Girl, 16, freed in ‘truth or dare’ underage sex case
Sweden

Girl, 16, freed in ‘truth or dare’ underage sex case

A Swedish court has dismissed sexual abuse charges against a teenage girl who had sex with two underage boys after a game of 'truth and dare'.

Mario Gomez tells gay footballers to come out
Germany

Mario Gomez tells gay footballers to come out

German national footballer Mario Gomez on Wednesday encouraged fellow players to come out of the closet if they are gay – something no active professional has yet done publicly.

Merkel slams US ahead of G20 summit
Germany

Merkel slams US ahead of G20 summit

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday joined a chorus of German officials criticising the United States’ current economic policies, setting the stage for a contentious G20 summit later this week.

SAS posts deep losses after cartel fine
Sweden

SAS posts deep losses after cartel fine

Beleaguered Scandinavian airline SAS posted deep losses for the third quarter, with results weighed down by legal fees and a €70 million fine ($96.38 million) for being part of a global cargo cartel.

Swedish football body opts to expose trophy’s partisan secret
Sweden

Swedish football body opts to expose trophy’s partisan secret

The Swedish Football Association (Svenska Fotbollsförbundet) will launch an investigation into whether there is any truth to the claims that its top-flight Allsvenskan championship trophy contains a pledge of allegiance to the Stockholm club supported by its creator.

Tax agency reports boom in ID card applications
Sweden

Tax agency reports boom in ID card applications

The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has seen a boom in applications for identification cards following changes which allow cross-checking of personal information with the Migration Board (Migrationsverket), launching a new IT system to cope with demand.

Energy giant EON to divest away from Europe
Germany

Energy giant EON to divest away from Europe

Germany's EON, the world's biggest private utilities group, unveiled a major strategic shift on Wednesday, turning its focus away from Europe and toward emerging markets to restore flagging profits.

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Sweden

Swedish child minder charged with rape

A 25-year-old child minder employed at a pre-school in southern Stockholm was on Wednesday formally charged with aggravated sexual abuse and rape of a child.

Sahlin calls on Social Democrat heads to resign
Sweden

Sahlin calls on Social Democrat heads to resign

Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin has called on her party's executive committee and the governing board to resign after the party's election defeat, according to national broadcaster SVT on Wednesday.

‘Wise ones’ see economy powering forward
Germany

‘Wise ones’ see economy powering forward

Germany is set for a powerful rebound this year, a panel of top experts said on Wednesday, forecasting growth of 3.7 percent for Europe's top economy.

Shooter eyed in more unsolved Malmö killings
Sweden

Shooter eyed in more unsolved Malmö killings

Police in Malmö are looking into whether 38-year-old Peter Mangs, who is in custody for a recent spate of racist shootings, may have also been involved in other unsolved murders from years past.

Donkey helps Bundeswehr fight Taliban in Afghanistan
Germany

Donkey helps Bundeswehr fight Taliban in Afghanistan

German troops have enlisted an unusual helper in their fight against radical Taliban insurgents in northern Afghanistan. “Hermann” the donkey not only hauls weaponry for the Bundeswehr, he also lifts the mood for soldiers in camp.

Bahn manager to be sacked over ICE mishaps
Germany

Bahn manager to be sacked over ICE mishaps

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is sacking the boss of its fleet of high-speed ICE trains over a string of mishaps, including a notorious air-conditioning breakdowns that resulted in passengers being hospitalized.

Yes, I can dress my kids for the Swedish weather
Sweden

Yes, I can dress my kids for the Swedish weather

As much of Sweden is digging out from Tuesday’s snowstorm, contributor Gabriel Stein explains how getting his kids dressed in Sweden pushes him to the limit and back almost every morning.

Santa’s post office opens in Himmelpfort – every letter to be answered
Germany

Santa’s post office opens in Himmelpfort – every letter to be answered

Germany’s favourite Christmas post office opens in the Brandenburg town of Himmelpfort this week, accepting wish lists for Santa Claus from children both naughty and nice.

Fraudsters scammed Holocaust victims’ fund
Germany

Fraudsters scammed Holocaust victims’ fund

US authorities unveiled charges late on Tuesday against 17 people in a long-running scheme that fraudulently obtained some $42 million in Holocaust compensation funds from Germany.

Minorities call for their languages to be constitutionally enshrined
Germany

Minorities call for their languages to be constitutionally enshrined

Germany's native minority groups, such as the Sorbs, Frisians and Danes, have reacted to calls for the German language to be enshrined in the constitution by demanding that their own languages be included as well.

Säpo ‘never authorised’ US surveillance
Sweden

Säpo ‘never authorised’ US surveillance

Sweden's Security Service Säpo did not give permission to the US embassy to conduct surveillance in Sweden, according to chief Anders Danielsson.

Schäuble faces fresh pressure over tax plans
Germany

Schäuble faces fresh pressure over tax plans

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, already smarting from the resignation of his press spokesman this week, came under pressure Wednesday from strong opposition to his plans to simplify the tax system.

Warplane sales ‘destabilising’: Swedish think tank
Sweden

Warplane sales ‘destabilising’: Swedish think tank

Stockholm independent research institute SIPRI has warned that sales of combat aircraft could have a destabilising effect in many parts of the world, in a new report published on Wednesday.

Nobel laureate: limit jobless payouts to a year
Sweden

Nobel laureate: limit jobless payouts to a year

Nobel Economics laureate Christopher Pissarides on Tuesday called on states to subsidise "real jobs" to increase employment and to limit benefits to a maximum of one year to ward off long-term joblessness.