A Swedish underwear brand launched a ridiculous Ad campaign entitled ‘Weapons of the Mass Seduction’ that pledges to drop 450 pairs of free underwear to the country voted the most in the poll on Oct 31 by an airdrop. North Korea, so far, was placed on top by garnering over 5,500 votes and news has generated many comments in South Korean online venues.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + Sweden
Rick Falkvinge, the founder of Pirate Party, reinterprets the wars of religion that devastated Western Europe in the XVI and XVII centuries in terms of the current struggle to control information through overbearing legislation related to copyright and freedom of expression:
The religious wars were never about religion as such. They were about who held the power of interpretation, about who controlled the knowledge and culture available to the masses. It was a war of gatekeepers of information.
The blog de Casimira highlights some similarities [fr] between the timing of the charges and the ensuing judicial battles facing J. Assange and D. Strauss-Kahn. She also clarifies the peculiarities of the charge, ”sex by surprise” [fr], for which the founder of WikilLeaks is being sued. This charge, which applies when the person refuses to wear a condom, is allegedly specific to Sweden and is punishable by a fine.
Scandinavian ship SV Estella will attempt to sail to Gaza in an attempt to break the blockade on the Palestinian enclave. The ship sailed from Oslo on August 7, 2012, and is backed by mostly Swedish and Norwegian groups. Organizers hope that other ships will join them before they reach Gaza in October. for updates, follow the mission's Twitter account @ShiptoGazaSE.
Albatros of Litauen blog reports about [ger] Swedish celebrations of 20 years of independence for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and how Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, apologised to his Baltic colleagues for recognizing soviet annexation during World War II.
Katerina Todorovska wrote [MKD] on the Macedonia in the European Union blog about EU's imperfect record on LGBT rights and its positive influence in relation to starting the debate and improving tolerance in the Western Balkans, as Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia strive to join this supranational structure.
Gulara Azimzadeh's blog reports that seven journalists from Azerbaijan will visit Stockholm to see how the media covered the 2010 elections in Sweden. The journalists were selected after a competition held by the Azerbaijan Media Center as the country prepares for its own parliamentary vote this November and recounts the reaction from one of the fortunate winners.
Roba from Jordan published pictures from different demonstrations world wide against Israel's last attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in Holland, Greece, Egypt, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sweden, France, Turkey, India, Italy, Canada, Spain, Belgium, United States, Bulgaria and Austria.
Litauen writes about [GER] the Council of the Baltic Sea states and how this organization is becoming increasingly superfluous as basis for Baltic Sea cooperation.
Alexandra Sandels, from MENASSAT, writes her interview with Walid Al-Saqaf, a Sweden-based Yemeni Internet expert, regarding the launch of his new program Al-Kasir (means the circumventer in Arabic) – during a summit on blogging in Cairo which was entitled “Blogging for the Future“.
Al-Kasir, which is currently available in its Beta test version, is a new software aiming to circumvent web censorship in the Middle East and beyond, where it allows Internet users to access blocked websites.
You can also read Esra'a's post on Mideast Youth on why Al-Kasir is different from other similar tools, and how it’s beneficial to users in the Middle East.
LaurenceJarvikOnline comments on a Wall Street Journal story on how the family of Swedish World War II diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, suffered from the uncertainty of his destiny in soviet captivity.
Vilhelm Konnander posts his reflections on Russia-focused blogging and “policy-media interaction”: “So, by the end of the day, there is little room for deviance as the public policy-media discourse evolves. When one, to the contrary, gets one's message across, there is no saying how it will be processed by its recipients, given the fundamental predisposition to interpret Russia in very simplified terms. [...] At least, blogs give each and everyone the opportunity to have his or her say, even though alternative facts and hypotheses risk getting lost in cyberspace.”
Palestinian Laila El Haddad links to a video and story showing protesters throwing a shoe at Israel's Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan, during a talk at Stockholm University.
Andrei Tuch of AnTyx writes at Th!nk About It: “So, for the eleven member states who still use their own currencies – and especially the more developed ones, whose economies might have some chance of standing on their own without leaning on the European Central Bank – the question is: do we want to join the Euro?”
Belatedly, links to some posts on Entropa: Margarete of The Foreigner's Guide to Living in Slovakia believes “it should be taken down”; Kosmopolito thinks that “the debate around the project is also part of the installation”; BBC's Mark Mardell writes that “the fact that it is a hoax does not mean that the art itself is bad”; Blue, Black and White Alert doesn't think Entropa is “that incendiary”; A Fistful of Euros considers Entropa “an ugly but really funny piece of work.”
Certain Ideas of Europe writes: “Not all of those Polish plumbers leaving Britain and Ireland as the economies slow are necessarily going straight home. Sweden has seen immigration surge to record levels this year.”
Jordanian Rami Abdelrahman, who lives in Sweden, posts this fascinating post by a Swedish friend who travelled to Iran on a study visit and his encounter with a ‘bisexual’ tour guide.
Iranian Queer Organization (IRAQO) asks people to help a young Iranian lesbian who escaped Iran to Sweden in January 2008 on base of her sexual orientation. According to this organization she is at a mental hospital now.
Sous, a Swede living in Bahrain, repeats a conversation she had with an Indian woman, who after finding out that Sous was fasting told her she should cover her hair: “Swede: Well, I’m thinking to shave it all off and then that problem is solved! Indian:No!…Aren’t you married? Swede: No. Indian (too caught up in her mission): Well then your husband has the RIGHT to enjoy your hair! You can’t take that right away from him!”
Via TorrentFreak, on the IOC's takedown notice sent not to p2p network The Pirate Bay which was hosting torrents of Olympics footage, but Sweden's Minister of Justice: “We were going to ignore the Olympics, but now we’re loading our cannons. Our weapons of mass distribution are pointed towards China.”
Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister and former EU special envoy to the Former Yugoslavia, states on his blog Alla dessa dagar that the conflict in South Ossetia has put basic principles of the international community at stake.
Malawian blogger says “Goodbye Sweden”: “Time came when I came. Time has gone and I should be gone back to Malawi after two years of great stay in Örebro, Sweden. It has been a time well spent. Numerous experiences both good and bad.”
Sous, a Swedish woman living in Bahrain, wonders about the impact of development on Bahrainis. “Bahrainis … are the most kind people I have ever met. They are polite, educated, funny and friendly. There is no pretend and they are really down to earth which I appreciate. I hope this mentality will stay but I am worried it will change as Bahrain is changing with all the things that are going on here,” she writes.
Sandra Paulsen writes[PT] from Stockholm at Blog do Noblat[PT] about Swedish sexual tourism in Brazil and Tailand and sad stories about Brazilian women that travel back with their “boyfriends” to their home Sweden, just to face a hard and bitter break-up and illegality in a foreign and lawful land. Blog do Noblat is a famous Brazilian blog written by Ricardo Noblat, Brazilian mainstream journalist, and some collaborators.
Itching for Eestimaa writes about Estonian Swedes: “…I came to the conclusion that Estonian Swedes do have a certain unspoken minority status in Estonia: they are marginal. No one writes about them. No one thinks about them. They exist, are deemed somewhat exotic, but then forgotten. They are simply unimportant. They are considered similar enough to Estonians to not be constructed as a social problem, and left at that.” The post has received 25 comments so far.