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The Local's top ten features of 2012

Published: 26 Dec 2012 15:57 GMT+01:00

Pink stinks, says toy marketing campaigner

A campaigner from the Pinkstinks pressure group told us how advertisers are forcing gender stereotypes onto Germany's children, after Kinder Surprise released a new “just for girls” egg this year, wrapped in pink foil and advertised by fairies in push-up bras.

'German hooligans look up to the English'

The Bundesliga may be booming, but violence at matches is growing. In an interview with the editor of No Dice football magazine, we explored the rising tide of hooliganism among the country's fans.

How Germans are turning to dumpsters for dinner

After reporting that each Germans throw out, on average, 82 kilos of food each year, we literally dived into Berlin's bins in the middle of the night to see what we could find.

Pixelhead - the ultimate in anonymous?

A Berlin-based artist caused a stir with a pixellated balaclava aimed at disguising a person's identity in a society increasingly rife with CCTV. We tried it on, and had a think about the role of social media in Germany.

Boozy dieters shed kilos the 'Schrothkur' way

Heavy drinking might not be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to lose weight. But as we discovered, dieters deep in Bavaria are rushing to enrol in the “Schrothkur” weight-loss programme – perhaps because it involves lots, and lots of schnapps.

I've been to the future and it really aches

Germany's population is ageing and in order to get a taste of things to come, The Local slipped into a special suit at the Berlin Charite hospital which makes the wearer feel very, very old.

Scientist seeks deposits for elephant sperm bank

We spoke to a scientist so dedicated to making sure that bull elephants in captivity didn't become too inbred, that he was tracking down wild ones and using an electrifying method to gather their genetic material.

Police take refugees' blankets despite cold

In September a group of refugees walked from Bavaria to Berlin, protesting against their living conditions. We tracked their progress and went down to their camp at the Brandenburg Gate shortly after the police confiscated their blankets.

‘The euro is still a brilliant notion’

In the first instalment of a new series, we sat down with the US ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy, and chatted about all things politics and business.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Today's headlines
Germany heightens travel warning for Turkey
A view of Istanbul. Photo: DPA.

Germany heightens travel warning for Turkey

The German government has issued more severe warnings about travelling to Turkey after a string of terror attacks in the south of the country, and as Ankara intensifies conflict against two militias in Syria and Iraq. READ  

Fireman turned arsonist jailed for 3 years
Fire services extinguish an unrelated fire in Hamburg in 2011. Photo: DPA

Fireman turned arsonist jailed for 3 years

After a series of arson attacks over several months, an ex-fireman has been sentenced to three years in jail without chance of bail. READ  

Mother slams IKEA for rejecting autistic son
Photo: DPA

Mother slams IKEA for rejecting autistic son

A mother from North Rhine-Westphalia has accused furniture chain IKEA of debasement, discrimination and marginalization – after employees in their Dortmund store refused to let her autistic son into the children's play area. READ  

Wallaby goes walkabout in Berlin outback
Photo: Gemeinde Nuthe-Urstromtal

Wallaby goes walkabout in Berlin outback

A woman in a village south of Berlin was shocked to find a rather unusual visitor in her garden on Tuesday. But by the time police got there he'd already bounced. READ  

Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'
A pedestrian walks by a group of Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'

The Munich City Council said on Wednesday that it had voted to continue banning the placement of blocks commemorating Jewish Holocaust victims in city streets - a ban that garnered surprising support from Jewish community leaders. READ  

13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Batlle in Syria. Photo: DPA

13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis

A young teen from Munich was detained near the Turkish border with Syria on Friday as he was trying to join the radical Islamist group Isis. READ  

The Local List
Six odd ways Germans talk about the weather
Photo: DPA

Six odd ways Germans talk about the weather

Is it absolutely roasting, or raining cats and dogs? Neither if you live in Germany. Here are six wonderfully weird expressions Germans use to talk about the weather - some more literal than others. READ  

Little by little, Germans move away from cash
Photo: DPA

Little by little, Germans move away from cash

Tourists and business travellers visiting Germany are often surprised when they reach to pay for their beer, metro tickets or even a large restaurant bill that their credit cards are not welcome. Habits, however, are slowly changing as younger consumers leapfrog from cash to convenient electronic forms of payment. READ  

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
Martin Sonneborn. Photo: DPA

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife

After winning a seat in the European Parliament last year on a commitment to 'milking Brussels,' satirical party Die Partei broke new ground. Now a 'Nazi Putsch' threatens to split the party asunder. READ  

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo
These feathered fugitives took flight from the zoo to get a birds-eye view of the world. Photo: DPA.

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo

A pair of pelicans with a serious case of wanderlust flew the coop from Osnabrück Zoo last week, only to find their way back days later. READ  

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