September 21, 2010 in Nation/World

In brief: Copter crash kills nine NATO troops

 

KABUL, Afghanistan – Nine service members with the international coalition in Afghanistan died today after their helicopter crashed in the volatile south where troops are ramping up pressure on Taliban insurgents.

One other coalition service member, an Afghan National Army soldier and a U.S. civilian were injured in the crash and were transported to a military medical center for treatment, NATO said.

NATO did not disclose the location of the crash, which is under investigation.

“There are no reports of enemy fire in the area,” NATO said in a statement.

Nationalists hold sway in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – A far-right group’s election breakthrough has shattered Sweden’s reputation as a bastion of tolerance after years of being seemingly inoculated against the backlash on immigration seen elsewhere in Europe.

Sunday’s election showed that the country’s welcome to refugees is not universally accepted: Nearly 6 percent of the population voted for a nationalist group that accuses immigrants – especially Muslims – of eroding Sweden’s national identity and its cherished welfare state.

It’s a bitter pill for a nation that frowned upon Denmark’s vitriol toward Muslim immigrants, Swiss attempts to ban minarets and France’s crackdown on Gypsy camps.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s coalition won the election but lost its majority in the 349-seat legislature, weakening its ability to push through crucial legislation.

The Sweden Democrats, a small nationalist party, entered Parliament for the first time, winning 20 seats to hold the balance of power between the 172 seats captured by the four-party center-right bloc and the 154 seats won by the three-party leftist opposition, according to preliminary returns.


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