News briefs

© Tribune News Service

Sweden gets first female PM a century after women could vote

Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson became the largest Nordic nation’s first female prime minister after winning a narrow vote in parliament.

A last-minute deal with the ex-communist Left Party ensured that a majority of lawmakers accepted the Social Democrat leader, 100 years after women in the country known for its egalitarian foundations were first able to exercise full voting rights.

“I am ready to lead a government that does what it takes to address Sweden’s problems,” Andersson, who has been finance minister since 2014, said at a news conference after the vote. “I have been elected Sweden’s first female prime minister and I am also aware of what that means for girls who grow up in our country.”

Andersson faces a fragmented legislature after the Nordic nation’s politics have been upended by the emergence of the far-right Sweden Democrats as surging gun crime and tension over immigration led to voter disillusionment. Her government only controls about a third of the seats, and later Wednesday, her spending proposal for next year is set to be dismissed in favor of an opposition bill.

The budget vote illustrates that the kind of deal-making that carried Andersson’s predecessor Stefan Lofven to power may be a thing of the past.

—Bloomberg News

Trump meets Rittenhouse: ‘Really a nice young man’

Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted on charges stemming from killing two men and wounding another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, journeyed to Palm Beach, Florida, to meet with former President Donald Trump, who called the acquitted teenager a “big fan.”

“He wanted to know if he could come over and say hello because he was a fan,” Trump said in an appearance late Tuesday on Fox News. “(He’s) really a nice young man and what he went through. .. That was prosecutorial misconduct.”

The former president and Rittenhouse, 18, flashed twin thumbs-up signs in a photo widely circulated on social media on Tuesday night.

“He should not have had to suffer through a trial for that. He was going to be dead ... . Kyle would have been dead,” Trump told host Sean Hannity. “He’s a really good young guy.”

Rittenhouse is being lionized by Trump’s MAGA supporters and gun rights advocates who say he had every right to open fire on protesters because he feared for his own life during the chaotic protest.

Critics call him a trigger-happy teenager who had no business playing cop or paramedic on the streets of flashpoint Kenosha, which erupted in riots after the police shooting of a Black motorist, Jacob Blake.

—New York Daily News

No, Pelosi is not buying a mansion in Florida, despite reports

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The conservative blogosphere was buzzing on a report this week claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was purchasing a sprawling, $25 million oceanfront mansion on Jupiter Island. But the claim is “completely false,” a Pelosi spokesperson said Wednesday.

“There’s no such pending sale nor is the family looking or interested,” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, wrote in an email.

The agent representing the seller of the property at the center of the reports repeated the denial, saying the buyer is not Pelosi nor anyone associated with her.

Tweets and conservative blog reports emerged with the claims that Pelosi was under contract to purchase the oceanfront home in Hobe Sound on the ultra-rich Jupiter Island for $25 million. Many were critical of the alleged purchase by one of the country’s top Democrats who has been critical of Florida’s Republican leadership.

“I can confirm the buyer is NOT Nancy Pelosi,” said Beth Bourque of Southern Shore Properties, in a text message, using capital letters for emphasis.

—South Florida Sun Sentinel

Students 'scared for their lives' by slavery petition, district says

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In response to a lawsuit filed by the parents of students who created a "Start Slavery Again" petition at Park Hill South High School, the Park Hill School District requested that the court deny a motion that would allow the students to return to school.

"The students of Park Hill South have a compelling public interest in avoiding the disruption that would ensue if Plaintiffs abruptly and without warning resumed attending school there," the district wrote in it's filing Monday.

Outcry over the petition lead to the expulsion of one student and 180-day suspensions for three others. The four students who were disciplined for the petition sued the school district last week saying that the petition was not racial harassment as portrayed in public.

Instead, they assert, the widely reported petition — which The Star also reported — began as "friendly banter" between a biracial student and a Black student on the football team while en route to an away game, according to the federal lawsuit filed last week on behalf of the four students.

The day after the petition was created, a teacher sent an email to Park Hill South Principal Kerrie Herren, saying that one of her classes "was in uproar about the situation," according to the school district's court filing.

"I have been fighting fires all day," the email read. "I have several girls crying and scared for their lives. I'm just not sure what's going on besides what students have told me. I could use some help or update on this situation. I have been doing a lot of counseling today and trying to give support but I am concerned about the girls that are scared or crying. Please let me know."

The lawsuit filed last week by the parents of the four students contends that the students' First Amendment rights, and 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection, were violated.

—The Kansas City Star