Hitzfeld barred for two games over ‘finger’
Switzerland

Hitzfeld barred for two games over ‘finger’

The Swiss football team is paying the price for a moment’s indiscretion from the side’s coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, or what might be called the fickle finger of fate.

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Switzerland

Glencore-Xstrata merger wins strong backing

Shareholders of the Swiss commodities giant Glencore and Swiss mining group Xstrata on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a merger of the two companies to create a goliath capable of out-muscling nearly everyone in their field.

Sweden Democrats in race-hate probe
Sweden

Sweden Democrats in race-hate probe

The prosecutor has launched a formal investigation into whether the politicians who filmed themselves drunkenly using racist language are guilty of racial agitation (hets mot folkgrupp), a crime that could earn them two years in prison.

Swiss mull slashing ‘fat-cat’ salaries
Switzerland

Swiss mull slashing ‘fat-cat’ salaries

Attention all high-flying executives in Switzerland: go ahead and splurge on diamonds, fine art and vintage champagne this holiday season because next year you may be tightening your belts.

SAS ‘ultimatum’ angers Swedish unions
Sweden

SAS ‘ultimatum’ angers Swedish unions

SAS's last-minute push to cut costs without first consulting its employees flies in the face of the Swedish model, say union representatives who liken it to "an ultimatum". The final deal represents the first time since the 1930s that employees' wages have decreased.

‘Racy’ song upsets Kiwis in national German exam
Germany

‘Racy’ song upsets Kiwis in national German exam

Students taking a German language exam were left giggling into their test papers after a song with sexual lyrics was used in a listening comprehension test. But teachers and some more sensitive students were outraged.

UBS trader jailed seven years in UK’s top fraud
Switzerland

UBS trader jailed seven years in UK’s top fraud

UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, who gambled away $2.3 billion of the Swiss bank's money, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Tuesday for Britain's biggest ever fraud.

Protesters occupy Berlin bear compound
Germany

Protesters occupy Berlin bear compound

Two brown bears housed in a compound in the centre of Berlin could soon be moved to a proper wild animal park - and were the focus of an animal rights' protest on Tuesday.

Contestants announced for Melodifestivalen 2013
Sweden

Contestants announced for Melodifestivalen 2013

The contestants for 2013's Swedish music fest Melodifestivalen have been revealed, in what could be the most eclectic set of artists in recent years.

Schäuble: don’t panic on French economy
Germany

Schäuble: don’t panic on French economy

Germany's finance minister said on Tuesday that the French economic situation was stable, after international ratings agency Moody's cut the government bond rating by one notch from the highest level.

Sweden to lower growth forecast: Borg
Sweden

Sweden to lower growth forecast: Borg

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said Tuesday he would revise downwards his 2012 growth forecast, disparaged by economists as being overly optimistic, by the end of the year.

‘Paedophile warning’ note baffles Swedish town
Sweden

‘Paedophile warning’ note baffles Swedish town

Several residents in Örebro, central Sweden, were shocked when they sorted through their post recently and found a detailed account of a child sex crime committed by one of their neighbours.

Woman charged for sex with human skeleton
Sweden

Woman charged for sex with human skeleton

A woman in western Sweden who was arrested after police found skeletons in her apartment has now been charged for using the bones as sex toys, a hobby she claimed was motivated by an interest in history.

Sweden world’s fifth most ‘powerful’ country
Sweden

Sweden world’s fifth most ‘powerful’ country

Sweden placed fifth in a new ranking of global "soft power", which measures countries' influence outside economic and military strength, as somewhat dated stereotypes stemming from Abba and Ikea linger.

German film on music in torture wins Emmy
Germany

German film on music in torture wins Emmy

A German documentary about how music is used as torture won an International Emmy in New York on Monday night.

National gun register poised for 2013 launch
Germany

National gun register poised for 2013 launch

Germany's first national weapons register should be online at the start of next year to provide information about the six million legally-held guns in the country, authorities said on Tuesday.

Student forced to hitch ride home with tractor
Sweden

Student forced to hitch ride home with tractor

14-year-old Johan Hedén from western Sweden was dropped off by a school transport service some eight kilometres from his home, where the driver who was out of petrol flagged down a tractor to take the boy the rest of the way.

Palestinians: Germany too biased for diplomacy
Germany

Palestinians: Germany too biased for diplomacy

Germany's alliance with Israel means it cannot help calm the escalating hostilities in and around the Gaza Strip, a leading Palestinian said on Tuesday as diplomatic efforts were ramped up to stop the fighting.

Booze ban set for risky football matches
Switzerland

Booze ban set for risky football matches

Alcohol will be banned in the stands at “high-risk” football and ice hockey matches in Switzerland starting next season, although VIP sections will be excluded.

Sweden seeks buyer for ailing SAS: minister
Sweden

Sweden seeks buyer for ailing SAS: minister

Sweden is seeking a buyer for beleaguered Scandinavian airline SAS, in which the Swedish state holds 21.4 percent, Financial Markets Minister Peter Norman said on Tuesday.

Firms ‘tweak formulas temporarily for ratings’
Germany

Firms ‘tweak formulas temporarily for ratings’

Germany's leading consumer organisation says some makers of detergent and food products improve their formulas ahead of testing to get good results - and then change them back after securing the crucial rating.

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Switzerland

Glencore shareholders back Xstrata merger

Shareholders of Swiss commodities giant Glencore overwhelmingly approved a tie-up with Swiss mining giant Xstrata, during an extraordinary general assembly meeting on Tuesday.

Wacky Saudi preacher sparks Swiss dispute
Switzerland

Wacky Saudi preacher sparks Swiss dispute

A controversial Saudi preacher has been authorized to appear at the second annual conference of the Central Islamic Swiss Council (CCIS) in Fribourg next month over the objections of critics.

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France

Woman innocent of anti-white racism

The first person ever to be charged of anti-white racism has been acquitted by a court in Toulouse, French press learnt yesterday.

‘Ban dual citizens from serving in the Riksdag’
Sweden

‘Ban dual citizens from serving in the Riksdag’

The Sweden Democrats want to ban people with dual nationality from serving in the Riksdag, according to a secret document sent to the Parliamentary Investigative Service (Riksdagens Utredningstjänst, RUT) and published by newspaper Expressen.

Iranian police arrest man who ‘mutilated girlfriend’
Germany

Iranian police arrest man who ‘mutilated girlfriend’

Police in Iran have arrested a man thought to have horribly mutilated his girlfriend in her Berlin flat, it was reported on Tuesday. He had escaped a German manhunt and been on the run for the past three weeks.

Mohamed Merah sister ‘condemns’ brother’s actions
France

Mohamed Merah sister ‘condemns’ brother’s actions

Souad Merah, the sister of Toulouse gunman Mohamed, has criticised her brother’s actions and refuted claims that she is anti-semitic.

Copé: the right’s attack dog with sights on the top job
France

Copé: the right’s attack dog with sights on the top job

A populist right-winger famed for his aggressive rhetoric and flair for the dramatic, Jean-François Copé has long fostered ambitions of winning the French presidency.

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France

Moody’s strips France of AAA rating

The international ratings agency Moody's cut France's top bond credit rating by one notch to "Aa1" Monday and maintained a negative outlook, meaning that another downgrade was possible in the medium term.

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France

Copé snatches control of UMP in photo-finish

Jean-François Copé defeated former prime minister Francois Fillon by a handful of votes on Monday to take the helm of France's right-wing UMP party after an election that saw both sides trade accusations of fraud and left the opposition in disarray.

Deaths shock upscale Stockholm district
Sweden

Deaths shock upscale Stockholm district

A man in his fifties and a young boy were found dead on Monday in an apartment in Stockholm's affluent Östermalm neighbourhood.

Brains behind Moderates’ success quits party
Sweden

Brains behind Moderates’ success quits party

Per Schlingmann, the strategist considered by many to be the mastermind behind the Moderate Party's two successful election campaigns, is leaving the party.

Germany to extradite ‘girl in boot’ kidnap suspect
Germany

Germany to extradite ‘girl in boot’ kidnap suspect

German authorities are expected to extradite to France a man accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl from her home in southern France. The investigation will also now include allegations of rape.

Schalke ‘ready for victory over Olympiakos’
Germany

Schalke ‘ready for victory over Olympiakos’

Players from Ruhr valley favourite Schalke 04 said Tuesday they were looking to brush off last weekend's Bundesliga defeat and book a place in the Champions League's knock-out phase with a win over Olympiakos on Wednesday.

Plane in fatal crash built by high school students
Sweden

Plane in fatal crash built by high school students

An ultra-light airplane which lost a wing mid-flight and crashed last week in western Sweden, killing two people, was built in part by high school students, crash investigators have discovered.