Bailiffs chase football legend Lothar Matthäus
Germany

Bailiffs chase football legend Lothar Matthäus

Lothar Matthäus, one of the world’s most successful football players, is being chased by bailiffs who despite employing private detectives to track him down, say they cannot find him.

Malmö dwellers forced to deliver their own mail
Sweden

Malmö dwellers forced to deliver their own mail

As postal workers assigned to the Malmö district of Seved feel too threatened to carry out their duties, the residents themselves will now have to deliver their own post.

Work ciggie break ban idea hits opposition
Germany

Work ciggie break ban idea hits opposition

Calls for cigarette breaks at work to be banned in Germany have raised the hackles of workers - and led one MP to say it was a “step towards a non-smoking dictatorship”.

Central bank expects healthy profit for 2011
Switzerland

Central bank expects healthy profit for 2011

Switzerland's central bank said on Friday that it expects to post a significant profit for 2011 after taking advantage of rising gold prices and positive foreign currency trades.

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France

Man asked for coffee – airline gave him drain cleaner

A French court on Friday ordered Air France to pay €146,000 ($186,000) to compensate a passenger who said he was served poisoned coffee on a domestic flight in 2006.

Norwegian film Troll Hunter tops UK charts
Norway

Norwegian film Troll Hunter tops UK charts

The Troll Hunter, a critically acclaimed horror mockumentary, has become the first ever Norwegian film to top the British DVD and Blu-ray retail sales charts.

Germans work six weeks a year longer than French
Germany

Germans work six weeks a year longer than French

Germans work six weeks longer each year than their French counterparts – but the European champions for staying out of the office are the Finns, new data shows.

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France

France loses AAA-rating: source

Standard & Poor's has decided to downgrade France's top-notch credit rating but will spare Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, an EU government source told AFP on Friday.

 

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France

French debt downgrade ‘imminent’ – rumours

Standard and Poor's Corp declined comment Friday on rumours on the markets that it was about to downgrade several eurozone credit ratings, as stocks and the euro turned lower after earlier gains.

150-year-old love letter found in Swedish field
Sweden

150-year-old love letter found in Swedish field

A woman from Stockholm who recently picked up some soiled pages in a country field in western Sweden could hardly believe her eyes when she realized she was holding a love letter written in July 1862.

Thousands of US soldiers to leave Germany
Germany

Thousands of US soldiers to leave Germany

The US military will withdraw thousands of soldiers from Germany as the American military takes half of its troops out of Europe as part of a forces redeployment to focus more on the Middle East and Asia.

Swedbank in massive Latvia write down
Sweden

Swedbank in massive Latvia write down

Nordic banking giant Swedbank said Friday it was writing off nearly two billion kronor on its operations in Latvia, which has emerged from the world's deepest recession.

Destinations in Sweden overlooked by the New York Times
Sweden

Destinations in Sweden overlooked by the New York Times

The New York Times recently ranked the province of Dalarna in central Sweden as one of “45 places to go” in 2012. But the home of the famous wooden horse isn't the only place in Sweden worth seeing this year.

Friday the 13th ‘not unlucky’: Swedish study
Sweden

Friday the 13th ‘not unlucky’: Swedish study

Despite Friday the 13th having a reputation as an ill-fated day, fresh figures from Swedish insurance company Trygg-Hansa have shown that there is nothing particularly unlucky about it at all.

Novartis cuts 2,000 US jobs after patent loss
Switzerland

Novartis cuts 2,000 US jobs after patent loss

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has again drastically reduced its workforce in the United States to deal with the expiry of an important patent and its failure to get traction on other drugs,
the firm said on Friday.

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Switzerland

Dad killed daughter in brutal axe murder

A Swiss prosecutor has described as a "veritable slaughter" the vicious axe murder of a 16-year-old girl by her 53-year-old Pakistani father, who believed his daughter had tarnished her family's honour.

New find reveals Swedes’ role in Ottoman sex-slave trade
Sweden

New find reveals Swedes’ role in Ottoman sex-slave trade

The recent uncovering of centuries-old documents has revealed that Swedish ships were used in the Mediterranean slave trade. Up to three quarters of the cargo was women who researchers have suggested were sold as sex slaves.

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France

‘Come and copy our films’ – French libraries

French librarians are calling on readers to copy borrowed books and DVDs to fight the clampdown on the illegal downloading. They say the French law allows people to copy works available in public libraries.

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France

Carla tells Sarkozy “I’ll be there”

First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy says she is ready to hit the campaign trail for her husband President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Breivik to get new psychiatric evaluation
Norway

Breivik to get new psychiatric evaluation

An Oslo court on Friday ordered a new psychiatric evaluation of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in July, after an earlier and widely contested test found him criminally insane.

Fancy beer bottles brew up problems
Germany

Fancy beer bottles brew up problems

Big German breweries are making fancy beer bottles in a drive to catch consumers’ eyes and boost flagging beer consumption - but small beer-makers say trend could drive them out of business.

Canine name trend leaves Bello in dog house
Germany

Canine name trend leaves Bello in dog house

Today’s dog owners are well travelled, creative linguists who enjoy a drink - or so they’d like their pet’s name to suggest, as traditional canine names such as Bello are replaced by more individual choices, a new study says.

Stinky rubber boot fire puts 50 in hospital
Germany

Stinky rubber boot fire puts 50 in hospital

Dozens of people had to go to hospital after a pile of rubber boots caught on fire and gave off noxious fumes in a warehouse in northern Germany.

Switzerland knocks Norway off Big Mac perch
Norway

Switzerland knocks Norway off Big Mac perch

A burgeoning Swiss franc has helped the Alpine nation dislodge Norway from the top of The Economist's Big Mac index, a study comparing the price of McDonald’s most famous burger with the cost of living in 100 countries.

‘Spank her arse’ coaching tactics spark outrage
Sweden

‘Spank her arse’ coaching tactics spark outrage

An athletic club in southern Sweden has come under fire for a coach's use of sexually suggestive materials known as "Hot babes of the defence" to aid the training of a team of 14-year-old boys.

Swiss top Big Mac index with ‘meaty’ franc
Switzerland

Swiss top Big Mac index with ‘meaty’ franc

Switzerland has the world’s most overvalued currency, according to The Economist's 'Big Mac Index', a study comparing the price of McDonald’s most famous burger with the cost of living in 100 countries.

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Norway

Illegal immigrant denied abortion in Oslo

Oslo University Hospital has received a rap on the knuckles from a health service watchdog after it demanded advance payment from an undocumented migrant from West Africa who wanted an abortion.

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France

Hollande falls for radio prankster

Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande was invited to take part in a TV show with a French star presenter. Hollande at first accepts the offer. Then he hears the details.

Kids’ eyes glued shut by Swedish docs
Sweden

Kids’ eyes glued shut by Swedish docs

Two small children who sought treatment for facial injuries at two different Swedish hospitals ended up having their eyes glued shut by mistake, with one toddler requiring emergency surgery to correct the error.

Immigrants stop 8-year population decline
Germany

Immigrants stop 8-year population decline

A large number of new immigrants pushed up Germany's population in 2011 for the first time in eight years, the national statistics office, Destasis, said on Friday.

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Switzerland

Becker ordered to pay up in wedding fee dispute

A Swiss court has ruled that German tennis legend Boris Becker must pay the minister who presided over his nuptials 3,400 francs ($3,600) in a long-running dispute over the wedding fee.

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Norway

Breivik to undergo new psychiatric test: report

A Norwegian court will on Friday order a new psychiatric evaluation of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people last July, after an earlier test found him criminally insane, a news report said.

Nervous student caught with 56 cheat notes
Sweden

Nervous student caught with 56 cheat notes

A student in the north of Sweden was recently discovered to have been hiding a large number of cheat notes about his person when sitting for an exam at Umeå University.

Bildt: euro stability lessened crisis impact
Sweden

Bildt: euro stability lessened crisis impact

The impact of the global financial crisis would have been worse on the EU the euro had not provided the necessary monetary stability, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said on Thursday.

Violent fight sends two women to hospital
Sweden

Violent fight sends two women to hospital

Two young women were taken to hospital and two were detained by police after a violent fight erupted in Örebro, in central Sweden, on Wednesday.

Judges call for rethink on court security
Germany

Judges call for rethink on court security

German judges have called for a complete rethink of security after a prosecutor was shot dead by a man in court who seemingly had no problem taking a pistol into the court.

Wedding bills served up to Boris Becker
Germany

Wedding bills served up to Boris Becker

German tennis legend Boris Becker has been told by a court he must pay the minister who presided over his wedding 3,400 Swiss francs (€2,800) in a long-running dispute over the wedding fee.

Environmentalists urge better forest care
Germany

Environmentalists urge better forest care

In order to protect Germany's fragile forests, planners need to make their ecosystems more diverse, according to environmental groups who say the country hasn't learned enough from a devastating 2007 storm.