American love affair with Germany deepens
Germany

American love affair with Germany deepens

US citizens just can't get enough of those Germans, according to a new poll published on Wednesday, which showed that Americans think they share more values with Germany than any other non-English-speaking country.

Sarkozy ‘fatalistic’ as election approaches
France

Sarkozy ‘fatalistic’ as election approaches

Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign appeared to lose steam on Wednesday, four days ahead of the first round of France's presidential election that pollsters increasingly say he will lose to his Socialist rival.

Two Swedes among world’s ‘most influential’
Sweden

Two Swedes among world’s ‘most influential’

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, who has "democratized music" according to a citation by actor Aston Kutcher, is one of two Swedes who made Time magazine's ranking of the world's most influential people this year.

Police identify dumped body as missing Marina
Sweden

Police identify dumped body as missing Marina

Human remains discovered in a nature reserve in western Sweden on Saturday are those of a woman who disappeared from her home almost two years ago, local police confirmed on Wednesday.

Volunteering in English opens donations page
Sweden

Volunteering in English opens donations page

The English Volunteering Project’s virtual doors were thrown open for donations on Monday, with project organizers hoping to raise enough money to see volunteering in Sweden becoming a reality for English speakers.

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Sweden

‘Smarter’ immigrants coming to Sweden: study

Non-European immigrants are arriving in Sweden with increasingly higher levels of education, according to a new study, although fewer highly-educated immigrants are arriving from Europe and the Nordic countries.

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Switzerland

Swiss man charged in Singapore sex scandal

A scandal over an underage Singaporean prostitute widened on Wednesday after a Swiss man and a prominent Singaporean business figure were accused of being among her clients.

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Norway

Two other cells prepared to attack Norway: Breivik

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last July, told an Oslo court Wednesday that two other cells were prepared to attack the country.

Judges right to let killer have his say: survivors
Norway

Judges right to let killer have his say: survivors

Anders Behring Breivik must be allowed to speak about what pushed him to kill 77 people in Norway last year, even if it is painful to hear, survivors and relatives of the victims say.

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France

Artist star to host Cannes opening

Berenice Bejo, co-star of the hit French silent movie "The Artist", is to host the Cannes Film Festival's opening and closing ceremonies next month, the event's chairman said on Wednesday.

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Switzerland

Swiss extend Iran asset freeze

Switzerland ratcheted up sanctions against Iran on Wednesday, announcing it had frozen the assets of a further 11 businesses and people.

Clear me or kill me: Breivik
Norway

Clear me or kill me: Breivik

Anders Behring Breivik told an Oslo court Wednesday there were only two possible outcomes of his trial: acquittal or the death penalty.

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Switzerland

Swiss to send military observers to Syria

Switzerland said on Wednesday it will send unarmed military observers to join an advance team of the Syrian observer mission following a request by the United Nations.

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France

Porn scenes interrupt children’s film on French TV

A children’s film broadcast on French cable channel Canal + was interrupted this weekend – by a scenes from a porn film.

Jordan confirmed as new central bank chief
Switzerland

Jordan confirmed as new central bank chief

Switzerland's central bank on Wednesday confirmed interim chairman Thomas Jordan will take over as chief after former head Philipp Hildebrand quit amid a foreign exchange scandal.

Norway Post slapped with €11 million fine
Norway

Norway Post slapped with €11 million fine

Norway's postal service, Posten, was ordered on Wednesday to pay a fine of €11.112 million (83.87 million kroner, $14.54 million) after the EFTA court found it had abused its dominant market position.

Rare ‘century plant’ blooms in Bavaria
Germany

Rare ‘century plant’ blooms in Bavaria

Green-fingered Germans are rejoicing after news spread on Wednesday that an American agave plant is flowering in Bavaria - a rare occurrence in the horticultural world.

TeliaSonera ‘profits by helping dictators spy’
Sweden

TeliaSonera ‘profits by helping dictators spy’

TeliaSonera, the successor to Sweden's state telecom monopoly, has given state security services access to systems it operates in the former Soviet Union in order to secure lucrative contracts there, according to Swedish media reports.

Volkswagen set to invest €14 bln in China
Germany

Volkswagen set to invest €14 bln in China

Volkswagen is to invest around €14 billion in a new factory in China, with an official announcement and contract signing on Monday, in the presence of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

Driving age could be lowered to 16
Germany

Driving age could be lowered to 16

German teenagers could soon be allowed to drive cars aged just 16 – but would be slapped with an 80 kph speed limit, under plans being considered by the government.

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France

Speeding drivers told “F- you!”

Speeding drivers in a town in North West France have been met with English insults as they pass a speed check.

Sweden unveils new defence minister
Sweden

Sweden unveils new defence minister

Karin Enström of the Moderate party will be Sweden’s new minister for defence, announced prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday.

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France

Sex pest MP demands harassment law change

A former MP convicted of sexually harassing three colleagues has criticised French sexual harassment laws, claiming they are against the French constitution.

Sex box for kids sparks call to action
Switzerland

Sex box for kids sparks call to action

Politicians from different parties have joined forces for an initiative aimed at preventing children under the age of nine from receiving sex education just months after the use of educational "sex boxes" sparked uproar in Basel.  

US solar panel firm leaves gloomy Germany
Germany

US solar panel firm leaves gloomy Germany

German solar energy took another blow this week when US company First Solar confirmed the closure of a Brandenburg factory and the loss of more than 1,200 jobs. The collapse is particularly bitter as the firm had recently doubled production.

Property prices soar in Switzerland: report
Switzerland

Property prices soar in Switzerland: report

Property prices in Switzerland are continuing to rise, with higher numbers than ever before owning their own homes, a new report has found.

Take a survey to make life easier for expats
Sweden

Take a survey to make life easier for expats

Here is a survey from the Global Expat Centre Stockholm aiming to help make life easier for expats in Stockholm. It takes just 5-10 minutes to answer, and you might even win a Baltic Sea cruise!

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Switzerland

Father gets 17 years for killing daughter with axe

The 53-year-old Pakistani man who killed his 16-year-old daughter, Swera, at their home in Zurich-Höngg in 2010 has been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.

Booty spot to be stripped to stop al fresco sex
Germany

Booty spot to be stripped to stop al fresco sex

Bavarian open-air sex enthusiasts whose antics have led to an island in southern Germany to be dubbed “Porno Island” may finally be forced to go inside – the local authorities are stripping the area of its bushes.

No change for Sweden interest rate: Riksbank
Sweden

No change for Sweden interest rate: Riksbank

Sweden's central bank is holding the country's benchmark interest rate steady at 1.5 percent, the Riksbank announced on Wednesday, saying the Swedish economy was showing some "positive signs".

Global weapons spending levels out: Swedish think tank
Sweden

Global weapons spending levels out: Swedish think tank

Global military spending levelled last year at $1.740 trillion due to the economic crisis, almost unchanged in real terms since 2010, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said Tuesday.

Norway pledges billions to IMF crisis fund
Norway

Norway pledges billions to IMF crisis fund

Norway joined Sweden and Denmark on Tuesday as the Nordic neighbours pledged $26 billion to the new IMF crisis funding Tuesday, taking the total raised so far to $286 billion, Fund managing director Christine Lagarde announced.

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Norway

Breivik won’t discuss nationalist contacts

Anders Behring Breivik was obstinate and uncooperative as prosecutors questioned him on his alleged "militant nationalist" contacts when he took the stand on Wednesday.

Suu Kyi to visit Norway in first foreign trip
Norway

Suu Kyi to visit Norway in first foreign trip

After years of house arrest, Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi plans to make a first trip abroad to Oslo in June to accept in person the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize she won for her peaceful struggle.

Sweden pledges $10bn to IMF bailout fund
Sweden

Sweden pledges $10bn to IMF bailout fund

Sweden, Norway and Denmark pledged $26 billion to the new IMF crisis funding Tuesday, taking the total raised so far to $286 billion, Fund managing director Christine Lagarde announced.

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Norway

Breivik met by smirks on the stand

When Anders Behring Breivik took the stand in the Oslo courthouse on Tuesday and spoke of Sitting Bull, sushi and flat screens to explain his mass killings in Norway last year, he was met by smirks, impatience and scoldings.

Extended Somalia pirate plan creates waves
Germany

Extended Somalia pirate plan creates waves

Germany could fly bombing missions into Somalia to destroy pirate bases, if a plan set to be discussed in cabinet on Wednesday is adopted. The idea has infuriated opposition parties who described it as senseless and dangerous.

Swedish sailor saved 80 days after sea storm
Sweden

Swedish sailor saved 80 days after sea storm

A Swedish man has survived an 80 day ordeal on his sail boat in the Indian Ocean after a storm broke his mast and left him drifting at sea.

European final in sight as Bayern beat Madrid
Germany

European final in sight as Bayern beat Madrid

Bayern Munich made a huge leap towards the Champions League final in their Allianz Arena home after Mario Gomez netted a late winner in the 90th minute, completing a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid, in Tuesday's semi-final first leg.

Museum evacuated after ‘racist’ bomb threat
Sweden

Museum evacuated after ‘racist’ bomb threat

A Stockholm museum was evacuated on Tuesday afternoon after receiving a “racially motivated” bomb threat, just days after a controversial piece of artwork had been revealed.

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Sweden

Swedish man dead after Canary Islands fall

A 21-year-old man from central Sweden died on Monday morning after what appears to have been a fall from a balcony in a hotel in the Canary Islands, where he was holidaying with three friends.

Poll: Sexiest Germans are Hamburgers
Germany

Poll: Sexiest Germans are Hamburgers

It's official: a new poll has decreed that the sexiest singles in Germany live in the northern city of Hamburg. Munich is the best German city for the single lifestyle, while Frankfurt is only good for work.