Germans refuse to discuss Syria mission
Germany

Germans refuse to discuss Syria mission

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle ruled out even talking about German military involvement in Syria on Friday, saying it would be “counterproductive,” during a meeting of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Vibrating package baffles Swedish postal workers
Sweden

Vibrating package baffles Swedish postal workers

Another thrilling week in Swedish media, but did you hear the one about the Swedish chef, the biting thief, and the vibrating package that closed down a post office? If not, The Local's News in Brief has all the answers.

Greece gets billions after debts written down
Germany

Greece gets billions after debts written down

Eurozone finance ministers unblocked €35.5 billion ($46.8 billion) in bailout funds relating to the partial write-down of Greek debt on Friday, while the rest will follow next week, Germany's finance minister said.

Cashier-free grocery store opens in Malmö
Sweden

Cashier-free grocery store opens in Malmö

Sweden's first grocery store without cashiers has opened. At Green Matmarknad in Malmö, all customers pay for their weekly shop though automatic self-checkout systems.

Tech fair offers dazzling glimpses of the future
Germany

Tech fair offers dazzling glimpses of the future

Pole-dancing robots, eye-controlled video games, and ... er ... waterproof tablet computers demonstrated personally by Angela Merkel were some of the many innovations at the CeBIT 2012 tech fair this week. Check out our special picture gallery!

‘Swedish is the world’s richest language’: Swede
Sweden

‘Swedish is the world’s richest language’: Swede

A Swede, a Russian, and your resident Aussie walked into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, I know, but the Swede wasn’t joking and the Russian wasn’t laughing.

Swedish men sleep more and stress less: study
Sweden

Swedish men sleep more and stress less: study

Women sleep worse than men and often wake up several times nightly, a new study from Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University shows.

Reinfeldt approved Saudi arms factory: report
Sweden

Reinfeldt approved Saudi arms factory: report

Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt approved plans to build an arms factory in Saudi Arabia, revealed Sveriges Radio (SR) on Friday.

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Sweden

Eight men charged over brutal gang rape

Eight men who were detained on gang rape allegations in December have been charged on Friday for the brutal rape of a woman in a Migration board (Migrationsverket) flat last year.

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Sweden

Sweden’s industrial output soars: report

Sweden's industrial output rose by 3.6 percent in January from the December level, pulled by the pharmaceutical and textile industries, Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB) said on Friday, also revising its 2011 numbers due to a calculation error.

Ashton in far north to reach EU policy on Arctic
Norway

Ashton in far north to reach EU policy on Arctic

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visited a Norwegian archipelago near the North Pole on Thursday to lay the groundwork for a common EU policy on the resource-rich Arctic.

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Switzerland

UN expert slams Geneva demo ban plan

A UN independent expert on Friday slammed a proposal to tighten laws on demonstrations in the Swiss city of Geneva, saying that it would "unduly restrict" the rights to free expression.

Do topless photos belong up front in newspapers?
Germany

Do topless photos belong up front in newspapers?

German tabloid Bild said on Friday that topless page-one girls were to be moved off the front page. After decades of dividing opinion, is nudity in the press part of a free media, or objectification in the hunt for sales? Have your say.

Not OK for Swedish police to say ‘Negro’
Sweden

Not OK for Swedish police to say ‘Negro’

A Swedish police officer has received a warning for repeatedly using the term "neger" (Negro) to a female witness while on duty.

Air France starts dogfight with Lufthansa
Germany

Air France starts dogfight with Lufthansa

French-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM is considering teaming up with Air Berlin, a move that would open two new competition fronts against Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa, a newspaper report says.

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France

Guerlain in ‘immigrant rant’ when turned away from Eurostar

Famed perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain has been accused of making racist comments and calling France a 'shit country' after being refused entry to the Eurostar, only weeks after he appeared in court on racism charges.

Zurich ready to vote on drive-in prostitution
Switzerland

Zurich ready to vote on drive-in prostitution

Residents of the Swiss city of Zurich will vote Sunday on whether to build dedicated garages where prostitutes can ply their trade, in a proposal aimed at moving streetwalkers away from residential zones.

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France

Electrician faces sack for not cutting off the poor

French energy company ErDF is considering firing a technician because he refused to cut the power in poor households.

Chimp police break up fights: Swiss study
Switzerland

Chimp police break up fights: Swiss study

Researchers at Walter Zoo in Gossau have found that chimpanzees will mediate disputes amongst peers in an effort to keep harmony in the group.

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France

‘Madness made me cut off love rival’s penis’

A Frenchman says he cut his girlfriend’s lover’s penis off and flushed it down the toilet because he was "driven by madness".

<i>Bild</i> newspaper banishes boobs to inside page
Germany

Bild newspaper banishes boobs to inside page

Germany’s daily dose of naked flesh - the Bild newspaper’s Page 1 girl - has been moved inside the paper, following years of complaints from women that front-page breasts were inappropriate.

Court: Hotels can ban neo-Nazis
Germany

Court: Hotels can ban neo-Nazis

Hotels who want to ban extremist guests can do so – but only if their booking has not been confirmed, the German Supreme Court (BGH) said on Friday.

Norway mulls bridge fencing to tackle suicide
Norway

Norway mulls bridge fencing to tackle suicide

Norway's roads authority is considering spending several hundred million kroner on fencing for many of the country's bridges in a bid to cut suicide, while researchers warn that jumpers may simply choose another bridge.

Minister knew of Saudi arms factory: report
Sweden

Minister knew of Saudi arms factory: report

Defense Minister Sten Tolgfors admitted on Friday that he was informed two years ago about plans to build an arms factory in Saudi Arabia, despite denying these claims throughout the week.

Dramatic drop in Swiss snowfall: study
Switzerland

Dramatic drop in Swiss snowfall: study

Researchers will publish a report on Monday confirming that snowfall in Switzerland has decreased in the past 30 years by up to 60 percent.

Spaniards, Greeks, cut off from German benefits
Germany

Spaniards, Greeks, cut off from German benefits

People from Mediterranean states have been cut off from basic German state benefits, in a move seen as an attempt to prevent immigration from struggling EU economies.

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Norway

German shop axes ‘Brevik’ after protests

A shop selling clothes favoured by neo-Nazis has changed its name from “Brevik” after massive protests in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, forced a u-turn just a week after it opened.

Use LSD to combat alcoholism: experts
Norway

Use LSD to combat alcoholism: experts

A team of Norwegian researchers has established that the psychedelic drug LSD is an effective medicine for the treatment of alcoholism, arguing that it should be used more widely.

Swiss central bank posts bumper profit
Switzerland

Swiss central bank posts bumper profit

The Swiss central bank posted on Thursday full year profits of 13.5 billion francs ($17.8 billion), with both its foreign currency stocks and gold reserves contributing to the result.

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Switzerland

Swiss trader DKSH to list on March 21st

Swiss trading group DKSH said on Thursday that it would float about a third of its shares on March 21st, in a move expected to value the company at up to 3.0 billion francs ($3.3 billion).

French police question Breivik’s father
Norway

French police question Breivik’s father

The father of right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik has spent 13 hours being questioned by French and Norwegian police near his home in southern France.

Pakistan court squeezes PM on Swiss cases
Switzerland

Pakistan court squeezes PM on Swiss cases

Pakistan's top court on Thursday told the prime minister to ask Switzerland to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, demanding a compliance report be submitted by March 21st.

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Switzerland

Canadian hockey club boss bids for Servette

The Canadian owner of the Geneva-Servette Hockey Club, Hugh Quennec, is set to take over the cash-stricken Servette Football Club (SFC) which has filed for bankruptcy, the two clubs said on
Thursday.

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France

Terrorists urge France to negotiate

The Basque separatist group ETA urged France to open direct talks on a definitive end to its conflict with the French and Spanish states, in a statement released to AFP on Friday.

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Sweden

Gang of kids suspected of Uppsala burglary wave

Children as young as 11 have been apprehended following a series of house burglaries in Uppsala, in eastern Sweden, which led the flabbergasted police to a youth gang using very young members to commit crimes.

Wes Anderson to open Cannes festival
France

Wes Anderson to open Cannes festival

 

American director Wes Anderson's new film "Moonrise Kingdom" will open the 65th Cannes Film Festival on May 16, the organisers announced Friday.

 

Munich court stops ‘Mein Kampf’ reprint
Germany

Munich court stops ‘Mein Kampf’ reprint

A German court has banned a British publisher from printing extracts of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf," upholding a ruling that doing so would break copyright laws.

Vuvuzelas mar Wulff’s farewell ceremony
Germany

Vuvuzelas mar Wulff’s farewell ceremony

Vuvuzela-wielding protestors kept up a constant barrage of noise at a torchlit military ceremony on Thursday for Germany's former President Christian Wulff who left office under a cloud.

Care home slammed for maggots in bedsores
Sweden

Care home slammed for maggots in bedsores

A nursery home in eastern Sweden has come under fire after it came to light that one of their patients developed infected bedsores after only a few days at the home.

Drunk cyclists face bike ban in university town
Germany

Drunk cyclists face bike ban in university town

Drunk cyclists weaving their way around the university town of Münster should be prepared to pay heavily for paralytic pedalling – the town council is banning them from their bikes, with a €500 fine for repeat offenders.

New Ipad ‘useless’ on Swedish 4G: report
Sweden

New Ipad ‘useless’ on Swedish 4G: report

The new Apple Ipad, unveiled on Wednesday, will not be compatible with the Swedish 4G network as it is adapted for North American 4G, which operates at different frequencies to the Swedish network

Big blast rocks central Gothenburg eatery
Sweden

Big blast rocks central Gothenburg eatery

A strong explosion triggered several automatic alarms in a row of shops in central Gothenburg early on Friday morning. Police are still not clear on what has caused the blast.