Dozens of wildfires rage in Sweden amid Nordic heat wave

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Fire burns in Karbole, Sweden, on July 15, 2018. (AFP)
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Smoke rises after a wildfire swept through the large forest area in Pyh'ranta, Finland, Wednesday July 18, 2018. (AP)
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An aircraft helps to stop the advancing wildfire near to homes, outside Ljusdal, Sweden, Tuesday July 17, 2018. (AP)
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An aerial view of the wildfire outside Ljusdal, Sweden, July 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Dozens of wildfires rage in Sweden amid Nordic heat wave

  • Thousands of people have been warned to remain inside with the windows shut to avoid breathing smoky air

HELSINKI: Sweden says it has mobilized all available resources to put out dozens of wildfires raging across the country.
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency said Wednesday that two Canadair CL-415 water-bombing planes on loan from Italy joined the firefighting efforts that included helicopters from Norway.
Swedish public broadcaster SVT says an estimated 40 wildfires are burning mostly in Sweden, mostly in the central and western parts of the country, but also in the Arctic north.
Thousands of people have been warned to remain inside with the windows shut to avoid breathing smoky air.
The Nordic region of Europe has experienced an intense heat wave in the past week. Temperatures reached over 32 degrees Celsius (90 F) throughout Finland, Norway and Sweden. The weather also has been dry.


Sweden’s Center Party to reject Lofven as PM

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 17, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 December 2018
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Sweden’s Center Party to reject Lofven as PM

  • The September election gave neither the center-left nor the center-right a majority, leaving the balance of power with the Sweden Democrats

STOCKHOLM: Attempts to form a new Swedish government were back at square one on Monday after the Center Party said it would vote against Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven’s return as prime minister because he had rejected their policy demands.
Sweden has been without a government since a Sept. 9 election delivered a hung parliament which subsequently voted Lofven out as prime minister after four years in office and then also rejected the candidacy of the leader of the four-party center-right Alliance.
The Center and Liberal parties, nominally party of the Alliance, said last month they were willing to support Lofven if he accepted a number of major policy compromises, including lower taxes and more liberal labor laws.
But Center leader Annie Loof said Lofven had been unwilling to back down on several of their key demands.
“We would have need to see considerably more liberal political reforms in order for the Center party to be able to come to an agreement and allow Stefan Lofven four more years,” Loof told reporters.
The September election gave neither the center-left nor the center-right a majority, leaving the balance of power with the Sweden Democrats, a hard-right anti-immigration party that mainstream groups refuse to deal with.
With no signs of compromise, it is unclear what will happen now. If parliament rejects four prime ministerial candidates, then there will automatically be a fresh election.