Deutsche Post rejects EU demand to repay €1 bln
Germany

Deutsche Post rejects EU demand to repay €1 bln

Deutsche Post, Europe's largest mail carrier, said Wednesday it would appeal against an EU order to repay up to €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in state aid because it broke anti-trust rules.

Indonesian-born twins reunite in Sweden after 30 years
Sweden

Indonesian-born twins reunite in Sweden after 30 years

Indonesian twin sisters separated only weeks after birth have found each other almost 30 years later in Sweden, living just 60 kilometres apart.

Cop suspected of ‘torturing’ accused doc
Sweden

Cop suspected of ‘torturing’ accused doc

A police officer who deprived a 57-year-old anesthesiologist of sleep while she was in custody in connection with a high profile case of the death of a prematurely born baby girl is now suspected of professional misconduct.

Abba set to release new album in April
Sweden

Abba set to release new album in April

Abba has announced plans to release a deluxe edition of its last studio album which will be the first time since 1994 that the Swedish pop music supergroup has released material previously unavailable to the public.

Swiss absinthe makers froth over CSI slur
Switzerland

Swiss absinthe makers froth over CSI slur

Swiss distillers of absinthe are mortified by an American television crime drama show that depicts the high-octane spirit as a killer drink.

Man dismembered and cooked after sex games
Germany

Man dismembered and cooked after sex games

The dismembered, partially cooked corpse of a missing man has been found in a Berlin apartment, where prosecutors believe he was killed after a sex game spiralled out of control.

Repel railway elk with human waste: researcher
Norway

Repel railway elk with human waste: researcher

Human excrement could be just the ticket to keep errant elk from unwittingly ending their lives on Norway’s rail tracks, a researcher has said.

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Sweden

HIV-infected man jailed for unprotected sex

A 20-year-old man from Malmö, southern Sweden, was sentenced to eight months in prison for not telling eight women that he was infected with HIV before having sex with them.

Police pinch pug-pilfering pensioner
Germany

Police pinch pug-pilfering pensioner

A 93-year-old Frankfurt lady was overjoyed to welcome home her pug Tuesday, after police found it in the home of a 74-year-old woman who had offered to take the dog for a walk.

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Switzerland

Postal worker survives nightmare train accident

A Swiss Post employee was severely injured when a regional train dragged him for three kilometres after his arm became stuck between the sliding doors of a carriage.

Business confidence gets early 2012 boost
Germany

Business confidence gets early 2012 boost

The German economy, Europe's biggest, got off to a good start in the new year, with business confidence rising for the third month in a row, the Ifo economic institute said on Wednesday.

Deficit to fall below 5.5 percent in 2011: minister
France

Deficit to fall below 5.5 percent in 2011: minister

Budget minister Valérie Pécresse told parliament on Tuesday that the French budget deficit for 2011 would "probably be less than 5.5 percent."

Jagger snubs Davos over ‘political football’ row
Switzerland

Jagger snubs Davos over ‘political football’ row

Legendary rock star Mick Jagger is bowing out of a planned appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos over concerns he was to be used for political purposes by Britain’s Conservative party.

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Switzerland

Swiss return $1.8 billion in seized Arab Spring assets

Switzerland said on Tuesday it has returned nearly 1.7 billion francs ($1.83 billion) in illicitly placed assets to countries involved in the Arab Spring regime changes.

Gigantic crack spooks officials on Baltic island
Germany

Gigantic crack spooks officials on Baltic island

A crack over two kilometres long and up to a metre deep has been discovered on the Baltic island of Hiddensee. Large areas of the German island’s coastline have been blocked off amid fears of a huge landslide.

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Switzerland

Swiss central banker sees franc weakening

The Swiss National Bank, which set an exchange rate floor against the euro of 1.20 francs to curb its spike in value, expects the franc to decline in the future, a board member said on Tuesday.

Saab museum saved by Wallenberg millions
Sweden

Saab museum saved by Wallenberg millions

The Saab museum of automobile rarities, which has struggled to find a buyer following the company’s recent bankruptcy, has been saved by a Wallenberg-family trust that wanted the museum to remain intact.

Norwegian Air in massive plane purchase
Norway

Norwegian Air in massive plane purchase

Low-cost carrier Norwegian has announced it will buy 222 new airliners from Boeing and Airbus at a total cost of 127 billion kroner ($21.5 billion).

Minister’s police escort knocks over pedestrian
France

Minister’s police escort knocks over pedestrian

A 25-year-old man who was knocked over by a motorcycle escort for outspoken apprenticeship minister Nadine Morano is no longer in danger after coming out of a coma.

Poland aims to boost tourism at Hitler’s lair
Germany

Poland aims to boost tourism at Hitler’s lair

Polish authorities have announced plans to boost tourism at Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's notorious "Wolf's Lair" headquarters in what was once East Prussia.

Hollywood arsonist accused of 100 fires
Germany

Hollywood arsonist accused of 100 fires

Los Angeles prosecutors have announced 63 more charges against a German man accused over a four-day arson spree which gripped Hollywood over the year-end holidays.

Locked up paedophile accessed child porn
Sweden

Locked up paedophile accessed child porn

A man convicted for child pornography crimes and over seventy counts of child rape is believed to have downloaded child pornography while serving time in a Swedish psychiatric ward.

Norway aglow in northern light show
Norway

Norway aglow in northern light show

Seasoned sky-watchers were left swooning on Tuesday night as a solar storm had large parts of Norway basking in the glow of spectacular northern lights.

Ericsson shares nosedive on weak report
Sweden

Ericsson shares nosedive on weak report

Ericsson on announced a worse-than-expected 73 percent drop in its fourth quarter net profits, sending shares in the Swedish telecom giant plummeting in Wednesday morning trading.

Man cites Christian faith for kidnapping children
Germany

Man cites Christian faith for kidnapping children

A 38-year-old German man who kidnapped his four children and took them to North Africa last year told a court Tuesday that his Christian beliefs drove him to the crime. He remains unrepentant.

Roche in takeover bid for US firm Illumina
Switzerland

Roche in takeover bid for US firm Illumina

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche announced on Wednesday it had launched a takeover bid for Illumina, a US company that specialises in life sciences.

Novartis profits down 7 percent in 2011
Switzerland

Novartis profits down 7 percent in 2011

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis said on Wednesday its net profit dropped seven percent in 2011 to $9.2 billion.

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Sweden

Shots fired in daring carjacking drama

Two armed assailants prompted an intense police chase during which at least one shot was fired following a brazen carjacking on a highway roadside in central Sweden on Tuesday night.

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France

Rotting body in bank mystifies French cops

French rescue workers were trying on Tuesday to keep a half-rotted corpse intact as they prised it out of a bank's air vent in order to determine if the dead man was trying to rob the establishment.

Vanessa Paradis laughs off Johnny Depp rumours
France

Vanessa Paradis laughs off Johnny Depp rumours

French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis on Tuesday joked about, but did not deny, rumours that her relationship with US actor Johnny Depp was on the rocks.

Kim Dotcom denied bail in New Zealand
Germany

Kim Dotcom denied bail in New Zealand

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom will stay behind bars awaiting possible extradition to the United States after a New Zealand judge Wednesday said the Internet millionaire poses a serious flight risk.

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Sweden

Website touts ruse to turn in illegal immigrants

An anti-immigrant website has urged readers to infiltrate a group focused on helping undocumented immigrants in Sweden in order to turn them over to police.

Faltering Sarkozy mulls end of career
France

Faltering Sarkozy mulls end of career

French media was buzzing with speculation about the political future of President Sarkozy on Wednesday after comments he made on an official to French Guiana.

‘The Artist’ part of Gallic flavour at Oscars
France

‘The Artist’ part of Gallic flavour at Oscars

Silent film "The Artist" added 10 Oscar nominations to its Hollywood haul on Tuesday -- and is part of a distinctly Gallic flavour to the Academy Awards shortlists this year.

‘Spank her arse’ coach reported to police
Sweden

‘Spank her arse’ coach reported to police

A coach who used sexually suggestive materials known as "hot babes on defence" to train of a team of 14-year-old boys has been relieved of his duties and reported to the police.

Leftists suggest legal cannabis clubs
Germany

Leftists suggest legal cannabis clubs

Germany’s socialist Left party is calling an expert hearing on “legalizing cannabis through the introduction of cannabis clubs” in the German parliament on Wednesday. The idea has met widespread rejection.