WAN starts quality task force

According to Editorsweblog.org, the World Association of Newspapers has established a Task Force on the Quality of News and Information. It is a call for contributions and editors, academics and consultants involved in editorial quality programmes are invited to participate to the Task Force, to set up “best practices” related to editorial quality.

A written report of the conclusions of the Task Force is intended for publication in 2005, and there might be a dedicated special session to this report at the WEF Seoul Conference to be held from 29 May to 1 June 2005.

Corren goes tabloid

Swedish local daily Östgöta Correspondeten, “Corren“, will become a tabloid in February next year. It is the 9th Swedish paper to downsize to tabloid format during the last 12 months.

Bulgarian news agency spreads false rumours

The Bulgarian media do what they can to increase the temperature for tonight’s soccer clash bewteen Sweden and Bulgaria in Euro 2004. News agency Novinite even spreads false quotes from the Swedish coach Lars Lagerbäck.

“This is the poorest play in defense that I can imagine, says coach Lars Lagerback.

In his words Bulgarians’ swift attacks are doomed to fail as “nobody know what to do”.

Forwarder, Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Dimitar Berbatov, was described as “talented, but lazy”.

Lagerbäck denies having said anything close to this.

Reagan might have been behind Soviet submarine running aground in Sweden in 1981

Slightly off topic, but this is too hot to resist. Insightmag.com has some sensational information about the Soviet submarine that went aground in Sweden in 1981. According to this article, the Reagan administration cooperated with Sweden to trap a Soviet submarine on Swedish waters.

Another deft tactical coup in covert activity, also reported here for the first time, occurred when Weinberger visited the Swedish Defense Ministry from Oct. 15-19, 1981, the first visit ever by a U.S. Defense secretary to that country.

Top Swedish defense officials showed Weinberger ministry charts and action reports that gave details of earlier penetration by Soviet and Warsaw Pact submarines into restricted Swedish military areas in violation of international law, according to U.S. intelligence sources close to the case at the time.

Then, on Oct. 27, a Soviet Whiskey-class sub suddenly and very publicly ran aground on the rocks inside a Swedish military base, using a route that had been used previously by another Soviet intruder, these sources said.

Swedish military planners had been increasingly nervous about a Soviet military buildup in the region on the nearby Kola Peninsula. And politically the Swedes were deeply embroiled in the pros and cons of deploying new Pershing II and ground-based cruise missiles in Western Europe, which had been approved by NATO in a 1979 decision, these sources said. Some Swedes thought this a needless provocation and a threat to East-West détente.

According to former U.S. Air Force intelligence sources, it was decided at the Swedish-Weinberger meetings to trap and detain a Soviet submarine, and the office of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was kept closely apprised of the plan.

These sources also said U.S. technology was able to manipulate the sub’s instruments, causing them to exhibit “false readings” until it was misled and went aground. “We had that sort of technology,” one of the former intelligence officials said.

The result was a huge shock to Sweden, a toughening of its political attitudes, and a huge propaganda victory for the Reagan administration.

Should this be true, this is astonishing new facts about one of the most spectacular news stories in Sweden in the 1980’s. If the Swedish military was involved in trapping the submarine, how come it took 12 hours after it stranded until it got discovered?

UPDATE: Caspar Weinberger made a long interview with Swedish Television in March 2000 about submarines on Swedish waters and the US involvement. Transcript and video found here.