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Switzerland

Stadler builds world’s ‘most powerful’ train

Swiss manufacturer Stadler Rail unveiled on Wednesday a train 50 percent more powerful than its competitors, earning it a multi-million franc deal with a Brazilian buyer.

Merkel’s partners oppose EU banking union
Germany

Merkel’s partners oppose EU banking union

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partners came out against the idea of an EU banking union on Wednesday, as the European Commission prepared to unveil new plans for winding up failing banks.

Beekeeper’s illegal castle demolished
Germany

Beekeeper’s illegal castle demolished

Diggers moved in to begin the demolition of an illegally-built castle in the German state of Hesse on Wednesday morning, crushing the dreams of the beekeeper who built it.

Tragedy draws Turkish ‘Men Against Violence’
Germany

Tragedy draws Turkish ‘Men Against Violence’

The killing of a mother-of-six by her mentally ill husband in Berlin this week prompted hundreds of men, mostly with a Turkish background, to gather at her house to speak out against domestic abuse. Jessica Ware went along.

Sunshine greets Sweden’s National Day
Sweden

Sunshine greets Sweden’s National Day

Swedes celebrated National Day on Wednesday with events across the country, and in Stockholm at least the weather offered a sunny break from the recent rains.

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Sweden

Swedish teen held for child rape

An 18-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of having raped two ten-year-old girls at a school in western Sweden on Monday afternoon.

Adventure runs in the family for solar plane pilot Piccard
Switzerland

Adventure runs in the family for solar plane pilot Piccard

For Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, adventure really is in the blood. By flying between continents in a solar-powered plane, the explorer has propelled himself again into the record books where two
generations of his family have also secured a place.

Parents to be paid to keep tots at home
Germany

Parents to be paid to keep tots at home

German parents who keep their young children at home rather than send them to day care look set to get money from the government, after the cabinet passed a controversial child care subsidy law on Wednesday.

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Switzerland

Swiss man charged with Somali insurgency links

A Kenyan court on Wednesday charged a Swiss man with being a member of Somalia's Al-Qaeda allied Shebab, the latest in a string of foreign nationals accused of links to the Islamist insurgents.

Witness hails diversity Breivik hates
Norway

Witness hails diversity Breivik hates

A leading member of Norway's ruling Labour Party, main target of Anders Behring Breivik's attacks that killed 77 people, took the stand Wednesday at his trial to praise the multiculturalism he condemns.

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Switzerland

Football coach given record drink-driving fine

A 59-year-old man has been given a record fine of 23,200 francs for repeatedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

Fancy love letter mistaken for letter bomb
Germany

Fancy love letter mistaken for letter bomb

A love-struck young German's romantic plans went awry in a Bavarian village this week after he used fancy paper with a special seal to send a letter to his girlfriend. A neighbour feared it was a bomb and took it to the police.

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France

France slashes pension age to 60 for thousands

France's new Socialist government rolled back an emblematic reform of Nicolas Sarkozy's administration on Wednesday with a decree lowering the retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers, a minister said.

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France

Ambassador faces probe over maid sex claims

French prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation Tuesday after a former domestic worker for Bahrain's ambassador in France complained of sexual harassment, a judicial source said.

Norway municipal sector strike ends
Norway

Norway municipal sector strike ends

A far-reaching strike that has hit public services across Norway for the past 12 days ended on Tuesday night as unions and employers agreed on a new wage deal for municipal employees.

Judge’s fury at politicians over election law
Germany

Judge’s fury at politicians over election law

Germany’s top constitutional judge has slammed the country’s politicians for failing to come up with a decent suggestion for how to make election law more democratic – despite having three years to do their homework.

Liberal Löw okays booze and sex at Euro 2012
Germany

Liberal Löw okays booze and sex at Euro 2012

German coach Joachim Löw has set out refreshingly old-fashioned laws for his squad during the European Championships - a beer before bed is fine, wives and girlfriends are allowed into the hotel and even cigarettes are okay.

Hollande is fighting fit: doctors
France

Hollande is fighting fit: doctors

France's new President Francois Hollande was declared in good health on Tuesday after undergoing his first medical exam as head of state, the presidency said.

Canada’s PM in Paris for talks with Hollande
France

Canada’s PM in Paris for talks with Hollande

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will discuss boosting his country's economic ties with Europe when he meets with French President François Hollande on Wednesday, his office said Tuesday.

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France

Almost half of young French adults ‘are lonely’

45 percent of young adults say they feel lonely, a recent poll shows. Many say they don’t have enough money to go out or the confidence to make friends. 

Escaped camels cause motorway chaos
France

Escaped camels cause motorway chaos

Video: Two roaming camels disrupted the traffic on a motorway near the city of Caen in the north of France on Monday. No accidents were reported.

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France

Row as minister calls for cannabis ban to end

Housing minister Cecile Duflot says she wants to decriminalise cannabis in France - a move that has angered her ministerial colleagues.

Miracle milk molecule keeps obesity at bay
Switzerland

Miracle milk molecule keeps obesity at bay

Swiss research into a little-known "hidden vitamin" thought to be present in milk has yielded astonishing results.

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Norway

Politician’s son held for plot to kill prime minister

The step-son of a well-known Labour Party politician has been arrested and charged with threatening to kill both his step-father and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

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Switzerland

Man still missing after Gotthard rock fall

A major landslide on the Gotthard railway line has buried one man and significantly disrupted rail travel.

Swiss pilot makes history in solar plane
Switzerland

Swiss pilot makes history in solar plane

A solar plane made history on Tuesday by landing in the Moroccan capital after flying across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain on the world's first intercontinental flight in a plane powered by the sun.

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Sweden

Swedish study offers Alzheimer’s vaccine hope

Swedish researchers are hopeful that a new study published on Wednesday could represent a breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Bolt roadshow touches down in Oslo
Norway

Bolt roadshow touches down in Oslo

Usain Bolt's pre-Olympic European roadshow touches down in the Norwegian capital on Thursday, the Jamaican track star aiming to ratchet up the pressure on pretenders to his double sprint crowns.

Moody’s downgrades several German banks
Germany

Moody’s downgrades several German banks

US credit ratings agency Moody's downgraded several German banks on Wednesday, including the country's second biggest Commerzbank.

Swedes see off Serbs in Euros warm up
Sweden

Swedes see off Serbs in Euros warm up

Sweden beat Serbia 2-1 in their final pre-Euro friendly on Wednesday, securing an encouraging victory which nonetheless raised questions about whether the team's defence is up to scratch ahead of Euro 2012.

Crisis-hit Greeks flock to Sweden
Sweden

Crisis-hit Greeks flock to Sweden

As the economic crisis intensifies in Greece, the number of Greeks coming to Sweden in search of housing and jobs has soared, a leader of the Scandinavian country's Greek community said Tuesday.

German team hits back at Auschwitz visit criticism
Germany

German team hits back at Auschwitz visit criticism

The Germany football team on Tuesday hit back at criticism from senior Jewish leader Dieter Graumann over the handling of their recent visit to former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

German translates oldest known Hebrew
Germany

German translates oldest known Hebrew

The oldest known written ancient Hebrew other than the Bible has emerged as laws to protect slaves, widows, orphans and foreigners, according to the German theologian who translated the script.