Police give all clear at Aachen clinic after hostage and bomb threat
Germany

Police give all clear at Aachen clinic after hostage and bomb threat

Police gave the all-clear on Friday night after searching the Aachen University clinic for a man who threatened to take a child hostage and detonate a bomb if he was not given money.

Women’s football confronts gay taboos
Germany

Women’s football confronts gay taboos

Gay players have long struggled for acceptance in the world of sports, and as Germany prepares for the Women's World Cup, their issues are again at the fore. Current and former players say progress has been made, but not enough.

Ethnic Chinese fraternity man sparks racial row
Germany

Ethnic Chinese fraternity man sparks racial row

Germany’s traditional Burschenschaften student fraternities sparked controversy recently by debating whether an ethnically Chinese German citizen could be a member. The Local spoke with him about race and Teutonic tradition.

Business confidence posts surprise rise
Germany

Business confidence posts surprise rise

Germany's Ifo business confidence index posted a surprise rise on Friday, suggesting investors remain positive about prospects for Europe's top economy despite the Greek debt crisis and concerns about US growth.

Tentacled tipsters and prophetic pachyderm predict Women’s World Cup
Germany

Tentacled tipsters and prophetic pachyderm predict Women’s World Cup

During last year's Football World Cup in South Africa, Paul the Octopus shot to fame for his accurate match predictions. But a new batch of animal oracles are tipping the women's competition starting in Germany on Sunday.

Greek immigrants remain stoic in face of German taunts
Germany

Greek immigrants remain stoic in face of German taunts

As Greece faces financial disaster, its people face hostility and conflicted feelings in Germany. While they sometimes endure jokes and taunting, they know that their countrymen are suffering back home.

Housing charity accused of exploiting Roma
Germany

Housing charity accused of exploiting Roma

A Berlin charity has been accused of housing Roma families in filthy flats and making a hefty profit from over-charging them for the accommodation – tax free, while speaking about them with a shocking lack of respect.

Cologne council members consider opening Rhine to swimmers
Germany

Cologne council members consider opening Rhine to swimmers

Cologne city officials are discussing opening portions of the Rhine River to public swimming, saying it would help protect other bodies of water in sensitive natural areas.

Woman of 77 suspected of heroin dealing
Sweden

Woman of 77 suspected of heroin dealing

After a raid on a flat owned by a 77-year-old woman in southern Sweden, police found enough reason to suspect her of dealing heroin.

Summer staffing threatens patient safety
Sweden

Summer staffing threatens patient safety

New statistics show that a serious shortage of healthcare substitutes during the summer months pose a significant threat to patient safety, according to Vårdförbundet, the Swedish Association of Health Professionals.

Becker’s holiday home confiscated by court over gardening bill
Germany

Becker’s holiday home confiscated by court over gardening bill

Former tennis legend and all-round German celebrity Boris Becker, has had his villa on Majorca officially confiscated by a court because he has not paid his gardening bill.

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Switzerland

Vanishing Vietnam gold causes record surplus

The Swiss trade surplus hit a record in May, with imports plunging during the month as gold imports from Vietnam vanished, the Swiss customs authority said on Thursday. 

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Sweden

Swedish Scania to start operations in Japan

Scania, a major Swedish automotive manufacturer of commercial vehicles such as heavy trucks and buses, has established a sales and service company in Japan, signalling changes with their alliance to Japanese truck and bus manufacturer Hino.

Lagarde pitches for IMF job
France

Lagarde pitches for IMF job

 

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde on Thursday made her case to become the next leader of the International Monetary Fund, vowing to promote reforms to make the power lender more representative of the global economy.

 

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France

French growth slows after strong start

The French economy should expand by 2.1 percent this year, but growth has already begun to slow after a strong pickup in the first quarter, the INSEE national statistics institute said on Thursday.

Italians bid to borrow Mona Lisa
France

Italians bid to borrow Mona Lisa

Authorities in Florence on Thursday asked the Louvre Museum to loan them Leonardo's closely-guarded Mona Lisa for an exhibit in 2013 – 100 years since the last time the work was displayed in Italy.

Academie rewards Algerian writer
France

Academie rewards Algerian writer

The Academie francaise, official guardian of the French language, said Thursday it will recognise 70 people in its 2011 round of prize giving, including Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra.

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France

Tuxedos launch Paris menswear shows

Tuxedos made their mark at the Paris menswear shows on Thursday, with Jean Paul Gaultier and Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton setting the tone.

Muslims say fight against terror must not lead to general suspicion
Germany

Muslims say fight against terror must not lead to general suspicion

The Central Council of Muslims has warned against putting all Muslim people under general suspicion of being radical or terrorists, ahead of Friday’s ‘Prevention Summit’ being held by the Interior Ministry.

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Sweden

New technology sheds light on criminal images

Sweden’s police will now be able to identify criminals from footage with the aid of new technology that can compare a suspect in an image with police record photos.

Greens still split on nuke exit plan ahead of vote
Germany

Greens still split on nuke exit plan ahead of vote

As the Greens gathers for this weekend’s special conference to decide on whether to support the government’s nuclear power exit strategy, the party's leadership said it would be contingent on the introduction of tighter safety standards.

11-year-old Swedish girl denied ambulance
Sweden

11-year-old Swedish girl denied ambulance

After sustaining an open chest wound of 10cm long while trimming her horse’s mane, Sweden’s emergency response services refused to send an ambulance, suggesting the 11-year-old girl take aspirin instead.