Leipzig sets up rapid-reaction library force
Germany

Leipzig sets up rapid-reaction library force

It took three years of careful planning, but German librarians have – very neatly – signed a pact to race to each other’s aid in the event of a book-related disaster.

Germans tip-top for generosity on holiday
Germany

Germans tip-top for generosity on holiday

Germans on holiday may have a reputation for annoying others by staking out their claim to sun loungers with a towel before breakfast – but it seems they are also among the most generous and savvy tippers.

Can euro rescue absolve Holocaust guilt?
Germany

Can euro rescue absolve Holocaust guilt?

Former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin has provoked outrage by arguing that Germany's euro policy is driven by a Holocaust guilt trip. He also said the single currency was always a bad idea. Does he have a point? Have your say.

‘Bildt bugged in Russia opposition meet-up’
Sweden

‘Bildt bugged in Russia opposition meet-up’

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was bugged during meetings in Moscow last year, according to a Russian media report which also claims that Swedish intelligence services are aiding the Russian opposition.

Woman’s uterus bursts during childbirth
Sweden

Woman’s uterus bursts during childbirth

A woman has reported a hospital in southern Sweden to the health authorities after doctors failed to notice that her uterus had burst, leaving half of her unborn child inside her abdominal cavity.

Sweden’s child rights prize awarded
Sweden

Sweden’s child rights prize awarded

Anna Mollel of Tanzania was Monday awarded a children's rights prize for her work to help thousands of Maasai children with disabilities to live a dignified life, organisers said.

Bruno ‘The Orca’ takes on mammoth swim
Germany

Bruno ‘The Orca’ takes on mammoth swim

Weighing 110 kilograms, Bruno “the Orca” Dobelmann may not look like an athlete, but on Monday he set off to swim across Lake Constance in just a pair of trunks. If he succeeds, the German will set a new world record.

Princess Madeleine’s man set for royal debut
Sweden

Princess Madeleine’s man set for royal debut

Sweden's Royal Court has broken tradition by inviting Princess Madeleine's US banker boyfried as well as the girlfriend of Prince Carl Philip’s to Princess Estelle's baptism on Tuesday.

Norway separates church and state
Norway

Norway separates church and state

The Norwegian parliament has voted to abolish the state church, a decision which is set to be confirmed in a constitutional amendment on Monday.

Black Cobra gang quitting Sweden: report
Sweden

Black Cobra gang quitting Sweden: report

The feared Black Cobra criminal gang is abandoning Sweden in the wake of a police crackdown on organized crime in the country.

Ex-banker: German euro rescue is Holocaust guilt
Germany

Ex-banker: German euro rescue is Holocaust guilt

Ex-central banker turned controversy merchant Thilo Sarrazin has attracted fresh outrage with a book claiming Germany's European policy is driven by guilt for World War II and the Holocaust.

Central Bank: there is no ‘Plan B’ for Greece
Germany

Central Bank: there is no ‘Plan B’ for Greece

The European Central Bank is not working on any alternative plan to Greece staying in the single currency a top official said on Monday, dismissing ideas that a “Plan B” was in development.

Witness: I will not testify in ‘twisted killer’s show’
Norway

Witness: I will not testify in ‘twisted killer’s show’

Norwegian author and historian Hanne Nabintu Herland has refused a court summons to testify in the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, saying that she would rather be imprisoned than 'run the gauntlet'.

Charges filed for ‘cold-blooded’ farm murders
Sweden

Charges filed for ‘cold-blooded’ farm murders

Prosecutors on Monday formally charged two men suspected in a gruesome double murder of an elderly couple on a farm in southwestern Sweden last autumn.

German doctor dies on Everest clean-up
Germany

German doctor dies on Everest clean-up

A German man died on Mount Everest where he was helping clear the world's highest peak of rubbish, Nepalese tourism officials announced. His death brings the season's toll to five.

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Switzerland

Court: Anti-Islam group must be protected

The Federal Court says an anti-Islam group has the right to give out leaflets from an information booth if it wants – and the local authorities must protect them.

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Switzerland

Talent abounds in Switzerland, says OECD

A new study by the OECD has found that Switzerland has a very high proportion of the world’s most sought-after workforce.

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Switzerland

Fixed dope smoking fines make slow progress

The Council of States wants to introduce a fixed penalty system for fining cannabis smokers, but has become mired in a debate on whether to hit tokers with 200 francs or 100 francs.

Sweden drifting from ‘Swedish model’: report
Sweden

Sweden drifting from ‘Swedish model’: report

Sweden's historically generous social safety net isn't as robust as it once was, according to a new report, which reveals Sweden has fallen below the average for many other developed countries when it comes to various types of social insurance.

Solskjær on Villa talks: ‘I am not after a new job’
Norway

Solskjær on Villa talks: ‘I am not after a new job’

Former Manchester United icon Ole Gunnar Solskjær has confirmed that he has rule himself out of becoming manager of Aston Villa to stay with Norwegian club Molde.

Drunken golfer practices in central Cologne
Germany

Drunken golfer practices in central Cologne

A man was arrested on Saturday for using the centre of the historic German city of Cologne as a driving range, after one of his wayward iron shots hit a taxi.

Viagra helps Swedish gangs get profits up
Sweden

Viagra helps Swedish gangs get profits up

Viagra appears to have replaced cocaine as the drug of choice for Swedish motorcycle gangs looking to profit from the illegal drugs trade.

Islamist urges ‘death for far-right party members’
Germany

Islamist urges ‘death for far-right party members’

A German Islamist has called for the murder of members of a far-right party that regularly provokes ultra-conservative Muslims using cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

NATO gives OK to European missile shield
Germany

NATO gives OK to European missile shield

NATO leaders on Sunday gave the go-ahead for the new European missile shield, provoking anger in Russia. The US air base in Ramstein, western Germany, will host part of the system.

Swedish beaver rescued after two days on rock
Sweden

Swedish beaver rescued after two days on rock

A beaver stuck on a rock in eastern Sweden was saved on Sunday night by emergency workers who carried out a dramatic rescue to bring the creature back to safety.

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Sweden

Swedish printer in South Africa banknote fiasco

An error involving a Swedish printing press has turned into a very expensive headache for South African central bank officials who have been forced to destroy millions of dollars' worth of faulty banknotes.

Entire village for sale for just €330,000
France

Entire village for sale for just €330,000

A deserted village in south-western France will go under the hammer on Monday, with a guide price of just 330,000 euros ($423,000).

Party inspired by film takes over empty villa
France

Party inspired by film takes over empty villa

Hundreds of people invaded an unoccupied villa in the south of France in a party which resembled that from the film "Project X".

IKEA bosses sacked over spying scandal
France

IKEA bosses sacked over spying scandal

Swedish furniture giant IKEA said Friday it was sacking four current and former managers at its French subsidiary over allegations they used illegal police files to spy on staff and customers.

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France

Five dead, 15 missing in wreck off Mayotte

Two adults and three children died and 15 people went missing when a boat sank off the French overseas territory of Mayotte, the government said on Sunday.

Hollande confirms early Afghan pull-out
France

Hollande confirms early Afghan pull-out

French President Francois Hollande said on Sunday he had reached agreement with his NATO allies over his decision to withdraw French troops early from Afghanistan, saying they had understood his position.

World record run of six days and nights
France

World record run of six days and nights

A French athlete has run the equivalent of over 19 marathons over the course of six days.