Skype founder: ‘cold winters’ key to Swedish tech success
Sweden

Skype founder: ‘cold winters’ key to Swedish tech success

Swedish entrepreneurs Niklas Zennström, founder of Skype, and Andreas Ehn, founder of Spotify, spoke recently in Stockholm about the secrets to their success and why Sweden "punches above its weight" when it comes to producing tech start-ups.

Mum to son: Smurfs and UFOs are real
Sweden

Mum to son: Smurfs and UFOs are real

A mother from southern Sweden has been reported to health authorities for allegedly holding her son prisoner for years in a fantasy world inhabited by Smurfs and space aliens.

Swede adapts entire Bible for the stage
Sweden

Swede adapts entire Bible for the stage

A play based on the entire Bible will premiere in Sweden this week in what the playwright said Thursday will be the world's first attempt to adapt both the Old and New Testaments to the stage.

Gay controversy MP refuses to back down
France

Gay controversy MP refuses to back down

The right-wing MP who said no homosexuals were deported from France during the second world war has said he is only citing the facts and that he refuses to be excluded from the party.

Neo-Nazi’s cats caught in bills row
Germany

Neo-Nazi’s cats caught in bills row

Two cats previously living with a neo-Nazi terror cell suspected of murdering people across Germany are at the centre of a row over who should pay for their keep.

Birkedal cleared over teen sex charges
Norway

Birkedal cleared over teen sex charges

Trond Birkedal, the 31-year-old former head of the Progress Party’s youth wing, was given a suspended 60-day jail sentence on Thursday for secretly filming naked boys, but was cleared of the most serious charge of having sexual relations with a 15-year-old boy.

Ten Swedish bands that’ll knock your socks off
Sweden

Ten Swedish bands that’ll knock your socks off

Think you know what's hot on the Swedish music scene? While the jurors with the Swedish Grammis music awards had their say earlier this week, contributor Charlotte Webb has compiled a list of the ten best contemporary Swedish musical acts.

Professor won’t teach student with face veil
Norway

Professor won’t teach student with face veil

A professor at the University of Tromsø has made headlines in Norway for refusing to teach a Muslim student who covers her face with a niqab veil.

Electricity dealers put grid on brink of blackout
Germany

Electricity dealers put grid on brink of blackout

Germany’s electricity grid came to the brink of blackout last week – not because of the cold, but because traders illegally manipulated the system. They tapped emergency supplies, saving money but putting the system at risk of collapse.

Sweden seeks new tools to aid file sharing hunt
Sweden

Sweden seeks new tools to aid file sharing hunt

The Swedish government wants police and prosecutors to have more power to crack down on illegal file sharing by making it easier to force internet service providers to reveal the identity of individual computer users.

More than one million jobs vacant in Germany
Germany

More than one million jobs vacant in Germany

More than one million jobs in Germany are unfilled, a survey showed on Thursday, as unemployment in Europe's top economy stands at record lows and employers complain of a skills shortage.

UBS suspends traders amid probe: report
Switzerland

UBS suspends traders amid probe: report

Switzerland's largest bank UBS has suspended several traders in connection with an international inquiry into the suspected manipulation of interbank borrowing rates, a report said on Thursday.

Introducing the ski-free ski holiday
France

Introducing the ski-free ski holiday

Rising with the lark to put in eight hours on the slopes before collapsing in a sweaty heap, ski holidays could often be synonymous with a hard grind -- but not any more.

Teen girl discovers ‘swinging’ parents online
Germany

Teen girl discovers ‘swinging’ parents online

A German judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a couple of swingers after their 15-year-old daughter discovered a video of them in a sex club with their faces undisguised on the website of TV channel RTL.

Shocked flock: Who’s peeing in our font?
Switzerland

Shocked flock: Who’s peeing in our font?

A mystery person has been urinating in the holy water at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Davos.

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Switzerland

Girlfriend and wife to get payout in landmark case

A landmark ruling determined on Wednesday that the unmarried partner of a dead person may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering, even where the deceased was already married to somebody else.

Norway sorry for Tamil Tiger stamps
Norway

Norway sorry for Tamil Tiger stamps

Norway's foreign ministry has issued an official apology to the Sri Lankan authorities after the Norwegian postal service published stamps depicting the founder of the Tamil Tigers, a violent separatist group.

Stranded ‘Phantom’ menaces Swedish coast
Sweden

Stranded ‘Phantom’ menaces Swedish coast

Helicopters dashed to the rescue of the six-man crew of a merchant ship after it began listing heavily in the Baltic Sea, Sweden's coastguard said Thursday.

Mother-killer murders dad and stepmum
Sweden

Mother-killer murders dad and stepmum

The 41-year-old man suspected of killing his father and stepmother in a Stockholm suburb on Wednesday, had previously been convicted of murdering his mother back in 1997.

Greek president attacks Schäuble for ‘taunts’
Germany

Greek president attacks Schäuble for ‘taunts’

Greece's president has attacked German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble for supposedly "taunting" the country's troubled reform efforts as Athens fights to stay in the eurozone and avert default.

What’s on in Germany:  February 16 – 22
Germany

What’s on in Germany: February 16 – 22

This Week's Highlights: Lomography films in Cologne, Woody Guthrie in Berlin, and Carnival events all around the country.

Teenage asylum seeker stabbed to death
Norway

Teenage asylum seeker stabbed to death

A man has been charged over the fatal stabbing on Wednesday evening of a teenage asylum seeker in Sandnes, south-western Norway.

Sweden cuts repo rate further amid ‘uncertainty’
Sweden

Sweden cuts repo rate further amid ‘uncertainty’

The Riksbank cut Sweden's benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to 1.5 percent on Thursday, as slower growth in the euro area took its toll on Sweden's economic prospects.

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Switzerland

Roche issues counterfeit drug warning in US

Counterfeit versions of the cancer-fighting drug Avastin have been discovered in circulation in the United States, public health officials and the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche warned
Wednesday.

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Switzerland

ABB sees profits soar

Swiss engineering giant ABB on Thursday reported a 24 percent rise in net profit for 2011 to $3.2 billion while forecasting a tough start to 2012.

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Switzerland

Swiss to close embassy in Syria

Switzerland on Wednesday said it was closing its embassy in Damascus and urged its nationals to leave Syria "as quickly as possible".

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France

Man lies dead for three years before discovery

The body of a man who died three years ago was not discovered until one of his neighbour's heard a radio playing in his apartment.

Second man sentenced in TV station fraud
Germany

Second man sentenced in TV station fraud

A former Berlin film company executive has received a suspended sentence for his part in stealing millions of euros from the children's television network KiKa.

Nestle prepares for tough 2012
Switzerland

Nestle prepares for tough 2012

The world's biggest food company Nestle on Thursday posted forecast-beating 2011 net profit of 9.5 billion francs ($10.26 billion), but warned that 2012 would be tough.

Prison director jailed for affair with inmate
France

Prison director jailed for affair with inmate

The head of a women's prison in Versailles was sent to jail himself on Wednesday for an affair with one of his inmates.

Investigation begins of Nazi-themed party attended by British MP
France

Investigation begins of Nazi-themed party attended by British MP

French prosecutors said Wednesday they had opened a formal probe into a Nazi-themed party attended by a British Conservative lawmaker that led to him losing his post as a parliamentary aide.

Custody battle over dog between former lovers
France

Custody battle over dog between former lovers

A French man has won custody of a black terrier named Poupette (Dolly) following a legal battle with his ex-girlfriend who asked a court to award her the dog after their break-up.

Penniless artists the happiest of us all
Germany

Penniless artists the happiest of us all

They often toil for long hours for little pay and even less glory, but artists are Germany’s happiest workers, according to a new study from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

Sarkozy launches his re-election bid
France

Sarkozy launches his re-election bid

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday he was the man to defend a "strong France" as he announced his re-election bid with 10 weeks to the vote and his Socialist rival leading in opinion polls.

Female Israeli settler attacks Swedish minister
Sweden

Female Israeli settler attacks Swedish minister

Swedish minister for education Jan Björklund, the leader of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) was attacked by a female Israeli settler, while visiting Hebron on the West Bank on Wednesday.

‘Next Top Model’ house architect faces charges
Germany

‘Next Top Model’ house architect faces charges

A prominent German architect has been charged with involuntary manslaughter of a fireman who died fighting a blaze in a housee meant to play host to Germany’s Next Top Model.

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Sweden

Swedish reporter detained in Syria

A Swedish journalist was arrested in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Wednesday afternoon but was released following an interrogation.

Austrian avalanche kills Swedish skier
Sweden

Austrian avalanche kills Swedish skier

A Swedish tourist was killed Wednesday when an avalanche hit a ski slope in the popular resort of Ischgl, in western Austria, police announced.