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August 8, 2018

Thousands of participants attend Stockholm EuroPride

Thousands of participants attend Stockholm EuroPride

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

LGBT
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October 8, 2015

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 shared by 3 scientists for how damaged DNA is repaired

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 shared by 3 scientists for how damaged DNA is repaired

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

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Yesterday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to three scientists for their work on DNA repair. Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar showed how damaged DNA is repaired and genetic information is safeguarded by the cells at the molecular level. Their collaborative studies have contributed to knowledge behind the functioning of a cell.

Swedish scientist Tomas Lindahl found that DNA molecules decay at a significant rate, which evolution could have not sustained. This led to the discovery of base excision repair, a cellular mechanism that repairs the damaged DNA.



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January 12, 2015

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

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Monday, January 12, 2015

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Marchers in Paris.
Image: Yann Caradec.

Following the shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, millions of people turned out yesterday for marches in Paris, in cities across France, and around the world. Reported estimates of between 1.5 and 2 million people rallied in Paris, and the French interior ministry estimated 3.7 million or more rallied across France.

44 world leaders attended the Paris march including French President François Hollande; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; British Prime Minister David Cameron; Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority; King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan; Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu; the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov; the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; and the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba.

US Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley attended. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest responded to criticism for not sending a higher level representative on behalf of the United States: “It is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile.” Earnest said the rally had been planned on Friday and President Obama attending the rally on such short notice presented “significant security challenges”. Secretary of State John Kerry said he already had a prior engagement in India.

Charlie Hebdo has previously published cartoons featuring the Islamic prophet Muhammed. These include original depictions and reprints of controversial cartoons originally by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Some of these cartoons were on display at the marches.

Marche Charlie Hebdo Paris 07.jpg

Paris: flowers and tributes to the victims of the shooting.
Image: Guerric Poncet.

6 Marche républicaine 11 janvier 2015 Paris - Le crayon comme pancarte AB P1340202.jpg

Paris march: a protester holding up two colouring pencils, in solidarity with journalists and cartoonists killed in the attack.
Image: Basili.

Crayons libres 2.jpg

Paris march: protestors holding up two giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

Les crayons.jpg

Paris march: more protestors holding up giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

Foule en défilé.jpg

Paris march: marchers fill the street.
Image: Eric Walter.

Marche du 11 Janvier 2015, Paris (4).jpg

Paris march: more marchers filling the streets.
Image: Yann Caradec.

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Paris march.
Image: Eric Walter.

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Paris march: marchers moving up Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Image: Poulpy.

2 Marche républicaine 11 janvier 2015 Paris - Foule des manifestants quai station Mirosmenil AB P1340193.jpg

Paris march: marchers fill the platform at the Miromesnil Métro station.
Image: Basili.

Rassemblement de soutien à Charlie Hebdo - 11 janvier 2015 - Bordeaux 10.JPG

Bordeaux rally.
Image: LeJC.

Bourg-en-Bresse rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting, 11 January 2015 (2).JPG

Rally in Bourg-en-Bresse.
Image: Benoît Prieur.

Marche républicaine 2015, Chambéry 9.JPG

Rally in Chambéry.
Image: Florian Pépellin.

Marche républicaine du 11 janvier 2015 à Lyon 49.JPG

Rally in Lyon.
Image: Jitrixis.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-1.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-11.jpg

A sign at the march in Rennes showing a number of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-7.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Rennes 11 janvier 2015 - Marche républicaine 03.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Pymouss.

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Rally at the Place Royale in Reims.
Image: G.Garitan.

French flag projected onto The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London.JPG

French flag projected on to the side of the National Gallery in London as a sign of solidarity.
Image: Simeon87.

Tributes to the victims.jpg

Signs, pens, sketch pads and cartoons left as a memorial in Trafalgar Square in London.
Image: Zefrog.

Participant holding a pen.jpg

A pen held up as part of the rally in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Image: Zefrog.

Je suis Charlie rally at Daley Plaza in Chicago, 11 January 2015 (5).jpg

A man holding both a French and American flag at a rally in Daley Plaza in Chicago.
Image: Stel Cape.

Cologne rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting-191954.jpg

A small rally in Cologne.
Image: Raimond Spekking.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0147494 (16255052582).jpg

Candle lights at a rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0177502 (16070064457).jpg

Snow-covered flowers and tributes outside the office of the French Ambassador in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0357555 (16068596810).jpg

At the rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

Je suis Charlie, Stockholm 11 January 2015 (2).jpg

Rally in Stockholm.
Image: Henrik M F.

Stockholm rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting (15).jpg

Rally in Stockholm.
Image: fcruse.

Stockholm rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting (9).jpg

A pencil in the snow at the Stockholm rally.
Image: fcruse.

Wien - Gedenkkundgebung Gemeinsam gegen den Terror - Je Suis Charlie - I.jpg

Rally in Vienna.
Image: Haeferl.

Je suis Charlie, Berlin 11 January 2015 (2).jpg

Rally in Berlin.
Image: Tim.

Je suis Charlie, Brussels 11 January 2015 (122).jpg

Rally in Brussels.
Image: Miguel Discart.



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  • “Twelve dead in shooting at offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo” — Wikinews, January 7, 2015

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August 17, 2013

Ryanair sue Associated Newspapers, Mirror Group

Ryanair sue Associated Newspapers, Mirror Group

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aviation

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Irish budget airline Ryanair have added newspaper publishers Associated Newspapers and Mirror Group to their legal targets in a High Court defamation action filed yesterday in Dublin that also targets Channel 4.

A Ryanair Boeing 737 pictured in 2006.
Image: WikiABG.

The move confirms the carrier’s expression of intent to sue Channel 4 after the UK broadcaster screened Secrets of the Cockpit, a documentary about safety at the airline, on Monday night. Part of the Dispatches series, the show reported on an incident in Spain last year where three Ryanair jets declared fuel emergencies after being diverted to Valencia. Fuel policy was a strong focus for the documentary.

Pilots interviewed for the programme said they felt pressured to save fuel, the cost of which has hit Ryanair’s profits. The Spanish Air Authority described Ryanair flights usually landing with a bare minimum of fuel, in a report the airline dismissed as “manifestly inaccurate and factually untrue”.

Ryanair have also sacked veteran pilot John Goss for appearing on the show, the only pilot interviewed who did not seek anonymity. Ryanair have stated intent to sue Goss and claim he confirmed in the weeks before the show that he had no issues with his employer’s safety. Goss is a member of Ryanair Pilots Group (RPG), which the airline call a union front.

Channel 4 previously promised when threatened with legal action to see Ryanair in court. “We stand by our journalism, and will robustly defend proceedings if they are initiated,” a spokesperson said. The Belfast Telegraph was also sued but the action has been dropped after the Northern Irish publication issued an apology. The paper had published a story titled “Are budget airlines like Ryanair putting passengers at risk?”.

Associated Newspapers are behind The Daily Mail and its online and Sunday variants. Mirror Group publish The Daily Mirror, its Sunday sister, and The People.

Secrets of the Cockpit also examined an RPG poll of 1,000 Ryanair flight crew, dismissed by the airline as part of unionisation efforts. According to the RPG survey almost 90% of respondents said the safety culture was nontransparent. Two-thirds said they felt uncomfortable raising safety issues, with a pilot interviewed by Channel 4 accusing Ryanair of “threats and bullying”. Ryanair had told pilots anybody signing a “so-called safety petition” might be dismissed.

Over 90% of those surveyed wanted a regulatory inquiry, with RPG saying the survey results were passed to the airline and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). The IAA has already called the programme a “misguided attack” on Ryanair, saying “Ryanair Plc fully complies with all European and international regulations in all areas of its operations”.

Cquote1.svg We have been instructed to vigorously prosecute these libel proceedings Cquote2.svg

—Ryanair’s lawyers

The IAA itself was accused of failing to respond to concerns from Ryanair pilots and one interviewee said his “personal belief is that the majority of Ryanair pilots do not have confidence in the safety agencies and that is a pretty critical issue”. The authority responded “The IAA has responded to personal letters and reports from Ryanair pilots, this included several meetings and face-to-face interviews with pilots and their legal and professional representatives.”

Ryanair makes heavy use of zero-hour contracts, which do not guarantee work and which the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association describe as offering some of aviation’s worst employment conditions. RPG chairman Evert van Zwol, also a recent Dutch Airline Pilots Association president, said zero-hour contracts tended to make pilots choose to fly when unwell and keep quiet if they had safety concerns. In 2005 a Polish Ryanair pilot became lost near Rome a few days after attending his son’s funeral, while his Dutch co-pilot was seeing his first experience of navigating severe weather.

In the 2005 incident air traffic control intervened to keep the flight safe from midair collisions. The Polish pilot told Italian investigators he feared losing his job if he took extra time off work. The investigation concluded in 2009 he had been unfit to fly. Ryanair denied he would have been fired for taking time off to recover.

Secrets of the Cockpit also reported that in twelve separate serious incidents data from cockpit voice recorders had been wiped before investigators could access it, which the carrier says is a common occcurrence in aviation and attributed to pilot error.

In Sweden a report into a Ryanair emergency landing concluded this week an airline employee wiped the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder to prevent the investigation accessing them. The aircraft had returned to an airport near Stockholm shortly after takeoff suffering electrical malfunctions. Ryanair reject the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority’s take on the missing data, telling newspaper Södermanlands Nyheter recordings were reset by a technician trying to repair the aircraft after consultation with Ryanair’s technical department, who did not think the recordings needed saving.

Ryanair, which has never suffered a fatal accident, says the documentary is “false and defamatory”, and the IAA says it is “based upon false and misleading information”. “We have been instructed to vigorously prosecute these libel proceedings,” said a statement from Ryanair’s lawyers, who promised “other litigation is pending”.



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February 24, 2011

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden

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Correction — March 3, 2011
 
This article mentions that Mr Julian Assange was to be extradited on charges of Sexual Assault. This is incorrect. The offences specified in the Arrest Warrant were of “Sexual Molestation”, not Sexual Assault. We apologise for any offence the incorrect information may have caused.
 
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Assange at the SKUP conference for investigative journalism, Norway, March 2010.
Image: Espen Moe.

Today, a British court ordered Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, to be extradited to Sweden. Assange, a 39 year old Australian, has been accused by two Swedish women of sexual assaults against them.

Assange’s lawyers have the option of appealing against this decision, and have decided to do so. Assange has denied the claims of sexual abuse, claiming the allegations to be politically motivated because his website recently published secret US diplomatic cables. Earlier, during the hearing, Assange claimed that rape cases in Sweden were “tried in secret behind closed doors in a flagrant denial of justice”, and termed the country “the Saudi Arabia of feminism.”

Judge Howard Riddle, in his verdict, declared the allegations made by the two Swedish women a valid reason for extradition and also attested the validity of Sweden’s demand to send Assange to the country for further questioning.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, lawyer for Assange, suggested the latter could be extradited to the United States, on charges concerning the release of 250,000 US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks, where he could be sentenced to death penalty. His Swedish counterpart, Clare Montgomery QC, stated that while Assange’s trial would be held in private, the arguments raised in the trial would be released to the public. She also assured that Sweden was going to provide “protection” against the alleged risk of Assange’s extradition to the US, terming it as a “threat and violation.” The European Court of Human Rights has also agreed to intervene if Assange was subjected to an “inhuman or degrading treatment or an unfair trial” in the US, she added.

Assange had been granted bail in December, but has been electronically monitored ever since.

Assange has been accused of raping a sleeping woman, during his visit to Stockholm last year. Another woman has alleged that the Wikileaks founder sexual assaulted her thrice. If the Swedish court declares him guilty, he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Paul Stephens, the Australian ambassador to Sweden, had earlier written to the country’s Justice Minister, appealing that if Assange was extradited, his hearing “would proceed in accordance with due process and the provisions prescribed under Swedish law, as well as applicable European and international laws, including relevant human rights norms.”

Assange is likely to remain in custody, since bail is not granted in Sweden before a trial or the accused being released.



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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange granted bail, set free” — Wikinews, December 17, 2010

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October 12, 2010

Swedish man uses webcam to broadcast suicide live on internet

Swedish man uses webcam to broadcast suicide live on internet

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marcus Jannus’ Facebook profile picture.
Image: Facebook.

A 21-year-old Swedish man killed himself and broadcast it over the internet via his webcam feed Monday, after posting to a message board that he had swallowed some painkillers and was going to hang himself.

At 11:51 a.m. Central European Summer Time (0951 UTC), Marcus Jannes, a student from Järna, Stockholm, posted to the Mental Health Problems forum of Sweden’s Flashback message boards using the newly-registered username “LurifaxFlux”, stating that he was going to hang himself, adding that he had already swallowed 100mg of dexofen and 1500mg of paracetamol. He said that he had set up a webcam to record the event, and would post details later of a FTP server for people to watch.

People responded to his post almost immediately. Some offered messages of hope, such as, “How bad can it be? When everything is at its worst, it can only get better”, and “Think of poor people, mutilated people, people who are lame or blind. Living with a disability is hard. They can not change their lives! But you still have the ability to alter yours!” Others tried to keep him online by talking to him empathetically: “Is there anything that can make you change your mind?”, “Tell me about yourself.”

However, other users posted messages saying they didn’t believe him, wishing him luck with his attempt, and calling him an attention whore and a troll. They also goaded him by saying, “you won’t dare, you are too cowardly”, and offering advice on the best way to hang himself: “I recommend … you do it from a height that you can jump off so you are guaranteed to break your neck.”

In a later post, Jannes said that he had been feeling suicidal for about six months, but was too scared to actually attempt anything until he tried to strangle himself with his own hands. In response to questions, he stated that he was using a network cable to strangle himself because he didn’t have any rope, but he was worried that the cable would not be strong enough to take his weight. He also told them that he had Asperger syndrome and High-functioning autism, and was emotionally vulnerable and lacked normal social skills. He admitted to feeling lonely, and alluded to experiencing problems at school, but admitted that he had a good upbringing and had a rather good life. At around the same time, he also updated his Facebook status to say life was “just too difficult”, and that he was going to kill himself.

Cquote1.svg I wonder where I end up… Was life perhaps a test of how long you stand out? I love my family more than anything, but honestly you can’t live for someone else’s sake… It’s not like my life is bad at all, it’s actually really good. But sometimes it’s just too difficult. I can’t be bothered to write more now. Cquote2.svg

—Marcus Jannus

Broadcast of suicide

A short while later, at 1:06 p.m., Jannus posted the FTP server URL and login details, and stated that he needed to hurry up because, “I’m beginning to feel that I might change my mind.” At this point, people who logged on to the server found a series of still images taken every two seconds, showing a young man dressed in sweatpants and t-shirt, in his apartment, hanging network cable from a doorway.

At 1:13 p.m., the images show that Jannus stepped out of the shot, and at this point he posted another message to Flashback. “Alright, let’s do it,” he said. The next series of images show him walking back to the cable and hooking it around his neck. He slumps to the floor, and his body begins shaking while his head and arms turn dark purple until he stops moving. His skin color then lessens to a pink-red shade as his limp body hangs motionless for a number of minutes.

On the message board, people start to realize the seriousness of the events: “Given the last pictures, it looks like [this was serious]”, “holy crap, he has done it already”, “okay it’s getting nasty”, “this is quite sick. Not okay at all,” and “I’ve seen a lot online but this is the worst I’ve seen in my entire life” were some of the comments posted. At 1:32 p.m., a user asks, “Did someone call the police?”.

The Södertälje police state that they were first alerted to the incident at 1:44 p.m. At 2:06 p.m., the image feeds show two police officers charging into the apartment and releasing the cable from around Jannus’ neck. They begin administering CPR. Two minutes later, two paramedics arrive, and they take over CPR while one of the officers looks around the room at cables; the back of a flat-screen television set; and presumably the computer, as the images finally stop being uploaded.

Södertälje Polisen spokesperson Lotta Thyni confirmed that Jannus had died. “The police performed CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene, but his life could not be saved.”

The police have so far declined to comment on how the suicide will be investigated, but Sven-Erik Alhem, a chief prosecutor in Sweden told Aftonbladet, that psychologically inducing a person to commit suicide, or contributing to the act, can be classified as incitement to murder, and is a criminal offense.

Flashback controversies

The “Hängning” thread at Flashback continued to receive new posts until the thread was locked by a site moderator at 5:27 p.m. It had received a total of 630 posts over 53 pages. “It is unfortunate if someone knew that the man planned to kill himself and did not do anything to stop him,” said Thyni, but added that police can not control how people use social forums on the web. “They lack empathy”.

The Flashback message boards are a controversial topic in Sweden. They are seen as being similar to the English language website 4chan, and especially its “Random” /b/ board. The Flashback members are able to post with a great amount of freedom of speech. The site has been investigated by the Swedish police on numerous occasions and is under constant surveillance by the Swedish Security Service due to its members’ abundant discussions about drug use, child pornography, race science, bestiality and other controversial subjects. Other controversies include sexual harassment of celebrities and politicians, open racism, forced disconnection from its internet service provider, the hosting of nazi sites, and the sabotage of telephone votes in TV shows.

“I do not remember such a situation in Sweden before,” says Anders Ahlqvist from the Swedish national police force. A similar incident occurred in Sweden in 2008, when Oscar Ores Balingen, 34, from Stockholm attempted to kill himself online. In that case, the police were able to reach Balingen before he died, and managed to save his life. “People said that I would not dare, but it made me only more triggered,” Balingen told Aftonbladet. “I do not think they are taking the threats seriously. There is a terrible lack of empathy on these forums.”

In November 2008, a 19-year-old male from Pembroke Pines, Florida used his webcam to broadcast his suicide on the live video site Justin.tv. Abraham K. Biggs, 19, committed suicide by taking an overdose of opiates and benzodiazepine, which had been prescribed for his bipolar disorder. He also made online threats of suicide and advertised his intentions to broadcast it live over the internet.



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  • “Teen broadcasts suicide online” — Wikinews, November 23, 2008

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September 26, 2010

Man released following bomb-scare forced flight diversion, warning a possible hoax

Man released following bomb-scare forced flight diversion, warning a possible hoax

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Crime and law
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Authorities have said that an anonymous phone call warning of a potential terrorist threat aboard an aircraft may have been a hoax call. Swedish police detained a passenger aboard a Boeing 777 on suspicion of preparing an attack on the aircraft, but he was later released. A police spokesperson said: “The man who was the suspect for the bomb case was released by the district attorney. They couldn’t find any crime done, therefore [they] decided to release the man and he’s free to go where he wants.” A statement released by Swedish prosecutors confirmed that “the prosecutor on duty decided not to keep the man suspected of having explosives on the airplane in detention. The suspicions against this man are not sufficiently solid to keep him in detention and so he is free to leave Sweden. No further information can be given for [the] moment”.

The Pakistan International Airlines jetliner, which was carrying 273 people according to an airport spokesperson, was flying Flight 782, which travels from Toronto to Karachi, when it was diverted to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Stockholm after Canadian officials were informed that a passenger had explosives on his person. Passengers were reportedly informed that they had to divert for technical reasons, but were only told on the ground why they had to land in Stockholm. “The pilot only informed us that he’s landing there due to security reasons. All passengers and crew members are well,” a spokesperson for the airport said. Upon landing, the aircraft was evacuated, and the suspect was arrested by a SWAT team. Passengers were taken away from the aircraft, which was encircled by armed police, by buses. 35-year-old Irfan Ahmed, a passenger on the flight said: “We really got scared, especially when we saw a large number of commandos wearing masks coming in.”

AP-BGY, the aircraft which was forced to land in Stockholm, photographed last year. Following the incident, one man of Pakistani origin was detained by police.

Anonymous tip-off

A police spokesperson said that two calls were received from a payphone in Canada, but no explosives were found on the man or in the aircraft, which was searched by a bomb squad. Police warned that the warnings may in fact have been made by a prank caller, but said they had to divert the aircraft because they take such threats “very seriously.” The man, according to police official Stephan Radman, was being questioned at a police station. Earlier, he said that police were ” searching the plane with bomb technicians to see if there is something we can find but so far we haven’t found anything, neither on the plane nor on the man,” he said. The flight crew and some passengers were also interviewed. They were later allowed back aboard the aircraft to continue their flight. The suspect was released several hours after being taken into custody, and reports suggest officials are helping him book a flight to continue his journey to Pakistan.

Radman stated that police had learnt of the threat from a Canadian woman, who allegedly made two calls to police from a payphone after the plane had lifted off. “The aircraft started in Toronto at 05:15 local time and when the aircraft was in Swedish territory, a woman called the Canadian police and said that this man could probably have a bomb on board the aircraft,” said Janne Hedlund, a police official. “She called through a payphone, so the Canadian authority don’t really know who the woman is. The Canadian authority alerted the pilot and he landed in Arlanda airport. The aircraft is evacuated and the suspect is under control by the police authorities in Arlanda. We are going to question him now.” A police spokesperson said: “A woman called police from a pay phone in Canada and told Canadian police about the man. She said the man may have had explosives, but he passed security checks.”

‘Unknown reliability’

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however, announced that the call may have been a “terrorism hoax,” and said it was investigating. According RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Julie Gagnon, the tip-off was of “unknown reliability”, adding that if it was found that the tip-off was a hoax, the woman who made the call will likely be prosecuted under public mischief charges. “There’s an ongoing investigation related to the information to see whether it was deemed to be a hoax or not. If the person who passed on that information was mischievous, then they can be charged with public mischief,” she said. Police later said that they were attempting to find out whether the anonymous woman had a grudge against the suspect.

A Canadian police spokesperson said that they had received two calls. “The first call provided vague information,” he said. “It did lay out that there was an individual on that specific flight in possession of explosives and then the second call provided more details with regards to the identity of the person.” He said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “take any call of this nature very seriously,” and said that the call may have been a hoax. “We have to ascertain the credibility and reliability of the call and try to determine whether there was a deliberate intent on behalf of the caller to mislead the police or if it falls into the definition of a terrorism hoax,” he said. While it is not known if the man has a criminal record, it has been reported that he is not on any international no-fly lists, and no concerns were raised when he went through airport security in Canada. “He is not on any list [of people banned from flying] and he’s been through the security check in Canada,” a police spokesperson said, confirming that the man was a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin. A man who sat next to the suspect on the flight said he was returning to Pakistan after a very long time to get married. The suspect was apparently happy, and was a bit drunk. “When he was arrested, he remained calm and did not react much,” said the passenger.

It was later reported that all the passengers—excluding the suspect—were transported back to the aircraft, which was to fly to Manchester, England, where the crew will be changed, and then continue to Karachi. “We were very concerned and it’s good news they were all safe,” said airline spokesperson Sultan Hasan. He added that there was no further risk to anyone aboard the flight. “The plane would not have taken off unless it was cleared by the security team,” he said. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport released a statement stating that the incident had “no impact on air traffic, public transport or traffic on the roads to and from the airport.”



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June 23, 2010

German and Swedish foreign ministers agree on Gaza standpoint

German and Swedish foreign ministers agree on Gaza standpoint

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stockholm, Sweden — On Monday, the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle visited Stockholm for his first time. He met with Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt, to coordinate in-depth views on matters such as the situation in Gaza and Kyrgyzstan.

Guido Westerwelle and Carl Bild speaking in Stockholm
Image: Janwikifoto.

Carl Bildt hosted the meeting in Stockholm
Image: Janwikifoto.

Wikinews was at a press briefing by the ministers. Carl Bildt started by saying: “We work closely together in the European Union, now we had the opportunity to sit down and go through the agenda and coordinate issues. The relations between Sweden and Germany are good, and that is hardly news.”

Guido Westerwelle continued, commenting that “we have foremost discussed the situation in the Middle East. We emphasize that the decision of the Israeli government is a step in the correct direction, but we are convinced that there must be a total opening of the Gaza area. We want to support the moderate forces and help the life of people.”

“This is also our common European view, and last week at a foreign minister meeting we agreed that full opening of the Gaza area is the goal. We work to influence our discussion partners in the Middle East, in particular the Israeli government, and also consider that the two-state solution without doubt is the only solution for peace.”

Germany’s foreign minister addresses the press
Image: Janwikifoto.

Carl Bildt mentioned that they would have the opportunity for a short walk in scenic Old Town, Stockholm, and a short boat trip, while discussing further issues.

When asked about the situation in Kyrgyzstan, Carl Bildt told the reporters that “the situation is exceedingly worrying; the information we had over the weekend talks about the order of 2,000 dead and the order of 400,000 people who left their homes. This is in a very fragile part of central Asia.”

“What we see necessary now is first to stabilize the situation quickly, then to be certain our aid is reaching people. There are talks about an international civilian police mission, to build the confidence which is a necessity for people to return. The situation is alarming.”

Guido Westerwelle agreed, and said that “the first we do is protection of our European citizens, the second and very important is to protect the refugees so they have the chance to come to safe circumstances, and thirdly to stabilize the situation. Germany has started very quickly with a programme to help the refugees.”



Sources

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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December 22, 2009

Serbia to apply to join the EU

Serbia to apply to join the EU – Wikinews, the free news source

Serbia to apply to join the EU

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Serbia is to file a formal application today to join the European Union according to officials. President Boris Tadić is to fly to Stockholm to submit the application to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

“President Boris Tadic will go to Stockholm on Tuesday to submit the application for EU membership,” announced Serbian presidency spokeswoman Jasmina Stojanov.

Reinfeldt called the announcement “a historic step”. In a statement he welcomed the bid, saying “I look forward to receiving President Boris Tadic in Stockholm on Tuesday, December 22, when he officially hands over the application.”

Along with Montenegro and Macedonia, visa-free entry to the 27-country bloc came into affect for Serbia’s citizens on Saturday, and a free trade agreement, frozen in April, was also reinstated this month, after the United Nations chief prosecutor accepted that the country was making serious attempts to arrest the two remaining people indicted for war crimes by The Hague’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

According to diplomats, the bid for membership has some support, with Italy and Greece favourable, but the Netherlands and the United Kingdom more cautious.



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October 15, 2008

Oscar Diös tells Wikinews about his hostel within a Boeing 747

Oscar Diös tells Wikinews about his hostel within a Boeing 747

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Aviation

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Oscar Diös is a Swedish businessman looking to invest in a new project within the aviation community. He’s already bought the venture’s first airliner, a Boeing 747-200.

However, his intention is not to start an airline, and the jet is not intended for flight. Instead, he plans to convert the airliner into a unique business which he calls the ‘Jumbo Hostel’. The 450-seat widebodied jetliner will have 25 rooms sleeping a total of 85 people, including some in a luxury suite in the cockpit, and will sit at the entrance to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

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Built in 1976, the aircraft was an “old wreck” when acquired, according to Oscar. The aircraft was being offered for sale at Stolkholm-Arlanda after previous owner Transjet became bankrupt. The airframe has then been completely gutted and is being fitted with a new, modernised interior. Each room contains three bunk beds. A cafe and a walkway across the left wing are also featured.

The airliner will sit on a concrete platform at the airport’s entrance, with its landing gear secured in steel cradles. It is intended to offer a good view of the day-to-day operation of the airport.

The hostel, which is to open in December, is aimed at families with children, aviation enthusiasts, low-budget travelers and people catching early morning flights who wish to leave it as late as possible before rising to get to check-in – unlike its competitors, the Jumbo Hostel is ten minutes walk from the check-in desks.

Wikinews conducted an email interview with Oscar Diös to talk about the hostel. The full exclusive interview is available below.

Interview

Jumbo Hostel

Wikinews

:Thank you for talking to us. How’s the project coming on?

  • The project is progressing as planned.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:Is everything on schedule still?

  • Almost. A few weeks delay.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Is aviation something that interested you before, or was this purely a sudden idea for a new kind of service to provide?

  • I do have a pilot-license for a Paramotor (Paraglider with engine). The drive though was the ability to get a hostel into the terminal-area of the international airport. Houses are far too expensive for a hostel.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: This is a unique undertaking, yet you say you had the idea simply when you heard the airliner was for sale. Why do you think no-one has done this before you?

  • Probably because there are many coincidence that have fallen our way in terms of bankrupcty and poor maintainace and so forth. Good ideas not seldom seem to be very simple once they are out in the air!!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:I heard you had plans for other similar hostels if this one was successful. Might we then be seeing Jumbo Hostels in, say, London Heathrow or New York’s JFK International?

  • Very likely, yes!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:Could I or anyone else start one and run it as a franchise if they could get ahold of the funding?

  • That is probably one of the business models we are looking for. We always need local operators for the hostels. We know how to establish and build the sites and the operator knows his or her metropol/city.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:Just how much does it cost to convert a plane into a hostel?

  • That is not offical. But it is a few kronor I can assure 😉

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:Aviation is currently experiencing a slowdown, with both high fuel costs and the credit crunch hitting the industry badly. Are you concerned that reduced travelling may mean the hostel comes at a bad time, or do you think that cheaper accommodation near airports will be in higher demand as fares increase?

  • Difficult to say. We are planning the Jumbo Hostels onto airports that lack the hostel service in general. Arlanda in Stockholm did not have a hostel before. This means we will fill up a gap that is demanded. The hostels are quite small and should not be to difficult to fill up with guests.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:With any large project there are various legal and bureaucratic hurdles to clear. Is it difficult trying to do so with an idea as unusual as this?

  • Well, of course there are various hurdles. Luckily they do not come all at once which leaves us with some space for reflection and investigations.

Cross-section of the interior

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:Has the international interest in your project surprised you?

  • Not really. The Boeing 747 aircraft is probably the most common transcontinental aircraft. Many parts of the world recognize the “Queen of the Skies” and therefore everyone that learnt about our hostel can start to imagine and relate to what it could be like staying over night at Jumbo Hostel.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png:Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to anyone reading this now who’s considering a stay at your hostel?

  • Keep an eye onto our website www.jumbohostel.com for the starting-date for our booking. You are of course more than welcome to Stockholm Arlanda and Jumbo Hostel.

External links

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
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