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Norway

Sleeping jury could lead to manslaughter retrial

Norway’s Director of Public Prosecutions is seeking a retrial in the case of a 30-year-old man cleared of manslaughter last month after it emerged that “one or two” jury members had fallen asleep in court.

Despite snow, Christmas only white in mountains
Germany

Despite snow, Christmas only white in mountains

Thick snow caused chaos in western Germany on Tuesday, with several trucks crashing, flights cancelled and public transport disrupted – but those dreaming of a white Christmas are likely to be disappointed.

Anti-fascists brick up Neo-Nazi politician’s front door
Germany

Anti-fascists brick up Neo-Nazi politician’s front door

Anti-fascists in Lower Saxony bricked up the front door of a top member of the extreme-right National Democratic Party's (NPD) home to protest against his presence at a city council meeting on Monday.

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Switzerland

Cattle farmer fined after buffeting Berta

A Swiss farmer has been fined after he was found guilty of driving his jeep into one his own cows.

Turkish ambassador: Saab CEO called us
Sweden

Turkish ambassador: Saab CEO called us

Turkey's ambassador in Stockholm on Tuesday denied reports that her country was interested in purchasing Saab Automobile, claiming Saab CEO Victor Muller had sought a meeting in a last ditch effort to save the company from bankruptcy.

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Sweden

Charges filed over ‘sex slave’ teen girl

A mother, a father and their 25-year-old son were charged with trafficking on Tuesday after having "purchased" a 14-year-old girl in Serbia and bringing her to Sweden to serve as the mentally handicapped son's girlfriend or wife.

Swiss museum cuts off rhino horns to prevent theft
Switzerland

Swiss museum cuts off rhino horns to prevent theft

A Swiss museum has taken the drastic step of replacing the horns of its rhinoceroses with fake ones to deter thieves fuelling a lucrative global trade, curators said Tuesday.

Little Steven show axed over product placements
Norway

Little Steven show axed over product placements

National broadcaster NRK has pulled the plug on a new comedy drama series starring legendary guitarist Little Steven after it emerged that the show could feature forbidden product placements.

Rail service’s hidden cameras ‘illegal’: agency
Sweden

Rail service’s hidden cameras ‘illegal’: agency

Sweden's national rail service, SJ, has been slammed by the Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen) after it was discovered the company was filming staff with hidden cameras to stop widespread pilfering on trains.

Boob job vouchers ‘not a good gift idea’
Germany

Boob job vouchers ‘not a good gift idea’

People planning to give their loved one a nip and tuck at Christmas could be risking more than upsetting their partners – cheap seasonal offers with time limits are not to be recommended, a top surgeon has warned.

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Switzerland

New trial in police pepper spray case

Two police officers accused of pepper-spraying a 16-year-old Eritrean boy are to face a judge for the third time after the highest criminal court in canton Vaud accepted his appeal request.

Neo-Nazi terror house ‘will be demolished’
Germany

Neo-Nazi terror house ‘will be demolished’

Officials scared that German neo-Nazis could gather at the house where the far-right terrorists accused of killing at least 10 people lived, have decided to tear it down.

Switzerland bans ads for small loans
Switzerland

Switzerland bans ads for small loans

Switzerland's parliament on Monday passed a new law banning adverts for small loans, which legislators said encouraged young people to become excessively indebted.

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France

French filth auction raises over half a million

From saucy statues to art-house nude photography and sexy walking sticks, close to 900 naughty knick-knacks were snapped up for over half a million euros at a major auction of erotica in Paris on Monday.

Economic ‘good tidings’ brighten eurozone gloom
Germany

Economic ‘good tidings’ brighten eurozone gloom

Two leading sentiment indicators in Germany released good news Tuesday, bringing a touch of Christmas sparkle to the pall of gloom currently enveloping the eurozone.

How to beat back the Swedish winter blues
Sweden

How to beat back the Swedish winter blues

As Swedes struggle through the shortest days of the year, contributor Alec Forss offers up a few tips on how to survive the dark depths of winter in Sweden.

Croissant robber terrorizes Paris bakeries
France

Croissant robber terrorizes Paris bakeries

French police said on Tuesday they were on the hunt for a man in his forties who has held up a series of bakeries in Paris suburbs to steal croissants and other baked goods.

Americans mull Leipzig consulate closure
Germany

Americans mull Leipzig consulate closure

A US Department of State report has recommended closing the American consulate in Leipzig and reducing staff at other missions in Germany.

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Switzerland

Swiss trade surplus leaps in November

Switzerland's trade surplus leapt 69.6 percent to three billion francs ($3.2 billion) in November, largely owing to a drop in imports, customs officials said on Monday.

Siemens hires sacked US general McChrystal
Germany

Siemens hires sacked US general McChrystal

German industrial giant Siemens has hired the American general fired for criticising US President Barack Obama in public – to head up its attempt to get more US government contracts.

Minister mulls local election gender quotas
Norway

Minister mulls local election gender quotas

Norway’s Minister of Local Government, Liv Signe Navarsete, has said she won’t rule out forcing parties to put more women on their municipal ballots unless politicians take swift action to achieve a more equitable gender balance.

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Sweden

Woman ‘lived for months’ with rotting corpse

A 52-year-old Swedish woman is believed to have lived with a dead body on her sofa for months, after police found the body of a dead man, reported missing in September, decomposing in her living room.

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France

Film company collapse threatens French films

The bankruptcy of a French film production company could threaten the release of 36 films, including the latest in the Astérix series starring Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve.

Tourist dies in freak dog sled accident
Sweden

Tourist dies in freak dog sled accident

One person died and five were injured when a dog sled and a car collided in the vicinity of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, on Monday afternoon.

Order to remove breast implants: report
France

Order to remove breast implants: report

Daily newspaper Libération reported on Tuesday that 30,000 women will be ordered to have their faulty breast implants removed.

Sweden cuts interest rate amid eurozone worries
Sweden

Sweden cuts interest rate amid eurozone worries

Sweden's central bank cut the country's benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percent on Tuesday, at the same time signaling the rate would remain low throughout 2012.

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Switzerland

Next N. Korea leader got Swiss education: reports

The man tipped to be North Korea's next leader was schooled in Switzerland where he was an ambitious pupil who enjoyed basketball and even picked up the local dialect, reports said on Monday.

Canada may buy back Amundsen’s Maud
Norway

Canada may buy back Amundsen’s Maud

After sinking Norway's plans to repatriate explorer Roald Amundsen's three-mast ship Maud from the Arctic, Canada signalled Monday it may buy the shipwreck.

Sprinter named athlete of the year
France

Sprinter named athlete of the year

Sprinter Christophe Lemaitre has won the athlete of the year title for the second year running.

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France

Santa arrested over gun threat

A French Santa spent several hours in custody after threatening a Christmas tree seller who set up shop next to his grotto.

Germany to double first euro fund contribution
Germany

Germany to double first euro fund contribution

Germany’s first contribution to the eurozone’s rescue fund is likely to be double the amount previously expected at €8.6 billion, daily Die Welt reported on Tuesday.

France’s Coeuré appointed to ECB board
France

France’s Coeuré appointed to ECB board

France's Benoît Coeuré was officially appointed to join the executive board of the European Central Bank, stepping into the shoes of Italy's Lorenzo Bini Smaghi from January 1st, the European Union announced.

Five shipwrecks found in central Stockholm
Sweden

Five shipwrecks found in central Stockholm

Five shipwrecks dating from the 1500s to the 1700s have been found during renovation work on a quay in central Stockholm, the Swedish Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska museet) said on Monday.

Mediators appointed as strike spreads
France

Mediators appointed as strike spreads

A strike by airport security staff entered its fifth day on Tuesday with action spreading to other airports including Nice, the country's third busiest airport.

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Sweden

Sweden to support eurozone stability fund

Sweden agreed on Monday night to help stabilize the euro by pledging to make loans to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to strengthen a eurozone bailout fund.

AT&T drops blocked bid for T-Mobile in US
Germany

AT&T drops blocked bid for T-Mobile in US

AT&T has abandoned its $39-billion (€30-billion) deal to buy Deutsche Telekom's US wireless unit T-Mobile after running into stiff opposition from American regulators.

Baby foreskins could cut animal testing
Germany

Baby foreskins could cut animal testing

A research organization is growing human skin in the hope of using it to trial cosmetics and medicines, reducing the need for animal testing. The synthetic skin is made using cells from infant foreskins.

Swede wanted in Ikea Russia fraud probe
Sweden

Swede wanted in Ikea Russia fraud probe

Russian police said Monday they launched a probe into allegations of fraud and bribery by staff of Swedish retail giant Ikea in Moscow and were seeking to extradite Swedish and Turkish nationals.

Saxony’s Christmas woodcarving tradition
Germany

Saxony’s Christmas woodcarving tradition

Nutcrackers and propeller-topped pyramids abound in Germany at Christmas time. Erin Huggins explores the woodcarving tradition from Saxony’s Erzgebirge region.