Ikea: sorry for East German prison labour
Germany

Ikea: sorry for East German prison labour

Swedish furniture giant Ikea apologised on Friday for using East German political prisoners as forced labour to build furniture in the 1970s and 80s.

Merkel to Putin – Pussy Riot jail sentence unfair
Germany

Merkel to Putin – Pussy Riot jail sentence unfair

Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised the imprisonment of the protest band Pussy Riot during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday. Yet Siemens also signed a €2.5 billion deal with Russian state railway.

Bleak future for Swedish cinemas: expert
Sweden

Bleak future for Swedish cinemas: expert

A growing number of Swedish cinemas have had their final curtain call, with 25 percent closing down in the past ten years, a trend experts believe will continue.

‘Kidnapped’ French teen found in car boot
Germany

‘Kidnapped’ French teen found in car boot

A 15-year-old girl whose disappearance from her home in southern France sparked a nationwide hunt has been found alive in the boot of a car in Germany, police said on Friday.

Missing girl found alive in car boot in Germany
France

Missing girl found alive in car boot in Germany

A 15-year-old girl whose disappearance from her home in southern France sparked a nationwide hunt has been found alive in the boot of a car in Germany, police sources said on Friday.

Ikea admits using East German prison labour
Sweden

Ikea admits using East German prison labour

Ikea apologized on Friday after a report confirmed that East German political prisoners were used in the Swedish furniture giant's factories in the 1970s and 1980s.

Conviction stays against blogger attacking Aubry
France

Conviction stays against blogger attacking Aubry

A Paris appeal court has upheld a ruling against a Strasbourg blogger accused of spreading rumours about Socialist politician Martine Aubry.

Swedish paper to boycott Chris Brown concert
Sweden

Swedish paper to boycott Chris Brown concert

Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) has chosen not to review the upcoming Chris Brown concert in Stockholm due to the rapper’s conviction for beating up then girlfriend Rihanna three years ago.

Volunteering in English launched in Sweden
Sweden

Volunteering in English launched in Sweden

The English Volunteering Project became a reality on Thursday, with the creators opening the doors to English speakers across Sweden who want to give back to the community.

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Switzerland

Alleged polygamy sparks Swiss mosque ruckus

A married religious leader at a Lausanne mosque is being accused of polygamy after tying the knot with another woman in a religious ceremony.

Merkel blames Hamas for Gaza Strip violence
Germany

Merkel blames Hamas for Gaza Strip violence

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday called on Cairo to use its influence on Hamas to ease tensions in the Gaza Strip as Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil visited the violence-wracked area.

Third head rolls in Sweden Democrat crisis
Sweden

Third head rolls in Sweden Democrat crisis

Sweden Democrat Christian Westling has stepped down from his political duties in the wake of the scandal surrounding a video featuring two party MPs in a drunken and racist tirade.

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France

Two more sailors bail from Vendée Globe race

Two more skippers, including the only woman in the competition, on Friday abandoned the world's most gruelling yacht race, the solo, round-the-world Vendée Globe, organisers said.

Green official was ‘pimp as well as fraudster’
Germany

Green official was ‘pimp as well as fraudster’

A disgraced Green Party official on trial for embezzling party funds to pay for affairs with prostitutes may also have run an escort service, it emerged this week.

‘Leave town’ police tell pair harrassed by Nazis
Germany

‘Leave town’ police tell pair harrassed by Nazis

A German couple who complained about receiving threats from neo-Nazis were told by police that it would be safer to leave town, sparking criticism from politicians and fellow officers, it was reported on Friday.

French officials lash out at The Economist
France

French officials lash out at The Economist

French officials are pouring scorn on a report by The Economist magazine that sharply criticizes France for failing to take the action needed to restore its economy.

Greek journalist faces new trial over Swiss data
Switzerland

Greek journalist faces new trial over Swiss data

A Greek journalist recently found innocent of breach of privacy over the publication of leaked Swiss banking data will be tried again after a prosecutor challenged his acquittal, a justice ministry source said on Friday.

Goose carnage as fog engulfs Germany
Germany

Goose carnage as fog engulfs Germany

A flock of wild geese were among the victims of the thick fog that engulfed Germany on Thursday - and more chilly mist is on its way, weather service DWD reported.

Swedish ex-guard held in Tunisia for kidnapping
Sweden

Swedish ex-guard held in Tunisia for kidnapping

A Swedish man who once served as a bodyguard for a prime minister has been detained in Tunisia on suspicion of kidnapping after he travelled to the country to try to free a child reportedly taken from its mother in Sweden.

Brown bear targeted as Swiss Alps nuisance
Switzerland

Brown bear targeted as Swiss Alps nuisance

A brown bear roaming a mountain region in the canton of Graübunden is being targeted by wildlife officials after outstaying its welcome in residential neighbourhoods.

The Swedish sex law that shook the world
Sweden

The Swedish sex law that shook the world

Sweden had long pimped the notion of criminalizing buyers of sexual services prior to 1999 legislation which was first laughed off, but has since become a hot political export, The Local's Christine Demsteader discovers.

Guard’s fatal shooting not a threat to PM: police
Sweden

Guard’s fatal shooting not a threat to PM: police

The guard who shot himself dead at Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s official residence last week was not acting against the government, according to police.

Ayrault vows to grow economy and cut debt
France

Ayrault vows to grow economy and cut debt

France's prime minister sought to calm fears Thursday about his country's economy on a trip to Germany, as Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of a strong France for the good of Europe.

New clip puts ‘self-defence’ claims in doubt
Sweden

New clip puts ‘self-defence’ claims in doubt

The three Sweden Democrats who armed themselves with iron pipes in "self-defence" following a scuffle found the incident funny rather than frightening, a previously unpublished video clip of the incident reveals.

Kids ill after ‘refusing to use smelly school loos’
Germany

Kids ill after ‘refusing to use smelly school loos’

A doctor who says school toilets are so disgusting that children are refusing to use them and developing health problems as a result, is trying to raise money to pay for cleaners and toilet monitors.

Parents not liable if kids download illegally
Germany

Parents not liable if kids download illegally

German parents cannot be held responsible for their children illegally downloading and sharing music from the internet - as long as they have told their kids not to do it.

Preschool abandons 3-year-old in woods
Sweden

Preschool abandons 3-year-old in woods

Staff at a preschool in Nyköping south of Stockholm on Wednesday left a 3-year-old child alone in the forest for 45 minutes after failing to count him when they were returning to the school.

Women banned from public shower shaving
Sweden

Women banned from public shower shaving

Women will no longer be allowed to shave in the showers at some of Sweden’s public swimming halls after a number of visitors saw red and complained.

Holocaust compensation reaches eastern Europe
Germany

Holocaust compensation reaches eastern Europe

Germany and the Jewish Claims Conference signed a new accord Thursday to help elderly Holocaust survivors who had never received compensation, most of them living in eastern Europe.