Envoy reacts to Ecuador ridicule in Sweden
Sweden

Envoy reacts to Ecuador ridicule in Sweden

Ecuador's ambassador to Sweden Thursday defended his homeland against criticism over press freedom following its granting of asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted by authorities in Stockholm.

Swedish royal fury over ‘offensive’ artwork
Sweden

Swedish royal fury over ‘offensive’ artwork

A Swedish artist said on Thursday she has no plans to apologize to the country's royals for an "offensive" picture depicting the King Carl XVI Gustaf eating pizza off a naked woman's body and Queen Silvia wiping a swastika off the floor.

US plans could sink huge arms merger
France

US plans could sink huge arms merger

The European aerospace groups EADS and BAE Systems are exploring a tie-up that would create a global giant, but rivals in the United States might try to scupper the deal.

Swedes lick their lips in Cinnamon Bun Day feast
Sweden

Swedes lick their lips in Cinnamon Bun Day feast

While some countries marked World Animal Day on October 4th, Swedes were out in force to celebrate something completely different: National Cinnamon Bun Day.

‘Northern Swedes need to know you before they’ll drink with you’
Sweden

‘Northern Swedes need to know you before they’ll drink with you’

While viewing an acquaintance's small illicit alcohol still, ex-Londoner Paul Connolly ponders the surprising reticence of northern Swedes to drink in company.

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Norway

Norway to host Colombia press conference

Representatives of the Colombian government and Marxist rebel group FARC will hold a joint press conference on October 17th on the resumption of peace talks, the Norwegian government said on Thursday.

EU discard GM cancer report from French scientist
France

EU discard GM cancer report from French scientist

The European Food Safety Authority said Thursday it cannot accept an "inadequate" report by a French scientist on a link between cancer and genetically modified corn.

Man jailed for 18 years after Malmö murder
Sweden

Man jailed for 18 years after Malmö murder

A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday for the fatal shooting of a 48-year-old man in Malmö in January, while two suspected accomplices were freed.

Schumi calls it a day
Germany

Schumi calls it a day

German Formula One legend Michael Schumacher confirmed on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the current season, after Mercedes ended his contract in order to recruit British pilot Lewis Hamilton last week.

German states weigh congestion tax
Germany

German states weigh congestion tax

Several German states are considering a flat tax on drivers who use their vehicles in the city centre. The proposed charge of €6.10 per day is roughly equivalent to the price of a day pass for public transport.

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France

French police launch manhunt for murder suspects

French police on Thursday detained one of two fugitives wanted for the killing of two 21-year-olds by a mob armed with hammers, baseball bats and knives.

Tintin ‘too racist’ for one in ten Swedish libraries
Sweden

Tintin ‘too racist’ for one in ten Swedish libraries

Ten percent of Swedish libraries don’t stock Tintin comic books on their shelves, according to a new survey, deeming the content to be “too racist” for their patrons.

Vattenfall: new Swedish nuke plant ‘years away’
Sweden

Vattenfall: new Swedish nuke plant ‘years away’

Power group Vattenfall believes it will take several years before a decision can be made to build another Swedish nuclear reactor, the head of its nuclear operations told a newspaper on Thursday.

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France

French mayor: gay marriage may lead to incest

A Parisian mayor has stirred up a row over France's plan to legalise gay marriage by announcing he will refuse to preside over same-sex marriages on the grounds they could open the door to the approval of polygamous or incestuous unions.

‘Calm down,’ Germany tells Turkey after attacks
Germany

‘Calm down,’ Germany tells Turkey after attacks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday joined other world leaders in calling for restraint after Turkey shelled Syrian positions in reprisal for mortar fire that killed five Turkish civilians.

Hamburg: we have only 29 prostitutes
Germany

Hamburg: we have only 29 prostitutes

The Hamburg city parliament said there are only 29 prostitutes working in the city, in response to an official information request - a dubious claim for the home of the legendary Reeperbahn and its illicit sex shows and raunchy night clubs.

Boy, 4, in ‘miracle’ train crash escape
Switzerland

Boy, 4, in ‘miracle’ train crash escape

A four-year-old boy escaped serious harm when the car he was travelling in flipped upside down onto a railway line and was crushed by an oncoming train in the canton of Graubünden on Wednesday.

What’s on in Germany:  October 4 – 10
Germany

What’s on in Germany: October 4 – 10

This Week's Highlights: English theatre in Frankfurt, a legendary photo editor in Munich, and an Art Spiegelman retrospective in Cologne.

Dodgy cop lockers full of drugs and cash
France

Dodgy cop lockers full of drugs and cash

Drugs and money have been found in the lockers of 12 police officers arrested on suspicion of corruption in the southern French city of Marseille, a judicial source said on Thursday.

Customs: Your violin back? That’ll be $1.5mln
Germany

Customs: Your violin back? That’ll be $1.5mln

An acclaimed concert violinist has been told to pay $1.5 million in duty to German customs, who confiscated her Stradivarius saying she may plan to sell it, the instrument's Japanese owner said Thursday.

‘Paris only has one stop sign’: Police
France

‘Paris only has one stop sign’: Police

Parisian drivers discovered they are at little risk of being booked for jumping a stop sign in the capital – because there is only one such sign in the whole city.

British teacher extradited by French court
France

British teacher extradited by French court

A French court on Thursday ordered the extradition of a married British teacher who fled with a 15-year-old pupil and faces charges of kidnapping a minor.

Nepal mountain search finds French body
France

Nepal mountain search finds French body

Nepalese rescuers have found the body of a missing French climber in a crevasse on Mount Manaslu a week after an avalanche killed him and at least eight other mountaineers, the expedition organiser said Thursday.

Top bank fires traders aiding tax dodgers
Germany

Top bank fires traders aiding tax dodgers

Germany's biggest bank has dismissed several traders who systematically helped clients evade VAT, a German newspaper reported. The move is apparently part of a new clean-up drive at Deutsche Bank.

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France

Wife of Jewish group head attacked at home

Police are looking for suspects after the wife of the president of a Jewish culture association was tied up and threatened by four men who forced their way into her home.

ETH Zurich again ranked top on continent
Switzerland

ETH Zurich again ranked top on continent

For the second time in less than a month, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) has been judged the top university in continental Europe.

Koran art exhibit pulled in France after near riot
France

Koran art exhibit pulled in France after near riot

A Moroccan artist on Wednesday suspended his exhibit in a French arts festival after his projection of Koranic verses onto a bridge almost sparked a riot when people trod on them.

Cyclist hit with €900 fine for ‘lesbo cop’ insult
Germany

Cyclist hit with €900 fine for ‘lesbo cop’ insult

A court in Cologne has ordered an unemployed fork lift operator to pay a €900 fine for insulting a police officer. The man was stopped for using a cellphone while riding a bike and let loose a stream of profanities at the officer.

Swiss court: Landis may not repeat slurs
Switzerland

Swiss court: Landis may not repeat slurs

A Swiss court on Wednesday found dope-tarnished American cyclist Floyd Landis guilty of defaming cycling's governing body the UCI.

Swedes paid off Russian expert in secret intel deal
Sweden

Swedes paid off Russian expert in secret intel deal

Two Swedish military agencies at the centre of a scandal over plans to help build a weapons factory in Saudi Arabia also secretly paid millions of kronor to a Russian arms expert for information relevant to the project, a new report has revealed.

Gran finds 25 kilos of cocaine in suitcase
France

Gran finds 25 kilos of cocaine in suitcase

A grandma discovered a surprising souvenir in her luggage after returning from a holiday in the Dominican Republic – 25 kilos of cocaine.

Government ready to u-turn on start-up tax
France

Government ready to u-turn on start-up tax

France's Socialist government signaled on Thursday it was prepared to review its plans to hike the tax on the sale of companies that investors warned threatens to cripple the high-tech start-up sector.

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France

Eight charged over Grenoble mob murder

Eight people have been charged with the brutal mob killing of two French students in a case that sent shockwaves across the country, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Headaches could be cured by snake venom
France

Headaches could be cured by snake venom

Scientists have used the venom of Africa's lethal black mamba to produce a surprising outcome in mice which they hope to replicate in humans - effective pain relief without toxic side effects.

Sexual assault ‘on the rise at Oktoberfest’
Germany

Sexual assault ‘on the rise at Oktoberfest’

Reports of spiked drinks and sexual assault have emerged from the women's security point at this year's Oktoberfest, which said it has had to help 40 percent more women this year.

Police stop kitchen knife assailant
Germany

Police stop kitchen knife assailant

Hamburg police arrested a kitchen knife-wielding 36-year-old man who was running around the train station in the middle of the night trying to stab people, it was reported on Thursday.

Swatch chief ticks off firms leaving Switzerland
Switzerland

Swatch chief ticks off firms leaving Switzerland

Firms that relocate from Switzerland because of the strong Swiss franc are misguided, the head of the Swatch watchmaking giant Nick Hayek said in an interview to be published on Thursday.

Hacktivists threaten ‘biggest attack’ on Friday
Sweden

Hacktivists threaten ‘biggest attack’ on Friday

After incapacitating the Swedish Riksbank website in a DDOS attack late on Wednesday night, a spokesperson claiming ties to hacktivist network Anonymous promised the “biggest” attack so far to take place on Friday.

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Sweden

Mother suspected of abducting own kids

A 45-year-old woman from southern Sweden and her two children have been missing for three months, presumed to be hiding from authorities after social services took the two kids into care.

200 live tarantulas found in suitcase
Germany

200 live tarantulas found in suitcase

Security personnel at Amsterdam airport made an odd discovery when they put a German couple's bags through the scanners – the pair had over 200 live tarantulas hidden among their clothes.

Assange surety backers face anxious wait
Sweden

Assange surety backers face anxious wait

Nine backers of Julian Assange who put up £140,000 ($225,000) between them in surety cash face an anxious wait to find out if they will lose their money, following a court hearing Wednesday.

2-2 draw for Schalke against Montpellier
Germany

2-2 draw for Schalke against Montpellier

The Champions League took a turn for Schalke 04 after they drew against ten-man Montpellier on Wednesday night. A 90th-minute equaliser from striker Souleymane Camara gave the French team a unexpected point.