Connect with us


What’s behind the success of Sweden’s far-right Democrats?

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



What'S Behind The Success Of Sweden'S Far-Right Democrats?
google news

STOCKHOLM — Magnus Karlsson, 43, works in information technology and is about to start his own business. Articulated and thoughtful, he closely follows the news, both in Sweden and around the world.

But fed up with what he sees as the Swedish political establishment’s complacency on issues of immigration, crime and inflation, he voted for the Swedish Democrats for the first time last week.

The party, which was founded in 1988 and has its roots in the neo-Nazi movement, won 20.5% of the vote in Sunday’s election, giving it the second most seats in parliament, after the centre-left social democrats. It is the largest party in the right-wing coalition that is expected to form the next government, winning more votes than the more traditional centre-right moderate party, whose leader Ulf Kristersson is expected to become prime minister.

Despite their performance, Sweden’s Democrats will not take cabinet posts, largely because another coalition partner, the smaller Liberal Party, rejected the possibility. But Sweden’s Democrats and their leader, Jimmie Akesson, are expected to have a major influence on government policy. The party is strictly anti-immigrant and should also demand changes in policing, criminal justice, benefits and environmental regulations.

From Mr. Karlsson’s point of view, immigration is the key issue. “We have been naive as a country – that makes us Swedes, it’s in our DNA – and we think the best of people,” he said, referring to migrants and refugees. “But, if these people take advantage of us and our hospitality, we may have to change our minds.”

Sweden, with a history of openness to political refugees, accepted more migrants and asylum seekers per capita than any country in Europe, including Germany, during the mass migration crisis of 2015, most of them from Muslim countries. But the centre-left Social Democrats, who have ruled for eight years, have in many ways failed to assimilate the newcomers, while the far right has made progress in linking the long-standing problem from gun crime to immigration.

However, other European countries with similar levels of immigration have not seen the same increase in gun violence, and the researchers say more studies are needed to determine if a link exists.

Nevertheless, Mr Karlsson is adamant. “Swedish society is big and open, but it is eroding,” he said, citing “gang violence, shootings, non-existent integration policies and open borders.”

“We need a change,” he added, “and I think the Swedish Democrats are more aligned with my views.”

In Staffanstorp, a suburb of Malmö, where the crime rate is higher than in any other Swedish city, Maria Celander, a 42-year-old podiatrist, also voted for the Swedish Democrats.

“We have taken in too many refugees and it has turned things upside down here,” she said. “We cannot afford to take care of everyone.

She denied any bias against immigrants. “It’s not that we are racists, those of us who voted for them,” she said. “We are ordinary people who want law and order. I want a safer country.

She said she believed Swedish Democrats would push for lower energy prices and less restrictive environmental controls. “We have a good approach to the environment here, but it won’t do any good if we stop driving cars or scale things down if they don’t on the other side of the planet,” he said. she stated.

But Mr Karlsson and Ms Celander fear the party will fail to implement new policies, falling into what they see as the usual pattern of coalition governments that produce bland compromises and little change. And both would rather the party actually be in government, with ministerial posts, than just trying to influence it.

“I hope they want to stand up for what they say they stand for,” Ms Celander said. “You can’t go out and tell everyone you’re going to do this and that and not help govern.”

Mr. Karlsson, too, who in 2018 voted for the moderates, wants the Swedish Democrats “to walk the step”. He understands the complications of coalition but, he said, ‘we have to let them into government and see what they can do – either they can handle it or they’re just another group of people. who get together to complain about certain things.

Christian Sonesson knows something about what giving the Swedish Democrats a slice of power might mean. He is a moderate and has been Mayor of Staffanstorp since 2012. In 2018 he created a local coalition with the far-right party, having decided that their policies on taxation, governance, school, crime and economy were close to his own. This created a stir within the national party, but the coalition worked well at the local level, he said.

“I noticed that these people weren’t the monsters the media portrayed them to be,” he said. “They were very close to us,” he added: “Keep taxation as low as possible. Don’t let the gangs take over. The local coalition installed surveillance cameras and hired security guards; the result was a significant reduction in violence and unrest, Sonesson noted, adding that citizens’ sense of security had increased.

It should also be noted, he said, that local support for Sweden’s Democrats had fallen slightly, while votes for its moderates had increased.

“People don’t like it when they see a 20 or 30 percent party that has no power,” he said. “It’s unfair in people’s minds.”

Leaving Sweden’s Democrats out in the cold, he suggested, would help the party grow. “They get so big they can rule themselves,” he said. “But if you accept them as a coalition partner and they are forced to take responsibility, their popularity rises or falls depending on their own actions,” he said.

Many worry about normalizing what has been such an extreme party, a party that has played the cards of fear and racism – especially through its online magazine, Samtiden, and the YouTube channel it controls. Sweden’s Democrats back the country’s complete border closures, called for a ban on halal meat in schools and blamed the previous centre-left government for being soft on migrants, crime and Islamist extremists.

Mr Akesson, the leader of Sweden’s Democrats, has said in the past that Muslim migration to Sweden is “our biggest foreign threat since World War II”.

But there is also a growing belief that ostracism from the party simply allows him to play the role of critic without responsibility.

Anders Falk, 64, a construction company manager, sees danger in the influence of Sweden’s Democrats from behind and would prefer them to take responsibility in government. He cited experiences in Denmark, Finland and Norway, where far-right populist parties have either moderated the government or failed and lost support.

The Social Democrats, he said, deserved to lose, because “integration didn’t work”, when there seemed to be “a taboo” among established politicians to discuss issues such as the crime and unemployment. “I think the rest of Europe is laughing at us,” he said, referring to the fallout from the migrant crisis, adding that other countries “were much more restrictive on immigrants, and we took full responsibility for that”.

Erik Andersson, 25, works for television and cinema. He said he was frustrated with the difficulty of getting real change from coalition governments. Although he disagreed with Sweden’s Democrats and did not vote for them, they should be allowed to govern – and fail, he said.

“People will realize they can’t do anything,” he said, “and they’ll fall off a cliff.”

But there is a lesson for Sweden in their rise, Andersson added. The Swedish Democrats “talked about things that should be looked at, but because of taboos nobody wanted to discuss them”. Now, he says, the results can be seen.

“You have to be able to talk openly about the issues, because if you don’t, extremism will increase,” he noted. “You have to be able to speak openly and challenge the extremists.”

Steven Erlanger reported from Stockholm, and Christine Anderson from Staffanstorp, Sweden.

nytimes Eur

google news


Tommies overcome midgame lull to roll over Division II Lincoln 43-6

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Tommies Overcome Midgame Lull To Roll Over Division Ii Lincoln 43-6
google news

St. Thomas’ football game against Division II Lincoln University (Calif.) on Saturday afternoon at O’Shaughnessy Stadium began as though it was going to be a blowout. It ended in a blowout, with the Tommies improving to 2-1 with a 43-6 victory.

In between, enough went wrong for the Tommies to know that they will have to play better moving forward, with Pioneer Football League play beginning next Saturday with a game at Marist.

“I don’t think I have to walk into our meeting tomorrow at noon and say, ‘Guys, there’s a lot of things we have to clean up,’ ” Tommies coach Glenn Caruso said. “These guys understand that. But, they also understand it because the level of expectations is so ridiculously high.

“But as a guy on the sidelines who can see (offense, defense and the kicking game), one side of the ball’s shortcomings are not affecting the two other sides of the ball.”

Lincoln, based in Oakland, Calif., began its football program last year. The Oaklanders have been taking their lumps ever since, but the Tommies insist that they didn’t allow complacency to creep into their game

“We knew they had great athletes,” Tommies linebacker Luke Herzog said. “Their running back is a former All-American at the FCS level. We knew they were dangerous if we took them lightly. I don’t think we’re looking to take any games off.”

Caruso pointed to two lost fumbles and the inability to get the ball into the end zone from inside the red zone on two occasions as things that need to get better.

The Tommies have scored on their first drive in each of their first three games this season, but they have not been able to sustain that success.

“We’ve been great from the jump,” said quarterback Cade Sexauer, who completed 15 of 22 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. “Where we need to grow now is drives two, three, four, five, where we’ve been hitting that lull.”

For Sexauer, that means “cleaning up the little things,” which will eliminate the Tommies beating themselves, be it on a drive, or, down the road, in a game.

Defensively, Herzog said the Tommies were hurt by some missed assignments, including one of his own.

“We didn’t always do an amazing job of getting off the field,” Caruso said, “but we did enough to put the offense on some shorter fields.”

The Tommies scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, with Sexauer throwing touchdown passes to Jacob Wildermuth and James Klecker. But St. Thomas sputtered on both sides of the ball after that and took a 15-3 lead into halftime.

After a Lincoln field goal, the Tommies added a safety when Herzog tackled the ball carrier in the end zone. On the ensuing free kick, Andrew McElroy nearly ran it all the way back, getting pushed out at the Lincoln 3. Shawn Shipman rushed for a touchdown on the next play for  a 24-6 St. Thomas lead.

The Tommies then blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown to finally gain control of the game.

“Every time someone comes into Palmer Field at O’Shaughnessy they are going to play their absolute best or one of their top-two games of the year,” Caruso said. “It’s happened for nine or 10 years now. And that is a blessing. We work very hard to have the privilege of pressure. But it also allows us to go to work, go to work, go to work.

“Eventually, if you do your job well enough, and long enough, things sort of open up. That’s what you saw today, maybe five to eight minutes into the third quarter.”

google news
Continue Reading


Overdrive takes a closer look

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Overdrive Takes A Closer Look
google news

Wealth Desk

To buy to sell Maruti-Suzuki to share

In this episode of Overdrive, let’s take a look at the different engine options of the new Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and see if the Hyundai Venue N-Line model is also sportier to drive than the height suggested.

The nameplate has made a comeback in the Indian market with a new crossover that has its underpinnings with the S-Cross but does that make it a catch-all product or is it really a product that deserves the name tag ?

Also, learn more about the Hyundai Venue N-Line model, which is now available in a sportier variant, but is the change cosmetic only or does it grumble and run with intent as well?

For more details, watch the attached video


google news
Continue Reading


Other voices: Is the pandemic (and the emergency) over or not?

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Other Voices: Is The Pandemic (And The Emergency) Over Or Not?
google news

President Biden finally dared to say it last week, declaring in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the “pandemic is over.” Various public-health eminences are saying he’s wrong, but his comments recognize the reality of the disease at this stage and the public mood. The trouble is that his Administration still hasn’t lifted its official finding of a COVID public-health emergency.

Eric Topol, the Scripps Research Translational Institute director who is one of America’s leading COVID scolds, tweeted “Wish this was true. What’s over is @POTUS’s and our government’s will to get ahead of it, with magical thinking on the new bivalent boosters. Ignores #LongCovid, inevitability of new variants, and our current incapability for blocking infections and transmission.”

But global COVID deaths in the first week of September were the lowest since March 2020 when the World Health Organization declared COVID a pandemic, and even Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week said “the end is in sight.”

COVID has become significantly less lethal as most people in the U.S. and world have gained some level of immunity from vaccination or infection. About 400 Americans each day have been dying from COVID this summer; most are elderly or have other medical ailments. It’s still important to protect the vulnerable.

But for most Americans, COVID is no worse than a bad flu. “If you are up-to-date on your vaccines today, and you avail yourself of the treatments, your chances of dying (from) COVID are vanishingly rare and certainly much lower than your risk of getting into trouble with the flu,” White House COVID response coordinator Ashish Jha told National Public Radio.

But if that’s right, why hasn’t the President also declared an end to the public-health and national emergencies? If the pandemic is over, then so is the emergency. Yet the Administration continues to extend the public-health emergency that was first declared in January 2020.

The reason is almost certainly money. A March 2020 COVID law enables the government to hand out billions of dollars in welfare benefits to millions of people as long as the emergency is in effect. This includes more generous food stamps and a restriction on state work requirements. It also limits states from removing from their Medicaid rolls individuals who are otherwise no longer financially eligible. The Foundation for Government Accountability estimates these ineligibles cost nearly $16 billion a month.

Most outrageous, only weeks ago the Administration used a separate national emergency declaration related to the pandemic to legally justify canceling some $500 billion in student debt. An Education Department Office of the General Counsel memo says the pandemic and national emergency enable the Education Secretary to modify federal student aid requirements under the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act.

Mr. Biden seems to want it both ways. He wants to reassure Americans tired of restrictions on their way of life that the pandemic is over and they can get on with their lives. But he wants to retain the official emergency so he can continue to expand the welfare state and force states to comply. COVID can’t be an emergency only when it’s politically useful.

google news
Continue Reading


Yankees Notebook: Zack Britton back in action after being sidelined more than a year

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Yankees Notebook: Zack Britton Back In Action After Being Sidelined More Than A Year
google news

Zack Britton had a lot to get used to Saturday. It’s been 13 months since he had been on a big-league mound. The lefty had never used the PitchCom system before and he is still trying to find his finite command with his sinker.

“Very anxious, you know, warming up and stuff. Good to get that one out of the way,” said Britton, who had Tommy John surgery last year. “I felt fine afterwards. So now it’s about obviously putting together good outings and improving the command. The stuff was actually OK.

“Yeah, it’s about getting back to being who I want to be, throwing late in games and contributing, having good innings.”

Saturday was a little shaky for Britton, pitching in the sixth inning of the Yankees’ 7-5 win over the Red Sox at Yankees Stadium.

Britton walked Rafael Devers, gave up a single to Xander Bogaerts and struck out Alex Verdugo. He then walked Kike Hernandez and Triston Casas to bring in a run.

“That’s a hold situation. That’s a tight game. And you know, the heart of their lineup. That’s the situation I want to be in,” Britton said. “So, yeah, that was a really good test. Obviously, I want to be a lot better going forward. That’s the plan.”

Britton has a little over a week (11 games) now to get himself back into that shape and earn a spot on the postseason roster. It’s not as daunting a task as it seems with the Yankees bullpen needing someone to step up and take those late-game innings.

Former closer Aroldis Chapman has struggled and the Yankees have been reluctant to let him pitch to the heart of the lineup. Clay Holmes, who stepped in to be an All-Star closer in the first half, has lost that job. Wandy Peralta is on the injured list with a back issue. Scott Effross just got off the injured list.

Britton, whose sinker velocity ticked up to 94.7 mph Saturday, has extensive closing experience. The 34-year-old has 154 career saves and had a 1.89 ERA in 2020, his last full season. He is in the final year of a four-year, $53 million contract with the Yankees.

Right now, the Yankees are closing by committee.

“That is what it is. We’ve got Effross back today. Obviously, we got Britt back today. Those are two guys that have a chance to impact us,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think especially because Scott’s had the season under his belt … so I’m excited to get him back. Real optimism about what Wandy’s is going to be in a week.

“We got no other choice. And this is an opportunity and the reality is we have really good arms and options down there and it’s an opportunity for somebody to grab a more significant role moving forward and we got to deal with that.”

Lou Trevino came in to strand Britton’s runners and get the Yankees out of the sixth with having allowed just that one run and preserving the 5-4 lead.


Harrison Bader continued to make an impact his first week in pinstripes. Saturday, he made a diving grab of Abraham Almonte’s shallow fly ball with one out and two runners on in the eighth inning to preserve the Yankees’ two-run lead.

“Baseball just inherently is a game where there are a lot of factors that you can’t control, but on defense, I think with regards to your positioning, understanding what the pitcher’s trying to do with the hitter, game situations, positioning, jumps off the bat, how much you practice it before the game all these things in my opinion are controllable factors,” Bader said. “So, I’m just ready to pull them out whenever I need to. And it showed up for us in the eighth … Clarke [Schmidt] did a really good job with that on his own. So when it’s put it in play, we want to make good plays behind it.”

The Yankees acquired Bader at the trade deadline from the Cardinals for left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery. The New York native was on the injured list at the time with plantar fasciitis and did not make his Yankee debut until Tuesday. He has reached base safely in all five games he has played, going 4-for-14 with a double, six RBI and a stolen base.


google news
Continue Reading


Gophers deserve national respect with blowout road win at Michigan State

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Gophers Deserve National Respect With Blowout Road Win At Michigan State
google news

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Voters in the Associated Press top 25 poll had been warming up to the Gophers as the season has progressed, but they still appeared to be taking a wait-and-see approach after three runaway victories over winless nonconference foes.

Minnesota’s continued domination in a 34-7 win over previously ranked Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium should garner more national respect. The next AP poll comes out Sunday afternoon.

In the season-opening ranking, Minnesota had received 31 votes, but that dipped to 22 after the 38-0 win over New Mexico State on Sept. 1. It climbed to 37 votes after the 62-10 win over Western Illinois on Set. 10 and was up again to 48 after the 49-7 win over Colorado last week.

Michigan State had received 91 votes, nearly double Minnesota’s output, in this week’s AP poll. The Spartans had been ranked 11th in the AP poll before a 39-28 loss at Washington last week. MSU was No. 21 in the coaches poll this week.

The 25th ranked team in this week’s poll, Miami (Fla.), received 123 votes.

Minnesota hasn’t been ranked by the AP since Oct. 18, 2020, and promptly fell out after a 49-24 loss to No. 18 Michigan. That was the first week of the pandemic-delayed season.


Gophers Athletics Director Mark Coyle is headed to Chicago after Saturday’s game to meet with fellow Big Ten ADs to determine football schedules for the 2023 season.

Coyle said on the KFXN-FM pregame show that a few of the subjects to be figured out include the future of divisions and whether they keep nine-game conference schedules.

Minnesota’s future schedules previously were available online, but with the changes on the horizon in the conference, the U has taken them off its website.

Southern California and UCLA will join the conference in 2024, which will create more scheduling changes.


Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck improved to 2-4 in Big Ten openers. At Minnesota, he also improved to 1-1 against the Spartans. … Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren attended Saturday’s game.

google news
Continue Reading


Magic training camp countdown: Will expectations, roles become clearer?

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Magic Training Camp Countdown: Will Expectations, Roles Become Clearer?
google news

With the 2022-23 NBA season approaching, the Orlando Sentinel is unveiling a five-part series of Orlando Magic storylines to keep an eye on heading into training camp, which tips off Tuesday at their new state-of-the-art AdventHealth Training Center. Part one addressed whether the Magic did enough to turn around their shooting woes, part two focused on injury-related questions, part three touched on the rookies and part four addressed lineup experimentation.

Part Five: Accountability

As a team stocked with young talent in the first full season of a rebuild, the Magic were in player-evaluation mode in 2021-22.

That’ll still be the case, with Orlando entering 2022-23 as the league’s second-youngest team, only behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But how the evaluations are made will be different.

Fourteen of the Magic’s 16 players signed to standard contracts were on last year’s team. The other two, Paolo Banchero and Caleb Houstan, are rookies.

The continuity and familiarity allowed coach Jamahl Mosley and his staff to have a better idea of each player’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Now, they can elevate the expectations.

“A lot of it was evaluation last year,” Mosley said on the Magic’s official podcast, Pod Squad. “Seeing what guys were capable of, not capable of, the different combinations we put on the floor. It’s going to be a little easier when you see the same group of men who’ve been with you since last year. Now, I won’t have to say the same thing three times because you heard it all last year.

“All the things we did last year, there were some very good parts in that process where guys grew and got better. Now it’s a matter of what are you really grasping it and I can hold you to a different standard because I told you all last year what we’re expecting.”

What that looks like: Cutting down on turnovers (14.4% turnover percentage for the league’s eighth-worst mark), taking better shots and not settling for bad ones and staying disciplined with the defensive gameplan.

Playing time — and roles — will be tied to who’s able to stick with the Magic’s principles more than last season.

“There’s a different level of accountability,” Mosley said. “They’re going to continue to learn. It’s not necessarily putting the foot on the gas. It’s, ‘Hey, this is what we’re expecting.’ And now you have this person right next to you who understands it a little bit differently than you. So until you get that, let’s put this person in place and it might speed it up for you for how fast you learn it. I don’t want to skip any steps. It’s all about the foundation being continued to be laid every day.”

The first layer of the foundation was laid last year.

Now, it’s time to build another level — possibly more. With that comes more defined roles.

The Magic’s young players will have chances to grow and explore their skillsets.

But they’ll be asked to focus more on areas in which they excel.

“What we’re continuing to try to do is show them the examples of it in other teams that have done it,” Mosley said. “I get it: Everybody wants to be the first ones shown or seen. We talk about doing it by committee. If we’re all successful, each individual successful in their own right.

“You take pictures from what Golden State did and how they grew it, Milwaukee and how they grew it, Boston and how they grew it. They pushed each other and they all won. For us to be successful, it has to be done by committee.”

This article first appeared on Email Khobi Price at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.


google news
Continue Reading