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Switzerland

Swiss giants’ mega-merger in jeopardy

The blockbuster merger between Swiss commodity giants Glencore and Xstrata is in jeopardy as key shareholder Qatar threatens to block the union in a vote on Friday in search of better terms.

Dogs in toddler attack will be put down: police
Norway

Dogs in toddler attack will be put down: police

Two dogs involved in a vicious attack on a two-year-old boy in southern Norway this summer will be put down, the National Police Directorate has ruled.

Volvo profits plummet as global sales slump
Sweden

Volvo profits plummet as global sales slump

Swedish carmaker Volvo reported an 84 percent drop in operating profit through the first half of the year compared to 2011 amid slumping sales and tough competition.

Munich remembers 1972 Olympic victims
Germany

Munich remembers 1972 Olympic victims

Relatives of 11 Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre joined survivors and politicians Wednesday to pay tribute at the site of their killings 40 years ago in Germany.

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Norway

Woman gets six months for sex with pupil

A teacher at a school in south-eastern Norway was sentenced on Wednesday to six months in prison after she admitted having sex with a 16-year-old pupil on a school trip.

Maker of ‘whorer’ king coins comes forward
Sweden

Maker of ‘whorer’ king coins comes forward

The man behind several fake one-krona coins which mocked Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, publicly revealed his identity Wednesday, stating the forgery was an "experiment".

Cologne football bullies could face charges
Germany

Cologne football bullies could face charges

A recent attack on FC Cologne defender Kevin Pezzoni and his subsequent decision to quit the league has sent shockwaves throughout Germany's football community and prompted the player to consider filing a legal complaint.

‘Sweden views drugs like the Catholic Church views condoms’
Sweden

‘Sweden views drugs like the Catholic Church views condoms’

In the wake of the death of Swedish MP William Petzäll from an apparent drug overdose, Swedish journalist and columnist Ola Tedin likens Sweden's "irrational" drugs policy to the Catholic Church's stance on condoms.

Sigrid, 16, was random victim: police
Norway

Sigrid, 16, was random victim: police

Police believe 16-year-old murder victim Sigrid Giskegjerde Schjetne was likely selected at random by the men charged with killing her.

Ex-Miss Denmark loses Norway ice fall case
Norway

Ex-Miss Denmark loses Norway ice fall case

Former Miss Denmark Line Kruuse Nielsen has lost her court case against the south-eastern town of Sandefjord after a fall on the ice there ended her modelling career and left her with lasting injuries.

Streaming music hits high note in Germany
Germany

Streaming music hits high note in Germany

After records and cassettes, CDs and downloads came streaming – and the idea of on-demand, online music has taken hold. In Germany income from streamed music in Germany was up by more than 40 percent in the first half of this year.

Mystery blooms over UK airman’s Swedish grave
Sweden

Mystery blooms over UK airman’s Swedish grave

A Swedish church has found itself in the centre of a mystery after English relatives of a gunned down World War II airman realized that an anonymous well-wisher had been planting flowers at the grave since 1943.

Greens put factory farms onto election menu
Germany

Greens put factory farms onto election menu

The Green Party says it will focus on opposition to large-scale industrial livestock farming during the campaign for next autumn’s general election.

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Sweden

Sweden drops in global competitiveness ranking

Sweden has slipped a spot to fourth place in the World Economic Forum's ranking of the world's most competitive countries, having been overtaken by Finland as the most competitive country in the European Union.

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France

Teen girl ‘eloped with doughnut seller to Italy’

Parents of a 14-year-old girl who has been missing for nine days have confirmed it is likely she ran away to Italy with a 23-year-old doughnut seller.

Turks claim Swiss police chief ‘stole’ artefact
Switzerland

Turks claim Swiss police chief ‘stole’ artefact

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking the conviction of a Swiss police chief for the attempted theft from Turkey of a fragment of marble with archaeological significance.

Outrage after cat’s ashes dumped in ‘mass grave’
Sweden

Outrage after cat’s ashes dumped in ‘mass grave’

A Swedish ex-cat owner is furious that her reclusive pet’s ashes were not buried in a private grave, but were rather sent to a mass burial plot in Malmö following a document mix-up.

France to crack down on smoking – minister
France

France to crack down on smoking – minister

Neutral cigarette packaging, more taxes and an extension of smoking bans in public areas - these are some of the initiatives announced by France's health minister in a new crackdown on smoking.

Boy who sewed mouth shut to be deported
Sweden

Boy who sewed mouth shut to be deported

A 15-year-old boy from Afghanistan who sewed his mouth shut after his application for Swedish residency was rejected will be deported to Italy, in what a Swedish MEP called a "humanitarian catastrophe in my own country".

US nuclear bombs will remain in Germany
Germany

US nuclear bombs will remain in Germany

American nuclear weapons will not be removed from Germany, despite their departure being a long-term aim of the German government, it has emerged.

Farmer starts ‘accidental cannabis plantation’
Germany

Farmer starts ‘accidental cannabis plantation’

An elderly German farmer who sowed bird seed hoping for a crop of sunflowers accidentally started his own cannabis plantation – and was mortified when police arrived to investigate.

Geneva sex workers set to form union
Switzerland

Geneva sex workers set to form union

More than 150 prostitutes in Geneva are planning to form a trade union, in what would be a first for Switzerland.

Germany outranks US in global competitiveness
Germany

Germany outranks US in global competitiveness

Despite pressures from the ongoing euro crisis and economic uncertainty in Europe, Germany held on to sixth place in a new global survey of 144 countries' competitiveness.

H&M: Bangladesh must raise garment worker pay
Sweden

H&M: Bangladesh must raise garment worker pay

Swedish fashion giant H&M, the world's second-largest clothing chain, has called for the Bangladeshi government to raise wages at export factories that employ three million garment workers.

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Sweden

‘Free’ schools suffer as enrollments drop

Amid a drop in the number of Swedish school students, many of Sweden’s publicly-financed, privately-run ”free” schools are taking a financial beating that some won't be able to survive.

French judges plan West Bank trip in Arafat probe
France

French judges plan West Bank trip in Arafat probe

French judges investigating suspicions that Yasser Arafat was poisoned are seeking to travel to the West Bank where the former Palestinian leader is buried, his widow said in a statement Wednesday.

Battle Royal between Hollande’s women enthrals France
France

Battle Royal between Hollande’s women enthrals France

France's Socialist President François Hollande hoped he could keep his love life private and distinguish himself from his showy predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy. But his feisty first lady appears to have dashed those plans.

Postal hub evacuated in mystery powder alert
Switzerland

Postal hub evacuated in mystery powder alert

A mysterious powder that spurred the evacuation of Switzerland's largest postal service centre turned out to be harmless starch, police in the canton of Zurich said on Wednesday.

Swiss economy ranked world’s most competitive
Switzerland

Swiss economy ranked world’s most competitive

Switzerland has the world's most competitive and innovative economy, but some of its European neighbours are faltering and the US has slipped further down the ranking, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said on Wednesday.

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Norway

Norway hails Colombia peace talks

Norway, which is to host peace talks between Colombia's leftist FARC rebels and the government, on Tuesday praised both parties for taking a first step towards ending the conflict.

Worst Swedish summer in 12 years: SMHI
Sweden

Worst Swedish summer in 12 years: SMHI

Sweden’s weather agency has reported that this year’s summer was the worst in a dozen years, with the warm air avoiding the country with an “uncanny precision”.

Lufthansa strike to go national on Friday
Germany

Lufthansa strike to go national on Friday

Lufthansa seems set to be hit by a 24-hour strike on Friday, affecting all German airports. Shorter strikes on Tuesday and last Friday already saw hundreds of flights cancelled or delayed and tens of thousands of passengers affected.

Lake Geneva boats smash summer records
Switzerland

Lake Geneva boats smash summer records

Lake Geneva’s principal boat operator smashed multiple passenger records over the summer, bolstered by warm weather and a promotion from Switzerland’s largest bank.

Ex-husband finds dead baby in freezer
Germany

Ex-husband finds dead baby in freezer

A German man defrosting his ex-wife's freezer found the body of a new born baby that had been there for a decade. State prosecutors said on Tuesday they had begun a manslaughter investigation.

Bar staff more likely to become alcoholics: study
Sweden

Bar staff more likely to become alcoholics: study

Bar and restaurant workers in Sweden run a higher risk of alcoholism than the rest of the population, with young women at greatest risk, a study published Tuesday showed.

Norway shoppers flood cheaper Swedish stores
Sweden

Norway shoppers flood cheaper Swedish stores

Eager to save money, Norwegian shoppers are streaming over the border in record numbers to avoid hefty domestic prices by instead stocking up on groceries in Sweden, new figures show.

Euro rescue sparks biggest court challenge
Germany

Euro rescue sparks biggest court challenge

Germany's contribution to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is being challenged by the biggest constitutional complaint in the country’s history, with around 37,000 people asking the Constitutional Court to stop it.