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

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, left, and Defence Minister Pål Jonson on board fast assault craft 90H, after presenting a new military aid package for Ukraine. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

Sweden sends largest-yet military aid package to Ukraine, retrial to open in controversial 'snippa' case, and the crucial hours that will determine whether spring has sprung in southern Sweden. Here's the latest news.


Suspicious object on SAS flight was harmless

A suspicious object found on an SAS flight set to depart Arlanda Airport turned out to be harmless, said police. 

The aircraft was already loaded with luggage when staff discovered the object and decided to evacuate on Tuesday evening. 

Police were called to the scene, but were able to lift the cordon an hour later, they said on their website.

No departures were cancelled at Arlanda as a result of the incident, a spokesperson for airport operator Swedavia told the TT newswire.

Swedish vocabulary: harmless – ofarlig

Spring may already have sprung in southern Sweden

Sweden's national weather agency SMHI is preparing to declare spring as officially having sprung in southern Sweden after Wednesday evening, assuming there's no sudden and unexpected cold snap before then. 

SMHI defines the season of spring as having arrived once the daily average temperature stays above freezing for a week. You then count backwards, so once that's happened, you say spring arrived on the first day of that week – in other words, spring may already be here.

According to the official definition, February 15th is the earliest date. Before that date it’s either winter, or still autumn.

Sweden's method of measuring seasons means that it can be several seasons on the same day in different parts of the country, so people who live in central or northern Sweden will have to wait a bit longer before they can celebrate the arrival of spring.

You can keep up to date with the progress of spring with the help of SMHI's map of the seasons.

Swedish vocabulary: spring – vår


Retrial starts in Sweden's controversial 'snippa' case

An appeals court, which last year threw out a guilty verdict in a child rape trial over the meaning of snippa, a child's word for the female genitalia, is set to open the retrial on Wednesday – a trial likely to grab headlines in Sweden, where the original verdict caused a scandal.

Despite agreeing with the district court, at the time of the original appeal trial, that the man had touched the girl and inserted his finger into her snippa, the appeals court found that it could not be determined whether the girl was referring to her vulva or to her vagina.

If the man had inserted his finger into her vagina, that would have met the standard to be classified as rape. But because the girl said that his finger was “far in”, but could not state exactly how far, the appeals court found that it could not establish beyond doubt that the man had inserted his finger in her vagina and not her vulva. It therefore threw out the verdict and cleared the man of the charge.

However, the Supreme Court, the top court in the country, then ruled that the appeals court had committed a miscarriage of justice in not considering a lower-grade charge such as sexual abuse or molestation, which it is possible the incident could have been classified as, despite the prosecutor not putting forward such a charge. It therefore sent the case back to the appeals court for retrial.

Swedish vocabulary: a (legal) case – ett mål


Swedish PM to meet Viktor Orban ahead of key Nato vote

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson will meet Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban on Friday ahead of a key parliamentary vote in Budapest on Sweden's stalled bid to join Nato.

His talks with Orban in Budapest will include "defence and security policy cooperation between Hungary and Sweden", the Swedish government said on Tuesday.

Hungary, the last holdout on Sweden's application to join Nato, is set to vote whether to ratify the bid in parliament on Monday.

Swedish vocabulary: Hungary – Ungern

Sweden to send its largest-yet military aid package to Ukraine

Sweden has pledged another 7.1 billion kronor ($682 million) worth of military equipment to Ukraine, in a boost for the country as it struggles to fight off Russia's invasion.

"The reason we are continuing to support Ukraine is a matter of humanity and decency. Russia started an illegal, unprovoked and indefensible war," Defence Minister Pål Jonson told a news conference.

The package will consist of artillery shells, air defence, boats and underwater weapons such as mines and torpedoes as well as training for Ukrainian soldiers.

It marks Sweden's 15th aid package to Ukraine and is the largest yet.

Swedish vocabulary: military aid – militärt stöd


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Anonymous 2024/02/21 18:40
Here the country is struggling with recession and the govt is supplying more and more aid to another country when its own citizens are struggling to stay afloat and savings depleting day by day and costs rising. It feels like there is something larger at play.

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