Following a general election that resulted in a hung parliament, Sweden’s Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Löfven was ousted this week by members of the opposing centre-right Alliance and Sweden Democrats. Sweden’s speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlén, now has the unenviable task of finding a replacement for Löfven. Crucially, this replacement must be capable of cobbling together a leadership that can govern the country without too much fuss. Yesterday Norlén met with leaders of the country’s main parties to discuss the best solution – with all concerned likely throwing their hats into the ring for the top job. When Norlén has made his choice, he will have to get the decision through parliament. The whole thing is rather reminiscent of a reality TV dating show; the Swedish public, however, are unlikely to be entertained.
Canada’s military is about to become distinctly furrier following the announcement that male recruits will be allowed to sport beards for the first time since the Second World War. It’s a move aimed at broadening the pool of potential recruits, the armed forces say. While military members who have beards for religious reasons have been permitted to serve for some time, the softening of the rules will not amount to a facial-hair free-for-all: a manual will be issued on acceptable beard length. With moves reportedly also underway in the US to relax the rules on bearded soldiers, the sight of fuzzy-faced fighters might be more commonplace in the years to come.
Outdoor clothing company Woolrich is undergoing a major reinvention. While the brand is best known for the distinct red-and-black check pattern that for decades has covered the backs of North American outdoorsmen, it is making a play for a younger and more global audience. Yesterday saw the opening of the first Japanese Woolrich shop in Sapporo, with another destination due to be unveiled in Tokyo tomorrow. The openings coincide with the company’s new winter collection, which features parkas and streetwear. The overseas strategy is being spearheaded by Italian shareholder WP Lavori in Corso and Goldwin, a Japanese apparel manufacturer. American heritage, Italian design and Japanese technology? They’ve got it all sewn up.
Those passionate about cinema hear much scaremongering about the death of the silver screen at the hands of tech behemoths such as Netflix and Amazon. But, amid the doom and gloom, the best independent industry events remain indispensable. The New York Film Festival (NYFF), once seen as the humbler sibling of Robert de Niro’s flashy Tribeca event in spring, is set to start today and has The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – a new anthology of short films by the Coen brothers – in its schedule. While the rights were already bought by Netflix in August, the brothers’ decision to show at NYFF is testament to the opportunity for distribution and recognition these so-called endangered old-school platforms offer.