Downgrade -- the most feared word in Europe's financial lexicon. Most attention Friday was focused on France, Europe's second-largest economy, as Standard & Poor's cut its rating on French sovereign debt. But the debt of several other countries also received the Mark of Cain, including Italy, Spain, Portugal -- and Austria, whose debt rating was cut by one notch from its AAA status.
Picture the glow of medieval squares illuminated by thousands of sparkling lights. Imagine gingerbread-style stalls where artisans offer traditional crafts that threaten to banish gifts of boring neckties and fruitcakes for eternity. Marvel at iPod-toting children falling under the spell of low-tech charms like wooden toys, ice rinks and vintage merry-go-rounds.
It's famous for its rich cultural history, a waltz and Wiener schnitzel. And for the third year in a row, Vienna, Austria, can also boast the highest quality of living in the world.
French banks were the center of the European financial storm this week, after Societe Generale and Credit Agricole were downgraded by ratings agency Moody's Investors Service. Eyes were also on the unfolding drama of Italy's surging funding costs, amid warnings the country is one which is too big to fail. At the same time, members of the Free Democrats -- the smaller party in Angela Merkel's governing coalition -- are openly flirting with a more Eurosceptic line.
Five things I think I think about the opening frenzy of the Summer of Frenzy:
The dozen members of OPEC convened in a climate of highly charged politics, a war in a member state and with countries like the United States asking for some relief from $100 oil. It was one of the most interesting meetings in a decade because it is evidence that geo-politics and oil definitely mix and cause combustion.
It's rare that a town's charm will get me out of bed early. The postcard-pretty, lake-cuddling town of Hallstatt, two hours south of Salzburg, is one of those places.
Last week, when the English version of Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a rare college basketball article, it seized the opportunity to run the ultimate Jewish/Mid-Major mashup headline: "Shooting Star of David(son)". The story was about Jake Cohen, the 6-foot-10 rising sophomore at Davidson who grew up in Berwyn, Pa., but -- because of his Jewish heritage -- was able to gain dual citizenship and join Israel's U20 national team for this summer's European Championships. It mentioned how the team, whose other starters are native Israelis, was holding some of its practices in English on account of Cohen, who told SI.com he's "the opposite of fluent" in Hebrew.
Girardi storms out of a TV taping of her reunion with ex-Bachelor fiancÃ© Pavelka
A 20-year-old Romanian stowaway survived a 90-minute flight in a private plane's wheel compartment and was subsequently arrested, reported the Metropolitan Police Service in London, England.
Vienna, the Austrian capital renowned for its music and architecture, has the best quality of life of any city in the world, according to results of a survey released Wednesday.
• Not only will they be compared for their ability to host Olympic Games and to make tea, but Beijing and London will go head-to-head for the right to stage the IAAF world championships in Track & Field for 2015. If Beijing wins, the championships will be held at the acclaimed Birds' Nest stadium that hosted track at the 2008 Games. If London wins, the events would be held at the Olympic Stadium being built for the 2012 Olympics.
Over the weekend, Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney tied the knot -- we'll see it unfold on television on March 8 -- becoming the first "Bachelor" couple to actually make it down the aisle, news that we can only applaud since Melissa Rycroft recently got hitched as well.
I've never seen such wide open slopes -- no trees, no houses, just field after field of newly fallen snow.
Finland's Tanja Poutiainen beat Kathrin Zettel of Austria by the slenderest of margins to win the opening race of skiing's World Cup season at Soelden in Austria on Saturday.
The bodies of six Czech hikers who died in an avalanche near the Soelden ski resort in the Austrian Alps were recovered Sunday, police and rescue services said Sunday.
BERN, Switzerland (AP) -- The United States found its ruthless streak -- eventually -- and beat Austria 6-1 Monday to advance to the second round of the ice hockey world championship.
It sparkles everywhere -- on the walls, the floors, on the ceilings in fanciful art displays guaranteed to make you say, "WOW!" no matter what your age.
The death of actress Natasha Richardson, who sustained a fatal head injury while skiing, has reignited the perennial debate around the safety of the sport.
Many sights in Germany and Austria have been renovated in the last year or two to better display this region's rich heritage, making 2009 a good time to visit.
The Austrian government has taken control of a private bank with significant exposure to the alleged fraud by Bernard Madoff.
A British man was jailed Tuesday for raping two of his daughters and fathering nine children over 27 years, a case with echoes of Austria's Josef Fritzl.
A British man pleads guilty to raping his two daughters for over 30 years. ITN's Angus Walker reports.
Rightist Joerg Haider's, dead in a car crash, marshaled anti-immigrant sentiment, nationalism and even a bit of Nazi sympathy to change Austrian politics forever
Though prosperous and safe, the country is chronically susceptible to politicians who rail against immigrants
France made a disastrous start to their World Cup qualifying campaign as they went down 3-1 to Austria in Vienna in their Group 7 match on Saturday night.
French coach Raymond Domenech looks to have admitted defeat in his attempt to lure veteran midfielder Claude Makelele out of international retirement to play in crucial World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Serbia next month.
One of my favorite places to be in Europe is atop the Zugspitze -- the highest point in Germany. Standing on this 9,700-foot peak, you can't help but marvel at the thought that you are above everyone else in the entire country -- No. 1 out of 82 million. From here, facing south, I feel like a maestro conducting a symphony of snow-capped peaks, as the mighty Alps stretch seemingly forever to the right and left.
Josef Hickersberger quit as Austria's soccer coach Monday, saying he was "empty and tired" after his team's elimination from the European Championship.
ZURICH, Switzerland -- From top to bottom, here is an A to Z of the best and worst of the European Championship through two weeks of action.
The pre-tournament favorites put an end to the co-hosts' hopes in a fixture that is always about more than just football
Michael Ballack booked Germany's place in the quarterfinals of Euro 2008 after his thunderbolt free-kick earned a 1-0 victory in a bad-tempered Group B clash against co-hosts Austria in Vienna.
While the Dutch continue to reinvent 'The Beautiful Game', France's woes continue. And it's mixed fortunes for the tournament's hosts
Croatia held off a furious late onslaught from Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria to win 1-0 in their opening Group B match in Vienna on Sunday.
Most of the Supreme Court justices piled up a lot frequent flyer miles in 2007, jetting to such exotic locales as Austria, India and Hawaii, according to financial disclosure reports released Friday.
Eight venues across Austria and Switzerland will host 31 matches during Euro 2008, starting in Basel and finishing in Vienna. Click on the links for information on each host city.
Josef Fritzl has confessed to holding his daughter captive for 24 years and fathering her seven children. How did it happen?
A 73-year-old man has confessed to holding his daughter captive in his home cellar for nearly 24 years and fathering seven children by her, Austrian police say
An avalanche fell on a street in an Alpine town in Austria, close to many ski resorts, covering the roadway in three to four meters of snow, but no one was hurt, Austrian police said Tuesday.
The Netherlands staged an astonishing fightback to come from three down to beat Austria 4-3 in their friendly in Vienna on Wednesday.
About 60 cars were crushed and mangled after they crashed into each other during a heavy snowfall in northwestern Austria.
Miroslav Klose netted his 37th international goal as Germany sealed a 3-0 friendly win over Austria in Vienna.
Like a German child's fantasy, Nurnberg's fairy-godmother-like teenage angel stretched out her arms and said, "If you're very, very gentle, you can touch my wings." I stayed seated while little Bavarian preschoolers mobbed the stage to touch their Christkind.
Former champions Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands could end up in the same group at next year's European Championships finals after UEFA announced the seedings for the draw in Lucerne on December 2.
Calling himself a "pilgrim among pilgrims" Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday visited the Marian sanctuary of Mariazell southwest of Vienna, fulfilling a promise he made in 2004 -- while still a cardinal -- to return to the shrine on its 850th birthday.
But he may need to grapple again, and more diplomatically, with world affairs
Pope Benedict XVI paid solemn tribute to Holocaust victims as he began a three-day pilgrimage to Austria on Friday.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, who was elected Austrian president despite an international scandal about his secretive World War II Nazi connections, died Thursday
Mario Matt rescued the Austrian men's team in the nick of time on Saturday, winning the men's slalom to give them their first gold medal of the Alpine skiing world championships.
Austrian police have uncovered a massive child-pornography ring on the Internet, tracking downloads of sexually violent material to more than 2,300 people in 77 countries, a government official said.
Former Austria international Christian Mayrleb is facing a ban of up to two years following a positive 'A' test for a banned diuretic.
Austrian Bundesliga title contenders Pasching have been hit by the surprise resignations of joint coaches Milan Djuricic and Milan Miklavic.
Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria celebrated their first victory of the year on Friday -- but only after coming from behind to put two late substitute goals past tiny Liechtenstein.
At about midnight last July 5, the New York Police Department closed Manhattan's East 86th Street. Billionaire Ronald S. Lauder walked back and forth in the street, waiting. Employees of his boutiq...
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice in Ajax Amsterdam's 5-2 away win over IK Start in the first round of the UEFA Cup on Thursday.
U.S. employers project healthy hiring for the fourth quarter, despite talk of a possible downturn in the economy, according to a survey released Tuesday.
Holders Sevilla will launch their trophy defense against Greek side Atromitos following the draw on Friday for the first round of the UEFA Cup.
Croatia began their World Cup preparations with a comfortable 4-1 away win over Austria on Tuesday.
Group F | World ranking: 23
Austria won the Olympic ski jumping team event for the first time on Monday, giving teenager Thomas Morgenstern his second gold of the Torino Games.
Banned Austrian ski coach Walter Mayer has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, the Austrian Ski Federation president Peter Schroecksnadel told State Radio ORF on Monday.
European Union veterinary experts have backed plans to boost surveillance of migratory birds and impose stricter bans on imports as officials desperately tried to find ways to curb the spread of deadly bird flu on the continent.
Injured Newcastle striker Michael Owen should be fit to play in England's World Cup matches next week, according to United manager Graeme Souness. .
Andreas Herzog will take charge of the Austria team on a caretaker basis for the final two World Cup Group Six qualifiers against England and Northern Ireland.
Austria want Rapid Vienna's Josef Hickersberger to return as national coach when Hans Krankl's contract runs out at the end of the year, the OeFB said on Monday.
At least nine tourists have been killed after a helicopter dropped a concrete block on a cable car in western Austria, according to police.
Helicopters are delivering food and other supplies and lifting hundreds of people to safety in the aftermath of deadly floods in central and southern Europe.
An Austrian league match between title contenders Austria Vienna and visiting Graz AK has been abandoned after Vienna fans stormed the pitch.
Wednesday's friendly match between Austria and Croatia has been cancelled after freezing temperatures made the surface at the Ernst Happel stadium unplayable.
Jermain Defoe scored a breathtaking goal to set England on their way to a 2-1 victory over Poland on Wednesday and lift the pressure on coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.
England's World Cup qualifying campaign got off to a miserable start on Saturday when they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Austria in Group Six in Vienna.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an immigrant, Tuesday night addressed the Republican National Convention where he spoke of the greatness of America. Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, is a former actor and body builder. Here is a transcript of his remarks:
Austria want to host the Fed Cup Final Four tournament, national tennis officials said Tuesday, after the country's sensational upset of the United States.
Barbara Schwartz produced a heroic 7-6 4-6 10-8 win over Lisa Raymond as Austria beat the U.S. in the Fed Cup for the second time in three years.
Graz AK have won the Austrian title for the first time thanks to a 1-1 draw against SV Pasching and the surprise away defeat of rivals Austria Vienna.
Austrian champions Austria Vienna have sacked coach Joachim Loew following their defeat by bottom side FC Kaernten at the weekend.
Italian Isolde Kostner wept tears of joy on Saturday after winning her first World Cup race since a crash shattered her confidence 14 months ago.
Austria's Olympic and world 800 meters silver medalist Stephanie Graf quit on Thursday, saying she no longer had the drive to compete.
Is your investing antenna picking up irresistible international signals? It should be. Share prices of a number of corporations in Europe and Asia rose dramatically in the first six months of the y...
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