Yemeni forces surround town where German hostages held
Germany

Yemeni forces surround town where German hostages held

Yemeni security forces laid siege on Tuesday to a remote mountain town where tribesmen were holding hostage a German couple and their daughter, a security official said.

Hogs escape truck and create highway havoc
Germany

Hogs escape truck and create highway havoc

Three live pigs fell off a truck on its way to a slaughterhouse on Wednesday, police in German state of North Rhine-Westphalia reported. One pig was run over, one pig hid in the woods, and one “ghost pig” ran into oncoming traffic.

Sweden – a new melting pot?
Sweden

Sweden – a new melting pot?

As Sweden opens its borders to a new wave of labour migration, the country is becoming more diverse than ever before, writes Olle Wästberg, director-general of the Swedish Institute.

German Mittelstand balks at job guarantees
Germany

German Mittelstand balks at job guarantees

Small and medium-sized companies, the backbone of the German economy known as the Mittelstand, reacted coolly on Tuesday to a proposal by blue-chip firms to guarantee jobs next year despite a biting recession.

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Sweden

Swedish economic growth hits 30 year low

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said on Tuesday that the country’s economic growth was its weakest in three decades as he announced that the government now forecasts the economy will contract by 0.8 percent next year.

Germany’s young adults are too fat to work
Germany

Germany’s young adults are too fat to work

Obesity is a common problem in Germany, but some industries face a shortage of qualified trainees because an increasing number of young people are too fat to begin their careers, a study released by the German Sport University in Cologne reveals.

Merkel hints at billions for new stimulus plan
Germany

Merkel hints at billions for new stimulus plan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday her government may invest "another few billion" euros in a new stimulus package early next year to help overcome the economic crisis.

Why Berlin needs David Bowie and not a polar bear
Germany

Why Berlin needs David Bowie and not a polar bear

As the departure of Berlin's world famous polar bear Knut appears imminent, Roger Boyes, correspondent for British daily The Times, muses why the German capital needs more Bowie and less bear.

‘We woke up screaming in our sleep’
Sweden

‘We woke up screaming in our sleep’

Fear, panic, and surprise gripped residents across southern Sweden on Tuesday morning as a rare 4.7 magnitude earthquake rumbled across the region, causing Malmö's signature high rise to sway.

Earthquake shakes southern Sweden
Sweden

Earthquake shakes southern Sweden

Southern Sweden was rocked by an earthquake early on Tuesday morning which caused a flood of phone calls to emergency services operators from alarmed residents.

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Sweden

High court rejects gay priest marriage case

A homosexual couple have lost their case in the Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten) against the Swedish tax authority (Skatteverket) for registering their marriage in Canada as a partnership.

Volvo sees truck deliveries tumble in November
Sweden

Volvo sees truck deliveries tumble in November

Swedish truck maker Volvo said on Tuesday that its worldwide truck deliveries had plunged 21 percent in November and warned it would be forced to halt its European production for up to 25 days in the first quarter of 2009.

Charitable Swedes defy credit crunch
Sweden

Charitable Swedes defy credit crunch

Swedish charities are predicting a record year for fundraising despite the ongoing financial crisis. Private donations have continued to increase despite credit crunch concerns, according to a report in Dagens Nyheter (DN).

German bankers call for ‘bad bank’ to restore confidence
Germany

German bankers call for ‘bad bank’ to restore confidence

Several German bankers have called for the creation of a "bad bank" to buy devalued assets and risky loans in order to unblock interbank lending, a press report said on Tuesday.

Court rejects Heesters’ case over Nazi claim
Germany

Court rejects Heesters’ case over Nazi claim

A Berlin district court on Tuesday dismissed a case by Germany’s oldest living cabaret entertainer, Dutchman Johannes Heesters, who sued an author alleging he sang for the SS at Dachau the concentration camp.

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Sweden

Swedish doctor reprimanded following accidental abortion

A Stockholm-area hospital has been told to review its procedures after a doctor accidentally removed a fetus from a woman during a hysteroscopy.

More ayes for the EU, fewer nays for the euro
Sweden

More ayes for the EU, fewer nays for the euro

Swedish support for joining the euro has increased since May as support for EU membership has reached record levels, a new survey shows.

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Sweden

EU approves Sweden’s Carnegie package

Sweden on Tuesday received approval from the European Commission to move forward with its planned bailout of the troubled Carnegie investment bank.

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Sweden

Study: ‘Radiotherapy can halve prostate cancer mortality’

Combining radiation therapy with hormone treatments can vastly improve the survival chances of men suffering from advanced prostate cancer, a new study shows.

Hairdressers face the chop as Berlin becomes messy hair capital
Germany

Hairdressers face the chop as Berlin becomes messy hair capital

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit has labelled his town “poor, but sexy” – a testament perhaps to the city’s hipsters having mastered the art of studied shabby chic. But now hairdressers in the German capital are suffering as people save money on haircuts.

US Army soldier dies suddenly in Germany
Germany

US Army soldier dies suddenly in Germany

US Army officials have identified a Baumholder based soldier who died in his quarters last Thursday.

Drivers warned of Nazi codes on licence plates
Germany

Drivers warned of Nazi codes on licence plates

Thousands of Brandenburg residents could come under suspicion for being neo-Nazis or right-wing sympathisers because of the letter and number combinations on their licence plates.

Police issue new fraud warning for Toys R US
Sweden

Police issue new fraud warning for Toys R US

Police in Sweden have issued a second warning to shoppers to cancel their credit cards after suspected skimming equipment was uncovered at a Stockholm-area Toys R Us store.

Sweden’s Sundhage to continue as US women’s football coach
Sweden

Sweden’s Sundhage to continue as US women’s football coach

Former Swedish women’s football star Pia Sundhage, who led the US women’s side to Olympic gold at Beijing, has been asked to stay on as coach through the 2012 Olympics.