placeholder image
Germany

Berlin dismisses boycott of Beijing Games

The German government and the German Olympic Committee have rejected a boycott of the Beijing Games this summer over China’s crackdown in Tibet. The country’s media largely agree with that decision – but not because of the official reasoning. The Local has a roundup of opinion in leading newspapers.

German vicar’s grave therapy thwarted
Germany

German vicar’s grave therapy thwarted

A German vicar in Düsseldorf decided to have parishioners lie in an open grave as a form of meditation, but was thwarted by nosy journalists, according to news agency Reuters on Friday.

Drugged up driving instructor takes the high road
Sweden

Drugged up driving instructor takes the high road

A driving school instructor was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs while giving a driving lesson in Trelleborg in southern Sweden on Friday morning.

placeholder image
Sweden

Swedish CEOs see sharp rise in earnings

The wages of managing directors in Sweden's top stock exchange listed companies continued to rise sharply last year with many firms posting record profits.

Berlin Zoo scandal: scores of animals ‘disappeared’
Germany

Berlin Zoo scandal: scores of animals ‘disappeared’

In the wake of allegations that the more than 100 animals have 'disappeared' from the Berlin Zoo, its director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz has admitted to aiding in the deaths of four wild cats in 1991.

Sweden opposes Olympic opening boycott
Sweden

Sweden opposes Olympic opening boycott

The foreign ministers of Sweden, Portugal and Spain on Friday joined Britain in opposing any boycott of the Beijing Olympics opening, while expressing concern at the situation in Tibet.

Berlin hardens ‘no’ to NATO offer for Georgia and Ukraine
Germany

Berlin hardens ‘no’ to NATO offer for Georgia and Ukraine

The German government underlined its opposition Friday to NATO opening the door to membership to former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia.

placeholder image
Sweden

Child allowances – No means no

Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson ruffled feathers across the political spectrum this week by suggesting that Sweden’s child allowance payments be subject to means testing.

Unions reject Swedish bid for Absolut vodka
Sweden

Unions reject Swedish bid for Absolut vodka

The Swedish Food Workers Union (Livs) has argued that the Sweden-based bid for the takeover of Vin & Sprit, owner of the vodka brand Absolut, is probably the worst alternative available.

EON to pay €11.8 billion for Endesa assets
Germany

EON to pay €11.8 billion for Endesa assets

The German energy group EON is to pay €11.8 billion for energy assets in France, Italy and Spain as part of a deal that ended its bid for the Spanish group Endesa, EON said on Friday.

Özdemir: It’s wrong to censor Dutch anti-Islam film
Germany

Özdemir: It’s wrong to censor Dutch anti-Islam film

Prominent Turkish-German politician Cem Özdemir said on Friday that the controversial anti-Islam film "Fitna" by Dutch politician Geert Wilders should not be censored.

placeholder image
Sweden

Somalia terror suspects to remain in custody

Two men suspected of financing terrorist groups in Somalia were ordered to remain in custody by Stockholm District Court on Friday. Some 100 Somalis gathered outside the court to protest.

Piracy site takes on academic publishers
Sweden

Piracy site takes on academic publishers

A new student literature website has emerged on the Swedish internet landscape. Student Bay could challenge academic publishing in the same way as Pirate Bay took on the music industry.

placeholder image
Sweden

31-year-old charged with child porn offences

A 31-year-old man in Norrbotten in the north of Sweden has been charged with serious child porn offences. The man was found with thousands of pictures and films on his computer.

German cannabis growth on the rise
Germany

German cannabis growth on the rise

Cannabis is being grown in Germany in greater quantities than ever before, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) announced on Friday.

Jilted German swan reunited with paddleboat crush
Germany

Jilted German swan reunited with paddleboat crush

A lovesick German swan has been returned to its longtime crush – a paddleboat – after being jilted by another bird.

Building an igloo – the quintessential snow camping experience
Sweden

Building an igloo – the quintessential snow camping experience

Just when the onset of spring seemed inevitable, Sweden was hit by a fresh bout of snow last week. Rather than mourn the brevity of the season, however, Amanda Henke found an unusual way to enhance the experience of late winter. Armed with only a snow saw and a tarpaulin, she and her husband headed for the hills to build an igloo.

Christian Democrat: ‘ditch the property tax system’
Sweden

Christian Democrat: ‘ditch the property tax system’

Christian Democratic member of parliament and chair of the Finance Committee Stefan Attefall has urged the government to stop charging interest for delayed tax payments on real estate sale profits.

placeholder image
Sweden

Suspected rape at Stockholm night club

Police are investigating the suspected rape of a young woman early Friday morning at the Spy Bar night club near Stureplan in central Stockholm.

placeholder image
Germany

MP demands ban for German neo-Nazis

The chairman of a key parliamentary committee has renewed his call for another attempt to ban Germany’s neo-Nazi NPD party, saying the case against the group had increased.

placeholder image
Sweden

Man arrested for murder in Eskilstuna

A 45-year-old man was arrested Thursday night suspected of murdering a 29-year-old woman in Eskilstuna in central Sweden.

placeholder image
Germany

Suspected PKK ringleader arrested in Germany

German police have arrested a 34-year-old suspected ringleader of Turkey's banned Kurdish separatist rebel movement PKK, the federal prosecutor's office said on Thursday.

Heidelberg plans ban on public drinking
Germany

Heidelberg plans ban on public drinking

Hordes of foreign travellers hoping to enjoy a few cold German beers outdoors in the tourist hub of Heidelberg this summer could face fines as the city aims to limit public drinking.