What’s on in Germany:  May 3 – 9
Germany

What’s on in Germany: May 3 – 9

This Week's Highlights: Animated films in Stuttgart, a surfing and skateboarding festival in Hamburg, and opera in a Berlin museum.

Swedes given last-minute tax filing reprieve
Sweden

Swedes given last-minute tax filing reprieve

Last-minute tax filers in Sweden were given a short reprieve on Wednesday after the country's tax authorities extended the 2012 filing deadline due to a technical glitch.

German hits nuke power station with smoke bomb
Germany

German hits nuke power station with smoke bomb

A German man was in French police custody on Wednesday, after dropping a smoke bomb onto a nuclear power station near Lyon from his paraglider as part of a Greenpeace initiative to show up security gaps.

Stockholm man hit with five ‘faulty’ parking fines
Sweden

Stockholm man hit with five ‘faulty’ parking fines

A Swedish man who received five parking tickets on the same street over the past two years despite being legally parked, has reported the matter despite an apology from city officials acknowledging their repeated mistake.

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Sweden

Girl forced to have oral sex with seven teens

Charges have been filed in a suspected case of gang rape in which seven teenagers forced an intoxicated 17-year-old old girl to perform oral sex on them in the cellar of an apartment building in eastern Sweden.

European Poker Tour Drops Copenhagen
Sweden

European Poker Tour Drops Copenhagen

There will be no Scandinavian stop on the next season of the European Poker Tour (EPT).

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Switzerland

Swisscom’s profits dip in first quarter

Switzerland's top mobile provider Swisscom reported on Wednesday that net profit fell by 3.8 percent to 456 million francs (€379.5 million, $499.7 million) in the first quarter.

Big profit fall for UBS
Switzerland

Big profit fall for UBS

Swiss banking giant UBS reported that net profit slid by 54 percent to 827 million Swiss francs (€688 million, $910 million) in the first quarter of 2012, sharply below expectations, in a statement on Wednesday.

‘Petrol police’ set to fight pump price hikes
Germany

‘Petrol police’ set to fight pump price hikes

Germany is set to introduce “petrol police” to collect and monitor fuel prices across the country – from import to the pump, in an attempt to combat soaring prices.

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Switzerland

Zurich May Day rally turns violent

A May Day rally in Zurich turned violent on Tuesday as a group of youths set fire to rubbish bins and pelted police with bottles and stones, drawing teargas and water-cannon fire in response.

Presidential candidate returns to car factory job
France

Presidential candidate returns to car factory job

A French Trotskyite returned to his job in a Ford car factory Wednesday after failing to get himself elected as the country's president.

French TV station drops Strauss-Khan’s wife
France

French TV station drops Strauss-Khan’s wife

France's BFM-TV said Wednesday it had dropped Dominique Strauss-Kahn's journalist wife from taking part in election night coverage because the disgraced Socialist was once more in the media spotlight.

Rangers: injured bear dangerous after train crash
Switzerland

Rangers: injured bear dangerous after train crash

Swiss experts have warned that a bear that first appeared in the Lower Engadine region, may become more dangerous after it was hit by train on Monday evening travelling from Scuol to Samedan. 

 

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France

Sarkozy prepares for make-or-break TV debate

Nicolas Sarkozy will make a last-ditch bid on Wednesday to turn the tide against Socialist Francois Hollande when they go head to head in the French presidential election's one and only television debate.

Spotify launches new app for Apple’s iPad
Sweden

Spotify launches new app for Apple’s iPad

Spotify has released its long-anticipated iPad app, allowing users to access the hit Swedish digital music service via an interface tailored to Apple's popular tablet computer.

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France

France denies war games should provoke Iran

France concluded on Wednesday two weeks of war games with the United Arab Emirates, which officials from both sides insisted were not related to regional tensions involving Iran.

Toulouse tornadoes a hit on YouTube
France

Toulouse tornadoes a hit on YouTube

Unusual spring weather in southern France has become an internet sensation – Toulouse tornadoes have taken YouTube by storm.

Germany’s Rupert Murdoch turns 100
Germany

Germany’s Rupert Murdoch turns 100

Revered and reviled German media tycoon Axel Springer, whose empire encompasses major opinion-making papers Bild and Die Welt, would have turned 100 on Wednesday, prompting praise and condemnation.

Should soccer be used as a political football?
Germany

Should soccer be used as a political football?

As Euro 2012 approaches in Poland and Ukraine, soccer has become a political football over the treatment of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Is sport a useful diplomatic tool or should it be free of politics? Have your say.

Preschool teacher locked toddlers in dryer
Sweden

Preschool teacher locked toddlers in dryer

A former preschool teacher who locked several young children in a drying cupboard was convicted on Wednesday by a court in western Sweden for assaults against a number of toddlers.

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Switzerland

Swiss fear of flying boosts therapists

The number of Swiss people who are scared of flying is so high that coaching sessions are booked out and new clinics are opening has opened to meet the need for therapy.

 

How many were really at Sarkozy’s rally?
France

How many were really at Sarkozy’s rally?

Nicolas Sarkozy’s May Day rally at the Place du Trocedero, in front of the Eiffel Tower, was at the centre of an age-old dispute yesterday – the number of people estimated to have attended.

Salafist Muslims arrested as protest turns ugly
Germany

Salafist Muslims arrested as protest turns ugly

Police arrested 81 people on Tuesday after a Salafist Muslim protest in western Germany against a far-right group displaying cartoons of Mohammed outside mosques turned violent, with rocks thrown at police who responded with tear gas.

Swedish woman injured by flying man
Sweden

Swedish woman injured by flying man

A woman was sent to hospital on Tuesday night after being hit by a flying man at a bar in central Sweden.

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Norway

Norway rejects calls for Ukraine Euro boycott

Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre has advised against a boycott for Norwegians seeking to visit this summer's European Football Championship in Ukraine, while expressing concern over political developments in the country.

Unemployment steady as Sundays are sacrificed
Germany

Unemployment steady as Sundays are sacrificed

Unemployment fell in Germany in April, to slip beneath the three million mark, but was actually higher in seasonally adjusted terms, according to figures released by the German Federal Labour Agency on Wednesday.

Sweden, UK team up for EU bank rules battle
Sweden

Sweden, UK team up for EU bank rules battle

Britain and Sweden, backed by eastern European allies, squared off with Germany, France and other EU states Wednesday over rules to harden the defences of banks against any crisis.

Norway made to wait to meet captured aid worker
Norway

Norway made to wait to meet captured aid worker

Norwegian officials have been made to wait to meet with John Sørbø, the Norwegian aid worker captured by the Sudanese army last week.

Biker sues BMW for 20-month erection
Germany

Biker sues BMW for 20-month erection

Top German automobile maker BMW is facing a stiff legal challenge from an American man who claims a four-hour ride on one of their motorbikes left him with a permanent erection.

Greenpeace in nuclear smoke bomb attack
France

Greenpeace in nuclear smoke bomb attack

A Greenpeace activist flew into a nuclear power plant near Lyon on Wednesday morning, depositing a red smoke canister on the roof of a reactor, in a bid to demonstrate French nuclear sites' vulnerability.

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Switzerland

Swiss solar boat finishes historic world tour

Super-yacht PlanetSolar, brainchild of a Swiss eco-adventurer, has completed the first ever round-the-world trip to be powered entirely by the sun's rays.

Norwegian swimming champ dies in shower
Norway

Norwegian swimming champ dies in shower

Norwegian world swimming champion Alexander Dale Oen has died aged 26 at a training camp in the United States, Norway's swim federation announced on Tuesday.

May Day passes (relatively) smoothly
Germany

May Day passes (relatively) smoothly

Berlin and Hamburg saw their most peaceful May Days in years, authorities claimed on Tuesday. But the police were accused of "unbelievable brutality" as one anti-capitalist demonstration was broken up in the German capital.

Ex-minister snags top Swedish banking job
Sweden

Ex-minister snags top Swedish banking job

Ex-Social Democrat minister Thomas Östros will be the new head of the Swedish Bankers' Association (Svenska Bankföreningen), it was revealed on Wednesday.

Finance Minister gets boost for euro top job
Germany

Finance Minister gets boost for euro top job

The head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, supports German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to take over the post in July, a press report said on Tuesday.

Armed Forces degrees go ‘unused’ by students
Sweden

Armed Forces degrees go ‘unused’ by students

The doctoral programme in the Swedish Armed Forces has come under fire after the 220 million kronor ($32.7 million) project has only resulted in two working graduates since the programme’s inception in 1992.

‘German hooligans look up to the English’
Germany

‘German hooligans look up to the English’

Football violence is increasing in Germany, with reports of trouble at games now almost every week. At the same time, the Bundesliga is booming. The Local asked Jacob Sweetman of No Dice magazine to square the circle.

Six-year-old pulls knife on two girls in ‘cat’ fight
Sweden

Six-year-old pulls knife on two girls in ‘cat’ fight

Police in central Sweden were called in when a knife-wielding six-year-old began threatening two girls in a street fight on Tuesday evening.