French writer under fire over Breivik views

French writer under fire over Breivik views

A respected French writer and editor has sparked controversy for his comments on Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, whom he described as "without doubt what Norway deserves".

Doc convicted of buying sex sues over sacking
Sweden

Doc convicted of buying sex sues over sacking

A Stockholm-area doctor who was fired after being convicted for paying for sex is suing his former employer, arguing his termination violates Swedish employment law.

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Norway

Family of Breivik victim challenges police

The family of one of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik's 2011 attacks in Norway has accused police of breach of duty for its slow response to the mass shooting on Utøya island, the police's internal affairs division said on Wednesday.

Norwegian army allows religious headgear
Norway

Norwegian army allows religious headgear

The Norwegian defence ministry has given the all-clear for uniformed soldiers to wear religious headgear such as turbans, hijabs and kippahs.

Youths attack rabbi in street for ‘being Jewish’
Germany

Youths attack rabbi in street for ‘being Jewish’

A rabbi was attacked in broad daylight by four youths in front of his six-year-old daughter, police in Berlin said Wednesday, apparently because he was wearing traditional Jewish headgear.

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France

France’s oldest woman dies at 112

Paule Bronzini, France's oldest woman, has died at the age of 112, her retirement home announced on Wednesday.

Indian mail found in Alps 46 years after crash
France

Indian mail found in Alps 46 years after crash

A bag of Indian diplomatic mail is set to be delivered more than 46 years late after it was found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, close to where an Air India plane crashed in January 1966.

Anti-fascists axe Rostock remembrance oak
Germany

Anti-fascists axe Rostock remembrance oak

An antifascist group has claimed responsibility for chopping down a tree planted at the weekend to mark Germany’s worst xenophobic attack in Rostock 20 years ago, saying the tree was a “slap in the face” to the victims.

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France

Subsidies ‘will tackle youth jobless problem’

France's Socialist government unveiled plans Wednesday to subsidize the creation of tens of thousands of jobs for marginalised youth despite efforts to rein in the state budget deficit.

Runaway drug smuggler caught after eight years
Sweden

Runaway drug smuggler caught after eight years

A 36-year-old convicted drug smuggler who fled prison in Sweden in 2004 by feigning illness has been caught in Spain after a massive international man hunt that lasted eight years.

Merkel optimistic Italian reforms are working
Germany

Merkel optimistic Italian reforms are working

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed Italy's reform measures on Wednesday and said they would soon return the country to better economic shape, as Italy's leader said markets were now recognising the efforts.

Munich bomb blows open compensation question
Germany

Munich bomb blows open compensation question

The detonation of a WWII bomb in Munich's Schwabing district on Tuesday caused massive damage to surrounding buildings, leaving a huge, unanswered question about who would pay to fix it all, as well as a big hole in the ground.

‘Downplaying racist taunts is like spitting in victims’ faces’
Sweden

‘Downplaying racist taunts is like spitting in victims’ faces’

Those who try to explain away the racism experienced by Somalis in Forserum in south central Sweden are simply adding insult to injury, argues local Green Party politician Etelka Huber.

Transfer jitters unsettle Munich and Hamburg
Germany

Transfer jitters unsettle Munich and Hamburg

Spain midfielder Javier Martinez looked set to sign for Bayern Munich on Wednesday after passing a medical in the Bavarian capital, according to German media. Yet his club said he did not have permission to take the test.

Minister: OAS ‘not angry’ at Sweden over Assange
Sweden

Minister: OAS ‘not angry’ at Sweden over Assange

South American nations’ support of Ecuador over the country's decision to grant aslylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be seen as a criticism of Sweden, Brazil’s foreign minister Antonio Patriota said in Stockholm on Wednesday.

Missing 6-year-old found ‘tired but well’ by police
Sweden

Missing 6-year-old found ‘tired but well’ by police

The 6-year-old girl who disappeared Tuesday afternoon in southern Sweden was found alive and well after an intensive search by police that spanned almost 24 hours.

Mullah Krekar jailed again for Norway threats
Norway

Mullah Krekar jailed again for Norway threats

Mullah Krekar, the founder of a radical Iraqi Kurdish Islamist group, has been sentenced to a year in jail in Norway for issuing threats against Norwegians, an Oslo court announced on Wednesday.

Bible students forced to speak in tongues: report
Norway

Bible students forced to speak in tongues: report

Dozens of students at the Oslo International Bible College have claimed they were exposed by staff members to threats, harassment and accusations of witchcraft.

Coalition seeks 24-year electricity freeze
Switzerland

Coalition seeks 24-year electricity freeze

A popular initiative launched this week aims to freeze Swiss electricity consumption at 2011 levels over the next 24 years in a bid to encourage power efficiency and cut waste.

H&M to open its first store in South America
Sweden

H&M to open its first store in South America

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has taken its first step into the South American market with the announcement that a branch of the Swedish fashion giant will open in Chile next year.

Berlin a ‘nightmare for pedestrians’
Germany

Berlin a ‘nightmare for pedestrians’

Pedestrians in Berlin are having a hard time crossing the road, environmentalists said on Tuesday. Traffic lights often leave only seconds to cross, and pedestrians spend forever waiting for the green light.

Somali woman ‘forced to pour milk on herself’
Sweden

Somali woman ‘forced to pour milk on herself’

New details have emerged about the types of harassment suffered by members of the Somali community in Forserum in south central Sweden, with integration minister Erik Ullenhag upbraiding local politicians for trying to belittle the problem.

‘ECB must buy bonds to prevent German inflation’
Germany

‘ECB must buy bonds to prevent German inflation’

Germany could be hit by dreaded inflation if the European Central Bank (ECB) is prevented from buying bonds issued by countries like Italy and Spain, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti warned on Wednesday.

German president ‘avoiding Putin’
Germany

German president ‘avoiding Putin’

German diplomats are struggling to gloss over the fact that President Joachim Gauck – a democracy activist in East Germany - is reluctant to have anything to do with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer.

Scrap TV licence but hike VAT: ‘Monsieur Prix’
Switzerland

Scrap TV licence but hike VAT: ‘Monsieur Prix’

Switzerland’s price regulator is proposing scrapping the country’s radio and TV licence fee by generating equivalent revenue from an increase in value-added tax (VAT).

Swedish chef actually speaks Norwegian: report
Sweden

Swedish chef actually speaks Norwegian: report

One of Sweden’s most well-known icons, The Swedish Chef from The Muppets, may actually be speaking Norwegian – at least that’s what one US based online magazine has concluded.

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France

Plumber swamped after band sings his number

A plumber from Evreux, between Paris and Rouen, has been harassed by fans of French band Tyro since his number was accidentally quoted in their new album.

French bankers take ‘red carpet’ to London
France

French bankers take ‘red carpet’ to London

French bankers and high earners could be relocating from Paris to London to escape high taxes, new reports suggest.

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France

Websites hit by Islamist hackers

France has been victim of a spate of website attacks by Islamist hackers, Group HP-Hack, in the past few days.

Workers fear for jobs as shipbuilder goes belly up
Germany

Workers fear for jobs as shipbuilder goes belly up

German shipbuilder P+S applied for bankruptcy on Wednesday, after negotiations with its clients and suppliers failed. The move leaves around 2,000 fearing for their jobs.

Bildt: sectarian tensions pose risk for Syria
Sweden

Bildt: sectarian tensions pose risk for Syria

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Tuesday warned against the possibility of sectarian tensions in Syria after the inevitable departure of President Bashar al-Assad.

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France

Gardener ‘tried to suffocate’ missing expat

The gardener charged with the murder of a British expat in southwestern France had a history of violence against his suspected victim and had attempted to suffocate her weeks before her disappearance, investigators believe.

Bolt and Rudisha head stellar Zurich field
Switzerland

Bolt and Rudisha head stellar Zurich field

Sprinting legend Usain Bolt and 800m world record-holder David Rudisha will headline a stellar track and field line-up at Thursday's Diamond League meeting in Zurich.

Merkel’s conservatives hit four-year poll high
Germany

Merkel’s conservatives hit four-year poll high

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative union hit a four-year high in a voter poll this week, as disillusioned followers of her junior coalition partner the Free Democratic Party switch their support.

Säpo to cut jobs due to ‘financial strain’
Sweden

Säpo to cut jobs due to ‘financial strain’

Swedish security service Säpo will be making major staff cutbacks due to “economic strain”, news that comes shortly after revelations of their 5.3 million kronor ($802,500) James Bond-themed party last year.

Munich WWII bomb could have damaged buildings
Germany

Munich WWII bomb could have damaged buildings

Structural engineers were examining buildings in central Munich on Wednesday after the detonation of a 250-kilo World War II bomb on Tuesday night. The huge explosion caused a fireball, smashed windows and set nearby buildings alight.

Statoil steps up Arctic energy exploration
Norway

Statoil steps up Arctic energy exploration

Norway's Statoil on Tuesday said it would vastly expand its prospecting efforts in the Arctic, thought to hold one of the world's largest untouched deposits of oil and natural gas.

Mister Switzerland accused of ‘buying’ title
Switzerland

Mister Switzerland accused of ‘buying’ title

A whiff of scandal is hanging over this year’s Mister Switzerland pageant with accusations flying that the winner, a pizza delivery business manager from the canton of Saint Gallen, “bought” votes that allowed him to win.

Smaller families succeed more: Swedish study
Sweden

Smaller families succeed more: Swedish study

Having a smaller family is a springboard for giving future generations the chance of greater prosperity, according to a Swedish study published on Wednesday.