Hollywood stars model watches in Geneva
Switzerland

Hollywood stars model watches in Geneva

Hollywood actors Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor and Matthew Fox were among the lineup of stars for a Tuesday night soiree in Geneva for IWC, the Schaffhausen watchmaker.

Mexico frees French woman jailed for 60 years
France

Mexico frees French woman jailed for 60 years

Mexico's Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday the immediate release of a French woman serving 60 years in prison for kidnapping, ruling that authorities had violated her legal rights.

Russian PM pitches for investment at Davos
Switzerland

Russian PM pitches for investment at Davos

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev played up his country as a safe bet for investors in a speech at Davos on Wednesday, but a major new study raised concerns about Russia's thriving corruption and dependence on energy exports.

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Switzerland

Cycling chief McQuaid resigns from IOC body

Embattled cycling chief Pat McQuaid stepped down from the International Olympic Committee body evaluating candidate cities for the 2020 Olympics on Wednesday as the fallout from the Lance Armstrong scandal took another twist.

Double agent claim in murder of Paris Kurds
France

Double agent claim in murder of Paris Kurds

Kurdish organisations in France and Iraq on Wednesday claimed that the alleged killer of three female activists shot dead in Paris must have been a shadowy double agent working for Turkey.

France bins Twitter’s ‘hashtag’ for Gallic word
France

France bins Twitter’s ‘hashtag’ for Gallic word

The word hashtag has been confined to the dustbin by authorities in France who want French tweeters to use the official Gallic equivalent “mot-dièse” in future.

Sweden braces for ‘deep freeze’ in February
Sweden

Sweden braces for ‘deep freeze’ in February

Meteorologists are warning that next month in Sweden will be even colder than January, with temperatures set to plummet as the whole of the Nordic region gets hit by atmospheric blocking.

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Switzerland

Bern plans to ban mercenary companies

The Swiss government says it aims to ban any companies offering mercenary services in conflict areas, in a bid to preserve Switzerland's cherished neutrality and ensure it respects international law.

Wanted in Sweden: doctors and engineers
Sweden

Wanted in Sweden: doctors and engineers

While the employment level is expected to drop overall in Sweden, employers need to recruit 1.1 million workers in 2013, especially in engineering, medicine, and infrastructure.

Toulouse: ‘A big city that feels like a village’
France

Toulouse: ‘A big city that feels like a village’

In the first of a new series in which readers give The Local an insight into their corner of France, we spoke to businessman - and former Irish international rugby player - Trevor Brennan.

Bundesliga clubs crack €2-billion barrier
Germany

Bundesliga clubs crack €2-billion barrier

The 18 clubs which make up Germany's Bundesliga have recorded a turnover of €2 billion for the first time in the league's 50-year history, the German Football League (DFL) announced Wednesday.

First German to trek to South Pole returns
Germany

First German to trek to South Pole returns

The first German ever to make a solo trek to the South Pole, without help from dogs, motors, or food deliveries, returned to his home town of Munich on Wednesday - some 15 kilos lighter.

Sarkozy’s son lands job as law lecturer
France

Sarkozy’s son lands job as law lecturer

The 26-year-old son of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been handed a plum job as a law lecturer despite a somewhat unconventional academic career. The appointment of Jean Sarkozy, who was at the centre of a major public scandal in 2009, has caused a bit of a stir.

Plagiarism case against education minister starts
Germany

Plagiarism case against education minister starts

The University of Düsseldorf has officially opened a plagiarism investigation against German Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan. The case could end up stripping her of her doctorate - and costing her job.

‘400-year-old painting’ found in Paris Ritz
France

‘400-year-old painting’ found in Paris Ritz

It is the art world's equivalent of finding a precious gold coin down the back of a sofa. A major renovation at Paris's legendary Ritz hotel has resulted in the discovery of a painting thought to be the work of 17th century artist Charles Le Brun that nobody knew was there.

‘Sweden should support Cameron’s EU vision’
Sweden

‘Sweden should support Cameron’s EU vision’

There are several reasons why Swedes should support calls for reform of the European Union championed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, argues Mats Persson, president of the Open Europe think tank.

Federer heads to Melbourne semi-finals
Switzerland

Federer heads to Melbourne semi-finals

Switzerland's Roger Federer survived a strong challenge from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win a gripping five-setter and set up an Australian Open tennis semi-final against Andy Murray on Wednesday.

Stolen Matisse painting returns to Sweden
Sweden

Stolen Matisse painting returns to Sweden

A Matisse painting stolen 25 years ago has been returned to the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, its owner said on Wednesday, after a dealer had tried to sell it in London.

Berlin wants UK in EU but rejects cherry-picking
Germany

Berlin wants UK in EU but rejects cherry-picking

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Wednesday that Berlin hoped Britain would stay in the European Union but rejected "cherry-picking," after David Cameron announced a referendum on the UK's membership.

Missing French student feared kidnapped
France

Missing French student feared kidnapped

Police in southern Sweden suspect a missing 23-year-old French exchange student who disappeared nearly two weeks ago may have been kidnapped.

Sweden warns UK over risks of EU exit
Sweden

Sweden warns UK over risks of EU exit

Sweden on Wednesday warned Britain it would hold less sway in the world if it quits the EU, after Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to hold an in-or-out referendum if his party wins the next election.

Siemens earnings and orders dip in first quarter
Germany

Siemens earnings and orders dip in first quarter

German engineering giant Siemens said on Wednesday that earnings and orders fell in the first quarter, but it was hoping a shake-up of its businesses would nevertheless enable it to meet its full-year targets.

Novartis chairman to step down as profits rise
Switzerland

Novartis chairman to step down as profits rise

Basel-based pharmaceutical group Novartis reported on Wednesday a net profit of $9.6 billion for 2012, up four percent from the previous year, but posted slightly lower sales amid stronger competition from generic drugs.

Parent shock as serial exhibitionist walks free
Switzerland

Parent shock as serial exhibitionist walks free

A Geneva exhibitionist who disrobed and masturbated in front of children 150 times over a 10-year period walked free from court after being convicted of indecent sexual behaviour, according to media reports.

Turkish mob threatens German soldiers
Germany

Turkish mob threatens German soldiers

German soldiers manning Patriot missile batteries on the Turkish-Syrian border have been threatened by an angry mob of demonstrators thought to be from a left-wing nationalist youth group.

Ikea set for spending spree as profits boom
Sweden

Ikea set for spending spree as profits boom

Swedish furniture giant Ikea reported on Wednesday an 8-percent rise in full-year profit and said it was benefiting from more cost-conscious consumers.

Sweden falls in new globalization ranking
Sweden

Sweden falls in new globalization ranking

Sweden dropped to seventh place in a globalization survey conducted by consultants Ernst & Young, down two places since 2011.

France warns Cameron over EU referendum plan
France

France warns Cameron over EU referendum plan

France on Wednesday branded British government plans to hold an in-out referendum on European Union membership as "dangerous".

Two years jail for man who enslaved teen
Germany

Two years jail for man who enslaved teen

A Bosnian court gave on Tuesday two years in jail, the minimum sentence, to a man who held a young German woman captive for more than six years, a prosecution spokesman said.

Get past ‘crisis fighting’, WEF founder urges
Switzerland

Get past ‘crisis fighting’, WEF founder urges

The world's political and business elite gather in the snow-covered resort of Davos from Wednesday, aiming to instil some confidence in the global economy amid tentative signs of recovery.

Inquiry launched into causes of ‘French stench’
France

Inquiry launched into causes of ‘French stench’

Police in northern France have launched an official probe into the gas leak at a Rouen factory which that caused a stink as far away as Paris and the UK.

Swedish forestry firms in migrant labour scandal
Sweden

Swedish forestry firms in migrant labour scandal

Swedish forestry companies have come under fire over accusations they use migrant workers from Africa to plant trees for low pay, with many ending up broke and stranded in Sweden.

Two questioned in Ikea illegal spying scandal
France

Two questioned in Ikea illegal spying scandal

Two former employees of Ikea France were questioned by a magistrate Tuesday over their alleged involvement in a spying scandal that threatened to tarnish the squeaky-clean Swedish furniture giant's image when it emerged last year.

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France

French efforts to tackle jobless ruled ‘inadequate’

France's current labour market policies are inadequate, a state auditing body said Tuesday, calling for efforts to better target those suffering most from the economic downturn and for an overhaul of unemployment benefits.

Kidnapping fears over missing French student
Sweden

Kidnapping fears over missing French student

Police in southern Sweden suspect a missing 23-year-old French exchange student who disappeared nearly two weeks ago may have been kidnapped.

Rare white porpoise sighted in German waters
Germany

Rare white porpoise sighted in German waters

A sailor has filmed an extremely rare white harbour porpoise for the first time off the coast of Germany, international whale and dolphin protection group the WDC announced on Tuesday.

Two questioned over Ikea France spy scandal
Sweden

Two questioned over Ikea France spy scandal

Two former employees of Ikea France were questioned by a magistrate on Tuesday over their alleged involvement in a spying scandal that threatened to tarnish the squeaky-clean Swedish furniture giant's image when it emerged last year.

Football fans heat up stadium security debate
Germany

Football fans heat up stadium security debate

After hooligans forced a Bundesliga game to be delayed by throwing flares at the weekend, Germany coach Joachim Löw is leading the call for tighter security measures in the country's football stadiums.

Live pigsty film provokes fury at ‘animal hell’
Germany

Live pigsty film provokes fury at ‘animal hell’

A German pig farmer who posted a web feed on Facebook with live updates from his pigsty was surprised to receive more than 1,000 outraged comments in just a few days from users shocked at the "animal hell" it showed.