Monday, September 29, 2014
Via The Local: A Swedish model whose photo was used in a British tabloid newspaper sting without her permission has described the incident as "something terrible". A picture of Malin Sahlén, 22, was used by the Sunday Mirror newspaper, on a fake Twitter account, purporting to belong to Sophie Wittams, a communications officer for the ruling Conservative Party in the UK. But Sophie Wittams doesn't exist. The person using the account was actually a male freelance reporter who allegedly took Malin Sahlén's photo from Instagram. The journalist sent messages to a British minister, Brooks Newmark, 56, who resigned over the weekend after his lewd replies to her became public. "Just wanted to inform all my readers that something terrible happened to me today", Malin Sahlén posted on her blog on Sunday night. "Right now, I feel very confused and don't understand what's happened. I can blog about it another day, but right now, I don't have the energy to explain". The model told the Aftonbladet newspaper: "I am shocked and it is unpleasant anyone used the picture without permission". The fake Twitter account has since been deactivated but messages revealed in the British media suggest that Brooks Newark asked 'Sophie' to send him a photo "without hands in the way and with legs spread apart". According to the Sunday Mirror, Newmark also wrote: "I will send you something in return". The scandal broke as the Conservative Party began its annual conference and the British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that it was "not an ideal start" to the event. Sahlén has proved hard to reach since the scandal broke. When The Local tried to talk to her, neighbor Håkan Askdal said the woman had previously rented a room from him and his wife but that she had moved "a few weeks ago" to another part of Stockholm. The couple live in the apartment with their young child.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Via The Local: Two decades on from the catastrophic sinking of the MS Estonia, which claimed the lives of 501 Swedes, the nation has paid tribute to the victims amid calls for a fresh inquiry into the tragedy. On the morning of September 28th 1994 the Swedish public awoke to horrifying images from the Baltic sea of people gripping for life in the icy cold water. In the early hours of the morning the cruise ferry MS Estonia had sank, with the loss of 852 lives. Only 137 people managed to survive. The disaster unfolded over the course of an hour after strong waves ripped off the 54 ton bow visor at the front of the ship. Water flooded into the car decks and capsized the vessel, forcing a scramble for life as panic ensued for the nearly 1000 people onboard. Passengers were aware something was not right just after the stroke of midnight when they heard a loud bang. The noise, which some described as sounding like an explosion, would later form the basis of several conspiracy theories. "A big wave struck which forced everything in the bar to fall down and be crushed. We said as a joke that it was like Titanic and that they would soon start offering free champagne and begin playing music on the decks", Swedish survivor Kent Härstedt said about the initial impact, in a recent documentary about the tragedy for the Discovery channel. The bow visor was later found to have been poorly welded and not properly maintained. To make matters worse the bridge were unable to see the bow so they didn't react until it was too late. Alarms were not sounded until five minutes after the ship began listing. Human error was also to blame as the ship had been traveling too fast in order to make up time. MS Estonia was an hour behind schedule and was due to arrive in Stockholm the following day after setting sail from Tallinn. Officers were later criticized in an official report for panicking and sending out muddled radio messages to nearby vessels. By the time help arrived the MS Estonia had sank to the bottom of the sea off the Finnish coast - where it remains to this day. Those who survived remain haunted by the experience which is deeply ingrained on the Swedish psyche. Survivors recalled how some passengers, inside the ship, did not attempt to save their lives and stood motionless, paralyzed by shock, as hundreds tried to get onto the outer decks. Out on decks there was another obstacle to survival - looters. Numerous witnesses reported that they had their personal items, like watches and goldchains, stolen by thieves. Some even had their lifejackets taken off them. Water flowed into the MS Estonia at the rate of 20 tons a second. Within 40 minutes it had sank. Only 137 people managed to survive. A staggering 97 percent of female passengers perished. Nobody under the age of 12 made it out alive. A total of 94 bodies were recovered. It's estimated that 650 people remain buried inside the MS Estonia - an issue which continues to evoke strong feelings from affected families. On Sunday, exactly 20 years since the disaster, King Carl Gustav layed a wreath at the Estonia monument in Stockholm. Similar events have taken place across the country to mark the anniversary.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
The effects of the problems caused by geoengineering our weather and atmosphere are serious indeed. Weather horrors visit all over the globe. This is a test. The power elite have facilities to house all those 500 million they want on the planet to serve them, while they literally will genocide the entire 7 billion of those on the surface. Soon they are ready to bring down the final hammer!
Via The Local: The Migration Board in southern Sweden has introduced a seven day working week for staff in order to cope with the backlog of asylum cases. At the branch of Migrationsverket in Malmö the new opening hours commenced on Saturday. So far this year a total of 58.000 people have applied for asylum in Sweden. "We have a large and increasing stream of asylum seekers. In order to take and register them all we are increasing the opening hours", unit manager of the Migration Board in Malmö Lisa Bergstrand, told the local Sydsvenskan newspaper. The office in the south employs 200 people, of which 76 are working solely on registering asylum cases. Last month The Local reported that Sweden can expect a record-breaking 100.000 refugees in 2014. Of the 58.000 who have applied for asylum in Sweden this year almost half (26.000) are Syrians. In September last year, Sweden granted permanent residence to all Syrian refugees, the first country in the EU to do so. At the Malmö office asylum seekers from more than 50 different countries were represented. Newspaper Sydsvenskan reported that Afghans and Somalis stand a 70 percent chance of being granted asylum, compared to 12 percent for Albanians and Bosnians. "I want to continue my studies here. First I want to learn Swedish and after that finish my literature studies", Fatima Rihawi from Syria told the newspaper. Due to the increase in cases the amount of time it takes to process an application from start to finish has shot up from 100 to 150 days. Many of those waiting in the Migration Board office were fleeing conflict zones in the Middle East. They said they were appalled by the recent beheadings carried out by ISIS. "IS are inhumane and criminals. They have nothing to do with Islam. We Muslims respect individual people", Asma Okla from Damascus told Sydsvenskan. Last year, Sweden took in almost 20 percent of the EU's asylum seekers, more than any other country in the union. In July The Local reported that Syrian refugees were being made to wait up for a year to get an embassy interview as the number of asylum applications have increased dramatically in the past year. "We have a special unit in Sweden that is just dealing with these cases of Syrian asylum seekers", Magnus Skarbo press information officer for the Swedish Migration Board told The Local at the time.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Via The Local: Incoming Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has announced that Sweden's new government will be made up of his Social Democrat Party and the Greens. Löfven told Parliament's Speaker on Friday that Sweden will be governed by a Red-Green coalition. Between them, the Social Democrats and the Greens won the support of 38 percent of Sweden's voters in Sweden's elections on September 14. Before formally taking over as Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven must first be elected in Parliament and this not expected to take place before next Thursday. His next task is to try and push through a new budget. To ensure budget approval, Löfven must convince the Left Party to back him, despite his decision to exclude them from government and ongoing disagreements over profits in the welfare sector. The Left wants to stop private companies working with schools and hospitals from making profits. Neither the Social Democrats nor the Greens want an outright ban, although both have backed tougher regulation of businesses working with the public sector. The leader of the Left Party Jonas Sjöstedt said on Friday that negotiations between his politicians and the Social Democrats were continuing. Li-Bennich Björkman, a Professor of Political Science at Uppsala University in eastern Sweden, told The Local that Löfven's rejection of the Left Party as a formal coalition partner may come back to bite him. "I think it was a major mistake to not include the Left Party, because you can see that it was a huge disappointment to them, so much so that it could create difficulties in the future", she said.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Via Before It's News: Leader of Fukushima plant "started staggering… mumbling 'It’s all over' ", before last reactor melted — Appears to collapse, has visions while motionless on floor — Top official "bursts into tears" at meeting — No way to prevent "utter catastrophe" — "Chilling" sound soon heard, "gaping hole" in reactor suspected. Kyodo News (Part 10), Sep 23, 2014: A [Tepco] senior official broke down and wept in the Prime Minister’s office when the utility felt it had exhausted all options to prevent an utter catastroph...bursting into tear. Testimony reveals odd behavior just before "chilling sound" and pressure dropping to zero at Unit 2: Early on March 15, silence engulfed the emergency response office as the point of no return neared. Yoshida stood up and started staggering around, mumbling to himself, "It’s all over".
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Via The Local: Sweden's foreign ministry has banned a civil rights group from its premises after news leaked that this year's winner of the Swedish Right Livelihood Award would be whistleblower Edward Snowden. The prize, which was launched as an alternative to the Nobel prizes, honours those who work to improve the lives of others. U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden has been revealed as this year's winner for his "courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights", the organization said in a statement. Snowden has been holed up in Russia ever since he leaked top secret NSA documents to journalists last year. He faces up to three decades in prison. Sveriges Television revealed Snowden's win - which was scheduled to be announced on Thursday - and reported that the foreign ministry was banning the independent organization from making its traditional announcement on at Stockholm's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even though the award has been handed out there for the past 18 years. Officially, the ministry has said the ban is based on new security regulations, but SVT reported that it was Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt who had reacted strongly to the news. Bildt has denied that he was involved in the decision. The award will be shared by four other laureates, three of whom will share a cash prize of 1.5 million kronor ($210.000). The civil rights organization said it was in talks with Snowden's lawyers in an effort to get him to Stockholm to accept the award. It will be presented on December 1st in the Swedish Parliament.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Via The Local: As Stefan Löfven attempts to form a coalition government, Social Democrat MEP Jytte Guteland says her party needs to focus on Sweden's international image. "Let us briefly look up from all the post-election analysis and the debates surrounding forming Sweden's next government and directing our focus outwards. What is Sweden's role in the world today and how we want it to be in the future? Carl Bildt's years as Sweden's Foreign Minister were filled with backtracking, scandals, and appeasement and the country missed many opportunities to be a key player on the world stage. Historically, we have much to be proud of. Sweden has been a strong voice for justice, solidarity, and human rights. For me, this picture has changed over time with Carl Bildt as Foreign Minister.