Swiss Olympic bans two athletes for online dope
Switzerland

Swiss Olympic bans two athletes for online dope

Switzerland’s national Olympic committee has banned two athletes from competing for two years for possession and attempted use of illegal doping substances purchased online.

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Switzerland

Police sting foils Geneva assassination bid

A Geneva court on Thursday jailed a 33-year-old Indian restaurant owner for five years for attempting to hire a hit man to kill an employee he believed was carrying on with his wife.

Switzerland wants more tax from rich foreigners
Switzerland

Switzerland wants more tax from rich foreigners

Well-heeled foreigners may in the future need to pay Switzerland more to keep their low tax Alpine refuge, but angry Swiss still want to end the sweet deals.

New deterioration scare for Sweden’s Vasa
Sweden

New deterioration scare for Sweden’s Vasa

Sweden's famed 17th century Vasa warship, housed in a Stockholm museum, is deteriorating faster than previously believed despite renewed preservation efforts, researchers have warned.

Swedish ice hockey: five fun Elitserien facts
Sweden

Swedish ice hockey: five fun Elitserien facts

As Sweden's top ice hockey league, the Elitserien, kicks off play for the 2012-2013 season on Thursday night, The Local unveils the top five little-known facts you and your puck-buddies might not have known about the league.

Doc sent traumatized girl to be cured by medium
Sweden

Doc sent traumatized girl to be cured by medium

A doctor in central Sweden has come under fire for taking a child with an underlying trauma to a medium, in in an attempt to cure the girl via contact with one of the girl’s dead relatives.

Thatcher letter thanking family surfaces
Germany

Thatcher letter thanking family surfaces

A German book dealer has found a letter seemingly written by Margaret Thatcher to her husband Denis and family, thanking them for their support during her political career – it was tucked away in a copy of her autobiography.

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France

French Muslim leaders call for calm

Muslim leaders in France, home to Europe's largest Islamic community, called for calm Thursday after an anti-Islam film sparked anti-US violence in North Africa and the Middle East.

Doctors prescribe strike in wage fight
Germany

Doctors prescribe strike in wage fight

German hypochondriacs may have to cope alone soon, as 30 doctors' associations have voted to close their practices and go on strike some time before the end of September.

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France

Footballer Makelele cleared of assaulting ex

Former Real Madrid and Chelsea star Claude Makelele was cleared by a French court on Thursday of assaulting his British ex-girlfriend.

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France

French pirate fined over Rihanna songs

A French man Thursday became the first person to be convicted under a new law aimed at clamping down on film and music piracy when he was fined €150 ($193) for illegally downloading Rihanna songs.

Toxic chemicals scare at Berlin US consulate
Germany

Toxic chemicals scare at Berlin US consulate

The US consulate in Berlin was partially evacuated on Thursday after three staff members said they felt ill and feared a visitor had released a noxious chemical. Police and hazardous chemicals teams were called in but found nothing.

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France

Prosecutor demands life for Swedish student murder

A French prosecutor on Thursday demanded that the man accused of the murder of a Swedish student in Paris be sentenced to life in prison with a stipulation that he serves a minimum of 22 years behind bars.

Swede held for ‘ordering’ child rape online
Sweden

Swede held for ‘ordering’ child rape online

A Swedish man has been ordered held on remand after authorities discovered that he was paying women in the Philippines to sexually assault children in front of a webcam while he watched on his computer in Sweden.

Karzai calls off Norway visit over riot fears
Norway

Karzai calls off Norway visit over riot fears

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has postponed a visit to Norway fearing a violent backlash at home over an anti-Islam film that sparked riots which killed the US ambassador in Libya, officials said on Thursday.

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Sweden

Swede’s accused killer ‘deserves life in prison’

A French prosecutor on Thursday demanded that Bruno Cholet, the man accused of the murder of a Swedish student in Paris, be sentenced to life in prison with a stipulation that he serves a minimum of 22 years.

Helmut Schmidt defends Tiananmen massacre
Germany

Helmut Schmidt defends Tiananmen massacre

Helmut Schmidt, ex-chancellor and sacred cow of German political punditry, has defended the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. Casualty estimates were "wildly exaggerated" and the Chinese army was defending itself, he said.

Germany welcomes pro-Europe Dutch vote
Germany

Germany welcomes pro-Europe Dutch vote

Germany on Thursday welcomed the success of pro-European forces in the Dutch election and heavy losses by the far right, saying the result would bolster eurozone crisis-fighting.

Still no arrests over subway robbery: police
Sweden

Still no arrests over subway robbery: police

The thief who robbed a man lying unconscious on Stockholm subway tracks has still not been found by police, despite extensive search efforts.

Politician owns Zurich’s biggest brothel: report
Switzerland

Politician owns Zurich’s biggest brothel: report

The owner of the biggest brothel in Zurich is a member of the political party criticizing a barrier designed to reduce noise and other disruptions in the city’s red light district, according to reports.

Sweden unveils plan to slash corporate tax rates
Sweden

Sweden unveils plan to slash corporate tax rates

Sweden aims to cut corporate tax rates by 15 percent in 2013 in a move estimated to cost state coffers about 16 billion kronor ($2.4 billion).

EADS and BAE plan merger to take on Boeing
Germany

EADS and BAE plan merger to take on Boeing

European aerospace giants EADS and BAE have less than a month from Thursday to clear big hurdles to a projected $45 billion merger and create a united front against US arch-rival Boeing.

Swiss central bank cuts growth outlook
Switzerland

Swiss central bank cuts growth outlook

The Swiss National Bank on Thursday kept its low key rate unchanged and said the current global economic climate was forcing it to cut its 2012 economic growth outlook.

Holidaymaker sues after TV ‘monster’ joke
Germany

Holidaymaker sues after TV ‘monster’ joke

A holidaying pensioner who stumbled into camera shot of a casting show in just his swimming trunks is suing German TV channel RTL after being made fun of by the show’s host and dubbed “the monster from the deep”.

What’s on in Germany:  September 13 – 19
Germany

What’s on in Germany: September 13 – 19

This Week's Highlights: English theatre in Frankfurt, literature in Hamburg, and Fritz Lang with live music in Cologne.

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France

Disabled man ‘sexually assaulted’ by pensioner

A disabled man has claimed he was abducted and raped by a 60-year-old man in Montauban, just north of Toulouse.

Manhunt launched after fatal Schwyz shooting
Switzerland

Manhunt launched after fatal Schwyz shooting

A 24-year-old Moldovan man is dead and another man is on the run after a shoot-out with police at Ibergeregg, near a mountain pass in Schwyz on Wednesday.

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France

French doctors: half of drugs ‘are useless’

A new book written by two doctors claims over half of the medicines are available in France are ineffective, and 5 percent of them are even dangerous.

‘The yes is as weak as the but’
Germany

‘The yes is as weak as the but’

While the world drew a breath after the German Constitutional Court okayed the European Stability Mechanism on Wednesday, The Local's media roundup shows the German press questioning if the judgement solved anything.

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France

Romania vows ‘total cooperation’ on Roma

Romania will provide "total cooperation" with France in its effort to deal with Roma migrants, President Train Basescu told visiting French ministers Wednesday.

‘Missing’ Swedish woman lied about holiday ordeal
Sweden

‘Missing’ Swedish woman lied about holiday ordeal

A 25-year-old Swedish woman who was reported missing in Egypt in August, but resurfaced a few days later after finding “love”, has now returned to Sweden and come clean about her “lies”.

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France

EADS and BAE aim to create aerospace giant

British arms manufacturer BAE Systems and European planemaker EADS revealed Wednesday they are in merger talks to create a global aerospace and defence leader that would better rival US giant Boeing.

Parents save son by each giving him a lung
Germany

Parents save son by each giving him a lung

A boy with cystic fibrosis is starting a new life after German doctors performed the country’s first double living lung transplant, giving him a lung from each of his mother and father.

Clinton group touts Swedish childcare model
Sweden

Clinton group touts Swedish childcare model

In a first report by the International Council on Women's Business Leadership, recently presented to Hillary Clinton, the group stressed the need for a working childcare system based on the Swedish model.

Jailed Swedes subjected to fake executions
Sweden

Jailed Swedes subjected to fake executions

The two Swedish reporters Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, jailed in Ethiopia on terror charges, were subjected to fake executions by Ethiopian guards to get them to admit their guilt, according to a report by national broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT).

Zug community tops Swiss ‘best place’ list
Switzerland

Zug community tops Swiss ‘best place’ list

The municipality of Hünenberg in the canton of Zug is basking in glory after being named the best place to live in Switzerland.

More Swedish students choose university
Sweden

More Swedish students choose university

While an increasing number of Swedish high school students are choosing to go to university, the gap between the number of students from affluent compared to challenged areas is widening, according to a new report by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket).

Third of pilots ‘have slept in cockpit’
Germany

Third of pilots ‘have slept in cockpit’

German pilots have condemned new flight service plans as a danger to passengers, with most saying that they have flown while over-tired - and a third admitting to have taken a nap in the cockpit.