Valais avalanche claims Swedish skier’s life
Switzerland

Valais avalanche claims Swedish skier’s life

A Swedish woman skiing out of bounds near Nendaz in the canton of Valais was killed by an avalanche on Wednesday.

UBS pays steep price as Libor scandal deepens
Switzerland

UBS pays steep price as Libor scandal deepens

Three national regulators slapped the equivalent of $1.5 billion in fines on Swiss banking giant UBS on Wednesday, the second-largest banking fine ever, for manipulating interest rates in a deepening scandal that threatens more than a dozen other banks.

Police hunt hospital baby snatcher
France

Police hunt hospital baby snatcher

French authorities on Wednesday launched a nationwide hunt for a young woman disguised as a hospital worker who abducted a two-day-old baby from a maternity ward.

Ex-defence minister and Iraq War opponent dies
Germany

Ex-defence minister and Iraq War opponent dies

Peter Struck, a former German defence minister who shaped the country's deployment in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, died Wednesday aged 69, his family said.

Bardot leaps to Depardieu’s defence
France

Bardot leaps to Depardieu’s defence

Former sex kitten Brigitte Bardot was at her catty best Wednesday as she weighed into the row over Gérard Depardieu's move into tax exile with a scathing attack on the French actor's critics.

Riksdag allows flat owners to set rent
Sweden

Riksdag allows flat owners to set rent

The Swedish parliament has voted through a change in housing policy that will allow cooperative flat owners to cover not only the cost of their coop fee but also their mortgage costs when they rent out their homes

New app lets Swedes transfer cash via mobile
Sweden

New app lets Swedes transfer cash via mobile

Sweden’s major banks have joined forces to launch an app allowing users to transfer money in real time using mobile technology, simplifying restaurant bill-paying and moving Sweden one step closer to being a cashless society.

Police and Instagram teens clash anew
Sweden

Police and Instagram teens clash anew

The Instagram sex rumour riots spilled into its second day on Wednesday with Gothenburg police intervening when teenagers set off fireworks in the hundred-strong crowd gathered outside a local school.

WWII Christmas cards delivered 71 years late
Germany

WWII Christmas cards delivered 71 years late

Christmas greetings from German soldiers occupying the British island of Jersey during the Second World War have finally been delivered 71 years later.

Swedish court quashes Serb war crime verdict
Sweden

Swedish court quashes Serb war crime verdict

A Swedish appeals court on Wednesday formally overturned the conviction of a Serb previously jailed for life for war crimes, finding there was no proof he was involved in the 1999 massacre of 40 people in Kosovo.

Berlinale begins with Kar Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’
Germany

Berlinale begins with Kar Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’

Chinese director Wong Kar Wai will screen his new martial arts drama at the opening of the 63rd Berlin film festival in February where he will also serve as jury president, organisers said Wednesday.

Doctor developing universal snake bite cure
Germany

Doctor developing universal snake bite cure

In a potential scientific breakthrough for the treatment of venomous snake bites, a German doctor has been given a grant to develop a universal antidote.

Ex-Porsche boss charged with market manipulation
Germany

Ex-Porsche boss charged with market manipulation

A German prosecutor said on Wednesday that the former head of German luxury sports car maker Porsche had been charged with market manipulation over a failed takeover bid of Volkswagen.

EU to uphold export ban on Swedish snus
Sweden

EU to uphold export ban on Swedish snus

The European Commission plans to ban the flavoured snus that has becoming increasingly popular in Sweden in recent years, according to the final version of its proposed tobacco directive presented on Wednesday, which also calls for the current ban on snus exports to remain in place.

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Sweden

Instagram teen’s dad: ‘She was hung out to dry’

After discovering his daughter's photo had been uploaded in the "slut shaming" Instagram assault on Gothenburg teenagers, Kenneth Thilly has been left reeling by the faceless bullying.

‘If they have bad news, they’d rather not tell you’
Sweden

‘If they have bad news, they’d rather not tell you’

Having spent the last six months struggling to get settled in northern Sweden, ex-Londoner Paul Connolly shares his frustration over locals' hatred of confrontation.

What to study at Stockholm University
Sweden

What to study at Stockholm University

Stockholm’s reputation for academic excellence and its long background in English language education makes it an ideal choice for foreign students looking to gain extra qualifications overseas.

New cable car systems planned for Jungfrau
Switzerland

New cable car systems planned for Jungfrau

Two Swiss companies are planning to invest 195 million francs in a cable car system and new rail cars in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland.

‘Too sick to work’ teacher rakes in Swiss cash
Germany

‘Too sick to work’ teacher rakes in Swiss cash

A German teacher who went into early retirement on a state pension after he was classified as too sick to work was found to be earning €9,900 a month in Switzerland. A court this week handed him a €20,000 fine for pension fraud.

Buoyant business confidence rises again
Germany

Buoyant business confidence rises again

German business confidence continued to climb in December, a key institute's report indicated on Wednesday, amid growing faith that the eurozone will manage to beat its crippling debt crisis.

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France

Russia: Depardieu passport claim ‘a joke’

French actor Gérard Depardieu was joking when he said Russian President Vladimir Putin had sent him a passport, the president's spokesman said Wednesday.

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Switzerland

Woman jailed four years for kidnapping husband

A 65-year-old woman from the canton of Zurich was sentenced on Tuesday to four years in jail for abducting her severely disabled husband to India and abandoning him there, where he died, to save costs for his care.

‘Friends snitching is the worst’: Instagram teen
Sweden

‘Friends snitching is the worst’: Instagram teen

Irma, 16, was unaware she had been named on the Instagram "slut-shaming" account, which set off an angry youth riot in Gothenburg on Tuesday and ended in 27 arrests.

Setback for DSK as pimping case continues
France

Setback for DSK as pimping case continues

A probe into allegations that Dominique Strauss-Kahn procured prostitutes for sex parties will continue after a French court on Wednesday rejected a request for pimping charges against the former IMF chief to be dismissed.

New school closing due to Instagram riot fears
Sweden

New school closing due to Instagram riot fears

Fears of renewed violence have prompted a second Gothenburg school to remain closed on Wednesday, the day after police clashed with a mob of angry teens upset over a slanderous Instagram account outing young girls and boys as 'sluts'.

Burning goat tattoos arouse police suspicion
Sweden

Burning goat tattoos arouse police suspicion

After the iconic Gävle Christmas goat was torched by unidentified vandals last week, a photo appeared online of four ankles bearing burning goat tattoos. Police are now hot on the case.

Woman reports ‘stalker’ pigeon to police
Germany

Woman reports ‘stalker’ pigeon to police

A woman in the western German town of Darmstadt finally reported a pigeon to her local police force, after the over-friendly bird kept "stalking" her by hanging round her house.

Hollande hopes to leave past behind in Algeria
France

Hollande hopes to leave past behind in Algeria

President François Hollande arrives in Algeria on Wednesday seeking to end simmering resentment over French colonial rule and bolster ties with the OPEC country.

The history of Texas hold’em
Switzerland

The history of Texas hold’em

Described as a "thinking man's game," Texas hold'em had a humble start in the poker world but has risen to fame as a game for high rollers in the bright lights of Vegas, as well as a favourite with TV audiences and players online.

Family wins residency fight for senile mum
Sweden

Family wins residency fight for senile mum

A Colombian-Swedish family is rejoicing after learning that a decision to deport their 78-year-old grandmother has been reversed on account of her deteriorating health.

Instagram sex rumour suspect: I’m innocent
Sweden

Instagram sex rumour suspect: I’m innocent

A 17-year-old girl suspected of starting an Instagram account filled with sexist and racist claims about local teens has told police in Gothenburg she had nothing to do with account that led students to riot in the city's streets on Tuesday.

Mainz inflict more pain on out of form Schalke
Germany

Mainz inflict more pain on out of form Schalke

Schalke 04 continued their dismal run of form as the 2011 German Cup winners crashed out of this season's competition after being beaten 2-1 by second division Mainz in their round of last 16 clash.

CEO: ‘very difficult’ for Volvo Cars to avoid loss
Sweden

CEO: ‘very difficult’ for Volvo Cars to avoid loss

The chief executive of Volvo Cars, which is owned by Chinese auto maker Geely, told a newspaper on Tuesday that it would be "very difficult" for the company to avoid making a loss this year and the next.

Plagiarism case haunts education minister
Germany

Plagiarism case haunts education minister

The University of Düsseldorf has decided to pursue plagiarism charges against German Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan. The matter could end in her losing her doctorate.

Grade inflation blows up German universities
Germany

Grade inflation blows up German universities

Germans might fear inflation of the economic variety, but grade inflation has become rampant in the academic world. Pippa Wentzel reports.