Sweden realised how crucial it was to become self-sufficient in energy very early on. The second world war was ‘an energy trauma’, forcing Sweden to import coal from Nazi Germany, according to Teva Meyer, a geographer at the University of Haute Alsace.So over the next years, Sweden diversified its energy sources by building hydroelectric dams on its countless streams and rivers. Then, after discovering key uranium deposits in 1947, the country committed to nuclear energy: its first heat and electric power production facility entered service in 1964 at Ågesta, near Stockholm. Though neutral Sweden renounced nuclear weapons in 1968, it developed an extensive civil programme, leading to the construction of 12 nuclear reactors.
Tag Archives: Sweden
Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish state’s collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and “rendition”.
Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure.
This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played out in Sweden. “It’s a laughing stock,” said James Catlin, one of Assange’s Australian lawyers. “It is as if they make it up as they go along”.
Swedish prosecutors announced this morning that they were terminating their seven-year-old sex crimes investigation into Julian Assange and withdrawing their August 20, 2010, arrest warrant for him. The chief prosecutor, Marianne Ny, said at a news conference this morning (pictured below) that investigators had reached no conclusion about his guilt or innocence, but instead were withdrawing the warrant because “all prospects of pursuing the investigation under present circumstances are exhausted” and it is therefore “no longer proportionate to maintain the arrest of Julian Assange in his absence.”
The Swedish Migration Agency in Malmo, the southern port city on the border with Denmark, occupies a square brick building at the far edge of town. On the day that I was there, Nov. 19, 2015, hundreds of refugees, who had been bused in from the train station, queued up outside in the chill to be registered, or sat inside waiting to be assigned a place for the night. Two rows of white tents had been set up in the parking lot to house those for whom no other shelter could be found. Hundreds of refugees had been put in hotels a short walk down the highway, and still more in an auditorium near the station.
When the refugee crisis began last summer, about 1,500 people were coming to Sweden every week seeking asylum. By August, the number had doubled. In September, it doubled again. In October, it hit 10,000 a week, and stayed there even as the weather grew colder. A nation of 9.5 million, Sweden expected to take as many as 190,000 refugees, or 2 percent of the population — double the per capita figure projected by Germany, which has taken the lead in absorbing the vast tide of people fleeing the wars in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere.
The increase in nihilistic violence such as school shootings and Friday’s lethal assault on a Planned Parenthood clinic, the frequent executions of poor people of color by police, and the rise of thuggish demagogues such as Donald Trump are symptoms of the collapse of our political and cultural institutions.
These institutions, which once made possible piecemeal and incremental reform, which sought to protect the weak from the tyranny of the majority and give them a voice, acted as a safety valve to ameliorate the excesses of capitalism and address the grievances of the underclass. They did not defy the system of capitalism. They colluded with the structures of privilege and white supremacy. But they provided some restraints on the worst abuse and exploitation. The capturing of major institutions by corporate power and the moral bankruptcy of our elites, especially members of our self-identified liberal class, have shattered this equilibrium.
Kyle James, a black New Yorker with a top job in banking, had been warned to expect problems in bars and nightclubs in Stockholm when he visited the city in July. But nothing prepared him for what happened when he entered a well-known bar with two black friends.
After he had bought a drink, bouncers told him to leave; when he asked why, they dragged him outside, pepper-sprayed his eyes and pinned him to the ground. Police then handcuffed him and his friends. James, 32, was made to strip naked and spent the night without clothes in a cell.
This is an updated version of John Pilger’s 2014 investigation which tells the unreported story of an unrelenting campaign, in Sweden and the US, to deny Julian Assange justice and silence WikiLeaks: a campaign now reaching a dangerous stage.
The siege of Knightsbridge is both an emblem of gross injustice and a gruelling farce. For three years, a police cordon around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. It has cost £12 million. The quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His “crime” is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.
The persecution of Julian Assange is about to flare again as it enters a dangerous stage. From August 20, three quarters of the Swedish prosecutor’s case against Assange regarding sexual misconduct in 2010 will disappear as the statute of limitations expires. At the same time Washington’s obsession with Assange and WikiLeaks has intensified. Indeed, it is vindictive American power that offers the greatest threat – as Chelsea Manning and those still held in Guantanamo can attest.
On June 19, Julian Assange, founder and editor, of WikiLeaks has been a refugee in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for three years. The key issue in his extraordinary incarceration is justice.He has been charged with no crime.
The first Swedish prosecutor dismissed the misconduct allegations regarding two women in Stockholm in 2010. The second Swedish prosecutor’s actions were and are demonstrably political. Until recently, she refused to come to London to interview Assange – then she said she was coming; then she cancelled her appointment. It is a farce, but one with grim consequences for Assange should he dare step outside the Ecuadorean embassy. The U.S. criminal investigation against him and WikiLeaks – for the “crime” of exercising a right enshrined in the U.S. constitution, to tell unpalatable truths – is “unprecedented in scale and nature”, according to U.S. documents. For this, he faces much of a lifetime in the hellhole of a U.S. supermax should he leave the protection of Ecuador in London.
Un moment, je me suis demandé ce que je faisais là. Les pieds plantés dans la neige, le visage fouetté par le vent glacé, face à un trou taillé dans la rivière gelée de cette ville miniature perdue au nord de la Suède. Ce samedi, Skellefteå accueille le championnat national de natation d’hiver (Winter Swimming). Alors que j’enfonce mon bonnet de trappeur un peu plus bas sur les oreilles et hésite à dégainer mon stylo, de gros costauds tatoués laissent tomber leur robe de chambre pour se glisser dans une eau à 0,4 ºC. Pendant cinq à dix secondes, le froid est tel qu’on a du mal à respirer, mais la production d’endorphine par le corps permet ensuite de se relaxer et de se sentir extraordinairement bien, heureux, tente de me convaincre Olaf Schneider, un Allemand installé depuis quatre ans à Skellefteå. Avec ses amis Lars et Jarkko, en marge de ses activités de programmeur, il contribue à développer l’un des piliers du projet Dark and Cold, valorisant des expériences inédites dans la longue nuit d’hiver nordique. Pour quelques jours, il sera mon compagnon de voyage à travers la baie du golfe de Botnie, une région d’environ 500 km longeant la mer Baltique à son point le plus extrême.