Poetry and performance infuse Tranströmer’s Nobel lecture
Sweden

Poetry and performance infuse Tranströmer’s Nobel lecture

The annual Nobel Lecture in Literature, honouring 80-year-old Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, opened in Stockholm on Wednesday with an introduction by Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy.

Swiss hair scare: Italians seek bald truth
Switzerland

Swiss hair scare: Italians seek bald truth

Italian prosecutors said on Wednesday they were investigating a popular Swiss hair product, saying there was "no scientific evidence it helps hair grow back."

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Norway

Woman charged for sex with underage pupil

A young female teacher has been indicted over allegations she had a sexual relationship with one of her pupils in Østfold in south-eastern Norway.

‘Milfshake’ ad campaign ‘not sexist’: watchdog
Sweden

‘Milfshake’ ad campaign ‘not sexist’: watchdog

An advertisement for a health drink featuring a slang term for sexually desirable mothers does not discriminate against women, Sweden's advertising watchdog has ruled.

Hungry Swedes queue up for Obamas sausage
Sweden

Hungry Swedes queue up for Obamas sausage

Tucked behind a shopping centre in southern Sweden is a little food cart with a big name.

A truly international education at the heart of Berlin
Sweden

A truly international education at the heart of Berlin

If you want to study, but dread the bureaucracy and red tape of a traditional academic institution, and fancy a spell in one of Europe’s most dynamic cities at the same time, the ECLA in Berlin could be just the place for you.

Princely petrol pump prices miff motorists
Germany

Princely petrol pump prices miff motorists

Motorists in Germany have never shelled out so much to fill up their cars, as fuel costs reached an all-time high in 2011, according to drivers' association ADAC.

Danish dairies say no to Norway
Norway

Danish dairies say no to Norway

Dairy producers in Denmark have said they won’t export butter to neighbouring Norway, despite moves by Oslo to cut tariffs as the country battles to get the product back on supermarket shelves.

Economy may contract despite rise in output
Germany

Economy may contract despite rise in output

German industrial output rose in October, data showed on Wednesday, but analysts said the eurozone's biggest economy may still not be able to avoid a contraction at the end of the year.

Nosey janitor discovers ancient coin hoard
Germany

Nosey janitor discovers ancient coin hoard

A German janitor who decided to take a peek in a box she had walked past a hundred times, discovered more than 170 ancient coins worth millions of euros.

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France

Greeks ‘Merkozyed’ as Marseille advance

Greek dailies on Wednesday slammed what they dubbed a Franco-German backroom stitch-up, similar to the Berlin-Paris eurozone powerplay, for helping Marseille reach the Champions League
quarter-finals at the expense of Olympiakos.

Pirates say ‘Arrgh’ as support dwindles
Germany

Pirates say ‘Arrgh’ as support dwindles

Germany’s upstart Pirate Party seems to be losing the wind from its sails – the latest political opinion poll suggests it is supported by just six percent of voters – down from nine percent a few weeks ago.

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Switzerland

Federer to take on US in Davis Cup

Swiss star Roger Federer has confirmed he will play in the Davis Cup first round meeting with the United States at Freiburg on February 10th to 12th, the Swiss Tennis Federation said on Wednesday.

Skiers welcome snow to Swiss slopes
Switzerland

Skiers welcome snow to Swiss slopes

Swiss ski enthusiasts are breathing a sigh of relief after heavy snow finally hit the slopes, kicking off the winter season in earnest.

‘No evidence bomber belonged to al-Qaeda’
Sweden

‘No evidence bomber belonged to al-Qaeda’

An unexploded bomb was left in the car of Stockholm suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab, investigators said on Wednesday, adding that there was nothing to indicate he was a member of the al-Qaeda terror network.

Young Socialist amazed by WEF plaudits
Switzerland

Young Socialist amazed by WEF plaudits

A newly elected socialist parliamentarian seeking an economic model “beyond capitalism” was astonished to receive a congratulatory letter from a director at the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

Germany dampens EU crisis summit hopes
Germany

Germany dampens EU crisis summit hopes

Germany on Wednesday poured cold water on hopes for a decisive breakthrough at an EU summit over the coming two days that has been dubbed the last chance to save the beleaguered euro.

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Norway

Workplace deaths hit foreigners hardest

Eleven of the 47 people who have died at work in Norway in 2011 came from other countries, new figures show.

Allotment gardeners told to prune racial quotas
Germany

Allotment gardeners told to prune racial quotas

A group of allotment owners in northern Germany have been told to turn over a new leaf after they set a limit on how many people with foreign roots should be allowed to join their garden community.

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Switzerland

Direct democracy in Swiss firing line

The National Council approved on Tuesday the creation of a Constitutional Court in a move seen by opponents as a step towards the dismantlement of Switzerland's tradition of direct democracy.

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France

Graft inquiry into French ‘Pentagon’

French prosecutors have opened an inquiry into possible corruption over the construction of a new complex for the Defence Ministry in Paris, investigative weekly daily Le Canard Enchaîné reveals.

Swedes aghast over Ryanair bikini calendar
Sweden

Swedes aghast over Ryanair bikini calendar

Sweden's advertising watchdog has been flooded with complaints concerning an advertisement for a calendar featuring scantily clad Ryanair stewardesses.

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Sweden

Seven detained after suspected gang rape

Seven men have so far been arrested on suspicion of gang raping a 29-year-old mother of two in Eksjö, in the south of Sweden.

French towns owe €18 billion in toxic loans
France

French towns owe €18 billion in toxic loans

A French parliamentary enquiry has revealed that close to 2,000 towns are struggling to pay off loans that have become toxic in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Raphael ‘copy’ unveiled as authentic artwork
Germany

Raphael ‘copy’ unveiled as authentic artwork

Frankfurt’s Städel Museum is preparing to display a work by Italian Renaissance master Raphael that was once considered a copy, but is now believed to be his authentic portrait of Pope Julius II.

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France

Parents take teachers hostage in French school

A group of parents have a taken a school headmistress and several teachers hostage in the town of Berre l’Etang in the south of France. The parents want one of the teachers fired.

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Sweden

Parents reeling after maternity ward mayhem

Chaos erupted among newborn babies at a Gothenburg maternity ward on Tuesday when police attempted to arrest a wanted criminal visiting a new addition to the family.

Lift Saab’s bankruptcy protection: administrator
Sweden

Lift Saab’s bankruptcy protection: administrator

The restructuring of beleaguered Swedish carmaker Saab has been called off by the company's administrator Guy Lofalk, after he submitted a court petition, according to a statement by Saab Automobile.

Social Democrats sink to record low: poll
Sweden

Social Democrats sink to record low: poll

Support for the Social Democrats is at a new record low of 27.7 percent, according to a new major poll by Statistics Sweden (SCB), beating a previous low of 29 percent.

Rhino horn thieves gas Paris museum guards
France

Rhino horn thieves gas Paris museum guards

Thieves used stun gas to overpower guards before stealing a white rhinoceros horn from a museum in the heart of Paris on Tuesday, in the latest of a string of heists targeting the rare ivory, the museum said.

French lawmakers move to outlaw prostitution
France

French lawmakers move to outlaw prostitution

French lawmakers voted on Tuesday in favour of outlawing prostitution in the country, setting the stage for the introduction of a bill that would impose fines and jail time for paying for sex.

Stockholm traffic ‘worst in Scandinavia’: report
Sweden

Stockholm traffic ‘worst in Scandinavia’: report

Stockholm drivers spend longer in traffic jams than their counterparts in other Scandinavian cities, a new study published on Wednesday shows.

TV firms agree to turn down volume on adverts
Germany

TV firms agree to turn down volume on adverts

German television viewers will no longer be blasted by loud adverts, now private broadcasters agreed to join state groups in turning down the volume of their adverts.

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Sweden

Swedes to lift ‘silence’ on Stockholm bomb probe

Sunday marks one year since a suicide bomber blew himself up on a Stockholm street and on Wednesday the prosecutor plans to hold what some terror experts believe is a long-overdue press conference on the status of the investigation.

Swedes lose faith in the King: poll
Sweden

Swedes lose faith in the King: poll

Over a third of Swedes have lost faith in King Carl XVI Gustaf, while 32 percent would like to see Crown Princess Victoria take over, a new poll published on Wednesday shows.

One in ten so stressed they grind their teeth
Germany

One in ten so stressed they grind their teeth

One in ten Germans grind their teeth – a phenomenon largely associated with stress – and the number of people affected seems to be increasing, according to the country’s dentists.

Marseille toss Dortmund out of Champions League
Germany

Marseille toss Dortmund out of Champions League

Borussia Dortmund failed to make the Champions League's knock-out round after French club Olympique Marseille sealed a dramatic 3-2 win on Tuesday night.