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Sweden

Gran Canaria: island of activity

In a year dominated by major sporting events – the Olympics, football’s European Championships to name but two in 2012 – holiday destinations prepare to welcome visitors for whom activity is the goal.

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Norway

Norwegian motorist drove without licence for 36 years

Police in western Norway were left scratching their heads when a 73-year-old man stopped at a random checkpoint admitted driving without a licence for the last 36 years.

The Local’s most shared stories on Facebook
Sweden

The Local’s most shared stories on Facebook

Swedish animal antics, medical madness, and plain old errors in human judgment featured prominently in stories by The Local that proved popular on Facebook in 2011.

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Sweden

Teen shot after running over police officer

A 16-year-old-boy was shot by police in Gothenburg early Thursday morning after the vehicle the teen was driving hit an officer in what police believe was a deliberate attempt to run the officer over.

Gas company sends man €30,000 bill
Germany

Gas company sends man €30,000 bill

A Berlin man living on state benefits couldn’t believe his eyes when he received a bill for hot water and cooking gas for nearly €30,000.

Thousands warned about French breast implants
Germany

Thousands warned about French breast implants

The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) has advised thousands of German women to seek doctors’ advice about their breast implants, following a French health ministry warning.

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Switzerland

Artist using social media to help refugees

With asylum centres filling up, Swiss artist and activist Almut Rembges has started using social networking sites like Facebook to help prevent refugee families from sleeping out in the cold this Christmas.

Slick roads disrupt Swedes’ Christmas travel
Sweden

Slick roads disrupt Swedes’ Christmas travel

Slippery roads left more than a dozen trucks in the ditch in northern Sweden on Friday and freezing rain prompted warnings from meteorological institute SMHI as Swedes embarked on treacherous holiday travel on the day before Christmas Eve.

Blackberry ‘reprieve’ for tired employees
Germany

Blackberry ‘reprieve’ for tired employees

Are you fed up with your Blackberry because it effectively puts you on call for your employer 24/7? Are you a slave to its blinking red light and the vibrating alarm that tells you you have a new email?

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Sweden

War crimes suspect arrested in Stockholm

Swedish police have arrested a man suspected of participating in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He was arrested late Thursday evening at Bromma airport, just outside Stockholm.

Herder wants Hollywood cash for old joik
Norway

Herder wants Hollywood cash for old joik

A reindeer farmer in northern Norway is claiming a traditional Sami chant used in Hollywood movie The Thing was originally given to him as a gift by his aunt.

‘The right speech at the wrong time’
Germany

‘The right speech at the wrong time’

German President Christian Wulff gave a public apology Thursday for the personal finance scandal that has hounded him. But as The Local’s media roundup finds, most pundits think the speech was too little too late.

‘Tis the season for severe traffic jams
Germany

‘Tis the season for severe traffic jams

Motorists association ADAC has warned of serious traffic jams that could cause hundreds of kilometres of tailbacks on Friday and into Saturday as Germans begin their Christmas holidays.

Ikea founder donates millions to ‘hometown’ Swedish university
Sweden

Ikea founder donates millions to ‘hometown’ Swedish university

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's annual Christmas speech to his employees in Älmhult, home to the world's first Ikea store, contained a welcome Christmas bonus for the whole Småland region.

Norway has Europe’s priciest ski passes: study
Norway

Norway has Europe’s priciest ski passes: study

One-day ski passes in Norway and Switzerland can be up to three times as expensive as in other European countries, a new study has shown.

Justice minister’s dog bites woman
Germany

Justice minister’s dog bites woman

Germany’s top legal figure has her own troubles with the law. Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger must appear in a Munich court in January to face claims that her dog bit a woman in the hand.

Norway and Switzerland have priciest ski passes: study
Switzerland

Norway and Switzerland have priciest ski passes: study

One-day ski passes in Norway and Switzerland can be up to three times as expensive as in other European countries, a new study has shown.

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Sweden

Swedish women warned over French fake boobs

Thousands of Swedish women, and many more worldwide, have substandard breast implants from French-based company PIP. These women have now been urged to surgically remove their implants by French authorities.

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Switzerland

Swiss lift sanctions on two Libyan banks

The Swiss government said on Thursday it had lifted sanctions against the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Foreign Bank.

Rubella blamed for Swedish infant’s defects
Sweden

Rubella blamed for Swedish infant’s defects

Sweden's first case of congenital rubella in more 30 years has been discovered after a woman who was infected with the viral disease whilst on holiday gave birth to a child in Sweden with severe birth defects.

Swedish ‘Dolce Vita’ star begs Fellini fund for cash
Sweden

Swedish ‘Dolce Vita’ star begs Fellini fund for cash

Anita Ekberg, the curvaceous star of "La Dolce Vita", is hard-up and homeless and has asked for money from the foundation of the cult film's director Federico Fellini, La Stampa reported on Friday.

New variant found in hunt for ‘God particle’
Switzerland

New variant found in hunt for ‘God particle’

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, famously engaged in the quest for the Higgs boson, has turned up a heavier variant of a sub-atomic particle first discovered a quarter-century ago, scientists reported on Thursday.

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Switzerland

Swiss giant ABB signs $900m India deal

Swiss engineering giant ABB said on Thursday it had signed a deal worth more than $900 million to
develop India's electricity supply.

Deutsche Börse must sell holdings for merger
Germany

Deutsche Börse must sell holdings for merger

The US Justice Department has declared that Deutsche Börse must sell its stake in smaller exchange operator to gain approval for its merger with the New York Stock Exchange.

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Switzerland

Switzerland freezes more Iran assets

 Switzerland ratcheted up sanctions against Iran on Thursday, announcing it was freezing the assets of 180 Iranian people and enterprises.

Talking to self not evidence, court rules
Germany

Talking to self not evidence, court rules

Germany’s highest court has ruled that an overheard soliloquy cannot be used as evidence against a suspect, meaning that a two-year-old murder case will have to be re-tried.

Legless man in surprise wheelchair reversal
Sweden

Legless man in surprise wheelchair reversal

Local health authorities in Sweden who denied an amputee a power wheelchair because they were “uncertain if the impairment was permanent", have now reversed their position on the matter.

Breast implants pose ‘no higher cancer risk’
France

Breast implants pose ‘no higher cancer risk’

France's health ministry said on Friday there was no cancer risk from breast implants made by local firm PIP but recommended to the women with implants to have them removed after eight cases of cancer.

Berlin summons Syrian ambassador
Germany

Berlin summons Syrian ambassador

Germany's foreign ministry said Thursday it had summoned Syria's ambassador to Berlin to demand an immediate halt to the "brutal" repression of anti-regime demonstrators by government forces.

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France

Loire-Atlantique: campaign to rejoin Brittany wins key vote

Voters in the western Loire-Atlantique department could get the chance to rejoin the region of Brittany following a parliamentary vote on Wednesday.

Sarkozy warns ministers against long holidays
France

Sarkozy warns ministers against long holidays

Government ministers have been told they should keep their Christmas and New Year breaks to a minimum as the country moves into a crucial election year.

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France

Kombouaré on the way out at PSG

Paris Saint Germain sports director Leonardo has informed club manager Antoine Kombouaré that he has been fired, the day after his side went top of the French first division, a source close to the coach told AFP on Thursday.

Swede fined for drunken pine tree massacre
Sweden

Swede fined for drunken pine tree massacre

A 46-year-old Swede who sawed down several pine trees in a drunken rampage, leaving their distraught owner in need of therapy, has been convicted by a court on the Baltic island of Gotland.

France: world’s most pessimistic country
France

France: world’s most pessimistic country

Despite having food, wine and scenery that are the envy of the world, a new study has revealed the French to be the most downbeat people on the planet.

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France

Turkish envoy to leave Paris after vote

Turkey's ambassador was to leave Paris on Friday in a row with France over a law making it a criminal offence to deny that a massacre of Armenians by Ottoman troops in 1915 amounted to genocide.

Jailed Swedes ‘innocent’: Ethiopian rebels
Sweden

Jailed Swedes ‘innocent’: Ethiopian rebels

Ethiopian rebels said Thursday the conviction of the two Swedish journalists on terrorism charges for supporting the group was "unjust" as they were innocent and called for their release.