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sweden summons china's ambassador after gui minhai's latest disappearance

the hong kong-based publisher disappeared in 2015 while on holiday in thailand. he was held at an undisclosed location in china until he was formally released in october last year. however, his daughter angela gui said at the time his freedom of movement remained restricted and he was being kept in china.the new york times reported on monday that gui, 53, had been on board a train to beijing to undergo a medical examination at the swedish embassy after showing symptoms of als, a disease which attacks the brain and spinal cord, when ten men stormed the train at a station and took him with them. this is said to have happened in front of two swedish diplomats from sweden's shanghai consulate. "i just know that things have taken ...




nordea issues bitcoin ban for all staff

the bank, which last year announced it was moving its headquarters from sweden to finland, said the risk was too high that employees could find themselves in an unethical or even illegal situation. "it is our assessment that the risks are too high, and that the protection is insufficient, both for the employees and for the bank," afroditi kellberg, nordea press officer in sweden, told the tt newswire. nordea raised concern that the cryptocurrency trade is not regulated by official authorities. "as an investor you lack protection against illicit business practices and money laundering," said kellberg. the ban will come into effect on february 28th. employees who have already bought cryptocurrencies will be allowed to...




more than 400 reindeer killed in traffic so far this year

around 2,500 reindeer died in traffic collisions last year, according to police figures, more than 1,000 more compared to 2013. and in the first weeks of january this year, a total of 431 reindeer were killed in traffic in sweden's northern counties norrbotten, västerbotten, jämtland and västernorrland. "i think it is terrible, both from the perspective of the animal and the reindeer herder. both that animals actually suffer, but for our members this is an economic catastrophe. they lose their animals and in the long run that can have enormous consequences," jenny wik karlsson, a legal expert representing the swedish sami association, told sami radio and svt sápmi. herded by the indigenous sami communities, reindeer are clas...




sweden's snow depth sets new seasonal record

mountain ski resort kittelfjäll in vilhelmina municipality recorded weekend snow depths of more than 150 centimetres – the deepest snow cover so far this winter, according to national weather agency smhi. further north, the town of jokkmokk, currently busy preparing for its annual sami winter market which gets under way on february 1st, boasted 135 centimetres of the white stuff. the central svealand region, which includes stockholm, recorded its deepest snow cover in lillhamra in dalarna where 102 centimetres of snow had fallen by sunday, according to smhi. even southern sweden got a taste of the snow. orrefors in småland had 24 centimetres by sunday morning. however, the snow is expected to melt in southern and central swed...




'as a writer, getting inside the system is really tough': my swedish career

pettersson realized that there aren't many opportunities for english-language writers, editors, and agents to meet up in sweden, where she moved to from chicago twenty years ago, so she decided to create her own. she launched the stockholm writers' festival, a three-day conference to help emerging authors on their way to publication, including through a literary prize for unpublished writers. she gets her inspiration from similar events she has attended. "i am someone who understands that as a writer getting inside the system is really tough, and festivals and workshops and events really help a lot," she explains. "they give you contacts, they give you the craft, they put you in touch with your people, so to speak. i feel l...




sweden increases deportation rate to morocco

swedish authorities now have access to the records thanks to a new partnership with morocco, making it easier to identify people who have been given a deportation order then send them to the country, public broadcaster sveriges radio reports. the number of deportations carried out to morocco increased from 75 in 2016 to 135 ...




politicians and cyber security experts at swedish defence conference fooled by fake wi-fi network

according to the pirate party youth, between 80 and 100 people at the conference connected to the open network they set up with a name designed to make it look like the event's network – a repeat of the same method used to fool 100 people at the 2015 conference. "you would think that people invited to folk och försvar would be more aware. not least since we did the same thing in 2015," pirate party youth spokesperson rebecka mcneill told newspaper dt....




one dead and two injured in helsingborg youth brawl

the alarm was raised around 23:00 saturday night about a dispute on bredgatan in the southern swedish city. when police arrived they found several people injured, and one person who was pronounced dead at the scene. along with the fatality, a further man suffered serious stabbing injuries and a third suffered minor stabbing injuries. all three are aged between 19 and 24. on sunday police said that three youngsters had been arrested. one, a 17-year-old, is suspected of murder. he is also thought to have used a weapon on all three people hurt in the altercation and is therefore additionally s...




swedish national police chief: murder levels must come down

responding to the deadly spate of violence amongst criminal elements in malmö, gothenburg and stockholm, the chief of the swedish national police vowed to do better.  “it's hard to eliminate murders altogether, but we have to get the levels down considerably,” dan eliasson said.  eliasson’s police force has plenty to contend with. just a few days ago, an explosive was detonated outside of a police station in the rosengård district of malmö in what police called “a response from criminals”. not long before that, a police car parked outside a police station in central malmö was damaged in an explosion.  meanwhile, two young men were recently shot dead in the stockholm suburb of rinkeby and there were also recent...




become a member of the local and get 10 percent off luxury qatar airways flights

flying isn't always a pleasure – particularly if you're going long haul. but if you fly with the right airline the flight can be the best part of your trip. now, members of the local can enjoy an exclusive 10 percent discount on full-fare economy and business class tickets with premium carrier qatar airways, on all flights from stockholm and copenhagen. you can even get a 5 percent discount on promotional fares.join the local today qatar airways operates two direct flights a day to its hub in doha from both stockholm and copenhagen. from doha you can connect to flights around the globe.fly in qatar airways' business class, ranked the best in the world, and you can...




stockholm mosque hit with nazi graffiti

the nazi graffiti can be seen scrawled across the front doors of the södermalm mosque in light blue paint in photos the mosque posted to facebook. the mosque’s imam, mahmoud khalfi, said that the vandalism was extensive.  “it was on the entire facade, including the back and along the stairs to the subway,” khalfi told svt.  according to the imam, the mosque was targeted by vandals 22 times during 2017. the mosque has been hit with nazi-specific vandalism twice before, with the first incident occurring in 2014. "yet again, stockholm mosque has been vandalised," the facebook pos...




the end of passwords? swedes embrace biometric login

the technology magazine pc för alla’s annual password study found that nearly every second swede uses their body to log on to their smartphones, tablets or computers. of the magazine’s 5,000 respondents, almost half said they use some kind of biometric login such as their fingerprint or face. although that number could be higher among the magazine's tech-crazy readers than it is for the nation as a whole, pc för alla said biometric login is a trend that will continue to increase as more phone and computer manufacturers introduce new options. the latest iphone release, for example, made great fanfare out of its new ...




europe brings on charm and blue skies to lure chinese tourists

a total 12.4 million chinese, mostly in guided tour groups, came to europe in 2017, according to the european travel commission. and the chinese tourism academy (cta) is expecting the number to reach 20.8 million by 2022. "a few years ago, the chinese came to europe solely to do some shopping. now, they're increasingly keen to get know the culture and the countryside," cta president dai bin told afp, speaking in venice, at the launch of the year of tourism between the eu and china. festivals, cooking courses... "they want to have personal experiences and visit areas where they don't see any other chinese," said etc's executive director, eduardo santander. "they like the cuisine, the music, the blue skies... most of the...




sweden needs to do more for its international workers, report argues

the "labour migration to sweden – let's improve the regulatory framework" seminar was held by employers' organization almega in the swedish capital, and along with a panel discussion, a new report on sweden's need for labour migration was presented. the report predicts that sweden is heading towards a situation where labour shortages will grow, with the section of the population within working age decreasing according to state number-crunchers statistics sweden's figures. international workers are one way to address that, but almega emphasized that based on the number of work permits requested each year, labour migration to sweden appears to have peaked in 2012 and has yet to reach the same level since. high-profile problem...




the local's swedish word of the week – part 12

every week we ask a swede, or a foreigner in sweden, to explain their favourite wo...




your cheap imports from china are about to get more expensive

swedish customs called a meeting with postal service postnord after it emerged that the state could be losing out on billions of kronor because of consumers not paying vat on goods bought from chinese online shopping sites such as wish and alibaba. it said that unclear rules meant the customs agency and postnord had different interpretations of legislation, with the latter handing out parcels from countries outside the eu and worth less than 22 euros to recipients without asking them to pay vat on the goods. swedish customs has now requested that postnord plug the loophole, writing in a statement that vat will be charged "from the first krona of the value of all goods". as a result, said postnord, it will also charge an ad...




member offer: 10 percent off flights with qatar airways

flying isn't always a pleasure – particularly if you're going long haul. but if you fly with the right airline the flight can be the best part of your trip. now, members of the local can enjoy an exclusive 10 percent discount on full-fare economy and business class tickets with premium carrier qatar airways, on all flights from stockholm and copenhagen. you can even get a 5 percent discount on promotional fares.join the local today qatar airways operates two direct flights a day to its hub in doha from both stockholm and copenhagen. from doha you can connect to flights around the globe.fly in qatar airways' business class, ranked the best in the world, and you can...




swedish police hope amnesty can get more than 10,000 weapons off the streets

there have been a number of high profile shootings and instances of gang violence in sweden during recent years, and police told the media at a press conference on friday that they believe ease of access to weapons is a significant contributing factor to the problem. "the idea with an amnesty is to reduce the number of illegal weapons in society. we know that these weapons are often a prerequisite for serious crime taking place," joakim norenhag, the project leader of the amnesty, said. issues connected to the narcotics trade are the most common explanation for shootings in sweden, police said. during the last amnesty in 2013, more than 15,000 weapons were handed in, and it is hoped that as much as 10-13,000 could be handed in...




two held after uppsala drug haul worth at least 20 million kronor

the narcotics haul was seized during police raids on two homes in the gottsunda district of the university town north of stockholm between christmas and new year’s eve. police have not revealed what kind of drugs, but according to regional newspaper upsala nya tidning (unt) part of the haul consisted of tramadol, which is classed as a narcotic substance in sweden. it is u...




umeå cat returns home after years on the run

adolf the cat ran away from his home in northern sweden between five and seven years ago, reports regional newspaper västerbottens-kuriren (vk). his owners, sisters denice and sabina wall, had given up hope of ever finding him again – until they one day spotted him on facebook. someone had posted a picture of a stray cat seen in a car park, asking if it had any owners. the sisters immediately recognized him. “i took a screenshot and sent it to denice and asked if it could be adolf, because it looked just like him. we went there and put out a blanket and after a while he came up to us and wanted love,” sabina wall told swedish rad...