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#MySweden: ‘Everything I want is at my fingertips here’

How old are you and what do you normally spend your days doing?

I am 33, and my weekdays are comm..

How old are you and what do you normally spend your days doing?

I am 33, and my weekdays are commuting to work, shopping, grabbing a late night movie, or an AW with friends! I work as the Brand Manager for Truecaller, which is a tech company located in the heart of Stockholm. My weekends are full of exploring and taking photos of the forest, managing my travel blog, playing video games, or doing some art project.

Where in Sweden do you live?

I live in Barkarby, a suburb in Järfälla in the outskirts of Stockholm.

Into the woods. That is what my life has been up to this point. The forest is dark, unpredictable and to some…frightening to go in without a flashlight. Life bursts on the ground you walk, the cool droplets of rain that fall from the leaves, the trees creak in the silence, and every now and then you see a deer or fox to give you comfort. ↟ When you make the choice to move somewhere far and foreign, like I did to Stockholm, it is like that forest without a flashlight. Its unknown what is around the trail bend and if you will survive it all or just run back to where you came from – afraid of whats ahead. But if you follow the trail, what will you learn about yourself? About life? ↟ For me, I chose to go into the dark of the forest, and to all those curious about moving abroad, are you coming in with me? 📸 @seattlelovely #MySweden #Stockholm #Sweden #travel #moveabroad #forestphotography #moodygrams #exploremore #womenwhowander

Ein Beitrag geteilt von The Local Sweden (@thelocalsweden) am

When and why did you move to your city/neighbourhood?

My sambo and I had lived in various places around the northern suburbs of Stockholm since moving to Sweden in 2012, and like any newcomer to Stockholm, we were only finding second-hand contracts that were six-months or one-year non-extendable. After a couple years of playing apartment roulette, we found ourselves at the top of a first-hand contract apartment queue for a new development in Barkarby. Getting a first-hand is so difficult, so we jumped at the chance no matter where it took us. There were barely any apartments built in the area, and ours wasn't even finished when we checked out the area! We moved to Barkarby in 2016 and have been there ever since.

What do you love the most about your city/neighbourhood?

I love that my apartment is in the middle of a concrete jungle meets forest. Meaning, I can walk a couple minutes west and visit the Stockholm Quality Outlet mall, Ica Maxi and Ikea, and if I walk east I will find myself in the middle of a vast forest, trails, lakes and animal pastures where I can spend hours getting lost in nature. I have the best of both worlds and it doesn't hurt they are building a tunnelbana (subway) in 2020 just outside my apartment building! Everything I want is at my fingertips here.

What annoys you the most about your city/neighbourhood?

Mostly transportation things! I am thankful that the pendeltåg (commuter train) is about a 10-minute walk (or four-minute bus ride) and a tunnelbana is coming in 2020, but since my apartment is surrounded by all the big outlet stores, sometimes when going to meet my friends in downtown Stockholm, the buses are packed tight on weekends which means I have to wait for the next bus if they are all full (or walk to Barkarby station, which isn't bad).

Another thing that is a bit harder is the fact that the pendeltåg stops around 11.40pm on weekdays, and 1.40am on weekends – which means late nights with friends or events can be cut short or you pay 500 kronor for a taxi ride.

How should I spend a day in your city/neighbourhood?

Obviously you have to visit the outlet mall for the deals! I would suggest taking a walk to Säbysjön and visit the horses and Highland Cow herds. You can get lost in the trails of the forests, discover small lakes and picnic benches nestled among the trees. The fields of purple and gold wildflowers lining typical Swedish red barns in the summer are endless and you can forget you're within walking distance to Ikea. There is a famous bird watching station through a trail in the woods and you can see different types of birds nesting during the spring. Sunsets are quite beautiful listening to the crickets chirp while the sun is going down.

What's a fun fact not everyone knows about your city/neighbourhood?

There are big herds of Highland Cows (and baby cows in the spring!) roaming around freely. It also is not that far away from t-central. Just a four-stop pendeltåg ride and you're here!

Why do you think people prefer to live in the city rather than suburbs?

I understand if some people just love being in the city with the views. But I think people believe that in order to be 'in the scene' means you need to live in the city centre. Coming from the US, being from the suburbs around a city is more ideal as people get older. I think that has always rubbed off on me being abroad even if the locals don't see it that way. I can tell you, in my seven years of living outside the city centre, I have never missed one night out with friends in the city, events, or work opportunities. I pay cheaper rent, have a bigger and newer apartment, and access to amazing air quality in the Swedish countryside. Plus, give me 40 minutes' notice, and I can be walking the streets of Stockholm alongside my city-dwelling buddies. The best of both worlds is ideal!

You can follow Lindsey LaMont on Instagram here. Do you want to be The Local's next #MySweden Instagram takeover host? Click HERE to apply.

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China deploys anti-ship missiles in the desert making them harder to intercept

Beijing has announced it has deployed intermediate ballistic missiles to the country's north-we..

Beijing has announced it has deployed intermediate ballistic missiles to the country's north-west region, saying the weapons have the capacity to destroy US ships entering disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Key points:

  • The missiles can fire long distances and would be difficult for US ships to shoot down
  • Defence strategy expert Dr Malcom Davis said the move means China can back up its threats
  • The news came after a US guided missile destroyer passed through the South China Sea

The DF-26 missiles — which have been previously dubbed the 'Guam Killer' or 'Guam Express' by Chinese media and defence experts — are capable of carrying conventional or nuclear warheads.

They have a range of 4,500 kilometres, making them capable of reaching as far as Guam in the east and Indonesia in the south, providing Beijing with a powerful weapon as tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea.

External Link: @globaltimesnews: China's df-26 missiles

According to Chinese state media publication The Global Times, the DF-26 missiles are now stationed in north-west China's sparse plateau and desert areas, carried on the backs of trucks able to traverse the harsh terrain.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Beijing-based military expert told the Times that positioning the missiles deep in China's mainland made them more difficult to intercept as it allowed the missile to enter its final stages at a high speed.

Footage on CCTV showed trucks carrying the missiles driving through rough terrain and sand dunes.

The missiles were first paraded in 2015 and China confirmed they were now operational in April last year, but this is the first footage of the missiles outside of a parade.

It is unclear when the missiles were moved to the northwest region, the Times reported. (more…)

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Melbourne driver who cheated death when sign fell on car in no rush to drive again

Related Story: Dashcam footage shows moment car was crushed by falling freeway sign

The Melbourne ..

Related Story: Dashcam footage shows moment car was crushed by falling freeway sign

The Melbourne driver who cheated death when an overhead road sign fell and crushed her car says she cannot believe such an accident could happen in Australia.

Key points:

  • A second sign on the Tullamarine Freeway has been taken down as a precautionary measure
  • An inspection of similar-sized sign and gantries is underway
  • VicRoads says an independent investigator has been brought in to determine what happened

Extraordinary dashcam footage shows the moment the five-by-four metre sign fell in front of, and then on top of, Nella Lettieri's car as she was travelling on Melbourne's Tullamarine Freeway earlier this week.

While the 53-year-old was not seriously injured, she is bruised and battered — and wondering how she is still alive.

"It felt like a roller door had slammed shut in front of me," Ms Lettieri said.

"I've gone to swerve, but as I swerved, it just felt like the sign was actually falling on the car.

"And it just kept bouncing, and I felt like it was pushing me to the right, and I'm thinking, 'OK, is it going to stop?'"

A woman smiling and looking off camera.

She thought the metal object may have been from a plane landing or taking off from the nearby Essendon Airport, or from a truck on the freeway.

But she was shocked to discover it was actually an overhead sign, meant to be directing drivers to their destination. (more…)

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In his Brexit speech in Wakefield, Jeremy Corbyn again demanded the impossible

Speaking in Wakefield this morning, Jeremy Corbyn restated his demand for a solution to the Brexit i..

Speaking in Wakefield this morning, Jeremy Corbyn restated his demand for a solution to the Brexit impasse that appears effectively impossible: a general election.

In what is likely to be his last major public statement before MPs vote on the withdrawal agreement next Tuesday, he attempted to redefine the terms of the question facing both the Labour leadership and its MPs – from those that threaten to stretch his fissiparous electoral coalition to breaking point, to those which, on paper, unite it.

That resulted in a speech whose thrust was an appeal to class consciousness from Remainers in Tottenham and Leavers in Mansfield, rather than any meaningful debate over the validity or viability of Brexit itself. “Youre up against it,” Corbyn said, citing austerity, stagnant wages, and the cost of living crisis, “but youre not against each other.”

Accordingly, his cursory repetition of Labours policy – that a second referendum should remain on the table as an option in the event a general election does not happen – came with a caveat so huge that it amounted to an implicit dismissal of a so-called peoples vote. “Any political leader who wants to bring the country together cannot wish away the votes of 17 million people who wanted to leave, any more than they can ignore the concerns of the 16 million who voted to remain.”

But despite the fact that his attention was more or less exclusively focussed on the question of what sort of future relationship with Europe would negotiate – with the fact of the divorce undisputed – Corbyn categorically ruled out doing anything but whipping his MPs to vote against the withdrawal agreement. The vast majority of them will do so on Thursday, after which point Corbyn said, as expected, that Labour would table a motion of no confidence in the hope of securing an election and with it the chance to renegotiate Brexit (rather than, say, holding a second referendum).

Notably, however, he did not specify a timescale for tabling a confidence vote after Mays deal falls – despite several of his shadow cabinet ministers insisting that he would do so “immediately”. He instead put on the record the more cautious line briefed by his team yesterday: “Labour will table a motion of no confidence in the government at the moment we judge it to have the best chance of success.”

That statement of intent was followed with a caveat seldom offered by shadow cabinet ministers sent out to spin the partys line on Brexit. “Clearly,” Corbyn said, “Labour does not have enough MPs in parliament to win a confidence vote on its own.” As he himself alluded to when he urged opposition MPs to join Labour in voting against the government, Labours chances remain slim until such time that the ten DUP MPs drop the government. (That every other party will is a racing certainty.) Paradoxically, the defeat of the withdrawal agreement – and with it the backstop Mays sometime coalition partners object to – will make that chance even slimmer.

We know from what Corbyn said this morning that the Labour leadership will not whip its MPs to approve Theresa Mays Brexit, back a second referendum out of choice – both courses threaten its electoral base in different ways – or support any attempt by Downing Street to make the Brexit deal more amenable to Labour MPs by tacking on guarantees on workers rights. That strategy has held until now.

But failure to roll the pitch for any alternative at all – or, indeed, for the inevitable breakdown in party discipline after Mays vote is defeated and Labour has no way to bind MPs who seek mutually exclusive Brexit aims – will make the messy politics of the aftermath of next Tuesday rather more difficult to finesse.

Patrick Maguire is the New Statesman's political correspondent. (more…)

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