Volcanic ash shuts Berlin and Hamburg airports
Germany

Volcanic ash shuts Berlin and Hamburg airports

Ash floating thousands of kilometres from an erupting volcano in Iceland has forced the closure of airports in Berlin, Hamburg and other northern German cities overnight.

Passengers stranded as ash cloud nears
Sweden

Passengers stranded as ash cloud nears

Cancelled departures have left Stockholm-Arlanda airport thronged with disappointed passengers after a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland caused aviation authorities to shut down Swedish airspace.

Four soldiers killed in Afghanistan attack
Germany

Four soldiers killed in Afghanistan attack

Four Bundeswehr soldiers were killed and five injured during a Taliban attack in northern Afghanistan on Thursday, the German government said in a statement.

Police union warns of carnage during May Day protests
Germany

Police union warns of carnage during May Day protests

In the face of security gaps and overstretched police, the mounting threat of radical political violence could explode on the traditional protest day of May Day and possibly lead to deaths and hundreds of injuries, the head of the police union warned Thursday.

Court rules against ‘Ossi’ discrimination case
Germany

Court rules against ‘Ossi’ discrimination case

More than 20 years after Germany’s reunification, a Stuttgart labour court ruled on Thursday that former East Germans - known by the pejorative "Ossi" - are not an ethnic group and cannot therefore sue for discrimination.

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Sweden

Trains in demand after airspace shutdown

Swedish national rail operator SJ is trying to increase seats on its trains as demand rockets following a decision to close almost all of Sweden's airspace from 6pm on Thursday as a cloud of volcanic ash spreads across Scandinavia.

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Sweden

TeliaSonera in Georgian tax dispute

Swedish-Finnish telecom firm Telia Sonera has landed in a tax battle in Georgia after its Geocell subsidiary was served with a 450 million kronor ($63 million) penalty by local tax authorities.

Germany offers world advice on running an efficient economy
Germany

Germany offers world advice on running an efficient economy

Germany offered other countries information on how to run their economies in a more efficient fashion on Thursday with the online publication of documents in English on the "German job miracle."

Scientists predict colder European winters to come
Germany

Scientists predict colder European winters to come

Continental Europe and Britain are likely to see more unusually cold winters like last season due to low solar activity, according to a new study by British and German researchers published on Thursday.

Volcano ash forces airspace shutdown
Sweden

Volcano ash forces airspace shutdown

Most Swedish airspace is to be shut down from 6pm on Thursday as volcanic ash continues to drift eastward from Iceland, the Civil Aviation Authority, LFV, has said.

Brotherhood ordered Williamson to skip Holocaust trial
Germany

Brotherhood ordered Williamson to skip Holocaust trial

English Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson wanted to appear in court to fight Holocaust denial charges in Bavaria this week, but was ordered to stay away by his ultra-conservative Saint Pius X Society, his lawyer told The Local Thursday.

Opposition strikes back over spring budget
Sweden

Opposition strikes back over spring budget

The left-green opposition has criticised the spring fiscal policy proposal represented by the government on Thursday, calling for more money for new jobs and a shoring up of municipal finances.

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Sweden

Swedish school scolded for prayer readings

A school in Karesuando in northern Sweden has been criticised by the National Agency for Education (Skolverket) for holding prayer and psalm readings during classes after children from a conservative Lutheran offshoot joined the school.

Nazi castle turned into museum dedicated to Hitler’s dreaded SS
Germany

Nazi castle turned into museum dedicated to Hitler’s dreaded SS

A new museum devoted to Adolf Hitler's murderous SS has opened in a mysterious castle designed to be the spiritual home of the Nazi global empire after World War II. AFP's Richard Carter reports.

Bee colonies wiped out by killer parasite
Germany

Bee colonies wiped out by killer parasite

Germany's honey bee population is being threatened by a killer parasite and intensive farming practices, both of which have destroyed up to 200,000 bee colonies in recent months, a Thursday media report said.

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Sweden

Swedish population to top 10 million in 2021

Sweden's population increased by 84,000 people in 2009 and is set to grow by 600,000 over the next ten years, passing the 10 million mark in 2021, according to a new forecast from Statistics Sweden (SCB).

What’s On in Sweden: April 16th – 22nd
Sweden

What’s On in Sweden: April 16th – 22nd

What’s on in Sweden: New Young Pony Club (pictured) in Stockholm, Muslim comedy in Gothenburg and African poverty in Malmö.

What’s on in Germany: April 15 – 21
Germany

What’s on in Germany: April 15 – 21

This week's highlights: Slow food sizzles in Stuttgart, Wanda Jackson charms Berlin, and a photo albums from the Second World War go on display in Frankfurt.

Environment agency backs national road tolls
Germany

Environment agency backs national road tolls

The Federal Environment Agency is backing a nationwide road toll that would charge motorists depending on how far they drive, a media report said Thursday.

Borg cuts GDP forecast in spring budget
Sweden

Borg cuts GDP forecast in spring budget

Sweden's finance minister Anders Borg presented the spring fiscal policy proposal on Thursday and announced a cut in the GDP growth forecast to 2.5 percent in 2010, 3.9 percent in 2011 and 3.5 percent in 2012.

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Sweden

Toddler dies after driveway accident

A 15-month-old baby boy has died after he was knocked down on Monday by a reversing car at a farm near Gnesta, south of Stockholm.

Merkel pushes closer ties with California
Germany

Merkel pushes closer ties with California

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Wednesday night in Los Angeles she wanted to boost Germany’s relationship with California and use the west coast of the United States as a gateway to Asia.

Guttenberg rushes to re-equip Bundeswehr
Germany

Guttenberg rushes to re-equip Bundeswehr

The speedy upgrade to Bundeswehr weaponry in response to the bloodshed of Good Friday in Afghanistan continues with Germany set to fast-track an order for 60 new Swiss-made armoured cars, according to a Thursday media report.

Royal court releases wedding details
Sweden

Royal court releases wedding details

The launch of a new web page with details of the royal marriage of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling on June 19th has caused a stir of interest in Sweden.