The Latest: Giant screens in Milan-Cortina, none in Sweden

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Latest on the 2026 Olympics vote (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The announcement of the winning bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics will be broadcast on giant screens in Milan and Cortina but nothing is planned in Sweden.

Votes are being counted on whether Milan-Cortina or Stockholm-Are will host the games, with the result expected at 6 p.m.Read more on NewsOK.com

Thailand scores 1st World Cup goal in 5-1 loss to Sweden

By The Associated PressNICE, France — Thailand finally found something to celebrate after a humiliating start to the Women's World Cup.
It was just a single goal, and it came in a 5-1 loss to Sweden on Sunday, but it was enough to briefly allow the Thai squad to celebrate.Read more on NewsOK.com

Woman who told of Chinese internment camps headed to Sweden

MOSCOW (AP) — The lawyer for a Chinese woman who attracted international attention after she fled to Kazakhstan and spoke publicly about working in Chinese internment camps says his client has left for Sweden, where she expects to get political asylum.

Sayragul Sauytbay had been in Kazakhstan for more than a year; the Central Asian country refused to grant her asylum.

Lawyer Aiman Umarova told The Associated Press that Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh, and her husband and two children who are Kazakh citizens, flew out of Kazakhstan's principal city Almaty on Monday.Read more on NewsOK.com

Sweden requests detention order for WikiLeaks’ Assange

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish authorities on Monday issued a request for a detention order against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is now jailed in Britain, a Swedish prosecutor said.

Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson says if the Swedish court decided to detain Assange "on probable cause suspected for rape …Read more on NewsOK.com

Viking Chess: A Simple Outdoor Family Game With Interesting History

Legend has it that “viking chess,” or Kubb (Swedish for wooden blocks), is a 1,000-year-old game originally played with leftover firewood bits or the bones of viking enemies. It could also be of French origin. Or it could just be a few decades old.
Either way, the game is popular in Sweden and the world over and easy to add to your family hiking or camping outings. You just need a few sticks and knowledge of the basic rules.
Sticks and Dirt
For a game of improvised viking chess you need a minimum of two players and a collection of 12 tall sticks, about 10 inches (30 centimeters) each.
Draw up a 15-by-25-foot field (about 5 by 8 meters) in the dirt or otherwise mark your field. Drill one stick in the earth right in the middle (known as the king). Break five sticks in half so you can draw two lines of soldiers (kubbs) spaced evenly in a line at the far sides of the field. Take six sticks (batons) per team to throw at the soldiers.
Watch this video, by Franziska Casanova, to learn the rules:

Kubb playing pieces: field markers, kubbs, the king and batons. (Serych via Wikimedia Commons)

Canada’s Nic Petan scores hat trick in win over Slovakia at world juniors 2015


TORONTO — Canada didn’t roll over Slovakia, and that might be the best thing to happen to this team at the world junior championship.

Facing adversity and nervous tension for the first time all tournament, Canada gutted through a tough game and eventually pulled away for a 5-1 victory Sunday night. Russia awaits in the gold-medal game.

During the third period, chants of “We Want Russia” and “We Want Gold” echoed through Air Canada Centre, and in the waning minutes fans sang a full rendition of “O Canada.” The rivalry with Russia that extends back to the 1972 Summit Series will get another chapter Monday night.

“It’s the best thing for all of the hockey community, for business,” Russian coach Valeri Bragin said. “Russia-Canada: hockey classic.”

Stunted by their own inconsistent play early and stopped at many turns by Slovak goaltender Denis Godla, Canada may be better-prepared for Russia than it would’ve been had it won in a blowout. While Russia had to beat the United States and Sweden in the knockout round, Canada hasn’t trailed in any of its games and took an easy road through Denmark to reach the semifinals.

Led by Godla and his 39 saves, Slovakia proved to be a much tougher opponent. But Nic Petan had a hat trick, Shea Theodore and Anthony Duclair each added a goal, Connor McDavid recorded three assists and Zach Fucale made 14 saves to ensure the end of Canada’s world junior medal drought that dated back to 2012.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank GunnCanada’s Nic Petan celebrates after scoring his third goal of the game during the third period of semifinal hockey action against Slovakia at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto on Sunday, Jan.4, 2015.

Russia, which beat Sweden 4-1 earlier Sunday, is standing between Canada and its first gold medal in this tournament since 2009 in Ottawa.

“That’s going to be a tough game,” Russia’s Rinat Valiev said. “I saw a couple games, they’re very skilled. But we played against Canada before so I’m not scared to play against (them).”

Canada and Russia last met for gold in 2011 in Buffalo. Russian forward Ivan Barbashev said fans all over that country remember the comeback from down 3-0 for the 5-3 victory, a game Canadians would much rather forget.

“It was unreal,” Barbashev said. “We have a pretty good team this year and we can beat anyone.”

This was the first time Canada and Slovakia were facing off in the world junior semifinals. Canada’s players understood this wouldn’t be as easy as the first meeting with Slovakia, an 8-0 drubbing on Boxing Day.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteSlovakia forward Radovan Bondra, left, and teammates look on after being defeated by Canada during third period semifinal hockey action at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Toronto on Sunday, January 4, 2015.

“They’re a different team and so are we,” winger Max Domi said Sunday morning. “We’ve both come a long way, and we’ve done a lot to get where we are now.”

Undefeated, Canada cruised into the semifinals by blowing out Denmark in the quarter-finals. Slovakia got stellar play from Godla to beat the Czech Republic in Montreal.

Canada was an entirely different animal for Slovakia. Godla called it “the game of our lives.”

Slovakia played like it, not rolling over despite a drastic talent discrepancy. Forward Martin Reway said one of the goals was not to give up a goal early to give themselves a chance.

The Slovaks hung with Canada early, but a penalty opened the door for Canada to make it 1-0. Captain Curtis Lazar cut to the net and found Petan, who got the puck on his forehand and beat Godla short side, top corner.

Canada’s biggest scare came when Slovakia’s Pavol Skalicky blocked defenceman Madison Bowey’s shot from the blue-line and went the other way for a breakaway. Fucale made arguably his biggest save of the tournament by stretching out to get his right foot on the shot just inside the post.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank GunnCanada’s Nic Petan (19) celebrates after scoring his third goal of the game during the third period of semifinal hockey action against Slovakia at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto on Sunday, Jan.4, 2015.

Shots were 6-6 at the end of the first period, which may have been Canada’s worst 20 minutes in any game. The ice tilted in the second period, but Godla stood tall.

Slovakia’s draft-eligible goaltender stopped 19 straight shots from Petan’s first goal until he scored again at 18:06 of the second. McDavid made an absurd pass through traffic to Petan, who beat Godla clean to give Canada some breathing room.

With 28.3 seconds left, Theodore’s goal off a pass from Anthony Duclair made it 3-0 and infused energy into a nervous crowd. But then a blown tire by Bowey led to a three-on-one and a goal for David Soltes to keep Slovakia in it.

Duclair scored 2:47 into the third to restore Canada’s three-goal lead. After keeping the puck through Slovak defenders, he shot from below the goal-line and banked it in off Godla’s skate.

Petan completed the hat trick at 11:59 of the third to set off celebrations in the stands and on the bench.

Easy to forget that world junior tournament is played by kids

TORONTO — Oliver Bjorkstrand, the Danish sniper, was standing in the bowels of Air Canada Centre on Friday and pondering the Canadian team he would face at the world junior championships a few hours later.

“They have a lot of really good players on that team,” Bjorkstrand said, “and we have to try to not have that many chances to score on us.”

Then he adjusted his ballcap and stroked his beard in thought, which was kind of a cute thing to do because Bjorkstrand’s beard is more like the optimistic seedlings of a beard. It is a light dusting of whiskers that makes Sidney Crosby’s annual wispy attempt at a playoff beard look like James Harden in comparison.

But Bjorkstrand’s mug is a reminder of something that is apparent the more you watch this tournament: these guys are just kids. Are they ever kids. You see it in the hilariously excited reaction of the Denmark team when they managed to knock off Switzerland in a shooutout on Tuesday to win their first-ever game at this level of the world juniors. They sang and they chanted and they cheered and drank Gatorade and when the TV cameras left they probably managed to drink something even stronger, like Red Bull.

You see it in their faces and bodies, with cheeks flushed red after a practice and chins that are still a breeding ground for acne rather than facial hair.

And, you see it in the impossibly soft-spoken manner of Connor McDavid, who would probably answer every question asked of him with a shrug if not for the fact that someone once told him that shrugs make for lousy audio. McDavid, 17, has been a pro prospect for three years now, but he’s still just an aw-shucks kid.

Asked on Friday if he was at all frustrated with the fact that he hadn’t yet had a breakout game in the tournament, despite the fact that he was scoring at a clip of almost three points a game before he broke his hand six weeks ago, McDavid made a face at the suggestion that he might have expected to score more here. “Nah,” he said. These are great players, he said, and he wouldn’t imagine scoring three or four points a night.

The first few times I heard McDavid talk down his personal statistics at the world juniors, I thought it was just a case of a kid being savvy enough to put team before self. But I’m starting to think McDavid is just who he is: a young guy who is not used to this big stage and who just wants to contribute. He’s not polished enough to feed the press a team-first line, and that’s not a criticism.

The other place you are reminded of the youth on display here is in the play on the ice, and the results. The Americans, who gave Canada all they could handle in their preliminary round game on New Year’s Eve — which required two empty-net goals for the Canadians to finally finish them off — looked for all the world like a team that would contend for the gold medal. The coach wasn’t the least bit disappointed after that loss. “We feel good about moving forward,” Mark Osiecki said. And why not? They had just held their own with Canada, in a Canadian rink. Then the United States went out and committed eight minor penalties in a 3-2 loss to Russia on Friday, ending their medal hopes. Two of the Russian goals were on the power play. “We were very disciplined before and for some reason it didn’t work out today,” he said. Kids, I say.

Another quarter-final on Friday saw Sweden beat Finland 5-3 at the Air Canada Centre, with the Swedes converting on three power plays. The winning goal came with Sweden on a lengthy 5-on-3 power play at the start of the third period, after Finland’s Julius Honka committed the cardinal infraction of not immediately bolting to the bench when his helmet was knocked off. Instead, caught up in the moment, he tried to keep killing the penalty as Sweden had the puck in the Finnish end. The resulting playing-without-a-helmet minor led to a goal a minute or so later.

It’s a short tournament, and the players are running on emotion as much as anything. Practices are routinely cancelled, owing to the number of games in a brief span.

Asked earlier in the tournament what he knew about the Germans before a game against that group, Canada’s Darnell Nurse thought a moment and said, “Not much.” Points for honesty.

A couple days later, Canada’s Curtis Lazar, who is playing in the tournament for the second year in a row, was asked about how many of the returning Americans he knew. “Not many, actually,” he said. A name was suggested. “Oh yeah, he’s pretty good.” Another name was offered. Lazar blinked. “Who’s that guy?” He chuckled a bit, a little embarrassed. You wanted to pinch his cheeks.

Just pups, these guys. Worth remembering, when something weird happens.

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