Reinfeldt: no drama in EU budget talks breakdown
Sweden

Reinfeldt: no drama in EU budget talks breakdown

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt downplayed the drama of the collapse of EU budget talks on Friday, hinting that a delay may end up benefiting Sweden's position.

Bern and bankers digest German tax deal veto
Switzerland

Bern and bankers digest German tax deal veto

Bern suffered a serious setback Friday when the German parliament voted down a long-negotiated tax deal aimed at reining in German tax dodgers without upsetting Switzerland's cherished bank secrecy laws.

Glacier bones traced to long-lost brothers
Switzerland

Glacier bones traced to long-lost brothers

Experts have identified human bones found last summer by two British climbers on the Aletsch glacier in the canton of Valais as the skeletal remains of three brothers who died 86 years ago.

‘A guy wearing a dress is not a sexual thing’: Yohio
Sweden

‘A guy wearing a dress is not a sexual thing’: Yohio

Swedish teen pop star Yohio sings in Japanese, dresses like Lolita, and plays guitar like Hendrix. The Local's David Landes finds out more about why most Swedes haven't heard of him – until now.

‘Sweden and the US treat death differently’
Sweden

‘Sweden and the US treat death differently’

After a few tough questions about life and death from her young son on All Saints' Day, US-native and parent Rebecca Ahlfeldt reflects on the differences between her homeland and Sweden when it comes to the culture of death.

Frankfurt airport deploys full-body scanners
Germany

Frankfurt airport deploys full-body scanners

The first of a new generation of full body scanners went into operation on Friday at Frankfurt airport for travellers to the US, despite a failed test of a previous generation in Hamburg two years ago.

Heavy snow brings Val Thorens skiers to slopes
France

Heavy snow brings Val Thorens skiers to slopes

Top French ski resort Val Thorens will open some of its pistes to skiers this weekend following unusually heavy early-season snowfall, local tourism officials said on Friday.

Swedish retirement made easier for Indians
Sweden

Swedish retirement made easier for Indians

The Swedish government is set to simplify the pension system for the country's 8,000-strong Indian workforce, as the social security minister jets off to New Delhi in the latest bid to strengthen ties with the key Asian market.

Swede charged for ‘long-distance’ child rape
Sweden

Swede charged for ‘long-distance’ child rape

Charges have been filed against a man who ordered the sexual exploitation of Philippine children so he could watch the acts via webcam back in Sweden.

Swallow on one-off visit to Sweden killed by hawk
Sweden

Swallow on one-off visit to Sweden killed by hawk

Bird enthusiasts watching the only American Cliff Swallow to ever grace Sweden’s skies were shocked on Tuesday when a hawk swooped in and killed the wayward swallow before their very eyes.

Naked sledging race nipped in the bud
Germany

Naked sledging race nipped in the bud

The infamous naked sledging competition in the Harz mountains, which thousands of people have been waiting for since the last icy run in February, has been cancelled for 2013 over safety fears, it was reported on Friday.

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France

Race row tourist: worse things happen in France

A young Frenchwoman at the centre of a racism row in Australia has said an incident in which she was abused on a Melbourne bus has been blown out of proportion, according to her aunt.

Swedish House Mafia in Stockholm farewell
Sweden

Swedish House Mafia in Stockholm farewell

Sweden’s hottest music export of the moment, Swedish House Mafia, kicked off their farewell set in Stockholm on Thursday night - their third last live shows before the band calls it quits.

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France

Ratings firms sceptical on French reforms

Rating agency S&P took a watch-and-wait attitude to new French economic reforms on Friday, holding an already downgraded notation but with a negative outlook, while giving the benefit of the doubt to the government's determination to enact change.

Copé and Fillon drop swords over election
France

Copé and Fillon drop swords over election

France's main opposition party, the UMP, appeared Friday to have pulled back from the brink of disintegration over a bitterly contested leadership election.

Hollande and Cameron talk over EU budget
France

Hollande and Cameron talk over EU budget

French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron met Friday for face-to-face talks on the European Union budget, a French source told AFP.

One woman makes Sweden’s power top-ten
Sweden

One woman makes Sweden’s power top-ten

Only one woman, Enterprise Minister Annie Lööf, has made it into an annual top-ten list of the most powerful Swedes.

German politicians vote down Swiss tax deal
Switzerland

German politicians vote down Swiss tax deal

German lawmakers in the upper house of parliament rejected on Friday a deal on the taxation of German assets parked in Swiss bank accounts.

Ikea can’t get the meatball rolling in India
Sweden

Ikea can’t get the meatball rolling in India

Swedish retailer Ikea said Friday it was reviewing sweeping curbs imposed on what it can sell at its planned new stores in India. One will reportedly prevent it offering its famed meatballs.

Protesters smash glass over NATO chief’s visit
Switzerland

Protesters smash glass over NATO chief’s visit

A band of 50 partially masked protestors smashed windows and ignited fire crackers on Thursday night to protest a visit to the University of Zurich by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Bundesrat blocks Swiss-German tax deal
Germany

Bundesrat blocks Swiss-German tax deal

German lawmakers in the upper house of parliament rejected on Friday a deal on the taxation of German assets parked in Swiss bank accounts.

Financial Times Deutschland closes
Germany

Financial Times Deutschland closes

The last edition of German daily Financial Times Deutschland will appear on December 7, the publishers announced on Friday.

Firms to be paid to take on long-term jobless
Germany

Firms to be paid to take on long-term jobless

German companies should receive a subsidy if they take on the long-term unemployed, state governments are set to propose on Friday. Up to 75 percent of the new salary should be paid by the state, if necessary for several years.

Africans aid freezing Norway in spoof video
Norway

Africans aid freezing Norway in spoof video

A spoof music video appealing to Africans to donate radiators for freezing children in Norway got almost 850,000 hits in a week on YouTube.

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Norway

Norwegian economy grows in third quarter

Norway's economy grew by 0.7 percent in the third quarter of the year, Statistics Norway said on Tuesday, announcing stronger than expected data.

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France

‘Speak English or die’: French tourist told

A video of a French girl being told to “speak English or die” by fellow passengers on a bus in Australia has led to condemnation by local press and politicians.

Invasive ladybirds ‘could fight malaria and TB’
Germany

Invasive ladybirds ‘could fight malaria and TB’

The amazing defensive chemical make-up of Asian ladybirds which enables them to dominate European species could be used to fight malaria and TB in humans, a German scientist says.

Brezel ban for bug-ridden Bavarian bakery
Germany

Brezel ban for bug-ridden Bavarian bakery

Cockroaches, weevils, worms and maggots: authorities have shut down a wholesale bakery after they repeatedly found pests on the premises. It's the third serious hygiene scandal in Bavarian bakeries this year.

Miss France quiz asks ‘Who’s Prime Minister?’
France

Miss France quiz asks ‘Who’s Prime Minister?’

Questions in a quiz for the candidates of the Miss France 2012 competition held this December have been revealed.

Swiss skier Albrecht crashes in Lake Louise
Switzerland

Swiss skier Albrecht crashes in Lake Louise

Swiss downhill skier Daniel Albrecht crashed on Thursday during a training run at Lake Louise, Canada, and was taken to hospital for treatment of a knee injury.

Life in prison for Malmö sniper Peter Mangs
Sweden

Life in prison for Malmö sniper Peter Mangs

Serial sniper Peter Mangs was sentenced to life in prison by the Malmö District Court on Friday for murder and attempted murder.

Leading Catholic: Let priests have sex
Germany

Leading Catholic: Let priests have sex

Abolishing celibacy for priests would encourage more to take up the cloth, Alois Glück, president of the central committee for German Catholics argued on Friday.

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Switzerland

Nuclear plant returns to service after shutdown

A reactor at a Swiss nuclear plant that automatically shut down due to a defect was brought back online on Thursday evening, the operator said.

Merkel dampens hopes for EU budget deal
Germany

Merkel dampens hopes for EU budget deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday she doubted European Union leaders would come to an agreement on the bloc's hotly-contested one-trillion-euro 2014-2020 budget.

Dyed pork scandal sinks Swedes’ trust in meat
Sweden

Dyed pork scandal sinks Swedes’ trust in meat

Only half of Swedes trust the meat industry following recent revelations that pork was dyed red and sold as beef to hundreds of thousands of people.

Pro-Assange group in Swedish hospital hack
Sweden

Pro-Assange group in Swedish hospital hack

A cyber attack on a Swedish hospital has been reported to the police, with the hackers claiming to be pro-Julian Assange members of the hacktivist network Anonymous.

Bearded baby bouncers on the rise
Germany

Bearded baby bouncers on the rise

More German fathers are staying home from work when their kids are born than ever before - using a state parental allowance to take paternity leave from their jobs, new government statistics show.

Man hospitalized after Gamla Stan stabbing
Sweden

Man hospitalized after Gamla Stan stabbing

A man was rushed to hospital in Stockholm after being stabbed in the stomach in Gamla Stan late on Thursday night.