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Sports club under fire for poster suggesting murder victims might have survived if they knew karate

| blog, L&B World, Sweden, World | January 13, 2016

Lisa Holm
Teenager Lisa Holm, the subject of one of Sweden’s biggest missing person searches, was mentioned on the flyer (Picture: Handout)

A Swedish sports club has been heavily criticised for the suggestion that murdered women might have survived if they had learned karate.

Savyron Karate, which is based in Ängelholm in southern Sweden, distributed flyers on which eight high-profile murder victims, including the teenage subject of one of the biggest missing person searches in Swedish history, were named.

The flyer went on to say that if the listed women ‘and 150 other women who have been murdered in the 2000s had really trained in self-defence, they probably would have made it.’

Chairman of the region’s… Read the full story

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Sports club under fire for poster suggesting murder victims might have survived if they knew karate

| blog, L&B World, Sweden, World | January 13, 2016

Lisa Holm
Teenager Lisa Holm, the subject of one of Sweden’s biggest missing person searches, was mentioned on the flyer (Picture: Handout)

A Swedish sports club has been heavily criticised for the suggestion that murdered women might have survived if they had learned karate.

Savyron Karate, which is based in Ängelholm in southern Sweden, distributed flyers on which eight high-profile murder victims, including the teenage subject of one of the biggest missing person searches in Swedish history, were named.

The flyer went on to say that if the listed women ‘and 150 other women who have been murdered in the 2000s had really trained in self-defence, they probably would have made it.’

Chairman of the region’s… Read the full story

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A UK company has been inspired by Sweden to trial a 6-hour working day

| blog, L&B World, Sweden, UK | January 8, 2016

(Picture: Agent Marketing)
(Picture: Agent Marketing)

In September, we wrote about how businesses across Sweden were switching to a six-hour working day, and seeing higher profits, employee happiness and productivity.

Now a company in Liverpool has followed the Swedish example by instituting its own six-hour working day. Employees are thrilled.

At Agent Marketing staff arrive at 9am and leave at 4pm. Their day includes a mandatory one-hour lunch break.

Consequently employees have more time in the evening to pursue hobbies and spend time with their families.

MORE: 9 signs you’re about to get fired

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From Gaza to Sweden: covering deadly attacks

| blog, Gaza, L&B World, media, Sweden, unrest | November 25, 2015



The masked attacker poses for a photo with students. who didn't realize who he was, before launching his assault/ (AFP)

(AFP)



"I knew I was in a different world when my daughter didn’t even cross my mind as I rushed to cover a deadly attack on a school," writes AFP reporter Mai Yaghi, who reported for years on violence in her native Gaza Strip and is currently on leave in Sweden, where she recently covered the bloody assault on a school in Trollhattan. " In Gaza, my children were my first worry when I headed off to cover attacks and wars."



By Mai Yaghi



The masked attacker poses for a photo with students. who didn't realize who he was, before launching his assault/ (AFP)

The masked attacker poses for a photo with students. who didn't realize who he was, before launching his assault/ (AFP)



Trollhattan, Sweden, November 25, 2015 -- I knew I was in a different world when my daughter didn’t even cross my mind as I rushed to cover a deadly attack on a school.

I am from the Gaza Strip, where I worked for AFP for several years and have been on unpaid leave in Sweden since May, to help my daughter recover from the last war. I was keen to work as a journalist outside Gaza and had asked the AFP Stockholm bureau chief to keep me in mind for any work. When he messaged asking if I would be interested in covering an attack on a school in the southwestern town of Trollhattan, I immediately said yes.



(AFP Graphics)

(AFP Graphics)



I didn’t even know there had been an attack. I just asked him to send me the address and hopped into a taxi for the hour and a half ride to Trollhattan. I was so excited that I forgot to call my husband to tell him that I was going and only dialed his number from the cab.

“An attack on a school in Sweden? Did you call Yara’s school?” he asked, talking about my 8-year-old daughter.

I froze in shock. I didn’t even think about my daughter or her brother as I rushed to go cover the attack.

What a difference from Gaza.



Smoke rises over Gaza after an Israeli strike. July, 2014. (AFP/Thomas Coex)

Smoke rises over Gaza after an Israeli strike. July, 2014. (AFP/Thomas Coex)



In Gaza, a thin strip of land saturated by violence for years, my children were my first worry when I headed off to cover attacks and wars.

It was common and expected to hear an air raid or an attack in Gaza at any time of day and night. When I got calls from the office to go cover one, I would often drop my kids off at my mother’s and head out. Gaza is small and you never knew if an attack would strike your house. How often did I feel selfish and guilty for leaving them in dangerous situations.



A child walks through the rubble her home in Gaza. August, 2014. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)

A child walks through the rubble her home in Gaza. August, 2014. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)



Once my daughter broke my heart. It was during the last war. There was heavy shelling and I had to go to the office. She hugged me tightly as I headed out.

“Don’t go Mommy. If you go out, you will get killed and we will only meet in heaven.”

But I couldn’t work from home that day, as there was no electricity and I was saving the USB battery for the night.

To be honest, I think I also wanted to go out, to escape, so that I didn’t have to see the fear in her eyes when an explosion struck. And they struck every minute it seems. I felt so helpless. Going to work was an escape.

"The Israelis are not targeting journalists," I told her. "I have a press sign on my car, so I'll be ok, don't worry. I'll be safe," I said heading out the door.

She wasn’t fooled.



Palestinians scramble away after an air strike on a house in Gaza. Auguest, 2014. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)

Palestinians scramble after an air strike on a house in Gaza. August, 2014. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)



The last war was particularly hard on me, both as a journalist and as a human being. The bureau's office assistant was killed in the war, I had to leave my house and move into my sister's, my husband was out of Gaza.

My daughter had serious trauma from that war. She couldn't be alone at all, she was too scared. She couldn't even go to the bathroom by herself.



A child cries inside a Gaza hospital. July, 2014. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)

A child cries inside a Gaza hospital. July, 2014. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)



An opportunity to come to Sweden came up and my husband and I decided to take it. Even here, it was difficult. She was too scared to go to school, she was afraid it would be shelled. I had to go back to Gaza in the beginning and my husband had to stay with her in the classroom for three months. If she heard a helicopter here, she began to panic.

We came here to escape the violence and the tension of the Gaza Strip, but it was hard to leave. Palestinians tend to be very family oriented and aside from my husband and my kids, my family was staying behind in Gaza. I would no longer be able to drop the kids off at my mother’s. Or count on the neighbors to keep an eye on them as they played outside. Or have my kids enjoy large, noisy family gatherings, playing with their myriad of cousins.

So my kids were my main reason for moving to Sweden and here I was, dashing off to cover an attack on a school and my kids didn’t even cross my mind.



Click here to watch on a mobile device.



I guess violence is such a permanent part of life in Gaza, and Gaza is so small, that you’re always worried that it could strike your loved ones. But Sweden is so calm and safe that you just don’t expect it to touch you.

The assault in Trollhattan, which has a large immigrant community, saw a teenage student and a 20-year-old teaching assistant killed in a racist attack in which a killer, dressed in black, wearing a Darth Vader-like mask, a German World War II Nazi-era helmet and armed with a sword, went from classroom to classroom in search of those with “dark complexions.”



The school after the attack. (AFP/TT News Agency/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall)

The school after the attack. (AFP/TT News Agency/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall)



When I arrived at the school, I found more differences from my past experiences with deadly violence. There were dozens of people gathered outside, standing behind the fenced off perimeter. Many of them spoke Arabic, so much so that I felt at home. There were policemen and everyone seemed to be shocked.

To me, it was like a scene out of an American movie. In Gaza, you rarely see uniformed policemen at scenes of attacks and the people who gather around don’t stand to the side. They crowd right in, trying to pick up dead bodies and help the injured.

When I started interviewing witnesses, they were all shocked, sad and scared.

That was another striking difference – the violence doesn’t have the same impact here than in does in Gaza.



Families flee their homes in southern Gaza following Israeli air strikes in the area. August, 2014. (AFP/Said Khatib)

Families flee their homes in southern Gaza following Israeli air strikes in the area. August, 2014. (AFP/Said Khatib)



People in Gaza are of course sad when they lose their relatives or friends.

But they are rarely scared or shocked. It was very common for me to interview someone who had just lost a child and he would say. “I’m proud, he is a martyr, I’m ready to sacrifice all my sons for Palestine and God.”



A couple comforts each other after losing relatives in an Israeli air strike. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

A couple comforts each other after losing relatives in an Israeli air strike. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)



In Trollhattan, I found no such sentiments.  Amal Ahmad, a 37-year-old mother of a student at the school stood outside the building holding a sign that read “Varfor” (Why).

“I’m scared and I worry for my kids,” she said. “I don’t want any harm to come to them.”

“I’m originally from Iraq. We left our country for security here in Sweden, we don’t want violence.”



A woman lights a candle outside the school after the attack. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)

A woman lights a candle outside the school after the attack. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)



I think the main thing that I came away with from my experience in covering the Swedish attack is that violence is horrible everywhere, but its impact varies, depending on where it occurs.

In violence-sodden Gaza, it evokes anger and frustration and often defiance. In peaceful Sweden, I found fear, shock and sadness.

Mai Yaghi was an AFP correspondent based in Gaza and is currently in Sweden on leave. This blog was written with Yana Dlugy (@yanadlugy) in Paris.



Candles and flowers outside the attacked school. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)

Candles and flowers outside the attacked school. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)



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These people are ridiculously excited about the opening of a new cash machine

| blog, L&B World, Money, Sweden, Weird, Youtube | October 5, 2015

IT’S CHRISTMAAAAAAAAAAS.

Well, it isn’t – but the reactions of the people in this Swedish village would lead you to think otherwise.

They’re just ridiculously excited about the fact that a new ATM machine has opened in their town.

Yep.

In the clip, the townsfolk of Skoghall have all congregated around the new machine – and it’s fair to say that excitement has reached fever pitch.

This dude even threw some sweets off a roof to celebrate (Picture: Badkarin/YouTube)Read the full story

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Sweden is shifting to a six-hour work day and we’ve already bought tickets

| blog, L&B World, Sweden, World | September 30, 2015

(Picture: Giphy)
(Picture: Giphy)

Sweden, the land of Vikings, IKEA and ABBA, is shifting to a six-hour work day.

Unlike the rest of us masochists, who seem determined to work longer hours despite a number of studies showing its detriment to health, happiness and productivity, businesses across Sweden have already made the switch to the shorter working day, and many more are trialling it.

The Toyota service centres in Gothenburg switched to a six-hour day 13 years ago and report happier staff, a lower turnover rate and, to no one’s surprise, ease in enticing new employees to join the company. Profits have risen 25 per cent.

‘I think the 8-hour work day is not as effective as one would think,’ Linus Feldt, CEO of Stockholm app developer Filimundus, told Read the full story

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Cat rescued from rubbish truck moments before being incinerated

| blog, Cats, L&B World, Sweden, Weird | September 11, 2015

PIC FROM CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: The cat inside the rubbish bin ) - Talk about averting a cat-astrophe! These binmen saved a scaredy cat from the incinerator as they pulled it from a huge mound of stinking rubbish. Two binmen in Stockholm, Sweden, were getting ready to haul food waste to an incinerator when they heard the sound of a distressed cat coming from their trucks holding compartment. The cat, named Melker, was buried under a huge pile of stinking rubbish but the team battled through the stench and pulled it to safety. The team spent over half an hour sifting through over five tonnes of rotting food before finally pulling the cat to safety. SEE CATERS COPY.
The cat was discovered in this… Read the full story

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Slashed by a sea monster

| blog, France, L&B World, Sweden | June 18, 2015

A racing officials' boat is hit by part of the Spindrift 2 Multihull (L) on June 16, 2015, just before the start of the 9th Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, off the coast of Lorient, western France (AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN  EVRARD)

(AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastien Evrard)

"The Spindrift 2 is the world’s largest racing trimaran. An extraordinary sailboat. Forty metres long, it holds a round-the-world record and frequently hits speeds of more than 45 knots – or 85 kilometres per hour," writes the AFP photographer Jean-Sebastien Evrard. "At full speed, its rudders and daggerboards are sharp as razor blades. Not something you wish to see hurtling towards you out at sea. Yet that is what I witnessed, on June 16 in the afternoon, off the coast from Lorient in Brittany."



By Jean-Sebastien Evrard



A racing officials' boat is hit by part of the Spindrift 2 Multihull (L) on June 16, 2015, just before the start of the 9th Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, off the coast of Lorient, western France (AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN  EVRARD)

A racing officials' boat is hit by the Spindrift 2 trimaran on June 16, 2015, just before the start of the 9th Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, off the coast of Lorient, western France (AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastien Evrard)


LORIENT, France, June 18, 2015 - The Spindrift 2 is the world’s largest racing trimaran. An extraordinary sailboat. Forty metres long, it holds a round-the-world record and frequently hits speeds of more than 45 knots – or 85 kilometres per hour. At full speed, its rudders and daggerboards are sharp as razor blades. Not something you wish to see hurtling towards you out at sea.

Yet that is what I witnessed, on June 16 in the afternoon, off the coast from Lorient in Brittany.

The ninth and final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race – a round-the-world monohull sailing competition – was about to begin. The Spindrift 2 was not participating, but it is moored in Lorient and it is traditional for large boats to sail out for the start of races taking place at home.


Monohulls class 65 at the start of Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race between Lorient and Goteborg on June 16, 2015 in Lorient, western France (AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD)

(AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastien Evrard)


I was on board one of the press boats, along with three other photographers and two crew. The weather was gorgeous, the work conditions ideal. Before sailing out towards the finish line in Gothenburg in Sweden, the contestants started by running a short regatta off Lorient.

Our press boat was bobbing outside the strict exclusion zone set up by the organisers, so as not to obstruct the race. There are always a lot of people out on the water on big racing days. Several organiser boats were on hand to prevent the many day sailors and jet skis in the area from straying into the race’s perimeter.


The Spindrift 2 Multihull before a collision with a racing official boat on June 16, 2015, off the coast of Lorient, western France (AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD)

The Spindrift 2, moments before the collision (AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastien Evrard)


I saw the Spindrift 2 heading towards the start line. Almost stationary at that point, it tacked to port, and headed out to sea picking up speed. It was sailing straight for the group of organiser boats.

Right away, the manoeuvre seemed dangerous to me. This trimaran is like a Formula One racer out at sea. It is also a giant that is not easy to manoeuvre, and here it was hurtling at high speed towards a dinghy whose pilot had no time to react. He seemed paralysed, just as we were as we watched from the press boat.

The scene lasted just seconds. The impact was inevitable. I saw people throwing themselves off the dinghy in a panic, their life jackets inflating as they hit the water.

One of the Spindrift’s huge rudders hit the side of the dinghy, making an awful whacking sound. A woman was thrown violently overboard. I was the only photographer on the press boat who lifted my camera to take a dozen pictures as the shocking scene unfolded. I didn’t realise at that point how serious it was.


A racing officials' boat is hit by part of the Spindrift 2 Multihull (L) on June 16, 2015, just before the start of the 9th Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, off the coast of Lorient, western France (AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN  EVRARD)

(AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastien Evrard)


Our speed boat raced the 30 or 40 metres to the accident site right away. But within seconds two marine rescue teams were already taking things in hand.

A huge pool of blood was spreading in the sea near the dinghy. After 20 minutes or so, a helicopter arrived and airlifted the victim, who was in a bad state.

I later learned that the victim was seriously injured, and was transported to a Lorient hospital. The marine gendarmerie has opened an investigation and Spindrift Racing has promised to cooperate fully. What a terrible day.

Jean-Sebastien Evrard is a freelance AFP photographer based in Nantes


A racing officials' boat is hit by part of the Spindrift 2 Multihull (L) on June 16, 2015, just before the start of the 9th Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, off the coast of Lorient, western France (AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN  EVRARD)

(AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastien Evrard)




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Swedish peacekeepers are trolling Russian submarines with a ‘this way if you are gay’ neon sign

| blog, L&B World, Russia, Sweden, World | May 13, 2015

‘This way if you are gay.’

That’s the message being broadcast in Morse code from a neon dancing ‘gay sailor’ sign currently sitting in the Baltic Sea.

The sign, which was created by the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, was placed there in late April to deter Russian submarines, which have been spotted with increasing regularity in Swedish waters over the last few years.

MORE: Russia trains actual seals to act like Navy Seals, because ¯_(ツ)_/¯

(Picture: Vimeo/Swedish Peace)
Top trolling (Picture: Vimeo/Swedish Peace)

The dancing ‘gay sailor’, which reads ‘Welcome to Sweden – gay since 1944′ is supposed to serve as a cost-effective Russian repellent. A week-long search for a submarine in 2014 cost Sweden… Read the full story

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