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France

New date set for Carlos the Jackal’s trial

Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal's trial for four bomb attacks committed in France in the 80s will open on November 7, not November 2 as previously expected, a court source said on Tuesday.

Top DJ David Guetta: I get nervous in France
France

Top DJ David Guetta: I get nervous in France

His album sales run in the millions worldwide and he's worked with the biggest names in rap and R&B, but French DJ and dance music producer David Guetta does not feel like a star.

Illness forces Söderling to drop US Open bid
Sweden

Illness forces Söderling to drop US Open bid

Sixth-seeded Swede Robin Söderling withdrew from the US Open because of illness prior to his first-round match on Wednesday and was replaced in the draw by Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Da Silva.

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Switzerland

Switzerland plots domestic aid roll-out

The Swiss government outlined on Wednesday how it will disburse the first tranche of a planned 2.0 billion francs in aid for the economy in order to offset the impact of a strong local currency.

Nuclear reactor not to be kept on stand-by
Germany

Nuclear reactor not to be kept on stand-by

Germany’s Federal Network Agency has decided not to keep any nuclear power stations operational as back-up in case of electricity shortfalls this winter. Eight reactors were shut down earlier this year after the Fukushima disaster in Japan reignited German fears.

Swiss divided over maternity leave upgrade
Switzerland

Swiss divided over maternity leave upgrade

Swiss political parties and labour organisations remain divided over whether or not to ratify an International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention that offers more comprehensive maternity leave protection for working mothers.

Rich call for higher taxes
Germany

Rich call for higher taxes

Wealthy Germans are joining what is becoming a European trend: Ultra rich people saying they are willing to carry a higher tax burden in order to help the continent’s economies struggling with crushing levels of debt.

French police nab 150 kilos of cocaine in ballet shoes
France

French police nab 150 kilos of cocaine in ballet shoes

French police said on Thursday they seized 150 kilos of cocaine -- with a street value of around €10 million ($14.4 million) -- hidden in ballet shoes that arrived in a Paris airport from the Dominican Republic.

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Sweden

Worker dead after fall into vat of hot lye

A 66-year-old Swedish man died in an accident at a paper factory in western Sweden after falling into a cistern filled with hot lye late Tuesday night.

Sweden looks to regulate camera-wielding patients
Sweden

Sweden looks to regulate camera-wielding patients

It is becoming more common for patients to document their contact with Swedish healthcare services with the help of mobile phone cameras, much to the chagrin of staff and prompting local authorities to act to curb the practice.

Germany kiboshes body scanners at airports
Germany

Germany kiboshes body scanners at airports

Body scanners being tested at Hamburg Airport are so error prone that the German government has decided not to introduce them across the country for the time being.

Beer in Sweden: bevy of brews greets the autumn
Sweden

Beer in Sweden: bevy of brews greets the autumn

Beer blogger Darren Packman offers his thoughts on a slew of new beers set to hit the shelves in Systembolaget stores in September, as Sweden's state-run liquor monopoly stays true to the old saying - all good things come in threes.

SVP under fire for anti-Kosovar campaign
Switzerland

SVP under fire for anti-Kosovar campaign

Switzerland's largest political party, the far-right SVP, has sparked fresh debate with a series of newspaper ads highlighting recent attacks committed by members of the country's extensive Kosovar community.

Sweden battles rise in university cheating
Sweden

Sweden battles rise in university cheating

With reports of cheating and plagiarism at Swedish universities on the rise, The Local's Geoff Mortimore looks at how big the problem really is and what's being done to address it.

Swedish women doing less housework: study
Sweden

Swedish women doing less housework: study

While Swedish women are spending less time on household chores that they were a decade ago, they continue to carry a greater share, despite the fact they work as much as their male partners, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

Swiss agency names ’10 safest airlines’
Switzerland

Swiss agency names ’10 safest airlines’

Air France-KLM, British Airways and Lufthansa are the safest airlines in Europe, according to a study ranking the "ten safest airlines" by the independent Switzerland-based Air Transport Rating Agency (ATRA).

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France

Carrefour posts half-year loss, profit warning

Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer, reported on Wednesday a half-year loss of €249 million ($359 million) and said it now expected annual operating profit to drop by 15 percent.

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France

Vivendi reports doubled half-year profit

French media and telecom group Vivendi announced on Wednesday a doubling of first-half net profits to €2.5 billion ($3.6 billion) as it continued to reap the benefits from a legal victory.

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France

Hermes reports half-year profit leap

French luxury brand Hermes said on Wednesday its half-year net profit soared 50 percent to $290.9 million ($420 million), with its operating margin widening to 32 percent.

Volvo and Siemens rev up electric car venture
Sweden

Volvo and Siemens rev up electric car venture

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars has teamed up with German industrial group Siemens to develop technology for electric vehicles, the companies announced said Wednesday.

Unemployment, retail sales hold steady as economy slows
Germany

Unemployment, retail sales hold steady as economy slows

German unemployment was unchanged in August at 7.0 percent of the workforce, while retail sales were flat in July, official data showed Wednesday as Europe's biggest economy tried to find its footing.

L’Oreal sees profits surge
France

L’Oreal sees profits surge

L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics maker, said on Tuesday its first half net profit rose 11.6 percent from a year earlier to €1.47 billion ($2.11 billion) and confirmed its forecasts for 2011.

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France

Bouygues profit plunges 27 percent

French conglomerate Bouygues, active in construction, real estate, media and telecommunications, said on Wednesday its half-year profit tumbled 27 percent and announced a €1.25-billion ($1.8-billion) share buyback.

Sarkozy denies taking cash from Bettencourt
France

Sarkozy denies taking cash from Bettencourt

An explosive new book set to be published on Thursday claims that the nurse of L'Oréal billionaire Lilian Bettencourt saw Nicolas Sarkozy receiving money at her home.

Elvis estate slaps German record label with lawsuit
Germany

Elvis estate slaps German record label with lawsuit

The company that manages Elvis Presley’s estate and assets is suing the star’s former label in Germany, alleging it has made a disproportionate amount of money off Presley’s songs while underpaying royalties over the years.

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France

Eight million French living below poverty line

More than eight million French people are living below the poverty line, according to data released on Tuesday by the national statistics agency, Insee.

Sweden faces economic slowdown: report
Sweden

Sweden faces economic slowdown: report

Sweden's National Institute of Economic Research (NIER) has cut its forecast for Swedish growth and sees a significant risk that the eurozone debt crisis could worsen.

Report: defence cuts endangering soldiers
Germany

Report: defence cuts endangering soldiers

The German parliament's defence commissioner Hellmut Königshaus has said that “severe shortages“ in Bundeswehr equipment could risk soldiers’ safety.

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France

Exam leak admits: ‘I’m the idiot’

A 21-year-old man has owned up to publishing a question from this year's Baccalauréat maths exam online before it had been taken by 165,000 students.

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France

‘Banish school sex books’: conservative MPs

Eighty members of parliament from the governing UMP party have written to the education minister to demand that text books explaining sexual identity should be taken out of schools.

Lööf proposed as new Centre Party head
Sweden

Lööf proposed as new Centre Party head

The Centre Party plans to name Annie Lööf as the choice of the nominating committee to take over as party leader after Maud Olofsson.

Frankfurt man confesses to killing US airmen
Germany

Frankfurt man confesses to killing US airmen

A 21-year-old man from Kosovo apologised in court Wednesday for killing two US soldiers at Frankfurt Airport as they headed to Afghanistan, saying he had been influenced by Islamist propaganda.

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Switzerland

Swiss crime rate above European average: study

Switzerland's crime rate is rising and reaching levels above the European average, said a study released on Tuesday.

Strauss-Kahn set for France return
France

Strauss-Kahn set for France return

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is set to return to France within a few days, Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry said Tuesday.

Malmö shooter tied to more murder attempts
Sweden

Malmö shooter tied to more murder attempts

Sweden has added to more cases of attempted murder to the suspicions against a man believed to have carried out a year-long shooting spree targeting immigrants, court officials said Tuesday.

Celtic scoops up Bangura from Stockholm’s AIK
Sweden

Celtic scoops up Bangura from Stockholm’s AIK

Celtic-signing Mohamed Bangura was flattered, but not overawed, after the Glasgow giants brought him to Parkhead on the advice of club great Henrik Larsson.

Pope’s visit delays crucial euro-vote
Germany

Pope’s visit delays crucial euro-vote

Germany's parliamentary vote on Europe's next rescue fund will be delayed until September 29 owing to a visit by Pope Benedict XVI, a leading member of Angela Merkel's ruling party said Tuesday.

Libyan rebels use German weapons
Germany

Libyan rebels use German weapons

Libyan rebels have reportedly been using Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles in their struggle against dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The German company denies that it sold weapons to anyone in the embargoed country.

Sweden to spend billions on railway improvements
Sweden

Sweden to spend billions on railway improvements

The Swedish government on Tuesday announced plans to set aside 5 billion kronor ($784 million) in new funding for infrastructure projects, with the bulk of the money devoted to improvements to the country's beleaguered rail system.

Heidelberg home has huge hornet nest
Germany

Heidelberg home has huge hornet nest

Around 1,000 Hornets have built a huge nest on the side of a house near Heidelberg – wowing bug experts and leaving the family bemused.