Former Swedish minister named to top UN post
Sweden

Former Swedish minister named to top UN post

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Friday named former Swedish foreign minister Jan Eliasson as his new deputy in charge of the global body.

Suspects planned to ‘kill as many as possible’
Sweden

Suspects planned to ‘kill as many as possible’

Four men from Sweden were formally charged in Denmark on Friday for planning a suspected terrorist attack against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen in December 2010.

‘An Amazing Race for the Clinically Insane’
Norway

‘An Amazing Race for the Clinically Insane’

Hanging from the side of a less-than-100%-reliable three-wheeler may not be the most comfortable way to see India, but it’s surely one of the most exhilarating.

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Sweden

Petter Northug (a cappella)

English-language lyrics for Swedish group DEO's song of praise to a Norwegian ski legend.

Prosecution may accept Breivik insanity ruling
Norway

Prosecution may accept Breivik insanity ruling

A Norwegian prosecutor said on Friday he was conditionally ready to accept that the gunman who killed 77 people in twin attacks last July was not criminally responsible for his actions.

‘He’s as handsome as a Greek Adonis’
Sweden

‘He’s as handsome as a Greek Adonis’

A constant thorn in the side of Sweden’s skiers, Northug has earned a reputation for showboating arrogance twinned with dazzling virtuosity on the ski track.

‘He’s as handsome as a Greek Adonis’
Norway

‘He’s as handsome as a Greek Adonis’

A Swedish singing quartet is wowing Scandinavia with a tongue-in-cheek a cappella ditty extolling the sundry manly virtues of Norwegian cross-country skiing giant Petter Northug.

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Norway

Petter Northug (a cappella)

English-language lyrics for Swedish group DEO's song of praise to a Norwegian ski legend.

Fleeing thief runs into police station
Sweden

Fleeing thief runs into police station

Runaway robbers, terrible drivers, and parking places for horses - it’s time to reflect upon these little stories and more in this week's edition of The Local's News in Brief.

Unions call nationwide strikes on Monday
Germany

Unions call nationwide strikes on Monday

Germany is bracing for a series of public worker strikes Monday, following repeated walk-outs the Frankfurt airport and Berlin’s Tegel airport.

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Norway

Norway firm to help Lithuania break free of Russian gas reliance

Norwegian company Höegh LNG on Friday signed a deal with Lithuania to build a liquefied natural gas terminal as the Baltic state strives to cut its politically-charged dependence on Russian supplies.

Swedish firms rush to cash in on ‘Estelle’
Sweden

Swedish firms rush to cash in on ‘Estelle’

Companies around Sweden have taken the opportunity to make a quick buck by using Princess Estelle’s name in their trademark applications.

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Switzerland

Swiss justice slammed as ‘serial rapist’ strikes again

The Swiss justice system is facing accusations of laxity after revelations about a Bern machinist arrested for sexual assaulting a woman despite previous convictions for more than 20 similar offences.

Another side of Malmö’s infamous Rosengård
Sweden

Another side of Malmö’s infamous Rosengård

While Malmö's Rosengård neighbourhood is often the subject of negative headlines, the multi-ethnic district is slowly becoming a model for positive change in Sweden's third largest city, contributor Patrick Reilly discovers.

US soldiers ‘ripped off’ by airport phones
Germany

US soldiers ‘ripped off’ by airport phones

Complaints are mounting against a company operating payphones for US military personnel in German airports, after it saddled soldiers ringing home with sky-high bills.

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France

Baby killed in Parisian cement mixer accident

A baby girl has died in Paris after being hit by a cement mixer which was reversing through a red light.

Pristine fishing area split on prospect of oil
Norway

Pristine fishing area split on prospect of oil

Looking for oil outside your front door may sound exciting, but in the idyllic Arctic archipelago of Lofoten, one of Norway's best fishing areas, the prospect of the black gold has sparked heated debate, writes AFP's Nina Larson.

‘I’m going to kill a child at a daycare’
Sweden

‘I’m going to kill a child at a daycare’

A 23-year-old man who was planning a murder at a pre-school in Lund in southern Sweden has been arrested after revealing his intentions on an internet forum.

‘Budget’ rail company takes on Deutsche Bahn
Germany

‘Budget’ rail company takes on Deutsche Bahn

Touting its new high-speed, low cost trains, a private company is ready to take on the Deutsche Bahn on the busy Cologne-Berlin route and should be hitting the tracks in early autumn, it was announced this week.

Why Sweden has had a good crisis
Sweden

Why Sweden has had a good crisis

Stockholm University professor Lars Calmfors explains why Sweden has so far escaped relatively unscathed from the financial crisis.

Frenchman sues Google after urinating on camera
France

Frenchman sues Google after urinating on camera

A French man is suing Google after a ‘Street View’ photograph showing the man urinating in his own garden has made him the ridicule of the town.

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Sweden

Teen kills man, 84, over ‘sex blackmail’ plot

An 84-year-old man was stabbed to death in northern Sweden by a 19-year-old man who is claiming the older man was blackmailing him for sex.

Exodus deprives state of voting district
Germany

Exodus deprives state of voting district

In yet another sign that people are leaving the economically troubled northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Bundestag decided Friday to reduce its number of electoral constituencies.

New investors eye Servette rescue
Switzerland

New investors eye Servette rescue

For the second time since 2005, the Geneva football club Servette is on the brink of collapse.

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France

Pet dog leads French murderer to police

A missing man has been arrested for strangling and dismembering his girlfriend, after his dog inadvertently helped police to track him down.

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Switzerland

Swatch predicts strong growth in 2012

The world's biggest watch group Swatch on Thursday forecast 2012 sales growth of between five and ten percent.

Costa captain ’caused 2010 German accident’
Germany

Costa captain ’caused 2010 German accident’

The captain of ill-fated Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia had crashed a luxury liner before while sailing too fast into a German port, according to leaks from an investigation published on Friday.

Booming Adecco slashes French jobs
Switzerland

Booming Adecco slashes French jobs

The Swiss-based temporary employment and placement group, Adecco, which posted a strong profit rise last year, said on Thursday it would cut 530 jobs in France.

Booming Adecco slashes French jobs
France

Booming Adecco slashes French jobs

The Swiss-based temporary employment and placement group, Adecco, which posted a strong profit rise last year, said on Thursday it would cut 530 jobs in France.

Bank gives €200 million to man by mistake
Germany

Bank gives €200 million to man by mistake

A west-German man became an overnight multi-millionaire recently when his bank transferred €200 million to his account. Half a day later they demanded it back – with interest.

Landlord bans couple for doing ‘too much’ laundry
Sweden

Landlord bans couple for doing ‘too much’ laundry

A Swedish couple has been barred from using the laundry room in their apartment building after neighbours complained that they were using the communal facilities too often.

Fireball strikes land in southern Norway
Norway

Fireball strikes land in southern Norway

Unsuspecting witnesses looked on agog on Thursday evening as a flaming ball of fire lit up the night sky before making landfall in southern Norway.

At least four dead in light aircraft crash
Germany

At least four dead in light aircraft crash

At least four people were killed when a light aircraft burst into flames and crashed in a forest in western Germany on Thursday evening. The cause remains unclear, police said.

French journalists evacuated to Beirut
France

French journalists evacuated to Beirut

Two French journalists, trapped for days under bombardment in the Syrian city of Homs, were being kept under observation by doctors in neighbouring Lebanon on Friday after being brought out to safety, a diplomatic source has told AFP.

Ground workers strike at Berlin’s Tegel airport
Germany

Ground workers strike at Berlin’s Tegel airport

Ground workers at Berlin's Tegel airport walked off the job on Friday morning, in a strike over pay.

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France

Sarkozy egged by Basque separatists

French President Nicolas Sarkozy took refuge in a bar Thursday after hundreds of Basque separatists and opposition Socialist party supporters mobbed him and some shouted insults and threw eggs.

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France

Bomb scare forces Air France plane to land

An Air France flight to Israel was re-routed to Basel-Mulhouse airport on the Swiss border after fears that a bomb could be on the plane, the airline said Thursday.

‘Spank her arse’ coach returns to train teens
Sweden

‘Spank her arse’ coach returns to train teens

The floorball coach who was suspended after having used sexually suggestive materials known as "hot babes on defence" to train a team of 14-year-old boys has been allowed to return to duty after two months away.

Swedish cinema charges baby for viewing film
Sweden

Swedish cinema charges baby for viewing film

A woman from northern Sweden was shocked to find out she would have to pay for a ticket for her 6-week-old son on a recent visit to the cinema.

Euro law ‘threatens’ volunteer fire fighters
Germany

Euro law ‘threatens’ volunteer fire fighters

Germany’s small towns and rural areas could be left at risk of fire by a European law which could stop more than a million volunteer fire fighters training enough to keep people safe.

Flu strikes 100,000 Swedes in one week
Sweden

Flu strikes 100,000 Swedes in one week

Many Swedes are still suffering from influenza, as the number of reported cases set another record high this week compared to the previous.

Tiny chameleon could be big for conservation
Germany

Tiny chameleon could be big for conservation

News that German scientists discovered the world’s smallest chameleon recently captured the imagination of animal lovers around the world. But one of the researchers told The Local the find was a wakeup call.