Two killed in Swedish school attack
Matt Howard & Caitlin Doherty
There were scenes of terror in Sweden after a pupil and teacher were stabbed to death, and another two individuals were seriously injured at Kronan School, Trollhättan.
The masked attacker, Anton Lundin Pettersson, was dressed in all black with a mask not dissimilar from Darth Vader and he posed with pupils for photographs before the attack began – some of the pupils believing it was some sort of early Halloween prank.
Police arrived to find one teacher dead with the other victims in a serious condition. One 17-year-old pupil died in hospital, while a pupil and teacher, aged 15 and 41 respectively, were taken to hospital in a critical condition. Pettersson was shot dead by police.
The Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, described it as “a black day for Sweden” whilst King Carl Gustaf said the country was ‘“in shock” after the attack.
After searching Pettersson’s home and gathering evidence on how he selected his victims, police have stated that that the he was driven by racist motives when he carried out the act’. Swedish media have reported that he admired Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany and disliked Islam and immigration.
This event comes after an attack in August by a failed asylum seeker in an Ikea. One person was killed.
Chinese government bans golf for party members
China’s ruling Communist Party has updated its party discipline rules, adding membership of a golf club to a list of activities that are banned.
Apparently part of an on-going anti- corruption drive, the new rules does not explain why joining a golf club is forbidden. But in the past, similar sports clubs have been perceived as the location for shady deals between businessmen and government officials. The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has made it his goal to tackle corruption within the Communist Party since taking office three years ago.
This is not the first time that golf has been the target of the party. In 2004 the building of new golf courses was banned, a move that was welcomed by environmentalists who had expressed concerns about the effect of newly built courses on ecosystems.
However, these rules have not always been followed. In March 2015, 66 illegally built courses were shut down. If party members are found to be violating the new club membership rule they can expect a warning or expulsion from the party.
China abandons one-child policy
China’s ruling Communist Party has decided to end it’s one-child policy, allowing parents to have two children for the first time in more than three decades.
Originally adopted in 1979, the controversial policy was designed to slow China’s 20th Century population explosion.
Despite exempting twins, and allowing a second child in rural areas if the first was female, it is believed that the policy has prevented more than 400 million births, and, in direct contradiction to the policy’s original motivation, the government has faced pressure to end it as a result of the rapidly ageing population. Those over 65 now represent more than 15% of China’s working population.
Couples who violated the policy originally faced harsh punishments if caught: arrests, fines, the loss of employment and forced abortions have all been reported as direct consequences of the law. However, over time, authorities have gradually taken a lighter approach to the policy. Official relaxation of the rules began two years ago, as Beijing stated that couples were allowed to have more than one child if at least one of the parenting couple was an only child themselves. Given the longevity of the policy, this obviously allowed many young couples the chance of a larger family.