Merkel demands Burma free political prisoners
Germany

Merkel demands Burma free political prisoners

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday urged the new civilian government in Burma to release political prisoners as she spoke by phone with pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Sweden

‘Grant rejected asylum seekers work permits’

A parliamentary committee has proposed granting work permits to rejected asylum seekers and allowing immigrants to live abroad for up to five years without losing their right to reside in Sweden.

Hundreds apply for Swedish ‘beach bum’ job
Sweden

Hundreds apply for Swedish ‘beach bum’ job

A Swedish lifestyle magazine is looking to hire someone skilled at receiving full-body massages, drinking wine at local taverns, and reading books for a not-too demanding temporary assignment.

Dog owner guilty of three-year-old’s brutal death by pit bull pack
Germany

Dog owner guilty of three-year-old’s brutal death by pit bull pack

The owner of four dogs that attacked and killed a three-year-old last year was handed a suspended sentence of one year and 80 hours of community service by a Thuringian court on Friday.

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Sweden

Antidepressant use climbs in Sweden

Prescriptions of antidepressants continue to rise in Sweden, according to new statistics from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

Police foil Dortmund stadium bomb plot
Germany

Police foil Dortmund stadium bomb plot

German police said on Thursday they had foiled an apparent blackmail plot involving bombs placed near the stadium of football club Borussia Dortmund.

Deutsche Bahn offices raided by European Commission
Germany

Deutsche Bahn offices raided by European Commission

The European Commission, which enforces competition regulations in Europe, on Thursday said it had raided the premises of German national rail company Deutsche Bahn in an anti-trust probe.

Southwestern workers take less sick leave
Germany

Southwestern workers take less sick leave

Germans from the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg are the least likely to claim sick leave, and when they do their time off is shorter than in other regions, a new study revealed on Thursday.

Aircraft contrails causing global warming
Germany

Aircraft contrails causing global warming

The condensation trails emitted by aircraft may be warming the planet more on any given day than all the carbon dioxide that planes have pumped out since aviation began, German scientists have found.

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Switzerland

Bomb explodes at Swiss nuclear office

A letter bomb has exploded at the offices of the Swiss nuclear energy association, injuring two people, police have said.

Gothenburg bribery trial gets under way
Sweden

Gothenburg bribery trial gets under way

The first trial in a major bribery scandal began in Gothenburg on Thursday as a former housing chief faced charges of having accepted 24 tonnes of free bricks for a private building project.

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Switzerland

Swiss 34-year-old to become grandmother

A 34-year-old Swiss woman is about to become one of the country’s youngest grandmothers. 

Sweden targets religious prejudice
Sweden

Sweden targets religious prejudice

Sweden's government has announced plans to chart the extent of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the country, as it attempts to counteract the spread of intolerance towards minorities.

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Sweden

Murder pics posted on porn site: report

Confidential police photographs of a woman who was raped and murdered in Gothenburg last year have been leaked onto a pornographic website, local newspaper GT reports.

Foreign population increase bucks downward trend
Germany

Foreign population increase bucks downward trend

The number of foreigners living in Germany rose for the first time in five years in 2010, growing by about one percent, new data from the National Statistics Office (Destatis) revealed Thursday.

Sweden to fight EU ruling on VAT for non-profit groups
Sweden

Sweden to fight EU ruling on VAT for non-profit groups

The Swedish government has announced that it is to "fight all the way" against an EU Commission ruling to reject an application to restrict the levy of VAT (value Added Tax) payable by non-profit groups.

Unemployment hits post reunification low
Germany

Unemployment hits post reunification low

German unemployment reached a post-reunification low in March, official data showed Thursday, but inflation is nonetheless dampening consumption and sentiment in Europe's biggest economy.

Persbrandt loses Unicef role after cocaine bust
Sweden

Persbrandt loses Unicef role after cocaine bust

Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt, the star of the Oscar-winning film "In a Better World", has lost his role as an ambassador for the UN's children's fund Unicef after being caught using cocaine.

Go your own way – setting up a business in Sweden
Sweden

Go your own way – setting up a business in Sweden

Fed up with trying to find a job in Sweden? Why not try starting your own business? As The Local's Geoff Mortimore discovers, it's not always easy, but there is plenty of help available, regardless of your Swedish language skills.

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Sweden

Abused children face deportation threat

Gothenburg police are set to deport two siblings back to Azerbaijan with their parents, despite social services knowing that they had sustained abuse and had been placed in foster care.

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Switzerland

Swiss health giant rocked by insider trading probe

Sonova Holding, a Switzerland-based market leader in hearing healthcare products, has been put under investigation for suspected insider trading. 

What’s on in Germany: March 31 – April 6
Germany

What’s on in Germany: March 31 – April 6

This week's highlights: Cronenberg in Cologne, improvised music in Munich, and movies by Berlinale Talent Campus alumni screen in Berlin.

Free Democrats’ nuclear battle intensifies
Germany

Free Democrats’ nuclear battle intensifies

Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle has thrown fuel on the fire of the potentially explosive debate within his government over nuclear power, as his Free Democratic Party (FDP) inches closer to a leadership battle.

Swedish ice racer dies after high-speed crash
Sweden

Swedish ice racer dies after high-speed crash

A Swedish ice racing rider has died in hospital after an accident during Wednesday's tournament in the ABB Arena in Västerås in central Sweden.

Diamonds swiped in daring Basel raid
Switzerland

Diamonds swiped in daring Basel raid

Four diamonds worth millions were stolen on Wednesday from the world's biggest watch and jewellery fair in the northern Swiss city of Basel.

Fake euro coin scam uncovered
Germany

Fake euro coin scam uncovered

Investigators probing a massive fraud involving fake euro coins have arrested six people in the Frankfurt area, including Lufthansa flight attendants, authorities announced Thursday.

Train drivers on strike
Germany

Train drivers on strike

Regional train commuters across Germany may need to find alternative transport after drivers from 21 private rail operators went on a two-day strike Thursday morning.

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Sweden

Downed lines prompt train delays

Two downed power lines caused a complete stoppage for trains between Gothenburg and Stockholm during Wednesday night with further delays expected throughout Thursday.