UBS faces $1-billion fine for rate rigging: report
Switzerland

UBS faces $1-billion fine for rate rigging: report

Swiss banking giant UBS could pay a fine of more than $1 billion to settle allegations that it manipulated Libor interest rates, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Swiss cities remain costly for expats: report
Switzerland

Swiss cities remain costly for expats: report

Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern remain the most expensive cities in Europe apart from Oslo and another Norwegian city, according to the latest global ranking from consulting firm ECA International.

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Switzerland

Gays win limited support for adopting kids

The lower house of parliament has voted to allow gays in Switzerland to adopt children, but in very limited circumstances, passing the sensitive issue back to the Senate.

Swedish arms in Burma ‘arrived via India’
Sweden

Swedish arms in Burma ‘arrived via India’

The Swedish anti-tank rifles that ended up in the hands of Burmese soldiers in breach of European Union sanctions were originally exported to India, Sweden's trade minister said on Thursday.

Officer fined for asylum seeker death in jail
Germany

Officer fined for asylum seeker death in jail

A police officer was fined €10,800 on Thursday for his role in the death of asylum seeker Oury Jalloh, who died in police custody in a cell in Dessau eight years ago in circumstances which have never been properly explained.

Swedes warned over new breed of dog smugglers
Sweden

Swedes warned over new breed of dog smugglers

Swedes hoping a new dog will make the perfect Christmas present have been warned they may end up feeding to a recent rise in dog smuggling, with pugs having replaced chihuahuas as the canine of choice in the illegal puppy trade.

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France

ETA fugitive to be sent back to Spain

A French appeals court Thursday approved the extradition to Spain of fugitive ETA member Jose Manuel Azcarate Ramos to serve the rest of his jail sentence.

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France

Danone could cut Europe staff amid flagging sales

The French food giant Danone said Thursday it could shift some European staff to other positions as it tries to save an additional €200 million ($260 million) amid flagging sales on the continent.

French anti-smoking drive a total flop – report
France

French anti-smoking drive a total flop – report

France's efforts to stub out smoking have been a complete failure, a spending watchdog said on Thursday in a damning report that warned only sustained price hikes will curb the country's love affair with Gauloises and Gitanes.

Black ice warning for the weekend
Germany

Black ice warning for the weekend

As temperatures abate, turning snow into rain, Germans could find themselves falling foul of black ice over the weekend, national weather service the DWD warned on Thursday.

Tabloid reported over mobile phone sex claims
Sweden

Tabloid reported over mobile phone sex claims

A young woman from northern Sweden has accused tabloid Expressen of slander after it published her picture next to a headline proclaiming, "This is how young people use their mobile phones to meet up for sex".

List of Swedish billionaires gets longer
Sweden

List of Swedish billionaires gets longer

An annual list of Swedish billionaires released on Thursday has eleven more names than it did ast year, with Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad finishing streets ahead of the other 118 Swedes who made the cut..

Swedish boys fight less than other boys: study
Sweden

Swedish boys fight less than other boys: study

Swedish boys are less likely to get into scraps than boys in other countries but are still more aggressive than the girls, according to an international study into different parenting styles.

Fracking Matt Damon movie joins Berlinale
Germany

Fracking Matt Damon movie joins Berlinale

An anti-fracking drama by US director Gus Van Sant starring Matt Damon is to be among the films entered in the competition at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, organisers revealed on Thursday.

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Switzerland

Eviction resister jailed 20 years for killing cop

A 37-year-old man from the canton of Bern who shot and killed a policeman and injured another while resisting eviction for unpaid house rent has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Second abandoned bag causes bomb scare
Germany

Second abandoned bag causes bomb scare

A bag left on a platform at Essen railway station in western Germany caused a bomb scare on Wednesday evening, two days after an explosive device was discovered in Bonn. It was a false alarm, but the owner could face charges.

Muslims call for ‘denazification’ of state
Germany

Muslims call for ‘denazification’ of state

An umbrella organisation representing Muslims in Germany has called for a "denazification" of German state authorities, and demanded they refrain from using the terms "Islamism" and "Islamist" to describe radical Muslims.

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Sweden

Woman saved after 18 hours in frozen car

A woman in small town in far northern Sweden has been rescued after she was stuck in her snowed-in car for 18 hours.

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France

Thieves ‘skimmed’ millions in Paris cafés

Police in Paris have arrested 19 people in connection with card 'skimming' scams in Paris restaurants and cafés worth €14 million.

Swiss central bank to continue capping franc
Switzerland

Swiss central bank to continue capping franc

The Swiss National Bank is continuing its policy of maintaining a lid on the value of the Swiss franc by intervening in currency markets to ensure that the euro does not drop below 1.20 francs.

The octogenarian Saint Lucia choir: still in tune
Sweden

The octogenarian Saint Lucia choir: still in tune

A broken lift, missing batteries, and a wobbly 83-year-old Saint Lucia couldn't dampen spirits among the members of an elderly cooperative choir south of Stockholm, The Local's Lucia-themed pick for Swede(s) of the Week.

France told ‘stay vigilant’ as big freeze hits north
France

France told ‘stay vigilant’ as big freeze hits north

Several regions in the north and west of France have been put on an orange severe weather alert, with snow and ice expected to hit many areas later today.

Depardieu puts Paris mansion on market
France

Depardieu puts Paris mansion on market

French actor Gérard Depardieu, under fire for becoming a tax exile, is selling his historic Paris mansion, real estate agents Daniel Feau said Thursday amid reports of a 50-million-euro price tag.

Germany ‘risks unrest if inequality not tackled’
Germany

Germany ‘risks unrest if inequality not tackled’

Rising inequality is threatening to divide Germany into a land of "haves" and "have nots," researchers warned on Thursday - potentially risking social unrest in the future.

Swedish missionary dies after Pakistan shooting
Sweden

Swedish missionary dies after Pakistan shooting

The Swedish charity worker who was shot in the chest in Pakistan last week died in a Stockholm hospital on Wednesday night.

Swiss-German tax deal finally collapses in Berlin
Switzerland

Swiss-German tax deal finally collapses in Berlin

A landmark Swiss-German tax deal covering Germans who have sought to dodge tax by hiding assets in Swiss bank accounts has finally collapsed in the German parliament.

Mittal hits out at ‘irrational’ minister
France

Mittal hits out at ‘irrational’ minister

ArcelorMittal chief Lakshmi Mittal has lashed out at French minister Arnaud Montebourg, accusing him of making "irrational" comments and said talk of nationalization of industry was "a setback".

Rail operator seeks to axe Bern-Paris TGV
Switzerland

Rail operator seeks to axe Bern-Paris TGV

Rail operator Lyria is threatening to scrap the high-speed train service linking the Swiss and French capitals next year because it loses too much money.

Sport tops Google list of popular 2012 searches
Germany

Sport tops Google list of popular 2012 searches

Google's annual Zeitgeist ranking gives an insight into what made German internet users tick in 2012, with sport and celebrities topping the chart of the nation's most googled keywords.

Merkel welcomes EU’s new banking watchdog
Germany

Merkel welcomes EU’s new banking watchdog

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday praised a new EU accord to create a supervisor to oversee banks across the eurozone and urged the release of urgently needed funds for Greece.

Swiss-German tax deal falls through
Germany

Swiss-German tax deal falls through

The tax agreement between Germany and Switzerland, meant to resolve a dispute over German fortunes kept in Swiss banks, has been blocked by the centre-left opposition, who say the proposal is unfair.

Becker congratulates Merkel on Nobel Prize
Germany

Becker congratulates Merkel on Nobel Prize

German tennis legend Boris Becker garnered outrage and ridicule on Twitter for congratulating Chancellor Angela Merkel for winning the Nobel Peace Prize - which was actually won by the EU. He said they were "practically" the same.

Game over for this year’s Gävle Christmas goat
Sweden

Game over for this year’s Gävle Christmas goat

Arsonists managed to burn this year's edition of the iconic Gävle Christmas goat to the ground just before midnight on Wednesday.

What’s on in Germany:  December 13 – 19
Germany

What’s on in Germany: December 13 – 19

This Week's Highlights: Fantasia in Cologne, a new kind of Nutcracker in Hamburg, and an art exhibition for kids opens in Frankfurt.

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Sweden

Sweden keeps opt-out clause for EU bank rules

All EU members have agreed on the details for European bank regulator but countries outside the eurozone, including Sweden, retain the right to opt out.

Renault sheds shares in Sweden’s Volvo Trucks
Sweden

Renault sheds shares in Sweden’s Volvo Trucks

French carmaker Renault said Wednesday it had begun to sell off its remaining shares in Swedish truck manufacturer AB Volvo, which has a market value of around 13 billion Swedish kronor ($1.9 billion), to reduce the company's debt and raise funds for investment.

Jukkasjärvi erects Sweden’s 23rd Ice Hotel
Sweden

Jukkasjärvi erects Sweden’s 23rd Ice Hotel

A construction crew bundled up in heavy parkas bustles around an Arctic building site on the banks of the Torne river as the 23rd Jukkasjärvi Ice Hotel (Ishotellet) is erected one oversized ice cube at a time.