Day: September 25, 2006

Bomb Threat in Southern Sweden

A school and a shopping centre in the southern Swedish city of Växjö were evacuated on Monday after a bomb threat, Dagens Nyheter reports. The threat was phoned to SOS Alarm at 30 minutes after noon, giving 30 minutes’ warning of an explosion in the shopping centre, but police are not saying exactly what the threat involved. 600-700 people were evacuated, most of them schoolchildren

NBP Protestors Enter Russian Finance Ministry

Via RFE/RL:

MOSCOW, September 25, 2006 (RFE/RL) — Around 40 left-wing Russian activists were arrested near the Kremlin today after they forced their way into the Finance Ministry to protest against government policies.

Members of the National Bolshevik Party waved red flags and shouted antigovernment slogans from the Finance Ministry windows before the police arrived.

Party spokesman Aleksandr Averin told RFE/RL’s Russian Service the protest was over the Kremlin’s decision this year to pay back Russia’s Soviet-era foreign debt early, rather than compensate Russians who lost money due to the shock economic reforms of the early 1990s.

Averin put the number of demonstrators who entered the building at 50, and said they had “seized three floors of the building” in the 30 minutes before they were detained.

Witnesses said the protesters, some of whom had climbed onto window sills, offered no resistance to arrest.

Norway Terror Plot – III

Commenting on the Norway terror plot, Norwegian journalist Mona Levin has pointed again to the high levels of anti-Semitism in Norwegian society. She also places some of the blame on public statements like those of the Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder, whose outburst in the press in August this year caused outrage in Norwegian Jewish circles:

From Nettavisen(my tr.):

Gaarder wrote… that Israel had “violated the world’s recognition”, and that they would not attain peace until they laid down their arms. Mona Levin wrote the following day that it was the ugliest thing she had read since Mein Kampf.

“But as I said on Norwegian State Radio a day after Gaarder’s first article: When you open a can of worms, the worms crawl out,” says Levin.

Levin says there has been a huge increase in anti-Semitism in recent months. She finds it very disturbing that no one is dealing with this.

“Jewish children are being persecuted at school. The Jews in Norway have been subjected to a number of attacks of late, and now these dreadful shootings at the synagogue. There has been something bewildering around this. It doesn’t seem as though the people who are usually so eager to debate social issues care very much this time,” says Levin.

Levin is angry that Norway’s Jews are held responsible for policies they don’t have anything to do with…. For all anyone knows, those Jews who are subjected to hatred may be very critical of Israel’s policies. We’re not the ones who should feel responsible,” says Levin.

She says that we need a better understanding of what is what, and who is who, in this debate. In Norway knowledge about Jews and Judaism is very slight, in spite of the fact that Jews have a 150-year-old history here. Norway needs to confront what happened during the Second World War, and realize that Norwegian history in relation to Norwegian Jews is not very pretty.”

She is also highly critical of the one-sided press coverage of the conflicts in the Middle East.

“We need a more balanced media coverage of what is happening in the Middle East. The same is true in relation to the United States. The media image of Israel and Jews in Norway has been very negative and one-sided.”

Jostein Gaarder has told iOslo. no that he does not wish to comment on the matter.

See also: The 2006 Jostein Gaarder Controversy
and
Mona Levin’s reply to Jostein Gaarder

Chechen Amnesty Plan Approved

From The Moscow Times:

The State Duma on Friday approved a government amnesty plan intended to persuade militants in Chechnya and surrounding regions of the North Caucasus to disarm and surrender to authorities.

Deputies quickly passed the legislation, proposed by President Vladimir Putin, in a 350-80 vote, with one abstention. The amnesty, part of an effort to end more than a decade of separatist resistance following the deaths of rebel leaders this summer, would remain in effect until Jan. 15.

The amnesty would also apply to servicemen suspected of committing crimes while serving in Chechnya and the North Caucasus.

Pavel Krashennikov, head of the Duma’s Legislation Committee, denied speculation that the amnesty might apply to servicemen convicted or indicted of serious crimes, such as the murder of civilians, Interfax reported Saturday.