The daily World Cup roundup
Germany

The daily World Cup roundup

The Local’s World Cup blog offers an outsider’s perspective on German football as Die Mannschaft goes for glory in South Africa. Don’t miss our daily roundup!

Ruhr crocodile sightings put Bochum police on alert
Germany

Ruhr crocodile sightings put Bochum police on alert

It seem every summer their are reports on crocodile sightings in Germany, but this year police in the Ruhr Valley city of Bochum are taking them a bit more seriously.

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Sweden

Swedes and their quirky habits laid bare

Plucking out little cultural differences and critiquing them to death is the part-time hobby of almost any expat anywhere in the world and US exile Doug Lansky shows that he is no different.

Green light given to gene testing IVF embryos
Germany

Green light given to gene testing IVF embryos

Doctors have been given the green light to gene test IVF embryos for hereditary illnesses after a landmark court decision clearing a Berlin fertility specialist over his use of the controversial technique.

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Germany

K1 ponzi scheme suspect commits suicide

Dieter Frerichs, a German hedge fund manager, has committed suicide to avoid arrest and possible deportation to his homeland where he is wanted for fraud, Spanish police said Tuesday.

Tourism creates jobs, boosts export earnings
Sweden

Tourism creates jobs, boosts export earnings

Tourism helped to create new jobs and higher export earnings in 2009, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) reported on Tuesday.

Star Munich opera director Nagano resigns amid controversy
Germany

Star Munich opera director Nagano resigns amid controversy

Star Music Director for the Bavarian State Opera Kent Nagano will not extend his contract as a result of internal strife, the American conductor said on Tuesday.

Higher health insurance costs approved
Germany

Higher health insurance costs approved

Workers and their employers will have to kick more money into health insurance schemes as part of a rescue package the government announced Tuesday in an effort to prop up cash-strapped insurers.

‘Gestapo’ reg plate falls foul of transport agency
Sweden

‘Gestapo’ reg plate falls foul of transport agency

The Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) manages applications for personal number plates in Sweden, but guidelines dictate that plates deemed inappropriate or offensive are rejected, according to a GP.se report.

Sweden tops EU in citizenship approval rate
Sweden

Sweden tops EU in citizenship approval rate

Sweden is the most generous country in the EU when it comes to approving citizenship applications, according to a new report from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, on Tuesday.

Women believe men deserve higher pay, study finds
Germany

Women believe men deserve higher pay, study finds

German women earn up to one-quarter less than their male co-workers, but a new study released Tuesday surprisingly revealed that many women also think they deserve a smaller paycheque.

Mankell calls for release of Israeli soldier
Sweden

Mankell calls for release of Israeli soldier

Swedish crime writer and Ship to Gaza activist Henning Mankell has called on Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Palestinian custody.

Paul the ‘psychic’ octopus tips Spain to beat Germany
Germany

Paul the ‘psychic’ octopus tips Spain to beat Germany

Cries of despair were likely heard across Germany on Tuesday after a "psychic" octopus called Paul tipped Spain to beat Germany in the football World Cup semi-final.

Sweden issues fewer licences to foreign docs
Sweden

Sweden issues fewer licences to foreign docs

The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) issued fewer medical licenses in 2009 to doctors with foreign medical degrees than in previous years, new figures show.

Unions take up fight for lewd cop blogger
Sweden

Unions take up fight for lewd cop blogger

The Swedish Police Union (Polisförbundet) has objected to the sacking of a Skåne police officer who in his blog revealed that he and a colleague secretly dabbed the tips of their sex organs against parts of a car driven by female co-workers.

Court to examine science of ‘designer babies’
Germany

Court to examine science of ‘designer babies’

The murky legal territory of “designer babies” will go under the microscope Tuesday when a Leipzig court examines a fertility doctor’s gene testing of embryos from couples with hereditary risk of illness.

Swedish feminists burn 100,000 kronor in wage protest
Sweden

Swedish feminists burn 100,000 kronor in wage protest

The Feminist Initiative (Feministisk Initiativ - Fi) carried out its promise to burn 100,000 kronor ($13,000) on Tuesday morning, claiming that a half-page ad would never have had the same impact in the fight for equal pay between the sexes.

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Sweden

Bankruptcies fall in first half of 2010

Bankruptcies in Sweden declined by 14 percent in the first half of this year compared to the corresponding period of last year, credit reporting company UC reported on Tuesday.

Fewer migrant children finish high school
Germany

Fewer migrant children finish high school

Efforts to boost the numbers of immigrant children finishing school have fallen flat, according to a government report to be released Wednesday, which shows the problem has actually become worse.

Dry weather could hurt blueberry season
Sweden

Dry weather could hurt blueberry season

It will be a disappointing season for eager blueberry fans if it does not rain soon in Sweden, the newspaper Smålänningen reported on Monday.

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Sweden

98-year-old reports doc over early death cert

A 98-year-old woman in Trollhättan in western Sweden has reported a doctor for mistakenly issuing her death certificate after confusing her personal data with her deceased husband's.

Lahm to Ballack: I want to stay on as captain
Germany

Lahm to Ballack: I want to stay on as captain

Germany skipper Philipp Lahm has warned Michael Ballack in an interview that he wants to remain captain of the national side after the World Cup.

Social Democrats push for national smoking ban
Germany

Social Democrats push for national smoking ban

The push for a tough, national smoking ban in Germany has gained momentum with the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) calling on Tuesday for all bars and restaurants to become smoke-free.