WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being questioning by Sweden’s chief prosecutor about a rape allegation at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Julian Assange denies the allegation that he raped a Swedish woman in 2010.
Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren is listening as an Ecuadorean prosecutor puts the questions to Julian Assange.
The WkiLeaks founder took refuge in the embassy four years ago, fearing extradition. He says the relation was consensual and believes the allegations are politically motivated.
The accusations relate to a visit Julian Assange made to Stockholm in August 2010 to give a lecture.
Julian Assange has refused to travel to Sweden for questioning citing concerns he would be extradited to the US over WikiLeaks’ release of 500,000 secret military files on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
However, lawyers argue that his extradition from Sweden would be even less likely than from the UK.
He is accused of raping a woman, named in legal papers as SW, at her home in August 2010.
Swedish prosecutors dropped part of their investigation in 2015 because of a statute of limitations.
At the embassy Julian Assange is beyond the reach of the UK authorities. Sweden has issued an arrest warrant for him, which he has appealed against.
Shortly after Ingrid Isgren entered the embassy, a cat – said to belong to Julian Assange – appeared at one of the windows and began watching the journalists and Assange supporters gathered outside.
The cat has its own Twitter feed, which says it lives with Julian Assange and is “interested in counter-purrveillance”.
A statement on behalf of the Swedish prosecutors, quoted by the Press Association, said the investigation would remain confidential, including the interview at the embassy.
One of Julian Assange’s lawyers, Per Samuelson, said his client “is very happy that he finally will be given the opportunity to give his statement to the Swedish prosecution.
Denmark has decided to tighten its border controls with Germany, hours after Sweden imposed similar measures to deter refugees entering from Denmark.
Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen said the decision was “not a happy moment” but Denmark “must respond” to Sweden’s restrictions.
Danish police will carry out border spot checks for the next 10 days.
The two countries are the latest to impose controls in Europe’s Schengen passport-free travel area.
In a letter to the European Commission, Inger Stojberg, Denmark’s integration minister, said the controls would focus initially on the border with Germany but may be extended to all of Denmark’s borders.
Inger Stojberg said the measures taken by Sweden meant Denmark was “faced with a serious risk to public order and internal security because a very large number of illegal immigrants may be stranded in the Copenhagen area”.
The new controls would not cause a problem for “ordinary” Danes and Germans, Lokke Rasmussen said.
“We are introducing temporary border controls, but in a balanced way,” the prime minister said.
“If the European Union cannot protect the external border you will see more and more countries forced to introduce temporary border controls.”
Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow has won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, beating Russia’s Polina Gagarina.
Mans Zelmerlow won with his upbeat pop track Heroes, which was accompanied by innovative animated visuals.
Italy came on the third place, followed by Belgium. Australia finished fifth in the country’s first Eurovision appearance.
A record number of countries – 27 – took part, including Australia – which was invited to compete for the first time to mark the event’s 60th anniversary.
Mans Zelmerlow was the bookmakers’ favorite throughout the build-up to this year’s contest.
“I’m so happy and I want to say thank you for voting for me,” he told the crowd.
“I want to say we are all Heroes, no matter who we love, who we are or what we believe in – we are all heroes.”
This is Sweden’s sixth Eurovision win – meaning they are now just one victory behind the contest’s record holders Ireland, who have won seven times.
The result also means the next year’s song contest will be held in Sweden – just three years after it last hosted the show.
This year’s contest was held in the Austrian capital’s Wiener Stadthalle following Conchita Wurst’s win last year.
But this year, the hosts, along with Germany, finished with zero points – the first time since 2003 that any country has drawn a blank.
Russian contestant Polina Gagarina was beaten by Mans Zelmerlow after being neck-and-neck for much of the voting.
Italian opera trio Il Volo who have enjoyed chart success around the world, finished third. Belgium’s 19-year-old Loic Nottet managed fourth.
And it was a respectable night for Guy Sebastian, one of Australia’s biggest pop stars, who came fifth after being sent to represent his country.
After the show, Eurovision organizers revealed there had been irregularities with the votes from the juries in Macedonia and Montenegro.
The points awarded by each country are normally determined by a combination of a jury and a public vote.
A statement said: “The jury results of FYR Macedonia and Montenegro for the grand final have been excluded after consultation of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the contest’s independent voting observer, and upon the decision of the executive supervisor and the chairman of the reference group.
“In both countries, televoting applied for 100%. The exclusion of two juries will be further discussed in the next reference group meeting in June.”
Around 200 million viewers were thought to have tuned in to the event on television, and it was screened live in China for the first time.
Julian Assange could be questioned by Swedish prosecutors at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Prosecutors had previously insisted on questioning Julian Assange in Sweden, after seeking his arrest in 2010, but now they offered to travel to London to question him over assault allegations.
Julian Assange, 43, denies the assault claims and has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012.
The WikiLeaks founder fears that if he is sent to Sweden he could then be extradited to the US to face charges over leaking material.
The lead Swedish prosecutor explained the change of strategy by saying some potential charges against Julian Assange would expire under the statute of limitations in August.
“My view has always been that to perform an interview with him at the Ecuadorean embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview,” Marianne Ny said in a statement.
“Now that time is of the essence, I have viewed it therefore necessary to accept such deficiencies in the investigation and likewise take the risk that the interview does not move the case forward.”
Julian Assange – an Australian journalist and activist – has not been formally charged, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him over allegations of rape and assault made by two women he met during a trip to Sweden in August 2010.
Marianne Ny said she had made a request to Julian Assange’s legal team to take a DNA sample from him in London, as well as conducting questioning.
His lawyer, Per Samuelson, said that request would need to be discussed, since his client had already left a DNA sample with UK police in 2010.
Ecuador offered Julian Assange asylum in August 2012, shortly after he sought refuge at the country’s embassy in London.
In November a Swedish appeals court upheld the warrant for Julian Assange’s arrest, but criticized prosecutors for not making enough effort to explore “alternative avenues” for interrogating him.
If he was extradited, Julian Assange would be detained upon arrival in Sweden.
Per Samuelson said leaving the embassy and travelling to Sweden still presented a risk for Julian Assange.
“If he leaves he loses his political immunity… he stands to end up in an American prison for 35, 40 years,” he said.
WikiLeaks has published thousands of secret documents, which have caused intense embarrassment for the US and lifted the lid on diplomatic relations.
Julian Assange co-founded WikiLeaks website in 2006.
Swedish PM Stefan Lofven says he will call snap elections after his minority government lost a budget vote less than three months after coming to power.
The center-left prime minister said a new poll would take place on March 22.
The government failed to push its budget through parliament, when the far-right Sweden Democrats sided with the opposition.
The Sweden Democrats emerged as a power broker after September’s elections.
The party now holds 49 seats and, voting with the centre-right opposition on December 3, defeated the government’s budget by a margin of 182 to 153.
At a hastily called news conference after the vote, Stefan Lofven told reporters that new elections would enable voters to “make a choice in the face of this new political landscape”.
Under the constitution the prime minister cannot officially call a national poll until December 29.
Accusing the centre-right parties of failing to engage constructively over the budget, Stefan Lofven complained that the opposition had allowed the far right to dictate terms.
“We have formed a government, we have a budget, and we will go into the elections with that,” he said, standing alongside a spokesman from his coalition partner, the Greens.
The Sweden Democrats became the country’s third largest party, with 13% of the vote, and is demanding a reversal in Sweden’s liberal immigration laws, which party spokesman Mattias Karlsson has condemned as an “extreme immigration policy”.
Sweden has offered permanent residence to all Syrians fleeing the conflict and has the highest rate of asylum applications per capita of any EU country.
Sweden’s Migration Board said this year that as many as 2,000 people were applying every week. Most were from Syria, although there had also been an increase from Eritrea.
Stefan Lofven’s Social Democrats formed a minority government with the Greens but between them they have only 138 seats in the 349-seat parliament.
The first picture of first baby to be born from a transplanted womb has been made public by his parents.
The baby boy’s birth took place in Sweden after surgeons at the University of Gothenburg performed the pioneering transplant procedure.
He was delivered by caesarean section in the 31st week of pregnancy and weighed 3.9 pounds – normal for that stage of pregnancy.
Both mother and child are now at home and said to be doing well.
The identity of the parents, a Swedish couple, has not been released, but the baby’s father said: “It was a pretty tough journey over the years, but we now have the most amazing baby.
“He is very, very cute, and he doesn’t even scream, he just murmurs.”
He added: “He’s no different from any other child, but he will have a good story to tell. One day he can look at the newspaper articles about how he was born and know that he was the first in the world to be born this way.”
The father spoke as the first picture of the baby was published, amid widespread excitement over a procedure which offers renewed hope to thousands of infertile women around the world.
The birth of the Swedish baby is understood to have taken place within the last month, after doctors transplanted wombs into several women who had a rare genetic condition that meant they were born without their own womb.
In January, one of the patients underwent IVF treatment that resulted in an embryo being transferred to her new womb. The donated womb came from a 61-year-old woman, a close family friend who had gone through menopause after giving birth to two children.
The 35-year-old mother is a patient of Dr. Mats Brannstrom, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg.
The mother had to take three medicines to prevent her body from rejecting the new organ. About six weeks after the transplant, she got her menstrual period – a sign the womb was healthy.
The baby boy’s birth took place in Sweden after surgeons at the University of Gothenburg performed the pioneering transplant procedure (photo Lancet)
After one year, when doctors were confident the womb was working well, they transferred a single embryo created in a lab dish using the woman’s eggs and her husband’s semen.
The woman, who has only one kidney, had three mild rejection episodes, including one during pregnancy, but all were successfully treated with medicines.
The baby’s growth and blood flow to the womb and umbilical cord were normal until the 31st week of pregnancy, when the mother developed preeclampsia, a dangerous high-blood-pressure condition.
After an abnormal fetal heart rate was detected, the baby was delivered by cesarean section.
Prof. Mats Brannstrom, who led the research and delivered the baby with the help of his wife, a midwife, said: “The baby is fantastic. But it is even better to see the joy in the parents and how happy he made them.
“That was a fantastic happiness for me and the whole team, but it was an unreal sensation also because we really could not believe we had reached this moment. Our success is based on more than 10 years of intensive animal research and surgical training by our team and opens up the possibility of treating many young females worldwide that suffer from uterine infertility.”
Liza Johannesson, a gynaecological surgeon on the team, said: “It gives hope to those women and men that thought they would never have a child, that thought they were out of hope.”
The Swedish couple, both competitive athletes, will have to decide shortly if they want a second baby.
The drugs used to prevent the womb being rejected would be damaging in the long term – so the couple will either try again or have the womb removed.
The father said: “We will definitely think about that. But right now, we’re very happy with just one baby.”
After the caesarean section, the womb would be left in place until the mother has completed her family and then removed so that drugs to stop the body rejecting the organ could be halted. The drugs carry an increased risk of cancer.
The operation, follow-up and immunosuppressant drugs cost $160,000, with the research paid for by the Jane and Dan Olsson Foundation for Science, a Swedish charity.
The only other options for women born without a womb were adoption or surrogacy if she wanted to have a child genetically related to her, but this is legally complicated.
Doctors around the world have welcomed the first successful birth from a transplant.
The first womb transplant was done in Saudi Arabia in 2000 but failed shortly afterwards.
In 2011 Derya Sert, 21, received a womb from a dead donor in Turkey. She conceived a child but no heartbeat was detected and it was later terminated.
In 2012 it was announced by Dr. Mats Brannstrom that nine womb transplants had been carried out and all were successful.
Eight of the recipients suffer from MRKH syndrome, a congenital disorder which affects one in 5,000 women and prevents the womb from developing.
The ninth had her womb removed after suffering cervical cancer.
The only other options for women born without a womb is adoption or surrogacy if she wants to have a child genetically related to her.
A Swedish woman with a transplanted womb has given birth to a baby boy, in a medical first, doctors reported.
The 36 year-old mother, who was born without a uterus, received a donated womb from a friend in her 60s.
According to the medical journal The Lancet, the baby was born prematurely in September weighing 1.8kg (3.9lb). The father said his son was “amazing”.
Cancer treatment and birth defects are the main reasons women can be left without a functioning womb.
If they want a child of their own, their only option is surrogacy.
The identity of the couple in Sweden has not been released, but it is known the mother still had functioning ovaries.
The couple went through IVF to produce 11 embryos, which were frozen. Doctors at the University of Gothenburg then performed the womb transplant.
A Swedish woman with a transplanted womb has given birth to a baby boy, in a medical first
The donor was a 61-year-old family friend who had gone through the menopause seven years earlier.
Drugs to suppress the immune system were needed to prevent the womb being rejected.
A year after the transplant, doctors decided they were ready to implant one of the frozen embryos and a pregnancy ensued.
The baby was born prematurely, almost 32 weeks into the pregnancy, after the mother developed pre-eclampsia and the baby’s heart rate became abnormal.
Both baby and mum are now said to be doing well.
In an anonymous interview with the AP news agency, the father said: “It was a pretty tough journey over the years, but we now have the most amazing baby.
“He’s no different from any other child, but he will have a good story to tell.”
Two other medical teams have attempted womb transplants before.
In one case, the organ became diseased and had to be removed after three months. Another case resulted in miscarriages.
Prof. Mats Brannstrom, who led the transplant team, described the birth in Sweden as a joyous moment.
“That was a fantastic happiness for me and the whole team, but it was an unreal sensation also because we really could not believe we had reached this moment.
“Our success is based on more than 10 years of intensive animal research and surgical training by our team and opens up the possibility of treating many young females worldwide that suffer from uterine infertility.”
Liza Johannesson, a gynaecological surgeon in the team, said: “It gives hope to those women and men that thought they would never have a child, that thought they were out of hope.”
However, there are still doubts about the safety and effectiveness of the invasive procedure.
Dr. Mats Brannstrom and his team are working with another eight couples with a similar need. The results of those pregnancy attempts will give a better picture of whether this technique can be used more widely.
The couple, fresh from celebrating the birth of their child, will soon have to decide if they want a second.
The drugs used to prevent the womb being rejected would be damaging in the long term – so the couple will either try again or have the womb removed.
Sweden’s PM Stefan Lofven has announced that his country will become the first long-term EU member country to recognize the state of Palestine.
Stefan Lofven said: “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution.”
It should be “negotiated in accordance with international law”, he said.
Sweden last month voted out the centre-right Alliance coalition of Fredrik Reinfeldt after eight years.
That allowed the Social Democrats led by Stefan Lofven to form a government with other parties on the left including the Greens.
“A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,” Stefan Lofven said on Ocotber 3, without giving a timeline for the recognition.
Sweden will join more than 130 other countries that recognize a Palestinian state.
PM Stefan Lofven has said Sweden will become the first long-term EU member country to recognize the state of Palestine
Most of the EU’s 28 member states have refrained from recognizing Palestinian statehood and those that do – such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – did so before joining the bloc.
The Palestinians have long sought to establish an independent, sovereign state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem as its capital, and the Gaza Strip – occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.
Correspondents say Sweden’s move is likely to be strongly criticized by Israel and the US, who argue that an independent Palestinian state should only emerge through negotiations.
In 1988, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat unilaterally declared a Palestinian state within the pre-June 1967 lines.
This won recognition from about 100 countries, mainly Arab, Communist and non-aligned states – several of them in Latin America.
The 1993, Oslo Accord between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel led to mutual recognition. However, two decades of on-off peace talks have since failed to produce a permanent settlement.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to that of a “non-member observer state”.
It followed a failed bid to join the international body as a full member state in 2011 because of a lack of support in the UN Security Council.
A massive rat appeared in a Stockholm family’s kitchen making headlines in Sweden, where it is being dubbed “Ratzilla”.
Measuring nearly 16in plus tail, the rat terrified the family in Solna district.
Pest controllers finally killed the intruder using an oversized trap.
Even the family cat had refused to enter the kitchen while the giant rat was in residence.
Measuring nearly 16in plus tail, the rat terrified the family in Solna district
It appears that the animal entered the kitchen via a ventilation pipe, having gnawed its way through cement and wood.
After devouring food leftovers under the sink, the creature feasted on a “Swedish smorgasbord” of waste in the bin, according to family father Erik Korsas.
The incident occurred three weeks ago and initially, after taking a few souvenir photos, the family thought no more about it.
But when they contacted Sweden’s Home And Rent website to see if it was interested in the story, it rapidly scurried to the top of the country’s news agenda after attracting the attention of reporters at newspapers including the English language The Local.
On Tuesday, the “mega rat” became the most shared item for popular Swedish daily Aftonbladet, according to a tweet by journalist Sven Nordenstam.
Social media rang with gasps of disbelief, disgust and amusement.
Since the incident, the family and its cat – a Cornish Rex by the name of Enok – have not been bothered by rats of any size, Erik Korsas said.
Despite regular media speculation, there appears to be little evidence of rats getting bigger in developed countries.
Nine Swedish women have received womb transplants from living relatives in a pioneering trial.
Dr. Mats Brannstrom, of the University of Gothenberg, who has been leading the experimental fertility project, hopes the technique could help other women who want to become pregnant.
This includes women either born without a womb or who have womb problems that stop them conceiving.
Dr. Mats Brannstrom’s team recruited 10 women to their trial. One could not proceed with the trial for medical reasons, but nine went on to have a womb transplant.
These women were born without a uterus or had it removed because of cervical cancer.
Most are in their 30s and are part of the first major experiment to test whether it is possible to transplant wombs into women so they can give birth to their own children.
Nine Swedish women have received womb transplants from living relatives in a pioneering trial
There have been two previous attempts to transplant a womb – in Turkey and Saudi Arabia – but both failed to produce babies.
“This is a new kind of surgery,” Dr. Mats Brannstrom told Associated Press in an interview from Gothenburg.
“We have no textbook to look at.”
Dr. Mats Brannstrom and colleagues will run the first workshop on how to perform womb transplants and they plan to publish a scientific report on their efforts soon.
The transplant operations did not connect the women’s uteruses to their fallopian tubes, so they are unable to become pregnant naturally. But all who received a womb have their own ovaries and can produce eggs to be used for IVF treatment.
Male train drivers in Sweden have circumvented a ban on shorts by wearing skirts to work in hot weather.
The workers, who operate the Roslagsbanan line north of the capital Stockholm, have been wearing skirts to work for the past two weeks.
Employer Arriva banned the drivers from wearing shorts after taking over the running of the line in January.
But the company has given the men its blessing to wear skirts, according to local newspaper Mitti.
Male train drivers in Sweden have circumvented a ban on shorts by wearing skirts to work in hot weather
“Our thinking is that one should look decent and proper when representing Arriva and the present uniforms do that. If the man only wants [to wear] a skirt then that is OK,” Arriva communications manager Tomas Hedenius told the paper.
“To tell them to do something else would be discrimination.”
Driver Martin Akersten said he and his colleagues came up with the idea to wear skirts after they were informed of the new company dress code in the winter.
“We have always said that when summer comes, we will get some skirts and wear them. It’s very warm weather here so we would like to wear shorts but if we can’t then we have skirts for comfort.”
The male drivers have chosen only to wear skirts on hot days, opting for trousers in cooler conditions.
“The passengers stare at us but so far no-one has said anything – well, not to me, anyway. And I don’t mind as it’s more about comfort,” Martin Akersten adds.
Reinforcements of Sweden’s specially trained police are being deployed to Stockholm after five nights of unprecedented rioting in the capital’s suburbs.
Police officers are being sent from the cities of Gothenburg and Malmo, both of which saw rioting in recent years, a spokesman said.
“They are trained and educated for the police tasks going on in Stockholm,” Kjell Lindgren said.
Several schools and scores of cars have been burnt in Stockholm this week.
Reinforcements of Sweden’s specially trained police are being deployed to Stockholm after five nights of unprecedented rioting in the capital’s suburbs
The nightly riots began on Sunday in the north-western suburb of Husby, a deprived, largely immigrant area. It is believed they were sparked by the death of a man nearly a week before, who was shot by police after he allegedly threatened to kill them with a machete.
The unrest has since spread around the city, with groups of youths stoning police and firefighters summoned to tackle arson attacks.
The rioting has raised questions about the success of the country’s attempts to integrate foreign-born residents, who now make up some 15% of the population.
In Husby, more than 80% of the 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia.
Community activists have accused the police of using racist language during the unrest and prosecutors are investigating complaints. Police have tried to calm the situation by speaking to community leaders, such as in mosques.
[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”stanga”]Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband Prince Daniel are expecting their first child just over a year from the June 2010 fairytale wedding at Stockholm Central Cathedral.
“Their Royal Highnesses,The Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are happy to announce that The Crown Princess is expecting their first child.”
“The birth is expected to take place in March of 2012. No changes in the schedule of the Crown Princess’ public engagements are planned during the fall of 2011.”
Anyone witnessing their joy on their engagement and the day of their nuptials could have guessed that it wouldn’t be long before the couple started trying for a child.[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”dreapta”]
Princess Victoria of Sweden is expecting the first child
Princess Victoria, who is the heiress to the Swedish throne, told her people:
“With Daniel by my side I feel secure.”
“You have probably noticed that in recent years I have seemed stronger and happier.”
“And now the time has come for us to begin building something together and starting a family.”
[googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”] Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling got to know each other in 2001.
They announced their engagement at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on Tuesday 24 February, 2009.
Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling became husband and wife in a lavish wedding ceremony at the Stockholm Central Cathedral in 2010, June 19, eight years after the start of their romance.
It was a union that, although once seen as unlikely because of Daniel’s lack of aristocratic heritage, further cemented gym owner’s position by Victoria’s side and also within the royal family, who have come to embrace and support the future queen’s consort.
The Swedish Royal Family consists of King Carl XVI Gustaf, born 1946, Queen Silvia, born 1943, Crown Princess Victoria, born 1977, and her husband Prince Daniel – Duke of Västergötland – born 1973, Prince Carl Philip, born 1979, and Princess Madeleine, born 1982.
In addition to the members of the Royal Family, the Swedish Royal Court also includes Princess Lilian, born 1915, and Princess Birgitta, born 1937, married to Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern.