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Sweden

Teen girl held as sex-slave for a year: report

Swedish police have freed a 14-year-old girl who was allegedly trafficked to Sweden from Belgrade and held as a sex-slave for a year by a mentally-deranged man, media reports said Wednesday.

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Switzerland

Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

Politicians, criminologists and police have called for army-issue weapons to be kept out of the hands of lawbreakers after a young man with a criminal record shot and killed his girlfriend last Friday.

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Switzerland

Man critically injured in shopping centre shooting

An argument at a shopping centre on the outskirts of Geneva ended in gunfire on Tuesday, with one man taken to hospital with injuries to the head and arm.

Bavarian beer hall tries to seduce Berlin
Germany

Bavarian beer hall tries to seduce Berlin

What promises to be the biggest beer hall in Europe has opened in Berlin, prompting a culture clash by bringing Bavarian boozing culture to the Prussian-accented German capital, as Moises Mendoza discovered.

Pressure mounts to open Sweden’s Stasi archive
Sweden

Pressure mounts to open Sweden’s Stasi archive

Sweden's justice minister Beatrice Ask has indicated that she is prepared to discuss the opening the Stasi archive of Swedish security service Säpo in response to calls for more transparency over the classified files.

Alcohol damages women’s brains faster than men’s: Swedish study
Sweden

Alcohol damages women’s brains faster than men’s: Swedish study

Women alcoholics suffer damage to the part of their brain that controls moods, impulses and sleep three times faster than their male counterparts, a Swedish study showed Wednesday.

Putting Bavarian housewives before disadvantaged children
Germany

Putting Bavarian housewives before disadvantaged children

Bavarian conservatives’ insistence on paying parents to keep their children out of public day care has made a mockery of Angela Merkel’s family policies, writes Der Tagesspiegel’s Hans Monath.

LinkedIn launches Swedish language site
Sweden

LinkedIn launches Swedish language site

Professional networking site LinkedIn on Wednesday launched a Swedish language version of their site in a bid to increase member activity in Sweden and further develop member services.

‘Nothing wrong’ with sausages boasting 125 percent meat
Sweden

‘Nothing wrong’ with sausages boasting 125 percent meat

A charcuterie in northern Sweden which offers several sausage varieties purporting to contain up to 125 percent meat has defended its labeling by arguing that it is simply “following the law”, despite consumer complaints.

Satirical magazine puts gay kiss on cover
France

Satirical magazine puts gay kiss on cover

The weekly magazine which had its Paris offices firebombed a week ago has decided to provoke again with its new issue out on Wednesday.

Nuke report angers Germany and its allies
Germany

Nuke report angers Germany and its allies

Germany and its allies have angrily lashed out against Iran after the UN nuclear watchdog published its harshest report yet on Tehran's nuclear programme, saying it had sought to build atomic warheads.

Economy seen slowing sharply next year
Germany

Economy seen slowing sharply next year

The eurozone debt crisis looks set to slam the brakes on growth next year in the German economy, Europe's biggest, a panel of economic advisors to the government warned on Wednesday.

Who will buy $15 million ‘Sun-Drop’ diamond?
Switzerland

Who will buy $15 million ‘Sun-Drop’ diamond?

For anyone with $15 million to spare, a dazzling 110-carat pear-shaped jewel known as the Sun-Drop Diamond will go to auction in Switzerland next week.

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France

French climbers found dead in Alps

Two French climbers who were at the centre of a dramatic week-long search after they were stranded in the Mont Blanc massif were found dead on Wednesday, rescuers said.

Full-blast yoga lands woman with fine
France

Full-blast yoga lands woman with fine

A police officer was not won over by the spiritual influence of a yoga lesson when he pulled a woman over in her car.

Exporters: We don’t need the euro
Germany

Exporters: We don’t need the euro

German exporters, the backbone of the biggest eurozone economy, could manage without the common euro currency, the head of their BGA industry federation, Anton Börner, said on Wednesday.

Sweden: hard at work or hardly working?
Sweden

Sweden: hard at work or hardly working?

Swedes have a reputation for studying longer, working fewer hours and enjoying more holiday leave than people in most other comparable countries, while others argue that the careerism rat race has taken hold. What do you think?

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Switzerland

Swiss doc boycotts Novartis over job cuts

A Geneva-based rheumatologist has said he will no longer prescribe Novartis medicines to patients in protest at job losses at the pharmaceutical company, which plans to shutter its production operations in the south-west of the country.

Court eases entry to European Parliament
Germany

Court eases entry to European Parliament

Germany’s Constitutional Court overturned a rule that meant political parties had to get at least five percent of the vote to send representatives to the European Parliament – opening the door to around seven more parties, on Wednesday.

Swedish snow in November no show
Sweden

Swedish snow in November no show

According to meteorologists, the month of November has so far seen the least snow in over a hundred years in Sweden, in stark contrast to last year's late autumn blizzards.

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Norway

Video pill could save cancer patients

A team of international researchers at Oslo’s University Hospital have invented a high-definition video camera which is swallowed like a pill so it can survey intestinal cancers.

‘Careerism has left a society in discontent’
Sweden

‘Careerism has left a society in discontent’

The endless push to be something greater, somewhat better, someone with more power, has gone too far, leaving a Swedish society full of discontented young adults, Andreas Jonsson argues.

Nearly half of forced marriage brides German
Germany

Nearly half of forced marriage brides German

Nearly half of those in forced marriages or in danger of such in Germany are German citizens, while around a third are minors, according to the most detailed study of the practice to date.

22-year-old German wins poker World Series
Germany

22-year-old German wins poker World Series

Pius Heinz, a 22-year-old from Cologne, won the 2011 World Series of Poker on Wednesday, becoming the first German to win the prestigious title and raking in more than $8 million in prize money, organizers said.

Pregnant woman dies from taking painkillers
Sweden

Pregnant woman dies from taking painkillers

A doctor who failed to inquire if a woman was pregnant has been rapped by Swedish health authorities for prescribing painkillers by phone leading to the death of the woman and her nearly full-term foetus.

Polish ‘Rambo’ rescues kid from foster care
Norway

Polish ‘Rambo’ rescues kid from foster care

Controversial Polish private investigator Krysztof Rutkowski has further increased his growing notoriety in Norway by again taking dramatic action to help a child escape foster care.

Teen uses ‘Zlatan’ move to swipe cop’s iPhone
Sweden

Teen uses ‘Zlatan’ move to swipe cop’s iPhone

A Spanish teenager was recently charged with theft after being caught with a stolen mobile iPhone, pick-pocketed from a Swedish police officer while showing off a Zlatan Ibrahimovic football move.

French zoo steps up rhino surveillance against poachers
France

French zoo steps up rhino surveillance against poachers

A French zoo has placed its white rhinos under video surveillance fearing poachers could kill them for their horns which can fetch hundreds of thousands of euros on the black market.

Drag race: Transvestite birds win competition for sex
France

Drag race: Transvestite birds win competition for sex

In a species of hawk, males dress themselves up as females to gain a sneaky advantage in the mating game, according to an unusual study published on Wednesday.

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France

New suspect in murder of 8-year-old girl

A 23-year-old man walked into a police station in the southern village of Bellegarde on Tuesday evening to ask police to verify whether he may have committed the sexual assault and murder of a young girl.

Parliament suspended after finance minister taunts Socialists
France

Parliament suspended after finance minister taunts Socialists

The lower house of the French parliament had to be suspended on Tuesday afternoon after left-wing members of parliament were outraged by remarks made by finance minister François Baroin.

Mafiosi tied to Duisburg massacre out of prison
Germany

Mafiosi tied to Duisburg massacre out of prison

Three mafia members connected to a notorious shooting in Duisburg have been released from prison in Italy due to a technicality and a fourth man has escaped while receiving treatment at a hospital, according to reports.

Borg: Berlusconi guilty of ‘short-term populism’
Sweden

Borg: Berlusconi guilty of ‘short-term populism’

Sweden's finance minister Anders Borg on Wednesday gave his assessment of the Italian government's role in the EU sovereign debt crisis, accusing outgoing PM Silvio Belusconi of not having taken the situation seriously.

Sweden’s SKF in EU ball bearing probe
Sweden

Sweden’s SKF in EU ball bearing probe

Swedish ball-bearings giant SKF was among the companies inspected by European anti-trust authorities on Tuesday in a series of surprise visits in several European Union states.

German theologian: Pippi Longstocking is racist
Sweden

German theologian: Pippi Longstocking is racist

A German theologian has sparked controversy by calling Sweden's beloved Pippi Longstocking children's books racist and demanding additions to prompt parents to skip over or explain certain passages.

Stone Age paintings found in Swabia
Germany

Stone Age paintings found in Swabia

Archaeologists have found cave paintings thought to be Central Europe's oldest such artwork in Baden-Württemberg’s Swabian Alps.

Butchers force Aldi Süd to drop handmade sausages claim
Germany

Butchers force Aldi Süd to drop handmade sausages claim

Discount supermarket Aldi-Süd has agreed to stop calling its sausages handmade after a bitter dispute with traditional butchers who said its marketing was misleading.