Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sweden: King Carl XVI Gustaf Opens Parliament

Via The Local:

Sweden's post-election parliament is meeting for the first time following a fanfare opening from King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The King and other royal guests arrived at the Riksdag by horse and carriage, accompanied by a brass band.

They were greeted by the newly elected Speaker in parliament, Urban Ahlin.

The royal family had previously attended a service by Archbishop Antje Jackelén in Stockholm Cathedral, where they were also joined by Sweden's newly elected MPs.

The King made a speech, commenting on the recent heatwave in Sweden.

He said that the country had enjoyed a "great summer", but offered his respects to those affected by floods in Malmö and a forest fire in Sala in central Sweden.

The King added that Sweden's good fortunes stood in contrast to months of war and violence elsewhere in the world, referring to "war, ethnic conflicts, and humanitarian crises that seem difficult to limit and control".

"It is with sadness and pain that we see and follow human suffering. We are horrified by the killing and suffering of children and all others who are fleeing for their lives", he told parliament.

King Carl XVI Gustaf then reflected on Sweden's new and divided parliament.

He described the current political landscape as one "that may lack well-known landmarks", but added that Sweden was a "stable country with a democratic social order".

Parliament was declared open after his final comments, when he wished for "power and wisdom" for Sweden's politicians.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Swedish Model In Hiding After UK Politician Sting

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

Sweden Pays Tribute To Estonia Disaster Victims

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

Is Planet Killer Under Way?

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!

Asylum Backlog Prompts Seven Day Work Week

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

Sweden's New Coalition Government Announced

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

“It’s All Over” Warning Went Out – Chilling Sound Heard – “No Way To Prevent Utter Catastrophe”

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

Row As Snowden Wins Swedish Rights Prize

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

Sweden "Missed" Global Opportunities

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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sweden: Budget Headache For New Coalition Partners

Via The Local:

The Social Democrats have been holding talks with the Green party to try and agree on a future coalition budget.

But questions remain over how they will work together on issues including defense and nuclear power.

The actual result of the Swedish elections were unfortunately that no coalition won the elections with 50% of the votes or more.

The most decent thing would be to declare new elections, because this present situation will cost too much for the people.

The politicians must have enough courage to go back to the people and ask it for a new and clear result.

In my opinion the Social Democrats made a mistake not inviting the Left Party to government.

But on the other side the Left Party can now press harder and independently for socialism, reforms, and progress.

Sweden clearly needs more centralization, socialism, and growth.

The poor are getting poorer and the homeless in Sweden are in a desperate situation.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden Is Falling Apart

Via The Local:

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment.

In an interview with Sveriges Television the retired politician said his own Social Democratic party and the Moderates are too similar, which he argued cost them votes at the polls.

"I think the success of the Sweden Democrats depends partly on the triangulation, the tendency not to take risks with policies, not to show the differences, which the Moderates introduced and the Social Democrats have also taken after. One lays so close to the other so that when one is angry and resigned there is nowhere else to protest", Persson told the Agenda program.

Persson, who was Prime Minister from 1996 to 2006, said the Sweden Democrats did well outside of the capital as they were able to tap into voters who were fed up with the established parties.

He added that in places where there is "poor mobile phone coverage" and "trains that don't run" that the nationalist party performed better.

"All of this has been expressed. Sweden is falling apart", he said.

Persson added; "Now we have a very clear warning, a real slap in the face for the Stockholm establishment in the form of these election results".

Meanwhile, the final turnout for the election has been revealed at 85.8 percent - an increase of 1.24 percent compared to 2010.

The figures are the highest for a Swedish general election since 1994.

Every election since 2002 has recorded an increase in the number of people voting.

Election experts at the University of Gothenburg said the debate surrounding immigration likely helped spike numbers this time round.

"A key to this is the conflict in the refugee/immigration question.

It has expanded in dimension and the Sweden Democrats have grown stronger and mobilised in every part of the country", Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson, a researcher at the university, told the TT news agency.

Ekengren that the support for Feminist Initiative (FI) in various parts of the country also played a part in the high turnout.

FI earned 3.1 percent of the vote, just short of the 4 percent threshold to earn a spot in parliament.

Outgoing Democracy Minister Birgitta Ohlsson said she welcomed the news of the increased turnout.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Swedish Airfares To Get Cheaper In 2015

Via The Local:

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report.

The Global Travel Price Outlook report carried out by travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has revealed that flights originating in Sweden will decrease by 0.4 percent.

Scandinavian neighbors Norway will also experience a saving to the tune of 0.3 percent.

The two countries are the only ones in the study where cheaper tickets were forecast for 2015.

By contrast, fares will rise by 2.5 percent in Germany and 1 percent in the UK.

Global air fares are anticipated to rise by 2.2 percent says the report.

The report also stated that hotel prices will increase in Sweden by 0.5 percent and globally by 3.6 percent.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Donald Duck And Zlatan Get Swedish Votes

Via The Local:

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative, and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority.

Swedish electoral law allows people unhappy with the choice on offer to write their own nominations for the country’s parliament on their ballot papers.

For many, it’s the chance to cock a snook at the system, but if someone eligible for parliament receives enough spontaneous votes, they could theoretically get a seat in parliament.

However, it’s unlikely that many of those receiving spontaneous votes in the election would have been able to play a significant role in Sweden’s legislature.

For instance the King, who received three votes, is constitutionally barred from being an MP.

"The king’s loyal testicle" (one vote) would presumably not qualify either.

Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was another popular choice - the "Zlatan Party" got six votes.

One of the traditional Swedish options for protest voters is the Donald Duck Party (Kalle Anka partiet), which this year won 73 votes.

Jesus won 11 votes, while one person voted for Judas.

Hitler and the Bilderberg group also got one vote each, while the Satanic Initiative were the choice of 64 people.

Others chose to make their message to the powers that be more direct.

One person wrote "I’ll vote when I find someone sensible".

Another voted for "Sara’s party for a nicer society without mudslinging", while someone else cast their ballot for "I believe more in Santa Claus".

None of the 1710 hand-written nominations received enough votes to enter parliament.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sweden’s Growth "Better Than Expected"

Via The Local:

Sweden’s gross domestic product grew 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier, with the economy performing much better than previously thought.

The second-quarter figures from Statistics Sweden (SCB) also showed GDP up 0.7 percent compared to the first quarter.

Sweden’s currency, the krona, took a small hit in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s election.

Things look good but still it could be much better.

Sweden needs more growth. Much more growth.

The energy sector must perform better and the same is true for the agricultural sector.

The communications sector, the housing sector, and the health care sector must also become much better.

There is new ground to be broken in Sweden and much needs to be done indeed.

With a hung parliament now a reality in the largest Nordic economy, Swedes may be facing a breakdown in their nation’s budget process just three months from now, Bloomberg reports.

Sunday's general election ended without a majority for either side.

The Social Democrats, which won the most votes, will now try to form a government.

Without a majority, the new government will struggle to push through key pieces of legislation including defense spending, according to Martin Enlund, an analyst at Nordea Bank.

The legislative limbo is the worst possible outcome for Sweden’s currency, he said.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sweden Democrats Reject EU-Ukraine Pact

Via The Local:

The European Parliament has backed an 'historic' agreement to allow closer trade between the EU and Ukraine, but the nationalist Sweden Democrats were among those trying to block the deal on Tuesday.

The EU-Ukraine Association agreement, which was strongly criticized by Russia, is designed to deepen political and economic integration between the EU and Ukraine by allowing free trade across borders.

The aim of this free trade agreement is of course only to undermine Russia and to take over parts of the former Soviet Union to EU and NATO.

Sweden Democrat Peter Lundgren said: "Since we are a Eurosceptic party, we don't want to increase the European Union, because our citizens are paying for that without their direct permission".

"The European Union is aggravating an already sensitive situation", he added.

That might be the only point we leftists agree with the Sweden Democrats.

Both political parties want Sweden to leave the European Union.

However, I think personally that what Sweden best needs is a close military and political alliance and cooperation with Russia.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sweden's Prime Minister And Finance Minister Quit

Via The Local:

Outgoing Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has handed in his resignation after his right-wing Alliance was defeated at the polls on Sunday.

His Finance Minister Anders Borg has announced he is leaving politics too.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Swedes Go To Polls As Left-Wing Lead Narrows

Via The Local:

Sweden is expected to vote the Social Democrats back into power in general elections Sunday, according to the final polls, while the anti-immigration nationalist right is likely to make historic gains.

Stefan Löfven, the stocky leader of the Social Democrats, looks set to become the next Prime Minister for the nearly 10 million Swedes, probably in a minority coalition with the support of the Greens and the former communist Left Party.

The Left Party, the Greens, and the Social Democrats, are together the only sustainable alternative to form a new government.

The Left Party is the political party in Sweden that works for justice and equality.

When we wake up on Monday morning the present governing center-right Alliance coalition with its lousy policies must have lost.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Swedish General Election On 14 September 2014

A general election will be held in Sweden tomorrow to the national Swedish Riksdag, as well as to all 21 county councils, and to the 290 municipal assemblies.

The Left Party wants people to help one another and take responsibility, to show solidarity.

In Sweden in the 20th century the struggle of the women’s movement and the labor movement gave us welfare services and a more equal society.

Don't forget to vote!

Big Solar Storms Expected This Weekend

Via The Sydney Morning Herald:

Two big explosions on the surface of the sun will cause a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm on Earth this weekend, possibly disrupting radio and satellite communications, scientists say.

The NFL Punches Rihanna And Shit Around The Web

Via WWTDD:

In its infinite wisdom to cover its ass over fucking up the Ray Rice debacle, the NFL pulled a Rihanna song from its Thursday night football coverage so people wouldn’t think about Rihanna being punched in the face by Chris Brown.

N. Korea's New Ambassador To Sweden - Unknown Kang Yong Dok

Via The Swedish Wire:

North Korea has appointed a new ambassador to Sweden.

His name is Kang Yong Dok (강용덕), the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Website NK News says that nothing is publicly known yet about Kang.

This appointment marks his first mention in North Korean state media.

Sweden plays an important role in North Korea’s relations with the rest of the world, largely due to its reputation as a neutral nation, the website adds.

The Swedish embassy often acts on behalf of the interests of countries which don’t have formal relations with Pyongyang, such as the United States and otherwise acts as a neutral mediator.

This past May, the Swedish capital of Stockholm served as the neutral venue for talks between North Korea and Japan.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Row Over Early Exit Poll

Via The Local:

An exit poll for Sweden's national election will be released four hours before voting closes on Sunday night.

But critics argue the move is unethical and could influence voters.

Pollsters YouGov have promised the result of the 2014 election in Sweden at 4pm - even though the booths officially close at 8pm.

Li-Bennich Björkman, a Professor of Political Science at Uppsala University in eastern Sweden, said she wasn't aware of such a move in Swedish election history.

"This isn't pleasant to hear at all", she told The Local.

"It surprises me actually. Not only is it unethical but I think it will influence people's votes. This could let people get the notion that they can support the 'winning team'".

She added that in countries like France, it's illegal to publish opinion polls so close to the election.

A spokesperson at competitor pollsters Ipsos was also unimpressed.

"This is unfortunate. There's a risk that a poll like this can have an effect on the actual election result", said David Ahlin, the director of public affairs.

"In my opinion, we should respect the election day and the voters should have the day to themselves to make their own decisions", he told The Local.

A spokesperson at Sweden's Election Authority (Valmyndigheten) brushed aside the news, adding that there was nothing official about YouGov's results.

"This has nothing to do with the election authority. We don't formally care about these things, we do our own reports and they'll be released later in the night", Carl-Johan Friman, press officer at authority, told The Local.

He added that the authority's preliminary results could be officially expected at around 10 or 11pm. These are not exit polls, rather results based on the counting of votes already cast.

Sunday afternoon's exit poll, which will be published by the Metro newspaper, will be carried out online from 4.500 respondents. The paper promises results that are accurate to within one percent, citing a previous attempt in a Danish election.

At 8pm exactly, when the polling closes, Sveriges Television will publish an official exit poll, as has been the tradition since 1991.

The Local's attempts to reach YouGov for comment went unanswered.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Sweden: Tight Race As Campaign Enters Final Week

Via The Local:

With less than a week to go until Sweden's general election, mixed opinion poll results and undecided voters suggest the outcome is far from clear.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sweden: Vänsterpartiet Makes A Difference - Vote September 14

The Left Party (Swedish: Vänsterpartiet, V) is a socialist and feminist political party in Sweden, founded in 1917 following a split from the Swedish Social Democratic Party.

The party has had many names throughout its history.

In 1917 the party's name was Swedish Social Democratic Left Party (Swedish: Sveriges socialdemokratiska vänsterparti, SSV).

It became the Communist Party of Sweden in 1921, the Left Party-Communists in 1967, and adopted its current name in 1990.

On welfare issues, the party opposes privatizations.

Moreover, the party opposes Swedish membership of the Euro currency and advocates increased public expenditure.

From 1998 to 2006, the Left Party was in an arrangement with the ruling Social Democrats and the Greens.

Until then it also supported the Social Democratic minority government in the Swedish parliament, as well as in many of Sweden's counties and municipalities.

The Left Party is a member of the Nordic Green Left Alliance and its single MEP sits in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left parliamentary group.

Alliance Close Gap To Red-Greens In New Poll

Via The Local:

A new opinion poll has cut the lead for the opposition ticket to 8.6 percentage points over the ruling Alliance.

In a week's time Swedes will cast their ballots and the latest poll suggests the race is getting closer.

The Social Democrats, Greens, and Left Party clocked up 47.1 percentage points with the current government earning 38.5 in the poll carried out by Novus for Sveriges Radio news bulletin Ekot.

A similar poll done by Novus in August gave the opposition a bigger lead of 11.2.

Now the Alliance appears to have closed the gap a little by 2.6 percentage points, with a week of heavy campaigning ahead.

Meanwhile, the new poll backs up what other findings have suggested that the Sweden Democrats will likely hold the balance of power.

The party is supported by 10.4 percent of the voting public according to Novus, its highest figure since opinion polls started in 2008.

In the last Novus poll the nationalist party claimed 9.6 percentage points.

Political experts have indicated that the Sweden Democrats could hold the key to the election as they are not campaigning with any other party, while the major parties have ruled out going into coalition with them.

A recent survey carried out by Sifo suggested that the opposition would win with a narrow majority.

A total of 175 seats are needed for a government to form a majority.

Last week The Local reported that Sweden's Feminist Party could secure enough votes to enter parliament according to a survey.

Sweden holds its general election on September 14th but voters can cast their ballots early with many booths open already across the country.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Scientists Have Discovered (Maybe) The Biggest Dinosaur Ever

Via Gizmodo:

Scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur in Argentina, and it was a very, very big boy.

Weighing in at 65 tons, the awesomely-named Dreadnoughtus was one of the biggest creatures to ever live.

The new member of the Titanosaur family had a 37-foot-long neck, had a 29-foot-long tail, and was still growing when it died out.

To put its size into perspective, it was:

heavier than a Boeing 737 longer than a basketball court heavier than 12 elephants the owner of a whip-like tail the same length as the current world record long jump.

And once again, for emphasis, the Dreadnoughtus was still growing when it died out.

How do scientists know all this?

The well-preserved skeleton they discovered is the most complete of any of the Titanosaur family, with 70 percent of his bones found.

This allowed researchers to estimate his weight in life. It's the first time scientists have been able to do this for this group of dinos.

Although, they can't say with certainty that the big guy was actually the biggest dinosaur; There are a lot of other 'saurs out there gunning for the title, including the Supersaurus, the Giraffatitan, and the Argentinosaurus, all of which have great names and are members of the Titanosaur crew.

"Can we say Dreadnoughtus is the biggest ever? No. We can say that Dreadnoughtus has the largest calculable mass of any known land animal", said Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, the Drexel University researcher who led team that found and analyzed the 16 tons worth of bones.

Soon you will probably have a chance to see the bones for yourself, at least online—scientists made laser scans of all 145 bones and plan to post them on the internet.

The dinosaur's size, however, you'll just have to imagine.

Swedish Politician In Racist Video Storm

Via The Local:

A candidate for the Swedish parliament with the Center Party has become embroiled in controversy after uploading a video featuring former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke onto Facebook.

Dayana Jadarian, a candidate in Sörmland, eastern Sweden, posted the video on her personal Facebook page in late July.

The clip entitled "The insanity of Christian Zionism" is fronted by Duke, who has long been associated with the right-wing white nationalist movement in the US.

In the video Duke makes a number of claims such as that Jews control the American media and are responsible for the war in Iraq.

When Jadarian uploaded the clip she was challenged by a number of users who pointed out that Duke used to lead the Ku Klux Klan.

"What he says is facts and everyone knows it but many want to suppress it", Jadarian said in comment which she later deleted.

The politician claimed to be unaware of Duke's background and later posted a lengthy rebuttal to people who suggested that she was racist.

"It turned out that Duke was branded by some media as a racist. I had no information about that. Now, in the actual clip there was nothing that was racist".

Jadarian added; "I think that it's sick that I have to say it but I'm not a racist, never have been and never will be".

Jonathan Leman of the Swedish anti-racist magazine Expo said that Duke was renowned for his hostility towards Jews.

"He is a Jew-hater who sets out to reach neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremist groups that are anti-Semitic", Leman told the Metro newspaper.

The Duke video is still on Jadarian's Facebook page. She remains a candidate for the Center Party in Sörmland and is listed on the party's website alongside four other members of the party.

"You can't stand for racist views and be a candidate for us", the Center Party's party secretary Michael Arthursson told the TT news agency.

The district chairperson of the Center party in Sörmland said that he had spoken to Jadarian about the matter but that she is unlikely to be removed from the ballot.

The controversy comes barely 24 hours after a 20-year-old Sweden Democrat candidate quit after pictures emerged of her wearing a Nazi armband.

Unfortunately anti-Semitism is found not only among conservatives and in the bourgouisie, but also among us communists and Christian Orthodox.

Let us hope that the general elections in Sweden on September 14 will change government and their current political blue-brown mess into a new government with socialism and tolerance.

Friday, September 05, 2014

U.S.- Record 92.269.000 Not In Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

Via CNSNews:

A record 92.269.000 Americans 16 and older did not participate in the labor force in August, as the labor force participation rate matched a 36-year low of 62.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force participation rate has been as low as 62.8 percent in six of the last twelve months, but prior to last October had not fallen that low since 1978.

BLS employment statistics are based on the civilian noninstitutional population, which consists of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home.

In August, the civilian noninstitutional population was 248.229.000 according to BLS.

Of that 248.229.000, 155.959.000 — or 62.8 percent--participated in the labor force, meaning they either had or job or had actively sought one in the last four weeks.

The 92.269.000 who did not participate in the labor force are those in the civilian noninstitutional population who did not have a job and did not actively seek one in the last four weeks.

Because they did not seek a job, they did not count as "unemployed".

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Sweden Tests "Alcogates" For Drunk Car Drivers

Via The Local:

Police are introducing electronic road barriers that automatically test if drivers are over the legal alcohol limit.

The portable road blocks have been developed by the National Swedish Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) and the Motorists' Society Sobriety Association (Motorförarnas Helnykterhetsförbund, MHF).

Similar to toll booths on a highway, they force drivers to blow into a breathalyzer when they arrive at a gate.

The alcogates, or alcoholic check barriers as they are also known, have already been tested on truck drivers in Gothenburg.

They will be introduced for car drivers at Stockholm's Frihamnen harbor next Wednesday.

The breathalyzer process takes around 1.5 seconds to complete.

If a driver blows above the limit, the gates remain closed and police nearby will carry out more thorough investigations.

A spokesperson at MHF, Helena Gottberg, suggested that the booths could be set up around Sweden if next week's testing goes well.

"Ultimately we want to see a political decision to roll them out across the country, in a move that would decrease the number of drunk drivers on the roads in Sweden", she told The Local.

Bengt Svensson of the national police told Sveriges Television (SVT) that the move would also decrease the number of police officers needed at police controls.

Police in Sweden have also been working on a quicker system to tackle drugged drivers.

Current testing times remain at around 6 minutes, which officers consider to be too long to hold a driver who may be innocent.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Hedgehog Pet Craze Sweeps Sweden

Via The Local:

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local.

The small brown and white spiky creatures are not illegal in Sweden but there are concerns that owners may not know how to look after them.

"Pets like these need special environments, special food and specialist vets", said Michael Diemer, spokesperson on pets and endangered species for the department.

"We have noticed more people getting in touch with us over the past few years and now we are getting calls every week from people who are unsure how to care of these animals", he added.

It is not clear exactly how many African pygmy hedgehogs are in Sweden but according to newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) about 170 of the animals are insured in Sweden by Agria pet insurance, double the number five years ago.

The animals typically cost between two to three thousand kronor ($285-$430).

With a diet of dried cat food and canned insects, they can grow up to 23 centimeters in length and adults typically weigh between 270 and 500 grams.

Breeder Heidi Permonen argues that the creatures are easier to look after than many other household pets.

"I think that people are interested in African pygmy hedgehogs because they are not as demanding as cats and dogs, for example", she told DN.

"You can cuddle them and they are very cute", she added.

Sweden's Department for Animal Welfare and Health says it has also been helping people who are struggling to cope with illegal pets including monkeys and squirrels captured from the wild.

Monday, September 01, 2014

NASA Witness Sees Guys Walk Over To Viking Lander On Mars!

Via Before It's News:

What on Earth is NASA hiding on Mars from the public?

"John Lear is the son of the famous inventor of the Lear Jet. He is a Lockheed L-1011 Captain and is highly regarded in aviation circles.

He has flown over 150 test aircraft and has won every award granted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

John also holds 18 world speed records and has worked for 28 different Aircraft Corporations.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, John began coming forward with some startling revelations concerning the subject of aerial phenomena and Unidentified Flying Objects", as introduced by George Noorey on Coast To Coast Am back on May 11, 2006.

John Lear stated that we have been to Mars since the 1960’s, which he stated.

A woman names Jackie calls in from north of Las Vegas.

She was hoping to solve a 27 year old mystery at the time of this show was aired.

The radios show aired back in 2005 or so.

Jackie stated that she used to work at NASA and handled the downlinked telemetry back in 1979.

She states that one night, while watching the monitors coming from Viking on Mars, that she sees to men in suits along with her colleagues.

The two men came in from the horizon and walked over to the Viking. The feed ended up getting cut off and NASA begins their cover-up.