Women stage topless demo at Ikea in Germany
Sweden

Women stage topless demo at Ikea in Germany

A group of topless women staged a protest on Wednesday at a German outlet of Swedish furniture giant Ikea in reaction to the company's decision to remove women from the version of its catalogue distributed in Saudi Arabia.

Study: half of overtime worked unpaid
Germany

Study: half of overtime worked unpaid

Just under half of all overtime hours worked in Germany are not paid, according to a new study, with employees putting in an average of three unpaid overtime hours a month.

A look at Swedish royal fiancé Chris O’Neill
Sweden

A look at Swedish royal fiancé Chris O’Neill

With Sweden’s Princess Madeleine announcing her engagement to her US boyfriend Chris O’Neill on Thursday, The Local finds out more about her financier fiancé.

Women stage topless protest in Ikea
Germany

Women stage topless protest in Ikea

A group of young female activists staged a topless protest in the living room department of a Hamburg Ikea on Wednesday evening, in a stand against the company's use of “discriminatory advertising.”

Islam ‘too prominent’, French think
France

Islam ‘too prominent’, French think

Sixty percent of the French think Islam is too prominent in their country and nearly half view the religion as a threat to national identity, according to a survey published Thursday.

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France

France: EU must stem Serb asylum claims

France and Germany want the European Union to take steps to stop the tide of asylum seekers from Serbia and Macedonia, their interior ministers said in interviews published Thursday.

Stones to play surprise Paris gig
France

Stones to play surprise Paris gig

Rock legends the Rolling Stones were due to play a surprise mini-gig in Paris on Thursday and all 350 tickets priced at €15 ($20) each were snapped up in minutes.

Court rejects Malmö sniper’s retrial demands
Sweden

Court rejects Malmö sniper’s retrial demands

Convicted serial killer Peter Mangs will not be granted a retrial, with the court on Thursday dismissing his accusation that one of the lay judges who presided over his trial had a conflict of interest in the case.

Green politician in ‘negro village’ song outrage
Sweden

Green politician in ‘negro village’ song outrage

A local Green Party politician from central Sweden kicked up controversy for singing a song about a "negro village" in Africa during a recent children's charity fundraiser.

What’s on in Germany: October 25 – 31
Germany

What’s on in Germany: October 25 – 31

This Week's Highlights: A big birthday celebration in Berlin, jazz in Frankfurt, and English theatre in Munich and Hamburg.

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France

Probe launched into Michelin Indian factory

A French panel which monitors application of OECD principles will hear a complaint alleging that tyre company Michelin breached locals' rights when it built a factory in southeast India, a statement issued by the groups said.

Surfer in Ryanair mix up can’t catch a wave on free Sweden trip
Sweden

Surfer in Ryanair mix up can’t catch a wave on free Sweden trip

The teen surfer who ended up in Sweden after a Ryanair ticketing foul-up cashed in on a free surf-trip offer from local tourism officials – only to arrive on a wave-less weekend, leaving him to admire local skate parks instead.

Sweden takes lead in EU Balkan visa push
Sweden

Sweden takes lead in EU Balkan visa push

Key EU states led by Germany and Sweden pressed Thursday for the reintroduction of visas for people coming from Balkan EU candidate states so as to curb soaring unfounded asylum requests.

Minister to EU: stem tide of Balkan asylum seekers
Germany

Minister to EU: stem tide of Balkan asylum seekers

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich called for stricter rules for asylum seekers from Serbia and Macedonia on Thursday, and demanded that the European Union stem the current tide by increasing aid to Eastern Europe.

More transparency on MPs’ extra income
Germany

More transparency on MPs’ extra income

Members of the German Bundestag could soon have to state exactly how much they earn on the side. Both parties in the ruling coalition agreed on a new transparency model on Thursday.

Germany bans Novartis flu vaccine
Switzerland

Germany bans Novartis flu vaccine

Germany became the fourth country on Thursday to ban sales of flu vaccines made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, following embargoes by Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

Lucerne castle seeks first tenant in 330 years
Switzerland

Lucerne castle seeks first tenant in 330 years

Looking for new digs in Switzerland? Here’s a property new to the rental market for the first time in its 330-year history.

Bavarian bank to Bernie: Give us $400 million back
Germany

Bavarian bank to Bernie: Give us $400 million back

State-owned Bavarian bank BayernLB is demanding over $400 million from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone – the amount it says it lost when one of its employees was bribed into selling its stake in the sport to him in 2005.

Princess Madeleine: Chris is my soul mate
Sweden

Princess Madeleine: Chris is my soul mate

Sweden's Princess Madeleine spoke about her engagement to Chris O’Neill on Thursday, calling the US banker her "soul mate", with one royal expert explaining what the princess's fiancé needs to do to gain a Swedish royal title.

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France

Childminder fined €600 for noisy kids

A childminder has been ordered to pay a €600 fine to her neighbours, a lawyers’ office, because the children she looked after made too much noise.

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Sweden

Police on alert after threat on Swedish banks

Police have upped their presence in Dalsland and Värmland counties in central and eastern Sweden after receiving information of an increased threat against banks in the region.

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France

Drag queen convicted of tasering his mother

A female impersonator from Bayonne, south-western France, has been given a six month suspended prison sentence for tasering his mother.

Do men need quotas and a rights movement?
Germany

Do men need quotas and a rights movement?

Family Minister Kristina Schröder hosted an international conference on men’s issues this week, to discuss how to help men get jobs in careers traditionally dominated by women. Do we need a men's rights movement? Have your say

A third of trains ‘may be cancelled’ this winter
Germany

A third of trains ‘may be cancelled’ this winter

Millions of train passengers in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) could be faced with disrupted journeys this winter if a regional coal plant is shut down as planned - causing power shortages, a rail boss warned on Thursday.

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Switzerland

Disco-dancing mum abandons toddler

A Vaud woman who left her two-year-old son unattended to go to the disco has lost the care of her child and was convicted of breaking the law.

Drugs giant Novartis posts stable earnings
Switzerland

Drugs giant Novartis posts stable earnings

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis said Thursday that its net profit remained stable in the third quarter and confirmed that it was on track to meet its 2012 sales target.

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France

Drop 35-hour week: government report

A new government report on international French business competitiveness has suggested ending the the 35 hour working week.

Federer beats battling Bellucci in Basel
Switzerland

Federer beats battling Bellucci in Basel

Roger Federer was put to the test at his home Swiss Indoors on Wednesday but conjured up a 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5 defeat of Thomaz Bellucci to advance to the quarter-finals.

Key Swedish interest rate unchanged: Riksbank
Sweden

Key Swedish interest rate unchanged: Riksbank

The Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, announced on Thursday that the country's benchmark interest rate would remain unchanged at 1.25 percent.

Credit Suisse eyes new cuts as profits plunge
Switzerland

Credit Suisse eyes new cuts as profits plunge

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said on Thursday that third-quarter net profit plunged 63 percent to 254 million Swiss francs ($225.6 million) and that it would enact further cost cutting measures.

AstraZeneca profits drop as key patents expire
Sweden

AstraZeneca profits drop as key patents expire

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca on Thursday said its net profits sank 56 percent in the third quarter, as group revenues tumbled on the expiry of key drug patents.

Munch’s iconic ‘Scream’ on display in New York
Norway

Munch’s iconic ‘Scream’ on display in New York

"The Scream," Edvard Munch's eerie 1895 masterpiece which sold in May for $119.9 million, is on view for the first time since that record-breaking auction, at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

A rare breed – the male kindergarten teacher
Germany

A rare breed – the male kindergarten teacher

As Germany expands daycare provision for the nation’s children, one thing that is missing from the picture, all too often, are male teachers. Kate Hairsine tracked down some of the country’s rare male child care professionals.

Raids in three states crack sex-trafficking ring
Germany

Raids in three states crack sex-trafficking ring

Over 150 police officers in western Germany took part in raids across three states on Tuesday, cracking what they believe to have been a human trafficking ring. They freed at least two teenage girls thought to be living in “enslavement.”

Agency reaffirms Sweden’s top ratings
Sweden

Agency reaffirms Sweden’s top ratings

The international ratings agency Standard & Poor's gave Sweden and Denmark high marks on Wednesday and reaffirmed their top "AAA" ratings and stable outlooks.

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Sweden

Police hunt knifeman after Örebro attack

A woman in central Sweden is in hospital after having been stabbed in the throat with a sharp object on Wednesday evening.

Dortmund on top after 2-1 win over Real
Germany

Dortmund on top after 2-1 win over Real

Germany defender Marcel Schmelzer hit a second-half winner as Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid 2-1 on Wednesday in the Champions League, snatching top spot in Group D from the Spanish giants.

Princess Madeleine engaged to Chris O’Neill
Sweden

Princess Madeleine engaged to Chris O’Neill

The Royal Court confirmed on Thursday that Sweden's Princess Madeleine is engaged to her long-time US banker boyfriend Chris O'Neill.