman tackling it personally.

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Norway

Norwegian and Swede die in helicopter crash

The two men killed a helicopter accident near the northern town of Mosjøen on Wednesday were a Swedish pilot in his forties and a Norwegian guide in his sixties, police have said.

Police officer charged with raping colleague
Sweden

Police officer charged with raping colleague

A 26-year-old police officer from western Sweden has been charged with raping a colleague at a party in a Gothenburg apartment last summer.

What’s on in Germany: January 12 – 18
Germany

What’s on in Germany: January 12 – 18

This Week's Highlights: Greek gods in Cologne, short films from Britain in Berlin and gallery openings in Leipzig.

Man who shot prosecutor only faced mild sentence
Germany

Man who shot prosecutor only faced mild sentence

The businessman who shot dead a prosecutor in court in Bavaria, would have walked out a free man had he not fired a gun at the judge and then turned on the prosecutor.

Breastfeeding mum in Swedish car wreck
Sweden

Breastfeeding mum in Swedish car wreck

A woman who was breastfeeding her weeks-old infant while behind the wheel is under criminal suspicion after crashing into a truck on a motorway in western Sweden.

Banks test touch-free payment cards
Germany

Banks test touch-free payment cards

Germany’s Sparkasse group of banks is testing a new touch-free payment system that promises to revolutionise the way regular people do their everyday shopping.

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Switzerland

Lenders extend lifeline to cash-strapped Petroplus

Embattled Swiss-based Petroplus said Wednesday that lenders had agreed to temporarily provide vital cash flows to keep two of its oil refineries running in Britain and Germany.

Swedish teen girls ‘increasingly violent’
Sweden

Swedish teen girls ‘increasingly violent’

The number of Swedish teen girls accused of committing violent assaults has more than doubled in the last decade, new figures show, while the number of girls who are victims has also increased.

Doctors: law must cover breast implants
Germany

Doctors: law must cover breast implants

Germany’s doctors are calling for tighter laws on medical products after it was revealed that at least 25 women in the country had burst breast implants – and an unknown number will have to have theirs removed.

Internet users ‘should check for blackout virus’
Germany

Internet users ‘should check for blackout virus’

The German government says all internet users should check their computers for a virus which could stop them going online from March 8.

Dutch court orders ISPs to block Pirate Bay
Sweden

Dutch court orders ISPs to block Pirate Bay

A Dutch court Wednesday ordered two local internet providers to block their clients from accessing Swedish file sharing site The Pirate Bay, citing copyright concerns.