Germany prepared to help Opel as GM falters
Germany

Germany prepared to help Opel as GM falters

The German government said Friday it would act quickly to help car maker Opel, which has asked for state-backed loan guarantees in the event its US parent group General Motors goes bankrupt.

Merkel says ‘Oui’ to EU stimulus, climate deals
Germany

Merkel says ‘Oui’ to EU stimulus, climate deals

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday hailed an EU deal to combat climate change while backing measures to help Europe's flagging economy recover from the global financial crisis.

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Sweden

Clothing chief tops Swedish tax league

The Swedish head of retail clothing giant H&M paid more tax last year than anybody else in the country, business daily Dagens Industri reports.

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Sweden

‘Hemorrhoid patient’ gets ten years for heroin smuggling

A 52-year-old woman was sentenced to ten years in prison on Friday for trying to smuggle nearly five kilogrammes of heroin into Sweden.

Ikea’s Swedish operation reports strong 2008 profits
Sweden

Ikea’s Swedish operation reports strong 2008 profits

The Swedish division of global home furnishings giant Ikea reported pre-tax profits of 2.1 billion kronor ($263 million) for the 2008 fiscal year, adding that shops remain crowded despite the financial crisis.

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Sweden

Police investigate bank card fraud at Toys R Us

Shoppers in Malmö are being advised to cancel their bank cards if they bought goods at Toys R Us in recent weeks, as police work to unravel an intricate fraud operation.

British stars to headline Berlinale
Germany

British stars to headline Berlinale

British acting heavyweights Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Clive Owen and Naomi Watts will headline the next Berlin Film Festival with a clutch of new pictures, organisers said Friday.

Slander accusations at Arboga killer appeal
Sweden

Slander accusations at Arboga killer appeal

Christine Schürrer, the German woman sentenced to life in prison for killing two toddlers in Arboga, refused to answer prosecutors' questions during a hearing on Friday in front of the Svea Court of Appeal.

Meatpacking worker infected with anthrax
Germany

Meatpacking worker infected with anthrax

A French worker at a Saarbrücken meatpacking plant has been infected with anthrax, according to Health Ministry in Saarland.

Christmas shopping: Swedish design online
Sweden

Christmas shopping: Swedish design online

Some of it is sleek, and some of it is just plain weird. Some of it’s pretty, and some of it is just plain ugly…by design. Here’s The Local’s guide to the best of Swedish design online.

Biggest full moon of the year on Friday
Germany

Biggest full moon of the year on Friday

Not all full moons are alike. The full moon this Friday night will be the biggest and brightest this year, US space agency NASA reported, but German winter weather could prevent stargazers from getting a good view.

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Sweden

Christmas booze gets stuck in the post

Sending alcoholic drinks through the Swedish postal system can be a tricky business - unless you happen to order from the state alcohol retail monopoly, explains Mark Majzner.

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Germany

Politician in child porn investigation suspended

The head of the district authority in Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Brandenburg, has been suspended because of child pornography files found on his computer, daily Märkische Allgemeine reported on Friday.

Boys blocked from bearing ‘girls-only’ Lucia crown
Sweden

Boys blocked from bearing ‘girls-only’ Lucia crown

While generally supportive of equality between the sexes, Swedes still resist tampering with the Lucia holiday tradition which stipulates only girls should bear a candle-lit crown on December 13th.

Siemens to take former directors’ stock options
Germany

Siemens to take former directors’ stock options

German industrial giant Siemens plans to confiscate stock options belonging to former boss Heinrich von Pierer who has been accused of ignoring corrupt practices at the company, a press report said on Friday.

Five family members jailed for axe attack
Sweden

Five family members jailed for axe attack

Five members of the same family were found guilty on Friday of involvement in a vicious axe attack against a 47-year-old man last spring near Haparanda in northern Sweden.

Cat billed for GEZ television fee
Germany

Cat billed for GEZ television fee

Just another example of the Teutonic affinity to bureaucracy: The enforcers of Germany's hated GEZ broadcast licence asked a Bochum family cat to pay for its own TV and radio, daily WAZ reported on Friday.

Doctors believe German patients are liars
Germany

Doctors believe German patients are liars

Two-thirds of German doctors believe their patients lie about their lifestyle habits, according to a poll released by Reader’s Digest Deutschland on Friday.

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Sweden

School hires teacher convicted of sexual harassment

A Swedish school teacher previously convicted for sexual harassment of two 14-year-old girls has received a new teaching assignment in southern Sweden.

Germans prefer tax cuts to consumer vouchers
Germany

Germans prefer tax cuts to consumer vouchers

The majority of Germans would rather see tax cuts than a consumer voucher to help spur the economy, according to a poll released by public broadcaster ARD on Friday.

Schäuble makes first German visit after Mumbai attacks
Germany

Schäuble makes first German visit after Mumbai attacks

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is in Mumbai on Friday, as the first German cabinet member to visit India since devastating terrorist attacks last month.

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Sweden

Four in custody after major cannabis bust in Stockholm

Police in Stockholm confiscated 140 kilogrammes of cannabis and arrested four men last weekend in raids carried out at several suburban locations last weekend.

Medieval Teutonic knights’ remains found in Poland
Germany

Medieval Teutonic knights’ remains found in Poland

Polish archaeologists said this week that they had identified the remains of three leaders of the Teutonic Knights, an armed religious order that ruled swathes of the country centuries ago.

Sweden tops child welfare ranking
Sweden

Sweden tops child welfare ranking

When it comes to caring for children, Sweden ranks highest among the world’s wealthy countries, according to a new report from the United Nations children’s organization, Unicef.