Scammers use worthless rubles to pocket cash
Switzerland

Scammers use worthless rubles to pocket cash

Scammers are using foreign coins to defraud public transport companies of money from ticket vending machines in the cantons of Vaud and Geneva, according to a report.

American couple lock horns with Swiss farmer over ‘cattle cruelty’
Switzerland

American couple lock horns with Swiss farmer over ‘cattle cruelty’

Animal lovers are shocked about Swiss eating dogs and cats, which remains legal despite attempts to ban the practice. An American couple living in northeastern Switzerland have equally serious concerns about cruelty to cattle.

Car giant Renault to cut 7,500 jobs in France
France

Car giant Renault to cut 7,500 jobs in France

There was more bad news for France's ailing car industry on Tuesday when Renault announced it would be slashing its staff numbers by 7,500 by 2016.

Ten more Swedish words you won’t find in English
Sweden

Ten more Swedish words you won’t find in English

While the English dictionary may be overflowing, it's still missing some extremely common words. Here, we've compiled ten of the best Swedish words that simply don't have an English equivalent.

Public holidays do not count for shift workers
Germany

Public holidays do not count for shift workers

Shift workers in the public sector have no right to public holidays if they are scheduled to work - they must take a holiday day if they want to have the time off, a German labour court ruled on Tuesday.

Belgium ‘lets Depardieu drive’ despite charges
France

Belgium ‘lets Depardieu drive’ despite charges

The roller-coaster life of Gerard Depardieu took a new turn on Tuesday with press reports claiming the French actor had been given a Belgian driving licence despite him facing criminal trial in his native France on drink-driving charges.

Swedish woman slams ‘restrictive’ dating site
Sweden

Swedish woman slams ‘restrictive’ dating site

A 43-year-old Swedish woman looking for romance ended up filing a complaint against the dating site eDarling to Sweden’s Consumer Agency (Konsumentsombudsmannen, KO) after her love-seeking endeavours fell flat.

‘Non-alignment is part of Sweden’s self-image’
Sweden

‘Non-alignment is part of Sweden’s self-image’

Swedes remain opposed to joining Nato because doing so would mean jettisoning an important element of Sweden's national identity, argues political scientist Ulf Bjereld.

Troops patrol Paris streets after terror threat
France

Troops patrol Paris streets after terror threat

France has deployed 700 troops in and around Paris, Interior Minister Manuel Valls revealed on Tuesday in the latest indicator of mounting concern over potential reprisals for military intervention in Mali.

Bundesbank to repatriate gold from Paris and NYC
Germany

Bundesbank to repatriate gold from Paris and NYC

The Bundesbank is expected to announce on Wednesday that it will repatriate its gold reserves held in Paris and move back some which is currently in the New York Federal Reserve vaults, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Tuesday.

New Montreux jazzfest director announced
Switzerland

New Montreux jazzfest director announced

The board of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland has named Mathieu Jaton, who was chief aide to the late festival founder Claude Nobs, to take charge of the annual event.

French and Germans still love their stereotypes
France

French and Germans still love their stereotypes

Clichés and stereotypes are flourishing along the French-German border, with the French associating their eastern neighbours with beer and efficiency, and the Germans looking west for bucolic joie de vivre.

Cleaning lady steals train and crashes into house
Sweden

Cleaning lady steals train and crashes into house

Officials remain baffled as to why a cleaning lady commandeered a train in the upscale Stockholm suburb of Saltsjöbaden early Tuesday morning and crashed it into a house, where it remains while crews work out how to safely remove the wreckage.

Berlin Swabians hit back with noodle attack
Germany

Berlin Swabians hit back with noodle attack

South-western Germans in Berlin are hitting back at recent criticism that they have been ruining certain neighbourhoods with their monied ways and funny dialect - and covered a statue with their regional speciality Spätzle noodles on Monday.

Riksbank probes mortgage-repayment law
Sweden

Riksbank probes mortgage-repayment law

The head of Sweden's central bank, Stefan Ingves, said on Tuesday that the government could be forced to make Swedes pay off their mortgages if the country's banks don't "take the responsibility" themselves.

1860 Munich hires Sven-Goran Eriksson
Germany

1860 Munich hires Sven-Goran Eriksson

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has joined the coaching staff of 1860 Munich, the German second division club announced on Tuesday.

100-car pile-up kills one, leaves dozens injured
Sweden

100-car pile-up kills one, leaves dozens injured

One person died and more than 40 were injured on the E4 motorway near Helsingborg, southwestern Sweden, after an estimated 100 vehicles crashed into one another due to dense fog and slippery road conditions.

‘Victim subscription’ worst phrase of 2012
Germany

‘Victim subscription’ worst phrase of 2012

Language experts have picked Opfer-Abo (victimisation subscription) as the worst invented German phrase of 2012, after it was used by a famous defendant in a rape case for women making false sexual abuse claims.

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France

Crucifix-wearing air steward wins European court ruling

A British Airways employee suffered discrimination at work over the wearing of a cross, European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled on Tuesday.

Federer off to fast start in Melbourne opener
Switzerland

Federer off to fast start in Melbourne opener

Leading contenders Roger Federer, of Switzerland, and Britain's Andy Murray were fast out of the blocks with straight-sets victories in their opening matches at the Australian Open.

Winter weather keeps France on alert
France

Winter weather keeps France on alert

Swathes of France remained on alert on Tuesday as wintery conditions spread across the north and east of the country.

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Switzerland

Bern braces for influx of asylum seekers

Swiss authorities are bracing for an increase in asylum seekers this year beyond what the federal government has budgeted for, according to a report from SRF, the German-language public broadcaster.

British teacher can face sex charges: France
France

British teacher can face sex charges: France

A French court ruled on Tuesday that Jeremy Forrest, a schoolteacher who ran away to France with a 15-year-old pupil, could be charged by British authorities with having sex with a minor.

Moulin Rouge legend dies at 83
France

Moulin Rouge legend dies at 83

Jacki Clerico, who headed the Paris cabaret Moulin Rouge for 50 years and revived its famed revues featuring plumed can-can dancers, has died at 83.

Alleged Russian spy couple in ‘Cold War’ trial
Germany

Alleged Russian spy couple in ‘Cold War’ trial

A married couple accused of spying for the Russian secret services for more than 20 years went on trial in Germany on Tuesday, in one of the biggest espionage court cases since the Cold War.

French and Germans still stereotype each other
Germany

French and Germans still stereotype each other

Clichés and stereotypes are flourishing along the French-German border, with the French associating their eastern neighbours with beer and efficiency, and the Germans looking west for bucolic joie de vivre.

French pre-school teacher ‘tied boy to chair’
France

French pre-school teacher ‘tied boy to chair’

Police have launched an inquiry into a substitute kindergarten teacher accused of tying a three-year old boy to his chair in the southern French town of Narbonne, according to French media reports.

Sentence reviewed for pregnant woman murder
Switzerland

Sentence reviewed for pregnant woman murder

A couple sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of a 20-year-old pregnant woman more than five years ago are seeking a reduced penalty in a Geneva court reviewing the case.

Unions propose profit cap on welfare business
Sweden

Unions propose profit cap on welfare business

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) has proposed a new type of company that would limit profits made in the tax-funded welfare sector, in a move that goes against the line of their traditional political ally, the opposition Social Democrat Party.

Man lay dead in hospital toilet for 36 hours
France

Man lay dead in hospital toilet for 36 hours

A family has been left outraged after a father of two was found dead in a French hospital toilet 36 hours after he suffered a fatal stroke.

Sweden tops EU mobile-connectivity league
Sweden

Sweden tops EU mobile-connectivity league

Swedes use their mobile devices for internet use more than any other Europeans, a new review from Eurostat shows.

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France

Cambodian court jails French paedophile

A Cambodian court jailed a 52-year-old French paedophile for 14 months on Tuesday for sexually abusing a teenage boy, prompting child rights groups to criticise the prison term as too lenient.

Two years of chemo for ‘non-existent’ tumours
Sweden

Two years of chemo for ‘non-existent’ tumours

A woman from eastern Sweden underwent chemotherapy for two years before doctors realized the cancerous tumours they were treating didn't actually exist.

France’s wine industry facing green future
France

France’s wine industry facing green future

An Earth-friendly future for French wine could include disease-resistant grapes, solar-powered robots, and lighter packaging, as vintners innovate to slash their environmental footprint.

France to increase troop numbers in Mali
France

France to increase troop numbers in Mali

A total of 750 French troops have joined the offensive against Islamist rebels in Mali where overnight strikes "achieved their goal," French President Francois Hollande said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Growth slumps in 2012 as Q4 economy shrinks
Germany

Growth slumps in 2012 as Q4 economy shrinks

The German economy, Europe's biggest, shrank in the fourth quarter of last year, leaving full-year growth at just 0.7 percent, official data showed on Tuesday. Berlin is reportedly expecting even less growth in 2013.

No arrests as police hunt for gang rape suspects
Sweden

No arrests as police hunt for gang rape suspects

No arrests have yet been made and police continue their investigation following the suspected gang rape on Sunday of a 22-year-old woman near the Sundbyberg train station in Stockholm.

‘Sausages are a really big deal in Nuremberg’
Germany

‘Sausages are a really big deal in Nuremberg’

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our series offering an insider's take on their hometown. This week, Maximilian Straub shares his knowledge of his Nuremberg.

Staid Mercedes targets youth with small coupe
Germany

Staid Mercedes targets youth with small coupe

German auto giant Daimler is taking aim at the youth market with the compact — and lower priced — Mercedes CLA coupe, unveiled at this week's Detroit auto show.