Friday, October 31, 2014
Via The Local: Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. The Swedish government announced on Thursday that it was officially recognizing the State of Palestine, less than a month after the new Prime Minister Stefan Löfven first raised the issue while introducing his cabinet. Later in the day, Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman was called home. "This indeed reflects our irritation and annoyance at this unhelpful decision, which does not contribute to a return to (peace) negotiations", Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon told the AFP news agency. "We knew that Israel would be critical when we made this decision. I respect that criticism, even though I don't share it", Margot Wallström told The Local. "It can happen that ambassadors are called home for consultations - that's part of diplomatic business". "I'm convinced that we have mutual interests to uphold and strengthen our good bilateral relations". Sweden to recognize Palestine as state. Thursday's announcement meant that Sweden became the first EU member in western Europe to recognize Palestine as a state. Israel's top diplomat described the decision as "deplorable". "The Swedish government must understand that relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA and that they have to act with responsibility and sensitivity", Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement. Responding to the comments in an interview with CNN, Wallström replied: "I think it’s a sign of a sense of humor, and I will be happy to send him a flat pack of IKEA furniture and he will also see that what you need to put that together is, first of all, a partner”. “You also need to cooperate and you need a good manual. I think we have most of those elements if we want to use them also for the conflict in the Middle East. For peace you need two parties to actually sit down at the same table and discuss the future”, she added. She told The Local that she and Israel's Foreign Minister had talked about meeting one another and that she was looking forward to their discussion.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Via The Local: The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Speaking at a press conference, Margot Wallström said of the decision: "The main reason is that the government believes that the international law criteria for the recognition of the State of Palestine has been met. There is a territory, there is a population and there is a government". The UN General Assembly approved the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state in 2012, but the European Union and most western countries do not refer to Palestine as a separate state. Wallström pre-empted her announcement in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper published on Thursday morning. "It's an important step. Some will say that the decision came too early. I'm afraid that it came too late", she wrote, adding that she "hopes that this will show the way for others". "The aim of Sweden's recognition is to help reach the goal of Israel and Palestine co-existing side by side in peace". Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas hailed the decision, his spokesman said. "President Abbas welcomes Sweden's decision", Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, adding that the Palestinian leader described the move as "brave and historic". "All countries of the world that are still hesitant to recognize our right to an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, (should) follow Sweden's lead", his spokesman quoted him as saying. Abu Rudeina said the decision was a positive step following months of soaring tensions in occupied east Jerusalem, where Palestinians have clashed almost daily with Israeli police and where Israel has recently pushed ahead with plans to build another 3,600 settler homes, drawing international condemnation. "This decision comes as a response to Israeli measures in Jerusalem", he said. Sweden's decision was initially announced by new Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven as he revealed his new centre-left cabinet in early October. But has been met with strong criticism from Israel. On Thursday Israel's top diplomat said the Swedish government's recognition of a Palestinian state was "deplorable" and could undermine efforts to resolve the conflict. "The decision of the Swedish government to recognise a Palestinian state is a deplorable decision which only strengthens extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism", Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement. "It is a shame that the Swedish government chose to take this declarative step which causes a lot of harm and offers no advantage", he said. "The Swedish government must understand that relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA and that they have to act with responsibility and sensitivity". There has been intense fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip in recent months, with some of the deadliest violence in years. But there is currently a ceasefire between the two sides. Seven EU members have already recognized a Palestinian state -- Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so. Palestinian groups in Sweden have welcomed the decision. Earlier this month, Nael Touqan, Chairman of Palestinian Association of Stockholm told The Local: "Sweden has great respect in Europe so we hope this means that other nations will follow its lead", he added. "This is the only way to pressure Israel". But observers said it was too early to tell if the Swedish step would prompt other countries to make similar moves. "It's really hard to say how many countries will actually take the plunge and follow Sweden", said Michael Schulz, an expert on the Middle East and conflict issues at the University of Gothenburg told AFP. "For the EU to recognize Palestine, that would require all member states to agree, so it's unlikely", he said, estimating that Stockholm's decision "shouldn't change much" over the short term. "We must see how Israel will react if they will continue their policy of settlement or if they will instead be more cautious". Sweden's government has said it will increase bilateral aid to the middle east over the next five years.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Via The Local: Swedish football hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes the headlines almost as much for his offhand comments as for his footballing prowess. Ah, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Perhaps Sweden's greatest ever sports star with the arrogance to match. And now that he's been nominated for the Ballon d'Or, we figured we'd revisit some of his best moments. Here are our ten favorite Zlatan quotes. 1: Dutch reporter: "Can you describe 'Zlatan' - a lot of Dutch people don't understand?" Zlatan: "I've never heard this question before, I think it's only you who doesn't understand". 2: An Italian female reporter asks if he is gay. "Come to my house and you'll see if I'm gay. Bring your sister," he responds. 3: A reporter asks what Ibrahimovic will get his wife for her birthday. "Nothing. She already has Zlatan". 4: When invited by Arsenal's manager for a trial. "Zlatan doesn't do auditions". 5: After Sweden were knocked out of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, a reporter asked if Ibrahimovic would head to Brazil to spectate. He responded: "A World Cup without me isn't worth watching". 6: On house-hunting in Paris after being drafted in by Paris Saint-Germain. "We're looking for an apartment. If we don't find anything, then I'll probably just buy the hotel". 7: A reporter asks why there are scratches on Ibrahimovic's face. "You'll have to ask your wife that one". 8: Zlatan didn't mince his words when describing how it was to be marked by Stephane Henchoz. "First I went left, he did too. Then I went right, and he did too. Then I went left again, and he went to buy a hot dog". 9: When discussing his former coaches, Ibrahimovic doesn't appear to be hoping for a reference letter. "Mourinho is Guardiola's opposite. If Mourinho brightens up the room, Guardiola pulls down the curtains". 10: Lastly, Zlatan's book and his app are full of colourful quotes. For example, when discussing a recent injury: "An injured Zlatan is a pretty serious thing for any team".
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Via Haaretz: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday fervently rejected American and European criticism of his decision to advance plans for 1.060 new housing units in Jewish neighborhoods across the Green Line in Jerusalem. Netanyahu called the condemnations voiced by the international community "statements disconnected from reality", "I've heard claims that our construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem distance peace", Netanyahu said, referring to the U.S. State Department's remarks a day earlier that such actions were "incompatible" with peace. "The criticism is that it distances us from peace. These statements infuse the empty rhetoric of the Palestinians", said Netanyahu. The EU and the U.S. are applying a double standard when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", Netanyahu added. "When Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] incites murder of Jews in Jerusalem, the international community remains silent", Netanyahu said. "And when we build in Jerusalem, they become indignant. I don’t accept that. Just as the French build in Paris and the British build in London, Israelis build in Jerusalem. We will continue to build in Jerusalem". Both the U.S. and the European Union voiced concerns abou the reports of Netanyahu's plans, with U.S. State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki telling reporters: "If Israel wants to live in a peaceful society, they need to take steps that will reduce tensions. Moving forward with this sort of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace". "We view settlement activities as illegitimate and we are unequivocally opposed to unilateral steps", Psaki added. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Netanyahu by telephone following the Prime Minister's announcement, to discuss the building plan, Psaki said. The European Union asked for clarifications and said such a decision, if confirmed, would be "ill-judged and ill-timed" and "would call into "serious question Israel's commitment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians". "We stress that the future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on (its) engagement toward a lasting peace based on a two-state solution", said Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Of course the U.S. and the EU applies double standards toward the Jews. They hate the Jews and that never stopped. Another problem is that Benjamin Netanyahu does nothing to change that. He should adopt communism in his country and also strengthen the international respect for the first covenant Torah, which is still guilty and valid. A mutual respect is needed, that the Jews acknowledge the presence of the Palestinians and that Jerusalem is accepted as the undivided capital of the Jews. The EU is comprised of different non-Jewish Israeli tribes, Greeks, Romans, and Assyrians (Germany and Austria). It's a hopeless union, which will one day come under German rule, unless Russia and the different non-Jewish Israeli tribes in Europe cooperate, which seems rather unprobable.
Via Before It's News: Not long before Boyd Bushman passed away on August 7, 2014, he agreed to be video recorded for a short documentary where he openly spoke about his personal experiences with Area 51, UFOs, aliens and anti-gravity ideas. Boyd Bushman was a retired Senior Scientist for Lockheed Martin. He had an impressive forty year career where he was awarded many patents while working with defense contractors Hughes Aircraft, General Dynamics, Texas Instruments and Lockheed Martin. In the last video footage (ever) of him recorded right before his death, he shared some fascinating information and photos about Area 51, Aliens, UFO’s and anti-gravity. His images of aliens will of course raise controversy given the mixed beliefs that exist amongst people about the existence of them, but could perhaps be among the most fascinating evidence out there -and from a decorated and credible source. After all, this wouldn’t be the first time highly ranked individuals have spoken out about this type of stuff. The statements made by them seem to corroborate with all of the official documentation about UFOs that’s already been released for public viewing. Dozens of governments around the world have already disclosed this existence. "We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity… anything you can imagine we already know how to do". – Ben Rich, Former Head of Lockheed Skunk Works "Nature never uses English, it doesn’t speak any language, but yet it’s talking to us all the time. The key thing is to identify what it’s saying". – Boyd Bushman, Former Senior Research Scientist Engineer and Inventor at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
Via The Local: A return to compulsory military service is being considered by Sweden's new Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, four years after the policy was scrapped. The Social Democrats voted against the previous center-right coalition's decision to abolish military service for men and women in Sweden in 2010. Now that they are in government alongside the Greens, they are considering reintroducing the idea. This is also supported by the Left Party. Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Sveriges Radio that there was broad support for the concept in Sweden's newly elected parliament. He said that there was currently a problem retaining soldiers, with many choosing to leave the army or navy after just three or four years. The development follows the biggest military operation in Sweden for years, with more than 200 troops scouring Stockholm's archipelago for a suspected foreign submarine last week. The search was called off on Friday after the Swedish military said it believed the vessel had left Swedish waters. During the search, Bosse Linden who served in the Swedish navy for twenty years told The Local he felt it was a mistake that Sweden had scrapped conscription and reduced the size of the country's military. "Twenty years ago we had a big navy, we had a big coastal artillery", he said. "Instead of taking care of our own borders…we help others, but we have forgotten to help ourselves". "Naphtali is a doe let loose, He gives beautiful words". Jacob's Blessing - Genesis 49:21 "...'O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, and full of the blessing of the Lord, take possession of the sea and the south' ". Moses Blessing - Deuteronomy 33:23
Monday, October 27, 2014
New! 11yr Old Child Has A Frightening Prophetic Vision About The Future And You Won’t Believe His Earth-Shattering Vision…
Via Before It's News: The book of Lamentations tells a story of how pastors allowed sin and iniquity into their lives, and as a result they opened a door for Babylonian soldiers to invade Jerusalem and take the city. "The kings of the earth, and all inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem. It was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests…". (Lamentations 4:12-13) I believe the same is happening today with America. Pastors and believers have allowed sin to abound in the land for far too long. God is giving those that love Him a warning, and this warning, rather shockingly, comes from the eleven year old son of Evangelist Anita Fuentes. God tells us in Acts 2:17 that in the last days He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh and that our sons and daughters shall prophecy. I believe this could be exactly what has happened with her son. The prophecy starts at the 9:57 mark.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Via Before It's News: In the four part series below by 9Nania, which she asserts “will blow your mind”, Nania highlights the warning signs from 2011, which according to her will bring about the biblical prophecy of a “mass rescue” before a devastating asteroid impact on earth. Nania walks us through those 2011 warning signs leading us to the year 2014, where as she says, she is not offering up a specific date, just explaining her interpretations of events in conjuction with her dreams and visions, past and present, that lead her to believe that 2014 is the year we will see her visions of a massive asteroid impact come true.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin is delivering a speech at the plenary session of Valdai International Discussion Club, a forum involving the world leading experts at foreign and domestic policy.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Bizarre footage has emerged, of a possible reptillian female, filmed on a popular american tv show. Paranormal Crucible explains that the reason Dr. Phil and the audience aren’t noticing this is that the Reptilian can cloak their appearance in front of others, but cannot deceive the camera or any sort of electronics.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Via The Local: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. The coalition, which also includes the Green Party, was formed after elections in Sweden in September. Key policies that the grouping has promised to commit money to include setting up more primary schools, lowering taxes for pensioners and improving the country's railways. Amid calls for stepped-up spending by European nations which can afford to do so, Sweden will now let its deficit rise to 2.2 percent of economic output, the highest level since 1996. Sweden has also seen falling prices that has sparked concern of a dangerous deflationary spiral setting in that could lead to a recession, but so far is still expected to grow 2.1 percent this year. The budget forecasts 3.0 percent growth next year. Sweden is one of the few nations that has room to take on more debt under European rules, and despite the increased deficit its debt ratio is still expected to dip to 40.2 percent next year. Social Democratic Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson put the blame for the increased deficit on unfunded tax cuts by her conservative predecessors rather than additional spending. The policies of the previous government, in power from 2006 until its election defeat this autumn, had resulted in "an empty coffer", Andersson said on Thursday. She added that it would be impossible to balance the budget before 2017. Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson stressed the importance of fighting youth unemployment and reducing class sizes in school. "The priorities are to reduce unemployment and increase employment, we have to reverse the negative trend in the Swedish school results, especially for the young children, but also invest more in our environment and to fight climate change", she said. She explained that the moves will be funded by tax increases. Expectations had built up around the announcement of defence spending figures, after the Swedish military's shortcomings were exposed during a fruitless hunt for a suspected foreign submarine off the Stockholm coast since last Friday. However, the government proposed to increase defense spending by 3.1 percent, less than the 4.3 percent rise in 2014 and below the overall public spending hike for next year of 3.7 percent. The coalition has also included the Left Party in some of its discussions and this has influenced a decision to put two billion kronor toward increasing the number of staff in elderly care homes and raising maintenance payments for single parents. In order for Stefan Löfven's coalition to remain in government, the budget must be passed by parliament and a rival center-right budget also being presented must be rejected.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Via Disclose.tv: UFO hunters have made a strange discovery in an image sent back by NASA’s Opportunity rover, revealing what appears to be a cross, surrounded by a circle, embedded in the otherworldly rock of Mars. As The Huffington Post notes, the Opportunity rover has been traversing the surface of Mars for the last decade. The odd, cross-shaped artifact was discovered in a photo captured with the rover’s microscopic imager camera on July 12. The picture itself is microscopic, meaning that the cross-in-circle shape depicted in it is minute. While The Huffington Post notes that it is possible that the cross-shaped formation was created either by natural processes or, inadvertently, by the rover itself, UFO Sightings Daily puts forth another set of theories explaining the martian cross. Postulating that the cross could well be either the minute fossil of a martian creature or a unique crystalline formation, they suggest that the structure may also be the result of micro technology. "It may be a fossil of a micro creature, but the ring around it makes it unlikely. It has very few similarities to crystal, but again the ring causes me to rule that one out, however micro technology might be the most likely. Ancient tech, especially small would be very useful to regulate plants, animals and other ecosystems to create a controlled environment. Sure Mars is dry and barren, however NASA Chief Charles Bolden said in the UK this week that ‘Mars did have life on it and may still’. Ancient micro tech would explain such an advanced world, far beyond our own". The strange cross is far from the first formation to catch the public’s attention since NASA’s rovers landed on Mars. As The Inquisitor previously noted, images returned by the Curiosity rover have revealed a series of bizarrely shaped rock formations, resembling objects as disparate as a traffic light and a ball. Another rock recently spotted by Curiosity appeared to resemble a shin bone, according to some observers, who regularly peruse the images returned from Mars by the rovers.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Via The Local: Sweden's military has announced that if it finds a suspect foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago, it is prepared to force it to the surface "with weapons if necessary". Battleships, minesweepers, helicopters and more than 200 troops are scouring an area about 30 to 60 kilometers from the Swedish capital after a "man-made" and foreign object was spotted in the waters. "The most important value of the operation - regardless of whether we find something -- is to send a very clear signal that Sweden and its armed forces are acting and are ready to act when we think this kind of activity is violating our borders", Supreme Commander General Sverker Göranson said. "Our aim now is to force whatever it is up to the surface... with armed force, if necessary", he added.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Via The Epoch Times: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has threatened the West with his country’s 5.000 nuclear warheads. Putin has raised the specter of nuclear war for the third time in the past two months as he and Western countries such as the United States clash over the Ukraine conflict, which has been bringing to light other deep-seated animosity. Putin made his latest comments while en route to the annual Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan, a summit of 50 nations. "We hope that our partners will realize the recklessness of attempts to blackmail Russia, and will remember the risks that a spat between major nuclear powers means for strategic stability", Putin told Serbian newspaper Politika. "He’s again threatened the West with nuclear weapons", John Besemeres, a Russia expert at the ANU, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It seems like a mastubatory fantasy he can’t go without".
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Via CNBC: Moody's Investors Service cut Russia's sovereign debt rating to 'Baa2' from 'Baa1', becoming the second ratings agency to cut the country's ratings this year, after S&P initiated a downgrade in April. Moody's said the prolonged crisis in Ukraine was weighing on Russia's medium-term growth prospects. "The military confrontation in Ukraine and escalating sanctions against Russia are likely to have an increasingly negative macroeconomic impact on Russia's investment climate", the ratings agency said on Friday. The agency maintained its negative outlook on Russia. Moody's cited the ongoing erosion of Russia's foreign exchange buffers due to low oil prices and Russian borrowers' restricted access to international markets as key drivers for the downgrade. Russia's high dependence on the hydrocarbon sector has not materially decreased despite its government's diversification strategies and is likely to limit the economy's potential for growth, Moody's said. The agency expects real growth to start declining by the end of the year and continue falling at least until mid-2015. Moody's also lowered Russia's long-term country ceilings for local and foreign currency debt and for local currency deposits to 'A3' from 'A2'.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Via Disclose.tv: A new German documentary claims that testing of a secret Nazi aircraft by the USAF is the real conspiracy behind the famous Roswell incident. The Roswell incident took place in early July, 1947. Something crashed in the desert and the USAF didn’t know what it was. They even wrote a press release saying they captured a crashed flying saucer. The next day they retracted that statement and said it was all a mistake. The mysterious debris was just a weather balloon. After that, the incident was forgotten. Then in the 1970s, Jesse Marcel, who had been the intelligence officer at Roswell Army Air Field, said that the weather balloon excuse was a lie. He said he was first on the scene and what he saw was no weather balloon. Since then, hundreds of alleged witnesses have come forward saying they knew of or were part of the cover-up. Many even said they saw alien bodies. The story grew in popularity until it became a household name. Eventually, due to inquiries by politicians, and even Bill Clinton, the USAF said the Roswell crash was actually a secret high altitude spy balloon, and the alien bodies were actually crash test dummies. The German documentary is called “UFOs and the Third Reich”, and according to this new documentary, the Germans were working on a top secret aircraft called the Bell. This is not a new discovery. UFO researchers have been writing about the legends of the Bell for decades. However, the documentary does include some credible witness testimony. One of those witnesses is aeronautical engineer Georg Klein. He says, “This is what I saw, with my own eyes – a Nazi UFO.” He also says“, I don’t consider myself a crackpot or eccentric or someone given to fantasies”. The Bell supposedly combined rocket and helicopter technology, and was designed in Prague. Then in 1943, the US took control of the technology. Joseph Andreas Epp, an engineer who allegedly worked on the project, says 15 models were built. He said: “After this the wing-blades would be allowed to rotate freely as the saucer moved forward as in an auto-gyrocopter. In all probability, the wing-blades speed, and so their lifting value, could also be increased by directing the adjustable horizontal jets slightly upwards to engage the blades, thus spinning them faster at the digression of the pilot”. Although there seems to be several witnesses to have worked on the project, why haven’t we seen this technology in use, and why is the government still keeping this secret? If the documentary answers these questions, it is not in the English news stories about the documentary. The documentary itself is in German. The other big question is if this thing was being tested, what makes the documentary makers think this is what crashed outside of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947? The link to the Bell and Roswell is also not in these stories. If you live in Germany – don’t laugh, we have a lot of international readers (and we love them) – and have seen the documentary, let us know if they answered any of these questions. An interesting addition to Mirror Online’s coverage of this documentary is a Roswell poll at the end of the story. They ask, “What do you think was behind the Roswell incident?” Most say aliens, but the rest are split between a “Nazi war machine” and “not a clue”. Only 6%, thus far, are going with the official explanation of a weather balloon.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Via The Local: Sweden's approach to online gambling has been criticized by the European Commission, which says the country is failing to comply with EU laws. The Commission says that Sweden’s sports betting monopoly is inconsistent with the EU's goal of preventing problem gambling and criminal activities. Online gambling and betting shops are legal in Sweden, as long as they are run by a company with an appropriate licence. But the industry is dominated by one state-backed firm, Svenska Spel, with other companies operating in a black market. The European Commission has long argued that Swedish authorities are not doing enough to regulate the industry or to protect the public from developing gambling addictions. By preventing new businesses from entering the market, it says that Sweden is also breaching EU competition laws. On Thursday it released a statement saying Sweden's national government is "imposing restrictions on the organization and promotion of online betting services in a way which is inconsistent with EU law". The Commission, whose role it is to develop new ideas for EU laws and make sure existing ones are followed, has now referred Sweden to the European Court of Justice, which can fine countries seen to be breaching binding EU-wide legislation. According to a European Commission report in 2011, annual revenues of the overall EU gambling market are estimated to be around 780 billion kronor ($108 billion), with annual growth rates of around three percent. Online gambling is the fastest growing service activity in this sector in the EU, with annual growth rates of almost 15 percent.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Via The Local: Smoking should be banned at bus stops, outdoor cafes and playgrounds according to a new report from Sweden's Public Health Agency, which is being considered by the government. In an effort to reduce passive smoking in Sweden, the agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) has proposed a serious cut to the number of public places Swedes can smoke. "It's about time to make public places free of cigarette smoke", agency head Johan Carlson said in a statement. "Many people are uncomfortable with cigarette smoke and it can even trigger breathing difficulties for asthmatics". He added that such a ban might even make it less attractive to smokers to pick up a cigarette at all elsewhere. "If fewer people smoke then the public health will be improved immensely", he added. The banned areas would include bus stops, playgrounds, outdoor serving areas, and entries to public buildings like hospitals. Sweden's Public Health Agency noted that passive smoking is responsible for up to ten cases of lung cancer in the country each year and around 400 cases of cardiovascular disease. It also found that half of Sweden's adult population is exposed to passive smoking outside at least once a month, and that two in five children with asthma have suffered from interaction with cigarette smoke some time in the last three months. Reacting to the proposal, 18-year-old Stockholm student Clara Bierbum told The Local: "I think it’s really good. People who don’t want smoke in their face shouldn’t have to have that. I might as well move. I don’t have to stand by a bus stop, I can stand a bit further away". Smoker Clara Bierbum backs the plans. But Peter Pedersen, 44, who is a non-smoker said:' "The first ban was successful; this might be taking it too far. What if the playgrounds are privately owned, would a ban even be legally possible? What’s the purpose of the ban? To shield children and non-smokers or to get rid of a certain behavior – a 'monkey see, monkey do' kind of thing. I don’t think it’s a good proposition". The Public Health Agency's suggestions are being handed over to Sweden's government for consideration on Wednesday. Lung cancer groups made headlines last year after proposing that Sweden should have a total smoking ban by 2025.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Via The Local: American actress Uma Thurman will visit Stockholm next month, meeting and mingling with cinema audiences after she picks up a prestigious film prize in Sweden. The Stockholm International Film Festival, now in its 25th year, announced on Tuesday that it had bestowed its Stockholm Achievement Award upon actress Uma Thurman. Thurman, who is herself a quarter Swedish, won the newly-established award for her "ferocious" acting, which festival organizers called "a gift to audiences worldwide". "Ever since her earliest roles, Uma Thurman has displayed an ability to portray and project the perfect and fantastical, while giving glimpses of the humanity that lies within", the festival committee explained in a statement. Thurman will be in Stockholm on November 4th, when she will unveil a brand new ice sculpture by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, created specifically for the festival. The actress will also attend red-carpet events and participate in the festival's inauguration ceremony. Thurman will receive the Stockholm Achievement Award in combination with a special showing of Kill Bill on November 7th. The audience will have the chance to meet Thurman in a one-hour face-to-face event, followed by a special showing of Kill Bill. The Stockholm Film Festival runs from November 5th - November 16th 2014 and will feature 201 films from 60 countries.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Via The Local Sweden's new Social Democrat-led government has lowered the country's growth forecast, blaming sweeping tax breaks by the outgoing conservative coalition for a "large hole" in finances. Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson released a statement on Monday saying: "These last years of unfinanced tax cuts have contributed to a bigger deficit in public finances, even when the economy has improved". Andersson revised the growth forecast for 2014 by 0.4 percentage points to 2.1 percent. She also scaled down the growth forecast for 2015 to 3 percent and to 3.2 percent for 2016. The center-right government -- which lost power to a left-green coalition last month -- pledged to return the budget to a surplus by 2017, but the incoming Finance Minister told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter it would be "unrealistic" until after 2018. The new government has maintained its predecessor's objective of a one percent budget surplus which has not been achieved since 2008. "It's time for a responsible policy. Rules are made to be respected", Andersson said, adding that the country's public finances were in a "troublesome" state.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
The clearest skull on Mars found so far. It has a metal blade or arrow embedded in the jaw bone (lower mandible). Evidence of past animal life and hunting by intelligent Martians no less. It is the skull of a herbivore. Possibly even a dinosaur or mammal that was hunted and killed at some point in the past. Could this belong to the famous "Mars leg bone" found recently? Could be! This is a fine example of what is possible when the rover takes a close up image. It was not hard to squeeze the detail out of this photo. Unlike most we get from the Curiosity Rover, this is the closest large specimen so far...
Via The Local: A man in his fifties was plucked out of the cold waters of Lake Mälaren in Västerås in eastern Sweden on Sunday after he fell in while texting on his phone. The man fell into the lake by the bridge near Mälargatan in the city in the early hours of Sunday morning. Apparently oblivious to his surroundings, the man tripped over the edge and fell into the water. "It could have ended really badly", said Ann-Charlotte Israelsson at the Västerås police. The man was unable to get back out of the water himself and called for help. Several people responded to his calls and the police and emergency services arrived at around 3am on Sunday to assist. "It is crazy when you can't do two things at the same time, but it turned out okay", Israelsson said. The man was rushed to hospital with unspecified injuries. There was no information as to the whereabouts of the man's telephone.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Via The Local: Sweden has established clear quarantine guidelines if a passenger aboard a plane to Sweden shows signs of Ebola infection. The routines include redirecting the plane to one of five designated quarantine areas. "It's always the captain of the aircraft who is responsible if they suspect that there is an infected traveler. They then alert the air traffic control tower where they are headed", said Ulf Wallin, press officer at Arlanda Airport. In both the UK and the United States more airports are starting to screen passengers arriving from destinations in Ebola-hit areas of West Africa. Sweden has so far declined to enforce the additional measures as the country has few direct flights to the area. There are however strict rules governing how to handle procedure if a passenger on board a flight heading to Sweden is suspected of carrying the Ebola infection, which has claimed at least 4.000 lives, mostly in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The five designated airports equipped with quarantine facilities are: Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Landvetter in Gothenburg, Malmö Airport, Umeå, and Jönköping. Once it has landed, it is not permitted to taxi to the terminal and must remain a distance from the airport buildings. "The responsible physician in the county where the plane landed is then called to the airport. No one may leave or board the plane before the doctor has made an assessment", said Wallin. Sweden announced it was sending a team of doctors to Sierra Leone on Wednesday, following criticism that it was not doing as much to help tackle the virus as its European neighbors. Twelve people will travel to west Africa, according to Ann-Charlotte Zachrisson, Director of Operations at Sweden's National Agency for Safety and Preparedness. Five of them are understood to be specialist doctors.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Via EUobserver: EU institutions are analysing potential evacuation of EU citizens from Ebola-hit African states and military operations to restore security in the outbreak zone. The EU foreign service, in an internal paper discussed by EU countries’ ambassadors in Brussels on Thursday (9 October) - and seen by EUobserver - said: “The EU and MS [member states] have not yet designed an operational strategy making the best of all our collective assets”. It speaks of the “unprecedented nature of the crisis". But it notes the EU response to the "pandemic" so far has “obvious limitations” due to “inadequate operational [and] financing frameworks”. It adds that EU institutions already put forward options for “a co-ordinated EU mechanism” to evacuate infected health workers and for a “strategic airlift mechanism” for humanitarian aid, but it says member states’ “responses did not fully meet expectations”. The foreign service’s military staff has also carried out a “Strategic Military Estimate”. The estimate considers: “possible military responses from the most basic scenario of co-ordinating scarce assets in support of emergency response operators to the most complex and degraded scenarios, including evacuation of EU citizens or the conduct of military operations to contribute to maintaining/restoring safe and secure environment in a given area”. For the time being, the US is taking the lead on action in Liberia, while France and the UK are spearheading the response in their former colonial domains, Guinea and Sierra Leone, respectively. But the EU diplomatic corps wants EU countries to task it with drafting “a highly visible European response, mirroring the high profile assistance package implemented by the US”. It notes the “more exhaustive ‘EU comprehensive response framework’ … [and] proposals for decisions on specific new initiatives” could be tabled in time for an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg on 20 October and the EU summit in Brussels three days later. But Thursday's paper also put forward a set of "preliminary considerations" for collective action based on the EU's talks with the UN. The 10 options include: EU “support” for infected medical workers; strategic airlift capacities for an international logistics hub in Accra, Ghana; transport helicopters; air traffic control measures; sealift capacities; laboratories; and “other critical supplies (generators, vehicles, ambulances)”. It adds that there is a need for new “command and control arrangements” on the joint EU effort. The EU ambassadors also heard an oral presentation from Claus Sorensen, the head of the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department. One contact present at Thursday’s meeting said the Ebola threat will top the foreign ministers’ agenda, trumping even the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the Ukraine crisis. “It’s an issue that is coming to the fore partly due to the case [of an infected nurse] in Spain”, a second EU source told this website. The nurse was on Friday described as being in a "stable" condition, AP reports. But she is the first person to contract the virus in Europe, after helping a Spanish priest who was infected in Africa and who later died in a Madrid hospital. A third EU contact said Ebola is already “an agenda item” for the summit later this month. But he added that climate change and energy security are still the “key topics”. “Let’s see how the situation develops”, he added.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Via The Local: The 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature has been won by French author Patrick Modiano, who has written more than thirty novels. The announcement was made at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. The award was announced by Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy. He said that the French writer was being recognised "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation". Philip Roth, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Haruki Murakami were the bookmakers' favorites to take the prestigious prize. Patrick Modiano will take home 8.0 million Swedish kronor – just over $1.113.000. He has been writing since the 1960s and will turn 70 next year. The author is a household name in France and has written novels, screenplays and children's books. He was born in a west Paris suburb two months after the second world war ended in Europe in July 1945 and he wrote about life under Nazi occupation. His main themes are identity, memory and loss, with most of his books less than 150 pages long. His father was of Jewish Italian origins and met his Belgian actress mother in Paris. Modiano previously won the prestigious Prix Goncourt prize for his novel Missing Person in 1978. When the author was reached on Thursday afternoon, he responded to the fact that he had won as being "weird". The novelist is the 11th French writer to win the prize and his achievement has grabbed the headlines in his home country, as reported by The Local France.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Via Before It's News: A top German Journalist and Editor Dr. Udo Ulfkatte has just gone public with some shocking admissions. He basically admitted what all of us who read the alternative media such as BeforeItsNews have known for a long time – the entire mainstream media is totally fake! He went into a very detailed talk in this video and spilled the beans about everything! He talked about how the CIA gets control over all of the major journalists. He is sick of the lying and decided to go public with everything he knows. He’s already had 3 heart attacks and decided he didn’t care anymore about what they would do to him!
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Via The Local: Sweden's Foreign Ministry says it does not know if reports that two Swedish Isis fighters were traded for Turkish hostages are true. British newspaper The Times alleges that two Swedes were among 180 foreign fighters swapped for 46 Turks who were taken prisoner from their country's consulate in Mosul, Iraq, in June and released last month. The newspaper claims the list also includes two British citizens, three French nationals, two Macedonians, one Swiss national, and one Belgian. But Swedish Foreign Ministry press spokesperson Erik Wirkensjö told The Local that the allegations remained unconfirmed. “We have no knowledge of any Swedish person being exchanged for Turkish prisoners". He added: "The thing with these kinds of situations in general, is that the Ministry isn’t always aware of Swedish citizens who have been deprived of their liberty". Asked where he thought the reports of the hostage swap were coming from, he said: "It is hard to say, but we can’t comment on it. We don’t comment on unconfirmed things in the media, we only deal with what’s confirmed by credible sources". On Monday, an unnamed senior British government official told the BBC that reports that UK jihadists were involved a prisoner swap between Isis (also known as Islamic State) and Turkey were "credible". Sweden's Expressen newspaper says it has spoken to the father of one of the captured Swedes. The newspaper reports that the man's son - who is understood to be 22 but hasn't been named - became increasingly "radical" in recent years and moved away from Sweden to study Islam in Mauritania. The paper says that his father noticed him changing his style of dress and and becoming "more radical". The family apparently had several discussions about the conflict in Syria and the son openly expressed some sympathy for the extremist groups that he said wanted to fight "Iraq's corrupt government". According to Expressen, the father found out about his son's involvement in the hostage exchange after asking around at mosques he used to frequent in Sweden. He was told his son had since been released and was now living in either Syria or Iraq. Other Isis fighters involved in the swap are understood to have been taken to Turkish hospitals or kept in Turkish prisons. Others are understood to have been released and taken in by Syrian rebel groups. The release of the Turkish hostages hit the headlines at the end of September. There were 49 in total - 46 Turkish citizens and three Iraqis - and included the Turkish consul, diplomats, special forces police and children. Security experts have suggested that the Turks were key "bargaining chip" for Isis. On Monday night there were protests at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, where 150 people tried to raise awareness about the fighting in the Syrian city of Kobane. The TT news agency reported that demonstrators were also protesting against Isis and what they viewed as Turkey's passiveness in the conflict. "We have to do something, the city of Kobane is under siege and we fear a massacre", demonstrator Rezgar Ashnagar told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Monday, October 06, 2014
Via The Local: Sweden's new coalition government has agreed to raise income tax for those earning more than 50.000 kronor ($6914) a month. The deal was a compromise between the Social Democrats and their junior coalition partners, the Green Party, which had wanted the rise to kick in at 40.000 kronor. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven had previously suggested a figure of 60.000 kronor. The government has also agreed to lower taxes for some pensioners who were previously being taxed more than workers with similar monthly incomes. On Monday the coalition also presented details of its plans to ensure that Sweden's schools and hospitals are not run by companies or individuals who are purely motivated by making profits. Stefan Löfven and Green Party spokesman Gustav Fridolin, along with Jonas Sjöstedt and Ulla Andersson of the Left Party, revealed details of the new deal on a "welfare system without a profit motive". A special team will be appointed in January 2015 and tasked with developing legislation and presenting suggestions on how profits can be used to improve services. The findings will be presented in March 2016. The aim is that any profits should be reinvested within the service that generated them. "Owners of companies within the welfare sector will have to be able to prove that they are interested in providing a service, not making a profit", said Left Party politician Andersson.
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Via Disclose.tv: One might think that by now even Americans would have caught on to the constant stream of false alarms that Washington sounds in order to deceive the people into supporting its hidden agendas. The public fell for the lie that the Taliban in Afghanistan are terrorists allied with al Qaeda. Americans fought a war for 13 years that enriched Dick Cheney's firm, Halliburton, and other private interests only to end in another Washington failure. The public fell for the lie that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction" that were a threat to America and that if the US did not invade Iraq Americans risked a "mushroom cloud going up over an American city". With the rise of ISIS, this long war apparently is far from over. Billions of dollars more in profits will pour into the coffers of the US military security complex as Washington fights those who are redrawing the false Middle East boundaries created by the British and French after WW I when the British and French seized territories of the former Ottoman Empire. The American public fell for the lies told about Gaddafi in Libya. The formerly stable and prosperous country is now in chaos. The American public fell for the lie that Iran has, or is building, nuclear weapons. Sanctioned and reviled by the West, Iran has shifted toward an Eastern orientation, thereby removing a principal oil producer from Western influence. The public fell for the lie that Assad of Syria used "chemical weapons against his own people". The jihadists that Washington sent to overthrow Assad have turned out to be, according to Washington's propaganda, a threat to America. The greatest threat to the world is Washington's insistence on its hegemony. The ideology of a handful of neoconservatives is the basis for this insistence. We face the situation in which a handful of American neoconservative psychopaths claim to determine the fate of countries. Many still believe Washington's lies, but increasingly the world sees Washington as the greatest threat to peace and life on earth. The claim that America is "exceptional and indispensable" is used to justify Washington's right to dictate to other countries. The casualties of Washington's bombings are invariably civilians, and the deaths will produce more recruits for ISIS. Already there are calls for Washington to reintroduce "boots on the ground" in Iraq. Otherwise, Western civilization is doomed, and our heads will be cut off. The newly created propaganda of a "Russian threat" requires more NATO spending and more military bases on Russia's borders. A "quick reaction force" is being created to respond to a nonexistent threat of a Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland, and Europe. Usually it takes the American public a year, or two, three, or four to realize that it has been deceived by lies and propaganda, but by that time the public has swallowed a new set of lies and propaganda and is all concerned about the latest "threat". The American public seems incapable of understanding that just as the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, threat was a hoax, so is the sixth threat, and so will be the seventh, eighth, and ninth. Moreover, none of these American military attacks on other countries has resulted in a better situation, as Vladimir Putin honestly states. Yet, the public and its representatives in Congress support each new military adventure despite the record of deception and failure. Perhaps if Americans were taught their true history in place of idealistic fairy tales, they would be less gullible and less susceptible to government propaganda. I have recommended Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick's The Untold History of the US, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the US, and now I recommend Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers, the story of the long rule of John Foster and Allen Dulles over the State Department and CIA and their demonization of reformist governments that they often succeeded in overthrowing. Kinzer's history of the Dulles brothers' plots to overthrow six governments provides insight into how Washington operates today. In 1953 the Dulles brothers overthrew Iran's elected leader, Mossadegh and imposed the Shah, thus poisoning American-Iranian relations through the present day. Americans might yet be led into a costly and pointless war with Iran, because of the Dulles brothers poisoning of relations in 1953. The Dulles brothers overthrew Guatemala's popular President Arbenz, because his land reform threatened the interest of the Dulles brothers' Sullivan & Cromwell law firm's United Fruit Company client. The brothers launched an amazing disinformation campaign depicting Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was a threat to Western civilization. The brothers enlisted dictators such as Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista in Cuba against Arbenz. The CIA organized air strikes and an invasion force. But nothing could happen until Arbenz's strong support among the people in Guatemala could be shattered. The brothers arranged this through Cardinal Spellman, who enlisted Archbishop Rossell y Arellano. "A pastoral letter was read on April 9, 1954 in all Guatemalan churches". A masterpiece of propaganda, the pastoral letter misrepresented Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was the enemy of all Guatemalans. False radio broadcasts produced a fake reality of freedom fighter victories and army defections. Arbenz asked the UN to send fact finders, but Washington prevented that from happening. American journalists, with the exception of James Reston, supported the lies. Washington threatened and bought off Guatemala's senior military commanders, who forced Arbenz to resign. The CIA's chosen and well paid "liberator", Col. Castillo Armas, was installed as Arbenz's successor. We recently witnessed a similar operation in Ukraine. President Eisenhower thanked the CIA for averting "a Communist beachhead in our hemisphere", and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles gave a national TV and radio address in which he declared that the events in Guatemala "expose the evil purpose of the Kremlin". This despite the uncontested fact that the only outside power operating in Guatemala was the Dulles brothers. What had really happened is that a democratic and reformist government was overthrown because it compensated United Fruit Company for the nationalization of the company's fallow land at a value listed by the company on its tax returns. America's leading law firm or perhaps more accurately, America's foreign policy-maker, Sullivan & Cromwell, had no intention of permitting a democratic government to prevail over the interests of the law firm's client, especially when senior partners of the firm controlled both overt and covert US foreign policy. The two brothers, whose family members were invested in the United Fruit Company, simply applied the resources of the CIA, State Department, and US media to the protection of their private interests. The extraordinary gullibility of the American people, the corrupt American media, and the indoctrinated and impotent Congress allowed the Dulles brothers to succeed in overthrowing a democracy. Keep in mind that this use of the US government in behalf of private interests occurred 60 years ago long before the corrupt Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes. And no doubt in earlier times as well. The Dulles brothers next intended victim was Ho Chi Minh. Ho, a nationalist leader, asked for America's help in freeing Vietnam from French colonial rule. But John Foster Dulles, a self-righteous anti-communist, miscast Ho as a Communist Threat who was springing the domino theory on the Western innocents. Nationalism and anti-colonialism, Foster declared, were merely a cloak for communist subversion. Paul Kattenburg, the State Department desk officer for Vietnam suggested that instead of war, the US should give Ho $500 million in reconstruction aid to rebuild the country from war and French misrule, which would free Ho from dependence on Russian and Chinese support, and, thereby, influence. Ho appealed to Washington several times, but the demonic inflexibility of the Dulles brothers prevented any sensible response. Instead, the hysteria whipped-up over the "communist threat" by the Dulles brothers landed the United States in the long, costly, fiasco known as the Vietnam War. Kattenburg later wrote that it was suicidal for the US "to cut out its eyes and ears, to castrate its analytic capacity, to shut itself off from the truth because of blind prejudice". Unfortunately for Americans and the world, castrated analytic capacity is Washington's strongest suit. The Dulles brothers' next targets were President Sukarno of Indonesia, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo, and Fidel Castro. The plot against Castro was such a disastrous failure that it cost Allen Dulles his job. President Kennedy lost confidence in the agency and told his brother Bobby that after his reelection he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. When President Kennedy removed Allen Dulles, the CIA understood the threat and struck first. Warren Nutter, my Ph.D. dissertation chairman, later Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, taught his students that for the US government to maintain the people's trust, which democracy requires, the government's policies must be affirmations of our principles and be openly communicated to the people. Hidden agendas, such as those of the Dulles brothers and the Clinton, Bush and Obama regimes, must rely on secrecy and manipulation and, thereby, arouse the distrust of the people. If Americans are too brainwashed to notice, many foreign nationals are not. The US government's secret agendas have cost Americans and many peoples in the world tremendously. Essentially, the Foster brothers created the Cold War with their secret agendas and anti-communist hysteria. Secret agendas committed Americans to long, costly, and unnecessary wars in Vietnam and the Middle East. Secret CIA and military agendas intending regime change in Cuba were blocked by President John F. Kennedy and resulted in the assassination of a president, who, for all his faults, was likely to have ended the Cold War twenty years before Ronald Reagan seized the opportunity. Secret agendas have prevailed for so long that the American people themselves are now corrupted. As the saying goes, "a fish rots from the head". The rot in Washington now permeates the country. This has been going on much longer than the 1950's. This is how things work and any opposition by persons in positions to make any changes are dealt with by being put to death. Julius Caesar, John Kennedy, and many more, I am sure. The people doing this are like a cancer to World unity and peace. They promote killing and death as the solution, which brings them power and wealth. When we (the world population) don't deal with this, something else intervenes to set the balance, which may mean that the pendulum has to swing quite far in the other direction before a balance can be struck. In this ground breaking multi-part video series, Laura Knight-Jadczyk discusses the history of the modern spiritual movement and the pitfalls and traps awaiting any would-be "channeler". She also provides a glimpse into the events that led to the beginnings of the "Cassiopaean Experiment". Since the 9/11 attacks, no book has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out - until now. Scientists living under an oppressive regime decide to clinically study the founders and supporters of evil regimes to determine what common factor is at play in the rise and propagation of man's inhumanity to man.
Via WWTDD: Everybody is talking about how Jessica Simpson lost 472 pounds of baby weight and looks amazing. Less people have noticed the scientific marvel that her tits got even bigger in the process. I think more women would lose the last quarter ton if they knew they could keep or even exceed their previous bust size. It might have something to do with choosing the peas over the carrots in your particular Weight Watchers meal plan. Or implants. You don’t just become a bubbly blond worth $150 million without some decent decision making skills.
Via The Local: Israel has reacted in protest to the Swedish government's decision to recognize the state of Palestine. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he regrets that the new Prime Minister was in a hurry to make statements on Sweden's position regarding recognition of a Palestinian state, apparently before he had time even to study the issue in depth," Lieberman's office quoted him as saying, in a statement issued late Saturday. It added that Sweden's ambassador to Israel, Carl Magnus Nesser, "will be invited for a talk at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem", but did not say when. "Prime Minister Löfven needs to understand that no statement or act by an external party can be a substitute for direct negotiations between the sides", the statement said. Social Democrat leader Löfven -- who won last month's general election -- said on Friday his country wanted to bolster a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully", Löfven said in his inaugural address to parliament. This should take place with respect for the "legitimate demands of the Palestinians and the Israelis as regards their right to self-determination and security", he added. Sweden voted in favor of Palestinian observer status at the United Nations in 2012, which was granted despite opposition from the United States and other countries. Seven EU members in eastern Europe and the Mediterranean have already recognized a Palestinian state, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so. At least 112 further countries have recognized a Palestinian state, according to the AFP news agency, although a Palestinian estimate puts the number at 134. Löfven's statement was however warmly welcomed by the Palestinians, but the United States, Israel's ally, said it was a step too soon. "We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature", said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Saturday, October 04, 2014
Via The Local: The US warned that Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's plan to formally recognize the state of Palestine was "premature", while it was welcomed by the Palestinians who called on the rest of the EU to follow suit. Sweden's new Prime Minister announced Friday that the country will recognize a Palestinian state, becoming the first EU member in Western Europe to do so. Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven -- who won last month's general election -- said the Nordic country wanted to bolster a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Washington was among those who reacted quickly to the announcement calling Stockholm's recognition "premature", while Palestinians cheered the decision as "courageous" and urged the rest of the European Union to follow suit. "A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully", Löfven said in his inaugural address to parliament. This should take place with respect for the "legitimate demands of the Palestinians and the Israelis as regards their right to self-determination and security", he added. Seven EU members in eastern European and the Mediterranean have already recognized a Palestinian state, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so. But the United States cautioned against Sweden joining them. "We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature", State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. "We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties". Israelis and the Palestinians, Psaki said, must be the ones "to agree on the terms on how they live in the future two states, living side-by-side". Sweden's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström told public broadcaster SR that Sweden was "in good company since 130 countries in the world have already done the same". At least 112 countries have recognized a Palestinian state, according to an AFP count, although a Palestinian estimate puts the number at 134. Wallström said that a recognition would be "an important signal facilitating... a two-state solution". Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the rest of the EU should follow Sweden's example. "We hope that all countries of the European Union will take the same courageous and remarkable decision... as there is no reason not to recognize the Palestinian state", he said in the West Bank capital of Ramallah. Löfven's Social Democratic-Green Party coalition -- which formed a minority government on Friday -- is more supportive of demands for a Palestinian state than Sweden's previous center-right administration. The Social Democrats, the largest party in the Swedish parliament, wrote in their election manifesto that "Israel's war crimes must be investigated and the occupation of Gaza lifted". The party added that "Sweden and the rest of the world must actively support its (Palestine's) work toward reconciliation". The Prime Minister did not specify whether the policy would be put to a vote in parliament. Sweden's foreign ministry declined to comment when asked by AFP if parliamentary approval was necessary. The Palestinian envoy to Sweden, Hala Husni Fariz, said in a statement that the decision "reflects the historical support of the Swedish government for freedom, dignity, and human rights". Sweden voted in favor of Palestinian observer status at the United Nations in 2012, which was granted despite opposition from the United States and other countries. The Swedish announcement coincided with the start of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement", and an Israeli government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Friday, October 03, 2014
Via The Local: Palestinians in Sweden have welcomed PM Stefan Löfven's plan to formally recognize the state of Palestine. But there has been strong criticism from Jewish groups. Sweden is set to become the first major European nation to officially recognize Palestine as a state. The country's incoming Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made the announcement on Friday as he revealed his new center-left cabinet. The U.N. General Assembly approved the recognition Palestine as a sovereign state in 2012 but the European Union and most EU countries have yet to give official recognition. The EU countries that do refer to Palestine as a separate state, such as Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have been doing so since before they joined the 28-member bloc. "The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law", said Löfven during his inaugural speech in parliament. "A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine", he added.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Via The Jerusalem Post: World leaders demanded Security Council reform during their addresses to the UN General Assembly over the past few days, calling for the addition of more permanent and non-permanent seats on the council and the elimination of the veto. “The world is bigger than five”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his speech during the General Debate, referencing the five countries with veto power – the US, Britain, France, China, and Russia. Heads of state from across the globe echoed his call for immediate reform.