Swedish banks told to safeguard cash access despite rise in digital payments

STOCKHOLM – Swedish banks must ensure savers have access to cash withdrawal and deposit facilities despite a dramatic drop in the number of people using coins and notes, a government-appointed committee said on Monday. Many Swedes have completely stopped using cash, relying on digital services like Swish and iZettle to buy and sell items and send cash to each other. But the central bank has … Continue reading Swedish banks told to safeguard cash access despite rise in digital payments

Germany issues international arrest warrant for top Assad officer

BERLIN – German prosecutors have issued an international arrest warrant for the head of the Syrian Airforce Intelligence on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, citing German security officials. Jamil Hassan is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s senior lieutenants. Der Spiegel said prosecutors accuse Hassan of overseeing some of the most horrific crimes committed by Syrian … Continue reading Germany issues international arrest warrant for top Assad officer

Swedish parliament votes to give asylum seekers second chance, exposing divisions

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday to give around 9,000 failed asylum seekers a second chance to stay, exposing a split in the opposition over immigration ahead of September’s election. Sweden took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, resulting in a backlash among voters and a u-turn in policy from the Social Democrat-led minority government, bringing in tighter regulations … Continue reading Swedish parliament votes to give asylum seekers second chance, exposing divisions

Austrian Chancellor says migrants should ‘not have the opportunity to pick the best system in Europe’

Germany, the Netherlands and Austria were among those involved in the discussions to open an asylum centre outside of the EU, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told local media, adding he hoped a pilot project could pave the way for an improved European asylum system. Speaking in Brussels, Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz confirmed the plans, saying talks had already reached an advanced stage. “We … Continue reading Austrian Chancellor says migrants should ‘not have the opportunity to pick the best system in Europe’

European leaders in talks on creating asylum centre outside EU… ‘won’t be on the list of preferred destinations’ -Danish PM

COPENHAGEN, June 6 (Reuters) – Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Tuesday he was in talks with other European leaders about establishing a camp for rejected asylum seekers in a country on the continent but outside the European Union. Germany, the Netherlands and Austria were among governments involved in discussions and he was hopeful that an initial pilot project could pave the way … Continue reading European leaders in talks on creating asylum centre outside EU… ‘won’t be on the list of preferred destinations’ -Danish PM

H&M and Gap to probe violence and sex abuse in Asian factories

By Kieran Guilbert LONDON – Fashion giants H&M and Gap Inc vowed on Tuesday to investigate reports that Asian garment workers who supply their high-street stores routinely face sex abuse, harassment and violence. Based on interviews with some 550 workers in 53 H&M and Gap supplier factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, rights groups said women were at “daily risk” of violence, … Continue reading H&M and Gap to probe violence and sex abuse in Asian factories

Why Sweden’s ‘prepare for war’ leaflet is a waste of paper

By  Kristian Gerner The Swedish government is sending a booklet called “Om krisen eller kriget kommer” (If Crisis or War Comes) to households all over the country, advising them on how to prepare for war. The 20-page document includes advice on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack, and how to prepare food and shelter in the event of conflict. The introduction … Continue reading Why Sweden’s ‘prepare for war’ leaflet is a waste of paper

How Sweden is preparing for Russia to hack its election

By Erik Brattberg & Tim MaurerCarnegie Endowment for International Peace Russia has been repeatedly accused of interfering in recent elections. But Sweden is determined it won’t fall victim to any such meddling – with millions of leaflets being distributed and propaganda-spotting lessons for students. As campaigning intensified in the French election, the team of now President Emmanuel Macron said it was a target for “fake news” … Continue reading How Sweden is preparing for Russia to hack its election

Swedish girls fearing forced marriage told to hide spoon in underwear

By Emma Batha LONDON – A Swedish city is advising girls who fear being taken abroad for forced marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM) to tuck a spoon in their underwear before going through airport security. Airport staff in Gothenburg have been told how to respond in such circumstances, said Katarina Idegard, who is in charge of tackling honour-based violence in Sweden’s second biggest city. … Continue reading Swedish girls fearing forced marriage told to hide spoon in underwear

Why neutral, peaceful Sweden is preparing for war

By Peter Apps Sweden – Over the last two weeks, every household in Sweden received a booklet of instructions on how to prepare for war. Issued by the government and including instructions for every Swedish resident to resist an invader by all means necessary, it was a dramatic sign of just how quickly the recently unthinkable has become something Europe’s Nordic governments in particular feel … Continue reading Why neutral, peaceful Sweden is preparing for war