Merkel ‘nervous’ climate talks could fail
Germany

Merkel ‘nervous’ climate talks could fail

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she was "somewhat nervous" that an impasse at the Copenhagen climate talks could nix hopes of a comprehensive deal by the end of the week.

Germany’s rules of disengagement in Afghanistan
Germany

Germany’s rules of disengagement in Afghanistan

A botched NATO air strike responsible for the tragic deaths of scores of civilians is threatening to derail Germany’s military engagement in Afghanistan, writes The Local’s Marc Young.

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Sweden

Swedish CEOs make peanuts in Euro study

Pay cheques for Swedish CEOs are less than half the size of those of their counterparts in other European companies, a new study shows.

The day the milk stood still
Sweden

The day the milk stood still

It's not really the government that runs Sweden. Nor is it the police, the Royal Family or the largely interchangeable bearded dudes from Abba. It is, oddly enough, the people who print the little best-before dates on all food and drink items.

Fresh doubts on Mannichl stabbing case
Germany

Fresh doubts on Mannichl stabbing case

The unsolved stabbing of former Passau police chief Alois Mannichl – allegedly by a neo-Nazi – was thrown into doubt Tuesday when the public prosecutor in the case dismissed his testimony as inconsistent.

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Sweden

Pensioner indicted over China spy scandal

A 61-year-old pensioner has been indicted in Stockholm on charges of spying on behalf of the Chinese government.

Polanski’s latest film to premier at Berlinale
Germany

Polanski’s latest film to premier at Berlinale

The 2010 Berlinale film festival will premiere the latest film by director Roman Polanski, who is under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting deportation to the United States on unlawful sex charges.

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Sweden

Spyker lined up to buy Saab: GM

General Motors has revealed that Dutch sportscar maker Spyker is the only firm in the running for the acquisition of Saab Automobile, Reuters reports.

World’s children ask Santa for video games and puppies
Sweden

World’s children ask Santa for video games and puppies

Boys and girls around the world have video games, Lego and pets at the top of their Christmas wish lists this year, according to the Swedish postal service, which has steamed letters addressed to Santa Claus in Tomteboda.

More than one in seven Germans on poverty line
Germany

More than one in seven Germans on poverty line

Official figures released on Tuesday showed nearly 15 percent of Germans were languishing near the poverty line in 2008, as a separate study said the country's long-term unemployed had a poor chance of having a normal work life.

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Sweden

Facebook helps Swedish woman flee knife threat

Facebook status updates sent by a woman held at knifepoint in an apartment in Gothenburg in western Sweden helped lead to her release.

German banks wary of fresh Iran sanctions
Germany

German banks wary of fresh Iran sanctions

German banks and companies are uneasy about proposals by an international anti-corruption body to require financial institutions to do more to curb exports to Iran, business daily Handelsblatt reported Tuesday.

Juvenile alcohol abuse surges
Germany

Juvenile alcohol abuse surges

More German children and teenagers got dangerously drunk in 2008 than at any time in the past decade, leading to a surge in hospitalisations, the federal government’s drug commissioner announced Tuesday.

More Swedes favour euro over krona: poll
Sweden

More Swedes favour euro over krona: poll

A majority of Swedes would favour switching from the krona to the euro if a referendum on whether Sweden should adopt the common European currency were held today, a new poll shows.

Workers pick Sweden’s shrubs and data hubs
Sweden

Workers pick Sweden’s shrubs and data hubs

Thai berry pickers and Indian IT experts have been the primary recipients of work permits since Sweden's new labour force immigration laws came into force a year ago.

Twitter entry provokes furious mayhem in Lower Saxon legislature
Germany

Twitter entry provokes furious mayhem in Lower Saxon legislature

A Twitter entry by a Greens MP branding a conservative opponent a right-wing extremist caused mayhem in the Lower Saxony state parliament, forcing an end to debate amid fears of a brawl, daily Hannoversche Allgemeine reported on Tuesday.

Exhibition shows how the Nazis stole Christmas
Germany

Exhibition shows how the Nazis stole Christmas

AFP's Francois Becker reports on a new exhibition in Cologne detailing how the Nazis tried to steal Christmas.

Vandals target Westerwelle’s car
Germany

Vandals target Westerwelle’s car

The personal car of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has copped the fury of political critics, with unknown assailants sticking nails in the car’s tyres, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported Tuesday.

Privacy challenge to data-storage law reaches constitutional court
Germany

Privacy challenge to data-storage law reaches constitutional court

A controversial law forcing communications companies to keep records of customers’ phone and internet use for six months was to be scrutinised on Tuesday by the constitutional court after 34,000 people lodged appeals against the law.

NATO steps up call on Germany for fresh Afghanistan troops
Germany

NATO steps up call on Germany for fresh Afghanistan troops

NATO hopes to send two tactical groups, up to 3,000 troops, to north Afghanistan under German command, a NATO chief of staff said late on Monday.

Merkel set to become target in Kunduz affair
Germany

Merkel set to become target in Kunduz affair

The opposition Social Democrats in January will try to question Chancellor Angela Merkel over the deadly Afghan air strike affair as they broaden their political attack on the government, news magazine Der Spiegel reported Tuesday.

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Sweden

BAIC deal allows Saab to operate through first quarter: report

Saab Automobile reportedly received 1.4 billion kronor ($200 million) from China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC) in exchange for access to some of the Swedish automaker’s technology.

Tiger Woods mistress ‘sorry for Elin’s pain’
Sweden

Tiger Woods mistress ‘sorry for Elin’s pain’

Elin Nordegren received a nationally televised apology from one of Tiger Woods’ ex-lovers on Monday as the golf star received backing from one of his major sponsors.

Swedish envoy in Russian pantyhose probe
Sweden

Swedish envoy in Russian pantyhose probe

A Swedish diplomat has left his post in Moscow after police interrogated him about allegedly selling women's stockings smuggled from Belarus, according to Russian television.