Teen idol tops Google’s Swiss celeb list
Switzerland

Teen idol tops Google’s Swiss celeb list

Mentioning Luca Hänni, Bastian Baker or Kurt Felix may not mean anything to expats but they are household names in Switzerland, according to Google’s 2012 "Zeitgeist" list of search words for the country.

Mother’s shock reversal: I killed my three kids
Switzerland

Mother’s shock reversal: I killed my three kids

A mother who for years insisted she did not kill her seven-year-old twins suddenly confessed to the crime and also to the killing of a third child when her trial opened in the canton of Zurich on Wednesday.

Philippine protests delay Xstrata mine project
Switzerland

Philippine protests delay Xstrata mine project

Swiss mining giant Xstrata is delaying the commercial production of its $5.9-billion gold and copper mine in the Philippines to 2019 due to problems with security and the government, the company says.

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Sweden

Probe launched into Swedish arms in Burma

Sweden's export control agency said Wednesday it was investigating how Swedish-made weapons ended up in the hands of Burmese soldiers in breach of European Union sanctions.

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France

US property tycoon released from French jail

A French appeals court Wednesday ordered the release of US real estate magnate Michael Mastro and his wife, detained since October for feigned bankruptcy, but placed them under house arrest.

Lovebirds flock to tie the knot on ‘magical’ day
Sweden

Lovebirds flock to tie the knot on ‘magical’ day

Twenty happy couples managed to tie the knot at a drop-in ceremony at Stockholm’s City Museum at 12 noon on Wednesday, creating some unforgettable wedding certificates.

France slams North Korea rocket launch
France

France slams North Korea rocket launch

France on Wednesday firmly condemned North Korea's long-range rocket test and said it would back strong UN action against Pyongyang.

SAS expects profits in 2013 after cost cuts
Sweden

SAS expects profits in 2013 after cost cuts

Scandinavian airline SAS said on Wednesday it will be profitable next year, thanks to an aggressive cost-cutting drive which prompted objections that it had strong-armed unions in the Scandinavian countries.

Parliament adopts law allowing circumcision
Germany

Parliament adopts law allowing circumcision

Germany's parliament passed a law on Wednesday to allow religious circumcision, clarifying the legal situation after a court said the rite amounted to grievous bodily harm in a ruling that caused international uproar.

Swedish women fight to bathe nude in the sun
Sweden

Swedish women fight to bathe nude in the sun

Women who sunbathe nude in southern Sweden have filed a complaint with local officials against a planned new sauna that threatens to block their precious evening sunlight.

France could nationalize Rio Tinto plant
France

France could nationalize Rio Tinto plant

France is considering nationalising an aluminium plant owned by Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto, Le Monde newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Stuttgart 21 rail project to cost extra €1.1 bln
Germany

Stuttgart 21 rail project to cost extra €1.1 bln

The controversial railway development Stuttgart 21 is expected to cost around €1.1 billion more than originally planned, Deutsche Bahn said on Wednesday. The figure pushes the project's final price tag to at least €5.6 billion.

Half of Germans prefer suicide to nursing care
Germany

Half of Germans prefer suicide to nursing care

Around half of Germans would chose assisted suicide over becoming dependent on nursing care in their old age, a survey released on Tuesday revealed.

Cracks found in Swedish nuclear waste pools
Sweden

Cracks found in Swedish nuclear waste pools

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) has asked nuclear waste contractors at the Oskarshamn nuclear plant to review their security requirements after cracks were found in the pools where nuclear waste is temporarily stored on site.

One killed in southern Sweden shoot-out
Sweden

One killed in southern Sweden shoot-out

One person is dead and a second victim remains hospitalized following a shooting near Helsingborg in southern Sweden on Wednesday as police continue to hunt for suspects.

‘Angels have nothing to do with Christmas in Sweden’
Sweden

‘Angels have nothing to do with Christmas in Sweden’

Following his two-year-old daughter's troubles settling on an outfit for a Saint Lucia Day procession, contributor Steven Karwoski takes an ironic look at the meaning of Christmas in Sweden.

Deutsche Bank HQ raided in tax fraud probe
Germany

Deutsche Bank HQ raided in tax fraud probe

Deutsche Bank said Wednesday that one of its co-chief executives Jürgen Fitschen was under investigation in an ongoing probe into alleged tax fraud at Germany's biggest lender.

Licensed joker: ‘Danger is my middle name’
Sweden

Licensed joker: ‘Danger is my middle name’

A man in western Sweden managed to dupe authorities into using his painted self-portrait for his driving licence picture, a stunt he believes blurs the line between reality and fantasy.

Older immigrants face lower Swedish pensions
Sweden

Older immigrants face lower Swedish pensions

Immigrants to Sweden who move here before their 35th birthday have enough time to work towards a pension that is almost equal to people born in Sweden, but older immigrants risk lagging behind socio-economically, a new statistics review shows.

Germans hoarding mountains of gold
Germany

Germans hoarding mountains of gold

Like Scrooge McDuck or the dragon Smaug in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Germans are gathering vast quantities of gold - a study showed that the average German owns close to €6,000 worth of the shiny metal.

Lobbyist suspected of spying on Health Ministry
Germany

Lobbyist suspected of spying on Health Ministry

A lobbyist for a powerful pharmacy group is thought to have spied on Germany's Health Ministry for nearly two years in order to collect confidential information, a newspaper revealed on Wednesday.

Swedes’ euro enthusiasm hits historic low
Sweden

Swedes’ euro enthusiasm hits historic low

Swedish interest in joining the eurozone has never been lower, show new statistics from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån) that looked at attitudes in November 2012.

Police search ends after man admits killing wife
Switzerland

Police search ends after man admits killing wife

The husband of a 36-year-old woman who went missing more than six weeks ago from a village north of Lausanne, sparking a massive police search, has confessed to killing her.

Bonn bomb was ‘as big as Madrid bombs’
Germany

Bonn bomb was ‘as big as Madrid bombs’

Police on Wednesday released two Islamists suspected of planting a bomb at Bonn's train station. But they also published a photo-fit image of a man seen near the explosive device, said to be as big as one that devastated Madrid in 2004.

Two TeliaSonera bosses suspected of bribery
Sweden

Two TeliaSonera bosses suspected of bribery

Nordic telecom firm TeliaSonera confirmed on Wednesday that two senior staff members are under criminal investigation for bribery following September’s revelations of the details surrounding its licensing deal in Uzbekistan.

Ayrault slams tax exiles after Depardieu move
France

Ayrault slams tax exiles after Depardieu move

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Tuesday denounced wealthy individuals in France fleeing a stinging tax on high incomes as greedy people seeking to "become even richer."

Rousseff tells Hollande: no fighter decision yet
France

Rousseff tells Hollande: no fighter decision yet

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday tied the decision on a multi-billion dollar fighter jet order, in which France's Dassault is a leading bigger, to the country's economy picking up.

Grand old lady of Paris marks big birthday
France

Grand old lady of Paris marks big birthday

An icon of Paris, a muse for artists and the scene of some major historical events: the cathedral of Nôtre Dame is marking its 850th birthday.

Germany seeks to shape EU bank supervision
Germany

Germany seeks to shape EU bank supervision

As talks drag on over a proposed EU-wide bank supervisor, Europe's paymaster Germany seems to be dragging its feet as it seeks to cast the new body in its own image.

Mystery orb crash: ‘It was like Armageddon’
Sweden

Mystery orb crash: ‘It was like Armageddon’

Frightened residents in western Sweden reported seeing a bright, blue light racing across the night sky on Tuesday before an orange-coloured orb smashed into the ground in a mysterious phenomenon that has yet to be explained.

World’s biggest cargo ship docks in Hamburg
Germany

World’s biggest cargo ship docks in Hamburg

The biggest cargo ship in the world pulled into Hamburg harbour for the first time on Wednesday morning to unload 4,000 containers, signalling the beginning of regular visits for the giant vessel.

New Zlatan hat-trick lifts PSG to victory
Sweden

New Zlatan hat-trick lifts PSG to victory

Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired a superb hat-trick to take his league leading scoring tally to 17 goals as Paris Saint-Germain closed within two points of leaders Lyon with a clinical 4-0 victory over Valenciennes here on Tuesday.

Sweden won’t block EU bank union: Borg
Sweden

Sweden won’t block EU bank union: Borg

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg on Tuesday warned that Sweden could stay outside a planned EU bank union, saying it would have only a limited financial impact on the country.

Gay sex makes fish more attractive to females
Germany

Gay sex makes fish more attractive to females

A little fish that appears to enjoy homosexual relations with other males simultaneously increases their attractiveness to females, German researchers have discovered.