Sarkozy and Hollande reveal their playlists
France

Sarkozy and Hollande reveal their playlists

The two leading candidates for this year's presidential election have revealed their personal music tastes.

Wounded reporters: get us out of Syria
France

Wounded reporters: get us out of Syria

Two French reporters, one badly wounded, begged Thursday for rescue from a besieged Syrian opposition enclave, as President Nicolas Sarkozy branded the deaths of two of their colleagues "murder".

Cupcakes conquer Switzerland
Switzerland

Cupcakes conquer Switzerland

The global cupcake craze took some time to reach Switzerland, but once the dainty treats had arrived they quickly had the country hooked, as contributor Catherine McLean found out. 

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France

Student: ‘I won’t eat until granddad I accused of rape is freed’

A French student whose politician grandfather was jailed for raping him as a child has now gone on hunger strike to try to secure his release, after retracting the accusations.

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France

Wounded French reporter urges quick evacuation from Syria

A French reporter who was wounded in the Syrian city of Homs said Thursday she needs urgent medical attention and asked to be evacuated quickly, in a video posted online by anti-regime activists.

Bildt ‘worried’ over WikiLeaks smear plans
Sweden

Bildt ‘worried’ over WikiLeaks smear plans

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said on Thursday he is taking very seriously WikiLeaks' plans to launch a smear campaign against Sweden to stop the potential extradition of founder Julian Assange to the United States.

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Norway

Norwegian soldier injured in Afghanistan Koran riot

A Norwegian soldier suffered leg injuries on Thursday morning after a demonstrator threw a hand grenade at a Norway-led military base in Maymana, northern Afghanistan.

Greek journalist called Merkel ‘dirty Berlin slut’
Germany

Greek journalist called Merkel ‘dirty Berlin slut’

A Greek radio station has been fined €25,000 for allowing one of its journalists to refer to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a “dirty Berlin slut” on air.

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Sweden

Imam shot in the head in northern Sweden

A 54-year-old imam was found shot in the head in Strömsund in northwestern Sweden on Wednesday in what police have classified as attempted murder.

Holocaust denial ‘pub talk’ legal – sometimes
Germany

Holocaust denial ‘pub talk’ legal – sometimes

Germany’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of a Nazi who denied the Holocaust in his neighbourhood pub, because he did so “as part of an attempt to argue” that Germany was not the aggressor in World War II.

Scientists eyeball hitches in zippy ‘God particle’
Switzerland

Scientists eyeball hitches in zippy ‘God particle’

Scientists who last year found particles that appeared to break the Universe's speed limit are looking at two technical issues that could have skewed the controversial finding, CERN said on Thursday.

New baby makes Swedes mad for ‘Princess Cake’
Sweden

New baby makes Swedes mad for ‘Princess Cake’

The birth of the new Swedish princess is causing Swedes to ransack bakeries for the traditional Swedish cake called ”Prinsesstårta” or ”Princess Cake” to celebrate the occasion.

British paparazzi stalk Sweden’s ‘snow-man’
Sweden

British paparazzi stalk Sweden’s ‘snow-man’

Staff members at a hospital in northern Sweden are outraged after finding British photographers lurking in their corridors on the hunt for an exclusive snap of Sweden’s mystery “snow man”, a 44-year-old who survived in his car for two months without food.

Swiss canton to ban sexist ads
Switzerland

Swiss canton to ban sexist ads

Sandrine Bavaud, a Green Party member of parliament in canton Vaud, has received overwhelming support in the cantonal parliament for her plan to create a law banning sexist street advertising.

Man blames TV ad for driving BMW into pond
Germany

Man blames TV ad for driving BMW into pond

A German man from Lower Saxony who drove a €39,000 BMW into a pond after being inspired by a TV advertisement is facing huge fines from the car rental company that loaned it to him.

LVMH to make red wine in China
France

LVMH to make red wine in China

Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits unit of French luxury group LVMH, said on Thursday it will start producing red wine in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, with bottling beginning in four to five years' time.

Business Brief: Mutewatch
Sweden

Business Brief: Mutewatch

Do you and your partner have very different schedules? Do you find yourself waking your other half up in the small hours with a loud alarm? Mutewatch could be the answer. We speak to Mutewatch's head of marketing, Livia Moore.

First pic of new Swedish princess released
Sweden

First pic of new Swedish princess released

The first picture of Sweden's newest princess has been released, with the Royal Court publishing the image on its official Facebook page.

Zurich intel firm hires ex-Mossad boss
Switzerland

Zurich intel firm hires ex-Mossad boss

Intelligence consulting firm, Arcanum Global, has announced that it is has taken on Meir Dagan, Mossad’s longest serving chief, as an advisor, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

Volvo Cars makes bid for bankrupt Saab: report
Sweden

Volvo Cars makes bid for bankrupt Saab: report

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars has placed a bid for large parts of its bankrupt counterpart Saab Automobile.

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Norway

Men on top as Norway nears five million

Norway is home to 12,000 more men than women, new population figures show, with the country’s male dominance increasing rapidly since last year.

Sweden braces for family immigration boom
Sweden

Sweden braces for family immigration boom

The number of people seeking permanent residency in Sweden as relatives of immigrants already in the country will increase with 45 percent to 59,500 in 2012, a number comparable to 41,000 last year according to the latest predictions from Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

Commerzbank profits halved in 2011
Germany

Commerzbank profits halved in 2011

Commerzbank, Germany's second-biggest bank, said on Thursday that the eurozone debt crisis and losses on its investments in Greece slashed profits in half in 2011.

Iran dodges oil embargo using Swiss office: report
Switzerland

Iran dodges oil embargo using Swiss office: report

Iran’s state-owned oil company, Naftiran Intertrade Company (Nico), may be able to get around EU sanctions by continuing to trade from an office in the canton of Vaud, according to a Swiss media report. 

Germany remembers victims of neo-Nazi gang
Germany

Germany remembers victims of neo-Nazi gang

Germany on Thursday remembered the murder victims of a neo-Nazi terror group at an official ceremony in Berlin. There was also a moment of silence nationwide at noon.

Business confidence index hits 7-month high
Germany

Business confidence index hits 7-month high

German business confidence rose to a seven-month high in February as robust domestic demand helped protect the German economy against the debt crisis, data showed on Thursday.

Neighbours want fence to hide new hospice
Germany

Neighbours want fence to hide new hospice

Residents of a housing estate in Hamburg are upset about plans for a new hospice planned in their midst. They fear a drop in property prices and an increase in traffic on their tranquil road.

Allianz profits ‘fell by half in 2011’
Germany

Allianz profits ‘fell by half in 2011’

German insurance giant Allianz said on Thursday natural catastrophes and losses on its investments in Greece slashed its bottom-line in half in 2011.

Norway tourists fume at Bulgarians in Bulgaria
Norway

Norway tourists fume at Bulgarians in Bulgaria

A Norwegian family cut short a holiday in Bulgaria and wrote an angry letter of complaint after finding that the hotel where they were staying was largely occupied by Bulgarians and other tourists from Eastern Europe.

Archaeologists show off priceless gold haul
Germany

Archaeologists show off priceless gold haul

For the first time archaeologists are showing a 1.8-kilo haul of gold they found while performing excavations around a gas pipeline last year.

What’s on in Germany:  February 23 – 29
Germany

What’s on in Germany: February 23 – 29

This Week's Highlights: Theatre in Berlin, Chinese culture in Cologne, and Georgia O'Keeffe paintings on view in Munich.

Sarkozy regrets his Fouquet’s moment
France

Sarkozy regrets his Fouquet’s moment

President Sarkozy told a TV interviewer on Wednesday evening he regretted the infamous party he held at the upmarket Fouquet's restaurant on the night of his election victory in 2007.

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Switzerland

Swiss probed over neo-Nazi murders: police

A man arrested in Switzerland over suspected links to a gun used by a German neo-Nazi cell is now being investigated for complicity in murder, police said on Wednesday.

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France

Photographer Ochlik remembered as passionate pro

French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, killed in Syria on Wednesday at the age of 28, was a passionate professional who won praise for getting as "close as possible" to the story.

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Switzerland

Basel stun Bayern with late winner

FC Basel boosted their chances of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a shock 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in the last 16 first-leg tie on Wednesday.

12-year-old bitten by Bengal tiger
France

12-year-old bitten by Bengal tiger

A plucky teenager got a bit too close to a cage containing a tiger as a circus was being set up in the southern town of Nissan-lez-Ensérune.

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Sweden

‘This is a joy for Sweden’: archbishop

Archbishop Anders Wejryd called the birth of the new princess a "joy" and expert on the Royals, Sten Hedman, said the new baby is "just what the doctor ordered" as the congratulations started rolling in from all over the country.

Court throws out Holocaust-denial case
Germany

Court throws out Holocaust-denial case

A German court on Wednesday quashed a British bishop's high-profile conviction for Holocaust denial for procedural reasons but said he may face a new trial on the same allegations.

French more anxious about downturn
France

French more anxious about downturn

A new survey shows around eight in ten people questioned in France believe the country is in the midst of an economic downturn, compared to just four out of ten Germans, and many feel the country has not done enough to adapt to the global economy.

Young German men wary of being hairy
Germany

Young German men wary of being hairy

Half of young German men are shaving more than just their facial hair, according to a survey published this week.

Strauss-Kahn freed but faces new questions
France

Strauss-Kahn freed but faces new questions

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been freed from French police custody after two days of questioning about an alleged prostitution ring but faces a further grilling next month.

Germany’s biggest political scandals
Germany

Germany’s biggest political scandals

Following the resignation of President Christian Wulff amid accusations of impropriety, The Local decided to look at post-war Germany's biggest political scandals.

‘It’s a girl’: Prince Daniel
Sweden

‘It’s a girl’: Prince Daniel

Sweden has a new princess. Crown Princess Victoria has given birth to a daughter, announced the happy father from Stockholm's Karolinska Hospital early on Thursday morning.

‘She was radiant’: crown princess’ mentor
Sweden

‘She was radiant’: crown princess’ mentor

The Crown princess' previous mentor, the former head of information at the Royal Court, Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg, told news agency TT that the princess was in great health when last they met not to long ago.

Victoria to hospital early Thursday morning
Sweden

Victoria to hospital early Thursday morning

Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria was admitted to the maternity ward at Karolinska University Hospital shortly before 1am on Thursday morning.