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Norway

Power cables to link UK and Germany to Norway

German renewable energy sources will be linked to Norwegian storage plants via a new sea cable to be completed by 2018, grid operators said on Thursday, while plans for a similar UK cable were also announced.

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Switzerland

Swiss keep Fitch triple-A rating

Fitch Ratings on Thursday held steady Switzerland's top AAA rating, citing its resilient economy and well-managed public finances, and kept the outlook at stable.

Prosecutors say Breivik may never leave asylum
Norway

Prosecutors say Breivik may never leave asylum

Prosecutors said on Thursday that Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last July, may never be free again if the court follows their request and sends him to a closed psychiatric ward.

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Sweden

H&M mulls ditching US dollars for Chinese yuan

Swedish fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz said Wednesday it's considering dumping the use of the US dollar in favour of the Chinese yuan to guard against currency fluctuations.

Germans Start Slow at 2012 World Series of Poker
Germany

Germans Start Slow at 2012 World Series of Poker

Capping last year with the ultimate victory – Pius Heinz’s $9 million win in the Main Event – and seeing several impressive results so far this year on the European Poker Tour, hopes were high for German players heading into the 2012 World Series of Poker.

Green energy cable to link Germany and Norway
Germany

Green energy cable to link Germany and Norway

German renewable energy sources will be linked to Norwegian storage plants via a new sea cable to be completed by 2018, grid operators said on Thursday as they outlined plans to build it.

UK magazine: Merkel ‘most dangerous leader’
Germany

UK magazine: Merkel ‘most dangerous leader’

A left-wing British magazine has called German Chancellor Angela Merkel the world’s most dangerous leader whose approach to the euro crisis may have brought the world to the edge of a second Great Depression.

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Switzerland

US presses for tax deal with Switzerland

The United States announced steps Wednesday toward an elusive tax deal with Switzerland, as well as another with economic partner Japan.

Sweden to reveal Colbert Twitter news ‘next week’
Sweden

Sweden to reveal Colbert Twitter news ‘next week’

Officials in charge of Sweden's @Sweden Twitter account said on Thursday they are seriously considering handing the account over to US comedian Stephen Colbert, and plan to issue a decision on the matter as early as next week.

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Norway

Prosecutors want Breivik to be found insane

Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last July, should be locked up in a psychiatric ward instead of prison, the prosecution said Thursday, arguing his sanity had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

French admit defeat as web anglicisms invade language
France

French admit defeat as web anglicisms invade language

Several new English words are to appear in the 2013 edition of the Petit Robert French dictionary, despite France’s age-old battle to avoid anglicisms.

Bavarian graphite mine reopens on higher prices
Germany

Bavarian graphite mine reopens on higher prices

A graphite mine in Bavaria reopened on Thursday as rising prices of raw material imports from China made German mining profitable once again. Meanwhile, the search is on to find sources of expensive raw materials closer to home.

Only a lunatic would join the EU: Swiss minister
Switzerland

Only a lunatic would join the EU: Swiss minister

Nobody in their right mind would consider joining the European Union in its current state, Switzerland’s defence minister believes.

Germany ratifies EU fiscal pact
Germany

Germany ratifies EU fiscal pact

Germany's government and opposition clinched an accord Thursday to ratify the EU fiscal pact and new aid fund but its top court called into question the timing of the latter's entry into force.

‘A citizen became a murder machine’
Norway

‘A citizen became a murder machine’

Prosecutors began their closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in attacks last July, and were to reveal if they want him held responsible for his actions.

What’s on in Germany: June 21 – 27
Germany

What’s on in Germany: June 21 – 27

This Week's Highlights: Malkovich in Munich, Harleys in Hamburg, a parade of cultures in Frankfurt, and Fete de la Musique in Berlin.

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Norway

Most Norwegians want Breivik jailed: poll

Three of four Norwegians want Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last year, to be sent to prison rather than an insane asylum, a poll showed on Thursday.

Drunk ‘admits murder’ to get ride home with cops
Sweden

Drunk ‘admits murder’ to get ride home with cops

A woman from western Sweden is facing a hefty fine after she tried to get a free lift home by telling police she had just committed a murder.

Swedish students excel at English: study
Sweden

Swedish students excel at English: study

Swedish 15-year-olds are very proficient in the English language while not as good at Spanish, according to the results of a comprehensive international language study presented on Thursday.

Ten tell-tale signs that you’ve gone native
Germany

Ten tell-tale signs that you’ve gone native

Do you wait religiously for the green man? Do you leave passive-aggressive notes on your neighbours' bikes? You may have been in Germany too long. The latest Local List diagnoses the various stages of this serious condition.

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Sweden

Man charged for cutting off and eating wife’s lip

A university professor in Stockholm who sliced off his wife's lower lip and ate it, was formally charged on Thursday with aggravated assault for the attack.

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Switzerland

Swiss state placing younger kids in homes

Nursery aged children are increasingly being placed into care homes in Switzerland, experts say.

 

Strawberry ‘scandal’ leaves Swedes seething
Sweden

Strawberry ‘scandal’ leaves Swedes seething

Foreign strawberries are being repackaged and passed off as Swedish, causing outrage among growers and authorities to send samples to Germany for analysis in an effort to stop the black market trade.

Weather watchers warn of washout weekend
Germany

Weather watchers warn of washout weekend

Heavy rain and storms lashed Germany this week, toppling trees, blocking roads, flooding houses and resulting at least one death. In Berlin, music festival organisers are bracing themselves for a wash-out weekend.

Swedish bees board flight to Greenland
Sweden

Swedish bees board flight to Greenland

Some 500,000 bees from northern Sweden checked into a flight bound for Greenland on Wednesday where they are destined to start a new life, contributing to the very exclusive local honey production.

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Switzerland

US slams Switzerland on human trafficking

A report from the US has criticized Switzerland for not doing enough to meet international standards to combat human trafficking.

Car workers get early night to watch football
Germany

Car workers get early night to watch football

German car makers are closing early on Friday so workers can catch the Euro 2012 quarter final where Germany plays Greece, with more promising the same if the team progresses in the tournament.

Drugs at work: ‘I’ve never seen a clean trader’
Switzerland

Drugs at work: ‘I’ve never seen a clean trader’

More and more Swiss workers are resorting to drugs to improve their performance, according to a new study.

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Norway

Man arrested for attack on woman in wheelchair

Oslo police on Wednesday arrested a man in connection with the brutal assault of a 40-year-old woman in a wheelchair two weeks ago.

Court: refugees must be treated equally
Germany

Court: refugees must be treated equally

Around 130,000 refugees in Germany currently subsisting on food stamps and pocket money worth 40 percent less than the basic social support are likely to soon be granted a better standard of living.

Breivik to court: What about my trauma?
Norway

Breivik to court: What about my trauma?

Anders Behring Breivik, on trial for killing 77 people in Norway last year, stunned the Oslo courtroom Wednesday when he drew a parallel between his own "trauma" and that he inflicted on the victims' families.

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France

France to push for eurobonds in Brussels

Germany and France will overcome their differences and agree on solutions to the current crisis at the upcoming EU summit, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in an interview Wednesday.

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France

Man spared jail after killing Alzheimer’s wife

 

A French court on Wednesday convicted an elderly man of killing his wife of nearly 50 years after her condition worsened from Alzheimer's but ordered no jail time.

 

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France

UN envoy: peacekeepers should speak French

France's UN ambassador on Wednesday hit out at the United Nations for not sending enough francophone peacekeepers to French-speaking countries in crisis.

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France

Police storm Toulouse bank to free hostages

French police stormed a bank in Toulouse Wednesday, arresting a gunman with psychiatric problems who claimed to be an Al-Qaeda militant and freeing his two hostages after a seven-hour siege.

Ecuador mulls Assange asylum bid: president
Sweden

Ecuador mulls Assange asylum bid: president

Ecuador is weighing whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's request for political asylum is motivated by fears of a death sentence or persecution for ideological reasons, its president told AFP late Wednesday on the sidelines of a UN summit.

Threat levels raised after power plant ‘bomb’ find
Sweden

Threat levels raised after power plant ‘bomb’ find

After the discovery of explosives on the premises of Swedish nuclear power plant Ringhals south of Gothenburg on Wednesday afternoon, authorities quickly raised the threat level at all Swedish nuclear facilities.

Merkel welcomes new Greek prime minister
Germany

Merkel welcomes new Greek prime minister

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday congratulated new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras by phone and invited him for talks in Berlin.

Lundqvist awarded as NHL’s top goaltender
Sweden

Lundqvist awarded as NHL’s top goaltender

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist took home his first Vezina Trophy as the top NHL goaltender this season, his 39 triumphs helping the Rangers to their best record since 1994.

Porn-kitsch king Koons conquers Frankfurt
Germany

Porn-kitsch king Koons conquers Frankfurt

King of pornographic kitsch Jeff Koons is being celebrated in a mammoth double retrospective across two of Frankfurt's main museums. Despite divided opinions, the exhibition is expected to break gallery attendance records.