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Sweden Expands Espionage Law, Endangers Press Freedom

Sweden’s parliament adopted a major espionage law expansion that will permit the country’s police to investigate journalists, publishers, and whistleblowers if they reveal secret information that “may damage Sweden's relationship with another state or an international organization.” Journalists, publishers, or whistleblowers found guilty of revealing such “damaging” information could be sentenced to up to four years in prison under the new law. The expansion was aimed at ensuring the Swedish government has even more control over what the public learns about the country’s cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, and the United Nations.

Swedish Neighbors Conserve Water by Holding ‘Ugliest Lawn’ Contest

On the island of Gotland in Sweden, residents have spent this year letting their green lawns die off in a mass effort to conserve water. Irrigation bans led neighbors to get creative, offering a title to whoever ended up with the ugliest lawn. For this year, Marcus Norström’s lawn took the crown. The jury described the winning lawn humorously as “a really lousy lawn that lives up to all our expectations of Gotland’s ugliest lawn and has good conditions for a more sustainable improvement.” The jury also said the lawn exhibited “meritorious laziness” and “great care for our common groundwater,” as reported by The Guardian. The prize: a visit from Sara Gistedt, one of the lawn judges and a gardener, who will advise Norström on what drought-resistant plants to add to his property.

It Is Foolish For Finland And Sweden To Join NATO

Here’s what the West is intellectually unable – in the midst of its boundlessly self-righteous, militarist mood to see: NATO’s expansion policy created – and is responsible for – the conflict. Russia created – and is responsible for – the war. There exists no violence which is not rooted in underlying conflicts. Conflict and peace literate people, therefore, talk about both. And if they want peace, they do not increase the symptoms – the war – they address the real cause, the conflict and ask the conflicting parties to tell what they fear and what they want and then move, step-by-step towards a sustainable solution. But neither the mainstream media nor politicians have the civil courage to address the conflict. It’s only about the war and only about Russia/Putin who must be punished, no matter the price to be paid by future generations. If we survive.

The World’s Future Hangs In The Balance; Erdogan Will Decide

This key decision, upon which the world’s future now depends, will be between a continuing erosion of the significance of international law (which laws come from the U.N. and its agencies) and a proportionate increase in what the U.S. Government calls “the rules-based international order,” in which America’s Government increasingly controls (and even sets) those “rules” that will replace international laws; versus a future in which what erodes will instead be the U.S. Government’s international power to control the world in its own (billionaires’) favor, and, so a future that correspondingly benefits the global public (the very people who suffer from the aristocracies’ — especially America’s aristocracy’s — increasing control over the entire world).

Let’s Find Alternatives To Striking

While the LO, TCO and Saco top officials suffer from consensus fundamentalism, opposition among the grassroots often suffers from a fixation on strikes. Among the grassroots labor movement in Sweden, a call for big strikes or even a general strike is often heard. Strikes were called in response to the current attack on the Swedish Employment Protection Act, low wages, and attacks on the right to strike. In 2019, an attempt was made to stage a symbolic strike to highlight the climate crisis. As far as we are aware, no workplace was shut down. It should be acknowledged that sometimes we SAC members also have gotten lost in strike fixation and have tried to rush strikes into existence. An example is a strike in defense of the Unemployment Insurance Funds in 2006, which were being attacked by the Swedish government. It ended in a painful defeat.

COVID-19: The Case Against Herd Immunity

The elderly have comprised the vast majority of Covid-19 fatalities in Sweden, either dying in care homes or their own residence, often alone.  By mid-May 2020, only 13 percent of the care home victims had received treatment at Swedish hospitals.  In August 2020, only five percent of the Covid-19 patients admitted for treatment at Swedish hospitals came from care home facilities.  Sweden has by far the highest proportion of deaths among confirmed Corona cases in the Nordic countries.  Let’s look into the possible reasons.

Sweden’s COVID-19 Response Is Nothing To Envy

From Djurgården, I walk along the water on Strandvägen – a rising fall whips in a determined wind across the water, slicing at remnants of summer and carving pathways around centuries-old buildings. Colors like Nordic interior design catalogs look like they’ve been stirred among clouds – a muted vibrance that evokes a calm and stoic resolve. Albeit quieter than a typical early fall day, there’s a bustle. People are out and their faces are bare. Buses and trolleys roll by and not a mask can be seen inside. Scuffed and faded stickers on the street remind people to keep their distance yet they seem like relics from a time long gone when a global pandemic was something people needed to worry about.

Collapse Of Swedish “Sexual Misconduct” Frame-Up Exposes Political Conspiracy Against Assange

Swedish prosecutors announced yesterday that, after almost 10 years, they were finally abandoning a “preliminary investigation” into allegations of “sexual misconduct” against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Sweden’s deputy chief prosecutor, Eva-Marie Persson, told a press conference that there was “insufficient evidence” to proceed. The ignominious collapse of the investigation—which, over the course of a decade, was dropped three times and never passed beyond the “preliminary” stage—brands it as a state frame-up and dirty tricks operation.

The Extraordinary Swedish Extradition Of Julian Assange

In Sweden, prosecutors have applied to the Swedish courts to issue a warrant for Julian’s arrest. There is a tremendous back story to that simple statement. The European Arrest Warrant must be issued from one country to another by a judicial authority. The original Swedish request for Assange’s extradition was not issued by any court, but simply by the prosecutor. This was particularly strange, as the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm had initially closed the case after deciding there was no case to answer, and then another, highly politically motivated...

Sweden Has A 70 Percent Tax Rate And It Is Fine

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently suggested raising the top tax rate to 70 percent in order to raise money to fund climate change investments. Conservatives were dismayed by the proposal while liberals and leftists generally defended the proposal by pointing to the fact that top tax rates in the US were once 91 percent and by pointing to tax scholarship that says rates that high (or even higher) are optimal. One thing missing from the discussion so far is the point that a 70 percent top tax rate exists, not merely in midcentury US tax codes or in academic papers, but also in the real world right now. Sweden has a 70 percent marginal tax rate and it kicks in, not at $10 million like AOC proposes, but at around $98,000. AOC’s proposal is quite modest by comparison.

Israel Denies Swedish Peace Activist Entry To Palestine

After spending more than 11 months walking through high-altitude plateaus, windswept forests and muddy migrant trails, a Swedish activist's attempt to reach occupied Palestine has come to an abrupt end after Israeli authorities turned him away from the border. Benjamin Ladraa, 25, began his journey on August 5, 2017 to raise awareness of Israel's 70-year occupation of Palestine. But early on Friday, Israeli officials denied him entry at the Allenby crossing which links Jordan to the occupied West Bank. Ladraa was just hundreds of metres from his destination after walking more than 4,800km from the Swedish city of Gothenburg and across mainland Europe. "I spent 11 months making this journey to raise awareness of the occupation, and despite being interrogated and denied entry I would do it all again," he told Al Jazeera.

Inequality Is The Real Backstory To Sweden’s Riots

By George Lakey for Waging Nonviolence - Mohandas Gandhi famously said that the root of violence is inequality. His view helps us understand what’s behind the headlines about recent rioting in immigrant neighborhoods in Sweden. No one was killed, although one police officer did actually shoot at a rioter — an exception to Swedish police policy. Over the four nights of rioting in the vicinity of Stockholm, a restaurant was burned down, more than 30 cars were set on fire and police were attacked. Rioters damaged stores, schools, and even an arts and crafts center. According to the Guardian, the immediate trigger for the riots seems to have been the police killing of a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in the suburb of Husby...

The Making Of Sweden’s Climate Law – And That Photo

By Megan Darby for Climate Home - Lövin’s office was reluctant to discuss the way she chose to publicise her signing of the bill, saying only her all-women photo reflected Sweden’s “feminist government”. The image made headlines for its thinly-disguised repudiation of Trump’s attacks on women. But perhaps the most defiant anti-Trump message in the photo was the law itself. In contrast to Trump’s threats to renege on climate US commitments, Sweden is the one industrialised country to have clearly increased its carbon cutting ambition in response to the UN Paris Agreement struck in 2015. The US has left a climate leadership vacuum that it is up to Europeans to fill, said Lövin, who is also climate minister. The legislation she sent to the Riksdag for approval sets a path to a carbon neutral Sweden by 2045 – an ambitious target with cross-party backing.

Swedish Government Belittles Trump With This All-Woman Photo

By Stefanie Spear for Eco Watch - "You can interpret it as you want," Lovin's spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "It's more that Sweden is a feminist government and this is a very important law that we just decided on ... And to make the Paris agreement happen we need climate leadership." The legislation will "bind all future governments to net zero emissions by 2045," Lovin said, and require Swedish governments to provide updates on climate change efforts and whether the country is on track to meet its target. The new Swedish law was developed after agreement from seven out of the eight political parties in parliament. It takes effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Julian Assange Releases Full Testimony To Swedish Prosecutors

By Peter Walker for The Independent - Julian Assange says he is "entirely innocent" of rape in his testimony to Swedish prosecutors, which he has published online. In a 19-page statement he gave in a landmark interview to Swedish investigators, the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief also said he had been subjected to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment". The 45-year-old computer programmer has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for four years to avoid arrest. "I want people to know the truth about how abusive this process has been," said the Australian journalist.
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