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TODAY IN SWEDEN

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Explosion in Solna, deadly shooting record broken and autumnal equinox. Here's Sweden's news on Friday.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
A forensic technician investigates the site of a serious blast in Solna, north of Stockholm. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Apartments evacuated after explosion in Solna

A major explosion occured in Huvudsta in Solna, just north of Stockholm, late on Thursday night. Residents of the affected apartment block have been evacuated.

No one has been arrested after the incident which is being investigated as grov allmänfarlig ödeläggelse (grave devastation endangering the public).

The explosion occured in or next to an apartment block, damaging the stairwell and some windows, police press spokesperson Daniel Wikdahl told newswire TT.

The blast was heard over large parts of Solna and in some areas of Stockholm. Rescue services were still on-site early on Friday morning, but residents were not yet able to access their apartments.

There are no known injuries and police are unsure as to whether the explosion was targeting a specific apartment or whether it is related to gang violence.

Swedish vocabulary: flerfamiljshus – apartment block (literally, “multiple family house”)

Autumnal equinox arrives: ‘Days the same length worldwide’

The autumnal equinox – the time between the summer and winter solstice where day and night are the same length worldwide – took place this morning at 03:03am.

From now on, the nights will be longer than days in Sweden.

“Darkness is drawing in and it might be time to get your cosy lighting out,” SVT’s meteorologist Marcus Sjöstedt told the public broadcaster.

The onset of autumn can also be seen in the weather, where Sjöstedt predicts more cloudy skies this weekend with some rain showers.

“Next week we can expect some more unstable weather with rain and clouds at times. High pressure is conspicuously absent, as is the warmth,” he said.

Despite the weather, Sjöstedt is still positive.

“It’s quite nice that the days are equally as long across the whole world. That still gives you a certain feeling of solidarity.”

Swedish vocabulary: höstdagjämningen – autumnal equinox. (Bonus vocabulary: mysbelysning – cosy lighting)

Sweden breaks yearly record for deadly shootings

A man in his twenties was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night.

He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record set in 2020 has been overtaken, despite it only being September.

The alarm was raised at 11pm om Thursday, where police were informed of a shooting in the north of the city.

“Then there were a number of calls concerning gunfire, but also about an injured person on Göingegatan,” Evelina Olsson, police press spokesperson in the southern police district, told TT during the night.

He was transferred to hospital in an ambulance but his life could not be saved.

“We know who he is now and his family has been notified,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT. “We can’t say more than that he is in his twenties and that we currently have no suspects.”

Kristianstad has been affected by multiple shootings – as recently as this weekend, a man in his 30s was found with bullet injuries in the same area of the city.

Swedish vocabulary: skjutningar – shootings

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TODAY IN SWEDEN

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Russian tourist ban, pandemic slashed consumption emissions, and bomb shelters 'functional': find out what's going on in Sweden with The Local's roundup.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Majority in Swedish parliament wants to ban Russian tourists

Parties representing a majority of MPs in Sweden’s parliament want to follow Finland’s example and ban Russian tourists, according to commercial broadcaster TV4. 

At midnight on Thursday, Finland closed its borders completely for Russian citizens with tourist visas, and now five out of eight parties in the Swedish parliament want to take the same decision. 

Only the Moderates and the Social Democrats, who together hold 170 of the parliament’s seats are currently opposed to a halt to the issuing of tourist visas to Russian citizens. The Moderates want to wait for a common EU decision, while the Social Democrats want to leave the decision to the incoming government. 

So far this year, Sweden’s Migration Agency has taken in 2,300 applications from Russians seeking visas. 

Swedish vocab: ett totalstopp – an absolute halt 

Swedish per capita consumption-based emissions dropped by a tonne in pandemic

Sweden’s consumption-based emissions fell by 12 percent in 2020, compared to the preceding year, chiefly as a result of people stopping flying abroad for holidays and work, according to new data from Statistics Sweden.

“The biggest reduction happened within household transport, which fell by 23 percent. That can be explained by a reduction in flights and personal transport as a result of the pandemic,” said Nils Brown, an investigator for the agency, in a statement. 

Consumption-based emissions also fell for housing, clothes and shoes, but were unchanged for food and groceries. 

Swedish vocab: växthusgaser – greenhouse gases

Swedish bomb shelters ‘in functional condition’: Civil Contingencies Agency

After carrying out thousands of checks this year, Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency has concluded that most of the bomb shelters in Sweden are in a ‘functional condition’, with most having only minor shortcomings which can be easily righted. 

“We have done a few thousand inspections on our own initiative, but we have also seen that property owners have themselves done many inspections of their own bomb shelters, with the help of specialists,” Lars Gråbergs, from the agency, told TT newswire.

The government in May 2021 ordered the agency to assess the capacity and condition of Sweden’s bomb shelters, and how evacuation and housing would be handled in the event of a military attack. The agency is due to report on November 7th.

Swedish vocab: vid väpnat angrepp – in the event of an armed/military attack

Swedish retailer H&M sees profits slump after Russia exit

Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a sizeable drop in third-quarter profit on Thursday following its decision to leave the Russian market.

The world’s number two clothing group is among a slew of Western companies that have exited Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

H&M paused all sales in the country in March and announced in July that it would wind down operations, although it would reopen stores for “a limited period of time” to offload its remaining inventory.

The company said Thursday its net profit fell to 531 million kronor ($47 million) in the third quarter, down 89 percent from the same period last year. “The third quarter has largely been impacted by our decision to pause sales and then wind down the business in Russia,” chief executive Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

Swedish vocab: en avveckling – a wind down

Sweden detects fourth leak at Nord Stream pipelines in Baltic Sea

A fourth leak has been detected in undersea pipelines running from Russia to Europe, the Swedish Coast Guard said on Thursday, after pipeline explosions were detected earlier this week in the Danish and Swedish economic zones, in suspected sabotage.

“There are two leaks on the Swedish side and two leaks on the Danish side,” a Swedish Coast Guard official said, after three leaks were confirmed earlier this week on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

The official added that the two leaks on the Swedish side are “close to each other”.

The Swedish coast guard could not immediately say why the latest leak only appeared days after the initial breaches.

Media reported that the latest leak was detected at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the coast guard did not confirm this.

Sweden had previously reported a leak on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline northeast of Bornholm, while Denmark has confirmed a leak on Nord Stream 2 to the southeast of the island, and another to the northeast above Nord Stream 1.

Swedish vocab: Kustbevakningen – the Swedish Coast Guard

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