placeholder image
France

French expats in Central Africa voice fears

Foreigners said Thursday they feared a spiral of looting and violence as rebels advance on the capital of the Central African Republic, wracked by turmoil since independence from France in 1960.

placeholder image
France

Hollande: Al-Qaeda ‘not to be trusted’

President François Hollande said on Thursday that Islamist groups holding French hostages in Africa were not trustworthy and should not be taken seriously after Al-Qaeda accused Paris of blocking negotiations for their release.

‘Skeleton lover’ reports police for misconduct
Sweden

‘Skeleton lover’ reports police for misconduct

The woman arrested on suspicion of using bones as sex toys has reported the police who arrested her for misconduct and cited rough treatment and denigrating comments in her complaint.

French confidence up and debt down
France

French confidence up and debt down

France's public debt has declined slightly since late June and household confidence has risen for the first time since May, data released on Thursday by the national statistics institute INSEE showed.

Adidas turnover tops €14.5 bln in 2012
Germany

Adidas turnover tops €14.5 bln in 2012

German sportswear and equipment maker Adidas has achieved record sales of more than €14.5 billion ($19.3 billion) in 2012 and sales will rise further next year, its chief executive said Thursday.

The best (and worst) Swedish music of 2012
Sweden

The best (and worst) Swedish music of 2012

With the new year approaching, ex-Londoner Paul Connolly takes a look at the best - and worst - Swedish music released in 2012, while pondering if his love of the Swedish pop charts might mean he's "going native".

Dogs and cats ‘still eaten in Switzerland’
Switzerland

Dogs and cats ‘still eaten in Switzerland’

Some Swiss people still regularly eat dog and cat meat, a newspaper investigation has shown - and the practice remains legal in the country.

Top ten new Swedish words of 2012
Sweden

Top ten new Swedish words of 2012

Words inspired by Swedish footballer stars and cake-eating ministers are among the newest words taken up by the Swedish language this year, according to the much-anticipated annual list published on Thursday by the Swedish Language Council (Språkrådet).

German Tolkien fan dies visiting ‘Hobbit’ mountain
Germany

German Tolkien fan dies visiting ‘Hobbit’ mountain

A German amateur mountain climber and J.R.R. Tolkien fan was killed climbing a New Zealand mountain used as a set in Peter Jackson's new hit film The Hobbit, it was reported Thursday.

Nordea’s network down after online disruptions
Sweden

Nordea’s network down after online disruptions

Customers of Swedish banking giant Nordea experienced problems on Thursday with internet payments and cash withdrawals, issues the bank has yet to explain or solve.

‘Age-old’ Schmidt damns Merkel’s euro policy
Germany

‘Age-old’ Schmidt damns Merkel’s euro policy

Former chancellor and German political sage Helmut Schmidt gave his successor Angela Merkel a damning end-of-year report for her European policy on Thursday, saying it was the opinion of an "age-old man."

BMW races to record sales in 2012
Germany

BMW races to record sales in 2012

German top-of-the-range carmaker BMW sold a record 1.8 million vehicles in 2012, chief financial officer Friedrich Eichiner said in a newspaper interview Thursday.

The Sarah Dawn Finer things at Christmas
Sweden

The Sarah Dawn Finer things at Christmas

For the festive special of our new Swede of the Week series, we take a look at singer Sarah Dawn Finer who bagged the most sought after seasonal job on Swedish television.

Berlin Wall to get ‘West Side Gallery’
Germany

Berlin Wall to get ‘West Side Gallery’

One of the German capital's most famous tourist attractions could soon have a "b-side." A new gallery is being planned for the back of the East Side Gallery, the series of paintings daubed on one of the remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall.

Official wants Stones to rock Stasi archive
Germany

Official wants Stones to rock Stasi archive

Roland Jahn, the head of an archive of East German secret police files, wants the Rolling Stones to rock the roof of the Stasi authority.

placeholder image
France

Hollande: no French troops to Central Africa

President François Hollande said on Thursday that French troops would not interfere in the internal affairs of its former colony the Central African Republic, where rebels have seized a large chunk of territory in recent weeks.

‘France must balance its budget’ – Moscovici
France

‘France must balance its budget’ – Moscovici

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday that France had a "duty" to reverse years of budget deficits.

Voter trust in Lööf hits historic low
Sweden

Voter trust in Lööf hits historic low

Only one in five Swedish voters say they have confidence in Centre Party leader Annie Lööf, who now is the second least trusted party head in Sweden trailing only the Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson.

Werner Herzog relishes turn as screen villain
Germany

Werner Herzog relishes turn as screen villain

Legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog is taking a rare turn in front of the camera as a cold-blooded murderer in a new Tom Cruise thriller, portraying a character he calls "the epicentre of evil."

Rösler: Ease visa rules for Turks and Russians
Germany

Rösler: Ease visa rules for Turks and Russians

German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Philipp Rösler has suggested lifting visa restrictions for Russian and Turkish citizens, as a signal of "welcome and openness," a newspaper reported Thursday.

Sweden’s bike paths neglected after snowfall
Sweden

Sweden’s bike paths neglected after snowfall

A new survey shows the majority of Swedish municipalities prioritize ploughing roads over bike paths after snowfall, despite experts warning that this can create even more danger for motorists.

Ikea bid set for green light in India: minister
Sweden

Ikea bid set for green light in India: minister

India is on track to approve a bid by Swedish furniture giant IKEA to open its trademark blue-and-yellow stores in the country as it seeks big new markets for its flat-pack products, a minister said.

Freed from work stress, pensioners sleep soundly
Germany

Freed from work stress, pensioners sleep soundly

Freshly retired Germans tend to sleep better than their working counterparts, a study released on Wednesday suggested. But as old age sets in, getting good-quality shut-eye becomes increasingly difficult.

The Local’s top ten sports stories of 2012
Germany

The Local’s top ten sports stories of 2012

It was a bumper year for European sports fans, with the London Olympics and the Euro 2012 football championship - but it wasn't always a shining trail of glory for Germany's athletes. The Local looks back at the year's sporting highs and lows.

Swede loses her dog to wolf hunters
Sweden

Swede loses her dog to wolf hunters

A woman from Stockholm on vacation in Dalarna, central Sweden, lost her dog over the Christmas period when a man mistook it for a wolf and shot it dead.

‘Prisons play up gang threat for funds’
Sweden

‘Prisons play up gang threat for funds’

The Swedish government and the police have been accused of exaggerating their successes in the fight against organised crime, and now the prison service is under scrutiny about whether it uses the situation to get more funds.

Danish labour law attracts Swedish workers
Sweden

Danish labour law attracts Swedish workers

Many thousands of Swedes flock across the sound to Denmark for work every day, but now Copenhagen is trying to tailor the country's labour market 'flexicurity' to a new reality of sluggish growth and rising unemployment.