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Switzerland

Banks face tougher bailout rules

The Swiss government on Wednesday approved a raft of tougher regulations for major banks that seek state aid.

Engineers make cycling even greener
Germany

Engineers make cycling even greener

Cycling has always been considered a green form of transportation, but as Alexander Bakst reports, German engineers are hoping to make “organic” bikes from sustainable materials more popular.

Neuer confirms he’s leaving Schalke 04
Germany

Neuer confirms he’s leaving Schalke 04

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wept openly on Wednesday as he explained why he will not extend his contract, which runs until 2012, at Champions League semi-finalists Schalke 04.

Rail operator misled public on sweltering train
Sweden

Rail operator misled public on sweltering train

Passengers stuck on a sweltering train for six hours could have been evacuated after an hour and a half, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Polish offer to run nuclear power plant embarrasses RWE
Germany

Polish offer to run nuclear power plant embarrasses RWE

The Polish government has approached German energy giant RWE to help run a new nuclear power station, the business weekly Wirtschaftswoche reported as the company held a turbulent shareholders' meeting.

Firing of Jesus-loving call centre worker found kosher
Germany

Firing of Jesus-loving call centre worker found kosher

A labour court in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has upheld the firing of a deeply religious call centre agent who ended calls with customers by saying “Jesus loves you.”

Volvo under fire for Shanghai show ‘babes’
Sweden

Volvo under fire for Shanghai show ‘babes’

When Volvo opened their display for the press at the Auto Shanghai 2011 fair in China there were a number of women in evening dresses, high heels and immaculate make up were there to greet the gathered journalists.

Deutsche Bahn loses case against rival bus service
Germany

Deutsche Bahn loses case against rival bus service

A court has ruled that Deutsche Bahn cannot protect its extensive bus services by stopping a start-up business which offers cheaper long-distance coach trips across Germany.

China’s Ai Weiwei named Berlin professor amid calls for his release
Germany

China’s Ai Weiwei named Berlin professor amid calls for his release

The arrested Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei will be made guest professor at Berlin’s University of the Arts (UdK), it was announced on Wednesday.

Dry weather spell threatens Swiss veggies
Switzerland

Dry weather spell threatens Swiss veggies

The recent spell of dry and warm weather in Switzerland could lead to shortages of a number of crops, farmers have warned.

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Sweden

Swedish ‘clairvoyant’ con-artist sent to prison

The 48-year-old ‘clairvoyant’ who managed to con a total of 4 million ($652,000) kronor from three unsuspecting victims, was convicted of gross fraud and sentenced to prison for two years and six months by Solna District Court on Wednesday.

Flashmob to break Easter dance ban in Frankfurt
Germany

Flashmob to break Easter dance ban in Frankfurt

A flashmob is set to descend on central Frankfurt on Friday morning to deliberately break the law – by dancing in a public place between the hours of 4 am and 12 noon.

Second Swedish woman reports ‘fake rape’ slur
Sweden

Second Swedish woman reports ‘fake rape’ slur

Greek authorities were saying that Swedish women were out to cash in on fake rape claims as early as 2002.

Finnish hockey legend reveals Swedish tattoo secret
Sweden

Finnish hockey legend reveals Swedish tattoo secret

Teemu Selänne aka "The Finnish Flash" has confirmed rumours that despite being one his country's most faithful servants on the ice, he has been bearing a terrible tattooed secret since a drunken stag night over a decade ago.

Turkish-German actress causes stir with Playboy shoot
Germany

Turkish-German actress causes stir with Playboy shoot

Sila Sahin, a Turkish-German TV actress, has caused a stir by posing nude for the German edition of Playboy. Family members are no longer talking with her but her German boyfriend is defending her decision to bare all.

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Switzerland

Swiss spend more on their steak and fries

The Swiss spent 26 billion francs on dining out and drinking in bars last year, regaining their appetite after the financial crisis, with steak and fries the most popular dish.

Sweden’s Riksbank raises interest rates
Sweden

Sweden’s Riksbank raises interest rates

Sweden's Riksbank on Wednesday announced that it has raised the base repo rate by 0.25 percent to 1.75 percent.

Swedish food ‘exchange’ site raises funds for the world’s hungry
Sweden

Swedish food ‘exchange’ site raises funds for the world’s hungry

A Swedish designed social media initiative has been launched this week aiming to raise awareness and funds for the World Food Programme (WFP) in which well-fed donors can opt out of a snack or a meal and donate the difference.

Man arrested after paying for noisy sex
Sweden

Man arrested after paying for noisy sex

Grunts heard through a wall were enough for police in southern Sweden to arrest a 46-year-old man on suspicion of buying sex.

Government will prompt welfare families to get help for children
Germany

Government will prompt welfare families to get help for children

So few recipients of Hartz IV welfare benefits have applied for financial help for their children that German Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen is preparing to write to each family to let them know what they are missing.

‘Sweden must do more to utilise foreign grads’
Sweden

‘Sweden must do more to utilise foreign grads’

The government must do more to ensure that Sweden takes advantage of the benefits brought by highly educated foreigners who come to the country, Sweden's national auditor has argued.

Koch-Mehrin plagiarism charges thicken
Germany

Koch-Mehrin plagiarism charges thicken

Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a leading light of Germany's Free Democratic Party and vice president of the European Parliament, has been accused of widely plagiarising her doctoral dissertation.

Berlin takes fifth national hockey title
Germany

Berlin takes fifth national hockey title

Berlin’s ice hockey team the Eisbären won the German championship on Tuesday night for the fifth time, beating Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg with a deciding goal in the 57th minute.

Dalai Lama charms southern Sweden
Sweden

Dalai Lama charms southern Sweden

Known as the ‘Laughing Dalai Lama,’ His Holiness bedazzled southern Sweden with witty quips, magnetic smiles and his contagious giggle while doling out pearls of wisdom and a few personal stories, The Local's Karen Holst reports.

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Sweden

New car fires erupt in Gothenburg suburb

More cars were set alight in the Gothenburg suburbs on Tuesday night as violence plagued the outskirts of the western Swedish town for the second night in a row.