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Police seek motive in deadly Sweden school attack******
Bouquets of flowers lie on stairs as people hug outside the Malmo Latin School on March 22, 2022 in Malmo, Sweden, a day after two women were killed.
Police in Sweden were Tuesday attempting to determine why an 18-year-old student allegedly killed two teachers at a high school a day earlier in an attack that has shaken the country.
The two victims, both women in their 50s, were teachers at Malmo Latin, a large high school in Sweden's third-biggest city, police said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Media reports said the suspect, whose name has not been disclosed, was armed with a knife and an axe, though police have not confirmed that information.
Police chief Petra Stenkula said police had seized "several weapons that are not firearms" at the scene.
Investigators were now trying to determine whether the suspect specifically targeted his victims or chose them at random, and whether he had planned to attack more people.
"We don't know yet if he had any connection to these employees", Stenkula told reporters.
The student "has no criminal record", she said, adding that police were looking into his background and movements prior to the attack.
Investigators were on Tuesday searching the suspect's home in the nearby town of Trelleborg, she added.
Police were alerted to the attack at 5:12 pm (1612 GMT) and a first patrol was able to enter the school minutes later.
About 50 students and teachers were inside at the time, and news footage showed heavily equipped and armed police inspecting the interior of the building.
- Recent attacks -
The suspect was arrested on the third floor just 10 minutes after the first alert, putting up no resistance, Stenkula said.
His two victims were lying on the floor nearby, she added.
The teachers were rushed to hospital for treatment but their deaths were announced later in the evening.
According to daily Aftonbladet, the alleged attacker called emergency services to say where he was and that he had laid down his weapons, and confessed to the killings.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Tuesday expressed her "sadness" and "consternation" over the attack.
At the high school, which was closed on Tuesday, a support group has been set up for teachers and students, local authorities said.
"Everyone is deeply shocked. Devastated," a teacher at the school who didn't want to be identified told AFP on Tuesday.
"It's an awful crime, it's impossible to take it all in", she said, standing outside the school where a group of about 20 students stood hugging and crying, some with flowers to lay down on the ground.
School attacks are relatively rare in Sweden, which has in recent years grown more accustomed to shootings and bombings in underworld settlings of scores that kill dozens of people each year.
But several serious incidents have taken place at schools in southern Sweden in recent months.
In January, a 16-year-old was arrested after wounding another student and a teacher with a knife at a school in the small town of Kristianstad.
That incident was linked to a similar knife attack in August 2021 in the town of Eslov, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away, when a student attacked a 45-year-old school employee.
No link has been established between those two events and the Malmo attack.
Economic Watch: UK business leaders confident in resilience, vitality of Chinese economy******
by Xinhua writer Sun Xiaoling
LONDON, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Giant consumption driven by middle class, steady economic growth even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, big green investment collaboration under mutual desire for the planet ... These are among the reasons given by British business leaders for their confidence in resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy.
To reduce the impact of the pandemic, British luxury brand Rapport London shifted its focus to digital economy, seeing a strong double-digit percentage growth in its online business across the world, especially in the booming online market of China.
"The Chinese market is set to become the largest luxury market by 2025, and we want to be a part of this growth," said Oliver Rapport, CEO of Rapport London, in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"The importance of the Chinese market is paramount," said Rapport, adding that the luxury goods market in the Chinese mainland saw a significant boost in consumer spending in 2020 and is expected to grow continuously into the year of 2025.
Since his company has set up online stores on Chinese e-commerce platforms, including WeChat Mini-Programs and Alibaba, Rapport said he plans to open offline stores in collaboration with Chinese partners.
Founded in 1972, a London-based market research company Mintel tracked consumer spending across 34 markets worldwide.
"We're seeing a real confidence from a lot of reports that Mintel published in consumer spending going forward," said Matthew Nelson, newly appointed global CEO of Mintel, told Xinhua.
Nelson said the Chinese economy will see a continuous growth in 2021, which has been "driven on the back of the initiatives of technological self-reliance, lifting the living standard, social security, as well as the green economy."
Having taken a closer look at the latest trends in Chinese domestic spending, Nelson said: "We've really been looking as a business at consumers in lower tier cities. Really, they're providing big growth opportunities for brands that enter into that market with increased purchasing power, and as well as a closer alignment to some of the values that are coming along with those brands."
"I mean, any global brand, whether it's Mintel, market intelligence, or whether it's automotive, retail, food and beverage, if you're a global brand, you should definitely have a focus on China," Nelson added.
John McLean, newly appointed chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD) for the City of London, told Xinhua as Britain has left the European Union, it needs to look East.
McLean noted that the emerging middle class in China is attractive to British enterprises.
McLean said things are set to change as tourism resumes with improvements not only in economic cooperation but also in terms of bilateral understanding.
"I strongly believe that in a post-COVID era, China again will be that engine," he said, adding that Britain and China will find a way forward as businesses look for a long-term goal.
China is "wonderful and brilliant" on its carbon emission commitments and the City of London looks forward to continuing strong relationship and strengthening green collaboration with Chinese partners, said William Russell, lord mayor of the City of London.
"It's very important to strengthen the collaboration between the two sides," the mayor told Xinhua in a recent video interview. "One of the areas that we're very keen to strengthen is around green finance."
Talking about the collaboration with Chinese partners in green finance, Russell said, "I think China has made great progress, and it's moving very fast, and we will continue to work with China to help with that progress."
The China International Import Expo (CIIE) has given great access to many Scottish businesses to learn about the Chinese market, and it really has been "an eye-opening experience" for them, Kevin Liu, senior China representative for Scottish Development International (SDI), told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The SDI, Scotland's trade and foreign direct investment agency, will attend the 4th CIIE in eastern Chinese city Shanghai, which is just around half a month away for the second year running.
Speaking of China's recovery from the COVID-19 hit, Liu said, "You're seeing the strength of the rebound of the Chinese retail market, especially the role that e-commerce played in helping ensure that goods and services are still moving across as a fast market."
"The fact (is) that China's domestic market is still so resilient despite numerous external and internal shocks," said Liu. "I think China's market would become even more important, not only for Scotland, but also the rest of the world." Enditem
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