Virus prompts Bern to close pig farms
Switzerland

Virus prompts Bern to close pig farms

The federal veterinary office (FVO) has ordered the temporary closure of 27 pig farms in Switzerland after the discovery of a swine disease.

Drunken Dépardieu crashes scooter in Paris
France

Drunken Dépardieu crashes scooter in Paris

French actor Gérard Dépardieu was in hot water again on Thursday when he tested positive for an alcohol test after a minor scooter accident in Paris.

Sluggish Swedish economy still beats growth forecasts
Sweden

Sluggish Swedish economy still beats growth forecasts

Sweden's economy expanded by 0.5 percent in the third quarter from the second and by 0.7 percent year-on-year, data released Thursday by Statistics Sweden (SCB) showed.

Credit Suisse sells Zurich HQ to raise capital
Switzerland

Credit Suisse sells Zurich HQ to raise capital

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has sold its headquarters, an enormous office complex in Zurich, to Norway's state pension fund for one billion francs ($1.07 billion).

Sweden too slow to counter terror: agency
Sweden

Sweden too slow to counter terror: agency

The lack of a shared database slows down Swedish authorities trying to detect terror threats, claims Sweden's Counter-Terrorism Co-operative Council (Nationellt centrum för terrorhotbedömning).

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France

Continental cleared of crime in Concorde crash

A French court on Thursday cleared Continental Airlines of any crime over the July 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde but upheld a ruling that the US airline bore civil responsibility for the disaster.

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France

Cargo shuttle fire suspends Chunnel traffic

Traffic in the Channel tunnel linking Britain and France was suspended for two hours on Thursday after a fire on a cargo shuttle that caused no injuries, its operator Eurotunnel said.

UMP spat sidelines Chirac’s birthday party
France

UMP spat sidelines Chirac’s birthday party

The battle for leadership of the right-wing opposition UMP between rivals Jean-François Copé and François Fillon forced the cancellation of a planned event on Thursday to celebrate former French president Jacques Chirac’s 80th birthday.

Court: Tattoos no reason to arrest cop career
Germany

Court: Tattoos no reason to arrest cop career

Trainee police officers in western Germany are allowed to have large tattoos, a court ruled on Thursday, although they may have to cover then up by wearing long sleeves even in the summer.

Big freeze on its way after first snowfall
Sweden

Big freeze on its way after first snowfall

The gentle snowfall that graced Stockholm on this week is just the prelude to the upcoming freeze, as forecasters predict plummeting temperatures over the weekend.

August Prize-winning author Göran Rosenberg
Sweden

August Prize-winning author Göran Rosenberg

In a new series profiling Swedish newsmakers, The Local gets the lowdown on author and journalist Göran Rosenberg, who won Sweden’s most prestigious prize for literature on Monday.

Swedes’ most common English errors exposed
Sweden

Swedes’ most common English errors exposed

While Swedes boast some of the best English language skills in the world, they are not immune to making a fair number of mistakes. The Local examines where Swedes slip up in English, and why.

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Switzerland

Red Cross transfers war archive to Germans

The Geneva-based Red Cross says it is handing over to German authorities a huge archive of people who were persecuted by the Nazis and who went missing amid the chaos of the Second World War.

Sweden to support Palestinian UN upgrade
Sweden

Sweden to support Palestinian UN upgrade

Sweden is set to go against the United States and Israel and vote yes to Palestinian observer status in the United Nations on Thursday, despite previous reticence to support a similar move from the Palestinian leadership.

Legless Dachau court killer faces life in prison
Germany

Legless Dachau court killer faces life in prison

A man who killed a public prosecutor in a Dachau court was handed a life sentence on Thursday, despite his slow-motion suicide attempt by refusing treatment for diabetes that resulted in both his legs being amputated.

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France

Lyon-Turin rail line opponents arrested

Italian police on Thursday placed under house arrest nine militants opposed to a high-speed rail link between Turin and Lyon ahead of planned protests against the project next week, Italian media said.

ArcelorMittal takeover threat called ‘blackmail’
France

ArcelorMittal takeover threat called ‘blackmail’

The head of France's largest employers' group on Thursday slammed as "blackmail" a threat by the state to take over a plant owned by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, amid outrage in Mittal's native India that he was a victim of racism.

Pot peddlers ‘forced teens to become Muslim’
Switzerland

Pot peddlers ‘forced teens to become Muslim’

Police have arrested members of a gang of Eastern European immigrants who used violence, intimidation and the promotion of Islam to control marijuana trafficking operations in the Neuchâtel mountains, cantonal justice authorities said on Thursday.

When language learning becomes child’s play
Sweden

When language learning becomes child’s play

Keeping kids encouraged and keeping up enthusiasm is vital when it comes to teaching languages. That’s why Berlitz throws out the old-school textbook approach and ensures learning through fun and games in the classroom.

Serb jailed for war crimes freed by Swedish court
Sweden

Serb jailed for war crimes freed by Swedish court

A 35-year-old Serbian previously convicted by a Swedish court of war crimes stemming from a massacre in Kosovo in 1999 has been ordered released by a court of appeal, according to his lawyer.

Unemployment edges higher in November
Germany

Unemployment edges higher in November

German unemployment rose in November, data showed Thursday, amid signs that Europe's top economy is increasingly feeling the pinch from the Continent's debt crisis, but analysts said the figures were better than expected.

Businesses call for email-free Christmas
Germany

Businesses call for email-free Christmas

Employees must get a break from work-related emails over the holidays, a small business group demanded on Thursday, calling for clear guidelines on when Germans can switch off their phones for a silent night at Christmas.

HypoVereinsbank raided by police for tax fraud
Germany

HypoVereinsbank raided by police for tax fraud

German prosecutors and tax police have raided the offices of HypoVereinsbank, the German arm of Italian bank UniCredit, on suspicion of tax fraud, the bank and prosecutors said on Thursday.

Oinking Sweden Democrat MP steps down
Sweden

Oinking Sweden Democrat MP steps down

Sweden Democrat MP Lars Isovaara is leaving all of his political duties after he reportedly snuffled and spat in contempt at a parliamentary security guard, party leader Jimmie Åkesson announced on Thursday.

Chinese buyer snaps up top Bordeaux estate
France

Chinese buyer snaps up top Bordeaux estate

A Chinese industrialist has completed the landmark purchase of Château Bellefont-Belcier, a leading estate in the prestigious Saint Emilion wine-making area, sources involved in the sale said on Thursday.

Snow onslaught begins
Germany

Snow onslaught begins

Heavy snow hit areas of south and east Germany on Thursday, snarling morning traffic amid winter storm warnings for much of the nation from the German Weather Service (DWD).

Zug councillor faces embezzlement inquiry
Switzerland

Zug councillor faces embezzlement inquiry

Ivo Romer, the councillor in charge of finance for the city of Zug, is under investigation for the alleged embezzlement of several million francs from the estate of a woman now dead, according to media reports.

Missing Swedish woman likely fell off ferry: police
Sweden

Missing Swedish woman likely fell off ferry: police

A 22-year-old woman who disappeared from a Sweden-bound ferry in the early hours of Sunday morning is still missing, with security camera footage suggesting she fell overboard into the Baltic Sea.

Following the Brothers Grimm fairy trail
Germany

Following the Brothers Grimm fairy trail

Centuries after two German brothers changed bedtimes for children around the world with their collection of fairy tales, Jeff Kavanagh visited the places where Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm lived and their stories took place.

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Sweden

Öland ship accident prompts oil leak fears

A container ship ran aground near the Baltic island of Öland early Thursday morning, managing to stay afloat but prompting fears that it could spill oil into the sea.

Greek court clears three of German counsel attack
Germany

Greek court clears three of German counsel attack

A court in northern Greece on Wednesday cleared two council workers and a teacher of assaulting Germany's consul in an anti-austerity protest at which demonstrators chanted "Kick out the Nazis."

Government ‘bank bashing’ upsets bankers
Sweden

Government ‘bank bashing’ upsets bankers

Nine in ten bank employees say customers are challenging them on terms and conditions, prompting their union to question the Swedish government for continuing its bank-critical rhetoric.

Berlin airport building stops over cash woes
Germany

Berlin airport building stops over cash woes

The chances of Berlin's much-delayed new airport being finished before its latest deadline would seem to be nose-diving, with contractors refusing to work because they doubt the corporation can pay.

Found bag puts Sweden Democrat MP in doubt
Sweden

Found bag puts Sweden Democrat MP in doubt

Soon after the Sweden Democrats rushed to the defence of MP Lars Isovaara, who reportedly snuffled and spat in contempt at a parliamentary security guard, the bag he said was lost in the robbery that upset him was found left behind in a restaurant.

What’s on in Germany: Nov 29 – Dec 5
Germany

What’s on in Germany: Nov 29 – Dec 5

This Week's Highlights: English theatre in Berlin, African music in Cologne, and an opera staged in Egypt premiers in Frankfurt.