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Switzerland

Israel turns back activists from Switzerland

Israeli security forces stopped a group of 20 pro-Palestinian activists who arrived on a flight from Switzerland on Friday and were expected to expel them, police said.

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France

French envoy in solidarity trip to Syria protest city

France's ambassador to Syria travelled to the flashpoint city of Hama to show solidarity with the victims of a crackdown on anti-government protestors, officials said on Friday.

Prosecutors drop demand for Demjanjuk to return to jail
Germany

Prosecutors drop demand for Demjanjuk to return to jail

German prosecutors said Friday that they have withdrawn a demand for ex-Nazi camp guard John Demjanjuk to return to jail pending appeals of his conviction for assisting in killing nearly 30,000 Jews.

Swiss minaret ban cases rejected by court
Switzerland

Swiss minaret ban cases rejected by court

Europe's rights court on Friday rejected two cases brought by Muslims against Switzerland's constitutional ban on the construction of new minarets.

Chirac and Sarkozy: Paradise lost
France

Chirac and Sarkozy: Paradise lost

Former French president Jacques Chirac once described Nicolas Sarkozy as “the most gifted politician of his generation”. But, as The Local’s Martin Untersinger explains, the light of love has long since disappeared from a relationship that once crackled with mutual admiration.

Nurses suspended after maltreating elderly
Sweden

Nurses suspended after maltreating elderly

Events at a scandal-struck nursing home in Norrköping, in central Sweden, are now under investigation, both by the police and Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

Hackers steal police data from customs servers
Germany

Hackers steal police data from customs servers

The security of German government computer systems has come into question after hackers broke into the Customs Administration’s servers and stole data on Thursday night.

Juholt promises 21 concrete points of reform
Sweden

Juholt promises 21 concrete points of reform

Social Democratic leader Håkan Juholt is promising that his speech in Almedalen on Friday evening will unveil no fewer than 21 concrete points on labour and employment reforms.

Hitler’s birthplace revokes dictator’s citizenship
Germany

Hitler’s birthplace revokes dictator’s citizenship

Sixty-six years after the end of World War II, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has been stripped of his honorary citizenship in the Austrian city where he was born.

Swedes ‘dependent’ on their cars: study
Sweden

Swedes ‘dependent’ on their cars: study

50 percent of Swedes drive their cars every day, according to a survey conducted by auto group BIL Sweden and Sweden's National Automotive Association (Motorbranschens Riksförbund - MRF) published on Friday.

Conservative MP admits alcohol problem after car accident
Germany

Conservative MP admits alcohol problem after car accident

A senior MP from Angela Merkel’s conservatives has admitted he is an alcoholic and checked himself in for treatment after fleeing the scene of a minor car accident on Saturday night.

Beckenbauer furious over Munich Olympics snub
Germany

Beckenbauer furious over Munich Olympics snub

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has accused European members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of voting against Munich 2018 Winter Olympics bid in order to further their own interests.

Competition stiff for Sweden’s new pharmacies: report
Sweden

Competition stiff for Sweden’s new pharmacies: report

Sweden's privately-owned pharmacies are suffering from financial troubles. The largest player on Sweden's pharmacy market, Apotek Hjärtat, has reported a loss of 358 million kronor ($56.4 million) after taxes, reports financial newspaper Dagens Industri.

Fossils in Saxony shed light on ancient lizard life
Germany

Fossils in Saxony shed light on ancient lizard life

Scientists in Saxony have discovered 290-million-year-old fossil skeletons of a previously unknown, tree-dwelling lizard species in a perfectly preserved petrified forest that casts new light on the habits of ancient reptiles.

Paris exhibition honours the Smurfs’ creator
France

Paris exhibition honours the Smurfs’ creator

The self-taught Belgian cartoonist behind the Smurfs is getting some long-awaited recognition with a first-ever retrospective of his work that opened in Paris on Thursday, some weeks after the publication of a controversial book by a French scholar.

French court delays ruling on IMF’s Lagarde
France

French court delays ruling on IMF’s Lagarde

A French court on Friday delayed its ruling on whether the new head of the IMF, former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, will face a criminal probe over her handling of a tycoon's lawsuit.

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France

French paraglider found dead in Peruvian Andes

French paraglider Xavier Murillo was found dead on Thursday high up in the Peruvian Andes after disappearing for six days, police said. The 55-year-old's body was found tangled up with his glider.

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Sweden

Scouts say no to neo-Nazi camp tenants

A Swedish neo-Nazi political party is planning to gather this weekend in Höör, in southern Sweden, where they are organising a summer camp for their supporters and their families.

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France

Divers recover woman’s body from French lake

Police divers recovered on Thursday the body of a 20-year-old South Korean woman who went missing on a French lake earlier this week, emergency services said.

French prosecutors probe DSK rape claim
France

French prosecutors probe DSK rape claim

French prosecutors began Friday a preliminary inquiry into an allegation by a young writer that former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003, judicial sources said.

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Switzerland

Dog sitter convicted after pit bull injures baby

A dog sitter who was walking a pit bull on a leash along the streets of Préverenges, near Lausanne, was convicted of negligence a year and a half after the dog attacked an 11-month-old baby. 

Swedish woman beats up groper – goes free
Sweden

Swedish woman beats up groper – goes free

A Swedish woman who went berserk after being groped in the underground station will not be charged with assault, according to Swedish newspaper Metro.

Swedish fire service sued over affirmative action
Sweden

Swedish fire service sued over affirmative action

Södertörn's fire department, just south of Stockholm, is being sued for actively choosing to hire women and people with foreign background, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

City lake swan killed after attack on swimmer
Switzerland

City lake swan killed after attack on swimmer

An aggressive swan has been put down in Horw, near Lucerne, after it attacked a bather in the town’s lake.

 

Export machine reawakens
Germany

Export machine reawakens

Germany's export machine geared up in May, expanding by 4.3 percent to nearly offset a decline in April, data from the national statistics office showed on Friday.

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Sweden

Sweden’s sexual healthcare varies widely: report

Where you live can have a significant effect on what level of sexual healthcare you're offered, according to a recent study from the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (Riksförbundet för sexuell upplysning - RFSU).

Swedish balloon burst on space journey
Sweden

Swedish balloon burst on space journey

Swedish scientists were forced to halt a groundbreaking project Thursday to test the impact of stars when a balloon carrying an X-ray telescope began leaking helium.

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Switzerland

‘Flytilla’ activists blocked at Geneva airport

Some 50 passengers who described themselves as "pro-Palestinian" were prevented from embarking on a flight to Israel from Geneva airport on Friday, officials said, prompting flight delays.

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France

Pro-Palestinians turned back at Paris airport

Eight pro-Palestinian activists were turned back on Thursday after a request from Israel as they tried to take a flight from Paris to Tel Aviv, sources said.

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Switzerland

Violent thunderstorm claims two lives in Zug

A series of violent thunderstorms hit Switzerland on Thursday, killing two people, flooding basements and garages and disrupting motorway traffic.

 

Cost of train graffiti and vandalism on the rise, operators say
Germany

Cost of train graffiti and vandalism on the rise, operators say

The cost of graffiti and vandalism on Germany’s trains is on the rise, hitting a record last year of €50 million as the amount of spray-painting and damage creeps upward, according to a Friday media report.

Only half of Germans want tax cuts
Germany

Only half of Germans want tax cuts

In a sign of Germans’ financial priorities, just half of voters favour tax cuts right now and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble – a noted tax cut sceptic – has rocketed to become the most popular politician in the country.

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Sweden

First synthetic windpipe transplanted in Sweden

An international team of surgeons have successfully carried out the world's first transplant of a synthetic windpipe, the Stockholm hospital where the groundbreaking operation took place announced on Thursday.

Mother’s milk: A secret weapon for everything
Germany

Mother’s milk: A secret weapon for everything

The Local's series Motherhood in the Fatherland follows new mum Sabine Devins as she navigates the cultural quirks of having a baby in Germany. In the latest instalment, she discovers a secret weapon for her parenting arsenal: mother's milk.

‘We won’t give up – we will return’: Mankell
Sweden

‘We won’t give up – we will return’: Mankell

Swedish bestselling crime author Henning Mankell slammed Greece for blocking the aid flotilla to Gaza as some of Sweden's pro-Palestinian activists returned home on Thursday.

One in six Swedish children can’t swim
Sweden

One in six Swedish children can’t swim

One in six Swedish kids between 4 and 17 can’t swim, according to a new study carried out by Swedish insurance company Trygg-Hansa. And among children aged 10 to 15 - the age group that often go swimming with friends without adult supervision - the number is 13 percent.