Muslims mull mosque debate after Swiss vote
Germany

Muslims mull mosque debate after Swiss vote

The Swiss vote to forbid the construction of mosques with minarets has sparked calls for a similar ban in Germany. Robert Rigney samples the mood of the country’s Muslim community.

Berlin calls Iran’s missile test ‘alarming’
Germany

Berlin calls Iran’s missile test ‘alarming’

The German government said Wednesday that Iran's medium-range missile test was "alarming" and did little to rebuild the confidence of the international community over its controversial nuclear programme.

‘Millennium’ trilogy heading to Hollywood
Sweden

‘Millennium’ trilogy heading to Hollywood

A major Hollywood studio is close to finalizing a deal to produce an English-language film adaptation of Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s wildly successful “Millennium” trilogy of crime novels.

Germans back tax on bankers’ bonuses
Germany

Germans back tax on bankers’ bonuses

A majority of Germans support a special tax on the bonuses earned by bankers in the wake of the global financial crisis, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

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Sweden

Diplomat and wife jailed for smuggling cigarettes

A North Korean diplomat and his wife have been sentenced to eight months in prison by a court in Stockholm for attempting to smuggle more than 230,000 cigarettes into Sweden.

Severed pig’s ear sent to Muslim organisation
Germany

Severed pig’s ear sent to Muslim organisation

A package with a severed pig’s ear was delivered to a Muslim organisation in Cologne on Wednesday by unknown perpetrators, the group’s leader said.

Sweden braces for more wild winter weather
Sweden

Sweden braces for more wild winter weather

Another blast of winter weather is set to barrel down across southern and eastern Sweden starting on Wednesday night, with strong winds and heavy snowfall reaching as far as the Baltic island of Gotland.

Swedes keep lapping up juicy Tiger tidbits
Sweden

Swedes keep lapping up juicy Tiger tidbits

Amid new reports that Elin Nordegren is set to sign a sponsorship deal with the rival of one of golfer husband Tiger Woods’ strongest corporate supporters, Swedes continue to swoon over every new revelation in the ongoing drama.

Plot thickens over Russian pantyhose probe
Sweden

Plot thickens over Russian pantyhose probe

The mystery surrounding why exactly a Swedish diplomat was selling smuggled pantyhose in a Moscow kiosk grew on Tuesday as the Swedish foreign ministry alleged the Russian media portrayal of the incident was a deliberate smear attempt.

Schäuble defends record new debt in 2010 budget
Germany

Schäuble defends record new debt in 2010 budget

Following approval of Germany's 2010 budget by the cabinet on Wednesday, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble defended the decision to take on record new debt next year.

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Sweden

Two degree climate deal unlikely: Reinfeldt

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has said the Copenhagen summit is unlikely to result in a pledge to try to cap the rise of global temperatures since the dawn of the industrial era at two degrees Celsius.

‘Christmas Academy’ teaches Germans yule rules
Germany

‘Christmas Academy’ teaches Germans yule rules

Parents and children in the southwest German city of Trier are taking part in a “Christmas Academy” to perfect their skills at singing carols, reading aloud and making a good impression at the yuletide feast.

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Sweden

Riksbank leaves interest rates unchanged

The Riksbank decided on Tuesday to leave the leave Sweden’s benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25 percent, but indicated that rate hikes were likely later in 2010.

Lower Saxony drivers at highest risk for tree collisions
Germany

Lower Saxony drivers at highest risk for tree collisions

Drivers in the German state of Lower Saxony have the highest risk of having a car accident involving a tree, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Full-time employment positions declining
Germany

Full-time employment positions declining

The number of Germans able to find full-time jobs subject to social insurance contributions from employers is on the decline, daily Frankfurter Rundschau reported on Wednesday.

Police union moots European database for violent protesters
Germany

Police union moots European database for violent protesters

A German police union on Wednesday called for the creation of a European database of violent demonstrators following incidents on the fringes of the UN global warming talks.

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Sweden

Suspected looting of pension fund investment

One of Sweden’s public pension funds has been shaken by a scandal involving the suspected plundering of a company in the fund’s portfolio. The company’s CEO was also in a relationship with the head of the fund.

Ministry withheld Kunduz reports from Merkel
Germany

Ministry withheld Kunduz reports from Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office complained early on that it was not sufficiently informed by the Defence Ministry in the controversial September bombardment that killed up to 142 people in Afghanistan, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

Eriksson to stay with Notts County despite Backe’s departure
Sweden

Eriksson to stay with Notts County despite Backe’s departure

Sven-Göran Eriksson has vowed to continue as director of football at English fourth-tier side Notts County despite the decision by fellow Swede Hans Backe to quit as the club's trainer.

Sony Ericsson to cut 450 jobs in Lund
Sweden

Sony Ericsson to cut 450 jobs in Lund

Sony Ericsson plans to reduce the workforce at facilities in Lund in southern Sweden by 15 percent, putting 450 of the mobile handset manufacturer’s employees out of work.