Sunday Blurbs - News You Should Know

Formerly a Bastion of Left-Wing Politics, Sweden Faces Far-Right Surge

Sweden, a country known for its reputation as a left-wing heaven, is facing the reality that a far-right wing political party might soon become its dominant political entity.  

Polls indicate that Sweden’s far-right “Sweden Democrats” party will likely become the most powerful political party in Sweden’s Parliament.  The driver behind this far-right power move lies in the immigration woes that Sweden faces. 

Sweden has taken a high number of refugees per-capita in recent years, and this is something that many natives are unhappy with, especially as they see the violent crime rate of the nation steadily rise.

And far-right leaders are honing in on this.

The increase in shootings, bombings, and rapes is causing Swedes to rethink their political strategy and look for new leadership. They see statistics that show 20% of people living in Sweden are now foreign-born, and they correlate this new population with the new violence.  Admittedly, the statistics support their concerns; for example, of the 7,226 rapes that were committed in Sweden in 2017, 58% of them were committed by non-European immigrants.  Additionally, Swedes see things like the fact that 23% of non-European immigrants are unemployed, compared to only 4% of Sweden-born citizens.  Swedes do not trust current left-wing leadership to right the ship and are looking for someone new to figure it out.  In fact, things are so bad in Sweden right now that 73% of all Swedes believe their country is heading in the wrong direction, the 5thlowest percentage of all surveyed nations.  

Sweden is not necessarily on the verge of turning into Benito Mussolini’s Italy, but it is certainly worth paying attention to.  Political stability will be hard for Sweden to maintain with such severe polarity in their Parliament, and this is a trend that has become common throughout Europe.  Europe is facing a wave of right-wing populism, and Sweden is an example of how even some of the more stable governments are susceptible to broad shifts in political dynamics if they are not careful.  As each nation faces increased polarity, the European Union as a whole will begin to suffer from instability, which will, of course, have a global impact.  

What Will North Korea’s Parade Have to Show?

As our friends in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea prepare to celebrate their nation’s 70thbirthday, it is important that we keep an eye on the military parade that their government will be putting on.  North Korea typically takes advantage of large events like this to showcase any advancements they have made to their forces, and it will be interesting to see if anything changes after the Singapore Summit with President Donald Trump.  

While the talks appeared to be successful, relations have cooled in recent weeks.  Last week, Kim Jong-Un accused Trump of giving, “only lip-service” and that he is “going against [his] promise” to improve the relationship between to two countries.  Despite this, Kim was also quoted as telling senior South Korean officials that he is dedicated to denuclearization and sustained peace on the Korean Peninsula. 

While the United States believes that the North has made efforts to eliminate their nuclear capabilities, satellite imagery shows that they are simultaneously expanding facilities related to their standard missile program.  The last parade that North Korea held, they showed off their new Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear capabilities.  It will be interesting to see if these two bad boys are on full display again, or if they have any new counterparts by their side.  

75 Protesters Put to Death in Egypt

This week, Egypt sentenced 75 people to death for their participation in a five-year-old pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest.  The protests were in response to a military coup that saw Defense Minister Abdel Fattah Al Sisi rip control of the country from the hands of democratically elected President Mohamad Morsi.  As the coup developed, protests became violent and civilians and law enforcement clashed, resulting in the death of 17 civilians. 739 arrests were made, and those arrested were collectively charged with the murders of these 17 people, ultimately leading to the death sentence for 75 people.  Human Rights groups have cried out against this, claiming it to be a wild abuse of the justice system, but this is not the first time Al Sisi’s government has handed out the death penalty en masse; in 2014 683 people were put to death in a similar case.

Jake GavinComment