Guttenberg: air strike ‘militarily inappropriate’
Germany

Guttenberg: air strike ‘militarily inappropriate’

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on Thursday said an air strike responsible for the deaths of scores of Afghan civilians in September was ‘not militarily appropriate’ and acknowledged it had been a mistake.

Berlin extends military mission in Afghanistan
Germany

Berlin extends military mission in Afghanistan

Germany's parliament voted Thursday to extend the mandate of troops serving in Afghanistan for one year but did not lift the upper limit of soldiers, currently set at 4,500.

Merkel expecting major climate change effort at Copenhagen talks
Germany

Merkel expecting major climate change effort at Copenhagen talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Thursday they did not expect a perfect agreement at the Copenhagen climate summit but foresaw a major step forward.

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Sweden

Crown rolls out new bid for Volvo Cars

The international consortium Crown, which includes former Volvo head Roger Holtback, has submitted a revised offer to buy Volvo Cars.

EU court rules German custody laws discriminate against fathers
Germany

EU court rules German custody laws discriminate against fathers

German child custody laws discriminate against single fathers and should be changed, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday.

Top feminist takes political gamble on Swedish reality TV
Sweden

Top feminist takes political gamble on Swedish reality TV

Gudrun Schyman, spokeswoman for the Feminist Initiative (FI) political party, hopes participating in the Let’s Dance reality television show will help her waltz right into the Swedish parliament.

Deutsche Bahn faces long-distance bus rivals
Germany

Deutsche Bahn faces long-distance bus rivals

National rail provider Deutsche Bahn will soon have competition from cheaper, faster bus coaches if the new government coalition’s plans to remove a long-haul bus ban go through, daily Berliner Zeitung reported on Thursday.

Thou shalt not shop
Germany

Thou shalt not shop

Jost Müller-Neuhof from Der Tagesspiegel wonders how Germans can criticise Switzerland’s vote to ban minarets on mosques as an attack on religious freedom yet they blithely accept being told by Christian churches whether they can shop on Sundays or not.

Minaret ban favoured by one in four Swedes: poll
Sweden

Minaret ban favoured by one in four Swedes: poll

One in four Swedes is in favour of prohibiting the building of more minarets in the country, a new poll shows.

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Sweden

Driving bus while gabbing on a mobile ‘not a crime’: Swedish court

A Swedish bus driver convicted for driving while speaking on a mobile phone and writing in a notebook at the same time has been acquitted of reckless driving by the Swedish Supreme Court.

Petition forces Bavarian smoking ban referendum
Germany

Petition forces Bavarian smoking ban referendum

Organisers of a petition for a referendum to strengthen Bavaria’s porous smoking ban are celebrating on Thursday, as preliminary results show they exceeded the amount of necessary signatures by several hundred thousand.

Siemens posts billion euro loss
Germany

Siemens posts billion euro loss

German industrial giant Siemens said Thursday it suffered a net loss of €1 billion in the last quarter of its 2008/09 fiscal year, and expected the current year to be worse.

Markets absorbed by probiotic Swedish tampons
Sweden

Markets absorbed by probiotic Swedish tampons

Shares in a Swedish biotech firm soared on Wednesday on news that the company had inked a distribution deal in China for its tampons “bathed in human lactic acid bacteria”.

How to survive the Christmas buffet without looking like an idiot
Sweden

How to survive the Christmas buffet without looking like an idiot

Does the herring lead us into Jansson's temptation or is it the other way around? Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius has the lowdown on how to prevent your office julbord from ending in yuletide tears.

Laptop battery likely cause of fatal house fire
Sweden

Laptop battery likely cause of fatal house fire

An overheated laptop battery was the likely cause of a house fire which killed a mother and her four young children in Staffanstorp in southern Sweden in early September.

What’s on in Germany: December 3 – 9
Germany

What’s on in Germany: December 3 – 9

This Week's Highlights: Tattoos in Berlin, The Pet Shop Boys play Hamburg and Munich gets mediaeval for Christmas.

Conservatives say Muslims must show restraint with mosques
Germany

Conservatives say Muslims must show restraint with mosques

Following a controversial Swiss referendum to ban mosques with minarets, Christian Democratic state interior ministers in Germany on Thursday recommended Muslims show restraint when building houses of worship.

What’s On in Sweden: December 4th – 10th
Sweden

What’s On in Sweden: December 4th – 10th

What’s on in Sweden: Backstreet Boys are back in Stockholm, The Gothia Barber Girls harmonise in Gothenburg and Pete Doherty serenades Malmö.

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Sweden

Burger baron to buy Stockholm’s priciest flat

Curt Bergfors, the founder of Swedish fast food chain Max, has lined up the purchase of the most expensive apartment ever built in Sweden, a piece of property set to leave him with a 52 million kronor ($7.6 million) hole in his pocket.

Paul McCartney kicks off tour in Hamburg, where it all began
Germany

Paul McCartney kicks off tour in Hamburg, where it all began

Paul McCartney kicked off his first European tour in five years Wednesday night in Hamburg, the German city where he first exploded on to the pop scene with the Beatles nearly five decades ago.

Eight students injured in laboratory chemical accident
Germany

Eight students injured in laboratory chemical accident

Eight students were injured in a chemical laboratory accident on Wednesday night at the University of Karlsruhe, police reported.

Jonsson follows sports award with world cup biathlon win
Sweden

Jonsson follows sports award with world cup biathlon win

The day after scooping up one of Sweden’s most prestigious athletic awards, biathlete Helena Jonsson won the season-opening World Cup 15km race in Östersund in northern Sweden.

‘Elin should use a driver next time’: Parnevik
Sweden

‘Elin should use a driver next time’: Parnevik

Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik said he regretted introducing Tiger Woods to his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren after evidence emerged on Wednesday the golf superstar had an affair with a Las Vegas cocktail waitress.

Sweden gives green light to controversial wolf hunt
Sweden

Sweden gives green light to controversial wolf hunt

Hunters in Sweden will be allowed to take aim at wolves for the first time in 45 years following a Riksdag decision to control the predators’ population, wildlife officials said on Wednesday.