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Entries in Sweden (19)

Monday
Jan282013

"Call of Duty" Video Game Triggers Call to Swedish Police

Activision(STOCKHOLM) -- Ten police officers raced to an apartment in Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday night after receiving a report of gunfire and cries for help.  But what they found hardly qualified as an emergency.

The Swedish news agency TT reports that when police arrived, they found several teens playing the popular video game Call of Duty with the volume turned up loud. 

One of the boy's characters had been shot several times and was screaming "help, help, help."  A passerby heard the screams, thought they were real and called the cops. 

The teens explained it was all just a game and the officers left without making any arrests or issuing any citations.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug312012

WikiLeaks Founder Says Swedes May Drop Case

BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- In a South American television interview, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that he thinks he could be living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for up to a year, and that the Swedish government could drop its sexual assault investigation.

Assange, 41, has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy since June, when he fled there after British authorities approved his extradition to Sweden. The Swedish government wants to question Assange about allegations of assault made by two women. The Ecuadorean government officially granted Assange asylum earlier this month, but British authorities have said they will arrest him if he leaves the embassy.

Assange told Telesur, a channel seen in Ecuador and neighboring countries, that he thinks it will take six to 12 months for a resolution of his situation, and that he expects the standoff will be solved via diplomacy or through "an unusual world occurrence that we can't predict."

He said war with Iran, the outcome of the U.S. election or the "Swedish government dropping the case" could end the impasse. "I think this is the most likely scenario," said Assange. "Maybe after a thorough investigation of what happened [Swedish authorities] could drop the case."

In the interview, he also asserted that both he and his organization were the subject of political persecution. "Ecuador has been correct in showing its values in this case," said Assange.

Assange has said that he sought asylum because he feared the Swedish government could deliver him into U.S. custody. WikiLeaks has released thousands of State Department cables and other sensitive U.S. government information. The Ecuadorian government cited the threat of Assange's extradition to the U.S. in granting Assange's asylum request.

The Ecuadorean government has claimed that the U.K. has threatened to invoke a national law that would allow it to revoke the embassy's protected diplomatic status and take Assange from the embassy, an apartment in Knightsbridge, by force.

British foreign minister William Hague has denied that the U.K. has issued any threat to storm the embassy. This week, Hague said that "given Ecuador's position on what they call diplomatic asylum and our very clear legal position, such a solution is not in sight at the moment."

In August 2010, police in Sweden began investigating accusations of sexual assault against Assange made by two women. According to British police documents, one of the accusers claims Assange pulled her clothes off, pinned her arms and legs and refused to use a condom. She told a friend that the act was both violent and the worst sex she'd ever had. A British attorney representing Swedish prosecutors told the court earlier this year that Assange had raped the second woman while she was sleeping.

In May, the U.K. upheld the validity of the Swedish prosecutor's arrest warrant, making him subject to extradition to Sweden by the end of June. He had been living under house arrest at the mansion of a supporter in the English countryside. He sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy on June 19.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun212012

Nuclear Plant Scare: Explosives Found in Sweden

(NEW YORK) -- Swedish officials have raised security levels at the country's nuclear power plants after a small amount of explosives, without its detonator, was discovered at one of the plants during a routine security check, local authorities said.

The explosive material, believed to be civilian-type explosives used in demolition or excavation, was about the size of a tennis ball and was found in a truck at Sweden's Ringhals nuclear power plant. The truck had been on its way from an industrial park into a secure area, but had never made it inside the facility, according to the Ringhals spokesman Gosta Larsen. Since the explosives lacked the detonator, there was no imminent danger, authorities said.

A sample has been sent to a Swedish lab for analysis. Police are investigating whether it could be a case of sabotage but so far have no suspects, said police spokesman Tommy Nyman.

"An outsider has obviously placed them on the truck," Nyman said. "We're talking to the truck driver and are trying to map out her movements within the [Ringhals] premises throughout the day."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun212012

Julian Assange Seeks Asylum: Why Ecuador?

BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought asylum in a London embassy Tuesday, hoping to dodge extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations, some observers may have wondered why he chose to throw himself on the mercy of Ecuador.

Assange apparently made his bid based on his past history with the left-leaning leadership of the South American country.  While the Ecuadorian government has said it is weighing his request for asylum, and U.K. police wait outside the gates to arrest him should asylum be denied, two top Ecuadorian officials are already on record as fans of Assange.

In November 2010, then-Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas extended an explicit offer of residency to Assange.

"We are open to giving him residency in Ecuador, without any problem and without any conditions," Lucas said.  "We are going to try and invite him to Ecuador to freely present, not only via the Internet, but also through different public forums, the information and documentation that he has."

President Rafael Correa walked those remarks back the following day, saying he had not authorized the offer.  But Correa is open about his admiration for Assange.

Earlier this month, Correa appeared as a guest on Assange's television talk show, The World Tomorrow, which airs on the international cable channel Russia Today (RT), and praised WikiLeaks.

During the 26-minute interview, Correa and Assange discussed the importance of the freedom of the media, the role that an independent press plays in a democracy, and the state of Latin American media institutions.

"We believe, my dear Julian, that the only things that should be protected against information sharing and freedom of speech are those set in the international treaties, in the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights: the dignity and the reputation of people, and the safety of people and the State," Correa said.  "The rest, the more people find out about it, the better."

"We have nothing to hide," he added.  "If anything, the WikiLeaks have made us stronger."  

He noted that he thought the tightly-knit fabric of the Ecuadorian media establishment tended to limit its scope and objectivity.  Assange responded by telling Correa that Ecuador sounded like "a very interesting place."

Assange has now been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since Tuesday.  He sought refuge with the Ecuadoreans while out on bail pending his extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning for two alleged sexual assaults.

Assange had been living under house arrest at the mansion of a supporter in the English countryside and was subject to an overnight curfew.  By spending Tuesday night in the embassy, he violated the terms of his bail and is subject to arrest if he exits the Embassy's property, Scotland Yard said on Wednesday.

He has also forfeited the $380,000 bail donated by his supporters.

Last month, the British Supreme Court upheld the validity of a Swedish prosecutor's arrest warrant, and he is subject to extradition to Sweden by the end of June.

In August 2010, police in Sweden began investigating accusations of sexual assault against Assange made by two women.  According to British police documents, one of the accusers claims Assange pulled her clothes off, pinioned her arms and legs and refused to use a condom.  She told a friend that the act was both violent and the worst sex she'd ever had.  A British attorney representing Swedish prosecutors told the court earlier this year that Assange had raped the second woman while she was sleeping.

Assange has denied any wrongdoing.

Assange accused Sweden of investigating him because of "political crimes" in the United States, "a place with the death penalty for said offenses."  His supporters say that he fears extradition from Sweden to the U.S. for prosecution.

Rafael Correa's current term as Ecuadorean president is set to expire in August 2013, but he is eligible to run for reelection for another term that would last until 2017.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

WikiLeaks Founder Can Be Extradited to Sweden, UK High Court Rules

BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who bedeviled the U.S. government by publishing a massive trove of formerly classified Pentagon and State Department documents, can be extradited from England to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, the United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled five-to-two Wednesday.

In reading the decision, Lord Phillips, the president of the court, said: "The majority has concluded that the Swedish public prosecutor was a judicial authority within the meaning of both the framework decision and the extradition act.  It follows that the request for Mr. Assange's extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed."

Assange was appealing last November’s decision by District Judge Howard Riddle that the 40-year-old could not escape prosecution in Sweden based on allegations of two women involving "non-consensual, coerced" sex.

According to Assange, the sex was consensual and he was being prosecuted for political reasons.

His final recourse is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights, which might only temporarily hold off his extradition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr182012

Swedish Minister of Culture Under Fire for ‘Racist Cake’

Asa Andersson(STOCKHOLM) -- Swedish minister of culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth is at the center of a firestorm brought on by her participation in cutting a cake in the shape of a naked black woman that many are calling racist.

Liljeroth was participating in a World Art Day event at Stockholm’s modern art museum, Moderna Museet, where she was asked to cut a cake in the form of a black woman’s torso. The cake was created by artist Makode Aj Linde, whose head poked through a hole in the table as the woman’s head.

Linde said that the cake was meant to draw awareness to the issues of female circumcision and racism.

As Liljeroth cut into the genital area of the red sponge cake, Linde mock screamed, “No. No.” The minister and the people surrounding the table laugh and take photos, which can be seen in video of the event.

The video and images sparked outrage, most notably from the National Afro-Swedish Association, which is calling for Liljeroth’s resignation.

“The Museum of Modern Art’s cake party meant to problematize female circumcision, but how this should be done with a cake depicting a racist caricature of a black woman, complete with blackface is unclear,” the group’s spokesman Kitimbwa Sabuni said in a statement on the group’s website.

Sabuni said that museums can do as they please within legal limits, but that there are higher standards for Sweden’s highest political leaders.

“Taking part in [a] racist manifestations masquerading as art is that clearly cross the line and can only be interpreted as the Minister of Culture supports the Moderna Museet’s racist prank,” Sabuni wrote.

Sabuni called for Liljeroth’s resignation and urged supporters to write and demand it from Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Liljeroth conceded that she understood the controversy but insisted that the incident was misinterpreted, according to Swedish English-language newspaper The Local.

“I understand quite well that this is provocative and that it was a rather bizarre situation,” Liljeroth said. “I was invited to speak at World Art Day and about art’s freedom and the right to provoke. And then they wanted me to cut the cake.”

She said the anger could be more appropriately directed at the artist, Makode Aj Linde.

“[Linde] claims that it challenges a romanticized and eroticized view from the West about something that is really about violence and racism,” Liljeroth said. “Art needs to be provocative.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Denied Bid to Block Extradition

BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has lost his bid to prevent being extradited to Sweden, where he is accused of committing sex crimes.

Judges at London's High Court ruled on Wednesday that the 40-year-old should leave the United Kingdom to be questioned over the allegations.  His lawyers say they will appeal to the Supreme Court.

Assange is accused of sexually assaulting two women in Sweden in August of 2010.  He faces one count of rape, one count of unlawful coercion and two counts of sexual molestation.

He has denied the allegations and insists the sex with both women was consensual.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep112011

Four Arrested in Sweden over Possible Terror Plot

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(STOCKHOLM) -- Four people were arrested in Sweden Sunday on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, local authorities said.

The arrests took place in Goteborg, where a celebration was taking place at the Roda Sten arts center to mark the opening of an international festival for contemporary art.  Following a terror threat, the near 400 people at the center were evacuated overnight.

It is not yet known if there is a connection between the four arrests and the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep082011

Juiced Moose Now on the Loose 

Gary Faber/Thinkstock(SARO, Sweden) - Per Johansson of Särö, Sweden, returned home from work and was distracted by a strange noise coming from the garden next door. When he went over to take a look, he spotted a large moose stuck in an apple tree with only one leg on the ground, according to Sweden's The Local.

The moose was entangled in the trees' branches and was kicking furiously when Johansson approached. He called the police for backup, and the group unsuccessfully tried to make the animal more comfortable.

It wasn’t until the fire brigade arrived on scene that they managed to bend the tree enough to let the moose slide out of the branches, finally free.

They suspect that the elk was severely drunk after eating too many fermenting apples. Apparently drunken moose are common in Sweden in the fall season due to the multitude of apples laying on the ground.

According to Johansson, the moose lay on the ground for a while, seemingly unconscious, after being freed.  By morning, the animal finally stood up and was able to begin walking away.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May312011

Sweden Death Linked to German E. Coli Outbreak

Jupiterimages/Photos[dot]com(BERLIN) -- The E. Coli outbreak that’s had people in northern Germany on edge looks to be spreading.

The outbreak, linked to tainted vegetables, has reportedly claimed the life of a woman in southwestern Sweden after she was admitted to a local hospital this weekend following a trip to Germany.

German officials have urged people in some northern areas of the country not to eat cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh leafy salads. At least 15 people have died and several hundred others have fallen ill after consuming tainted produce that Germany believes was imported from Spain.

Russia has banned imports from Spain and Germany pending further notice.

The exact source of the outbreak remains unknown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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