Four Die In Sweden After Falling Through Ice On Lake

Aerial view shows a boat making its way through the icy water of Lidingo, near Stockholm, Sweden, on February 22, 2021. Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP
Aerial view shows a boat making its way through the icy water of Lidingo, near Stockholm, Sweden, on February 22, 2021. Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

 

Four people were killed when they fell through the ice on a lake in southern Sweden on Thursday, police said, as the country experiences a spell of unseasonably mild weather.

Four men aged between 65 and 75 were found in a hole in the ice on Savsjo lake, south of the town of Jonkoping, and could not be resuscitated after being pulled out of the water, a local police spokesperson told AFP.

The exact circumstances of the incident were yet to be determined, she said.

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Accidents caused by people walking across unstable ice are common in Sweden, but it is rare for the death toll to be so high.

After several weeks of intense cold throughout most of the country, which drew walkers to frozen lakes and estuaries, parts of Sweden have seen a rapid hike in temperature over the past few days.

A national heat record for February was set on Thursday, according to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute.

A temperature of 16.8 degrees Celsius (62.2 degrees Fahrenheit) was registered in Kalmar, in the southeast of the country.

AFP

Five Things To Know About The Nobel Literature Prize

 

The Swedish Academy will on Thursday crown two Nobel literature laureates after postponing the 2018 prize for a year to deal with the fallout of a sexual harassment scandal that rocked the venerable institution.

Here are five things to know about the Nobel Literature Prize.

Prestigious award

Each year, the Swedish Academy awards 16 prizes, the most famous and prestigious being the Nobel Literature Prize. The other Nobels — including the coveted Peace Prize — are awarded by other institutions.

In his 1895 last will and testament, Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel tasked the institution with awarding the Nobel Literature Prize each year.

Since 1901, four or five of the Academy’s 18 members have been elected to serve on its Nobel Committee for a three-year term, designated to sort through the nominations and provide the rest of the Academy with a shortlist of possible winners.

The nominees’ bodies of work are then studied and discussed by the entire Academy. The members hold a vote in October to choose the winner — the laureate must obtain more than half of the votes cast.

Following last year’s scandal, the Nobel Foundation that funds the Nobel Prizes insisted that five external people also join the Nobel Committee for at least 2019 and 2020.

350 nominees a year

The Academy’s archives are bursting with letters from the world’s most renowned literary figures nominating candidates.

Each year, the institution receives around 350 nominations submitted by those eligible to do so: former Nobel literature laureates, members of other countries’ equivalent academies, literature professors, and the heads of national writers’ associations.

Each one vaunts the talents of their candidate, some going so far as to slip in a little gift for Academy members — a gesture they typically frown upon.

To be valid, nominations must be presented or renewed each year and must be received by the Academy by January 31 at the latest.

To qualify, nominees must still be alive, and, according to the strict rules laid out by Alfred Nobel, must have published a piece of work within the past year, though the Academy has occasionally strayed from that requirement.

Reserved and refused awards

A total of 114 people have won the Nobel Literature Prize. It has been awarded on 110 occasions, with two people sharing the prize on four occasions.

It has also been declined twice: In 1958 Russian author Boris Pasternak accepted the prize but was later forced by Soviet authorities to decline it, and in 1964, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre turned it down.

The institution, founded in 1786, chose to reserve the prize eight times: in 1915, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1936, 1949 and 2018.

On six of those occasions, the prize was delayed then awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize, as will be the case on Thursday.

France tops list

France takes the gold medal for the most Nobel Literature Prizes with 15 laureates, including the first one ever awarded, to Sully Prudhomme in 1901.

Tied in second place are the United States and Britain with 12 laureates each, including last year’s winner, Japanese-born British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, author of “Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go”.

In terms of languages, however, laureates writing in Moliere’s tongue find themselves outnumbered by those writing in Shakespeare’s, with 29 Anglophone authors honoured since 1901.

Scandals

The Academy has been rocked by several affairs in modern times.

In the name of the “independence of literature”, the Swedish Academy refused to condemn a 1989 fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie following the publication of his novel, “The Satanic Verses”.

Academy members were divided about whether to stand as neutral guarantors of the arts or as supporters of their fellow author.

Three members angered by the Academy’s chosen path of silence left their seats, though technically they were appointed for life and could not resign.

It was not until 27 years later, in 2016, that the Academy finally condemned the fatwa against Rushdie.

Then, in late 2017 and early 2018, it disagreed publicly about how to manage its close ties to Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault, accused and later convicted of rape.

Arnault is married to Katarina Frostenson, a member of the Academy who later resigned over the scandal.

The rift exposed scheming, conflicts of interest, harassment and a culture of silence among members, leaving the Academy in disarray and forcing it to postpone the 2018 prize.

The Academy’s statutes have since been revised to increase transparency and allow members to resign.

Seven members quit the Academy in 2018 and have since been replaced.

US Rapper A$AP Rocky Released Until Assault Verdict On August 14

 

The Stockholm district court said Friday that US rapper A$AP Rocky should be released from custody, pending the verdict of an assault trial that has garnered global attention and stirred fan outrage.

The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been in custody in Sweden since he was arrested on July 3 after a street brawl, but on the last day of his trial the court decided to release him, pending the verdict.

“Rakim Mayers… (and the two others accused) are no longer going to be remanded in custody,” presiding judge Per Lennerbrant told the court, adding that the court’s verdict would be made available on August 14.

AFP

Small-Aircraft Crash kills Nine In Sweden

 

 

Nine people died Sunday when a small aircraft being used for tourism crashed in northwest Sweden, the regional authority said.

“The nine people on board are dead,” Gabriella Bandling, spokeswoman for the Vaesterbotten region, told AFP. She did not say who they were.

According to Swedish media reports, the plane was carrying people for a parachute jump but crashed a little after 2:00 pm (1200 GMT). The plane, a GippsAero GA8 Airvan, had taken off from Umea airport.

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Amateur footage posted online by the Swedish daily Aftonbladet shows the plane plunging from the sky in a vertical line.

“I heard a weird sound, which didn’t sound normal,” one witness, Peter Larsson, told the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “I looked up and saw a plane spinning like a top.

“At first I thought it was an acrobatic flight but we quickly realised that something was wrong.”

The wreck of the plane has been found on an island in the archipelago south of Umea.

AFP

Stockholm Attacker Admits To Terror Crime

The Stockholm truck attack suspect who drove into a department store on Friday killing four people has confessed to the crime.

According to his lawyer, Johan Eriksson, the suspect admitted responsibility for the terrorist crime at a custody hearing in the Swedish capital, saying he accepts being detained.

Police officials say the suspect, Rakhmat Akilov, had been on the wanted list after disappearing when he was denied residency in Sweden.

He is reported to have expressed sympathy for the Islamic State (IS). Reports also say he had left a wife and four children behind in Uzbekistan in order to earn money to send home.